Monday, February 20, 2017

Thank you Coaches Nick and Nate Jacubec

Coach Jakubec,

As the grandmother of a special young man, I want to thank you.

Thank you for taking on the 9th grade basketball team.

Thank you for the respect you showed to your players and for earning their respect back. It showed throughout the season. I watched as you remained cool, never screaming or degrading any of your players, never showing disappointment in the way they played, and showing pride when any of them excelled.

I appreciate all the time you gave up in your personal life for practices and games.

Thank you for teaching -teaching the game to the team.  I know you put in a lot of hard work.

Thank you for learning -learning how to coach; learning about the guys on your team and recognizing strengths and weaknesses in each boy. Learning how to utilize those strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Learning how to instill pride and confidence in each player.

Thank you for giving each boy on your team a chance. A chance to be on the team, a chance to grow, to play and to shine. Thank you for creating a "TEAM".

I am proud of the season our team had and how well they played together. The boys deserve a lot of credit as do both of the coaches who worked with them.

I hope you enjoyed our family chant when my grandson was put in the game:

"Hey McCullough's, what time is it? "

"It's ANDREW.......time!!"

One more thing, a special request from  me....Can you guys move up with these boys and become their JV Coaches?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Manners, Morals and Pride

I can't get over the great feeling that was with me all day Thursday. Those feels are still washing over me today.

Feelings of pride in my grandson, Andrew. You see, his 9th grade basketball team finished playing their last game Wednesday evening. He didn't anticipate getting any playing time since it was a play off game.

Andrew has wanted to be on the basketball team for the past several years. He tried out for three years but this was the year he made it on the team. The coach told him straight up when he put him on the team that he probably wouldn't get a lot of playing time.

The coach told him he was a hard worker and a nice kid. Both are true. Andrew has had to work hard for most things in his life from the first day of his premature life. Things don't always come easy for him. He has struggled through a lot of things in life that most people take for granted - breathing, eating, bad eyesight due to having been given oxygen as a baby. He has gone through more surgeries in his young life than most people go through in their entire life.

Yet Andrew is such a positive, caring, and kind person. He has a commitment to God that he lives in his life everyday. He sets the bar high for his friends and teammates, sometimes reprimanding in a nice way when their language or words are not the best.

Andrew is grateful and not ashamed to show it. He thanks me always when I do things for him, take him places, give him things, etc.

And grateful would be a good word to describe how he felt when he was put on the team. When the coach told him he wouldn't play much, he told the coach he didn't care. He just wants to be on the team. He worked hard during the practices and would have gone for more or longer practices if he could.

What makes me swell with pride over this special young man now is his manners and gratitude. After the game was over, he told his coach, "Thank you for having me on the team."

To that, the coach replied something like, "I would have you on my team any day, Andrew!"

How many kids take the time to thank their coach period? Probably not many.

You Go Andrew. You are my Brave Heart as you always have been!

Monday, December 19, 2016



The Team


Team (noun) –

a group of players forming one side in a competitive game or sport

Basketball Player Dribbling Ball Collection Stock Photo

To be part of a team, you have to work hard at the sport. You have to practice, hone your skills, practice moves, learn plays, and then practice it all over again and again.

You have to give it your all, more than you think you have to give sometimes.

To make it on a team, you have to try out! To make the team, you show you give all you’ve got for the team; that you will continue to give all you have, even when times are rough, when you’ve had a bad day, when things are not going the way you wish.

So once on the team, show respect for your teammates and the coaches. Work together to better each other, all of you. Stick together.

Build each other up. Help each other improve in the areas each of you are lacking. Accept criticism if it is the kind that will make you better.

Have faith in each other, in the ability of each player to do their best moves. Accept that everyone is not good in all areas. Each player has something special to give to a team, yet seldom is one player an expert in all areas of the sport.

Remember, tear down a team member and you tear down the pride of the whole team. Each member of the team tried hard to get there to do his or her part to earn the win against the opponent. The opponent is never one of your team members.

As the definition above says, “A team is a group of players forming one side in a competitive sport.

As a team, be one side. Be one team. Support each other on and off the playing field.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It's Not All About You!!

Wow! That's an eye opener statement.
Has anyone ever told you that?
Better yet, have you ever taken the time to say that to yourself or to just realize the truth in that statement?
I started attending a class at church about rejection. It is based on the book, "Uninvited" by Lysa TerKeurst. 
In Chapter 3, Lysa tells a story about a woman at the gym who hates her. Lysa gave many reasons why this woman hated her, i.e., Lysa stepped into this woman's space when she got on the elliptical next to the woman, she tried to stay in sync with the woman's motion, trying to keep up with her, and then, Lysa took a phone call while working on the elliptical next to this woman.
The woman finally had enough and left the elliptical and went to the treadmill instead.
Lysa carried the thought in her head that this well-toned woman hated her for what she had done.
One day, she saw the woman at the gym and the woman smiled at Lysa, as if she recognized or knew her. Or maybe she was saying to Lysa, "Good job coming to the gym today. I have seen you here before."
Lysa then realized that all the hate and rejection she had assigned coming from this woman was only her "perceived rejection" conjured up and running in her head.
So you see,
 It is Not All About You!
I have been in positions where I think I am doing something nice for someone or for a cause. I remember making suggestions at my past job for things that I felt would help the company. My boss would say something like, "That's a great idea!" and then dismiss me.
I would walk away feeling like I had added something of value to the company. I would wait to see if the idea was implemented. Most times nothing came of them. Sometimes they were but someone else got the credit. I made the suggestions to help the company but felt left out or ignored when the ideas were not used.
Maybe they were great ideas but the timing was off or the company didn't have the time or resources to pull them off.
So really,
It is Not All About You!
One morning, in the midst of a conversation about all the stress my husband was going through, I interjected my thoughts, analysis and solutions as I perceived it.
My husband stopped talking and said, "This is not about you!"
He explained that sometimes a person just wants to talk, let off steam, and have someone listen. He didn't want my "I know what you should do and say" opinion.
I realized then,
It is Not all About You!!
In trying to be a good friend, when she has a problem, I feel I have to offer a solution. What do I know? I am not living through what she is.
Sometimes all my friend wants is an ear. Guess what?
It Is Not All About You!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Slowing Down to Enjoy the Changes

There have been some changes in my life in the past few months. I am not usually one who looks forward to big changes but I have to say I have enjoyed the ones occurring recently.

After working for the same company for 23 years, it has closed and my job ended in December 2015. I saw it coming and prepared myself - to the fact that I would not be working for a while and also prepared as best I could for it financially.

I wasn't sure what I would do with my free time but I was looking forward to trying it for a while. You see, I have worked two jobs for a big part of those 23 years. I ran my own company  at the same time I was working full-time for someone else. After 17 years of that, I closed my business and then took on a part-time job along with my full-time job. The part-time job was definitely much less work and hours than running my business and I still have that job today.

Since my job ended only a week before Christmas, that month was full of the normal holiday preparation stuff. Mix into that the fact that my brother died the same night that my job ended. We planned his funeral and got through that the week of Christmas.

It wasn't until about 3 weeks into January that I really felt like I was "semi-retired" you could say. I was still looking for work, yet enjoying having the time to do those little things I had put off so often. I got some cupboards, closets and drawers cleaned out.

I enjoy making dinner (not sure yet if Ken is enjoying that!) because I now have the time to start it early in the day and can make meals that take extra time (like homemade noodles for chicken noodle soup, wedding soup, etc.).

Yesterday, after going to a doctor visit with my daughter, I made an impromptu stop at a little consignment shop I had passed so many times, never having the time to stop. How enjoyable was that to spend a 1/2 hour just walking around enjoying the decorating ideas, seeing some antiques, some unique artwork, and then again, just some junk!

I have had time to write again without interruption. I have started another book and am determined to finish this one. I discussed the idea behind the story with Ken (which I seldom do with anyone regarding my writing) and he thinks the idea is a good one. So onward I plan to go to at least finish it. If it is good enough, I will have to do some research into how to get it published.

Now that we are nearing our retirement age, I may be writing more blogs about things that pertain to us "older folk" (though I don't consider myself old at all). I have said all along that I will never grow up, nor do I plan to grow old. Hmmmm...anyone know how to stop that one other than the alternative I am not willing to pursue?

I will be starting a new job next week, working 20 hours a week. I think that will be good for me - definitely financially but also the challenge of learning new things,  meeting new people, and staying active, yet not on a full-time basis. I will still have time to myself, for my interests and home and family, yet will still be contributing to our income and society.

For me, I am on a new journey in life. One where my world turns slower, my thoughts are lighter, and I feel I have time to plan my day.