"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Winter Swim Lessons

There's nothing like doing a round of swim lessons when it's 21 degrees outside! The kids started a winter session today, but thankfully the rec center is super heated. At least the leisure pool is a little bit of a comfy temp, but the Olympic pool is ice cold.  The kids are a little rusty because of not swimming a lot since the end of the summer.  At registration I was a little iffy about what levels to put them in, so I guessed.  I was right on with all but one of them.

Ethan is doing level five again.  He is one level away from being able to be on the swim team and he's a pretty great swimmer.  At the beginning of the lesson he showed that he was out of practice, but half way through he seemed to have grasped it all again.  To me, swimming is like riding a bicycle- you just can't forget how to do it.  Your technique and strength might lack, but the ability to do it never goes away.  Ethan's entire class took place in the 13 foot deep lanes of the pool!

Hailey's the one I was really on the fence about.  I didn't know if she should be in level three or four, and wanting her to be challenged rather than bored, I opted for level four.  I think she would have done better in her lesson, but this was her first lesson in the FREEZING cold Olympic pool and she just couldn't ever get used to it (level four and up is in that pool).  As a result, she was paralyzed with an inability to perform.  The girl has absolutely no fat on her body to speak of so there is nothing to keep her warm!  After talking it over with the coordinator, we put her back in level three for the remainder of the session.  So she is back in the leisure pool and it turns out one of her best buddies, Jack, is in the same class!

The Chudda is doing preschool level three again and loved it today.  I honestly think it's a little boring for her because this summer she proved to be able to swim at least four meters unassisted; but since it's been a while and she barely turned five, she is re-doing PS3.  She was in heaven!!

This was Devin's first session of lessons since he just turned three.  The have to be at LEAST three to do lessons.  I went on and put him in PS2 rather than PS1 because the entry level is all about getting them used to the water.  HA!  This summer we found out that he's a natural in the water and he was able to swim from my arms to the stairs over and over again.  He has ZERO amount of fear.  But where he has oodles of ability, he lacks the maturity to go with it.  He was furious and cried most of the time because he wanted to go off on his own and play.  At first the teachers thought he was afraid of the water, until I let them know it was the opposite.  So one of the teachers took him away for most of the class for a one-on-one lessons.  They went around the lazy river several times and he practiced floating on his back, but he was rebellious the entire time.  Ten minutes before the lesson was over, it was over.  I took him and and dried him off, and THEN he thought it was time to go play by himself.  I think we are in real trouble with this independent and stubborn guy!

Even though the air was frigid, the kids had a fantastic time and can't wait to back for lessons next Saturday.  We'll probably go swimming as a family on Monday (New Years Eve) and I will practice more with the kids.

Oh......and I can't forget to mention this incredibly patient cheerleader/spectator!  This guy has been dragged around to his older siblings activities since he was in utero.  One day it will be HIS turn to participate.  In the meantime, he gets a front row seat for spectating!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Break Snow Play

Oh how I love the week between Christmas and New Years Day! The hustle and bustle is over and it's time to get a little organized, play with all our new stuff, clean out and make ROOM for said stuff, and just enjoy the rest of the season. I spent all day yesterday cleaning out the girls' and little boys' bedrooms. Cody spent half the day on Christmas helping Ethan with his. All together I hauled a load to DI yesterday that filled the back of the van to the brim! It makes me a little sad to get rid of toys that were once beloved by the kids.  Yesterday I got rid of all the girls' My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop.  Right now they are so very much into all things Barbie, but it was sad to give away so much of their "childhood".  And Ethan's Transformer days are pretty much behind him too.  These kids are growing up too quickly!

Today it's all about laundry and continuing my purge of this house.  The kids woke up and the first thing they wanted to do after breakfast was play in the snow.  I don't think they could ever tired of playing in the fluffy white stuff! 

And I can't forget about the little guys!  They have each been fighting a small cold and were very content to stay inside, play with trains, and watch PBS Kids on TV.  This is my kind of cozy day!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day

Christmas Day was great! So nice to stay at home and have absolutely nowhere to go.  Since the kids were all sleeping upstairs and the oldest three in the girls; room, we gave them very strict instructions that they couldn't come out of the room for ANYTHING until the alarm clock went off at 8:30.  Except for Ethan leaving once to use the bathroom at 7:45, they were really good to obey that rule.  At 8:30, they couldn't wait any longer and they burst into our bedroom to get us.  After getting the little boys out of wet night diapers and everyone brushing their teeth, Cody lined the up in the hall to come around the corner and see the magical living room.  Garrett escaped and followed me to the stairs and he saw all the presents.  He was sooooo excited, but then I made him wait to come down.  That made him furious!!

They found the letter that Santa left for them and Ethan read it aloud.  He thanked them for the cookies, donuts, milk, and veggies for the reindeer (this was the first year we left donuts per request of Ethan).  In the letter he said they had been pretty good this year, but they really needed to work on listening better at bedtime because it's chaos that time of night!  The kids promised they'd be better this year.
Lauren got to open our traditional Jesus present.  It's always the first gift we open and it's a little Jesus figurine and a note that says "Remember the true reason for the season..... It's a good reminder before we start ripping into presents.
Santa left a really neat firehouse/police station for the little boys.  Stockings were a lot of fun and we all got some really good stuffers!

Santa was hilarious and got me the "Totally Twilight" edition of People magazine.  He knows it will make excellent kindling for our next 'smores cookout!

Daddy found a lot of coal in his stocking!  Looks like he's been very naughty!

After we did stockings and Santa gifts, we took a break to eat breakfast.  This year it was egg/hashbrown/sausage casserole, pancakes, and OJ.

Then is was time to open everything from Mom and Dad, siblings, and grandparents!

In the late afternoon the girls wanted to use their press on nails that Santa left in their stockings.  Lauren decided she didn't want to wear them today, but Hailey wanted to and I painted the Christmas colors.
For dinner it was leftovers from our YUMMY dinner the night before!
And right now we are all camped out in the basement family room watching Home Alone.  I don't want this day to end!  It's been such a great Christmas season for us!