Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

December 10, 2007

December Daily : Day Ten

Tonight we are celebrating Simon’s first time attending soccer practice. They have this really cool program locally called Tops Soccer that pairs kids with physical/cognitive special needs (K – high school) with a bunch of super-soccer kids who teach them the basics.

Simon’s two buddies did pretty darn good working with him for a first-time experience. They played chase, passed the ball, chased some more (which turned it into tag), and did some other drills (and then a little more chase to top it off). You can only imagine how cool it was to see all the kids working together, helping each other out, and cheering each other on.

And of course, it was not an event without a bit of parental intervention. The first time for anything is a lot to take in all at once for any kid. I know he loved the freedom to just run and run and run but some other behaviors cropped up as he was figuring out what was ok and not ok. There was some “picking-up-the-ball-and-throwing-it-at-other-kids (directly at other kids)” on the field so I ran a bit of interference:

and then he decided it was fun to run away from his new buddies and go behind the goals (again + again).

So next it was Chris’ turn:

We love taking turns.

The practice was an hour and he was definitely getting tired by the end.

Overall, cool experience. Great physical outlet and safe place. Pretty sure he will want to go back again next week.


  • 1.
    Chantel Grismer said…

    Wow, it sounds like simon had an awesome time… I have really enjoyed seeing him grow and change into such a little man since starting to read your blog a year ago… High Five to Simon!!

  • 2.
    Shelley said…

    ok – have to say how cool is that program! awesome for you all.. and second – love the true parenting abilities captured on film if only ALL parents would learn and know it’s best to get right down to their level. you’ve got it captured. proof positive. we, too – take turns here.. it’s a simple – “dada – this one’s ALL you.” hope simon enjoys going back next time! loving the album progress, BTW! take care!

  • 3.
    alexandra said…

    So cool.
    Go Simon, go!!!

  • 4.
    Denise said…

    What an awesome program to have! I am glad your son had a great time.

  • 5.
    Denise Kashyap said…

    This sounds so cool, Ali! Got a lump in my throat (ok, a little teary eyed too) seeing the cool pics of Simon’s first soccer experience with his new buddies.

  • 6.
    susan skogseth said…

    As a soccer mom who spends more time at a soocer field than in my own bed, I say WOW where can I sigh up?! That is just amazing that they have these programs. I know my older daughter would love to do somthing like that. I truly love the sport and we have had many adventures because of it. I hope Simon loves it as much as my kids do, or at least have half of the fun!!

  • 7.
    Audrey said…

    what a great experience for all.

  • 8.
    Crystal said…

    What a cool opportunity for Simon – and for the other kids to develop leadership skills and understanding! I love the pictures of you and Chris out there doing what every parent has to do sometimes :) This is another great page in your album!

  • 9.
    christina said…

    so ali, can you explain a little more in detail how you put the album together ahead of time? is it mainly clear overlay pages that you then put your photos on?

  • 10.
    Kim said…

    We have the tops program in our area too. It’s a great opportunity not only for the kids that live with thier challanges but also for the other kids. Since pre-school my daughter has always had a huge heart for kids with special needs and this is one more program that she can work with and help those kids. Its very rewarding for her and a nice warm feeling for me as well!!!

  • 11.
    Deb Long said…

    Just wanted to let you know I’ve been reading your new book and have found it incredibly inspiring. I suddenly have all sorts of ideas floating around in my mind – I think I’m going to try a few “what you did today” pages for my kids – I really like the ones you have done for Simon!
    Thanks, as always, for putting art within reach.

  • 12.
    sue said…

    What a wonderful program and wonderful kids to help teach the sport to others. Way to go Simon!

  • 13.
    Jan Connair said…

    Ali, I don’t know how you come up with all of these great ways to get Simon involved! I hope my SIL has had a moment to check out your blog. She has two autistic boys, ages 10 and 4. I think it would be so encouraging for her to hear about Simon! He’s a lucky little boy to have you and your dh on his team!

  • 14.
    Amy said…

    I love that you both took pictures of your interventions. . .

  • 15.
    Melanie said…

    I have to agree with Jan’s comment above about how lucky Simon is! And WOW, what a program to have available! And he is soooo cute!!! He just IS!

  • 16.
    Sara R. said…

    Ok. Seriously? You are such a cool mom!!! And your album justs gets better each day. So happy to see you are still sharing each day with us! Love to see those photos of Simon…he seems like such a fabulously fun little boy!

  • 17.
    Laura said…

    Gotta question regarding making personalized ornaments.
    I tried using rubon letters, but they will not transfer to the glass. Any suggestions?
    I then tried using glitter stickers, but they too will not stick to the glass.
    Help!!! =D

  • 18.
    Jenny A. said…

    Pretty darn cool program Ali! Love the parent intervention pictures. You could see Simon smiling in one of them :-) Very sweet.

  • 19.
    Roni said…

    How wonderful is that!! With only hearing horrible teenager stories, this was so refreshing and a reminder that there is so much good in the world and so much to be thankful for. Soccer is such a wonderful sport and for Simon to be able to participate leaves me with a smile on my face. Parents who have children without disabilites may not know the sense of pride you have just watching your child play a group sport. It is so wonderful to have Simon exposed to this regardless of how many times you run interference. You and Chris are awesome parents. Simon is as lucky to have you two as you both are to have him.
    Happy Day #10!

  • 20.
    Mary Rogers said…

    so awesome for Simon (I just found myself saying “run simon run”, lol – and I love that you and Chris take turns….you know I know that is so important…
    loving the journal Ali! thanks for sharing it with us!!!

  • 21.
    Meg said…

    Oh. My. Goodness. Reminder to self: sign George up next year! What an amazing program! I love that you and Chris both were there to cheer (and guide) him on!

  • 22.
    Maria said…

    While at first intrigued by your creative skills, I am now so inspired and uplifted with you as a person/wife/mom – Merry Christmas to you and your family, Ali! Enjoy every single minute :)

  • 23.
    Judy B said…

    I want to read your blog to read about Simon, as much as I want to read about your creative endeavors. The love that you and Chris show him, and give to him in your parenting makes me feel warm and teary. God has truly given you two a purpose in life, and you have accepted the challenge wholeheartedly. Your outlook on life, too, has given me the courage to be free in my scrapbooking for the first time in my life, and that’s saying a lot for an older retired person. Thank you. May God keep the blessings coming to you three. Merry Christmas!

  • 24.
    Vanessa said…

    Looks like Simon had a “ball” out on the soccer field. That Tops Soccer program sounds fantastic. So cool. :-)
    Love, love the album!!! You are amazing!

  • 25.
    Vanessa said…

    Looks like Simon had a “ball” out on the soccer field. That Tops Soccer program sounds fantastic. So cool. :-)
    Love, love the album!!! You are amazing!

  • 26.
    Brittany said…

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, but I don’t think I’ve ever told you how much you inspire me (both in and out of the scrapbook world). NO ONE’s scrapbooking gets me more excited about life and art like yours. And I love seeing how you and Chris parent Simon (working together… it is so beautiful). I am young and don’t have children yet, but it is something I look forward to veeeerrrrryyy much. Basically, you are teaching me Ali,in SO MANY ways that are priceless. Since my mom died, there aren’t too many people I can look to for this kind of stuff. So, from the bottom of my heart…Thank you! (sorry this is so long)

  • 27.
    Carole Hepburn said…

    GO Simon Go !!! Soccer ROCKS !!!

  • 28.
    Traci said…

    i would love to have something like this close to us!! I played soccer for years and our daughter has played 3 seasons so far. in the winter kids need something like that to keep them moving!

  • 29.
    Jennie said…

    How fun! I can’t wait until Ryan is old enough to start playing some “organized” sports! It’s going to be so much fun!
    Okay, those are the cutest little black shoes ever, Ali! Are they Mary Janes? Where oh were did you find them? I think I NEED my husband to get them for me for Christmas this year! :-)

  • 30.
    suetreiber said…

    very cool program! And FYI, my kids wanted to pick up the ball all the time too :)
    loving the album.

  • 31.
    Aseel Ohlmeyer said…

    Hi Ali
    Thank you for sharing your life experiences and creativity and inspiring me to start scrapping. :) I love all of your books and your genuine, sincere style.
    I notice that you sometimes use blank / lined paper for your journaling on your layouts. What kind of paper do you use? (i.e. is it regular stationary – that one could spray with archival mist for example, or is it scrapping paper – in which case, where can I find it?). Cutting up plain white cardstock could work but it is kind of thick to use as a journaling block. Appreciate any tips, thanks!
    Wishing you and your family peace and happiness this holiday season.
    Aseel xx

  • 32.
    Holly T said…

    Great job mom and dad…LOVE the parenting pics…very cool.
    Wonderful experience for him! Good job.

  • 33.
    Sara said…

    You guys are doing so many fun things together. Looks like soccer was a hit!

  • 34.
    tammy t said…

    So incredibly cool. I love kids working with other kids, and they all get something so awesome out of it!
    And of course we all need the parent tag team!

  • 35.
    Dawn said…

    Looks like Simon had a great time! That is a really cool program. Your album is beautiful!!! :-)

  • 36.
    Lisa M said…

    My son who is 21 already played soccer in his Private Christian School. There were only a few kids in the entire school so they all played together even the teacher. I think they all learned ALOT by playing soccer together…such team work! Today my son still plays soccer every chance he gets and I think he’s pretty good at it too! :)
    Good luck to Simon, I hope it’s a good experience for him.

  • 37.
    Jillian Koch said…

    Hi Ali,
    It’s my first time on your blog, and I’m so amazed! I’m signing up for my first ever CKU in Chicago tomorrow and hope to get into your album track. (REALLY HOPE!!!) I’m a pediatric PT in Washington DC and love you even more now that I know about Simon. The autism program at OHSU has a great reputation. Hope to meet you in March!

  • 38.
    carla par said…

    That is so cool for Simon to learn soccer from other kids.

  • 39.
    kelly said…

    that is awesome!
    i loved playing soccer when i was really little.

  • 40.
    ELLIE said…

    what an excellent program….so glad that Simon enjoyed it….
    Thanks for sharing it all

  • 41.
    Stephanie D. said…

    I know this may sound weird, but soccer can be very therapeutic. There’s something about be outside and running until you’re out of breath.
    My son was very, very active and strong willed as a child. Soccer and bike riding were two activities that he could really burn off all that extra energy and frustrations.

  • 42.
    Penny said…

    Awesome experience for the little guy. So sweet. Thanks for sharing.

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