Tuesday, October 26, 2010

She Said What?

The other day Olivia was upstairs eating Doritos. On the carpet. That's a no-no in our house. So Claire called her on it and told her she needed to go downstairs and eat the chips in the kitchen. Olivia looked at her, licked her lips and said, "I'm busy." Then she proceeded to eat her chips. We have a wee lass here, just 2 years old, with a "Princess complex" and that is not a good thing. This morning she was wearing some new hand-me down pants that looked great on her. Fit nicely, didn't sag anywhere, not too short, not too long. Just right. She walked up to me and wrinkled her nose. "These don't fit," she said. I tried to convince her that, au contraire mon ami, they look great on her. I was half-expecting her to say, "Do these make me look fat?" Needless to say she went in the bedroom and changed her pants.

The other day Olivia said to MerriGrace, "I'm funny." MerriGrace said, "No you're not." And Olivia said, "I'm funny." So MerriGrace told her to tell her a joke. Olivia said, "Your life's a joke."
Um, where does she learn this stuff? I've said for quite some time that I have my work cut out for me with this sweet little girl. It's going to take some doing. Prayer is appreciated. We've also said for quite some time that one cure to the Princess complex would for her not to be the caboose of the family, so to speak. But the Lord has had other plans for us as far as having the No. 13 Sabo baby. Until quite recently. A shocking development has occurred in the house o' Sabo: Julie is pregnant. The ultrasound shows a healthy little one growing in her womb with a heartbeat Julie got to hear tapping along at 170 beats a minute. Julie's 11 weeks along and we're praying for a healthy baby in the middle of May (Let's see, what is it about August? We have Taylor's birthday on April 29, Brenton's and Madeline's on May 1 and Claire's on May 17 ... ). It would really be helpful for me if the baby was born on May 17. Since that's Claire's birthday it's easy for me to remember. So perhaps the solution to Olivia's Princess complex is just months away.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wanted: Soccer Coach

Somehow this Fall soccer season I got roped into coaching the 9- to 11-year olds team that Madeline and Abram are on. It had probably been somewhere around eight years or so since I coached youth soccer, back when Taylor and Ethan wrought havoc in the Corvallis league. The rust shows, as far as my coaching ability. I have a great group of kids who are fun to coach, but they're probably wondering if they're going to win a game this year. Our record at the moment stands at 0-4, with some of those losses pretty ugly. But it's not about wins or losses, right? I sure hope so. In my defense, the last game we played, on Saturday, was a very winnable game. But our best player was lost for the season two games ago -- his neighbor's dog bit his hand so hard it fractured a finger and he's in a cast and can't play -- and one of our other top players went on a fishing trip to Tangier Island (it's out in Chesapeake Bay and worth googling; oddly enough, ESPN is featuring the island in a commercial during this college football season) and missed Saturday's game. We lost 4-2, but Abram scored a nice goal and you can see him in the photo standing in front of me describing the look on the goalkeeper's face when Abram hammered the ball home into the net. Madeline is on the right, mostly obscured but slightly visible in a goalkeeper's jersey. She allowed no goals in her stint as goalkeeper in the 3rd quarter, in case you were wondering, though she did have one mental lapse when she tried to pick up the ball in the box while defending the goal. That was fine, except that was when she wasn't wearing the goalkeeper's jersey.

None of the kids on my team, called the Red Dragons, seem too upset over the mounting losses. I don't know what it is with kids these days. Am I the only one losing sleep over this? Am I the only one breaking out in hives as we occupy the cellar of the Gloucester Parks and Recreation 9- to 11-year-olds Premier League? Am I the only one trying to e-mail Landon Donovan for some soccer tips and to see if he could swing by Gloucester for a clinic? I'm thinking of extending practices for another hour. Maybe having them run a lap around the entire field for every goal that's surrendered. WWVLD? (What would Vince Lombardi do?) Somehow these kids are having fun. They smile and laugh! During the games! Sometimes even after the opposing team has scored 3 goals! In the first quarter! One kid came up to me after the last practice and asked if I was going to coach again in the spring, and if so he wanted to be on my team! This kid is crazy! He might go a whole year without winning a soccer game! If I use one more exclamation point, I might go crazy! Anyway, perhaps these kids are on to something. I think I'll give this whole exercise of losing but having fun a good think. In the face of all these defeats, these kids keep coming back. Despite the coaching.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

So Long Summer

Here's a couple of reminders of summer, Gloucester style. Or at least Sabo Gloucester style. The shot at the top was taken at a Peninsula Pilots baseball game. Ethan's in uniform because while playing for the Gloucester American Legion junior team he was named to the All-Star team. The All-Stars were honored by the Peninsula Pilots and we had an awful good time going to the game and watching college kids play in a wood bat league. It was made even more enjoyable by the fact that a couple buddies from metropolitan Yorktown, Steve Mezzapesa and Brian Horner, went to the game. Ethan had a fine summer playing for the Legion team, batting leadoff -- hitting over .400 -- and playing mostly in the outfield and at third base, with occasional catching duties. Now he's back playing fall baseball for the Gloucester High School, preparing for the spring season.
And then we have a sunflower that MerriGrace grew in our raised bed in the back yard. Her flowers turned out splendidly, as you can see. It was the hottest summer on record here in Hampton Roads, and that means something out here. It was a relentlessly hot, sweaty, sticky summer, marked by a noticeable lack of summer thunderstorms. Ezra never really had to worry about anyone letting the thunder in. Even at the end of September we had temperatures in the mid-90s. Last week, however, the rains fell in earnest -- at one point our 24-hour rainfall total topped 4.5 inches -- and the coolness of Fall has set in. What a relief. We still have tomatoes in the garden and I mowed the lawn the other day, but it's the time of year when the kids can play outside all day without coming in all purple and the air conditioning isn't running nonstop. The kids, and my wallet, like these days.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Missing Taylor

Three months between blog posts? We apologize. If anyone out there in cyberspace is still reading the Team Sabo blog, we bring you an update. Taylor is now in Corvallis, Ore., attending Cornerstone School of Ministry and living with Brenton. He's having a blast. But boy howdy do we miss him. In so many ways, among them hearing him playing worship songs throughout the day around the house, sometimes with Olivia accompanying him on the Cajon (called "the box") as you can see in the photo.

Ethan is sure feeling the departure of his brother. When Taylor left, he passed the mantle of the Friday night youth Bible study teacher to Ethan, just as Brenton passed the mantle to Taylor when he left for Calvary Chapel Bible College. Taylor timed his departure perfectly, leaving after teaching in Genesis 37. That means Ethan got to pick up right where his brother left off ... in Genesis 38, the story of Judah and Tamar. Lovely. The next week Ethan got to break down Genesis 39, the story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife. Ethan thinks Taylor planned that on purpose. But we've heard good reports of Ethan's teaching, so praise the Lord for that. And this past Friday we had something like 50-55 teenagers at our house for Bible study ... an amazing work God is doing here.

Taylor will be back home for Christmas, but other than that he will be out in Oregon until early June. We allowed him to go to the School of Ministry on one condition, and one condition only: He comes back. It's hard enough having Brenton 3,200 miles away. We're hoping he comes back soon as well. Who knows. Maybe he'll drive Taylor home in June -- and stay.