Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday's Walk ~ The End of an Era

Last night it was made definite that we will not have a softball team, so I thought it would be appropriate to do a softball tribute on today's walk down memory lane.  Shaun has played with and coached the same core group of guys for 13 years.  He also served on the executive board as Treasurer and Vice-President for most of those years.  The playing season went from the first of May to the end of August, with anywhere from one to four games a week and the executive board duties went from February through September.  To say that softball has been a big part of our lives would be an understatement.

We were the first church team the league had seen in a long time, maybe ever.  Shaun had a vision for it because his dad had been won to Christ as a result of playing on a church's team.  Our church was "Christian Life" so there was no denying what we were about.  The guys always got into a huddle and prayed before and after every game.  They did not use foul language on the field and (with the exception of a few incidents) were good sports. 

Shaun is a man who does everything with excellence and he is passionate about the things he does.  He is as competitive as they come, but not in the head-case kind of way.  He is smart and has a well thought out reason for every decision that he makes.  These qualities made him a great coach and mentor to the guys.  His dedication was contagious and he soon had a strongly committed core.  As a matter of fact, the only game he ever missed in all those years happened while I was somewhere between 6-10 centimeters dilated with Avery.  :)

Avery's first game
Aiden's first game (36 hours old)
As focused as Shaun was during the games, he would always stop to acknowledge the girls if they went to him for something, usually to say "hi".
We spent so much time with these guys they really became more like family.  Well, ok...some of them were family.  Shaun's two brothers started playing as soon as they met the league's age requirements (or perhaps a little before then) and his dad also played for the first couple years, too.
Unlike most of the other teams, we had a large, dedicated fan base and our families got to know each other really well. 


All of the ladies took turns being pregnant...none of these children were in exsistence when the team first started.
The kids looked forward to the games as much as their dads did.  They came armed with sand toys, bats and balls, babies in their carriages, snacks and bikes.  This might have been the place where every single one of them learned the "no throwing sand" rule. :)

Showers were a standard thing when we got home at 9, 10, sometimes after 11 o'clock.

I love this picture.  I watched Shaun do this a thousand times.  Coaching, mentoring, teaching, preaching, instructing with wisdom, patience, understanding, passion, confidence.

No one will ever know how many sleepless nights he spent working on line-ups, tallying team and individual stats, agonizing over how to give more playing time and praying for the guys who were suffering in their personal lives.  Sleepless nights also would always come after a big loss or a big win.
If Shaun were to have done this post it would have been filled with statistics on individuals, win/loss records for regular season and playoffs.  Some of that is kinda cool and they did win...lots, but it was mostly about relationships and the friends we made and the guys Shaun touched in some way.
Will I miss working our lives around softball meetings and games?  No.  Will I miss the enormous financial and time investment we made into it?  No.  But I will miss spending our summers down at the field with our friends and family, hanging out both on the field and off, watching new babies enter the world with each new season.  I'll miss the conversations the wives and girlfriends had while we were supposed to be intently watching the game.  And I'll miss seeing Shaun in his element.
I'm thankful for those good years down at the ball field.  Only God knows the lives that were touched through Shaun's efforts.
Oh I say the measure of a man
Is not how tall you stand
How wealthy or intelligent you are
'Cause I've found out the measure of a man
God knows and understands
For He looks inside
To the bottom of your heart
And what's in the heart defines
The measure of a man

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rainy Days & Mondays

Rainy all day with a forecast of up to 6 inches of water by tomorrow evening.  So, it seemed only reasonable to me to make a second pot of coffee this afternoon.  And maybe blog about something more cheery... Easter eggs!  On Saturday we got all the cousins together to decorate eggs, approximately eight dozen of them.  It was Avery's thought to bring the aprons...she's just like that.
They worked for a little while and then were off to play again.  Their creations were uninspiring, but they still managed to get the telltale signs of their activities.
We were able to round them up again with the announcement that sundaes were being made.  Actually, we let them make their own since we already had a mess anyway.

Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin's every beck and call!

What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ's sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us.

From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That's what Jesus did.
Romans 6:6

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Project 365, Week 13

We had a busy week, in a running-around sort of way.  The tax season has picked back up for Shaun as the final push for April 15th deadline begins and between the two of us we were out every single night this week...most nights till well after 11.  I miss him!

Mostly he and Avery were busy getting ready to participate in The Passion of the King, which opened Friday night and will run all week.  If you live in the area, it is a must see!  Check out this 1-minute trailer

March 21
I took the kids to hang out where Shaun was working so we could see him and enjoy the beautiful day.  Avery was manning the point and shoot.  I think this must have been her attempt...

...and then Uncle Nathan's...

The only images I captured for the day were of this little sweety and his family.  I've known his daddy since highschool and their prayers were answered a couple weeks ago when they brought little Sam home.  There are a couple more on my photography blog, if you are interested.

March 22
Dance!  It was so fun to sit in on Avery's classical ballet class. 

March 23
Amanda's last gymnastics class, at least for now.  She is big in so many ways, but effectively participating in a class is not one of them.  We'll wait til she is a little older to spend money putting her in classes.  Thank you, Auntie Laryssa for faithfully taking her every week these last six months!
March 24
Could there ever be enough pictures of sleeping babies in the world?
March 25
Shaun at work in the sound booth during dress rehearsal.
March 26
Avery wasn't around, so Amanda put on all of her clothes to go outside and swing.
March 27
No less than eight dozen eggs were decorated with cousins....good thing we all like to eat them!
You can find the rest of the Projects at Sara's blog.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pretty Nails

For a year or two Avery has had the nasty habit of biting her fingernails.  I was disheartened when she started because I was a chronic nail biter for most of my childhood until I was about 16 or 17, when my boyfriend/future husband told me it would mean a lot to him if I quit.

Anyway, out of nowhere, Avery decided she was going to stop biting her nails...just like that.  The only explanation she really gave was that she "wanted to look pretty".  As a reward, I thought it would be fun to go let her pick out some nail polish.  Her daddy thought it would be extra special to go to the nail salon and have them done.

So, one afternoon he carved out an hour to take Aiden so just us girls could go.  It took four different stops before we found a place that had a walk-in opening but when the girls walked in and found out they could pick any color they wanted, they got wide eyes and big smiles.  Not surprisingly, we ended up with pink and purple, both with sparkles on top.

If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that's why you're worshiped.
Psalm 130:3