Friday, November 17, 2017

November's 10 on 10

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month (Friday).
{Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day! }

I think this is the longest season I've had on my front porch in the mornings, but this was likely my last time being out there for a while.

We invited Amanda's entire soccer team over for a sleepover and she was excitedly preparing goodie bags for her guests.

SO cold, with 40 mi/hr wind gusts.

I bought what I hoped would be plenty of snacks and food for the group.

Amanda happily buzzed around the house, doing unnecessary cleaning and straightening all on her own. It was so sweet to watch her anticipating her guests.

Zip lining and swinging in the cold with the early arrivals.

Crowd pleaser. :) It makes me happy to be in my kitchen cooking and baking to bless people.

Shaun got home from the office, having just closed a deal and looking mighty fine. The only boy in a house FULL of girls. (When Aiden found out the girls soccer team was coming over, he made an SOS phone call to Pop, who rescued him from a houseful of girls. :)

Shaun and I sat and talked about houses and life while the girls watched Lion King in the other room and the older girls were at youth group. I love hanging out with him.

Nice group of girls! My heart is full when my home is full.

The teens/tween got home from youth group and we chatted while they designed bookmarks, leftover from the sleepover crew.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Project 365, Week 46

As I put the week together, I realized we had quite a mix of kids go through our doors. Just the way I like it! It makes me super happy to have my house full of people.

November 6
I ended up babysitting four nieces and nephews this day, which means a cousin party! Gavin actually stayed with us for several days while his parents were away on business. My favorite from the day...too cute!

November 7
Last Running Club day of the season. I'm so thankful for the sweet friendships Amanda has been blessed with.

This time of year, you have to be deliberate about being out in the daylight. We managed to get some fresh air and do some raking, too.

Gavin has these girls wrapped around his finger. He knows how to make them laugh and he knows how to get things from them. I wish the picture captured the beautiful laughter and silliness coming from this room.

November 8
Aiden prepared for the first frost of the season. He is an avid gardener, yet he won't eat a thing that comes from it. What a kid!

Basketball! Due to a scheduling issue, Avery and Aiden's team both practiced on the same court. I love to watch their healthy bodies run and learn new things.

November 9
Games are being pulled out more frequently now and we start to settle in for a long, dark winter.

November 10
We had most of the U12 soccer team sleep over. I heard, " are so brave" from most of the parents. I didn't see it as brave...the girls were easy and so much fun.

November 11
It was our first "quiet" Saturday in months and it was wonderful! Well, quiet other than feeding thirteen kids breakfast, sending most of them off and then picking up two more kids for a sleepover.

November 12
Morning Legos. :)

Avery had several big school projects over the long weekend.

November 12
Hanging with the sleepover friends. I think it was about 35 degrees, but it felt toasty in the sun. Not warm enough for t-shirts,!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Project 365, Week 45

Things are good on this front, I just don't get on the computer much for "recreation". We're enjoying the fall season and with this week we wrapped up soccer. Amanda's team made it to the semi-final round and Avery's team ended as district champs! The next practice. Bring it! ;)

October 30
School was cancelled due to downed trees and power from the previous night's storm. 

Over and over he throws the football up to himself and then may or may not catch it. I think the real point of it is to end up on the ground. ;)

October 31
What a disaster. In the end I think the kids had fun, but it certainly didn't go as planned.

November 1
All Saints Day and the 3rd graders lead Mass and then presented their saints projects. Aiden was the commentator for the service and the saint he chose was St. Francis of Assisi, often remembered as the patron saint of animals.

November 2
Too nice to not take the dog for a swim. Also, since it was just the two of us, we had a nice chat. Among other things, Aiden was taking about how much a their character kids in his class will sacrifice in an attempt to be cool. I'm continually amazed by his perspective and how much of life he already "gets".

November 3
Shaun and Nathan took down some trees that had fallen in the storm for friends of ours. Since it was a half day of school, Shaun brought Aiden along. It was such a beautiful fall day to be out working.

The soccer club held an end-of-the-year "banquet" to recognize players and coaches. Shaun was awarded Coach of the Year!! He's poured so much into these girls over the last 10 weeks, pulling out the best of their athletics ability (because he is as competitive as they come) but even more, working on character development, realizing none of these girls will be playing soccer in 10 years, but they will need to be successful adults. I love the way he lives his life through the filter of loving God, loving others. Here's a couple excerpts from some of the nominations (so proud!):

He stepped in and brought together girls from 5 different former teams and 3 different towns where many have not played with each other before.  They now have real teamwork and a real love for each other.  He focuses on character development and has taught the girls to win with grace and lose with dignity.  He has helped the girls to believe in themselves as individuals and as a team.  He has taught them valuable life lessons.  He has taught them perspective and treated each girl as a unique piece of a puzzle that makes the whole.

This past weekend, he coached the girls to a championship by beating not one but TWO teams that they had lost to earlier in the year, in PK shootouts. Due to some adversity on the sidelines and questionable calls during these games, he took the chance to also teach the girls a valuable life lesson: "bad things happen throughout life that we cannot control, but we can always control how we react…respond and conduct ourselves...We can only absolutely control ourselves…Bloody lips heal a lot faster and better than character flaws." THIS is a perfect example of what makes CWSA so amazing. We aren't here to just play soccer and win. We're here to grow as people, and raise these children together, as a village. We're a family. We teach morality, not just footwork and shooting drills. How Coach Shaun handled the final two games of the weekend is the epitome of this. No other club that I know of can say the same.

November 4
I did a 4-mile race for the benefit and in honor of veterans. Thankful for people like my brother who serve our country so faithfully.

(Also, it was SO strange to be right back at the finish line in such a short time! Perspective for the win! :)

November 5
Its a joy to watch Amanda leading worship.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

State of the House ~ October

October gave us some very incredible weather and we took advantage. Between the three kids, there was so much soccer played! Practices, practices in the yard, games, tournaments...its a busy time, but for the most part its something we do as a family and its been very fun. Well, I say its been fun. Its actually been a lot of work for them, especially Shaun as he coaches, but they'd all say its worth it. I'm thankful for all the time Shaun puts into developing their soccer skills and their character.

After four months of training, it was finally race day, my first full marathon in three years. Last time I ran this Hartford Marathon I was recently diagnosed with cancer, days away from beginning treatment and a road I could have never envisioned, and still can only think about in little bits at a time. My prevailing emotion over the 4 hours and 41 minutes was thankfulness. Literally just thankful to be alive. Thankful to be using my legs. Thankful for my surgeon who made some tough medical calls and had the guts to do the hard thing. Thankful for Team Lisa who walked every step with us and very much held us up.

When it started to get hard, I thought back to the day after surgery when two grown men, and every bit of strength and will I had, hauled me out of bed and helped me shuffle down the hall for ten steps as I leaned against the walker.

My cousin spent some time with me at the hospital when I was re-admitted. She sent me a congratulations on the marathon card and in it wrote: I keep thinking about being with you at Sloan and taking laps around the halls and you dreaming about one day running a marathon again, showing others what is possible.

I won't pretend its been easy, its actually been very, very hard. But I run for hope. I run to show people what is possible. Don't let life, the suffering and hardship you face, count you out. There is more beauty and joy beyond..."just hold on a little longer, my friend".

My sister posted this collage with these words:
She's the only one who knows exactly what it has taken to cross that finish line. More than my brain can comprehend. She is a fighter, overcomer, survivor. She can do hard things and she does! Over and over again. Infinitely proud of @li2sa1 and grateful for the miracle of her life in mine.

Possibly the only marathoner running with an implanted medi-port. :)

My beloved Amy. She has walked with me so closely from that first phone call. Her heart is enormous and she feels others pain deeply....I really think she carried a heavier load than I did. She's cried a river of tears for me, spent days upon days in prayer on my behalf, she organized our community so that meals and medical expenses could be covered. Two of my kids had birthdays while I was in the hospital...she stepped in and celebrated big for them. She's the reason my kids remember the summer of 2015 with such fondness. So many things I'll never even know about and this day she joined my family at the finish line to celebrate. I love her.

We signed a contract on our old house, which has freed up Shaun's time and soon our finances, as we've been carrying all costs on that building for over a year.

Within the next year or so we feel we need to move because Avery will be graduating from 8th grade at St. Mary's and we'd like to live in a town where there is a quality public high school for the kids to attend. We'd also like to be closer to church, currently we drive 30 minutes, which isn't a huge deal, except we're hoping to be there a lot more now that Avery and others are in youth group.

We're considering four-ish towns and have looked at many different scenarios. There's been a perceived urgency because we found a family who expressed a serious interest in the house we live in now. They don't need it immediately and are willing to wait months for it, so we've thought it might be a good idea to take advantage of that, rather than run the risk of it sitting empty for an indefinite amount of time like the other house. But nothing has fit just right.

So we talk and we pray and we look and we talk some more and we trust that God has it under control and will lead us and guide us. Lucky for us, Shaun's brother is a real estate agent, and he's been so accommodating. We've seen a wide variety, for sure. Tough to beat a lake view, even from a shabby cottage. :)

Crazy thankful for this life I have, for this man I'm doing it with.

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
    and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.

They are like trees planted along a riverbank,

    with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
    or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
    and they never stop producing fruit."

Jeremiah 17:7-8