Saturday, October 31, 2015

Volcanoes & Creepers

This morning we closed down Fall Soccer 2015.  This is one sport I just love to watch.  But only really when my kids are playing.  You know how that goes.  Anyway, this is our fourth season of soccer with the boys, and this year we saw marked improvement in both of them.  Not so much in the team winning category, but certainly in skill and in the game's fundamentals.  Soccer is a game of running, and both boys need to build up a bit of endurance :) but sports are certainly a good experience for the boys to learn teamwork, sportsmanship, and to get some exercise and fresh air. 

About that fresh air,'ll see that only once or twice did we have ideal sunny and warm soccer weather.  We've found that both the spring and fall seasons can be temperamental and it brings the positive attitude vibes down when we wake up on a Saturday morning to rain and wind.  But, they play anyway (usually) and then soccer becomes a lesson in rising above unfriendly circumstances.

This year, Reed played for the first time with both goalies and referees.  He's not the fastest kid on the team, but what he lacks in speed he makes up for in determination and grit.  We were so encouraged to see him get in there and not give up.  Plus, he got flashy new cleats this year (bright neon green) so I think that gave him a little extra spunk out there on the field.  He loved to played defensive positions, especially goalie. 

Check out the Volcanoes in action!

Brad juggled coaching duties for both boys, and so when we weren't watching Reed play, we were on the other end of the soccer complex watching Drew.  Drew was on Team Creepers (put a bunch of 8, 9, and 10 year old boys on a team and of course they choose a team name after Minecraft) and with the increased age comes a larger field and a larger goal.  Drew had a couple friends on his team again this year, which always makes it more enjoyable for him.  He's struggling a little bit right now in liking anything more than video games so on occasion things were less than awesome in the attitude department (although there was improvement in that department as well compared to seasons past).  BUT.  When he got into it and played, he played so well!  We were super impressed with the improvement we saw this year.  He attacked, he was aggressive, he stuck with it and that was so refreshing to see.  He, like Reed,  also preferred playing back (defense) so when he was in that position, he did his best.  He doesn't love it, though, and that's okay, so this will likely be the last of his soccer career. 

See you again next time, Midland Soccer Club!
Thanks for another awesome season!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ruby at 23 Months

Reading the Bible.  She can readily identify almost all of the children's Bibles in our house as Bibles.  This girl loves Jesus!

Eating cheese.

Wearing hand-me-downs from her favorite Minnesota gal pals.

Listening to "Let it Go".

Crafting with crayons.

Loving her dog.  Maybe a little *too* much - see that panic in his eyes??

This month will forever go down in history as the Month of No Sleep.  Every.single.night Ruby has been waking up, sometime between 12:00 and 2:00 in the morning, and not easily returning back to sleep.  It's been so terrible, and I am so tired.  This is worse than the newborn phase!  I'm not sure what the problem is; what is waking her and keeping her awake.  At first I thought it was her teeth, as three new ones popped through in the span of about 10 days.  But the sleeplessness just continues.  The only thing that seems to consistently work for putting, and keeping, her back to sleep is having her come into bed with us.  So she sleeps, but I don't (our bed isn't big enough for three people!).  So then, I wondered, if somehow when she stirs in the night, if she's like "Hey!  This isn't where I want to be!  Mom and Dad's bed is better!"  Ha!  This isn't a habit we'd like to encourage, so we've tried everything else, it seems, and while something might work one night, she doesn't buy into it the next night.  Everything from sleeping on her floor while she's in her crib, both of us sleeping on her floor, rocking her in the rocking chair (she'll doze off but as soon as I go to move her back into bed...wide awake again), laying on the couch together (which works - she'll fall asleep - but then I can't move her back to her bed which means I can't go back to my bed), and letting her cry it out, praying she doesn't wake the boys up, too.  I didn't have any plans to move her into a big girl bed until after our holiday travels, but goodness, I'm pretty darn close to buying her a twin mattress so that I can crawl into bed with her.  At least then we'd be comfortable and, perhaps, I'd be able to sneak back out once she's asleep and still.  We're going on three weeks of this, and I'm now to the point where I'm more worried about why she's waking up and less about the inability to get her back to sleep.

I'm quite convinced this is going to last forever.

More coffee, please.  

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fall is for Friends

I'm beginning to feel a little bit like a broken record when I write about our sweet friends coming so far, again, to spend some time with us.

So I'm just going to quote this:

"Friends are hard to find.  In a lifetime, you get only a few.  And when you find them, you always know them by sight and heart alone, you always grow a little bit taller in your soul, and you know you have been blessed just to know them."
~Ashley Rice~

{Scott & Kathy - As always, so much gratitude for all that you do for us.  I think it's about time you got your own hashtag/label on this here blog.}  :)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fall Photo Shoot

So last year, we made an investment in professional photography and had our first family photos taken of the five of us.  I will cherish those photos forever.  Unfortunately, having our photos taken annually by someone who knows what they are doing is not in the budget (might have to put that on the five year plan) so that leaves it up to us to figure something out.

So yesterday, on a beautiful sunny afternoon, we took the kids (in their adorably coordinated outfits) out to Dow Gardens to give my very amateur photography a shot.

I figured if I took enough photos, there'd have to be at least one that would be suitable enough for the Christmas card this year.  And sure enough, after taking 261 photos, there stood just one.


It's a great one, truly.  But as I scanned through the camera roll, the outtakes are even better.