May 29, 2011

Trouble with Trophies

I have a personal problem with our sports programs' (like AYSO) policy on trophies.  I understand what they are trying to do.  I think it is a great idea to build self esteem and help the kids gain confidence.  I think that there are many ways to do that.  I like to think that the hard work and seeing personal improvement would have the desired effect.  I worry that rewarding the kids too greatly for just showing up, in the long run short changes the rewards that they really had to work for.

This last month of school had brought many trophies and certificates and even a scholarship into our house.   I was pleasantly surprised to discover that kids can discern for themselves whether or not they did something worth rewarding. 

Some of the things that I was proud to watch in my children's lives this year have been:

Christian took a math class from a "killer" of a teacher.  He learned a lot of math, but even more importantly he learned much more about himself, and life.  

Truman learned to juggle, as in finding balance in life. He joined clubs and extra activities, played sports, became social and managed to pull it all off!

Sydney discovered the drama of junior high girls and secured herself a nice group of drama-free (mostly) friends.  She won't go wrong when the friends get together over spring break to go to the temple together.  She has also blossomed as a patient and generous older sister.

Abigail overcame her alter-ego (Anti-Practice girl).  She started practicing her flute with determination and discovered a passion and a talent.  Abby has also stepped up to be my jogging buddy (everyone else is too fast for me, actually Abby is probably faster than me but is kind enough to humor me) and we are really enjoying the time together.

Rebekah let passion overcome caution, which is huge for her. She is head over heels for her french horn.  Ever a good practicer, she has started taking lessons and is exceeding all expectations.  Her french horn lessons are at the high school and I am amazed with her new level of confidence.  She walks through the band room full of high school students and knows that she is their equal.

Nate is not finding literature to be one of his strengths.  He has worked really really hard and has kept a positive attitude.  He is convinced that he loves to read, even if he isn't fast and it is hard work.

Hazel has learned to ride a bike and is quite proud of this symbol of her independence.  She breezed through kindergarten and is worried that first grade might be hard. She also restrained herself from cutting her own hair this year (a milestone). 

Here are a couple of photos from the awards ceremony at the junior high. I think Snug is my favorite part of the pictures.  The assemblies happened on a Thursday, which is Truman's day to have the dog at school with him.  He knew I was in the audience and so I figured he would bring her to me if he didn't want her.  I saw on the program that the jazz band was going to be playing.  I was enjoying the festivities and then it was time for the Jazz Band to play.  The curtain opened and there on the stage in front of the band sitting calmly was Snug.  There are risers in front of her.  You can see her in the middle picture if you look carefully.

May 19, 2011

Abby Band Concert

Abby was invited to join the 6th grade band after Christmas.  Here are some pictures from the concert.  I had a good laugh at all the girls dressed to the nines in their tiny dresses and sitting like cowboys.  Hazel took the bottom picture and I am not sure how the stands keep themselves from sliding off the floor.

May 18, 2011

Girl's Camping

Kenneth and the boys went on the Father and Sons campout.  You know what they say "When the Cat's away, the mice play.  The night before we all went our separate ways Kenneth confessed that our plans sounded like more fun and he would rather come with us.  We politely told him that men were not invited.   He was a little hurt.  We did have a great time, and I think they had a good enough time. We also took out friend Natalie with us. She was a great addition (especially the princess cards we palyed with in the evening!)

On the way to the place we were going to camp we stopped at Roosevelt Dam to go to the bathroom and walk around a little bit.

 When we first got there Abby took some pictures on the sunset.

 She also took pictures of Hazel in the sunset.

 In the morning before we ate breakfast and took down the tent they waded a little bit.

 For breakfast we had Costco muffins, Ro-gurt, eggs and juice.

 Hazel dipping her hair in the water.

 Finally they got to go swimming in the lake.
 There was some weird mud that Abby covered her hands with.

 They brought back some mud for Natalie and I to feel.

 Hazel got tired pretty quickly.

 Rebekah and Sydney made a sand castle. Aren't Rebekah's toes cute?

 The girls covered our feet in mud.

There was some tall grass that the girls had fun going through like it was a maze with no path to follow.

They are starting to come out with Abby in the lead making a easier path for them to follow.

Hazel takes some weird pictures sometimes. I like the Mango residue!

Little Boys in Big Bodies

The other day, Christian and Truman stayed up after the other kids went to bed.  They were busy playing blocks and couldn't tear themselves away.  They kept calling me in to look at their progress and then when they ran out of blocks they wanted to borrow the camera to take a picture of it before they knocked it down, because it was so incredibly awesome...  This is an interesting contrast to all the talk about Marching Band, driver's permits and starting high school next year.  I sometimes forget that even though they are taller than me they are still my little boys.

May 17, 2011

Faux Hostess

Christian and Truman spent the afternoon making Faux Hostess cupcakes.  I thought they were delicious, and knowing that each cupcake was 400 calories helped me to limit myself to one.  


May 15, 2011

In-n-Out & Up-n-Down

After the Pinewood Derby (umm, a couple weeks ago) we picked up some burgers and fries at In-N-Out  burger and headed to a park that has really tall swings.  We had a lovely afternoon playing in the sun.  (Kenneth even pulled some weeds at the park to satisfy his need to do something productive.)