Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Guatemala

Leslie is in Guatemala this week with some others from our small group at church. She was really nervous before the flight and entertained thoughts of backing out but eventually mustered up the courage to go. She'll be gone for a week and I'm staying home to take care of the boys while she's away. She emailed the other night to say that they were going to be handing out food to individuals and families that live in shanties on top of an old dump. She says a lot of the people are already believers but there is so much despair. I'm proud of her for finding the strength to go and try to help make a difference in His name.

Before she left she bought a small gift for the boys for each day that she'll be gone, they've loved it. It's just little stuff like plastic cowboys and Indians or chem lights but it's certainly helped make her being gone a little easier for them. It's been raining a lot so we've occupied ourselves by going to the McWane center and finding some new parks in the few dry spells that we've had. We're managing along fine but can't wait for her to get back home.

Fuzzies


Apparently Max inherited from his mother an uncanny knack or desire to pull the "fuzzies" as we call them out of anything that he can. His target of choice has been his bedding from his crib. It seems like it started about 6 months ago or so but he's got it down to an unconscious science now. I didn't even know such a thing was possible but I'm told mom used to do the same thing so it must be some innate training lodged within his genetic code somewhere. Les has to vacuum up all over the place every few days to keep the place from looking like a lint storm has blown through. Sometimes he "feeds" them to the cookie monster that resides in his crib. Leslie also vacuums out the car every so often so that I don't have to see what a mess he's made with them. I don't mind though, he can't have more than a few months supply left :-).


Max is doing great these days for the most part. He "read" or at least recited a book from memory for the first time the other night. There's a Backyardigans book with only a couple of words per page, like "Hi I'm Pablo" or "I see a wave" and he went through pretty much the whole thing all on his own. I was very surprised since it wasn't one of the books that we've been reading much of lately. He's really enjoying Briggs being home so much now and they have their brotherly things to work out, but I am really proud of both of them.

Kindergarten Has Come and Gone





Wow, I can't believe that it's been a school year already, it seems like just a few short months ago that we were taking Briggs to school for the first time ever. I'll never forget how strong and proud he was to walk in by himself and saying that he would find his way. He's done such a great job and is a much more gooder reader than I was at his age by far. Seriously though, I can remember reading books like See Spot Run and he's reading much more complex stories than I ever dreamed of in kindergarten. He's enjoyed it a lot and we've really enjoyed the school he's at. They're big on positive reinforcement and he has gobbled it up. I imagine in a few weeks he'll be ready to go back to play with all his friends (as will we sort of...). My favorite memories will probably be of how proud he was when one of us came to eat with him for lunch, he would just beam and Mrs. Conn would always tell us how much he hyped it up to her before we got there. We're very proud of the young man he's turning into.




Other Briggs notes...his baseball team is in first place for the second half of the season. We have a second half championship game this week and if we win that we'll play for the season championship. Briggs has really come a long way in such a short time. He hit his first home run a couple of games ago. It was an in the park but it counts all the same. After talking to some other parents and kids that played and now detest football at the age of six, we've decided to just play fall baseball instead of football rather than risk him hating it. He's really enjoyed baseball and even Leslie has found it waaay more exciting than she thought it would be. Last note. I've been reading him at least a verse and sometimes a passage from the Bible most nights. Last night during his prayer he prayed at length thanking God for giving us the Bible to teach us right from wrong and to teach us about Jesus. The language he used was totally his own and it made me all the more proud of him.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bad Timing and a Heart Breaker

Last week was career week at Briggs' school and Rod signed up to go talk to his class. He and Briggs worked all week on their "experiment" to teach the class about electricity. They used potatoes, various metals, and some wire to light up a light bulb. Briggs was so excited about his dad coming to his class that he talked about it all week long. Rod's talk was on Friday and there had been some pretty stiff competition earlier in the week; a fireman, a police officer who brought handcuffs, a vet who brought a dog, an airplane pilot, a dental hygienist, and a dad who got to fly to Germany (although Briggs couldn't remember why). Although these were some pretty great jobs, Briggs was sure they did not hold a candle to his dad. When I asked him on Thursday who had been his favorite so far, he said, "my dad." He was so excited. Then it all came crashing down.....

Briggs got a stomach virus Thursday night and couldn't go to school on Friday.

He was disappointed, but too sick to be devastated. Rod went and talked to the class anyway, and of course was a big hit. He took the video camera and recorded it so Briggs could watch it at home. All the kids were amazed at the experiment. I think I was the most upset about the "bad timing" of the illness. Oh well, I guess there's always next year.

And now for the heart breaker.....

Friday night Briggs' baseball team had a game against one of the best teams in the league. It was a very important game, since it would determine if we stayed in the top spot, and also because they beat us the last time we played them. Friday afternoon Rod began talking to me about Briggs playing in the game if he felt like it. Actually it was more of a heated discussion (or argument). I could not possibly fathom even considering letting him play, as sick as he had been and how weak he surely was. Rod had a different "it's a guy thing" perspective. Basically, Briggs is part of a team and he can't let the team down and he's not a quitter, and other such nonsense that mothers have a very hard time understanding. In the end, we let Briggs decide and he chose to play.

He was so pitiful sitting in the dugout on the ground doodling in the dirt. When he had to go in the outfield, he would take a knee in between batters. He looked pasty and dark under his eyes the entire game. I stood by the dugout the whole game to check on him. But when he got up to the plate, he came alive and had three singles and a double. His team was behind the whole game, until the end when they came back to tie the opponent.

They had to play one extra inning to determine the tie-breaker. The opponent scored two runs and by the time it was Briggs' turn to bat, there were two outs with a runner at first and second. I told the dugout mom that it was too much pressure for a little boy who had been so sick. Then just as Briggs was taking his first swing, I turned to see Max pushing a dump truck right into the parking lot! For a split second I panicked and did not know what to do, watch the game or save Max! Then I came back to my senses and started running and yelling for Max to stop. By the time I got Max back to the field, Briggs was taking his third swing for a ........strikeout. Game over.

During the pep talk after the game, the coaches gave Briggs the game ball for his effort while being sick, a real Florida Marlins baseball. He beamed and was so proud of himself. Then one of the coaches pulled him aside and said,

Briggs,
Someone that comes out and plays
when they are not feeling well;
who toughens up and gives their very best,
do you know what that person is?
I call that person a hero.
And Briggs, tonight you are my hero.


So, you may ask, was I glad that Briggs played?

Hmmmm......naah

It must just be a mom thing! After all, that was my baby out there.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tears and Rocks

Yesterday when I came home Leslie told me something that brought a tear to my eye. She said that when she picked Briggs up from school and was unpacking his backpack, he told her that there was a very important paper in there. Curiously she starts going through his stack of papers. A drawing he had made…”no, that’s not it”, some math work sheets he had done…nope, a note reminding Dad of career day…not it, football registration form…”THAT’S IT!”. I joke about the tear but I am excited that he wants to play pretty much everything and I really hope he enjoys it as much as he has everything else. Leslie and I talked about football this weekend and she had her reservations but she said after Briggs told her that, the message was received. We really haven’t pushed him into any of this stuff and we’re able to balance school work and the sports stuff (except for the rare 7:30 practices, those are tough). As long as he’s having fun and school is going good I’ve told him he can play whatever he wants.

Football will just be one more thing for Max to want to participate in but can’t, yet. Max in every sport Briggs has played (soccer, basketball, baseball) at the end of every practice or game when the coach huddles the team up to take a knee or sit and listen, Max always has to get right in the middle and he sits just as quietly and attentively as anyone that actually understands what the coach is saying. Thankfully the coaches are always very cool about it. I can’t wait for Max to be able to be in his very own huddle on his very own team, he’s going to love it.




Not much new going on, I spent all afternoon working in the yard while Les was doing her counseling. The boys picked up rocks for me in the parts of the yard that I’m trying to grow some new turf in. I told Briggs he could earn some money for doing it and Max chipped in b/c it was “fun”. I’ll bet they spent a solid hour and a half in the trampoline together afterwards w/o getting out once. We were all filthy but slept like rocks!