Friday, May 27, 2016

Quote of the Week

This Quote of the Week comes from one of Stinky's baseball coaches.

"Everything you need to know about life, you learn from playing baseball."

He went on to explain that baseball teaches you to be a team player, work hard, appreciate the support of your family and friends and to never give up. Well said.


May has been such a busy month for us, and it's not over yet. Can you believe I officially have a second and third grader? Crazy! Anyway, let me share a few May highlights.

Blinky had her ballet recital which was as cute as could be. This was her third recital but the first one in which their teacher did not dance on stage with them. Blinky didn't miss a beat. She has gained such confidence and poise performing on stage. I am looking forward to seeing her grow as a ballet dancer.

Cub Scouts wrapped up with an epic end of year party at one of the cub's family's lake house. The boys rode paddle boats, fished and played football until their little hearts were content. It was so sweet of the parents to host it for us and certainly something the boys will remember.

Then there were Field Days at school. Blinky won the softball throw in her class. She was thrilled! Stinky didn't place but enjoyed the races and socializing with his friends. It was more of a fun day than a competition for him and that's ok.

Softball wrapped up next with Blinky's team winning their final game. Woot! Their year-end record is 5-4. This was Blinky's first year playing and she's a little ambivalent about softball. However, she made a few sweet friends which made her look forward to the games. I hope she decided to play again next year. Now that she has a little experience under her belt I think she will enjoy the game more.

Awards Day was next. Blinky made the A Honor Roll and placed seventh in her grade for Accelerated Reader. Stinky also made the A Honor Roll, placed sixth in his grade for Accelerated Reader, won an Art award for a watercolor painting and Physical Education award. While pleased they maintained A's this year, both were a little disappointed that they didn't place higher in Accelerated Reader. I gently reminded them that they gave it their all. After some very long days, both would make time to read one more book before bed. They may not have made their goal of top three, but the DH and I could not be more pleased of their accomplishments and determination.

Finally Stinky's baseball season wrapped last night. His team had been the underdogs all year but we have seen personal growth in Stinky. His hits were remarkably better, as was his fielding. But of course, baseball is a team sport. Everyone has to play well and together for a team to win. Some games were rough with us lagging 20 points. There were also a few questionable calls which we had no explanation for. Earlier in the season Stinky said, "Mom, I just want to make it home one time." I had to fight tears. But last night, redemption came. It was a tense game that went into overtime. In the space of about 30 minutes, the score was 8-0, 8-4, 8-8. Stinky went up to bat and MADE HIS FIRST HOMERUN EVER!!! As Stinky ran to the dugout with the biggest grin ever, one of the coaches lifted him in the air. But it wasn't over yet. The game was now tied at 10-10. After a few more plays, we were at the bottom half of the sixth and last inning. We had one on base, two out and one up to bat with two strikes. You could hear a pin drop. The ball left the pitching machine, our player swung and hit a fly ball over third base. After the player on base made it home the umpire called the game at 11-10 us! You have never seen so many moms jumping up and down cheering like we were. It was a joyous event! We ended the season 3-10 but what I pray those boys take from last night is that they never gave up and sheer drive pushed them on to win.

Whew, I think that covers the highlights. We have a few weeks of downtime before summer hits full swing. While the kids are enrolled in several summer day camps, I am looking forward to relaxing evenings with them. The grandparents will be here soon as we have a few trips planned. But I think what I'm most excited about homework!!! :)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Quote of the Week

At pick-up yesterday, Stinky gets into the car and says, "Mommy, I want to be the kind of student my school can be proud of." *Mic drop*

He'll never fully understand how proud he made me in that moment. Especially after having to meet with his teacher earlier in the week about him being mischievous in class. Please Lord, hear his prayer.

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4

Friday, May 13, 2016

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Morning Rush

Mornings at our house are always hectic. You would think since the kids are eight and six, they would revel in a little independence in getting themselves dressed and ready for the day. Not so. So I decided to come up with a little list they can't help but notice as they wake up and steer them as to what to do next.

It reads:
  • potty
  • breakfast
  • get dressed
  • brush teeth
  • comb hair
The idea is that they can somewhat direct themselves through each step at a hopefully reasonable pace instead of absentmindedly laying on the sofa between tasks waiting for me to tell them what to do next.
We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mother's Day

Since becoming a Mom eight years ago, we've celebrated Mother's Day in much the same way: Sunday service, lunch at a restaurant then a little sightseeing / window shopping. Because we've been in a whirlwind of travel and extra-curricular activities for the last few months, I thought this year we'd try something different and stay in.

The DH got up with the dog at 6 and the kids sometime after that to let me sleep in. At 8:45, amidst the deepest sleep, they barged in with breakfast-in-bed and cards and presents. I was especially excited to see Blinky's homemade card that she made me wait four days to see. Then we called the grandma's to wish them a Happy Mother's Day and lounged on the sofa to watch a movie.

Sometime after 11 I meandered into the kitchen to start cooking. Since we'd had Bahamian food the week before in Atlanta, I still had a craving for it and decided to go big or go home. I made kidney beans and rice, jerk chicken, corn on the cob and spinach salad. It was so yummy and I didn't even have to fight with the kids to eat it or mash their beans. Score!

After lunch, there was a blur of baseball in the backyard, the obligatory laundry piles, an episode of the Amazing Race and a shower. I felt more rested than I have in years. It was divine and just what this tired, achy body needed.

Later, while browsing blogs, I came across this sentimental post from Dixie Delights, which I could not have written more eloquently:

"Speaking of regrets, I was thinking this morning in the shower how I have lots of regrets on things I’ve spent money on … that dress that never fit right, the shoes that hurt my feet, the expensive bag I never use, the piece of furniture that wasn’t my style, the fabric that didn’t lay right, and the list goes on and on and on.   But, you know, I have never once ever regretted the trips, the outrageously over priced frozen yogurt with all the toppings, staying up late to make an entire breakfast… from a fake ELF, the rollercoaster rides, ice cream dates, late night movie nights or after-school forget-the-homework lets-play-Clue days.  I don’t regret essentially committing career suicide by taking a part time position that has been tenuous at best for the last decade AFTER working tirelessly for years to get the engineering degree and working my way up to the job.  I don’t regret choosing the smaller, older, less expensive home in a neighborhood with a good public school.   I don’t regret buying a used car and driving it in the ground … three times in my lifetime.  And, most of all, I don’t regret the quality time, the family time, the adventures and the memories."

I too have an advanced degree but choose to work part-time to better raise our little ones. The DH and I also buy used cars and live in a smaller, less expensive home to make the vacations possible. While I forget to decorate or somehow commemorate every holiday, I make sure to make a big deal out of birthdays, academic achievements and even being nice to each other. Life is not always easy, and I am far from perfect but I wouldn't change a thing.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you! It was certainly a happy day for me.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Did someone say competition???

The kids have a recycling competition going on a school. The 3 classes which bring in the most recyclables, win ice cream parties. The kids are stoked about winning ice cream. They had me at competition.

I have enlisted all of my co-workers, friends, their friends and neighbors. For the last 10 days, my car and underneath my desk at work has looked like this:

The deadline is tomorrow morning at 8. Can't wait for the results!