Our Daily (G)races

Training to be the best wife, mom, runner, and person I can be each and every day....

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day weekend

Thank goodness for three day weekends!  We needed it so we can survive the craziness that will be the next 4 days.  But, that is not the point of today and this weekend.  It is to remember those who have sacrificed everything so I can be selfish and enjoy a three day weekend with my family.

In between raindrops and horrible storms we managed to spend some fun time outside.  When the sun finally came out for good on Sunday evening I think the whole area woke up.  There were people everywhere we went and it was such a good sight.   Rain, please go away.  It has been devastating and so horribly sad.  We need no more of you for now!

With the sun shining, we went to the pool and the park.  We took a fun walk to get a treat.  We honored the fallen by attending a ceremony at the Fallen Warriors Memorial.  That was the most important part of our weekend.  And, man did that lead to come interesting dinner conversation tonight.  I am so thankful my kiddos are interested in history and love this country!

Pentecost Sunday was yesterday and I was so inspired by the sermon.  I can't wait to share that later this week!  Emma was with her BFF at her church and Drew was still recovering from what has ailed him the past two weeks.  So, it was just me and these cute three!

A little pool time was had yesterday and today.  Today was a much nicer and we could play for longer.  Jonah, always being cold, needed to snuggle with me.  I was in no way cold, but I let him snuggle since he is so cute!

We had dinner last night at Collins Park.  I needed to be outside and so did all the kiddos.  They had a blast playing and running.  To make the night even more enjoyable we walked to Raos for some gelato!  Yum!!

This is a favorite park because they can also walk on wooded trails

Our 5th child Ashlynn was with us

Jake and Elwood with the kiddos
Today it was really important to me that Drew and I communicate to our kiddos why they had off school.  I decided to run 5 miles in honor of the 5 branches of the military.  That gave me one reason to talk with them about Memorial Day. 

Emma snapped this gem of my sweaty self
This afternoon we took everyone to the Fallen Warriors Memorial near our house.  We went with our friend Tina and her two boys.  All the boys are in scouts together so we had them dress in uniform. 

This was the first time we had been to the memorial.  I have driven past it tons, but have not taken the time to visit it.  It is beautiful, peaceful, and respectful of those who served.  I was super proud of the all the kiddos.  They were very respectful.  We were there for the 3pm moment of silence and playing of Taps.  Well, to say that was emotional for me would be an understatement.  It was quite powerful and made a big impression of Emma, Jonah, Samuel, and Elena.
Emma's favorite quote and thing she really remembered
Diego, Enzo, Samuel, and Jonah
Elena decided to make a card for the soldiers...melted my heart!

Samuel said the boot and gun was something he would always remember
Jonah said that he remembered the scripture quote from John 15:13  "Greater love has no one than this:  To lay down one's life for one's friends."  It is on a memorial stone at the entrance. 

I am so thankful others are so filled with courage and bravery that I could enjoy this weekend and all the other blessings in my life with my family.  They and their families are forever amazing!

We are just a little bit patriotic at our house

Friday, May 22, 2015

Elena is a preschool graduate!!!!

This has been a huge week for Elena.  She lost her second tooth on Thursday.  That evening she sang in her very last ELCP Spotlight Event. 

I love this picture!  Elena and her very good friend Adam
Then, today she graduated from preschool.  Sigh.....

When Elena first started preschool last year she cried almost every day for the first two months.  It would all be grand until we had to leave the house.  By Thanksgiving she liked school and all was well.  This year she loved school so much.  By December she was begging....literally begging....me to let her go three days a week.  Finally, I registered her for three days and she has done that since February.  All spring she asked to go to school every single day.  That didn't happen.  I wanted time with her as well.   School was always her sweet for the day.   Elena loved everything about school this year.  She loved her friends, her teachers, and learning.  Today was a happy and a sad day for her....Pre-K graduation.

I started crying about the entire "growing up thing" as we said prayers this morning.  Then Elena asked me to say them again.  I politely told her I didn't think I could.  I cried most of the morning as my heart exploded with sadness and happiness at the same time. 

The graduation ceremony was wonderful.  They sang songs, we saw a slideshow, celebrated each child, prayed, and ate cake.  The perfect morning for 5 year olds!  It was perfect for mommies and daddies too.  I smiled, cried, and laughed at how happy and proud each each child was.  Total joy!

Ms. Bambi, Elena and Ms. Sue

The 2015 Pre-K ELCP class

Our friend Diane who is also the ECLP Director

Drew and I have been absolutely blessed to have found our church and for our church to have this wonderful preschool.  Emma began at the ELCP in 2004.  For 11 years we have been so thankful for the teachers who loved and taught our children.  I am so sad Elena graduated today and this phase of our family life is finished.  But, I am also so excited for what is to come.  After we left school, Elena just sat in the car and didn't talk.  She couldn't talk because she was quietly crying.  She finally said she was going to miss everyone so much.  Graduation day was bittersweet for all of us!

Happy Graduation baby girl....we are so proud of the beautiful inside and out girl that you are.  

This song was played at graduation and as it always does, it made me cry.  The words sum up perfectly how it feels for me as a momma to watch my little ones grow up into such as amazing big people.  Cherish the moments, but that is what we will always remember!

Let Them Be Little by Billy Dean

I can remember when you fit in the palm of my hand
Felt so good in it, no bigger than a minute
And how it amazes me, you're changin' with every blink
Faster than a flower blooms they grow up all too soon

So let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh, just let them be little

I've never felt so much in one little tender touch
I live for those kisses, prayers and your wishes
And now that you're teachin' me things only a child can see
Every night while we're on our knees all I ask is please

Let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh, just let them be little

So innocent, a precious soul, you turn around
It's time to let them go
So let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh, just let them be little
Let them be little

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Too much Rice Baseball....not for us!

There were 29 home Rice baseball games.  One was cancelled because of weather and not rescheduled.  Some or all of us attended 25 Rice baseball home games this year.  I still can't believe we only missed three games.   Samuel went to 26 games since he and I went to the game at Texas A&M.  Samuel and I went to the most games because we went to three just us.  I missed one game.  Drew missed the most because of that pesky thing called work...jeez Drew!  But, when it was a baseball weekend that was what we did and for the most part, we did it happily.  Elena was our biggest complainer...go figure coming from a 5 year old girl.  That is a lot of baseball. 
Welcome to Reckling Park

Our first family picture...game #1 vs. Texas

The season began February 13th.  Saturday was the last home game and regular season game.    Three months of watching lots and lots of baseball.  It doesn't seem like much looking back on it now, but what a huge commitment we made.

Our seats
When Drew and I decided to get season tickets, we figured that sometimes just the boys and friends would go.  Other times it would be me and the girls with friends.  That never happened.  It became something we did as a family and that was that.  Over the course of 28 games we developed quite the routine.  Living a very scheduled life works for us so naturally going to this many baseball games resulted in a loosey goosey schedule.   Fridays we always sat in our seats.  That was true for weekday games as well.   Saturday games we watched from the outfield hill.  Sunday games we split between our seats and the hill.  The kids always played by the Rice bullpen on Friday nights.  Saturday was the day for Kona Ice.  That was it.  We didn't eat at the ballpark (I think 3 times) because that would have cost a fortune.  Baseball on the cheap and for fun!

Each kiddo...even Elena to some degree...learned the name of all the players and position played.  Samuel made it his mission to get autographs from as many players as possible.  I suddenly became the mom who carried a sharpie and baseball with her at all times.  I mean really!  I think he was pretty close to achieving that goal.  He even got Andy Pettite's signature!  Each kiddo even had a favorite player which makes sense to me for Samuel, but for Elena especially I think that is funny. 

Baseball weather is not for wimps.  We sat through rain, cold, wind, and horrible heat.  Thank goodness we had our share of pretty weather as well!

Even though we didn't bring any friends with us, family did get to share our love of Rice baseball with us. 

After Saturday's game I asked the kids what they thought about going to all the games.    Each one said it was a fun experience.  That made me so happy because the original intent of getting season tickets was to have a family experience unlike anything else we have ever done.  I would say mission accomplished again.  Our five experience gifts were a total hit and I am so thankful for that! 

In general they thought it took up lots of time, but was worth it.  No one had any real complaints.   No one liked to see them lose especially Samuel.  For him, being our most competitive child, watching Rice lose and win was good for him.  He has learned lots about the game this season....the good, the frustrating, the awesome, and the ugly.  Everyone said they would do it again without hesitation.  Honestly, I was slightly surprised by this.  But, for me that means everyone enjoyed going and made good memories.  Again, I could not be more thankful!

I personally would do it again.  Packing dinner to eat in the car....worth it.  Watching the kids learn about the game....worth it.  Spending individual time with Samuel....worth it.  Watching the boys experience working at the ball park....worth it.  Having Samuel participate in a post game clinic with some of the coaches and players....worth it.  Having uninterrupted time (except for cheering) with my family....worth it! 

Rice won its 20th consecutive regular season championship Saturday afternoon. 

We might have one more opportunity to watch some games this year and I hope it happens.   These memories are priceless!

Last family picture....vs. FIU
Leaving for the last time