Two weeks ago, a soccer superstar came to watch Lucas' game, and I have never seen my son's smile quite so big!
Who is this superstar, you ask? Well, sit back, relax, and let me tell you a little story....
Several years ago, a couple at our church went on a mission trip to Bogota, Colombia. While there, they worked at an orphanage. One young boy in particular stood out to them. They made a deep connection with him that never went away. Over the next few years, they continued to stay connected to this boy through letters and email. They watched him grow into a fine young man and a phenomenal soccer player. Eventually, he was too old to stay in the orphanage any longer. Without any family, he would have been turned out to the streets to fend for himself. Our friends knew they had to do something. So they set to work finding a University to accept him on a soccer scholarship. After lots of searching, Jonathan (called Yopo) arrived at Oklahoma Baptist University to play on their team and go to school. On the weekends and during the summer he lives with the couple at our church (whom he called Mom and Dad even though there hasn't been an official adoption). He is thriving and happy--all 6 ft. 5 inches of him! And Lucas thinks he is the the coolest guy on earth.
So when he came to watch Lucas play soccer, it may as well have been Messi or Beckham or Ronaldo or Pele. In Lucas' eyes, a superstar had arrived to see him play.
Yopo, Lucas and James (Yopo's adopted brother) after the game.
Saw this yesterday and it made me laugh. My entire family loves avacados. Be it guacamole, sliced on a sandwich, or chopped and added to a salad. Even Lucas, my pickiest eater, gobbles them up. But, those suckers are so tricky to get perfectly ripe! We've been eating them for so long now, that I'm much better at getting it right. However, there is nothing worse than looking forward to eating a yummy avocado, then cutting it open to find a brown, mushy mess.
This year on Easter, the weather took a cool, rainy turn, but that just set the gentle atmosphere for a calm and lovely day.
We woke up, ate breakfast and headed to church. Afterwards, we came home and played board games until it was time to go to my Dad and Stepmom's house. This year, two of my stepbrothers were in town to celebrate with us. One of them flew in with his 8 year old daughter which my kids were excited about. A playmate!
My three lovies at church Easter morning
First we had a scavenger hunt for each kiddo to find his or her Easter basket hidden somewhere in the house. My dad did a great job writing creative clues and even used four different colored post-it's so each child could follow the right path. They loved it!
Next up was an Easter egg hunt in the back yard. 145 eggs hidden, 10 minutes of wild hunting and they were all scooped up. Most of them were filled with money, so they cleaned up well!
The last activity was the annual jello egg fight. My stepmom made over 100 jello eggs using a special mold. We decided to have kids vs. adults, so everyone grabbed their egg ammo and found a good spot in the yard. Soon jello eggs were raining from the sky and flying through the air. No one officially kept score, but the kids thought it was fun to run around and pelt everyone with jello. There is a "no face" rule which most everyone followed (Who threw the one that hit my chin? I'm coming after you next year!).
Lucas surrendering to his dad
Finally, dinner was served. My stepmom went above and beyond-- baby back ribs, corn casserole, broccoli slaw, Mac-n-cheese, rolls and strawberry cream cake. We stayed and talked until 8:00 when our kids had to be dragged home to go to bed.
The kids' table
My dad and me
These last several years, holidays have had a tendency to get me down. Since my mom passed away, her absence is more noticed without her leading the egg hunt or baking a bunny cake. Without her thoughtful cards and warm hugs. But I am trying to make a conscious choice to be grateful. Grateful for a new family (as awkward as it is sometimes), grateful for my awesome kids and husband, and most importantly, grateful to Jesus. That He loves me--freely, unconditionally, completely.
Today was a good day for the Galloways. Our morning started off slow with a big breakfast and a lazy morning. But by 12:30 we were piling into the van for a busy afternoon.
First stop--soccer pics. Lucas has recently started playing for the North OKC Soccer Club and his team name is the Destroyers. He's the youngest and smallest kid on the team, but he keeps up and excels in spite of those things. He couldn't wait to take his team picture.
And of course I snapped a few shots of just him....
Immediately following pictures he had a game. This kid scored six goals! He hustled and played hard. He also had a beautiful assist for yet another goal. Even though his team eventually lost 11-7, I am so proud of this little guy. He truly loves to play.
Watching from the sideline.
After the game we quickly headed to Oklahoma Christian University where Hannah was participating in the District Piano Auditions and theory test. She played a lively piece called "Trumpets" and earned a score of 1. The top score is a 1+, followed by a 1, 1-, 2, etc. Her score qualified her to move on to the State Piano Auditions at the Universiry of Oklahoma on May 15th. She was very proud of her score and also so relieved as she was battling a serious case of nerves. Next she took her theory test (won't know the score for a few weeks), picked up her medal and headed to get a milkshake, her reward for the day. I took piano lessons from 2nd grade through my senior year in high school, and grew up going to district/state and taking the theory test. It's so neat to see my own daughter doing these same things!
Holding up her medal!
We came home and the rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying the gorgeous spring weather we had today. Hannah, Leah and Lucas played with our neighbors' kids for hours running back and forth between houses--baseball in their backyard, trampoline jumping in ours. Mike painted a bookshelf out in the garage and I say on the porch and read. It was lovely.
Me enjoying the perfect outdoor conditions!
We opted for cereal for dinner to avoid a major kitchen clean up, bathed the kids, put them to bed and then the house was quiet. I indulged in a gritty episode of 48 hours before taking a bath and getting in bed.
As much as I want to sit at my computer all day reading funny and inspiring blogs, scrolling through Facebook and catching up on TV shows, I suppose I should attempt to be productive today. In fact, my two big assignments this afternoon are: 1. wash all the kids' sheets and 2. organize my closet. I will update you tomorrow on my progress. My life is fascinating, I know.
But before I go, let me at least tell you to go read this blog post by Jen Hatmaker. I love this lady's style and her honesty. And she's a fellow OBU grad like me (Zip! Bang! Go Bison!). If you are looking for a good read, try her book entitled 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. But until then, just read this blog post. If you have ever had children, you will identify.
This documentary. It is so good! And it's only an hour long, so you don't have to take up your whole evening watching it. As a big Oklahoma City Thunder fan, of course I loved it. But if you aren't a Thunder fan, you will most certainly be a Serge Ibaka fan after watching Son of the Congo. And it will give you a healthy appreciation for all the blessings you have in your life.
And finally, I leave you with this awesome picture Mike took last night.
Lucas loves all things sports. And he's actually pretty coordinated and agile! He tries his best and has such a good attitude. Soccer seems to still be his first love, but he's been really into baseball lately. My dad brought this ball over the other night so they could play catch. Afterwards, Lucas wrote his name on it and placed it carefully on his bookshelf.
Love his little signature.
And I'll be taking orders now because I'm sure it will be worth millions one day (wink, wink).