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Hockey…and so it begins

30 Mar

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No more baseball. This was the first time with a stick in hand. NOT THE LAST!

Happy 6th birthday to our Boo!

12 Jan

This was a birthday party for the books. Belle decided she wanted a skating party. An ICE SKATING PARTY. We are not sure why she wanted this kind of party. She did not know how to ice skate. Recently the winter Olympics were on television and she did see a lot of skating. We can only figure this is how she got the idea. I think she was more into the decor and the idea of wearing a skating outfit than actually ice skating. The decor was definitely on point:

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Even her American Girl was there, dressed to skate as well.

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And this girl is a FAN of a beautiful cake.

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The panic started to set in when I got RSVPs. She had invited BOTH kindergarten classes to skate. KINDERGARTEN. Few of them had even been skating before. None of them actually knew how. Start the valium IV drip. I was not going to make it through this party without a nervous breakdown.

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At the end of the day, it was awesome. Lots of parents were terrific sports and skated with their kids, some really mastering the skills that day. My kids had a BALL. They skated with their dad until they skated with their friends until they were soon flying around the rink all on their own.

Ice Skating
Interestingly, this guy had a blast too. Later in the month, we would visit his aunt Kim. Our family would discuss baseball sign ups and how we were going to get to the park on the day they were scheduled. He spoke up and said he didn’t want to do baseball this spring. (!!) A former college catcher, his dad’s heart may or may not have broken into tiny bits, but he didn’t show it, thankfully. We encouraged him to sign up for it. Sports are fun, we said.

I want to ice skate, he said.

!!!  You just never know what a skating party will bring.

For this guy it became his #1 sport and several all star teams and tournaments. All from a 6 year old party.

J3: Swim Team

29 Jun

June 2010

Last summer J3 learned to swim.  It was…well, kinda painful

This summer, he jumped right into the pool.  At first we weren’t sure he’d be ready for the first meet, but as soon as practice began we knew he was going to participate all season.  The first meet was a home meet and he took over a minute to get across the pool, but he did it, and he. had. so. much. fun!!!

Here he is, with some of his friends, having fun at the pep rally before the meet:

And here he is swimming his first meet of the season:

For the second meet, he sliced his time to only 40 seconds!!

We could really care less about his time or his performance but we are just so prod to see him work so hard to achieve a goal, and to compete for something.  So many times we give children a reward just for participating, but this is the first time he has had to work for something objective and hard!  And he’s been able to have fun doing it too.  I’m so proud of my little man.

Who’s on first?

20 Apr

 

April 2010

Check out the form on this throw!

Upward!

20 Apr

February 2010

J3 played basketball this year.  So far this has been the best team experience we have had to date.  Maybe it isn’t the sport he is the most skilled at, but he sure seemed to enjoy it and the organization was really fun!

The Preschool Years

20 Apr

Seriously, this picture cracks me up.  I am not sure if it is the pink shorts Boo insisted on wearing to every soccer game, or the lunatic look on AC’s face, or the blue gatorade mustaches.  Whatever it is, it’s a capture the moment kind of picture for me! 

The Preschool Years: Score!

20 Apr

September 2007:  First Goal!

The Preschool Years

19 Apr

June 2007

Last October we filled in the swimming pool in our backyard. 

It was a very good idea!

The Preschool Years

18 Apr

March 2006

He’s got the making of a BOY…

and he’s a chip off the old block.

But even with his first busted lip…

Isn’t he pretty?

Perseverance in the Pool

4 Jun

We have spent a gazillion dollars on swim lessons.  No, really.  We started at the YMCA two summers ago and went every Saturday for 6 weeks.  J3 learned how NOT to put his head in the pool and how to goof off while waiting his turn in the minnow pit. 

We spent a lot of time in the pool that spring and summer, playing around and getting used to the water, but I was too pregnant to really get excited about it, and we ended up actually filling in the pool in our backyard that fall. However, we live in the South and swimming is a fun thing to do here, with the pool being a major gathering place for socializing and birthday parties, and I feel like it is one of those “essential skills” that my children need to learn to do.  If nothing else, I want them to survive if they fall into the water.  I do not want to bring potential drowning victims near water.

So…the next summer we signed up for private lessons in the spring, to prepare for the summer ahead.  J3 was the only child who couldn’t put his head under the water by the end of the course. By then everyone assured me that joining our neighborhood swim team was the way to go.  Just practicing with the swim team would get him interacting with the other kids his age, and before we knew it, he’d be like a fish, they said.  No competition was necessary; at his age, if they wanted to swim in the meets that was fine, but if not, no big deal.  By this time I had two younger children at home and simply couldn’t watch everyone at the pool.  So I got sitters everyday for my younger girls, and off we went, four days a week to the pool for an hour for swim team.

For three weeks J3 perfected the art of getting in the water –every day–but keeping his head dry.  He’d do the kick drills, the hold your breath underwater drills, glide across the pool drills.  But his head would not go under.  Mind you, his neck may have grown 6 inches from stretching, but little boy was not getting that face wet!

The last couple of weeks we saw a bit of improvement.  With the help of some dive rockets and his friends’ encouragement, he got semi-comfortable going underwater.  He was unable to join the rest of his friends in kicking across the pool, but at least by the end of the summer I knew if he fell into the water he wasn’t going to panic.  For the rest of the summer we set up a few more private lessons to keep his confidence up and keep him in the water.  More dollars, more perseverance.  More pooltime.  No swimming yet.

Here we are again this summer, back at swim team.  We had a couple of private lessons before swim team began.  The first week is almost over.  We are paying the babysitters again daily to avoid littlte sisters wandering off into water they can’t navigate while big brother learns to swim (next year we will start with lessons for Boo.)  The first couple of days J3 was again exhibiting the art of kicking and diving into the pool without actually diving IN.  He left swim team pratice with a dry head both days.  The first day he saw how good the other kids can swim and he came to me half way through the practice, crying, I want to go home!  We did not go home. I really hate making him do something that isn’t fun, but I do believe this is a survival skill that he needs to learn.  Truly, I don’t care how well he swims, and if he doesn’t enjoy it after learning the skill, we can quit, but I do want him to learn the skill.

The third day, after a lot of discussion, and a couple of intense private lessons, he actually started off with his head legitimately in the water!  This day, my sweet little boy kicked his hardest, flailed his arms, and ducked his head intotthe water….all to no avail.  He’d go backwards, sideways, and even under, but the poor thing would not glide forwards!  They even took him aside for extra kick practice in the little pool (much to his chagrin) but even that didn’t make a lot of improvement. 

We are not looking at a swim scholly nor an Olympic future here.

But you know what?  I.could.not.be.prouder.of.my.son.  Here he was, the worst–I mean rock bottom worst–swimmer in the pool of 100 kids, and I was literally BURSTING with pride yesterday.   Little man jumped in, again, and again, and again, and he kicked and kicked his little heart out.  They’d coach him to straighten his legs (flutter!), to relax his feet (like flippers~ they’d say!), to tuck his head (down, not out!), to relax (this is fun!), to keep trying, J3!  And bless his sweet heart–he did it!  Every. Single. Time. With a look of determination on his face.  He wasn’t even angry or frustrated.  Just determined to Do it. 

Really, I thought sleeping through the night was a breeze, and potty training was easy, and reading seems to be coming pretty naturally so far.  But this swimming thing is killing me.

If we don’t learn to swim, we will certainly have learned a very important lesson from all of this.  Character building is tough.  But it makes a mama proud.  And if this is any indication of what kind of man my boy is going to be, I know he has a bright, bright future ahead.  (It just might not be in swimming!)

James 1:12:  “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial for he will receive many blessings.”

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