Wednesday, July 27, 2011

School is D-O-N-E! Stick a fork in us.

We officially have 8 school days left at the time of this writing... but by the time I finish this post, I'm sure we'll be finished. It has been a completely different year for us with all 4 finally in school. I think I have less free time with them out of the house... because on my days off I feel the need to eat lunch with someone, volunteer somewhere, sit in the car line sometime... a long time. There have been some days when I stay home and wash, cook, sit, sleep... but I can guarantee they were fewer than one hand's worth! If I'm not at work.... the kids want me to pick them up. We shave a whole 5-10 minutes off the bus drop-off time... and spend a gallon of gas. But they're worth it. Every time. I like the stories I hear in the van that I would otherwise miss... because when we're home, they're off running, playing, fighting, etc. There is very little sitting and talking in the afternoon.

Last week we had back to back field days at WCIS (3-6) and JPN (K-2). I must say... after having spent both days in their entireties I enjoy WCIS much more. I'm not sure if it's because the kids are older and more "into" the competition, or if it's just that much more organized.  Coach Barrett puts a ton of effort into having all the activities run correctly and even has an instruction manual for the volunteer parents to ensure it happens. They have winners! Someone actually keeps track of points and places and posts them on a board for all the world to see... and the kids survive knowing they aren't winners all the time! Some win... most don't. But it's still a very fun day for everyone.
My "job" for WCIS Field day... 50-yard dash. No, I didn't have to do the dashing! No worries. :)  I was one of the finish line people. And I only had to do the first hour. Then I was free to roam and enjoy the kids do all their other activities. Well, the 5th grade classes dashed first and we were done in less than 20 minutes... lots of "down" time between the grades to roam and enjoy all the activities. So I decided to just stick with the 50 yard dash for the entire day. It was lots of fun there because every kid got to run through "my" finish line. I took a few pictures of other kids I know, who's parents were working. I congratulated, cheered and called them by name. Some were surprised to hear their name in the "way to go... " sentence. But they all smiled.
Carson and Bennett... a crazy pair!

Hula Hoop competition... won by a girl, of course.

Maggie and the Egg in the Spoon relay.

Maggie's 50 yard dash... right side.

Maggie throwing horseshoes.
Noah, Bennett and Matt  - softball throw.

Mrs. O's Yellow Team... 6 Man Relay. Kaylee, Austin, Bennett, Armon, Natalie, Ansleigh.

Bennett ran the 3rd leg... 
Bennett's 50 yard dash... middle.

Crazy Cheers for the team.
I walked back and forth a lot trying to find Bennett or Maggie's classes... taking a few pictures, patting backs, and saying "I'm going to check on ___, I'll be back in a little while".  Both their classes did pretty well in the grade level competitions. Both teachers made the "academic vs physical" comments - their classes are known for their academics! But both classes did really well physically as well. Not that it matters! Tug of war is one of my favorite contests. I think it stems back to my many trips to LeTourneau College while Dan and Lara were there... and I got to watch the AO guys compete... REAL Tug-of-War competitions! I like yelling for the kids... dig... lean... pull.... plant those feet... lean... pull.... lots of fun for me, since I'm not the one putting forth the muscle!  All in all - it was a terrific day!

The next day was Field Day for JPN. So, of course, I had to be there as well. The kiddos here play different games... very little "real" competition and very little organization. I'm not complaining though, because I'm not volunteering to make it better, or different. But parents volunteer all day long, therefore the games have different rules with each changing of the guard. They have tug-of-war, sack race, bean bag toss, rocket throw (I guess the substitute for softball throw)
It was a long day after a long day and I paid for it. We left JPN and picked up the big kids early and headed home where I was in bed with a migraine the rest of the afternoon. It's so worth it though!

That night I took the kids and headed to the local rec field to watch Cousin Eddie play ball... Union vs White, and I think Union (Eddie) won 21-0.

Ok, here we are.... about to start school BACK and I have not published this post.  I'm not re-reading it for errors or for flow... the end!  :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Six Flags 2011

Our annual day trip to 6-Flags... the reward for reading 6 extra hours during the months of January and February. This year all 4 kids had tickets. It was a family event... and we met up with Aunt Stacy and Adam, Uncle Seth, Aunt Leslie, Micah, AnnaGrace, Esther, and our friends, the Princes. We went last year with the Prince family... and the kids really enjoy that yearly date. Our 2010 day was the hottest day of the year... and this year seemed to be shaping up to be a close second. Our Himstedt friends went Wednesday, which was the hottest day. We picked Thursday... which was a good 10 degrees cooler. And Friday was downright cold! So, it seems we picked good the right day.

It was Bennett, Maggie and Ruth's return trip - but for Lydia, it was all new and exciting! We had our day planned... start with the Wile E Coyote Canyon Blaster, ride it as many times as we can before the line gets long, then move on to less important rides. The Dahlonega Mine Train was closed when we got there, so we skipped that area. Lydia's very first ride....Tweety's Tree House in Bugs Bunny World. We made it to the Canyon Blaster with zero line! And managed to meet up with our cousins and friends. We traveled across, around and through the park... sometimes together... sometimes split in groups... but we rode all the rides we wanted. We started the day when the park opened at 10:30 and managed to keep everyone happy and whine free until closing time at 9pm! Ruth's favorite ride... the old classic Mind Bender! Lydia's favorite... all of them! Maggie's favorite.... the super fast drop of Acrophobia, 16 story drop. Eeeks!  Bennett's favorite... well, it was his first year doing the "adult" rides and I think he was pleased. Goliath, Batman, Ninja, Scream Machine... he did them all. I used Lydia's short stature as my excuse for not riding any!

I did ride the Mind Bender as everyone is tall enough for that.  I sat next to Lydia explaining the G-force, keeping your head back, look for the sky, etc... while she grinned ear to ear and loved the thrill.  She is SO small in that seat! I kept my arm across her chest (the old Mom seat belt) during the whole ride and realized at the end I was probably close to choking her... but she was not going to get slung forward from the loops. When asked if I choked her, she laughed and said nope and wanted to go again.  Whew! My old Mommy nerves can't handle her riding those big rides.

We moved to the swings... where she really was too short to ride. The swings! Who knew?!?!  Judy rode the big Splashwater Falls with the kids while I took pictures and managed to stay dry. That's Holly, Maggie, Ruth & Carter with Judy and Lydia just behind them.  We took the Sky Buckets back toward the front gate before we stopped for our lunch picnic.

We picnicked under the trees in the parking lot and then headed back for an afternoon at Skull Island, the water park. We played with all the cousins for a while then headed back toward our favorite rides. As the evening progressed the air cooled and the lines thinned. We really enjoyed our last 3 hours.

The girls got to ride the Log Jamboree (Flumes) over and over with no waiting. Bennett paired up with Adam and left with Aunt Stacy for an overnight adventure in Senoia. The rest of us prepared to leave... they were playing all the "goodbye" songs over the speakers, reminding us that it was time to go home.
I bought Lydia's superhero cape she had asked for ALL day long. She ran circles around me in happiness. Literally.
A great time was had by all.... a long day but so worth the memories!

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