Monday, October 31, 2011

End of Football and a Little Life Lesson ~

This weekend was a busy one ~ all the sports was enough to make my head spin, much less the trick-or-treating (tonight will make three nights in a row the kids have dressed up.)

Let's start with the Rangers. I'm not a huge baseball fan, but put a Texas team up for the championship and I'm your fan! Big disappointment, but I'm still proud of those guys! Next we have our high school team that went home with a huge victory. Proud of those boys too. What can I say about those Texas Tech Red Raiders? Not much after Saturday night, but I will always be a Red's in the blood. I don't even want to talk about the Cowboys.

This blog post is not about the wins or losses, nope, it's about a little football team I've been watching over the past 3 months and how proud I am of one #34. It's been so awesome to see all the boys grow and learn the game of football. Most of them went from being timid to getting major hits in the course of just a few months. I've seen friendships grow between not just the boys, but the parents as well. We couldn't have asked for a better group of men to coach our boys. They were patient, encouraging and not once did I hear a negative or condescending word come out of their mouths. At every turn these men were making sure our boys had the best possible experiences and I am so thankful for that.

R played offensive tackle and left defensive end and did a pretty darn good job. He got out there and worked hard at every practice, gave 100% every game and even sacked the quarter back a few times. That being said, he was disappointed most of the time because he wasn't given the chance to run the ball. He did touch the ball one game when he recovered a fumble. Now I know he's my flesh and blood and I'm supposed to be a little biased, but the kid can run. He's got endurance and speed. Nevertheless, he was the tallest kid on the team and expected to be on the line.

This brings me back to the last few minutes of our last game this Saturday; a game we didn't even think we were going to have. The boys were playing great, we were winning and I guess the coaches decided to mix it up a bit and let the boys play different positions. R decided at half time he would ask if he could run the ball. I'm so glad he did. With just a few minutes left to play they move R to running back. I'm busy making sure the girls aren't going to fall of the bleachers when my father-in-law elbows me and says, "R's about to run the ball." I nearly fell off the bleachers myself. First I was on the edge of my seat, then I was standing, then jumping up and down and apparently screaming my head off ~ all the while R is running past several opponents into the end zone for a 60 yard touchdown!! It was so exciting!

I told the coach after the game that it was that one play out of the entire season that will make R want to play again next year. Golfers will tell you it's that one good connection with that tiny white ball that keeps them coming back for more. I guess it's that way with any sport. You get a glimpse of victory ~ feel what it's like to score a touchdown, a home run, a three pointer or goal and your hooked. Who knows where that touchdown will lead him in the grand scheme of things, but I hope he learned that it doesn't hurt to ask for what you want. The worst that could happen is getting told, "No." R learned on Saturday that when you ask, great things can happen.

After the game on Saturday

So proud of my little guy!
 We're already looking forward to not only next season, but many seasons to come. I am going to have to learn how to control myself ~ big R told me Saturday after my screaming fit that I was going to have to get a grip or he wasn't going to be able to sit by me at the games. Not only that, I could hardly talk on Sunday. :)

"Four short words sum up what has lifted successful individuals above the crowd:
a little bit more.
They did all that was expected of them and
a little bit more."
~ A. Lou Vickery ~

Friday, October 21, 2011

Words of Affirmation ~

How many of you remember specific words that were spoken to you as a child? I'm sure most of us can...some good, some bad. I remember at the dinner table growing up; my dad would say, "Whatever you do, don't ever start smoking." You see my dad lost his dad (who was a smoker) at a very young age. He found it very important to remind us daily how bad that habit was for us. I also remember Dad saying, "C*****s never quit." Those were pretty handy words to remember when times got tough. Another important goal my parents set for me and my sister was the goal of higher education. My dad was the first of his family to graduate from college and both my parents were adament that we go. I'm proud to say we both achieved that goal and even though we chose to be stay-at-home moms, it's pretty cool that we both fulfilled that dream (thanks Mom and Dad!)

Fast forward several years and now it's my turn to remind my children of what I feel is important. Yes, I've told them that smoking is bad, but I don't say it everyday. We've talked about higher education and R is already planning his college career and big R is already saying to them, "Remember what your last name is." This is, by the way, something I've heard his dad say to the older grandkids.

About a month ago big R and I went to see The Help and I loved the little phrase Aibileen would repeat to Mae Mobley, but I didn't really think anything about it after the movie. Several weeks later I came across a canvas on pinterest that someone had printed this quote on. So half jokingly I started saying this little quote to the kids (accent and all.) At first they thought I was crazy and laughed...then something funny happened; they wanted me to keep saying it. I bet I repeated that quote 50 times that day. The more I said it, the more convicted I got that my kids really needed to hear these words and they were being spoken in a way that would cause them to remember them forever.

Last night I held K's face in my hands and said these words to her...You is kind. You is smart. You is important. She smiled and went about working on the picture she was drawing. In her own little world, concentrating on yet another masterpiece, she starts repeating...You is kind. You is smart. You is important. (with an emphasis on important.) I just listened while acting like I wasn't really paying attention. She repeated the quote about six times ~ it was beautiful. The whole time I'm amazed and prayerful that those words are sinking in.

Someday my kids will look back and remember the words that were repeatedly spoken to them over the years and I hope my grandchildren get to hear these words of affirmation some day ~ You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Best Day Ever ~

When I got home from the grocery store on September 28th, I noticed several Monarch butterflies fluttering around our backyard. I knew it was time for the Monarchs to migrate, but this was the first time I had seen so many in our yard. I unloaded the groceries and had a few minutes before I had to pick the kids up so I grabbed my camera and snapped several photos of the butterflies. Let me just tell you, it's not easy to photograph a butterfly, and I quickly found out getting a photo of one with it's wings open was next to impossible. Oh well, better luck next time and off I went to school...

On this day, R was to go to the fair with a friend which left me with a dilemma ~ how to break the news to K. I chose the easy way out and decided not to tell her until absolutely necessary (which I was hoping would be never.) My kiddos love the fair and we had already gone on Sunday, so it wasn't like she was being completely mistreated. Anyway, back to my story...R went with his friend and K and I went home; all the while she's planning what we would do, just the two of us. First on her agenda was a picnic in the front yard. We packed our basket with whatever we could find that was portable, locked Sam in the garage (because the last thing we needed was a dog destroying our picnic,) and headed out to spread our blanket. When we rounded the corner of the house, we saw the most amazing sight ~ a sea of butterflies floating over the flowers in our flower bed. The same flowers I almost cleaned out the week before (I'm ready for pansies people!) I sprinted back to the house to get my camera and a second chance to photograph the elusive creatures. We snapped pictures in between bites of pb&j and marveled at their beauty.

Have you ever listened really closely to the flutter of butterfly wings? It's magical ~ and if you close your eyes you can imagine the sound of angels wings.

I finally found a butterfly nice enough to let me capture it in all it's glory. I'm not kidding. Try it someday, it takes persistence. :)

While we were sitting outside enjoying our picnic, K climbed onto my lap and said, "This is the best day ever!" The best day ever wasn't being spent riding rides and eating cotton candy, it was being spent on a blanket surrounded by butterflies.

Our picnic eventually came to an end. We loaded up her scooter and went to the park and then came home for "do it yourself" pedicures. We had fun! Yes, she found out the next day her brother got to go back to the fair, but she was only sad for a second. I really think in her little mind she knows we shared a very special day that wouldn't have happened if we had not been home, together, just the two of us.


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