Sunday, March 4, 2018

N is for November

November! We kicked you off with our annual family pictures. Joleen Haas did an amazing job on the boys' individual shots this year, and I loved the shot she captured of Matt & the boys. Photos are a gift! And I'm so thankful to document our life in this way especially while the boys are so little. James (nearly 8), Hayden (6.5), Calvin (4.5) & David (nearly 2!?).

Well, off we rolled into the end of baseball season for the Fall.  Calvin & Hayden's favorite part of watching James play was choosing treats from the 'snack shack'.  So named for the place to buy all the snacks at Word of Life summer camp.  They didn't get to go all the time, so when they got to choose something with $1, it made their day!

David came along for the ride, as usual.  He tagged along to a planning meeting with me for Young Life, and of course came to watch all the boys' baseball games.  He found his pockets in his shorts, so he's been known to just walk around with his hands in his pockets because he can!

These boys & their daddy in our backyard.

Hayden made me this note as an early birthday gift, and it was just the sweetest thing!! He wrote, "To Mom: Thank you for feeding me. Thank you for my toys. You are the best. Thank you for everything. Love, Hayden" I think my heart may have exploded a little.  How can a little boy be so aware!? I am still blown away.

Hayden went on to make me a few more sweet gifts for my birthday, including this dolphin made out of paper. ;-) He was the only one really got into making me a gift this year, and it was super special for me.  David gave me the gift of wearing that baseball helmet upside down, which is a great laugh every time.

Off the go! Most of the games, I took videos of the boys at bat, so I don't have a ton of pictures from their season.  But I got the gems ;-) Check out these ball players!

Nice swing Calvin!

He asked his first day at practice, "why didn't I get my game ball?" Hilariously, that was what he was looking forward to most of all: the game ball & his trophy!  Well his day finally came close to the end of the season.  Calvin's first game ball!!

My birthday came with a few sweet surprises!  Hannah left me the most beautiful eucalyptus bouquet on my doorstep with my favorite card: Rifle Paper!  I had ordered some Noonday Collection jewelry, and my favorite thing, this giant tassel necklace came for my birthday too!

Sweet Lindsay made me this verse that had been speaking very loudly to me these days.  I love the encouragement that the Lord is a shield around me.  I always gravitated to the end, where it tells me that he's the lifter of my head, but not missing the beginning made it feel so new.

My sweet girlfriends planned a birthday brunch for me & fed me all kinds of yummy things.  I am truly grateful to have women in my life who love me like this!  Not every friendship has to be one including good food, but I will always be thankful to have friend who love to cook & who make delicious things to eat.  Nothing is better!

Just another day at the ball field...

Except that it was James' game ball day!  Way to go buddy- you made a an awesome double, and then ran it home to score a needed run for your team.  Your team won that game & your were a reason why!  Daddy was at third and coached you to stop, but you had set your face & went for home plate.  It was so much fun to watch.

We took our fellas to the Alligator farm just for the fun of going.  It had been years since we'd visited, and the boys had a blast.  They know how to have a good time, no matter where they are.  Just check out this wild man riding a gator!

Play hard & rest hard.  I couldn't believe Calvin fell asleep sitting up on Matt, who was sleeping on the couch.  Watching a movie together turned into napping, and momma was proud.

David, the upside down helmet boy, with his trusty bunny & pluto ready to take on the world.  Little David & Calvin have the sweetest friendship.  I don't think Calvin minds when he is paired up with David, at least not yet. No complaints from these two.

Hayden's disguise turkey, dressed up like a Native American chief.  He did the turkey all by himself, and I remember him not liking my feather but redoing his own!  He is very detail oriented, and his crafts & art projects always reflect this personality trait. I love the little bow&arrow the turkey is holding in his hand!

My Jacksonville Starbucks mug!  I chipped it in the sink, so we had to part ways .  I will miss you; you were a favorite!

James' end of the season party after what-we-thought-would-be-their-last-game was extra special, because THEY WON THE GAME! Thanks in part to our James who became a hitter & drove in a run plus himself.  This guy really started to surprise us all. It was as good as winning the championship; these boys beat a team that had already beaten them about 3 times that season.  It was their very first victory against another team from our park, and it came during play offs!  What a way to finish a season, with a ton of heart & determination not to be discouraged.  A sweet, sweet memory.  A victory & a triumph!

Calvin got to participate in his VPK Thanksgiving celebration!  Mommy took lots of videos of Calvin singing, and we got to eat a meal together.  'Chief Running Lizard' and I had a great time.  He was a good sport & dressed up like a pilgrim for me when we got home.  He was so happy to get to do what he'd seen his big brothers doing these past few years.  How grown up he is feeling these days; getting to play sports & do all the big kid stuff.  Golly!

Another day after school to go looking for wild animals... and we found some at home too! haha, if you can one day, check out the 'live' image of these dinosaurs.  It is awesome; live video is just like living pictures in Harry Potter.  Little snippets of video with the image, & I officially love it.  It's incredible what it catches in just 2 seconds.

Coach Daddy & all his baseball players on their championship game day! These fellas got out there & played awesome.  

These T ball sluggers went undefeated & played an awesome game!  Nobody could touch these guys, and it was a lot of fun to watch them perform at a high level.  Way to go fellas!!

James' team went up against the best team in their club, and held them shut out while scoring 2 runs for the first 3 innings of the game!?!?  It was amazing.  They ended up losing that game by 2 runs after an incredible game, and they walked away with their heads up & their 2nd place medals!  What fun to have that unexpected award.

Daddy gets extra helpers when he runs the sound at church on Sunday mornings.

I love watching David's extroverted personality showing up.  This guy with his own backpack, hat on backwards & sunglasses.  He's ready for school too!  Hayden spent one afternoon drawing the earth on our white board in the playroom, and I was amazed!  The red planet in the corner is Mars by the way.

We got to spend Thanksgiving with Matt's family this year, and the boys always have the very best time with our family.  We celebrated Thanksgiving, my birthday, and Nora's 1st birthday together.  The boys spent lots of time hanging out outside in the nice weather, and little Nora was right there with them!  What a cutie pie surrounded by all the boys & their sling shots.

For Nora's birthday, we all went up the a local farm to spend the day!  It was great fun to be together & do something new.  Here are the boys at the pony ride!

Favorite part of the farm: the Chickens!!!  David absolutely loved holding the chickens, and he didn't want to stop!

Thanks a whole lot of great-grand babies for Nana Lyon!

We had a great time at Old McMicky's Farm!

Mimi made Nora a special cake for her first birthday! Turned out super cute.  And Aunt Kelsey & Uncle John made her a little piggy cake for a smash- so funny!

Lord, thank you for the opportunity to be together.  For the chance to watch each other try new things; for the chance to cheer one another on.  Thank you for all the places I was able to be present for my sons & our family & our friends. You are so gracious to us; May we never forget to thank you for all the ways you reveal your love for us. Thank you for our family & celebrating holidays & birthdays together.  It becomes clearer to me as our boys grow, I really value the time & energy & effort it takes to show up for each other.  Nothing makes me feel so loved, and the opposite is true as well.  I'm so grateful to have people who show up for us! And I am truly glad when we are able to show up for our family&friends.  All these years in my one life & I'm finally learning what it looks like for me when I love others & how I hope they'd love me in return.  Hopefully I can spend the rest of my years loving the people in my life well. Lord, help me do it. Amen.