For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Summer Tale Part III

Our summer tale continues with one of our favorite pastimes. If you have followed our blog for very long, you know that we are avid baseball fans and usually spend much of our spring and summer involved in baseball games. Oh, and then there is lots and lots of Texas Ranger Baseball games to watch on TV... and listen to on the radio... and maybe, one day take in a game in person. Go RANGERS!! It is definitely the busiest part of our year. This year was no exception, except for the fact, that we had only 2 boys playing this year instead of the standard 4. Nolan, at 16, has aged out of the program and since we homeschool, he is unable to play highschool ball. Garrett played in the 13-15 year old division. It was a short lived season for his team; however, he seemed to have fun just playing the game. Nate has opted out of playing ball. He has tried his hand at playing several different years, and he has decided it is just not for him. He loves watching the games, but he prefers not to play. And THEN, there is Levi! He adores the game of baseball, and He has a natural talent in this his favorite sport! He played very well on his city team, and he was selected to play on the 8/9 year old All Stars Team.
As the rest of the events of our summer were taking place, baseball was happening at the same time. Levi and Garrett each had to miss a game while we were in Montana. Upon our return, it was baseball full-force. So, as we were caring for the K-krew, we spent many nights at the ball fields. I have to say that it was GREAT fun to blow people's minds with 11 or 12 very-well-behaved kids in tow. No one quite knew what to make of so many children, and then to think that they could all sit still and watch the game...mind boggling, I tell you!  Levi's team played 3 district games, and they won by a considerable margin. During one of the district games, Mia had a very nice surprise. Her best friend (they were actually crib mates at their orphanage...and have a unique story all their own) and family came out to watch Levi play. Mia was SO surprised, and the girls were just adorable getting to visit together! With those district wins, it meant that the All Star Team would head to the State Championship. Brad and I were able to arrange for the girls to stay with their friends (Mia at her "besties"), and we left the big boys at home under the watchful eye of friends. Levi, Toby, Brad and I made the trip to State Championship after a short break for the July 4th holiday. It was a good trip for us and the younger boys. Unfortunately, the team came up against some much tougher competition, and they didn't bring their "A" game. We lost two of the three games we had to win. It was sad not making the championship; however, the boys had a great time playing. Levi just enjoys the game so much , and it made me smile to hear him tell his sister later..."Well we lost but you know what ..they called our names and we got to stand on the baseline during the National Anthem, like REAL baseball players!!!... and I had fun playing three games!"

Pitcher...down and ready

Batter up

A Base Hit


Mia is still giggling over her surprise
  In between district games and state games, we celebrated the 4th of July Holiday. It was so much fun to share time with Uncle J, Aunt Leslie and the girls. The kids were super excited to see their Uncle as we had not seen him in about 3 years (Uncle J serves in our nations Army). They loved getting reacquainted with their Aunt and cousins who had joined us at the beach last year. It was a nice relaxing few days with lots of laughter, fireworks and food.
Cousins...Nolan was at work

The Goofy Picture
After the Holiday break (the boys practiced a lot), we made the trip to State. Loved watching all these cute boys play hard at a sport they love.
Watching and Waiting for their turn

not gonna let a ball get past me...not gonna let a ball get past me

And their OUT
I guess our Summer Tale doesn't truly end with part III. We still have a few weeks of our summer left. Next week is devoted to VBS at our church. It will be full of lots of fun times and special memories. We are hoping to make a couple of road trips to Texas to see family and to Oklahoma to visit the K-krew (I need to get some of that sweet corn, and more importantly hug on a few of those precious treasures.). We are hoping to make a quick trip up Chicago way as well... we have some friends to see and some baby's to hug. On second thought, I am thinking some of the trips may extend to the fall! That is the beauty of homeschooling, we can either take school with us or make it up later allowing us the freedom of taking some of those trips in the fall. Speaking of homeschool, we are planning, organizing and preparing for school to start about mid-August. What! School?! Man-0-man summers just seem to go faster and faster!
I hope you have enjoyed our little Tale. It never seems as if it is anything fancy, but our family stays busy and we keep on keeping on. It is my hope to make this "new wave" of blogging a permanent thing; however, once school starts up again, my life becomes more busy than at anytime. So, I am making no promises...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Summer Tale (Pt II)

Part Two of our Tale begins a short week after our return from Montana. We were more than excited to get to spend ten days with the K-krew (5 of them). We had been missing them terribly since our stay with them in March. When their parents needed someone to watch them during camp week, we jumped at the chance. They came to stay at our house this time. Most of our time was spent here at our house with a few days traveling back and forth to Levi's District Baseball Games. It seemed like the days went by much too quickly, but each day was filled with lots of activities, lots of noise and the beautiful sound of children's laughter.

Water gun out girls there is a sneaky boy behind you!

Even the bigs and their friends joined in on the water fun!

Now, for some water Frisbee!

Creating some "bubble-sculptures"

Princess Mia blowing lots of bubbles...( it wasn't so long ago that this was an impossible task for her)

More "bubble-sculptures"

Sidewalk Chalk creations

Two cuties awaiting their turn
A Group birthday celebration.... Kaeleb and Kinley have birthdays at the end of June and Kayden and I have birthdays in July
We will see a little more of the K-Krew in Part III of our Summer Tale. So, Stay tuned for PtIII.

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Summer Tale ...told in 3 parts (Part I)

Our Summer began with a trip to Montana. It was quite a distance to our final destination, but the beauty of that part of our Great Nation more than made up for the long days of travel. We loved spending time in the great outdoors and seeing many different sights. The weather was absolutely beautiful and even slightly on the cool side. We enjoyed lots of sightseeing, lots of good food, and a few days of relaxation.
Outside our Cabin in Eureka Montana (5 min. from the Canadian border)

Most of our Crew (Nolan had to stay behind for work)

God's Amazing Creation

Rock Formations

Wildlife in Abundance
 The return trip home included a couple of stops in South Dakota. Since we are studying American History this next school year, we didn't want to miss the opportunity to see Mt. Rushmore. It was awesome to see in person just to get an idea of its enormous size. We learned about the creation of this massive monument and the skilled craftsmanship poured into it. We included a stop in South Dakota's Badlands. The Badlands include a large wildlife preserve and natural rock formations. Of course, Mom and Dad had fun pretending that we were making the trip in "covered wagon", thus driving all the children crazy. At least a few of them appreciated our acting abilities, ha!
We made a stop at Mt. Rushmore on the return trip

Don't they look Presidential

He was captivated!

A visit to the Badlands ("Must we take a picture, Mom?!")

Mountain Goats in the Badlands

Buffalo... I was so excited when we were finally able to locate them.
We were gone a total of 10 days and had a great time as a family. We were so grateful for the opportunity to make this amazing trip, and we spent a lot of time reflecting on the wonder and beauty of God's masterpiece!
Stay tuned for Part II...