Outside my window... the weather is getting nice in the mornings and evenings. Addison's Girl Scout parent meeting was outside tonight, and it was so pleasant.
I am thinking... about Starbuck's pumpkin spice latte. It should be here soon.
I am thankful... for kids' sports try-outs with desired results this week. Nina is now an official volleyball manager at her school, and Elise has a jump rope home now with a brand new team that is forming this year. Not everyone on her team has found a new team that works for them. I feel sad for those who haven't found a new jump rope home yet. This has been a stressful month for all involved.
From the kitchen... coconut citrus tilapia, slaw, steamed asparagus, and crescent rolls.
I am creating... organized plans for our upcoming California trip... trying to make sure things are paid for, ordered, reserved, arranged, etc.
I amgoing... to eat ice cream when I finish writing this.
I am reading... Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer. I am so turned off by the writing. It reads like it is written by a high school kid attempting to write a novel. There are inconsistencies in the characters, dialog that makes no sense for the time period, and other annoying bits. It is a book for book club though, so I'm attempting to slog through it and finish it. I also started Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick. It was Elise's whole school read for middle school last year. The title intrigued me, and Elise said it was good. I've only read a couple chapters but can already tell it is going to be a tear jerker. So far, it is much better than Off to be the Wizard.
I am hoping... that Elise's new jump rope team turns out to be as great as my gut is telling me it will be. I have a good feeling about it.
I am hearing... J.C., Elise, Nina, and Addison scooping ice cream while J.C. is singing the Witch's Guards chant from the Wizard of Oz.
Around the house... empty floor space! We spent all weekend decluttering the dining room and playroom in anticipation of refinishing the hardwood floors. All the furniture has been moved upstairs or to the garage, and a whole SUV load of stuff was taken to Goodwill.
One of my favorite things... the app Logic Games on my iPhone. It challenges my brain.
A few plans for the rest of the week... volleyball parent meeting, first parent meeting for the new jump rope team, and I'm volunteering at the elementary school collecting money for "kiss the pig". Kids cast votes for a quarter for which teacher they want to have kiss a pig at the fall festival. Sometimes the pig is a cute little pink piglet. Other years it is a giant grey boar. Ick.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... the final "blast-off" of Elise's now defunct jump rope team (or at least the half of the team that attended the party). We have been with these people 3-5 days per week for 11 months of the year for the past four years.While the faces may look happy in this picture, for the hour that preceded this, there was not a dry eye in the room. Goodbyes are hard.
I am thinking... about jump rope teams... because my brain is too fried to stop thinking about them.
I am thankful... for Nina's good report at the dentist this morning.
From the kitchen... burritos from Salsa Fresh.
I am creating... awards for the athletes on Elise's jump rope team who attended the most performances this year. The awards will be presented at the team party this Friday. Sadly, there were a lot of hurt feelings, anger, and bitterness when the team imploded, so only about half the team is attending the party. I wish they would all come to say good-byes and bring closure to the season, but that just isn't going to happen.
I amgoing... to buy stamps tomorrow. Really. I am. I have been telling myself this every day for a week while checks sit in envelopes waiting to be mailed. Maybe if I write it here, I will commit to it. Stamps. Tomorrow. Yes.
I am reading... Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer. So far, I'm not too impressed, but I'm not very far into it yet. Maybe it will get better. I finished One Plus One by JoJo Moyes which was a fun, sweet story. I love her writing style.
I am hoping... that things work out for my kids for their sports try-outs this week. Nina is trying out to be a volleyball manager. Sixth graders aren't allowed to play, but they can be managers. She has try-outs Tuesday and Thursday. Elise tried out for a jump rope team last night. She was happy with how she did, but there were about 50 kids there for maybe 15 spots. There was a USA Jump Rope All-Star there trying out. There were three Grand Nationals champions trying out. There was one Grand Worlds champion trying out. Needless to say, it was highly competitive. We do have one other jump rope team possibility that feels more hopeful if everything falls in place just right. I just want all these try-outs to be behind us. This has been way too stressful. I don't have the stomach for it. Elise just needs a team. At this point, I don't even care which one.
I am hearing... J.C., Elise, and Nina watching Stargate.
Around the house... ants.
One of my favorite things... sitting in Starbuck's on a weekend morning with a latte and a good book to read.
A few plans for the rest of the week... volleyball try-outs, Elise's exercise study with the pulmonologist, jump rope team try-out results being announced, defunct jump rope team end of year party, and volleyball practices and games for Nina's current league.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... Nina at a fun volleyball clinic over the weekend at Cameron Indoor Stadium, run by the Duke women's volleyball team.
Outside my window... overgrown shrubs that needs some attention from some shears.
I am thinking... about jump rope teams. With Elise's team dissolving, it is difficult to figure out where to go next. Try-outs are going to be extremely competitive at every team with all the kids from our team trying out. It is a very frustrating situation. I've devoted way too many brain cycles to this over the past few weeks.
I am thankful... that Elise's exercise study could be rescheduled for next week. It was supposed to happen last Friday, but the cardiologist called in sick. I was worried it would be weeks before she could get on the schedule again. Thankfully, they opened up some appointment times next week for all the people who had to be rescheduled.
From the kitchen... sticky pork chops, mac&cheese, and salad.
I am creating... just blog posts, not much else.
I amgoing... to take a shower shortly. I worked out this morning and am sitting here all sweaty.
I am reading... One Plus One by JoJo Moyes... good book so far.
I am hoping... that Elise can find a new jump rope home that is a good fit for her. There are four teams in our area. Two are a longer drive than I really want to tackle 4 days per week. One team doesn't compete. The fourth is our first choice, but it will likely have the most competitive try-outs. The coach has already said that it will be very hard to make the team. Given the team's current numbers, if I were the coach, I would only want two more athletes in Elise's age group. I know there are at least 10 in that age group from Elise's old team trying out.
I am hearing... J.C. playing a video game. He has hurt his back and could only tolerate sitting at a computer to work for about half a day.
Around the house... clean laundry that needs to be put away.
One of my favorite things... Magic Shell.
A few plans for the rest of the week... volleyball, TKD, tumbling, and Elise trying out for a jump rope team on Sunday (fingers crossed).
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... maybe this explains why J.C. is having back problems?
This year, Elise qualified for and chose to compete in the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympic Games in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Junior Olympics is a huge, multi-sport 9 day event with over 12,000 amateur athletes competing in sports like swimming, track and field, gymnastics, jump rope, wrestling, field hockey, and karate. This was Elise's first time competing in a national level jump rope competition, and I think we were both excited and nervous as we donned our purple team tees and hit the road.
We had fun imagining what conversation led to this sight that we passed on the road.
"Honey! I told you to pack Junior's play structure from the backyard, remember?"
"Crap. There's no space in the truck. We'll just leave it here and buy a new play structure on Craigslist after we move."
"Um. No. Junior loves his play structure. Repack the truck and make space."
"Fine. Happy now?"
We got checked into the hotel, picked up credentials at the competition venue, had a nice dinner with friends, sat through a tense team meeting, and tried without much success to get a good night's sleep before the first day of competition.
Glitter very thoughtfully and seriously applied to hair as a group effort...
Let the games begin!
It was an intense four days of competition. Elise jumped in 3 singles events, 3 pairs events, 5 double dutch events and team show. She came away with 7th and 9th place finishes in double dutch power and double dutch single freestyle. She was thrilled to have two top 10 finishes. There was a lot of tough competition there.
The team had been hoping for a podium finish for their cool Beatles team show routine. They came in a disappointing 6th, but I still think they did a great job. It was a very creative routine. Elise struggled with this one all year with her breathing, so on a personal level, she was just thrilled to have it behind her and never have to jump it again!
Most nights, we hung out with the team,
but one night, Elise decided she had had enough togetherness and needed a break. The two of us took off to the coast and had a nice seafood dinner. It was good to have a little quiet mother/daughter time in the midst of all the chaos.
There was coloring and sleeping going on in the bleachers,
lots of silliness at the hotel,
and hugs during competition.
It was all bittersweet though. This was the last competition these kids will have together in purple as a team. Our team had a rough year and was actively imploding during this last competition of the season. We got the news yesterday that the team will be shutting its doors and will not exist next year. It leaves 40 kids without a jump rope home for next year. We are all scrambling to find other options. Unfortunately, jump rope isn't like soccer, gymnastics, or cheer where there are plenty of other leagues, gyms, or teams in the area. It has been a hard pill to swallow, and we have no idea where we will end up next year. My hope is that Elise will find a place to continue jumping to keep that big jump rope smile on her face. I'm not sure what we would do without it.
Outside my window... it is really pleasant and cool tonight. I took Addie to the pool after dinner this evening, and it was so comfortable just sitting there. Maybe fall is approaching.
I am thinking... about kids and sports. This has been a rough summer for us with athletic teams. I hope things go better in the fall. Nina has her first practice Friday in a different volleyball league.
I am thankful... for the $431 check I got in the mail this week from the state Treasury Department. I claimed it on their "unclaimed money" website. All I knew at the time of the claim was that it was "more than $50", so I was thrilled when a check for over $400 arrived! It is going straight into our vacation fund.
From the kitchen... burgers tonight from Burger 21 for a school fundraiser.
I am creating... a photobook with Elise from her Costa Rica trip.
I amgoing... to blog more. July was a whirlwind with school starting, JC's 10 day trip to Canada, and Elise's and my 5 day trip to Junior Olympics. The entire month just blew past me. I still haven't quite recovered.
I am hoping... that Elise's exercise study this week with the cardiologist and pulmonologist goes well, and that we get some answers about her breathing issues.
I am hearing... the dryer. Laundry is never ending around here.
Around the house... we are working on clearing out the dining room and playroom to get the hardwood floors refinished.
One of my favorite things... hydrangeas.
A few plans for the rest of the week... early release from school on Friday, tumbling and volleyball in the evenings.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... fun memories from Junior Olympics in Hampton Roads, Virginia last month. This is Elise with some of the kids on her jump rope team. There were circumstances within the team that made it a difficult week for everyone, but they all jumped their hearts out! I hope to share more pictures and video soon.