Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Winter activities

 Here are a few of my winter projects.  Yes, I got the idea from Pinterest but I really think it cam out cute so I had to share.  Madelynn enjoyed teaching Minnie Mouse about her tree.  She doesn't play with it as much as I would have liked but she is not the best at entertaining herself (can't imagine where she got this from).  It is a great addition to our Christmas decorations and it look me one nap session to put together.  I couldn't find a large piece of green felt so it is flannel and I sewed 2 pieces together and then made ornaments out to flannel.
 Madelynn's new bike from Aunt Ginny and Uncle Tim.  It is so cute.  I will get some other photos of her actually riding it.  I just love this one.  She looks so grown up.

Another apron. This was for my adorable cousin Reina. I really enjoy making these and I am thinking about starting to sell them. If you are interested, let me know.

See, I told you, seriously cute!!!
So, this is what has been keeping us busy so far.  I just realized I never posted pics of our Christmas tree cutting.  I will get those up also. 
Merry Christmas.

Pray your Christmas cards

So, this idea came to me the other day.  No, it is not from Pinterest or Facebook (I guess it might be out there but I didn't get it from there).  I saw all my Christmas cards on my front door, which I have the habit of leaving up until summer time, and I thought about all my family and friends and how I need to be in prayer for them.  Then I realized, if I would pray for one family at a time as I pass by the door I would pray for all my friends and family multiple times, especially if they are hanging there until June.  So each time (ok, maybe not everytime but a few times through the day) I place my hands on one of my Christmas cards and pray for that family.  I often say I am going to pray for people, and I do but not consistantly.  These wonderful pictures serve as a great remider to pray for the people I love.  I am working my way clock-wise around my door, just in case you wanted to know my "system".  So know that if you have sent me a Christmas card this year I am in prayer for you and I am very thankful to have you in my life.  Even if you didn't send me a card, I am thankful for you. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A chapter in my life is through...

1987 - Who would have thought I would go from this...to a varsity Soccer coach? :)
 2011 (I took the previous season off because of Madelynn)
2012 - My final season
As I sat on the bus for the final time the song, Friends by Michael W. Smith came to mind...."Can't believe the hopes He's granted, means a chapter in your like is through..."   Coaching soccer was a chapter I would have never imagined would even be written on the pages of my life.  I started my coaching career in 2005 on the Socorro field and I ended it in 2012 on the Socorro field...how ironic.  As tears came down my cheeks I realized I was closing another chapter that my dad had been part of and for some reason that always hurts the most.  As we open new pages and chapters that he wasn't there for it just solidifies the fact that he is not here (not that I really needed a reminder).  Then the tears really started to flow and the pictures of the past 8 years began playing through my mind like a slideshow. 
I thought about the girls whose blood, sweat, and tears will forever mark the pages of my Soccer Coaching chapter.  I can't even remember how many there have been and sadly, I can't even remember all their names.  I began to look back through my old rosters and then all the old pictures --- and these are just the Varsity ones (I didn't have copies of all the JV ones, although they may be at my house somewhere).  It is amazing the hats you where when you are a coach; and the coaching hat is just the tip of the iceberg.  Counselor, mentor, nurse, mom, diciplinarian, athletic trainer, ref, cheerleader and I am sure there are a few choice ones some of the girls would throw in there at times.  I know that the skills I have learned out on that field will greatly help me as we raise Madelynn. 
There are many girls who will forever leave their mark on my heart and mind.  I have learned from them about being patient, usng kind words, listen more intently, and to realize that all kids come from very different backgrounds.  I have cried over these girls and also laughed so hard with them that my sides hurt. 
I am so thankful to the people who have helped me and been mentors to me during this time.  Bruce, of course, always has the best insight when I am upset or frustrated.  His advice usually included - then quit or at least its Girl's Soccer nobody really cares :).  Coach Comacho - it is all his fault that I have gone through the stress that I have the last few years, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Not only was he a mentor on the field but also in my Christian walk with God.  I am thankful for his friendship.  Coach Lopez - I joke that we are like an old married cupple by the end of a season because we spend so much time together, this year especially with 2 over night trips together (granted our time is not over because we also coach track together).  He has always been there to support and guide me and I am so thankful for that.  I will miss them greatly and tresure their friendship.  And of course Coach Sategna who asked me to coach track at my wedding, of all places, and that was how I first got into the coaching world.  I tried to quit a few years ago but then in came out in the paper that I was on maternity leave and ended up back the next season :)  There is something in me that wants to make Coach Sategna proud when I am out there.  Even though he is was not my boss this year I still found myself looking at the good behavior of my girls at a resturant or something and thinking, "Coach would be proud of our Bloomfield girls."  So I am thankful for him also.
Things I will miss - the girls, the lessons we teach each other, the games, bus trips, laughter, Coach Lopez, Coach Comacho, picking just the right shirt for the season....

Things I will NOT miss - bus trips, my car being full of soccer equipment, collecting uniforms, the heat, did I mention the bus, attitudes, parents, the tears....

What a trip it has been.  One I would not trade for the world and one I will never forget.  Now it is time to spend time with my little girl and, who knows, coach her team someday...but I would rather just enjoy watching.

Side notes - I found it interesting to look at the pictures and check out my hair styles, how much weight I have gained since I started coaching.  I knew it was time to quit when I had come full circle and one of my athletes was now my assistant...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Patch....My favorite time of year

A fall timeline...I can't believe how she has grown over the years.  It happens right before your eyes and then you look back and realize how much time has past.

 Ignore the date on the picture...not sure what happened there.
She looks so grown up.  What a cool way to track her growth over the year.  This is one of my favorite traditions we have.
 Just a little walk with daddy....I really have to get Bruce better about snapping some pictures so there are some of me with her.
 This has to be one of my favorites.  She looks so precious.  What an amazing memory.
 Fun with Cassidy...having cousins is the best.  I am so glad they live so close.
 Cupcake and mermaid
Trunk or treat at Bruce's church.  We had a great time!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Good times

Here are a few pictures I found on my camera this weekend and just thought I would share. 
 Madelynn "watching a movie".  Not really sure what she was watching but she wanted us to sit down with her and stare at the cabinet under the sink.  She cracks me up.
 Madelynn's 1st fishing trip.  Look at that concentration.  She only lasted a few minutes but it was a lot of fun.
 Cassidy and Madelynn rolling across the living room floor one last time at Mom's house.  They had a great time. 
 One more pic in front of the house.  So many memories and good times!
 Madelynn launching herself off the couch.  She puts pillows down and then leaps.  It scares me but she loves it.  I love this picture.
GO BOBCATS!!!  Our little coaching family at the bomb fire.  Everytime Madelynn watches football - even if it is on TV - she says, "Go Bobcats! Go Boys!"  It is so cute.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet....

"Your word, O Lord is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens" Psalms 119:89

I received a special gift from my sister earlier this year.  She sent me my dad's Bible.  Just holding it makes me feel this little piece of him is here.  I have started to do my Bible studies out of it.  I love opening the soft pages and seeing his handwriting all over it and it is amazing.  If dad was still alive I think it might seem a little strange to read through all the notes and messages in his Bible, but now it seems like all these little messages left for me to discover. 
I grew up in a house where I knew the importance of studying the word.  I knew being a Christian was not just about going to church and doing good.  It is about having a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Well, how else do you get to know Jesus without spending time with him?  The best way to spend time with him is to be in his Word daily.  I often saw my parents reading and studying the Bible.  My dad was one of the best Bible teachers I have ever had.  I still remember him teaching the book of Revelation to our youth group - and it was wonderful.  I have always used my Bible.  I mean highlighted, written notes, marking the parts where I really knew God was talking to me.  I know some keep their Bible in pristine condition and don't think it should be written in; but I was taught to use it as a tool.  The Word of God is not just something you should read but something you dive into, whole-heartedly to get to know the Lord. 
Well, as I began to study out of my dad's Bible I saw how he truly loved the Word of God. 
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" Psalms 119:105
 Not only were there notes in the margins of many pages but he had important, go-to verses written on the inside and back covers of his Bible.  He had facts and roots of Greek and Hebrew words (thanks to Pastor Bob) at the beginning of different books. 

Dad is gone and he is still teaching me about what is important.  Reading his notes inspires me and touches my life.  Seeing how he studied the Bible encourages me to get to know my Master even better. 
"I have hidden your words in my heart that I might not sin against you" Psalm 119:11
Life is not easy and God allows us to go through some difficult times.  With His words hidden in our hearts we are more likely to make the right decisions and turn to God for strength during those time.  If we fill our hearts up with his loving words they will overflow out of our mouths and through our actions. 
I am thankful for the people in my life who have encouraged me to study the Bible and have been examples of this in their own lives; my dad and mom, Sherrie Shaffer, the Buells, Pastor Bob and many more. 
I have been challenged recently by the words of my Pastor (who is affectionately call "Mar" in our house) by this quote, "You really only believe the part of the Bible that you actually do"  This really hit home when he said it and I have been trying to apply it to my life. 
 Can others tell what you believe by your actions?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I hope to return soon....

Life has been so crazy with soccer this year (thank goodness this is my last year).  I keep thinking I will have time in the evening but I just don't.  I am so tired by the time the evening comes that I just want to sit there or I am busy making dinner for the next night so we will have something decent to eat. 

Madelynn is getting so big.  It amazes me the things she says each day.  My mom has always bribed the kids with gum...this started with Grady.  They know if they give her a kiss and hug they can have gum..hey, whatever works.  So Madelynn tells me the other day, "Give me kiss, I give you gum."  Out of the mouth of babes.  We wanted her to take a bath the other night and she decided she wanted to eat dinner 1st (yes, we have problems at dinner time...it is just a product of our lifestyle) so she climbs up on the bar stool and yells back to Bruce who is in the bathroom turning on the bath, "Daddy, shut off the water I am going to eat!"  It just amazes me. 

She can be so feisty at times...well most of the time.  But she can be very sweet.  Her grandpa Hatch has been in the hospital again and she is very worried about him.  She has been asking to see him and where he is.  He is now out so she should get to see him this week.  We are working on being kind everyday.  She is around a lot of older kids and I can tell some of the things she picks up from them, but she is usually very thoughtful.  When she does something wrong she says, "Sowry charwe (sorry charlie)" and it always makes me laugh (although I think this is why she does this because then it is hard to stay mad at her). 

She is very intuitive and only has to see you do something once...so we have to be very careful.  I put a pen in my mouth in church the other day so I could get a paper out.  I looked over and there she was sitting on the chair with her legs crossed and a pen in her mouth.  My little monkey see, monkey do...

As fall approaches I can't wait to experience it with her.  She loves pumpkins and leaves.  She loves to point out the birds and butterflies and will inform you that only God can make them (thanks to her little poem she learned - I really need to video her doing it).  She knows the letter M and points it out as we drive by signs or she sees it at the house.  She is learning her letters and sounds and the Pledge of Allegiance at school.  She comes home with something new everyday.  She loves to help cook.  She helps me measure things out and she stirs (She and Lynn made "zanga" - lasagna and apple crisp the other night).  She loves to cheer for the bobcats (granted she thinks all football players are the bobcats).  Life is good, just very busy.  I will add pictures soon and more updates.  Only a few weeks of soccer left!!!!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Bring on Fall

My little girl has started preschool.  I can't believe how big she is and how grown up she looks...and acts sometimes.  Her new sitter, Ruth, teaches preschool 2 days a week and Madelynn loves it.  She comes home with new songs and stories to tell us.  She is learning her ABC's and the Pledge of Alliegence.  Wasn't she just a little baby a couple weeks ago?  It amazes me all the things she can do.  I love watching her learn.  It is frustrating at times, for both of us, because she thinks she can do everything by herself and I still want to be her mom for a little while.  But this is it, everyday she can do more and more with out me and it is amazing to see the little person she is becoming.

Fall is in full swing.  This is my....7th season coaching soccer (I took a year off when Madelynn was born).  I can't believe I have been doing it this long.  This is the largest team I have ever have...by numbers I mean.  I have 33 girls out this year which is amazing.  I only have 35 uniforms so that is pretty cool.  I am excited to see how the season goes. It is very tiring at times, but enjoyable.  Madelynn will go to her 1st soccer game tonight and then football next week.  Bring on the hustle and bustle of fall...with some cooler temps would be better though. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What makes a house a home?

What makes a house a home?  Is it the brick, cement, 2x4s, paint, blood, sweat, and tears that go into it?  Is it the money that you pay?  Is it the people that live there year after year?  I keep rolling this over and over again in my head as another chapter in my life ends.  I know I have talked about this in a earlier blog but we are still trying to find our new normal.  As my mom called me today to tell me that a piece of my childhood had been sold to someone else I just couldn't keep it inside anymore.  That one little piece of my life with dad seemed to be gone.  I know having the house was not going to bring him back, but I could still go to those places where I had so many memories.  
Then I started to look through some old pictures, as you can see from my collection below.  I remember our 1st day of school pictures in the front yard by our purple tree.  I remember the day my parents bought the Blue Van and drove up with it.  I also remember being in the front yard when my dad came home with my 1st puppy, Droopy.  I was so excited...I think the Tanners where there for that.  I remember many, I mean MANY, family water fights in the front yard.  I can hear the three of us giggling and laughing as I think about those days.
I remember the many pre-dance pictures taken in front of our fire place.  The picture of Bruce and I is from the night we got engaged (even though I didn't know that was what would happen that night).  Then look at us years later in front of the same fireplace with our little girl.  Even though Madelynn didn't get to know Papa it was like she got a piece of those memories because she got to be where he was last.  We could tell her the stories of the trains and the great times we had had.  Now, if we get to have another baby they won't get that experience.  

I began to look at the pictures of all the friendships we had made at that house.  Jessica and I became best friends at that house and she sat with me in my parents' bedroom while I threw up...what a friend.  The many nights of pictionary, sports team Christmas parties, youth sleep overs, giggling girls, and Christmas mornings have come flooding back to me as I take a mental walk down the halls of my childhood.  It feels like those walls have shaped who I am today.  They gave me protection since I was 2 years old.  Those walls protected me from storms, heard me cry silent tears, heard little girls on the phone falling in and out of love, those walls hold secrets between sisters that no one else will ever know and unspoken dreams as we fell asleep at night.  It was a refuge as I got older whenever I was sad and as we came home from AZ after dad passed away.  I could go into those rooms and still feel him there.  Oh the nights we spent in that garage having our "garage talks".  Sometimes dad would forget that I actually needed to go to bed and go to school the next day.  Boy, we could BS with the best of them.  Oh the hours we spent out there solving the world's problems, analyzing our day, and sometimes fighting.  We made science fair projects and inventions in that garage, little girls learned to ride their bikes from there, I sat up with my new puppy (Mandy) in that garage, we would sit and talk for hours as a family as dad had a beer and smoked his pipe, boys asked for our hands for marriage in that garage and Grady got his best train buddy ever.  The memories made just in that one room tear at my heart and make me want to go back in time so bad.  I know it is just a room, but it seems like such a part of me.                  

And the memory I will have trouble moving from the most will be the Christmas mornings we shared at that house.  I have spent every Christmas morning there, except for one, since we moved there in 1981.  As I watched my nieces and nephew this last Christmas ride their new bikes and skate down the same street we learned to ride our bikes on I realized this would probably be the last time we would all be together like this in our home, or is it just a house???  I can think back to so many Christmas mornings, so excited to see what Santa had left that I couldn't even wait for my sisters to get up.  I remember sneaking out in the middle of the night to look in my stocking (don't tell mom).  Wow, the laughter and fun (and one year with some tears - Whitney can tell you about that) are so alive I feel like I was just there a few weeks ago. 
So, what makes a house a home?  Are we leaving our house behind or our home?  Does our home live in our hearts because it is a part of who we are?  Can a building really be part of our identity?  Can a house shape who I am today or is it the people who have come and gone through that screen door who have made me who I am?  What will I miss most; the walls, stucco, paint, wood, cement and nails or the memories that came from all of that?  If we sell the house aren't those memories still there in my heart and mind?  Then why does it hurt so bad to see it gone? 
Goodbye Morgan Lane house, you have been my home for so many years.....

Friday, August 24, 2012

2 years a counting...

It amazes me to see how much Madelynn has grown this summer.  I remember seeing my friend's kid (Yes, little Piper) this spring and thinking, "Wow, she can do so much more than Madelynn."  I know...don't compare your kids, but I am normal I still do from time to time.  Well, I had to remind myself that the girls are 8 months apart and all kids are different, then I started to see so many changes in Madelynn.  Well, here are some of her highlights at this point....
*  She sings "Jesus Loves me" before she goes to bed at night and loves for me to sing "her song"  which is the Gilmore Girls theme song.
She sings Itsy Bitsy Spider, with the motions, the caterpillar song will melt your heart, and at preschool she is learning the pledge.
She insists on saying her prayers very night and asks Jesus for a baby brother (sometimes a sister)
*  Nothing is "out of reach" she climbs on everything...and if you hear her counting 1,2,3...you better get ready to catch her because she is jumping off something.
*  She loves fruit snacks, peanut butter sandwiches, cheese, and Daddy's crackers
*  She repeats everything...I mean everything. 
*  She can count to 10...when she wants to
*  She is a daddy's girl!!!  They cuddle in the morning and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and sometimes I am not even invited.
*  I love it when she corrects me by saying, "Actually...." - I am sure I will hate it later
*  When she wants to do something she says, "Maybe, I have some chocolate milk...or what ever she wants".
*  She knows most of her colors but won't always perform.
*  I love it when she says, "I sorrwe mama." 
I could go on and on.  Really I just wanted to get some of this down while I still rememberd.  Even though she makes me crazy and is very good at being 2, I love her more than anything.   

Friday, July 27, 2012

Just a few more projects

Just a couple more aprons.  I think I may have to start charging for these...maybe I could make a few extra bucks.

 Little Aviators hats.  I just love these.  Madelynn has on the one I made for Baby Brayden so it doesn't really fit her, but she still looks cute :)  I am working on a owl one for her now.  I am sure all the crafting will come to a halt as soon as soccer starts.

 Shelby's Birthday book.  She doesn't actually have it yet but I will get it sent to her (It is a little pricey to send things to Alaska) 
Yes, of course most of these ideas are off Pinterest.  In this book you ask them the same quesitons each year on their birthday to see how their answers have changed and then put a photo from their birthday.  I did birthdays 3-10.  Can't wait to see these some day when they are older.  Now I have a few month to get Kennedy's and Madelynn's made for their 3rd birthdays.

Motorcycle diaper cake.  I have a baby shower next week and thought this would be perfect.  It was so easy.  Actually easier than the diaper cake.  But the one thing I like about a diaper cake is all the "stuff" I can add to it as gifts.  I couldn't do that with this so I decided the lamb needed a trailer to pull behind loaded with gifts.  Hope she enjoys it.