Thursday, August 30, 2012

Boosterthon 2012

Eli and Maddux both had the opportunity of participating in Boosterthon this year, and boy were they excited. Eli moved into a new time slot since he's now in 2nd grade...big deal. Maddux and the rest of the Kindergartners and 1st Graders kicked it off first thing in the morning by running up to 35 laps around the Boosterthon track. She had a blast, alternating between running and walking and talking and laughing and smiling. I was able to totally focus on her during that time and then switch to 100% Eli when it was time for his glad about that! Eli ran the entire time, stopping for water once or twice, but mostly sprinting. When he finished, he was a big sweaty mess, but he completed more laps than he has in the past, so he was super excited.

Monday, August 27, 2012


A little over a month ago, Eli and I saw a sign for a kids' triathlon at the end of August. Eli asked about the event and decided he wanted to participate. For the first week he did great with his training, but, as expected, his passion for training went away quickly. But once a week he would go to the gym with me and do a solid hour training with brick workouts or transition practice. And when the triathlon happened in the Olympics, he watched every second. (1 1/2 hours!)

Yesterday was the event, and it was an early day. We had to be at the aquatic center at 6:!5AM, which meant us pulling out of the driveway at 5 (gasp) 30 in the morning. (When I woke her up, Maddux said, "But it's still dark outside!!") We got to the staging area right away and Eli set up his transition. Parents were not allowed in that area at all, so Eli had to set it up by himself. Then we waited. And waited. Finally they lined the kids up just after 8AM and marched the first group into the pool area. Lehr, Maddux and I waited near the entrance to give him a final send off. Maddux high-fived him and Eli blew a kiss at her. MELT!

The race was aged 6-17years old, so Eli was on the young side. Out of 880 racers, he was number 62. Because I wanted to be outside for the transition and to see some of his bike and run, we did not go inside for the swim. We watched him run through the transition area perfectly, very focused, and get on his bike right after the 'mount line'. He did need a little help steadying himself because he was in such a rush :)

Eli came in from the bike telling me that his shoe was untied. Thankfully one of the coaches he knew was right there and helped him tie it. Then he took off running. I ran along side his course as long as I could before the out and back intersected and I was forced to stop. I caught him again as he came back (he told me he and Drew saw each other over that line as well and high-fived), and he sprinted to the finish.

100m swim, 3mile bike, 1/2 mile run...all in a day's work for Eli. He loved every second of it and already asked if he can do another.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lucky Number Seven

As usually happens this time of year, I'm shocked at how quickly we got here. How quickly we went from diapers to baseball pants. How quickly we went from pureed vegetables to your strong preference for things like pistachios and tofu. How quickly we went from me reading board books to you, to you reading Harry Potter to me. How quickly we went from a stroller to a triathlon. How quickly we went from 24/7 to 15/7. How quickly we went from zero to seven....

This last year has been an amazing one for you, Eli. You have matured in a really cool way. When you went from five to six, we had many transitions to work out, mostly due to school. But this last year, in only your second year of school, you have matured in so many cool ways socially, emotionally, and spiritually. You've closed the door on your first league of baseball, and now you face the next step in what I hope will be a lifelong passion for you. You've started to branch out with your social circle; as much as you still hold your dearest friend near, you are no longer hesitant to join a new group. And the conversations I have with you on Sundays or during our special one-on-one times have allowed me to see a glimpse of some really cool growth in your relationship with Jesus.

And my how you and Maddux have grown. No longer is she chasing you for attention and affection without any reciprocation. You have started to include your sister in a really cool way and the two of you can often be found giggling and tickling each other.

Seven years. Seven years have passed since you arrived into our lives, our arms and our hearts. Seven years that have been filled with so much... Eli, we are so excited to celebrate seven years of you today!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Birthday With The Braves

Instead of a birthday party, this year Eli opted to invite a few baseball-minded friends to join him at a weekend Braves game. He picked three boys who also played in his league, and who he knew from school and the neighborhood. We all loaded up in our car and drove down to the game, baseball gloves and hats in tow. (Maddux chose to stay home and have one-on-one with her favorite babysitter instead of going to the game.)

As much as each of the boys love watching a 'real' game, we really only sat in the seats for a few innings. They were far more interested in the extra 'stuff' at the Braves stadium. We hit from a pitching machine, ran through the misters, got pizza, got peanuts, played ball in the kids area, got birthday milkshakes, ran through the playground at the kids area, and played ball again. We left just before the end of the game, driving four exhausted boys home. Eli had a blast and so did his friends.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Maddux's First Week

Maddux has only been in school for one week, but already it's been full of excitement!

On the first day, Maddux came home and told us she'd taken a nap at school. I was a little confused because her teacher had already told us that they would not be taking a rest-time in the afternoon, so I asked for more details. Maddux informed me that she'd found a hole in the ground on the playground and napped there during recess. Nice. AND the teacher had to come get her when it was time to return to the classroom, reminding her that 'the ground is not a place to sleep'. Perfect.

On day two, we got a note in Maddux's folder letting us know that she had 'smacked' her leg while on the playground. She'd received ice and was fine, but they wanted to let us know in the event we saw a mark/lump. That same day, I asked Maddux if Eli had walked her to her classroom from the bus (he did that the first day). She said 'no', because she didn't need help (of course), but SHE walked William to his class. Nevermind the fact that Maddux and William are equals in the same grade and William is a good deal older than Maddux.

Finally, the week ended with another note in Maddux's folder. This one was to let us know that Maddux had missed out on five minutes of recess AND had her seat moved due to excessive talking. As expected, when I asked Maddux how that made her feel, she told me, "I was sad to miss recess, but I know friends at the other table, so my chair moving wasn't too bad."

Good luck, teachers of Maddux, today and forever.

Surprise Visit!

At the last minute we were able to fly Grandma Cathie to Atlanta for a quick visit. As luck would have it, she flew in just in time for the first day of school, so the kids were very excited to have her accompany them up to the bus stop the first day.

Maddux and Eli have been very into 'scaring' people lately, often popping out from behind doors or walls and saying, "DID I SCARE YOU?!?!" Most of the time, we hear them a mile away, but fun nonetheless. I picked my mom up from the airport late Saturday night and told her about this, so she decided that's how she'd greet them in the morning (they did NOT know she was coming). So Sunday morning arrives and the kids get ready upstairs. When they go down, they get their cereal ready and sit at the table. A few seconds later, Grandma Cathie jumps out and shouts, "DID I SCARE YOU?" I think Eli jumped a foot out of his chair. They were totally surprised and excited. Much of the day was spent playing and swimming at the pool, catching Grandma up on everything they could think of.

The week went well, with Grandma waking up to see the kids off to school each morning and receiving them off the bus each day. Friday after school the three of them left right away for a special date: bowling, a trip to Target and a special dinner date later, they had thoroughly enjoyed every second of her trip.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Eli's Tri Training

We're still moving through the training. Eli has not been training throughout the week, but he's hitting it hard on Saturdays when we go to the Tri Clinics. This last week Eli got to practice transitions. He ran into the transition area, wearing a suit and goggles, and practiced drying off, putting on socks, shoes, shirt (with number) and a bike helmet. Then he biked a mile or so and came back into transition to take off his helmet and drop off his bike before heading back out to run about 1/2 mile. A few rounds of that and he was exhausted!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Parent Open House

Lehr and I went to open house at the kids' school tonight. Since we have two classes to learn about, we split up and each tackled one. Lehr went to Maddux's class and I went to Eli's. Lehr tells me that the parapro in her class told Lehr right away that Maddux has very good manners. Not what we expected to hear as the first bit of feedback regarding Mad Dog, but it was a nice surprise! Lehr also says that her teacher seems to be very no-nonsense which will be VERY good for handling our girl. Eli's class seems to be a great fit as well, and I think he's fitting in very well. His teacher told me that he commented that he loves buffalos, so (when they were discussing some rewards for the class) he mentioned that he'd like to bring in a buffalo. Awesome. Excited for what this year holds for us!

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Day of School

What a day! I would have loved to seen the first hour or so of each kids' class this morning; I know each kid had such excitement and wonderment in the first moments. Eli and Drew walked Maddux and Davis to their classrooms before then visiting their first grade teachers and THEN going to their new classrooms. (Oh, the busy life of a seasoned student.)

Maddux told us she had a great day; she sat with William on the bus to start it off, which was a treat. She loved everything else: eating lunch with friends and learning new things in the classroom. Her favorite part was music - she sang me a song they learned, complete with hand/body motions. And when the bus pulled into the neighborhood, she leaned put her head to the window and yelled out "HI, MRS. MARJORAM!" to one of our friends. That girl..... Oh, and her backpack was full of supplies, so it was weighing her down on the way to the bus. She totally 'turtled' at one point and fell backwards before we left. On the way up the hill, she could barely it.

Eli had PE, which he said was kind of boring because it was all 'first day stuff'. He did say that he read a lot already though, which he seemed to be excited about.

Both kids were tired after school, but nothing I didn't expect. I was prepared for meltdowns and that never happened. We definitely got moody around dinner time, but 7PM found lights out and at 7:08 I checked on them and they were both snoring. Life is good.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Meet N Greet

The kids and I visited the Elementary School this afternoon (I can no longer call it "Eli's school"); students were time-slotted by last name to come in and meet their new teachers. As awesome as it is for the kids, it is ca-razy for the parents, especially when you have more than one class to visit. There are many many MANY forms to fill out for each student. You know the kind: name, address, all doctors' names and information, allergies, insurance information, blood type, every doctor visit and illness from birth forward.... And when you have more than one child, you have to fill the many forms out more than one time. All while trying to manage said children who are, without a doubt, hovering over your shoulder or leaning on and shaking the desk (making it impossible to write or concentrate), whining that they're bored.

Aside from that, it was a blast. We visited Maddux's room first; she knows a handful of kids in her class already. The Kindergarten classroom was full of kids and parents, which helped Maddux get acclimated quickly. After 45-50 minutes of paperwork, we moved to Eli's classroom. We were one of only two families in there, but mine were the only kids. This made it even more difficult to work because Eli felt a bit 'on the spot'. I loved how his teacher handled him though; she talked to him and commanded a respect from him while being very non-threatening. It's going to be a good year!

On a side-note, tomorrow is the bus 'drill' which allows Kindergartners to ride the bus with their parents for the first time. I asked Maddux before bed if she wanted to do it. She responded, "Is it another 'pretending' like it was at school today?" When I confirmed it was, she told me, "Nah. I'll go next real when it is for real."

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


WOW! Just when I think the kids aren't getting any of the responsibility/values/'stuff' Lehr and I are trying to teach them, they shock us and show us they are listening and they ARE getting it.

Tonight we had our usual dinner as a family and then cleared a few dishes off of the table. At this point Lehr and I got sidetracked looking outside at the yard and stopped what we were doing to go out and walk through a few details for the project we're working on. The kids waited patiently while we did our thing, coming outside a few times, but mostly staying in. They called to us once or twice, telling us we needed to come in so they could show us something. When we finally did go in, they yelled 'Surprise'. They had cleaned up the kitchen table, emptied dishes, napkins, mess, and cleaned the floor and table. They even put the fruit bowl back in the middle of the clean table when they were done. All as a surprise for us. Amazing.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Spider Patrol

We are in the last two weeks of summer. It has been fun and awesome, but as usually happens at the end of something fun and awesome, we are getting rough around the edges. Eli and Maddux have gotten along really well this summer and they are as close as I could hope for. But in the last week or so, the fights are starting to occur more often and earlier in the day. I expected it and so it really hasn't bugged me too much. What makes me laugh though is how quick the move in and out of fights, almost like an old married couple. One thing that always moves them out of a disagreement is a spider or other household bug. We have many little spiders these days and the kids love to find them and 'take care' of them. It goes something like this:
  • Eli - MADDUX! Put my legos down!
  • Maddux - But I was just trying to build something.
  • Eli - I don't know how many times I've told you, don't come into my room and... SPIDER!
    Maddux - OK. You keep an eye on it and I'll get a Kleenex.
They are a perfect team.