Saturday, May 30, 2009

Peachtree Jr. Road Race

Jackson has run several races to date, but this was to be Kate's first race.  I guess we should have thought to prepare her for the mayhem at the start of the race but really had no idea it would be so crazy.  I guess that happens when you have 2,200, 7-12 year olds all trying to "win" it.  So Kate got knocked down, skinned her knee in the starting gate but Jackson made it though without any trauma. He told us that he finished the first mile in 7:15 and the entire race in under 15 minutes.  He really likes to run and we are hoping that the love continues.  

Seriously now, he's smiling while running that pace!

She's 7!

(Look how long her hair is getting!  Those bangs have almost grown out.)

Kate's closing words for the day were, "Today was so much fun, I don't want it to end"!  I guess that means she had a pretty great birthday.  She had one crazy busy, fun-filled day that went as follows .

1. Woke up at 5:30 am in order to make to the news station for a spot on the morning news.  Kate is the honored hero for the upcoming Team-in-Training Nike race in San Francisco.  Here is a link to the spot from this morning.  She was nervous but I think did great!

2. After her 5 minutes of fame, we headed over to Piedmont Park for the Peachtree Jr. Road Race. Over 2,200 kids ages 7-12 participated in a 3K event in the park.  This was a bittersweet event because Kate got pushed to the ground (by overzealous runners eager to make a break away) within the first 100 yards, scraped her knee and was whisked away to the medical tent. We didn't even see it happen and kept looking for her at the finish line.  We eventually found her when somebody told us what had happened.  She was really disappointed that she didn't get to run the race.  Here is a pretty cool picture of her with her friends, Ben and Will, before the race started though.  

3. After a nap, she bounced back though, for her super fun birthday party. Kate's party started at 12:45 pm at The Movie Tavern.  She (and 22 of her closest friends :)) got together to watch the movie UP (which by the way- I LOVED!!!).  This was both, one of the most successful and easiest parties we've ever done for the kids.  The theater provided pizza, popcorn and drinks for each child.  I provided the party favors and a cupcake cake and everyone had an awesome time at the movie.  No clean up, no prep work - HOLLA!

4. At 4pm we came home, opened up all of the loot (er - I mean, 9,000 Littlest Pet Shop Toys) and spent the rest of the day playing with the toys.  In honor of Kate turning the big 7, the family each said 7 things that we love about Kate.  These are some of my favorites.

1. Carolyn - She is silly, wacky, zany, kooky and in general we love her goofiness.
2. Jason - She is a great listener and not just when we are asking her to do things.  She listens quietly when we talk and is interested in what we have to say.
3. Jackson - She has a great imagination and can draw very well.
4. Carolyn - She is an awesome reader.  She's flying through those chapter books now.
5. Jason - She is the best snuggler around.  She always wants someone to lay down with her every night and cuddle.
6. Jackson - She is really good at gymnastics.
7. Carolyn - She has a smile that melts my heart.  Those dimples are to die for.

Monday, May 25, 2009

He's Got it Figured Out

Out of the blue Jackson hits me with this one...

J - Mom, when I grow up I'm going to be a scientist. And I am going to find the cure for leukemia.
Me - Wow, that would be amazing.
J - Yea, I think that the key to being a scientist is figuring out how everything fits together.
Me - Sounds like you've been thinking about this for a while.
J - (Long pause) I think that there are like, only 1 or 2 pieces missing too, so when I get those I'll be able to put the puzzle together and cure leukemia.

How cute is that?! I love how wonderfully simple things are in the mind's of children.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Instead of going to bed...

my children do this,

and this with their stuffed animals before finally falling asleep!

What do yours do to avoid going to sleep?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mud Bowl 2009

Jackson participated in his first highly competitive soccer tournament this weekend.  His team was slotted in the most competitive level of the tournament playing the #1, #2, #3 teams in the state!  We parents think that we worked almost as hard as the kids by cheering them on through 2 days of rain!  Jackson's team tied the first 2 games 1-1, won the third game 1-0 and had a heartbreaking loss of 3-2 in the championship game. While the boys would have liked to have won, finishing 2nd in such company isn't too shabby.

By the time the final game began the field was a complete mud pit!  This picture of the boys warming up doesn't even begin to do justice to the state of the field but you can get the idea.
Since joining his U-9 Academy soccer team last fall, Jackson has made some amazing progress. He has lost all fear of colliding with other players in an effort to get the ball, has learned to stay in position and is starting to get a better handle with ball control.  All of the parents at the tournament had a blast watching their kids have such a good time.  What a great way to spend the weekend and end the season.  Good job Jackson!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A discussion with my 3 year old

Ava - Mommy, I need an ipod like Jackson and Kate. 
Me - Oh, really?
Ava - A pink one.
Me - Um, huh.
Ava - Yeah, with Poker Face (a song by Lady GaGa) and Hannah Tanna songs on it.  Okay?
Me - I'll get right on that (thick with sarcasm).

Let me just say that I fear for her teen years!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Beatnik Cafe

Jackson's class has been doing a poetry unit for the last month.  His last assignment was to memorize a poem and recite it to the class.  The teacher (with the help of several parents) transformed the classroom into a cafe complete with "mood lighting".  The kids dressed in the "coolest" attire and gave snaps after each reading.  It was such a fun idea and a great way to end the unit.  Here is Jackson reciting Robert Frost's, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.  Can you dig it?
The second poem was an original by Jackson that I cut off by accident.  It is a triolet (not even going to pretend that I remember what that means nevermind his other poems which included a quatrain, cinquain, couplet, limerick, haiku and clerihew.)

Take It Easy On Me
How unkind to kick me around
When all I do is roll around
In the air, in a net, or on the ground
How unkind to kick me around 
Colorful feet coming to surround
Running around making horrifying sounds
How unkind to kick me around
When all I do is roll around

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Dreaded D Word

I don't know about you parents but our third grader's school year was filled with project after project.  That means that the last year of my life was one project after another.  Normally I didn't mind so much but the second to last assignment of the year was to read a fantasy book and then do a diorama of a scene from the book.  He also had to type up step-by-step instructions of how he made his diorama.  Oh, how I cringed when I read the word DIORAMA. Don't ask why, people. I don't know.  Perhaps it is because I am more scientific minded (translation - NOT creative) but ever since my own diorama fiascos in elementary school I seriously loathe that word. Thank goodness for small miracles, Jackson knew exactly what he wanted to do and came up the ideas on his own.  We spent a couple of evenings helping him fine tune a few details but he did the bulk of this project.  
After all of his work though, he wanted to keep the diorama forever.  I wanted it gone within a week.  The compromise - keep it around for a couple of weeks and then take a picture of him with the project and blog about it.  As you can see, now we have it forever. :)

She's Joined the 2 Wheeler Club

You Go Kate!!!

All it took was a spring evening, some bug spray and determination and voila - Kate was off on her own!  She is by far, the most timid of the oldest 3 (case in point is that Ava was begging us to take her training wheels off while we were coaxing Kate into losing hers) so it took her a while to decide that she was up for the challenge.  Each time during the last year she would simply respond that "falling off of a bike hurts" if I ever broached the subject of learning to ride a 2 wheeler. Then in the last few months she learned that several of her friends had taken the plunge and become official 2 wheel riders.  I'm pretty sure that their tales gave her the needed courage to give it a go.
I only spent 5 minutes holding onto the back of her seat and little by little she gained confidence, first on the grass and then onto the big concrete circle at Heritage Park.  When it was getting dark and we needed to head home Kate just kept circling the field and laughing when we said stop.  Her record without stopping was a whopping 6 loops.  All Kate could talk about on the ride home was who whe could get to go bike riding with her.  Are you up for it?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Grandma Reichstetter

Today is my Grandma Reichstetter's birthday.  She died of lung cancer when I was only 9 years old and that still makes me sad every time I think about it.  There are so many things that I would have liked to have shared with her since that time.  Although I was young when she left the earth, these are a few of the things that I remember about her.

- She would waggle her index finger at me, feigning displeasure when I would sit in her rocking chair.  Apparently I loved the attention because I looked for every opportunity to hop in her seat (even if the arm on the chair fell off every time I touched it).
- She had a "secret attic" entrance in her closet that I found completely amazing.
- She could feed squirrels from her hand.
- She had a beagle named Holly that she loved dearly.  When Holly died, my Mom had to go and collect all of her belongings because it made my Grandma too sad to see them.
- She had a cookie tin in the kitchen and always made sure to give us some treats when we visited.  I remember buying her stickers to go on the tin that said "Keep Out" because we were always trying to snitch more.
- She taught me how to play solitaire.
- She could peel an apple in one long peel and on that note, made an amazing apple pie.
- She encouraged my Mom to put me in gymnastics because I literally rolled all over her house.
- She collected Hummel figurines.
- She had a beautiful flower garden in front of her house in the Oaks.
- Made the best creamed corn ever.
- I knew that she loved me and I loved to be around her.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of the women in our lives! A very special "I love you" goes to my Mom, Mary Hansen and their Mom's, Grandma Reichstetter and Gramma Watters because really, our mothers wouldn't be the amazing women that they are without their Moms! Hope that this day was a great one for you all.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

I HATE DOGS...but don't tell Jackson.

OK- So I had a dog growing up and I really loved her.  I don't know what happened between now and then but I've got to tell you that the love is gone.  All I think of now when I see a dog is work.  Buying dog food, taking it to the vet, taking it for walks, cleaning up the ENDLESS hair and now I add cleaning up dog diarrhea to the list.  Yes, I said diarrhea.  The D word is out and no less gross for it.  
We woke up this beautiful Sunday morning to a very concerned Jackson standing by the side of our bed.  In a blurry state I remember something about Bodie, bad smell, blood and diarrhea. Well that last word got me up in a hurry and we rushed out to see the damage.  I was very concerned myself when a horrific odor greeted me at the top of stairs but was grateful to find that at least the mess was pretty well contained.  While Jason took the kennel outside for a good hosing off I tried to keep Ava out of the remaining mess.  Jackson took Bodie out for a very long walk and then gave him a bath (Side note - Jackson has got to be the most fastidious, dog loving owner that ever was - well maybe 2nd to Grampa Hansen).  Anyhoo, after a cleansing bath Bodie saw fit to promptly relieve himself of the remaining contents of his intestines all over my dining room floor, living room and hall.  (I consider that a non-contained mess and was seriously unhappy at this point.)  If I hadn't been completely disgusted by the unfolding scene I might have actually laughed out loud to see Jason chase our continuously pooping dog while shouting, "No Bodie, No!"

I swear, if this little boy didn't absolutely love his dog...  I tell you, there is no end to a mother's love! :)