Bit About Soccer

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So far, the main subject of my blog is soccer. I’ve been asked by many (well, okay, no one has actually asked, but I imagine several of you have thought about it), “What is your soccer background, because you seem to know a bit about soccer.” That’s it exactly. I’m not an expert soccer commentator, I’m a “bit about soccer” commentator. As the premiere league soccer game noise is drifting from the living room to my computer, let me give you my soccer credentials.

I actually played a bit of soccer in high school, not much, but some. I’m not sure why I did, but probably because my friends were. In college, there was not a women’s team at Graceland University yet, but I was fortunate enough to play for the first women’s intramural soccer team. Why would I do this? Well, I’ll tell you. Graceland is a small private college in Iowa. Pickens are slim. When I first got there I noticed how good lookin’ the men’s soccer team was and what great hair they had (mullets, bowl-cuts, highlights). I was lucky enough to be noticed by one of these soccer studs, Peter (bowl-cut with highlights), my now husband. Yes, I played hard-to-get, but eventually our hair-dos were too attracted to each other, so I gave in. People often thought we were cousins because we had the same hair-do. Anyway, I digress, the Graceland men’s soccer team helped coach the women’s intramural soccer team. I don’t know how much actual soccer knowledge I picked up, but the soccer way-of-life sure sunk in (and helped my dating life). I really do love watching soccer, not only for the great hair and cute guys, but because it’s fast paced and truly a beautiful game.

My “bit about soccer” knowledge has grown since I’ve had kids. Each of my three kidos started playing when they were 4-years-old. That totals to seven years of kids soccer under my belt. As I get older, my “bit about soccer” knowledge gets bigger. My trip to England sure helped my “football” language and gave me lots of names and tid bits to plunk down when I need to sound soccer smart. I guess the moral to this blat (blog article), is every “bit about soccer” counts!

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No-Touch Hand Soap…Ticket to my Dream Home

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One of my jobs as a PMT (professional mothering technician) is to find new and useful items for my HBH (home base headquarters) to help everyone be more PENM (productive, efficient and nice to mom). Picture this scenario. You are busy cooking in the kitchen. You’ve had a bad day filled with hair dresser conflicts, teacher emails and a bad report card from the Bug Guy (termites). As the kids are fighting over the Wii in the basement, you’re placing raw chicken breasts in a saute pan. The phone rings. You can’t answer the phone because you have raw chicken fingers, literary, so you let the machine get it. You listen to the message and it’s HGTV telling you that you were chosen to win their Dream Home only if you answer the phone in the next 10 seconds. What do you do?

Well, I’ll tell you what to do. Wash your hands with your new Lysol Healthy Touch Antibacterial No-Touch Hand Soap (http://www.lysol.com/products/no-touch-hand-soap-system/)! I love this thing. It’s a handy, little, inexpensive automatic soap dispenser for your home. Just wave your hand underneath the nozzle and it squirts soap onto your palm. I have it in my kitchen and adore it. One draw back though, is that it is not very attractive. I don’t mind using it in my kitchen, but I would not use it in my guest bathroom. Hint to Lysol – beef up the chic-ness and I’ll buy more.

So, now if HGTV were ever to call, I’ll be able to answer my phone with hands that sparkle and smell of green tea and ginger… and win that darn Dream Home finally!

Things I Learned in England

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  1. It is FOOTBALL not SOCCER.
  2. The speed of play is so much faster than in America. This is true for the English adult teams and youth teams.
  3. The English youth teams were so much more physical. They really know how to use their bodies.
  4. The English youth teams had a loud, constant chatter going throughout the whole game. They talked to each other nonstop – calling for balls, telling someone else to get the ball, telling each other well done. On the other hand, the English parents were very quiet.
  5. Trashcans and bathrooms are hard to find.
  6. If you say “neat” or “cute” too much you get made fun of.
  7. Snipe hunting is a rite of passage in the southern United States, even though there is no such thing as a snipe bird.
  8. English bacon is very different from American bacon.
  9. Monotone color and taste in food is the norm in England.
  10. London’s Heathrow airport does not know how to make supreme nachos. Just because you use Doritos doesn’t make it supreme.
  11. Kabobs and pizza do go together nicely.
  12. Starbucks is the universal language. You can order a skinny vanilla latte in England even though it is not on the menu.
  13. America is very young.
  14. King Henry VIII was crazy, but kind of cool.
  15. There are ghosts at Hampton Court Palace.
  16. If you hang with people who have an accent, eventually you start to use one too.
  17. Pat Ozburn is the hardest working, nicest tour director in the world.
  18. Patrick is old enough to semi take care of himself, but still young enough to want to hold my hand while walking the streets of London.
  19. I loved traveling with my sister, nephew and son.
  20. And finally, I learned that our SuperClubs trip to England was a wonderful experience for not only me, but for Patrick. We both made friends from around the world, Patrick experienced soccer in a new way that can only make him better and l learned how lucky I am to have him as my son.

Day 9, London

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Today was a soccer-free day for the U12s (Patrick and Connor’s team) and the U14s (Zack’s team)! We headed to downtown London. We boarded a double decker tour bus and traveled around the city taking in all the sites. We got off at the Tower of London and saw where Queen Anne Bolyen lost her head and saw the current Queen’s Crown Jewels. After that we traveled to Buckingham Palace  and walked through St. James Park. We did more shopping at LillyWhites and ended up back in Kingston at a great Italian restaurant for dinner. Once we got back it was time to start packing for our flight tomorrow. We had a wonderful trip. Full of soccer, history and most of all, friendship. I will always cherish this time with Patrick. I’m so proud of him and so honored to be his mom.

We fly out tomorrow. We can’t wait to see our family!!!!!!!

Day 8, London

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We started off the day with Jarrod Williams trying to take Patrick and Colin to tour the Fulham stadium. It was closed, however, but that didn’t stop them from visiting the Fulham store! Cari and I visited downtown Kingston. It was a lovely place, and yes, it had a Starbucks. Soon we met back up for lunch and headed to our next game against Milton Keynes Dons, or MK Dons. This game was played on a small field, indoors and with no refs. Not a good set-up. We ended up losing 1 to 9, our goal being a penalty kick. Patrick played Right Back, Right Wing and Center Mid throughout the game. He had several shots and chips on goal. Although they lost and had no calls called their way, Patrick still felt like he played a good game, which he did.

After a long bus ride home, we had a meeting in the University Student Pub and all the teams did skits. The U12s (Patrick and Connor’s team) won second place and the U13s won first. The two last place teams, U15 and U16 had to eat pigs blood pudding, or something like that. It was a lot of fun and great to see how all the boys have bonded.

Day 7, London

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Today we traveled only 8 miles away to play Wimbledon. We watched the U13’s play the Wimbledon U13 National Champions. Our U13’s did well, but lost. We played next. Patrick started at Right Back, moved to Right Wing and then for just a bit towards the end played Center Mid. It was a VERY hard game with us loosing 0 to 8. In the second half the other team put in three of their U13 National Champion players. We were already down by 6 or so when they did this. I don’t quite understand the English sometimes. The boys were pretty down, but not for long because Jarrod Williams was taking Patrick, Zack, and Connor to the ManU vs Chelsea game. They said they had a blast. They were all hoarse from yelling and singing. ManU won.

While the boys were at the ManU game, Cari and I went to Hampton Court Palace (http://www.hrp.org.uk/hamptoncourtpalace/). It was an amazing place. We ate up everything Henry VIII! I highly recommend it. We came home, ate dinner and tried to go to bed early. We are all exhausted keeping up with our busy schedule.

Day 6, London

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We had to wake up early today to eat a quick breakfast and load the coaches to travel to the University of Essex to play Colchester United. Our team really started to look like they were meshing. They played great. The game was divided into four 20 minutes quarters. In the first quarter, Patrick scored his first European goal on a penalty kick. He shot it low and to the left, while the keeper went to the right. It was a job well done! Patrick switched off throughout the game as Right Back and Right Wing. Also, throughout the game he used skill! He did a Maradona right by me and smoked a guy! The final score was 2 to 4 Colchester United. It should have been 3 to 3 because they didn’t count one of our goals and one of their goals was made off-sides. Even though the boys lost, they played great and are working together as a team. Can’t wait to see how they do at tomorrow’s game against Wimbledon.

After the game, we headed out to attend the West Ham United vs Deportivo La Coruna game. This was the final game of the SBobet Tournament. The score was 0-0 and ended in penalty kicks. West Ham ended up winning. It was a great experience that I think Patrick will remember for a long time.

After the game and our long bus ride home, because the bus driver got lost in London, we had a great dinner, did laundry, Skyped Peter and hung-out. Because everyone at the camp is doing so well, thier curfew was extended to 11:15pm.