Tag Archives: football

Welcome to “Florida” Fall

Well, we had a bit of a change in temperature when fall officially hit last week – 50-degree temps in the morning.  It was a wee bit chilly for this southern girl, and I had to put on a sweater to go out at 7:30 in the morning to feed the animals and get the newspaper.  But by mid-day, it was back up in the 80’s! … Welcome to “Florida” Fall!

We have been non-stop since school started.  The oldest started practicing with the football team just about the time our feet hit the ground when moving here in July.  He lasted through the first 4 games of the season with less than 10 plays total among the games.  Since he didn’t grow up here and was instead being moved around the world with a military father, he is not as well-known here and hasn’t been playing with these kids here, so …  He is a senior and does not need to be standing on the sidelines as there is no “Next year” as the coaches seem to use as the typical excuse when asked by a parent whose kid just stands during lots of games.  So, he switched to cross country and is loving it especially since he is in every play 🙂  He’s trying to better his 5k time from Virginia last year and is getting very close.

Our daughter was recruited by the volleyball team and is playing her first year on the JV team.  She has learned a lot, as have I – the rules have changed a lot since I was in school – and has improved in the short time she’s been on the team.  Her height has been a big factor in some success; but it’s her confidence that is always good to see after being confused at times in the beginning.

The youngest finally got the football position he has always wanted – quarterback.  He’s got such a strong arm, however, that his middle school teammates can’t always catch his passes.  So he’s having to learn to adjust some.  We’ve got one month left with the fall sports season, and then we get to find out what they’ll want to do in the winter.

I am feeling a bit more settled especially since all the boxes IN the house have been unpacked, but then we still have a corner in our garage (covering about 1/4 of the floor) stacked with boxes that I haven’t even looked in.  So that is my next project.  I hope that my master bathroom towels are in there; we’re using guest towels, but I miss the ones that match our ensemble.  Not that my husband could give a hoo-ha, but I am one of those OCD (CDO) people that like certain things in their places. 

This weekend is a rare one – and that is why I am finding time to blog – in that none of the kids had a game yesterday or today, and no one HAS to be anywhere in particular.  I am loving it!  But I am thinking of all the things I didn’t get completed last week – making an appointment with the vet (the dog needs some shots, a couple of weeks ago), calling the eye doctor for my youngest who is saying he can’t see the board in some class rooms (ugh!), balancing the checkbook (6 months in arrears – I’ve never been that far behind!), etc.  But for now, I will breathe and watch some college football and enjoy my family on this wonderful Florida Fall day!

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Florida Living

I got to ride one of our horses today!  It was so cool.  I haven’t ridden my own horse in over 25 years (oh my goodness, I’m old!).  My family had a 17-hands high Appaloosa when I was around 12 or 13.  Sergeant Tommy was kept  out in a little country town, a little bigger than the one we’re living in now; it was more than a 30-minute drive from our house.  My parents would take my sisters and me out there every once in a while to ride him.  Now we have 2 horses, right in our own backyard!  It’s so weird.  I love that I get to be a little bit of a city girl but get the bennies of living in the country too.

After all that fun, we plopped down to watch some college football.  Since my mother-in-law is out of town, she offered up her University of Florida game ticket for tonight, so our boys went to watch the game at the stadium.  They were so excited; they cleaned the car and decorated it all up with orange and blue window paint.  Even though it wasn’t an even match-up, I know they had a good time.  There’s just something about being in a stadium, football, baseball, whatever, that is just so energizing.

My daughter just asked me, So what are we doing Sunday and Monday?  I’m thinking, Not much, right now.  A Netflix movie, a walk through the neighborhood, maybe a family board game… sound good to me.  I love three-day weekends!

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Oh My!

What Mick Hubert, the Gator radio announcer, says during most games is what I was thinking this morning as my kids went off to school, once again decked out in orange and blue.  But this morning I should have taken a picture.  I think they went around the house finding anything they could with blue or orange on it.  The boys both left wearing gator pj pants that they received from their grandmother one year for Christmas (and which I don’t usually allow out of the house unless maybe if they are getting the newspaper). They topped them with gator t-shirts, jackets, socks, and my youngest even wore an orange and blue Santa style hat. 

It’s great to see them having fun with it all.  They have enjoyed getting to know the game of football better by playing it since our return to the States year before last.  And I’m glad that our gator team has had some good role-models, like Tim Tebow, for kids to look up to.  As we watched the game last night, we noticed several times when it seemed like players were intentionally trying to hurt others on the opposite team.  It’s sad that people feel they need to do that in order to win. 

I am a huge rule-follower, to the point where it drives my husband crazy when we are playing a game and can’t remember a rule.  I will drag the rule sheet out of any board game or even go to the internet if we can’t find the rules in order to play the game the way it is meant to be played.  I feel that rules are in place for a reason.  Sometimes they may need to be changed if they don’t work, but in general, if you follow the rules, I feel that the game (or any situation) makes more sense and flows right.  When people cheat or don’t follow the rules, it slows the momentum and can get frustrating.

The boys each have an event tomorrow.  I can’t wait to see my youngest in his first basketball game in several years.  He’s tall for his age (5’8″ at age 11), so sometimes I think he gets a lot of pressure on him from others who think he should be the next Michael Jordan.  I try tell the kids to just have fun when they’re out on the field, but they see how serious it all can be, especially on tv.  But in the end, I think if they feel like they’ve given their 110% and that their teammates are doing the same, even if they don’t win, they are enjoying the games.

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Ay Oh, Let’s Go!

The kids left for school this morning decked out in orange and blue.  They don’t care that the colors here are very similar to that other Florida school.  They proudly wear their Gator colors everywhere they go.  We are anxiously awaiting tonight’s game.  It should be a great match up between last year’s Heisman winner and this year’s. 

We are a big sports family.  My oldest son’s first word was “ball” probably due to the fact that my husband started tossing  a ball around with him as soon he was able to hold one.  He started his first league sport (t-ball) when he was 4 and has continually played some sport each season since.  My other two fell right in behind him when they turned 4 as well.  As much as I like watching college football and professional baseball, I love watching my kids play more than anything.  My oldest is steadily improving his times in swimming, and my youngest has his first basketball game this Saturday.  My daughter is waiting for softball season to begin again in a couple of months, so for now she will be on the sidelines with her dad and me. 

I sometimes miss playing a sport; I enjoyed basketball, softball, volleyball, and soccer as a kid.   But they weren’t as organized then and, in my small high school, were a bit limited.  I started running on the high school track team my senior year and have enjoyed keeping that up as much as possible over the years since.  I like it because it’s an individual sport.  No one has to rely on me, and I can do it whenever and wherever I like.  The downside is I have to drag my own behind out the door or to the treadmill; no one’s calling me to say that it’s time for practice.  And if I don’t get off of this computer and get my shoes on now, I won’t get in my run for today.

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Geaux Team!

My husband has managed to somehow make friends with an LSU fan at work.  I don’t know how he did it.  The only thing I can manage to come up with is that he justifies that they’re a part of the SEC.  Actually, I have a sister who married into an LSU family, so I guess they can’t be all that bad.

His friend and wife are coming over to watch the football games at our house this weekend.  But first, the morning will begin on the local football field; we’ll watch our youngest son play.  Then we’ll be off to our daughter’s softball field for a game.  I love watching our kids play sports.  Living overseas gave us the opportunity to expose them to some that we wouldn’t have learned about otherwise.  When we lived in Guam, we learned how to play rugby and cricket.  In Paris, both our sons continued their love for rugby and played on teams there.  My youngest loves to talk about his trip to Italy to play in a tournament with French, Germans, Italians, Brits…  In Ireland, my husband couldn’t wait to get to a sports store and buy hurleys after we watched a semi-pro match.

My husband started coaching teeball when our oldest son was 4.  When we lived in Japan, our son got the opportunity to play on a Japanese Little League baseball team; that was an unforgettable experience.  The team had a couple of games in which we had to spend the night away from home.  I felt like we really got to see the culture there first-hand.  My husband has coached each of our children in some sport, baseball, soccer, basketball…  I helped out as team mom a lot and even coached a tee-ball team when he was deployed.  Now that they are old enough to be on school teams, we are a little less involved in the coaching.  But we are still there to cheer.  Our oldest decided to run cross-country this year, and even though it’s not a team sport, per se, we still go cheer for him and his teammates.  He improves his time with each meet and hopes to break a 19:00 5-K so he can letter at the end of the season. 

I have decided to get back on the track myself.  When I was in school, I liked playing sports as well, soccer, basketball, volleyball, softball…, but sports teams weren’t as big for girls back then.  I was on the track team my senior year and liked running the longer distances like my son.  I have been an on-and-off runner since then.  I ran a couple of 5-K races in college, and then when we moved to Guam 6 years ago, the whole family got involved in racing.  They had a race of some kind every weekend.  I even did a few sprint triathlons.  After we left Guam, we moved 3 times in 2 years.  I had other things that took priority so didn’t have a lot of time to workout.  But now that my kids are starting to pass me when I run, I am encouraged to get back out there and have a go of it again.  I won’t catch up with my oldest son, but maybe I can try for my original goal back in Guam to get my 10-K under an hour.  I’ve been asked if I’ll run a marathon.  I’m not quite ready for that one yet, but maybe one day. 

My daughter hates to run.  I must admit it can get boring at times.  I try to vary where and when I run; I’m always looking for new music to put on my iPod.  I know it will get me in the shape I want to be in, so I do it.   I also do it to keep my kids motivated to stay active.  If they see me running or working out, they can’t say, “Well, you don’t do anything.”  There have been seasons when they didn’t want to play a sport again.  They were tired of playing in the outfield or on the line.  So we just have them try something new until they find what they do like.

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The Swamp

Everything in our house stops on Saturday afternoons when college football comes on.  If one of our kids just happens to have an event of some kind at the same time that the Florida Gators are playing, then the dvr is cranked up.  It is scheduled to record any UF game that is broadcast anyway so that my husband can replay or fast-forward at the needed times.  If he hasn’t seen any of the game yet because we are out at one of the kids’ sporting events, Lord help the person who starts telling him the score.

My kids got a real treat last weekend by going to their first football game in the Swamp.  Sometimes the noise can be so loud in there that you can barely hear the person right next to you.  It is awesome.  My mother-in-law has season tickets each year.  I can tell when she’s been to a game when I call to talk to her and she sounds like she’s got laryngitis.  My husband and I both grew up in Florida and attended UF.  And a lot of family members went there as well.  My great grandfather was one of the first graduates at the school of dentistry there, and my husband’s grandfather graduated from and then was the dean of the college of journalism in the 70’s.  So we can’t help it; we’ve got orange and blue blood.

This weekend we don’t have to worry about any kid events interfering with UF football.  Hanna has been dumping her rain on us, and it is a night game as well.  So we will all be glued to the tube tonight while my husband occasionally yells at it. 

When the military has taken us overseas, we have missed watching a lot of games.  We would get an occasional game if we had access to the Armed Forces Network, but they were often delayed, or if shown in real time, it was in the middle of the night for us.  We lived in Europe when the Gators played in the BCS National Championship game a couple of years ago.  It was the wee hours of the morning local time when the game was being played.  My husband found the game on a radio station through the computer, and he plugged in a pair of headphones so that he wouldn’t disturb the rest of the family while we slept.  Even though I couldn’t hear the game, I woke up to him jumping up and down and cheering in our 3rd floor apartment.

Go Gators!

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