Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Student Takeover 2016

I love to serve.
I love to serve.
I love to serve.
Everyone is different and have been given different gifts but I feel closer to God when I am serving Him by serving others. I am so proud of how our youth ministry at Christ Community Church is focusing on helping kids connect to God through service. This can look different for everyone but certainly our children need to understand that this life is not only about them.
Reagan is completely out of her comfort zone in this picture, shaking hands with a man she doesn't know is frightening for her. So this may not be the place she wants to serve long term but it's a great first step. Side note: most people don't wear suits to our church.
Emma on the other hand is in her happy place, on stage with her cello in hand playing worship music. She has found joy in volunteering at church both with the worship band and toddler room.
This makes my heart overflow!
The girls made fun of me for taking this picture but truly, I love having my girls (plus 2) sitting in church with us. My number one goal as a parent is to I introduce a life with Christ to our girls. Then teach them how to engage with Christ, to know Him personally and put Him in the center of their lives. We encourage the girls to bring friends to church, attend fun activities and ask lots of questions. I grew up in a time when kids went to church because their parents told them to. There was very little dialog about the whys and what ifs of my faith and heaven forbid having fun at church was not even a concept. The result is a generation of people who don't personally know Christ, who attend when it is convenient and live their lives just like everyone else. I do believe whether I am an adult or a child there should be something about me that seems different, and that difference is Christ.

As the Scriptures say, "People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.
1Peter 1:24:25 NLT

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Rotary Scholar

******Just found this...forgot to post it in May******

LEADERSHIP . CHARACTER . SCHOLARSHIP . PRESENCE
This week, four hundred twenty-seven Omaha area students who embody the traits of leadership, character, scholarship and presence came together to be recognized by the local Rotary Club. These remarkable kiddos represent the top 5% of Omaha eighth graders. I love that many of Reagan's close school friends are all part of this group. Not only does she have awesome parents but her friends are pretty great as well.
The Crew from Reags middle school 
Proud Mom and Dad
Nana and Papa
Two of her besties
Reagan, remember that great things seldom just happen to people. It takes hard work, perseverance and good character to achieve your goals. But also remember, you don't have to be perfect and it's okay if plans change from time to time. Your mom and dad are proud of you and love you dearly.

7300 Days and Counting

This month Chris and I celebrated our 20th Anniversary. 
7304 Days
175,316 Hours
10,518,984 Minutes
...so many moments of love, laughter, trials, hard work, faith and anticipation.

I had so much fun looking back through the years via photographs. One thing I noticed was once our first child was born there are very few pictures of the two of us without a child until they were all old enough to walk, wipe and fully weened.
Wedding day circa 1996
Pre-children
Life seems to take over our calendar and before we know it, we have forgotten what it is like to just be together without an itinerary. Chris took us back to a no plan, fly by the seat of our pants kind of day. We hit the Old Market for food and fun shops. (I love the Old Market) We shared grouper at Plank, sushi at Blue and planned to go one more place but couldn't eat any more. I have wanted to go to Ashley's Underground but always thought it looked a little sketchy. Besides the overwhelming smell of incense it wasn't bad at all and actually had the most eclectic collection of items. (A whole line of bacon everything...must remember for Emma's birthday.)

We accidentally dressed alike
Pitch Pizza...LoveIt!
After a nap we went back out on the town for dinner at my favorite pizza place. Our last stop was Brix for a glass of wine. To our surprise we ran into a good friend so we stayed until they kicked us out at closing time.

Our 20th Anniversary was a perfect day with the man I love. Chris knows my love language is "Quality Time" and he gave me that. Thank you Chris for showing me love. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mom's Day


Sleepovers
Graduation Parties
Family Dinner out
Chris' softball team
Church
Volunteering
Shopping
Emma's softball team
Late Night meeting

This is what Mother's Day Weekend looks like at our house. What a fantastic way to celebrate doing and being the thing I love most...A Mom! My favorite part of the day was lunch with the girls at a little taco shop in a nearby shopping center and some brief shopping. We laughed so hard at silly stuff. There is nothing better than the love and joy from a child. These three girls are the reason my life is so crazy and also so filled with laughter and joy. I am blessed beyond words that God saw me as a woman (along with her awesome hubby) who could raise them to know Jesus as their savior and rely on the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance.  I am humbled! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Color Run EGA Style

When soccer girls plan a team building event it still includes running and they love it. This wasn't the official color run but it was a 5K fun run which involved colorful dust flying through the air. Reagan is surprised to find that she had blue toes when she jumped in the shower.  Color went everywhere!

 The hills were brutal!

 My little blondie had pink, blue, green, yellow hair.
 WE DID IT!!!
And finally the team jumped in to the pool to wash off. However, Nebraska pool water on April 25th is stinkin' COLD! As soon as they hit the water they were scurrying for the steps. 

Sometimes these competitive soccer players need to spend some time together letting loose, doing the things that fourteen year old girls do...laughing, acting like fools and being care-free.

Monday, April 18, 2016

MRL Weekend in Kansas

Soccer Soccer Soccer
Here are a few pictures of our soccer weekend in Overland Park, KS.
(Reagan in white.)
I love the stretch through the legs to steal the ball
Header while being pushed in the back.
I don't like to have negative comments about student athletes but this picture is one TINY example of the overly physical game the girls endured against the Michigan Jaguars. By the end of the game we had Maddie with a black eye, Reagan with a huge turf burn, Grace with a possible concussion, Lexi had been thrown around like a rag doll and several girls who had been flat out pushed around. Needless to say the ref needed some glasses. ;)

Reagan said, "I didn't know my leg could go that high!"
 EGA lost to Michigan Jaguars in the first game of the weekend, 1-0. So disappointing for them, as they know they can defeat this team. Our league is called the Midwest Regional League (MRL). As we go through the season, we earn 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie and 0 points for a loss. At the end of the season our point total is part of the determining factors to advance to the Regional Tournament in Colorado. This loss could end up being a bad deal for the team.

Game #2 of the weekend came the following morning against the National Champions, the Michigan Hawks. They beat us in the fall 2-1 so we knew we could compete with this powerhouse soccer team. The girls fought a tough battle for 70 minutes on the field and finished with a 1-1 tie. I am so proud of them. Now we need to win the rest of our games and for them to loose a league game this spring to help us reach the top spot of the region.
Reagan in black and gray stripes

I included this picture to show the organized chaos that occurs during a soccer game. Look at all these athletes in the box during a corner kick, there are bodies and legs going everywhere. It's a wonder there aren't more injuries.

Reagan's soccer team is full of incredibly talented little soccer players. These girls are smart, driven young ladies. Most of them have big plans for the future whether soccer continues for them or not. Watching 18 girls come together for a common purpose, knowing there is sacrifice and hard work required to reach the goal is a cool thing. Good job girls!

Gotta give a shout out to Uncle Rodger, Aunt Laura and Uncle John for making it down to the soccer fields to support their niece. It's so wonderful to have family and friends in so many of the locations Reags plays in. I can't wait to see my friend Marcy in Colorado. Yes, I'm praying the girls will play well enough to make it there.

Friday, April 15, 2016

(She) Takes My Breath Away

 Prom 2016
Everything about it was perfect, she said. 
Emma got the dress she so desperately wanted. (it has pockets)
Emma had her best friend of 11 years as a date.
Emma spent the day doing hair, make-up and nails with the girls.
Emma and crew got their picture spot. (seriously this is a source of HS drama)
Emma and crew enjoyed dinner together.
Emma and Colin got home at 4:30am. (Prom and Post-Prom)
Bella, Emma and Azaria
Cassidy and Emma
Christina and Emma


Colin and Emma
The Crew
 It may seem that this event was all about Emma but that's not the way I saw it. Emma and her date, Colin met in 1st grade when we lived in Grand Island. Through school and soccer events we became friends with Colin's parents. Even though we left GI eight years ago, we have blessed by our friendship with the Williams family. I saw the weekend as an opportunity to hang out with Tami and Steve. While Em and C were dancing the night away the rest of the two families were eating, playing games and catching up. Thanks Williams, we love your family.
My beautiful girls
 And this one is my favorite...

Monday, March 7, 2016

Presidents Day Tournament 2016


The Fabulous U14 EGA Maroon Soccer Girls
Who's up for a 19 hour road trip? It was our joy to carpool with Goalie Cat and her mom Kimberly on what many called a crazy road trip. For us it was a no-brainer! Each family saved at least $800 and had a great time together. Talk about teammate bonding! 

Sidenote: How do I get so lucky? Chris takes some pretty fantastic dad-daughter soccer trips (insert sarcasm) to Muscatine, IA; St Louis, Mo; Minneapolis, MN in February and I get to go to Phoenix AZ in February. Yep he's a keeper, love that guy of mine! 

We have entered into a new phase of soccer for Reagan. I know this is just the beginning, crazier days are on the horizon. These girls are being to be looked at by college recruiters, or so we are told. To be honest, I'm not all that excited or worried about it. When the time is right I believe Reagan will be seen by the right people. See, our daughter is driven to play college soccer and even dreams of being on the US Women's National Team. However, first she needs to make it through 8th grade promotion in May. Even though soccer is a big part of Reagan's life, it does not define her. Our little soccer player is pretty awesome, but ask any mom and they will say the same thing about their child. Who knows if I am right, I just want Reagan to have fun, stay fit and learn some great life lessons along the way. In the meantime, we plan to do whatever we can (with in reason) to help her reach her dreams, as long as she cleans her room, helps her sisters do the dishes and does her best in school. Shouldn't that go without saying?

Now back to the "crazy part." Our soccer club, Elite Girls Academy does a tremendous job of getting the athletes seen. Thanks to the connections our club director has the percentage of EGA girls who go on to play at the next level far exceeds any other club in Nebraska. The President's Day Tournament in Phoenix is one of the top recruiting tournaments of the year. With that said, I kind of doubt there were many D1 coaches watching a bunch of 8th graders play soccer. So for us it was a fun weekend to be in beautiful 60 degree weather and hang out with a bunch of our Phoenix friends and family. Next year, the recruiting aspect of this game will get crazy. And I have heard, things get a little strange on the team from time to time. You know, our unwanted friend Jealousy finds his way on to the team. Chris and I see it as our job as Reagan's parents to keep her focused on what's important. 
1. God has a plan for your life. 
2. Love people, even when you don't feel like they deserve it.
3. Work hard to be the best YOU that you can be.
Reagan has the best cheering section
 It's true, typically Reagan has the most fans at any game, what a lucky girl. A shout out and Thank You for coming to see us...Uncle Eric, Mike & LuAnn, Aunt LaRae, Nana & Papa, Great Grandma, Aunt Shelly, Miles, Tammy, Vicki & Dan and the whole Walker clan.

Soccer Moms had a little R&R poolside
Soccer Girls and the Walker Boys
I'm not going to lie, the travel gets pretty expensive with this soccer team but we have managed to find some great solutions. Obviously, driving was much cheaper than flying. The next big expense is the hotel stay. We do our best to save where we can which means if you live in a city that my daughter plays in you can expect to get a call from me asking if we can camp out on your floor for 1-2 nights. It saves us a bundle! As luck would have it, we use to live in the valley of the sun so we had lots of places to stay. The Walker family was so gracious to give us their boys' bed for 4 nights. Yes we saved money but we gained many wonderful memories. Thanks G, J & H for giving up your beds. You boys are AWESOME!!! Seriously, come see us in Nebraska!
No filter: God is an amazing artist!
Love them!
I have known these girls almost longer than I have known my own children. The miles may physically separate us but our hearts stay close. Miss you already.