Game Day

As I got my boys up last Monday morning, there was a lot of extra excited chatter. In fact, when I got to Garrett's bed, he pumped his fist in the air and yelled, "YES! YES! YES!" The day they've all been waiting for had finally come. It was their first game day for the year.

I snapped a picture before we left for the field. Their faces say it all.
Jack and Garrett are not playing for the jersey-less team. Their jerseys and hats weren't passed out until just minutes before the game.

Liam is #14 for the Dirtbags this year. He was recruited by this coach during last year's All Star tournament.
He was 4 for 4 for the first game.
He's a solid player.

And my hubby is pitching for the Dirtbags.
No, he didn't break his arm while pitching. He's wearing a splint for a sprained thumb from being Mr. Fix-it at home the week before.

I had to leave Liam's game early in order to get Jack and Garrett to their game. I hated to leave my big boy's game, but Daddy gave me a good summary of the 12-2 win later that evening.

In the meantime, the little boys donned their Detroit Tigers' jerseys and hats and were ready to roll.

Jackson was first baseman at the beginning of the game, and this photo cracks me up.
Jack thought the first baseman's job was to look the runners over from head to toe at least twice. "Jack! Jack, watch the game! Where's the ball?!" He tuned back into the game until there was a new runner at first base.

When he was at bat, he had solid hits, but he forgot to run.
That's Jack watching the players gather around the ball he just hit into center field.

And then, there's Garrett, who wants to be called "GB" in baseball.
Wherever the coach put him, he took his position extremely serious. His eyes were on the ball, and he was baseball ready at every moment. He also had solid hits.
I love this picture:
#2 is GB leaving first and heading to second, where Jack is in the silver helmet. Jack sort of forgot to run again. GB got to second and told Jack to go. Jack didn't move. This went on for maybe 30 seconds before GB pushed his brother and ran ahead of him. Jack followed him home.

Ohhh, Jackson, you are a mess! A cute mess, that is.
We're hoping he's ready to run for this week's game.

After the games, I had my parents take a family picture. I figure I might as well have family photos where we'll be spending the next 17 years of our lives. As much as we all love it, maybe we should buy property and build our own field.
I love my little men.
As I promised last year, I will try not to post about baseball and only baseball, even though some people in this house live and breathe the sport.

Spring Camping

Spring has sprung, and we spent half of Liam's spring break camping with my parents in San Antonio.

We did the usual...bug catching, ball throwing, junk food eating, teeth pulling, etc.
Yes, we really did pull teeth. Jack's second loose tooth was holding on by a thread, but he refused to pull it. When Didi saw the permanent tooth already in behind it, she took matters into her own hands.
At 5 years and 2 months, a second lost tooth must be some kind of record.

All the while Didi's Dentistry was in session, Garrett had to take a break for losing his temper.
His face says it all. And that picture reminds me of this camping trip where he spent a good portion of the trip in timeout for screaming. Here he is 2 1/2 years ago:
Some things never change. Garrett still has a temper, but I can't say too much about that myself. Ahem.

Another thing that hasn't changed...Liam is still the Nut.
And he must always. be. moving. Jumping rope is a perfect activity for him.
He also told Big Daddy that he could out jump him, so the challenge was on. Look at Liam's face when my dad quickly won:
Never underestimate Big Daddy.

After Jackson's dental work, he moved onto ant beating.
I walked up behind him to find him literally beating the ants as they crawled up the tree. Unfortunately, I didn't get there in time to save the ants or the net. They were all pretty beaten up.

Meanwhile, Garrett came out of timeout and wanted to play catch with Daddy.
My little leftie...
is so proud of the fact that he can now catch pop flies.
We decided to head to downtown San Antonio the next day. Do you know how many helpers Big Daddy needed to pay the parking meter?
Yep, three.

The Alamo was our first stop.
And the birds of the Alamo left a fun souvenir on Didi's shirt.
My boys wanted pretty much nothing to do with her thereafter. Poor Didi.

We did see the Alamo, along with 14,000 other tourists. Garrett's temper didn't flare in the line.
Nope, he and Liam were cool with hangin' out in the line.
Jack, however, was none too excited about the wait. He complained for the first ten minutes, but he stopped once he figured out we were in a great place for his favorite activity...people watching.
Liam studied the Alamo in school this year. As we walked through the mission, we quizzed him and were pleased with what he understood. Our property tax dollars are indeed at work.

After all that walking and quizzing, we were starved and found ourselves on the Riverwalk. I am ashamed to admit that we went to the Riverwalk and did not eat Mexican food. It's terribly embarrassing, but an Irish pub smelled really good at the time, and we did have Mexican the night before.

The boys were thrilled to sit at their own pub table.
How long do you think it was before Jack fell off of his stool? 2 minutes. That's our Jack!

After lunch, we had hoped to ride one of the Riverwalk boats, but the line to buy tickets was 16,427 people long or something ridiculous like that. So we just walked and took more pictures.

My two eldest, Liam and Jack.
They're usually at each other's throats, so when we catch them in a loving pose, we take advantage!

Along our walk, we saw this mama duck with her six ducklings.
That poor mama has two stragglers. I pity her.

We walked and walked and walked and must have become delirious, because trying on hats became great entertainment.
Why not?
Who wouldn't?
We're a hat-wearin' family.
This next photo is funny only if you know that we have called Liam "Peanut" since the day he was born, five days before we even saw him.
Incidentally, I asked him a few days ago if he thought he would ever outgrow that nickname. He said, "NO! I'm always gonna be Peanut." I'm good with that, Nutty.

We walked and walked and walked some more with the promise that we would ride the bus back to our car. When the time finally came to wait for a bus, we plopped down and heaved a huge sigh of relief. This winter has kept us cooped up too much, and we're not used to all this activity.
Unfortunately, every bus that passed was PACKED, and we had to walk it back.

Rick had to fly home for work that evening, but the boys and I stayed for a few more days.
The boys were thrilled.
There was a playground.
And they played hard. And crashed hard at night.

Our last day was full of rain, which left us in the camper. We played restaurant and
and watched movies.

I can't figure out a clever way to end this post, and that is why this lukewarm, half-written post has been sitting around the editing floor of my blog. But who am I kidding? A clever ending? They are rare around here.

A Heart for Orphans

Christian Alliance for Orphans recently contacted me and asked if I would be willing to become part of their Bloggers for Orphans ministry. They are a non-profit organization which works tirelessly to bring attention and help to orphans both locally and worldwide.

I am happy to highlight their upcoming Summit VI. Whether your heart strings have been pulled by the staggering number of Haitian orphans recently or if you have always had a soft spot for orphans in your own city, Summit VI will be a great opportunity to gain great wisdom for how to actually help orphans worldwide.

Two of the speakers for this summit are spiritual leaders that I have admired for years. John Piper and Al Mohler will no doubt encourage and equip attendees with knowledge, skills, and encouragement to go out and do something to help the orphan population.

If you are in the Minneapolis area or are able to travel April 29-30 for Summit VI, I encourage you to register and make plans to attend today!

A Weekend to Remember

Here's where I spent my weekend:
South Congress in Austin.

My mom, an amazing woman, offered to keep our boys so that we could get away for a weekend. We kissed her feet as we threw our luggage in the car and got the heck outta here.

We had a fabulous time of walking, eating, laughing, walking, eating, listening to live music, sleeping, walking, eating, laughing, sleeping, walking, eating, listening to live music,....

We managed to take nearly 100 pictures, and not one of them is of the two of us together. What does that say about us?

Besides eating, Rick was interested in an old-fashioned hair cut.
We also walked through our state capitol and talked about how we wish our Lone Star State would secede again.
Take a look at the Senators' desks that are original to the capitol. If you look closely, you'll see wiring for their laptops.
And while the Senators work next August, I think I discovered my next calling in life when my babies go to school next year.
My neighborhood really needs a cupcake stand, and I'm willing to stand up to the calling of meeting my neighbors' needs.

Did I mention that we ate while we were in Austin? No? Well, we ate. In fact, we ate enough to last us at least 7 days, and two of those delicious meals were from Guero's Taco Bar. Yum.
I won't even show you a picture of Sunday morning's breakfast at South Congress Cafe. A picture would leave you drooling, but let me just tell you that their Carrot Cake French Toast is to die for.

Yes, we went to Austin to eat. No, I'm not ashamed to admit it.

But we also went to people watch.
There are interesting people to watch in Austin.
This man:
He lassoed my husband. Interesting. Rick gave him the nervous laugh after removing the lasso from himself.

And I won't even mention the crazy man that nearly scared me into cardiac arrest.

Besides that near fatal moment, we enjoyed our kid-free weekend. Thank you, Didi! We all think you're the best!