Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Red Rock Canyon

Spring Break

What a great week of Spring Break!

We started off the week with a weekend of baseball in Tulsa with Caleb's team, OK Select. Levi had two very important practices scheduled with his team, and since he had missed last weekend's practices since we were in Houston and Dallas with Caleb and Noah's teams, he did not want to miss. So, thankfully, his papa and lita were available and eager to keep him for the weekend. So not only did he make it to both his practices, but his papa got to practice with his team and he was spoiled with junk food and good movies and a late bedtime. All the special things kids get with grandparents. What a blessing!!
Our weekend watching Caleb was great, just a little chilly. Noah and Faith had a blast playing at the huge playground right by the fields, so in turn, I was able to really watch all the games. Five straight wins to bring home the championship trophy. Caleb personally had a great weekend, even with a bum ankle still healing up. He wasn't as fast around the bases, but thankfully most of his hits were to the fence. :) He played catcher and 3rd base and bat 750 for the weekend. The highlight of the ball playing was during the championship game. The first couple of innings we were playing pretty close. Caleb said the whole time he was at third base, the other team AND their coaches were heckling him, teasing him, calling him names. He said he wouldn't even look at them but was getting really frustrated. Top of the third Caleb got up to bat with one runner on first base and two outs. As he stepped up, the other teams coaches yelled to their players for everyone to move to the left side of the field... "This kid can really hit, but all he does is pull it, so move left". All the outfielders moved to the left. Caleb then proceeded to hit the ball to the fence--- the right fence. Even with his limp, he made it to third base and stood up pointing and pumping his fence. Not that I would ever approve of Caleb ever acting cocky-- we raise him to be as humble as possible. But, it was thrilling to see him so full of enthusiasm. And so proud to know that he can place the ball where he wants. :) I love baseball!
We got home late Sunday night and crashed at home in our beds-- there's no place like home.

I did what I could to do all my work for my job early in the morning and late at night so that I could spend all day with the kids. With the four of them and myself, we assigned one day to each person to get to pick what they wanted to do.

On Monday, Faith chose to go to the movies. We went to see Yogi Bear, which Levi and I had gone to see together over Christmas break, but he didn't complain. Even Caleb, between texts, seemed to enjoy himself. :) Afterwards we enjoyed Subway for lunch and Krispy Kreme donuts for dessert. You can't beat the free warm donuts! Then for the evening, along with a friend of Caleb's and with Craig, we went bowling. Faith has gotten so good that she doesn't use the stand to drop her ball on anymore, she can throw it herself. We all had a great time. Craig and I are so competitive that our goal is always to beat each other, so after he beat me the first game, we HAD to bowl another one. After I beat him the second game, all was well in the world. :) We finished off the evening with ice cream and rented a movie. The kids watched all of 10 minutes of the movie before taking off for X-Box, air hockey, ping pong and barbies. Craig and I got to enjoy a couple hours of quiet, snuggling with the movie.

On Tuesday, Noah chose to go to Kingfisher to the aquatic center. We made the most of the 45 minute drive, playing our usual alphabet games we enjoy on our road trips. Caleb's friend had beginners luck and beat us all a couple of times. We spent the entire afternoon at the aquatic center. Caleb and Drake playing catch in the deep end of the pool with a rubber ball. Noah and Levi jumping off the high dive and low dive boards, doing all sorts of tricks. Then running to the water slides-- those two are just the best of friends. I was concerned how Faith would do without a buddy to run around with, but she enjoyed relaxing in the shallow ends, sitting under the water lilies and practicing swimming. No one could convince her to try to water slides, but she was happy as could be. We made it home in time to throw on the baseball clothes and make it to ball practice. We were exhausted.

On Wednesday, Levi chose the park. With Caleb gone all morning to catchers camp, this was a good idea. He doesn't enjoy the park like the rest of us. We gathered up all the bread we could find in the house, picked up a pizza and breadsticks and headed to the park. We spent forever feeding the ducks and the fish and the turtle. They will walk up and almost take it directly from your hand, and when you are out of food, they will continue to follow you around wanting more. We gave them our left over pizza crust and breadsticks and they still followed us! Noah, Levi and Faith then played at the park and the sandbox. Then Noah and Levi played catch with the baseball they had brought, while Faith and I relaxed in the bench swing. It was one of those moments that I was reminded how VERY blessed I was: sun on my face, sitting next to the most incredible little girl just giggling and talking 90 miles an hour, watching my boys who are best friends as they laugh and goof around with a simple ball, knowing that my husband and oldest son are off doing what they enjoy most at bb camp. God has blessed our family beyond belief!
We then took off for the school park, where Craig dropped Caleb and Drake off, and we all played a game of kickball together. Then the big boys played catch with the little boys, working on fly balls and ground balls, while Faith and I played hopscotch-- she's really good. :)
Wednesday night we did not have AWANA, so everyone went to baseball practice together.

On Thursday, I chose Red Rock Canyon. Just south of Hinton, about 45 minutes away. It was beautiful! We found a great picnic spot at the base of one of the canyons, where we ate our sandwiches and played at a small park for a while. After finally finding a good spot where we could all get up (that's not always so easy for a 5 yr old girl and a 30+ mom!), we then spent a couple of hours hiking and exploring. Caleb and Levi wanted to be daredevils and get as close to the ledge as possible, which scared me to death. Noah enjoyed just being the leader and taking us through patches of cactus and spiders. :) We had a lot of laughs. On our hike back the boys found a spot to get down, so they all took a short cut, but Faith and I had travel all the way back to where we started. So she and I enjoyed the last 30 minutes without any boys, so just got to chat away about everything. Along the way we ran into a grandma and little girl that were lost and had been hiking for hours and couldn't find their way down, so they went the last little bit with us. After gulping down all the water we had brought, we headed back to Yukon. We stopped at 2 Indian trading posts on the way home-- where we found all sorts of interesting items. I bought Levi and Faith a couple of cactus growing kits and Noah got an Indian keychain/pocket knife with his name on it. (Which has already been taken away from him since he cut his finger. And I got a stern look from Craig for buying it... :) ) Of course, our evening consisted of baseball practice again.

On Friday, Caleb chose to stay home and watch basketball. Wouldn't you know it? :) But we were all pretty tired from such a busy week.... or at least I was. Although I think it's impossible for a Davis day at home to consist only of Davis'. So we ended up with about 10 kids in and out of the house all day, playing. By 5 pm when it was time to leave for Noah's baseball tournament in Chickasha, I was trying to figure out what to do with all the kids so we could go. Caleb and his buddy took off for dinner and the movies. Levi took off with his cousin to play at his house. Leaving me with just 5 kids to take to the ball game. Although, we did end up with 9 kids spending the night-- there is never a dull moment in this house! :)

We spent the weekend at the ballparks with Noah's Yankees in Chickasha and Levi's Nationals in Moore. So after hours of fun, lots of money spent on gas, snow cones and hot dogs, we made through another weekend of ball. Lots of big hits by both boys, and a couple of diving plays made at shortstop, just no trophies this weekend. Hey-- you can't win 'em all. :)

Sunday morning was a little more special than usual. After completing the new members class a couple of weeks ago, we officially placed membership at our new congregation where we have been attending for about a year and a half. Covenant Community Church has been such a blessing to us. It is so great when your kids are overly excited to go to church, and are not happy when they have to miss for something. The little three all love AWANA and have learned so much. Those bible verses they have them memorize are truly taken to heart, and they have repeated them to me at times when I needed to hear them. It's amazing. And the TRUTH program for Caleb has been incredible. All that he's learned and the way he's come to have a relationship with God is all that I had ever hoped. I can't say enough good about the programs, the youth ministers, and the church. I'm mostly grateful to be worshiping in a place that teaches THE BIBLE. Nothing more and nothing less.

So, that was our Spring Break. Busy, fun, exhausting, and mostly memorable. I feel so blessed to have a job that I can work around my time with my kids, to have a husband that provides for us and works hard so we can play, to have four kids that love spending time together as a family, and especially grateful to a God that has provided abundantly more than I could have imagined in this lifetime, and in the one to come.

God bless!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Being a mom

For the last week, Levi has been so excited for January 19. The third grade was prepping to do a presentation for MLK Day and he had a part. He wouldn't tell me what he was doing, he wanted me to be surprised.
During our family devo last night, he asked for prayers that he wouldn't forget his part. He went to bed early, in order to be ready for his big day. He even showered last night so he wouldn't risk running late in the morning. Then he was up early, eager for the day.

I have been fighting a head cold, so I've been a little slow this week. Not to mention that the kids were out of school on Monday, so I got behind on my work-- tried to spend as much time with them as possible. A day full of Sorry, Uno, Checkers, Sleeping Queens, and Old Maid. So it was a very late night for me last night catching up on all my work. So I'm moving slow today, but not for a lack of enthusiasm for his special day.
I was up early, got the kids up and around, fed and bathed. Of course, Caleb misses the bus, so it was a more hectic morning than normal, but I braved the cold getting everyone to school.
Levi said our morning prayer on the way to school, not forgetting the people we always try to remember in our family prayers, but of course asking God to help him with his nerves and help him to remember what he needs to say and when to say it.
I worked my old van, Miss Bessie, through the morning traffic of school drop-off --- if you are a mom, you know this is never fun, and found me a parking spot WAAAAAY out. I jogged the half mile to the front of the school to stay warm in the freezing temperatures.
As I found an open spot and sat down in the cafeteria, I located Levi who was searching through the sea of parents to find me. I saw the relief on his face as he found me and my heart melted. My Levi was genuinely happy that I was there. I had a love burst in my heart.
The morning routine of Ranchwood Roundup started with the pledge of allegiance and daily announcements. Then it was announced that the 3rd grade would be performing a MLK presentation. I watched as several kids took to the stage. There was Levi!! I could see he was nervous to be on stage with all the children and teachers and parents watching, but I smiled and gave him a thumbs up, and he seemed to relax. I watched as several students went to the microphone and recited verses they had memorized. When would it be Levi's turn?
Then..... after several children had spoken, there was a pause as Levi and 2 children next to him spoke some very important words.... "He had a dream".
Then his turn was over.
Levi remembered his words.
And he said them at just the right time.
And he did it with such great inflection in his voice.

Then the whole third grade sang a song about MLK. I'm quite positive that was Levi's voice that sounded so perfectly on key and harmonious.

This is what it's like to be a mom.

I would jump through all kinds of hoops, no matter what the situation, to be wherever, whenever for my kids.

And hearing the words "He had a dream" make me the proudest mom in the whole world.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I've been remade!!

My very favorite song of all time:

YOU ARE MORE by Tenth Avenue North

There's a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she's wandered
And the shame she can't hide

She says, "How did I get here?
I'm not who I once was.
And I'm crippled by the fear
That I've fallen too far to love"

But don't you know who you are,
What's been done for you?
Yeah don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

Well she tries to believe it
That she's been given new life
But she can't shake the feeling
That it's not true tonight

She knows all the answers
And she's rehearsed all the lines
And so she'll try to do better
But then she's too weak to try

But don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,

You've been remade.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

'Cause this is not about what you've done,
But what's been done for you.
This is not about where you've been,
But where your brokenness brings you to

This is not about what you feel,
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You've been remade
You've been remade.
You've been remade.
You've been remade.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I'm living like I'm dying

He said: "I was in my early forties,
"With a lot of life before me,
"An' a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
"I spent most of the next days,
"Looking at the x-rays,
"An' talking 'bout the options an' talkin’ ‘bout sweet time."
I asked him when it sank in,
That this might really be the real end?
How’s it hit you when you get that kind of news?
Man whatcha do?

An' he said: "I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

He said "I was finally the husband,
"That most the time I wasn’t.
"An' I became a friend a friend would like to have.
"And all of a sudden goin' fishin’,
"Wasn’t such an imposition,
"And I went three times that year I lost my Dad.
"Well, I finally read the Good Book,
"And I took a good long hard look,
"At what I'd do if I could do it all again,
"And then:

"I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

Like tomorrow was a gift,
And you got eternity,
To think about what you’d do with it.
An' what did you do with it?
An' what can I do with it?
An' what would I do with it?
"Sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And then I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I watched Blue Eagle as it was flyin'."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

"To live like you were dyin'."
"To live like you were dyin'."
"To live like you were dyin'."
"To live like you were dyin'."

This song by Tim McGraw sums up my new "Life's Resolution". No New Years Resolution for me.
In 2011 I'm changing my life.

I'm going to live in the moment. No more regretting the past or worrying about the future.
No more grudges or bitterness towards those that have wronged me or my family. I'm going to forgive as God forgives.
No more wasting time on things that I feel obligated to do. I'm spending time doing what makes God happy and my family happy.
My priorities are going to be right.

And I'm going to laugh as loud as I want. I don't care if a snort or two come with it.

In a conversation a couple of weeks ago with a good friend, I was sharing my struggles in trying to juggle all areas of my life-- my kids and all their activities, my job, church, volunteering at the kids schools, my house, my friends and family.... along with just making sure I am mentally "there" for my kids. Her wise words to me have changed my perspective. She said that the people that really matter, the ones that truly love me, will always understand. So to sit and fret about all the people that I wasn't able to make time for that day, does me no good. Either they'll understand or not. The ones that are still there later, they are the ones that mattered. The rest didn't matter in the first place.
Letting go of that guilt and frustration or trying to do and be for every single person in my life has been so freeing.

I am taking steps to do this in all areas of my life now. Letting go of unforgiveness, frustration, unrealistic expectations, etc.... And remembering what REALLY matters. I'm going to live like I'm dying.

Which is why we just got back from New Orleans, Louisiana. We had already told the kids that this would again be a small Christmas. We had enjoyed changing their perspective of Christmas over the past couple of years. They each get just 3 presents, and we spend our time and money trying to do for others. This has been gratifying for all of us. But there is still something incredibly fulfilling about watching the look on your child's face as they open that one gift that they feel is going to CHANGE THEIR LIFE... :)
So when Craig found tickets for the Sugar Bowl to watch Ohio State play for a hugely discounted price, we began discussing the possibility. Initially we both felt that the logical decision would be to bypass the opportunity and use our money to pay off bills. But, as we discussed the fact that the past 13 years as parents have FLOWN by, we both agreed that the we want to relish every moment and every opportunity with all four of them. This will be the only year that we have a 13, 9,8, and 5 year old. Making memories with each other is the best Christmas present. It's the best present you can give or get in life.

So, as the kids opened their 3rd gifts under the Christmas tree, my insides were as gleeful, happy, excited and joyous as the looks on their faces. Little Faith was just thrilled to hear the word "hotel"-- I mean, what could be more fun??? :) The boys were thrilled. Even Caleb wasn't afraid to act excited. And that is saying something!!

And me, I was happy to know that I was living for today. Not worrying about tomorrow.
And to be honest, I was most excited about the 24 hours we spent in the truck traveling!
No, I won't be getting a new pair of tennis shoes again this year. And yes, I will be wearing the same clothes you've seen me in for the past 2 years, over and over again. But I spent my money on time with my family. Nothing could be more important or gratifying or fulfilling. And I'm thanking God for providing for us always. We are so very blessed!!!

I'm living like I'm dying.

God bless you!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

One week of summer already gone-- why do the fun times have to speed by so quickly???
We had an exciting end of the year-- lots of parties, awards, and graduations. So sad to say good bye to Ms. Grba and Ms. Penner-- Noah and Levi were blessed to have such awesome teachers, that are incredible woman and dear friends to me now. Praying for more spectacular teachers next year. Of course, I shouldn't leave out Ms. Jennifer-- Faith's preschool teacher. She was great for Faith this year and a precious Christian woman. I can't believe that Faith will be starting kindergarten already reading so well-- all thanks to Ms. Jennifer. And, of course, Caleb had great teachers too, it's just so hard to get to know all 7 of them now that he's in Middle School. But the ones that I got to speak with were great.
All three boys finished up the year with straight A's all year-- a tribute to God alone. He blessed them with such smarts! ;) Levi's had a terrific year with his math-- he's so talented. He came home for the summer with lots of extra math sheets he had requested so that he wouldn't forget anything while they're out of school. He loves having "his" thing.
Our one week of summer has not been too eventful. We have been to the Yukon pool, the park, played lots of games of Scattergories and ImagineIf. And lots of baseball, of course. Memorial Day weekend took the 3 boys in 3 opposite directions. Enid, Chickasha and Dallas. Wow! Somehow Craig managed to make it to a few of each of their games-- that was a LOT of driving.
The rest of the week was lots of sleeping in, hanging out and eating. Eating is what boys do best. And the most. My grocery bill is going to be very high this summer!
Every summer we set our summer goals and "family deals". We have not done well on following through on these, so far, but I'm looking at it as our week of adjustment. :) Our hardest one so far has been the No TV deal. The last 2 summers we have done this and it has been so great. The only time the TV was on was for family movie night or a ball game that we all watched together. This past week we didn't follow this like we should have, but Monday we are starting over. It will be easier now that we have our pool open.
The boys just finished a full day of baseball today, and they all had a great day! Noah pitched the game of his life and hit the snot out of the ball. Since Caleb's team was off this weekend, Craig was able to coach Noah's team and I think that helped.
Levi played with his 7 year old team, the Heat, and did great. He's adjusted so well to playing with a new team and with his own age group. I'm most proud of the fact that the coach told us that the reason they want Levi is not just because of his stick, but because he has the best attitude he's seen in a 7 year old and he hopes he will rub off on all the other players. It's like I tell the boys all the time, that it doesn't matter just how great you play ball-- it's about who you are as a person and a Christian.
Caleb played pick up with another Major team for the weekend since his team was off. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to any of his games since it was so far, and Levi had "invited" me to be the parent to take him. Caleb had a great day-- lots of great plays and hits, but he was most excited that he pitched the last 2 innings of the championship game and shut the other team out, then he hit a 3 run homerun to win the game. He's growing up so fast-- off playing ball on his own. And I couldn't be prouder of him for not just his amazing talent, but his great attitude.
Papa and Lita were so sweet and came out and watched Levi play ball today and he was so excited to have grandparents there to watch him. He told me after the game he was so nervous because he thought that if he did really, really well then maybe they'd come to see more games. :) My mom got good news this week, after having all her testing and seeing all her Drs. at MD Anderson in Houston. The cancer in her liver is still staying stagnant, which is very amazing. They are letting her wait 4 months before going back again! This has been an incredible journey for her and my dad, and our whole family, because when she was diagnosed in the fall of '07 the doctors gave her 6-12 months. Here it is two and a half years later and she is doing pretty great. Prayer works!!

Busy week coming up-- Caleb has baseball camp all week, and Noah and Levi are going to VBS all week. Poor Faith will be back to wondering when all her brothers will be home. Looks like I'll be playing Barbies and painting toenails this week. :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kindergarten Enrollment

So Thursday proved to be quite a day. I have so enjoyed being a stay at home mom for the last 10 years, getting to enjoy all the milestones of growing kids and spending as much time with all four kids as possible. Thursday marked the end of this phase of life. Thursday was like a slap in the face that not only am I getting older so very quickly, but my babies are not really babies anymore.

Thursday I enrolled Faith in kindergarten.

This puts a three month deadline to the fun and games of long days with my Faithy. Painting nails, reading books, picnics in the living room, sandcastles in the sand box. Bubble baths in the middle of the day with a tub full of baby dolls and suds so high we can barely see each other. Sidewalk chalk on the front porch. Making games out of vacuuming and dusting. Drawing pictures and then making Craig judge them to see who wins first prize for best artist (which I interestingly enough never won, not even once :) ). Hide and seek games that lasted FOREVER. Cuddling in the morning after the boys were all gone for as long as we felt like it. Cleaning her room almost every day because she always finds it necessary to dump every bucket and drawer out to find a trinket the size of a thumbnail. And laughing all day. She is so stinkin' funny.

Thursday marked the day I am willingly allowing all the fun to end. Thursday marked the day that I had to admit she growing up and I can't be selfish forever..... I have to share her with the rest of the world. My baby girl is not going to be only mine forever. See.... I want to cry as I type this....

But in true Faith fashion, she achieved what only she can. She lightened the mood of Thursday for me. She made it a funny, memorable experience.

She woke up bright and early, ready to go to the school to get her enrolled for Kindergarten. I finished up some work, cleaned the kitchen, did some laundry, and then finally decided I couldn't put it off forever. I pulled out a pretty pink and white dress and some cute white flip flops and told her to get dressed while I took a shower and then we would go.

I showered and got ready in about 30 minutes. As I finished up my makeup, she comes trotting into my bathroom and my jaw dropped. She had gotten into a cabinet full of Halloween goodies and had a grand ol' time. She had painted her hair pink, put tattoos all up and down both arms, and taken a black Sharpie and painted all her fingernails black. As if this was no big deal, all she came into my bathroom to tell me was that she had decided not to wear the pretty dress I had laid out. She was instead dressed in what she likes to call her "soccer clothes".

I could do nothing but laugh. I took her picture and off we went to her new school, with her pink hair, tattooed arms, black fingernails, "soccer clothes", and a grin on her face.
I couldn't sit and feel sorry for myself for ending this phase of life and getting old and losing my baby girl. I could just smile and appreciate this amazing little girl, and chuckle at what Ranchwood Elementary is about to get themselves into once they accept all my paperwork! :)