Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Sunday, June 30, 2013

All By Myself

The long expected day finally arrived; the day when their dad came to get them for over a month; the day when they find out that all his promises are true or not. I don't like putting them in that situation, but he has his rights and the youngest so wants to be with him. They listen to his grand ideas while he raises their expectations about some magical mystery job he has been going on about for two years with mysterious salaries that never materialize and they believe him. And I will be here to pick up the pieces when they come back with a new look at reality.

In the meantime, I will get Little Man's room ready with the sports theme that he has been wishing for. Maybe it will soften the blow. And in the same meantime, I will take my savings and go back to school shopping for both children to wipe out the memory of a year ago while we lived on public assistance when every other word I wanted to say was, "No, we can't afford it."

What got me through all of this? Aside from the helping the hands of loving family and friends? Art!

Over the past year, I have explored different media including doodles, sketching, water color, art journal and most recently Index Card a Day (ICaD) from Daisy Yellow. Although I am behind most of the people participating, I have tried to keep up with this challenge - 61 index cards in 61 days. (I started late.)

I love that this is a pretty open challenge with guidelines but no rules. I am the kind of person who when given rules will become so focused on them, that the creativity vanishes. On the other hand, without guidelines, I often stare at the blank page and get nothing - feeling jealous of those who just seem to have IT.

The following are cards I created (in no particular order)

One last thing for those who were following my son's team to the championship. Unfortunately, I came to discover that the coach's beliefs didn't gel with mine. In short, he felt that winning was more important than teaching children about good sportsmanship. I am not one of those parents who believe that his or her child is perfect and is going to be an athletic superstar. On the contrary, I know that my son struggles in this area. However, he was part of the team and he made 95% of the practices and EVERY game. BUT Coach felt that since he couldn't count on James to hit the ball every time or catch the ball 100% that he probably wasn't going to play him much if at all at the district playoffs. ****What kind of BS is that?! James was willing to delay his visit with his father in order to be a part of team he worked hard to play on yet this "man" couldn't see fit to put him on the roster - "For the good of the team." WHAT?! I explained that I didn't think it was fair that he would be a benchwarmer after doing his best. I also said that it was pretty crappy policy that the city was supporting his actions by allowing him to pick three "top" players from other teams who weren't going to district. These are eight year olds, not middle schoolers, not high schoolers, not college students. Your job is to teach them how to play and how to be good sports, not how to smash their hearts by leaving them sitting on the bench wondering what they have done wrong. In essence, this coach wasn't even man enough to say that's why he was leaving James off the roster. Instead, he blamed it on other coaches, on the city, even going as far as to blame in my son by saying he only plays because I asked him to which, by the way, didn't happen.

****Sorry, I wasn't going to there, but bringing up the subject brought back everything I was feeling that day.

In the end, I told James that he was not going to the playoffs because I didn't want him learning bad beliefs from his coach and so he could spend more time with his dad.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

We Are the Champions

Yep. They did it. The Pirates won citywide championship.

Earlier in the season, we had a few games rained out. The season was supposed to end on June 8th and the championship was to take place, yesterday. Because of the postponed games, the schedule moved everything to ending to the end. This meant that the kids had to play two regular season games Saturday in the early afternoon and then had to play the final championship at 7 o'clock in the evening. It made for a VERY long day. However, the kids did great and won the first place in the city.

Afterward, the we had a pizza party and the coach handed out trophies and medals.

The team will get to go to district playoffs in July. We have to decide what will happen because James is supposed to go to Kansas for the summer. He is upset about missing both. It's a hard decision for an eight year-old to make. We have a lot to think about.

In the meantime, I will share my ICADs (Index Cards a Day) that I have finished this week. 

I hope your summer is going well.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer's Here!

I have been literally counting the days for the past three weeks. Work was especially stressful for at least two months. The last day of work there wasn't much to do because I was on top of everything, so I spent the day listening to Audiobooks and watching the clock. I was reading Marit's blog and saw that she was participating in Index Card a Day at Daisy Yellow so I decided to join in. Can you tell what I am ready for?

I am so ready that on the last day of work, 
I couldn't even spell VACATION on my first index card.

The first order of business: Sleep in. And sleep in I did. Actually, I woke up at 8:15 and said, "In 15 minutes, I will get up and mow the lawn." Fifteen minutes later came an hour later to find me sound asleep. I woke up surprised to see how late it was (during the year I wake at 5:00 a.m). I then got the kids up to pick up anything that might get caught in the mower. I put the new edger together and put gas in the mower.

Index Card (ICAD) #2

Once the kids were done, I got started. I was very excited to see I could do the whole lawn myself.

The rest of the afternoon was spent vegging until I suddenly remembered James had baseball. So, off to baseball we went.

James tries hard, but there is no one in this house that knows anything about how to hit or catch a ball. I listen to the coaches, but it is impossible to get take book knowledge and turn it into on the field knowledge so James has been on his own in the hitting department. Today somebody watched some video of James and realized he has been closing his eyes when the exact moment the ball crosses the plate. In between games, all the coaches took James to the side (since he hasn't hit the ball once this season) and encouraged him and worked with him over and over until they were certain he knew what to do. James went up the batter's box and the machine sent the ball flying towards him and nothing. He let it go right by. Now this is okay because this is machine pitch and the players have been taught to let the first one go by to see where the machine is landing the balls. Second ball, no swing. Third Ball, no swing.

He is now at the point where he needs to swing or he will be sent back to the bench. The final ball is coming toward him and CRACK! he hits it straight down the field.

James makes it to first, the fielder misses the ball and he heads to second. OMG! He is on base. I can't believe it. The next batter comes to the plate and hits the ball giving James the chance to make it to third. As he does, the ball is still rolling around and can you believe it??! He gets to slide right into home as the catcher is scrambling for the ball!!! He made his first run this year. And I was a screaming fool.

This summer will be the first summer that both kids go visit with their dad for more than a week, so I am trying to make sure that I don't let my days go by without living them with purpose. This includes planning meals, playing games, playing "soccer" mom, and not sleeping the summer away.

Hopefully, I remember to take some pictures, too. If I do, you will see them here. Happy summer.


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