Saturday, July 28, 2007

48 Hours

Rochester, MN to Maryville, MO. Maryville to Clarinda, IA. Clarinda to Kearney, MO. Kearney to Kansas City, MO. Kansas City to Rochester, MN. All in less than 48 hours. (46.5 to be exact!)

We had a great time on our impromptu trip. Alas, the Grays lost their final elimination game on Saturday evening, but it was a great game to watch, one the team can be proud of. After the game we had a late meal at Cracker Barrel and spent the night back in Kearney. Friday morning Kelly headed to the FCA offices to check guys out and say a final goodbye. We picked him up, ate a birthday lunch at Chili's (Happy 33rd, Kelly!) and headed home. We pulled in our driveway at 7:30 last night and enjoyed a good night's sleep. We're spending the day together in true Saturday style. We're still in our pjs, resting and preparing for 'real life' once again.

Welcome Home, Kelly! To a great season and a fantastic summer!

Thursday, July 26, 2007



These are all words that could be used to describe me.

Here's a little recap of the last 24 hours or so...

Yesterday, 7:15 am: Wake the kids up to go to camp.
8:15-3:00 pm: Sub at camp while kids bowl, swim, tumble and have a great time at Camp Kingdom Kids.
5:00 pm: Tune into live broadcast of the Grays' game against the Chillicothe Mudcats online.
5:30 pm: Think about how great it will be when Kelly comes home on Friday after losing tonight's game as they're playing a tough team and they've used up their pitching.
7:15 pm: Put Claire & Nolan to bed early after several late nights and early mornings.
8:00 pm: Listen in astonishment at the Grays win!
8:15 pm: Decide to pack up the van & the kids and drive to Clarinda, Iowa.
8:45 pm: Run around the house like a mad woman, packing and tidying up. Wake up kids.
9:00 pm: Call Kelly, tell him we're on our way.
10:30 pm: Drive.
11:30 pm: Kids are asleep again.
12:15 am: Drive some more.
1:30 am: Start to get tired. Try to find a better radio station.
2:12 am: Begin to wonder if this was such a good idea after all.
2:27 am: Start to get really tired.
2:32 am: Turn off radio and sing the soundtrack to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to stay awake.
2:49 am: Continue to question the wisdom of my decision.
3:02 am: Determine to make it.
3:12 am: Pull into the Comfort Inn in Marysville, MO.
3:13 am: See the excitement on the kid's faces as they wake up and see Dad.
3:15 am: Know it was all worth it!

So, yes, we are back with the team to take in another game tonight. I know, totally crazy, right? But life is too short not to have an adventure once in awhile! The team plays tonight at 5pm. If they win, they play tomorrow. If they lose, we'll head back to Kearney, MO, wrap things up and bring Kelly home with us Saturday. Day by day.

I'm tired. But I hear the kids swimming with Kelly outside and smile because this is what it's all about.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Baseball Fever

I've still got it!

We may not be with the team as they play in the tournament this week, but we're there in spirit! I've enjoyed listening to the live broadcasts when we've not been able to cheer them on in person and the playoffs have been especially exciting. (Check out Kelly's blog for the details...) Last night Claire & I stayed up late, listening to the game as the Grays lost a heartbreaker to #1 seed, the Clarinda Athletics. We cheered like we were there & listened to Kelly give his post game interview. They face the Topeka Golden Giants tonight... we'll be there!

Go Grays!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Abundant Sunshine

Today's weather forecast is a 'high of 78 with abundant sunshine' according to Sounds perfect!

The week is flying by and I feel fall looming upon us. I know, I know, it's only mid-July. But much of my time (and my thoughts) are concentrated on our fall schedule. We've purchased those essential school supplies, are acquiring a back-to-school wardrobe and I've even written a meal plan for the month of September. (What about August, you ask? Still too hot to do much serious cooking, except on the grill!).

I suppose my mid-summer crisis is due in part to the fact that I begin working August 2nd. I'll work 15 hours a week for 6 weeks in the Christian Ed dept of our church, covering for the director's maternity leave. The hours are extremely flexible, but will overlap with the start of school in early September. I also have several meetings and training days for the preschool which start next week. I need to keep in mind that it's only 15 hours... and enjoy summer with all my heart! Which is exactly what I intend to do. We plan to see a play this week, attend a free concert & Claire will attend a Bible-Sports Camp in town (she's thrilled... they feature cheerleading!).

And Kelly will be home any day now. Well, almost. Playoffs begin Sunday. If they win, they play again on Monday, if not, they don't play until Tuesday. After that we'll see. Of course I wish them success & wins... but I wouldn't mind having Kelly back before the month ends, either!

I'm headed out to enjoy that 'abundant sunshine'. Now, where did I put the sunblock?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Home Again, Home Again...

Jiggity Jig!

(That's a little song we used to sing when we'd arrive home).

Well, we made it. We left Saturday just after 2pm. After a not-so-quick stop over at the Jordan Creek Mall in Des Moines, a few bathroom breaks and a trip to Wal-Mart to buy the essentials, we pulled into our beloved driveway at just before midnight. It was a long day but one we all enjoyed, despite leaving dad, friends & the team.

It's a beautiful Sunday evening in Rochester, the kids are outside on the Slip-N-Slide, I'm slowing unpacking and we're all trying to remember what normal life is like. Some things that will differ from our time in Kansas City: our sleeping schedule, our eating habits and our downtime. Some of the things that will remain the same: a perpetual state of "dirty" (for the kids, that is - and yes, they bathe!), having fun and going with the flow.

We were sad to leave on Saturday but oh-so happy to be home. There's nothing like sleeping in your own bed, bathing in your own shower and all the other amenities of home. It's easy to miss Kelly on a day like today, when the weather is perfect and the day is lazy. I just remind myself that it's just 2 more weeks...
It's good to be home!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Road Trip

We're traveling with the team to Junction City, Kansas today. The kids are excited to stay in a hotel with a pool, so everyone is happy. We'll return late Thursday night (or early Friday morning, depending on how you look at it!). Our friend, Casey (wife of pitching coach Rich B), has returned after a 3 week hiatus. [Side note: Rich's parents were in a motorcycle accident and they were gone for a while to care for them. They've been released from the hospital and are recovering. It's been miraculous. Rich returned after a week and we're thrilled that Casey is back now, too!]

As I type, I'm sitting outside in glorious sunny, breezy 75 degree weather. It's a fabulous change from the high 90s we've been having. It's 10:14 am and Kelly & the kids are still sleeping. Yup, we're still on that crazy nocturnal schedule. Good thing we'll be home for over a month before school begins because we'll have a hard time adjusting, I'm sure.

I received a call this week that my lead teacher on M-Th mornings this fall has growing numbers in her afternoon classes. Once they hit 10 students, they hire an assistant. Looks like that will be me. That takes me to almost 30 hours a week, with Fridays off. It's a genuine answer to prayer because I had been offered a position within the church and I was hesitant about taking it. I'll now turn it down and stay in the classroom.

Shortly after we get home we'll gear up for VBS, lots of swimming in the new Acquatic Center at the Y, and I'll begin staff training and meetings. Life is good!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

One More Week

We've decided to stay an additional week. That will bring us to a grand total of one month that the kids & I have been gone. We're thrilled to be able to stay as long as we have but I'm certain that there will be tears when we head back home.

The team heads back to Topeka, KS this evening but I think the kids & I may have to skip this one. We enjoyed a game yesterday at 2pm and by the end of the ninth inning it was 101 degrees. The heat is beginning to wear us out. (Hear that, I said 'beginning'. Well, I'm already worn out, but Claire & Nolan's seemingly boundless energy is finally hitting a wall.) A friend here in Kearney loaned us a computer projector so our living room is now a movie theater. We'll spend tonight laying low in effort to prepare for a busy upcoming week.

Tomorrow is an off day for the team and we'll have a family outing & spend time with my sister and her family one last time. Tuesday - Saturday will be all baseball, all the time, including an overnight stay in Kansas. After we head back we'll try to settle back into 'regular life', if there is such a thing!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Endless Summer?...

I Wish!!

Happy 4th! We're celebrating our nation in the usual style... food, family & fun! We spent the day at the Kansas City Zoo with my sister, mom & nephew. It was hot, we were sweaty, but we had a great time. We're spending the evening at my sister's and we plan to catch the fireworks in KC on the way back to Kearny (our temporary home). The FCA building overlooks the KC Royals stadium where they'll have a fantastic display and we'll have a perfect view.

The Grays enjoyed a win yesterday in Junction City, Kansas, about 2.5 hours away. We didn't join them but spent the day with my family instead. My mom arrived in KC yesterday & we're enjoying seeing her again. We'll take in 3 more home games during the next 2 days and travel with the team this weekend.

We had originally planned to head back to Minnesota early next week, but we may be extending our visit. There are a few factors which will determine if we stay or go, but we'd love to spend some extra time here. We're having a blast and don't want to leave! Either way, this summer is shaping up to be one we'll never forget!