Packing for Temporary Housing

Packing Up

Packing Up

One of my favorite quotes is from Peter Pan.   It says, “Would you like an adventure now or shall we have our tea first?”  I love tea and adventures!  Moving has certainly given us the opportunity to explore and enjoy new opportunities which I see as adventures.

Our current adventure is taking us from Texas to Florida.  We’re leaving my home state and my older children.  I’m a sad mama.  My baby (she’s 16) is the only child moving with us.  We will be in temporary housing for two months while we look for somewhere to live.   We’ve done this whole thing before and I have learned a few things along the way to make us feel a little more at home while we live in temporary housing.

Although living in a hotel or condominium can be a luxury (housekeeping and maintenance) not to mention the free soap, shampoo, and conditioner (Hey, I love saving money)!, it can feel, well, not so homey.  Here is my not-so-exhaustive list of what I like to bring with me during these times.

Kitchen Essentials

Spices – I bring the ones I use the most.  Since I was leaving Texas I brought along my Southeast Texas staple spice – Texjoy.

Sharp Knife – Knives in a lot of condominiums are not sharp so I have learned to bring my best one.

Measuring Cups and Spoons – While these are not essential, the last two condominiums where we stayed have not provided these.  I brought my own since I do actually use them for baking.

Rice Pot – I cook rice every day the Colombian way.  I have a certain pot that works best.  I know and love this pot.  (It traveled in the spare tire well on the way here.)

Recipes – I have a few favorites that I couldn’t leave behind like Chocolate Sheet Cake (for birthdays) and Pumpkin Bread.

I wish I would have had room for my crock pot.  I’m missing it!

Records and Office Supplies

Passports, Driver’s Licenses, Social Security Cards, Vaccination Records, Medical Records, School Records – These can and should be kept in a safe if one is provided.  Protect your personal information!

Bill File or Notebook with previous and upcoming bill information, Information on movers, Calendar with important dates to remember (Don’t trust your memory because moving is stressful and you need to have reminders in place.)

Scissors, Tape, Pens, Pencils, Paper, Paper Clips, Note Pad – These can be tucked into a small bag or case and will come in handy.

USB Memory Stick – Since most of us don’t travel with our copier/printer you may need to load a file onto this and find an Office Depot or the library where you can get copies or printouts made.  Don’t forget to take some change with you to feed into the printer/copier machine!

Medicines

Prescription Medicines

Pain Relievers, Allergy Medications, Stomach Medicine, Basic First Aid Supplies

Extra Comforts

Yankee Candle – Our family’s favorite scent is Spiced Pumpkin.  This definitely makes us feel like we are at home.

Throw Blanket – These are great to snuggle up in and are usually not provided at a hotel or condominium.

Pillow – My husband takes his pillow everywhere!  If you like your pillow, take it with you.

Bedding – While most places provide bedding, some children might like to have their favorite quilt which can be of great comfort at bedtime.  If you have room for it, go ahead and take it with you.

Toys – A few favorites plus a board game, cards, etc. are great for entertainment.  Try to make this time of transition as fun as possible.

Books – I brought my Bible, Bible Study Guide, Quote Journal, and a few books by some of my favorite authors.  We cannot join the library until we have a permanent address so we have been visiting Thrift Stores to find a few more books to read.  We can always donate them back when we are done with them.

Electronics

Computer/Power Cord

IPad or Tablet/Power Cord

Camera/Charger

Phone/Charger

You get the idea…don’t forget the power cords and chargers!

Extras

Small Sewing Kit

Super Glue

Small Tools

Flashlight

You never know when you will need some of these things.

I’m sure you’ll remember a few things that I’ve left off.  Please share some of your experiences and let me know any of your suggestions.

“Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning!”  ~Peter Pan

Sunset on Anna Maria Island, Florida

Sunset on Anna Maria Island, Florida

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Color

When I was a little girl my favorite color was sea green.  We used to live in a small town whose utility trucks were that color and every time I would see one of those trucks around town I would yell out, “There’s my favorite color!”  I’m sure there were eye rolls from my brothers because we saw those trucks a lot!

I did not realize I was in the minority with my love for this color until I was in the “Little Miss China” pageant in China, Texas.

The pageant coordinators had us fill out a form with information about ourselves.  When it was my turn to walk on stage I heard myself described.  “Julie has blonde hair and brown eyes.  She enjoys playing with Barbie dolls and riding her bicycle.  When she grows up, Julie wants to be a nurse.  Her favorite color is green.”

I listened as the emcee described the other girls in the pageant.  “Rhonda’s favorite color is pink.  Susan’s favorite color is pink.  Kelly’s favorite color is pink.”  Wait, am I the only one who likes green???

I didn’t get to wear the tiara that day and in my child’s mind I thought that it was probably because I had put the “wrong” color for my favorite color.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

I had a choice to make after that.  I could either continue choosing sea green as my favorite color or try to fit in by saying that my favorite color was pink.  I chose the former.  Why would anyone want to choose a color from the 24 count box of crayons when you could choose from the 64 count box?

Since those years in the 1970s we have moved on to spectacular crayons with metallic and fluorescent colors as well as scented crayons.  We even have a 120 count crayon box now.  With colors like Unmellow Yellow, Sunglow, Macaroni & Cheese, Atomic Tangerine, Magic Mint, Banana Mania, and Outer Space we see that life really is full of an amazing array of colors.

I kind of see people like crayons.  We are all different shades with various talents and personalities.

Perhaps instead of red, you are closer to a Razzmatazz or instead of green, you are a Screamin’ Green.

Maybe you feel like you don’t fit in that 8 count crayon box.  Have you ever thought that maybe you weren’t meant to?  I don’t think Albert Einstein and Ludwig van Beethoven would have fit in that box.  Do you?

We are all unique with God-given talents and gifts.  We are meant to use the ones He has given to each of us and be a blessing to others.

Mark Twain once said, “We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a talent which we do not possess than to be praised for the fifteen that we do possess.”  Why is that?

There is a place in this world that only you can fill.  Don’t fall into self-doubt.  Embrace your talents.  Use them for the benefit of others.  Be the blessing.

Now, open up that 120 count box of crayons and choose a color!

Jorge and Julie 8 Tips For Dating Your Husband Photo

8 Tips For Dating Your Husband

Jorge and Julie 8 Tips For Dating Your Husband PhotoI’m a big fan of the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.”  I was recently watching an episode where the characters Ray and Debra went on a date for Valentine’s Day.

They were seated at a nice restaurant munching on the pre-dinner bread and butter that was on the table.  Debra was telling Ray a “funny” story about how one of their sons had taken his brother’s hat from him.  They chuckled a bit and then the conversation fizzled out.

Desperate to rescue the conversation, they began discussing how good the bread was and how the butter was “the perfect temperature/density.”  Butter – now that’s a topic that can get spread pretty thinly.  (I couldn’t resist.)

Ray and Debra’s date was a big FAIL.  My husband and I have had a couple of those because we started discussing issues that turned into arguments.  I knew we needed to change strategies.  I wanted my husband and me to look forward to our dates, not dread them.

Below are eight dating tips to help ensure that your next date with your husband will be a success.

Set the date and time and put it on the calendar.  Plan a date at least one to two times a month and more often if time allows.  Once the date is on your calendar do your best to not let anything interfere with it.  It’s important to still be a couple and not only a mommy and daddy.
Take turns doing something each of you would enjoy.  Maybe sports are not your thing but he really enjoys them.  Go with him to a game and he will go with you to a concert.  Whatever you choose to do, be considerate of each other and determine that you will have fun.  “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance.”  Proverbs 15:13
Be creative!  A date doesn’t always have to consist of dinner and a movie or even cost money.  For some unique and fun dating ideas check out www.thedatingdivas.com.  The ladies on this website have done an impressive job of planning out some terrific dates.  Seriously, you need to check them out.
Dress to impress.  Show your husband that you still want to look nice for him and that he is worth the effort.   Compliment him on his appearance.  He needs to know that you think he is the handsomest man in the world to you.
Make a list of things you can talk about on the date.  You don’t necessarily need to be obvious about it but you can be prepared for times like this.  Sometimes conversations can lag.  Be a good conversationalist but also be a good listener.  This is a good time to find out what your husband’s dreams are and what makes him tick.  Share your dreams with him as well.
Turn your phone off or only take calls from the babysitter.  You need to protect your time together without interruptions from work or other friends.  Enjoy real face time with your spouse.
Avoid discussing problems you are having.  Concentrate on having fun and keeping things positive.  Dates are meant to be enjoyable, not a time to air out all your issues.
Flirt with each other.  This can be the best part.  Use your imaginations for this one.

One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is a healthy and strong marriage where they see that their parents love each other.  It helps them feel secure.

Let them see you excited about your date.  My girls love helping me get ready for a date and get just as excited as I do when I go out with my husband.

Are you ready?  Now go have some fun!

 

Summer Backyard Fun

I remember catching fireflies as a kid during the summer.  I rode my bicycle, played with dolls, and attended Vacation Bible School.

We ate popsicles and watermelon under my grandparent’s backyard shade tree.  We picked peaches from my grandmother’s trees and helped hand-crank the ice cream maker so we could eat what I still recall as the best ice cream I have ever had.

I played baseball with my brothers and cousins and scripted plays with them to perform for our parents and grandparents.

There was swimming in the pool and at the creek. We ran through the sprinklers and did a lot of  slipping and sliding on our Slip and Slide.

Summer time was unstructured and we were encouraged to use our imaginations to keep ourselves occupied.

“Nature decrees that children should be children before they become adults.  If we try to alter this natural order, we will reach adulthood prematurely but with neither substance nor strength.”  Jean J. Rousseau

Mr. Rousseau was an 18th-century philosopher from Geneva.  It seems there were people during his time (just like in ours) that forgot to let kids be kids.

Boy with Airplane copy

Summertime is a great time to let your kids be kids while developing their Psycho Motor Skills without them even realizing that they are doing something that is vitally important to their development.

Below are some ideas to help you and your kids keep the free summer fun going in your own back yard.

Equipment:  balloons, soccer balls or plastic balls

  • Whack-A-Mole – Mark off an area of 15 x 15 yards using t-shirts or something similar.  One child holds a ball while the other children dribble their own ball (mole) within the area.  The child holding the ball then tries to hit or “whack” the moles.  The child whose “mole” got “whacked” then stands in the middle and becomes the whacker.
  • Wheelbarrow Race – This requires two people.  One person gets on their hands and knees while the other stands behind him.  The person standing lifts the legs of the person that is on the ground and holds onto them.  The person on the ground begins “crawling” using their hands.  This takes teamwork and coordination.  You can turn this into a race to the finish line if there are enough participants or just count and see how quickly the “human wheelbarrow” can make it to the finish line.
  • Kangaroos - Players hop with their feet together.  Determine a set number of hops (for example 10 or 12) and see who can go furthest.
  • Juggling - Using different surfaces of the body (head, elbow, knee, chest) see how many times the child can “juggle” a balloon or plastic ball.   This could be turned into a race or the child can simply try to beat her own record .  A soccer ball can also be used.
  • Shadow Dancing - Mark out a space to move within.  The first child moves in a zig-zag or freestyle way throughout the space.  The second child or “shadow” must follow behind and imitate the first child’s movements while maintaining a distance of 1-1 1/2 yards.  The first child may stop suddenly and his “shadow” must do the same without running into the first child.  This could be done to music.  This game helps with quickness and reflexes.  
  • Mirror Image - Two children face each other.  One of them is the person looking into the mirror while the other is the mirror image.  The “image” must imitate the movements of the person looking into the mirror.  
  • Tiger by the Tail - This is a game similar to tag and is fun when there are a lot of children.  One child begins as the hunter while the other children are the tigers.  Tuck t-shirts or dishtowels into the back of the “tiger’s” pants forming a tail.  The hunter then tries to grab the tigers’ tails.  Once a tiger’s tail has been grabbed he then becomes a hunter as well until all of the tiger tails have been snatched.  This can be done within a marked off area and the tigers can dribble soccer balls while being hunted.
  • Learn to Somersault, Do Cartwheels, and Handstands
  • Jump Rope - We used to do rhymes while we skipped rope.  Teach some of the ones you remember from your childhood.
  • Skipping - We used to do this to music and would sometimes race each other to a finish line.

Let your children come up with variations on these games.  It’s time for them to use their imagination and enjoy playing.

These games can be played with adults as well so jump in and enjoy the time with your children!

“Hidden in every human being exists a child that wants to play.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

What kinds of games or activities does your family enjoy in the backyard?  I would love for you to share them!

 

How to Have a Happy Soccer Camper

DSC_0717It’s time for summer fun!  Maybe you have signed up your child for a summer soccer camp.  It’s a great way to learn soccer skills and make new friends.  Before you head out the door, you will want to make sure your child has all the essentials that he or she will need to have a great experience at camp.

  • Water (They will drink it and pour it over their heads to cool off so make sure to send plenty.)
  • Ball (Size 3 for up to 8 years old, Size 4 for 8-12 years old, and Size 5 for 12 years old and up)
  • Shin guards (This is a safety issue for your child.  Most coaches will not and should not allow them to play without them.)
  • Soccer cleats DSC_0779
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks for break time such as grapes or orange slices
  • Small ice chest to keep snacks cool
  • Wash cloth to wet and/or ice down (these are nice to place on the back of the neck, on the wrists, and in the crook of the elbows and knees to help cool down)
  • Epi-Pen or Inhaler if your child needs this (let the coach know if your child needs either of these)
  • Band-Aids in case of developing blisters
  • Emergency contact number – Although there should be a form that you filled out with all of this information it is a good idea that you have your child memorize important numbers and even leave an emergency contact number in their backpack.
  • Leave instructions with your child and coach if someone other than you is picking them up after camp.

A few other suggestions:

Some young players have a hard time making new friends.  Perhaps they can bring a friend with them to camp.

Sometimes the kids get distracted by having a parent on the sidelines.  Maybe you can use this time to run some errands.  Remind your child that you will be coming back to get him or her and that you are looking forward to hearing about everything he/she learned.  At my husband’s camps we encourage parents to come back in time to watch the scrimmages which take place 30 minutes before the end of camp.

Start a fun tradition for the end of soccer camp.  My nieces and nephew used to join my kids at my husband’s soccer camps.  At the end of the week my parents took us all to eat at Cici’s Pizza.  Our family still talks about those memories, especially the boys who used to compete with whose pile of pizza crust would be higher.  Maybe you can plan a pool party or even a water baloon fight.  Whatever it is, build up the anticipation and have fun making memories!

 

A Texas Howdy in Argentina

Jorge con Racing de Cordoba 002

Jorge (center) playing for Racing de Cordoba in Argentina, 1989

I was 23 years old when I left Texas to live in Argentina while my husband played for Racing de Cordoba.  I had studied a year and a half of high school Spanish and had been learning Spanish for the past three years from my husband who is Colombian.  I had, by this time, learned to understand just about everything my husband said.  Nothing, however, prepared me for Castellano spoken with an Argentine accent.

I had been in Cordoba for about two weeks when my husband, my son, and I were invited to dinner at another Colombian family’s house.  We were living in a hotel and eating downstairs every day so all I was hearing was the Argentine accent.  I was getting a little flustered to say the least so when the invitation came to meet a Colombian family I was excited.  This was Spanish I could understand!

After dinner our new Colombian friends told me about some family friends of theirs who had lived in Texas but now lived in Argentina.  They wanted me to call them as soon as I arrived so they could help me with my adjustment to this new country.  I was excited to get to speak and hear English! When you are in another country your mother tongue sounds heavenly to your ears.  What I heard  was even better because on the other end of the line was the sweetest Texas accent I had ever heard coming from my soon-to-be friend Mercedes.

Mercedes and her family are Argentine but they had lived in Mule Shoe, Texas since Mercedes was small child.  I had never even heard of Mule Shoe!

Let me tell you a little more about Mercedes.  If you look up the meaning of Mercedes in English it means – gift, favor, grace, mercy.  Mercedes was everything her name said she was.  She taught me how to shop in Argentina.  I was used to large grocery store chains.  In Cordoba shopping was usually split up into meat markets, fruit and vegetable stands, bakeries, etc.  There were, of course, small grocery stores where you could buy other essentials.

Mercedes taught me how to order meat from the butcher, fruits and vegetables at the fruit and vegetable stand, and bread and pastries from the bakery.  I would have struggled because I wasn’t used to the metric system.  How many apples are in a kilo?  How many grams of ham should I order for sandwiches?

I went shopping with her several times when she shopped for her family.  Do you know what my favorite thing was that she bought every time?  Flowers.  Watching her pick out flowers I began to think about the fact that not only do our bodies need the essentials like food, shelter, and clothing, we also need a little something to remind us of the beauty of life, something that reminds us of our Creator and His goodness to us, something that is just simply pleasurable and soothing to the soul, like a new friend.

On weekends when my husband traveled to out-of-town games Mercedes and her family would invite my son and me over to spend the weekend with them.  We listened to my husband’s game on the radio.  About all I could do was listen for his name but they would always translate for me.  They taught me how to make Milanesa and Pan Dulce and so many interesting things about the Argentine culture; but most importantly, they showed me love, acceptance, and friendship in a new country.

Mercedes eventually moved back to the United States and is now showing grace, favor, and mercy to many families in an even bigger way – delivering babies!

I am so thankful that God sent me a friend like Mercedes.  She is a great reminder of how we should treat newcomers, whether they be new to our soccer team, church, school, city, or country.  There is great potential in making wonderful, new friends if we just remember to show understanding, kindness, and give people a “Texas Howdy.”DSC_0999.jpg

 

Jorge con Huracan 005

Jorge with Christian at Tomas Adolfo Duco Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1992

Do you have a five-year plan, a ten-year plan, or perhaps even a retirement plan for your life?  I think it’s a good thing to make plans.  We all plan our lives in some way.

My husband and I actually thought we could do this with our babies.  The first year we lived in Argentina we had only one child.  He was almost 4 years old.  We were feeling the desire to add another one to our family.  We figured we could plan to get pregnant during a certain month and our next child could be born during the soccer season break between June and July.  Nothing could be simpler, right?

Wrong.  I got pregnant right away and had a due date in February.  Jorge had left his team Racing de Cordoba in Argentina to play for Santa Fe de Bogota in Colombia.  I stayed in Texas with my parents until he could get his contract settled and move us over there with him. As my pregnancy advanced we decided that I should stay and have the baby in Texas and have both our children be U. S. citizens, rather than have double citizenship.

Time dragged on.  The club was not fulfilling the promise to supply airline tickets and an apartment for us so we waited, and waited, and waited.  We could not afford to buy the tickets ourselves.  I did a lot of crying.  I missed my husband terribly. He just had to be there to see his child being born!

February came and with it came our second blessing – Christian.  My son Jonathan and my mom and dad were there to support me and to celebrate this new life that was added to our family.  Jorge was not able to be there.

I remember thinking that a lot of military wives had gone through the same thing and what strong women they must be.  I, too, had to be strong for the sake of my children.  I did a lot of praying and crying out to the Lord.  He helped me through those rough times.

During this time Jorge transferred to Chaco For Ever in Resistencia, Argentina.  Through negotiations for a contract he was able to get tickets for us all to fly down there to be with him.  After three hundred seventy-one days I finally saw my husband again.  Yes, that is a year and six days! That is the kind of sacrifice many soccer players and their families make to have a successful career.

Christian was six months old when he and Jorge met for the first time at the Ezeiza International Airport in Argentina.  The bond was immediate.

The same thing was to happen when our third child Julianna was born.  Airports are popular meeting places for our family.

Living the soccer life is not always easy.  There are many births, birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays that are missed.  You learn to enjoy the time you have together.  You celebrate what you can when you can and always thank God for the blessings.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.   Isaiah 55:8

 

 

 

 

Pre-Game Breakfast

With a three-day holiday tournament weekend coming up you might be thinking about how to fuel your body for optimal energy.  Good nutrition and hydration are vital to keep your body functioning and performing at its highest level possible.

Hydration

It is especially important to make sure you are well-hydrated starting the day before a game.  Sip on water throughout the day.  If you feel thirsty you are probably already a little dehydrated.  It is a good idea to drink some sort of fruit juice the night before a game.  This helps to maintain hydration.

The morning of a competition try to drink at least two cups of water 2 hours before the game.  Drink another cup 15 minutes before the game.

Commercial sports drinks can be consumed during half-time and post-game to replenish the body’s electrolytes that are lost through sweat during a game.

Breakfast

Breakfast should be eaten 3-4 hours before a game.  It is important to note that it takes 3 hours for proteins to digest so if game time is coming up in a lesser time than that you should probably avoid heavy proteins.

Breakfast is a good time to load up on carbohydrates that will provide the energy needed to fuel your body for the entire game.  Some examples of pre-game breakfasts are given below.

Power Breakfast (to be consumed if there is time to digest proteins)

  • Scrambled Eggs with Canadian Bacon
  • Whole Wheat English Muffin
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Oatmeal cooked in low-fat milk with honey, nuts, and fresh berries or a banana

Quick Breakfast (not much time before game)

  • Whole Grain Bagel with Peanut Butter/Apple Slices

Other Breakfast Ideas

  • Smoothie made with Yogurt or Milk and Fruit
  • Dried Fruit and Nut Mix
  • Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwich on Whole Grain Bread
  • Energy Bar and Banana
  • Glass of Milk and Banana

For more detailed information about soccer nutrition, FIFA has published a nutritional guide for players of all levels.  The link to view this guide is: http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/afdeveloping/medical/nutrition_booklet_e_1830.pdf

 

 

How to Avoid Soccer Burnout

I have spent a fair amount of time in the country and I have always been fascinated by animal behavior.  The interaction between man and beast can be incredible and at times a little frightening.  I recall a time when I was a teenager and riding our horse Daisy one afternoon.  Daisy was getting old and tired but I wasn’t too concerned about that.  I just wanted to ride.  I saddled her up and we set off.  Daisy was resistant to my pull on the reigns and I could tell this might not be too easy of a ride.  I was insistent and continued to prod her on.  Before I knew it Daisy was galloping and I was enjoying the wind whipping my hair and feeling the elation of riding horseback.  That feeling did not last long.  Daisy had other plans for me.  She ran me under a low thick branch to try to knock me off her back.  If I had not ducked low enough I would have fallen off and been seriously injured.

So what went wrong?  I’m no expert on animal behavior but I think Daisy was trying to tell me something.  She didn’t want me on her back!  She had always been a gentle and loving horse but she had reached the point where she had had enough running around and busyness.  She just needed to “chill.”  Daisy had experienced burnout.

Like Daisy, we all experience burnout at one time or another.  With four children playing soccer and homeschooling them all I eventually reached that point.  One of my children’s teams went to every available tournament they could find.  Many of these were during August in Texas.  Texas is big!  Texas is hot!  There were long drives and lots of sweating on the sidelines.  That was just me.  My kids were playing in very hot weather and we all got extremely tired!  I worried about heat exhaustion.  I worried about how these trips were draining our bank account!  That’s when it hit me – burnout.  I did not want to see another e-mail from the team.  I voted down every tournament I could.  I had had enough!

Has this ever happened to you?  Have you wondered what you can do to recover?  Below are some ideas to help instill the joy of soccer back into your life and start being a happy parent on the sidelines with a happy player on the field.

  • Talk to the coach.  Share with him/her that your child is committed to the team but you feel that the team is scheduled for too many tournaments and why.  If it is for financial reasons let him know.  The team should be realistic about what families can afford and should allow families to have most holidays off (in my opinion) to enjoy with extended families or to take a family vacation.  If you realistically cannot afford to pay for all of the tournaments and travel expenses you may need to look for another team.
  • Let the coach know your child’s availability.  We decided that our kids would not go to Thanksgiving tournaments until they were in high school.  This is the age where players start going to showcase tournaments and are looking for a college scholarship.  Until they reached that point Thanksgiving tournaments were not vital to our child’s soccer development.  Most teams can find guest players to go to tournaments if they really need them.
  • If you cannot afford to take the entire family to an out of town tournament, consider sending them with a teammate whose parents you trust.  That way your child still gets to go to the tournament.  I never liked doing this because I hated missing my kids’ games but sometimes I had to.
  • Avoid letting your child be involved in too many activities.  Sometimes kids just need some down time.  There are some children who would be happy to be at the soccer fields every night of the week.  My boys were like that.  Most kids, however, are not that way.  Watch for burnout signs in your children.  Know when it’s time to slow down.
  • Plan some fun non-soccer activities on occasion.  Go to concerts in the park.  Go for a picnic and hang a hammock up to relax on.  Go fishing.  Watch free movies in the park.  Be on the lookout for community activities that you can do together as a family.

Soccer is a fun sport to play and watch.  I cannot imagine my life without it; however, I have been much happier since I learned how to balance out soccer with other aspects of our lives.  Balance is key.  What does your family do to avoid burnout?

How to Clean Goalkeeper Gloves

image (1)As with all soccer equipment, goalkeeper gloves require care and cleaning.  Washing the gloves helps restore some of the grip lost from excess dirt and helps them to smell fresh again.

  • Knock off loose dirt by tapping the gloves together.
  • Place the gloves in a sink full of warm water and some dish washing soap.
  • Let the gloves soak 10-15 minutes.  Do not scrub them as this could mess up the surface of the gloves.  Also, do not wash in the washing machine.  This could also mess up the surface and cause them to harden.
  • Wring the gloves out by gently twisting them.
  • Allow the gloves to air dry.  Do not place them in the sun. It is best to prop them where the water can run off the bottom and insides of the gloves.
  • Once dry, keep gloves fresh by placing some Arm & Hammer baking soda in a sock (knotted) and insert into the gloves.