Thursday, May 27, 2010

Conner getting his Timothy trophy

When Conner was four years old, he joined AWANA at our church. He started out in Sparks and met Scott his first leader. It ended up being very hard for him, but something he loved dearly. I remember his first AWANA award night he only got a participation ribbon because he didn't even finish his first book. But, he saw a older boy get the Timothy award and wanted to get one too.

That first year we discovered Conner had a learning disability. That is why this journey has been incredibly hard for him. A couple of years he barely finished his book, having to work extra to get it done. The last couple of years, we saw a drive in him and he finished early. Two years ago he earned the honor of Clubber of the year.

Tonight, a dream our son has had since he was four came true. By his hardwork and determination to overcome, he did it. We couldn't have been more proud of him. Our hearts literally bursting with joy. I found a picture of him tonight, when he was four holding his book and card. Marty and I both got teary looking back and seeing where Conner came from.

To top it all off, he got awarded clubber of the year again. They recognized him for his hard work and his heart. They complemented how determined he was and how he helped out around club. What a added surprise to a wonderful night.

We are proud of you son, you have worked hard and finished the race.

Conner's life verse

Phillipians 4:13 " I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

We thank Tracy, Scott, Jim, Mr.Black, Colleen and Del for the years of standing by Conner and helping him through. Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I have had a favorite saying for many years, "Don't judge a book by it's cover." it is something that I try very hard to put into practice in my everyday life. We all judge people at one time or another in life, some people take pride in being judgmental and some don't realize they are doing it.

I once had a really "cool" friend in Jr.High, I will never forget walking to the bus stop and seeing a girl reading my favorite book. The "cool" friend said, "Don't talk to that girl, she's a nerd." but I talked to her anyway. Guess who is still my friend to this day? you guessed it the book girl.

I learned before that via another elementary school friend, to not judge a book by it's cover. On that day, I learned not to judge a book by someone else's review. Read the book for yourself and find out that way.

Also, judging a book by it's table of contents isn't so great either. Go past that and find out what the whole book is about before judging.

My new favorite saying ( which my friend Staci who makes fun of this blog gets credit for)

"Don't judge a book by it's cover, by someone else's review or the table of contents. Read it and find out for yourself."

I am not impressed by stature in life, not impressed by money, what impresses me is how you treat others and how you live your life. My favorite scripture to live by is:

"Do unto others as you would have them do to you". Luke 6:31 

Another that goes hand in hand:

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times,
       and a brother is born for adversity.

How you treat other's is important and can help you gain many wonderful friends in life.

Monday, May 24, 2010

" I don't know how to wait anymore"

"Mom, I don't know how to wait anymore."
~Shelby age three

My good friend Staci shared this with me last week. She was making her daughter a snack and that is what Shelby said to her. As Staci and I were talking, it came up again and Staci said, "Do you think that is how we sound to God sometimes?"

It hit me, that is how I sound to God on a full time basis anymore. I don't know how to wait and am so over waiting. Marty has been okay lately, not worse but not better kind of a holding pattern. We are just tired and worn out from waiting. Not sure when this ordeal will end and when life will go on. Conner said, " I hope it happens this summer, our life has been on hold for so long." he has a point there. Life has been on hold for a painfully long time. So I have been telling people to pray about this summer and maybe if we all seek it, it will happen?

We were able to get away together this weekend to Hume Lake. Marty played with his band at a conference and we relaxed. It was nice and the speaker was great, I feel renewed and refreshed. We were able to share dinner with the police chief from Fresno. It was a wonderful time to share things God has done in our lives with each other. He is now part of our tribe of prayer for Marty. 

Just sitting and waiting, nothing much new to report. Thanks for caring and praying with us, we have never felt alone and know that we are so blessed to have many friends lifting us up.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Zany adventures of Julie, cycling edition

 I have been getting a lot of chuckles and sideways glances from people lately. My own husband laughs like I have lost my mind. My Dad sat and patiently listened and my Pastor thought it was hilarious. What elicits this response from people?

My love of cycling, that's what! It all started in 2005 when Conner and I started watching Lance Armstrong ride his way to his seventh Tour De France win. Conner liked to watch everyday and along the way, I got hooked. I started watching the Tour every year and that was about it.

Flash forward to last year and I heard at the Christmas parade that the Amgen Tour of Ca would be starting one leg in our town. Not only would that happen, but Lance Armstrong would be making a comeback to race once again. Conner and I were so excited to be able to have the chance to meet the cyclists and see a world class sport come to our city.

 Race day, we went early and ended up meeting some huge cycling fans who told us where to stand. Not only did we meet Lance but some of the top names in cycling including the infamous Floyd Landis ( who is a nice guy by the way) amongst others. I was hooked and now watch every race all season long, know all the teams, riders and even the announcers names.

This has elicited quite the response from everyone, mostly everyone laughs at me and appeases my insanity. I think it is fun to get behind a team and root for them. I love football and that is acceptable, I know many women who love Nascar and that is fine. But, I get looks for my love of cycling? Who cares! Not me. I always do my own thing and fully admit to being weird.

This week the tour comes to my hometown once again. I will be there waiting to meet my favorite riders and cheer them on. The race will pass right by our church and I am hoping to get there in time to see them ride by! I am going to donate blood for the first time in honor of the Livestrong foundation ( not just because I want the t-shirt and VIP passes, not at all). We have our sharpies and cheer cards ready! I just got my new Team Radio Shack shirt today.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic If you are curious as to who I am cheering for this year: Team Radio Shack Team Saxo Bank George Hincapie, Andy Shleck, Fabian Cancellara, Levi Leipheimer, Lance Armstrong, Frank Shleck, Mark Cavendish, Thor Hsuvod, Tom Boonen, Jens Voigt.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blame game

Me: " Elizabeth can you pick up that dish?"

 E: "That is Conner's bowl."

 Me: "Conner can you bring your bowl and glass to the sink."

 Conner: "That's Grandpa's glass."

 Me: "Grandpa isn't even here anymore!"

Sunday, May 9, 2010

"Grand" Mothers

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

My Grandma's were friends, they met when they moved to the same town and went to church together.  They raised their kids together, did fun things and hung out. These ladies were the best mother's to their kids and I know my parents were lucky. But let me tell you, they were truly "grand" mother's to their grandchildren.

   My Gramie( she is my mom's mom on the right) would feed us breakfast, take us to school and pick us up everyday. My mom worked and she truly filled the Monday thru Friday mom role for me. She taught me how to starch and iron shirts, vacuum, keep house and cook. She even took care of Conner when he was a baby while I worked at Disneyland. I learned how to watch soaps and read the Enquirer from her. She has been gone seven years now and I still miss her just as much.

 My Grandma ( my dad's mom on the right) was the weekend grandma. She worked full time until I was in high school, but on the weekends her house was our home and playground. She would play fun games with us like "When Johnny was dead" she always liked to be Johnny or Doggie,Doggie Where's your bone? she made us clean first and play later. She taught us little things like, "table's are for glasses, not for little a....." She was funny, always joking and playing. She taught me so much about being a wife and mother. I would always call her first when in doubt. She carried that tradition on with my kids and always had fun with them. Elizabeth is named after her and has many of the same personality traits. Conner called her "pie face" and she called him  "moonface"

When Gramie passed away, I stayed with Grandma. She went to the funeral with me and walked me through. In some way, I think she saw how things would be one day when she was gone too. At the end of that day, she came out with a little box in her hand. It was a cameo, she told me, "When your Gramie went to Rome, she bought this for me. I think it would mean something to you to have and I want you to have it." of course, I bawled and bawled.  After Gramie died, every time I left Grandma, I would bawl hysterically because I knew someday it would be the last time to see her.

Now they are both gone and every Mother's day, I put my cameo on and wear it, no matter if it matches or not. In fact, this morning our youth pastor John told me it was beautiful. I looked at him and smiled, "It was a gift from one grandma to another."

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Conner's baseball story

This year was a big year for Conner in baseball, he finally got to move up into the majors in Little League. We were all excited when he got drafted to the Phillies and he told me, "I thought it was the best day of my life when I got my jersey." The coach had told Marty he drafted him for catching and we were even more excited.

  We got to the first practice and all they did was hit and field, which is great. The coach said he wanted them to have fun and become better players this year. We were thrilled to hear that and even know another family on the team. We found out that some players were returning from last season and they had been the number one team in the league. We couldn't have been happier, until the first game. We went to the first game and watched all of the other kids bat. When they got back to the top of the line up, Marty and I just looked at each other in shock. He went over to the dugout and asked the coach, "Did you go through the lineup?" and the coach said, "yes" and Marty asked, "What about Conner?" and he looked at him and tried to play dumb. There were 5 new kids on the team and he batted none of them. At the end of the game, Conner hadn't played a inning and only batted once. Another set of parents came up to us and were angry, they didn't understand being this was their son's first year in baseball.

  The Dad approached the coach and actually had a meeting with him on behalf of the new players on the team. The coach was making no effort to transition them into the team fold. Another thing was returning players got the infield positions and the new players got outfield. We told Conner have fun and be the best outfielder you can be. We will work with your catching on the side so you continue to improve. Try hard, show the coach what you can do and do your best. We would go to practice and notice the returning players goofing off. There was also the coach who never came to practice but showed up at the games to yell at our kids. His son was playing catcher and came to maybe five practices total. His dad is a coach at the JR High,so I guess that means they are important and can do that. Conner asked the coach if he could catch in practice during spring break, he instead let his nephew from another team catch instead.

  One of the new players quit after three games of not being played. Marty spoke with the coach and the coach basically told us what we wanted to hear, never intending to fix things. We just wanted him to not be a bench warmer and show up, just in case another kid didn't show. Little League has rules that every kid plays and it wasn't happening, not just to Conner but other kids. We called the player agent and he assured us he would come to a game, but never did and never called us again. So basically, the writing was on the wall, tough it out and accept it was just going to be that kind of season. So Conner ended up being able to bat once a game ( unless another player didn't show up) and played two innings. Marty told him, after one night of crying after the game and getting yelled at because the team lost, to not go to player meetings if he didn't play.

  One game, he got sent in to warm up a pitcher on the side of the field. We saw one of the catcher's dad follow him out there. After the game, Conner came to us and told us that he called the pitcher over and whispered something to him, the pitcher took the ball and pegged Conner with it. The dad laughed! Of course, we couldn't prove it and it was our word against his word. So we didn't press the issue or do anything about it. Two games ago, Conner yet again, came out crying and telling us he was done. Once again, the dad had followed him out to the warm up area and called the pitcher over twice. Both times the kid pegged Conner. I believe it happened because Conner didn't play yet had two bruises on his leg the next day. Another kid asked him for water and when Conner told him "no" he came back to the dugout to find his catchers gear wet.Now that we can understand because that is normal kid stuff. But a parent bullying, shouldn't happen and is not okay.

  We decided that if things were the same the next game, he was quitting. So the other night, when Conner played the first two innings and batted once, we knew it was over. Then when Conner didn't come out after the game, I knew something was up. The "game" coach who we don't know, yelled at him and told him to go to the meeting. Conner did what we have taught him and listened to the adult. When he was in the meeting staring down at the grass, the coach yelled at him, "look at me when I am talking." In the car as Conner was crying hysterically, I told him that we were done. We got home and Marty immediately called the coach, the coach didn't deny Conner had been yelled at. He said that he had done nothing wrong and played by the rules.

   Last year, Conner had a great team with great families. We made it all the way to the championship game. This year our team was not a team, they looked the like the Bad News Bears. Everytime the coach played fair, we won. But every time he didn't play fair, we lost. So we lost quite a bit and I say, you reap what you sow. We tried contacting the league president to no avail. Player agent did nothing.

 So it was time to stop Conner's suffering and let him quit. We are not quitters in this family and it is hard to take that step. I found out from a friend in the league, the coach came over from another league because "he wanted his boys to play every inning." well they sure did at the cost of other children. Another family on the team has decided to help us pursue this as far as we can go. Our main issue is the bullying that has gone on and especially at the hands of another parent. I think a anti bullying policy needs to happen across the board, for kids and parents. There is much more to this story, but I have given you the main gist of things. Conner is really glad he played this year, he made two new great friends from it. He thinks the entire reason behind the season was to meet these friends. I am proud that he tried hard, worked hard and was encouraging to his fellow players. He is our MVP!