Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Am I going to heaven or hell?

I am having ALL the feels.

Evan and Luke have been going to Camp in the City at Hope this week. I felt bad for them (I shouldn’t...they live a CHARMED life..) for not having a true ‘summer’ like most kids. Having to go to camp all the time and that camp is also where they go to school all year...Mommy guilt reared it’s ugly head. So after researching Camp in the City, I thought it would be awesome. It’s at a place I trust, it looks hella fun, and they get a little bit more exposure to God stuff. I mean, we all need a little more Jesus in our life. #canigetanamen

Y’all....I cannot even tell you how good this has been for Luke. My Luke, who I have cried for, prayed for, laid awake for hours worrying for. Luke who cries when we have to go to church on Sunday. Luke who has doesn't pray out loud, nor have I make him.

First day they were picked up by my mom. She warned me on the phone that Evan announced he wasn’t going back as soon as they got in the car. She said he was definitely trying to put words in Luke’s mouth about the day. When I finally got home, he admitted he wasn’t keen on his experience and asked me nicely if he could just go to Camp Gryphon. He didn’t whine or argue when I told him no, you just have to finish out the week. The next morning Luke quietly said, “Mom, Evan doesn’t want to go back.” I said I know, but he was going back. I said, “But you want to, don’t you?” He shyly nodded. I asked him, “Are you having fun?” His grin got bigger and he nodded again.

The second day gave me a completely different Evan and a still excited Luke. Evan said he had a much better day, made a lot of new friends, and was glad he gave it another chance (like he had a choice). 

On the way home, Luke said, “Mom, when I die, will I go to heaven or hell?  IT’S NOT A BAD WORD IF IT’S A PLACE! It's NOT, It's NOT” he quickly interjected with his hands held up in a defensive pose. So we embarked on a conversation about heaven, Jesus, our hearts...I tried to keep it as 6 year old friendly as I could, which is hard. I kept repeating in my head, keep it simple, stupid. 

God loves you. 
God wants you in His family.
God will take care of you.

I mentioned the word Christian. He said, "What's a Christian?" I told him it literally means Christ follower, but to a 6 year old, following someone mean physically trailing behind them. It's hard to explain something so abstract. I told him we follow His directions, His word, His commands. That's the way we can follow Christ, and we do all this by welcoming Him in our heart. By bringing Him into our heart, we bring Him into our life forever.

He excitedly nodded and said, "OOOH! I want that! I want Christ in my heart!" Me too buddy...more than anything.

He prayed with me sitting beside him. His little voice, reaching up to heaven, turning his life over the God. It was the simplest of prayers but the most powerful words he'll ever say...God, please come live in my heart. I love you. Amen.

Afterward, I could not wipe the smile off his face. He was almost floating around the kitchen. I was watching with the same smile. He stopped and turned to me with one hand over his heart. He said, " heart. It feels so warm!"

Mine too, buddy. Mine too.

"Be strong and courageous, for the Lord, your God, will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Little Slugger

Luke asked to play baseball this season and we were thrilled! He has been playing in the backyard with us for a couple years, but this is the first time he wanted to be on a team.

I signed him up for coach pitch before realizing there was a t-ball age group for him. After talking to John, Luke, and even the head organizer, we decided to leave him in coach pitch.

He was one of the youngest (not the youngest), but he did great! He loved putting on his 'costume' before each game.

His coaches were great with him. I cannot say enough great things about our experience with Collierville Parks and Rec. The coaches we have had over the 5 seasons of baseball have been great. Patient and hardworking, they really see this as an instructional opportunity!

But Luke's most favorite thing about baseball was definitely playing catcher. I am not sure there is ANYTHING more adorable than a 6 year old in a catchers uniform.

There were a lot of games and their team even made it through the first round of the tournament. Toward the end, I could tell he was done with the busyness of it all, but each time he went onto the field he played all the way until the end!

At the end of the season, the coaches had a big party for all the kids. Each kid got an award. It was an awesome way to end his first season.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Evan's baseball record!!!

So if you asked me to do anything besides breathe, for the months of April and May, I was likely to give you this answer.

This year both boys asked to play ball. While we were excited the baseball bug finally bit Luke, we were absolutely terrified what that would look like for our schedule. 

This year we had a particularly cold and wet March, so neither teams got in much practice before their first games. Then when the season started, any rained out games were made up the following week on a Wednesday. So 2-3 games and 2 practices a week times TWO boys. It was definitely a tag team parenting couple months.

Evan was on the A's again this year! We are SO SO SO blessed and lucky to have Coach Dee, Coach Paul, and Coach Joel coach Evan. 

Sadly Evan started the season with an injury. He was at practice and slid into second the wrong way. His ankle went from a tiny sweet little ankle to an elephant's ankle. We went to visit Campbell's Clinic and he got his first x-ray. Thankfully, nothing was seriously damaged, just a bad sprain. They threw a brace on it and said no running until it feels better. Because of rain, I think he only had to sit out one game. 

Evan might have set a record this year in the Collierville Parks Department...the most times hit by a pitcher. Evan was hit FOUR times this season, and I got two on video. The first time was the very first game. He got hit in the head, thank God for helmets. The second time he got hit in the back when he turned to miss getting hit. There is no kind of speed like a momma coming off the stands when her baby getst hit by a baseball. I will pride myself that I never went onto the field. My mommabear tendencies took over, but I never climbed over the fence.

And finally, he got hit twice in one bat! The ball hit his hand, but the ump only saw it hit the bat. Evan was strong, but I wasn't. To see him look back at me not really knowing what to do. He looked at me and I shouted from the stands, "Did it hit you?" He nodded yes with a tucked chin. The very next pitch hit him in the thigh (and left a nasty bruise). I might have been the mom that yelled "Did that COUNT as getting hit, ump???" as I was coming off the bleachers. 

After the fourth hit, E was done. The next inning, I noticed when it was his turn to bat, he wasn't warming up. Dee was talking to him and he was just standing in the dugout without his helmet on. It took me about 2.3 seconds to realize what was going on. I ran over to the dugout fence and started talking to him. In 9 years...I've never seen Evan completely flat out refuse to do something he knows he can do (besides eating new foods...but that's another blog post) AND tell an adult no. That's just not him. But there he was looking me and Coach Dee in the eye and saying "no, I am not going back out there." I was more shocked than anything. I knew getting hit sucked, but this had literally changed my little guy who loves baseball more than any sport into someone who didn't even want to play. I hear "Coach..we need a batter," from the ump. Dee basically tells him to hold his horses. This is when I realize I have two choices - reasoning with him or forcing him to bat. I had about 3 seconds to get him on that field. There is no time for reasoning in 3 seconds. So I did something that I am still unsure was the best decision. I told him, you don't have a choice. Go out there right now. I don't care if you stand there and strike out...just get back on the field. 

I've never seen a more pitiful person standing at the plate. His knees shook. He held his bat like a defensive weapon rather than a bat. He ducked, jumped, dived away from each pitch. But he stood out there. He stood at the plate and didn't get hit. He didn't get a hit either, but that wasn't the point. That night on the way home, I told him how proud I was of him. I explained to him that as a mom I wasn't sure what to do in the moment. I didn't know whether I should pick him up and leave the field or force him to get back in the game. I wanted to scoop him up and carry him to safety, but what I realized I wanted more was to teach him to never give up. 

In baseball, there are going to be some bad pitches that try to knock you down. In life, there are going to be bigger pitches that hit you harder and want to knock you down for longer. And just like in that game, we have choices. Take your ball and go home, or get back up and face it. Face life's punches, foul balls, whiley pitches that want to bring you down. 

And you will find your team that will rally around you and supports you. 

Get back out there...get back in the game. 

Because the reward is far greater if you stay in the game. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Epcot - touring the world!

Our last full day was spent at Epcot.

We shoved enough Zofran and Tylenol in Luke that he made it through the day. He might not have eaten a bite the entire day but his spirits were up(ish) and he was excited to spend the day at the park.

When you're sick you get a pass and get carried by the best daddy ever.

We went and tested out Soarin'. This was me and Daddy's favorite ride! Evan said it tied with Test Track. This virtual hang gliding experience took us over the grasslands of Africa, the pyramids in Egypt, the beaches of Fiji, the Great Wall in China, and many more places. So so cool!

Since Luke wasn't feeling it, we hung out and look at all the cool decor. 

Later when we were walking around the park, we stumbled upon these gardeners turned drummers! I had to hold Evan back from joining in!

We went on several more slow rides (for Luke) and even visited with Crush the turtle from Nemo. Evan got to ask him a question. It was totally awesome.

We were there during the Flower and Garden Festival so there were beautiful displays!

Evan and I braved Test Track. So fun! We designed a car and then took it on a test track where it was rated with other people's designs. The last test was a power test where the car gets up to 65 mph and goes around a big curve. That was our favorite part!

We saw wishing fountains, cool Aboriginal art, and even a set of bongos to play!

We waited to meet Baymax! I was hoping he would give Luke some healing vibes.

We went on a fun Nemo ride. Again, slow for our Lukey Luke!

We had the BEST meal of the entire trip at Epcot. We ate at San Angel. It was yum! The backdrop of the restaurant was the big erupting volcano. The boys loved watching it erupt.

We could tell Luke was reaching his max. For being so sick, he did SO good all day. We decided Daddy would take him home and Evan and I would walk the World Showcase one more time. I had some snack credits to spend! We got a couple cronuts in Canada (my favorite snack of the trip) and some yummy sweet treats in the Werther's store in Germany.

Evan and I stayed for the fireworks show. Epcot was the only park we made it until closing. The show was well worth it too!