April 23, 2011

Bend It Like Tomas

I coached Liam's recreation league soccer team for five years. This is something I never thought I'd do. I'm not the most athletic or even coordinated person. However, I love working with kids, and what I lack in knowledge of the game, I make up for in enthusiasm. Plus, I've always had fantastic assistant coaches.

Now, it's Tomas' turn. And, Liam is one of my assistant coaches.

For our team, I have four goals.
  1. Have fun.
  2. Improve skills.
  3. Make friends.
  4. Learn sportsmanship.
There is actually a fifth goal, but I don't share this one with the boys. It is that I want each boy to score at least one goal sometime during the season.

Our soccer year is divided into two seasons—fall and spring. During the fall, the team did very well and came so close to achieving this fifth goal. Only one boy did not score a goal.

This boy just happened to be Tomas.

But, it was more than OK. Tomas was having fun with his friends, and he was improving. He went from picking grass and throwing it in the wind to even making contact with the ball. I would make little goals with him to kick the ball at least five times during a game.

Now, we are halfway through the spring season. I'm always amazed at how much the boys change over the winter break. It's like a light goes on in their heads, and they finally start figuring things out we've been talking about all along. Also, it seems like the boys all grow a couple inches which is always helpful.

Tomas included. In addition to major improvement in his soccer skills, he's become more aggressive and focused. And finally last Thursday, I got to check off goal #5. Tomas scored a goal. I think it was more a case of being in the right place at the right time. But, a goal's a goal—and what a confidence boost for Tomas.

For today's game, Tomas sort of scored a goal during the first half. I say "sort of" because he booted the ball, and it bounced off the back of an opponent into the goal. Eh, we'll take it.

Then during the second half, it was shock and awe. I don't even know what got into Tomas, but he was all over that field. One time, he got the ball, made a fast break, and outran everyone to score. And, he wasn't done there. He ended up scoring a total of seven goals.* Several of his teammates made great assists to help Tomas score. But still... Wow!

In fact, the entire team did well, and we had a great time.  It's sad to think we only have three games left. I'm already looking forward to next year.

*What made everything even more entertaning was that Chloe got Tomas to yell out after every goal, "This one's for Chloe and for Aslan!" 

April 17, 2011

Lucky Number 7

Today is Tomas' seventh birthday. I took a poll and here are the top seven adjectives* that describe him.


ADORABLE


BRILLIANT


GIGGLY


SWEET


SNUGGLY


ENERGETIC

FUN

Happy birthday, Tomas! We love you!

*A few of the adjectives that got several votes but I chose not to put on the list were: fuzzy, hairy, and sensibly caffeinated.

PS For his birthday dinner, here is the menu Tomas chose:
  • homemade chicken nuggets
  • mashed potatoes
  • peas
  • deviled eggs (he ate 9 himself)
  • chocolate volcanoes

April 11, 2011

Finally...

beautiful, warm Spring weather.

I drove home from work, and as I pulled into the driveway, this is what I saw.

Tomas sitting in his rocking chair on the sidewalk reading "The Friend"
Aaaaah.

I asked him what he was doing, and he said he just wanted to be in the sun.

April 10, 2011

The "Cabin"

Here in Utah, it seems like everyone and their mother's dog has a cabin. Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but we do have several neighbors who are always taking off to spend the weekend at the family cabin.

We are now keeping up with the Joneses.

Sort of...

My parents have decided they have finally had enough of the summer desert heat of my hometown, Ridgecrest, California. They purchased a condo in the beautiful little town of Midway, Utah and plan to spend a few months out of the year up here. The condo was a great deal and came completely furnished.

We, of course, are excited to have my parents closer. As it is, the grandkids only get to see their grandparents a couple times a year. Now, we'll all get to do a lot more together.

I've decided to call the new place "the cabin." It's only a half hour away, and when my parents aren't there, we can use it as a little get away. The condo comes complete with club house, pool, and tennis courts. Forget all the rustic stuff—this is my kind of cabin!

After the papers were all signed and the deal was done, my parents came up for the weekend to prepare the "cabin." They got all the utilities turned on and, most importantly, had a doggie door installed for Princess Bella. Grandma and Grandpa also really escaped the heat of Cali. Spring has not really sprung here yet, and the past few days it has snowed, hailed and sleeted. Welcome to Utah, Mom and Dad!

Today after church, we went up to Midway to have Sunday dinner with the grandma and grandpa. Here are a few photos of the "cabin."

Not only is it a cabin, it's a Swiss chalet!

The condo even came complete with a recliner for Grandpa and Bella. Notice that Grandpa is smiling—not a common occurrence when a camera is out and about. Oh, and what a handsome guy Tomas is.

Grandma with Bella, and Liam with Scooter. Scooter and Bella get along because Scooter knows who's boss. And no, it's not Christmas, but Liam insists on wearing the Santa hat everywhere. My only explanation is that he's a teenager.

Last Dance

Chloe's ballroom team had their end-of-year performances.

Due to our crazy schedules at the moment, we couldn't all attend together, so I went by myself to opening night. I also borrowed a camcorder to video Chloe since ours died.

Chloe performed in eight numbers, which I found amazing. I pretty sure I could never keep that much choreography in my head. Chloe has always loved performing, and I really enjoyed watching her because she always gives it her all.

Good job, Chloe!

Enjoy.

April 04, 2011

Winter Pays a Visit

We had snow, and I was completely taken by surprise. I hadn't paid attention to the weather in a while, and we were in the 70s just a couple of days ago. Katie wasn't surprised, however, because she was kept awake all night by the storm, which I completely slept through. It must have been a windy snow storm because there was a foot high drift of snow on our front door.

The trees looked really beautiful frosted in white, so I decided to walk over to the park with the camera.

This was one of my favorite trees in the park draped in snow.

I wish I knew how to capture the sparkly affect of the sun shining on the snow on the trees.

Unfortunately, the park suffered a casualty. Very sad.
When I got home, Chloe saw I had the camera out, and offered to come model for some more photography practice, so we went back to the park. Here are a few shots.


Chloe is standing next to a lamp post. If the lamp post were shorter, this photo would look very Narnia-esque.

I think this is my favorite photo of the day. The background is our neighbor's walkway trellis thing.

Canadians for Conference

Two of our favorite Canadians came to visit for Conference weekend. Russel brought Logan, who recently turned 12, to attend a couple sessions, and he was able to get a couple extra tickets for the Priesthood session for Liam and me.

Which camera are we looking at?

As always when we get together with our northern friends, we have a great time. The Priesthood session was also an amazing experience.

Afterwards, we talked about where to go to dinner. Liam and I had really wanted to take Russel and Logan to one of our favorite restaurants, the Lion House Pantry, located in one of Brigham Young's homes. They serve wonderful home-style food and, in my opinion, the best rolls. But as we walked past on our way to the Conference Center, we noticed it closed at 8 p.m. Since the Priesthood session, ended at 8, we decided to go elsewhere. However on our way to the car, we noticed the Lion House Pantry still looked open. We walked in and found out they were open late for Conference!

Everyone enjoyed their dinner, but there was an added bonus. Since it was near closing on a Saturday evening and the restaurant is closed on Sunday, the workers came around to the tables giving away bags of rolls. Then, they invited us to have another dessert. Logan ended up eating a total of five desserts, and Liam had three. Since I'm off sugar for Lent, I just watched in amazement. How do Russel and Shauna afford to feed five boys? But, you can bet I'll be back sometime after Easter on a Saturday night around closing.


It's always great when our Canadian friends come for a visit. We just need to figure out some way we can make it up there.