Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Kickin' Off the Season

Kicking off her 9th year of soccer and looking forward to big things this season. For the third year Reagan's team began the season at the Eclipse Tournament in Chicago. They didn't make it into the finals but performed better than the last two years. Improvement is the goal. Our girls face nationally ranked teams from Dallas, Chicago, St. Louis and Ohio.
Catch me if you can!
Here let me give you a little push
Watch me go right around this girl!
Not my kid, but one of my fav pictures. GG is pretty tough.
Starting her 3rd year of soccer, Olivia is back at EGA playing soccer this year. Last night was her first game. (Can I just add that it is fantastic to have a child who plays in town) My heart fills with joy as I watch my girls participate in the things they love to do. The team didn't walk off the field with a win but they knew they had played hard and had a great time. The first couple of pictures my blonde little #8 in black, is playing defense in the field and the last picture is Liv playing goalie. A teammate had a handball in the box which means the other team gets to take a penalty kick. In other words the ball is placed close to the goal, there are no defenders, just the goalie and then the ball is kicked. My little goalie STOPPED THE BALL!! We were super excited for her.

Oh my word!! She saved her first PK!  Woo Hoo!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

NPL Championship, Next Level of the Experience

Finally our entire family was able to travel with Reagan's soccer team for a big tourney. 
This past year the EGA U13 team played in the MRL (midwest regional league) and NPL (national premier league). That translates into playing very few games in Nebraska and lots of travel. Typically mom or dad took Reagan along with 1-2 teammates and another parent for a weekend of 3-4 games, so it was nice to be together as a family this time. 

Wednesday at 5am we jumped in the van headed out on our 10 hour drive to Indianapolis to support Reagan at the National Championship Tournament. Despite the crowded space and long hours, I joyfully report no fights. Probably because most of us slept the majority of the time. As a mom who is conscious about feeding the family healthy food and keeping costs down, I am so proud of my meal planning. We spent $194 on food for 5 people over five days, which include eating out a couple times. I even tried out a crockpot meal in the hotel, we all loved it.

Game #1 vs NEFC, from Boston Massachusetts. Talk about a bad draw, we started with the team who ended up winning the whole thing.  Yep, we lost to the new reigning National Champions. These girls were big, fast, very physical and played like a well oiled machine. I do feel that it is important to also mention that they illegally substituted a player and got away with it. They were good enough to win but I would love to ask the coach if it was worth tarnishing his integrity. At half time the score was 0-0. The first 10 minutes of the second half we were strong, and I believe had them a little worried. We had a goal called back because we were off sides but at least we knew we could score on them. Then the heartbreaking goal happened, we scored on ourselves. (Remember that happened in the women's world cup too?)  Before I knew it, NEFC scored another goal and our team deflated. Coach decided to make a risky change to our formation which left our defense exposed. Our girls played their hearts out but we lost 4-0. Note the hazy pictures...there was a heavy mist the entire game. Keeping my lens clean and dry was impossible.

Sidenote: they had a crazy dad on the sidelines who we will talk about for years to come.  "BOOM!"
Yeah, my girl pushes a little too.
Reagan heading the ball
Game #2 vs STA, from New Jersey. We had a lot of chances in this game but just couldn't seem to get the ball in the net. Previously this team had played NEFC many times and tied them or lost by 1 so they were most certainly a quality team. We ended up 0-0 when the whistle blew after 70 minutes of soccer. In pool play it is possible to tie a game, it isn't until the semis or finals that a tie goes into OT (overtime) and then eventually into a shootout to determine a win if needed.
Reagan in white shooting the ball.
Game #3 vs BRSC, from Louisiana. At the start of day three we already knew it was impossible to advance to the semifinals but that didn't prevent us from leaving it all on the field. The girls, again, played with great intensity and desire. Despite the two very skilled forwards on the BRSC team our goalie shut them down. We finished the tournament with a 7-0 win which meant lots of girls got playing time. Reagan had one goal in the game, I'm not sure if the picture below is when she scored or not.
Reagan heading for the goal!
The first of many National Tournaments!
Proud of These Girls!

Monday, July 13, 2015

He Loves The "F" Word

And the Rockets Red Glare
The Bombs Bursting In Air

Yep, that's what he loves best.
Our 3rd Annual Fourth of July party was a big hit! A blocked off street, fewer people and no little kids made this mama host more relaxed. No group picture but we totaled about 40 people. We were so pleased to have a special guest, Mr Firecracker himself, Rod Foley and family. We first attended the Foley 4th of July in 2004. The first few years of living in Omaha we couldn't image being anywhere other than their back yard and drove back to GI for the celebration but eventually we had to cut the umbilical cord. Having the pyromaniac crew back together made for an epic evening.

For three years now we have had a guest bring some "special" fireworks. I'm pretty sure we need to replace some sod in the neighbors yard thanks to the "special" boomers. I don't know what they are or where they get them. I'd like to keep it that way.

This was a big struggle for me but no time to make decorations. So sad but apparently no one noticed.

The Soccer Girls
The High School Group
The call themselves THE SQUAD
The Littles
And then the next day Chris' little sister and boyfriend showed up 24 hours late for the party. It wasn't intentional but it worked out for the best. We made dinner and sat on the deck watching fireworks. Another perfect evening!


Nebraska State Cup

I just found this post in draft form. Even though it is old, I'm posting it anyway.

The State Cup Tournament determines a team's ranking in the state. May 30th and 31st Reagan's U13 soccer team competed against Bennington Moxie, Gretna Sting and EGA White. We won all three games outscoring our opponents 17-2.
Sending the ball up field
Stealing the ball from mid-fielder, Jay
Look at this face after heading the ball...Ha Ha Ha
Advancing to the semi-finals on June 6th secured a place for us in Midwestern Regional League next year. Game 4 of State Cup was against CSA, a team out of Lincoln. This game gave us a good challenge. Even though the CSA girls are bigger and stronger, like other teams few can hang with our girls the full 70 minutes on the field.

In the Nebraska State championship game we faced a local team who some may call our rival. The gotsoccer.org website even had them ranked above us but there really is not doubt which team is stronger, faster, quicker, smarter, better coached...truly the dominating team, we are. Reagan and her teammates possessed the ball the majority of the game and crushed them with a 4-0 victory. For those who do not follow soccer, four goals in one game is a lot of goals.

Now on to the Region II championships in FoxCities, Wisconsin. Go Elite Girls Academy!!

Everyone Loves 1/2 Birthdays

This sweet girl has had to wait seven months to have a friend birthday party. What kind of mom does that? Most of my family makes fun of me because I go a little overboard with the girls' birthday celebrations. Years from now when our girls sit around talking about all the ways Chris and I scarred them during their childhood, Olivia will remind her audience that she was the ignored child. Let's get it on record...she is NOT ignored! The truth is, this mom has a hard time saying "no" and I tend to over estimate my ability to get everything done. Next December there will be a party for my little 10 year old instead of an apology.
Abby Olivia Kayla

Olivia really wanted to take friends ice skating. What a fun day! I reminded the girls to take jackets but Chris and I stood outside the rink freezing in our summer attire. :) These three kept track of how many times they each fell and luckily made it home without any injuries or bruises. At the end of the day Olivia said, "This was the best birthday party ever!"

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Winning Weekend

Emma's softball team is appropriately named, "Magic." 
It was a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon at the softball fields in Omaha but the bats weren't connecting. I sat watching these girls play in hopes that someone could get on base. Finally in the last inning of game one, down 7-1, the team rallied and won the game 10-7. Crazy kids couldn't hit the ball to save their lives and suddenly every batter gets on base. It was a successful day at the diamond, winning both games.

RBI on fielder's choice
Emma in her defensive stand
Soccer State Cup
Reagan's soccer team played in the Nebraska State Cup. Sunday the girls faced OFC Elite in the championship game. Hands down they dominated the game both on the field and in the goal. We shut them out with a score of 4-0. What a sweet defeat for our soccer club!

Reagan in Championship game
Medal Ceremony

Nana & Papa made it to the game
Church Camp
Olivia's exciting news: Summer camp from Sunday-Wednesday. I can't wait to hear all about the friends, zip line, black banana, ga-ga ball and hopefully about the Christian teaching too.
YAY! A top bunk!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Run Reagan Run

A Middle School District Track Meet...does it ever end?
We were so pleased to see Reagan excel at track this year, she loved it! Her coaches loved it as well. The poor thing was put in four events in the district meet, which meant she ran 2.25 miles in races that one day. Whew! You can see Reagan waiting for the baton in the first race of the day, the distance medley. Reagan was the anchor and ran an 800m or 2 times around the track. She put them in first place.
patiently awaiting the 3rd runner
the handoff
Reagan's next race was the mile or 4 times around the track. Another great race. She finished second right behind her soccer teammate Riley.
3 soccer teammates running together. Riley, Reagan, Erin
Friend/Soccer teammate breaks her school record in the 400m dash
Another soccer teammate/friend winning the 400m Relay
Reagan's 3rd race of the day was the 800m run and nearly broke her heart. Again she came in 2nd to Riley. That second child of mine is so competitive! It's almost as if she has seen the movie Talladega Nights with Will Ferrel. Race car driver Ricky Bobby's crazy dad tells him, "If your not first your last!" which drives his insatiable desire to win.
Reagan leads Riley most of the race
The very last race of the day, 4+ hours later, was the mile relay. Also called the 4x400m. Reagan again was the anchor but just couldn't make up the deficit of the previous 3 runners. She tried so hard and was flat out exhausted, just like the rest of her relay runners. I have never seen Reagan so frustrated and disappointed with her performance that day but we were very proud of her.

Thank goodness for chiropractic care and good nutrition including essential oils which helps Reagan rebuild and rejuvenate her body. This girl sets and meets goals then pushes herself to go just a little bit further. Love ya Girl! Give God all the glory for your gifts are from the creator.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Field Day

New school = New experiences
Liv's new school is great but I miss her previous school. Should I publicly admit that? Field Day was fun for the kids but the crazy free for all at the old school was even better. And they didn't have Otter Pops! What's up with that? Okay, I'm done complaining. :) I have attached some very organized fun pictures. Apparently pulling Liv's hair back would have been a good idea.
Potato Sack Race
Ball Between the Legs Race
3rd Grader on the 5th Graders Back Race
Bean Bag Toss

Friday, June 5, 2015

Graduation Time

Just showing off some of my handiwork. I made the first tri-fold board for a senior soccer awards night. The board below represents Q through the years, family, faith and friends. I'm pretty proud of the way they turned out. Quinnton loved them too.
actually this board is missing a couple pictures...oops

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Nebraska State Soccer Champions

When I was in high school there was a hit song by Dionne Warwick, That's What Friends Are For. To be honest I might have it all wrong, not sure if that was the title or just lyrics. If my hubby was home I could ask him, he would know the exact lyrics, title and what year it was popular. That information is not important to me, but I do remember what I was wearing the Sunday in May 1991 that my church friends and I sang it at the United Methodist Church. ANYWAY, I haven't thought much about how grateful Chris and I should be for the good friends our daughters have surrounded themselves with until I talk to others parents who are constantly battling friend choices of their teens. 

The night of the MWHS boys state soccer game our house was full. Our family, Emma's friends, Reagan's friends and maybe even a spare animal. Part of Emma's group came over for dinner, sign making and lots of laughs. I love these kids. They are all a little nerdy which I am starting to realize is the new "cool." I have seen them hold each other accountable, work problems out, go to church and make fun of each other all in the name of true friendship. After dinner they cheered on their high school to the state title. Below I have a few pictures of that night.

Caden right after he scored his 2nd goal

The following night MWHS girls played in the state soccer game so back down to Creighton University we went to support the girls in green. The night was cold and rainy but again Millard West won. Reagan's club soccer team was there to watch some very talented athletes compete for the state title. Below is Reagan and a couple friends from soccer.

Being a parent is challenging, fun, rewarding, tear-jerking and makes me attempt to be the best person God created me to be. Thank you God for giving me the opportunity to take care of these three special gifts.