Countdown Week 7-  July 11 Week

Wow is it strange not going into work.  Strange, but I know Iíll get used to it!  The plan is to get all equipment ready and a lot of the administrative type stuff done in the first couple of weeks.  We will then do a dry run through North Dakota to test our systems at the end of July.  August 8th week is Brendaís annual family reunion week at a small resort on Gull Lake in the Brainerd Lakes area of Minnesota.  After that, there will be two weeks to work on homeschool curriculum and packing the RV and making the house ready for the Pearsons. 

There are so many tasks that need to be completed before we set out for good at the end of August.  The one indulgence that Iím enjoying is early morning cycling.  In my single days, and days before kids, I enjoyed long bike rides.  We ride as a family now, but itís not the same as going out on the old Fuji alone for miles.  Putting in 20 or 30 miles before getting to the list has been great for my mental and physical health.  Minneapolis boasts such impressive mileage of bike trails and good roads for cycling. 

This week was still a week of shifting gears before being able to completely focus on the trip.  I set up a lunch for my closest coworkers at GMI where I brought in the RV and a bunch of homemade sub sandwiches for a lunch tour.  It was great that they could get a first-hand look at our quarters for the year. 

The other big thing to finish off this week was the soccer season.  All three kids played:  Leah in a recreational league, Nate in traveling, and Jenna in recreational.  I was originally signed up to coach Leahís team.  I have coached Nateís and Jennaís teams several times each during the past few years but never Leahís.  The Tonka United organization ended up assigning me with coaching both girls teams because there wasnít a coach for Jennaís.  I had promised Leah that this was her year and I couldnít let her down, so it was a busy double season! 

One soccer story I do have to share is about Jennaís team, the Thunderdogs.  It was a season with swings from cluelessness to momentary glimpses of hope that they were learning something.  They won a few games but more often were soundly trounced.  This week was the final tournament.  Friday, the day before the tournament, they had a makeup game where they took a terrible punishment.  Tournament day ended up being one of those days that keeps you in coaching. 

Something lit a fire under the girls and they won the first game 5-0 and the second 4-1 earning them a place in the finals.  The team they met in the finals had beaten them 8-0 during the season.  By half time, the Thunderdogs were leading the other stunned team 2-0.  The exhausted girls hung on to a 2-2 tie which was as good as victory to our team!  The girls had played as a team, many different girls had scored goals, and just seeing them so excited made it the extra stress of the year all worthwhile.  The parents topped it off by running onto the field and making a bridge for them to run through.  Ten year old girls are so great. 

The major responsibilities completed, I could now more completely focus on the trip preparations!