Thursday, June 30, 2011

Embrace the Camera {Natural Moments}

Normal moments. 

After seeing this, I realize I want more photos like this.  
More photos of when we are just doing what we normally do.
We only get a glimpse of his face in this last picture, but I love his look of sheer delight.  
And the fact that he's in my arms makes it all the better.

Embrace the camera here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Magnificent Marlins

Last fall, when both of our boys' teams made it to the championship game, we told them to enjoy it because it will never happen again.  
Guess what?  It happened again.
It reminds me of the time I was in 6th grade and we were driving through Las Vegas.  My dad took my brother and I to a casino (We stood where kids were allowed to stand.  Please don't call CPS).  He wanted to teach us a lesson about gambling, about how you always lose.  Well, he won like $200.  I should have a gambling addiction, but I guess I was spared from the error of my father's teaching.


The Marlins were the underdogs.  We beat teams we shouldn't have in the tournament.  
We played together and played well.  This is one of the joys of little league.  It is always anyone's game.
After all, when you are 7 and 8, even the best of players make mistakes. 
We were the tournament champions!

Our wonderful coaching staff.  That guy on the left is pretty hot, I think.

The last time they will play together.

With the man who taught them all they know.

With the woman who made sure their uniforms were always clean and ready for the games.

He asked me to take this one.

His favorite part of the game.  Rounding the bases on the big boy field.

Thank goodness for bleach!

And that wraps it all up for Spring Ball 2011.  

But don't worry, lots of post season pictures to come.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

There is so much I could say about you, Chris, on this Father's Day.  But these are some things that come to mind on this day.  This is the post I began to write on his birthday.  He turned 39 this May, and I wanted to honor him with some words.  Well, life got in the way, and I never perfected them.  I realize now, they may not be perfect, but words from my heart, nonetheless.  So here they are. 

Here's to you.
[On top of the Minnesota State Fair, a few summers ago]

Chris knows me.  I've heard various pastors say that you should study your wife, that you should know her better than you know anything else.  Chris does this with me instinctively.  He never tires of asking about the (mostly boring) details of my day.  The laundry is piling up.  Blah, blah, blah.  The kids are fighting more than usual.  He listens, admits that it's hard, what I do here at home, but never lets me wallow too long.  He could teach a class on living with you wife in an understanding way.  After all, he has to live with me.

[Last year on my birthday, he surprised me with a girl's night with these dear friends]

The older the kids get, the better he becomes with them.  He was great with the babies.  He is great with toddlers, but he is especially good with our boys as they grow older.  He shepherds them without even knowing he's doing it.  He talks as he throws the ball back and forth in the evening, or as he clips their nails at night.  He's an example to them as they learn how to relate to people.  They watch him.  And it's fun to see them imitate him.  I can see a little of Chris in all their faces as they tell a good story.  I lost count of how many people have praised our boys for various reasons.  And it all comes back to him.  Chris is their dad.  Sure, I have a part too.  But he backs me up.  He is who they want to be like.

[At a Baylor football game this fall]

He is one of the most unselfish people I know.  He always takes me into consideration when he makes a decision.  He knows that home schooling 5 kids is a special (for lack of a better word) task.  While I do most of the work at home, he knows that I need to get away some in the evenings and weekends, for sanity.  He does it cheerfully.  He may be acting, but I feel he likes to do these things for me.  He is my biggest encourager.  Whenever I feel like I'm not doing much of anything important, he tells me otherwise.  Back to the unselfish part, he would be the first to do something cheerfully for a friend that he really didn't want to do, and probably take 2 or 3 kids with him to do it, to help me out.

[He is SO proud of all these boys]

We met when he was 27.  He was young and carefree, his life an open book ahead of him.
Now he's a bit tied down.  But he tells me often that he loves to come home to us in the evening.  What great security that gives me as his wife.  And the boys get to grow up seeing a dad who loves them, loves me, and loves Christ.

On this Father's Day.
I love you, Chris.
We love you, Daddy.

[Just after Cry Cry was born.  In case you were wondering, yes, he is about to cry]

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Mighty Phillies.

This Phillies season was a special one.  We won the regular season and the tournament.  It's fun to win, but it's way more fun to play with people that you love to be with.  The end of the season party felt more like a family gathering than an obligatory event.  It was a season filled with good kids, good parents, and good baseball.  And I know you know me well enough to know I'll overload you with pictures now...

Chris was the head coach for Samuel and Jopie's team.  It was a diverse team.  We had amazing 5 and 6 year-olds, and then we had four 4-year olds.
They made our team special.
Here's a collage made in their honor.

This was Samuel's last year to be in Pee Wee.
I will miss him playing here.

He played pitcher (mostly) this season.

Sometimes first base.  Unfortunately, I never got a photo of him catching a ball.  I was too busy chasing this guy.

Luckily at this moment, he was preoccupied.

Samuel is a quiet soul but when it comes to baseball, he is pretty intense.

He will always be my little boy.

And I hope his ears always stick out from his hat like this.

On to my other favorite Phillie.  Jopie played great this year.  He really improved, thanks to Samuel's coaching.

This is pretty much what he did in the outfield.

And mostly what he did when he batted.

But most of all, he had a great time. 
Everybody loves Jopie.  Really.  Everyone does.  Even the cool, bigger kids.

With daddy on first base.

And never serious like this picture.
But isn't it cute?

Chris is a great coach.

The girls and Chris with their trophies.

Phillies.  Regular season champions.

Phillies.  Tournament champions.  I might have more photos of this glorious moment, but we had to (literally) run out of there to avoid tornado warnings.  We all ended up at Braums for about an hour, waiting out the storm.  

These boys.  They won't always be this little.  They won't always win.  
It was a good spring, boys.
Love you.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cross another one off the list

Some believe that you should tell kids that they can do anything, that if they put their mind to something, the sky's the limit.

 I like to be a bit more realistic as I talk to my boys about their futures.  For example, when Asher tells me he wants to play for the NBA, I tell him, statistically speaking, that is unlikely.  Most players in the NBA are taller than 5'9".  It's not impossible, but unlikely.
Asher has a little fear of thunderstorms.
Well, actually, he has a big fear of thunderstorms.
When he found out we lived in Tornado Alley, he started to cry.

This is Asher in the bathroom hiding during a storm.
Good thing we went to Nascar lately and bought these stylish things.

We had a good round of thunderstorms in the month of May.  They were devastating in many parts of country.  We were blessed here to have milder versions of the storms to the north of us.
But any hint of the cloud in the sky, Asher begins to get nervous.  He knows the weather forecast at all times.  When he hears thunder, he runs to get these.

He passed his phobia on down the family line.

But not with these two.  Graham and Samuel might be a storm chasers.  They love a good storm.
They were outside while Asher was on the bathroom floor.

I'm not sure if Asher can be anything he wants to be.  
I think storm chaser should be crossed off his list.