Friday, June 26, 2009

The Dugout

Alex just finished another baseball season. I am always a little sad when it ends, but I'm glad that we have the extra time now. It is a huge time commitment and entails a lot of chauffeuring which isn't fun when I-900 is all torn up.

Anyway, this was Alex's first time in Pony (Lake Sammammish) League and he had an amazing time. The main differences in Pony as compared to Little League is the field is bigger, and they are allowed to lead off, pick-off, and slide head first. Alex was one of the smallest players on the team. I think this age (13-14) is when young men have their growth spurts and some of his teammates had obviously already had theirs.

Alex played Second Base the whole season with a few Left and Right Field thrown in. He assisted in a couple of double plays and that's when I saw him smile the most. He also loved being able to pick off players who were diving back to second. He really loves playing baseball and just loves it more now that he's starting to have to use strategy and has to utilize his brain more. I've never noticed before but they have to pay attention all the time. It's a very intense game when you really watch all that's going on out there. I could never do it...too much stress.

Alex also got to be appreciated for his hitting ability. He started the season off near the bottom of the batting order. The final game he was hitting second. He still can't hit the ball too far, he doesn't have the weight behind him, but he was probably the most consistent hitter, only striking out a hand-full of times. He got many singles and a few doubles and one or two triples. His coaches teased him calling him "Mr. 500" a couple of times. He proved he could hit like the 14-year-olds and was a great team asset. He also was pretty good at leading off and diving back (which would always make me cringe--and make him smile).

I wanted to post some things we heard coming from the dugout. Mostly, because they made us laugh. But, also because it proves that although these boys show so much maturity on the field it's apparent they are really still just boys who like to have fun:).
One of the boys broke his ankle early in the season (not playing baseball) and wasn't able to come to practice much. When he returned to sit through some of the games Martin heard one of the boys say to him, "Dude, you're back! We thought you broke your scrotum!" I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure you cannot break that body part....but I'm no urologist.

The boys sometimes had a hard time with the officiating (big surprise). Once, one of the guys was batting and was struck out. He did not agree with the call and charged back into the dugout stomping and saying, "I can't believe he called me out. I've KILLED people for less!" He was lucky he wasn't ejected.

There were many more funny things that were said. It was always funny. This age cracks me up sometimes. I really love it!

I am so thankful for what baseball teaches Alex. He has learned discipline, how to be a team player, how to listen to and respect authority figures, to have confidence in his abilities, and he has learned the importance of practicing. They're all things that will be of value to him in his future. Most of all, I'm glad he has something he loves to do that's just fun! We should all be so lucky!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

End of the Year and Start of a New Year

The end of school has come at LONG last. I always get so excited when my kids are finished with school. I get to have a nice break from the carting around factor and I really love having them around. It's going to be a fun summer!

Isaac graduated from Kindergarten. I use the word graduated loosely, because there was a possibility that he would repeat Kindergarten. Isaac's teacher suggested the possibility of his retention and the therapists and counselors at school said it might be beneficial if he could get into all-day Kindergarten; if not, they said half-day would not help. We decided to put his name on the lottery list for all day K, just in case, and then we would make our decision. He didn't make it into the first class so we thought our decision was made (that was easy) and we'd send him on to 1st grade. However, a wrench was thrown in when they added two more all-day classes and Isaac again became eligible....back to a hard decision. We prayed about it and the impression came to us to send him on to 1st grade anyway. If he needs to be retained at the end of 1st grade we will do it then. Until then, this summer will be filled with lots of tutoring for Isaac at the local learning center! It's all good! He's excited to have his own personal teacher.

Olivia and Alex finished 4th and 7th grade respectively. They both did an awesome job with their studies this year and both maintained their piano studies and dance and baseball "professions" and had a lot of fun play-time too (which I think is so important). It was a great year, but they are ready for a well-deserved break!

Martin and I celebrated our 15th Anniversary on June 17th. We decided to spend it in Cannon Beach, our original honeymoon destination. How fun it was to be in the same spot where we started out our journey together. Wow! We have come a long way. At the time of our wedding we had no idea we would end up in the northwest. It's ironic that that is where we chose to go after our wedding. Incidentally, we went there originally because we saw an advertisement in a Bridal magazine and it looked beautiful and fun.

We had an amazing time on our vacation. My niece, Jessica, came to stay with our kids and Martin and I were able to be alone for a few days. We trusted her fully and didn't worry once. We stayed at the same inn we stayed 15 years ago. Back then it was a brand new inn and it was beautiful and luxurious. The Stephanie Inn is still the same. This time we decided to get their best room and that happened to be in the Carriage House right next to the hotel. It turned out to be an AMAZING place. The room was beautiful and had windows everywhere so at any given time we could see and hear the ocean. It was a lot more quiet than the main inn too. We spent 3 days mostly sitting together and reading and talking. We shopped at the cute little shops and had a couple of massages in the hotel's spa. It was so nice to not have the television on, or the phone ringing, or other little interruptions. We truly just relaxed. They also gave us 40% off of everything at the hotel because we were return guests (including the spa treatments and food).

Martin and I have come so far in our marriage. We have our hard times and we aren't perfect but our marriage continues to get stronger everyday. It's the journey that continues to strengthen us. I can't imagine my life without him. He finishes my sentences, knows how I'll react in any given situation and listens to what's going on in my heart. He knows me better than I know myself. He tells me every day, sometimes dozens of times, how much he loves me and how beautiful he thinks I am in, inside and out. He is the father of my children, and is such an amazing dad. I get really emotional when I think about how my kids will remember their dad when they get older. I treasure my memories of my dad and I know how those experiences have shaped my life for the better.

Anyway, we had a great start off to our summer and our 16th year together. It's been an incredible life and I can't wait for the following chapters!