Difference in Life Stage

Today, being Monday I work from home so that I can take care of Kylee. I use to take her to work with me and work in the nursery at the church. It became evident quite fast that I was going to need to do something different once she started being able to open doors and go where she wanted. Things have been working out a lot better for the both of us to be able to be at home during the day. Kylee does take a much longer nap that is still much needed at her age here at home. At the church it was a struggle to even get her down to take a nap.

This evening I was taking Halee out to WSU for her oboe lesson and we were talking a little the way back home, as we were talking I had one of those moments that may be hard to describe. It was a facing reality of the life changes that we are going through at this stage in life. There was an issue with her phone that I for some reason was not able to figure out. I took it to Verizon to see if they would be able to help and the guy helping me asked a question that prompted this thought that it me later on. He asked, “How old is your daughter that locked up her phone?” After a quick thought I said, “13”. At that point in the store I just laughed, but then as we were driving and talking about friends at school it hit me. (On a side note Verizon wasn’t going to be able to help the way that I wanted, got back home and had one more thing that I hadn’t thought about and we got it resolved fortunately.)

Spending the day with a 2 year old and going through everything that she is going through at her age, then turning around and spending some time with a 13 year old made me think of just how blessed I am. There are still times when I am amazed that we have Kylee, when Kristee and I were both at the place in life in which we were good with just 2 kids. As we drove and these thoughts of just how drastic the difference in life changes that my 2 daughters and son are going through all at the same time is absolutely wild. I am so grateful for God blessing us with a 3rd child, even though she gets into everything and very much wants her way. I am amazed daily at both Halee and Gavin as they are into and approaching their teenage years.

I thank God everyday for giving me such wonderful kids, even through the frustrating things each of them can do at all of their different ages. I must treasure each day that I get with them because time has flown by too fast already. It is hard for me to fathom what life will be like with these 3 in the next 5 years. But I look forward to getting to invest in each of them, and enjoy the mess out of all 3 kids.

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Baseball

Gavin decided that this summer he wanted to play baseball instead of playing summer league basketball. It all seemed to start when the Royals were making their run to the World Series last year. Plus on top of that he was over at Nana’s house during the summer playing ball with a neighbor across the street.

At first I was a little confused and a little concerned. Gavin played baseball 2 years in a row about 3 years ago. The 2nd year we actually made him play. This was the year that I made an attempt to coach and ended up getting whooping cough. Anyways he thought baseball was boring and wasn’t interested in playing again. The last year he played it was machine pitch.

Gavin does have a natural ability to pick up and play most sports without much issue. He really does have a pretty good arm that is fairly accurate with his throwing. Considering he really hasn’t thrown or caught a ball much over the past several years he is really good at picking it back up. Honestly he has gotten way better and is far more confident in catching the ball. I feel like I don’t have to worry about how I throw the ball with concern to him getting hit with the ball.

The other thing that has been interesting to me is my interest in the sport again. If I was completely honest, when he said he didn’t want to play basketball for the summer and play baseball instead I was a little disappointed. (Part of me was concerned about it being boring for him again.) At one time baseball was my sport, back when I was his age. I absolutely loved playing baseball. I even remember when I heard that we were going to the Dominican Republic to become missionaries I was so excited because I was going to a baseball country. But between leaving the US and getting to the DR I met a couple of guys in Costa Rica who were obsessed with basketball and quickly fell in love with the game of basketball. It has been my sport ever since. I tried playing baseball in the DR, I still enjoyed the game. But unfortunately our school only had softball as a sport and not baseball until my senior year and by that time I was far too involved with basketball and volleyball to play baseball.

Over the years my interest in baseball dropped tremendously. The year that I coached Gavin’s team was only because Kristee volunteered me. I felt unqualified to coach, but fortunately they were very young and still learning the basics. The only time I would watch baseball was during the World Series. I would watch interesting stories from time to time depending on what was happening. But there wasn’t much interest beyond the World Series. My interest came back last year, just as I mentioned in a previous journal entry, when the Royals were making their run towards the World Series.

Following the Royals brought me back to my younger years when we lived here in Wichita and I was a fan. But I didn’t think it would go much beyond watching their run. Leading up to baseball season I kept double checking with Gavin to make sure that he really wanted to play baseball. Sure enough that is what he wanted to do. We got him signed up and he started practice two weeks ago. We bought him a new glove along with one for me. The only glove that I had was a 14 inch softball glove, which works, but I have wanted to try a much smaller glove to see what that is like. I went with a 11.5 inch glove which is significantly smaller. It didn’t take me long to get adjusted to this new size and I think it is much better all round.

I have had so much fun getting outside and playing catch with Gavin. Watching him practice takes me back to the days when I was playing at his age. Everyday I look forward to throwing the ball with him and working on different aspects of throwing and catching. One thing that was quite evident at his first practice, was that he has one of the better arms on the team. (This is a 6th & 7th grade team, I think it is for those going into those grades.) A couple of things that I noticed about his arm compared to some of the other boys: He has a very natural throwing motion, he can throw it straight with a lot of velocity, and can hit his target, not to mention he can throw it pretty far. The coach even came up to him during the first practice and told him he has a really good arm and wondered if he had given any thought to pitching. My first thought (and Gavin’s) was that he didn’t know much about pitching at all, especially since he is just now getting back into the game.

When we got home after the first practice I had Gavin throw a couple of pitches to me to see where he was at without the pressure of a coach and teammates. To my surprise he was throwing it quite hard and on target a decent amount of the time. There were a couple of things that I had him adjust just to give him a stable starting point. We have worked on it several different times and I must say that I am impressed with him. It is crazy to think that he is just now picking this up after so many years. The last practice the coach had him and a couple of the other boys throw some from the mound to a catcher. Coach had to explain some basics of pitching to Gavin, pertaining to the mound and the rubber. It took him a few pitches to get comfortable and then he began throwing some pretty nice pitches. Obviously it is going to require more practice and work to get him use to pitching. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gavin get the opportunity to be one of the main pitchers on the team this year. As long as he can keep himself from getting rattled and frustrated with himself I think he could be good.

It has been an absolute blast playing ball with him. It does take me back to when I was his age. I remember loving to play catch with dad. I got to spend some time pitching myself along with catching most of the time. Gavin has been quite interested in my playing days when I was his age. Not only have I had an absolute blast playing with him, but I have found myself watching baseball. Which is unheard of, I have never cared about baseball this early in the year. They have such a long season and it is such a slow game. But I have really enjoyed putting a game on and watching, especially if the Royals are playing. I already know that Gavin and I will go and watch some baseball games this summer.

The other thing that I think about when it comes to him being interested in playing baseball is the fact that both of his granddads love baseball. I know that both of them will be interested in seeing him continue in the game if he enjoys playing this year. (I know they are interested in anything that he does, but I would guess that baseball might have a little more of a pull at their heart.) I am very excited for this summer to see how things go as he re-enters into the game of baseball.

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Yankee Doodle?

Halee was practicing her oboe and playing Yankee Doodle. I began to sing the words to Yankee Doodle and got to the part of

stick a feather in his hat and call it macaroni.

They both looked at me and laughed. Then they said, “did you make that up?” They had never heard the words to the song Yankee Doodle. Even when I said that was one of the lines they still didn’t believe me until they looked it up on YouTube.

Absolutely hilarious!! They thought I was just coming up with goofy lyrics to be funny.

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2nd Day of School Photos

I figured that everyone does 1st day of school photos, so I decided to do 2nd day photos. Actually I forgot to take first day, but that is besides the point. Halee headed to middle school and Gavin in the 5th grade. It’s hard to believe they are getting this old. To think that they will both be in middle school next year is crazy.

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Conversation with Gavin

On the way to work this morning, (the kids were coming with me to spend their last day free at the church), Gavin asked me a question. He led with

“I know this is a strange, dumb question.”

I always wonder what it is going to be when he leads a question with a statement like that. So he said

“I was wondering, and I know this might be stupid because God can do anything. I know God could lift this car, but if God were in the car with us could He lift up the car?”

I thought that was quite the thought provoking question, one that I had never thought about.

My response was yes, God can do anything then he could be in something and lift it up at the same time. It is always fascinating to hear the thoughts of a child when they are thinking about the things of God.

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Kids Camp 2014

I didn’t get a chance to write a post about our experience at Kids Camp. This was Halee’s second year to go to camp and Gavin’s 1st year to be able to attend. This was my 2nd year to go as a sponsor. I have so much fun being able to attend camp as a sponsor with my kids. I know that those years are few and at some point they might not want dad to come along. (I hope it doesn’t happen, but I know it is a possibility.)

Halee was apprehensive because she was going to be the only girl going with our church this year. Fortunately she really likes our children’s director and that helped with her being anxious about going. Another neat thing that happened was that she was in a room with another group of girls that attend Immanuel Baptist Church whch is right down the street from Metropolitan. She really hit it off with this group of girls. I often found her running off to go and hang out with them to play games or just talk.

Gavin was excited from the beginning he was going with his best friend so that obviously made things a lot easier. He was the one that said he didn’t want me to go this year. (Although I know he enjoyed me being there.) He had a great time with his friend and with the guys from the other church we shared a room with. He also ran into one of his friends that dates back to when he was going to school at Bethel Life. Gavin and Colby hung out with him and his friend from his church almost the entire time.

There were a couple of things that were neat for me to observe this year.

  1. I was ok with them going off and doing their own thing with their friends. It was fun to watch them interact with others their age.
  2. It was great to be in with them during our church group time. This was a time for us to not only talk about our day, but then also talk about things of God. The theme this year was “Unplugged”. We discussed things that distract us from God and it was neat to hear them be open and honest even though their “dad” was sitting right there with them.

They both walked away from the week with a desire to grow in their relationship with God. This is the desire that every parent should have when their kids return from camp. Now it is my job to follow up with them and do anything that I can to help them and give them the instruction and resources that they need to accomplish this desire in their heart.

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Kids Camp

Last week both Halee and Gavin got to go to Kids Camp. This was Halee’s 2nd year and Gavin’s 1st year. They both had a blast and really enjoyed the week. I used my phone to shoot some photos and videos of activities while we were there. Doing it this way Google took all the footage and photos and made a “story” about the trip.

Click to View “Story”

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