30 January 2016

Splash - January 2016

I wonder if anyone else gets the little subtleties I try to put into the splash pictures every month?  I know the ladies and JMichael sometimes roll their eyes at the stuff I want to do; sometimes it's one of them coming up with the great idea.  January 2016, the first splash of our new year, is one of those subtle ones - does anyone see it?  Why did I have all five on the trampoline in winter?  Because they are Balls.  And they are dropping.  The Ball Drop.  Ok...I tried.  Still, it's a cool picture and one day, when my kids are taking pictures of my grandkids, I hope they try to mix it up.  Happy New Year!

23 January 2016

Devin, the 1996 Honda Civic

This is Rachel and her car, Devin.  Devin is a 1996 Honda Civic.  Today was a big day for this pair - payoff day.  Rachel made her final payment and now is a car owner.  Once she sets her mind to something, this girl can get it done.  She's already talking about trading up - but James and I told her to save some money now and just keep this one healthy and on the road.  Time will tell.  Way to go, Rachel.

17 January 2016

Eight is Great

This is JMichael's primary class.  Three boys and three girls - all turning eight years old this year.  JMichael is first; his birthday is February 20.  In the back is their teacher - Sister Duncan - and this sweet group picture was taken at their "Eight is Great" night.  The class went over baptism, responsibilities and accountability.  Eight is a very important year - in Mormonism, at eight years old you become accountable for yourself.  JMichael can be baptized and become an official member of the church.  On their "Eight is Great" night they talked about what they have learned, what their goals are how they feel about it all.  There was a lot of giggling and a lot of shy looks, but this is a fun group of kids and they are learning so much.

JMichael is the cutie in the plaid shirt.  Adorable, huh?  Eight is Great.

13 January 2016

Cub Scouts

JMichael is in black, pictured to the left of the boy bending over in the green shirt.
JMichael will be 8 in February, but, the troop leaders have let him start participating in cub scouts this month.  He is thrilled.  Exactly none of the boys in the above picture are in our ward.  No worries.  Give some boys a roll of duct tape for a puck and some brooms for sticks and you have instant teams and friends.  Wednesdays are now his favorite since he gets to see his new friends.  Stay tuned - Pinewood Derby is in February!

09 January 2016

Charlotte [basket]Ball

Warning - lots of pictures!

Charlotte played basketball for the first time in her life.  Let me tell you the story.  [You can skip down to the pictures if you don't want all the details, cause it's a detailed story].  So Charlotte is sitting in health class in the seventh grade.  It's horrible, she says.  But, hey, it's required, so make the best of it.  On like the third day of class, the teacher, Coach Harmon, (isn't health always taught by a coach?) says, hey Charlotte, I need to see you after class.

Now Charlotte is worried, because she has very thin filters when it comes to speaking her mind, so she's wondering what she said to get her in trouble....  After class Coach Harmon says, have you ever played basketball?  Charlotte says, no.  Never.  Why?  Coach says, because I want you to play for me.  You look like an athlete.  Charlotte says, I am. I'm a swimmer.  Coach Harmon says, perfect.  Let's ask your parents, and change your schedule.

In Junior and Senior high in Arkansas, the sports that you play are a class during your regular schedule, so if Charlotte is going to join the basketball team, she has to take the basketball class.  With a few conversations and some wrangling, Charlotte's schedule was all fixed and she was one the team.

Basketball required shoes and warm up clothes and, well, a basketball.  We had none of these things.  The shoes alone were $120.00.  Not happening in our little budget.  Ouch.  Coach Harmon, again, said, no worries, I have a shoe closet.  She took Charlotte to a magical closet that had extra pairs of shoes in all sizes, left there in years past from other seventh grade teams.  So you may notice in the pictures that Charlotte's shoes are slightly different than the other kids on the team, but, they are fabulous.  And free.  Thank you Coach.

Charlotte loves basketball.  She started every game and usually scored.  She's still learning, but, as her Coach puts it, she's coachable.  Years of swimming have taught her to take instruction and criticism and learn.  And she loves practice.  Practice, practice, practice.  We now spend a lot of time at playgrounds shooting hoops.  Lots of shooting hoops.

Her team didn't do so well.  She got frustrated that not everyone on her team worked as hard as she did and that not everyone did their job.  That's another difference between swimming and basketball.  Individual effort vs. team effort.  Positions vs. lanes.  Charlotte embraced it all - even the before school practices.  Yes, before school.  Her life was - sleep, eat, basketball, school, swim, eat, sleep, repeat.  Glorious.

Here are some highlight pictures:

Close up of #24 in action.  Go Panthers!

One of her jobs as a guard was to throw the ball in every time it went out of bounds.

Playing defense.

Look at the concentration on her face.

Looking for the pass.
Charlotte may not stay with basketball all through high school.  She's a swimmer.  But basketball showed her muscles she didn't know she had and she learned a lot along the way.  Teamwork is different in basketball and communication is key.  I hope she learned these skills.  Her coach is fantastic.  She even came to a swim meet to see Charlotte in her own environment.  She said, Well, she sure makes swimming look easy.  She's an athlete.  Thank you, Coach Harmon, for taking an interest in Charlotte.  Thank you for pushing her and challenging her.
Go get 'em, Panthers.  Go get 'em, Charlotte!