Sunday, February 14, 2016

Basketball, Valentine's, and Dance

I've been pretty bad at keeping this blog updated and as a result, all my pictures get jam packed into one long post.  I ought to break them up into different posts but I just don't seem to have the time lately.  Instead, I'll make another long post and hope that I can be more effective at giving our family happenings more personal attention in future posts.  

The basketball season is over.  Eli had his last two games yesterday.  The older two were supposed to have their games as well but strangely their games were all canceled and rescheduled for next week.  We have plans to be in Atlanta next week so I'm sad to say that they will miss their championship games and their opportunity to play again this season.  The situation is ridiculous actually.  It snowed a very small amount on Friday and by the afternoon all the snow was melted except for tiny patches on the grass and places in the shade.  Our county has a lot of rural areas but we are playing for a city league in our area.  Eli has played only teams from the schools in our area.  The older boys are playing teams from our area as well as the kids from downtown Knoxville.  They don't live in rural areas and therefore, they would not be snowed in.  I doubt they had any snow at all.  The excuse was that it was going to get into the teens that night and maybe the roads would be iced over.  Except there was nothing to ice over.  Oh well.  It would have been hard to attend four or five games in one day anyway.  I just feel bad for the boys that they don't get to play their final games now.  

Eli had a great season.  His team wasn't super good but the majority of their loses happened by a one point loss.  Eli didn't seem to care that his team lost so much.  He just enjoyed playing.  His coaches were awesome.  They really helped Eli feel confident and taught him how to play the game well.  I really appreciated them and their positive attitude.  They didn't shout at the kids or make them feel bad for losing.  I wish all coaches could be like them.

Today is Valentine's Day and we don't typically do much but I do enjoy doing fun things here and there.  This week I made X and O pancakes for the kids and today we are going to have heart shaped biscuits with our soup and a red drink and yummy dessert.  I also left some chapstick in our Love Notes Mailbox that hangs outside the boy's room with a small amount of candy.  Mike and I don't usually do much for one another on Valentine's Day but we did get to go on a date for the first time in three months (those darn basketball practices and games have consumed our nights!).  We also have a journal that we keep by our bed and we each write entries to one another from time to time.  I made sure to write him a note last night.  I also pulled out the kids' journals and wrote them letters in their journals.  I love Valentine's Day.

This week we made cookies and took them to some friends for Valentine's.  We also assembled Valentine's to distribute at our Homeschool Valentine's party.  The party consisted of a bunch of LDS families that are homeschooling in Knoxville.  We went to the pumpkin patch in the fall with the same group of people.  The kids enjoyed themselves.  We all brought food to share for lunch and then I brought a game for everyone to play and then the kids gave out Valentine's.  I was happy that the kids still got to have a party even though they don't get to do the typical class parties.  

The past month I have been struggling to keep the kids reverent at church.  I used to think it was pretty awful having to wrangle all the kids by myself at church when Mike was on the stand and thought it would be easier this time around.  Much to my disappointment and surprise the kids have been pretty bad lately.  It's been really frustrating for me.  Will isn't usually as bad as the rest but he spends the entire time reading his book during sacrament and I don't want him doing that and he knows it but figures I am so busy trying to get the others to be quiet that I won't care or notice that he is reading since he is being quiet.  Last week I had had it and for Family Home Evening we made the kids sit on the couch for fifteen minutes with their arms folded while they watched a talk by Boyd K Packer about reverence.  Then we discussed our disappointment with them and how we hoped they would show more respect to me and to God by working on this area.  

Today was much, much better.  I never had to say anything to any of the boys today.  They kept themselves quiet and listened to the talks.  Piper was still pretty difficult and I had to take her out to the hallway twice but I will count today as a win since she was the only one I had to deal with.  I told the boys I was really proud of them and thankful for their efforts to be better and I hope (fingers crossed!) that I won't have many more weeks like we've had.  

I signed Piper up for a dance class a couple of weeks ago.  It's not a real dance studio so I don't have to worry about any recitals or anything like that.  It is just a weekly class that you can come to and the girls dance for an hour with a dance teacher and learn dance steps and have fun.  Piper loves to get dressed in her tutu or just a dress and dance.  She is a pretty shy girl in social settings but she is warming up quickly and participates.  I love to see her grow.  She needs help in this area of being more brave in social settings so I think this is perfect for her right now.  It's not a stressful setting she can come to me when she needs a hug or reassurance and then run back to the group.  It helps that two of her friends are also taking the class so she is a little more comfortable.  

We leave on Friday to go to Atlanta to see my brother and his family and to a session at the temple.  We've been putting this temple trip off for a bit because of basketball and decided that we didn't want to put it off anymore.  I'm excited to go.  It is hard to live so far from a temple but I'm grateful we are only three and a half hours away and that I get to see my brother--makes a temple trip even better!

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