Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Last week was the first week of school for me and Promotion Sunday for Laura, we’d been talking about going to a Rangers game to celebrate. They were hosting our division rivals, the Angels, and so it would be an important and exciting game. We set aside Tuesday night and looked forward to our favorite seats in the very upper deck behind homeplate.

Then, on Monday I got an e-mail from Laura. Someone had donated luxury suite tickets to the church staff and she was among the first 6 to respond to claim a pair! So, we were definitely going to a game, but in a much, much different way than either of us had imagined.

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We were in the McCovey Suite on the third base side and as excited as I was about the great view, private restroom, free snacks and refreshments, another cool perk was a complimentary program! Sometimes, it’s the little things. :) So, I refreshed myself on how to score a ballgame, found a pencil and settled in to my seat for what proved to be one of, if not the most exciting Rangers games I’ve ever been to.

There were some incredible defensive plays, a grand slam and great pitching on our part. But, the thing that took the cake was the bench-clearing brawl with two outs in the top of the 9th. The drama had been brewing for weeks and weeks. We’d pegged some of their guys. They pegged some of ours. Padilla nearly hit Vladdy in the head the night before. It looked like trouble when one of the Angels’ relievers threw behind Ian Kinsler and then popped Michael Young (who lives next door to some friends of ours. A side note: Anytime we go over for Bible Study I’m always sure to wear my Rangers hat just on the off-chance he’s watering the lawn or checking his mailbox. I haven’t decided yet what I would do if we made eye contact, but I’m sure it would consist mostly of me tripping on my shoelaces and stuttering, “Y-y-y-you’re aw-aw-awesome!” while I fall flat on my already deviated septum.). So the drama was thick, but it looked like our guy was all business in the top of the 9th. Feldman sat the first two batters down without so much as a brush-back off the plate. Then, it became clear that his thought process was, “I’m going to get two outs and then it’s on.” And on it was. He pegged Adam Kennedy square on the ol’ booty and in one motion Kennedy spun, absorbed the pitch and whirled around to charge the mound.

The benches cleared and at that point I was just trying to account for some guys to make sure they weren’t at the bottom of the pile getting their fingers stepped on (what a totally unsexy way to go on the disabled list). Young? Check. Kinsler? Check. Tex? Angrily pulling Angels out of the pile. Tex is the man. DeRosa? DeRosa? Where’s DeRosa? At the bottom of the frickin’ pile. Hitting .320 and he’s at the bottom of the pile. He had apparently recalled his football days at the University of Pennsylvania and had tackled an Angel (a phrase that makes you sound like a really bad person. “Let’s see…what did I do this afternoon? Um…I tackled an Angel, punted a kitten and stole a child’s puppy dog right from his arms.”).

Anyway, they finally restored order, the Rangers retired the last batter and we said goodbye to what will probably be the only luxury suite of which we’ll ever have the good fortune of seeing from the inside.

1 down…179 to go!

The First Day of School is in the bag! Although, tomorrow is more like the real first day…here’s why. On the first day at Polk, the kids go to their 4th period class and stay with that teacher all day long. Before lunch, we go over school policies, check out and cover textbooks, go through the code of conduct handbook, etc. If that sounds brutal, it is. After lunch, the kids rotate by grade through three stations…the cafeteria where the principal gives her big spiel, the gymnasium for games and general unwinding and their classrooms to tie up loose ends about schedules, books and lockers. I’m not sure why it’s 4th period, and not, oh I don’t know, 1st! But! I’m not complaining this year because 4th period just happens to be my conference period!

So, because I didn’t have any kids today, my job was to help with registration in the office in the morning and supervise the gymnasium in the afternoon. Morning registration was an insight. Did you know that people wait until the very first day of school to walk in the door with their kid and say, “Alright, let’s get ’em in school.” I didn’t and I was suprised. But, the quote of the day goes to the disgruntled man in the Dallas Cowboys hat with the sleeveless shirt a la Larry the Cable Guy. He was filling out all the registration pages, showing proof of residency, going from this counselor to that. Finally, the man had had enough and said, “I bought a shotgun last week and that was easier than getting my daughter in to school.”

He followed that up with a humorous diatribe about “the State”. Something told me he had a copy of “Catcher in the Rye” tucked in to his back pocket.

But, even though today wasn’t a normal day of school, I’ve already been reminded of my absolute least favorite thing about the job. The clothes. Specifically, the shoes. I hate, I mean I truly hate wearing dress shoes. It’s just not my thing to begin with and my knees are killing me by lunch on top of it. I’m considering making the move to comfortable footwear and just being “that guy who wears tennis shoes with slacks and a tie.” I think it might be worth it.

Big Week

It’s been and will be a big week for the Coppell Rheas. Today at church was Promotion Sunday! No, that doesn’t mean that Laura and other staff members got a raise and fancy new titles. It is the Sunday where the kids in Children’s Ministry move up to their new classes! So, the 2 year-old classes get brand new little ones, the 2 year-olds move up to the 3’s, the 3’s move up to the 4’s and the 4’s leave the Adventure Zone for Zone Jr. :( It means a ton of work (recruiting new teachers, preparing parents and volunteers, lining up room assignments) for Laura, so this week has been a busy one for her. But, with two services down, everything seems to be going very well.

As for me, tomorrow is the first day of school which is obviously pretty exciting. I’ve got high hopes and new ideas that I’m looking forward to trying out. I’m sure there will be plenty of stories resulting from the gloriously hilarious failures or inspiring successes that I’ll be sure to share here.

Next week, we’re going to Park City, Utah with our home group thanks to the incredible generosity of Brian & Suzanne (3rd & 4th from left). I’m a little skiddish about missing three days of the second week of school, but something tells me I’ll get over that pretty quickly. When we get back (Wednesday evening), Gene (3rd from right) will have two short days of rest before appearing on Wheel…Of…Fortune!! The show is coming to Dallas for a special “Best Friends” episode and he and a college buddy made the cut (from thousands!). He’s been practicing like crazy and we wish him the best. The show will air in November so we’ll be sure to give another heads up then.

The garden is doing really well! Shaun, Richard and I have been extremely encouraged to see it take off. Not even a week had gone by before the beans and corn sprouted at high percentages (around 95%, seriously). The broccoli, carrots and lettuce are coming up as well. I’ll get pictures on soon. Right now, the batteries are dead and the stupid Energizer rechargie thingy isn’t working. Although, now that I see that I’m using a description like “Energizer rechargie thingy” it makes me wonder if the word stupid has been assigned to the appropriate noun.

Well, that’s it for now. I’ve got to go see if I can outsmart a white whale.