The Zone Defense

With Ella, we played a man to man defense and were able to sub out when one became too tired. When Miles was born, we stuck with the man to man but we were both getting more playing time. Once Cooper came along and the man to man was no longer effective, we had to switch over to the match-up zone defense. With the zone, you give up certain coverages at times, but you hope that you can rotate to the right position before the opponent can take advantage of the opening.

The zone is usually pretty effective, but once the opponent starts to figure out the gaps, then the defense has to counter with minor adjustments of their own. Last night, Ella discovered a gap in our zone, and the gap that she discovered is the worst major weakness in our match-up zone. We knew this weakness would be discovered, but we didn’t think it would happen this early.

Anyway, while everyone was in the car waiting on me to finish loading up, Miles asked Leslie for a piece of gum and she told him no. Once I got in the car, he asked me. Leslie told him that he shouldn’t ask the other parent after one of us has said no. I went on to explain to him that mommy and daddy are always on the same team and that the two of us would be tough to beat. Ella piped up and said, “Daddy, me, Miles, and Cooper will also always be on the same team. And that means it is 3 vs 2 and we will even be harder to beat than you and mommy.”

So we will continue with the zone defense, we are just going to have to make some adjustments and be a little quicker at covering our gaps sooner than we thought.

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Indepedence

According to http://www.dictionary.com, independence is defined as “freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.” Though this is a word that most of us are familiar with, I still feel the need to post that definition on the eve of our Independence Day in the US. Because here in the US, and in most other countries that enjoy freedom, we very much take our independence for granted on a daily basis.

So here is my random list of things we take for granted:

1) While you are enjoying family and friends today as you celebrate Independence Day, others are serving our country and fighting for those very things we take for granted. Thank a soldier, a family member of a soldier, or a veteran today.

2) I guess this is the teacher in me coming out, but our society takes our ability to get an education for granted. While in other countries young girls are being kidnapped for trying to get educated and being shot in the head for trying to get educated (and then coming back and continuing to fight for education after that), our kids are waking up and whining because they “have” to go to school. You “get” to go to school. Ask other kids around the world what they would be willing to do for that opportunity.

3) You get to choose your religion and practice it freely. You even get to whine about those that don’t agree with you.

4) You get to plan your day. Sure, there are things that are built into our lives, but for the most part, you get to wake up and decide what you want to do for the day.

5) You get to participate in a form of government that you have a voice in. Sure, it doesn’t always go the way you want it, but you still have a voice. You even get to whine if you don’t exercise your right to have a voice. We also have a system of checks and balances in place that were just displayed this week. Our president and congress can pass something, the Supreme Court can shoot part of it down, and then our Commander in Chief even has the freedom to whine about it after that (here’s looking at you Hobby Lobby). That is freedom.

6) If we had a leader named Putin, we would be able to laugh like middle school kids every time we said his name. I don’t think that is the case in places that have leaders named Putin.

7) We can disagree with our leaders and we can voice it.

8) Our press can print what they want without government control. I usually don’t agree with our press, but at least it isn’t controlled by the government.

9) I can type this blog. And you can make fun of me for typing this blog.

10) We can shoot fireworks to celebrate and not think that a riot is breaking out every time one goes off.

10) We can come and go as we please.

I left several things off and I could turn this blog into a book but I am going to cut myself off now.

Feel free to comment. What other things do we take for granted?

Have a great and happy Independence Day and be thankful that you have the freedom to choose whether you want to celebrate it or not.

Potaytoes or Potaughtoes

My spelling is probably terrible, and the pronunciation really doesn’t matter, but you don’t get to blog about potatoes very often so I had to lead with that.

Anyway, last night as my bride and I got ready to out ourselves to bed, we noticed that one of our children had left us each a raw potato on our pillow. Her’s was in a Tupperware with the top on it and mine was on a plate. Ella denied any involvement when asked and Miles just smiled. When Miles rolled into our room this morning, he asked if we got our potatoes but still wouldn’t offer and explanation.

So we got potatoes and we don’t have a clue why. And this is one if the many mysteries of parenthood…

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Help a daddy out…

After taking Ella to the local water park today, I quickly learned that the majority of the human race does not lack self confidence.

I understand there are different body types. And sure, be proud of what the good Lord gave you if you choose. But just know there is a time and place for everything. After a trip to the local water park, I don’t feel as though I need to be prepared to tell my 5 year old about a lower appendage that belongs to a certain humped desert animal. Or about things that keep escaping from the very bondage that is meant to hold them in place. This is a conversation that I am not ready to have yet, and I would appreciate it if the world would be understanding of this and help me out. Thanks.

A Few Confessions of a Dad…

1). It is harder to say no to our little girl than it is our little boy. Fair or not, it is the truth. We want to raise him to be tough, but struggle with letting her be anything but our little princess.

2). We don’t like to punish you. We do it because we want you to learn early that there are consequences with every decision we make.

3). Sometimes we sing Disney tunes while you aren’t in the car. Once we realize this, we stop immediately and crank up Avenged Sevenfold. Loud. Very loud.

4). When you are asleep in the car, it is difficult to take the rearview mirror off of you and put it back on the road.

5). We try to act tough for you and for your mommy, but somethings do break out hearts. We just act tough until you aren’t around.

6). Sometimes we want to physically hurt a three year old kid when they hurt you. But we know we can’t.

Understanding Boys

32 seconds. I settled in to the back bedroom, after letting my wife know that I was out of commission for a couple hours, and 32 seconds later I reappeared. I ran through the house screaming. My little boy chased me, screaming as well. My little girl was sitting on the couch coloring. Once I returned to the bedroom, my little girl asked Leslie what was wrong with me. After Leslie told her what I was watching, she simply said “Boys….I just don’t understand them.”

It was an hour and a half later before I reappeared again. With three kids, I usually don’t get time like this, but this time I did. After an hour and a half, I let out a loud sigh of aggravation. This was completely ignored by everyone. About 4 minutes later, my wife again heard clapping and cheering. Ten more minutes of silence, then there were a couple of claps of relief and I returned to the living room.

We enjoyed the rest of our night together. The kids took baths and watched their bedtime cartoon before being tucked in. Once they went down, my wife and I picked up around the house a bit before settling in and catching up on a little TV ourselves before turning in for the night.

Nobody asked because they knew. The final was U.S. 2-Ghana 1. This is World Cup Soccer at my house…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Go USA!

And my little girl still doesn’t understand boys. And I’m okay with that, because though she doesn’t know it yet, I know that she never really will.

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The Simple Things

It has been a pretty uneventful Father’s Day, but to be honest, that is the way I prefer things.

After returning late from the beach last night, the whole family got up and went to church.

I got to talk to my dad and I will probably get to spend some time with him tomorrow. I’m blessed to have a dad that I can still talk to and see often.

I’ve got a 5 year old little girl that told me today, tomorrow, and the next day would be Father’s Day and that she would get me whatever I wanted (examples she gave: food, drink, remote). But then after that, she said I’m on my own again.

I’ve got a 3 year old little boy that acts like it is the first time he has ever seen me every time I walk into the house, and after giving me a giant hug, he announces to everybody else “daddy’s home.”

I’ve got a 1 year old little boy that seeks me out when he is tired because he knows I will stop whatever I am doing and bounce him until he (or we) falls asleep (this benefits both of us).

I’m blessed with a wonderful wife that is a great mommy to our kids.

We are surrounded by family that loves and cares for us as well as for our kids and we are reminded daily of that.

I’m blessed way more than I deserve, and the simple things are a daily reminder of that.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads in the world. I hope you had a blessed day.

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