And look who was on the mound even though his mother (me) asked the coach (hubby) that he not pitch the first game. I wasn't sure I could handle the stress with everything else that has been going on.
You know, he never listens to me.
It all turned out fine. He pitched great and only gave up 3 runs in 4 innings of pitching.
We ended up winning 12-6.
We all had a good time and everyone behaved themselves beautifully. Even Pete and Rose.
Hubby met with the parents and told them he would talk with them about anything except playing time. Don't ask about your kids playing time. It is not negotiable.
That may seem a little harsh, however, every parent thinks their kid is the best. Six different people would have six different idea's of who would start the game and who the best players on the team were.
I guess since they knew Dave wouldn't talk with them about playing time they felt I was the next best candidate. Really people, get over yourselves. When you are on an All Star team it is just that. A team filled with All Stars. Everyone can play well. When you have 13 kids on a team and 9 positions in the batting order and on the field some kids are going to have to sit a few innings. It's not rocket science people.
Lastly, and most importantly, the boys had a blast. They were dancing to the music being played between innings and having a fabulous time. They kept playing the chicken dance song and Garrett would do the arm movements in between pitches when he was warming up. I think the kids on the other team thought our boys had lost their minds.
Here is a sample of some of their moves. Turn down your volume because there is this obnoxious lady (me) cheering them on that is really LOUD.
To close, my husband wanted me to let you know that he is not a saint. He thought I portrayed him a little to kindly in the Rose and Pete saga. So, just to make him happy I am going to share a secret with you.
He forgot our 24th wedding anniversary yesterday. I guess with all the drama going on lately it slipped his mind. Don't think to harshly of him. I forgive him. He has never forgotten before. So once in 24 years isn't to bad. We are going to celebrate next month when all this baseball craziness is behind us.
I bet I will get a better present now anyway. What do you think?
I was feeling uneasy and wanted to be anywhere but at the ball park at that moment. I had prayed throughout the day, many times, for God to let me be a shining light for his kingdom. For people to see in me something that they wanted. Not to put praise or glory on me but on Jesus. I prayed for strength and self control.
I stood at the fence watching the boys and girls hit balls and run the bases as my husband and his coaches evaluated them. At one side a great friend and a man of faith we will call John and on the other his newly chosen second coach, Pete, who's wife had literally seemed to lose her mind.
I watched as people whispered around me. No one could figure out why Pete was sitting with my husband. The crowd began to stir with the news that Pete had actually been made a coach on the team. People were trying to figure out if my husband was a complete fool or one of the nicest and most forgiving people around.
To answer them I would have to say neither. He was trying to be a good Christian. To live his faith. To do what Jesus would have done. We talked a lot the night before about how this family really seemed to be in crisis. There had to be something else going on besides their desire to run the All-Star team. It just didn't seem right. We talked about how maybe God wanted us to befriend this couple. They didn't seem to have a lot of close friends, a lot of support, and we had heard through the grape vine that they were struggling a little with some problems in their lives. Maybe God was sending us on a mission and we needed to put our own pride and needs aside for a minute and befriend this family. We both agreed that it would be easier to just ignore them and hope it all went away, however, deep in our hearts we knew that was not what we were suppose to do.
As I watched Pete's wife, Rose, walking up the sidewalk towards the fields I tried to remember this. Friends standing by me were sure she was going to do something bad once she reached my side. I really didn't know what I would do or say. I was praying for the Holy Spirit to guide me once the moment got here.
Rose walked up and very sweetly said "Hi guys, how are try outs going"?
That was it. She acted like Nothing. Had. Happened.
I smiled and told her it seemed to be going well and we talked for a few minutes about a few of the kids and how they were doing. She then walked off to the snack bar to buy a drink and I didn't see her for the rest of the night.
Friends around me started to talk and say some unkind things about Rose. The Holy Spirit really convicted me that I needed to stop this in its tracks right now. I called my friends together and told them that I thought we all needed to pray for this family. Something had happened to make them so upset and we needed to lift them up and not tear them down at this moment.
Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take
Now, lest you think I am a saint, I had vented and ranted and said many unkind things to my best friend before this moment had happened. Everyone needs someone safe to be able to let it all out with. Believe me there were many tears and harsh words. Then I prayed. Only by God's grace was I holding it together at this moment and not ripping her newly highlighted golden locks out of her head piece by piece. Though, the thought did occur to me many times.
As the evening ended, Dave finalized the list of kids who would be placed on the team. It was late into the night by this time and we were all tired. However, our league has a tradition where the kids who make the team wake up to find signs in their yard that say "Congratulations, you have made the All - Star team for the 2009 season! We put them on stakes in the yard, they each have the players name on it, and the kids can keep them as mementos. It is very fun.
One of my best friends and I went around placing the signs in the kids yards. It was almost midnight so most of the houses were dark. When we drove up to Pete's house Rose came running out of the house and gave me a big hug and thanked me for putting up the signs. Her and Pete's son is an excellent player. There was really no doubt in anybodies mind that he would make the team, especially since Pete was now one of the coaches. Perhaps in the backs of their minds, due to all that had happened, they weren't completely sure.
The first practice was the next day and things have seemed to calm down. Pete tried to take over a few times and hubby had a meeting with him letting him know that He was the manager and he would make all final decisions, though he did appreciate any input he would like to give. At first Dave wasn't sure he could do it. They are so different. However, Pete seems to have calmed down quite a bit and everyone has kind of forgotten the drama of two weeks ago.
It is hard to believe that it was two weeks ago today that they had that meeting on an early Sunday morning.
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will
be cut out.
Yesterday we had Pete's family over with some other good friends of ours for a pool party. Both the kids and adults had a great time.
I am proud of the way our family has handled this very hard situation. However, I know that these people most likely really are not our true friends. I watch what I say and am guarded, while at the same time trying to show a Christ like understanding and love towards these people. We may be nice, but we are not fools. There is a definite difference.
Tonight is our first game. I am feeling stressed. If the team does not do well they will say it was because of my husband. I know I really need to just let it go and not worry about it. However, it is so very very hard.
I asked Dave one favor. Please don't let Garrett be the starting pitcher in game 1. I always get anxious when my kids pitch. I want them to do well and my stomach is in knots for the entire game. Him pitching added with the general anxiety of the first game and all that has gone on might just send me over the edge.
He has made me no promises.
The coaches met yesterday to plan their strategy. When Dave asked them who should start game 1 they said either Garrett or this one other boy who is a really good pitcher. The first team we play is said to be a little easier than the second. That would mean Garrett should pitch game one and we leave our ace, the other boy, for game two.
Lord help me, please!
I keep thinking that we should have just gone on vacation to a warm beach somewhere and relaxed instead of playing All-Stars. However, I know that would never happen. My husband loves it and so do my kids.
A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an
Even with all the drama we have met some of the best and nicest people in the whole world through this 10 year odyssey of Little League baseball. Most of it is fantastic. The other 5% really is the pits sometimes.
Pray for me tonight if you get a chance. Help me to keep my light pointing towards Jesus, and the enemies grip far from my tongue.
Dave had been named the All Star manager at the Sunday morning meeting. The hysterical wife of the other candidate, we will call her Rose, had stormed out of the room and headed off to church where she was to sing in the choir that morning.
By all accounts she composed herself enough to sing through two services. However, after church, while heading towards her car she ran into some friends from the baseball field. One of whom is our league's ex-president and a very good friend of our families.
This is how the conversation went. Remember this is all in the open area outside of church while people are leaving services.
Rose: Do you know what that Bleepin board of directors did? They chose Dave as the All-Star manager over a "Smith". (name changed, and yes she is using the F word)
ex-pres: OK, calm down.
Rose: Can you believe what they have done to our family those bleeping people. They have ruined our lives.
ex-pres: Trying to get a word in, but can't, notices that EVERYONE is looking at this crazy insane lady who is throwing the F word around like it is nothing at all.
Ex-presidents son decides to take some action and tells Rose that he is taking her son over to the playground so he doesn't have to listen to this.
Rose immediately says no, that he should hear this. She takes her hands and places them around his face and says "Look at this face, this poor boy who has been robbed of having his father as his all star manager".
Ex-president finally gets fed up and asks this question.
What about Garrett?
Ex-pres: You know, Dave's son Garrett. How would he feel if his Dad wasn't his manager?
Rose: Um, well, um, well.....I don't know.
By all accounts her ranting and raving went on for a good 20 minutes with this poor family trying to calm her down and others watching from a distance wondering if they should intervene.
Do you think that this particular person was putting a little to much emphasis on baseball in her life? Had a few boundaries been crossed here?
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good
keep your tongue from evil and your lips from
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue
As she ranted and raved she said some very ugly things about my husband and I. Things that no one has told us about. Things that are just to nasty to repeat. She continued to say that we hated their family and she just didn't understand why.
I have had one conversation with Rose where I was even remotely mean. If you could call it that.
You see, their team always prayed on the field before every game. Many thought this was so nice. Inwardly, it made me cringe. In my humble opinion, if you are going to put your faith out there like that you better make darn sure your actions during the game are representing Christ in a positive way.
No one ever wanted to play their team. They were always obnoxious. Sore winners and losers.
After one game where they lost (of course, because of bad umpire calls) I heard her using some language that did not match up with the Christian faith. I couldn't help myself and I walked up to her and asked this question....
"Is that any way for a daughter of the King to act"?
She looked at me repentantly and walked away.
She obviously knew she was not acting appropriately.
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is
wise. Proverbs 10
While all this drama and inappropriateness was going on at the church down the street my husband headed over to Rose's husbands place of business to speak with him.
As he walked up he knew that Rose had already informed her husband of the Boards decision by the look on Pete's face (name changed).
They had a very nice conversation where Dave told him he would really like it if Pete would be one of his coaches. He thought that their two styles could compliment each other and he would like to have him involved with the team.
My thought about this was "keep your friends close, your enemies closer".
However, my husband is a much nicer person than I am. Even after all the mean things said about him he understood how this other Dad was feeling. He was trying to be the better person.
Pete agreed to help and thanked Dave for asking him. Something that I am 100% certain would not have happened if the shoe had been on the other foot.
The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man
overlooks an insult.
A truthful witness gives honest
testimony, but a false witness tells lies.
pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings
Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue
lasts only a moment.
There is deceit in the hearts of those who
plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace.
befalls the righteous, but the wicked have their fill of
The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in
men who are truthful.
The next night we had All-Star try outs up at the baseball fields. Hundreds of boys and girls nervously waiting for their turn to show off their talent and get one of the coveted spots on the 9/10 All Star team. The team my husband would be putting together. The final decision was his.
I felt for these kids that night. As I walked up the sidewalk towards the fields and felt every eye on me my stomach was feeling a little nervous too. I was wondering how many of these families had witnessed and/or heard about Rose's freak out at the board meeting and at the Church?
I really just wanted to go and hide under a rock. I had to keep reminding myself that I had done nothing wrong. Hold your head up high and smile I told myself. I did, and everyone smiled back. People began coming over and giving me big hugs and whispering words of encouragement in my ear.
Well, that answered that question, it seemed that EVERYONE knew what had happened.
As I stood by the railing watching the kids on the field several friends came over and stood on either side of me.
Don't worry, they said, we are here to protect you. We aren't going to let anything happen to you. Mr. Bennett is here (he's a police officer) and he knows what happened. We will stand here with you in case Rose shows up with a knife or something.
Julie, I don't think you fully understand how out of control and angry she is.
Just then, I see Rose walking up the sidewalk towards the field and me. My heart starts to beat frantically and I think to myself "I am really not in the mood for this".
to be continued
Guess who the All Star manager is????
Yes, that's right, my husband.
I am not overly excited about this fact.
Why, you may ask?
You mean there are politics in little league baseball?
Cue hysterical laughter..... ha ha ha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
You see, there were several candidates who wanted to be the All Star manager. Many of who spent the entire season campaigning for the position. My hubby did not campaign. He threw his name into the hat and felt like his reputation should speak for itself.
He was named manager.
The sixteen members of the Board of Directors met one Sunday morning to discuss the candidates. The choice came down to my husband and another manager who also wanted the job.
My husband is on the Board of Directors, the other managers wife is also on the Board of Directors.
Doesn't this sound like a fun meeting?????
The President of the league has the job of appointing managers. I am sure he was a little nervous when he had to announce who the managers were that morning at the meeting. He knew this other guy's wife was going to FREAK OUT.
Let me give you a little history on this other candidate.
He comes from a baseball family. His brother played major league baseball and is very famous. His nephew was drafted in the first round of the major league draft. They think they are God's gift to baseball, literally.
He is a nice guy....off the field. Put him on the field and he turns into a raving lunatic at times. If the boys win the game it is all because of him, if they lose, it was because the boys didn't play well. "They sucked", to quote him directly.
He is a good manager and he does know baseball, however, he has a hard time keeping perspective at times.
Anyway, when the President announced that Dave would be the All Star manager she Freaked out as expected. However, it was more over the top than even I (who had warned my husband this was going to happen) could have imagined. She cried and ranted for 30 minutes about how this was so important to her family, they had no idea what they were doing to her husband, and then she made this statement....
I wish he had as much passion for me as he has for baseball.
Cue the groans.
Finally the president went around the room and had all of the board members state who they thought the All Star manager should be. They not only stated but explained why in detail. My husband got 15 votes, her husband got 1. Hers.
She quit the board and ran out the door. She immediately headed to church where her rage built up and erupted. You will not believe what happened. I can' make this stuff up people.
to be continued
- You may come home with a large garden sized trash bag of stuffed animals from your kids playing all the carnival games. However, it would have been much cheaper (and I mean much in the literal way) to just go to walmart and fill up you cart with whatever toy you happened to want. My kids inform me the Walmart scenario would not be nearly as much fun.
- When you lose at said carnival games and are only 5 years old it can be effective to cry (hysterically is really effective) and not leave the game area as you continue to go on and on about how unfair it is you did not win. The people working the booths will be so motivated to just get rid of you they will start throwing stuffed animals in your general direction.
- When going to the Circus it is best not to sit in the front row. The trapeze artists have very skimpy outfits on and your 17 year old son will have a very interesting view of their anatomy as you are both peering up at them from your vantage point of being under the net that can save their lives if they fall. Those girls really really need to put some more clothes on.
- My body does not like the 106 degree heat. My feet have swollen up like giant tomato's and I can barely squeeze them into my flip flops.
- I rooted against my sons team so we could go home tomorrow. They won and now we have to play a game at 11:00. If they win that game they play for the championship at 3:00, meaning we won't get on the road for our 4 hour drive home until late. Not sure how hard I will be cheering at 11 tomorrow. Maybe I could slip a couple of the kids some cash to strike out a few times....
- I am a very bad mother. See above bullet point.
- I have eaten enough in the last 3 days to feed a small country for a week.
- I have dreamt of our Ethiopian children every single night. I wonder if they will like the circus also?
- I am very very thankful to the person who invented air conditioning.
Good bye for now. I'm off to elevate my feet so I don't have to walk around barefoot tomorrow all day. My feet seriously look like I am 9 months pregnant.
Thanks also to Angie and Dee for their wonderful information about our children. They met them last month when they went to the House of Hope to pick up their daughter and son. It is so wonderful to have so many people who care about our kids. They told us all about how wonderful they are and every bit of information was like gold for our family. I will forever be thankful to both of you for your kindness.
I also had the pleasure of speaking with Roxanne over the phone. Her little guy, who is five, is also at the House of Hope and they are waiting for a court date to pick him up. I had been praying that some of our children's friends would be adopted by families that live in California or in a state nearby so they could keep in contact. Roxanne and I were so excited to find out that we only live about 90 miles from each other. Yippee!! Not only that, we have so much in common it was amazing. Can any one else see God's hand in all of this??? Isn't He awesome!
I am going to Las Vegas this weekend with Zach and the girls for a baseball tournament. With all the excitement going on the last few days I have done nothing to prepare. I was at the store last night at 10:00 p.m.. buying Dave and the boys who are staying behind some food to eat while we are gone. Garrett has all-star practice this weekend so Dave is staying home with him and Tyler.
We are leaving in 2 hours and I need to go and get an oil change, buy some toothpaste, pack mine and Paige's bag and make a reservation at a hotel. It would be nice to have somewhere to sleep tonight. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.
Oh well, Zach's game isn't until 9 tomorrow morning. It's a 4 hour drive. I figure I have plenty of time.
And she's off...........................................
They are adorable and I can't wait to post their pictures once we pass court.
I am sorry I had to leave you all hanging from my last post for so long. As you know we really wanted to adopt older children but our agency really did not want us to adopt out of birth order. After much prayer on both of our parts they allowed us to review the file of the waiting children we had been asking about for many weeks.
It is a total God thing and I have no doubt these are the children he has meant for us all along.
Some day I will post about all the miracles that have happened to bring us to this point, for now I am just going to enjoy the moment.
I overnighted our final payment and all of our signed referral documents this morning.
Now the wait is on for a court date. The Ethiopian courts close in early August so we are running out of time to get a date before closure. Our agency is hopeful we can get a date before the August deadline. Will you please say a prayer that this happens so our children do not have to wait until the fall to come home to us?
I truly cannot express how over the moon with joy I am right now. The wait truly is worth it once you see the faces of the children that were meant for your family.
Thanks so much for all your love and support during this very long and, at times, emotionally exhausting journey.
Bring on a court date! I'm ready to head off to Ethiopia and collect our children!
Won't that be a wonderful day?
p.s. Paige has been carrying their pictures around showing everyone her new brother and sister. All of the kids are excited, but her excitement is contagious and just to sweet.
I went to a meeting recently to learn about a home school organization in our area that offers weekly classes for Jr. high and high school students.
I know that the transition to home schooling from the public school system has not always been easy for Garrett (10) and Samantha (13). Although there have been some bumps in the road, I really could not have asked for a better first year with them. We had fun, learned a lot, and best of all I really got to know both of my kids. I would have told you before that I did know them. However, I know them so much better now. It truly has been a joy and privilege to have the opportunity to have them learn at home this past year.
Another homeschooling mom told me recently that many families either attempt to little or to much school the first year of homeschooling, the second year they do the exact opposite, and by the third year they have found their rhythm and have figured out what works for them.
I see a lot of truth in this.
This is why I went to the meeting about the enrichment classes. This particular program is geared towards the Jr. high and high school students offering thing like Chemistry, Spanish, World History, etc.. You can take one class or six. It is up to you.
The name of the program is Inland Christian Academy Program and they strive to form a community of homeschooling families. Even though they only meet one day a week they offer many of the same activities as a "regular" school. They have lunch breaks, student council, school pictures, prom, graduation ceremonies and the list goes on and on. They also offer enrichment classes for younger siblings throughout the day.
So, I went, I saw, I liked, and I signed up all three kids for classes. They have around 300 Jr. high/high school students at the school.
The kids are excited that they get to take a few classes outside the home and I am excited to have this opportunity for all of us to meet more families and learn from their experience.
We were sitting around talking about the classes Samantha had signed up for and I saw Tyler (15) looking over the course offerings. He looks over at me and says something like "Hey mom, why don't I do this next year". Yeah, right I said.
If you remember we recently moved Tyler to a Christian High School in our area. Home schooling a high school student was not on my radar.
A few days later Tyler and I were driving home from his school (it's about 25 minutes away) when he again brings up the idea of staying home next year. He proceeds to tell me all the reasons he would rather I home schooled him. I was in shock. This really caught me of guard.
I started praying about this decision. Really not sure I could do this. Actually, I was pretty positive I could NOT DO THIS. The thought terrified me. Then funny things started to happen.
I kept running into mom's that were homeschooling their high school students. Mom's who had already successfully done this. All of their children in college. I spoke with one mom who had just sent her daughter off to Brown on a full academic scholarship. Her daughter had been home schooled since Kindergarten.
Tyler has a good idea of the college he wants to attend. Cal Tech. The same school his Dad went to. I got online to see if they had any info on home schoolers who wanted to get into their school. Of course you know they did. I was seeing a pattern here.
Their only requirement was that you kept a portfolio and that your math and science classes were taught by someone they deemed qualified. You know, like his Dad, who has a PH.D in physics from this school. I called. Yes, that would be great. No problem.
I continued to argue with God about this, until I finally surrendered to His will. It was ridiculously obvious what we were suppose to do and for what reasons. I won't bore you with all the details, lets just say that God was hammering me over the head with his truth and I finally just had to trust him.
I will be homeschooling four children next year. From Kindergarten to tenth grade.
You have no idea how that statement scares the crap out of me. However, I have decided that if my kids trust me, my husband 100% supports me, and God has enough faith in me to encourage me so, then I am determined to do it.
Now that the initial shock of the request has left me I am really getting excited about this idea. Zach has a really easy Senior schedule coming up next year and he will be home most days by noon. We will all have a lot of time together in his last year home before going off to college. I have a feeling this is going to be a great blessing to our family.
I am so excited to think that we will bring home our children to Ethiopia during a year when we will all be together to bond and get to know each other better.
Speaking of adoption, what is going on with our referral? Well, not much. We are sitting at around #30 on the waiting list and court closure in looming in August. However, we were looking at our agencies waiting children's list a few weeks ago and spotted a little boy and girl that stole our hearts.
I will tell you about them tomorrow, and why our agency may not let us adopt them.
Nothing ever seems easy in International adoption. Ugh.
Samantha thought it was great.
Paige was in heaven.
Garrett didn't have any fun at all. Poor thing.
OK, I guess he had a little bit of fun. Paige loved her new fish shaped flotation device.
Samantha decided to let Jo Jo go for a swim with them.
On another note....we had Paige's final IEP meeting (Individual Education Plan) a few weeks ago. It was very long (2 1/2 hours) with 8 different people talking to us, unfortunately, they couldn't seem to come to an agreement on what kind of plan we need for our sweet girl.
The psychologist wants her in a regular education kinder class next year the kinder team wants her in a special education first grade next year. I won't go into all the details but the gist of the situation is that Paige still has some developmental delays with some attention issues. There is not education box that she fits clearly into. They don't know what to do.
They all agreed that she does best with one on one attention. When I asked if that meant I should home school her several of the team members thought that would be best. I don't think the administration was very happy about that.
In the end it was our decision and we have decided to keep her home next year. I have such a peace about this and know it is the right decision for right now.
Tyler threw a curve ball at us a few weeks ago. A curve ball that sent me to my knee's in prayer and caused me to argue with God that no, I could not do this thing he was asking.
I'll tell you tomorrow who won the argument.