Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Seb's birthday party

Sebastian invited six of his friends to come over to our house for his birthday party: Ethan, Nathan, Wyatt, Frances, Cason, and Peyton - the usual suspects! He wanted food and cake and lots of time to play sports with his friends, and that was about it. I made a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream and sprinkles, filled bowls with chips and pretzels, ordered a couple of pizzas, and made hot dogs.
First up: balloon volleyball, which has become a birthday tradition around here. We draw taped lines and there are strict rules about single-touch, no spiking, no reaching over the line, etc.

Next: food! They had all played a soccer game that morning, on various teams, and were starving (of course).
And then presents - soccer cards, an air-hockey game, books - great stuff.
We had been planning to play at our home and the school field, but the weather looked uncooperative and the field was in constant use for end-of-season soccer tournament play, and we couldn't imagine having all of them in our house for 3 hours, so we rented out the small turf field at PDX Sports Center and a minivan to transport the crew.
They played soccer, football, and dodgeball - Steve and I participated in various ways to even out the teams - and then we lined them up and made them run timed sprints and then relay races. Liesl was fast enough to keep up with the older kids, running the distance from one end of the field to the other and back in under 9 seconds. (Everyone's time was within a second - 8-9 seconds - including mine!) Then we had a throwing contest, a soccer ball juggling contest, and a dizzy race. And then everyone was sweaty and tired and we headed back home.
The kids sang the loudest, most off-key rendition of Happy Birthday you could imagine -- and devoured the entire cake. And then parents started arriving for their kids; such a good party for Sebastian.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Founder's Cup

Sebastian's soccer team participated in an end-of-season tournament, the Founder's Cup, over the last two weekends. They played three games in round robin play and then the top two teams from each division moved forward to the single-elimination quarter and semi-finals before the final game. It was the first time Sebastian had played in that kind of high stakes game situation, where a win meant you played again and a loss meant the end of your season. They played their first game on Saturday the 4th, in the cold and pouring rain at 4 pm, and lost badly: 7-1. They couldn't pass, they couldn't control the ball, they made silly mistakes. But then on Sunday morning they played again, and it was like an entirely different team appeared. They passed, they shot, they moved the ball down the field, they had great chances, and they won 5-1. Crazy! So that set up the Saturday morning game on Sebastian's birthday to be the deciding factor: win, and they made it to quarter-finals on  Sunday; lose, and the season was over.
They won the game - such a good birthday present! - and made it to the quarter-final game, scheduled for Sunday at 8 am in Happy Valley. That was a tough start - we had to be there by 7:30 and it's 45 minutes away. But the boys all showed up and played really well; in the end, they lost 5-3, but it was a hard-fought match and we were proud. Their opponent was a well trained and disciplined club team that had come in first in their division; they hadn't allowed a single goal in three straight games, so scoring 3 on them was truly an accomplishment. Sebastian played well and although he was disappointed by the result, he handled it well. End of fall soccer! On to indoor futsal, to basketball, and other winter pursuits.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sebastian turns 10!!

We celebrated Sebastian's 10th birthday with a weekend of food, games, soccer, presents, and a party. It was really fun and chaotic and kind of exhausting; kind of like parenting!

On Saturday morning I made waffles and bacon before we headed out for an early morning soccer game (more on the end-of-season tournament in another blog post).  We stopped on the way home to pick up a selection of barbecue meats - pulled pork, brisket, ribs - from a couple of different places. Sebastian had requested pulled pork sandwiches for dinner, and we decided to have a pulled pork-off. We spent the afternoon around home, opening presents, talking to grandparents on the phone, watching the Cars 3 movie, reading, playing soccer - having a good home day together.

Sebastian requested a small-size Barcelona soccer ball to play with Jasper -

The pulled pork-off - Matt's BBQ vs. Russell St.
Strawberry shortcake, at the birthday boy's request, for another year.