Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday Wonders ~ Coach McCutchen and Coach Bostick

Coach Tim Bostick and Coach Marty McCutchen
The 6th grade Panther football team concluded our four-year run last Tuesday night. The team celebrated Sunday evening with the Paschal High School alumni field presentation, then moved the party to Pop's Garage for burgers and cake. In the last moments of the party, as the parents presented the coaches with gift cards, Corbin spoke for all of us when he said we couldn't find a better pair of men to entrust or boys with over four tackle football seasons. They know football, they know our boys, and they are the kind of men you not only trust your kiddos with, but it's a privilege for our children to be under their example and leadership.

For the last several years, Coach Marty McCutchen and Coach Tim Bostick made themselves available in early August for summer practices preceding the season. Then late August through early November, offered countless hours and energy as they rushed from work to practice, toting along huge water coolers and whatever else equipment I'm not even aware of. They taped injured hands and legs before practices and games, helped and hugged boys through minor injuries (and a couple of more significant ones), and kept up with opposing team films and stats in order to prepare the Panthers as best as possible.

For many kids, football stops around this age. Going on in middle school or high school will appeal to some, but many will veer towards other sports in the next couple of years as they streamline their activities. But my feeling is that every one of these Panther players has an appreciation for the sport and an increased confidence as an athlete, regardless if they ever suit up for a football game again. There's a strong assurance set in these years of youth, playing on a great team with great camaraderie, under fantastic coaches.

I believe the success of our Panther team has a lot to do with the caliber of the families, but also the expectations and leadership of Marty and Tim. But enough about what I think, here are a few of the Panther player's thoughts:

What's your favorite thing about playing for Coach McCutchen?
- "You have to work for the team's achievements."
- "He always says, 'Get it Done' - push til we finish, as long as we have to."
- "He helped me a lot, helped me improve."
- "He's always nice at practices and games. Makes me want to play football."
- "He's a very godly man."
- "He is always on our side."
- "He believes in us."
- "He did really well creating new plays."
- "He's nice but can keep control of us."
- (from his son, John) "He doesn't make it too complicated, he makes it pretty simple to understand."

What's your favorite thing about playing for Coach Bostick?
- "He teaches us all about muscle memory - that we gotta practice well to play well. He tells us, 'Play as hard as you can for as long as you can. Doesn't matter how big he other team is.'"
- He teaches us that we all have to work individually to make the team better.
- "He's really nice, encouraging, and doesn't get mad if you do something wrong."
- "He pushes us, doesn't give up on us."
- "He pushes us to do well."
- "He's loud!"
- "How he yells."
- "He's always very honest with us."
- "He made good choices with plays - who to play where."
- (from his son, Alex) "He's tough on us but it paid off in the end."

Marty and Tim - thanks for the seasons of memories. Not only in Panther football, but in flag football before that, and on the Little League baseball diamond as well. We are grateful for your time and energy poured out for our kids and families. Of course a great program like this takes a whole slew of parents - and there are a handful of men who attended each and every game, many practices, videoed and photographed games (JB), worked with the boys as assistant coaches, and jumped in for years to make this all run. But Marty and Tim, as the coaches of our mighty Panther team, we sure hope you feel the gratification that comes from excellent leadership poured out over years.

Cutie Patootie 2nd graders - Flag football with Coach McCutchen

Big 3rd graders - introduction season to tackle football
4th grade - Superbowl champs at Cowboys Stadium
5th Grade - Increased team skills this season as younger underdogs playing older teams. Another way of saying ~ not a ton of wins, but lots learned!

Bostick and McCutchen making sure our boys demonstrated good sportsmanship - win or lose
6th grade. Hot, tiring practices lead to another winning Panther season


Final 6th grade game vs. the Longhorns
Final debrief of final game of final season.
Just for fun - playing a little flag football on the new PHS Panther field
Love this pic - proud coaches
Coaches and their boys - we are proud to be a part of Panther Nation!

I love writing these "Wednesday Wonder" posts, because when I see amazing people doing extraordinary things, I want to shout it from the rooftops. Or at least from my little blog!  The people I highlight here are "Wonders" in my eyes because I see God's work in and through them - His work transforming the ordinary to extraordinary. But it typically takes a willing heart, some risk, and an offering of "yes" for Him to transform.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Practicing Gratitude 10.25.13

- That our pastor teaches this - firmly - from the pulpit.

- Taking (making) the time to write. And how it feeds my soul.

- Praying each week alongside school moms.

- The pool house - clean and cozy - such a gift.

- Her new habit. How do kids intuitively know how to do this??

- Cappy teaching Bran how to drive - a standard!

Turned Bran's evening at Bourland into an adventure

- Returning home to mischievous pups having unabashedly torn up the backyard turf. Choosing to be thankful in all things.

- This girl and her dogs. 

This makes the turf chewing bearable.

- Finding this paper in Esther's backpack.

Upon closer inspection, I asked why she erased half of the "polite" box. Her response - because sometimes I burp!" Well, then.
- Basden's doodles. She's done this for years since Rebecca taught them at Roomie Camp.

- When Corbin writes encouraging emails to the kids' teachers.

- The magic of shrinky dinks

- Es completing her "no sucking fingers" chart as per Dr. Kelley's orders.

Especially love how she "signed" each day's progress
- Branson's new braces (Round 2). And that we could afford them. Especially with little Essie starting hers this month!

- Dr. Kelley and his amazing staff. That if we're going to be in an orthodontic office so often, at least we get to see great people! (Basden and Hud are on a hiatus between rounds one and two...)

- Cotillion (John with his day-of football concussion - grateful he's there and walking!)

- First Honor Choir outing

- Corbin taking the girls out - water gardens after dinner

- A baby shower for Basden's sweet teacher. And - the gift of little Charlotte Parker born just a few days later perfectly healthy.

- Going through all of the kids' school work from last year. All those hard-worked-for grades, assignments completed, etc.  Difficult to just throw in recycle, represents so much learned and so much hard work.

- The lightness that comes with seeing piles (that have been squatting for months and even years) begin to disappear.

- The joys of finding JoJo - even more fun with Ashley

- Finding them laughing together

- Corbin passing his CMPE exam. Smarty pants.

- Saturday mornings. Somehow Mitchell always finds himself surrounded by the girls.

- Mom (and Dad!) taking care of the kids on back-to-back weekends for us. We loved our Colorado Springs / San Diego weekends - what a treat. And hugely grateful for friends who gladly step in to offer rides and fill in the gaps. 

- Breakfast at Clayton's Diner on Coronado - and riding bikes around the island. So quaint and patriotic.

- This used to surprise me, especially at vacation locations we may never even venture to again (in San Diego here). But after all these years, I find his "window shopping" adorable. A true curiosity for real estate ALL over.

- The true joy this brings him. A hobby straight from Heaven - seriously. This makes him long for quiet moments in the outdoors - what more could I want for a teenage son?!

- Foster and his elk

- A few quiet minutes of solitude in the morning. So refreshing, so necessary.

- Christmas in Cowtown - missing half a school day Friday for our annual date. 

- Young Life dodgeball!

- Bostick boys for dinner - fun for all four of our kiddos

- This group of boys. Four years of great memories with Hud as part the Panthers!

- Mama’s recovery - day 2 out of surgery today, that her vitals are good, her tummy feels better.

- Daboo and Cappy headed to Tulsa - so good - to see soccer games and hug those darling grandsons!

- Looking forward to a FULL weekend FULL of cousins!

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles...   1 Chronicles 16:11-12