Monday, March 29, 2010

Max just learned another life lesson

My oldest, who is now 9, learned some hard life lesson last weekend on the soccer field. Max learned that sometimes kids are just mean. And that some kids will do anything to win.

Max plays travel soccer, but he also plays on a recreational team in the winter that he's played with for the past three years. This is a great group of kids who really love the sport, some of whom are more proficient soccer players, and some of whom haven't been playing as long. But on this team it doesn't matter - they are all teammates and they enjoy playing the game together.
Indoor soccer is a fast paced, fun game that really relies on foot skills. It's a fun game to play and a fun game to watch. In this winter league you run across all kinds of teams. Some are pre-travel teams and destroy their opponents, and some teams are put together by the league. There are also a whole variety of teams in between. Our team happens to be on of the teams organized by the league. Our kids play soccer in various leagues all over Northern Virginia. These kids met one another on the field three years ago and haven't looked back since. Outside of winter soccer, they don't really see each other. A few kids plan in leagues together, but not the team as a whole.

Last week we faced a team that plays together indoors and outdoors. We have played them before this winter, and they were really rough. They were so rough that the referee had to warn the kids to stop pushing, tripping, and slide tackling. He even threatened them with a card at one time, and actually pulled a yellow card on the coach. He was a great ref and kept the game safe and moving along. Tom (he's the coach of this indoor team) wrote a note to the league complimenting the referee for handling this terrible game so well.
Going in we knew they'd be rough. I'm sure the kids remembered playing them as it was only a few weeks earlier that we met on the field. Tom coached his usual way - told them to ignore the roughness and play good soccer, and for the most part the kids did. Then, mid-way through the game Max got kicked in the thigh by a player that had been going head to head with him most of the game. It was an accident, but it set up a play later on that taught Max this lesson. He was out of the game briefly but went back in and scored a goal or two. Then he scored a few more and the other kids started getting rough. A few more goals scored by our team and even more roughness from them. They were pushing, body checking, and slide tackling, and while the referee was doing what he could to keep the game under control, he wasn't aware of all of it (Refs, unlike Moms, don't have eyes in the back of their heads). The kids on the other team weren't being coached to play better soccer but some wild form of cage fighting, and one of the parents on the team was even telling their kids to throw elbows. Tom took the time at the half to tell the kids NOT to retaliate. And for the most part they didn't. But clearly the other team was frustrated. Their "star" player was being shut down by not just Max, but several of our players, and had yet to score a goal in the second half. All of the kids were getting tired, and so this other player hit Max with the one move that he wasn't expecting - he called him a name. This player did the only thing he could think of that might knock his opponent out - he called him a "freak."

Max, who is a very nice kid, was completely taken off guard by this. It really threw him for a loop, and he took a bit to recover from it. He's never really encountered a really mean kid before, and here he runs into one on the soccer field. So now he understands that sometimes kids are just mean. And mean kids, well, sometimes they do bad things for their own gain. He also learned that he best way to deal with this is to beat kids like that on the field. Scoring goals is the one thing that a kid like that just can't handle, so next time he runs into a mean kid on the field, hopefully he'll remember this lesson.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Found on the boys' door one day a few weeks back:
Ahhhh, kids growing up. Max had apparently had enough. Enough of his brothers, enough of his sister, and enough of just about everything else. A few days later the sign came down and was never to be seen again. And life moved on.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Talking Carl

In case you've never heard of him, Talking Carl is THE man. He is one of Lucy's favorite buddies, fits in my back pocket, and cost a whopping $.99. Talking Carl is an app for the iPhone. If you are lucky enough to met Carl, he is very polite, a good conversationalist, and he's ticklish too:

Talking Carl we love you!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Love Cake/Love Sci-Fi

Two of my favorite things (cake and Sci-Fi if you haven't figured it out already)! Be sure to click through all of the pictures to see all of your favorite Sci-Fi characters, robots, and ships in sugar! And it all took place in Austin, TX. We knew that place was cool but I had no idea that they were Alien Film Festival cool!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Landing Zone

Funny thing is, I wasn't even surprised to see it there.
(And no snarky comments about the chandelier - it's a rental folks - not our taste at all.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty's Day!

To celebrate the day, I thought I'd share a giggle with you. Might not be something you want to look at with kids, but then again they are cupcakes. Regular cupcakes, on sale at a regular grocery store. But they gave me the giggles before and they've done it once again. Cake Wrecks has come through BIG TIME on this one:
You can see the rest here. Looks like there are some Happy, HAPPY Irishmen out there today!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Lucy picked out her own clothes today!
She is our future fashionista! NOT!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Decorating with Balloons

The night before Ian and Sam's birthday party we blew up a bunch of balloons. But these were going to be used for a game - so no helium. I though, because I dig stuff like this, that it would be cool to stick them all to the ceiling.

So the boys got going:

And then Dad joined in:

And eventually we ended up with this:

Monday, March 08, 2010


In case you are wondering, you really can still sled a full month after the snow has fallen (at least if you are Sam, Lucy, and Ian):

So what DO they feed you in prison?

The other day in the car we jumped right from "Why doesn't that bus smell as bad as the rest," to "Can kids go to jail," then right to "What do they feed you in jail?" Yeah. Fantastic. And my answers? "Well, I don't know - it's cleaner fuel but you need to ask your Dad," and "Yes, but they have to do something really bad, and even then they go to a special kids jail called juvenile corrections." Then the food. "I guess it's like school food but worse." I'd never even thought of that, and here my kids were wondering about it. Then again the asked me about God and sex in a Walmart parking lot at a very early age. Sigh...

Saturday, March 06, 2010

This Too Shall Pass

Definitely peek at this one - it's incredible:

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Snow and Birthdays and Elections, OH MY! (Part 1)

Sorry for being MIA. Between the massive amounts of snow that we got in February, two very special birthdays, and an important election, I was swamped. But, I'm back! First, the snow. Unless you live under a rock you know that DC got dumped on three or four times this winter (I'm losing track). We received 60"+ of snow, depending on who you ask it might be over 70". Anyway, LOTS of snow. This is where I'd post a cute video montage of the boys sledding, Lucy eating the snow, Tom digging us out, everyone in their cute snowsuits, and so on, but no. All you get right now are a few pictures:

This is what we ended up with AFTER the Wednesday blizzard that I mention here. And we didn't get 5" as predicted, we got another foot of snow. So we were once again stuck in. Good thing I had a friend drive me to the store right before that big blizzard. I hiked out to the closest plowed out street, she drive me to the store, then we loaded the groceries onto a sled and I hiked back home, dragging my haul behind me:

And that was about day 5 of being trapped on our street. Then, the plows came:

This is the street in front of our house the first day that we had to go back to school (the Tuesday following the Wed blizzard). This was after the 9 days of being TRAPPED inside the house. We clearly weren't trapped - we did get outside - but we were not plowed out until the Friday after the snow storm's second go round. But when the plows did come through, they barely cleared a path wide enough for one car to get through. A school bus got stuck on our street that fist day even. I think one more day of plows coming through before we sent the kids off to school would have been helpful. It took them a full 5 days to come through again and widen the road and get the 4" layer of ice pack off of it. My poor van is in desperate need of an alignment now.

So that's the snow, and we survived. No ER trips, no big gripe fests, and children that were, in all honesty, completely behaved the entire time. I think the thought of living in close quarters with a mom they have driven insane was too much of a threat.

Part 2 coming soon!