Moving forward


For Linda, who requested I write on this subject -

When I was in jr. high and high school I looked forward to practices for every sport every day.  I was slightly lost without them.  I didn’t know what people did with all their free time.

I wasn’t a stereo-typical teen in the sense that I had no desire to sit in my room and brood about the fact that the world wasn’t fair, boys didn’t like me, or that I didn’t have the latest fashion.  I spent every single day talking to my parents and siblings.  I adored school and I adored sports practices.  The day of my last senior year volleyball game I remember sinking to the floor and sobbing.  The season was over and everything was going to change.  This is the first time I remember noticing the seasons of life.

Then, I became an adult.  I got a job.  My time available to play sports shrunk significantly.  Then, I got married.  My time shrunk again.  And, then I had kids.  I stopped playing all together.  I missed it, but seldom had time to think about it.  I had health issues that helped me gain a significant amount of weight and made losing it extremely difficult.  But, all along I LOVED sports.  I never stopped loving them just because I wasn’t able to play.

When the twins were born I heard about a volleyball league I could play in.  I decided I’d go try it out.  I was nervous.  I was 10 years older, overweight, and hadn’t played.  But, it was sorta like riding a bike.  When I got there it just came back.  I didn’t move as fast.  My minimal vertical had basically disappeared. But, I had the basics.  The fundamentals that I used to be annoyed my coaches were harping on – those were still there.  And, I’ve been playing volleyball ever since.  I found it difficult to play in the league with the people who were beginners.  They didn’t even know the rules and were laughing like the sport was just for fun!  And, the upper division were all young and fit.  The guys were giants and spiking it so hard that if it hit me in the face there was a good chance I’d be knocked out.  But, I’ve managed to play in both levels and figure out a balance.  I’m not the best.  But, I’m having fun and being active.

This year life has gotten in the way of our league.  But, I intend to change that.  I want to be able to play and enjoy my time.  I refuse to stop being active.  The good news is that I haven’t stopped completely.  I’ve been coaching.  When I leave practices I’m sweaty and disgusting.  The girls probably think I’m old and crazy, but I don’t care.  I love playing and I love being there teaching these girls to love it.  The important thing I keep reminding myself about is that I don’t have to be the best.  I don’t have to play at the level I did when I was 17 and 18.  I just have to keep going.  I have to keep myself moving.  Sometimes that means I take baby steps and do the easy stuff.  Sometimes that means I swallow my pride and do the hard stuff even though I’m positive everyone else around me thinks I’m ridiculous.  It’s not about what they think.  It’s about me doing something I love and trying my best to keep myself healthy despite health issues that make weight loss annoying, despite time crunches, despite french fries.  I’m still going and I’m going to keep going.

If you feel like you are too old, too fat, too slow, too whatever – stop labeling yourself with things that do not help you.  Start labeling yourself as things like tenacious, persistent, and hard working.  Don’t waste your life hiding until you’re perfect for what you want to do.  Do what you want until you’re the best you can be at it.

 

RCS F.E.A.S.T.


With each new school year comes the need to raise funds for our school.  I know each school is the same because I have sweet little faces at my door both at home and work offering me the chance to purchase cookie dough, magazines, sponsor a jog-a-thon, etc.  I totally understand the need to support education, athletics, technology, and the arts.  But…I literally HATE sending my kids door to door to sell cookie dough.  I don’t want the cookie dough.  I don’t need to eat it and I don’t need to store it.  My friends’ kids are all also selling cookie dough.  And, it’s become a joke that we should each just cut our schools a check rather than go through the hassle of some of the fundraisers.  You know what I mean.  I’m sure many of you have the same thing.

This year our school has decided to try something new.  They’ve set up an online platform for fundraising.  We are asking for sponsorships from people to fund the school.  But, we are also going to end our fundraising drive with a awesome event where our kids will pack 10,000 meals for other local students who are less fortunate and are not always sure they will have food available for three meals a day.  So, while we are raising funds for our school we’re also giving our kids an opportunity to serve in the local community and meet a very real need.  It’s exciting.  It’s cool to see our kids serving other kids their age who have a real need that our kids can help fill.  If you are interested at all in Christian education, helping young people who need a meal, or just in helping my family in particular – please check our our family’s page for the fundraising here.  We would love your support.  If you can’t give financially we would love your prayers for this fundraising drive as well as for the event at the end where we pack 10,000 meals. And, it’d be really great if you could pray for the kids who will receive the meals.  Thanks, friends.

F.E.A.S.T. “Funding Education And Serving Together

Here are some photos from our kickoff dinner last night.  It was an amazing time.

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Tis the Season


It’s football and volleyball season.  That means volleyball practices at 6am and football practices until 6pm.  That means rushing to and from work to fit in games and practices.  It means trying to enjoy all the accomplishments my children make while trying to encourage them to improve and grow.  It means dinner is cooked between 7 and 8 at night.

This year I’m coaching my daughter’s volleyball team.  It’s been so fun.  The girls are excited to be there and most are beginners so they haven’t created bad habits yet! The team is made up of 6th and 7th grade girls.  As my husband says – the best part of our game so far is our cheering and our warm up.  But, these girls are coming along and will all make excellent volleyball players very soon.

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(Yeah, that’s me on the right – shorter than half the players.  I’ve had a few people ask me if it bothers me that I’m shorter than these girls.  Um, NO!  I honestly don’t think about it much and didn’t even notice until I saw this picture.)

Here is my favorite picture so far this season – the formation gets me every time.  (Yes, I’m special).

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I’m more calm this year with the football thing.  Well, I volunteer to run the spirit wear table so I miss 1/2 the game. And, I try not to look when my son is getting hit or hitting people…but I am more calm. HAHA  He still is loving it and it’s been a true joy to watch him improve over the past couple years.  My favorite part is the comradery that is built in to football.  The boys love and protect each other.  There is no instance where that doesn’t happen on the team.  It’s pretty amazing to watch these boys come together like that.  All but six are new – it speaks volumes about their coaches that they enforce that.

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(My boy is #30)

So, with coaching and watching and selling spirit wear the subject of how much time it takes to be a parent for an athlete (or a child in drama or band or whatever) has come up.  It IS time consuming.  It takes hours and hours and hours of our lives to be there to drive, pick up, coach, practice at home, cheer, and just BE there at games.  But, you know what?  How much time is “too much” to invest in our children?  The time they are with us is short.  A mere 18 years before they move on to things that will take them away from us.  My oldest is a junior.  In a year and a half he will be off to college.  How could I ever choose to miss these few passing moments?  I couldn’t.  I can’t imagine not being there for him or experiencing his joys, his letdowns and just his life with him.  The same is true for the twins.  I want to see them growing and learning.  I want to cheer for them when they do well.  I want to cheer for them when they need some encouragement!

 

These are the blessings the Lord has entrusted us with.  All too soon they will be grown.  Enjoy these fleeting moments.  Cheer as loud as you can.  Lose your voice by the end of each game.  Try to attend every performance, every game – we all know none of us will make every single thing – but do your best!  Your kids see you trying and they love you for your efforts.

Motherhood, my friends – embrace it!

 

Do stuff


We are people who do stuff.  This is what we have been labeled by people who label families. At first I thought it was an odd description, but after a bit I realized it’s true.  We are not good at not doing stuff.  We enjoy doing stuff.  We are, in fact, people who do stuff.

The stuff we do is varied and almost always entertaining.  And, I’m positive our kids are learning from our example that doing stuff is actually a good thing.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to just sit around the house from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed.  My mind cannot even comprehend such a situation.  (Though, I don’t mind a little relaxation…)

The thing is, I really hope our lives are about more than just the doing of stuff. I think our lives should be about the stuff we do. And, I hope that people notice when we do stuff it’s not just to fill the time with random activities. We want to be people who are doing stuff that makes a difference. We want to be people who love other people. We want to be people who care for other people. We want to be family to kids who need families. We want to be mentors to kids who need mentors. Ultimately, we want to show Jesus through the stuff we do. It’s all well & good to be busy people who do lots of stuff, but if we lose sight of our one real job – the command to go and share the gospel – well, our busyness means nothing. If people cannot look at us and notice a difference then we need to examine our busyness & re-evaluate.

Here we go again


It’s that time.  I love having my kids home, no bed time, late dinners, and freedom that summer allows, but I also love the delightful schedule of school.

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Yesterday was the first day of the 2014/15 school year.  We had four kids to get up and get ready.  My three are used to the craziness of morning, but our exchange student (K) hates mornings.  He said he loves sleep more than breakfast.  I totally get where he’s coming from.  I love sleep too.  But, a teenage boy needs food so he still has to get up.

My children generally eat toast with peanut butter on it (or pop tarts if I happen to find them on a good sale) for breakfast.  Yesterday, K was late getting up so something from the toaster was his only option.  He chose toast.  After one bite he was not impressed and decided not to eat it.  I felt like a failure.  I’m positive he eats lots of things he doesn’t love just because he’s in America and we eat lots of things he’s not used to.  So, today we made him get up and gave him eggs (we knew he liked them) and lots of fresh fruit (which we knew he liked too).  My kids were weirded out by cooked breakfast. HAHA  That’s great parenting right there.

I dropped all the kids off in the morning.  K was very nervous.  The twins shouted “bye” as the car slowed and I didn’t see them again.  They were a little nervous about their lockers but apparently managed just fine.  T waited with K to get his updated schedule which I appreciated. (I found out later from a new mom he also introduced himself to some new students and welcomed them.  I love his heart).

I’d agreed to have the fan stand open after school for the first day so I showed up early and got it set up.  When I saw Tr he informed me that 6th grade is SO MUCH BETTER than 5th grade.  C apparently had matched a couple people’s outfits. K only ate his sandwich out of his lunch and had to go directly to swim team.  T said the day was great, but no time to talk as he headed to football.

It was a successful first day.  K did fall asleep on the way home.  I’m glad he’s comfortable enough to do that.

 

 

Good report


We took a quick trip to Sacramento today to check in with our girl’s neurologist.

Two and a half years ago she had her first seizure. We were terrified & worried for what it meant for our sweet girl.

We laid it at Jesus’ feet and have had so many friends and our families join us in prayer for her.

Today the neurologist gave us good news! Her blood tests look great and she hasn’t had a seizure since they changed up her meds at our last appointment.

So, now our next goal is to reach two years seizure free. We are currently at nine months free. Please join us in prayer that the meds will continue to control the seizures.

The doctor told us originally he believed she would outgrow her epilepsy, and today he reiterated that there is still an excellent chance she could completely outgrow it! Praise the Lord!!

We are so thankful that her epilepsy can be managed & that it doesn’t affect too much of her every day life. We are blessed!

Ending Summer with a bang


We’re back from our whirlwind vacation.

It.was.fantastic.

We hit very little traffic on our way (glorious) and arrived in just over the 3 hours google told us the trip would take. It probably would have been exact, but I’m a terrible traveler & always have to stop. My husband has a bladder of steal & never needs to pull over. Needless to say, he is generally displeased with the kids and my inability to ‘just hold it’.

We arrived at the amazing home we were staying in, unloaded the car, & immediately went swimming. The weather was 30 degrees cooler than we’re used to & the pool was heated. It felt perfect!

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Then, we went for a picnic. There was a lovely redwood area with a park. We got to relax, eat, and enjoy wandering around.

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We went back & the boys played basketball while the girls swam. The house had an amazing basketball court & hoop. My boys were impressed!

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We finished the night with dinner, more swimming & Mama had some margaritas. 😊

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The rest of the weekend we hung out with various friends, laid by the pool, ate more than we should, played cards, and just relaxed!

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We did take a quick trip to the beach. It was a little too cool for most of us to get in, but we still had fun.

This was the first vacation that we have been on where I didn’t try to fill every waking moment with something to do. I am a doer. I want to be doing something all the time. Something about doing things calms & relaxes me. My daughter is the same. She loves a good plan just like her mom. But, my husband and sons are not doers. They like to pause & just be. This trip was the first we had time to just be. It turned out wonderful. And, truth be told I feel pretty relaxed from just hanging out too.

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Now, all three kids leave for a few days with my mother in law. They arrive back in time to go to my company picnic. Then, two days later Cora & I have a trip to the neurologist we are doing our best to make into a girlie trip. Our exchange student arrives soon after that. I’m so very thankful we got to spend just a few days relaxing before we end this summer with a bang!

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