Thursday, July 19, 2012

Congressional Family Zoo Night

Each year the National Zoo hosts a Congressional Family Night - they bring several zoo animals over to the Capitol buildings for families to see and pet and get to know them. I have very few pictures because I have a little girl that is TERRIFIED of all animals - except fish in a tank, she is pretty good with those. So I spend my night trying to console and calm down McCall and missed most of the picture taking opportunities - it was the flamingo roaming the room that really got to her, she just couldn't take it. 
But the boys, they were in heaven! All sorts of animals that they got to pet, hold and adore. They had a wonderful time. They were able to see aardvarks, fox, snakes, owls, kangaroos, reptiles and oh, so much more! It was fantastic!

Gage "Plays" Soccer

Gage has begged to play soccer for the past two seasons so we signed him up and sent him on his way to soccer fame. Only it didn't quite work out that way. 
Gage was more content to make sure his teammates were where they were supposed to be, doing what they were supposed to be doing - in his concern for his teammates, he neglected to learn the game himself. 
But he had a lot of fun chasing the ball around for a few minutes before his legs were tired. He learned creative scorekeeping skills and tested the patience of his coaches. A successful season by all accounts. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Stand for the Right

I suppose I am just like every other mother out there who loves their kids so much and is always proud of them and who they are. But there are moments when you are so very proud of them that it hurts, that you marvel at their strength and courage and wonder where they got it.
I had such a moment with this guy just as school was ending for the year.
Tate came home from school one afternoon in tears. He was so upset that he could not even express what was going on, I figured someone had beat him up on the way home from school, or his little heart had broken some how. After quite some time he was able to calm down and tell me what had happened.
It turns out that he had a substitute teacher that afternoon in class that was way out of line. They were learning about Canada in class and Tate of course "knows" everything about Canada, having been born there and living there for 3 years! So when his teacher asked the class what the predominant religion in Canada was, his hand shot up and his answer was "the Mormons". Of course, that is the wrong answer, but in his defense, almost every Canadian that Tate knows really is Mormon.
The substitute then told him, "No, I mean Christian religion."
Tate replied, "Mormons are Christians."
"No, they are NOT," was her answer.
Tate then said, "I am a Mormon and I am a Christian, we believe in Jesus Christ."
Her response should have been to end the conversation, but she continued. "Mormons are not Christians, they do not believe in Jesus Christ, they don't even believe in the Bible."
Tate did not back down, he responded one more time, "Yes, we do."
"Well, they are not the right kind of Christians." Conversation over.

I was livid when he recounted this story to me, I was irate, I was furious. I have had many such conversations over my lifetime when people question me about my religion, but never in second grade, never as an eight year old with an adult questioning me.

I didn't know what to do. My political issue husband was not reachable at the time and I had to get something out to his teacher and principal to ensure that that particular substitute would not be in his class room the next day.

After many meetings with the teacher and principal everything turned out well. Tate has strengthened his testimony of the gospel, he stood as an example of standing for what was right, he set a great example to all those in his classroom and the staff at his school, his parents and siblings, and many others.

When asked about the situation, the substitute claimed that the conversation had never happened, that Mormon's had not even been brought up. She refused an apology and any wrong doing. Both Tate's full time teacher and principal were convinced that Tate had been truthful because of the kind of student he had been all year long, because of his honesty and good citizenship in all areas of life, not to mention the perplexity of the story and why/how an 8 year old child would make that up.

I am proud of my son and that he is not afraid to stand up for what is right. He is an example of courage and commitment. I must strive to be more like him.

"Ordinary people who faithfully, diligently and consistently, do simple things that are right before God, will bring forth extraordinary results." 
- David A. Bednar

Tate & Storm Lacrosse

This guy had a phenomenal season. Tate is one of the most aggressive athletes on the field at all times, the little bugger has a bit of competitiveness about him, and I love it!
Tate never gave up all season, he earned himself the nick name "Bull Dog" from his coaches, who incidentally, matched Tate's aggressive, competitive nature. I have never seen coaches for 8 year olds be so intense, but it was just what Tate needed. 

 Tate spent most of his time playing midfield or  "middie", which was perfect because he could play offense and defense. His job was to win the face off, he could get ground balls like no one else and put his little booty to use out there pushing the other kids out of the way and getting the ball. He was so much fun to watch, they won the championship with an undefeated season this year - and that was something because they were the youngest U9 team and the smallest by far.

I could really get into this sport!

Connor & Storm Lacrosse

This boy loves lacrosse. When we first moved to Virginia I wanted to get the boys involved in something right away so that they could make friends and get a little confidence. I had them choose. They immediately chose lacrosse, I'm sure due to the fact that our landlord left two lacrosse sticks in the basement and told the boys that they could have them. So with their antiquated sticks they signed up for lacrosse, not knowing a single rule, never having watched a single game and they loved it.
Connor became so much more aggressive in this sport than any other, perhaps being covered in padding and gear gives a boy a little more feeling of protection

Connor played most positions this year, but his favorite and the one he excelled at most was attack - he loved it and did so very well. Here's to many more lacrosse seasons, only in the west for awhile!

Alive & Well & Oh So Far Behind

I hope this picture looks like a friendly apology for being so useless as a blogger, because really, I am sorry :)
Yes, yes, we are alive and well. But it has been much too long since I last blogged, not for lack of things to post or document or record. Quite the opposite really. I feel like my life has been taken over by - well, life. We have immense changes happening - some we are in the midst of, others to fall upon us shortly. So where to begin? The task of keeping up is becoming overwhelming - but it will be conquered, I just won't make any promises to when.
But in a nutshell, here are some posts that you are likely to see here in a fairly timely manner.

  • 2012 Lacrosse for Connor & Tate
  • 2012 Soccer for Gage
  • Congressional Night with the Zoo
  • 2012 Boys Piano Recital 
  • Turtle Capturing Escapades from our back yard
  • Capitol Photo Shoot - gone awry, but what the heck!
  • Connor receiving top academic award for 4th grade
  • Delaware Beach excursion
  • Cub Scout Day Camp for Connor & Tate
  • Ryan's Senate Farewell - that's right sad day for us
  • Upcoming move to Utah (early November)
  • Visit to Antietam and Harpers Ferry
  • 4th of July
  • East Coast Excursion #1
  • Niagara Falls
Now to find all the pictures from phone, to camera, to who knows where. Organization has not been my friend for the past several months. We are in a state of perpetual motion around these parts. With school ending, a move impending, a job change, several trips between here and there I am on the verge of choosing not to be so OCD!  
There is so much to do before we leave in November that I feel like we cannot miss out on that we are running here and there and everywhere trying to soak it all in. As I type this I am in a hotel room in upstate New York, touring the East Coast with the family. It is the first vacation that Ryan and I can ever remember taking that we are completely on our own as a family - no one waiting for us, no one to meet up with and absolutely no expectations. We make hotel reservations as we drive, we have been choosing what to do as we drive down the highway and see something interesting, it has been heaven. Perhaps when I return I will feel rested and rejuvenated and ready to tackle some projects - but maybe not! If the kids continue sleeping in I may even get a start on it this morning, or I may eat a doughnut and snuggle back up in bed, ahhhh, vacation!