Thursday, June 30, 2011

Staying Not-Bored

It's nearing the end of week 2 of summer break. One more week at home with the kids and me before we start our full-time summer activities. A road trip to Chicago (the fam). Band camp (K). Musical Theater apprenticeship (R). Football (N). Virginia Beach (the fam).

Tuesday I took the kids to Skate-n-Fun Zone in Manassas, the nearest roller rink that in fact does host flat rink roller derbies. Weird. We did a few hours of rinking with a greasy pizza lunch before Rebecca had her guitar lesson.

06/28/2011: Skate'n'Fun Zone, Manassas

Becca is really enjoying guitar (after 2 whole lessons), but it didn't take long for her to admit that it's a lot harder to actually learn guitar than it is to say she wanted to learn guitar. She's being good about practicing though. Not every day (*tsk tsk*) but she's putting in the time.

06/30/2011: Rebecca practices on Ian's Cebu guitar.

The guitar is the hand-crafted one Ian bought in Cebu, Philippines and lovingly carried back to Manila. He so wanted to get a blue guitar and I scoffed and he bent and now I really wish I'd have been a little more adventurous even in minor things like the color of a guitar. A blue guitar would rock, literally. And Becca loves the story behind the instrument and all the imperfections that make it unique.

Today was another busy day aside from guitar practice. Becca was up early, before me she was out with the mower beating her sister to the punch and the payoff. I pay $20 for the whole lawn and with today the 30th of June all the kids got their regular allowance too (a dollar per year each month). I've been told I'm a cheapskate. Am I a cheapskate? The girls complain and moan because every time they turn around there's another gift day... birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, etc. and they don't have enough cash to spend on themselves. The boys.... have plenty of money both saved and for spending. I wonder what the difference could be?


This morning Becca and I went to the DMV for a Virginia ID card, picked up sports physical forms from Kaiser, swung by the bank before picking up the rest of the kids to go out for a bit. Katherine got a manicure and her nails painted neon green. Becca went in for a French manicure but after one afternoon in the pool regrets the chips and flakes. She won't be doing that again until after the swim season ends. While Katherine hung about with her friends, the boys, Becca and I had a delicious lunch at Panera. With my customer card my Asiago Roast Beef sandwich was free. Awesome. I think Panera, even with its chain storeness, is one of my favorite places to eat. We sat outside under an umbrella with sunshine and a cool breeze blowing and chatted about everything and nothing at all. I do so enjoy my kids. The older they get the more wonderful they are, even if they do still crawl into bed with a nightmare (*ahem* Jonathon). Nicholas was asking yesterday if I thought he would be a difficult teen. I just had to smile because we've already done difficult teen and my younger three are far too aware to go down that road. They will have their trials, those days that are more challenging than they expect, but difficult teens? No, I don't think so, not what I consider difficult. I will say this though, since the middle of May, Katherine is... well, she's different. Her therapist is truly a Godsend and Katherine respects her and with that has come welcome possibilities. Let's leave it at that for now. There's a long summer ahead and another school year to go, a busy year with her ER volunteer work, Youth Orchestra, marching band, and if I can get her to see the pros of it, Gar-Field swim team. I'll take each day at a time and enjoy the kids as they are. Right. Now.

06/30/2011: Summer playtime at the Community Pool.

That's them with a friend who happened to be at the community pool. He went on the Teen Retreat at church with Katherine earlier this year. He and his friend were interesting characters as this boy was in a wheelchair and his friend had a prosthetic leg. Even better, when challenged to a race, the one-legged boy beat the pants off Becca. Heh.

But you know what I love about that photo? The joy on Katherine's face.

Just like when we had a misunderstanding about getting her nails done. Her temper flared but I managed to keep mine in check and within a couple minutes she calmed down, wefigured out what she was really upset about (she'd made plans she hadn't told us about) and all was well. Like when she was pulled from helping the little kids at swim practice because her coach wants her doing training instead for that hour and rather than sulking and moping she decided to take it out on her coach by being cheeky. Cheeky I can handle, especially if she's doing her swimming at the same time. Afterwards I reminded her how important it was to respect her coach and she called him a big meanie but said it without anger. This week she has gotten up each day before noon... a 15yo on summer break, remember... and been tolerant of her brothers and helpful when asked and participatory in general.

I know there are difficult days ahead. She's still a teenager after all. They all will have their days of unpleasantness. But I think we might be coming to a crossroads. Pray that we are, OK?

So Jonathon spent quiet time while Rebecca was playing guitar and I prepped dinner for the pool:

06/30/2011: Jonathon paints his seal.

We've been doing well with the TV off the past few days. Usually when we walk in the door someone plops onto the couch and turns on the tube and it drives me a little bonkers. The past few days that hasn't been the case. There has been some early morning TV (before I get up) some xBox and laptop (Wizard 101, fun for the whole family... I'm Elizabeth SeaBreeze with my dragon, Mocha. I kinda wish I was kidding.), but today Jonathon did his painting, Nicholas donned his football gear and did some sprint work outside with Becca timing him, garden work and cooking and other activities have taken our time when we chill-out at home.

Quiet is addictive.

06/29/2011: The cat is either sunning or needs ironing.


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