Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Batter Up

It has been quite the baseball season with lightening storms, flooding, heavy rains and even a tornado causing delays in the progress of the young players.

The season has had a few ups and downs as Jimmy and The Marlin's work their way toward the Gold League Championship in late June. This year it is no longer pitch by coach with its unlimited plate time and a series of pitches whist the young batter dreams of the fence without the worry of striking out, or walking for that matter. NO... this is Gold league where the young pitcher has a strike count and the threat of a walk, baseball!!!

Jimmy has been playing several positions and really likes third base and left field. He has a couple of developmental needs associated with each position. In his capacity to play third base he gets over excited when a ball is hit in the infield and regardless of a runner at second or not takes it upon himself to charge the ball, now this can be deemed as a positive strength, however when the ball is not in the vicinity of second base, it is an issue when third base is left unattended. Then when young James fields the ball he stops looks, has the runner by 20 plus feet, takes aim and throws a wicked throw right over the first baseman's head.

He has a keen sense of vision and with his glasses a vision some what akin to "eagle eye's" so while playing left field and a pop fly was hit in his direction he was tracking the ball when suddenly the ball bounced off his head and into the outfield. He did get the ball into the cut off man and kept the runner at first. I inquired into the error to which he responded " Dad it's Alex's fault" ( Alex is the coach) I replied " Why is it Alex's fault?" " Because he won't let me wear my hat backwards and the ball hit the bill of my hat" " Why did you not get your glove up instead of your hat?" " I couldn't get my glove up because my hat was in the way"!

Several parents have pointed out how great it is having Jimmy on the team because he is a great team player, cheers on his teammates and is seemingly unaware what a batting average is or means. Now most kids get up to bat walk into the batters box and have what can only be compared to as writers block. They stand the mesmerized by the size of the 10 year old pitcher, how fast he can pitch, and nervelessly try to wait him or her out. Meaning the kids can't pitch 3 strikes within the 7 pitch count and mostly they walk the batters, not Jim. One Parent made the comment" it is obvious that Jimmy did not come here to paint!" Jimmy is in the batting box to hit and so far he has 3 singles, two doubles and a triple, along with 2 walks and about 20 strike outs. God help us he has turned to watching old Kirby Puckett, may he rest in peace, films and is now practicing lifting his front foot up to help him drive the ball over the fence, as with all 9 year olds, he is looking for that elusive first home run.

The little league season will end with a play off and the Gold League Championship Series, Jimmy is cheering his team into the winners circle. Mostly he is having fun and saving being upset about the teams losses (they are 4 and 7) for football, great.

Touch 'em all Jimmy Murphy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A moment of Silence

We received VERY sad news yesterday. Old Dr Kim from Eastern Social Welfare Society passed away at the age of 96.

Old Dr Kim (as he was affectionately know) was the founder of our childrens adoption agency in Seoul Korea. He started the agency at the age of 60 when he retired from public service. In the 36 years of the agency, they have grown to be one of the best & world renouned agencies for orphans, special needs children, foster care programs and medical treatment. The agency as also been run by Young Dr Kim (his son) and currently his daugther, Mrs Kim.

Old Dr Kim is a prominent feature in our kids adoption story, their coming home photo albums and family "lore". Tom and I had the privledge to meet Old Dr Kim on each of our trips to Korea, meetings which included lunch, conversations about our family and even a trip to church with him.

The trip to church is one of our favorite stories. Old Dr Kim was Methodist (which I also grew up in), he helped found the church and served on their board. He helped grow the church to OVER 70,000 members. They had a 200 member choir and 2 full orchestras. The service was in Korean, but they had translators on staff that translated the service into 5 different languages that you had immediate access to via headphones. It was like attending church with your Grandpa, everyone knew and loved him and we had the best seats in the house. The best part, realizing that churches everywhere are plagued by the same problems. The announcements at the end of service focused on treats/coffee and parking issues:)

Old Dr Kim is proof of the human spirit and that 1 person really CAN make a difference. He fought in the Korean War, escaped from a North Korea prisoner of war camp, had a successful career in public service, had multiple awards and medals AND STILL after retiring at age 60, decided to follow his dream - making lives better for the children of Korea.

So, when you think that you are too old to try or start something new or to have a dream - consider that Old Dr Kim made a difference to tens of thousands of kids AFTER he retired at age 60. What is your dream and what's keeping you for realizing it?

When you think that you are "only 1 person", remember that Old Dr Kim helped create families for (again) tens of thousands of families. What are you called to do as "1 person"?

When you think you dont have the time, patience, energy, etc ... to do that which are you called to do, remember...Old Dr Kim climbed a mountain every day at 4am into his 90's to start his day in prayer and meditation for all the children waiting for families, placed in families and all the children he personally touched in his life. What can you do, every day in a small way, to make your dream a reality?

For us, we are saddened by the lose of an amazing man, one who made our family possible in a way that no one else could.

God Bless you ALL!

(Below are the website postings on Old Dr Kim)

Dr. Kim, Duk Whang1915 - 2011
On May 18, 2011, Dr. Kim, Duk Whang, the founder of Eastern Social Welfare Society, passed away at the age of 96.

A man of great vision, passion and faith, Dr. Kim devoted more than three decades of his life to caring for orphans, single mothers and children with disabilities.

At 60 years old and soon after retiring from a career with the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Dr. Kim founded ESWS in the early 1970s. There were few services in South Korea for orphans and single mothers at that time. Domestic adoption was regarded as a confidential, personal matter and only a few children were adopted in the country. There were hundreds of thousands of children abandoned in the streets, bus stations, train stations and on doorsteps until the early 1980s. Through the efforts of Dr. Kim and ESWS, attitudes changed and tens of thousands of children have had the opportunity to grow up in a loving family formed through international and domestic adoption.

Until he was no longer strong enough, Dr. Kim would go to the mountain every day at dawn to pray for the well-being of the children waiting to be adopted, for the adoptees and the adoptive families. One of the things he enjoyed most was meeting and talking with adult adoptees and their parents – their happiness showed that his prayers had been answered.

From Eastern Social Welfare Society, Inc.
Dr. Kim, Duk Whang, the founder of Eastern Social Welfare Society, has completed his natural span of life and passed away at 96 years of age on May 18, 2011.

He served the Ministry of Home Affairs as vice-minister and the Korean Overseas Development Corporation as president. Retired from public office, he has devoted his life to social welfare services. In recognition of his distinguished services, he was awarded with Dongbaek Order of Civil Merit, 5.16 National Order of Merit, and Wubong Volunteer Recognition Award.

He was a faithful Christian, who has devoted his life for the vulnerable and the socially marginalized, especially children in need. He was one of the first generation historical researchers specializing in Gando and has written various articles and books on Korean history and religion and culture.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

I must beg forgiveness for the delay in which I have posted this years Mothers Day Blog, no excuses.

This year Mom wanted to have a quiet day at home and we delivered. The day began with a nice breakfast for Mom of a banana and peanut butter and she was off, before the kids were up, for a training ride for the MS-150. The day was great and sunny and Tracy was able to get in two hours on her bike. The bike ride was followed by a yummy lunch and a walk with Nikki. The kids, especially Kay, had created some very heart felt and personal Mothers Day gifts and Kay could not wait for dinner & gift opening. Mom just HAD to open one of the masterpieces. It contained a hand-made clay pot with some type of greenery in it (not real sure what). It almost looks like she grabbed a couple of stray dandelion leaves and covered them in dirt. However the card she created is a precious:

My Mom:
By Kay:
Mom you are sweet as a rose. You are no ordnery Mom. You are a loving caring Mom that loves me. You are not a plain mom you are a charming mom. I love you for who you are no one can change that. No one can love you as much as I do.

The morning ride over Mom returned home to a nice lunch and then headed out with Nikki for a walk. We all got dinner ready and when she returned home Jimmy surprised her with an afternoon pedicure appointment. Jimmy created a beautiful gift bag and also gave Mom a cup of tea along with a gift card for one free yard mowing. He did create a tea cup out of art paper with beautiful flowers on one side and this saying on the other:
To Mom:
A cup of tea to say thank you
For all the things you've done,
And wishes that the day will bring
You happiness and fun.
Happy Mother's Day!
Love, Jimmy

Mexican fiesta was the dinner plan as it is one of Mom's favorite meals. Complete with homemade Kay style guacamole and black beans. Bill presented Mom with the a special book, The Lonely Planet Netherlands, as we are heading there this summer for a wedding, and he created a beautiful card with his smiling face in the middle of a sunflower along with,
I love you Mom

The kids talked with the Grandam's to wish them Happy Mother's Day and Tracy and I did to. It was great to connect with them and let them know we love them and we are blessed by them.

The kids and I are also blessed with a Mom/wife, that spends a great deal of energy giving us a special life and a happy home. Tracy is a hard working, dedicated, loving, thoughtful, charming and no ordnery Mom. We love you, we bless you and were glad you are are MOM.
Jimmy, Kay, Billy,Nikki, Tom

Monday, May 09, 2011

MS150 - Training/Fundraising Update - 30 days down, 30 to go!

FINALLY, the weather broke and we had a GORGEOUS weekend! For those of you who do not live in Minnesota, 1st of all – good for you! 2nd of all let me describe April – cold (35 degrees), wet (rain/snow) and windy. NOT good biking weather. Needless to say, myself and my co-riders are off to a slow start on the training front. But, we were blessed with perfect biking weather last weekend and I got 4 hours in on my bike. Yeah! (The perfect Mothers Day gift)

From a fundraising perspective, you are all amazing and April was a GREAT month! As a reminder, my goal is $1,000 and I’m already at $855, Woo Hoo!! It’s so fun to know that even if the weather is not cooperating, my friends/family are supportive. THANK YOU!

So…I need a little more $ and a LOT more riding, but I’ll get there.

More training updates to come,