September 29, 2009

Flies Buzzin' Around a Cowpie

That describes 5 year-old soccer, and it's the best. Our little fly is in the middle on the blue team. Notice that he's kicking at something, but the ball is behind him.

 Click to enlarge.

For the Blue Thunder's final game of the season, Tomas' goal was to kick the ball at least ten times. I must say he was really on his game. Instead of hiking his shorts up to his armpits and running the opposite way of the ball, Tomas actually made contact with the ball 20 times. And best yet, he kicked the ball a good ten feet to score a goal.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture. I don't seem to have what it takes to be a sports photographer. I only get clear photographs or have Tomas in the frame when nothing exciting is happening.

September 27, 2009

Studs and a Nerd

A couple of weeks ago, I posted Chloe's school picture. The boys brought theirs home today, and here they are.

Tomas, kindergarten. Katie did a nice make up job to cover the black eye he got on the neighbor's trampoline. (click to enlarge)

Liam, 6th grade

After seeing the pictures, Chloe said, "Tomas and Liam are studs!" By this, I'm pretty sure she meant they are good looking and not the dictionary definition of "stud". Even so, quite the compliment for the boys considering it came from their sister. I'm quite positive my sisters never had anything like that to say about my school pictures (or any other photos of me for that matter).

For fun, I've decided to also post my kindergarten and 6th grade pictures. I don't see much of a resemblance with either of the boys, which I guess is a good thing. In my opinion, my kindergarten picture isn't so bad. However, by 6th grade, my life as a nerd was in full swing.

Me as a kindergartner. Kinda cute, eh?

Me as a 6th grader. What happened? Oh well... In the words of Katie, "Embrace your nerdiness!"

September 20, 2009

Arr! Avast Me Hearties!

Arrr, arrrr. Ahoy shipmates, shiver me timbers!

Did ye know this past Satterdee be International Talk Like a Pirate Day? Aye, tis true. Thar be such a thin`. 't’s been around fer quite a while an' seems t` be gettin` more popular. Last year, th' day fell on a Fridee so Katie taught her college class verily in pirate talk dressed in scurvy pirate garb. This year, th' local grocery store put on all kinds o` pirate activities. An' I jus' read a post in one o` me favorite blogs, Cake Wrecks, devoted t` th' day. Me opinion be that 't won’t be long before we be havin' a new national shore leave.

Since th' lasses war ou' o` town, th' boys an' Me decided t` celebrate by goin` t` a new pirate-themed gally, Pirate Island Pizza. Th' boys only had t` swab the'r room an' th' main deck o` th' house t` earn the'r reward. An' Me must say, they did a jolly good job.

We agreed that while 't’s nay th' Blue Bayou in Pirates o` th' Carribbean at Disneyland, tis much better than Chuck E. Cheese. Tis th' kind o` place most lads and lassies will love an' most parents put up wit' (lots o' screamin' kiddies, if ye be knowin' what I be sayin'). After we put grub in our gullets, we figgerd we’d return again next year for Talk Like a Pirate Day and bring the lassies.

(Click to enlarge.) Me and me best mates!

Soccer Update

Liam's soccer team actually won a game! Instead of getting completely trounced, as is usual, we dominated, winning 8 to 1. Now, I must be honest and admit that our opponents weren't playing with a full team, but it's a win, and we'll take it. My boys actually began to play with confidance and even use some of the skills we've been working on in practice.

Too bad I didn't have a camera with me, and Katie and Chloe were out of town. After the game, we were so happy, I took the Liam out for a celebretory Jamba Juice.

Way to go, Steel Benders!

September 14, 2009

Staycation to India

India is on our list of places to see before we die. We love everything Indian from the food to the art to the history to the music. And yes, even Bollywood. Since we're still climbing out of the financial pit from our month in Austria, we won't be heading over to the Asian continent anytime soon. So instead, we decided to take a little Indian staycation by going to the Festival of India at the Hare Krishna temple in Spanish Fork.

"Hold on a minute," you might be thinking. "A Hare Krishna temple in Utah?" Yep, they've got one, and it's been there for quite a while. It's quite impressive for a small Utah town. And the Hare Krishnas seem to co-exist quite nicely with the Mormons.

Katie and I have been going out there for quite a few years now. One of our favorite events is the the Festival of India put on every September. Every year, it seems to get bigger. I don't know how many people we saw, but it looked in the thousands. This time, we took Tomas with us.

In the collage below are some shots of the temple. Notice that Katie wore her punjabi suit given to her by a former Indian student. On the main floor of the building, they have a vegetarian restaurant and gift shop. Upstairs is where they have a large room that I presume is used for religious ceremonies, chanting and yoga. On the night of the festival, they had a band singing Hare Krishna chants. The audience sat on the perimeter of the room, and those who wanted to danced in the middle. You can bet that if Chloe were there, I would have joined the dancing since it is my sworn duty as a father to embarrass her at every given opportunity.

Click to enlarge.

The next collage shows Tomas with the animals. He had a good time feeding the llamas. In the bottom picture on the left, the llama gave Tomas a big lick on the back of the head just after I snapped the photo.

We enjoyed a great vegetarian meal. We had some sort of curry with garbanzo beans over rice, broccoli with something that tasted like meat but was most likely tofu, and something that tasted like thick sweetened Cream of Wheat. We've never been out to the temple to their restaurant, but now I want to give it a try.

As the sun set, we sat on the hill and watched the pageant of the epic Ramayana (the Hare Krishna equivalent to the Mormon pageants put on in the area). In the story, the hero, Rama, defeats the evil Ravana, an evil demon with ten heads. In the top middle of the collage, you can see Tomas and I in front of the 25' high wooden representation of Ravana. At the end of the play, Rama and his brother shoot arrows of fire at Ravana. The crowd cheers as evil is destroyed from the world.

In the picture below, you can also see some of the characters from the play. The costumes are really cool. The actors mime to a prerecorded soundtrack, and it's a bit corny. But, the play has charm, and we love it. I think it would be sad if it ever became a high tech, slick production.

Here is a little video clip of Ravana catching on fire and the following fireworks. If you look closely, you can see the arrows on fire flying.

It was a great little Indian vacation. I have a feeling we're not going to have much money for a while to do another big trip. So, I see in our future a Scottish staycation to Payson for the Scottish festival, a Swiss staycation to Midway for Swiss Days, and a Greek staycation to Salt Lake for the Greek Festival.

Who knew Utah was so international?

September 05, 2009

Go Steel Benders!

It's soccer season. Not only has Liam moved up to the next age group, but he's left the recreation league to play on a competition team. I'm helping out as sort of an assistant coach. I've been Liam's coach before, but I felt coaching in the competition league might be beyond my skills and knowledge. Since I don't really know what I'm doing, I'm more of the the team motivator and cheerleader. Really, I'm just doing it to spend time with Liam.

Liam's team, the Steel Benders, is made up completely of boys from the rec league and most of them have just moved up to this age group, so basically, our team is young and inexperienced. The team has played three games, and it has been an wide eye-opening experience, to say the least. The first game they were soundly beaten, the second game they lost because they just ran out of steam in the second half, and the third game they were thoroughly clobbered by a team of gargantuan brutes. 

Our boys are handling it all very well. They know they are a new team competing against teams that have been together much longer with boys who are older. I'm proud of them for staying so positive. 

It's me who is having a hard time. I've never understood those parents who get out of control at games, jumping up and down yelling awful things at the officials and the other team. Now, I do. Good thing I have Katie there to remind me bring it down a level. But, when I see a kid a full head taller than Liam tackle him to the ground and then use Liam to clean his cleats, the inner beast just comes out. So far, I've only yelled out things like, "Hey!!! Come on now!!! Ohhhh!!! Foul!!!" (I know it's not good to overuse exclamation marks in writing, but as I was screaming, I was certainly overusing them.) Honestly, I just wanted to take the big kid's neck in one hand and the ref's neck in the other and bonk their heads together. Where did this come from? Luckily, I kept my composure.

As long as Liam and the boys are improving their skills and having a good time (which they are), that's all that matters. I will continue to be the motivator. I will just try to keep the inappropriate exclamation marks to myself.

   Our brave Liam!!

See what the giant did?!!

September 04, 2009

Daddy's Little Girl?

In our house, the rule is "no dating until your sixteen." Since Chloe is only fifteen, I haven't given the whole dating thing much thought. Every once in a while, the thought might cross my mind, but I quickly dismiss the idea telling myself calmly, "You've still got time."

Yesterday, I came home and found Chloe's school pictures on the counter. I pulled the 8"x10" out of the envelope, and this is what I found.