Tuesday, August 4, 2015

spring sports

does anyone even blog anymore?  i feel like instagram has taken it's place for alot of the bloggy types.  not because of instagram but because of ...life... i haven't blogged in a while.  like a really really long while.  someone recently said, "you don't really blog any more do you?".
i guess not.  
but not on purpose.  i really like using the blog as a space to remember bits and pieces of moments with my kiddos while they are small.  but, i also guess they aren't as small anymore.  i found this picture the other day and kinda wanted to die.  how can 5 years go by like a blink?  i mean, i remember people saying that when they were little and totally rolling my eyes at grocery store clerks or random ladies in....well, it had to have been the grocery store because really, where else did i go with all these miniature humans underfoot?

i picture them in my head mostly like the picture above, but really they look like the picture below now...and that was easter so they look even older...i can not even take it.


in the spring, they all three played a sport.  that's right, folks. ALL THREE.  

lena played baseball.
we had heard about miracle league and visited games but didn't know if lena was ready for something like that in past seasons and i always missed the sign up anyway...mom of the year.  
but not this year.  i registered her early and when it came closer to the first game, we got an email from the coach about her being on the cardinals.  that's right, she was a cardinal.  something so unexplicably spectacular and beautiful about lena being on the cardinals.  and the cutest cardinal i've ever seen.  each player is paired with a buddy and there is an announcer and all kinds of kids with all kinds of special needs.  lena's jam is walking and running.  she would scream and get angry when it was her turn to hit the (whiffle) ball (with the help of her coach and buddy), but at the sound of the ball hitting the bat, she would smile and runnnnn to first base...and not stop.  she kept on speed walking and running in pure sweaty bliss all the way to the outfield.
to try to explain the scene unfolding at those baseball fields seems pointless.  no words suffice.  but His kingdom come, right there.  it was so beautiful and fun.  

hazel played basketball.
hazel really likes things with which she is familiar.  so when the basketball flyer come home from school and matt and i said "hey why don't you give basketball a try", she was unsure.  with some enouragement (we made her do it) she said ok.  kindergarten girls basketball...well, it's a riot.  due to some snow days, they had one practice before their first game and the girls were all shocked that in a real game (and by real, i mean 3 on 3 with coaches on the court with them) there are 2 goals and sides to the court.  they just stood there.  while crowd of parents were trying to yell at all of them up and down the court.  as clueless as they all were that first game, how much they improved over the season was remarkable.  hazel could be found dribbling though the house because my rule-follower 6 year old was told by her coach to practice dribbling and so of course she did.  and, in typical hazel fashion, she stuck with it and improved tremendously.  and i was and am so crazy proud of her.  she did it.  she entered into a new situation that she didn't necessarily prefer, she worked hard, learned a lot and ended up loving it.  

and now, be prepared to be amazed at how great i am at technology and organizing photos and videos of my kids.  so, here, all i can find of hazel's first basketball season, is not the actual video from an actual camera..but i can find the video of the video that i texted to my parents.  seriously, i'm a technology trainwreck.  if i actually get this blog posted, give me a cookie. in this video, hazel drives down and scores...the ref in the black shirt is in the way, but again, it's the only stinkin' video i could find. 

anders played soccer.
the first thing to know about anders is he was playing sports in diapers.  he loves it.  he watches with us and whatever the current sporting event that's going on is his "favorite".  so...on the drive to hazel's first basketball practice, he was....absolutely. devastated.  (keep in mind, he was in preschool.  no basketball sign up for the preschoolers.)  he had been watching razorback basketball and could mimic how micheal qualls dunks and he wasn't going to basketball practice, hazel was.  
so through tears in the back seat he says "she doesn't even like basketball!"
but his time came and there are no words for this boys enthusiasm and how he expresses it. about all of life and in this scenario, soccer.  3 on 3, 5 year old soccer and the first game comes.  most little boys excited but sort of timid and scoping it all out.  but, anders, oh anders.  not timid.  not scoping. fired up.  all in.  his hands on knees and ...wait for it...pounding on his chest.  i mean, non-stop, just like he had seen athletes do after they had dunked. 
he had a great little season.  so much fun and like usual with anders, always entertaining.  he's so wild and just so so wonderful.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

leaving on a jet plane

"This is one of the most challenging and least practiced disciplines among Christians today. When we are silent, we come face-to-face with out addiction to being in control and always trying to fix things."
-peter scazzero, on silence and solitude

all week i was a mess upstairs.  i mean, my mind.  i want it to be smooth sailing up there but mostly it's more like that crazy ship in goonies with all the traps.

a few years ago, matt and i made it a goal to have quarterly respite.

{{respite is defined as "a short period of rest or relief from something difficult"....this is the heart of the part of 99balloons called rEcess.  and since it is a big part of what we long to give to others with kids with special needs, we decided after lena had been home for a while and we were in the thick of understanding what parenting her would look like...that taking an occasional break from the type of care we so love to give her would be healthy and good for our marriage and souls.  it would also be equipping for being the type of parents we want to be to all of our incredible kiddos.}}

so the goal was, and is, 4 distinct times a year that is set aside for rest.  this can be a day long break alone or a more planned out vacation for the 1 or the both of us.  for christmas, matt gave me a trip to los angeles.  i had never been there.  he had a conference near there for part of the week and i got to fly out to meet him when he was done working.
easy peasy. right. wrong.
leading up to leaving i was a mess.
the addiction to control that scazzero mentions is legit.  and super sneaky.  when you actually do have a lot of responsibility with the day to day functioning of a household with little lives involved, it can tend to feel like it's all about you.  you're in control and it all depends on you is the myth.  there must be a way to walk in my calling as a mom of all 4 of my kiddos and still allow my mind and heart to maintain a posture of surrender.  if it is all His, the kids He loves more than we can imaging, the home and tangibles He has given us...then He is in control, not me.  but there was no telling me that before my vacation...
i can't leave.  this is too much to put on other folks.  lena may not eat. what about her toileting...i can ask someone else to cover that for a few hours, but a few days?  that's alot for someone that's not her parent.  and weather, what if icy snowy roads makes them stuck somewhere and i'm in sunny LA.  what if anders or hazel gets really sad that we're gone. what if, what if...

and it went on and on...yep, addiction to control.

but no matter what i choose to dwell on mentally, the truth remains the truth.  He is the One in control.  and so i felt a mess, but i left.  i don't know the answer or solution to the addiction to control and how to fully let go.  but i'm learning...and i got on that plane and sat in silence for 3 1/2 hour flight. no screens, no music.  some silence and a little reading.  and that's a start.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

anders' 5th birthday

my youngest child, wonderful dear sweet anderson abel, turned 5 a few weeks ago and i am like dr jekyl and mr hyde about it.  on one hand i am so content with this season of life.  with the obvious exception of sweet lena's needs, the kids can almost take care of themselves.  long gone are the days of diapers and spills at every meal and not being able to open doors.  we talk less about "don't take that toy" and more about aslan the white witch and real gospel conversation.   instead of abby cadabie (how does one spell cadaby), we watched honey i shrunk the kids the other day.  there is less play dough and more uno and checkers.
it's a beautiful time.
then my youngest turns 5.  F-I-V-E.
all that basking in this great season turns into to a sinking feeling and this strange mom-lament of days gone past.  being a mom is so strange at times.

but our anders turned 5.  and despite all of our attempt to coerce him otherwise, he only wanted a party at chuck-e-cheese.  a friend with 5 kids ranging in age from 6 to 13 told me the other day that none of her kids have ever even been to chuck-e-cheese and i burned with jealously so deep.

dear anders,
you are a remarkable little boy.  excitement and joy and love for others runs deep.  you are still quite rambunctious, but you are so sweet about working on it.  the other day you said "mom, sometimes even if my head wants to be gentle because it knows it's a time to be gentle, my body just wants to run and do ninja moves".  (5 year old boy probs. the struggle's real yall).
the other day, you came to my bedside at the crack of dawn on a saturday.  you said "hey mom, is it sunday?" i told you, through still asleep eyes, that no it was saturday.  you were so disappointed and say "awwww man, i thought it was sunday so i dressed sunny".  you had on orange pants and a yellow shirt.  this is maybe one of my favorite anders stories to date.  that, and the epic talent show.   you love sports.  basketball, soccer, running, you are so active and pretty coordinated too.  you still have this beautiful bend to justice.  you want everyone to be treated fairly and you are bold to speak it.  you are great with visual and spacial learning.  you wanna know how things work or how they fit together and legos are all the rage these days.  you love coloring with markers with great detail and precision, bu you don't love writing, which makes learning to write your name better and better difficult.  but you push through and you are doing great in preschool.  you are so crazy friendly and you bring joy to others no matter where you are.  you will chat it up with a waitress or someone in a parking lot and the other folks always always smile.  you just make others smile.  and dear sweet son, you make me smile.  you are a joy.  i don't have words to tell ya how proud i am of your five year old self.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

remember december

december is such a great month all around. as the kids get older, it's even more wonderful.  advent and the anticipation of christmas is more real and palpable with each passing year.  they ask questions about the Savior and His birth, why He came, what He came for and the gospel becomes more in view, more in focus.  and traditions are actually traditions... they remember from the year before and want to do the cookies and the tree and the music just like before.  

the ocd in me wants to do it all myself, but the kids really did all of this.  they rolled the dough, used the cookie cutters and of course, decorated all on their own.  so fun.

the parties and dinners for grown-ups are especially fun when you had a back injury for 1/2 of 2014

we love doing different things other than just the gifts that can be opened as part of christmas gifts.  this is a surprise trip to boingo bounce (blow-up bounce house place)
and these next pics are from a big part of hazel's christmas...a day with mom of pedicures, lunch date and going to see the new Annie movie.  not sure if she had more fun or if i did?!

my wonderful mother-in-law & i at a really fun diy night hosted by the awesome gals at 17th design

                              lights and lena!                                                 sweet sisters 

after watching the grinch, a change in hair was a must

cutest elf ever

anders' preschool chirstmas program wasn't as epic as the preschool talent show, but still, little kids singing and ringing jingle bells is pretty cute.  please note that a) anders may be the tallest preschooler in the universe and b) he loves friends and bow ties.

every year, as soon after thanksgiving as we can, we load up into the car, go grab hot chocolate, drive to the middle of nowhere arkansas where there is a christmas tree farm and let the kids pick out our tree.  this was THE best year yet.  a few years ago, anders peed his pants then last year lena was in a "cry-alot-in-the-car" phase and now, oh glorious now.  they were old enough to just have a blast.  after the tree is selected we get breakfast for dinner at cracker barrel and head home singing christmas carols. pretty great.

hot chocolate

the search is on for the tree

this is one of my favorite pics ever...hazel and anders found matt and i and brought us to this enormous one to tell us it was what they wanted.  they thought they were so funny and ya know what? they were!

the actual tree!

it truly was a great december i wanna always remember.