May 20, 2014

Soccer (finally)...

A few months ago I signed Rachel up for Tiny Tot soccer, and officially became a soccer mom.

Here's the proof
The season is just six weeks long and each game is only 45 minutes, which is just about perfect. Her games should have stared in April, but the fields were still covered in snow. And then it rained. And rained again. And again.

I was in Kansas City for a conference when Rachel played her first soccer game. I absolutely hated missing it, and was super excited to finally watch her play last night.

First they warm up and each are given a ball to kick around in circles.
We got there early, and she started playing right away.
And then the game starts, and all of the kids run in a herd towards the ball. Not even markings on the field can stop them from their madness. What's that you say? Our field ends after the white line? No worries...the grass keeps going and so shall we.

The coaches each run along side the field and
throw a ball back in every time one gets kicked out.
So, like, about every minute or two.
I have to give a whole load of credit to the coaches. Coaching a soccer game played by 3 and 4 year-olds is not a whole lot different than herding cats around with a yarn ball.

I can only imagine what this conversation is about.
I would bet that it has nothing to do with soccer and
more to do with some random flower that she spotted in the distance.
Rachel has tons of fun playing soccer, especially when no one else is around to keep her from the ball. We're still working on what it means to "go after the ball and stop waiting for someone to pass it to her." I'm not sure how to explain that at this point in her life she will have to actually go get the ball, but someday, if she sticks with this sport, she will play on a team where passing the ball is essential. That's too much information for now, I suppose.

Finally! The one tall, really good, teammate isn't around
and she gets a stab at kicking the ball.
But, it turns out that 45-minute games are much too long. With about 15 minutes left she pretty much gave up. We found her out in the ditch looking for flowers, directed her back to the field, and begged her to stay with her teammates.
And...we're done.
At first we tried to confine Ryan to his stroller but eventually we let him run around with his own soccer ball. It appears that our days of Tiny Tot soccer have only begun.

Speaking of Ryan...

My special little guy all snuggled up with daddy and Jill Giraffe.

All smiles with the toy box.

May 15, 2014

In pictures...

I have tons of pictures of my kids. I'm not in any of them, but I have at least a thousand of them on my camera. About twice a year I finally get around to actually removing the photos, and then I do something completely crazy with them. I order hard copies of them. And put them into photo albums.

So bizarre, right?

Some of my most favorite childhood memories involve my family huddled around large photo albums on cold winter nights, laughing at my parents' choice of clothing and pointing out particularly special items that had been forgotten. I remember laughing so hard I cried. And I remember crying. And feeling happy.

That is why I order photos, arrange them (as best I can) in chronological order, and store them in albums. Real, actual albums. Not "e-albums" or whatever kids are calling them these days. Because, some day, I intend to make memories with those photos.

That being said, I'm totally going to cheat and put these pictures on my blog. Because who has time to print and arrange photos?

P.S. I really cheated. These aren't even from my camera.
Mom, thanks for the photos.

My little blond surfer/hippie child.
I was waiting for his curls to grow back but they never did
so I had to cut his hair.
Rachel building a cup tower during her very first
elementary school Fun Night. 
No school Fun Night would be complete without a spaceship and planet tattoo
for the physics teacher's daughter
Beethoven? Not so much.
Adorable? Um, yes!
He looks so little in grandpa's big tractor
Our little lamb meets grandpa's lambs
Trying so hard to see the sheep

Two little "farm kids in training" enjoying a beautiful spring day
on grandpa's tractor.