We lost the game

We had the van backed up and the door raised. The 12 x 12 tent was pulled out. The big vinyl chairs would spread around. The cooler was full of ice. There were chips, sunflower seeds, oranges, and other assorted eats and drinks.

We also had the Bose speaker that connected wirelessly to our iPhone so we could play loud music. All we needed were those famous words, “Play ball!!!”.

And they came.

It was a six inning single elimination tournament.

We were eliminated.

The score was 14-13. No worries. No sorrow. The season is over. Haydn had a real good game. He was hit by the ball and he was walked. He stole a few bases (maybe three) and scored a run. He finished well.

It was hot even under the tent. I know the boys were hot, but no one complained. They played well, yelled loud, and did all they could do. We now move on to the next inning in our lives. That will be fun too.

Final game of the season?

Today may be the final game of the season. Haydn has a playoff game with one of the superior teams in our league. Our team is 2-8 for the ten game season. It has been a good season and we have had a lot of fun.

We’re not a good team and the best thing about that is nobody seems to be bothered by our inability to play well. That is a good thing. I’m glad they have a healthy dose of “it’s okay if we lose; we’re having a good time” attitude.

I’ve asked Hadyn several times if it bothered him to lose and he says, “No” every time. I’m glad about this. He enjoys being with his team and he is a leader on the field.

One of the dads told me last game how Haydn hustles all the time. He does. He leads the team to the on field line up formation before the game. He leads the team on the field at the start of each inning.

Last game he organized all the equipment for the coach toward the end of the game so it could be gathered easily to load in the cars. As the game ended, it began to rain, which made is proactive organizing all the more important. We snatched it up and loaded it for the coach.

Though it has been a good experience, it will be nice to move on to other summer activities. So much to do; so much fun to have. Summer, family, fun, and memories galore. It’s a wonderful life.



(A note from Haydn’s coach.)

Hello A’s

Below are team stats for our top 5 batters.  To explain:

  • AB = At Bats, or number of times up to bat
  • BB = Base on Balls, or Walks
  • SO = Strike Outs
  • H = Hits (only those hits where the player reaches base safely)
  • Contacts = The number of times the player puts the ball in play, including hits, ground outs, and fly outs
  • BA = Batting Average (Hits/AB)
  • OBP = On Base Percentage (Hits + BB / AB)

Going forward, batting order will be determined using Batting Average, with the top batter in the 4th position (Clean-Up), and the next three batters in the 1st through 3rd positions.

















































Coach Jim

My son’s gambling problem

I was making a deposit at the bank when my 9-year old son lean in to me and asked if he could take $3 out of his bank account. He made a wager with his friend, Ethan. He had 3 bucks on the Niners. Oh my! My son was gambling last night. The good news is (1) He wanted to pay his gambling debt; (2) he wanted to keep his word. I guess I can praise the LORD for that.

Last night the SF 49’s played the Baltimore Ravens in the 47th Super Bowl. We went to our friend’s home–the Subers, to watch the game with our Small Group. We have a SB party each year. Lot’s of fun.

Haydn doing it again

The paragraphs below (in blocks) tell a snippet about our most recent trip to the Greenville Christmas Parade. We went there with our good friends, the Crumptons.

We sat on the street, waiting for the parade to come. We had some of the “best seats in the house.” We arrived 90 minutes early to put our chairs out and then went to get something to eat.

Once we got back, we settled in for the parade to show up. Haydn and Ansa were sitting in front of me and Tristen was a few spots over, all three of them sitting on the pavement.

A Target Float came by and some of the walkers were passing out candy canes, good size ones. A lady gave Haydn and Ansa one, but did not see Tristen a few spots away from them.

Without hesitation, Haydn took the candy cane and seamlessly reached out to Tristen and handed his to her, recognizing that he would not get one. The 17-year old son–Charles–of the Crumptons saw what he had done.

His mother sent the following email note to me a couple of days later:

Charles was utterly shocked at Haydn’s reaction with the candy cane. He said, “Mom it was an instant, normal reaction for him to look out for his sisters.”

I responded this way initially:

Okay…i’ll respond later to all of this, but wanted to tell you now that I am crying as I read what you said about my son. It’s my dream that he would love Jesus. He is such a good boy. He is amazing to me. I saw him do that. Thanks for reminding me. I needed to be re-encouraged today. I praise God for Haydn.

And then responded this way the next day:

Thanks again for the email. It was a lot of fun to read what you wrote to Haydn and the girls. He kinda hung his head down, kinda shy about being the center of attention. He is what he is and he does what he does, a total encouragement to me…and Lucia too. We have been blessed because God gave us those three guys.

I broke my bottom

Haydn said, “Daddy, I think I broke my bottom.”

I said, “I think you did cause there is a crack in it.”

The kids laughed a lot. I love hearing my children laugh and love even more making them laugh. There is something about the laughter of my children that satisfies something deep in my soul. Their laughter communicates contentment to me.

We laugh a lot in our home.

Classic Haydn

We pulled into the garage after a couple of hours of running errands. This was a Tuesday, so the garbage can and recycle bin were out at the cul-de-sac. I asked Haydn if he would go get the recycle bin and bring it to the garage. He said, “Okay daddy, but I have got to pee.” I told him to pee outside, a boys dream. He jumps out of the van and runs outside to pee.

Unfortunately, I did not supervise this or give him specific instructions. When I got out of the van and looked outside I saw Haydn with zipper down, walking up our concrete driveway, while peeing a zig-zag line. The drive is slanted upward, therefore he was sort of waddling from side to side while straddling the line of pee he was making up the drive.

Once he had accomplished his artwork, he yelled back at me, “Dad!! Look at what I did! This was a proud moment for my son. His dad was just as proud.

I’ve got my blanket, my teddy, and my gun, Daddy!

…and how else would a boy begin his vacation?

We left the house at 6:38AM this morning. My kids heard the garage door go up, which is right under their room and Haydn was seemingly buckled in the van before the door got all the way up. He wasn’t that quick, but nearly so. Surprisingly, he was the most stoked this morning about the beginning of our two-week journey.

I told them four months ago that we were going to Disney World in September. They have been patiently waiting ever since. We actually began putting money in our “disney jug” several years ago, so the anticipation had been building for a lot longer than four months, but the reality hit them four months ago when I gave them the official date.

Today is the day!!

We’ll spend the first week in St. Pete, kicking the white sand of the Gulf Coast and enjoying the clearer waters of the gulf before we head inland to see Mickey. So off we went at 6:38AM this morning.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

  • 6:40AM: “So, this is how the school people live.” -Haydn, my late-sleeping home school boy!
  • 6:59AM: “Are we out of South Carolina yet? -Haydn
  • 7:24AM: “I need to pee.” -Haydn
  • 8:56AM: “Are we out of South Carolina yet.” -Haydn
  • 9:03AM: “Are we there now?” -Ansa

We arrived in St. Pete at 7:33PM. We made numerous stops for food, gas, and ….. God gave us much grace because we were tired. I think I was the only one who sinned. I asked my kids to forgive me for getting angry when they got too loud. Other than that, it was a seemingly sin-free trip.

By the time we unloaded, there was enough sunlight left to hit the waters and the kids appeared to be launched out of a canon. They were jumping, splashing, laughing, and swimming until we could hardly see them anymore. They are so stoked right now as I type this. They are in their room, giggling, hugging, laughing and enjoying one another.

Our bungalow is a two bedroom, full-kitchen house that is quite nice. It is 99 steps from the ocean, which is super-convenient. We’re looking forward to five days of water fun before we go see the mouse.

Haydn’s Gospel-Centered Bike Story Continues

So we prayed for a bike for Ansa. We didn’t want to buy her one, because it was not something we wanted to afford at this time. God, in his mercy to us, allows Haydn to win the raffle at the movie theater and he wins a brand new bicycle. Rather than keeping the bicycle for himself, he says he wants to give the brand new bike to Ansa.

I had four brothers. If I were six years old again, I still would respond the same way I would have responded the first time I was six years old. There is no way, under God’s green earth, I would have given a brand new bike to any of my siblings. I do not know if Haydn has been regenerated, but that was a big time Christlike behavior.

God one-upped Haydn

But God had other things in mind. Haydn wanted to give his new bike to his four year old sister. (Who by-the-way, gave him a black eye about two days before. Amazing son.) When we got to boot camp two days after the raffle, one of our good friends, David and Anna, brought his daughter’s old bike to give to Ansa. David had no idea about the Gospel-centered bike story that was developing in our family. Now Ansa had two little bicycles.

What are we going to do about it?

  1. Share the story of Haydn with our friends. Jesus said that wherever the Gospel is preached to tell this story with it. He was referring to the lady who broke the alabaster box and anointed his feet. He wanted others to see a live demonstration of the Gospel in action. My boy has lived out the Gospel in his life.
  2. Celebrate my son’s heart with our family. If it is an evidence of God’s gracious activity in his life, then when we find the “evidence” we want to celebrate it. If God shows up and blesses us this way, this time through our son, we want to make it a memorable memory.
  3. Go buy my boy and big boy bike, by trading in the one he won. God one-upped my son. Haydn showed love and faith by giving his bike away. God blessed my son. And now I want to bless my son because of the way he blessed his little sister.

Thanks, David and Anna, for the bicycle.

Haydn, the Gospel, and His New Bicycle

Lucia and I have been talking the past couple of months about getting Tristen a new bicycle and giving her current bicycle to Ansa. Ansa cannot ride one yet, but she is ready to experiment with a bike with training wheels. I have not been in faith to “pull the trigger” to get one. Tristen’s is a bit too small, so she needs to move up a level and, sadly, Ansa gets all the hand-me-downs, but my children seem to be oblivious to materialistic sinning.

I think grandma Mary has helped them with this, due to her consistent lavishing of gifts on my children from her dumpster diving. They are very grateful for the dumpster toys she finds for them. They typically say something like this:

Grandma Mary brings us gifts that she gets out of the dumpster. We have to wash them off and clean them up.

I hope that attitude never changes with them. I think regular trips to the Goodwill Store serves them well also.

So today they went to the free movie at the Hollywood 20. They put on free movies each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the summer. After the movie, they came out to a church that was putting on a fun day. The church is getting ready to launch in the fall. They had all kinds of toys, rides, and things. At the end of the event they had a drawing.

Guess what?

Haydn won a bicycle!! A brand new bicycle. I came home from a counseling session this afternoon and there was a bicycle in the living room. It was amazing. Lucia didn’t want to tell me what had happened. She wanted Haydn to tell me. Haydn came downstairs and told me the whole story. And then he said, the man said I could get any bike I wanted and I wanted to get a bike for Ansa.

That’s my boy.

He is one Gospel-centered kid. Rather than choosing a brand new bike for himself, he picked a smaller bike that would fit Ansa. I don’t think I would have done that. He wasn’t bragging on himself, but just stating what he wanted to do. Not only did God give us the desires of our heart, by giving us a bicycle, but Haydn went above and beyond and clearly demonstrated a Gospel act by setting aside his desires, while seeking to bless someone else.

He’s six-years old. I hope and pray this is how he will choose to pattern his life. I could not have been more blessed by God’s work in his life.