Friday, April 20, 2012

U6 Soccer

We just had our third game last night, our second game the night before and our first game last Saturday.  This whole week has been soccer, soccer, soccer.  We have 2 more games this weekend.  Then next week is tournament time.  It might be too much in two weeks for the younger kids.  They've now had as many games as they have practices and they were going to practice 2 days a week.  They didn't get enough coaches to start the season on time so they had to crunch everything together. 

I think Leo would benefit from a longer season.  He has shown great improvement in the little time he has played.  He takes my advise and uses it on the field.  I think he even hears me yelling from the sideline and tries to do what I tell him.  He practices when he is not playing.  This season he is really into it. 

Last night he got his first goal for the season.  He had two more shots that miraculously got blocked.  I think he can kick the ball harder than I can.  Usually he is on defense as he plays that position well.  Wednesday night he kicked the ball from one end of the field to the other to clear it from his area.

He might see some more offense after last night.  Christina said she is not coaching any more after this year.  She says that she gets too into the game and doesn't pay attention to how she should be helping the kids on the field.  It's ok though the parents are all telling the kids what to do when it comes to gametime.  She also had a run in with a soccer mom that wasn't too pretty.  Those soccer mom's can be vicious.  It resulted in the mother not letting the child play any more.  Christina is pretty upset how it turned out for the child. 

Now that I have seen U6 soccer first hand, I will probably coach when Gavin is coming up.  You can really work with the kids to get them playing well.  They are still all about the fun of the game.  It looks like a really rewarding age to coach.  I really enjoyed coaching 3-4 year olds in Ohio as the kids are so funny.  At  this age they take it a little more serious and really try.  I enjoy watching the kids have fun but I'm a competative person.  This age has it all, fun and competitiveness.

We have 21 U6 players out this year and have 2 teams in Kiowa.  It's too bad soccer isn't a more popular sport here because we have some talented young soccer players.  The good thing about soccer here is that it gets the younger kids involved in team activities and interested in sports in general.  They can take what they learn in soccer and use it in the other sports they will play.

If you are in an area where your kids can play soccer, let them.  They might not be too in to it at first but they are probably learning some in between pulling grass and pulling their shirts over their heads.  Try coaching a season too.  It's very rewarding later on when your child asks you to coach them again.  They tend to take you a little more serious, like you just might know what you are saying to them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Weekly Catch Up 4.17.12

The last week as usual has been pretty hectic.  Gavin fell and fractured his wrist on Monday last week.  We play volleyball on Monday evenings so we took him to volleyball and he seemed o.k.  He was holding it a lot but I thought maybe it was not broken.  When we went to bed he was in pain again so we decided to take him in to have it checked out on Tuesday.

Tuesday morning he woke up and said, "Dad, we need to go to the hospital, it still hurts." 

We had it checked out at the clinic here in town.  They said they were pretty sure it was fractured but wanted to have a specialist look at it since it was close to the growth plate. 

Wednesday they had an appointment scheduled in Wichita for us.  I pulled Leo out of school and took him with us.  They made the same read as the clinic had done here, so they put a cast on him and said it will be on for 3 weeks. 

This weekend we had some severe weather in this part of the country so we stayed home.  I drove around looking for any tornado's that might drop nearby.  There were several that touched down around here.  All I saw were very turbulant wall clouds.  The storms were too crazy for me to be chasing.  There was lots of hail and storm after storm moving through the same area's.  I didn't want to get stuck between them.  I got in behind one and followed for about 20 miles and about couldn't get back to town as another about beat me back.

Several times the big red cell on the radar passed within a mile or two of town.  The scariest was in the middle of the night after we had lost power.  I checked my cell phone and another line of storms had built and was coming at us.  It became tornado warned and was heading straight for us.  A few miles before it got to us the warning was lifted, and you could see it dissapate on the radar screen.

We were one of the only fortunate towns around that did not have to sound our sirens, although there was one time that we should have. 

Leo had his first soccer game of the year on Saturday.  He played well.  I saw a couple of things we need to work with him on.  For the most part he played a solid game and was into the game almost the whole time.  He's really developing as a soccer player.  It's too bad the season here is so short.  He really enjoys it.  While we were playing volleyball last night he was kicking a ball.  Hopefully he enjoys T-ball as much this summer.  After that it's on to swimming. 

My fishing is taking a back seat to all of this.  It will take even more time as the boys get older and the sports seasons get longer.  I'm just glad I'm around to get to watch them do everything.  We will always find time to fish and it will be that much more enjoyable when we do.

Friday Evening we got out some wood and started to make a fort.  It turned into a candy stand near the road.

This was one of the early forts before it was modified several times.

The boys got haircuts after getting Gavin's cast.

Gavin's cast

Friday, April 6, 2012

Weekly Catch Up 4.6.12

The last couple weeks has been amazingly crazy.  Two weekends ago I made plans to go visit Mom and Dad.  It was Mom's birthday and they are getting ready to move.  This would be the last weekend I could spend with them for a while.

On Friday morning I got a call from Mom saying that Grandpa had fallen and broken his leg.  By the end of the work day Mom called back and said that he had gone into surgery and when he came out his heart was weak and he had a heart attack and was going back in to surgery.  She cautioned me that they may need to leave if it did not go well. 

I didn't want them to stay for us coming out so I told them that we could meet them in Kearney.  Dad said he was going to wait to see how the surgery went before deciding anything and said we could change course if needed, so we headed on out to Mom and Dad's.

I called Mom on the way and she hesitated.  I could tell she was going to tell me something.  When she didn't, I could tell it was not good.  When we arrived she told me that Grandpa had passed.  I knew that with his conditions a broken leg and surgery would not be good.  He had a broken hip a couple years ago and it didn't turn out too great.  Even though I was thinking it might not go well it still wasn't easy to handle.

Grandpa had been a big part of my fishing life and a huge influence on me as a person.  When I was young we used to camp as a family all the time.  Grandpa would take us out fishing or skiing the whole time we were at the lake.  A few moments stick out more than others.  One time  we were trolling and I had fallen asleep holding my pole.  My line tightened and I woke up thinking I had a fish.  When I got my line in, I saw that I had hooked another lure.  It was a purple hot-n-tot.  To my memory I have never used that hot-n-tot.  It is in a tackle box with all the lures with special memories to me.  I need to put them in a display case with the stories of why they are special.

I have a lot of wonderful memories of Grandpa and no bad memories.  He would do anything for anyone in the family.  He was a very caring and generous person.  I will miss spending time with him and will cherish my memories of all the time I did get to spend with him.

Saturday morning Mom and Dad left to help Grandma prepare for the funeral.  We left to go back home. 

Sunday morning I woke up to a text message from my banks fraud department asking if I had made any purchases that morning.  I pulled up my bank account on my computer and sure enough somebody had been making purchases using my card information.  I called the bank to let them know that I hadn't purchased anything.  They told me they were shutting down my card and would get another sent to me as well as reimburse the monies that had been spent on those transactions.  Almost 2 weeks later I have not seen my new card or my money.

I am 85% sure that the guy at JC Penny's that looked extra long at my card the day before is the culprit that has caused me so much grief the last two weeks.

All the travel that was to follow was made even tougher without having a debit card. 

The funeral was on Wednesday so we left Tuesday around noon to drive 5 hours to where the funeral was to be held.  Wednesday we had the funeral.  It was nice to spend time with family.  After living in Ohio for the last 7 years, I had missed getting to see many of the family.

We drove back after the funeral.  Thursday I had to play catch up at work and put in a huge day from 8AM until 2:30AM the next morning.  I went home for a few hours of sleep before I had to take off again for the BFL tournament at Lake Eufala.

Sunday after the lake Eufala tournament I got up for a couple hours, then laid back down for a 7 hour nap.  I got up long enough to drive home from OKC, then went back to bed.  The previous week had taken it's toll on me.

Life is starting to feel somewhat normal again.  We will still be busy as usual.  Leo's soccer started this week.  We have practice 2 days a week and a game.  The last couple season's have really helped him.  It feels good to watch him and see that he is the more experienced player on the team.  He really listened to the guy that was working with him yesterday.  He showed Leo why it's better to kick with the inside of your foot rather than your toe.  "I have been trying to work with Leo for 2 years on that by the way."  Leo listened and started kicking correctly.  He has a lot of power and is starting to get some finesse in his game.  As much as I disliked soccer before, I enjoy watching him play.

This weekend we are sticking around town.  There is a bike race and an easter egg hunt.  Leo has been waiting on this bike race for a year now since he saw or heard about it last year.  It wouldn't surprise me if he decided to take the training wheels off his bike because of this race.

Last week, Christina decided to air up his tire.  She put a lot too much air in and the tube blew up.  Leo was deeply upset by this.  We told him we could get a new tire.  When Leo heard the bike race was this weekend he demanded that we go to walmart that night to get a new tube for his tire.  We went to walmart.

The boys drive me nuts all the time with the little things they do.  Last night they spilled what seemed like a bucket full of water out of the bathtub.  I was HOT.  I get mad when they get a small amount on the floor.  A fish could have swam around in this puddle.  HOT.  Other times they melt my heart.  They show that they really have been listening all along and do what they are supposed to do.  I know.  I should have had robots instead of kids.  The good things wouldn't mean as much if they didn't do all those bad things I guess.

I'm a pretty strict parent.  I want my kids to try to do the right thing all the time.  They may grow to resent me some from it, but if it makes them a better person, so be it.  I also let them see me love them.  I probably look like a bi-polar monster to them sometimes.  I feel like it sometimes.  They drove me to it.

I have been putting a lot of hours in at work the last few months and have not spent a lot of time at home.  I have a lot of projects finished now so I will be trying to spend more quality time with my family.  It's going to start by cleaning the house.  Most of the kids toys have got to go.  Nothing says quality time like telling a kid he's got to pick which toys he wants to keep and then only letting him keep a few of those.

There will be a garage sale coming soon in Kiowa, KS.  The boys are already without cable.  If they have very few toys, maybe they will respect what they have and take care of it.  If not, there's lots of sticks in the yard for them to play with.  I don't mind if those get broken.

Lake Eufala BFL

After a 16 1/2 hour day at work and a few hours sleep, I was off to fish the Lake Eufala tournament as a co-angler.  It was a 4 1/2 hour drive to the lake.  I went to the town of Eufala expecting the tournament registration to be there.  After a short drive around town I realized that it wasn't.  I looked at the paper I had printed out for the tournament information and it showed that the registration was in Chekotah.  I was already heading the wrong direction on highway 69 so I had to wait until an off ramp to turn around. 

At the first off ramp I found a good camping spot so I set up the tent, paid my dues and took off.  My GPS is old now and has not been updated so when I got to Chekotah it did not know where the walmart was.  I drove every way except towards the walmart.  Finally, I checked the 4th direction and there it was.

I had seen Route 69 Diner while driving around so I went back to eat.  Eating is my second favorite thing about tournament fishing.  I get to try new places I wouldn't even see otherwise.

The hand breaded chicken fried chicken meal was amazing.  There was a special I didn't see though.  Steak and baked potato or all you can eat fish.  I was happy as I would have been with any of the three meals.

I finished eating and headed back to the pairing meeting where I discovered I was one of the last boats. 

The next morning I met my boater and we set off to fish.  We had a few hiccups getting out on the water, starting with not being able to find the check in crew.  We were the last to leave the marina once we figured out where to check in.

Trying to stay positive we hit some great looking water.  The lake had came up 7 or 8 feet that week while the bass were getting ready to spawn so the great looking spot was not to great early in the morning.  Next we hit the most beautiful bank I have seen.  I started catching a few bluegill then eventually a short bass.  On our way back down the bank we were fishing a little further out when I had a hit in about 11 foot of water.  It was a 2 3/4 pound largemouth. 

We continued to fish that bank as well as other banks, rip rap, shorelines, bluffs.  We caught a lot of fish just not the right kind or size.  After what seemed like a long day we headed in for weigh in.

My fish got me 58th place and moved me up to 52nd place in the standings.  Fishing seemed tough.  We just couldn't figure them out no matter what we tried. 

Our next tournament is at Fort Gibson on May 5th.  I am looking forward to the fishing the rest of the year.  I feel that I fish better in late spring, summer and fall months.