Saturday, September 25, 2010

A New Friend

JAD has been saving his money for a little while. Every couple of days, he'd ask for me to take him to some store or another, or to help him purchase something off the internet that he's seen on tv. Being the great mom that I am, I haven't done any of the above. Which I really think worked in his favor. In the end, he purchased something that he has been talking about for a while. Here it is:

This is Flame. He (she?) is a crested gecko. Currently, Flame is all of about 3 inches long and half of that is his tail. He really is quite cute. Crested geckos live anywhere from 5 - 10 (or more) years and they get to about 10 inches long. JAD is pretty pleased with his purchase and he was able to buy the gecko, cage, bedding, fake plant, and hiding spot all himself. I know my mom will be pleased to spend a few nights with Flame when they come to visit at Thanksgiving. I can hear her pleasure already. Oh ya.

Weekends Are For Soccer

We are, once again, having a gorgeous weekend here in Colorado. The temperature is around 80, not a cloud in the sky and there's a light breeze. Today we had two games in town and one up in Aurora, east of Denver. JADs team won again today. Their record is now 5-0. It just seems surreal at times. We've always known that this team has talent... we're finally seeing it all be realized. They won 10-1. And we cheered for every. Single. Goal. I know, that sounds tacky and unsportsmanlike. However, JADs team is tied for first point-wise, but technically they are in second because of the point differential. SO, we needed every point possible today to close that gap. The other first place team has been beating everyone by an average of 8 points per game. Unreal.

JED played goalkeeper for his entire game. K said he was excellent at keeper and only 2 goals were scored on him the entire game. That's awesome!

The finale of the day was CEDs game. We went up to the game knowing that the girls would have to play without subs because one girl is out of town and another is sick. When we got there, we found out that we'd be playing one player DOWN because another girl had the stomach flu. 10 v 11. Gulp. Those girls really pulled it together, though, and went out and played with all their hearts. And they WON. Yes. WON. And not only WON, they shut the other team out and scored five goals themselves. It was positively exhilarating. A great day for soccer in our house.

Hope y'all had as great a day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Music, Dance, and Theater

MED has started attending the Colorado Springs Conservatory once a week and is part of the novice program there. During the course of the year, she will take piano, violin, dance, and theater. While in Headstart last year, her class was one of only two in Colorado Springs to be invited to attend a weekly class for music. The Conservatory decided to offer four scholarships to the kids who were attending their preschool class last year. MED won a scholarship worth $1250!!! We were so excited to find out that she had been chosen. Now every Wednesday she goes to learn 'the arts' for an hour forty-five minutes. She says (after one day) that dance is her favorite. We'll see what she says after tomorrow.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Locks of Love

CED has been growing her hair for a couple of years now - ever since she had a large amount cut off and she donated it to Locks of Love. She decided to do it again... this time with many tears right before she did it. But, she remembered the reason that she was doing it and now some little girl or boy who has lost their hair due to something devastating will once again have hair. Here's a picture story of the process:

I'm so proud of my daughter. It's people like her that help make this world just a little better to live in.

Soccer Soccer Soccer... Have I Mentioned Soccer?

This week JED started playing soccer - developmental, thank goodness, so no 'away' games like CED and JAD. But that doesn't mean there's any less practice. On Thursdays, I now drop JAD and CED off at their practice and then drive 20+ minutes to take JED to his practice. Then I get to reverse the process and go BACK to where JAD and CED are practicing and wait there for an additional half hour for CED's practice to be over. Aren't you jealous? Let's not talk about the inordinate amount of gas I am going through to do this, either. JEDs first game was yesterday and he has decided that he wants to play goal keeper. I think it fits his personality to a 'T'. He was able to play keeper during the first quarter and K said he did a great job. His team won 6-1. CEDs game was canceled yesterday (unavailable fields at the away team) so I took JAD to his game. It was certainly filled with excitement - especially from all the BAD CALLS GOING AGAINST US. Believe me when I say I am NOT one of those parents who believes that every call is unfair when it's against my kids' teams. If it's a foul, then call it. If it's a card, then call it. If it's offsides, then call it. But be FAIR and call it both ways. And that definitely has NOT been happening lately when we are playing away games. Fortunately, JADs team did win and they are still undefeated. Go, Red, Go!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

And Then She Was Five

MED turned five today. Five. I can't believe she's five. First she starts kindergarten and then she turns five. Oh, the inhumanity! Not to mention the fact that it says I'm OLD. She didn't get a great celebration on Tuesday, her actual birthday, because we had soccer (imagine!). She did, however, get a yummy dinner of McDonald's and opened gifts from her grandparents. She got cash! and clothes! You know you have a girly girl when your daughter is beyond excited that she got clothes for her birthday. And then proceeds to cry the following morning because she can't wear them. Because it was almost NINETY DEGREES and all the shirts were long-sleeved. Don't worry, baby, you will get to wear them soon enough. Happy birthday, my five year old. You continue to be the one that wins the hearts of those around you with your beautiful smile and personality. May you have many, many, many more years of joy.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Another Day of Soccer!

The soccer season continues and JAD and CED both had games. Fortunately, both games were at home. JADs team won, although it was funny to watch his coach yell at the boys the entire first half. They were winning, but they weren't playing well. The boys picked it up in the second half and won the game 5-1. They are starting the season undefeated with a 3-0 record. CEDs team also had a game this afternoon. Unfortunately, they didn't win. I think the team as a whole is coming in with a negative attitude that they CAN'T win (carrying over from last year), and it affects them on a regular basis. The team has some great talent, but until they get over their 'can't win' attitude, it's going to be a rough season. Also not to mention the fact that some of the girls are not nearly as competitive as others. Makes for an interesting mix. The team that CED played against was from Cheyenne. Wyoming. Guess where we'll have to head in the spring? You got it. Cheyenne, Wyoming. Oddly enough, it's only a cool three hour drive for us, so we're hoping for an early afternoon game so we don't have to stay in Cheyenne. Wyoming. Oh, the things we do for our kids and soccer. Hopefully your Saturday was as entertaining and fun as ours!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

MED has fallen to the nasty bug that is going through our house. Oh joy, oh joy. Only two more kids to go.

Love it!

I just love this shirt that JAD got for his birthday last month. He wears it proudly. And it is SO true! It just makes me giggle every time I see it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's the Most Awful Time of the Year

It is that time of year when EVERYONE starts to get sick. School has started, kids are cooped up together, and the germ fest has begun. This weekend K succumbed to the stomach flu and is still recuperating. MED stayed home from school today because, as she put it this morning, she "puke-ed" during the night. In her bed, mind you. She just covered it up with a blanket and went back to sleep. Little dear didn't want to wake mummy. Oh sweetheart, please just wake me up next time! And then CED was sent home from school at about 1:45 with a fever. Which she still has. She actually ASKED if she could go to bed at seven. That should tell you something. This is my kid I have to hunt down EVERY NIGHT to tell her to go to bed.
Who's next, germ monster??? Bring it on!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Right in the Middle

of Colorado Springs is Palmer Park. It was named after Col. Palmer, who was the founder of Colorado Springs and donated this land to the city in 1902. There are 25 miles of hiking/biking/equestrian trails and pretty views of the mountains and the bluffs that run through the park. The odd thing is, you'd never know this beautiful park is here as it just seems nestled into surrounding neighborhoods. It is beautiful, believe me! We spent a couple of hours hiking here this afternoon. The weather was perfect - upper 70s, light breeze, and not a cloud in the sky. All the kids are becoming quite the hikers - including MAD and MED who did a cool 3 miles on an intermediate trail without batting an eye.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Balloon Glo

Fairly often we will see hot air balloons up in the air around here. Who wouldn't want to fly around here when you have gorgeous vistas of the Rocky Mountains? MED and MAD are absolutely enthralled every time they see the balloons up in the air, which is usually around 7 in the morning as we are driving to school. This year, it's just MAD seeing the balloons, but the excitement is still there.
Every year, Colorado Springs hosts a hot air balloon festival Labor Day weekend. Each morning of the long weekend, a bunch of hot air balloons take flight from Memorial Park at 7 a.m. A little too early for us. Saturday and Sunday evenings, however, they have a balloon glo. (No, I'm not spelling it wrong - this is how they spell it). We decided to go (along with tens of thousands of other people) last night to see what this was all about. As we arrived, the balloons were spread out on the ground and around 7:45, they began to inflate them - with big fans! About 8:00, the fuel was light and all the balloons began to go up. There was a wide variety of designs - from the Energizer Bunny to an American flag to colorful squares to a pig that can fly. It was amazing to be so close to all the balloons, seeing the size of the basket, how they turn on the 'fire' to fill up the balloon, and the sheer magnitude of the balloons themselves. About every couple of minutes, all of the balloons would 'glow' together. Here are some photos of what we were able to see last night:

Couldn't resist putting in pictures of the kids as they anxiously await the balloons' inflation

This was the first balloon to go up and be lit; pretty, isn't it?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Photo and Word Montage

Four weeks ago school began. Four weeks ago I had a semblance of a life. Now I spend my days at school and spend my nights getting ready for the next day of school. In between all that, I chauffeur kids to soccer practice and pretend to make dinner. On the weekends we go to soccer games. And I get ready for the next week of school. All that said, my poor little blog is falling by the wayside. And you don't know what's going on in our busy little lives.

MED started kindergarten. She loves it. She thinks she's super big. She thinks she knows it all. But she delights in the fact that she is in KINDERGARTEN and she's learning all kinds of things. I keep looking at her and think that she's just WAY too small to be with all those big kids all day long. I guess her being four and almost a year younger than most of her classmates doesn't help, does it?

CED is in fifth grade. Fifth Grade! That means middle school next year! How did that happen??? She has been chosen by her teacher to be on Student Advisory Council again this year and she'll be working with two primary kids on phonics and spelling throughout the year. She continues to be a teacher's favorite. If only she'd clean her room... :)

JED is in second grade and has a MALE teacher this year. He is SUPER tall - way taller than daddy, the kids say. But JED seems to really like him. We're hoping for a great year. It's starting off well so far and JED is making new friends every day. Can't believe he's in second grade already. It seems like he was just where MED is right now.

JAD started eighth grade at the neighborhood middle school. It lasted all of one week. Unbeknownst to any of the parents of gifted children, our district cut all of the gifted and talented classes. Ummm... not happening. So, we pulled him out of that school. Even with all the 'great' ideas the new principal has, I don't want my child to be a guinea pig while they iron out all the details of 'challenging' their gifted population of 10 eighth graders. He is now attending COVA, an online school. He can work at his own pace and he is actually able to take Spanish now. It's actually quite a great program. It is public education (run out of a county near Denver) and we get all of his school materials for free - including a computer and printer. He's a little lonely at home all day, but he made the final decision. Thank goodness for soccer and the friends he has there!

MAD is exactly what her initials spell out when it comes to daycare. She cries every morning that she doesn't want to go, yet tells me every afternoon what a great day she had. Crazy girl! Every morning while dropping her off she has screamed at, kicked and hit the daycare worker. I walk out listening to her scream "I want my mommy!!!". Makes going into work so much easier, let me tell you. I finally figured out that she goes peacefully and quietly if I drop her with another caretaker (who is supposed to be with the school-aged kids). But hey, it works, and Heidi (bless her heart) is willing to take my darling peanut.

In the last 4 weekends, we have gone to two tournaments - one, just JADs team was in and the other was at the Air Force Academy and both JAD and CEDs teams were in - and we attended four regular season games. CEDs team is already looking immensely better than last year with its horrendous coaching. They even won their third tournament game! The really great part about this is they won 2 players down. CED is now playing 11v11 and FOUR girls did not show up for the third game. Yet, they won - and the other team was subbing 4 players in at a time (we had no subs, 9 players total, remember?) and they had a full 11 on the field. What a great game! JADs team won their third game as well, and landed themselves in the championship game! They ended up losing, but it was an exciting weekend - tiring (7 games!), but exciting!

CED has become an AMAZING sweeper. She directs her teammates on the field, is aggressive in going after the ball, and has a killer slide tackle. She usually has a couple of girls marking up on her by the end of the game. She IS a force to be reckoned with.

JAD has been moved up to forward many of the games. He says it's okay. I don't think he likes the whole getting subbed out thing. At defense, he never got subbed. He's just too good to take out. When the game is starting to go down, his coach always moves him back to defense because he knows how to shut the opposing forwards down. However, he scored two of the three goals to get them in the final game... think he does well at soccer?

JADs team being 'introduced' before the championship game. It's hard to see in this picture, but most of the boys were almost giddy. And what you don't see in this picture are the drums that the other team and our team brought to cheer on the boys. It was a very noisy game.

JAD in motion...

Sitting on the podium having just received their medals.

Don't worry - there will be plenty of soccer pics to come! The season has just begun!