Friday, August 31, 2007

Another season has begun...

Just when I think I might get a break from sports, another season begins. We had a very busy summer with all 3 of my guys in baseball. Michael coached the church softball team, Jake played in a pretty competitive league with his school, and Chris played PeeWee with Parks & Rec. Well, Jake's season ended, and that gave us a few free nights in the week. Then Chris' ended, and that was 2 more. Then Michael's ended, and that was the last busy night.

Now it's Football Season.

The boys have been talking about wanting to play football for a while now. I missed last year's sign up, and felt terrible about it. I almost missed this year's too, but with a phone call, I was able to get them signed up. Their practices started this week. To be honest, I wasn't sure how they'd do. They've never played before. All they really know how to participate in is baseball.

After their first practices, my doubts were squashed! Jake's first practice was a blast for him. Running, almost constantly, for an entire hour, seems to be fun. He smiled through the whole practice! He was counting down the days until his next practice!

And then there's Chris. Chris has never been a huge sports guy. He likes to play games, but as to watching, and sometimes participating, he can take it or leave it. When asked every year about baseball, he always wants to sign up, but is never really excited about it starting. Once he's in the game, he has a blast! It's never really been enough to get him riled up though. We've never "made" him go, it's always been his idea, but he's just never been as passionate about baseball as Jake always has been. Football, however, seems to be his game. He doesn't watch a ton, but he'll watch more football than baseball. He's been bugging me all summer about making sure that I sign him up for Flag Football. He wanted to play, no matter what! The week leading up to his practice was full of anticipation for him. Every day, he was asking me when his first practice was.

He had his first practice last night. Jacob had practice on the same night, starting a half hour before Chris'. Chris watched his big brother run drills, and was grinning from ear to ear. As we drove from Jake's practice to the park where Chris' practice was being held, he suddenly got really quiet. I was worried, thinking that maybe it was going to be like baseball again for him. Something he'll do, and have fun in the moment, but it won't really stick with him. I asked him if he was okay. He responded to me in a very dreamy tone, "I'm just thinking of what it will be like to be a professional Flag Football player." My worries flew right out the window with that single statement! He was actually looking forward to practice!

Once we got there, he was out of the car in no time, and with his teammates, tossing the ball. His coach got them all gathered up, and started practice. He ran and ran, pulled flags like that was his mission in life, and grinned the entire time. After running a drill midway through practice, he looked over to me and yelled, "Hey Mom! This is really fun!". Never had I heard that in the middle of practice before. I think Chris found his game!

The whole drive home, he was telling me the rules, and how to strategize in the game to make the play. He was even a little frustrated with a kid for not knowing the rules. I had to reassure him that coach would make sure all the kids know the ins and outs of the game. We got home, and he showered up, the whole time talking over the hiss of the shower about all the plays he made. He got out of the shower, and asked me, "When's my next practice?". Unfortunately for Chris, the next practice day is a holiday, so practice is canceled. Now he has to wait a full week before he can run plays again.

So now we're up to several nights being scheduled for sports. Both boys have practice twice a week, with game day being Saturday. Next week, Michael will start playing Fall Softball, so there's another night. I'm thankful that the boys all have fun, and are involved in activities that are good and healthy for them. I've seen their smiles, and that's enough for me to busy myself several nights a week!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Tim

We enjoyed a (full) day of enjoyment with a friend - Tim. Golf, board games, pizza and ice cream - we tried our hardest to wear him out. He's celebrating his #(@#&#th birthday on 8/26. Check out pictures from the day at sillyhat.


The boys started school this past week. My babies are getting older. It's a sad fact that I've had to face.

When they were little, I heard so many negative comments about how things would be as they got older. "Just wait until they're teenagers" I would be told, as if they were enlightening me with a terrible omen. It always bugged me, and I would always reply back in a most positive fashion, explaining how I look forward to seeing them grow into amazing men. I don't want to look at my kids' maturing as a bad thing. I feel like if I pray, and pray, and pray some more, I might get enough wisdom to raise my kids to be patient, loving, kind, humble, etc. I'm seeing some of that fruit already in my kids.

I'm realizing that I have to pray more and more lately. I'm stepping into a stage in Jacob's life that is new to me. He's in 4th grade now, maturing, growing, and acting more like an adult than a kid. When he was a toddler, it was easy for me. I knew what I needed to do as a mom. Now there are emotions, actions, and reactions that I'm taken aback by. There hasn't been anything bad...just unexpected at times. I first noticed it when he started to talk about one particular girl in his class. He talked about her a lot! After a while, he shared with Michael that he had a crush on her. While the fact that he had a crush was sweet, I was kind of sad. No longer were girls being seen as "just a kid in my class". He says he doesn't like her anymore, and he doesn't talk about her as much, but I know this won't be his last crush.

Jacob has started to care a lot about what he looks like too. Gone are the days when we have to nag him about showering. It's his idea now. Gone are the days of bed-head. His hair has to be perfect. And gone are the days of shopping for clothes without him...he has an opinion about what he wears now. Things have to be cool. Styles have to be upheld. He even has to carry his backpack to school in a cooler fashion, with only one strap being utilized.

His sense of humor has matured greatly. He's always been very witty, but I've noticed an amazing growth in that area. The things he jokes about are more thought out, more relevant. He can add more to conversations than he ever has before. Along with that, I've noticed that less gets by him too. He will notice little things that only grown-ups might catch. Watching a movie the other day, he noticed a tampon joke and asked what it was, and what it was used for!


All of this growing and maturing has caused me to pray more and more for wisdom. I find that my kids don't need me as much as they used to, and I'm having to adjust to that emotionally. I know it's a part of raising God-loving, strong, independent, productive adults. That is my goal. I never assumed it would be easy for me to let them mature, but it's still taking some adjustments on my part. I don't want to smother my kids, but I want to be there for them when they need me. I want to be a parent they can come to with questions. I want to be honest about life to my children. I want them to grow up knowing that they can talk to their parents about anything, and we won't spin a tall tale in reaction. In doing that, I'm having to really think long and hard about what's age appropriate, and what the best way of going about imparting wisdom is. I've realized my first reaction is to find a book to consult, and I find myself asking: "What would Dobson do?"

James Dobson got me through the toddler years with books and programs about anything and everything toddler. He'd have creative ideas for discipline, activities, and how to show your kids how much God loves them. He's been a great resource for my early parenting years. Now that I'm in a new stage, I'm having to search differently. As Jake grows into a pre-teen, I'm realizing that I'm relying more on my instinct than what Dobson would do. You know, I think I may be maturing and growing too.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Photography - Little Babys

I'm not sure if everyone knows about it yet, but I've started a new side-business: Baby Photography. My focus is specifically "in-hospital" baby photography. I want to capture those early moments before the newborn starts to look like a little child... visiting the family the day (or two) after the birth while they are still at the hospital.

Our website is : or

For the time being, I'm doing it for free and offering the prints at a low cost. The family can order online with easy previewing and complete checkout via PayPal or by check. If you know someone who's going to have a baby, send them (or myself) an e-mail and let them know that they can get some great photos (or at least they're better than the hospital-provided pictures) of their newborn at the hospital.

Photography is something I enjoy and have found fulfilling being able to capture those special moments and memories for others.

Kernels Game

We went to see the local baseball team play on Tuesday... the Kernels.

It was hot and sticky.... well, at least it was sticky and about 80 degrees.

They won 6 to 1 versus the Burlington Bees (the KC Royals 'A-league' minor league team). I was excited to see some of the Royal's up-and-coming players like the speedy Derrick Robinson and tough-hitting Jeff Bianchi. I think that those two guys are the two most probable candidates to be called up next year. However, they didn't match up to my favorite Kernels players: Will Ortiz and Mark Trumbo who went 3 for 7 with 2 doubles and 3 RBIs. The Kernels outhit the Bees 13 to 4. I credit the Kernels pitchers for that: 9 innings, 6 strikeouts, 0 walks, 1 run. It was fun to watch.

We had lots of luck at the game:

  • Heather caught a Iowa Hawkeye t-shirt before the game even started.
  • Jacob got a foulball that bounced off the box seats above us in the 2nd inning.
  • Jacob got a Hamburger Helper t-shirt that was shot up from the air-canon on the field in the 4th inning.
  • Both boys caught special star-marked squishy baseballs that they took to the gift-shop to get an autographed photo.
Finally, the boys were selected to do the Chicken Dance on the dugout at the top of the 5th inning. You can see the video of their performance here (it was captured with my camera phone so it's pretty blurry - but it's all I had with me):

Because it was a school night, we had to leave at the 7th inning (it was already 9pm), but we had a good time and may try to squeeze one more visit this year.

I need to write....

I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and Michael tells me I need to. I need to write more....heck, I just need to write. I love to capture moments of motherhood into words. Being a mom has been an adventurous ride. My boys are great memory makers. Things are said, faces are made, and hugs are given that will always be with least at that moment I feel that way. Then a few weeks go by, and I find myself saying "what was it that Jake said that was so funny?"

So, the moral of the story is, I need to write more!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

My First Blob

Yeah it's a blob.

I don't know how well this is going to work for me... so I'm just testing it.