Friday, March 25, 2011

Kids and Sports

My husband and I love sports. We both had our fair share of athletic opportunites - I participated in volleyball, basketball, and softball while he participated in football, baseball, and basketball. Both of us ended up finding our one true love - mine was softball, his was basketball. But our parents lets us try different activities and allowed us to decide when it was time to no longer be a part of one.

I'm not really sure how young is too young to allow that choice or when we should encourage them to try. I guess you could say Caleb - my first born of three - is currently my guinea pig. Ever since we signed up up for soccer last spring, he never really seemed into it. He played two seasons, and a couple weeks ago when I said it was time to start practices again for soccer, he was less than thrilled. I told the coach we'd be sitting this season out.

He did basketball with our church's Upward program. I felt much better about this experience because he really seemed to enjoy it, and watching him was a hoot! When I've asked him since the end of the season if he liked it and if he'd want to play again, he nods his head, but doesn't give me much enthusiasm. So I'm not really sure what direction we'll go with that.

And then came another idea, courtesy of my husband. Since we're still not sure if Caleb will be sold out for team sports, we thought we'd go another direction. Josh asked Caleb if he'd like to try Taekwondo. He was elated! His face lit up, and he couldn't wait to start. He kept counting down by looking at the calendar and remembering the day his first practice would be.

That was the reaction I was hoping for when it came to something he would be a part of.

Caleb with his instructor during the first night of class. He'll receive his uniform at his next practice.

My cousin, Chris, is very athletic and loves all kinds of sports. But I remember his younger days as he worked his way through the ranks as a Karate student. He began at age seven, and he achieved all of his belts, right on through to black! He was so sweet to text me the other day:
"That is so cool! I was kind of the same way believe it or not [referring to not being interested in other sports at Caleb's age]. I didn't become legitimately interested in team sports until 5th grade. If he ends up liking it enough to go to tournaments, I'd love to help him bring home some hardware. Ha! That's when it gets really fun. You meet a ton of people and your confidence goes through the roof. It helps form great habits, respect, and drive. Can you tell I liked it? :)"
As a seven-year-old, Karate was Chris's niche for some reason.

I hope perhaps Taekwondo is Caleb's.

I love seeing little kids play team sports. My other children may love them! And perhaps Caleb will become more interested as he grows. But for now, I don't feel like I should make him do something when he's not at all interested. He's only six. If he doesn't play t-ball or soccer this year, it probably won't ruin his chances for the NCAA. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


This week's theme for Shutter Love Tuesday is Emotions.

Sarah being melancholy. August 2008.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

When He Fell

A year ago on this Sunday morning, Josh and I were about to get ready for church when our sweet baby boy fell and cut his forehead so badly that we had to take him to the ER. I wrote all about it and how I felt here.

Today I'm sharing pictures I never posted before. Not even on facebook. I'm not really sure why I didn't use them with my post or put them in an album on facebook. I guess my emotions were still pretty raw, and I didn't like looking at them.

They still can bring up that emotion.

"In that moment when I was holding him, I began to shake. I'm not sure why, I think I just couldn't believe that this was happening to one of my children. He was hurting, so badly, the bleeding not slowing at all, the cut looked like something I've only seen in movies."

And this was the picture I took the first night we took off the bandage:

But now, a year later, he looks like this:

I usually brush his hair forward, but for the sake of writing about it, I thought I'd show what his scar looks like. For both of my boys, I like to have them with a bit of hair, but even more so with Gabriel since he has that scar (which is the other reason I was really sad when he had this hair cut). But it's amazing how the body can heal - I often don't notice his scar.

Just a memory I was thinking of this morning. I can't believe it's been a year ago.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hair Color, Cooking, and My BFFx2

Hello, Friday. Good to see you. Time to answer some questions with Mama M.

1. Do you know what your REAL hair color is? Yes. I sure do. Because until last fall, I never colored it. Ok, well never is a strong word, but I rarely (maybe once or twice) put anything that varied my hair color on my hair. My natural color is very, very dark brunette. I sometimes forget how dark it was until I look at some pictures of myself.

Before and after:

I love my dark hair, but the highlights have been fun. Plus, with my ever increasing amount of gray, I'm thinking my sweet hair stylist is going to love that I have to come see her frequently! :)

2. Do you plan ahead for summer, or fly by the seat of your pants? I have never planned ahead for summer as an adult. The only planning happened when I was 21 and put together a wedding in July! Other than that, we are very random. If I see the weather report and notice it will be a nice day, I will say, "Hey, let's throw the kids in the van and go to the Zoo!" Or if it's a clear, HOT day, we will head to Splash Zone. I think one of these summers, though, it would be nice to take a trip with the kids to the beach. I know they would love it. The older two (ages 6 and 4) are so easy to travel with, it's just my 2-year-old I'm waiting on!

3. What is your favorite meal to cook? Ha! Did you say cook? Sadly, I am not the cook in the family. I really don't like to cook at all. I guess that's the non-domestic side of me. But, if cooking is required of me, I really like to make Chicken Parmesan. I use the Shake and Bake recipe and serve it with spaghetti noodles. I look really talented when it's done.

4. Do you get offended by not receiving thank yous? No, not offended. I do think it's a shame that thank yous have become less important in our modern society. I am not perfect at it, but I do try to send thank you notes or cards if I receive something from someone. If I give a gift, I'm not waiting at the post office, patting my foot, wondering when my thank you will arrive! But I do think it's polite, and I am trying to teach my kids to write them. Caleb has sent a few thank you letters since he's been able to write. It's just a nice gesture in my opinion.

5. How did you meet your best friend? When I started thinking about this, it made me teary. It must be one of those days. I've known my BFF since middle school, but we did not become close until the fall of 2003. She had just gotten married, and I had just moved back closer to home, so we attended the same church. We began practice for a church musical, and I remember seeing her every week. One evening, when we all found out she was pregnant, I will never forget her saying, "You're next! I just know it!"

Sure enough, I was. We've been close ever since. We were pregnant all three times together. We were a part of dedication services together, and sang together for them!

Mike and Kassie holding Joseph on the left, Josh and I holding Caleb on the right, baby dedication, spring 2007.

It's been a year now since she moved to Indiana (love the pictures in that post), and I still miss her like it was yesterday. When I have a horrible day, I wish I could drive to Owensville and see her. I miss the 4th of July evenings in her back yard. I miss seeing her kids grow. But we are very good at making sure to see each other when she visits Missouri, and I need to plan a trip to Indiana! Even though there isn't a beach there! :)

My other BFF lives here in my same town. We met at church in the spring of 2006, and after having babies in the same month, ended up seeing lots of each other at a playgroup.

Lots of life changes have caused us to not see each other quite as much as we used to, but I still love her very much and consider her very dear to me. She has seen me cry and has been a shoulder to lean on. She has watched my kids when I've needed her, and brought me wine when she thought I needed it! ;) She is sweet and genuine. She is my go-to girl.

Sarah and Chrissy, spring 2009.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Simple Picture

Sometimes I go through old pictures on my computer or flip through a few on facebook just for the heck of it. No good reason. Just reliving memories I suppose.

Last night I saw this picture:

Nothing really spectacular. But this was taken only a few days before I had Gabriel. You can see my baby belly quiet clearly! I was holding my little girl, who was my "baby" at the time. When I look at it, I remember that at the time, I didn't know if I was having a boy or a girl. I remember that I hadn't told anyone what names we had selected for the baby. I remember wondering how I would adjust from two to three kids. That day I had gone to get my hair cut because I wanted to look cute on the day I had the baby - yes, I know, I'm weird for thinking of that! :)

I remember feeling happy. My life was just as it should be.

Memories...all from a simple picture. Sarah in her pj' in a t-shirt. And I'm pretty sure Caleb was the photographer. He was only four.

I enjoy reliving a moment, no matter how simplistic. Just a glance at a picture can take me back to another time.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Yesterday I wrote this as my facebook status:

As I was walking through Walmart, I quickly glanced up ahead and saw who I thought was my mom. I did a double take and then realized I was actually walking towards a mirror.

True story.

It was only a brief second, but in that brief second I realized something that I hadn't before. Maybe there are some similarities between me and my mom. Growing up, I had always been compared more so to my dad. I have his facial features, his big, brown eyes, his nose, and even his teeth (I had to have braces for the same reasons)! I was tall like him and had more of his frame (my mom is tiny, my dad is not).

But every now and then, I catch a glimpse of myself looking like my mom. The Walmart example is one. This picture is another:

August 2009.

Now I realize that most of my readers don't know me or my mom personally, so to share this picture would really only prove something to someone who knew us both, but when I saw this picture from the summer of 2009, I remember thinking, "I look like my mom!" I'm not sure if it was the angle, the hair, the clothes, or what. But it was probably one of the first times I saw myself and thought I looked like her.

And if I do look like her, even a tiny bit, I'm honored.

Because she is beautiful. Inside and out.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Garbage Disposals

It's time for Five Question Friday again with Mama M. I thought I'd better participate since one of the questions is mine this week!

1. Have you ever forgotten your child in a store or at school? No, I haven't. But that's too short of an answer for me. So maybe I should take this opportunity to tell on one of my parents? Yes. I think that would be fun!

When I was a kid, we lived in Rolla and my mom taught in Belle while my dad taught in Owensville. Dad would drop off my sister, my mom, and me at Belle (which is 35 minutes from Rolla) and then proceed on to Owensville (15 more minutes). Then after school, he would come by and get us. One afternoon he must have had something going on after school, so the three of us either got a ride or walked to my grandma's house which wasn't too far from the school. We knew he would be later than normal, but as the 5 o'clock hour approached, mom wondered what was taking so long. She waited probably 30 more minutes...maybe an hour...and by 6 o'clock she realized it may have slipped his mind to come by and get us. This was before cell phones mind you, so there wasn't a way to reach him if he was on the road.

Sure enough, mom finally got a hold of him, and he had driven all the way to Rolla without us. I'm not sure he's ever lived it down. :)

2. Where did you go on your very first date? (Like...first first, not first with your spouse or current significant other!) I glanced through a few blogs from 5QF, and when I saw that many of the bloggers couldn't remember their first date, it actually surprised me! But then again, I tend to remember EVERYTHING, so I couldn't help but remember my first date. It was a really big deal because I wasn't allowed to date until I was 16. No exceptions. So even though I started seeing the boy I was with the day I turned 15, and even though he could drive, I had to wait an entire year. And he waited for me. My birthday is in November, so he took me to Santa's Magical Kingdom in Eureka, Missouri, driving his 1995 Ford Probe (a smokin' hot car). After that, we ate at Pizza Hut and then drove home. It was fun.

Me and my dad on my 16th birthday, November 4, 1995.

3. What's your "silly" fear? (We're not talking water and heights.) Oh, yes. A silly fear. I have a very hard time reaching into the kitchen sink if something has dropped in there. I have a very strong fear that the garbage disposal is going to spontaneously go off and I will no longer have a hand. You know. Since there are so many documented cases of this happening and all. Sigh.

4. Confrontation: do you cause it, deal with is as it comes, or run far far away? I don't think I cause confrontation unless you count the times that I will approach someone if I can tell I've upset them or if they have hurt me. I do not flee it at all. It's interesting to me that some are so afraid to discuss issues with others. What are we afraid of? I wonder how we can train our children to be able to handle confrontation? Why am I ok with it?

But I have also learned how to let certain things slide or if I've tried to handle something and it's going no where, there's a time to just stop and realize...nothing is going to change. Make sense?

5. Wood floors or carpet? In my house we have all carpet. I don't think that will change any time soon even though I think wooden floors are beautiful. My sister recently re-did all of her floors, and they are gorgeous. It's a very dark color, though, and I'm not sure I could keep up with cleaning them! If I were to buy a new house, I think I would tend to like homes with wood floors.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Mama and the boys.

My mom with Gabriel and Caleb, August 5, 2010.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

See, It Worked!

Back in August I wrote this post asking readers to tell me how they feel about the phrase, "God answers prayer." I loved the insight I gained through those of you who commented, and then I wrote a short, follow-up here. At the time, I didn't feel like I could adequately express how I was processing that phrase, and the truth is, I still can't. And I still need to be careful with that topic, but there is one thing I'd like to address.

Have you ever sat in a group with others who are discussing prior prayer concerns, and when the request was "answered" the way the group thought it should go, heard the phrase, "See, it worked!"

It worked. Like a magic act.

What if Suzy didn't get the job? What if Bob wasn't healed of cancer? Would the group then say, "Oh...those prayers didn't work."

I sure hope not. I really doubt it.

But it really feels that way to me. Sometimes I see status updates on facebook about God answering prayer, and it seems to me that it only happens when something goes the way we want it to. Like if we say it loud enough and long enough, if we beg like a small child in the toy aisle, God will change His mind.

Honestly, I don't mean to sound sarcastic or horrible. It's a profound struggle for me. To hear the phrase, "See it worked!" after discussing prayer...just seems wrong for some reason.

"I've learned that my prayers are so many times less about getting an answer to my questions and [more about] honoring Him with my time so that He can speak to me those words that He knows I need." - Joel

Still have lots of internal work to do on this topic.