Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Just Keep Swimming

The season went ... swimmingly.
The Girl Who Swims made it to the 5:30 am practices each day without complaint. Ok, maybe a tiny bit of grumbling on Sunday nights, but not much. She swam fast, and far. Last week was the Districts meet. This girl placed 6th overall in the 200 IM and 7th in the 500 freestyle. Pretty amazing for a freshman. Only the top 2 go on to State, so we figured she was done for the season, and she made plans for sleeping in.
Until Sunday night.
We got a text from her coach. They needed an alternate to go to the State meet with the Girls 200 relay, and our girl was their pick.
So one more week of 6 am practices (and, yes, that half hour made enough of a difference to mention it!) and then she gets to go to State this weekend. Either she will sit on the sidelines and cheer for her teammates, or she will take the place of one who can't swim for some reason that day.
We are so proud of this girl who doesn't realize just how much potential she has.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Driver's Ed

Spending time in the car gives me plenty of quality one on one with my kids. Now that The Boy is driving back and forth to school, I don't spend much time in the car with them. The drive to swim practice at 5:30 am doesn't count, because I am only awake enough to grunt or speak monosyllabicly.
This weekend the three younger girls spent the night at their aunt and uncle's. So I headed there on Monday to pick them up. Which meant I had the radio to myself on the first half of the drive.
But on the return drive, the child in the front seat with me took over. And I was ok with that. I learned some new music lyrics; I learned what she likes to listen to; and I heard my youngest child singing "wish I could turn back time to the good old days." That made me laugh! What are good old days for a five year old?!
I found that I don't mind some of the 'new' music that my kids listen to. They don't always get 'my' music when I turn on the 80s radio station, but since I am driving they get to listen. We've had some great car-dance parties on the road, listening to Journey, Cyndi Lauper, the BeeGees. I'll take and and every opportunity to educate them.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sunshine

Things get a little crazy here in Oregon when the sun comes out.  It's like gold to us and we stream outside to partake of the riches. My daughter drags out her shorts and tank tops and tries to sneak past me to the outside. (But even though it IS warmer, I still make her wear pants and socks and shoes and t-shirts.)
I haven't gotten in the habit of taking my camera everywhere but you'll have to trust me that we had a beautiful walk on Sunday out in the sunshine. My sister and I took the younger girls to the park while the boys stayed home and watched a football game. The older girls finished up their homework and then watched their dad, er, I mean, Peyton Manning play football. (Side note to those not on Facebook: my husband has been told numerous times, often from complete strangers, that he looks just like Peyton.)


So we walked on the park trails, and then we drove to another park, rode the carousel, and let the girls play on the playground. As the sun went down, the playground emptied, and the hungry grumpy children 'appeared'. So we took the girls home to get some supper.
And then yesterday we were blessed with more! sunshine. I tried to get the girls out for a run, but it just didn't work. I think they were kind of tired from the previous day's two mile walk. So later in the day they played outside all afternoon, and I was able to get yardwork done. It's the one rare time of year when I actually want to pull weeds and clean the yard.
Today's reward was . . . More Sunshine! Instead of dragging the girls out, I snapped the leash on our dog and took her for a 3 mile run/walk. It was glorious. I haven't gone 3 miles in a long time. Maybe now this is the push to get me back out there. At least until the rains come back.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Keeping Up

January is past us now. We are fully into the new year. And I have been able to keep up with most of my goals so far.
1. Read through the Bible - so far I am only a day behind in my log, but I should hopefully catch up soon.
2. Run a 5k. - I haven't signed up for one yet. I'm still having a hard time getting motivated when it is rainy and cold outside! And I don't do treadmills.
3. Acknowledge birthdays - My sister had her birthday last month and we had a little surprise for her. I invited some ladies over to watch the Cinderella (2015) since most of them had not seen it. And we managed to bring presents and cake along to celebrate my sister's birthday, which was the day before. I didn't personally get to see my mother-in-law on her birthday earlier in the month, but my husband was able to take her out for lunch.
 4. Pray for my husband every morning. - ok, so maybe not every morning this month, but every day, definitely.
5. Blog weekly - oops. But hey, here I am!

So January was full of swim meets and basketball games, which are probably the sports of heaven in my mind. I love seeing my kids excel in their sport! Watching the Boy play ball, I am reminded of my time on the court so long ago. I had plenty of enthusiasm and not so much talent. I think he has both. he is also blessed by coaches who want to help him get better. They take the time to tell him what to change, to encourage him when he needs it, and also to get in his face and yell at him when he needs that too. My daughter, the Girl who Swims, has also been blessed by some great coaches! Her basketball coach in middle school was, and still is, one of our favorite coaches. She knew how to push the girls, and encourage them and help them get better with the talent they had. My girl went from never playing basketball to scoring double digits. And now that she is swimming, her coach there is just as great, helping to push her to find her full potential. The Girl who Swims was mentioned in a local story about the school's swim team - because she had won her race. It wasn't until we read the story the day after the meet that we learned that she had won! She didn't tell us that. I don't think she is quite convinced yet that she is an athlete, and a good one!

School at home has been going much better since January. I was feeling so overwhelmed in the Fall, and I knew something had to change. I don't know what has changed - I am still responsible for the same amount of stuff/meetings/ etc. but our homeschool time has gotten better and dare I say it, More Fun. Being a part of the schooling instead of just telling the girls to "read this" is a big part of the change. We talk more and there aren't quite as many tears as before. Staying home is a treat! Today I had nowhere I had to be, and I felt like we *should* be going somewhere - I mean, it is Sunny outside!! But we have nowhere we need to go; I can just relax and enjoy being the STAY at Home Mom.