Fall, glorious fall.  I've often said that if I could find someplace that was 65-80 degrees year round with plenty of sunshine and snow on Christmas and 100 degrees on the 4th of July that it would be my paradise.  I jest of course, one because we'd never really move there and two, because I just really enjoy the CHANGE of the seasons.  Not the sudden, drastic, over-night changes, but the drawn-out transitions.  I love the way the air cools down to a chilly 50 degrees at night and the trees begin to undress as their leaves curl slightly and change from green to those brilliant fall hues, and the grass begins its transformation too as scant bits of yellow start to show amidst the green blades. 

The sky is different and the air actually feels different...it always reminds me of football.  Fall and football are pretty much synonymous.  I remember going to highschool football games as early as elementary school and then getting to march with the band at half-time in junior high and for a year in highschool.  I'm sure at that time I had absolutely no idea what was going on out there on the field except when a touchdown was scored.  I guess at those times, just being able to be in the stands cheering was a pretty cool privlege afforded to a 7th grader, give and take a couple of years. 

By the time I was in high school, football games were probably much more a social event with some cheering on the side.  We sat in the stands, but I think we talked more than we watched and cheered mostly when the Bearcats scored or when the opposing team challenged our vocal volume with a chant of  "We love our team, yes we do, we love our team, how 'bout YOU?"  In college, I'm pretty sure it was still a social scene...that and picking out which players looked the best in their football pants.  :)  All in all, fall weather always brings excitement of football games, and now I'm actually watching the game--and learning more about it too.  You kind of have to figure out which players are which positions...or at least which one your kid plays...it's the only way I'll know if he's in the right place at the right time and doing his job!  You know...a mother's work is never done.  :)
2009--my what a difference a year can make.  He looks like a child in this picture, but when I took it, I remember thinking he looked HUGE!

Jakob began playing midget football last fall.  He could have played the two years prior to that but we made a decision that 6th grade was a good time to start.  Even though the kids are young and resilient, Tim felt like their little bodies will take a lot of abuse over the years of playing and waiting would at least allow him a couple of extra years without that. 

My little boy puts pads and a helmet on and suddenly looks like a giant.  This year is magnified even more since he stands almost eye-to-eye with me!  He looks so grown up--so big!  He's excited to be playing even more this year considering there was a possiblility that he wouldn't get to due to his broken arm.  Two weeks or so into the season, he was given clearance to play completely and after a little hesitancy from mom and some from him too, he jumped in and played.  So far...no problems. 

It's fun to watch any of my kids play and compete.  I love it.  I listened to the words of a friend who stated that sports wouldn't be something that formed a child to succeed like other things would and placing emphasis on sports might be a mistake.  While I agree that not every child is going to find success IN sports, resulting in a college scholarship or even a career, I disagree with the statement regarding general success.  I think there are many things to be learned through sports, and if the child is a competitor, he'll learn numerous things that will benefit him later in life...just speaking from my own experience.  At any rate, I really enjoy watching each of my children be excited about something, participate, learn, practice and execute...and when they're good at it, it's a bonus!  Jakob is good and has the potential to be very good--I have a right to brag, right??

The above sequence of photos is Jakob running a pattern, doing a great job of getting clear of defenders and open in the endzone for a touchdown and as I followed him with the camera, I got a stroller instead of him catching the ball!  UGH!  He did catch it though.  The following week, I did the same thing, but I was sure to be clear of all obstacles that could potentially impede my view of him catching the ball, and just as he caught it, a man stepped right in front of me!  REALLY! 

I'm learning what each position actually does now instead of just knowing the names and what the quaterback and kicker do...I've always known that the line blocks, and the receivers catch the ball, but by the time Jakob is in highschool, maybe I'll know the rest!  Jakob is a safety and defensive end on defense and a tight end on offense.  He also punts. 

I'm sure that this will not be the only post with football pictures...that broken lens doesn't make for easy photography, so I'm determined to get some good ones--better ones!  Plus, I still need to actually grab proof that he can catch the ball!