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Family Matters and a True Statement of Character

     We are one month into summer and have so much to be thankful for.  Yesterday was the close of an act in a play that I do not plan to repeat nor write a second scene to.  I finally had my port taken out.  For those who don’t know what that is…it was a device put above my right breast just under the skin.  Attached to it was a line that went up my chest, over my collar bone and to Grandmother’s house… wait that’s not right.  Seriously, it went into my carotid artery down to the top of my heart.  When I’d get chemo they would have to use a special needle to access it.  SO when I’d say I was getting plugging in…that’s what I was talking about.  They did this because of the high doses of chemo I was getting.  Not so much the amount of fluid, but the amount of toxic chemicals.  It they would have just accessed a vain, my arms and veins would have been shot in no time.  That little thing is finally gone! Its like saying we are finally finished.  As long as I could still see it, feel it, I wasn’t cancer free.

     Yesterday our youngest daughter turned 10. 10!! The night before, both Dan and I were sitting there wondering where on earth 10 years had gone so fast! It’s hard enough to believe we have an almost 14 year old…let alone some how the youngest had turned 10. No more single digit birthdays.  When we got home from he hospital I had expected that she would be awake patiently waiting to have cake and open presents.  yes, it’s a family tradition to have birthday cake first thing.  Even if that means it’s cake at six o’clock in the morning.

  Daddy actually had to wake her up.  We had a yummy cake.  Probably one of the best combinations, ever! She had me make her a strawberry flavored cake with vanilla frosting. Originally I wanted to layer the cake, but the cake stuck in my rectangle shaped pan. We were going to put fresh strawberries in between the layers.  Instead we put fresh strawberries on top.  Her cake was labeled “Happy Birthday Bee!” in pink gel and to top it off it had red fine sprinkles.  Her choice of ice cream was chocolate that had brownie chunks. After the frightful singing of “Happy Birthday” she got to open presents.

  Best darn present any of my kids has ever gotten: a cotton candy machine!  This was way too much fun and we were surprised how much cotton candy you could make.

     Thankfully we bought extra cotton candy sugar.  The machine we got did not come with any.  According to the directions, you can use crushed hard candy.  When we took her shopping, to spend her birthday money she got from family, we got her some candies.  She picked peppermints, butter scotch and root beer.  I’m going to crush them in the food processor and we will see what happens. After cake and shopping Daddy make the birthday lunch.  Lunch instead of dinner because bub had a baseball game.  I personally was in a food coma after lunch.

     Last night Bub had a baseball came.  I am really excited about this team he is on.  It was a rough start.  The coaches he started with … glad they got replaced! One coach thought the boys should do football style conditioning for an hour and the other coach did nothing but hit balls and the boys and yell at them in broken Spanish/English.  Most of the time Bub had no idea what the guy was saying.  They were replaced by an excellent coach.  I, along with other parents, believe that eighth grade and down is the time to learn the fundamentals of a sport.  Hone in on strengths and fix weaknesses.  Conditioning is excellent!  But you have to create a program that is specific to the sport.  Yelling at kids and not taking the time to explain what you are talking about is pointless.  Not to mention it shuts the kids down.

    So this new coach we got is amazing.  He doesn’t stop coaching the kids and working with them. He really reinforces the fundamentals of baseball.   What is more amazing, he emphasizes sportsmanship! So far we are undefeated.  One game it was a nail biter, the other three games were blow outs.  What was awesome about last nights game was the actions the coach took:

  •  After the second inning it was 12-0. He told the boys they were no longer going to steal on wild pitches
  • He put in those who aren’t the best at certain positions (like a pitcher who isn’t the best but wants to pitch)

This is outstanding because it is no fun to be on the other side of that game.  We could have probably tripled the score before the night was out, but instead he decided to make it fair and recognize the situation.  He taught those boys that just because you are winning, doesn’t mean you don’t have the chance to show real character and to keep learning.  Normally Bub plays third base, left or left center.  He plays that side because he can throw a ball really far with accuracy. Last night he had Bub on second base and catcher.  Bub played catcher a few years ago.  Well, the coach pulled him after two pitches because the ball had gone behind him.  Instead of just coaching and encouraging he was pulled.  Last night our coach kept encouraging him and after a handful of pitches he was catching, no pun intended, on and doing really well!

In the end the score was 3-14.  Way to go Rangers! The coach gathered the boys up and told them “You can have all the talent in the world and still lose games.  You guys win because you have heart.” That is the best line told to kids I’ve heard in ages!

  The coming week are only going to get crazier — but I’m loving every moment!

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