The weekend…

Normally life with 5 kids is pretty manageable. We have been very deliberate as to what we put our kids in to make sure everything stays manageable. Although Saturday we had the perfect storm of activities and there was some serious juggling.

Hallie had a tennis tournament at 9. Steve took her at 8:30 to warm up and I joined with the other kids at 9. Steve had to leave shortly after to conduct a funeral service. A friend (who also had a girl at the tennis tournament) took Bennett to his soccer round robin tournament while we watched Hallie. The progress she’s made in the last 5 months has been amazing.

After Hallie and our friend’s daughter were finished with tennis we went to Bennett’s tournament where Steve met us after the funeral. After Bennett’s tournament, Bennett had additional soccer at another location that he had to rush off to. He claims soccer is his favorite sport and he is working so hard to improve. He has more drive and dedication than all the other kids combined. Drive will take him far in life.

Hallie and the little kids went home (to nap) while we rushed off to Hunter’s soccer game.

Hunter’s game was in the heat of the day and I had already been outside for four hours. My legs are nice and red after this additional hour and a half in the sun. Hunter loves all sports and soccer just happens to be what he plays competitively – at least this year.

This game was a little hard to watch as the ref lost control of the game early on and it just got ugly, real ugly. The team that we were playing knew how to play dirty and there wasn’t a ref stopping them.

Hunter took a couple hits in the back – most of which were when the ball was in play. However there was a two hand shove after the play stopped and he fell face first onto the ground. I think he was surprised more than anything but it also hurt to hit the ground that hard – there’s not a lot of grass to pad the fall.

The longer the game went on the harder it was to watch. We’ve played a lot of teams and we haven’t met this kind of cheap physical play. It wasn’t until the very end of the game when one of the other team’s players had had his 13th 2nd chance and he was asked to get off the field. Not with a red card. Not with a penalty kick. He was just asked to leave. We had two goals that were called back for one reason or another so when the game ended in a tie it was a tough ending. Fortunately, there were no broken bones, just a few scrapes and bruises.

We pulled in the driveway at 3pm with Hallie asking to go play basketball and go to the temple with friends. We hopped back in the car to drop her off and pick up a trampoline off craigslist to replace ours that flew over the fence and folded like a taco back in July.

Of course we ended the evening building a trampoline which is not what I had in mind after a long day but the kids were dying to get it put together.

Both Steve and I sat on the bed last night amazed that we made it through an abnormally busy day. In fact, I can’t recall any Saturday that we’ve run around that much. Normally we wouldn’t sign up for conflicting events but Hallie’s tournament was a make up from the week before when it rained and you never plan for funerals, right!? Friends helped get kids to and from and that’s the only way it was possible. I said multiple times, “It takes a village”.

Luckily, I really do love watching my kids play sports at all levels and we do make that a priority as a family. Even when the cheering squad ends up cheering at just the wrong time during a tennis match! I need to teach them a golf clap – they think they’re in a basketball gymnasium! 🙂

Dedication…

I know college football isn’t for everyone (hard to believe) – but for us it’s a family affair. We enjoy college football as a family. We follow teams. We celebrate wins. And we mourn the losses. What can I say, we are committed.

We are committed to watching games at home – following teams we’ve grown to love over the years – Saturday afternoon is for folding laundry and football.

We are also committed to the Sun Devils. I wish they were better than they are – but we are committed because we live close, we have tickets and it’s something we all enjoy doing.

We are so committed, we attend early season games when it is down right miserable outside. How miserable you might ask? When it’s 107* at 8:30 at night – and your clothes stick to you when you stand up from the metal seats. Not going to lie – its a little miserable. But look at all these happy sweaty faces! (minus Hunter who was at a swim birthday party which sounded infinitely better than a hot and sweaty stadium!)

Looking forward to the game this weekend when it’s a high of 95 – It will feel dreamy!

Here’s to another amazing college football weekend. Good luck to your favorite teams – unless they’re playing ASU, Boise State, Wisconsin or BYU! 🙂

Football wrap up…

Hunter came home from school one day saying he really wanted to sign up for a football league. I did some research and called a few leagues and found one that hadn’t closed their roster yet – we had three days to decide if wanted to play and they would place him on a team.

In Hunter’s mind that meant he had three days to find 10 kids who wanted to play and convince a parent to coach them.

The coach part was easy – Steve was quick to volunteer. Hunter went to school the next day and came home with a sticky note full of 10 names: 9 boys and 1 girl. They all agreed at recess to play on the team. That meant me calling each parent (luckily the sticky note included some phone numbers) to see if they really wanted their kid playing. Every kid was in. In 48 hours, Hunter had fielded a team to play on!

Hunter and Steve had the time of their life – I’m not sure which one had more fun! They would sit in the kitchen before games looking at the index card plays talking about how to improve their game. Then there was the post-game talk, reliving memorable plays or calls.

They were fun to watch and each game there was improvement.

Hunter LOVES football. He has carried a football around the house for years. The first sport he tried was football. He’s moved on to other sports, but recess football is still in his blood and he was living his 10 year-old best life back on the field.

He was good for a touchdown or two each game and I have countless shots that look just like this – him running and juking and running some more!

They were hoping to take the championship – but it just wasn’t in the cards this year. In the tournament they lost to the championship team in 5 overtimes. (Which we heard from the league was unheard of since we were a new, inexperienced team) It was heartbreaking for this little team. I’m sure they’ll be committed to coming back next year and trying again!

They love the game and even more they loved the time together.

Flag football…

Football season is coming to a close and the tournament starts this weekend. Hunter has carried a football around the house since he was little. And even then, this is only the second time he’s played in a league. But he loves this sport. He loves watching it, he loves playing it, he loves talking about it.

I have a slew of pictures just like this one of him diving through the air in an attempt to intercept or block. I’ll miss watching him play, but I won’t miss baking in the sun while he plays.

Basketball wrap-up…

When she started the season, she hadn’t played a single game of basketball, not to mention she was scared out of her mind the first time she touched the ball in her first game. Each game she got a little better. Gained a little confidence.

Every week we worked at home on the the things she wanted extra help in. Free throws. Dribbling. Jumpshots. Being aggressive and winning balls. She was ready and willing to learn and I loved getting some extra time with her playing a sport I really enjoy.

We saw improvement with every single game and before long she got more playing time simply because she knew how to play defense – which at this level is rare.

She started tournament play last week and I’m not sure who was more surprised, her or us, when coach had her starting the game. First play of the game she dribbled down the court and made her jumpshot. That was a confidence builder! Her team played in the championship game Friday night against a team who had already beat them (by a lot) in the regular season.

She started that game and she played two entire quarters without a rest. She was exhausted and she played her heart out. In a nail biter of a game, they lost by three points. It was a hard loss and she instantly looked to blame herself for a number of things she could’ve done better. I poured out my wisdom and shared rule #57 of team sports – a game is not won or lost in a single moment (of missing of shot or otherwise) – it’s won or lost in 4 quarters of playing. And they played a great 4 quarters, they just came up short and that is often the story of sports.

She’s not experienced a team sport before and I’ve come to realize how much you learn in that process. I was a little unsure as to how this experience was going to shake out and I can’t believe how amazing it has been for her. She has gained friends. She has gained confidence and aggressiveness. She had a great season and I’m pretty sure she’ll try out again next year.