Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Football is for girls too

Recently Mac and I signed Kate and Avery up to play flag football this Spring season. It is our first experience with field sports, and I thought - hey, they get to run around a lot, it's non-competative (right, because it's just FLAG football, not tackle) - perfect! Well, I was right about the first part - they get to run around a lot. The girls get to be very active, and I can see how good it is for them. They are just beaming all the time now. They love being a part of flag football, and they exhibit a real sense of pride and self-confidence being part of a team. It's easy to think that your boys need to be active, but I've realized it's just as important to have your girls be active, and just as beneficial for them as it is for boys. So I am really happy that we decided to do this. However, I was wrong about the competative part. I was totally overwhelmed when we went to the first day of practice with all the teams gathered together for skills and drills. There were several coaches whose techniques were aggressive and in-your-face with the kids. There were also tales from parents and some coaches about other coaches who were in it to win all the time, and wouldn't let the girls play offense at all. Now that got me really concerned, so I've been watching carefully at practice to see how the coaches deal with my girls and to see what they say about their approach. So far, Avery's coaches are golden. I couldn't ask for better guys. They give everyone a chance to play equally in all positions. They are strict but kind, and they seem really welcoming and glad to have Avery on the team. They have expressed repeatedly that their main purpose is for the kids to have fun. I'm afraid Kate is not so lucky in her coach. So far, he seems really focused on winning, and it looks as if Kate might get stuck on defense with a minimal role in the game. Mac tells me to wait and observe some more before I go jumping to conclusions, but I have a hunch that this coach's style is going to rub me the wrong way, and I'm already planning out what to say to him if my hunch is right. Something like, "When is Kate going to play offense? When will you give her more direction than just "watch the ball"? How can she improve if she isn't given a chance to play in that position?

I get mad just thinking about it, but Mac is right. I'm making assumptions now that I don't know to be true . . . yet. I'll be watching closely, and I won't be afraid to voice my displeasure if my kid doesn't get fair treatment. That's right. I'm one of those moms now. And that coach better step up his coaching or watch out!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

We didn't sent out a Christmas letter with our cards, so I thought I'd do the update here on the blog.

2011 began with Mac accepting a job for Isagenix in Chandler, AZ. He wasn't done with his MBA yet, so he transferred to being a part-time student and was able to go to class at the UofA extension center in Scottsdale. The job was a great opportunity for our family, but the kids and I were still in Tucson, and our lease wasn't up till May. At first I thought we'd stick it out so Kate could finish school in Sahuarita and so we wouldn't lose any money on our contract. Mac had a couple of different places he could stay until we moved permanently - with his Uncle in Mesa and with my sister in Queen Creek. However, after less than two months where we only saw Mac on the weekends, if that, I changed my mind. So one weekend while I was visiting my sister, Mac and I decided to look at houses. We found a great house in SE Chandler and made an offer. We closed in about a month and then moved a few weeks later. It was a whirlwind of change, but we love our house and the area that it's in, and we feel very blessed to have everything work out so well so quickly.

Moving meant saying goodbye to our friends and neighbors in Sahuarita. Even though we hadn't known them long, they had been great friends and we were sad to leave. Kate had to change schools, but the transition was not as difficult as I had anticipated. She attends a nearby CTA school with an advanced curriculum and immediately loved her new teacher and class.

All our girls learned how to ride bikes at the beginning of this year, even Lilly who was still 2 when she could ride without training wheels. We have to give credit to the strider bikes, which helped our girls practically teach themselves how to ride a bike. Other highlights of the year include the following:

Kate learned how to swim and was part of the summer swim team.
Lilly was in a ballet dance class with her cousin.
Avery started Kindergarten and promptly got in trouble for kissing a boy!
The family vacationed in Ogden, Utah for a Larsen family reunion.
Julie & Mac went to San Diego for an Isagenix convention. It was work for Mac, but play for me!
I took a quilting class and made my first quilt!
Mac got two ipads from work - one for him and one for me. They are awesome! Our kids love them so much that they each want their own.
Mac finished his all of his courses and now has his MBA! YEAH!!!
Lillly turned 3, Avery turned 5, Joshua turned 1, and Kate turned 7.

Our baby, Joshua, is big 15 mos-old now who runs around hitting and throwing constantly. He doesn't seem to realize that he's smaller than his sisters, and he is willing to fight them if they have a toy he wants. He has been a challenge for me because he has been so different from his sisters, and because he is very moody and demanding. But we love him and think he's pretty funny, even when he's being disagreeable. He also doesn't like to go to anyone other than me or Mac, so it's hard to get a break. His first spoken words were, in this order, ball, car, cracker. He also knows several signs: milk, banana, please, thank you, cracker, dog, more, all done, and eat are all the ones I can think of. We are excited to see him grow and develop, and his sisters love to help take care of him when they can. I think Avery wishes she could be his mother instead of me!

We hope this new year is full of good things for each of you!

Much love and gratitude from,
Mac, Julie, Kate, Avery, Lilly, & Joshua