Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cabin Addition and Summer Fun

This past year we decided to add onto our cabin in Polaris, Montana. This is the most amazing place and it's so peaceful there. We love going there as a family and wanted to share it with our extended family. The problem was that it was too small for more than 6 people. We put a 20x20 living room and a new porch onto the front of it which allowed us to have friends and family join us. We got it done just in time for the Benson Family Reunion and my side of the family came for the bi-annual event. We drove our RV down there and stayed in that and my brother brought his trailer and that made enough room for everyone. It was a little crowded but we were outside most of the time anyway.
We had a wonderful time visiting with my family and enjoyed going to all the areas around the cabin. We then went down again in August and our good friends the Despain's came with us and we had a blast with them. Lance ended up breaking his wrist and getting some other injuries when he and Britton and Jordan rode the dirt bikes and quad up to the top of Comet Mountain. On the way back down, Lance almost crashed into Jordan and had to ditch the bike in order to not run into Jordan (at 30 MPH) so the bike and Lance got the brunt of the crash.
We went to Crystal Park, Bannock Days at Bannock State Park, Coolidge Ghost Town, Jackson Hot Springs, Elk Horn Hot Springs, hiked up to Sawtooth Lake. I taught the Despain girls and Maddy how to crochet and we just enjoyed each other's company.

The kids playing "Ninja" in the parking lot of Crystal Park. Britton and Jordan learned it at EFY.

Lance enjoying a tin foil dinner at Crystal Park. Finally smiling again after his crash on the quad.

Britton 18, Jordan 16, Cameron 11 at Crystal Park

Craig and Holly at Crystal Park

Maddy and Abby~Best Friends digging for crystals.

Lance teaching Britton how to shave with a real razor.

Swimming at Elk Horn Hotspings

Holly teaching the girls how to crochet.

Loren Despain with her crocheted scarf she made at the cabin. She caught on really fast!

Lance after the ride up to Comet Mountain.

Britton and Jordan before the crash in an old mine up on Comet Mountain.

Lance and the boys before the crash.

Bannock State Park
Maddy, Sydney, and Abby Despain. Maddy wishes she was a Despain so she'd have some sisters!

Cabin with new addition 2010

Cameron riding the quad.

Jen Despain filling up ice bags for Lance.

Abby Despain, the sweetest kid!

Holly hanging out with the kids.

Abby and Sydney Despain all geared up for a quad ride.

The "girls" hanging out at Bannock in the barber chair.

Jen and Holly at Bannock

Panning for gold and garnets at Bannock. Didn't find any gold but brought home lots of little garnets.

The girls posing at Bannock.

The Jolley and Despain kids at Bannock on the stairs up to the Mason Lodge.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

NSCAA National Coaching School Course

This past week, I went to Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg PA for the NSCAA National Coaching course.  It was an intense and difficult experience but one of the best things I've ever done.  These coaching course are difficult because you have to coach your peers and prove that you know what your doing in the technical as well as tactical aspects of the game.  There were hardly any women there and we got split up into groups and I was the only woman in mine.  It was very scary but as I got to know the guys in my group, I was so glad that I was paired up with them.
The course consists of a lot of lectures and field time.  When you not in lecture, your on the field learning and then coaching while your team mates become your players and you coach them.  You are then graded on your ability to coach while using the NSCAA methods of coaching.  It's a very intimidating process as your coaching and correcting your  peers.  Some of these guys are incredible players and coaches and so I was anxiety ridden as you can imagine.
As my turn for my first coaching session came, I was pacing the sidelines and thought I was going to puke.  Once I got going though, I did pretty well and felt good about it.  It's just very intimidating to be judged on your knowledge of the game, your ability to coach and teach it while being watched by everyone, including the course evaluators from the coaching staff.
I know I passed and I'm pretty sure I got a good pass which means I can take the Advanced course next year.   I should find out next week how well I did.   I have the equivalent of a USSF National C license now.   Pretty awesome to have it under my belt!
I loved the guys in my group.  They treated me so great and we all grew close as the week went by.  I loved playing with these guys.  When it was not my turn to coach, I had to become a player while the others took their turns.  I trained for quite a few months to be sure I'd be in shape and my body held up!   They were gentlemen and genuine great guys and I can't wait to go back and see them all next summer at the Advanced.  

Missing Jordan

I know, it's been seven months since I've done a blog post.   I only have one child at home tonight and found myself in the mood to do some blogging. Jordan is gone for a month,  Britton is in Portland with his soccer team and Maddy is on a sleep over at her cousin's so it's just Cameron home tonight with us.  It's strange to have the house so quiet.

Jordan is in Minnesota at the Jay Robb 28 day wrestling camp.  I stopped in to see him on my way home from Pennsylvania and made my lay over two days long.  It was great to see him as he'd been gone almost two weeks.  I think he was pretty glad to see his mommy too.  The camp is very intensive and he looked a little homesick, not that he would have admitted it but a mom knows these things.  I cried when I left him to come home as I knew he still have 2+ weeks to go and the camp is so hard that many quit and come home.   He's one tough kid and I know he wished I could have stayed longer but said he knew I needed to get home to see the other kids.  

The one thing I know about this kid is that he's not a quitter.  He's an incredibly determined kid and does not quit no matter how hard something is.  He's doing great at the camp and has high hopes of going far in the next few years in wrestling. I'm so proud of him and how hard he works at everything he does.  I miss him a lot though and so I posted some photos of him when he was little. I can't believe he's 15 now.  Where has the time gone.  

Age Two, Portland
Two days old, all 4 pounds 15 ounces of him.
One year old, Durango, Colorado
Age Four, Hawaii
Age Four, First day of Preschool, Portland

Age 3, Portland

Monday, December 29, 2008

Busy December!

Britton snowboarding in our field on Christmas Day.  Nut case.

We'd gotten 17 inches of snow by the time Christmas day rolled around.  First white Christmas I can remember.  It made the day even better.  

Cameron said goodbye to his best friend Calvin.  They moved to Utah and Cameron is still sad about it.  We miss you Gappmayers!
Aunt Iva came to town and the boys talked her into giving them their wrestling season haircuts.  Of course, I had to be in on the decision making of what could be done and Jordan ended up with some type of mohawk thing.  They went from the mullets to the mohawks or fohawks or whatever they are called these days.  I made Jordan shave it off this past week though as I couldn't let him go to church like that!  He was not real pleased about it but oh well!

Cameron celebrated his 10th birthday with his friends.  We had a football party, cake and opened presents. 

Patriots game with Dad and Uncle Hans who just happened to come to town for the game as well and found out we had tickets.    The boys are big Patriot fans and were excited they got to go see their first NFL game and their favorite team.  

Maple Valley Rapids U10 Developmental Team Champs!

This past year I decided to coach Cameron's select team.  This was the first ever U10 Developmental team to be formed within the Rapids FC.  This was one of the most fun coaching experiences I've ever had.  These kids have some serious heart and are an absolute joy to coach.  Cameron was on the team of course and I really enjoyed watching him play and develop under my watch.    The kids were so coachable and at this age, it's like starting with a blank canvas.  I'm extremely passionate about the game and my coaching.  I spend hours learning more and more about the game, how I can be a better coach, analyzing the games and implementing training sessions to better the team.  
I selected the team in March and we started training in May.  We played in two tournaments over the summer and did pretty well considering these were our first games ever played together on a bigger field.  We started our regular season in September and played 14 games.  Cameron had a great season and even got a Hat Trick in the second to last game.  He also scored the only goal in one of the last games that kept us in first place.  Our team was playing up a year and we won our division.  We only lost one game the entire season and managed to squeeze out the win by one point!  Pretty exciting considering the kids we were playing were much bigger boys than my little guys.
It was so fun to watch these kids develop thru the season and to see the results of my hard work coaching them.  I love the game and coaching but there are some days when I'd rather be just a normal soccer mom and be huddled up in a blanket with my hot cocoa like the rest of the moms.  Most of the time though I'm happy to be out in the cold, rain, sleet, snow, sun, roughing it with the boys.  Who would have ever known I was called a barbie doll in my past?? Seriously....those folks who called me that wouldn't know me now!  HA!
Love these boys!  Well done champs!