Friday, June 08, 2012

Everyone wins!!

I'm coming out of blogging hiatus to compose this entry that will more than likely piss off many of my 6 readers.  But I'm also at a point in my life where I don't really care, I have some feeling jumbled up in my head and I want to get them out so I can move on...  It's how I cope, it's what I do!  So read on or don't, I could care less ;)

So before I go into the meat of my post, I need to do a little bit of bragging on my boy.  I often times brag about the success he and his team have on the soccer field.  But I rarely find the words to rave about his academic successes.  Last year as a 4th grader he received a perfect score on his OAA math test.  PERFECT!!  Who really gets a perfect score on any standardized tests anyways??  We were amazed and astonished.  He was placed on a team at Creekview with the gifted LA teachers and was often chosen as a peer tutor or mentor to his classmates.  It was no surprise really when he got straight A's in fifth grade.  What floored us were the number of A+'s he got, at least 2-3 per quarter.  At the end of the year he was chosen to be one of 20 kids to take a lengthy test to be considered for advanced math in 6th grade.  That is 20 kids out of 430 kids in his grade.  I don't know how he did on this test but we have ordered his advanced math book off Amazon and he will be taking high school credit classes by the time he is in middle school.  This is also the kid that rarely ever took home work from Creekview.  His time management skills are beyond me and he was able to accomplish everything during the school day. 

Okay, so here is my dirt....  There was a lovely awards ceremony at the school during the last week before summer.  His team and their parents were in the gym and the principal did most of the presenting.  First there were awards for those who participated in Student Council and Leadership team.  Then they went in to the "math awards", "social studies awards", and even "music awards".  What got me was there was no explanation to why these kids were getting these particular awards.  For all I knew these were the kids who sucked up to these particular teachers, or they just plain really liked art or whatever.  So thinking back on my boy's math success, I was floored to hear his name announced with the "writing awards".  Um, really??  How exactly did you determine that my kid who got straight A+s in math, is one of 20 to take advanced math next year, should need an award in writing??  After he took his seat from claiming his award I caught his eye and we both shrugged our shoulders. 

They gave out awards to the Presidential Fitness achievers, only 4-5 for his team.  This might have been one of the only legitimate awards with actual qualifications.  Cole did not achieve this level this year, but I'm sure he is more that motivated to work at it next year.

So after these awards, others were given out for citizenship, good effort, most improved, and -get this- being a ray of sunshine!!  It was very clear to me that they were making sure that each and every person on this team was going to receive an award.  I'm really okay with this.  I understand that kids that don't normally get recognition should get some every once in a while.  I know that in order to get Avery to put her laundry away, I have to recognize when she actually does it.  I have to praise Emerson's attempt at reading, even though she is by no means proficient at it.  So I get that those students that aren't the best at something should still get some recognition to keep them going, I get that!!  (I'm not even going to go into the biggest trouble maker EVER at Cole's elementary school that got the sunshine award, that might be a whole nother entry)

Next up, Honor Roll.  I thought to myself, okay...  now Cole will get the recognition he deserves.  Surely there aren't too many kids that got straight A's all year, nor the number of A+'s...  Apparently Honor Roll does not mean the same thing as it used to.  At least 80% off the class had their name read for Honor Roll and they all lined up in front of the stage.  Maybe it was just being on the honor roll at some part of the year.  Or maybe honor roll now includes C's...  Or maybe (gasp) my child isn't that special??  No that certainly can't be it!!   They never went into awards for straight A all year or any other academic distinction...

Needless to say the awards ceremony completely crushed Cole.  Here is the kid that has been working his tail off this year in school and sports and I think he just needed a little pat on the back.  Maybe it is because I haven't been his advocate and publishing his successes on Facebook that no one was noticing.  When I met up with him after, he had tears in his eyes and he rushed off to the restroom. 

So here is my point... Why couldn't the kids that have gone above and beyond mediocre get recognized too??  They clearly need it as much as the kids that have to have awards made up for them.  Would it have taken that much more time to announce straight A's??  Or mention kids that were placed in advanced classes for next year?  Would it make those others work a little harder next year??

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 2: the big run...

Day 2 began about where day one left off.  I was up and out of bed at 2:30 am, in order to be at the bus by 3:30.  Even getting up this early only got me to the start line exactly on time (5:30).  Luckily it took over an hour for my corral to get to the actual start line.  It was very exciting waiting in the corral with all the real runners, and listening to Donald Duck count down for the start, and to see the fireworks as I started the race.  The entire race was jammed packed with runners and I'm going to use that as an excuse for my slower than anticipated pace.  I didn't stop running even to get my pics taken with any characters until I got to the Magic Kingdom.  I paused for a pic in front of the castle and then again on my way out to use their facilities.  Then it was back to running for me!!  And then I hit the last 3 miles.  UGH!!  I just kept chanting "pick them up, put them down, pick them up, put them down" but in all seriousness I'm not sure I did a very good job at that!  Entering Epcot made me want to pick up my pace, but my legs disagreed.  And I almost gave up... until I heard the gospel choir marking the last turn before the finish.  How inspirational.  I was in tears as I crossed the line.  Will I do it again??  Only at this caliber.  Disney was top notch, wonderful experience. 

In case you aren't on Facebook, here was my top ten from the race.

#10:  No matter how good you think you are doing, some morbidly obese man will pass you up and make you feel like shit.

#9. Curling up under the covers in the fetal position might not be the smartest thing to do post race.

#8. There might not be anything funnier than seeing tinkerbell taking a whiz at a treeline midrace.

#7. Running that far can affect your digestive system, and not in a good way!

#6. There was a mile in there when I wanted to scream profanities at the spectators cheering.

#5. Running through the Magic Kingdom was almost as magical as finishing.

#4. Not everyone can pull off spandex. But God bless you all for trying!

#3. Bridges and overpasses are my nemesis.

#2. The finish line is NOT just around the next bend or just over this hill. It is far, far away.

#1. Just because you can run 5 miles doesn't mean you can or should run 13.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Disney, the good, the bad and the magical

A family of 6 takes a bit of luggage!  The kiddos got their own sets for Christmas and lord knows that they have packed!
Our trip to Disney started off with Brinley's first flight.  She did great.


We arrived to a gorgeous resort and sunshine.  The kids instantly got in the pool and Brian and I headed out to the race expo.

We enjoyed dinner on our first night at Chef Mickey.  Brin had no idea that this is that we meant when we said "Let's go see Minnie"!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pride

Brian and I are occassionaly stopped by complete strangers who want to compliment our kids.  Okay, so this actually happens all the time, really...  Most of the time we just say thanks, sometimes we roll our eyes and let them know how it really is, and every once in a while we try to sell one or all to this person who doesn't know any better. 

This weekend when someone would compliment my kiddos, I whole heartedly agreed with them.  I even would expand on their compliment by adding some of my own.  You see I was so very proud of each of them for being the amazing and perfect kids that they are.

Emerson received the most compliments this weekend, as she was the co-star of an amazing wedding.  She was absolutely perfect in every way.  She was a little lady at the spa and bridal luncheon, listened intently at rehearsal and was poised and ready for the wedding.  She got all dolled up and looked like an angel.  She smiled courtly and walked gracefully down the aisle.  I was so very proud.

Avery had some important jobs too, one being program distribution which she took very seriously.  She practiced how she would greet the guests and got to her post in plenty of time as to not miss anyone.  I had someone tell me what a lovely, polite young lady she was, and I had to agree.  Although she and I clash sometimes (often) she really is a wonderful girl and I'm so proud of who she is turning out to be.

Cole was thoughtful the entire weekend.  He got along with his little cousins from the first second, acted goofy with Zane and showcased his mad dance moves at the reception.  But what warmed my heart the most is what no one else could see.  He visited the hotel gift shop and I'm sure he found tons of things that he wanted or needed...  He even asked his grandma for some money (smart boy, she of coarse gave him some).  He used the money to buy a book that he knew I had been wanting to read, the same book that he borrowed from his teacher and I gave him a hard time for reading it before me.  "Here mom, now you can read it too".  Wow, what a guy!!  Yes, he is amazing, I completely agree!!




As for the littlest member of our family.  We were told over and over again how cute she is, even when she yanks her ponytail out.  And she sure is a cutie, I agree!!  Unfortunately we weren't getting any compliments on her behavior, if we had, I would have certainly set them straight!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Run, Julie, Run!!

So I'm thinking about running a half marathon...

(pick yourself up off the floor, its not that amazing)

Specifically, I'm thinking about running THIS half marathon:
http://espnwwos.disney.go.com/events/rundisney/wdw-marathon/index?page=walt-disney-world-half-marathon

Looks like fun, don't it?


The family and I will be at the Magic Kingdom in January so Brian can do the full Marathon. It just so happens that the half is the day before. I mean, I'm going to be there, I might as well right?

I can't even say that I'm thinking about doing the half, I have pretty much already made up my mind to do it. The only thing standing in my way of running the half marathon is the actual running part. You see, I'm NOT a runner, nor do I ever plan to be a runner. Now I'm not saying runner like a bad word here, I have all respect for you crazy people who get up at the whee hours of the morning to run umpteen miles. Its just not for me!! I just want to be apart of the Disney experience, to run through the castle and to have the characters cheering for me. I want to be able to say that I did it, even if my time is the slowest possible. I want to run Disney.

So back to the training part, I found out there might be a few things I need to overcome if I'm at least going to be respectable at the half. #1 being my inability to hold my bladder when I'm bouncy (or when I sneeze or laugh for that matter). Another being my desire to do ANYTHING instead of running in this shitty weather, and I guess choosing to start training in October for a January race will give me more shitty days than good ones...

Luckily for me, my wonderful hubby is super supportive of me, a little skeptical but supportive none the less.  I've been running/walking/running/walking and I'm up to a mile now.  I think I will be running officially on Thanksgiving, and registering for Disney soon.  Fingers crossed...

Friday, October 07, 2011

Emerson and Tiaras

I'd like to welcome to the stage contestant number 28, Emerson Marie Bautsch.








Emerson does not normally enjoy being the center of attention but seemed especially excited to be in a beauty pageant.  And since she already had this stunning flower girl dress, her mom thought "why not".  Emerson completely nailed the beauty portion of the pageant, walking gracefully and posing on each x.  She earned a place in the top 7 finalist.  She then had to answer a question on stage.  She was the last to go and we are so proud that she didn't puke or pee her pants on stage.  She also didn't earn the title of Little Miss Marysville... oh well...  next time I guess!!

 Emerson and a friend from her school backstage!!  Don't they look lovely!!
 I could tell she was exhausted from the stress of the pageant, cause when it was all over she just fell into her daddy's arms with tears in her eyes... She was so proud of herself and knew she couldn't hold it together much longer.  What an amazing girl!!
Emi will always be a beauty queen in our eyes!!  If you try to ask her about her pageant experience now, she will firmly tell you "I don't even want to talk about it"...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you?

Wow,  10 years ago, how much simpler my life was...  I was just a baby, with a baby of my own.  Cole was nearly nine months old and I was babysitting another little boy, a few weeks younger than C.  Back then I could choose what was on the television and every morning I would watch (or at least listen to) the Today Show.  10 years ago today, I watched... Intently, with little interruption.  Those 2 boys were very cuddled that day but very neglected.  I'm sure I didn't interact with them.

I like to pass along news, but this day I hated to be the one to break the story to Brian and my mom, who in turn had to share the devastation with their offices.  Information was hard for them to get, Internets were down and TVs were hard to find, so I was continuing to describe the awful things that I was seeing on the television to them.  In horror.  In disbelief.  I was numb.  That day and for many days to come.  It was very hard to get back to life, to find it worthwhile to do anything normal. 

I went to mass at my church and held a woman's hand.  Her son was on his way to NY to help.  I didn't even know her name but we both cried while singing "America the Beautiful"  I left a scrapbook crop in the middle to stand out on her driveway to light a candle.  The 6 ladies there stood outside for 10 minutes in silence before blowing out the candles and continuing with our photo albums which seems so much more meaningful now.  Flags were half staff for a very long time.

And here I am, 10 years later... Life has gone on.  But I still cried during "America the Beautiful" this morning.  I held my daughter's hand and thought back to how much simpler my life was then.  Before America lost its innocence.  Before the towers fell.  Today I am numb again.