Friday, October 29, 2010

Monster Mash Meet

Vault: 9.3 - 6th Place

Bars: 8.55 - 2nd Place

Beam: 8.75 - 2nd Place

Floor: 9.0 - 2nd Place

All-around: 35.6 - 2nd place  Age 11 and under

Family Tree

Caleb is doing a year long assignment. A few weeks ago was his life list. This past week we worked on a family tree. Here is the result:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Natalie Says

It was lunchtime. Natalie had requested her favorite combination: chicken nuggets and mandarin oranges. She dined while I cleaned the kitchen. After a few minutes she stated, "Mom, sometimes I call these oranges half a bum."

A few minutes later she said, "Mom, there's no more boogers on my wall still."

I guess she learned her lesson after we made her scrape off the plentiful bedside stash of hardened green dots that she'd wiped on her wall.

It appears that my efforts at teaching manners and refinement are futile. Never a dull moment with this one!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Life List

As part of a year-long autobiography assignment for his language arts class, Caleb was required to write a "life list." It was to be a list of 50 "dreams, goals or aspirations."

It got me wondering if I've ever had 50 life goals, I certainly can't think of that many right now.

I thought Caleb's list was perfect. So naive. And simple. And sincere. And so...Caleb.

Click to enlarge and read Caleb's list

Is it sad that at my stage of life I can't think of even five items for a life list? Does that mean I don't aspire to much? Or does it mean that I'm content? That would be a good thing, right?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Just Another Crazy Hair Day

Alyssa is on the student council this year. As soon as they voted to have Crazy Hair Day as the first spirit day of the year, she started planning to use our leftover orange hair spray from the Halloween box. But it was Natalie that inspired the hair-do. Referring to the orange color she said, "You're going to look like a pumpkin."

So we did a pumpkin patch. Do you see it?

Some twists for the vines, orange buns for pumpkins and finished off with some green "stems."

Natalie decided she wanted an everyday hair-do but did want it orange.

Linsey and Hunter forgot about Crazy Hair Day so we quick gave them a little orange, too. The Fletcher girls looked cute with all their ponies.

It's good to be a little crazy sometimes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Deja Vu

Remember this?

Look what Natalie learned today:

And she's even wearing Alyssa's old competition leo.

I feel like I've seen this before.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Taking One For the Team

We had the first meet of our fall gymnastics season yesterday. For 15 of my 20 Level 4 squirrels—I mean, girls—it was also their first experience with competition. We’ve been training as a team since May and it was finally time to put their routines before the judges.

The gymnasts arrived in their sparkling leotards and personalized warm-ups. Also part of their uniform is a large hair bow. This accessory was not of my choosing but I do admit that the idea of having all the girls match (from head to toe) has grown on me.

Right after starting our open warm-up, one of my gymnasts asked if she could use the restroom. She’s a talented nine-year-old that was probably feeling the nerves of her very first meet. I told her to hurry then turned my attention toward the remaining 19 squirrels. Did I just call them squirrels again?

A few minutes later, this gymnast returned from the restroom in a panic. Her eyes were red and she gasped to breathe between sobs. Though she was struggling to talk, she was finally able to convey to me that her mom had not fastened her bow sufficiently tight and it had fallen into the toilet.

“Where is it now?” I asked.

“It’s still in the toilet,” she replied.

I left the rest of the team to my co-coaches and took this gymnast to the restroom. Upon entering, I found her bow submerged in the toilet bowl, floating in the lightly tinted water next to a piece of used toilet paper. I had two jobs to do: retrieve the bow and calm a hysterical nine-year-old. I was counting on her to have a great meet and I didn’t want this to get in the way of her performance.

For about two seconds I contemplated how I might remove the bow. I wished I could force my gymnast’s hand into that water but felt she was already too traumatized by what had happened. I also wished for some kind of instrument to fish it out but there wasn’t anything handy nor did I have the time to look for one.

So I did it. I dipped my thumb and pointer finger into the water and grasped the loop of the bow that was floating closest to the water’s surface. I gave it a quick shake then moved it to the sink trying not to think about the urine on my hand. (Luckily, this was a one-seater restroom so not only was it private, the toilet and sink were in close proximity.)

I washed out the ribbon while prompting this gymnast to take deep breaths. I gave her the pep talk about how talented she was, how she was going to have a great meet and that this silly bow was not going to keep her from being successful. I was also mentally telling myself that this act alone should earn me the Coach of the Year award. I washed my own hands and then noticed that this particular restroom was equipped only with an air-blower and no paper towels.

With the sopping bow between my dripping hands, I gave a few final words of encouragement followed by a careful hug. I told this gymnast to get back out on the floor and that I’d finish solving the problem. I tracked down some paper towels and then beckoned this gymnast’s mother from the stands. Perhaps it should be mentioned here that parents are not allowed on the competition floor. If they enter the floor without permission, it can cause disqualification. In hindsight, I suppose I could’ve gotten the mom do to the fishing, but again, time was of the essence. At any rate, I handed the bow to her mother at this time to finish drying the bow with the restroom’s blow dryer so that I could return to the team.

This gymnast went on to have a good meet. She contributed to our team score with her very impressive vault. When she thanked us at the end of the meet, I added, “Just remember, I reached into a toilet bowl for you. That’s how much I love you.”

Our team won. It was a small meet—only three teams—but still, we won and outscored the 2nd place team by more than 1 point. (That’s a lot in gymnastics.)

And no one can question my dedication to my team.

If you’re wondering about Alyssa, she had a pretty good start to Level 6. There’s still lots of room for growth but she came away with four new medals jingling around her neck so she was happy. She got first on bars, and third on vault, beam and all-around.