Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hot action on the BB court

Paul had his first basketball game last Saturday. It was actually a tournament, so they got to play 3 other teams. They didn't win any, but did improve a lot with each game, and they all seemed to be having fun.

I don't think the local newspaper is going to be hiring me anytime soon to take sports pictures! I discovered just how slow my camera really is...the pictures I ended up getting were, for the most part, not anything like what I thought I'd snapped! Sometimes I was left with a totally empty gym floor. I guess that's the nice thing about digital cameras, though--you can erase! As you can see, I eventually resigned myself to taking shots when Paul was totally standing still.

He looks pretty pumped, huh?!?

In the huddle....Aaron was the assistant coach. It was kind of funny because when we played Wallace, their music teacher was one of their coaches, too :)

Finally, an action shot....of course, it's of his back, but that's better than nothing, I suppose.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Brag, brag, brag

Sorry, folks. I know I've been doing a lot of bragging lately, but I gotta do it one more time. Of course, I'm not about to start putting the bad stuff my kids do on here. :) What fun would that be? Paul and Miranda went to a spelling contest today, and Paul won first place out of the 5th graders! I was really proud of him. Both kids had fun, and I was happy that they had the opportunity to go.

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Brotherly Love

Paul made these cards for his sisters for Valentine's Day. He made them at school, totally of his own free-will, mind you. I must say that this is a pretty cool moment in this mommy's life. I realize that tomorrow he may be torturing them (although he doesn't really do that), but these cards are definite keepers!

I love the insides....the top one is Miranda's, then Sonya's, then Olivia's.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love is in the air

I feel very loved today! Aaron gave me the vase of roses, and Miranda gave me the single rose. I was impressed--she did that all on her own and actually kept it as a surprise!!! I helped with Olivia's Valentine's Day party on Thursday, which was a great reminder to me that I would NEVER want to teach preschool!!! I was supposed to help with Miranda's yesterday, but we had a snowstorm, so there was no school. Today I took Paul, Miranda, Taylor to "Marley and Me." The icing on the cake will be that tomorrow evening our chuch is showing the movie, "Fireproof," and serving a catered dinner. This will not involve the short people, which is one of the best parts (sorry, kids). It doesn't get much better than this! I feel blessed.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Change

Change is inevitable, except from vending machines. --Author unknown

I thought I'd start this post off with a little humor, as I desperately need it today. Hence, the above quote. But I have a heavy heart. Miranda's closest friend, almost like a sister, is moving this week. Taylor has been a part of all of our lives for a couple of years, basically since she moved here in first grade. I have watched her and Miranda's friendship evolve throughout this time, until it has reached the point of great compatibility, love, and understanding. Sure, they have their moments--what 9-yr.-old girls don't?--but I think theirs is truly the type of friendship that will stand the test of time. I had the pleasure of praying with her before she was baptized last summer. She has gone to AWANA and Sunday school with us quite often during the past couple of years, and has just generally felt like my 5th kid. I'm taking this hard. In fact, I'm crying as I type. I can't quite figure out if it's because I have a headache and am just generally wiped out today (we hosted our conference choir clinic yesterday; I was the accompanist). More likely, though, I am reliving a piece of my childhood through this experience.

It started in third grade, I think. I may have some of the details wrong, but this is how I remember it, some 27 years later. My two friends, Anne and Charlotte, sisters from across the street, moved to Lincoln. We spent much of our early childhood years together....Anne was one grade ahead of me, Charlotte one grade behind. We had such fun. Lemonade stands, torturing my little brother, kickball games in my front yard....I could go on. When they moved I knew they'd come back sometimes, as they had ties to the Chadron area. In fact they often did come back in the summers, and we were always able to pick up where we'd left off. To this day, I keep in touch with each of them, and would LOVE to have a reunion (hint hint). A few years ago, before they had their babies, and before I had my last two, we did get together and went to the Black Hills--just the 3 of us.

Next, my friend Andrea moved to Indiana. I think this happened around the same time. I remember this being especially difficult, as I knew, even in my 8-yr.-old brain, that Indiana is a whole lot farther than Lincoln. We wrote a lot of letters. I cried a lot. She actually did move back a year or so later, but then moved again, this time to North Dakota. Interestingly enough, I just found her again on Facebook. Although I haven't kept up a friendship with her, it's so cool just to be able to see what she's doing, see what she looks like, and see her family. Facebook has made my world a little smaller.

In sixth grade, it was my friend Alyssa. We'd been friends since preschool. Great friends. We'd challenge each other to little "piano competitions," make up gymnastics routines, do 4-H projects together, sing, dance...you name it. We had a lot in common. I remember that when I found out she was moving to Rapid City (only 2 hrs. away), I couldn't even look at her in band class, or I'd start to cry. We have stayed in touch over the years. We've even gotten together a few times in Rapid City, where she still lives. I'm sure we'll always stay in touch, even if it's just through Christmas cards and the occasional e-mail.

After my freshman year, my friend Jennifer moved to Chicago. Her dad had been saying for several years that a move was coming, so I did have time to prepare myself, but it was still hard. We sort of drifted apart during my freshman year, possibly because she had a boyfriend who was a couple years older, and I was just a tag-along. But after my senior year, I did fly to Chicago and spend almost a week with her. We had changed, both of us, but it was still a fun time, and I consider her a friend to this day. Once again, we've found each other on Facebook, and I feel as though I could sit down with her and reminisce, and there would still be that little spark of friendship that we had had since our early elementary days.

Paul's best friend, Grant, moved a couple years ago. The neat thing is that his mom and I have made an effort to get them together several times a year, and through these reunions, Aaron and I have grown even closer to Rod and Diane. We still miss Grant, however, and still think of him as a big brother for Paul. A couple of weeks ago, when Miranda was telling Paul and I that Taylor was going to move, Paul said to her, "It will be really hard for a while. You'll be really lonely." His advice and wisdom was so touching to me, especially when I consider that he's a mere 15 months older than she is.

Yet, I see that even with these changes, God is at work. Paul has been given a new close friend. It has been neat to see that develop. Miranda will be ok. In fact, I think she's dealing with this better than I am. If she cries, it isn't in front of me. And I can see that every time a close friend moved away when I was a child, God reached in and "filled the gap," so to speak.

Perhaps another reason I'm emotional about all of this, is that I know that this will just be one of many goodbyes for Miranda. I had to say it again a few years ago to my friend Delores, who had become a second-mother, a mentor, and a dear friend. It doesn't get much easier even when you're an adult. I still miss our weekly Bible studies, almost-daily phone chats, piano duets at church, and so much more. And there's Mary Jo, who also moved several years ago. This is someone with whom I'd spent literally hours on the phone, talking about anything and everything. With both of these friends, I know I will still keep in touch, will still see them occasionally, and we will always call ourselves 'friends," but the miles are there, and that alone is a factor which causes things to change. Here again, though, even in adulthood, God is working to "fill the gap," and I have many wonderful friends who each have a different role in my life.

I don't like change, but as the quote above states, it's inevitable. God is the one who doesn't change, and I pray that my children will know that, and believe it wholeheartedly.

Friday, February 06, 2009

All's fair in love and underwear

Ok, so last night's devotional (Thanks, Josh MacDowell) was on fairness/justice. When it was all over, and we had finished doing the discussion questions, etc., Miranda said, "Mom, it's only fair that you put a picture of yourself on your blog with underwear on your head." I should back up and say that she'd been bugging me all evening about taking off the picture of her. Well, I guess this was the compromise....she said, "Mom, either take mine off, or put one of you on." Ok. I'm a good sport. Here it is. Hope you're happy, Miranda. Just remember--I have some pictures that are WAY worse :).

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Embarrassing moment

My eldest daughter came home from school a couple of days ago with a sad tale. She told me that they'd had to write about their most embarrassing moment in their writing journals. She said, "Guess what I wrote about?" I had no idea, as I honestly couldn't think of anything too terrible that's happened to her. She replied, "I wrote a story about a girl whose mom has a blog. The mom put pictures on the blog of her with underwear on her head."

Oops. I said, "I didn't even know that you ever checked my blog." She said, "I just have a feeling that you put some on." I guess I'd better be more careful. Although, if she thinks that's the worst picture I have of her, then I've got news for her. But those won't show up on my blog!

Wiggly

Ah, you gotta love preschoolers. This morning as I was getting dressed, Sonya asked, "Mom, why is your tummy so wiggly?" I thought about saying, "It's all because of you and the other 3 munchkins who I carried around in it for a total of 3 yrs. of my life." But I just laughed instead. Gotta have a sense of humor in this mothering gig.


*disclaimer--this is not my actual tummy. It is only a (surprisingly accurate) representation. The blog owner is not responsible for any nightmares that this picture may cause.

A good song to live by

One of the favorite songs from church among the elementary/preschool set is "Read your Bible, pray every day." Sonya has really picked up on it, as you'll see in this video. In case you can't understand her, the second part goes, "leave your Bible, forget to pray, and you'll shrink, shrink, shrink."
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