Flag Football

Flag football started up again on this past weekend.  It was a beautiful day for it though I do wish I had put some sunscreen on as my face is still red.  A friend took this cute picture of some of the boys on Henry’s team.  When they weren’t playing their own game, the boys were running around playing more catch and pick up games.  It tuckered them all out.

Right after the games, Ben headed to the priesthood session of conference with his Dad and I took the kids out to Red Robin for dinner.  Oliver fell asleep just as we parked and slept all through dinner.  He’s never done that before !

Our spring sports schedule is relatively quiet for us.  Molly’s physical therapy is going slow making soccer an impossibility for several months.  We only have the boys doing flag football which is a once a week deal.  It means our schedule is much easier to handle, but Henry is going a bit stir crazy.  He is the happiest when he is getting a good workout most days of the week.  Hopefully with the turn of the weather, he’ll be able to spend more time outside burning off some of his energy.

Knee Surgery

It’s after 1 A.M. and I should be sleeping, but I am waiting to give Molly her next dose of pain killers and unplug the ice machine attached to her knee before heading to bed.  It’s been a long week.

Last Friday, we went in for Molly’s surgery.  She was nervous, but in good spirits.

We were able to stay with her until she was whisked away for anesthesia at which point, Ben and I settled in on the couches in the waiting area.  The doctor estimated her surgery would take an hour, and when that hour came and went we started to get a little nervous.  Then the second hour came and went, and we started to get even more nervous.  Just as we began to edge toward full on panic mode, we got word that her surgery had been completed successfully.

Her doctor is wonderful and came out to talk to us and show us pictures of everything he had done.  Everything looked as expected, with the exception of a little bit of damage to the cartilage from when her knee cap dislocated (twice).  There wasn’t anything to do for it though, it was just something that hadn’t show up on the MRI.  As they had planned, they released the tendon on the outside of her knee and then took a piece of her hamstring to make a new tendon for the inside of her knee to hopefully keep her knee cap from dislocating in the future.

My only complaint through the whole process, was that the surgery center nurses wouldn’t let us come back and see Molly for a long time.  It took her a long time to wake up and then even when she did, they told her they wanted to wait until she was feeling better before bringing us back.  Molly finally just lied and said she was fine so they would let us come see her.

When we got home, we set up a bed for Molly in the library in order to avoid the stairs.  The poor girl was miserable.  I gave her pain meds every 4 hours around the clock and ran her ice machine for 20 minutes every hour.  It was very similar to having a newborn, except without the snuggly baby to cuddle.

Molly is a fighter.  She made it through that first night and woke up the next morning determined to go watch her team’s last soccer game.  I was against the idea, but she would not be swayed, so I borrowed a wheel chair from a kind soul on our local “Buy Nothing” group, which the littler kids thought was the coolest idea ever, and drove Molly to her game.

To be honest, I have no idea how she did it.  It must have been pure determination and grit.  She sat and watched the game in the freezing wind and then lined up with her team to give high fives at the end.

The whole team posed for a picture in celebration of finishing in first place for their division.  There are a few State Cup games left, but this was the last time that everyone would be together.  The soccer club is merging with another club next month and all the teams will change.  It’s been a good experience these last two years and I’m not sure what we’ll do with the changes happening.

The next few days were a blur.  On Sunday Molly made it to an hour of church (her request, not my idea) and then the power went out about the time we were getting ready to run her home.  They ended up cancelling church and sending everyone home early.  We came home to a dark house (darn wind storm!) and no way to run the ice machine.  Ben left that afternoon to go out of town with William and Henry, leaving me on my own.

We survived.  It wasn’t pretty and both of us may have cried.  Day 3 and 4 of recovery were brutal.  I slept on the downstairs couch in order to better care for her, but neither of us got any sleep.  The power came on briefly Monday morning in the wee hours, and then went back off until 8pm that night.  Molly had been wanting to try school for a few periods, but mercifully the entire district had cancelled school because nearly everyone was without power.

The first thing I did when the power came on, was go buy ice so we could use her ice machine again.  Hallelujah!  Tuesday Molly tried school which ended up being a mistake because even in a wheelchair it wiped her out.  (Some lessons have to be learned by experience, not told to you by your mother.)

After surviving that long day of school, Molly had to then go to her post-op appointment.  This was not a fun appointment.  I thank the high heavens that a friend was watching Oliver and Adelaide so that I didn’t have to bring them.

They removed the brace, took off all of the bandages, and put new tape on her incisions.  (So many!)  I thought the process was pretty cool, but Molly doesn’t do well with that sort of thing and had to close her eyes and lay down.  Then the doctor came in and touched her knee and made her bend it and even though he told Molly to tell him if it hurt, she wouldn’t.  She was being stubborn and tough as nails and wouldn’t admit weakness.  Silent tears rolled down her face and I’m pretty sure soul-eating fire was spitting from her eyes.  The doctor said everything looked beautiful and sent us on our way with a prescription for physical therapy.

We made the drive home from Seattle, through rush hour traffic no less, and lived to tell about it.  Barely. She decided she wanted to move her recovery station upstairs to her own bed, but then fell down the stairs (luckily only 3) when she came down to get something.  She didn’t want me to help her and I felt awful to see her hurting.  That was the night I drove to Target and cried in the parking lot before going in.

Molly woke up the next day in so much pain that she consented to staying home from school.  She spent the full day in bed and I refused to let her near the stairs again.  I think she is finally getting the hang of this recovery thing.  She went to 3 periods of school and then came home to rest.  She’s staying put in bed and resting as much as possible.  It turns out it takes a lot to stop this girl in her tracks.  I admire her tenacity and determination.  She’s one tough girl.



First Ski Lesson

A friend of ours was able to share a discount for ski lessons and we jumped at the opportunity.  I had to teach my ballet classes, but Ben bought lessons for the four oldest and planned on playing with Oliver in the snow while the bigger kids skied.  It’s something we’ve talked about wanting to do and we were pretty excited.  Three days before the lessons, Molly’s knee collapsed during her soccer game, seemingly with the same injury as before.  She spent a couple of days on crutches making skiing impossible to consider.  So she stayed behind and Ben took the rest of the kids up to the snow.

Rather than letting Molly’s ski lesson go unused, Ben had Oliver take it over.  Oliver ended up loving it and I about died over the cuteness of the videos Ben showed me later.

Adelaide made a super cute skier as well.

Skiing wore the little ones out so Ben took them inside for snacks while the bigger kids finished out their lessons.  It made for a late night, but a memorable one.

I hope that we are able to take the kids skiing again.  I would love to have a lesson too.  Skiing is something that has always slightly terrified me, but I’m finding as I get older that I’m much happier when I push myself to try new things.

Winter Sports

The winter sports season is upon us.  Soccer is still going strong for Molly.  She played two games on Saturday.  One for her regular team and one as a sub for the team a year older.  She played well in both games.

The boys have started basketball.  It’s their first year trying it out and they are having so much fun.  They had their first games on Saturday and it was so much fun watching them play.  I was able to watch the first half of William’s game and saw him make a basket.  At half-time I had to race over to take Henry to his game, but William’s team went onto win.

Henry was super excited after watching his brother play and snatched the ball as fast as he could and ran it down to make the first basket of his game.

Ben and William made it over in the second quarter and were able to watch the rest of the game with us.  The little kids were about done with sporting events for the day.  I loved seeing the huge smile on Ben’s face as he watched his boys play a sport that he’s loved his whole life.

Rainy Saturday Sports

As per our usual October schedule, three of the kids had games this weekend.  Ben and I take turns attending with each child since there is often overlap.  This time it was Ben’s turn to take Molly to her early morning soccer game (they suffered a loss of 0-3 to a tough team) and I took everyone else to William’s football game.

We knew it was going to be a rainy day, but it was more of an ark building kind of day.  The sky opened up and dumped on all of us.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve been outside standing in that much rain.  I tried my best to keep us dry, making a ceiling of umbrellas, but some how Addy and Henry would always forget what they were doing and tip their umbrellas (and all the water on them) right into my lap.  Eventually the pull of stomping in puddles was too great and Addy and Oliver gave up the umbrellas and just played.  That worked great until everyone got cold.

William’s team played a tough game.  The heavy rain made everything more difficult.  It knocked out the power to the score board and clock (and bathrooms) and made everyone’s hands numb and the ball slippery.  Despite all this, they won 6-0.  He has one more game this next weekend and if they win they have a chance to make the playoffs.

I had to snap this picture on the way out of the game.  William was walking next to me, looking so grown up and just glowing with excitement as he told me all about his game.   I want to remember that moment forever.   Football has been such a good thing for William this year.  It’s been life changing.  He has found confidence in his athletic abilities and loves to play.  It has been so fun to watch him grow this season.

After William’s game, we took everyone home to dry out and then Ben and I took Henry to his game while Molly stayed home with the other kids.  The sky opened up and dumped on us again, but then it cleared up in time for the game leaving us with only blustery winds to deal with.  Henry was playing the only team that they lost to last year and we anticipated a tough game, but Henry scored 4 goals to lead his team to a victory of 4-0.

I love watching Henry play.  He absolutely comes alive on the field.  He is completely 100% focused on the game the entire time.  When he’s playing he gets to use his competitive nature that sometimes gets him into trouble at home, but is great for sports.  He is his happiest when he’s playing in a game.

This is why we subject ourselves to such a crazy sports schedule with the kids.  And why we stand in the rain with bags full of snacks and activities that are only partially successful in keeping the littler kids busy.  Sports have been such a great thing for our kids.  It is their time to have something just for them which is hard to come by in a large family.  It is their opportunity to do something they enjoy and to develop talents that they possess.  It has bolstered their self esteem and given them confidence.  I know there are many different ways to achieve this, but we have kids who love to run, jump, and compete physically.  So for us, sports are part of our family culture.  And I love it.

First Football Game of the Season

William’s football team had their first real game of the season yesterday.  It was fun to watch the team play.  Unfortunately, it was a tough game that ended in a loss.

Football has really been good for William.  It’s a tough sport to play and through it William is learning that he can do hard things.  He is also gaining more confidence in his physical abilities as his body gets stronger.  Learning the plays, strategies, and techniques involved with his position hasn’t come easily for him and I am proud of how hard he is working.

He’ll have games every Saturday for the next 7 weeks.  In addition, Henry will have soccer games every Saturday through mid November, and Molly will have soccer games every Saturday through mid December.  It is going to be a very busy season for us as a family.

Football Jamboree

William had his first football jamboree this morning.  I know he looks mad in this picture, but really his mouth is just full of food.  I was trying to cram a last minute snack into him before he headed into the stadium.

William was a little nervous going into this game because up until 2 days ago he had been learning to be an outside linebacker.  Then his coach switched him to tight end and William wasn’t sure he was cut out for the job.  However William did great and watching those little guys play football was so much fun!

There is one more jamboree scheduled but it is on a Sunday so William won’t be playing.  We have decided as a family, not to play any sports on Sunday.  We save Sundays for going to church, being with family, and remembering the savior.  This doesn’t always go over well with coaches and others, but it is important to us.

The skies were a little hazy from all the wild fires that are raging in Washington right now.  It has been the driest summer I can remember.  I pray that we get some rain soon.