Friday, June 29, 2007

New Reads

Maybe it's because I have seriously cut back on work, maybe it is because it is summer time or maybe it is because I am trying to find another story line that captures me like Twilight did but these days I am reading like crazy. I polled some women at the pool and they gave me several recommendations to keep me busy. The first was Something Borrowed. Definitely pool reading but it did grab me and I had to finish it quickly. I would recommend this one.

Now I am two-thirds of the way done with The Memory Keeper's Daughter and I am enjoying it. I kind of have a feeling that it won't end all neat and tidy like I want it to but have been impressed with the writing.

Next will be The Glass Castle. I'll keep you posted with recommendations or if you have any good reads, let me know!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Last Meet

So the swim season must sadly come to an end. The kids last meet was on Tuesday night and it was against the 1st place team in the county. Translation our undefeated season is no longer undefeated :) We had a great season though with a 5-1 record and both kids improved their times by quite a bit. Jackson is a seriously good backstroker and has made so much improvement in fly and breastroke. He'll be going to the county swim meet on Monday and Kate will be helping us in the cheering section. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the last meet of the summer.

Too Cool...

The push-off

New personal best time 24.53

Kate LOVES coach Melanie

Team cheers

Another one bites the dust

What a smile!

Jackson's front tooth was hanging by a thread today, so I stepped up and yanked it out! I actually hate doing that too (it gives me the willies). But that is how much I love my son. :) Jackson is in such a funny, awkward stage now, with crooked emerging teeth, missing teeth and remaining tiny baby teeth. I'm thinking it will probably pass in about another 10 years. Right?

PS- Is it me or are these 2 clones?!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

2 Wonderful Wednesday Stories

So, with the exception of one week, Jackson has been keeping up with his story writing. Beginning is still the hardest part for him but once the pencil hits the paper he is having an easier time adding the details. Here are a couple of recent stories from our Wonderful Wednesday story time.

Story #1
One of the Twelve Apostles Spoke

I got to do something cool last Sunday. At Stake Conference an apostle spoke to everyone in church. I got to shake the apostle’s hand at the end. His name was Russell M. Nelson. He spoke about holding onto the iron rod. I will remember that day forever.

Story #2
My First Summer Camp

Have you ever been to a sports camp? I went to sports camp last week. In camp you get to do volleyball, tennis, soccer, basketball, and swimming. The swimming was my favorite part. My coach, Craig, can do a slam dunk. I went to camp with a friend named Taylor. He lives across the street and is funny. Camp was really fun. I’m excited about my next camp. It’s called Camp Invention.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bye Hatch Family!

So it took me a few days to post a note about some of our closest friends, the Hatches, who have moved to San Antonio. We have known since February that they would be leaving but it still stinks! Since they left on Thursday I have thought thought about calling them several times only to remember they weren't here anymore. I have looked for the girls at swim practice and tried to catch a glimpse of their family at church today. I wonder when I'll stop doing those kind of things.
Although I know we'll be lifelong friends, we sure are going to miss our daily interactions with them. Those people in San Antonio are pretty lucky to be getting such a neat family. We miss you already Hatches!!!
PS-Get your blog started Anne...I need details! :)

Friday, June 22, 2007

My Mom ROCKS!!!

Anyone who knows my Mom, knows that she is AMAZING! She seems to have a sixth sense about what needs to get done and she does it. What a lifesaver she was last week. She arrived last Wednesday night so that she could help out with the kids on Kate's chemo day. Then on Friday I began my stretch of 6 shifts. Each day she "played" with the kids at the pool, (actually it's a lot of work but she called it playing) cooked us dinner, ran errands, shuttled children to activities and helped me get a few things organized. Of course I cried when she left yesterday because who will take care of me now?! (ha-ha)
So...we moved into a new house in March. Kate became ill in April and school let out in May. In between all of these life changes I feel like my world is in complete disarray. OK, maybe not my world, but certainly my house. There are no pictures on the walls, nothing has been decorated, the office and guest room are still in boxes and until this weekend, you couldn't even step into the playroom. I felt paralyzed by all that needed to be done, but she stepped in and helped me knock out the playroom and now it looks like a Montessori classroom. :)

Kitchen area

Wall o' baskets

Oh my goodness, I can see the floor!

You'll notice a lot of open floor space and that was purposeful. We have 2 large storage areas in the playroom that house tumbling mats, tee-pees, tents and other large items. They can be brought out and used in the open space and then put away so that the room can be used for other activities.

View from back stairs

I still have to decorate the walls in the playroom but I have some ideas for that.
Here is a shout-out to my Mom who knows me better than anyone in the world and who kept me motivated enough to actually finish a project. I love you! (And when are you coming back to help me with the office? Seriously...) :)

New suit

Ava is truly a water baby. No doubt this comes from her spending every summer minute of her life at the pool but she is getting too bold for my taste. A few weeks ago she began pushing me away from her so that she could swim (I mean SINK) on her own. That wasn't working for me so I went looking for a good floatie. I have to give credit to my friend, Laura Chappell, who discovered this swim suit/floatie combo from Land's End. A few of my favorite features:
1. The vest clips into the bottoms so the vest doesn't ride up
2. You have a cute suit when she is out of water and doesn't need the vest
3. It keeps her upright
4. The vest dries quickly
5. The vest zips in the back so she can't take it off herself
6. Sears sells Land's End so you can see it up close before you purchase it
I'll have to post some pictures of Ava in the suit. She swims all over the pool now and loves her independence. Me too!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Close Call

I am still a little wound up from last night's swim meet. It was against a team that we lost to by only 8 points last year (out of like 700 points). It was painful! Well, this year we were very evenly matched and from my perspective our swimmers weren't at their best. Apparently we were good enough though because we 1 point! Everyone said they have never seen a meet go that close before. What a fantastic night that I think the kids will remember for a long while. That makes our record 5-0 with our last swim meet next Tuesday. The season goes so quickly!

Monday, June 18, 2007

300 Atlanta

The Proof

We went to a great bowling alley last week when Jason's parents were visiting and loved it so much that we brought my Mom there today for family night. I know that it is goes against everything you know bowling alleys to be but this one is clean, not smoke filled and well designed. They have created this alley to be a comfortable, fun and clean environment and the kids love it. Ava jams to the music, and the kids bowl their little hearts out. We have such a great time there! Tonight I had a particularly great time...mostly because I beat Jason for the first time ever! One of our very first dates was bowling. He scored in the 160's and I barely reached 100. That pattern has seemed to continue for our marriage until today. Jason wasn't too thrilled with his performance but I will relish this night for I don't know if I'll ever have a repeat performance!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Summer Swim Meets

Go Barracudas!

Fly King

New Backstroke Personal Best 25.00 seconds

Well, it is swim team season and I am loving it! We have won our first 2 swim meets and last week we beat a team that we have never beaten before. I am most decidedly a competitive person (ask anyone who has ever played Scattegories with me) and I get very excited watching the teams compete. There are so many last minute calls and it is completely acceptable to scream words of encouragement during the races. I love it! The kids love the competition but here is their top 5 reasons why they love swim team-
1. Pushing the coaches in the pool when they win and then jumping in themselves.
2. Getting ice cream at Brusters when the meet ends.
3. Learning new team cheers and seeing what funny costumes the coaches wear to the meets each week.
4. Getting cool ribbons!
5. Writing all over themselves with Sharpies before the meet. (This was new to me but something that all swimmers do?!)

The team has daily practice for an hour and a half. Kate hasn't been to even one practice because she's been too tired and Jackson hasn't missed a practice. Kate did however, want to compete in the first meet and did great! She swam her freestyle and backstroke quite slowly but deliberately and with good form. Jackson is the youngest in his 8 and under age group and is learning to worry only about his time and trying to improve it. With the new age group comes the new strokes of butterfly and breast. He is pretty darn good at butterfly but not too sure about breast stroke. He took 4th place in fly and 1st in backstroke in the last meet. I am really enjoying watching him hop out of the pool and ask the timer what his time was and not look around to see what place he came in. He is also learning about how his winnings contribute to the team winning. All good stuff... These are a few pictures of Kate is her swim meet.

Nice Backstroke!

Kate's Freestyle side breathing


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Happy 2nd Birthday Ava!!!

I can hardly believe that Ava is 2 years old. I clearly remember holding her in my arms in the recovery room and falling in love with her angelic face 2 years ago. Everything has changed in two years and yet some things haven't changed. She still has that angelic face. She still is bald and she definitely still has a huge spirit in a little body.
Since Gramma and Grampa weren't here on Kate's birthday we had a double celebration for Kate and Ava. Ava graciously shared the day with her sister and they even shared the same birthday present -- a new trampoline!!!
It was the most fun I've had decorating as Jackson and Kate helped me make the decorations and put them up. The birthday cake was a special order request from Kate, a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake. It was yummy!
We are blessed with 3 wonderful children, entrusted to us from heaven.

Jackson's 1st Triathalon




Proud finisher

Jackson participated in his first triathalon this morning and had a blast! At 5:30 am we woke up to drive to Peachtree City for the Annual Peachtree City Youth Triathalon. Jackson was so excited that he didn't even mind be awakened at such an early hour. He swam 100 meters, then rode his bike for 3 miles and ran 1/2 a mile. He looked like he was having a great time and was pretty proud of himself. It is such a confidence booster for kids to complete an event like this. He must have had a good experience because he has asked us when he can do another race. I am on the case and looking for more adventures!