Monday, September 30, 2013

I love to watch

Sassy's fall softball season just came to an end.  This past weekend her team played in their state tournament and they won second place in their tier.  They braved the cold, windy, rainy day and played 4 games.  Sassy pitched about 12 1/2 innings.  All of the girls played hard and learned a lot during this short fall season.

Many of you know that Sassy also plays Volleyball for the 9th grade high school team.  They either have a match or practice every week night with an occasional Saturday tournament.

Action is currently playing football.  His team has one practice and plays two games per week.

I have many friends whose kids are not as involved in sports as ours and question how we can handle the balancing act that it takes to get the kids to and from all of their practices and games, and/or why we would even want to.  Many have said, "We only let our kids play one sport."

I will say, I spend a lot of time in the car driving to different schools and fields.  Dinner is sometimes made and wrapped up to eat in the car.  For example, Sassy one night ate a taco I had wrapped up in foil for her in the car while driving from volleyball practice to softball practice other nights it's sandwiches and fruit.

Both of them attend "faith formation" at church once a week (on separate evenings), play their sports and get good grades at school.  It is a good balancing act we have worked out.  And we do this because they love to play.  And honestly, I LOVE to watch.  See, Sassy gets bused to each of her volleyball matches and could also get bused back home, but I go to every one.  I love to watch her intensity, her energy and her love for the game.

With softball, hubby is the coach.  I wouldn't have to go, he is there.  He has to be there at every practice and game.  But I LOVE to watch her play.   I don't want to miss seeing her passion, drive and the determination she has and shows at each and every game.  When she first decided she wanted to be a pitcher, she struggled.  She struggled with timing, with accuracy and with speed.  But she powered through.  She would ask her Dad to come play catch almost every day.  And all of that time spent throwing down the front sidewalk has payed off.


This will be his third year playing football.  This year he has really come to better comprehend the game. His understanding of the plays and the importance of each and every player out on the field is growing with every practice and game.  He keeps a running tally of the number of tackles he makes each game.  When the game is over he can not wait to come off the field and talk to me about it.  Win or loss,  I love seeing the excitement in his eyes when he knows he did his job on the field to help his team.  I LOVE to watch him play!

So you see, I think it's important for our kids (and all kids really) to play a sport or be involved in some sort of organized activity.  It teaches them so much!

It teaches them to:

Make new friends and work together (even with people you may not care for)
Make mistakes and learn from them
Balance church, family, school and friends
Have fun
Be disappointed and to move on
Work hard
Rely on others

Over the course of the last year, I have worked on myself to watch what I say to the kids regarding the game or activity they just participated in.  I am trying to not be the parent who gets in the car and points out that if they wouldn't have hesitated they could have gotten the out, or if the block would have been held longer a touchdown could have ensued...... If the kids bring up the bummers and errors of the game, we talk about it.  But I want them to know that regardless of the outcome and the score on the scoreboard, I am proud of them and I LOVE to watch them play.

Although Smiley doesn't always agree with me

(Truth be told, she actually likes going to her sibling's games and has made lots of friends.  She was actually mad in this picture because she really wanted her Sister's 2nd place softball medal!)

And, a side note:  If our kids ever said they didn't want to play anymore, that would be their decision.  I will not force them to play (I admit, I am bummed Sassy doesn't want to play basketball this winter, but she has chosen not to).  But, while they do play I will go and support them because like I've said many times before, I LOVE to watch them play.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Being Goofy

Smiley and I had about 5 extra minutes the other day before it was time to walk out the door and head to Preschool.

What better than to grab the camera, step out from behind it and get a little silly:

Have a great day my friends!  And don't forget to step out from behind that camera of yours!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Steppin' Out ~ Library Style

I am trying to get better at getting in front of the camera instead of always being behind it.  This is not a new thing (see here), but an action that has taken a backseat.  Now that I am getting back to blogging ~ hopefully ~ I want to make this a more regular event again.

So here is me "Steppin'  Out"  yesterday.  Smiley had preschool, so I took her, then ran a few errands.  When I was finished, I headed to the library (which is conveniently next to her school).  I was sitting at a desk, minding my own business, typing up a blog post (Peach Muffins ~ seriously, check it out, they are yummy!) When this younger man came and sat in a oversized chair that was right behind the desk I was sitting at.  Mind you ~ there are many comfy oversized chairs ~ why he chose that one, I'm not sure!  Anyway, he kept stretching and yawning.  No big deal right, but he was so loud.  I think he wanted everyone to know that he was extremely tired.  Annoying!

I tried to get a picture of the culprit for you, but only got myself and the tip top of his head.  Oh well :)

Lesson learned yesterday ~ pick a desk in a more secluded area and when tired, don't announce it to the world via loud yawning and exaggerated stretching.

Oh yeah, and step out and get in some pictures!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Movin' to the country

Like the Presidents of the United States of America sing.... Movin' to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches.

(don't know what I'm talking about.... watch the following)

Or, maybe not.  Not the moving part anyway.  I do however, like to eat peaches!  And today, you are in luck.  I'm sharing a tasty peach muffin recipe with you.

Peach Muffins

Gather your ingredients:

2 Cups self rising flour
1 Cup unsalted butter, melted
1 Cup sour cream
1/4 Cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 - 2 Cups diced peaches (about 1/4"), can be canned (make sure you drain them) or Fresh (soft and ripe are best)

And get baking:

1.  Preheat your oven to 350° F.  Either spray a 12 cup muffin pan with non stick spray or line with paper cupcake/muffin liners (I used liners and only had Halloween ones at my house ~ I guess we are celebrating the holiday a little bit early).

2.  Whisk together flour, butter, sour cream, sugar and vanilla.

(and try not to break your whisk!)

3.  Fold in peaches.

4.  Evenly fill prepared muffin cups.

5.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean.

6.  Let cool in pan for about 10 mins.  Then either try not to eat them all while they are warm, or let them cool completely before storing.


Monday, September 9, 2013

And so we say "Good Bye."

~ Goodbye ~

Last week 2 of 3 of the kids started back up at school.  Neither were terribly excited for the summer to be over, but gave me some smiles as they headed off to school for their first day back.

Sassy is beginning 7th grade.

This is the beginning of the (supposed) "dreaded" middle school years.  She started at a new school that is much larger than she is use to and she is getting up earlier than she is used to.  She gets on the bus at 6:45 am (for the previous 6 years it was 8:15am).  The thought of having to get from her class to first floor, up to second floor, back down to first and to the other side of the building (and so on) had her a bit  nervous, and for me to see this confident girl of my nervous pulled at my heart strings.  She has a full schedule, with what could be some tough classes:  S+ Math, Spanish, Woodwinds, Life Science, PE, S+ English, S+ Us Studies and FACs.

On top of that she is playing volleyball for the 9th grade team at the high school.  Meaning, everyday after school she is bused to the high school for a 2 hour practice.  Two nights a week she has matches, two nights a week she has fastpitch softball practice and every Sunday she has 2 softball games.  The girl is busy... thus making her parents busy :)  But, so far she is managing everything very well.

Action is in 4th grade at the same elementary school as previous years, but with a teacher who is new to the school.

His school also hired a new principal (thankfully!) and assistant principal.  They have been a breath of fresh air and it has only been one week.  For example,  last year the kids were "assigned" a group of kids they had to play with at recess (friends or not), then they could only pick one thing to play for the entire recess.  This year, that rule is gone.  They choose who they play with (size of groups are limited for safety) and they can play whatever they want.  So nice to see him excited about this simple change!   Anyway, week one went down as a success!  He is playing tackle football again this year.  Their first game is tomorrow night.

Smiley is once again in preschool this year.

She goes to school on Monday and Wednesday mornings.  Today is her first day back.  She was excited to get back and see some of her friends again and ready to make some new ones!  I think she was getting tired of just hanging out with me all day long now that the other two are back in school! :)

Like always, it was a bummer to say goodbye to summer ~ we tried to squeeze as much in as we could around all of the activities the kids were in.

The time they are home is fleeing and the memories we can make together are priceless (even if they don't think so now!)

Yes it can be trying to have all of the kids home all day long, every day in the summer, yes they bicker and bug each other.  Yes, I have begged for just a minute of quiet.  But before we knew it, it was already gone.  And only the memories are left.  Memories I will savor!

 I hope you are all doing well.  I am still here, and I hope you haven't written off my little blog.  I hope to get back to being more consistent again.  I have a list of blog post to write and I am looking forward to finding all of you and getting caught up.  I am so behind on my blog reading!

~ So Goodbye Summer ~

We've had a lovely time and look forward to seeing you next year and creating many many more memories.