So this post is going to basically highlight the best (and worst) of all my stuff this year. I will say right off the bat it has been a hard year for my family, my dad lost his job for awhile and until the last few months wasn’t working full-time. Now he is but his salary is down. So it hasn’t been the easiest; in fact, my Dad said he would be happy when this year came to an end. For me, this year has been the best of my life; bar none. Everything about this year that God has placed into my life has shaped me into a better person and I’ve learned so much. With the first paragraph I’m just going to stream back through the top memories this year the best I can monthly. Just top events. Then the next few of the paragraphs will be random stuff about the last year. Then I’ll have the best and worst moments of the year. Finally, I’ll put up part of my personal code of conduct that I developed this last year and follow to the best of my abilities because I think it would be good to share. This is gonna be really long lol, lock yourself in!
January- Grandma Brasher died. That was a shock, she was an incredible woman. Raised 8 kids while working a full-time job as a secretary in some capacity in the Washington State government and passed on her Christian faith to ALL of them and her husband. I remember one of the last things she told me was her infamous growing up speech for guys lol. She has a whole speech that changes for every guy but it always led up to the same sentence- “Caleb (or whatever name of the guy), make sure you find a Christian woman who is beautiful both inside and out to get married to. Promise me that.” I was like of course I will Grandma (what else was I gonna say?) She’s with God where she always wanted to be now 🙂 I had Biology at Pierce, I loved my professor though 🙂 Professor Joy was super. We were playing in the state cup group stage for soccer and that certainly was an adventure, but we barely made it out lol. I guest-played indoor as well. I remember refereeing in the FREEZING cold plus the snow made it really slippery. I was working on the Super Essay for Writing class and wrote about the Cold War.
February- We lost in the state quarterfinals against Crossfire. It was a 0-0 game until the 60th min (two-thirds of a game) and then the floodgates opened. We ended up losing 4-1. I was really enjoying the workout center at Pierce. That place is state-of-the-art for a community college. The team I guest-played for sucked in indoor lol. I finished the Super Essay and got the best grade in the class and had my teacher say it was the only essay ready for college! One of the most crushing moments was when I was one of the last players cut from the Puyallup High School soccer team. I got really sick about a week before the tryouts and lost all of my fitness but still nearly made the team anyways. It still stings big-time.
March- I got a 96% on my Biology final. That certainly exceeded my expectations. Nothing much happened this month because I wasn’t playing soccer.
April- I turned 17. That was awesome. Now I only have three months till’ I’m 18, craziness 🙂 Easter was awesome, Jesus covered us big-time! I believe we started our prep meetings for Toppenish this month. I was cruising through American Sign Language 2. I did some serious running this month to keep myself in decent shape. It worked out well.
May- More preparation for Toppenish, ASL 2 was still going well and I kept running like a good lad 😉 Couldn’t wait for the end of the school year.
June- The school year ended! I watched the co-op graduation and realized that would be me the next year. I promised some people I would invite them to the ceremony where I wear the pointy cap. I went to Toppenish. BEST THING of the year. I had such an epic time there and I learned so much about God. Plus I got to know people a lot better. Especially some of the dudes 🙂 and some of the gals 😉 Nobody draw any conclusions from the latter lol. I goofed off the rest of June except when soccer practices started. I sat on facebook and literally just walked around the house the rest of the time besides soccer. Plus I was still running a good 3 miles a day. Not bad for a soccer player.
July- annual trip with my family to my grandpa’s apple orchard in Chelan, that was fun. We went to the beach (but I think the pics would be too much for you guys 😉 did smores and listened to some classical music concerts that were part of the Bachfest that weekend. Soccer practice continued to go on and we had a good time. Chillin’ with friends was super. I finished making my shed for my Eagle Project and basically finished everything except the paperwork. That paperwork was harder than the project haha!
August- Well, we had a soccer tournament. So we had the last game of the group stage and we needed to win to advance to at least the 3rd/4th place game the next day. It was late at night and under the lights. It truly felt magical. It was a 0-0 for about 65 minutes out of a 70 minute game (tournament games are shorter). Our defense was doing super well and then our star forward put the ball in the back of the net. That moment was so electric that I can’t really describe it. It was just fantastic. We finished the game and while we lost to the same team 3-0 the next morning we’ll all remember when we delivered with our backs against the wall. I had to miss a friend’s birthday party to play in the 3rd/4th place game and I didn’t score a goal for her. I only got her my first ever yellow card as captain haha. What a b-day present 😉 I also started to attend the Revo High School youth group at Calvary Community Church after one of my best buddies invited me. That has been a blessing for me; I go on Sunday night and can get “Re-charged” with God before I head back into the school week. Plus my like 3 people I know are all awesome! I didn’t really even know one of these people yet they’ve become one of my best friends in no time 🙂 Rest of August was refereeing (which I did in July as well) and I made a lot of money! I did some stuff with my friends, including a day at my friend’s grandparent’s house. That was just a plain old good time and it was a sweet day.
September- Soccer season started. We did well in our first few games, we started off pretty good until we played a game with a really whacko ref. He ABSOLUTELY reffed horribly. I have seen the worst referees in this state either playing in a game with them reffing or reffing with them. I never saw a referee more biased, he gave them 3 goals in a game we lost 4-3. Later I had some friends come to my second game against this team and they said the team parents figured out the bad referee had a brother on the other team. That was great to know. I got all ready for school and the last week of September I started my senior year.
October- I got settled in my school pattern. Me and Fat Cow sat in Pre-Calc with Fikar which while she is excellent at explaining math, it is really hard to pay attention to math that long lol. English 101 was fun; I and my people in the front row had too much fun in that class. Professor Swart was an awesome English 101 teacher. Russian History with Vanneson was glorious. He teaches you so much if you write down everything he says and really listen hard. We hit a rough patch in soccer; we lost a few heart-breakers and had a few more lously refs. People think I complain about referees so much, but I do because I am a very good referee (that’s what everyone says to me) and these referees cost us a few games this year. It frustrates me to death at how cruddy these guys are to be frank. We had very few things bounce our way this season. WTPF started and that made me happy. We have a young leaders group this year and being one of the two seniors on it makes me feel partially responsible for the younger ones 😉 everyone in the group is awesome. Sometimes I think we stretch OUR adult leader a lot but she doesn’t mind lol.
November- Well, school continued to go well. I had become a pretty good ping-pong player at this point and scored some solid wins. I played a lot of foosball as well. I actually had never had any friends come to any of my soccer games until a game in November. Thankfully, our team romped to a 7-2 victory that day and I managed to score a goal for my friends! I also scored a goal in front of my Dad in the group play for the state cup on the same day. I had never scored two goals in the same day until that day 🙂 In state cup we won our district semi-finals playing a man down for the whole game and two men down for the last ten minutes. We lost our district final 4-2 but thankfully we weren’t eliminated from the competition due to a wild card. There are 7 districts in Washington and the next step was the state quarterfinals. So you need eight teams. Therefore, one district gets the wild card and we got it! We then had one of our best games as a team in the state quarterfinal game. I was selected as the captain for this game. The game was back and forth, but with five minutes left we were losing 3-2 and I was wondering if we were going to lose in the quarterfinals for the 3rd straight year. We scored a goal to tie the game with 3 minutes left in regulation and entered overtime. We then hit paydirt with a dizzying set of passes and a volleyed finish to take the lead a little less than halfway through the overtime period. Our defense withstood massive pressure and the third time was the charm! Plus my uncle got to watch the game and it made the victory all the sweeter.
December- The State semifinals was so exciting. We got to play at the Starfire Sports Complex, which is where the Seattle Sounders FC practice, and we got to play on a field they train on. I had a pretty big and LOUD fan contingent (like 12 people lol) and once again I was the captain of our team. Our team fought really hard and it was a great game. The other team had more individual skill than ours, but we worked together better as a team. We fought to the death but ended up losing a close game 3-2. Our game was essentially the final because the team we lost to won the final 7-1. I have no doubt had we advanced to the final we would’ve recorded a similar result. Thus ended the Thunder soccer team. Gonna miss the team so much, at least some of us get to play indoor together. The last WTPF was so incredibly awesome; God was there and you could feel him pouring out his love on his kids. I always stand amazed because every time I think I’m getting closer to God he reveals that I have so far to go. This night reminded me of that. I have fallen in love with God 🙂 I had finals for school; two of them went super-well and the third don’t ask about lol. Because of the one bad class, my GPA fell from a 3.9 to a 3.8. I think I’ll live though. I’ve gotten all A’s and one B+ on my academic record… and now I have one D+ oh well, I tried my best in the class and studied 24 hours for the final. I’m disappointed but I know I tried my best, and that’s all I can do. Math is not my strong suit. School ended, I got to go to the Hobbit with my friends and WTPF had a Christmas party. I had a great Christmas with my relatives from California (they come up for Christmas every two years) and I watched the Hobbit again because they hadn’t seen it. That was a long movie and then to watch it again? We watched it in 3D but the special effects were mostly underwhelming and I obviously knew the whole storyline. My knee was killing me because the seats were so close I couldn’t really move it lol. And that brings me to now, almost to 2013. Now for some random stuff…
So let’s just see my favorite stuff of the year in different categories.
Top 12 Favorite Songs
(Not Serious) Honorable Mention. Operator- Manhattan Transfer (only a few people will get this joke)
(Serious) Honorable Mention. I’m Only Me When I’m With You- Taylor Swift.
12. Die Young- Kei$ha
11. Listen to the Sound- Building 429
10. Phenomenon- Thousand Foot Krutch
9. Fearless- Taylor Swift.
8. You Save Me- Building 429
7. Never Going Back to Okay- The Afters
6. Live while we’re Young- One Direction
5. 22- Taylor Swift.
4. GoodTime-OwlCity and Carly Rae Jepson
3. Be Somebody- Thousand Foot Krutch
2. The End is Where We Begin- Thousand Foot Krutch
1. Call Me Maybe- Carly Rae Jepson. Call Me Maybe was the main theme song of Toppenish so it’s kinda unfair… but I have listened to this song more than any other!
Best book of the year:
Pontius Pilate by Paul Maier. It is a fascinating historical novel that tells you about Pilate’s whole reign as the prefect of Judea. I just finished reading it and I HIGHLY recommend it.
Top 10 Sports Teams I have rooted for this year.
10. Baltimore Ravens. I LOVE their defense. Their defense is second only to the Seahawks.
9. Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Manchester United, also a soccer team in the Barclays Premier League.
7. Bayern Munich- A soccer team in my homeland of Germany (I’m half-German).
6. Everton. A soccer team in the Barclays Premier League (best league in the world) which is in England.
5. United States Men’s National Soccer Team. They might have a game in Seattle soon!
4. Seattle Mariners. I’ve followed the team through their dry spell of the last 8 years. I even listened to their 17 inning game that went until 1:15 in the morning this year. Of course they had to lose lol!
3. FC Barcelona. The best soccer team in Spain that has Lionel Messi on their team.
2. Seattle Seahawks. I’ve actually paid WAY more attention to the Seahawks and the NFL this year than I normally do. The Seahawks defense is INCREDIBLE!! Russell Wilson, beast mode… I think the Hawks got a really good shot at the Super Bowl!
1. Seattle Sounders FC. Rave Green!!!!
Top 10 Worst Moments of the Year
10. When we lost our 3rd/4th place game in our summer tournament 3-0 to a premier team that was a year younger than we were. I was the captain in this game and received a yellow card in it. It was a major disappointment not to bring home a better result.
9. When a girl thought I was hitting on her (untrue) and decided to let her friends know about it. That was really embarrassing and tarnished my reputation lol
8. When I almost got in a fight with a kid in our district final. He was the worst player on the other team but was boasting about how good he was. I really felt like thumping him and would’ve if the ball hadn’t come our way then… that was one of the few times I’ve ever lost my cool anywhere. People who know me know it takes A TON to make me lose my cool. The word actually came out that he wanted to go if we met again. They lost in their quarterfinal match-up or else we would’ve played them again. I wonder how that would’ve gone…
7. When I got caught in a social mess. I mostly try to stay out of them but I was in the middle of this one. Thankfully that brewed over.
6.When I flunked my driver’s license test the first time because my wheels went an inch off the road while backing around a corner. The test person was a mean lady and a ____ . Fill that blank with whatever you please lol. That was not a pleasant experience.
5. I was so busy with school that I never noticed how far my library fines went up until I saw $23.00 when I logged into the library website. Plus the $12.00 later on. After “donating” a lot of money to the library I think I’ve learned my lesson at this point.
4. When I got a D on my math final, which brought my previous grade of a B- all the way down to a D+ That was not a happy moment.
3. When I messed up my leg and never was able to get it healed due to overuse in the last half of the soccer season. We were playing two games every weekend and my leg would barely make it to the end of every game, overtimes sucked. I’m doing physical therapy and it looks like the leg will heal, Christmas Break has been a good rest as well.
2. When I yanked a guy down by his shirt in the district final and then repeated the offense in the state semifinal. That went against all of my principles, but I just did it in the spur of the moment. Never should’ve done it either time. I feel forgiven now, but at the time I felt horrible.
1. When I got cut from the Puyallup High School soccer team. Devastating to say the least.
Top 10 Best Moments of the Year
10. Every moment of this year has just been so precious to me, and so yea, every moment except the 10 worst count! It’s not really one moment, but making a lot of new friends and strengthening my relationships with others. I know my friendships have gotten stronger this year and I’ve gotten to know people way better. I’ve went from not being social to sometimes probably a little over-the-top lol! Especially when someone you barely even knew five months ago is now one of your best friends, that is a ride for sure 🙂
9. Our team clawing back from a 3-0 deficit in the state cup early January and tying the game at the death. That was just a team that gave everything they had and refused to flop over and lose. We’ve always been that way, but that game was another game I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
8. Going to the homeschool formal and not feeling awkward! I had a lot of friends and that was a super-long night but a super-fun night as well.
7. Coming from behind at the death to tie the state quarterfinal and then winning it in overtime. That was simply epic.
6. Scoring two goals in one day, I’ve never done that before. Plus I got to score in front of my friends and my dad, that made it all the better.
5. Getting a 96% on my Biology final earlier in the year, and it was a 100-question test. That was incredible!
4. Finishing my Eagle Scout project by building my shed! It was a long road but finally getting that done made me very happy.
3. Successfully passing my driver’s test and getting my license. That has given me so much freedom and just has been super to have.
2. Finally getting over the hump and actually getting to play in a state semifinal. That was something I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. Just getting to play at Starfire and having a big group of fans just for me!
1. The trip to Toppenish. My life has been completely changed from that trip and God has just put me on fire for him. I really don’t know how I was living life without him. Plus I learned so much about life in general, had a sweet time and got closer to a bunch of friends.
Some parts of my personal code of conduct.
Starting with my family. Strive to treat your parents with the upmost respect that you can no matter what situation it is. Be vulnerable with them for the most part. If you have private conversations with other people you don’t want your parents to see simply tell them so. They’ll leave the emails/messages alone to respect your privacy; however, if you try to hide it from them that is not right. (My personal choice) Give them your phone before you go to bed every night and let them have the password to your email. My parents have always had the password to my email. That way they can’t say at any point you are hiding anything from them because they have the power to read anything in your inbox. Every conversation will at some point be in your inbox when your parents look. If you feel like they aren’t being fair in general, just walk away before you get yourself into more trouble. No use arguing if they aren’t going to change their mind. Have fun with your siblings, that’s half the reason they’re there! Share with them as much as you’re comfortable. Tell them just enough to make them feel happy. Do things for your siblings and parents to show your love for them. Go to their events to make them feel loved, because you do love them. Tell them things that boost their confidence. Help them pursue their dreams.
How to live life. Realize you don’t deserve a single breathe of your life and that every second you live is a gift. Live EVERY second of your life to the full because you aren’t going to get the time back and God has given you the day to make the most of the opportunities he’s given you. Never let your past define what you can be, only let your past keep you from making the same mistakes that you have. Don’t just walk through life with a meek attitude, go out and change the world. Don’t just be content with what you’re given; be content only when you’ve given your full effort to improve your position. Talk to God before you make decisions, even just a 10-second chat with God in your head is better than nothing. Never stop fighting for what you believe and NEVER EVER give up. Once you give up that proves you are a weakling and weaklings fail in life. Be the best person you can be and the one that God made you to be.
How to treat your friends. Put the best effort you can into every friendship that you have. If you treat a person badly, then mend it. If you hear from someone else that a person is upset with you, talk to the person who isn’t happy with you. Don’t let a bad situation sit. Talk with your friends about everything from sports to fun to their problems… help them out wherever they need it. Find ways to do stuff with your friends in person and follow their life to the best of your abilities. Treat each individual like they’re the important person in your life because you don’t know what that person’s day may be like. You may be one of the bright spots in their day. Encourage your friend’s dreams. Always leave some time in case a friend needs to talk. Just be a solid friend at all times.
How to treat that one special person. Let them know you have special feelings for them, but don’t repeat it EVERY time you talk to them lol. Just remind them occasionally. Never tell them your deepest feelings for them- those are the precious ones you keep bound up in your heart until the time is right to let them out (which is after you tie the knot). Every time you see them you let them know they are incredible one way or another. Whether it’s the stuff they’ve achieved, how they look, something they’ve learned… always make a mature and appropriate comment that makes them feel great 🙂 Ask them about how they’re growing in God and what they’ve learned about him lately. If you know they’re stressed out, be that person that makes them relax. You conform yourself to help them out because once you assume it’s not your job that’s when it starts going downhill. If they give you a compliment NEVER wave it off. ALWAYS say thank you and branch into a similar topic. That way they know you truly appreciate their compliment because you’re willing to talk about it and not just say a quick thank you. Don’t do ANYTHING inappropriate around them because they deserve your best. Definitely help them with their dreams and sacrifice your time to assist them in finding who they are. Don’t just comment about their events, FREAKIN’ GO to them! Make the best effort you possibly can to get to know them better and better every single day of your life until you run out of days (I couldn’t think of a better ending lol).
*These are all shortened. Maybe someday I’ll have a post which is just my personal code of conduct but that would be pretty long like this post!
Thanks to all you people who are a part of my life. I appreciate every single one of you and the dynamic you bring to my life because my life wouldn’t be the same without you! I gotta give the last part of this to God though. He’s completely changed me over the last six months and it’s been incredible. I just can’t really describe how awesome and wonderful God is. He sent his son Jesus to die for sinful me knowing that all Jesus was going to save was a guy with a bunch of flaws. God saved me because he saw what he could do with me. His love is deep, strong , and most importantly furious. It NEVER STOPS!!! Whenever I get depressed I always remember Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm give you a hope and a future.” To be brutally honest, it seems like the only thing I’ve done for Christmas break is figure out my flaws, but I’ve learned it doesn’t matter as long as I submit myself to God because he’s the only one who can truly set me free. My future has him written all over it but the rest of the future is like a page of a book. I’m itching to make my mark. 2013 is upon us… I’m ready to go full-bore at it with the help of my God. The future is here and I’m not backing down. It’s time to change the world, one small step at a time. Let’s go… and always go one more.
P.S. I DEFINITELY owe you one 🙂