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.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Jael's Baptism

I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength. 
-Philippians 4:13

There's just something about a decision for Christ that seeps all the way deep into my soul. It's the most powerfully moving event I have ever experienced. Last month we had the privilege to not only witness Jael's baptism but we also accepted the opportunity to be her Godparents. 
Levi's Blessing
The Band of Brothers is a group of authentic, loving, hardworking, hard playing, faith filled men who are came together to bless Ryan and Kelly's family before the baptism service. It was amazing! Above you can see them praying over Levi and his role as a big brother.
A Father's Blessing 

Our family, Pastor Dan and The Birges
The Family
Jael's Gift Phil 4:13
Since I have never been part of a baby baptism I wasn't really sure what kind of gift a Godparent gives so off to the Christian bookstore I go. (I love browsing at Parables.) Shopping in the gift section is both a blessing and a curse, everything I see I think, "I can make that!" In the typical scenario I don't buy it and then I don't go home and make it either. This time however I was motivated. My basement is much like a craft store and I knew I could find everything I needed there. My finished product is a shadow box frame with Jael's baptism verse on the glass and a small photo frame inside. My hope is that as Jael grows and learns what her baptism means, one day she will ask the Lord into her heart and be saved by her faith in Christ Jesus.

I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength. 
-Philippians 4:13