Tuesday, September 18, 2007

First soccer games

Saturday, September 15. The day we discover that Allison is REALLY competitive.

They played a team called the Purple Ponies. Usually, Under 6 soccer is a comedy of errors. Bunchball supreme. Not these Ponies. They were ruthless! When they scored within the first 30 seconds (I think that's how long it took them to steal the ball from us and dribble down and shoot on our goal...maybe 45 seconds?!) I knew we were in trouble. I stopped counting after the score was 6-0, which by the way, was before half time. But Allison kept in there, kinda. She got discouraged and cried a few times that her team hadn't scored (hey, she's 4). Hopefully next week goes a little better. Here are some more pictures of her in action.

Sarah's game went better. It was a good, close game and I realized/was reminded that I am one of those annoying parents who really gets into the game. I had to tell myself to shut up and let the coach tell the girls where to go. How lame am I?! Anyway, it was a pre-season game, but the girls got to feel good that they won 2-0. Sarah played all the positions, although hopefully her coach realizes that her strength is defense.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Can You?

Star in Your Own JibJab! It's Free!
We've been working on something for the talent show at the next family reunion!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ah summer, thanks for the memories...

Well, it's official. All the kids are back in school and summer is finally over. Am I sad? Um, NO! I'll admit that I like some of the freedom that comes with summer - flexible bedtimes, sleeping in, the choice of which beach do we want to bum out at today? But it gets a little tiring playing "cruise director" mommy all summer long and finding the answer to the question, "What are we going to do today?" The kids were never happy when the answer was, "Well, I'M doing laundry. What are YOU doing today?" Funny that no one ever offered to help...

Here's the rundown of who's where doing what:

Nate is in Ms. Colburn's 5th grade class this year. Since Twain Elementary is a K-5 school, that means he is the big kid on campus, although I don't get the sense from him that there is that heirachy at the school. (Oh, how I remember looking forward to "ruling the school" and the coolness that I thought would surely come.) Nate regularly asks if he can quit taking piano lessons, to which I gleefully reply, "No. You'll appreciate having that skill someday." Hey, you have to give your kids SOMETHING to hate you for.

Sarah is in third grade with Mrs. Dougan. She has just as much energy and spunk as ever. She's playing soccer again and has already decided that she's as good as anyone else on her team, although she just turned 8 and she's playing in the Under 10 league. Oh, to have that much confidence! She is taking piano lessons as well. When Nate's not begging to quit lessons, she is. What is it with these kids? Don't they appreciate the sacrifices we're making for them?! She's also in a Girl Scout Brownie troop this year with me as her leader. She's wants to sign up for karate again, has asked to take art and photography lessons, and wants to join the swim team. I'm thrilled she has so many intersts, and wish I could find the time and resources to allow her to persue all her dreams. How far away are we from cloning humans?

Allison is in the M/W/F class at the FABULOUS preschool across the street from the kids elementary school. Her new teacher, Mrs. Hayes, is wonderful, but has big shoes to fill. Allison LOVED Mrs. Lance, her teacher last year. Allison is also playing soccer this year. It's, um, going to be an interesting season. She really is only playing because she wants a trophy. But she is gradually figuring it out, although it seems silly to only use your feet when it's so much easier to just pick up the ball and run with it! Her team played a short scrimage against a team of boys at a practice, and the boys were pretty good. After the boys had scored a few goals, all the girls were lying down on the field, crying because the boys were being mean. Drama queens at age 4?! Oh yeah!

Here are a few more first day of school pictures:

I like this picture. They are standing next to each other, smiling; no hint of the usual sibling "he hit me! she said..."

It was hard for Allison to wait a whole week between Nate and Sarah's first day of school and her first day. Nate let her in on some of the excitement by posing with her next to his classroom. (For all my whining, they really are good kids and do nice stuff for each other all the time.)

Sarah checking out the class list to see which friends are in her class. By the end of the day, she had a new best friend, Bianca. I don't even think they knew each other before. But that's totally Sarah. She'll make friends with other kids when we go to the beach and genuinely be sad when we leave that she'll never see that friend again. But not so with Bianca. By the end of the week, Sarah was complaining that Bianca followed her everywhere!

Guess who else is in Mrs. Hayes's class? Allison's best friend, Elijah Zollinger! We were very happy to see his name on the class list. Last year, leaving Allison at school was a tricky, complicated process that involved me staying in the room, singing songs, etc. I thought having a friend in the class would allow me to make a quick exit from the classroom. Apparently not. When I arrived to pick Allison up, she was very mad that I didn't say an appropriate goodbye this morning. Hugs and kisses aren't good enough, I guess.

Monday, September 3, 2007

A week at the WHAT cabin

As I mentioned in the previous post, we just returned from a week at the cabin. It was so wonderful, as it always is. I'm so glad that it is a tradition I can keep with the kids. I'm sure they don't appreciate it's beauty and tranquility (as I'm sure I didn't at their age, either) but hope some day they'll be able to go with their kids and relax in such a beautiful spot without the distractions of television, telephones (landlines or cell) or the computer. As we were driving up, the kids were watching a movie and there was a preview for the 20th anniversary re-release of E.T., and I realized I had seen that movie in the theater in Cedar City on a summer vacation to the cabin as a kid. Man, how time flies!

(For those of you who don't know, the WHAT cabin is the cabin my grandparents William Howard & Ann Thompson built up the canyon from Cedar City, Utah. Although it is located in the orange desert of southern Utah, as you go up the 10 miles in the canyon, the scenery totally changes and you are surrounded by Aspen trees and green and the temperature drops at least 15 degrees, making it quite comfortable. The other cabin we visit is about 20 miles from Park City and is lovingly nicknamed the DAM cabin, after Don And Marsha.)

Unfortunately, Brent had used his summer vacation time on our earlier trip to Utah, so he was unable to come with us. Fortunately, our friends the Zollingers were able to come with us for the third year. We brought our dog, Sammy, along for the first time, too. He had a great time being a dog in the great outdoors, but he can't fill in as a spare driver, so I am determined to bring Brent along next year!

Our week included all the same cabin activities that we did as a family years ago (see photos and descriptions). Some things never change...including the green shag carpet upstairs! But I realized that I am fiercly protective of the cabin, ugly carpet & strange furniture & all, because it's been around for longer than I have. It's one of my favorite spots on earth and I hope we make many more memories there.

Exploring the creek

Sarah and Jake, Captain Adventurers!

Down at the cave

"I told you I didn't have to go to the bathroom before we left the cabin, but guess what, mommy?!"

Nate and Sammy had fun exploring different paths...

...and resting in the shade.

The kids threw rocks in the creek. Lots of rocks. It was so simple, but so entertaining for them.

No trip to the cabin is complete without many visits to the neighbor's tire swings.

We brought down the record player and danced the night away...

Sarah learned to do the Charleston!

We went to Navajo Lake. There was more throwing of rocks. Allison was very upset that I wouldn't rent a boat to take her to the middle of the lake. Maybe next year...

It's hard to say "no" to that face!