Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Activities

These first two weeks of summer, I've kept the kids busy, busy, busy. I do this, not because I like to go through many gallons of gas (at $3.89 a gallon) driving around Kingwood, but because if I didn't this is what they'd do all day...

Thanks to Aunt Denise sending us her extra computer, we now have the coolest computer set-up on the block!

So, other than playing on the computer, this is what they've been doing.

Last week, Jackson went to a baseball camp put on by the Kingwood High School baseball coaches and players. He complained about it every morning, and I admit, it was hot (95 degrees or so) but he persevered.

That's Jackson in the red hat. If you could see the picture better, you'd see that he's smiling from ear to ear. I think he had a good time. You'll notice that he's one of the few kids in shorts. The rest are in baseball pants. Every morning I tried to get him to wear his baseball pants. He'd say, "Mom, it's so hot, I'm not wearing pants." I'd say, "But most of the other kids are wearing pants." He'd say, "But Mom, the coaches all wear shorts." True. Point taken.

Our local community college offers lots of classes for kids throughout the summer. This is something that's right up Jordan's alley, but her gymnastics schedule leaves little time for other things. Last week was the one week that her gymnastics school was closed and before her summer training schedule started. She wanted to do a class at the college and had four different classes to choose from. She chose "Wacky Weaving." Hmmmm. Over the course of the week, she made all kinds of woven projects using paper, fabric, yarn, string, even pipe cleaners. Most of all, I think she really enjoyed it. Too bad I got in a fender bender dropping her off one morning.

Jensen was also busy last week participating in a cheerleading camp for three days at The Little Gym. I have no pictures, but next time you see Jensen she can demonstrate the move where she was standing on a "real" cheerleader's hands and he dropped her and caught her in his arms. She thought that was the best!

This week, Jordan started her summer gymnastics schedule. She's at the gym four days a week for a total of 14.5 hours. Can you feel the pain? The exciting news, is that her hard earned grips finally arrived today. These are strips of leather strapped to your hands to use on the uneven bars to prevent blisters and rips in the skin on your hands, but the girls aren't allowed to use them until they have mastered the kip. I've heard that this skill is one of the hardest to learn in gymnastics. Jordan has worked very hard to learn this, sometimes coming home from practice with her hands literally bleeding. I'm so proud of Jordan and her attitude about gymnastics. It's really something that she loves to do, but it doesn't come easy. She works hard yet she rarely complains. I'm often in awe.

Jordan took a break from gymnastics one day to go bowling with the swim team. It was a perfect activity for a blistering hot day.

Jackson spent this week at cub scout twilight camp. Again, he complained every day about having to go but came home every night raving about it. What's not to love? BB gun shooting, paint ball shooting, archery shooting, water gun shooting. You get the idea. This is a liberal, gun hating mom's dream come true. What can I say? It kept him off the computer and he had fun.

Jensen's week was spent in more heavenly pursuits. She attended vacation bible school at Christ the King Lutheran Church. This is the church our friends the Kellers attend. Just like Jackson, she complained every day about having to go, but raved about it when she got home.

Well, that's what we've been doing so far this summer. Next week we're off to Michigan and Indiana for family togetherness. Our nephew, Ben, graduated high school and his open house is next Saturday. He's off to Notre Dame in the fall. Awesome. We can't wait to see everyone. We get home July 3rd. Will we be as busy in July? We'll see.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

To the man who brings the fun, the faith, the focus to our family. We love you.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Date Night #11

We're still plugging away on our 25 dates for the year and just had #11...right on track! We've done the gamut of things from simple dinner and a movie (21) to seeing Bruce Springsteen in concert. This time, we went to an Astros game with Heather and Brent.

Brent has season tickets and they invited us to go along. The game was against the Milwaukee Brewers, but unfortunately the Astros lost. We still had a great time though!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Little Gym

This past year Jensen started taking a combination dance/gymnastics class at a new place that opened near our house called The Little Gym. I thought it would be perfect...give her a chance to try dance (which I thought she'd really like) combined with gymnastics. After spending about $70 on ballet shoes, tap shoes and a cute bag to carry them all in (at Payless mind you; how you spend $70 at Payless I don't know), Jensen declared that she didn't like the dance part. When I asked her why she said that it "took too long". "But it's only 30 minutes," I said. After a couple of weeks of her crying before the dance part I finally figured out that all she really wanted to do was the gymnastics part so, of course, the dance part was too long. I relented and let her switch to a class that was just gymnastics. She had her last class last Friday and got her first medal. If anyone is in need of barely used, size 11, ballet or tap shoes please let me know.

She actually got a medal for these moves:

Monday, June 09, 2008

Weekend Update

Our weekends this time of year tend to revolve around swim meets and this week was no exception. We had our last home meet of the season which means I am now done with my volunteer duty. My job this year (and last) was to prepare the condiments (lettuce, tomatoes, onions) for our concession stand and to slice and bag watermelon to sell. It's an awesome job because I can do it in the air conditioned comfort of my home the day before the meet and be done with it. This last week was easier than usual due to the salmonella tomatoes to chop.

Jackson and Jordan have done pretty well swimming this year and have steadily improved their times since the season started. This year, they both moved up to a new age group. The age cut off is the end of May and since both their birthdays are in May they are among the youngest kids in their groups. Next year should be a better year for them competition-wise. They're still having fun though which is the whole point.

This year is our swim team's 20th anniversary and our coaches put on a show for the kids the morning of the meet last weekend. Even though the team started in 1988, their attire seems to be from '68 or at the very latest '78. But since I don't think any of them were actually alive in 1988 I'll cut them some slack. I think they would have looked just as great in leg warmers and oversized t-shirts knotted at the side and sliding off one shoulder. Too bad they didn't ask me for wardrobe advice. I have to say, though, that our coaches always go out of their way to make the whole swim team experience fun for the kids. And none of our kids know the difference between 60's attire and 80's attire anyway. It's all just old to them.

Every year I feel so grateful for our neighborhood swim team. I never had anything like that when I was growing up out in the country. It provides exercise, structure, teamwork, friendships, entertainment and so much more to summer days that could otherwise just waste away. Go Gators!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Happy Summer

Holy cow! Three months (nearly) since I've posted here. I'm a little mad at myself for that but I guess it goes to show that life is busy and full around here. Today is the first day of summer vacation and I pledge to post a little something every day (nearly) for the summer. I pledge to keep my camera handy and take a photo a day. I did this in December leading up to Christmas and I loved the little nuggets of everyday life that were recorded here. Let's catch up a little and then move on.

A quick weekend trip to Dallas during spring break to visit our friends the Allen's and go to the Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor water park/hotel

Easter brunch at the Spindletop restaurant

Another baseball season come and gone

We caught lizards and raised butterflies

Went on field trips

Peformed in the district-wide 5th grade honors choir

Went on dates

Went to Disney World--WOW!!

Started another swim season

Had birthdays...this is Jordan riding in the front seat of the car which she was allowed to do once she turned 11. If you look closely you'll see a cell phone in her hand. This was her main birthday present. It has changed her life a little but my life a lot.

Preformed in the 5th grade musical as an Andrew Sister singing Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

Graduated pre-school

Advanced from cub scout bear to webelos

Graduated 5th grade...on to middle school!

School's out for summer...

Happy summer y'all!