Posts Tagged ‘football’
Boys go through stages of being tough and being sentimental. A boy who plays the tough guy one minute, might turn right around and bring his mom flowers. My nephew, Riley us one of those kids who is tough as nails in many areas of his life. He has practiced the martial arts, played football, and broken at least one bone every year from age three to age twelve. Riley has had a fractured elbow, two fractured wrists, broken thumb, a concussion, both knee patellae highly extended, fractured forearm, two sprained ankles and now a broken coracoids. You would think he would almost be afraid to move for fear of another break, but Riley is proud of every injury he has had. I suppose it all goes back to that country song about “chicks digging scars” that makes it so cool, but it sure doesn’t do anything for his mom’s sanity.
Nevertheless, as tough as Riley is, when it comes to his little brother, Tucker, he has a very big, soft heart. Tucker is his little brother after all, and as such Riley has placed upon himself, the responsibility of being Tucker’s protector. It doesn’t matter if a protector is really needed all the time or not, as far as Riley is concerned, Tucker is his little brother and he is going to do whatever is necessary to keep him safe and to let him know that his big brother loves him very much.
Riley is in junior high…or middle school, as it is called these days, and as happens with all young boys, he is changing in many ways, with girls being the most noticeable. This year, as a 7th grader, he has now decided that it is very necessary to buy a young lady at school a rose. And with that, the world has changed for him and his parents. In fact, things will never be the same, but then that is pretty much normal for boys his age. Riley will continue to change in the years to come. Driving, dating, and before long marriage will all find their way into his life. This is just the beginning. Today is Riley’s 13th birthday. He’s a teenager now, folks…look out!! Happy birthday Riley!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Eighteen years ago today, my youngest daughter, Amy married her best friend, Travis. It’s strange to think that your children have been married for many years now. It forces you to realize that they aren’t kids anymore. Oh, you know it…really, but the very fact that they could have been married for eighteen years or more…well, time just goes by so fast. Still, time has gone by, and they are so suited to each other. They have the same interests, likes, and dislikes. They think a lot alike. And as the years go by, I see that more and more. People do that. They become more and more like the person they love and spend their life with.
Amy and Travis love to ride their motorcycle and take trips to Deadwood with friends. They are also into Blues music, and they like to go to the Wyoming Blues and Jazz Society sessions. They even names their second dog…you guessed it, Blues. Their lives have centered around music and jokes, both of which Travis is very good at. His quick wit brings laughter to most gatherings they are at. They love to get together with family and friends, especially if they can barbeque. They have also started making wine, but unfortunately, they will not be able to have some of their own wine on their anniversary.
With all that they have in common and that they agree on, you would think that all would be bliss, but there is one thing that they simply do not agree on…football. Oh, they both love football, but they each root for arch rival teams. Amy goes for the Packers and Travis goes for the Bears. It is a constant battle in their house during football season…no, not a real battle, but a football battle for sure, with each one cutting down the other’s team. These football battles don’t interfere with their relationship, much like Bob attending Natrona County High School and me going to the rival Kelly Walsh High School. You just have to take the teasing in stride…especially when your team loses.
Their marriage has been blessed with two wonderful children, Shai and Caalab, who are also a great blessing to me and their grandpa. The years have flown by so fast. It seems like only yesterday that they were getting married. I remember the ceremony clearly, even though it was eighteen years ago. Today is Amy and Travis’ eighteenth anniversary…eighteen years and counting. Happy anniversary Amy and Travis!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you very much!!
As we start football season, I recalled a picture that I had seen among my mom’s old family pictures. It was a football practice session most likely at a local school. That reminded me of something I had read a while back about the changes in football gear over the years. As we all know, football can be a dangerous game. Sometimes, the players are hurt slightly and sometimes, quite badly. Unfortunately, it was those injuries that have founded the need for better protection, and therefore, better gear. When American football appeared on college campuses in the 1870′s little was known about the brain damage that could occur from some of the impacts that are a natural part of the game.
In those early years, head protection was rarely worn. As far back as the 1900′s, they had the “head harness” which was a soft leather version of today’s helmet, but it was mainly to protect the ears. I suppose it did, but it also made it difficult to hear, so not many players wore them. Newer versions of the helmet appeared as the years went by, featuring holes for the ears, so they could hear the plays and movement around them. They were made out of plastic, and featured a suspension system to keep the helmet from sitting directly on the player’s head. This also provided a little bit of cushion for their head. Of course, we now know that those older versions did not provide enough protection from concussion, and the newer versions probably don’t do enough either, but they are much better than their predecessors.
In the early years, players were subjected to ridicule for putting padding in all the necessary areas that we now know need protection. It was treated as…well, wimpy back then. Now plastic is a part of shoulder pads and pants. It isn’t a perfect solution, but the key here is to keep the players in the game, if possible, because we all know that one of the best things about fall is football…to some people anyway.
My nephew, Steve, who is the husband of my niece Jenny, is a man who is all about family. He takes an active interest in his children, and everything they are in to and up to. Oh, I know there are lots of dads who are good dads and very hands on with their kids, but that fact doesn’t make any one of them less special. Steve loves showing his boys the ropes of being a man. They are learning to use a gun…and use it safely. Steve loves most types of outdoor sports, and so taking his boys snowmobiling, fishing, as well as football, and any other sport that the boys are interested in, is what Steve is all about.
Still, as good as Steve is with little boys, he also has a very natural touch with his little girl. Aleesia was born one year ago, and just a few days before her daddy’s birthday, and she was an answer to prayer. Jenny and Steve wanted a daughter to complete their family, and they had waited a long time. Aleesia was everything they could have asked for. Now Steve finds himself in a different kind of role. Yes, he is still daddy, but girls are very different.
Steve and Jenny have stepped into their role as parents of a daughter with the same love and skill that they used with their sons, except that the role has changed from masculine to feminine. Aleesia is very feminine…she is all girl, and she loves her daddy very much. She is a lot like her daddy in personality and when you put the two of them together, they have a tendency to make the exact same faces. Steve is quick to smile, and Aleesia is very much the same. When she is with her daddy, she feels like she is on top of the world…and I’m sure that is exactly where she is.
Steve is a great dad and also a great husband. He is a good Christian man who is teaching his family the way they should go, and he will be greatly rewarded for that. He has been such a wonderful addition to our family. Today is Steve’s birthday!! Happy birthday Steve!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!
My grand nephew, Xander is the oldest of the five children of my niece, Jenny and her husband, Steve. He takes his job as the first born very seriously. Like any kid, he has his fights with his two brothers, but that has nothing to do with his duties as the big brother. They are his little brothers and his little sister, and they are his top priority. Xander is wise beyond his years and knows the value of life…possibly because he has already experienced loss in his young life, having lost his sister, Laila when she was 18 days old and he was seven years old. It was an event that made his tender heart break. Now, like his brothers, he brings little gifts to the sister he won’t get to know on this Earth, because his big brother’s heart feels so much love for her.
As the oldest child, Xander tries to always be a good role model for his younger siblings. That means studying hard and getting good grades, so he can encourage them to do the same. It also means that he works hard at whatever job he is doing, because he knows that it is the right thing to do…to always do your very best work. So that’s what he does whenever he is asked to help out around the house…he works hard at it and does the job right. And it means that Xander stays out of trouble, because how can a big brother be a good role model for his younger siblings, if he is getting in trouble all the time. He is the kind of boy who makes his parents proud, and makes his brothers want to be just like him. He is a good and loving boy.
In his leisure time, Xander participates is sports…of all kinds. He likes to play football and basketball. He also studies Tae kwon do. He likes to ride motorcycles and snowmobiles. He’s tried lots of sports, but football is his very favorite. Like his dad, he also loves guns, and loves to go out the range to do some shooting. Of course, any guy who likes gun, likes to hunt, and Xander is no exception. After passing his Hunter Safety Course in mid-March, I’m sure that he is very excited to go hunting with his dad this fall. All in all, Xander is just an all around boy. Today is Xander’s birthday. Happy birthday Xander!! We love you very much!! Have a great 10th birthday!!
I always thought I knew so much about Bob’s grandmother on his Dad’s side. We didn’t get to see her as much as we would have liked, but when we did, I was sure I could see in her home, all the things she liked and disliked. Looking around her home you would find the piano and the sewing machine in the living room, along with a small television that was never turned on. Grandma was always working on something. Over the years she made many quilts and afghans, and of course, she sewed many clothing items. Her living room also housed a collection of photo albums, that hold the treasures of her life…her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Her kitchen was a flurry of activity almost from morning until night. The radio was the main, and usually the only form of entertainment and it was usually on the station with the farm and ranch report. It seemed like Grandma was always cooking. Living on a ranch meant that she was up with the sun. Grandpa had to have breakfast early so he could milk the cows and feed the livestock. Lunch was always the biggest meal of the day. After breakfast, Grandpa worked up a big appetite taking care of the animals, and nothing would take care of it like a big home cooked meal.
Grandpa liked to play cards whenever we were there, and we always needed a fourth player, so Grandma was pulled from her duties so we could play. I could always tell that she didn’t feel like she should be sitting down wasting time playing cards, when there was so much work to be done. Nevertheless, she played, because she wanted our visit to be fun for us. She was quick to abdicate her chair, if anyone else was willing to sit in it, however. She finally got a break from cards, when we went to town to visit the rest of the family in Forsyth, or when Grandpa needed to take a nap, which he did every afternoon. But that never meant that she would sit and idly watch television. No, Grandma took that time to bake, clean, quilt, or some other productive activity.
Grandma just never liked having idle hands, which is why I was so surprised to find out that Grandma was a San Francisco 49er’s fan. Football seemed so far outside of her nature that it was something akin to having an elephant sitting in the chair next to you. Now more and more women are getting into sports of all kinds, and watching football on television is a big part of that. I am a Denver Broncos fan, myself. But for Grandma, that just seemed so foreign. And then to top it off, I found out that she also loved baseball. Now, more women liked baseball in times past, but it still seemed foreign to Grandma…at least the Grandma I thought I knew. And, I’m not alone in that thought, because my family didn’t know it either. I have to wonder what other little things there are about Grandma that we never knew.
My brother-in-law, Mike is a fraternal twin, something that was new to our family. He is one of six children, 3 boys and 3 girls. Their family was lively, as any family with 6 kids would be. There was always something going on, and I’ll bet that with 3 boys and 3 girls, there was a lot of picking on the sisters going on too. Having not had brothers myself, I wouldn’t know how that is, but I have heard all the typical horror stories told by friends who had brothers, and of course, by my own granddaughter, Shai, who is quite thankful that she only had one brother.
I think that being part of a big family teaches teamwork, and Mike seems to have learned that lesson very well. Whenever there is a big project to do around my mom’s house, we can always count on Mike to pitch in and help out. He is quick to help with painting, yard work, deck building, and any other project. With continued maintenance needed at Mom’s house, these projects are ongoing, and they mean that the guys is the family might have to give up a weekend of fishing or camping to do them. Still they never complain, and for that we are grateful.
Mike is a patient man, which is an important trait, in any area of ones life, but Mike also has a great sense of humor, and an infectious laugh. When something strikes him as funny, it seems like his whole being gets into it. That kind of laugh makes everyone want to get in on the joke. I would think that his sense of humor would make their house a great place to live and grow up. And as in most households, sometimes a sense of humor is a matter of survival. With three kids, I’m sure he and my sister, Alena had those moments when the only thing that got you through it was that sense of humor.
Mike is very much a sportsman. He enjoys all of the outdoor sports like hunting, fishing, and camping. He is an avid football, basketball, and baseball fan too. He has played on local baseball teams in the summer. He likes to go to the shooting range for target practice, and at some point this summer, Bob and I plan to go along and give that a try. Now if that is anything like the way I play golf…well, let’s just say that it’s a good thing that people don’t stand beyond a certain line, because I could be dangerous. Maybe Mike can give me some pointers, because I certainly need them. Mike likes bowling too, and has bowled on local leagues. If it has to do with sports, chances are Mike is interested.
Today is Mike’s birthday. Happy birthday Mike!! Our family has been very blessed to have you in it. You are a great brother-in-law. Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!
My second grandson, Caalab is good at sports. He plays basketball and football, but they really aren’t his first love, though he is a good player in both sports. Caalab has several artistic qualities, as well as being a great comedian. Caalab has been taking guitar lessons at school for several years, and is quite good at playing the guitar. He loves it when he and his dad can jam together.
Recently, Caalab has discovered that he is quite good at drawing. He was goofing around one day and decided to try to draw his favorite Disney character…Pluto. So he started drawing, and it came out perfectly, as you can see from the picture here. Now I don’t know about you, but I have tried to draw, and it was a disaster. You know, those “Can you draw this” contests…well, the answer for me is “No, I can’t.” One thing I’m definitely not…is an artist.
Caalab has some real talent…in several areas. He can do anything he chooses to do. Of course, like most kids his age, he is keeping his options open. Meaning that he doesn’t really know what he wants to do for life yet. His dad works in radio, and Caalab could easily go into radio too if he wanted, and with his quick wit, he would be good at it. He could go into music or art or be a comedian. Very few people can come up with the funny stuff that Caalab can. He can always make me laugh. And he never forgets a punch line. Most of us have forgotten the punch line and and stumbled around with several “um, um’s” before finally given up on telling the joke. But not Caalab. He has been telling jokes since he was 4 or 5 years old. He’s really good at it, as he is at several other things.
Caalab’s choices are many, and time is on his side. I know he will be good at whatever he chooses to do, but for right now, I think I’m glad he isn’t ready to go out into the world just yet. Like my other grandchildren, Caalab is growing up so fast, and I am not ready for him to be all grown up. When you first have grandchildren, you just don’t think ahead to when they will be grown, but that time comes all to fast, and I would like to slow it down some.
While his older brother loves football, Josh’s game is basketball. Chris was good at basketball too, but it wasn’t really important to him. Josh loves the game. And Josh is suited to the game too. He is tall and slender, and very quick on his feet. He has learned so much, this season especially. Maybe it is partly because he has a really good coach, but I think that he is coming into his own this year. He isn’t afraid to shoot the basket, like he sometimes was in the past. He knows he can do it now. Also, he is tall enough to rebound well, and steal the ball easily.
His team is undefeated so far this year. They are a formidable opponent for any team. Their coach has taught them well, and they operate as a team. They don’t care who shoots the baskets, only that each player has done his best and given it his all. That is was teamwork is all about. Each of the boys supporting the others…watching their backs. That is what I see in Josh and his team.
Josh is one of the taller boys on his team, so it makes him one of the better guards. It is very hard to shoot over him, and very easy for him to block the shots. I am amazed at how quickly he moves and how immovable he is when he is guarding. The more he plays the better he will get. Of course, that is the same for most sports. If you are dedicated and you practice, you can get better at the sports you love.
I have seen such growth in Josh this year…in more ways than just sports. Oh sure, he is still a bit of a jokester, and he loves to pick on me…and other people, including his mom, but he just seems more grown up now. Maybe I notice it more with him because he is the youngest of my grandchildren. It’s easy to always look at the youngest child or grandchild, and think they will always be the little one. Then one day you look at them and you suddenly see them for the young adult they are. It can be quite a shock. When my grandchildren started arriving, I thought they would be little for a long time, but now suddenly they are all teenagers, even this youngest one that I have most recently discovered in no longer little, but a formidable opponent.
As I was sitting in church, waiting for the service to start, my oldest grandson arrived and sat next to me. I was struck by just how tall and muscular he has grown. At 15 Chris plays football, and lifts weights to make himself a more formidable opponent when he is playing his favorite of the positions he plays…defensive end. Chris loves to take down the opposing team’s quarterback. But while I am very proud of his football abilities, that is really not what my story is about. My story is about feeling very small…not Chris…me.
It seems like only yesterday that Christopher was born. We called him Christopher then, but no longer. He is getting so close to manhood, that Christopher really doesn’t fit anymore. He has been Chris for some time now, and I have gotten used to that, even though I still slip sometimes and call him Christopher. It’s like that was his little boy name, and it is too small for him now. It’s possible that later on, that name might be the one he prefers again…only time will tell, but I really doubt it. No, I think those little boy days are gone forever, only to return when he has a son with a name that can be shortened as he grows up. It’s not like I feel that I missed something in his life, because I have had the great privilege of being there for all the major events so far. It’s just that lump in the throat feeling you get when you realize that time will not stand still, and children grow up and become adults and start their own lives. It’s that feeling that things will never be the same again. And for a moment in time, you would love to slow things down, but then you realize that with that passage of time, comes the promise of the future generations that will come out of these children, now almost adults, and you realize that it will all be ok. The future is bright, and there will be new generations to get to know and watch grow into adulthood too.
It isn’t his name that made me feel different today, however, it was his size. When did he get to be so tall and muscular? I have spent lots of time around him. When he was younger I saw him almost every day, and now I see him at least twice a week, so why is it so shocking to see how big he is? I don’t really have the answers to these questions, I just know that it seems like he grew over night, and that while I have always known that I am not tall…suddenly next to my grandson, I am feeling very small.