Thursday, April 29, 2010

Incredible Article

For those in the NC soccer community – there is a soccer forum gossip website…and honestly, some of the funniest, goofiest, albeit sometimes informative, but MOSTLY re-donk-u-lous stuff about anything having to do with soccer.  Coaches, clubs, rules, referee’s, you name it, it’s on there. 

Two days ago, someone posted this article and I add to put it on my website.  It made me cry.  I sent it out to friends and family – I personally think that this applies to anything that your kids might do.  Gymnastics, swimming, football, and even my friend who competes with her child in scrabble tournaments.  ‘Cause it’s really not about “the game”, it’s about that ever so brief moment in time with our kids…..

Farewell to Youth Soccer
Over the years this forum has been a place of laughter, amusement, argument and even some learning. I’ve bashed administrators, coaches, parents and referees – all positions I’ve held or continue to hold in the youth soccer community. I hope this post will be different and will invoke some thoughtfulness on the part of some out there whose children are perhaps just entering the youth & school soccer mechanism or even provide some perspective for those with only a season or two left.
In two weeks my son’s classic soccer experience will come to an end. He has not played one minute of meaningful soccer since shattering his collar bone on August 26, 2009. So I guess you could say his club soccer experience ended last May. He plans to graduate high school early and begin college in January so there will be no U-18 season. His U-17 season and most of his junior year of high school have been lost to surgery and rehab. He bears the scars and the titanium plate that is clearly visible as it snakes along the exposed portion of his clavicle as evidence of the sacrifice he made for the game he so loves to play.
It’s that very injury that has put this whole experience in perspective that was sorely missing. This is a kid that NEVER missed a game. As a young recreation player he wore the bubble wrap over the cast on his wrist so he could play. As the lone goal keeper on his club team I watched him drag himself from bed with the flu, play the full game on a cold, gray, rainy March morning, make a late save to preserve a tie and then ask to stay and watch the next game. This journey from U-5 to U-17 has been one filled with fond memories for our family.
In less than a month that ride will end and a part of my being will end with it. All the families from his club team that have become such a huge part of our lives for the past seven years will drift away and become part of the memories of a bygone time in our lives. And that saddens me.
Reflecting back on the experience I only wish I could have been that parent that could just relax and enjoy the fun of watching him play. For the parents of Goal keepers, you know there’s no such thing as a relaxing game when your child is the keeper! I hope I’ve always been supportive and encouraging. We have never rehashed the games unless he brought it up. “Nice save on that free kick” was usually the extent of our post-game break-down. Generally if the ball was in the net he knew what had happened and didn’t need my analysis. He knew which goals were his “fault” and which were just the result of better play by the striker than he could deal with. He has a perfect demeanor for a goal keeper – he can recall every great save and can allow goals scored to drift off to some short-term memory loss portion of his psyche.
Next month my family will say so long to our “soccer family”. If you’re reading this and you have a child in competitive soccer I hope you can take away a few things from our soccer experience.
• Attend every game! You never know when it might be the last. My son’s first varsity season lasted less than three games. Yard work, office work, house work, any kind of work CAN WAIT! It was so painful to watch him leave the pitch with his arm in a sling. I cannot imagine not having been there when it happened.
• Keep it in perspective. Its kids playing a game. I’ve never held back expressing myself towards poor officiating. I hope I can do better in the future (and I ref, I should do better). The kids absolutely HATE parents that yell at refs – If you ref you know this because the kids will tell you “oh, that’s so and so’s dad, he’s an idiot. Just ignore him.”
• Resist the urge to coach your children during the game. It’s not helpful and much like the parent yelling at the ref the kid’s hate this parent even more. And sometimes it’s your kid that hates you, not just the other kids. I’ve even seen a player tell her dad to “Just shut up. You’re not helpful.” The kid’s know to shoot, pass or clear it! Easier said than done. Relax and enjoy your kids playing.
• Volunteer for the team, your club or your school. For me that’s meant team manager and treasurer, Board member and sometime booster for his high school team. Find a niche that you can be helpful and “Just Do It”. A rewarding experience for your children does not happen without LOTS of parental volunteerism. Something as simple as a cooler full of water bottles on that hot day can make a world of difference. GET INVOLVED.
• Thank your child’s coaches. These men & women dedicate hours of service to our children. Yeah, they get paid but I don’t know a one that does it for the money. They do it for the benefit of your child and a love of the game. Thank them often!
• Be supportive no matter the outcome. My son’s club team has never been very successful in terms of wins & losses. We’ll be the only boy’s team in the club to never attain “Premier Division” status. So what! The kids have been exposed to wonderful coaching and have made life-long friends. It should NEVER be about winning & losing!
• Above all else ENJOY THE JOURNEY. The tedium of long rides to far away tournaments will not last but the memories of your kids playing the beautiful game will. Don’t ruin that joy lamenting the game’s outcome. No one will remember the standings next year anyway. Watch, encourage and ENJOY.
Three days ago my son laced up his boots and pulled on his keeper gloves for the first time since he came crashing to the turf last August 26th. We went to his school stadium and on nearly the exact spot that he came crashing down in a heap we started some simple catching drills.
When some high school teammates showed up and he stepped between the pipes I have to say there was apprehension on my part. The first shot was toward the upper corner to his right – top hand over and he pushes the ball over the bar. Just like he’s done his whole life! It’s a moment I’ll cherish and one I thought I’d never see again.
It all ends too soon. I’ll miss it but I’m thankful for the memories that youth & school soccer have provided for my family. ENJOY!

Good stuff – huh?  Here is a sweet picture of Pootie and Crash, along with their buddies, the brothers “D”.  Crash and DD were just little guys (5 year olds) and they “played up” this one year, so they could play with their big brothers (7 year olds).  It was the neatest thing to watch the four of them together…

jack and sam

Tha't’s Pootie in the goal………..still a little 7 year old baby!100_0277

This was somewhere in between the years of then and now…..Crash was probably 7ish and Pootie was 9 ish….funny thing about this picture is I can tell you exactly where the picture was taken…. and that’s about it….



  Here is Pootie on his middle school soccer team…..other 049

And this is Crash at practice


Oh how time flies….hug your children tonight!!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I’m just saying…

I am really upset about Jesse and Sandra.  (But I don’t care about Tiger and Svetlana or whatever her name is.  Go figure how I am rationalizing the difference!)  I am even more upset now that I know there is a baby!!!  I really think it is amazing and being fabulous parents that they went thru the “normal” channels to adopt this baby….and they kept it a secret (obviously something that Jesse does well)…..

But I liked him.  He seemed so normal for a biker dude that was formally married to a porn star.  (How many times does one get to say that sentence?)  I really fell for him during Celebrity Apprentice (which has anyone wondered why they don’t to regular apprentice anymore??).  When the Donald asked him why, when married to one of the wealthiest actresses in the world, didn’t he raise more money?……….he replied that he had no plans to use his wife in such a manner.  I melted..but not anymore.

Yet I still feel sorry for him.  I think.  I feel really sorry for her because I wanted him to be this incredible rough and tough guy that just loved her forever….I have no idea where that sappy side of me comes from..from years of watching soap opera’s with my grandparents I guess…

Then the smart a** side of me wants to whop him upside the head and say REALLY?  YOU REALLY THOUGHT you were going to CHEAT on SANDRA BULLOCK and the HO’s NOT run their MOUTHS!!!????  Hello…..did you live in a bubble when it happened to Tiger?  They are going to TALK!!!!   Stupid Stupid Stupid!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Random Monday

I just love Random Monday's.  It fits my mood.  I’m somewhat scattered coming off of the weekend.  My mind is racing with all that I need to do, and all the things that I want to do, and NONE of it getting done!!!

  • I’ve got two new blogs to add to my reading – and one website you have to check out.  The website belongs to the dad of a fellow student in Lola’s class.  The images just blew me away.  I’ve looked at them several times today in amazement at the talent!!!! you have to go have a look.  Then my new blogs to read…one is my friend Lori – her’s is  and then the dad referenced above has a blog, so nice to see a guy writing…read the post about his uncle that just passed away.  Very sweet -   I’ll be adding both to my sidebar to read faithfully!!!!      
  • Crash’s soccer season is over.  He has the week off and will then just be training and staying moving until we get to tryouts – which is the week of May 24th. 
  • Pootie’s club soccer season is over and they are now practicing for State Cup.  That begins the weekend of May 8.  He still has school ball – their last game is May5th.  He has really enjoyed it and hubby and I cannot say enough nice things about the coach.  Just a good guy.
  • Lola had her challenge run at school this past Thursday and bless her heart – she ran or fast walked the whole time!! Miracles happen!  For the first time EVER – she did not cry!!!  OR stop and fold those arms and say “it’s stupid”.  She ran 9 laps in 12 minutes (7 laps is a mile) and did it with a great attitude.  The Aunts and Uncles and Ninni were there to cheer her on – think that is what did it for her.
  • Rowdy weighs 19 pounds 1 ounce and is 29 inches long as of this past Thursday. 
  • There are 32 more days of school left and I cannot wait for it to be summer.  You will hear me say that alot, so deal with it.  One thing I am not getting is this year they are doing (EOG’s) a week early.  I am sure that is to give them a chance to retest and get the kids passed that don't pass the first time but come on. That leaves 19 days of school after the testing.  We are a school system in serious financial trouble – just let school be over!!!  (and yes, I am aware that the state sets the law about how many days the kids go) but I’m just saying!!!  Had you added a couple of minutes to the days before EOG testing, we could be done.  And yes, I know that the kids have fun and get to do all kinds of neat things after the stress of the test is over BUT AGAIN…our lovely school system has no money!!!!
  • I met the neatest mom while we were in Greenville, SC at a soccer tourney this weekend.  She works for the University of Tennessee with the athletic program.  How did we meet you ask?  SHE LIKED MY BUMPER MAGNET!!!!  The one that I had made that says “SOCCER: it’s not about the club, it’s about the kids”.  That was back when we were a 2 club family and the guy that was president at club a gave me a hard time about moving Pootie.  I told him didn’t I?
  • Dad is still on the mend – doing great.  Driving the wonderful car – so my kids know he is feeling better!

Here are a couple of family shots from last week -

This is my daddy’s younger sister – her name is Margaret but we call her Aunt Artie.  She lives in California (she has 6 kids, 3 girls, 3 boys and amongst them, they have 11 kids…)


This is my Aunt Mary (as in who my daughter is named after).  She is married to my daddy’s brother, Ervin.  They live in Virginia and have a horsey farm.  (This is HollyBeth’s mom)


And this is Grandmabel, my daddy’s mom.  She is admit that she is NOT going back to Cali with Aunt Artie.  Wrong decision, but it is her decision. 


And on the left in the red is my daddy’s older brother, my Uncle Ervin.  He is always making a silly face!  I have pictures of him skateboarding across my parents front porch as my prom date was walking up to the door to get me!!! 

On the right is my Aunt Artie’s hubby, Larry.  He is a good man and adores her.  They’ve been married about 7ish years……


And here is my daddy and my hubby.  I took these pictures on Sunday night before daddy’s surgery. 


And my mom and Rowdy.  She was smooching all over him….and he loves it!!!!! 


Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Today, my sweet little baby is ONE!!!!  Can you believe it!!??!!!  We went from this.....

to this...

One year!!! He is such a big boy - he is crawling all over (at the moment, it happens to be me) and stands up and "cruises" - walking is such  weeks away we think!!!  His one year check up is tomorrow, so I'll have a weight to report but we think it's close to 20 pounds.  Not bad from the kid who started out as a 2 pound 12 ounces baby!!!

So, since Poppa is in the hospital, we did the birthday cake on Sunday night - didn't want anyone to miss out!!!  Here is that moment - he was a bit tired - had a long it took him a few minutes to decide that he liked what all was going on.  (Lola still gets the most aggressive nose dive award for the first birthday cake attack..)

Thank you to all of our friends and family that have been there for us during the past year.  We are truly blessed and are so thankful to have you in our lives.

All our love,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Daddy

My Daddy’s surgery went great today, so says the surgeon.  He is resting comfortably in the hospital – where he should be until Thursday. 

Thank you to all for your kind thoughts and prayers…..

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Break is O-V-E-R!!!

and I am not ready to send my kids back to school.  For the most part, I have really enjoyed them being home.  I didn’t get nearly as much done around here as I wanted…but that is always the case!  Best laid plans right?

Hubby is off reffing for the day.  Kids and I are trying to get laundry done so we are off to a good start for the week.  Lots of things going on the next two weeks.  I’m tired just thinking about it!

And Rowdy has been sick since Friday.  poor guy – runny nose, fever and throwing up!  (just the throwing up on Friday night.)  It was horrible! 

45 more days until summer!!!! YEAH!!!!!!! 


Let the countdown being! 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

March for Babies with the March of Dimes

Hello Friends and Family,

In honor of me, Ryan, my close friends, the Tomlinson's, are walking in the March of Dimes walk this April. I was born at 28 weeks, that’s 3 months early! I weighed 2 pounds 12 ounces and was 15 inches long. I was so tiny, my daddy’s wedding band almost covered my entire back!!

I had the best doctors and nurses that my parents could have wished for me. After spending 44 days in the NICU/PICU, I was finally able to come home and meet my brothers and sister. Today, I am a strong healthy little boy, I weigh about 19 pounds and I am crawling everywhere and chasing after Jack, Sam and MaryNeil. I turn one on April 21st! My family is so amazed at how much I’ve changed…..

Please take a moment to watch my video…..turn off the music on the sidebar located on left before you start this video...

So....just in case you are looking for someone to sponsor...Marybeth is participating in March for Babies because she believes in the March of Dimes mission to save babies and help children like me. Please support her fund-raising efforts by sponsoring her in "March for Babies" today.

Contributing to Marybeth’s march on-line is fast, easy and secure. You can donate directly from her personal webpage with a credit/debit card or PayPal.

You can just click or paste into your browser for the website. NO AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL!

The money raised will help save premature and sick babies. Premature birth is the #1 cause of newborn death and the biggest threat to babies’ health today, and through March for Babies, the March of Dimes is funding important research to find out why premature birth happens and what can be done to prevent it.

Join with millions of compassionate people across the country who support March for Babies each year. Won’t you please help in this worthy cause? Visit the web page and sponsor her in the march that saves babies!

With your support, there’s hope!!!!

Much love

A Healthy, Happy “almost” 1 year old