Saturday, February 28, 2009

A First for Ben

Do you recognize what this is? It's a yellow card.

Today we drove up to Denver for a soccer tournament. Ben's team was playing up there to prepare for the spring season. We knew it would be a tough tournament. In the opening game the Snow Leopards looked good but not 100%. We lost 1-0. In the closing minutes of the game Ben was playing "sweeper" and he went head-to-head against a guy going straight at the goal.

Ben was charged with his first yellow card for a bit of a shove from behind, though to his credit, it seemed incidental and he was really going for the ball. The card came out, the ref (an older man, not a kid) yelled at him a bit, and then the ref got out his notebook and wrote down Ben's number and team name. The penalty kick was no good so there was really no harm done, except to Ben's tender heart.

To my knowledge, that is the first card given to anyone on our team. There's a first for everything I suppose, but seeing as how Ben is not the most aggressive or fouling player on the team, it was surprising to have it be Ben. He was devastated. Completely heartbroken. He hung in tough until the final whistle and handshakes with the opposing team and then he rushed me at the sidelines and began sobbing.

I only document this event so that in years to come when he is still playing soccer, or whatever it is he chooses to play (lacrosse? football?) he will laugh that it ever upset him to be carded. We're told that as the kids get older more and more cards are expected in each game. Demanded even. It's a good thing to be playing hard enough to be carded...just not a red card.

Ben's a great kid.
A great soccer player.
A great teammate.
A great friend.
A great brother.
A great son.
We love him so much and are so proud of the person he chooses to be everyday.

(Photo from yahoo image search...not our actual ref, who was much older and actually very good)
With love and respect, we acknowledge you as the FIRST PLAYER to receive a YELLOW CARD on the Snow Leopard football club (that's how their coach refers to it). Way to bring it, Ben!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Time flies

I have been feeling terribly nostalgic lately. It seems my kids are growing up so fast. I can't seem to wrap my brain around how quickly time flies.

It's not all "wine and roses" (as the expression goes), but it does seem to be sailing by very quickly. Rachel tells me nearly every day about something that she has "learned in preschool" (whether or not that is accurate is another story) but it makes me realize how independent she's becoming and how much other people are beginning to influence her.

Ben has stories every single day of his antics at school, as well as those of his friends and the ever changing sagas surrounding their third-grade crushes. Oh, man. Things are moving quickly with him.

Jake departed today for school in a rush. His parting words (and actually his ONLY words to me today) were "I Hate You." I was not offended at all and not surprised either. Dave was here for the farewell and he couldn't understand it. To me it was par for the course because Jake obviously was running late and probably was tired. He often blames me for things when life gets stressful. Didn't we all do that at that age?

I know he loves me and knows I love him. Even when he can't manage to say anything nice.

Facebook has been funny lately with all the pictures from my youth. Here's one from when I was in seventh or eighth grade.

Mom, I probably owe you an apology for being such a pill while I survived my early teen years. Sorry for blaming you for everything. Also, sorry that I ever called myself "fat". (I honestly don't remember ever being that skinny!)
I'll be looking forward to an apology from Jake in 25 years or so. Somehow, I know that's just around the corner...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Valentine's Day 2009 Remembered

How we celebrated together...

Our little playgroup decorated sugar cookies.

We hosted our playgroup friends after a two-hour delay for the BIG kids. (I did not use your recipe Mom and the cookies were NOT very good, but not to worry, they still worked to transport frosting and candy to the mouth quite well.)

And poor little Rachel found herself under the weather just as our friends were arriving. She slept through all the decorating and most of the fun but awakened to tell everyone her stomach hurt, which in the end amounted to nothing terrible, but did serve to clear the room. Imagine, no one wanted to share that love.

The next day was actually Valentine's day and Rachel was much better by then. We had a quiet day without Dave because, as it turns out, he was on-call. We ran a few errands and picked up Slayton's BBQ for an at-home-picnic feast. Very delicious and lovely, with the people I love the most.

I surprised Dave by taking him to see Brian Regan, a comedian, at the Pikes Peak Center. That guy is so funny. Check out one of my favorite bits in the following post.

Will it work? We'll see. Yes. It does work. I'm amazed and quite pleased with myself.

Oh, and Dave got me some flowers and took me to California for a romantic getaway a week before Valentine's Day. GRRREAT present.

Brian Regan at the improv

This is one of my favorite bits by one of my favorite comedians.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

U.S. 12th President, Zachary Taylor

Ben's first research paper (to be completed at home) was due last week. Grandma and Papa did a great job getting Ben to work on the paper while Dave and I were in California and Ben did a good job finishing it up on Sunday. I would love to have seen him do his oral presentation but I was NOT invited, you might even say I was uninvited. Oh, well. At least he let me get a picture.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

California Dreamin'

Grandma and Papa came for a visit so Dave and I could head to California for a little kid-break. The kids had a great time and Rachel is still calling me "grandma" from time to time. I know how sweet and exhausting Rachel can be so I'm sure they had fun visiting and were ready to recover after four days of fun.

I love that Sadie has to be right in the middle of everything here, like always.

Dave planned this trip a while ago, knowing that the winter blues start to set in for him about this time (he is from Southern California...). Well, ironically, the weather here in Colorado was lovely while we were slammed with rain three of the four days there.

At The Harbor Grill where Dave had his first job as a busboy 23 years ago. Looks the same.

Nonetheless, we hit In-N-Out, Trader Joe's, fabulous sushi (found with my iphone app, Urbanspoon), The Harbor Grill, and shopped the sales at South Coast Plaza (what I really mean is shopped at Sears). My iphone proved to be invaluable with the GPS and google maps action.

We also hooked up with some of Dave's buddies from high school. He even managed to get out surfing with Nick, whom we haven't seen in more than 12 years!

Fun vacation inspite of the rain, rain, rain.

Does anyone recognize the church in the distance? We sure didn't at first, "Is that one of the missions, Dave?" But then as we passed I recognized a golden angel on top rather than a cross. Duh.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Photo shoot with Jake

I received money for Christmas to buy some new boots. I picked these up at Christmastime and have been meaning to show them off...

Foxy, right?

Thanks for taking my picture, Jake.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

January 21st in Colorado Springs 2009

This is what it looked like for three whole days in the end of January in our neck of the woods. It was an amazing, beautiful week. We went to the park twice as well as to the zoo.

We met our friends at the zoo, at one point it reached 70 degrees. The kids were all so thrilled to be outside playing that we didn't actually spend that much time watching the animals. It was a spectacular day in the middle of winter.

Five days later, on January 26, this is what it looked like. We'll take it and not complain if we can have a few more sunny days in February. If Mother Nature can manage to keep breaking it up for us, we'll survive winter storms into April, which is likely to happen. There's only been one so-called snow day so far this school year so that is also great.

And the truth is, what the world needs now is more snow angels and less complaining. So thanks, Colorado, we'll smile if you bring us lots more snow (that is until April 15th, and then the smiles and thanks are gone and we'll expect some springtime joy) and we'll continue to make angels and snowmen to show our winter love.

I love winter in the Rockies. Most of the time.