Friday, June 27, 2014

We have a CHAMPION!!

Last week was baseball playoffs...Collin's baseball team wasn't first, but they weren't last either, so the two middle teams, of the four in his division, vied for the chance to play in the Championship game.  Last Tuesday they played a great game and advanced!  SO, last Friday Collin's team played for the trophy.  They announced each of the players before the game, played the National Anthem...the whole nine yards!  Collin was so excited, but nervous.  He wanted that trophy, BAD, but also knew it isn't always about winning either, but having fun.  The three coaches had drilled that into the boys from the start.  Play your hardest, do your best, but most of all have fun, otherwise we are here for the wrong reason.  The coaches were the best!  I never once heard them raise their voices at any of the boys, at a game or practice, (even when I would have been tempted to!) They were so encouraging, and wanted to get the most out of the boys, even if the boys didn't think they had it in them.  Finally after all their hard work, the boys pulled it together and won!  Yay!  
 
Collin getting announced and cheered on by the Dodgers...the Major league title contenders
 
 The Bees celebrating their win!
 

 All smiles, packing up his bat and glove
 Collin and his buddy Ryan
 Collin after he got his trophy...each of the boys got their very own, ridiculously huge trophy!

 Attley, Ryan, and Collin
 Tyler, Ryan, Attley, Collin
The team...the Bees
 The coaches...Jesse, Mark, and Rob, and Assistant Fred in the left background
 So excited!
 Collin at the plate
 Ryan and Collin
 
 
Halle and Bryce...the two cheerleaders. They were such troopers...Lucas was working most every night, so I had to take everyone to the games. They spent most of their time on the playscape, and I walked around the field with Dylan in the stroller.  We put lots of miles on the stroller the past few months! Thankfully the games were at a nice park!  When it was all over, I was so glad to be done with baseball, but little did I know the coaches weren't done with us.  Saturday morning Lucas got a call from Collin's coach asking him to be on the Stafford All-Star team for the 9 & 10 year olds.  Collin was thrilled, and mom was excited for Collin, but weary. But, with a double elimination policy, they had two chances.  Once they lost two games, they would be out. 
 Here is my All-Star, and his little brother!
 
Last Tuesday was the first All-star game.  They played Willington, lost and play again tomorrow (Saturday) against Killingly.  Not sure if I am rooting for a win, or not!!  

The dugout
 
 
And of course it wouldn't be a complete blog post without this little stinker! He is into everything.  Loves the bathroom, I suppose with good cause.  There are so many neat, naughty things to get into.  Last week he came out of the bathroom with toilet paper trailing him.  Sat down and started biting chunks off the role.  I figured he is gonna be naughty, so I may as well get some cute pictures while we were at it!  



Last Saturday we didn't have plans, so we got the fixins for a campfire meal, and ended our week with a sugar high.  Here is Dylan's first experience with smores'. The first picture, if you can imagine, he is smacking his lips and making little ummmh noises! Such a precious face and even sweeter with marshmallows and chocolate all over! 

 
Tonight the house is clean, food has been prepared, laundry is done, toys put away, the kiddos are tucked into bed, I am ready to head that way myself, and we anxiously awaiting the tomorrow afternoon arrival of Mike and Amber Grimm and Doug and Janelle Brewer.  The house will be filled...14 of us in all, lots of little feet, reminiscing, and making of awesome new memories! Can't hardly wait.  And I am just a month from heading back to IL for a week long trip...so many things to look forward to, and lots happening in the mean time!  Hope this finds everyone well...lots of love and hugs from CT!  And please come visit!! 

 
 

 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy...no time for updates!

 
Since my last post, we've been BUSY with end of school stuff, Father's day, and just everyday life.  Some of this post will be from the end of May and beginning of June, through to now!  (kinda long, so beware!) With my loneliness kind of taking over me, I didn't get these posted, so here is a long update! 
 
I am feeling much better, my heart still tugs for "home," but I have found that peace and contentment I so wished for, again. Lots of things happened just this past weekend, that made me wish so badly I could be in IL again...my dear cousin Holly got married, my little brother got engaged, Father's day passed without being able to hug my dad (s). And last weekend Lucas' little brother got married...and we missed it all! But, I have made it my purpose every day to trust God has a plan, that He can see the bigger picture, He knows my heart, and He will provide! I have prayed for His peace, and He has faithfully restored that to my heart.  He has wrapped His arms around me and helped me find contentment here again. I am blessed. 
 
The end of May found us visiting a friend who had a new baby...it has been 10.5 months since we had a newborn here and it is amazing how quickly they grow, and are on to bigger and better things...honestly, I do miss it a tiny bit, even though I don't really like the little baby stage.  They are just so precious, but I do love more, when the personality starts to shine thru!  Little Sage Elisabeth is the daughter of Everett IV and Kristin Skinner.  Such a tiny dolly! Her big brother Everett V is just a few months older than Dylan and we had so much fun playing at their house one Saturday afternoon!   
 
 Collin, Halle, Sage
 Bryce and Sage
That same afternoon we dropped Halle off at Jon and Amy Zahner's for a sleepover.  When we arrived they were out working in their yard, digging up rocks,etc.  Of course, a tractor is made just for giving rides, so Jon being the great guy he is, piled all the kids on and off they went.  After the kids tired of rides, Jon and Collin kept working at digging up rocks. Collin even got to learn to drive the tractor!  EEKK!!
My kids doing dishes one night so mom could have the night off!

 Swimming at Doug and Jane's
 

The beginning of June brought many year end school programs.  Collin made the Wall of Fame at school for being such a great example and working hard... here he is receiving his award.
The West Stafford Kindergarteners put on a musical...When Life gives you Lemons, Make Lemonade.  It was so cute, here is Bryce singing his little heart out! They did such a great job!

The weekend of June 7th brought mixed emotions...We got up early that day and headed to a beautiful park just outside of Ellington for the church Sunday School picnic.  It was a gorgeous day! The kids were busy all day playing ball, swinging, swimming and of course the games and goodie bags! We came home exhausted, sunburned, and a whole lot of happy! 
 
Bryce
 Dylan
 Kids lined up to eat and we hadn't even prayed yet!
Fun games!
 
 Meanwhile, back in IL, Shannon and Brianna were getting married...we were so thankful that different ones from the family were texting us pictures all day.  It wasn't the same as being there, but we did feel very much included! Wish these two God's blessings! 

The next weekend, just this past, was Father's Day!  We woke up to sunshine after not seeing the sun for a whole week!  Lucas and I decided that without the sun, it would be easy to give up on life...made me think how that applies to our spiritual life too.  Without the Son, we are in the dark and it seems we have no hope, but once we found the sun again, we felt like living once more...and how true that is when we find the Son! 

 
We enjoyed a picnic at Harkness Memorial State Park with Dan and Dorothy Virkler and families, and John and Maureen Virkler and families!  We headed down right after church, cooked burgers on the grill, played a rousing game of kick ball, flew kites, or tried anyway, and ended our evening on the beach.  Some played/swam, some just relaxed on the beach, some went crabbing, but everyone had a fabulous time!  Thanks Virklers for inviting us! 
 Father's Day-my honey and our kiddos!
 Me and Lucas
 Lucas and Dylan
 Dylan
 Halle
 Sunset
 crabbing...
 the catch...
 the release...
me and Dylan...I think I'm in love!
 
 
And finally we got to the last day of school!  There was much rejoicing and excitement...not just from the kids but this momma too!  I am ready for school to be out and the schedule to relax just a bit! 
 Bryce, Halle, Collin
 My mature kiddos...now 1st, 3rd and 4th graders!
 
And of course, we couldn't be finished until we told of this little guys antics...here he is at the top of the stairs.  He makes a beeline up the stairs anytime the gate is down and mom has her back turned.  He knows how to come down, but I just don't quite trust him yet.  He thinks he is BIG stuff, and was quite tickled with himself, can you tell!?  He is getting braver everyday at walking...goes farther and falls less.  Can't believe that in just a month and a half he will be one!!
 Dylan
 Dylan
 
After the kids got out Monday, we surprised them by celebrating on Crystal Lake with Lanae Bahler and her daughter Bethany.  We got to watch daddy ski, Collin tried his hand at it...did awesome but wasn't convinced he wanted to keep trying, went tubing, and just relaxed on the water enjoying the sunshine! 
 Collin, Lucas, Bryce
 Halle driving
Dylan trying his hand at driving...thankfully the boat was docked! 
 
Yesterday Collin had his baseball playoffs.  I couldn't decide if I wanted him to win, and go on, or lose and be done.  They won last night, so they play on Friday for the championship. I suppose I hope the team wins Friday since we made it this far.  If not, I think he had fun...which is why he played. 
 
 
Today is the second full day of summer break, yesterday we had a dentist appointment for Bryce and swam a little while at Doug and Jane's.  Today we are going to a dear friend Dana Scneider's for the afternoon to swim and chat!  Can't wait to catch up with her. 
 

So, as we can see, life goes on, here or there, whether we are happy or not.  Hope this finds all well!  Come visit!  Lots of love and hugs from CT!!
 


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

When I am lonely...

 
 
Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me!
 
 
I've been struggling the past couple days with feeling lonely and discouraged...I can't put a finger on one thing or another, but I've just been feeling down.  Last week I shared my struggle with Lucas as we lay in bed one night...I told him I feel so lonely, I struggle with so many what ifs...what if my friends in IL have forgotten me and don't care about me anymore, what if I am kidding myself when I think I have made friends here? What do I even have to offer anyone? What about my kids, they won't have the same relationship with their cousins as they used to...they are going to be left out of so much...what about those cousin sleepovers that will never happen spontaneously anymore.  What about the relationship I had with my nieces and nephews that is going to be so different from now on...what about the babies, current and future, that will only "know" me as Aunt Diana in name, because I am not there anymore... and the hugs... I miss the hugs from my nieces! And all the memories our family's are making without us...what about that...the holidays and special occasions we will miss because we are a thousand miles away? What about that? What about our parents as they get older and need us, maybe get sick and we can't be there for them...what about that? What if we never get that chance to say goodbye!?
 
Even as I was telling him all this, I knew in my head it was just Satan trying to discourage me and steal my peace.  And I know he can't work in the light, so I was sharing my struggle to bring it into the light...Lucas listened with his arms wrapped around me, and then he said..."When I am lonely and feel discouraged, all I have to do is come home...where you are is where I want to be.  To sit at the supper table and hear Dylan screeching because he wants more, or wants out of his high chair, as annoying as that is, I love it...it's home.  To see Bryce giggle so hard at Dylan that he almost falls off his chair, I love it, it's home.  To see Halle and Collin across the table doing silly hand plays with one another, giggling and laughing.  I love it. Home is where I can go and not feel lonely anymore.  I love to just watch our kids play together...if they aren't fighting, there is nothing I love more than just watching them play. To just put my arm around your shoulders and feel you beside me, I don't feel that discouragement anymore, because I have everything I need here, at home."  So I lay there sobbing, thinking he is a better man than me...I hadn't thought at all about those things, just how lonely I was... I had been consumed with me.
 
And Sunday morning was no better, I cried before we even got to church, I cried in church...as we sang the Twenty-third Psalm, we got to the part where we sang...'Surely goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life'...and I broke.  I have been blessed beyond what I deserve, beyond what I could ask for, beyond what so many others have. And all I could think of was how lonely I was feeling today, yesterday and maybe tomorrow.  How many times have I reminded Lucas of how much God loves us and cares for us, even the most insignificant detail. God knows if a sparrow falls from the sky, how much more does He love me!?  He wants you and me to bring our cares and hurting heart to Him and let Him carry our burdens for us.  I want to feel that peace again, with where He has placed me. I want to let Him be my rock when I am sad. So today I am writing these thoughts down, sharing them with you, because maybe you've felt the same way, or maybe you are on a mountain right now in your life, and you can pray for me! And by getting my struggle out, satan has no power.  And I can rest...