Saturday, November 05, 2016

Isaac Plays Soccer

We have had such a fun soccer season with Isaac!

This is his third season to play and first time in Russellville with the
Arkansas Valley Soccer Association.
It has been a positive experience for Isaac, his teammates, and us parents.
Isaac and his teammates have improved so much over the course of the season.
It seems they are finally "getting it".  Whereas they started the season playing amoeba style--
as one group pulsing around the ball up and down the field--
now they spread out, kick the ball, and run with it.  
They even pass to one another occasionally.
It's fun to watch.

In the last couple of games, things seemed to have really clicked for Isaac.
He's going for the ball and has even started making goals.
He scored 4 goals in this game!

It's so cool to see him gaining confidence
and getting in on the action.

 There he is right in the mix. 
This was not our son three games ago.

The driving force behind this great season of play is our Coach, Richard Payne.
 He is a great coach.  He challenges the kids but makes sure it's fun and is always encouraging.
We are grateful for the time, energy, and patience he gives to these kids.
He is truly the reason the season has been so enjoyable.

Richard's two youngest children, twins Ben and Caroline, are on our team.
That's Ben throwing in the ball in the above two pictures.

 Coach gets the team lined up for the kick.

 Sebastian kicks it in.

 "Which way are we going??"

High fives for good team work!

Coaching and texting....
When you have 6 children of your own and are coaching four soccer teams, 
multitasking is sometimes required.

 Ben the aspiring coach, like his Dad.

 Go, Ben!

 Good hustle!  Isaac going for it.

Taking it down the field.

High fives for another goal scored!!

 Sebastian showing his moves.

"Good game, good game."

See that adorable girl on the team?
That's Caroline, Ben's twin sister and coach's daughter.
This U6 boys team would not have been complete without her.
She and her pink cleats added spunk to the team.

"Go Cheetah Backs!"

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bikes for Five!

Back in early May, we celebrated Isaac turning 5!
Happy birthday, big boy!!

We gathered with friends at the park for a bike-themed party.

Isaac helped make his cake which
he was very excited to decorate with M&M's.

I love this series of photos....

A smug Isaac with his birthday cake and a curious little brother.

Uuuhh . . . what are you doing to my cake???

I'm just gonna move this right over here.

We had so many wonderful friends come out to celebrate Isaac.
In the above picture, Isaac's school buddy, Noel,
seems to be the only photogenic one.

Boys, boys!

More boys, and sweet Charlie.
She rules the roost among all these guys.

Mitch stealing the shot.

My wonderful, dear friend Gracy, her sweet children Yulia and Symon,
and Caden trying to steal the shot.

Crazy, fun Arlo.

The kids had a blast riding bikes around the obstacle course that dad made.
It included ramps, jumps, and the very popular teeter totter.

Yulia wins the style points.

Jasper.....this kid kills it on the bike!


Mr. Casual

Flyin' Symon!

Isaac trying out his brand new pedal bike--thank you, Gran!!!

He's still pretty comfortable on the trusty old balance bike.

Happy birthday Isaac!!
We sure do love you and can't wait to see what adventures
and growth this next year holds for you.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Livin' the Life with Gran

Gran recently stayed with us in Pinedale.
In the winter.
For 11 days.
It was awesome.

Our first adventure, immediately after Gran's arrival, took us to
the National Elk Refuge in Jackson where we enjoyed
a horse-drawn sleigh ride among those lovely creatures.

The Refuge provides winter habitat for more than 6,000 elk.
We saw a few elk, like these massive bulls.



Luckily the weather was unseasonably warm and mild for much of mom's trip.
We got to spend a lot of time playing in the fresh air.
The boys were ecstatic to have outdoor play time that
didn't require full snow dress.

We sure are loving our paved driveway!

Fun times at the ski hill.
Gran was very impressed with the boys' ski skills.

Clearly dad does all the heavy lifting in this family.

"We made it!"

I love this picture because all those skiers coming down together as a group
are the dear ones with whom I spend many a days at White Pine.
That would be the Swensons...

Arlo and Becca,

Paul and Nyle,

and, of course, my crew.

The three oldest of the littles skiing down together.

The littlest of the littles.

My fun-loving mama.

We decided to tail-gate in the parking lot.
What better place than a windy, muddy snow patch to
hang out and roast some weenies?

The kids definitely had fun climbing the snow banks.

Caden decided that taking shelter from the wind was the best plan.


Just more proof, for the one thousandth time, that it's nearly impossible to get my boys 
to pose naturally for a photo.

Gran decided she might take a little rest.
She quickly had more company than she asked for.
I don't think much napping occurred.

Round 2 at White Pine.

Each boy got to spend one day with Gran while everyone else went to school and work.
For Caden, it was a finger-licking good time.

Back outside, the boys displayed their talents on their bikes.

Isaac is an expert crasher.
It's his favorite thing to do with his bike.

Out for a walk to enjoy the sunshine and spectacular mountain views.

Radio Flyin'

This all-terrain vehicle does not do so well in all terrains.

"Look, no hands!"

Matt turned 38!
Happy birthday, old man! (I can say that.)

Mom and I got to venture out for CC skiing on two different occasions.

While this first ski was fairly uneventful--but delightful!--the second outing 
was quite entertaining.  Mom repeatedly zoomed down an aggressive hill,
at the top of which I had to get her turned around and positioned for take off each time.
One time, she stopped herself at the bottom with a spectacular crash.
I'll just say I found her immobile, cradled in the snow with arms, legs,
skis, and poles sticking straight up in the air.  Oh, did we laugh.
Unfortunately, the camera was not cooperating so there is no documentation.

To wrap up, here are a couple of shots of these goofballs
that keep us on our toes and laughing.

Thanks for spending all that time with us, Gran! We love you.

P.S. My Facebook post following your departure provides a fun
replay of the visit and reflects my gratitude:
"Today I wrapped up a lovely, wonderful visit with my mom and find happiness in the many good memories made. We ate, drank, and enjoyed unseasonably warm weather. We played at the PAC and outside. We took a sleigh ride through the elk refuge and tailgated in the snow. We skied together and watched the boys ski. We watched the super bowl, a good movie, and our fill of Downton Abbey. The boys each had their own special day with Gran as well as time together with her. We shared a home (which is much cleaner now!) and our daily lives, and I am grateful for the time we had together. I love this woman! (Oh yeah, and we celebrated birthdays and tracked our daily steps through it all.)"