Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Summertime Cheer Practice and Kickoff Game

I've got so much catching up to do!  The first week of August, before the kids went back to school, started Megan's 20 hours of pre-season conditioning.  The Pop Warner organization is big into safety and this seems to be a bit of a trial period to ensure that the girls are capable of handling the physical demands of cheering for an entire game.  

 Lucky for us, the practices are held close to the kids' elementary school, so really close to our house.  Nevertheless, it's still a 2 hour chunk of time away from home.  Keith and I both haven't quite gotten comfortable enough to leave Megan at practice by herself, and so I'd pack up some studying and work on school work for some of the time, or I'd walk laps on the track listening to a school lecture on my iPod.  We've now learned that coach from this year, and the Cheer Mom will be moving up with Megan into the next division for next year, and we are very excited about that.

 These girls do quite a work-out daily to stay in good cardiovascular shape.

 The first game of the year was a kick-off jamboree.  Keith and I rarely get ill at the same time, but we were both feeling quite poorly this morning, but were so excited for Megan that we didn't want to miss it.  Here we are decked out in our Patriots gear.
 I just adore this picture of the boys.  They are so cute together and have grown into having such a special bond.  Interestingly, Joshua has asked to try out for football next year...stay tuned for updates in the summer 2013 to see what he chooses.

Water break!  It does get pretty hot at these games.

Giving the other team a "good game" high five.  The girls learned the importance of team work as well as sportsmanship.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Joshua's Mario Kart Wii Olympic Birthday Party

Joshua helped to plan his birthday party this year.  We looked around at venues to hold the party at and nothing really seemed to excite him.  So, we combined his two favorite things - Mario Kart Wii and the Olympics. 
 Trophies were awarded for the people who earned the top 4 scores and medals were given out to everyone else.

 Each child picked a bracelet when they came in.  The bracelet color was significant for who was on which team.

 Of of the games we played was the mushroom beanbag toss.

 Our dining room before being attacked by 10 six-to-eleven-year-old kids.

 Our cute goodie bags.  A little bit of candy and some fun craft stuff.

 We allowed some video game playing while everyone was getting to know each other.

The Yoshi Egg Run - which is our modification of the spring game of running with an egg on a spoon from one side of the yard to another.  

The Bowser Discus toss was a frisbee toss into a box decorated with Bowser.  Each time the  disc made it in the box, the kids scored points.

Another game was played was a shake-it game, where the kids had tissue boxes strapped to their bottoms filled with ping pong balls and they earned points for every ball they shook out of the box.  They had a blast!
 Every time the kids earned points, the score board (in the picture above) was updated.

 The final game was a "Mario Bros Castle Build-off".  Each team was given 50 solo cups and we set the time for 3 minutes to allow time for planning and implementing their design.

 Megan and Aidan looked like they didn't really have a plan.

 Isabella showed the boys a trick or two.

 Megan's team ended up winning with a very sturdy structure!!

The final few minutes of games were a couple of rounds of Mario Kart Wii. This got the the most giggles from the group.

 Each kid got a chance to race and add their final score to the big score board.

 Then we sang Happy Birthday to Joshua and added up the points to distribute the trophies.

 The kids all had a great time.  First place was awarded to one of Joshua's classmates.

After the party was over, the kids went to play in their rooms while I cleaned up.

Megan has taken control of the solo cups for building creations in her room.

Summertime Writing Workshop

 I worried about the kids loosing their writing skills over the summertime.  Or perhaps, I thought I would bribe them with some writing of their own to rival the massive amount of writing that I have been doing!

Each of the kids has a writing journal, and I try to give them some writing prompts every once in a while to get them excited about writing.

On this particular day, I gave them a stack of magazines, scissors, and glue sticks.  Their mission was to cut out a head, a body, a scene and a prop and glue them together to make one picture and write about who their person is, what he/she is doing, where they are at and whatever else they wanted.

Their stories were cute and their pictures were fantastic!

July's Swim Meet

Because I spend nearly every "spare" moment reading, writing or some other form of studying for school, I find it hard to sit down to write for "fun".  However, because I haven't finished sorting through summertime pictures, I've had a nagging feeling that I really need to get this done, so here goes.... a recap from the swim meet. 

July's weather was hot, hot, hot.  And with taking 3 full time classes and starting a new internship at the hospital, it was busy, busy, busy.  

 Truthfully, it's tougher than I remember trying to balance school with kids and work.  The kids are older and busier and seem to continue to get older and busier.  Not just with the few extra curricular activities we do, but just with every day stuff.  They want to help make dinner, or fold laundry, or ask me crazy questions like what's bigger a heart or a stomach....and it seems like above all else, they just want time, time with me and time with Keith. So, we've both been working hard to be extra responsible about our use of technology around the kids.

Moving on to the swim meet....this first group of pictures is from the last swim practice.

 At the last practice, the kids were given their uniforms for the big swim meet!  Everyone looked so sharp in their bright blue swimwear.

 Practicing her dive off the block.  She loves doing this!

 Joshua leaping off the block.  He's really improved as the summer has gone by.

 Giving cards to Coach Chad.  Chad is very patient with all of the kids and is really one of the reasons why we are considering the same program next year.

Joshua and Megan all ready for their swim meet.  So cute!!!

 Getting a few practice dives in.

Of course, it starts raining just before the meet began.  Keith, Daniel and I cuddled under an umbrella to be volunteer timekeepers.

 More pictures of the kids warming up...

 Joshua getting ready to swim in one of his races.  This one was the freestyle.

 The kids and their team.

The kids and the ribbons they won for placing in their races.   Joshua placed 2nd in one race and 3rd in another.  Megan placed 3rd in one race and 4th in another.

Coach Chad and Coach Logan.  It was a great summer swim program!!