Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Tubing at Buckhill Video

I took her tubing at Buckhill a couple weekends ago. We wait about 15 minutes to get a 21 second run in. Crazy. We did 9 runs that night before we got too cold. We would have only had time for one more after that anyways before our time was up.

She is in the far left lane.

6th grade gym class gymnastics

They do this every year in 4th-6th grades at our school. The last 2 years, she hasn't been in a class with gymnasts or cheerleaders which consequently left her with the most experience in this area in her class. What the do is the class is divided in to small group and they make up their own routines together. Then they perform them and compete against all the teams in their classroom and the teachers rate them. Each year, the group she has been in has won their classroom.

They do this for all 3 classrooms. Once it is narrowed down to the 3 classroom winners, then those teams perform again and are then placed by their teachers. In 4th grade, she was on a team with a skilled gymnast and they took 1st place. The last 2 years she won her classroom with her team, but they end up taking 2nd place (they gave a tie for 2nd place last year, this year it was a tie for 1st place). So, she got 1st place in 4th grade, 2nd place in 5th grade and 6th grade (technically the phy ed teacher should have said it was 3rd place, but oh well)

 Then in between the 6th grade teachers did their own routine.

Mid- Winter 6th grade concert

You can't really see her very well, but she is in the back row towards the center. The light is shining down on her and with her blond hair and pale skin, she is just washed out.

People thought they were done, started to clap. Apparently, they were playing their first longer piece. So, continue with Part 2 to hear the rest of it. LOL!

We were sitting in the back row so we could actually see her. If we sat too far forward then we would never be able to watch her playing as there are 2 rows of kids in front of her.

Monday, February 12, 2018

This Past Weekend

 We had another busy weekend. These are in no particular order of the time occurrence of the events.

This top photo is of her at the Science Museum and working on the different experiments and projects they had that were special for Saturday.

 Here are a few shots while she is playing basketball at the tournament this weekend. We have seen much improvement but really she had nowhere to go but to improve. She did finally make her first two points in a game. She is getting good at getting the rebound and trying to jump up and take another shot and getting the follow but now she needs to learn how to sync those free throws. They keep bouncing off the rim.
 This next picture is from our monthly for each meeting. They did a science experiment across three different tables of kids.
 Here she is with the Harry Potter golden snitch Valentine box that she made. She  brought it to the 4H meeting for the Valentine Fox contest and both she and her brother one one of the prizes.

Next up is a boat project they had to do for science class, I believe. There were a couple of rules they had to follow one main one was that the bottom of the boat that touch the water had to be completely metal. Another rule was that it had to float for a certain length of time with 50 pennies in it. They had to work on their own and design something that would work. She had three cups to balance out over her pie plate to split her pennies into so it wouldn't tip over. 

Here is a class at Shattuck Saint Mary's  where she is about learning about hearts that included a dissection of a pig or cow Heart during the last hour of the class. She had a friend from school go with her and four friends from swim team were there as well her friend from school didn't care for the smell during the dissection part so she left the room so the other kids in the pictures above are from swim team.

Finally, we took the kids to the winter carnival in St Paul for the first time to see the ice castle and all the amazing ice sculptures there. I thought that was pretty neat to see. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Swim Meet at MSU

Here she is with a couple of her swim friends, all 3 go to different schools. It was a good meet but I think she was hoping she would do even better. She had significant time improvements in her 200 Free and 500 Free, but I think she was hoping for more. And then her other 2 swims she was about the same as her PR, but not getting faster so she was a little frustrated with that. She was seeded in the top 2 heats for 3 of her events (with there 11-15 heats in those events) so that was good for her to be in those top heats, but she was one of the slowest in her heat, so she wasn't winning her heat to win a duck (they gave out rubber ducks to heat winners) so she was bummed about that too. She was pretty hard on herself even though she did have good time improvements and the coach was even harder on her after each of her events. It is quite frustrating for me, mom, to watch him be so negative to her. He only has his one way of coaching and it is to tell them what they are doing wrong and what they need to fix without telling them what they did right. I know how my daughter learns and responds best and there has to be some positive encouragement in there, too much negativity and she is going to shut down and block you out - doesn't matter if it is a sport, academics or about something socially. I am sure that is how many people are.

She is a good swimmer, but not a great one. She will never be competitive enough to get a scholarship for swimming and will not go to Zones or Nationals. And unfortunately, at practices most of the head coach's attention goes to those handful on the team that are the great swimmers. That is just how it is. We can't all be great at everything, but that doesn't mean we aren't good enough. That is just how it is for many of us in many things. We are good at things, but not great. We have to celebrate the small victories we have because that is what we have or we will get down on ourselves that we are not great and start believing we are not good enough for others. It is crummy when other people make you feel like you are not good enough, but it is awesome when people are willing to help lift you up.

Recently, her main teacher at school told me he was recommending her for this nationally recognized science camp. (He is also her advisor for the High Potential Program, which is an after school program for gifted & talented kids that she has been in since 3rd grade.) I looked at the cost and immediately laughed because if we had that much money sitting around to send her to one science camp (which is more than my budget for all 3 months of activities, camps, & classes for BOTH kids) we would be putting that in her 529 Plan to save even more money for college. Plus, it's out of state, so we have transportation costs on top of the camp fee. I let him know she will be honored to know he is even recommending her, but that the cost is way out of our budget and if there was something in our state & at a much more reasonable cost we are happy to send her to camp. She is good at science, she may even be on her way to being great at science. Maybe some day that will be was she really excels at, but what I want for my kids is for them to be happy, to feel loved, to have some friends and to be good people.

I celebrate all the small victories that my kids have because I love them and am proud of them. If we only look at the negative of everything, than what is there to be positive about. Sure, my daughter's basketball team hasn't won a game yet this year but that doesn't mean we haven't seen improvements in all of them and her coach for that has really been a really good coach for 6th graders. She had a HUGE learning curve when doing this sport and still has much to learn, but she is getting better. He understands they are all still learning and trying to get them out there playing as equally as possible so that they are all learning the skills and working with them to work as a team. Of course he needs to ride them and perhaps yell at them from time to time, but his encouragement and direction given in a positive manner far outweighs those times.

To be honest, I wasn't sure how basketball was going to go for her this year since she has never played (other than gym class and HORSE in the driveway), but about a month in to the season when she stopped being so sore from using muscles in ways she doesn't in swim and using different muscle groups, she started saying practice was good. We started talking about the summer and she wants to do the basketball camp the Varsity girls coach offers during the summer so she can get better and play in 7th grade.

I am not sure where her path in life is leading her. She is trying everything and she tries her best at most everything she does. And I am here to love her and encourage her and guide her. I am here to lift them up (while still being realistic, let's not leave that out) and if I am all emotional right now it is just because I love my kids so much and just want then to be happy, to feel loved, to have some friends and to be good people.

Friday, December 08, 2017

6th Grade Band Holiday (School-Day) Concert

Technically, there wasn't a holiday concert for 6th grade band on the schedule. They had a fall concert and then will have a spring concert in May. I am not sure if 6th grade usually plays for the December (monthly) elementary school Celebration, but I am glad they did do one and that I could run up to school and watch/record it. 

After their concert was done they continued on with the School monthly celebration and she was the principal's assistant and got to hand out the awards to all the kids who were announced.

A few more still pictures I tried to get in between songs when he was announcing what was next. The elementary kids were all very excited when Mr. G announced they would be playing Jolly Old St. Nicholas. On Sunday, she will be playing Jingle Bells & Jolly Old St. Nicholas at a Senior Care Center. There are a handful of kids performing for the Sr. citizens there and then the club will be playing bingo and doing cookie decorating with the residents.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

1st Basketball Ball Game Ever

Well, what can I say. There is room for improvement. :) She pretty much went from knowing vvery little about basketball (& I mean very little) to going to a handful of open gyms and about 10 practices to playing in her first tournament. They have 11 on the team, but only 10 were there (one girl was grounded I guess). So, the coach pretty much split them in 2 teams of 5 and gave them equal playing time. He said he doesn't care if they win at all, just wants to see where they are all at and figure out what they need to learn so they can be better. I think they have 7 tournaments on the calendar this winter.

She goes between playing forward and guard. Mom was only able to watch the first game as Henry couldn't really handle being there for nearly 5 hours and dad was traveling all last week so he wanted to be able to be there for her (mom gets swim!). After her first game she said she was so confused and has no idea what is all going on.

I think she has the potential to do well. She certainly has the ability and determination, but she has so much to learn about the game itself so everything starts to make more sense and then the self confidence will follow, but I guess she did take 3 shots in the final game.

Oh, they lost all their games. But I guess they lost them all last year at this same tournament and then by the final tournament they won. So, we'll see what happens this year.

There are 2 good things happening here -- she is learning how to play basketball and work as a team and be in a position where she is out of her element, but also and even more importantly, she is becoming better friends with some of the girls on the team and finding "her tribe" at school.

Here is a clip when she was playing in the 1st game. She asked me to take a couple videos to send her teacher , so the 1st clip wasn't when she was playing. So, no need to show it here.

Promoted to Yellow Stripe

These are all pictures from class when she was promoted. They don't get their new belts until they go to their next class. She is now really busy with basketball as you will read about very soon and also has swim so Taekwondo is going to go on the back burner for a while and her brother may belt test one ahead of her and she knows that and is okay with that.

TKD White Belt Testing -- Now a Yellow Stripe!

Both Kids are doing their Chonji form for White Belt, this is the 1st belt. The testing was WAYYYYYY more intensive than just this. We had no idea what they were going to have to all do, but they were prepared and both passed and earned their yellow stripe. They were promoted at the next class.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Fall Band Concert

Monday was the fall band concert for 6 through 12 grades. Now that she is in 6th grade, things are arranged a little differently. In sixth grade they have to choose a music, either band or choir that they have every other day. Band is always Monday Wednesday Friday then on the opposite days they can choose the other music class, art class, or study hall. Isabel chose band and art.

So grades 6 through 12 have their own fall concert which K through five do not. They separate the concert with having choir doing their own concert then band doing their own concert.

Although on the video they have both concerts together. You can forward ahead to the 30-minute mark. They will perform three songs.

Tomorrow, she will be going to a master's class 4 middle schoolers. Her band instructor picked her to go along with two other girls that are in 7th or 8th grade. She is the only sixth grader who was picked to go to this master's class. She will get to study and practice with a professional musician on the French horn.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Basketball ?!?!?!

She is really doing it........she said she wanted to do basketball this year and we signed her up. This is her very first practice. I dropped her off at basketball open gym the last 3 Sundays, but practice starts now. First tournament is on Nov. 18th.

Oh, she is still swimming but only 2 times a week. Then basketball is two or three practices a week. Basketball will be wrapped up before the championship swim meet season starts which is a good thing and none of her swim meets interfere with basketball tournaments which is another good thing. Taekwondo on the other hand will be taking a backseat after she does next weekend's belt testing. She wants to get her first belt before she takes a break from it and then we'll start up again when basketball is done.