Friday, June 15, 2012

Play Ball!

Another baseball season is over. :(  Even though we run wild for a few months, I really do get kind of sad when it's over. The boys LOVE playing and I LOVE watching them! They both had a great season and really improved from last year.

Noah was on a 9/10 yr. old team (Minor League) and was able to pitch this year. Wow! That was an adjustment for me...I have grown up watching my brother pitch, but now this was my child! I had to sit away from the other team, so I couldn't hear remarks from others. This Mama would be a mad mama if someone was making fun of her son! :)  Thankfully, I didn't hear any snide remarks and was able to maintain my composure. Ha! I do believe though, that his best position to play is catcher. He really does have a natural talent to play there. He can stop the ball, and I like the fact that he's covered in padding. LOL  One time he threw the ball from his knees to 2nd base...perfectly straight, and bounced once right in front of the second baseman!

Check out his form! (below, right)  He had several innings where he struck out 3 in a row! So proud of him!!

Caleb was on a 7/8 yr. old team (PeeWee league) and did a fantastic job as well! His attention span was much better than the year before. :)  His batting and catching improved the most, not to mention how he can throw the ball! He really has a great arm! Toward the end of the season, I think there were only about 3 games left, he decided that he wanted to try catching. Not sure if he wanted to be like Noah, or if the excitement of wearing a cup was his incintive, but he did GREAT!! We were all very suprised that he caught on so quickly at what to do. He stopped the ball, and was on top of what was going on. Just like his brother, they take after their daddy. From year to year we wonder if Caleb will stick with baseball, but he never ceases to amaze us with how he does. He is a lot like my brother (Chris)...loves to play, but reallly hates to practice! But according to Caleb, "he's good enough & doesn't need to practice!" Love that boy! :)

Since Eric & Papa were coaching both teams, that left me, Nana, & the brother not playing to deal with Jacob! Now, that's a job! :)  As long as he's outside, he's typically happy, so most of the time he was pretty good. Except for the fact that he likes to socialize and tends to wander away from me. He doesn't meet a stranger, and even made a few "baseball play friends". He really did make a little friend, Bradley. (His older brother was on Caleb's team.) They played great together! Shared toys, bike & helmet, gum, and who knows what else! Jacob would say that "Bradley is his best buddy!"  So sweet!!  I didn't get a picture of them together, but here's one of Jacob at the ballfield. (I belive Noah had my camera, because somehow Nana and I made it into the pic, and it's very up close of Jacob!)

So, until next baseball season, we will hang up the bat bags, store away the gloves, jock straps & cups, clean off the cleats, and hopefully enjoy some much needed time at home! :)

Oh wait......I think they may want to play fall ball!!  In that case...let's play ball! ;-)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Losing a parent...

Last week we received a phone call that no one ever wants to receive. Eric's father, Howard, passed away on Tuesday, June 5th at the age of 60. He had been in bad health for several years...much of it brought on by poor habits, but nonetheless this was devastating to Eric. This was his father. No one, regardless of the situation, wants to face losing a parent. There were tons of "should have", "could have" thoughts going through his head. But, thankfully the grace of God abounds. Knowing that Howard had made a profession of Jesus a few years back, and Eric actually had the privilege of baptising him, was the only thing that comforted the family during this time.

This was the first time that our boys have lost a "close" family member. They knew Granddaddy Howard, and had the chance to spend some time with him over the years, but not real quality time. This is what upset them the most. They desired and thought that they should have had a closer relationship with him since he was their grandfather. What they do know and will remember is fond times with him...most recently seeing him at Thanksgiving this past year.

This whole week has really made me reflect and look at how much quality time we spend together as a family. Our days are numbered here on this earth, and none of us are promised tomorrow. So, how we spend our days really does matter. Not only is it important to spend time with those we love, but more importantly, we should be sharing the ultimate gift of love with others...Jesus! Without Him we have no life and death will inevitably come to us all. I want to live a life that is pleasing to Him and brings Him glory. I also want to cherish the time He has given me with my wonderful family. I love Eric more each day, and our boys are the most important people in our lives.

So, to my father-in-law, I would say thanks. Thanks for raising the man I now know as my husband, and for teaching him respect. Thank you for accepting me as your daughter-in-law, and saying I was your favorite. (even though I was your only one!)  :)  Thanks for being the beginning of what is my family now. You will be missed, but we know that we will be reunited with you one glorious day!

(Howard's obituary)

DWAYNE “HOWARD” HARDMAN, age 60, of Demorest, Georgia, passed away on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at his residence.

Mr. Hardman was born on January 18, 1952, in Stephens County, Georgia, to the late Ralph Benjamin and Lucille Chitwood Hardman. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Phillip Hardman and an infant sister. Mr. Hardman was of the Baptist faith.

Survivors include his daughter and son-in-law, Shelly and Mike Jones, Turnerville, GA; son and daughter-in-law, Eric and Cassie Hardman, Hendersonville, NC; and grandchildren, Ayla, Tia, Gavin, Noah, Grayson, Caleb, Gabriel, Jacob, and Anna Rose.

Memorial services will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, June 8, 2012, at Grace Baptist Church, with Rev. Eric Hardman and Rev. Phillip Yarber officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Grace Baptist Church, 1768 Chase Road, Cornelia, Georgia 30531.

Arrangements are in the care of Whitfield Funeral Home, South Chapel, Baldwin, Georgia.