Sunday, September 23, 2007

I Heart Baseball

While most people know this to be true, it wasn't always so. Sure, I took in a baseball game or two during my youth... my brother's little league games, a high school game (when a cute boy asked me to come), plus a few Dodgers & Giants games. Hey, I even got Will Clark's autograph once. But I wasn't really fan of the game.

Then I met a guy in college who lived and breathed baseball. I didn't totally get it, but I was willing to try. It helped that I really liked him. When we dated we watched a lot of sports in general, which I hadn't really done before. But again, he liked sports and I liked him. I asked a lot of questions, then asked some more. I'd always appreciated athletes, even if I tended to be more of a fan than a participant and I was interested.

So this guy and I ended up getting married. Shortly after, he became a baseball coach. That's when things really started in. I attended games, learned the rules and also began to breathe a bit of the baseball air. I've learned a lot, and am proud of my knowledge of the game. But it would be nothing if not for the passion of a baseball player.

Baseball may be America's Pastime, but there are really just a few who get it. It's what excites them, it's what moves them. It's more than just sunflower seeds and cracker jacks and
'Take Me Out to The Ballgame'. I often comment that you have to be slightly nuts to fully love and appreciate the game of baseball in it's fullest. It's not the most exciting game, nor is it one that generates the money that other sports do. But it does have some of the most passionate (or crazy) athletes and fans.

And when it comes down to it, I love baseball because Kelly loves it (he's the guy I married). It is what brings our family together, and sometimes separates us temporarily. Even now, when Kelly has moved across the country due to his love of baseball, I am excited about what it means for our family. We realize there are bigger things in our life (God, and his son Jesus Christ, for one) but baseball is pretty high up there.

As a matter of fact, I particularly love baseball this weekend for an entirely different reason... A dear friend took Nolan & Claire, plus his 2 children, to a Twins game yesterday. They had a blast while I enjoyed 6 hours of 'me' time. A very, very rare occurrence! (Thank you, Charlie!).

There are many ways to say it, but keeping it simple is best: We Love Baseball!

Monday, September 17, 2007

(More) Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Is it really possible? What else could possibly change in the Spann Fam, that hasn't already? Well, my job for one. When I told my directors & lead teacher that we were moving, they were genuinely happy for us, but no so much for them. School was this close to starting & we had a full year ahead of us. Let's just say the timing wasn't exactly great.

Our church's Children's Pastor approached me and asked if I was interested in transitioning out of the classroom and into the Children's Ministry dept completely. My time in that office was coming to an end, since the woman I was covering for was about to return from maternity leave. That way, my lead teacher would have an assistant she could count on for the entire year, our students would be able to adjust to the change earlier in the year (which is easier on them), the school wouldn't have to scramble to find someone to replace me around the holidays, and I would still have a job for as long as we are in Rochester. So, I said yes, and after a couple of weeks of logistics, I make the change on Wednesday.

I will be developing a Parent Co-Op for our Children's Ministry department. Ours is a church full of young families, our classrooms are bursting at the seams and our volunteer count is low. My job will be to research, develop and implement a system for our staff and parent volunteers to coordinate and work together in serving our children.

I am very excited for this new opportunity! My hours will increase to 30, but will be more flexible. Nolan will remain in his classes at the school and we'll still share lunchtime!

So, in a world of change... here's another!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

3 Days to Natch & More...

Where to start?? Well, Kelly left Saturday and made his way to Natchitoches, LA in three days. He stopped in Kansas City and Arkadelphia, Arkansas on the way. He arrived on campus at on Monday, just in time for practice. This week they have 4-on-1 practices (4 players to 1 coach per NCAA rules for pre season) and camps running in the evenings. Kelly is teaching a tennis class (!) and has found his office (in the equipment room). His schedule is jam-packed with baseball and he's loving it. He'll make his way to his blog eventually, but I wanted to fill you in for now.

The rest of us Spanns are busy as ever as we adjust to school, work and life without Dad. We miss him dearly, of course, but settled into our own routine pretty quickly. Nolan & I get home just before 4pm and Claire rolls in just a few minutes after. By the time we unwind, unpack our backpacks and eat dinner, we're getting into our jammies and are ready for bed. We hit the hay early and do it all again the next morning.

The weather has cooled and is beginning to feel like fall. I love the cooler temps when I can throw on a sweater and curl up with a cup coffee and a book! We'll visit apple orchards on school field trips and baking is a reality once again! (It was just too hot to turn on the oven for awhile!) Kelly, on the other hand, is still living in 95 degrees & sunny. Oh, the changes that are in store for us!

Until next time...

First Days

We've been in school for a bit more than a week now, and we're already set in our routine. It's a big change for us, since we're gone all day, returning home at 4pm to spend our evening together (minus dad, but more on that later).

Claire loves 1st Grade and all that comes with it. Nolan is adapting well to his many preschool & enrichment classes, with his favorites being Art and Young Explorers (geography). I'm also getting used to our routine, finding myself wiped out at the end of the day!

Here's a glimpse of the 2 cutest kids Rochester (just my humble opinion!):

Monday, September 03, 2007

Country Mouse

While the Spanns may not live an exciting life in a big city, we are definitely not accustomed to country living either. We've moved from rural Minnesota, surrounded by farms, visited the occasional petting zoo or apple orchard but really haven't experienced what many Midwesterners know as everyday life on a farm.

Yesterday we caught a glimpse and had a blast. We spent the day with friends in rural Stewartville, just south of Rochester, who are just as 'city' as we are. They rent a beautiful home on 9 acres, neighbored by a farm. It's the neighbors that kept us busy: riding the hay baler, the combine & driving a ranger (a 4-wheeler with a flatbed). We waded in the creek (crik) & got muddy, played football, visited, relaxed and ended the evening with a bonfire and smores. It was a beautiful day and exactly how we wanted to celebrate the end of our summer.

Claire starts school tomorrow, Nolan & I begin Wednesday. Kelly leaves early Saturday morning. Today we are resting, relaxing and just being. No labor for us today. Here's hoping you & yours enjoy a celebration of friends, family and blessing. Happy Labor Day!