Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kade is 12

Twelve years ago today, Kade came into our lives, our 5th baby.

The boy loves everything football & basketball. When he was little, most other kids played with trucks & action figures...Kade played with footballs & basketballs.

This past Sunday, Kade played his last game in the youth football league in our town. Seems like just yesterday he was counting the days until he was old enough to play tackle. Now he's finished his 2nd year of it.

Kade was Team Purple's quarterback. For as long as I can remember, he has loved this position. "Dad, wanna throw?" can be heard any day of the week at our house. This was not our choice for him...it is what he is passionate about & works hard at.

Their team went undefeated this year, but not without having to show a lot of character & determination in the process. I think every game but one they had to come from behind.

Honestly, I was nervous about Kade wanting to be quarterback. That position is a target, not just of players on the other team, but it is a target for criticism. Yes, even at this age. Joe & I have been faithful to pray for his protection, both physically & mentally. God answered those prayers in awesome ways.

One of my favorite testimonies is the answer to one of my prayers. "Lord, if Kade's supposed to quarterback, please give him a fortress for a line." Do you see that line? Seriously, awesome.

Kade also got to play with one of his best friends that he's known since preschool. Bryke is taking a pitch from Kade in the above picture...they worked together to make for some exciting moments this year!

Somehow this boy of mine reigns in his intensity & keeps his composure. I think he turns it loose, though, when they score b/c he's always one of the first ones in the end zone to congratulate his teammate.

Cameron is the center of that fortress I prayed for. He's been awesome & is now one of Kade's good friends.

There goes Bryke (again!).

Kade has made some great friends this year.

And he is so looking forward to middle school next year when they all get to play on the same team (the boys are divided amongst four teams & play a couple other teams from another school, too).

It's been hard for the boys not to get to play all together, but one of my favorite moments from this year happened when Kade was playing against a friend's team. His friend was also playing QB, & right when his friend put his hand back to pass, he got tackled. Kade & Bryke were standing on the sideline yelling to their friend, "Don't drop that ball!!" They may have been playing against each other, but they were rooting for their friend.

At the end of his last game, their team was on defense. Their coach made sure all the 6th graders were in for the last play of their youth league career, so Kade got to play some "D", too. Did I mention the other part to those answered prayers? Awesome coaches that spent every practice & game teaching & encouraging these kids.

Kade, you make us proud every day with the way you invest your heart in everything you do from playing sports & hanging with your friends to being a brother/son. We love you & will always be your biggest fans... ...even though you insist on game faces for pictures! ;o)

"I can do everything through him who gives me strength." ~Philippians 4:13

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