Tag: coaches kids

Happy 13th Birthday Levi

Happy 13th Birthday Levi

Happy Birthday Levi

Dear Levi,

A few days after you were born your dad headed home since Nana was staying with Elijah and you and I hung out in St. Louis while we waited to see if my liver would rupture. Those days are a blur, however, there are distinct moments that I still remember with clarity.

You have always approached life at your own pace and on your own terms. Born over five weeks early you weren’t concerned that babies born that early need to eat on a specific schedule. Instead, you ate when you wanted to eat and if we tried to coax you otherwise you made us regret our efforts.

Even on your earliest days, you stared intently into people’s eyes listening to conversations and observing everything around you.

It seems to be me you’ve always understood the subtle nuances in conversation. Sarcasm, passive-aggressive behaviors, and even responses from people who didn’t quite know what they want are not lost on you.

You have a sensitivity and consideration for people that make you are caring and loyal friend. These are outstanding characteristics and I pray that you never feel the need the hide them.

Your teachers consistently share that you are an excellent student. This is something your grades also reflect. You are diligent to study concepts and you do a great job of asking questions to make sure you ask questions when you don’t understand things. You are respectful of your authorities even when you don’t necessarily agree with their teaching methods.

I’m so incredibly proud of the fact that you understand you shouldn’t demand that the world bends to your preferences. You adapt and adjust to teaching styles and expectations rather than expecting everyone to adjust to you, but you also know when to stand your ground. This is another characteristic that will help you in the future.

Your relationship with God continues to deepen. You offer insights about what you are learning at church on Sundays and Wednesdays. I’m so thankful for leaders who understand even in seventh grade your relationship with Jesus is real and needs tending.

Thirteen years later you still prefer to eat on your own schedule and you love to listen to conversations rather than participate in them. Finally, you still complete our family.

Happy Birthday, Levi! I cannot wait to see all the ways God blesses this thirteenth year of life!

2019 Christmas Gift Guide for Coaching Families

2019 Christmas Gift Guide for Coaching Families

2019 Christmas Gift Guide for Coaching Families

It’s the most wonderful and stressful time of the year for coaching families! We’re in the middle of playoffs, or starting a season, or moving, or interviewing or maybe some combination of what’s listed. We may be saying goodbye to seniors and preparing to say hello to new students. Perhaps we’re wrapping up the semester of classes and coaching in the state championships. It’s crazy.

So when family calls and asks what the kids want for Christmas it’s understandable that we don’t always remember the full list. We solved some of the challenge awhile ago by creating Amazon Wishlists and Wishlistr.com lists. Still, there are so many possibilities it’s nice to get some new ideas to add to your lists!

Here are my top suggestions for Christmas gifts in 2019 for every member of your coaching family.

Great Gifts for Coaches’ Kids

I’ll start by saying that experiences are always a great gift. Go explore the area where you grew up, take the family to a waterpark overnight, or go see a musical. Doing something special together creates memories and exposes your kids to new opportunities they may want to explore in the future.

We’ve always appreciated family who gives gift cards to fast food restaurants or movie gift cards as well. Allowing our kids to buy themselves popcorn and an icee at the movies without taking out a small loan is a wonderful holiday treat experience!

For the Active Family:

  • Does your coaching family participate in a lot of park district activities? Those fees can add up.
  • What about a membership to the local YMCA?
  • Has your child or grandchild expressed interest in sharpening their athletic skills? What about getting them a few sessions with a personal trainer?
  • Passes to the local pool for the summer are always a great gift as well, although this would require delayed gratification! 😉

For the Family that Travels:

  • Kindle Fires have dropped drastically in price and have great parental controls and expandable storage.
  • Over the ear headphones are great for allowing everyone to watching their own videos or listen to audiobooks in peace.
  • Do you have kids who are starting to drive? The Tile is a must-have for keeping track of keys, wallets, and phones.
  • DrinkintheBox and SnackintheBox have adorable and functional travel boxes for multiple snacks.

Coaches’ Kids Clothing:

It may seem easy to find a shirt on Pinterest and go have it made, but many of these adorable designs are copyrighted. Support your fellow coaches’ wives and order coaches’ kids’ apparel from one of these two great suppliers. I can personally vouch for the high-quality products.

Speaking of supporting coaches’ wives…if you’ve got a book lover or you need an extra stocking stuffer grab a copy of I am Strong like MOM

Im strong like a mom

Subscription Boxes and Services:

  • Our kids love getting their yearly Xbox Live Subscription renewed
  • Kiwi Co is awesome for the budding STEM or STEAM explorer, Engineer or Crafter
  • We Craft Box is another fun option for your crafty kids
  • Audible is great for the audiobook lover
  • Netflix, Hulu, AppleTV, AmazonPrime, Sling, and Disney Plus are all streaming services that will be the gift that keeps giving all year long.

Great Gifts for Coaches’ Wives

As long as you are ordering a t-shirt for the coach’s kid in your life you should check out the adorable items for wives as well!

My personal favorites from Friday Night Wives include Dibs on the Coach and May Your Coffee Be Strong and Your Season Be Long

The Fly Fox Apparel’s For the Love Hoodie is adorable and looks so cozy! Friends Fans don’t miss my other favorite t-shirt The One with the FOOTBALL

Other Clothing

If you Live in Cold Weather States

Kitchen Tools

Does your coach’s wife love coffee from a french press? This $8 stocking stuffer will make you the hero in her life. I don’t know why it works so perfectly, but what I can tell you is that I no longer avoid cleaning my french press!

OXO Brew french press spoon

What to add a french press to the mix? I love my stainless steel one!

Our boys love popcorn. With two teenage boys in the house, I’ve found that popcorn is a fast, cheap and semi-healthy snack to have available for days when they come home ready to raid the fridge. Microwave popcorn bags are a compromise for me. I’d much prefer they use the air popper.

Pampered Chef Popcorn Popper

The chemicals in the microwave bags plus the extra calories are negatives, coupled with the higher expense, you can imagine how intrigued I was to discover this silicone Microwave Popcorn Maker by Pampered Chef.

There is an individual size and a family size available and it works with oil, butter, or without either. This tool has been a game-changer for our family and it collapses down to store flat making it an amazing tool when it’s time to move too!

Fairtrade Items

Noonday – The Rustic Leather Tote is the only purse I’ve been using for about 2 years now and I love it! It’s lined on the inside with 2 zipper pockets. It’s also deep enough to carry everything I need and plenty of extra.

Every great purse deserves to have an awesome wallet! The Debre Wallet from livefashonable is also a fair trade item. It comes in multiple colors and is the perfect size.

Sseko Designs Ribbon Sandals allows the coach’s wife in your life to design fair trade sandals to match your team colors wherever you move!

While you’re on these sites check out the adorable necklaces, earrings, bracelets, bags, and clothing too!

Personalized Home Decor

The Culture is not the Enemy: The Culture is the Mission

When my friend Kayla posted this quote from her pastor’s wife on her Instagram page months ago I knew it was something I needed hanging in my office. I wasn’t the only coach’s wife who thought so, it inspired this printable! Kayla has several other adorable wall hangings in her store over at The Fly Fox.

Memberships

Coaches Wives Ministry is an excellent online support opportunity for wives at all levels. The yearly membership fee increases in January so this is the time to give a membership! From the website:

COACHES’ WIVES MINISTRY IS A GLOBAL OUTREACH DESIGNED TO STRENGTHEN AND EQUIP COACHES’ WIVES THROUGH DISCIPLESHIP ON THE MISSION FIELD OF SPORTS.

Fab Fit Fun This box is a fun surprise 4 times a year with seasonal gifts on-trend. From the website:

As a FabFitFun Member, you’ll get a box of fabulous finds in beauty, wellness, fashion, and fitness? hand-picked by the FabFitFun team! Each box will contain $200+ in retail value. You will receive a Seasonal Box (4) four times per year.

Great Gifts for Your Coach this Christmas

Qalo Silicone Ring

Ordell switched to a Qalo ring awhile ago and it’s held up really well. His gold band became pretty misshapen from strength training. Qalo has a great message, tons of variety and a discount for sis.life members!

Rocketbook

No more doodles all over the house! The Rocketbook system connects traditional handwriting surfaces with the power of the cloud and seamlessly transfers doodles to the computer. This book is also erasable and reusable up for a certain amount of times meaning that your investment will also reduce waste.

Backpack/Laptop Bag

North Face has a top-rated combination backpack and laptop bag. Not only will this allow Coach to carry all his gear and clothing for game day travel in one bag, but it will hold up for a long time.

Tickets to a Game

Send him and a buddy for a gameday experience. Coaches rarely get to be fans.

Memberships

  • Audible is great for coaches who are hitting the road recruiting or don’t have time to actually sit and read.
  • KlutchClub gives the gift of healthy snacks

So there you go! A few items to add to your Christmas wish lists this year. Hope you found a few new ideas.

Please note: Occasionally a link will redirect you to a website that is a business run by another coach’s wife! I’m not receiving any money for promoting their businesses. Please support them if you choose to order products from the companies I’ve highlighted.

The Fear that Lingers with Coaches’ Kids

I called our boys down from their rooms the other night. Rarely do I bother them once they have closed their bedroom doors, but I’d remembered and forgotten 10 times over that day to tell them the news.

Boys! Come here please. They hovered in the door. Curious, nervous. I was distracted trying to pull up the internet link, so I paused a little too long.

“We’re moving… around the corner.”

I looked up just in time to see the fear flash across their faces, and for a moment I was confused. They knew we were looking at a house yesterday. They knew it was in town. What was there to fear? And then I realized.

Our boys will always carry a lingering fear that their temporary home is once again changing.

I can’t blame them, they understand their dad’s career is a hard one. They hear what people say about his teams and they’ve even heard an opinion or more about their father’s coaching ability.

More than that, our sons are smart. They have sharp memories and our sons are acutely aware that even when we are told that we won’t be leaving, they may soon learn we are because administrators are fickle, and sometimes they lie.

Why does Fear Linger?

Fear lingers with coaches’ kids because they see how much their dad sacrifices. Kids see how hard they are working outside the office for the team and how little else is getting done during the season.

Coaches’ kids understand that all their dads work as hard as they can, and they know that in the blink of an eye it can all be taken away because it all comes down to wins and losses.

What a life. To know that you will pack your room, say goodbye to your friends, your school, your teammates, your current comforts at any time and be asked to start over once again.

It’s no wonder that an unintentional pause causes momentary panic.

How Can We Help Reduce the Fear?

While I understand there is little I can do to eliminate that fear, I can do what I can to reduce the wonder. I’ve tried to encourage our boys to ask questions when they come up instead of holding them in and wondering.

When things may change we try to keep them in the loop as much as appropriately possible (like telling them we’re looking at a house). But this is a catch-22. It’s important to protect kids from themselves and not require them to hold onto secrets they will have a hard time keeping to themselves.

Knowing our kids’ personalities, one needs to verbally process sooner than the other. This means creating space such as ice cream dates or asking for help with errands so there is car time to chat.

Find Outside Resources

Don’t be afraid to seek outside support. Connect with your church, get kids involved in youth groups, mentoring programs, hobbies, and activities. It’s important to make sure that your kids have the outlets they need to properly express themselves and channel their fears rather than focus on them. While it may never leave, fear doesn’t need to dominate their days.

We’ve worked hard to point our boys to God and to help them develop independent relationships with him. We understand that God is the only one who will help them fully wrestle with their fear. He will also help them persevere when they hear those dreaded words once again.

While no solution is perfect, I’m most thankful that our boys have each other. They are good friends who know to look out for each other and include each other in experiences. They value their relationship with each other and will always have that with every move.