football mama


My two youngest sons play football and they are both rookies this year.

Seth is 6 and Caleb is 10.  They are both determined players but Caleb has a little extra advantage: PASSION….total and complete passion for anything that has to do with football.  He collects the cards and organizes them carefully in binders, studies NFL teams and trivia using magazines and books, watches any football game on TV, and will happily talk nonstop to anyone who will listen to endless football conversation.  This passion he has for the sport gives him an extra desire to play….to play hard with body AND heart.

Whoever gets to take Caleb to his first real college or NFL football game is one lucky person.

Rich gets excited watching Caleb play because he sees the potential.  Rich loved playing football in school.

I don’t want to make it seem like Seth doesn’t have talent, because he does..he just misses that outside interest in the sport.  He plays and then goes home to do other stuff.  Caleb plays football and then goes home to play some more.

I even secretly think that he’s longing for a sports injury, just so he can be like all the other tough guys.  Not anything major, mind you, but a nice little injury that doesn’t slow him down but gives him something to brag about.  A little blood would be nice, and a few good bruises.

A couple weeks ago I took along my SLR to take some photos of the boys in action.

SETH’s team played first:

Okay, so the coaches are all awesome.  I LOVE to see men working with boys, teaching them, yelling at them, caring for them.

Here is Seth (number 3) getting his helmet snapped in place by one of his coaches.


team talk before the game.


Seth is on the line.


A team mate running for a touchdown.


Our team won the game and afterwards celebrated with a bag of lollipops, which is what they are doing in the following picture:  (grabbing lollipops)  Seth is number three with his back to me.


Seth made his Dad buy him a FLAVORED mouth guard AND special gloves.  He has to have the stuff to be cool, you know.  Nothing gets by him.

Seth has gotten the “tuff guy” ball three times this year, which is awarded to the toughest boy after each practice.

CALEB’s team was next to play::

Here he is, number 54, getting ready to kick.  He does great as kicker…and guess what?  His dad was kicker on his team, too!  Caleb was thrilled to make his dad proud of him by being chosen team kicker.



Caleb in action, running through two kids from the other team.  He is the one running left in the photo.  Caleb plays both defense and offense so he never comes off the field the whole game which makes me laugh.  He gets good and sweaty but doesn’t tire out at all because he loves it.

They had their first win!  Caleb took his helmet off, cheering with joy while the coaches clapped.



Caleb is a great motivator and never shuts up during the games (he is like that in baseball, too), he helps the team by using kind and encouraging words….what a gift he has!  He was ready to pat everyone on the back and tell them how good they did after the win, too.

It was after this game that I went out and bought cowbells, to the annoyance of the whole family.  They are soooo loud!  After spending a few days in the house I put them in the back of my car to live.

This past weekend Rich went to the game without me so I could take the other kids to church (we hate that most of the games are on Sunday morning).  Their teams both won again and Caleb played very well, sacking the quarterback twice causing him to fumble the ball, getting interceptions, and tackling people right and left.  Rich texted me throughout to keep me posted.

I asked him if he was ringing the (annoying) bells for Caleb and he said, “No, they are all yours.  I wouldn’t do that without you.”

This weekend Rich is teaching Sunday School so I will be taking the boys myself.  It’s fun being a football mama.

in the meantime….

Isn’t the news depressing?  It makes me long for Jesus and Home.  I know the end of my story and it’s worth living in this wretched world for… a person who determines to look for beauty, it hurts to write “wretched” but what other word is there when you hear of all the terrible things happening in our country and around the world?

In the meantime, I’m determined to live my own ordinary, quiet, blessed life to the FULLEST.  I’m going to say yes as much as possible, go to bed early and SLEEP the glorious sleep, read the books, dress the children, cook the food, laugh the laughs, light the candles, take pictures of the sunrise, help as many people as I can, smile the smiles, say NO to anything or anyone that drains the energy from me that I need for my family, hug the hugs, pet the cats, make the sacrifices……you get the idea.  All the things that I like, that I need to do and want to do.  I’m so thankful that I have the power and determination to live the life I want to live, regardless of outside circumstances.  We all have that freedom to some extent.

I truly think it pleases and glorifies God when we know who we are and live the way He made us to live, according to each unique person’s story and personality.  Praising, dancing, and yes, even mourning and crying in those times, too.  Feeling all the emotions He made us to feel.  Do you like to cook?  Then COOK with abandon.  Do you like nature?  Then get outside!  Do you like people?  Then get out there BE WITH THEM.  Do you like solitude?  Then stay home and LET THE WONDERFUL PEOPLE COME TO YOU.  Everyone is different and everyone has value.  There is no shame.

My mom said this weekend, “I LOVE MY LIFE.”  She read a story about a woman in her 90’s who still walks to work every day.  She wants to be like that woman.  Relishing her life and her work and never wanting it to end…… keep going.


Ethan, Mitch, and Jacob went to the homecoming football game, and so did Caleb, who wanted to go so very much that the boys took him along.


The dog was at their feet in the photo….Parker the dog loves his boys.  In his eyes, they can do no wrong and totally deserve 115% loyalty and love.



Grace was invited to the homecoming dance….and after I asked the brothers if he was a nice boy I said….”If you want to go, then I want you to go.  Experience High School…all of it…and enjoy it!”  And she was happy to say “yes” and go dress shopping.

We had a hallelujah fit in the mall when we got the text telling us the parade was cancelled that morning…..because we needed more time.  This girl hardly has any free time and we shopped for her dress the morning of the dance!!!!  It had to be purple, too.  Thankfully, we had success at Macy’s.  The dress fit her like it was made for her.  Which is was.  🙂


We went from shopping to lunch with Grandma, Grandpa, and Abbie.




Then we walked to the bookstore.


My dad with Caleb.  And a lego mini figure that I bought for my boy.



My mom who loves life even though it’s very hard at times!


I fixed her hair, painted her nails, bought her dress, shoes, and necklace, let her borrow my earrings and dress coat (not pictured) and I was happy to do it all for my girl.  It was exhausting, in a good way.  That feeling when a plan comes together.


Aren’t they sharp?  They had made a plan to dress alike, and they had success!  Grace told me the next morning that she had a lot more fun than she thought she would.  (She was a little nervous).


I wish I had a better photo of Jacob and Emily but I was so focused on Grace and these two LEFT the house in Jacob’s car before I could even think of getting a picture of them.  Rich and I drove Grace and her date to the school and happened to see Jacob and Emily walking on the sidewalk.  I took the picture out the truck window.  It was freezing cold (in the 40s) so poor Emily was suffering.  Jacob didn’t ask to be taken shopping….he simply raided his Dad’s closet.

Oh and in case you’re wondering…Ethan and his girlfriend didn’t go to the dance.  They stayed at her house with her family and watched four Harry Potter movies.


The purpose of this photo is to show you my morning glories.  They have vigorously produced more vine and leaf than flower.  I’m enjoying each remaining day with them because when we have frost they will die.  I loved watching them grow all summer long, waiting and waiting for the flowers to appear.



Yesterday evening we cleaned the chicken coop and put fresh new wood shavings down.



We found our first white egg ever!!


Rich took a couple pictures with me in them.  And that’s Caleb helping, too.





Wooly Aphids are AMAZING gray bugs that have white wispy stuff (called honeydew) coming out of them.  Blogged about last year.


I was standing on the side of the road on Sunday when I took this picture. ^^  This morning I heard the dog barking and looked outside to see a car parked and running in the same spot.  I put on my boots to run down and see if they were okay.  And GUESS WHAT?  This is so exiting.  It was a lady trying to take pictures (with a Cannon SLR) of an Osprey sitting in our dead tree!!!!!  (the dead tree pictured above).  She and I visited on the side of the road, talking of nature and photography, and became friends this morning at 8am!!!!!!!!!!!  That’s a God-moment for sure!



This morning’s sunrise.  Sarah said, “Mom, come look at the sky!”

Happy is the Mom whose children show her sunrises.



Please please pray that Sarah’s UTI has cleared up.  I have to take her tomorrow at 8:45 for a re-check.  She’s certainly acting better, and had a great time eating chocolate covered strawberries yesterday after church.

Happy Monday, friends!

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him.  Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him.  Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”  Colossians 2:6, 7  (I read this verse this morning and absolutely LOVED it. Amen!)

the backpack


I’ve been enjoying the gardens this spring, more than I ever have.  I think it’s because for the first time in almost 2o years I don’t have any children younger than five years old.  Although with Seth in my life it is still questionable whether I should turn my back on him…for the most part the children can be trusted to play while I lose myself in the garden for brief periods of time.


I want to fill the house with vases of lilacs.


This is six year old Seth in the stream, peering into the pipe that allows the water to run under the road near our house.  He was looking for snake skin.  It is common knowledge to the boys that the local snakes use these pipes to pull dead skins off themselves.  He counted six of them but after reaching one, he would not get the rest because he also saw a spider.

This morning Seth had a hard time waking up and getting motivated for a day of Kindergarten.  He tried the typical “I don’t feel good” but I wasn’t falling for it.  I put together his backpack and was quite pleased that I made him a nice lunch and remembered to put the strawberries in his bag for tomorrow’s event.  I hung his bag on the doorknob right where he could grab it on his way to the bus.  20 minutes later the bus came…..and what in the??? no backpack to be found–was I going crazy?….I started running around the kitchen as the bus sat and waited.   “WHERE is your backpack?”  “I don’t know!”  “I’ll bring it to you when I find it!” Seth looked at me in shock when I (GENTLY) pushed him out the door.  He couldn’t believe that he had to go to school without it.  It took some persuading to get him on the bus.

I found the backpack LOCKED IN THE BATHROOM.

I had to drive it to school.

When he gets home I am going to have to talk to him about problem solving, creative thinking, telling the truth,  responsibility, and the fact that the little trust I had in him is now damaged.


Anyway, back to the snakes.  After pocketing the one snake skin that he was able to reach from the pipe, and the two of us talking a lot about how a snake takes it’s skin off like that and whether humans also shed skin (hard to explain), we entered the field not far from our house.  I was on a quest to see if the wild rose bush was in bloom.



The wild rose bush was neatly clipped off at the end of each branch (deer?) with no buds to be seen on it (so disappointing) but we did find some wild strawberries.





Little ruby treasures.



There was spit everywhere…..inside of the spit there are little spit bugs to be found…


….they look like this.


water reflections in our pond


the daisies are in bloom


There was a nest was nearby and he did his best to keep me away from it by constant chirping.

This morning I have a cold, Sarah is coughing up a storm, and Ethan is home from school feeling wretched.  The entire outdoors is in gloomy suspended animation as we wait and wonder if it will rain.  A cool breeze blows through now and then, causing the wind chimes to flutter and play it’s notes.

“He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”  Psalm 107:9