Monday, March 31, 2008

Tristan's Very First T-Ball Game

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, Saturday was a SUPER exciting day for our family. It was Tristan's very first t-ball game, and we were all filled with anticipation. We had no idea what the game had in store for us, and had we known it would be so hilarious, I think we would have been even more excited (if that is possible).
So we got to the park, and of course had to get started with some warm ups. Here is my handsome husband with my little t-ball star (isn't my t-ball star SO precious?!). It appears my little star was getting his pants adjusted in between catching ground balls.Here is my handsome hubby supporting his star t-ball player.Before the game got started, Coach D had to make some adjustments with some of the players."On the count of three...1, 2, 3...GOOOOOOOOOOOO CARDINALS!!!"Ok, let me take a break here to tell you about this game. Hilarious doesn't even begin to describe what we experienced during our hour of t-ball Saturday. Watching our boys run and tackle their teammates to get the ball...priceless! I mean, I wasn't sure if I was watching football or t-ball! Our first baseman was in left field, on more than one occasion, to retrieve a ball hit by the opposing team. More than one of our children were tackled by a teammate, only to have the ball stripped from his glove and thrown to a base with no player. The Marlins ran circles around us!

The thing is, our team was on defense first. All of this tackling, playing in the wrong area, and throwing when they should be tagging was going on; however, I was telling myself: "They're four. They don't know any better. It's just for fun." Um, yeah. Then, it was our turn at bat. We hit great, no problem there. The problem was that the Marlins had an awesome defense! The boys stayed in their zones, and they ran and tagged our bases like it was just another day at the beach. Seeing that made me realize our precious boys have some more to learn! I think this week's practice is going to be busy!

Here is a shot of my precious man at third base. He's baseball ready! Oh, and I must mention, my Tristan was the only boy on the team to successfully catch a ground ball and tag someone out (unless I missed something) . Way to go, Tristan!Here he is getting ready for his turn at bat.
Look at that stance! He is my little pro! He had three times at bat during the game, and hit three great balls...all on his first attempts! All that extra practice is paying off. Here he is on first. You guessed it. He's thinking about stealing second. Ok, so we all know that's not what he's thinking. He's probably thinking about that sno cone we passed on the way into the game!I LOVE this shot! My sweet #2!!! I originally requested #10 because Channing was always #10 growing up. I thought it would be cool for them to share that. My cool idea didn't work out. Somehow things got confused, and Tristan ended up #2. I think it suits him, though. :)
Here he is on third, getting some pointers from D.
The end of the game. The boys were SO precious tagging the other team's hands. I LOVED this!!!
Saturday was SO much fun!!! I am loving every second of this t-ball stuff. Tristan is enjoying it so much more than he did soccer, so that makes me happy. I love seeing him do something he enjoys, and something that he seems to do well at. Sadly, we'll miss this week's practice, game, and TEAM PICTURE (that's what hurts the most) because we'll be at Disney World. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to be going, but I am so sad that Tristan will miss a game and his first t-ball team picture. :( Oh well. I guess I'll have to take my own.

Breaking Intimidation

Do you have a God-given call on your life that you're afraid to explore? Are you allowing intimidation to keep you from fulfilling your God-given mission? Is it hard for you to say "no" without feeling guilty? If so, you're a lot like me. I have felt God's calling in my life for a while now, but I have shied away because of fear; fear of what others would think, fear of rejection, fear of isolation and resentment from others.

As long as I can remember, I have wanted to fit in. This desire has often led me to do things I wouldn't normally do. It has caused me a lot of regret in my life. And it has also kept me from pursuing the mission that God has had planned for me.

For some time now, I have felt God's calling (never stronger than now) to speak up about the dangers of being "wise in our own eyes". The dangers of listening to the devils lies about health. The over-use and abuse of medication. For years, I have felt God's nudging and have shied away. I have given excuses for not speaking up when I've needed to. I have denied my calling and have clammed up in order to please those around me.
Outwardly, I feel I'm doing what it takes to fit in. Inwardly, I'm crumbling. Today, I am choosing to do something about this.

At a seminar a couple of months ago, a doctor recommended the book, "Breaking Intimidation" by John Bevere to Channing and me. She said it really helped her to push through her fear of rejection and enabled her to share truths with those around her. She had nothing but great things to say about the book, so Channing and I ordered it.

We've had the book for a month or so and haven't looked at it. Then tonight, while I was cooking dinner, I saw that Joyce Meyer was on. I turned her show on and saw that her special guest was John Bevere. I watched the show, was enlightened (as usual) and was stirred to begin reading the book we ordered. After reading the introduction, I SO wish I had began this book sooner. It is AWESOME!

I read the beginning and reread it. I enjoyed it so much, I had to pull Channing into the kitchen so we could read it together. The introduction of the book captured me. He gives a great analogy that really shows how so many of us are allowing intimidation to rule over us and defeat us. He explains that if we don't get to the root of the problem, we will never overcome it. He shares how the Spirit of the Lord came upon him to prophesy.

In the first chapter, Bevere lists a great quote, "Walk in your God-given authority, or someone will take it and use it against you." This was a warning that a man from one of Bevere's previous churches gave to his (Bevere's) wife before they left that church. The quote took my breath away. In this chapter, he goes on to share a personal testimony of allowing himself to be intimated by people and thus his being cut off from the blessings of God. He shares how he allowed thoughts to "assault his mind". He stopped focusing on God's call on his life and started worrying about what was going to happen to him. He says that this is how intimidation changes your focus. "The reason: The root of intimidation is fear, and fear causes people to focus on themselves. Perfect love casts out fear because love puts the focus on God and others and denies itself (1 John 4:18)." WOW!

How true that statement has been in my life!!! I have been so fearful and have been nothing but focused on myself. When I hear stories from others and sense God's nudging to share what I know, I usually clam up and keep quiet, even though everything inside of me is screaming. I love these people that are telling me about the 10th antibiotic they've given their baby for ear infections, yet I don't open my mouth to let them know that there is a better way. SELFISH! That is not perfect love at all. I am putting all of the focus on myself.

Bevere closes the chapter by sharing the fact that so many Christians battle intimidation. He goes on to point out that these Christians often are unaware of the battle they are up against. He says, "As with most of Satan's devices, intimidation is camouflaged and subtle. We feel its effects-depression, confusion, lack of faith- without knowing its root.... In frustration most of us deal with the aftermath, or fruit of intimidation, rather than with the intimidation itself-and with its root. Therefore, we may experience temporary relief, but our struggles do not end. You can pick all the fruit off the tree, but as long as its roots are intact, the fruit eventually grows back." Bevere then shares that this becomes a cycle, and that "we begin to feel hopeless and settle for a place far below where God has called us."

I have seen this in my life, and I am so ready to make a change. I am ready to start living for God rather than living to please man...which is SO hard! If this is something you struggle with, I highly recommend picking up this book. I have only read the introduction and first chapter, but I am already sensing a HUGE change coming in my life. This is a study Channing and I are doing together, and I can hardly wait to see where God takes us. If you decide to get the book too, or if you've already read it, let me know what you think!

Allergies Bothering You?

If so, check out my other blog, A Small Rock Trying to Make a Big Splash. There is some news you need to know about.

Opening Day of T-Ball

Saturday was a VERY busy, yet very exciting day. It was opening day for t-ball and baseball! I had no idea how big a deal baseball was/is in our city until Saturday. It blew my mind. There were tons of people out at the fields, and the mayor even showed up to speak. CRAZY! After several important board members (and the mayor)'s speeches, all the baseball and t-ball players got to be in a parade. It was SO exciting! This was Tristan's first time in a parade, and he had a blast!

Here are Channing, Tristan, and me before the parade. We were all dressed in our "Cardinal red" to support our pro t-ball player!
Here is our precious little team, The Cardinals. You can tell by looking at them, they're a SUPER team!
Here they are again with their fantastic coaches!!!
Here are our boys during the parade. Tristan has two hands full of candy...just waiting to throw the minute he sees someone.
The parade was a great way to kick off the t-ball season. It was SO MUCH fun!!!
In the next couple of posts, I'll share pictures and stories from the first game. It was hilarious and quite say the least.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Seven Years...In the Blink of an Eye

Today is a big day for Channing and me. It's our seven year wedding anniversary!!! I can hardly believe it. SEVEN YEARS! It seems like yesterday we were saying our vows and committing our lives to one another. Three churches, two kids, and an office later...we're celebrating seven years of marriage.

Each year has had its challenges, but for every challenge, there has been a blessing. Today over lunch, Channing and I reminisced about our seven years together. We thought back to our vacations and all the places we've visited together; to the birth of our boys; to the churches that have meant so much to us; to our friends; to our struggles; to all that God has done in our lives. We also shared our dreams for the next seven years and what we would like to accomplish together.
I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband. And I assure you, I'm not just saying that. I am truly blessed. Channing is a loving husband, a caring father, and a compassionate friend. There is nothing he wouldn't do for his family (well, he might not rub our feet, but that's a story in itself). He is a man of integrity in a world where integrity is hard to find. He is a man after God's heart. He is a shining example of Christ's love.
Channing gives our family balance. I am the emotional, impulsive firecracker of the family. He is the level-headed peacemaker.

Thank you, God, for blessing me with such a terrific man. I don't deserve him, I don't understand why You put us together sometimes, but I am SO thankful.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Resurrection Day!

Yesterday was SUPER SUPER tough for me. It was Tristan's official "Last Day of Being Three". We had a jam-packed day, and I was trying to appreciate and get all I could out of every single minute.
We started the day at t-ball practice, followed by a picnic lunch and egg hunt with his team. It was SO much fun (I'll try to post pics later. I know you're dying to see them)!
After the egg hunt, we dashed home, changed Tristan's clothes, and headed out to an egg hunt (we missed the actual hunt) that a local church was doing. Although we missed the actual hunt, Tristan got to play with his great friend, Josiah, so he was thrilled (he also got to see his long-lost friend, Kirsten, so he thought that was cool too).
Once we had all the fun we could possibly stand out at the big egg hunt event, we headed to Sams to get Daddy. From there, we headed to Edgar's Bakery to pick up Tristan's dinosaur cake. He could hardly wait to pick it up!!!
Next, we took Tristan back to the little carnival going on in town. He LOVED it!!!
From there, we went to Target, followed by a quick dessert at Dairy Queen...I must mention, I had the Oreo Mint Blizzard...DELISH! If you haven't tried one, you need to get one while they still have them. Once March is gone, the Mint Blizzard is too. Get yours SOON!!! YUM!
Once our bellies were full, we made quick trips to Walgreens and Wal-Mart.
Finally, we got to go home...where PaPa and MiMi were waiting for us.
This is where this picture comes in. This is Tristan's VERY LAST bath as a three year old. (SOB!)
This morning, we woke up to celebrate EASTER and Tristan's fourth birthday. Two great events rolled into one! What a special blessing Tristan had to celebrate Christ's resurrection and his birthday on the very same day.
Here is Tristan's Easter basket.
Here he is finding his basket. He was beyond thrilled!
Here is Asher, waking up to enjoy his very first Easter.
My sweet boy!
This weekend was JAM-PACKED, but it was so special. Today, we were able to reflect on another great year with our special blessing, Tristan, and on how much Christ gave for us on the cross.
I hope this was a special Easter for you too. I hope you were able to reflect on all Christ has done in your life.
Happy Resurrection Day, everyone!!! God bless you and your family. :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Big Day for Our Boys

Wednesday was a monumental day for our family...Asher turned 11 months old (sniff), and Tristan officially had three more days of being three (sniff, sniff). I just absolutely cannot believe it. How did my babies get so big?! I am loving every stage and just wishing I could freeze time a little, but I can't. My boys are growing up. Here are some pictures of my boys, celebrating their big day...

Here is Asher having some fun on the coffee table at work.
Look at that sweet smile!!! He makes my heart melt!
Here's my big boy...three more days being three! Look at his sweet smile. He, too, melts my heart! He is just growing up too fast! To me, three is the last year of being a baby. At age four, they aren't babies anymore (sniff, sniff, SNIFF). I will say, though, he will ALWAYS BE MY BABY!!!I love this picture. I was trying to get Tristan to smile, and he always says, "What kind of smile do you want?" So I told him, "I want the kind of smile a boy would give his mommy who was going to have a dinosaur party for him." This is what I got:
He actually became a dinosaur. Not exactly what I had in mind, but precious all the same. He is my little dinosaur!
Lately, I've been telling him that he's getting so big and that it makes me kind of sad. So now, anytime I tell him I'm feeling sad, he tells me, "Mommy, I'm not going to grow up and leave you!"
If only he knew. One day, another woman will capture his heart.
For now, I am going to soak in the blessings of being his #1 lady.
I love you, Tristan! I love you, Ash Be-Dash!
Tomorrow is Tristan's last day of being three. I'm sure it's going to be a tough day for me!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's the Last Day of...

WINTER!!! Woo hoo! Tomorrow is the first official day of SPRING, and I couldn't be more thrilled! I am ready for spring baseball weather, beautiful sunny days at the park, leisurely boat rides on the lake. Come on, spring! I'm ready!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Great Coupon-Filing System

Being the HUGE procrastinator that I am, I do all my coupon collecting, list-making, and shopping on Tuesdays (the day before most of the sales change). I always consult before making my lists because they have so many people who have already found the deals and pass the info along ( I LOVE it!). Anyway, for those of you who are like me and hate having to flip through coupon after coupon to find what you're looking for (even if you do have an accordion organizer), becentsable has a great filing system on their site. Check it out.

A friend of mine (thanks, Bonnie!) sent an email about using the notebook system a few weeks ago, and I thought it was a fantastic idea...much better for my ADD mind that an accordion organizer. However, today's post shows you exactly how to organize it in an effective way.

Now I need to head out and get my supplies! This method will keep me from clipping and filing and rummaging. Much better for me!

I found some great deals at Walgreens and CVS at becentsable. If you haven't already, check it out. I'm getting free Venus Razors, Soleil razor systems (I should have some smooth legs!), Glade candles, etc. You can too!
My great friend, Rachael, is getting some great deals. Check her out too!

New Reader's Digest

I know some of you could care less about my views when it comes to medication; however, I am encouraging everyone to pick up this month's Reader's Digest. It has an eye-opening article written about the FDA in it, and I think it's something everyone should see.

On my other blog, I included some excerpts. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Just Some Superheroes Hangin' Out at the Park

Yesterday evening, after work, we did something we don't normally three boys and I headed to the park (I'm LOVIN' this time change thing!). Even though it was after 6, it was still sunny outside. It was perfect weather for the park.

We had the greatest time! We played and laughed and just enjoyed spending time together...away from work, away from home, away from all our responsibilities. It was so nice just to hang out and enjoy each other.

While at the park, Tristan was cracking us up! At one point, he decided we would all play superheroes (he has a good friend who is really into superheroes, so he's learning all about Superman, Spiderman, Bibleman, etc. Thanks, Timothy!). Well, while climbing the slide yesterday, he made us laugh so hard! This is what he said:

Tristan: Daddy, I am Spida Man. I climb.
Channing: Ok, Spida Man. Who am I?
Tristan: Daddy, you are Bite Man. (At this point, I am laughing hysterically. I knew exactly who 'Bite Man' was. Channing, on the other hand, had no clue).
Me: Spida Man, what does Bite Man do?
Tristan: Bite Man makes bats! (Have you figured out who 'Bite Man' is?)

It was so hilarious! Once Channing figured out who 'Bite Man' was, he was laughing right along with me. We cracked up every time he would yell across the park for Bite Man to hurry over.

You may be wondering which character I was. I was Bible Man. When I told Tristan I was Bible Man, he asked me what color helmet I had. Since I was wearing green, I told him I had a green helmet. WRONG ANSWER. His response, "Eew...Green Bible Man is disgusting!" Nice, right? It didn't matter, we had a great time. We need more days at the park just like yesterday.

Asher got to swing on a park swing for the first time and LOVED it. It was so sweet!
I think we'll make this a common thing around our home...going to the park after work. I know we won't be able to do it every day, but hopefully we can do it a couple of times a week. I realized we all needed it!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm Back!

I haven't really updated this in a while. Between work, family, and my new blog, I've been super busy lately. I'm hoping to come up with a good system, but some things will just have to go on the back burner. This blog will probably one of those things.

That being said, I am going to try to update this more frequently (because I know so many of you are having sleepless nights since you don't know what the boys and I are up to these days). ;)

Let me start with t-ball. Yesterday, Channing and I were those parents at t-ball practice. You know the kind...those parents that make their kid play despite the crying and screaming. Yep, that was us. I'll catch you up.

Saturday night, Tristan was up late...too late. The next morning, we had to wake him up earlier than usual because we went to an earlier service at church. We went to an earlier service so that we could have lunch with friends and still get Tristan to t-ball in time. BIG MISTAKE letting him stay up late. Not only did he have to get up earlier than usual for a Sunday, but the time changed. We lost an hour! NOT GOOD!

Things were going really well until we got to t-ball practice, aka, his nap time. He immediately started crying and said he didn't want to play. He begged to go home. Channing, his mom, his dad, and I were all there trying to comfort Tristan, encourage him, and get him excited about playing. Nothing was working. The boy was SO UPSET.

So there we were. At t-ball practice, with our crying son, and a dilemma. What to do? Do we take him home? OR Do we make him stick to his commitment and play ball? Knowing Tristan the way we do, we know that he is sometimes dramatic when it comes to not getting his way. We assumed that was what he was doing.

We made our choice. He was staying and playing. It was a tough decision, and I'm sure some of you out there are scolding us for it. I had a friend during last fall's soccer season tell me she was shocked to see a mom make her son play soccer even though he was crying and saying he didn't want to play. She asked me if I could believe that a mom would do that? At the time, I agreed. It seemed like a sports-obsessed mom to me.

This week, I don't see it that way. I became that mom. That mom who was more concerned about her son playing than going home for a nap. At least, that's probably what it looked like.
Channing made the decision for us, and his belief is that Tristan is part of the team, his team depends on him, and he needed to practice. Looking at it from that viewpoint, I had to agree.
So we made Tristan stay and play. He didn't like it, he cried and whined, but every time it was his turn to bat or catch, he peformed at or close to his best. I was so proud of him!!!
Once practice was over, we loaded him up in the car and headed over to the playground (at his request). He played for two minutes then said he wanted to go home. On the way home, he passed out. He was EXHAUSTED! The poor kid!!!

This event served as a STRONG REMINDER that he needs his rest, even if it is a Saturday night. No more late nights for Tristan...I hope! I'm going to do my best to make sure he gets adequate rest and an early bedtime every night. I'm sure there will be nights where it's not possible (since he comes to work with us), but we will certainly do our best.
This week, Tristan has two practices. You better believe he will have more than enough rest before we head to the baseball fields!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Another First

Asher did something new today. He climbed up and down the stairs. This is the first time ever climbing. It's exciting to watch because he is so proud of himself. However, it's kind of sad too. No more quick jumps in the shower while he crawls around the house. I now have to know exactly where he is at all times! Scary!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, Uncle Ryan!

Sunday, after church, we headed over to Uncle Ryan's to help him celebrate his birthday. While we ate lunch, Asher discovered something very interesting...Rhet's doggy door. He was quite intrigued.This is him realizing he could put his hand through the door. "Look! I can put my whole arm through!"
He really liked the doggy door. No matter how many times we moved him away from the door, he zoomed right back. Between eating dog food and loving the doggy door, I'm starting to get a little worried.Tristan's favorite thing about being at Uncle Ryan's house is playing in the backyard with his cousin, MRK. He adores her! Here he is enjoying the great outdoors.Before we knew it, the hat was off and he was ready for his turn down the slide. You can see the excitement written all over his face. He LOVES playing with her!Next, it was MRK's turn. You can tell she's used to having her picture taken. She gave me the perfect smile.After we played in the backyard for a while, Uncle Ryan asked if we all wanted to go play at the park. Of course, the kiddos were thrilled and ready to go.
Up first on the agenda? Blowing bubbles!Tristan getting ready to blow a monster bubble!Next up, football!!! They had so much fun chasing each other with the ball.And of course, tackling! I love that MRK gets dirty and plays football just like the boys! She can throw an elegant tea party or sack a quarterback. I LOVE IT!!!Before we left, the kids wanted to swing together. I think these pictures are so sweet. They had the best time! This is my favorite! Once the kids had all the fun they could stand at the park, we went back to Ryan's house and had my personal favorite...Dairy Queen icecream cake!!! YUM!
Here is a picture of the kids helping Ryan blow out his birthday candle.With the cake eaten and our tummies full, you would think the kids would want to rest. NOPE! They wanted to head back out for some more playtime in the backyard.
One of the highlights was PaPa jumping on the trampoline with them. It was hilarious!!! Check him out. PaPa was catching some air!
After all was said and done, we had a great time. We need more Sundays just like that one. Tristan had a blast, and we did too. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, UNCLE RYAN!!!