Sunday, September 1, 2013


My sons had football games today. Koren had to be on the field for warmups at noon and his game was supposed to start at 1pm. I left the field to run to the store really quick to buy extra water jugs and when I got back (right at 1pm), it was almost half time. They started the game around 12:40 because the games were running ahead of schedule. I really dislike that! :( There was a woman in the stands who had driven an hour to come and watch this game. Her grandson is one of Koren's teammates. She missed half the game as well. Just not cool.

However, the boys played well and this week, they won their game 12-0. Last week, they lost 0-12. No clue what next week will end up looking like for them.

After Koren's game, Grandma and Grandpa took Koren, Oralee, Jeriah and Angel back to their house because Cephas' game wasn't set to start for another two hours. Cephas stayed and we hung out, watching the next Rookie game. What can we say? We were already parked on bleachers in the shade. It was a great afternoon to be outdoors just relaxing and watching some football.

Cephas' coach showed up at 2:15 and he ran over to get ready. He was the first one there today, I think. I also think it made a good impression on the coach because Cephas was given a LOT of playtime in his game.

While Cephas' team was doing warmups, I stayed over by the Rookie field, which is right next to D field. There was an injury on D field to the point that the rescue squad was called. Play was obviously stopped on D field and all the boys took a knee. It's such a sign of respect and courtesy, it just overwhelmed me.

When they opened an extra gate to allow the rescue squad access to the field, play on Rookie field was stopped as well. The injured boy was placed on a stretcher and wheeled off the field. Fans and players alike clapped the entire time they were wheeling him to the ambulance and loaded him in. The gate in the fence was next to the boys' opponent's side of the field and those boys were all talking to the boy as he was wheeled past them. The boys' teammates also ran over to encourage the injured boy. It was such a display of sportsmanship, I was actually moved to tears. I don't really cry easily, but this was beyond that.

It made me really stop to think about all that the boys are really learning while playing football. They are not only learning a sport and getting physical exercise, but they are learning sportsmanship, compassion, social skills, strength of character, honor, integrity and all of these other things that don't immediately come to mind when I think of football initially. They are also learning self-control, perseverance, and so many other great qualities and skills that will suit them well in life, not just this football season.

Cephas' game started early as well, around 3:15 instead of the 3:30 scheduled start time. Only Grandpa came back for the game. The little kids were tired and didn't want to come back to the field, which I figured may end up being the case.

Cephas played a LOT as I said. In the 40 minute game, he played probably about 30-35 minutes of it. He was allowed to play both sides of the ball and had some great hits. One boy on the opposing team was running the ball and had gotten past his blocker and Cephas saw it, abandoned the guy he was supposed to be blocking and ran to block this kid. The kid sidestepped one way, then the next, trying to figure out how to get around Cephas. The ball runner then cut sharp one way and when Cephas stayed with him, he cut sharp the other way. Cephas cut the other way also, reached out, grabbed the boy around the waist and pulled him down to the ground. It was such a great play! I got really excited and yelled, cheering for him and turned to my father-in-law and said, "THAT'S my boy!" Totally a dad moment, but Hubby was at work, so I had to do the dad pride thing in his place. :)

I was struck by just how powerful Cephas is as a football player. I really think he has potential to play high school level in two years when he is a freshman. It's crazy sad to think that next year will be his last year of midget football and then the next year, he'll probably be playing freshman football.

I'm not sure that Koren is really all that into football. He wanted to play this year, but I'm not sure that he'll want to play again next year. Some of our friends say that he should wrestle, but I'm not sure about that either. Maybe? We'll see what he wants to do. Football scholarships are more plentiful where we live and cover a lot more than a wrestling scholarship will, but it's really about what Koren wants. I'm just glad that Cephas is motivated. Football has really helped him with self-control and with his ADHD, ODD and aggression issues. Plus, it also encourages and motivates him to do well in school, get along better with his siblings and to just be personally responsible. Football has had a tremendous impact on Cephas and I'm truly grateful for the opportunity he has to play.

Football Weekends

We live in a college town, in a state that pretty much revolves around our Capital City's college football team. On Saturdays during college football season, the Capital City, which is the second largest in population in the state, has such an influx of people, most of which are at the Stadium, that it sometimes rivals the population of the first largest. Our stadium here, actually has the third highest population in the state during the game. That's a wicked large number of people! And that was before our stadium had the new addition put onto it. The stadium seats 91,185 people! With players and coaches, media and trainers and security and maintenance and groundskeepers and vendors and all of the other people that make the day a reality, I'm guessing that there are actually closer to 95,000 people there.

As you might be able to guess, football is a big deal here. A really big deal.

On Sundays, our Midget football teams play. Our YMCA football teams play. There are virtually no games played on Saturdays in our city, because there are not enough people willing to sacrifice the ability to watch our college team play ball in order to watch our youth play ball. It's sad, but it is so true. As such, our youth play on Sundays.

Yesterday: Chores. Kids got their bedrooms clean (FINALLY!) and their chore rooms were pretty well done also.

Last night: Season opener 7pm-11pm. Football party at a friend's house (Shea and her hubby, but sans their four kiddos). Brought kids home afterward and all five were asleep the moment their heads hit their pillows (some even before that!)

Today: Week two of Midget Football. Koren has to be at the field at noon and plays at 1pm. His game is an hour long. Cephas has to be at the field at 2:30p and plays at 3:30pm. His game is an hour long. I am so thankful for my inlaws! They are so supportive of the boys playing that they are even willing to take (not only our kiddos, but Angel as well - with her mom's permission, of course!) the kids so that I don't have to have all of them out there all afternoon.

I'll drop the four kids off at Grandma's house (Cephas, Oralee, Jeriah and Angel) then take Koren over to the field for warm-ups. I'll sit there for an hour (homework time, maybe?) until Grandma and Grandpa show up with the other four. We'll all sit and watch Koren's game and then when it is over and he is ready to leave, Grandma and Grandpa will take all but Cephas back to their place for about an hour. Cephas will have to be on the field for his warm-ups at 2:30 and I'll have another hour to sit and maybe do homework or something. Then Grandma and Grandpa will come back with the four they took home initially and we'll all watch Cephas play. Afterward, Grandma and Grandpa will take all five kids home with them and they will keep the kids overnight so that I have time to really focus on homework. They take them each and every Sunday night at this point in time. I don't know what I'd do without them. Hubby has to work and doesn't have a set time when he gets off the clock, so he'll join us whenever he is able to.

After getting all the kids to Grandma and Grandpa's house, I'll (or we'll, depending on if Hubby was able to make it down for a game) head on home, where I plan to spend the rest of the evening doing homework. Woo woo. Such an exciting life I lead!

This is pretty typical for what Football weekends look like around here at this point and will continue to look like until mid-October or so. Then it will just be Football Saturdays.

Playing Catch-Up

I feel like that is what I do with most of my time right now. It is quite crazy to be honest. But first, I have to catch you all up to where we are now:

Cephas, age 12, seventh grade, center on his football team. ADHD fairly well controlled now, ODD getting controlled, aggression well under control. Trying to parent the younger kids: still a major issue. Has a best friend he likes to hang out with. I love it because it gives him a chance to be with another kid without his own siblings around. Best friend, Andy, has an older sister but she is much older than him and lives elsewhere for her college.

Koren, age 9 but almost 10, fourth grade, first year playing football. Still very studious and loves to learn, read, build with legos and hang out with his friends. His friends mostly live near us, so he can play with them outside near our home. Starting to come into his own stronger personality, but still loves to snuggle (even with Mom!)

Oralee, age 7, second grade. Princess-turned-Diva-turned-well, a handful. Has MAJOR attitude going on most of the time, but we're working on it. I have a pretty good idea what could be causing some of it though. Loves reading, writing stories, playing with her dollhouse and art projects. Also loves having Mom do her nails and hair. Nearly impossible to get this child to wear regular shoes, as she strongly prefers calf- or knee-high boots.

Jeriah, age 5 almost 6, first grade. Still has Asperger's, still reads way above grade level. Comprehension is still closer to grade level though. Very advanced in math. Can do sister's second-grade homework with ease. Brought home his first spelling pre-test of first grade this week with a perfect score on all of the regular words, plus the bonus words were spelled correctly as well. The challenge words are not given on the pre-test, but he was able to orally spell those for me when I asked him to. Kid is a whiz with words! Socially still at a deficit, but that is to be expected. Has started to pick on his sister. (Part of her issue with being a handful anymore.) Demanded some dignity about his bedroom situation and moved from the "girly room" he shared with his sister to the room his brothers occupy. Now, we have a boys' room and a girls' room.

Yes, a girls' (as in plural) room. No, I didn't have a baby, but yes, we kind of, sort of, have another kid. You might remember Angel, a kid whose mother works with Hubby. Well, just before the school year started, Angel's mom's life turned a little bit upside down and things were pretty shaky there for a little bit. I offered to have Angel stay with us so that her Mom could get herself situated and some things worked out. Angel is now with us temporarily but indefinitely. We have no legal rights or claim to her, her mom has full custody of her, but she just happens to be with us most of the time. So:

Angel, age 5, kindergarten. Adjusting well to being here and starting school. Loves being in school and is so proud of her work. Can now write her name. We had about four months where I didn't really have her, so she may have learned how to do it in that time, but I just now know about it. Does an amazingly perfect cartwheel (I'm thinking gymnastics may be in her future here soon!) and has gotten over her quiet shyness for the most part.

So, if you are following along, that's five kids, two in football, two who are on the Autism Spectrum. Busy yet? Nope! Cephas and Koren are both still in Boy and Cub Scouts, respectively. We were considering putting Jeriah in our school's Scouting program, but in doing so, he would advance from Bear to Wolf and then transfer to his brothers' Pack/Troop and have to go back to being a Bear, because of the difference in the way they do their Scouts. And instead of having Oralee do formal Girl Scouts this year, I have strongly considered doing Juliettes with her. It's basically like Girl Scouts for homeschoolers. She would do her activities and earn her badges and all that, but we would do it independent of a group. It is basically what ended up happening in her first year as a Daisy as well. And since we have Angel, she would also do Juliettes as well.

If that isn't all enough, you might remember we have three dogs: Tink, Tiny and Freddy. Tink and Tiny are Chihuahuas and Freddy is a Cocker Spaniel. To mix things up a bit, we added a cat, Phineas or Phinny for short. When we got him, we were pretty sure that Freddy wanted to eat him, but within a few days, they got along well enough. Now, Phinny does his own thing, the dogs do their own thing and all is well.

Hubby just passed his two-year anniversary at his work. There's a lot of stress there right now because he works in a restaurant and the restaurant chain was bought out by another company late last year and they have made some changes since the purchase. Well, on top of that, his store is also going through a Revitalization Phase. They are getting a full-store remodel and they are staying open throughout the whole thing, minus only ONE day! Can you imagine?! I'm so thankful that I don't work there. On top of being fired for being insubordinate to the General Manager (he's a friend of mine), I'd want to pull my hair out at all of the changes going on.

Speaking of changes, I have a couple of new things going on in my own life. I have started back to school. I started back in classes in Spring. I took 16.5 credit hours (4 classes) during the regular 10-week quarter, 4.5 credit hours (1 class) for the accelerated 5-week quarter and another 4.5 credit hours (1 class) for the accelerated 3-week quarter. I was able to knock 25.5 credit hours out in one quarter alone. For the summer quarter, I have slowed it down to only 18 credit hours (4 classes) and for fall, I am slowing it down just a bit more to the smallest amount that I am even willing to take and will only be taking 12.5 credit hours (3 classes), although I am struggling with that decision, feeling that I should still take 4 classes. Oh - and for my crazy Spring quarter? Term GPA of 3.588.

And to finish off the changes that will catch you up the rest of the way, I have started caring for another one of Hubby's co-worker's children. Her name is Paytin. I have her only part-time as I have a traditional class during the day, three days a week which is when her parents would be needing me to watch her. Instead, I watch her on my non-class weekdays. The very first day I watched her, she was only 15 days old. I actually had to check and make sure it was legal to watch her as I do daycare part-time, but am license-exempt. It is actually because I am license-exempt that I was able to take her. Her mom went back to work before Paytin was even two weeks old. I am in awe of her, to be honest. No way was I ready to go back to work that soon after having my kids. But she is determined. Both of Paytin's parents are going to be taking college courses this fall in addition to working and raising a newborn. They are going to be taking online classes. I haven't the slightest idea how they are going to do it all, but they are young, they are in love, they are determined and they are working hard to make the best life they can for tiny little Paytin and themselves.

And I'm pretty sure that you are now all caught up with our lives here. Stay tuned though. I plan to update more than every six months.