Friday, September 27, 2013

Going Home

While it's true that California has won my heart over completely, New England and Connecticut are deep in my soul. We made a quick trip back east for just a few days and it was really really good! We tried to go last October but Hurricane Sandy totally ruined our plans! Luckily we had Southwest and our ticket credits rolled over and I thought we could use them this year in October when the kids have their fall break for two weeks. Well, I did NOT realize that the ticket credit expires on the day you purchased the tickets, NOT on the day you were going to use the tickets. So we had to use them up before September 26th or they would be lost! So we made a quick trip during parent teacher conference week so the kids only missed half days.

The kids did great on the plane, too! Even with our crazy 4 hour layover. They were tired but they did it and were awesome. 

We got to visit the farm where Mattie takes riding lessons and pet and feed some horses and check out the gorgeous scenery. We literally JUST missed the fall foliage by a few days, but even all the green was breathtaking. I forgot how gorgeous it is. The kids thought we were in the forest the whole time.





We spent a few days at my grandma's house, too, just hanging out and talking and reminiscing. It was SO nice to see everyone! The kids had the joy of going through lots of old junk in junk drawers (that Max tried to collect and bring home) and exploring my grandma's backyard. And yes, my grandma's house still freaks me out!










And here's the honey badger herself!



I also happened to be there on my birthday -- the big THIRTY ONE! Yikes! I'm old. My dad took the kids and I to The Big E -- a big statewide fair that includes Maine, Mass, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut. We saw a circus there, ate delicious clam chowder and lobster rolls (the kind we can not get here in California) fried dough and pie. The kids also got on the evening news!




Max got picked to be a cheerleader for one of the pigs in the pig races and his pig won! His was behind the whole time but at the last second the leader stopped short of the finish line and Max's pig won. He won a pig snout mask and a pack of Oreos.





We got to watch some sheep sheering, too.





The last day we were there we went apple picking at Bishop's Orchards and went to Strawberry Hollow where we used to get pumpkins when I was a kid. The kids and I got on the news AGAIN, this time being interviewed about what I thought about people coming and stealing apples after the orchards had closed. I got delicious cider and apple pie and even convinced my aunt and grandma to come with us!









I'm so glad we got to go, even if it was just a short trip! Fall is really the best time of year in New England and it's the time of year I miss it the most. I'm so glad we got to go!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Carlsbad Lightning -- The Accelerators

This year we left AYSO behind (we were definitely not impressed) and Max is doing Carlsbad Lightning soccer. Even after the first practice we were loving that the focus is learning skills and getting better instead of just having fun (yeah yeah, I get that fun is important, but honestly I want Max to learn and develop soccer skills and I think that is more important). They won their first two games 8-0 and then 6-0! The next one they lost by two and then won the next 6-4. The last game they lost by a 8-4. But win or lose it's not that important. They play with much larger goals on a larger field and with goalies. Most of the time a goal is scored because they get lucky as opposed to actually shooting. The last game they lost was because the opposing team had a kid that could actually take a shot, but at this age that is still pretty rare. We often win our games because we have a couple of big tall kids that know how to boot the ball far up the field. It definitely helps.





We've been having a little bit of a struggle with Max and the effort he puts into the games. He does a lot less running than normal and a lot less paying attention. It doesn't help that the last two games he's been kind of sick and I think it's hard on him to not have Tyler there to watch (Tyler hasn't had a Saturday off in months so he hasn't been able to see a game yet). While I'm not really one of those sport psycho parents, I do want him to take being on a team and playing seriously. I want him to learn the value and importance of being part of a team and that being part of a team means you try your hardest ALL of the time, not just when someone is yelling at you to. I want him to learn that Tyler and I always expect 100% effort. I think it also may be hard for him that he isn't the best kid on the team anymore. His height is holding him back a little. He's fast but physically when he runs next a kid whose legs are 4 inches longer he's burned. And I think that is hard for him. But all in all he's having a positive experience and learning a lot!