Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bike Ride - Ernst Trail

A few weeks ago, on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, we loaded the bikes in the van, packed a lunch and hit the road. The destination was Ernst Trail in Meadville.

Ernst Trail is about five miles long and since it's a rail trail it's a nice, easy ride. Things were just starting to turn green when we went and it felt like spring. We enjoyed the ride and saw several baby snakes, some alive, some dead because they tried sunning on the trail. We also saw a turtle and lots of yellow flowers. It was so refreshing to see color again after the winter months of brown and grey.

This was a perfect ride to do at the beginning of spring/summer. We'll save the longer rides for later in the year when we aren't so weak from a lazy winter!











Monday, May 23, 2016



As a mom, the one thing I want more than anything else is for my children to know that I love them... always... no matter what. 

I want Liza and Jason to know that if they have a bad day, I still love them. And if I have a bad day, I still love them.

I love them when they make good choices.
I love them when they make bad choices.

Bottom line... I love them.
Always and forever.

Rewind to Mother's Day and the small gifts I received from them...

The note from Jason...


Then Liza told me she wrote me a song but she was too shy to sing it to me so I had to read it...


Let me translate Liza's in case you can't read her ridiculous spelling and writing...

I know I may be a pain in the butt
But you-ou-ou still love me
Can't write a fancy letter because I don't know my cursive
So I will sing for you and I will sing-sing-sing
This might get annoying but I still love you

I don't know why she wrote that she may be a pain in the butt. I have never ever told her that! But I guess we all know deep down that sometimes we can be a pain in the butt. The good news is that she knows I still love her!

Both my kids know that they are deeply loved.

THAT was the best Mother's Day gift ever. To know that they know.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

What Is Right In This World

There are several situations in life that have me beyond irritated lately. Situations like our school across the street being closed and the fact that we will most likely lose the playground when the building is sold. It's just one of those things that is wrong with life. And it also happens to be something that I can't do anything about. Trust me... I've tried!

Today I found myself insanely frustrated with the situation all over again. Upset. Angry. Losing hope while realizing that the things I loved most when I moved here no longer exist.
I was sitting here thinking about all the things that are wrong with this world...

...but then I saw this face...


And this child, my child, is something that is so right in this world.

Her kind heart.
Her willingness to give everyone a chance.
Her love of animals.
Her silly dance moves and cute made up songs.
Her laugh.
Her strength to forgive.
Her belief in what is good.
Her love.
Her innocence.

Liza is what is right in this world and all I need to do when I find myself frustrated with all that is wrong is to spend a little time with her. She lights up a room... she lights up my heart... she lights up my world!


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Soccer Love

I ended up coaching both Liza's and Jason's soccer teams this season. At first I was concerned it might be too much, but turns out I'm loving it! I really enjoy coaching and both of my teams are full of fun players. I love my teams. I love the game. I love being coach!

At the beginning of the season, I noticed some of my girls were just being too nice during games. By too nice I mean not as aggressive as they could be. Giving the ball away too easily. Too nice.

I told them to get attached to their soccer ball. Carry it around all week. Get used to it being near you. Protect it. Don't let anyone take it from you.

It might seem a little strange, but the purpose was for them to start thinking of that ball as theirs so when they got on the field they wouldn't be so nice about giving it away. By keeping a ball near all week long, it had them thinking about WHY they were carrying the ball... to get possessive about it.

There was one girl in particular that I wanted to see being a little less "nice" during a game. During our first game she could have scored several times but she was nice and just let the goalie have the ball.

Well she carried that ball around for a week and came back a different player. She also scored several goals. I was so proud of her.

I love coaching.

But what I love most about coaching is seeing my kids doing what I'm teaching them. They took me serious when I said carry that ball around and don't let anyone take it. My heart almost exploded the first time I checked on them at night and found this scene...



Soccer for life!
Or at least I hope for a good many more years. :)

I love that my kids love soccer... and having me as their coach.

So many people always wish that they could freeze their children in the baby years and keep them little. I never wished for that... because each year is more exciting than the last. Each age brings something new. Each year gives me awesome memories.

My kids sleeping with their soccer balls is now etched in my memory bank and when I think of my 8 and 9 year olds and their first year of soccer... this is one of the images that will always be there.

Monday, May 16, 2016

52 Lists - Summer Goals

List #20
Summer Goals
don't be lazy
take lots of bike rides
picnic as often as possible
visit friends
have a lot of fun while spending little money
spend long days at the lake
do not let the weeds get out of control
grow a garden
read a few books
take advantage of the free summer bowling program
get the kids involved in the library's summer reading program
spend a week with mom and dad
find something to do that we haven't done before... and do it
have a themed party
roast marshmallows
rent canoes at the lake with the kids
go to the drive-in at least once
build forts on rainy days
go puddle jumping with the kids
host a free soccer camp for the neighborhood kids

I'm so excited for summer! We love summer and being busy and finding fun things to do. We love being outside after being stuck inside during the cold winter months. There are so many things to do near where we live that we rarely have bored days. Unfortunately, the kids still have a month of school left. June 14. Too far away! What are your summer plans?

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