Sunday, July 07, 2013

In which I admit...

...that I take strange pleasure in finding curriculum for our homeschool.  There are a million and one choices out there, and I love looking through my phone book sized catalog from Rainbow Resource.  I love browsing online, reading reviews, reading blogs for ideas.    I have one more year before Tyler begins high school, and I feel instruction for him needs to be more structured than it has been for the younger kids.  I also need to start planning for his high school years, to make sure he ends up with the proper amount of classes and credits to have a creditable transcript.  All of this freaks me out a bit, but it's also kind of exciting.  He's still toying around with the idea of going back to public school after 8th grade, but I want to be prepared, should he choose to continue at home.  He gets a lot of pressure from his friends to go back to school, and some of them have literally told him they don't think he's getting a good education being at home (should I be offended????).  He generally takes those comments in stride, and his friends continue to be his friends.  He doesn't hold grudges, he doesn't argue with them.  Just shrugs his shoulders and changes the topic (good for him!).  So, he is free to choose what he wants to do, though I hope he will continue with us at home.  We have such a nice dynamic going, it would be sad if one was missing from the group.  With that, I'm counting on all of my research leading me to something that will keep him engaged, and that will help him want to stay with us.  Wish me luck! :)

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Burn-out

Well, considering 2013 is halfway over already, I figured it's about time I wrote something in my poor neglected blog.  I have some serious ambition to go back and post pictures, and some kind of synopsis of what happened in the last year or so.  I really would like to print out some of the blog for journaling/family history type purposes.  My problem seems to be finding the time for it.  I've toyed around with the idea of quitting facebook, since it's like a black hole that sucks you right in.  There's no such thing as "checking really quick".  But then I like the way I've been able to reconnect with old friends, and stay in touch with others after various moves.  Such a double edged sword.  Anyway, what's really on my mind is burn out.  Namely, gymnastics burn out.  Bryan is going into his 5th competitive year, and boy am I feeling it.  It seems like everyone's worry is always with the kids burning out.  I know it's something that's never far from our minds.  Finding the balance for Bryan to train hard, push himself, be pushed, to reach his potential, without over doing it.  It's such a fine line between too little and too much.  And yet it seems like the one struggling with burn out most right now is me, not him.  Bryan's hours just went up to 19.  Per week.  And we no longer have a car pool, because one kid moved and the other switched gyms.  Add to that the fact that during the summer, practice is during the day, so it's not like I can go drop him off and Dave can pick up after work.  Nope, I get to do all the driving back and forth.  It's not horribly far, between 15-20 minutes one way, but it adds up.  And that's just for gymnastics.  There are also piano lessons, grocery shopping, and Tyler and Kaylee just started Kuk Sool martial arts, which I have to occasionally take them to.  So yeah, I'm running low on gas (...).  Mostly it's the gymnastics that wears on me, though.  I never would have dreamed just how much goes into having a child in a seriously competitive sport.  And we're only halfway in, if Bryan chooses to continue pursuing this passion of his.  He loves it.  It's expensive.  It involves a fair bit of travel.  Our entire family schedule seems to revolve around his gym schedule.  We constantly have to reevaluate where he is at, how things are going, what we can do to support him.  It's emotionally draining.  Did I mention it's expensive?  I can't help but wonder sometimes why we are all doing this.  And then he goes out there, and you watch him compete, and he has fun.  He does well.  He has so much talent.  And he really, really loves it.  It would break his little heart if we told him no more.  So we continue to support him, encourage him to do his best.  Of course, gymnastics is so much more than just a sport.  In some ways, it really becomes a way of life.  Those boys learn valuable lessons, things that will hopefully help them throughout their lives.  But right now, I'm burned out.  I love to watch him train, I love to see him compete, but I wish we could have some kind of break.  Sometime.  While we wait for that to happen, here's a video of his Regionals meet.  And that's why we do this, I suppose.  :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tidbits


Stopped to see the wildflowers on the way home from Oklahoma.  Beautiful!


Toothless Elly!  She fell and broke off part of her front tooth back in February.  The tooth decided to die, so we had to get it pulled.  After several visits to different dentists, we finally found one who said he would pull it without IV sedation.  A little bit of nitrous oxide, numbing gel, and a couple of injections around the tooth did the trick, and the tooth was pulled without Elly even really noticing.  In and out of the office in 20 minutes.  Not sure what the deal was with the other dentists wanting her sedated...  She never cried at all, and is quite proud of her toothless grin!  


We enjoyed a visit from Dave's parents the first week of May.  The kids loved the fact that they not only got time off school, but that they got to play lots while grandma and grandpa were with us.  Bowling, laser tag, a movie, the beach...  Fun times!  We even got a couple of projects done that had been on our to-do list for a really long time.  Sometimes I really wish we lived closer to family.  As it is, we enjoy the visits whenever we can get them!  :o)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Health Museum Houston

Back in April, we took a field trip to the Houston Health Museum.  Pig lungs, heart beats, and DNA chains, oh my!  First, we got a great visual of how smoking affects the lungs.  Fascinating!


Listen to the heartbeat!


The kids also got to explore cells, and the girls and I learned about teeth and tastebuds while the boys made DNA key chains.  I love that we have the opportunity to go on these field trips with our homeschool group.  Affordable, and the places we've been to so far this year have really been doing a great job setting up classes and opportunities for hands-on exploration.  Love this kind of learning!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Regionals

This last week, we got to travel to Oklahoma for the men's gymnastics Region 3 championships.  The drive was shorter than expected, which is always a good thing, and we really enjoyed our time with the rest of the team there.  The competition itself seemed to go on forever.  Bryan's session was supposed to go from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, and we didn't get out of there until 6:45 p.m.!  Sitting on bleachers for 6 hours is not my idea of fun, but we made it through.  Bryan did quite well, though he botched up his high bar routine, which cost him his spot on the regional development team.  He was a little sad that he won't get to go to the camp this summer, but he seems to have moved on.  He did place 1st on floor and tied for 2nd on pommel horse, which he is really happy about.  Came in 9th all-around in his age group, and had the biggest smile on his face when he went up for his all-around medal.  His goal for this year had been to place in the top 10 at Regionals, and he did it!  Go Bryan!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter

Thought I'd post a few pictures.  Lame mother that I am, nobody gets new clothes for Easter, and we don't do family pictures.  So just a few shots of the kids with their Easter spoils.  If you think Kaylee looks unhappy, it's because she was.  Apparently the hand puppet wasn't girly enough.  She's hard to please, that one!





Monday, April 02, 2012

Texas State Championships

This past weekend, we drove up to Dallas for Bryan's State competition.  Nothing says "road trip" like 5 hours in the car and kids yelling "Moooom" constantly because they want stuff all the time.  Fun!  :p  While the gymnastics meet did not quite go as planned, everyone ended up learning a lot.  The entire team qualified for Regionals in Oklahoma in a couple of weeks, too, which is exciting!  Another road trip!  haha  Overall, Bryan did quite well at State.  He did try to use honey on his hands on pbars, which resulted in him nearly falling off.  Yeah, don't try something you've never done before for the first time at a meet!  Just because you see someone else doing something doesn't mean you should, especially not without talking to your coach first...  Learned that the hard way!  Fortunately, nobody got hurt in the process.  Well, except Bryan's ego.  He's been pretty upset about his own carelessness.  I guess that's enough punishment, right?  We're all about natural consequences around here, and this one was textbook.  Anyway, he did manage to place 13th all-around, which is still an awesome accomplishment.  Now to train for Regionals!