Sunday, June 13, 2010

Now THAT’S Commitment!

Ryan’s swim coach has been telling us for a few months that she’d like to move Ryan up to the next level. He is a great swimmer, has good technique & competition times, but he’s also respectful and obedient and attentive in practice. I know all of the coaches appreciate that. During the school year, the next higher team practices at 4:00 instead of 5:00, which is fine. But during the summer, the higher team practices at 7:00 am instead of 8:00 am. I jokingly told her several weeks ago that she could keep him at the lower level throughout the summer.

Well, the last week of school, she pulled Ryan and a couple of other kids (both a couple of years older than Ryan), and said, “I want you guys to start coming at 7:00 next week.” I know she has to be careful because so many of the other kids want to move up, including a couple of kids that were in Ryan’s class/grade at school last year.

So, last Monday, the first day of summer vacation, Ryan and I got up at 6:00 am, got ready,and left home by 6:40. He was in the pool a few minutes before 7:00. Our rec center is nice, because our workout area (treadmills, bikes, etc.) look down on the competition pool. I do my warm-up on the treadmill (about 15 to 20 minutes) and watch him get started, then I go and do my weights, and then I’m back to do my cool-down on the bike (about 10 to 15 minutes) and watch the end of his practice.

Ryan was really concerned that, moving up to the next level, he would always be the last kid to finish all of the laps. I talked with his coach a couple of times last week to find out how he’s doing. She reassured me that he is doing well, and that he has absolutely not been last. In fact, a couple of the other coaches that have been watching have told me things like, “He is really good for his age.” That’s so much fun for a mom to hear!

I’m so proud of Ryan, not only for working hard enough to move up to the next level so quickly, but for his willingness to get up at 6:00 in the morning during the summer to practice. He’s a good kid!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

(Coincidentally, I’m writing this post on Jon’s birthday.)We had a great Memorial Day weekend. We visited cemeteries on both Saturday and Sunday, putting flowers on all of the family graves.On Monday, we had a great BBQ dinner at Marc & Frances’ house. It was Marc, Frances, Alice, Claire, Rara, Papa, Frances’ parents and sister, aunt, cousins, Ryan, and me. We had a lot of fun eating, visiting, and playing with the girls (such as the long-time family favorite, “Smash the Baby”).

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cub Scout Blue & Gold Banquet

Thursday, May 27 was also our pack’s Blue & Gold Banquet. I am the Cubmaster. It was a big day. Yes, the Blue & Gold is usually in February, when scouting celebrates its birthday. Our Cub Committee Chair was gone for two straight months and pack meetings, and we didn’t want to do the Blue & Gold without her. In looking at monthly themes, May’s theme was “In the Spotlight.” We thought that would be a fun theme for the Blue & Gold.

We had an Oscars theme, and some of our leaders even dressed in their formals!We had a yummy dinner of spaghetti & meatballs, garlic bread, and salad. Our former Cubmaster graciously agreed (volunteered, actually) to oversee kitchen duties.Our emcee was wonderful. I had asked a member of our ward to emcee for us, and gave him a script that I had partially written, partially adapted from one I found on the Internet. Then he added his own humor. He did a great job! For the boys’ awards, the emcee read the “nominees” for each award, and then asked for the envelope. Our Wolf leader, in her gold formal, took him the envelope with the boy’s name and award. (I was sitting at a table just off-stage with the pile of envelopes and other awards, giving them at the appropriate time.) I had found “Oscar” trophies online and ordered those for the boys. So when the boys each came up, they received their award(s) in the envelope, as well as the trophy. They seemed to really enjoy it.For the advancement awards (Wolf and Bear), we had the parents (and some siblings) come up. It gave everyone a chance to be on stage and recognized.The most exciting thing was that Ryan made it in time for the awards! I was worried about what time he’d get there (since he also had the 4th Grade Utah History Pageant going on), and even put his awards last. He made it!I gave my camera to one of our Den Chiefs, and told him to snap away. He did a great job taking a lot of pictures for me. The night turned out very well, but I was extremely relieved to have it over!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

4th Grade Utah History Pageant

Thursday, May 27 was a crazy day for us! We were actually triple-booked that night, so we had to do some shuffling around. One of the activities was Ryan’s 4th Grade Utah History Pageant. Luckily, they had a performance earlier in the day for the school kids that I was able to attend. Then Papa took him to his evening performance, and Rara was able to join them to see it.

Most of the music was written for the Utah Centennial in 1996. But the teachers at Ryan’s school, primarily his teacher, put together wonderful dances and hand-actions to create a superb production!

The first song was “Utah: This is the Place,” the new state song (as of 1996). I took video, but I can’t find my cord to the video camera, so I’ll have to post it later.

They had a couple of numbers about Ancient Indians and Native Americans. Here is Ryan in the chorus for those numbers.Ryan’s main role was Father Dominguez in the “Spanish Explorers” number. Again, I took video of his number when I was there, so I don’t have any still pictures. Luckily Rara took some. The cute girl directly in front of Ryan in the first picture (white w/floral) is his “special friend.” And the boy next to Ryan in the second picture (vest) is his best friend. It was fun that they were all in the same number together.Ryan’s other important role was as one of the trains (OK, one of the train HOLDERS) in the Promontory Point song.It was a wonderful program, and all of the kids did a super job. One of the parents recorded the entire program with his professional video equipment, and will be making DVDs for anyone interested. We’re excited to have a copy of the entire program. Ryan still sings all of the songs around the house.

This is my favorite picture from the pageant. I'll save it for blackmail later. :)