Sunday, March 19, 2017

Miles' 2nd Wrestling Season

Miles gave wrestling a try last year in middle school.  It was his first "official" go of it.  It's a short season, but packed.  Practices are every day - Monday through Friday - for about 1 1/2 hours.  Then the Saturday meets go on F.O.R.E.V.E.R.  Luckily the practice season lasts for 6 weeks and the meets go on for 4 Saturdays.  So it is definitely doable.

Miles did not win a single match last year.  But he was never really down about that.  So when this year came around I was curious if he would want to do wrestling again.  I did not discourage nor encourage him.  But he told me that he was going to do it again this year.  Okay, let's go get that physical then!

It was a good season.  There were a few friends from church that were on the team, plus just the other guys that Miles had gotten to know from last year.  So it was fun for him - he didn't even spend every meet reading the whole time (which he did last year - except for the few minutes he actually spent wrestling . . .).  At the meets he was chatting with friends (one meet he spent hanging out the whole time almost with the opponent he had just beaten.  They had wrestled against each other a few times during the other meets.) and just hanging out with the team.  Now don't think he became super social and all - but he was more social than last year, that's for sure.  He still did do some reading as well and almost read a whole book at one meet.  But that wasn't all he did - which was different than last year.

Miles ended up winning 5 matches this year.  That's 500% better than last year!  Amazing, right?  Now he couldn't really contend with those stronger, more experienced wrestlers and would often get pinned - but not every time.  But when there were kids who were a little more like him - new to the sport, etc., he had a chance.  He ended up pinning one kid - but I was late for that meet and missed it!  Bummer.

I had a couple of coaches tell me, towards the end of the season, how Miles was really improving this year and it was like a "light switch had finally turned on in him."  Not that he's all of sudden a great wrestler, but that things were connecting with him and he was picking up on skills, etc.  It was fun to hear.

And see.  One of Miles' matches went in to 5(!) overtimes.  He kept preserving and trying and didn't give up.  He just barely lost that one.  Ben went to his final meet of the season this past Saturday.  He was truly impressed with Miles' first match - which he won 11 to 1.  He actually did moves and skills that earned him points!  He almost pinned his opponent twice.  It was fun for Ben to see that.  One of the really good wrestlers from the team commented, "Wow, Miles' dad must have spent all night going over wrestling moves with Miles."  Nope, that has yet to happen because of lack of interest on Miles' part.  (But perhaps that will change next year?!) Unfortunately he got pinned his next match, but he ended up taking 2nd (out of 3, haha).

Ben totally loved going to the meets.  He had fun watching Miles, Miles' friends, teammates, etc. Their team (Centennial Middle School) is quite good and has several really strong wrestlers.   The team ended up winning their last meet and got a big trophy.  Miles seemed pretty excited about that.

Anyways, it was a good season and Miles is already committed to doing it again next year!  :)

Ben got some pictures at Miles' last meet:
 You can hardly see Miles, but he's doing something good - per Ben.  :)

 Miles almost pinning his opponent!

 Getting ready for another period.

 Go Miles, go!

 Another round - I know that it's good to stand up from this point and get out of the opponent's grip.  I think you get a point for that.  (That's pretty much all I know about wrestling - except that you win if you pin the guy.)

 The final score - yay Miles!

The ref always raises the winner's arm.  Nice job Miles!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

CMU Swim Meet

We signed up Jonas for a swim meet up in Grand Junction on the CMU campus.  Jonas didn't totally want to do it, but because it's for experience we make our kids do things they don't want to do.  :)

We had to divide and conquer that day (last Saturday) as Miles had a wrestling meet in Delta.  I stayed here/Delta and watched Miles, picked up Emmy from gymnastics, then went back to Delta and spent the rest of the afternoon watching Miles.  (I'll post a separate post on Miles - but we didn't get any pictures and so we'll take pictures at his last meet this Saturday and I'll do a write-up then.)

Ben, Jonas, and Lucy went to Junction.  It was pretty cool, I guess, to be on the campus and at the college's pool.  Jonas has only done "home meets" and so he mentioned that it was cool to swim somewhere different.

As Jonas was in the slower heats, I had hopes it would get a few first or second finishes in his heats.  But that was not the case.  He was just slow-ish on Saturday.  I mean, he still did well by finishing up all his events (sort-of, more on that soon) - but he was pretty much last (last-ish?) in all his races.

His first even was the the 200 Team Medley.  Jonas swam backstroke and unfortunately disqualified his team by not judging his strokes correctly and messing up on his flip-turn and having to do a few "non-backstroke" strokes to the wall - which disqualified him and his team.  His coach reminded him of how often they had practiced that  . . . but that he tends to goof off a bit in practice (What?!  Just kidding, sounds like Jonas . . .).  Hopefully he'll learn from that.  He also did the 50 backstroke, the 100 Individual Medley, and the 100 Freestyle.  I'm still proud of him for doing it all!  But, darn it, I also want one of my kids to actually win (Gosh, I'd even take a top-3 finish) in a sport.  There, I said it.  :)

 One of Jonas' biggest and cutest fans.  :)

 Jonas is closest to the left.  This is him getting ready for the relay - doing backstroke.

 He is a cute, little swimmer!  Someday I think he'll be a cute and fast swimmer!  :)

 They ate lunch and watched a softball game on campus.  It was lovely weather!

There's Jonas going off the block (in the middle with the blue cap)!

When asked by someone how he did at the swim meet, Jonas replied, "Good-ish."  :)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Miles' Teenage-Birthday

So this year was not a "friend's party" year for Miles.  (He just had one last year and we do them every four years.)  But he did have the whole day off from school (as opposed to the rest of the kids who had a half-day).  It was a very, very busy day!

I started it off by having to get everyone up early because, as Miles told me, all the siblings wanted him to open up their gifts before school.  Miles still had wrestling to go to - and it was at 7am.  So everyone was awoken a little after six.  They all had a sleep-over the night before . . .

 Rise and shine kids!

 The kids all bought (or in no-allowance-Lucy's case, made) Miles a gift.  We did not ask nor really even suggest it.  You'd think they were nice kids who liked each other if you didn't live with them all the time.  Ha.  Anyways, Emmy bought him a book from the school's book fair.  Jonas bought him some pokemon cards.  Lucy gave him a picture she had colored at school.

Then Miles was off on his bike to wrestling practice and the rest of the kids got ready and then went to school.  When Miles got back from practice (and dropping off his dad's forgotten lunch . . .), we started on his birthday cake:
 Cheesecake!  Miles does not really like the typical birthday-cakes and so this was his request.  I was going to have him make the entire thing, but we were running short of time (already and it was only 8:30!) and so I helped quite a bit.  :)

 Thursdays are the days I go swimming and so I took Miles along - plus Miles' friend Aiden.  They swam and played shuffleboard and stuff like that.  They had a good time.

Then it was a rush to go back home, grab some things, and then head over to the elementary school.  I was in charge of a dinner the PAC was doing for the teachers and staff as it was conference.  We were doing Hawaiian haystacks - and it turns out that if you're Mormon you have a significantly higher chance of knowing what Hawaiian haystacks are.  I had to write "instructions" because nobody really knew what they were (except for the principal!).  Anyways, we set up some stuff at a classroom and then it was off to Coldstone . . .
 Miles had won a gift-card there and wanted to take me there on his birthday.  So Patty watched my others kids at the school (they got out at noon) and Miles and I ran over for a Coldstone treat.  Yummy fun.

Then it was back to school for us as I had three parent-teacher conferences to attend.  The other kids just played at the playground or checked out the book-fair.

Then it was the doldrums . . . we had a couple hours of nothing (well, I was doing dishes, getting dinner ready, jumping on tramp with the girls, etc.).  Jonas practically sat by a window for 1 1/2 hours waiting for Ben to come home.  Yes, Jonas - not Miles.  I mean, Miles was anxious for Ben to come home so he could open his presents.  But Jonas was fixated on it.  It got pretty annoying . . . but I somehow survived.  :)

Ben finally got home and so Miles was able to open his gifts.  He got some fun and interesting things, but the thing he really wanted was a wooden puzzle box:
 It has like 7-10 steps to open it.  He loves, loves, loves it.

Then it was on to dinner - elk pasties and green beans.  Per Miles' request of course.  After that we all went to the Rec. center.  Jonas had swim lessons and Ben went with him to do laps.  I had reserved a racquetball court and we played some hand-ball and such for a bit.  Then the kids (and even I a few times) climbed the climbing wall.  When Jonas and Ben were done, we went home for some cheesecake:

 It turned out very rich and delicious!  (I think it was like my 2nd-time ever making cheesecake - or perhaps even my first?!)

Then (yes there is more!) we went downstairs to watch Miles' movie pick:  Ice Age, Continental Drift.  The kids were off on Friday and so luckily they didn't have to get up early and be alert in class
As always, the movie was funny.  I think Miles laughed the hardest.  :)

Whoowhee, what a day.  But you don't turn a teenager but once, so it might as well be a fun day!

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Happy Birthday TEENAGER

Dear Teenage Son,

Miles, you are now a teenager.  Emmy talks about how some of the kids in her grade think they are cool because they have teenager-siblings.  Now Emmy is cool like them, thanks to you.

Another year older and another year wiser, right?!  I think you've gotten wiser.  We just went to parent-teacher conference tonight at your school and all of your teachers seem to think you are quite wise.  :)  Your reading teacher again told me how you are "off the charts" in the school's online reading curriculum.  You are doing college-level reading and assessments (since you passed every level through the 12th grade) and are scoring very well on them.  You are a reading-teacher's dream and she does adore you.

We also spoke with your CREW teacher.  CREW is a special class your school does - more like a "character-building" class.  Your teacher shared an experience in which you kind of stood up for and shared some positive qualities about a kid in the group that gets picked on a lot.  She, and I, were greatly impressed.

You're doing wrestling again this year.  I did not encourage you - nor discourage you.  You wanted to all on your own.  You like it, I guess!  You even won one match so far this season (which is one more than last year!)  Shall we mention how you lost a match to a girl?  :)  You have practice today on your birthday - even though you have no school today.  I thought you would be bummed about it.  I even tried to sweeten the deal (literally) by offering to bring in donuts for your birthday.  You seemed pretty embarrassed by that offer and quickly told me no and that you don't want any birthday celebrations at school (and you didn't seem bummed about having to go to wrestling practice at 7am on your day off of school).  Sigh . . . I guess you are becoming a teenager.  Sniff, sniff.

As nice as it would be to have our oldest child be a girl (those natural mothering instincts come in handy!), you have turned out to be a pretty great oldest child.  You're bossy, sure.  You're annoying at times, yep.  But you are also an excellent example to your younger siblings.  When it comes to moral choices, you rock it.  (When it comes to not annoying everyone in your household . . . you sometimes don't rock it.)  You really do Choose the Right at school and around your friends.  Even though you hear swear-words "all the time," you don't say them.  You are nice to kids that others aren't nice to.  You really do try to make good gospel-choices.  You are generally happy and positive.  You are a fantastic student - even getting a 4.0 last semester (and winning $50 from a local bank for those grades!).  You have good homework-ethics.  Usually.

You had a big year - you became a deacon (and your father likes to now call you "Deacon Miles"), you pass the sacrament, you go to Young Mens and mutual nights, you went to a week-long scout-camp and a week-long camp with Coach Kirk during the summer, you began your middle-year of middle school.  You even BABYSAT.  In fact, you just did that last night for your very first time!  Our neighbor/friends needed to go to parent-teacher conferences at school with their kindergartner (Genevieve - one of Lucy's friends) and wanted to leave their sleeping toddler at home.  So you just made sure he didn't wake up and need something.  You got $5 for your 30-minutes of babysitting.  Emmy was extremely jealous.

A silly thing that drives me crazy about you is that you like to tuck-in your shirts.  Yeah, some moms would like that.  Not me.  But the biggest problem is when you tuck-in your shirt without a belt.  Ugh.  When I tell you how geeky you look (in the nicest of ways, of course), you proudly tell me, "I am a geek!"  I'm not sure if you are or not . . . but that doesn't mean you have to dress like one.  Haha.

You are maturing.  We see more and more glimpses of it each day - or at least each week.  Sure, you still have your quirks that drive your parents and siblings crazy at times, but you also do and say things that surprise me because they are . . . the mature thing to do or say.  I now have great hopes that you will become a fully-matured man at some point in your life!  :)

You're a good kid Miles.  In fact, when it comes down to what really matters - you're a pretty great kid.

I love you.  Love,

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Saturday is a Special Day . . .

It's the Day We Get Ready for Sunday . . .

 Yes, Lucy lost her other top, front tooth today!  Thank goodness - she does not like loose teeth!  She cries and cries about it!  Luckily I have become quite adept at twisting pulling out not-quite-ready-loose-teeth.  :)  (Ben tried twice this morning while I was out . . . )

 Love her in curlers!

 Crazy nut.


So we watched this gem of a video this past week:


So when my girls complained to me this afternoon about how bored they were and it wasn't fair that the boys got to go to the school and play with their friend . . . I suggested the girls come up with their own "exact instruction" challenge.  It took us a while to come up with what they could "instruct," but they did and here are the results:

When the boys got home they thought the girls' videos were a great idea and so, after dinner, they made one as well:

P.S.  Erin, and the few others that read my blog and have little kids, I think you should try it with your kids - do the PB&J challenge - but don't show them the Josh Darnit video until after.  :)  It would be a "fun" FHE!  :)

Thursday, March 02, 2017

How Jonas does homework when Mom is at Work

Apparently doing homework is much more fun when I'm at work (although I am pretty sure Ben had nothing to do with what Jonas did to his face . . .:)


February 2017

 As least February went out with a bang - some snow!

 Lucy actually built this snowman with just a little help from Ben.  So cute.  Jonas thought it was pretty great, too.

 Lucy admiring Mr. Snowman.

Snow angel!