Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hello friends and family! I am happy to report that Nick and I will be returning home in 10 days!!!! It came up kind of quick on us and we got really excited as we have all felt a little "blah" lately and decided it was because we were all just kind of ready for home.  We have accomplished so much while we have been here and still have a lot to do before we leave. 

I ran my first "official" 5k this weekend.  I have signed up for them before but for some reason or another haven't been able to run.  I had set a goal for myself to run a 10k by August, which I completed, but ran on a treadmill at Nick's team gym so that he could be there to watch when I did it. It's amazing how much different it is when you are actually running in a "real" race! Of course, it was on the coldest, rainiest morning we have had in Arizona since we have been here. There were only about 30 people who ran in it (half of which was a running club).  None the less-goal accomplished! Excited to run one in Arkansas.

Mason is coming up on his last week in teeball. They get to play their last game of the season on the Padres Spring Training field! This in itself is not overly exciting for him since he gets to spend countless hours there every week, BUT- they are going to give him a trophy and THAT is super exciting for him. He saw a picture of Nick standing next to the Cal League championship trophy and now everytime we drop Nick off at the field he yells "Strike em out and get a trophy!" If I know Mason, that trophy will be his prized possession and his little brother will be allowed nowhere near it!

Nick has been doing so well.  We continue to be nothing but grateful for the opportunity that we were given to be here. I think there is a great deal to be learned about yourself when you are placed on a team with guys you have never played with before and coaches you are not used to.  I have been so proud of Nick during this whole experience.  His team is made up of players from the Padres, Mariners, Brewers, Mets, and Cardinals organizations.  He is older than most of the guys on the team but knows that that gives him an opportunity to share his experiences with the younger guys and offer a little bit of wisdom and encouragement.  He knows that God puts him in every single situation for a reason and he is eager to see what he can learn from each different experience.  He will pitch again this Friday and then probably one more time before we leave.

Drake is just busy doing Drake things, as usual.  We made up this little song when we were potty training Mason.  I sing it to Drake every now and then when he has a dirty diaper and he has really picked up on it.  It is to the tune of the peanut, peanut butter, and jelly song.  But says "poo poo, in the potty, and pee pee." Not a good idea to teach your two year old a song unless you are cool with him screaming it at the top of his lungs in wal mart. Of course, we never had to worry about Mason doing that because he would have been too afraid someone would look at him. Drake, just LOVES for people to look at him! It is so funny how different they are.

Mason is getting to go on a fun trip with Daddy this weekend. For his 5th birthday, Nick is taking him to a NASCAR race. (If you dont know Mason well, he LOVES nascar, especially Jeff Gordon) I am sad I wont get to be there to see his face when he sees Jeff Gordon in person but am excited that they get this special time together.  Will post pictures soon!!! Can he seriously be 5 already???

Here's a pic of my handsome boys at the game yesterday. Had to run out and get them some cold weather clothes- didn't expect it to be this chilly in the desert!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The week in review

We did it.....broke down, gave in, and bought another vacuum. I wish I had a picture to show you the INCREDIBLE amount of dog hair that came up out of this house.  In itself, it could have been enough hair for another small black lab.  It was money well spent.

We actually have not been to a single baseball game this week.  Nick, of course, has been everyday, but me and the boys have opted to stay cool at home.  Nick will pitch tomorrow so we will be back at it again. It has been a nice little break but I know the boys enjoy hanging out at the ballpark.  Nick only pitches once every seven days so it kind of feels like a long time in between his starts. 

Mason has been playing tee ball and really enjoys it.  He wants to play morning, noon, and night.  He wants to wear his uniform everyday. I absolutely LOVE the feeling I get when he hits the ball and runs to first and then looks for me in the stands and smiles and sometimes gives me the "thumbs up."

Mason is also really into Transformers right now.  Before he even knew what they were he had a friend at school who had a Bumblebee backpack and he would talk about it all the time.  Without ever seeing a movie or a cartoon he decided he wanted to be Bumblebee for Halloween.  We decided to rent the movie for him and he loved it.....all 20 minutes of it before we realized it is NOT a kids movie and turned it off.

Drake...oh Drake. He is so silly. He loves to make funny faces and make us laugh.  Most of the time its at the dinner table. He will do absolutely anything that his big brother does.  He drinks milk like cows are going extinct and Bubble Guppies is his favorite show to watch on tv. 

I did my first mod podge photo canvas this week. (Another idea from pinterest) The picture in the tutorial was black and white so I decided to use a black and white photo I took a while back of my niece, Charlette.  It's a little rough but turned out pretty good for my first one. 
I also joined a gym out here.  I was initially just doing it because it has been too hot to run outside so I would just go and run on the treadmill.  Out of boredom I decided to take a step class last week.  I was easily the youngest person in there by 20 years.  I just kind of laughed at myself and went ahead and took the class anyways. It was a blast.  I went back this week :)

We realized this morning that we will be back in Arkansas in less than a month! The days have seemed pretty long but the trip as a whole has really gone by pretty quickly.  We are definitely looking forward to real "fall" weather.  One hundred degrees in October is not fall.  I am also looking forward to this upcoming week- a trip home for one of my very best friends' weddings. Cannot wait!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lord Have Mercy!

Here are just a few of the things my husband said to me on the way to drop him off at the field this morning...
1. Your ears dont work today
2. I think you're going crazy
3. Lose your attitude

I must have been having a really great morning, right?? We had the bright idea to let the kids sleep together last night.  Mason's bed has a trundle underneath so we decided it would be fun to just see what happened.  I am sure it was a ton of fun for them, not so much for me. I had put the baby monitor in there so if it got out of hand we would know.  Thirty minutes in I was begging Nick to go put Drake in his room. The kids were no where near sleeping and I knew we had to drop Nick off at 7:30 this morning. That's typically not a big deal but if they are up late and up early thats just not a good combo.  Nick kept reminding me that we did this to let them have fun and they would eventually fall asleep. They did. They slept all night but were up having a party in there at 6 am. I however, tossed and turned all night wondering if Drake had fallen off the bed, what would happen if Mason had to get up to go potty and stepped on Drake, ect....So I will not make excuses for my bad attitude this morning, but it was not for no reason at all.

As I mentioned in my last post one of the most important things in a "fully furnished" home that is often overlooked is the vacuum. We got one....one that is duct taped together. We bring Deuce, our BLACK lab, on the road with us. We need a vacuum. A good one.  This one is barely operating and I am quite positive that it just blows the hair out of the way and never sucks up anything. Then, if we want to empty the canister we just unwrap the duct tape, empty, then wrap her back up. Long story short- I am drowning in dog hair. Nick does not understand my frustration. If I were to go buy another vacuum that would make a total of 4 vacuums at home. I called the rental office to make sure we would have one so I could bring one if I needed to.

I guess there needs to be a reason for my ranting- I am trying so hard to find the lesson and the blessing in everything we do. The kids sleeping together- they laughed their heads off for an hour before bed. They are healthy and they love each other. Deuce hair- we thought we were going to lose him last week. His stomach swelled up and he was working extremely hard to breathe. After calling 2 different vets they were thinking congestive heart failure. Turns out, he got in his food bag and ate himself to the point of exhaustion. But I still have my dog.  Nothing but a little perspective I guess.

One very fun thing we got to do this week was celebrate Drake turning 2 and Nick turning 26! Their birthdays are on the 9th and the 10th.  We were so glad that we got to spend them both together this year. (Nick was not home in time last year)
Fun little Halloween craft I found on pinterest. That's Drake's foot on the left and Mason's on the right.  I am getting better at finding new things to keep the kids entertained.  The weather has been beautiful so they have been able to play outside a little more this week, which was much needed for all of us. 

I got on here to post about birthdays and baseball, not to vent about my bad attitude. I guess that's what happens when you're across the country from your friends and family and just need to let it out.

"Because of the Lord's great love, we are never consumed.  His compassions never fail. His mercies are new every morning. Great is his faithfulness." Lamentations 3:23- Every morning- even like mornings when your husband tells you you're anything BUT a joy to be around. AMEN!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Home is Where Your Husband Is

Just a little less than a week ago we arrived to our new temporary home in Phoenix.  We will be here for a total of 7 weeks while Nick plays in the Arizona fall league.  For some reason this move stressed me out a little more than some of our past trips.  I was hesitant to take Mase out of preschool. I hated that he had to leave his soccer team.  Spending money on housing gives me anxiety when I know we could be saving it if me and the boys stayed at home.  I prayed and prayed asking God to show me what I needed to do. Silly thing to do really when I know that my responsibility lies with my husband and that ultimately our goal in this life we call baseball is to be together whenever it is possible.  So did I really need to stress about it? No. People often tell me "I bet you are glad to be home for a while." Well, truthfully, no....not if my husband isn't there with me. So.....Here we are in sunny, brutally hot, Phoenix, AZ.

We have been doing the temporary housing thing for several years now.  We have learned most of the "what to do" and "what not to do" of finding rentals.  This is our 5th short term, fully furnished (whatever that means) home.  You never really know what "fully furnished" means.  In the past we had a home that came with EVERYTHING, even a stocked refrigerator when we arrived. And then there was the one that literally had mattresses, a couch, and a dining room table. So I usually come prepared bringing what I have learned that most "fully furnished" places do not come with....trashcans and vacuums! We are fortunate this time. This place had both, plus much more.  Although it did not have electricity when we got here...all I can say about that is HOT.

So I mentioned earlier that I was stressing out about taking Mason away from his soccer team. Well, I tried to find a soccer team for him out here and couldnt find one. But what I did find was TeeBall! Hello Jesus, thank you for your blessings :)  Nick has always said how he hates that he would never be able to see mason play teeball or baseball because it would always be during his season (as long as he's playing.) So I am happy to report that Mason had his first teeball game on Saturday and Daddy was sitting front row. After masons first hit, he did run to third instead of first....Yes, this from a child who has sat through more baseball games in 4 years than most people in their entire lives.

Mr. Drake will be turning two next week. Can't hardly believe it. He is talking up a storm.  He really loves airplanes and baseball. He randomly points at Nick and says "baseball." He just got his first "at home daddy buzzcut." This was much to my dismay of course.  I love his baby curls and want them back but Nick says I have to wait until I have a girl and I can do whatever I want with her hair.  So when I ask Drake if mommy should have a baby his response is "No babies peesh." (please)

I kind of have a whole lot of time on my hands, so Ill be updating more frequently. Go Javelinas! (Nicks team, which oddly enough is actually a razorback, so I guess I could just stick with Go Hogs)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

been a while....

I have not been able to write lately because the keyboard on my laptop has been acting really funny. That’s why my last couple of posts have just been posts of articles I’ve read. So much has happened since I updated on our family last.

We’ll start with Nick.  Nick finished his season in Lake Elsinore, CA over Labor Day weekend. They made it to the play offs so he is busy finishing up with post season play. He has had such an amazing year.  We prayed for opportunities to share our story of healing and answered prayers and God has opened so many doors for us.  We continue to be amazed every day at what God is doing in our lives.  Nick got asked to play in the Arizona Fall League. This is a huge deal for us.  Going from thinking his baseball career was over 5 months ago to this is just incredible.  I am so proud of him.  Im just not real sure that anyone else would have stuck it out this long and especially not with the positive attitude that he has done it with. 

Mason just started his second year of preschool at University Baptist Church’s Wee Care.  He loves it. He was a little unsure when I told him he would have a different teacher this year but the first day he came home and said he loves Mrs. Burris.  He is also playing soccer.  He was so timid last year and really did not care about playing soccer, he just wanted to play chase and make people fall down.  This year he is a totally different kid. He is aggressive and blocks and has scored lots of goals! He is so proud when he scores a goal. 

I cannot believe Drake will be turning two in a few weeks. I seriously feel like he should still be a little baby.  He is talking so much and is such a ham! I always laugh about how when Mason was this age he was so shy that he would ride in the grocery cart with his head down so nobody would look at him or talk to him and Drake rides so happily saying “Hi Hi Hi Hi Hi Hi” to everyone we pass. Drake rarely says a sentence without it including “mine” or “no.”  I kept telling people that Mason never really did the whole “mine” thing and someone politely reminded me that he was an only child at the time and didn’t have to.  Haha, very good point. Drake is slowly growing out of all of his “baby” stuff.  He climbs out of his crib. He prefers a booster over a high chair and he would MUCH rather walk than ride in a stroller.  Such a big boy, where did my baby go??

I am busy unpacking and cleaning up from being away so much all summer and trying to make arrangements for fall ball.  Also trying to get some time in with friends and family before we have to leave again.  Or should I say GET to leave again, since it is such a blessing.  Looking forward to good quality time as a family and getting to watch my husband be awesome.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Motherhood is a Calling" article

A few years ago, when I just had four children and when the oldest was still three, I loaded them all up to go on a walk. After the final sippy cup had found a place and we were ready to go, my two-year-old turned to me and said, “Wow! You have your hands full!”
She could have just as well said, “Don’t you know what causes that?” or “Are they all yours?!”
Everywhere you go, people want to talk about your children. Why you shouldn’t have had them, how you could have prevented them, and why they would never do what you have done. They want to make sure you know that you won’t be smiling anymore when they are teenagers. All this at the grocery store, in line, while your children listen.

A Rock-Bottom Job?

The truth is that years ago, before this generation of mothers was even born, our society decided where children rank in the list of important things. When abortion was legalized, we wrote it into law.
Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything. Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing.
If you grew up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood, to think like a free Christian woman about your life, your children. How much have we listened to partial truths and half lies? Do we believe that we want children because there is some biological urge, or the phantom “baby itch”? Are we really in this because of cute little clothes and photo opportunities? Is motherhood a rock-bottom job for those who can’t do more, or those who are satisfied with drudgery? If so, what were we thinking?

It's Not a Hobby

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.
Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another—and laying down your life for another represents the gospel.
Our culture is simply afraid of death. Laying down your own life, in any way, is terrifying. Strangely, it is that fear that drives the abortion industry: fear that your dreams will die, that your future will die, that your freedom will die—and trying to escape that death by running into the arms of death.

Run to the Cross

But a Christian should have a different paradigm. We should run to to the cross. To death. So lay down your hopes. Lay down your future. Lay down your petty annoyances. Lay down your desire to be recognized. Lay down your fussiness at your children. Lay down your perfectly clean house. Lay down your grievances about the life you are living. Lay down the imaginary life you could have had by yourself. Let it go.
Death to yourself is not the end of the story. We, of all people, ought to know what follows death. The Christian life is resurrection life, life that cannot be contained by death, the kind of life that is only possible when you have been to the cross and back.
The Bible is clear about the value of children. Jesus loved them, and we are commanded to love them, to bring them up in the nurture of the Lord. We are to imitate God and take pleasure in our children.

The Question Is How

The question here is not whether you are representing the gospel, it is how you are representing it. Have you given your life to your children resentfully? Do you tally every thing you do for them like a loan shark tallies debts? Or do you give them life the way God gave it to us—freely?
It isn’t enough to pretend. You might fool a few people. That person in line at the store might believe you when you plaster on a fake smile, but your children won’t. They know exactly where they stand with you. They know the things that you rate above them. They know everything you resent and hold against them. They know that you faked a cheerful answer to that lady, only to whisper threats or bark at them in the car.
Children know the difference between a mother who is saving face to a stranger and a mother who defends their life and their worth with her smile, her love, and her absolute loyalty.

Hands Full of Good Things

When my little girl told me, “Your hands are full!” I was so thankful that she already knew what my answer would be. It was the same one that I always gave: “Yes they are—full of good things!”
Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work.
Stop clinging to yourself and cling to the cross. There is more joy and more life and more laughter on the other side of death than you can possibly carry alone.
Rachel Jankovic is a wife, homemaker, and mother. She is the author of "Loving the Little Years" and blogs at Femina. Her husband is Luke, and they have five children: Evangeline (5), Daphne (4), Chloe (2), Titus (2), and Blaire (5 months).
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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Have you ever noticed?

This is an excerpt from a devotional I read every morning. It's just so perfect, I had to share.
Date: July 29, 2011

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials   1 Peter 1:6

Have you ever noticed how hidden in the midst of hard times are unforeseen blessings and unbelievable lessons? Recently my family went through a difficult situation - not any harder than others have experienced, and a lot less than some people have gone through - but that doesn’t lessen the pain. Coming through it, we learned some important things about ourselves and about our God, lessons that I never want to forget. God reminded me that I am very, very small in contrast to His greatness. It seems that when life is cruising along smoothly, I forget how truly small I am in this universe. In fact, there are times I think of myself as being kind of large and important – able to do things on my own with very little need to “bother” God. Small I am and small I hope to remain if it will enable me to experience God’s greatness and with it, His peace.
I’ve learned that not asking for help is one of the most selfish and self-centered things I can do. Being stoic and self-sufficient means that I keep others from being blessed as they help, and I miss the blessing of being helped. God provided help by unexpected and surprising means. It made me feel less lonely and encouraged me that we would get through this. Had I been unwilling to be helped, I would have missed out on some amazingly wonderful times in an amazingly uncomfortable period.
Lastly, prayer and the promises of God’s Word meant more to us than anything else. We knew there were people praying for us, and this knowledge made the situation bearable. I promised God that if anyone ever asked me to pray for them, I would – at that moment, throughout the day, and into the evening – like people did for us. I will never again take the privilege of prayer lightly; it is the most I can do for someone. It removes fear, worry, loneliness and helplessness and shines God’s joy and peace in their places.
I can now say that I am thankful for the trial we went through - the blessings outweigh the “light and momentary afflictions.” We are different than we were – and I’m glad. I like the change and am determined to remember what I’ve learned so the next time I will shout “hallelujah” sooner.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Road Trip

We just got home from a 3 day road trip to Lancaster, CA. Nick was pitching in the Saturday night game so I decided to load up the kids and make a weekend out of it. We are exhausted but we are so glad we got to go and watch Nick pitch another great game and spend some quality time together....in tight quarters.

We were so blessed that it worked out that we did not have to pay for an extra hotel room for the weekend because Nicks trainer was nice enough to work that for us.  BUT- all 4 of us in the same room makes for some interesting sleeping arrangements.  Trying to get a 4 yr old and an almost 2 yr old to take a nap in the same room together is near impossible. After about an hour of playing peekaboo with each other they finally did fall asleep but only until one of them woke up early or had to go to the bathroom or got too hot or heard a loud noise or someone sneezed or something else along those lines.  Then we were up and headed to the ballpark again...

Lancaster is a very windy place. I only packed enough clothes for three games so what I packed is what I had to wear. My sundress choice was not one of my best ideas.  Spent most of the game holding my dress down and when I would let go of it, it was only for a second while I combed my hair out of my face.  Today the game was at 11 am so I was actually grateful for the wind since we were in the heat of the day but none the less....still a little annoying. 

I met some really interesting people this weekend at the games.  Some were really nice, some were really not nice.  A little girl even got up in Mason's face and yelled "We are not playing with you!" She's lucky I didnt get a hold of her. Nobody should talk to my sweet little angel that way. haha. I told Nick after the game last night that the fans there were either "super fans" or just downright mean.  We were riding in the car laughing and talking about how one day we are going to look back at all of these memories and laugh.  Our hotel was even conveniently located right nextdoor to the California State Prison, no big deal, I bet the people in there are all real nice :)

Tomorrow we have an off day! WooooHoooo! So looking forward to a day free of baseball and just relaxing with some friends by the pool.  Glad to be back in our Host home, and if you think about it this week,  send up a prayer for our host mom, Mel. She lost her father this past week. Such a sweet lady and great friend.

If you want to see how Nick did his last outing you can check it out at stormbaseball.com. or you can just trust me when I tell you that he is awesome.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This is Baseball...

Nick finally completed his 12 week rehab from his shoulder surgery back in April.  He threw in several games in the Arizona league and he is back pitching in California now.  He is doing well and feeling good! It has been really nice to see all of our friends in Lake Elsinore and catch up with everyone, although we do miss our friends who are playing elsewhere :)

I have been a little "out of the game" for a while...meaning, I haven't been sitting in the stands with my kiddos since we have been in Arizona rehabbing. Last year Drake was still little enough that he would sit through most of the game in his infant carrier and sleep through about half of it.  Things are MUCH different this year.  I am packing more, moving around a lot more, and am completely exhausted by the end of the game.

Just to name a few- here are some of what I pack to take to a game. 1) mason's backpack. Inside of it will be 4 fruit snacks, 2 packages of crackers, 2 sippy cups of water, a bag of suckers, a bag of some other sort of snacks, about 10 matchbox cars, paper and pens so they can color, Masons lightning mcqueen sticker booklet, and any other randomness we can throw in to make it a little heavier. 2)Drake's backpack. Inside of it will be diapers, wipes, diaper bags, pacifiers, tylenol, a hat, and a jacket.  3) My purse- inside of it is way too much for me to mention. 4) My camera bag- this is actually another backpack. 5) Mason's Thunder Paw that he wears on his hand so he can wave at daddy. 6) There is not always a 6, but last night I had a Target back filled with other random items and some jackets and a blanket.  7) My stroller- I have been leaving it in the car but I have to take it in case desperate times call for desperate measures and I just have to push Drake around the whole game. Can you please just imagine what it looks like when somebody has to go to the bathroom and I have to load all this stuff up and carry it to the restroom so no one steals it? Thank goodness for nice people who sometimes offer to help.

California is 2 hours earlier in time so we have had a little bit of a hard time adjusting to the time change. Also, the games start at 7pm so we have had to adjust our nap schedule to where the boys can make it until around 11pm. Gosh, just typing that makes me cringe. They are usually in bed at 8 at home so this is pretty hard on them....and me. We are 3 games down and holding up, hoping it will get easier everyday. 

We are just so grateful to be here. We are so blessed that Nick has been able to come back from both of his surgeries and play again. Nothing short of God's amazing grace.  I am trying to focus on that and not on what a huge production it has become for me and the boys to make it through 3 hrs of baseball everyday.

Several people have asked for an update on my beautiful baby niece. Charlette made it home from the hospital yesterday!!! She was in the hospital for a total of 12 days but she was a trooper and pulled through and is now safe at home.  Thank you so much for everyone who was praying with me for her progress. Another answered prayer - God is so good.

If you want to follow Nick the remainder of the season you can do so by visiting stormbaseball.com.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Prayers for Charlette

July 4th my beautiful sweet little niece was welcomed into the world by my sister in law, Jessica.  Little miss Charlette Lorraine was almost 3 weeks early. She was a little over 6 pounds but her lungs weren't quite ready to breathe on their own.   She has been in NICU for 3 days on oxygen and is being fed through an IV. Doctors are waiting to see see her rate of respirations go down before they will take her off the IV.

If there is anything Nick and I have learned about over the  last few months, its the power of prayer.  We have seen some pretty amazing things happen in our own lives and now we are praying to see progress in this sweet baby's life.  Please help us in praying for Charlette that she will make a speedy recovery and that she will be safe at home  very soon. Also,  pray for her mother Jessica for strength and comfort that God is working to get baby Charlette good and healthy. 

Thanks everyone for prayers.- Jill

Friday, June 24, 2011

Acorn Hunting

Sometimes I wish I could stop the clock from ticking.  I hate having an anxious feeling or feeling like I am so pressed for time.  In Nick's career I come across this feeling more often than I would like to and you would think that I would get used to it or that it would slowly just get easier.  It never does.  I dread packing up my house again or worse...unpacking it without my packing partner.

I am not going to get all sad or feeling sorry for myself because I am about to do something that just a couple of shorts months ago I did not know for sure if I would ever do again. That's endure (I mean enjoy) another baseball season.  After Nick got surgery on his shoulder we were not sure if he would play again and he pitched in his second game yesterday! In his very own words, "Only God could have brought me this far."  We will be hitting the road next week and saying goodbye to our home in Arizona which we have actually really grown to love.  Nick has always hated being in Arizona during the season because if you're here it means you're hurt. I think we can look at Arizona in a new light now because it is also where you get healed :)

Mason asks us all the time when he can go to his Arkansas home. I asked him a few nights ago why he wanted to go to Arkansas so bad and he said "I just dont like the shoo flies."  Shoo flies to Mason are just normal house flies but I thought it was funny that he thinks there wont be any in Arkansas.  

 This is the boys "acorn hunting" in our backyard.  There are actually a ton of them although I have not figured out where exactly they come from.  Not the most kid friendly backyard, but a great place for "abentures" as Mason calls them. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dads

I went out for my run last night and on the radio they were having people call in to tell stories about their dads. I started thinking about what I would say if I called and only had time to say one thing about my dad. If you know my dad, you know that 30 seconds would never be enough to do him justice.  I never did decide exactly what I would say about him but my mind started wandering and I made a huge realization about my dad. 

Those of you who know us well and have been around us in the last few months have probably noticed that something has changed around here.  Our families have noticed and Nick's co workers have noticed.  Nick and I have definitely seen it in each other and I can only hope that Mason and Drake are reaping the benefit of it as well.  So Im sure you're asking, what the heck happened? And what did I realize about my dad?

I know that ever since the moment my father found out he was having a little baby girl that he has prayed for me and my future spouse. That I might find someone who had a heart after God and sought God in every decision for my family.  If you would have asked either Nick or myself 5 years ago from right now if we thought we were right for each other we probably both would have answered no. And I was about 4 months pregnant with our son at that point.   Something HAD to change. 

When I sit here and think about where I was exactly 5 years ago from today and where I am now, I realize that it is nothing short of a miracle.  Did I ever think that my husband, Nick, would be leading prayer in a room full of people in a neighborhood Bible Study and on top of that, VOLUNTEERED HIMSELF?!?!  Never in a million years, but guess what? He does. So here's what I realized about my dad. He started praying for me and my spouse before Nick was ever even a thought in my mind. Before Nick was even born (I am 19 days older than him) ha! And then I got married, and he didn't stop praying! Thank you Jesus and thank you Dad!!

In church today they were talking about our earthly father as an example of our Heavenly Father.  How our earthly father should show grace, love, pride, and guidance.  My heart breaks for those who do not have that example of love in their fathers. I know I am blessed to have a father who has shown more grace than he should have had to.  Thank you dad, for showing me that grace, and for continuing to pray for me and my spouse, and my kids, that we might one day be the people that you have prayed for us to be.

I went and heard a local missionary talk the other night. He spent 15 years living in Brazil serving as a missionary.  He is now 80 years old and writing a book about his experiences there. After every story he would tell about the horrific circumstances he endured and how God delivered him from them he would end his story by saying "And I went on my way rejoicing." I thought to myself, what a neat way to end any story...or blog :) So, Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers out there, especially my hubs, Nick, and my sweet daddy!
                                                    The Schmidts......And I went on my way rejoicing!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Feeling Blah

I do not know what it is, the heat maybe? But for the last few days I have just felt BLAH! I have not had the motivation to do anything and I honestly have just had a bad attitude....just ask my husband, haha. So today I want to take a minute to write about things that make me smile.

Mason went to the CCV (our church out here) Stars football camp this week. They rotated around 6 different stations for an hour doing different drills and what not then at the end they played a "shark and minnow" version of flag football.  I love that no matter where I was around the complex I knew exactly where he was by his loud cackle! He is so sweet. He would die laughing (cackling) when his teammates would tackle the dummies or if they would fall doing the drills. At the end of each station the coaches would shoot them with water guns, and again, cackle!

Nick has been throwing bullpens for over 2 weeks now! He starts throwing in the Rookie League games out here in Peoria next week and will work his way up to 5 innings over the next few weeks. His hard work and great attitude in this whole situation DEFINITELY give me a reason to smile.

Another reason my husband makes me smile....or laugh? He is now officially couponing!!! He is so funny. Since there are grocery stores on every corner out here instead of wal-marts, we get a ton of store coupons in the mail. Being the faithful Wal-Mart shoppers that we are, we still go there, but now we price match! I shouldn't say "we" because I am not as into this as he is.  We have done it our last two grocery shopping trips and Nick calculated $48 in savings!

I don't have a specific funny story about Drake. He just makes me smile in general :) A not so funny story is that he got stung by a bee in the swimming pool a few days ago. His poor little hand swelled up pretty big but he is a trooper! I am just thankful that he was not allergic.

Gosh, I feel better just thinking about my boys! So good I could go out for a run.....Yea right, its my day off! Another reason to smile!





Friday, June 3, 2011

Choosing to See

I am not really sure what has happened to me over the last year, but I have become something that I thought I never would....a reader. It just seems like such an adult thing to do and I kind of try to stay away from those things, ha! Kind of like when I tried to stay away from being a parent and that did not work out very well either. So maybe on the surface I think I try to stay away from "adultish" things but deep down inside I really love them.

I just finished reading a book called "Choosing to See."  It was written by Mary Beth Chapman, wife of Christian recording artist, Steven Curtis Chapman.  The book is basically about her life, her marriage, her kids, and how she dealt with the tragic loss of her 5 yr old daughter in 2009.  The book is WONDERFUL. She is a very funny lady. Seems odd that there would be much humor in a book about the death of a child, but she does it very well.

The lady working the checkout when I purchased the book asked me if I listened to Steven Curtis Chapman before the accident that took his daughter.  I told her yes, that I had listened to him growing up....and smiling in my head knowing that he was my older brother's idol back when he was 12 and picturing that frame on his wall that had him and Steven Curtis Chapman (matching comb overs and all)  smiling for the camera, right next to an autographed cassette cover. Anyways, the lady said that she had listened to his music for a while and that she felt like she knew the family and was glad that the book had come out so she could walk through the journey with them.  It is sort of true....you feel like it happened to somebody you know because it is someone that you have watched for so many years.  It is interesting now to look back at the songs he has written over the last couple of years and to know now where he was when he was writing them. 

The point of this post is that  the book was very encouraging. I laughed and I cried.  Nick thought something was bad wrong with me one night as he walked in on me sobbing in bed. haha.  Great book for anyone looking for something to read. I'll even let you borrow mine :)



                                                             
                                                          


Other books I finished lately- "Radical" by David Platt (awesome).  "Unplanned" by Abby Johnson (equally awesome)

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