Monday, March 31, 2008

A Storybook Ending...

That's how the NATS 2008 Season Opener at the new Nationals Park will be remembered - and we were there! We loaded up the Tiren's van (thank you, Craig!) at 3:00 and headed to DC for an 8:15 game. (Yes, it really was worth getting there that early.) NATS fanatics in the van in addition to Christoph and me included Dave and Jen, Don and Kim, Dre and Becca, and Jim and Andrew Cowan. (Andrew was in the back of the van asleep on the floor.)

Christoph and Craig share a fanaticism for the NATS that is difficult to compete with. But as hard as he tried, Christoph couldn't get a ticket for him for the opener. He entered virtually every contest there was to be had, but to no avail. The last resort was to try to get a ticket on the street once we got downtown. Long story short, Christoph was finally offered a ticket by someone selling one at face value for $38. It was 5:15 pm. He called Craig on his cell and said, "Craig! Score! Get on the Metro now!!" We went into the park and kept tabs on Craig by phone as he headed to the stadium.
Since President Bush was throwing out the first pitch, security was extremely tight. Fortunately we didn't wait in line at all and got right in.

Dave and Jen's new franchise:
As we walked around the stadium the line to get in grew and grew. Trying to get 40,000 people through security took a very long time. The line stretched farther than we could see. See? It really WAS worth getting there as early as we did!
Unfortunately, Craig did get caught in the long line. The pre-game ceremonies started at 7:45 when they showed a brief video and announced the Braves line-up. Craig finally made it to his seat at 7:54 when the announcer said, "And now, here is the Washington Nationals lineup!"

And there he is! See him? Right there below....

That fan with the binoculars looking right at us.....
The President's first pitch.

Heading toward the dugout to greet the Lerners, Mayor Fenty, and Stan Kasten.
First pitch at Nationals Park 2008.
At the bottom of the 8th the Braves tied the score 2 to 2. Time for rally caps. Even Dronkey joined in. And of course, Ryan Zimmerman hit his famous walk-off home run to win the game in true storybook fashion!

Thank you, Christoph for all the work you did organizing this crew of fans to see an amazing and historical baseball game. Being with you is my favorite place to be.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


The youth at Covenant Life performed "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" this weekend and it was fantastic! My amazing sister-in-law, Cathy, was the director and once again did an incredible job with dozens and dozens of eager teenagers. (Is it really possible that I'm related to her?!) The most wonderful part about that is that she directed both Christoph and me in plays when we were teens, (eons ago!! Sorry, Cath.) Both Elise and Janelle have now experienced the blessing of having Cathy direct them in a musical that glorifies God. What a joy.
Janelle, in the middle row far left. Clearly a fellow-photographer knows when her picture is being taken. Or maybe she just knew Mom was pointing the camera in her direction.
Evan! Congratulations on introducing the family to the wonderful world of....musical drama. :)

Josh, Evelyn's cello teacher, doing a great job as Reuben in "Canaan Days." (No more fainting, please.)

Brett was awesome as Joseph. Brett, I could listen to you sing for hours! Thank you for glorifying God in this show. And John was excellent as Pharaoh, "Elvis style." All the teens did an outstanding job. Christoph and I both kept saying throughout the show, "Hey! He was in our caregroup! She was in our caregroup, too!" What a joy to see the kids we've watched grow in their relationship with God on stage. We are so very grateful for all of you.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

How does she do it?

I got to keep the kiddos yesterday while Jen took Sarah to the clinic. We had a blast and I now remember why I was thinner when I had small children - no chance to sit down. I figured the key to a successful day was planning. I even wrote out 2 different schedules of things to do! We host a high school History and Literature co-op at our house twice a week that Janelle is a part of, so I let the kids "spy" on the students from the balcony as they arrived for class. It wasn't my week to teach, so I left the house with one parent in charge of 25 teenagers. (tee-hee! Sorry Buff, but I heard you did an outstanding job!) While they discussed Moliere's "Tartuffe", we headed off to the Damascus Library.

Alethea is learning to read and apparently has never met a book she didn't love. She came home with about 34 books. Literally. Sorry, Jen. :)
We took a snack break outside on a picnic table, but everyone was too cold and headed into the van. {Side note: last week when we had dinner with the Brewer's, Janelle played a rousing game of hide-and-seek with the kids and completely won Caleb's heart. Now when he sees her he just stares at her and giggles like he's seeing a movie star.} While we sat in the van eating our snacks, Caleb was scarfing down his bag of chips. Without looking up, he shook his head and said to himself, "I love Janelle. I love Janelle." Yep, I spent much of the day laughing, mostly at Caleb.
We found a goofy broken-down playground and stopped to play for a while. Again, it was a bit too cold so it was time to head to McDonald's for lunch.

I made them eat their lunch before going into the playplace. Alethea asked for dipping sauce so I went back to the counter to get several packs and gave them to her. Then I see this little hand waving in front of my face. Caleb, of course. "Yoohoo! Yoohoo! Mzzz. Mays? K'nie have summa dat? Yoooohoooo!!"
We finished lunch and spent time in the Playplace. (Have you ever noticed that every kid that comes down that little slide has an entire head full of static electricity? What's up with that?) As soon as we got back into the van I hear, "Now what? What are we doing next?" Thank goodness for that "plan." We came home and had an Easter egg hunt in the yard. Evelyn had filled 2 dozen plastic eggs with jellybeans and she and Janelle hid them around the yard.

At this point we loaded everyone back into the van to take Janelle up to play practice at church. On the way home we stopped by the Airpark (which the kiddos had never been to - hint, hint Dave) and watched the planes take off and land. I didn't have my camera with me, so no pics. We stood at the gate right where two people were about to board their plane. They had a little dog with them that the kids got to pet her through the fence. The man said, "Her name is Amelia Earhart. She's my co-pilot." Mikaela gasped and looked at me with astonishment when he said that. I explained that the dog was just going to ride in the plane with them. Then they got in the plane, turned on the engine, and pulled up to the runway. We had a great view of the whole thing. They waved at us as the plane sped down the runway and up into the sky. Mikaela watched it climb into the sky, turned to me and said, "Wow! How does a dog fly a plane?!"
Elise got to come home from work a little early and the kids surrounded her. They curled up on the couch and watched "Jungle Book" and played Disney's Scene It.
Next on the schedule was dyeing Easter eggs which was a big hit, but was done quickly. "What's next?"
The day was almost over, so we headed back outside to play. Now remember my kids are a bit older so there's not a lot of little people toys in the garage anymore. So Caleb found a butterfly net and declared with great resolve, "I'm going to catch butterflies!" Bear in mind it was about 52 degrees outside.
I think all he caught was a tennis ball.
Garrett came by to pick up Elise. While he was walking across the yard, Caleb turned to me and said, "Who's him?" I said, "Caleb you know him. That's Garrett." Except Caleb can't pronounce his name quite right.
"Carrot! Hey Carrot! Chase me, Carrot! Catch me on the slide, Carrot! Watch this, Carrot!"
I like that. I think I'm gonna start calling him Carrot, too. ;)
All that to say, Jen I think you're amazing. Your children are a joy to be with and your's and Dave's investment in them is very evident. I look forward to many more days like this one. Once I get a good night's sleep. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Dinner at the Brewer's

The Mays family descended on the Brewer family the other night, with dinner in hand. It was SO good to be with them and especially to see and hold Sarah. Although that's easier said than done. She is not the least bit interested in being still. You can check on her progress here.

Caleb. How does one describe this kid? Adorable and very funny only scratch the surface. I was so delighted that I actually got to "meet" his beloved blue sheet in person.

He truly is Linus. :)

Please continue to pray for this sweet little girl.

We love you, friends!