Thursday, December 15, 2016

Catch Up

Once again it has been a long time since I've posted on my blog. It is not for lack of desire but rather a lack of time. Right around Thanksgiving time life got crazy busy and it hasn't slowed down yet. I'll just give a quick summary of our regular week schedule, if you'll humor me.

Mondays- Joey band at 3:30-4:30 then basketball practice from 4:30-6:30, Tommy basketball practice from 6:30-8, Ben basketball practice 6:30-8 (different location than Tommy), Me- Symphony Choir rehearsal 7-9:30

Tuesday- Two basketball games (Joey and Tommy) between 5:00 and 8:00

Wednesday- Ben band at 3:30-4:30, Tommy basketball from 5-6:30, Ben basketball from 6:30-8

Thursday- Two basketball games (Joey and Tommy) between 5 and 8

Friday- Joe basketball 4:30-6:30

Saturday- Ben basketball games between 8 and 11 in the morning.  

Two weekends ago we also had FOUR basketball games for a tournament that Joey was in, Grace's 1st Reconciliation, Ben's basketball game, church, and then a meeting with a couple Todd and I are preparing for marriage in the church.

Last week also had a band concert during the week, I had two extra Symphony rehearsals (on Tuesday and Friday) and then my concert on Saturday night. 

There have been plenty of meetings and ortho appointments, and sicknesses, and volunteering, and snow storms thrown in there too.  

Don't even get me started on all the Christmas prep. But I am close to getting a handle on all of that now so I finally have a moment to sit and write it all down. 

I can't possible recap the last month so I won't even try. As a matter of fact, I don't think I ever even posted pics about the boys' football season. So, excuse me while I sneak a bit in here now.
 All of the boys really enjoyed football this year. Joey had some nice plays and was able to play both offense and defense. The highlight of his season was getting an interception on the 2 yard line and saving the day. Very exciting. Tommy's team was unstoppable. The defense (coached by Todd) allowed only one touchdown all season. Very impressive. Ben had his first season on tackle football. It was a big adjustment but by the end of the season he was really getting the hang of it. He is already looking forward to next year.
Okay. That's all I have to say about that.  :)

This year Joe was the only one to go up to deer camp with Todd. Tommy had gone up for the youth hunt but decided to stay home for the regular deer camp because he was concerned about keeping up with his homework from the days he would have to miss school. It was a very wise decision on his part, I thought.

To make the most of his time at home with us I took all three of my homies (kids at home with me) to The Milwaukee Museum. I forgot how awesome it was.  It has been a while since we've been there and Grace didn't even remember her first visit since she was only about two years old. I was SO excited for her to see the butterfly exhibit. It is my heaven.
I had butterflies landing all over me. I honestly could have stayed there all day long. Unfortunately, after about 45 minutes Tommy started to get a little antsy. I can't say I blame him but Grace and I really didn't want to leave. Maybe I could plan a girls' trip there sometime.

Anyway, there was tons left to see. We love the dinosaur exhibit and of course Old Milwaukee. Tommy was studying ancient Egypt in school so he really enjoyed that portion of the museum. It was a really fun day and we finished up with some yummy food at La Fuente. A family favorite.
Strangely enough, neither Todd nor Joe even saw deer this year (and we are sadly out of venison now). It was a very good decision for Tommy to stay home. He would have been very bored. And I certainly enjoyed having him hang back with us.

Thanksgiving was lovely. We hosted my family on Thanksgiving and then we hosted Todd's family on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We had a lot of food and a lot of fun. Saturday ended up being so unseasonally warm that after dinner we all went outside and played basketball in the dark. We played "lightening" and I'm amazed to say that my boys and I ran the court and won the majority of the games. It was a lot of fun.

As I mentioned the boys (Joey and Ben) have been taking band lessons. This was their first time in band and I was excited that they both wanted to learn an instrument. A little while ago they had their first band concert. I'm sorry to say it will also be their last band concert. I think right now there is just too much going on. Both boys decided not to keep up with their instruments because they just feel overwhelmed. While I completely understand, and think it is wise of them at this point, I'm also a little sad. Joey is quite a natural in music and was able to play the clarinet and make up his own songs and keep up with the kids who have been in band for years. It was pretty amazing. And Ben really struggled with the sax but made huge strides and enjoyed being in the concert. Perhaps when summer rolls around I can convince them to start up again if we are not too busy then. 
The first and last band concert

I also had a concert. The Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performed Handel's Messiah. It was a fantastic concert. A great way to get into the Christmas spirit. 
I got my 5 year service pin! Wow, time flies by.

All three of my boys are now in basketball. Joe and Tommy play for school and Ben plays on a YMCA team. They are all having a great time. Ben is doing amazingly well for his first year of basketball. Watching his first game was so much fun. I was shocked at how well he handled the ball and his shooting. I had no idea he had gotten that good. I usually just see him shooting around in the driveway and he doesn't get much opportunity to dribble with two older brothers. I guess playing with the older boys pays off.  

Tommy continues to do well and his sixth grade team is pretty talented. They struggled together last year through an up and down season but they are tough to beat this year. Tommy has become a great ball handler and his shot has really improved too. He is having a lot of fun on basketball this year.

As for Joe, he has been playing with the kids on his team for four years. They've never had a winning season. They've played against tough teams and were always quite a bit shorter than the other teams. Something happened over the summer. The boys shot up and grew overnight and polished up on their basketball skills. They have become a competitive team for the first time. Their first game they did not play well and they got handily beat by a school rival. The next games were in a tournament of very good basketball teams. Our boys ended up losing the very first game (against the team that made it to the finals) but won the rest of their games and took first place in the Silver bracket. It was a huge lift for our boys who have always played hard but never really had the success they wanted. 
I'm proud of this group of boys who have worked so hard and always had a great attitude whether they won or lost. This is a great bunch of kids.

Last night we had the kids' school Christmas concert. It is the last Christmas concert Joey will ever have at that school and with his siblings. Made me a little emotional, if I'm honest. Joey did a great job on his solo as the singing shepherd and he played one of the wise men too. Tommy, Ben, and Grace did a great job singing with their classes too. It was a beautiful concert.

With most of the concerts out of the way we now just have to get through the next week of preChristmas madness and then we will eventually get a rest. A few more basketball games and practices, wrapping presents, getting the teachers gifts and wrapping them, the kids' secret santas, Christmas treats, and one more Christmas play. Yikes. That sounds like a lot. 

Breathe. Just breathe. 

It's a hectic time of year but a wonderful time of year. 

I hope you are all keeping up with the craziness of the season and finding moments of complete peace and joy as well.


betty said...

The saxophone, if I remember correctly, is a hard instrument to play. Kuddos to Ben for at least attempting it for a bit of time.

Always so enjoyable to see a post from you and to catch up on what your family is doing. Lots of activities there, but I'm sure lots of fun times together. It warms my heart in so many ways :)

Merry Christmas!!!!!


Bijoux said...

I was wondering where you've been! You are a busy mom and I know how much time all those activities take. Heck, I'm still driving one of mine to ortho appts!

Have a beautiful Christmas with your family. XO

Anita said...

Reading this post brings memories that are not far in my past. As of August, 2 of my 3 kids are in college, and one is in 11th grade. As I read your schedule, I asked myself if I did all that! I don't think I did quite as much, but enough to have those same feelings you have - love of experiencing your children's activities and growth, but worn out in the process.

It's fun to see how they've grown! Hang in there these next few days, as I'm sure you still have things on your to-do list. And then pick a pajama day to do absolutely nothing while the kids are out of school. They're old enough to make meals for themselves and you, too. :)

I enjoyed reading your comment on my last post, which was written in June. You commented in September, but somehow it didn't show up in my email inbox and I happened to discover it today while looking for another comment. I like hearing about people's authenticity; be it our boldnesses or our vulnerabilities.

Have a Merry Christmas with your family!

Riahli said...

Oh my goodness I'm exhausted just reading all that! I would never be able to hold up under all that pressure, I turn into a screeching anxiety ridden mess. No fun for anyone. Sounds like you are able to make it work though and to have your kids be able to become so talented in so many different ways is pretty awesome. You and your family are just amazing! Merry Christmas!!!

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson