Friday, February 20, 2009

Opening Weekend - College Baseball has begun!

Charles and I just had to be there....The first time that Josh walked on the field in a college uniform on a division one college team was important to share. So many practices throughout the years, so much travel, so many bumps and bruises and now the dreams of a little boy playing college ball for Josh has been realized. He called us last night while we were on the way to tell us that he received his newest uniforms and they were "awesome". Awesome? You bet!! What made them special to Josh is that the uniform FIT!! With a 6'5", 235 lb body, fit has always been an issue. His new pants are tailor-made and they are long enough and big enough to fit! The pride of wearing a Samford uniform represents so much.....It's the reward for thousands of hours practicing when no one was watching, and doing the mental and physical conditioning that is required along with lots of persistance and dedication. As they played the national anthem tonight and I saw Josh standing on the sidelines in line with the team, the emotions took over and my eyes filled with tears....I am proud of both of our boys for the men they are becoming and this is an important part of the journey for Josh. He has worked so hard to get to this place, and this is the just the beginning of the next stage of his life.

Tonight, Josh sat on the bench with all the other freshman, just happy to be in the dugout. The game was a good one against Kennesaw State. The score stayed close all evening, but Samford won in the 9th, 6 to 5. It was a great way to begin the season! Right now, Josh is scheduled to pitch on Sunday, so we are hoping to see him play.

As he goes into his first college season, we know that it will require an extra level of focus and determination. I am sure that resolution will be tested as they play 5 games a week for the next 3 1/2 months. It will take discipline on and off the field, especially with his academics in order to have a successful spring. Josh knows what it takes and he is up to the challenge.

Josh - May God bless you and keep you safe. We are praying for you and know the Lord will go before you. Dad, Chad and I will be behind you all the way - cheering you onward!

Go Bulldogs!! We are your #1 fans!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rugby Road Trip

Chad loves Rugby - and has played for years. He fell in love with the sport when we lived in Mexico City and he played on his British school team. Rugby is a lot like football, but without the protective gear. It is a rough game and injuries are common - not a favorite game for a mom!

Chad plays on the Baylor team as a scrum half. The position requires good handling skills as well as quick reactions and the ability to spin the ball off both hands. Scrum halfs are the first tackler in defense and are behind every "scrum" to get the ball out and to maintain movement.

Baylor's last home game was on Saturday and we were determined to get to Waco to see him play - just a 3 hour drive away. However, due to a meeting earlier that morning, we were about 10 minutes late to the game. Chad was already sitting on the sideline with ice on his shoulder - not a good sign! While he wanted to see the rest of the game, the pain was just too intense......so off to the emergency room!! What a busy hospital on a Saturday! However, we were impressed with the triage...They sent the less serious cases to a different area - urgent care - which made it much easier for everyone. Chad was seen quickly by the orthopedic doctor on call, then xrays were taken. It was determined that he had seperated his shoulder from his clavicle tearing some ligaments - ouch!! They immoblized his arm in a sling, and sent him home with a prescription of vicoden. I was so glad that we were in town!!
We stopped by Subway to get his favorite footlong sub (a bit of pampering), on to Walgreens, then home to get him settled. While I hurt when he hurts, it was good to have the undivided time just to sit with him, even in an emergency room. No matter how old he gets, I want to be close when he is sick or hurt! Since it was Valentine's day and Chad had a date for his fraternity dinner (even with an injured shoulder), we headed off on our journey toward home. Charles and I celebrated at the Dixie Cafe - the half way point from Waco to Houston - and had a wonderful country dinner. While we didn't get to see his rugby game, we were happy to do a road trip to Waco..........Maybe next time! Go bears!! :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Friends for a reason....

After leaving Malaga at 7:00 am, I headed home through Paris. (Charles' flight path took him to Madrid-Miami-Houston, since he was flying via AA points.) My flight arrived late into Paris and by the time, I took the bus from the plane, cleared security a second time and got to the gate area, my flight had already departed to Houston. Since it was the only flight that day going to Houston on Air France, I had to be re-routed through Atlanta - after a 4 hour wait in Paris - which isn't a bad airport to be stuck in! :) I flew from Paris to Atlanta and again arrived late, went through immigrations and then on to get my bags for customs. Since I was changing airlines, I had to personally re-check my bags with Delta where I was advised to RUN to the gate, since they had already boarded!! So off I went, running up the stairs, through the change of terminals and just made the flight with minutes to spare. As I settled into my seat and the announcements were coming on, I took the opportunity to call Charles in Miami, my parents in Tennessee and my friend (Susan) who was picking me up in Houston to update them.

The lady sitting the seat over from me overheard my phone conversation about Malaga. She mentioned that she used to live in Spain and we talked all the way to Houston. Her story was an interesting one - She was an expat in Equatorial Guinea and currently fleeing the country!! I believe that "once an expat, always an expat" and that expats always bond together, so we hit it off immediately.

She (Beth) had been in Equatorial Guinea (West Africa) since September and waiting on their household goods. Instead of their shipment arriving at their home, the police came to her husband's (Jim) office and arrested him!! Apparently they found security books (He is the director of security, so of course, he would have security books!) in their shipment and determined that Jim was a threat to their government!! They let him go for the weekend, telling him to return on Monday. :) Instead, Marathon Oil arranged for them to leave the country on the next day's flight!! Now, they are official refugees and are "camping" in the Hilton Garden Inn in The Woodlands, TX!! I offered to help with needs while they were in town and we exchanged numbers knowing that we had met new friends! She has been doing a great blog on their experiences at http://jimbethonthelam.blogspot.com/.
At this point, Jim has met with many people and it appears that the dictator in Equatorial Guinea thinks that he is a governmental threat, and will not let them back in!! Jim is looking into other job options now, but they will not be returning to West Africa - at least not to Equatorial Guinea!! They seem to have a great attitude about it all, but it has to be like living a novel - who would have believed it!!
In the meantime, we have been blessed by their presence!! We've been out for Mexican food, then to church together. Beth has joined my BSF (Bible Study) class and they also came to our house for dinner. We've had a wonderfully, relaxing time just getting to know them - what a neat couple!! Every time we see them, we realize that we have so much in common!!

It's amazing that God works in the details of our lives, even in missed planes!! :) We also know that God gives us friends for a reason, friends for a season and friends for a lifetime! What a privilege to miss a plane and to leave with new friends - We are truly blessed!
As they progress forward and learn what is in store for their future, I know that they would covet your prayers for guidance, for strength and for the blessing of allowing an angry dictator of a West African country to release their furniture and household goods.... And that God would open doors for them for their next assignment in a very clear way!!
"And he is before all things and in Him all things hold together." Col 1:17
****The picture of us was taken by Beth at our church - The Fellowship of the Woodlands. The picture of Beth and Jim was taken after the service as well.