Friday, August 30, 2013

Introducing the 6 and under girl high point winner....

At the end of each swim season, we celebrate with a big pot-luck dinner celebration! The kids get trophies and special recognitions, there is always a neat slide show and lots of yummy food!

Daniel confessed to being a tad nervous about speaking in front of close to 300 folks, but you couldn't tell it when he was rolling...

He did a great job.

He had Abbey enthralled...

It started with the individual participation trophies

Elijah and his first trophy.

The 6 and under boys(a wild crew, let me tell you!!)

Then the 6 and under girls got their recognition.

Then it was time for the special awards.

The kids who participated in the championship meet.

Abbey was announced as the winner of the 6 and under girls high point award.  When she went to get her trophy, her coach and big brother, reached down and gave her a big "bear" hug, lifting her off of the ground. The whole room sighed a collective, "Awww".

We ended with a great slide show.

It's a bit long, but there are lots of pictures of my kids.(Gotta look out for the grandparents who couldn't be at the banquet).

As usual, the swim season flew by way too quickly. It's such a huge part of our summers and a lot of fun. Daniel did a great job during his first year as a head coach, Abbey and Elijah had fun and got stronger, learned some lessons in sportsmanship and we all had some laughs. I'm always sad to see it end.

The official 2013 swim team picture.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

After the years of watching in the stands....

She finally got to swim in the pool!

Abbey has been to many, many swim meets in her life. A lot of those meets took place at a nearby aquatic center (TAC).

This year the championship meet for our league was held at the same aquatic center where Abbey has sat in the stands for many hours of her young life. Being that she did pretty well in our regular season meets, she was able to swim in the championship meet.

This brought back memories of Daniel. For many years, toddler and preschooler Daniel would go with us to a pool in High Point to watch big brother, John, swim in the Junior Olympics. He would say, "One day, I'm gonna swim at the 'High Point'!" And he did! It was a great day to see him achieve his dream.

So, now Abbey was having the same opportunity.

We had to be there at 6:45 AM! No problem for my usual early riser. This morning, she was an extraordinarily early riser. She was ready to go the moment her feet hit the floor, with a huge smile on her face.

When we got down on the deck of the pool, Daniel told her not to get in during warm up. She was the only 6 and under there for our team, and he didn't want her to get tired out doing a warm up. Abbey, looked longingly at the pool, as the older kids swam. The next thing I knew she had edged herself down beside the pool. Then the feet went in.

Finally, Daniel let her get in a do her little warm up.

She handled the waiting really well.

hunkered down under her towel, playing with my I phone

Finally, she got her chance to swim.  In a usual meet, 6 and unders have to only swim 15 yds. In the championship meet, all swimmers swim 25 yards. You could tell that Abbey was only used to swimming the shorter distance. She started the race like gangbusters, then flat out died. Her times were no where near what they were during the season.

But, she wasn't disappointed. All she cared about was she got to swim in the big pool at TAC!

Her coaches were very encouraging.

And she had a blast, no longer the spectator, now the participator!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Why I love July 4th??

Why is July the fourth my favorite day in the summer?

Is it because I get to watch my kids score loads of candy in the candy dive?

Is it the fun I have watching them compete in other water games?

Is it feeling their pain (and accomplishment) as they do their best belly flop,

or biggest splash?

Or enjoying the watermelon that Daniel wins every year in the "Greased watermelon" race?

(sorry, I didn't get a picture, but he did win it)

Or watching them "get their groove on" while waiting for the fireworks?

Or predicting their reactions to the fireworks?

Or the amazing beauty of the fireworks?

Or could it be the fun of gathering with friends afterward to enjoy sparklers for the first time?

Yes! It is all of the above. I do enjoy all of those things, but what makes it wonderful is I got to spend it with this guy...

and these two...

and most importantly, this love of my life!


Thursday, August 15, 2013


At the beginning of the summer, I often watched Elijah longingly look toward the deep end of the pool. He'd watch his sister and friends as they leapt off of the diving board, emerging up the ladder with glee ridden faces. I could tell he really wanted to be joining them on that diving board. At our pool, the rule is that a child must swim a complete lap of the pool, in order to be allowed on the diving board in the deep end.

Elijah had one big problem. It wasn't that he couldn't swim the required lap, it was that he didn't think he could swim the required lap. We had seen him swim equal distances, just not all at once, and all by himself. We knew he could do it, but that wasn't enough. He had to know he could do it.

We tried several tactics to entice him to take the swim test. Knowing that getting something more expensive that a snow cone, was a luxury not often afforded our kids, we offered Elijah anything he wanted from the snack bar. We also tried to enlist a little peer pressure, positive reinforcement from Abbey, by telling her that when he accomplished the test, she could also get anything she wanted from the snack bar.  John and I would take him and make him swim to us every time we went to the pool. John promised Elijah that once he took the test,  John would leave him alone.  Bribery, peer encouragement and promise of no nagging, all worked to no avail. Every day, I'd ask, "Do you want to take the test?"  Every day, I'd get a negative response. He even watched his good friend, Daniel, take the test, pass it and begin playing in the deep end. Much to my chagrin, he was genuinely happy for his buddy and didn't show any signs of jealousy about his relegation to the shallow end of the pool.

Coach and older brother, Daniel, finally got our little landlubber to move. During one of the six and under practices, there were only a few kids attending. Daniel knew they could all swim, so at the end of practice, as a reward, they all got to go off of the diving board. (There were older swimmers waiting just outside the deep end in case any little ones struggled.)

First he watched Abbey do a flip.

Then he climbed up

and took a leap

With a great big smile on his face!

Then he swam to the side.

He thoroughly enjoyed his visit to the deep end. That afternoon, when we went to the pool. I made my usual inquiry, but this time, he said, "Yes!"  So I got one of his favorite lifeguards and we went to watch him swim the whole pool. He did so quite easily and was given the coveted "yellow band"

while enjoying a Nutty Buddy from the snack bar.

Abbey got hers also

It's hard to know what will motivate kids to do things. We can lead them to something and make it attractive, but in the end, it's their call whether they will do it or not. Anyway, I'm proud of Elijah for conquering his fear. In return, he's enjoyed many days this summer swimming in the deep end and jumping off of the diving board.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

June 25th~~Happy Gotcha Day!

June 25th, 2007...a day of dreams coming true! John and I met the cutest little girl in Chongqing, China!

Fast forward, and I mean fast as the speed of light, forward six years. That little girl has firmly planted herself in her Daddy's and my hearts. She's such a wonderful blessing. Full of life, gutsy, yet extremely introspective, all can be used to describe our baby girl. No one in our family can imagine life without her, she provides a lot of love and entertainment to our whole family.

So every June 25th, Abbey gets to choose a place to go for a dessert treat to celebrate her "Gotcha Day". This year she chose:

Anna, Layne and Daniel joined Elijah, Abbey, John and me enjoying the rich, rich cupcakes.

Every day I thank God for allowing me to be the Mommy to this wonderful little girl. She constantly amazes me with her thoughts and actions. She's definitely a blessing from God, for which I'm so very grateful!

Happy Gotcha Day, baby girl!