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8 posts from September 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Making My First TouchDown

By Matthew Vaughn


I was nervous in my second game.  My coach was telling us plays.  It was so hot outside that I thought I would pass out! I was sweating.  "Water!"  My Panthers team and I took our places on the field.  I am Number 9. 

The whistle blew and I felt weird.  I was scared, nervous, excited, and happy all at the same time.  I played halfback in my second game.  The first time the quarterback handed off the ball to me I was surrounded by all these big guys and my flag disappeared in a split second.  Then I was sad.  Payback time!


On the last play of the game the quarterback passed the football to me and I tucked it under my arm and held it as tight as I could.  These big guys started running after me from all directions!  My Dad had showed me how to spin around them and run fast with the ball.  I ran as fast as I could and I was shocked that nobody could get my flags.  I spun around and around for my life and not a one of them could catch me.   The goal was getting closer and closer and I ran faster and faster and I was smiling.

The big guys were right behind me and I ran right into the goal.  I scored my first touchdown!!!  We still lost, but I don't care, I made the only touchdown of the game for my team and they were really happy.

I was happy too and that's how it happened.




Tuesday, September 25, 2007



Original Post: Saturday, September 22, 2007

I am still in shock.  Matthew played Halfback today and twice today the Quarterback passed the ball off to Matthew.  What is amazing is that Matthew is the smallest and youngest boy on his team - the Panthers.  He has made a lot of friends and I couldn’t be more proud of him.  The team they played today -- Team 3 from the Siskey Y - were pretty big boys too, but Matthew wasn’t intimidated one bit. 

One play, Matthew ran and pulled the flag of an opponent before he could score a touchdown - Yeah!  Go Matthew!

Last play of the game, Team 3 was winning. The Quarterback passes the ball off to Matthew and he starts running down field, ball tucked under his arm, and swirling around dodging the opponents. Naturally, I’m standing on the sidelines screaming “GO MATTHEW! RUN! RUN! RUN! He ran so fast all anyone saw was a blur. TOUCHDOWN!

Yeap, Matthew scored a touchdown - last play of the game. Panthers didn't win the game, but Matthew scored the only touchdown for his team and he’s a hero.

That’s My Boy!

Now This is What I Call A Panther's Game!

Matthew18 Matthew’s first football game.  A great Saturday at the Siskey YMCA!

Original Post: Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Matthew is 10 years old.  He loves science and is big on studying space.  This year he decided he wanted to try something different.  He wanted to play flag football.  So Bob and I signed him up to play with the team at our church - Southbrook Church.  His team is the Panthers and this past Saturday was his first game. 

We sat up our folding chairs on the sidelines with the other parents and had a great afternoon.  Saturdays are going to be very busy for the rest of the football season.

Here is a glimpse at the fun we had.  Matthew had the most fun of all, and loved every minute of his Saturday as a real Panther Center.


Warming up before the game - “Isn’t this Great!!!”


Dad giving Matthew a few last minute pointers before the big game.


“Ahhhh, Mom!  Did you have to kiss me in front of the guys?” 


As the coach goes over his strategy before the game I couldn’t help but think - “He may be small, my #9, but he sure is fast and powerful - and cute as a button.” (oops, I’m not supposed to say that at his football game am I?)


Matthew played Center in this past weekend’s game.  He sets up for the hike.


“Ready, Set, Hike!”


Look at that form!  A perfect beginning to his first game ever.  He’s a natural!


What a great blocker!  He knows how to protect the Quarterback during a pass.  Great Job Matthew!


“You’re not going to get away from me that easily!” 


Let’s try to hike that football a little differently this time.....


Without falling on your head.


“Ahhhh, shucks.....I was really hoping to get thru this without having to wear this mouthpiece. It’s twice as big as my mouth!”


“This is worse than going to the dentist.”


“I feel for you buddy, I want to spit mine out too.”


“I feel like a dork.  Mom, please don’t take another picture.  I look like I just swallowed a toad.”

Great game Matthew!  Time to go home and collapse after a long day.


That's My Girl!


Sarah has fulfilled one of her goals - to play Soccer.  We are all very proud of her!

Original Post: Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sarah wanted to play Soccer.  So, we signed her up for the sport at our church - Southbrook Church - and she has excelled beautifully.  She gets right in there among all the action and doesn’t take any stuff from anyone.  She is a real team player! 

She has had 2 games this season and we have already taken over 300+ pictures.  Of course I am not going to post them all here, but I am going to give you a glimpse of a few of my favorites. 

Sarah is on Team China - all the teams are named after a country - and she is Number 13.  She had no idea 13 was an unlucky number to some, but to her it is a lucky number.  She is 13 and this has been a very good year for her.

Enjoy the pics.  That’s My Girl!!!!


Sarah is on the left and taking the ball down the field like a pro.


Great form and Soccer action with that ball!


Sarah’s not going to take any stuff from a boy!  “That’s My Ball!”


Sarah has long legs and she is a fast runner - She’ll outrun the boys too!


Always in the action, Sarah has her eye on the ball.


Now this is a great way to cool off on a hot afternoon at the Soccer Field.


All smiles and having a great day!


Can you tell we’re proud? She did great, she loves to play Soccer, and the next goal on her list to be fulfilled is being a part of the Matthews’ Playhouse Children’s Theatre. We’re workin’ it! Oh, she is getting A’s and B’s. Her schoolwork is tops!

A Very Proud Mom

Sarah's To Do List Before 9th Grade


Original Post: Monday, August 27, 2007

Last night, when I went to bed, Sarah had left a notebook on my pillow with a list of her “To Do” priorities before 9th grade.  Sarah is beginning 8th grade, so these are her priorities before next school year.  I had a big laugh and big smile as I went to sleep and thought you would enjoy the read too...

1. Get A’s & B’s

2. Play Sports

3. Get in the community theatre

4. Let my nails grow

5. Get 10 Webkinz

6. Don’t become a pimple face

7. Become great friends with Alexa

8. Give Matthew a BIG weggie

9. Raise $100+

Screenshot_14 10. Read 20+ books

11. Get to level 3+ on piano

12. Keep my room clean

13. Get Allison to come down again

14. Get better at or take a break from art

15. Get 5 new CDs

16. Build a Laser to keep boys out of my room

Isn’t it funny the priorities our children have?  I had to print this in my blog.  Some day Sarah is going to look back on her 13 yr old priorities and also laugh.  Out of the mouths and minds of babes......priceless.

A Special Vaughn Family Baptism


On June 9th, Sarah and I were baptized together at our church in a wonderful ceremony of God, nature, music, and commitment...

Original Post: Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Baptism5 On Saturday evening, Bob and I and the children, and their special friend Alex, went to church services at Southbrook Church where we are members.  We usually go on Sunday, but this was going to be a special occasion for Sarah.

All of our children have been baptized as babies, and so have we, but the Bible does not speak of baptism as a baby, instead it speaks of baptism after you have accepted the Lord into your heart and your life, and this Saturday service, Sarah wanted to get dunked and show her dedication to the Lord thru a formal Baptism ceremony in the beautiful nature filled woods behind our church and in front of about 200 people.

Baptism6 When the service started, I began listening to the message (while our pastor, Pastor Rob, stood on a deck in front of the pool in black and white wild bermuda shorts and a white t-shirt). The message was clear - what's your excuse? Don't have a change of clothes? We've got that covered. Don't want to get your hair wet? We've got these (shower caps). Don't have a towel? We've got 'em. Need a hairbrush, hair gel, hairspray, shampoo, hair dryer? Yeap, we've got those too. So, what's your excuse? I've heard them all. Take the plunge and put the Lord first in your life.

Baptism7 I walked up to Sarah and I said, "sweetie, would you like me to be baptized with you?" Sarah's face lit up and she said "yes, yes!" So, while the band played for the crowd, Sarah and I and about a dozen others walked inside the church and changed clothes.

We were the first in line to be baptized. We weren't nervous at all. Sarah and I held hands and shared this special moment together. At first, we were going to be baptized individually, but then Pastor Rob said, "How would you like to both be baptized together at the same time?" Sarah said "Yes, absolutely!" and Pastor Rob called his Associate Pastor down into the pool (he wasn't exactly dressed for the pool, but he came in anyway) and we were baptized together.

What a powerful experience. There is no way I can possibly share the power and emotion that filled the experience I shared with my daughter. We want to share with our family and special friends the joy of this day.


A Wonderful Piano Recital


On June 7th, Sarah and Matthew performed in front of an audience of over 100.  A proud moment for the family!

Original Post: Saturday, June 9, 2007

I don’t think any of us were nervous - not even the children, and that was the biggest surprise of all, because I can recall my own piano recitals as a child, and I was a nervous wreck.  There were times I thought I would pass out before I sat down to play my piece - and that seemed to be the only thing about piano that I hated the most - the dreaded recital.


Still, I didn’t say a word about that to my own children, because I wanted the experience to be entirely their own, and it paid off.

For over a month now, we have known that the recital was scheduled on my husband’s birthday.  The timing was perfect, and I trusted my children to keep it a secret so that the recital would be a surprise birthday gift.


Sarah and Matthew practiced daily. They both gravitate to the piano like most children gravitate to the television. We have a rule in this house, though - no television during the week except in the evening as a family, no Nintendo DS or Xbox or Gameboy games during the week either. I homeschool my 3 young children (Sarah 13, Matthew 10, and Glen, my grandson, 7). They have a weekly schedule of responsibilities for certain subjects and assignments that they look to for structure. They have time set aside for piano practice, quiet reading, play, and of course, art.


I encourage the children to be creative when it comes to play. I can’t stand all the electronic games these kids have nowadays and I much prefer imaginative play, board games, chess, basketball, dolls, train sets, and swing sets. Fortunately for us, our children like this play too, although, they still ask during the week if they can play something electronic - N-O.


Our house is filled with music. During the day, we play classical, instrumental, and piano concertos on our stereo through our iPod. Sarah especially loves the piano concerto cd for Fur Elise since this is the piece she played at the recital. I have been playing this music in our home since the children were babies (and yes, we also play rock, pop, jazz, blues, bluegrass, and country) Still, I believe that classical encourages focus and growth. We shall see.

We told Bob he was to dress nicely and the children told him they had a surprise for him. We drove to the recital and I left the back door open for the neighbors to come in and prepare for a surprise party. When we pulled into the church, Bob realized it was a recital. We were all very excited. Matthew was 2nd to play of the 16 children who were in the recital. He was dressed in gray dress slacks, a light blue dress shirt and a handsome red tie. I had given him a distinguished haircut before the recital and he looked every bit the handsome young man. He walked to the microphone, placed his music on the piano, and spoke to the audience, “Hello, my name is Matthew Vaughn, and I will be playing “Indian Town” by Jane Bastien. He sat down, took a deep breath, and began playing his piece. He didn’t rush through it and he played perfectly. I was so proud of him I wanted to jump for joy. Of course, if I had done that he would have been completely embarrassed, so I acted civilized at his recital - I was the proud mom. The applause was spectacular for our young man.


Sarah was the 14th to play. She followed the same routine as Matthew, putting her music on the piano and approaching the microphone. She said, “Hello, my name is Sarah Vaughn and I will be playing “Fur Elise” by Ludwig Van Beethoven and Arranged by Alexander Cole. (The easier version). She said down and began to play. She flowed through it like a pro and didn’t miss a note. She was the most advanced student in the recital and she received a huge and well earned applause.

The children were so happy and excited about their special day and gift to Dad.  It was the perfect gift.

We arrived home and walked in the back door.......SURPRISE!

Happy Birthday Honey, we Love You!


Life Takes Unexpected Turns

By Susan Vaughn

Thanksgiving 2005 - My Mom, Mary Simms at 81 years old

This post was originally written on May 28, 2007

My mother has lived with my husband and I and our 3 young children for almost 10 years now.  The time has passed very quickly.  Unfortunately, I see my mother aging more dramatically than ever in the last 5 years and it is frightening.

In March, 2005, my mother discovered that she had lymphoma.  A simple show of affection on my part by putting my hand on the back of her neck and rubbing her neck did I discover a lump the size of a golf ball.  She said “Oh, it doesn’t hurt, it’s nothing” and my radar immediately went up.  The next day, I had her at the doctors.  They biopsied the lump and discovered that my mother had non-hodgkins lymphoma.  Her entire body has been compromised by this disease, and incredibly, after 2 years, my mother still gives the appearances of being strong. 

She has been receiving treatment - chemo therapy - every 6 months ever since and doesn’t seem to be bothered by it, although she is more fatiqued.  Her mental strength never ceases to amaze me.

Well, about 8 hours ago, my mother fell in her bedroom, tripping over a pair of shoes she had put at the foot of her bed, and her head hit her chest of drawers and her arm and shoulder hit the floor and the side of the bed. Bob and I and the children were at a neighbor’s house swimming and we had given my mother our number to contact us if she needed us. We got home at about 7pm and Mom was resting in her room, and that was nothing out of the ordinary. At 11pm, she came into the family room and I noticed a bloody bandaid on the side of her head. I jumped up from the couch and said “What’s that?!!” She said “Oh, it’s nothing, I just fell in the bedroom and hit my head on the drawers.” I was frantic, not to mention completely disturbed that my mother did not contact us immediately when this happened. She could have been killed! She could have died! She kept saying it was nothing, but I insisted we go take a look at it in the bathroom. When she took off her bandaid I couldn’t believe my eyes. She had a 1 inch gash in her right temple that was as deep as her skull. I nearly passed out and got very upset - obviously. My husband Bob drove her to the hospital emergency room and Thank God he did. They stitched her up on the inside of the wound and the outside. It was pretty deep. They gave her a CAT scan and x-rays of her head and shoulder and there didn’t appear to be any other harm or injury.

I have been in tears for hours. I depend on my mother so much. I hate myself for that. I appreciate her being here with us and the thought of losing her hit me hard tonight. I can’t bear the thought of losing her. I lost my father in 1980. He was 54 and I was 21 and 5 months pregnant with my daughter, Kimberly. Losing a parent is very traumatic.

I have to say, I hope my mother lives forever. In other words, I hope she lives through my forever. I have often thought that my mother would out live me and there have been times I have thought that I would not live to be 50. I certainly hope that is not true as I want to be here for my children as they grow up and make something special of their lives.

Still, seeing my mother in a vulnerable condition and her taking it so casually was frightening to me. I hope she will let me know when she is hurt or hurting and not worry that it will upset me. Of course it will upset me! But that is what it is supposed to do and that is because I love her. More than I could ever tell her and certainly more than I will ever be able to show.

I love you Mom. 


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