Monday, November 4, 2013

Seth's Soccer Saga

Seth's soccer journey started right after Labor Day.  We chose to move over to St. Joe Soccer this Seth was ready for a little more competition as well as bigger fields and goalies.   One of our biggest concerns was ending up with a coach who wasn't a Christian and focused SOLELY on winning. 

We were more than thrilled when we learned that one of Seth's best buddies dads was going to be a coach...we quickly called in a coach request and ended up on team England.

 He played 7 weeks worth of games, with a double header on the first week.  It wasn't a stellar year for Team England...I think they may have only won 2-3 games and got creamed a couple times.
 Seth loved it and was one of the stronger players on the team.  He often played forward and played most of the games.   He had multiple goals throughout the season.  He definitely improved his skills throughout the year.

 After a week break...St. Joe plays a tournament.  It's a double elimination.  We truly figured based on our year that we would play 2 games and be done!   We had a great team...but had a team that hadn't played together before.  Some of the teams had been playing together since they were 4.

So..last Saturday (Nov. 2) we played our first game and lost 0-2.   We had a break...went home...warmed up and came back ready to play our 1st round of the loser's bracket.

Well...we played...Seth scored a goal and we won 1-0!  That meant another small break for lunch.

Seth and his buddy Eli getting ready to play game 3! 3 comes along and we WIN!   2-0!   The kids are excited and forgot that is was cold and rainy and they were freezing and soaking wet!
 We only have a few minutes before game 4....we stand under umbrellas to stay dry...and low and behold...we win game 4 with a score of 1-0!  The parents are amazed...the kids are so excited!  The parents are cold and wet and want to go home...the kids are really getting excited!
 So...on to game #5.  We are now playing the same team that beat us the 1st game in the morning.  That team is a little cocky since they know they have beaten us 2x...once during the season and once that morning.

The game ends in a tie---0-0 which means they have a 5 person penalty kickoff.   And wouldn't you know it...we WIN!  Seth kicked one of the goals and got it in.  At this point...the kids are so pumped...the parents are in disbelief and our day gets even longer.

We warm up in the gym...get a little snack and get ready to play game #6

We played hard...but they played a little harder...we held them off for almost the whole game..but ended up losing 0-2.  BUT...the kids were thrilled.  They put their minds to it...played 6 games and showed some of the other teams that they were a team!    We ended up coming in 3rd place...coming all the way up the loser's bracket...and lost to the team that ended up winning the whole thing.

So...the games started at 9:30 and we left at 5:00 pm..with a very wet, cold, sore and tired little boy!

On Sunday..Coach Andy had the team out to his church for a pizza party.  He did a cute little award ceremony and nicknamed the entire team!  Seth was named Seth "solid throughout" Layman.   
We left with Grant who had a fever..but Seth stayed to play an indoor soccer game and rake some leaves.

The season was great...we got to know his buddy Eli and his family so much better...had a godly coach lovin' on our kid...and had 1 incredible Saturday that totally made the entire season!

Happy Halloween

On Tuesday night before Halloween...we finally had time to carve pumpkins.   I always laugh when we tell the boys that WE are carving pumpkins...cause it really turns out to be a mommy/daddy project.   

Both of them refuse to dig the guts out...and Seth isn't quite comfortable with the sharp knives yet!  I"m sure Grant would love to carve if we would let him...but that's another story!!
 Seth did want a I did have him poke the holes through the pattern.
 Grant helped daddy make their look really silly!

And in the end..we had 3 cute pumpkins!

Halloween was on Thursday was a gross day and had rained all day.   Lots of people were making other plans and some communities even postponed trick or treating to Friday night.

After some bribing...we finally decided to go as the s'mores family again.  Grant had really wanted to be Darth Vader again..but that left no costume for Seth.    I told Grant I would give him a dollar if he was the marshmallow again...he refused...but gladly took the offer when I changed it to 100 pennies!  Looking back, I am glad he was able to be Darth Vader at Quabache when we went there a few weekends ago!

So...we put on our costumes and headed out with a neighbor family....and since it was so rainy and icky...this is the only blurry photo I got on Halloween....can you believe it?   I"m usually so much better than that!   It was decent for about 45 minutes...then it start.ed to rain and Andy and Grant headed home.  Seth wanted to continue he and I went for about 30 more minutes before it got really windy and rainy!  We got home in time for them to pass out candy to about 10 or so trick or treaters.

So after 3 trick or treat runs this year..we are definitely well stocked on the candy!

Chain O Lakes..Part 2

We headed over to the campground and cooked hotdogs over the fire at Nana & Oompa's site.  (We weren't allowed campfires at the cabins).  The boys went over and painted a pumpkin in the big tent.

The boys played and rode bikes...the adults chatted...some friends cooked Kettle Corn over the fire...and then it was time to trick or treat!    

I loved our costumes this year.  It was Andy's idea....and then mom and I spent a couple days making them.   They were all made out of felt with some batting in the middle.

Graham Crackers:   I cut out the felt...Nana sewed them together and sewed the "cracks" down the middle.  I then just used yarn to make some little "dots".

Hershey Bar:  We did the same thing...with the felt and Nana added some silver fabric on the end.  I traced the letters and cut them out of felt and used wonder under to iron on the letters.

Marshmallow:  Nana made a pillow that we wrapped out him and covered with felt!  Nana did most of the marshmallow...I just sewed hook and eyes on the back for the closure!

It was great...I loved seeing people's faces when they put it all together after seeing each of us.   We got a lot of was fun...good time with mom sewing them...and good times at the campground.   We entered the contest...were one of the top 3 but lost out to the entire Dispiciable Me group (they were really cute!)

Our attempt at "squisihing together!"

Our friend the Newmans were super Colts fans!   They definitely have the COLTS gear!

 My brother wears this crazy mask and walks around the's kinda creepy...he gets WAY into it!
We had 1.5 hours to trick or treat....Grant was getting a little we decided to take a break and let the kids have a couple pieces of candy!   To my complete amazement: Grant grabbed the apple he got at one site, sat down under a tree and ate the whole thing!  That gave him enough energy to continue on...barely.

Some of the sites go all out in their decorations...this site had a complete 3 ring circus!

We came back to the campsite...the boys played football...Oompa cooked us supper...we took some bike rides...visited my brother's site..sat around the fire...and ate cheese balls!

Late that night...I took Nate, Seth and Grant on a hayride.

We came back to the cabin...Seth and his buddies sorted out their candy and traded goods!
Grant was exhausted and came back and got his jammies on and went to bed!  He loved that he could see over the wall from his top bunk bed.

Sunday morning we packed up and headed back to the campground for a hot breakfast from Oompa.   The boys played a little.    The Newmans left and the rest of us went down to my brother's site to listen to some family bluegrass...the entire family plays a different insturment.

Andy headed home while the boys and I helped Nana and Oompa clean up.  We then stopped by the old school house to see what was there...and got roped into a 45 minute talk on the history of 1 room schoolhouses....I was really surprised that Grant sat through it.

We headed home...ate some lunch and unpacked!   It was another great weekend  The cabins were an added treat so that we all had our own was great to have some friends along...and great to still have Nana and Oompa willing to share their campsite.

The cabins book we went ahead and booked them again for next fall...ready for another great Fall Festival! think of a really cool costume!

Chain O Lakes....Part 1

It was our 5th year to go to Chain O Lakes State Park for their annual Fall Festival  The past few years, we have stayed with Nana and Oompa in their camper and Andy has come up for the day.  We really wanted to spend the whole weekend we opted to rent a cabin.    The idea of tenting it the last weekend of October is always scary.   We asked some friends to join us....and almost a year ago we secured 2 cabins (yep, they book that quickly!)

The boys and I left soon after Seth got off the bus and Andy met us there since it was on his way home from work.  We go the keys and checked into our cabin.   It was very nice...5 rooms (living, kitchen, porch & 2 bedrooms).  We got all unloaded...built a fire since it is only heated by a fire.  The Newmans came over and we all had spaghetti.  The boys ate out on the porch...while the grown-ups dined inside!

Nate has been Seth's best bud for the past 5 years...they have an older son Andrew who is in 5th grade.  
After dinner, we hiked over to the campground...probably about a mile or so.   We walked through the campground and saw some of the decorations before finding Nana and Oompa's site.  We chatted awhile and then hiked bike.  We restoked the fire, had some snacks and played a few games before settling down in the night.

The fire went out in the middle of the night and Andy came to the rescue and restarted it, which included a 3am search for kindling.

The next morning we were a little lazy...ate some breakfast (cousin Lucas rode his bike over).  We then drove over to the lake and hiked the 1.5 mile trek around the lake.  It was a beautiful morning...the leaves were just starting to the view was beautiful!

 The boys came upon a vine hanging from a we took some time to play on that!   Our little monkey boy Seth really had the hang of it!

 So of course, Grant had to try it too!   He didn't have the upper body strength to hang on...but was thrilled to just have my arm to sit on and swing a little.

 The kid LOVES the outdoors...and loves to go exploring!   He rarely complains when we are outside hiking for miles...but for some reason can't seem to walk up the stairs by himself!   oh, if we could live on a farm?!

 The little explorer is always busy...throwing something into some body of water!

We got back to the cabin and packed up some lunch and headed over to the campground!
To be continued....