Soccer Game Post…or "What the heck did I get myself into?"

Zach and I believe in the YMCA’s mission and values. It’s why we both work for the Y and it’s also the ONLY reason we would volunteer to coach all three kids’ soccer teams. I only partially joke, we do enjoy it most of the time. Thankfully, Trysten’s team had a guy step forward and beg to be the head coach so we happily obliged.

Anyway, Saturday was a morning of soccer. Both boys did really well. I have no qualms about saying they are both pretty good little players. What Trysten lacks in aggression, Tariku more than makes up for. It’s amazing how different they are on the field, even at this young of an age. But here are some pictures to show you.

Dailah, on the other hand. Oy! In the Pre-K division of the Y’s soccer the kids practice for 30 minutes then have a game for 30 minutes. I disagree with this wholeheartedly. Dailah and Eli were loving the first 30 minutes (as was the rest of the team). Limitless energy, pleas to play the other team, etc. Then after 30 minutes it all wore off. This is how they started…excited about the whole thing.

Even now, preparing for the game. Saying the YMCA pledge, getting encouragement from a special coach.

And then this, what we call “the shiteth has hitheth the faneth”.

We have 2 weeks until our next game. I hope she bucks up by then. 🙂 Good times, good times.

Soccer Practice

Tonight was Tariku and Dailah’s soccer practices. Zach and I are coaching all 3 kids’ teams so we thought we might as well just go for a 2-in-1 today. It rained ALL DAY but the kids had been looking forward to it so much that we kept practice on. Only a few diehards came out but they managed to have lots of fun. Dailah was most excited, though it was hard to tell if it was because of her new pink gear or the actual season starting.

Once we got to the field, however, she was ticked and refused to go anywhere. Why you ask? Well because she didn’t want to get her shoes dirty. Let’s clarify, she didn’t want to get her soccer shoes dirty. This girl thing is a whole new world for me. I realize I am one, but never that particular species of girl. So this was her reaction to me telling her to walk.

But after ignoring her (as a strategy, of course). She came around to this in no time at all.

After some practice we just let the kids go crazy in the puddles. What fun is it to be a kid if you can’t even jump in puddles, right? Trysten in the biggest puddle he could find.

Look at the brothers holding hands. Precious.

Tariku’s turn.

Tariku and Eli with their tongues hanging out. Oh, cousins.

Elihu just went for it. Over and over, my nephew did love him some puddles. (Oliver, not so much, he just watched).

Even Dailah had a change of heart and joined in the fun.

Yup, holding hands. May have been prompted. 🙂

Tried to get a good one of all of them.

But this is what most the shots looked like; which is still cute.

The wonder non-twins continue to have so much fun with each other. At a particular low point during practice I look over to see them holding themselves and pretending to urinate on the field. I’m sure you’re as impressed with that as I was.

Just a random picture of the kids watching cartoons in our bed. They did this all themselves.

And Pre-School

Tariku was beyond excited. As in, here was excited, and he was out of sight. Way past. So cute. I’ve literally been counting the days down for him because he’s been so crazed about it. I think he built it up quite high and was slightly disappointed it was a mere 2.5 hours today. But man, was he excited.

Little harder than I thought to let him go. We walked into his room and saw his teacher. He walked right up to her, extended his little hand and said, “Hi, I’m Tariku, nice to meet you.” That’s no joke. His teacher looks at me, grabs him in a hug and says, “Well it’s a little early to have favorites but my goodness!”

I know, he’s just that cute. To know him is to love him. And that I do.

So every day, for 2.5 hours I’m a mom to just one child. I kept turning around today looking for the others. Very weird feeling. I miss both boys when they’re not here. Truth be told, I’ve enjoyed my one-on-one time with Dailah as well. Enough of the words, bring on the pictures, you say?

The flag he made when he met his first preschool teacher. The whole family is represented on there somewhere and he spelled his name at the top. Do you notice it looks like he combined some english and some amharic there? I was quite impressed.

And Dailah’s reaction to Tariku leaving her. She screamed “Chooo chee” (that’s what she calls him) for about 5 minutes after we dropped him off. Poor thing is so very attached to her older brother.


This is what I’m distracted about, water. Always, water. The beginning of Water for Christmas season is creeping upon us. My water posts will become more frequent. Our obsession with giving the world clean water will reach new heights. We’re at the precipice and we’ll be asking you to jump with us. Into a world full of clean water for everyone. So watch this video, please PLEASE watch this video. charity: water is who we partner with at Water for Christmas. It’s who you’ll partner with us when you join us this year. So watch the video and if you have a September birthday, like many people I love dearly, consider joining.

Pssst..check out one of the last ways they mention helping…

The story of charity: water – The 2009 September Campaign Trailer from charity: water on Vimeo.

Did you see it? “Dance”. Ok, that was somewhat selfish but what are you going to do? Either way, there will be so many ways to help this season (and all year ’round). So stay tuned. Start praying, start thinking, start brainstorming how you’re going to allow water to flow through your family and friends. I look forward to hearing what you come up with!

Fair Friday

This Friday we headed to the Iowa State Fair. Good times. I’m distracted, so that’s about all I have for you in words. But the pictures!

So much food, so little time. First stop was porkchops on a stick and beer.

If there’s something to climb on within 10 feet, this kid is on it.

It does sometimes get ridiculous how spoiled she is with love from her brothers.


Always fans of tattoos.

My babies, oh my babies!

Yup, there were these too. Didn’t try them because even I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

This too. One of my mom’s favorite but the name threw me off completely.

Quite excited about the whole thing.

Ok, so I enjoy taking close ups of this face.


Iowa State Fair…famous for cows made of butter.

Obligatory brother shot.

The big yellow slide, a success for everyone but Ms. Dailah.

On 1sts

1st grade. Ugh. It only gets worse, doesn’t it? 🙂 I actually think this was more difficult than Kindergarten. It was probably because he’s going to a new school, getting on a big yellow bus. New kids, knowing no one. I hardly slept last night worrying about it. He’s such a fragile one, this one. I don’t want kids to beat it out of him, or rather, I’m sure it’ll happen I just don’t want it to happen yet. My baby boy.

Anyway, Zach asked if he wanted to ride the bus the first day or have him (daddy) take Trysten. He opted for the bus. That’s how excited he was about it. In fact, he said, “Well, that’s a tough choice. I love daddy but I really want to go on the bus.” Pretty cute.

Lest I start balling over the computer I’ll commence to the pictures.

First, unpack your backpack last night.

In his class.

Happy for his brother.

Rodger Craig, apparently a good football player once went to Trysten’s new school. And no, in case you were wondering, this is not one of the reasons we chose it. 🙂

She packed her own backpack in hopes she could just sneak in.

And today. First day of school, waiting for the bus.

Getting on the bus. So excited. Thankfully I was hiding behind the camera so he couldn’t see a tear slip out. Sniff, sniff.

Can’t Believe

Tomorrow Zach and I are officially celebrating our 7th anniversary. So hard to believe. I still remember when we were kids (literally, we were just 20) making this huge decision. We had decided to get married, had most of the wedding details planned.

We rented a house in Iowa City where we’d start our lives together. Me, sitting on my couch wallowing knee deep in unfamiliar hormones, waiting for Zach to return from baseball. He walks in, just a quick look in my direction before heading to the kitchen. I was a bit “sassy” we’ll say, and he comes in with a rose to say sorry for being a little late. My hormones said something negative. He tells me to smell the flower, my hormones snap, “I know what a rose smells like.” Zach says, “Just please smell the flower.” As I put my nose in, my eyes see a beautiful solitaire engagement ring. My beloved surprised me.

Every day since I met the man has forced me to fall harder for him. When I say that he has made me a better person, I really don’t do what he’s done for me justice. I know the person I was before him and it’s not the person I am now, praise God!

He’s hilarious, he’s so intelligent, he’s the most handsome person and he chose me. Can you believe that? Against all odds, the guy chose me. I’m one lucky lady.

If the last 7 years are any indication, the next 70 will go by in a breeze. I have no doubts that I’ll love him more that day than even today which is incredibly difficult to imagine. Happy anniversary my love!

I’m Almost Back

Today is the last day of camp. It’s so hard to believe that these many weeks are gone already. This might have been the fastest summer in recorded history. Zach had a great summer with phenomenal counselors and very few issues, which is a huge blessing. We’ve missed our daddy/husband and will be very happy to have him all to ourselves. (Trysten said yesterday, “Mom, 2 more days and we get daddy all to ourselves again!”) I am constantly reminded how fantastic it is to live at a camp. The kids have about a dozen aunts and uncles (counselors) that come every year who they love and who love them. Every year there are close to 10 counselors from various countries that teach our family a bit about their culture and their lives. Not to mention living on 240 acres that I don’t have to do anything with. The blessings truly are plentiful!

School starts next week for Trysten. 1st grade, so surreal. He’ll be going to a different school this year. We decided to switch him for many reasons but one of the biggest was because his last school looked a bit like this…

We wanted a bit more diversity in our school so the kids grow up knowing all the world isn’t the same (thank goodness!) There were a few other more minor issues with his last school that made the switch easy. The only real problem with this knew school is that it is in the actual town of Davenport so that means an almost 45 minute bus ride for Trysten in both morning and afternoon. This was more of a problem for Zach since I too rode the bus for an extended amount of time when I was little. I chose it as a great place for a nap and hope Trysten will too.

Either way we’re very excited at the potential of this new school. And if we needed a “sign” that this was the right school for him, they are having an African drum section in music class. Hello!

My nephews are now here. I get the pleasure of watching them for the next few hours. I seriously love them so much. This summer was not spend in their presence nearly enough. Will undoubtedly have many funny stories and cute pictures to come. Off to find the camera…


On Friday we took a quick trip to Adventureland. A-land (as we hometowners call it) is an amusement park outside of Des Moines in the town I call my hometown, Altoona. Had you visited A-land just 12 short years ago I might’ve sold you your ticket, that’s no joke. It was a good gig for the summers despite having to wear khaki’s that were the very definition of mom shorts; bad at any age but tragic as a teen.

Alas, the kids couldn’t care less if I wore khaki’s that began at the nipple line, turns out they thought I was a rockstar for it. So the day started out on a good note. And kept getting better…

Started the day with Dailah’s favorite donuts.

Merry-go-round first stop.

Sister, mom and Dailah on the train.

My boys. 2 minutes after Trysten stopped crying because he didn’t get the back seat of the train.

The boys on their favorite ride.

Getting ready for the bumper cars…

Where Trysten found out he could drive for the first year.

Tariku “called” Uncle Marcus to ride with him. Dailah “called” Papa John who immediately regretted that decision, she cried the whole time after a head-on collision caused her to bump her lip.

She rode in style the whole time, legs up.

Made to feel better after another train ride.

Flying planes (are these the best captions you’ve ever read?)

He was on a mission to get the most toys EVER.

What Trysten was most looking forward to, for some reason, titled “The Infant Ocean”…for infants. My 6-year-old loves it.

FINALLY, by the grace of God she fell asleep. It was long overdue, we were trying to skip naps but it just wasn’t working out. She still needs them, which I appreciate. But she looks awful cute sleeping.

We ended the night at Kokomo Kove. It was fantastic and these boys loved every…single…second. Look at those faces. Man, I am a lucky woman.

This momma was VERY happy the day was over. But VERY unhappy we still had 2 hours to drive. An awesome day overall but so very tiring.

Recent Happenings

Dailah’s new table.

The picnic we had to initiate said table.

Went to the lake last weekend for many reasons. One of them was to see my new nephew-dog, Bentley. Here shown with Ms. Dailah.

How much do you want to squeeze him right now?

Dailah’s new favorite thing, the swing. Lindsey was kind enough to teach her the essence of an underdog.

A pause in boating for some routine nail maintenance from Grandma Connie.

This is all I could get of her in her cute dress. Who coined the term “terrible twos?” They were so wrong. It would be “terrible threes” if you ask me. Or even better “goes from love to hate in T-minus 60 seconds.” She is saved only because her good moments outweigh her bad.

Saturday and Sunday marked days in which I was able to attend bridal showers for two of my very close friends. The four of us have been friends since early elementary school, spending the better part of our lives in athletics together. As you know, I am the queen of nicknames. Thus, we have Tower (for obvious reasons, she’s always been at least one head taller than me), hotflawedmama, Woody (her last name is Wood) and Scary man Amber, or Hill (first is too long to explain, second because her last name was Hill). Tower is getting married in a few weeks and Woody is getting married early October. She has been kind enough to ask me to stand up with her. Awesome time catching up with them.

Had to take a second photo because I thought the first made Tower look even taller than she is. So here’s the second shot, to be fair Woody is on her tip toes.

Relax time; books and blankets.

Watching a cartoon this morning, Trysten playing with Dailah’s hair.

I finally decided putting all of my hopes and dreams on Tariku for his hair was ridiculous. After asking me for the 43rd time in 2 days if he could cut his hair I obliged. This was before.

Look how beautiful!

And after. Those eyes, I could just melt.

Zach always adds a little bit of imagination to his work.