This is why I'm off Facebook

Thursday, October 9, 2014

I can't seem to embed it, so you'll have to (gasp) click one extra time.

Well, it's not the entire reason, but I'll get to that later.

Jairus and the Soccer Tournament

Saturday, October 4, 2014

This is our second year involved in a local, and rather large, homeschooling group called T.E.A.C.H. (To educate a child's heart).  I really enjoy and appreciate what it offers us, as of course organized sports are not something we can easily conjure up for ourselves.  This year, as last, only Jairus and Honour are old enough to actually participate in the sports programs.  Last year they both did basketball, floor hockey and a bit of baseball.  The program runs for 3 weeks of two hour sessions that they call "skills and drills", and then after that the teams are chosen.  Last year neither Jairus or Honour made any of the teams, but this was understandable because they were both among the youngest of the groups. Well...and because Jairus' main goal was to have fun. :-)

As this new school year started, I saw that soccer was being held.  We missed it last year for some reason.  As soccer is pretty much Jairus' favourite sport, I knew there was no question that we'd go to it.  Verity's gym schedule made it tricky, as she needed to be in Caledonia at the same time as soccer started in Brantford.  We split the difference; Verity was early and we were late.

After the 3rd skills and drills session, we were packing up to go when the coach for the boys team came over to me.  He worked with Jairus last year with no problems, so I was pleased to see him coaching the soccer boys.  As he approached, he had a grin and was chuckling a bit.  He told me that if I thought Jairus would be ok with it, he would put him on the team.  I was pretty surprised, and I guess it was obvious.  He explained that he'd made it clear to the boys that skills were not going to be the only deciding factor to making the team, but that attitude would count for a lot.  He described Jairus' encouraging behaviour with the other boys and said that he wouldn't mind at all if Jairus was on the team.  He cautioned that Jairus may not get much actual field time, but this was something he was telling all the boys.  I was SO pleased, and told him that I'd talk to Jairus and let him know.  Truthfully, I wasn't sure how much Jairus would actually understand; after participating in the sports last year for only the 3 skills and drills each time, I thought he might not realize that these were actually part of the try-out process.  However, that night as he was going to bed I mentioned it to him, and he really did seem to understand--and was pleased and excited.

This past Monday he had his first set of exhibition games, which since I had to work, James took the day off to take him to.  It was a good afternoon and Jairus got a little time on the field.

Friday of this week was the big soccer tournament, attended by the area Christian schools. T.E.A.C.H. is a member of the organization.  
We got there just past 8:30am and got Jairus into his shirt, cleats and shin guards.  The morning was warm and bright, with a strong wind.  Jairus started to get warmed up with his team.

The boys had 4 games that morning and I wasn't surprised that Jairus didn't get to play in any of them.  Happy as he so often is, it didn't seem to bother him.  Often as I checked on him, he'd be hopping around with an extra ball behind the bench, or standing near the coach, like a little assistant.  During the breaks, one of Jairus' friends invited him to play around. :-)

Rain was in the forecast for around lunchtime, and unfortunately the weather man did not lie.  By 12:45 or so, the rain started to fall and many kids took shelter under the big tarp someone had wisely brought.

They had won 3 games out of 4 during the morning but the rain made things difficult.  They lost what was a semi finals game which sent them into a consolation game for 3rd place.  The first half of the game saw the boys let in 4 goals...not so great for the team, but good news for Jairus!  James had arrived by this point and we were both excited to see the coach's wife help Jairus off with his jacket.  He was on the field!

Now that he'd gotten on the field, my next goal was that he'd kick the ball.  Jairus is not terribly aggressive out there and would do a lot of running around a safe distance away from the action.  But finally he was in the right spot at the right time...and gave the ball a good kick (in the right direction!!).  I was just thrilled.  Despite the soaking rain, he had a great time.

Lindley Pumpkin farm

There is just nothing more fun than going on a fall trip.  When I was a kid, my most favouritist (yes, that's a word) place was Chudley's apple farm.   LOVED that place.  This year, our farm of choice was Lindleys in Ancaster.  We went with quite a large homeschooling group organized by my friends Jen and Rachael.

First we took a wagon ride through the farm and out to the pumpkin patch.  Here's some of my widdow pumpkins. (lol)

Then we got out and had our pick of hundreds of pumpkins.  We were the first group to come through!

Then we wagonned back and the kids got to feed a small collection of farm animals, sat through a wee educational blurb about pumpkins and then had an apple for a snack around some tables set up under a large tent/shed.  I remarked to a friend as we chatted that my kids were never so interested in eating apples...doing it with friends seemed to make all the difference.  Then they got to play around on a few slides and climbers...and investigate the Halloween decorations already set up.

Each of my kids brought home a pie pumpkin.  The big girls chose big pumpkins, Afton chose a medium sized, and Jairus chose a wee little tiny thing.  They were all set to carve them, but I reminded them that the farmer had warned that these pumpkins were for making pies and had a very tough rind.  They were really better for making a pie.  Verity decided that this was exactly what she wanted to do.  By some miracle, I had everything needed in the pantry to make a pumpkin pie.  So, Google to the rescue to teach me what the heck to do with a pumpkin in order to get it into pie consistency.  First, we cut them in half and the kids did the gunky part--scraped away all the innards and seeds.

Honour decided that her pumpkin was going to have a face, however she had to create it.

Then, I cut the pumpkin (yes, I, no we about this part) into large chunks and the kids got them all into the pots.  It made A LOT of pumpkin.

That's only half of it!

When the pieces had boiled away for about 1/2 an hour, they were soft enough to come out and cool on racks for a bit.

Honour was determined to make use of ALL the pumpkin parts (Man, she would have made a great pioneer).  This was her "pumpkin guts broth", which actually smelled quite nice and I used it as the base to the pumpkin soup we ate that night.  She of course also roasted all the seeds.  Yum. :-)

Amazingly, I had a box of Crisco in the fridge (I NEVER have that stuff) and Verity and I were pretty impressed at how easy it was to make a pie crust.  Another googled recipe for the proper spices later, we had a very pretty, and VERY yummy pumpkin pie.  And TONNES of pumpkin left over to make more for next weekend!!  Happy Thanksgiving!!