Category: Sports

Soccer. Or, really, shouldn’t it be Football?

Why is our American football game called football, when we (I use the term “we” quite loosely, beings as I personally do not play football) use our HANDS and feet?

Why do we call soccer, soccer? (What, exactly, does the word soccer even mean??)

I tend to agree with our friends across the pond, that it IS football.

(Or is it fotbol?)

Either way, it is played, solely, with the feet. No hands.

Therefore, football.

(Okay, okay…for the smartypants…the goalie can handle the soccer ball with his hands. AND…if the ball must be thrown in, the hands are used. But, those are the only exceptions.)

Why, pray tell, am I even bothering with this subject?

Well, our youngest punk decided, just this past Fall, to try out for the soccer team.

No.

He has never, ever played soccer before.

Yes.

He actually made the team!

Yes.

He actually knows what he is doing!

Yes.

Oh, good grief, look, here’s proof:

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As most of you know, if you’ve read this blog or are friends with me on Facebook, I LOVE ME SOME FOOTBALL.

American football.

American COLLEGE football, to be exact.

American BAYLOR college football, to be even more exact.

I’m the teeniest, tiniest, wee-little-bit, obsessed.

So, I get football. For the most part, I understand all the rules and strategies of football.

Starting this January, though, I had to learn a new kind of football.

Soccer.

(Which, as I’ve already alluded to, should actually be called FOOTball.)

(Although, I am trying to come up with a new name for American football, that would sound good. So far nothing comes to mind.)

Anyway, I am learning about this new-to-me game and am loving it! I can see why the rest of the entire world likes the game!

If you know anything about soccer, you know there are quite a few differences between soccer and football.

Here are some things I’ve just recently learned:

  • The clock runs UP to 90 minutes, not down. (This is Premier League soccer–Professional, not high school.)
  • The clock never stops. (This is mostly true in high school play, as well.)
  • The umpire (or are they referees? I need to find out.) carries yellow and red cards–not flags–to signify a penalty.
    • I was at one of my very first games when I saw, what I thought was a penalty, and immediately stood up, threw my arms up in the air and yelled–quite LOUDLY, I must add—-“WHERE’S THE FLAG, REF?!! WHERE.IS.THE.FLAG?!”
    • (Remember, refs don’t have flags to throw in soccer. My bad.)
    • Yellow cards are warnings. “You better watch out, player! Don’t do that again!” Or, “You need to cool it…go sit the bench for a play or two and calm down.” (Or, something along those lines.)
    • Red cards are UH-OH; YOU MESSED UP, DUDE. “Go sit on the bench, buddy. You’re out of the game.”
  • Soccer is full of actors. There are some flopping performances (falling down, rolling around on the ground, holding your shin, pretending to be hurt) that should, honestly, be given awards. It can be quite moving.
  • (remember, I’m new to this, so I may not be technically accurate on some of these points) At the end of a high school game, if the score is tied, each team gets 10 more minutes of play time to try to score. If they are still tied at the end of the two 10 minute intervals, you have penalty kicks. THIS is a VERY exciting part of the game! Each team gets 5 players who each take alternating turns at a chance to kick a goal. The crowd is to remain quiet while the players each have their turn at out-smarting the goalie. Very exciting, y’all!
  • You are not required to carry a vuvuzela (Google it.). (Darn it. I would go crazy with it, if I had one!!)
  • High school soccer is played–at least in Texas–during the WORST season of the year. It is usually BITTERLY cold! (I know, I know, if I lived in Wisconsin or Montana, I would actually know what bitterly cold means, but to this born and raised Texas girl, 19 degrees with sleet and wind is TEETH-CHATTERING-INHUMANLY-UNREASONABLY-STUPID-COLD!!
  • so there.

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One last parting video my son recently showed me I think you’ll like:

 

 

OH! And, guess what?!

We are play-offs bound!!

GOOOOOOOO COOOOUUUGGGAAARRRSSSS!!!

E.

 

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Hello, friend.

Has it been nearly two years??

A lot has happened in those two years…mainly adjusting to country life is what has happened.

And, loving on and serving with our neighbors.

And, watching a ton of Baylor football (and basketball).

And, purchasing some cows.

And a donkey.

And, planting a garden (or two).

And, watching our oldest change colleges and majors…and join the wake boarding team.

And, cheering on our youngest in high school football…and soon, soccer.

I’ve missed occasionally writing and photographing the happenings around our family, so I’m hoping 2015 will be the year I get back in the habit…if you’ll have me back in your email box and on your FB newsfeed, that is.

Because we are wrapping up the last little bit of 2014 (say it ain’t so!!), I thought I’d throw out a couple of pictures of what I mentioned above. A lot of the pictures were taken with my iphone…”the best camera you own is the one you are presently carrying…”and I carried my phone WAY more than my “big boy” Canon camera. (That’s another habit I hope to change in 2015.)

Some happenings in 2014!

Some happenings in 2014!

More to come!

(I’ve missed you.)

E.

It’s that time of year…

No, not football season.

No, not Fall weather.

No, not boots and plaid season.

No, not cold and flu season.

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It’s HOMECOMING SEASON!!!!!

And, we all know what that means…

MUMS.

In honor of all those moms out there making mums…

Moms and mums.

Mums making mums.

Mummummummummums.

Mum’s the word!

Okay, I’ll stop.

I must, once again, post my most favorite video of all time. If you have ANYTHING to do with Homecoming, anywhere, you must watch this video. You’ll die.

I do.

Every time.

Crazy, no? It just blows my mind, those mums and their mums…

Guess what…I’m doing the mum thing again, now that my youngest is in high school…

(You can read about one of my past mum encounters about two years ago, here.)

Yes, my youngest son has asked a girl to Homecoming.

In fact, he asked TWO girls to Homecoming!!

…to two different Homecomings.

He’s going down to the Houston area to escort one friend this weekend, and then, next weekend, he’s asked another sweet girl to his own high school’s Homecoming!

I’m having to provide TWO mums this year!!!

(Yes, you can cry for me now.)

(If you would like to contribute to the MUM FUND, please send checks or cash…ASAP.)

I’m sure to have pictures to share soon…

E.

It is finally here…

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Third grade.

Baylor Homecoming Parade.

Keds.

Big gold buttons.

Gold turtleneck.

Polyester.

SIC EM BEARS! SIC EM BEARS! SIC EM BEARS!  over every inch of my suit.

My most favorite outfit. …Ever.

College football has begun.

Amen.

E.

Chief

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I know I’ve mentioned it before, but every summer ThrillCam and I make the trek up to the Branson, Missouri area to retrieve our son from their favorite place on earth: camp.

Our oldest punk attended the same summer camp for many years and had to eventually choose between camp and baseball–baseball won. But, those years he attended were as equally as precious for him as they have been for our youngest son (and their cousins, who also now attend).

Summer is just not summer for our youngest son without two weeks immersed in scripture and every conceivable fun activity. You name it, they do it: basketball, baseball, dance, bikes, swimming, two-stepping, bubbles, campfires, singing, archery, tribal competitions, Bible study, the Blob, paddle boats…the list is too long to go through. Suffice it to say, the kids have a blast!

I’ve said for years that Disney has nothing on camp–Kamp is truly the happiest place on earth, at least it is for my boys.

This summer was no different.

Well, actually, it was a little different.

You see, our youngest son was given the honor of leading his tribe, the Choctaws, as their Chief. (Last summer the tribe voted him in as their 2013 leader.)

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I must warn you, bragging is about to begin. So, if that bores you, please move to the next blog on your reader. I’ll give you a moment to leave. I totally understand. But, if you stay, I promise not to take too long.

Our son was given the Leadership Award, along with the honor of being Chief of the Choctaws.

For a parent who has seen that quality, or at least the potential in him, well, it caused the heart to expand few sizes. I’m always…well, mostly always…very proud of my boys. (Let me say this: I’m ALWAYS proud to be their mother.) But, over this past weekend, I stood a little taller, smiled a little bigger than usual.

I was told by counselors and the camp director that my son stepped up to the plate and apparently knocked it out of the park.

So, so proud.

(Okay, bragging done! Thanks for humoring me.)

E.

Baseball

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Did you know that there are MILLIONS of little black balls of rubber embedded in field turf ? (Did you know there’s a difference between field turf and Astroturf? Astroturf was first invented for the Astrodome in Houston, Tx. They are both synthetic fibers, but Astroturf was inflexible and caused many injuries. Field turf has been improved over the years and the use of the rubber balls–and sand–help to prevent injuries.)

I knew the tiny bits of rubber existed due to the time I’ve spent on football sidelines, but it wasn’t until I was down flat on the fake grass to grab the above picture that I truly understood just how abundant the black stuff was.

I still have imprints on my legs where the black stuff dug into and stuck to my skin.

The good thing, it camouflaged the cellulite.

Sort of.

Okay, not really. It only lodged itself into the cellulite making it that much harder to remove the dag-blame stuff.

According to eHow, the pellets are made from frozen rubber tires.

Well, here, you can read for yourself:

  • When you play on, or carefully inspect FieldTurf, it’s easy to notice a number of small, black pellets that sit below the surface of the synthetic grass. These black pellets are loose, and as you run on the FieldTurf, your feet will flip them up into the air. The pellets are made of cryogenic rubber and are a vital part of the infill structure of FieldTurf. The rubber pellets used in FieldTurf are environmentally friendly. They are produced from recycled tires that are frozen through a cryogenic process. While frozen, the tires are broken into the small pellets that will eventually end up in the FieldTurf.  —eHow.com

ThrillCam spent quite a bit of time and energy acquiring the turf that had been removed from a high school football field somewhere in Texas.

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We were thrilled the previous owners of our new house built a rather large metal building on the property because the front section was just the right length for a batting cage, which both of my boys (and a couple neighbor friends) have put to good use.

Getting the turf TO and INTO the building required an act of Congress; it took multiple days, the use of the tractor, and numerous strong-bodied males to move and roll it into place. (ThrillCam had to cut it into smaller pieces just to be able to lift and move it–with the TRACTOR! It was extremely heavy.)

Then, after the turf was put into place and glued down, the little black pellets had to be spread around to provide spring and cushion.

You can barely see, but to the left of the cage (in the above photo), there are buckets and bags against the wall. See them? Left-over pellets. Extra. Lots. (There are a few mounds of the stuff on outside the building, as well.)

The pellets are environmentally friendly, in that they are made from recycled tires, but, honestly, they will never go away. Ever.

I considered using the extra around my garden as a type of mulch, to prevent weeds growing around the edges. Seemed like a great idea, initially, but, I’ve decided against that because they would eventually make their way into the garden soil, which doesn’t sound beneficial to my tomatoes. (And, we know how much trouble I’ve had in the past growing tomatoes….)

Anyway, we are happy to have the turf, the millions of rubber balls, and the batting cage, because our family loves baseball.

Baseball–actually, any sport–is a great metaphor for life, in so many ways.

Like the Babe Ruth quote I put on the top photo–it applies to all of us whether we play baseball or not.

Every strike can bring us closer to our next home run.

So get out there and start swinging!

Eventually, we will hit a home run!

(Just don’t fall while running the bases–I’m still picking little black pellets out of unmentionable places….)

E.

A Creative Challenge

My go-to lens of choice is my Canon 70mm-200mm.

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I use the lens for just about everything.

For example, I can shoot portraits.

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(Look at the good-looking guy!!! I’m missing my oldest punk! Waaaahhhhhhh!!! He’s off playing summer college baseball…I can’t wait to see him play in a couple of tournaments closer to home in a few weeks.)

This lens also allows me to get up close and personal for sports and action shots.

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(That’s my youngest punk who is also playing summer baseball. Thankfully, he’s playing on a local summer select team. He still sleeps in his own bed in his own room. Which means, I still have to go upstairs occasionally and remind him to clean up after himself. I’m sure, one day, I will miss having to tell him to clean up, but right now, not so much.)

Look at the bokeh (the blurry background) the 70mm-200mm gives me.

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See how the plant is isolated and the back- and foregrounds are blurred and creamy? (Photoshop was not used on the above photo, except to create the frame, add my watermark, and to lower the resolution for the internet.)

The 70-200 is my most favorite lens, ever.

Yes, it is large.

And, yes, it’s on the heavy side, sort of. (I’m used to it, so it doesn’t really bother me.)

I know the lens inside and out.

It’s my go-to lens, and, because it’s my go-to lens, I rarely use my other lenses, which is a shame.

I don’t know them quite as intimately and I find myself frustrated when I use them–they are slow, or cumbersome, or too small, or too wide, or too whatever.

So, I’ve given myself a challenge: I’m going to use a different lens over the weekend, exclusively (with the exception of my son’s baseball tournament–I’m trying to build my sports photography business in this new area, so I need to use my 70-200mm).

I’ll report back to you next week with some samples of my work.

I’d also like to issue YOU a challenge. If there is an area of your creative life that needs a little practice or a boost, I challenge you to work on that this weekend.

Is there a particular knitting stitch (stitch?? pearl??) you want to try?

Are you more comfortable using oil paints but would like to improve in water colors?

Do you want to learn to play a new song on the guitar that requires you to learn a new technique or riff?

I don’t know! Just pick something creative you need to improve upon and go for it! Let’s do this together! (I want to hear what you worked on over the weekend, by the way! I expect a full report on my update post!)

In the meantime, have a super weekend!

And, let’s be creative, people!

E.