Gymnastics and a Bike

It has been a busy couple of weeks around our house. It seems like we are always on the go between doctors and gymnastics.  I had to see a new doctor regarding my work injury to my leg and foot. This doctor couldn’t believe I was still working and decided to keep me home. It isn’t going to be good money wise, but maybe it will give my foot a chance to heal. They are going to send me for more tests and hope to figure out the problem. I hope they can because three years of this is enough to drive anyone nuts. It is sad that there are so many hoops to jump through just to get better, and that those few bad apples that want to cheat the system make it harder on the rest of us. Well I guess that is enough complaining. We had a few good things happen this week.

On Tuesday my little one {from now on I plan to refer to her as AJ} had her second inner squad of the season. She has been practicing very hard and really trying to fix those little mistakes in her routine that get points deducted. Up to this point she had never received a score of 9 or above on the bars. She normally gets a pink or purple ribbon on the bars during competition and honestly I didn’t thing a rainbow ribbon would be possible. Well I was wrong! On Tuesday she got a score of 9.2 on the bars and she was beyond excited. She was so proud of herself. When we got home she started to call everybody to tell them she finally got a 9 on the bars. He routine was very good and aside from her leg hitting the bar during the leg cut it was the best I have seen her do. This was not a real meet but it was judged by a real judge. She doesn’t have another official meet until the end of May so her goal is to get a rainbow ribbon in the next competition. I think that score gave her the confidence boost she needed.

 

AJ has been saving her money since Christmas and finally spent it this week. She bought herself a bike. She has had a small bike for a while but it has training wheels and she couldn’t ride the bike without them. Since I have not been able to walk very well for the last three years, teaching her to ride a bike was something that just couldn’t happen. She was determined to ride though and after a few minutes struggling she got it. She can’t turn very well yet but she is getting the hang of it.

 

School work has been about the same. Her reading comprehension skills are getting better and she is doing a lot better at reading out loud. In multiplication she is doing well. This week she will be focusing on her sixes. I am anxious to see how she does once she gets to the “harder” facts. Problem Solving is coming around and I can see her using her thinking skills to solve the problems. We finished the second week of spelling and she got 100% on the spelling test. I really like the Soaring with Spelling program and hope it continues to work for us. We started our volcano lap book and so far she likes the lap book idea. If this one goes well I plan on doing more of them with her. We are taking a break with Spanish now that the review is done and plan to pick it up with the start of next year.

We have decided to try and make a menu plan for the month of May and stick to it. We are going to do a big shopping day for the month and hope to cut out all of those last minute trips to the store. I am hoping by doing that we will eat out less and save some money. I will let you know if we are able to stick to our plan.

That’s how our week went. It never seems like there are enough hours in a day but we get through it.

First Meet of the Season

Yesterday we had a stressful start. My little one had her first meet of the season and we left early to make sure we were able to get a good parking spot. For those who don’t know, finding parking and a seat at a meet is difficult. If you are not there early, you could end up parking a few blocks away. I can’t walk that far so we try to get to the meets early. We were on the freeway when we heard a funny sound and the car became hard to steer. After a moment we realized we had a flat tire. Luckily I was able to pull over quickly. We called Triple A, and my dad to bring us the other car. It seemed like it took forever and we had decided that more than likely we would not find a place to park. My dad and Triple A actually arrived at the same time, so we took the other car and were off to the meet. When we got there cars were parked along the side of the road for a few blocks away from the gym. We drove closer and found a handicap parking place right in front. Then we checked in my little one and paid to get into the meet. We had a seat right up front and were able to see quite well.

My little one and 2 of her teammates waiting to begin.

My little one got her rainbow ribbons (9.0 and above) on the beam and vault and a pink(8.5 – 8.9) on the floor. Bars is not her strong suite and she received her first blue ribbon (7.0 – 7.4) yesterday. She was upset, but I hope that the “bad” score pushes her to practice harder. She has not been putting in her full effort at the gym lately and it shows. They don’t have another meet until May so we will see if she can get her scores up by then.


Warming up, our girls are in purple.
 

Our level three team now has 6 members two of whom competed for the first time yesterday. All of the girls did very well and with the exception of the bars received a rainbow (9.0 and above) or pink (8.5 – 8.9) ribbon on all of the events. They have all improved from last year and it is neat to see them change over time. One little girl on the team tried so hard to get a rainbow ribbon on an event last season and was unable to do so. Yesterday however she received two rainbow ribbons and her teammates were so happy for her. Over all the meet went very well. It was a mixed meet which had the level threes and fours competing at the same time. Those type of meets don’t happen very often, but it was a nice chance to see some of the other girls from our gym compete.

After the meet we went to lunch at Richie’s Diner and had a good meal. It was a long day!
I will be posting the videos of her beam and floor routine on Facebook, if you would like to see them here is the link to the page. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Daily-Life/411107232304311

Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day! When I was in school Valentines Day was one of my favorite days. I loved to fill out the little cards and hand them out to my friends. All day I would wait until the last hour of school when we would have the Valentines Day party. My little one never had that experience. She attended a regular school for kindergarten, first and second grade but they went year round. She was off track every February so there was never a Valentines day party at school. She always wanted to give out valentines so we would let her give them out at gymnastics. It has been a tradition for her to hand out cards at the gym and a few years ago she started handing out goody bags to her teammates. She looks forward to it every year and is always so excited. I am glad even though she goes to school at home that she is able to participate in Valentine’s fun.

This year I found a new facebook group called Homeschool Swapping Adventures. I am still very new to the group, but they do postcard exchanges, state box exchanges, pen pals and there was a Valentine Card exchange. I have to admit that after a Christmas Card exchange in another group I was not to sure about signing up to exchange Valentines. We had sent out over 30 Christmas cards and were suppose to receive that many in return, but only received about 6. I asked my little one if she wanted to participate, and she was excited. We looked online to get some ideas for a homemade card and after seeing so many we decided to use parts from a few different ones we saw. This is what she made. They are hard to read in the picture they say, “You are just write valentine”

She sent them to two little girls in West Virgina. Yesterday my little one received her cards in the mail along with two heart shaped cookies. She loves to get mail so that made her day. This is one facebook group that we will be sticking with.
We won’t be doing too much to celebrate today. I got my little one a small box of chocolates and a giant pencil with hearts on it. I found a cute bread stamper that stamps the words I love you when the bread is toasted. I am going to try that out for breakfast. We will be checking on grandma and then spending three hours at gymnastics. Thursdays are always busy. I hope that everyone has a wonderful Valentines Day!

Weekend Get Away

 
We had a long drive to my little one’s championship meet so we decided to make a weekend out of it. The hotel that was closest to the meet and was giving discounted rated was the Renaissance ClubSport Hotel in Aliso Viejo California. We left Friday afternoon and had an adventure. I had printed directions to the hotel off of mapquest. I use that site a lot and normally it is fine. This time however the directions included toll roads which we had never used before. To top that off we forgot the GPS at home! We didn’t mind paying to use the toll road, but we didn’t know what we were doing or where we needed to be. It was a tad bit stressful but after two toll roads we made it to the hotel.

When we arrived we were greeted by a very nice lady in the lobby. We had a little issue because we don’t have credit cards just a debit card. I guess that they can’t put a hold on the debit card and charge it at the end of the stay like every other hotel we have been to. We got that little situation figured out and then headed to our room.

 
Now to be fair I am a member of the Disney Vacation Club and have not had to pay for a hotel in about five years. We always stay in a Disney hotel so this hotel was a bit different. It would not be our choice of a hotel as it was more of a fitness hotel. Two handicap adults and a child don’t exactly fit in at that type of hotel. That being said we did enjoy our stay.


The room looked very nice when we arrived. We stayed in room 418 it was a handicap accessible room.

 
 It had two full size beds, a desk area with a very comfortable computer chair, and a rolling table. The bathroom was beautiful.

 
 
The only complaint with the bathroom area would be that they didn’t give us enough towels. There were three of us but only two towels. That was an easy fix though. The shower was our favorite part. It had a seat that could fold down or be pushed up out of the way. The water stayed nice and hot and because of the seat I didn’t have to stand on one foot the entire time. (I still have a cast on my leg) There was also a TV, a closet area and a coffee maker. The view, although it was of the parking lot, was rather nice. The main thing missing from the room was a small refrigerator. That was disappointing as we have medication that needs to be kept cold, but the ice chest worked pretty well. Another thing that we were not too happy about was the coasters; they were used already and looked discussing. We threw them away.

 
The first night we didn’t do much. We took a shower, watched some television, ate dinner and relaxed.

 The next morning we slept in and then began our day. We brought along some food with us and ate breakfast in the room.

It was fairly cool that day. We went to find the gym that was hosting the meet, and it was good that we did because we got a little lost on the way. After figuring out where we needed to be the next day we were hungry. Since we didn’t have the GPS and didn’t know the area we didn’t go too far. We found the town center that had everything and looked for a place to eat lunch. We ate at The Habit Burger Grill. I had never been to one before but it was very nice.

Then we stopped at a few stores and decided to head back to the hotel.

 

When we returned to the hotel we were very disappointed at the state of the room.


 Again there were only two towels, the coasters that we had thrown away were back on the counter, the beds looked like they were made by someone who didn’t know what they were doing, and they didn’t leave any ice bags.


We called and got more towels and new bags for the ice bucket and decided to do a little school work.


After a while we headed down stairs to explore the hotel area. We found the gift shop closed it was only 7pm but it was already closed. We explored a little and found a sauna, work out room, and basket ball court. We didn’t use any of them. Then we looked at the restaurant. Unfortunately it was not our type of food. Everything was very high class and had a lot of sauces. With my food allergy I need to know everything that is in the food, so we couldn’t eat there. We went back to our room and ordered pizza from Porky’s Pizza. It was very good.


While we waited on the pizza we worked on some science lessons. She learned about worms, sponges, leaches and other creatures. After a few science lessons we played a few hands of UNO.


She won every hand and had a fun time.


The best part of being at a hotel to her though, is getting ice.


She loves to use the ice machine.


Our pizza arrived, we ate, and then got ready for bed. We packed up our stuff and got a good night sleep.


The next morning we checked out very easily and headed to the gymnastic meet.


Overall I would say the hotel was nice. It didn’t seem to be too kid friendly. House keeping left a lot to be desired but customer service and friendliness was excellent. We enjoyed our stay however it is not likely we would ever return. For those that enjoy working out and who want to spend time getting massages it would be a great fit. I think we will stick to Disney Hotels though.

 

Gymnastics

The fall season of gymnastics is over for the year so our life will be a little less hectic for a few months. Well less hectic with gymnastics anyways. Our weekends will not be taken up with meets. My little one is on the level three competitive team and they just competed in their championship meet last weekend.

It was the fourth meet away from the gym for the season and overall she had a great season. Where we live the level three gymnasts don’t receive actual scores for their routines, they are given a ribbon that represents a score within a certain range.
Green – Below 7.0
Blue – 7.0 to 7.475
Purple – 7.5 – 7.975
Hot Pink – 8.0 – 8.975
Rainbow -9.0 +

This season she received mostly rainbow and pink ribbons with only two purple ribbons on the bars.

The bars are her weakest event, she is working on her arm strength and hopefully her bar routine will improve. On the other hand she is great on the beam.

She received a rainbow ribbon all but one time on the balance beam. Her floor and vault vary, some meets she would get a pink ribbon and other meets she would get a rainbow one. A lot depended on if the judges were judging extra hard or not.

The girls don’t receive scores in an effort to keep the competition down. They don’t compete against each other but against their self. I like that idea but wish that they were given an actual score. My little one receives the highest ribbon on the beam most of the time so she feels like she doesn’t need to improve on any skills, but in reality she does. If she knew she scored a 9.1 she might work to get that score to a 9.5. On the other hand if she knew she was only .1 away from getting a rainbow on bars she might take her coaches corrections more seriously. Either way she had a lot of fun this season and did a great job.

She has a great coach who works with her very well. She is hard on her when she needs to be but doesn’t push to hard. My little one loves her coach, she has been working with her in some way for the last four and a half years.

She loves to compete, but this is my little ones favorite time at gymnastics. They are no longer practicing routines, but they are working on new skills. This is also the time of year that I won’t always stay at the gym and watch her. Having her home with me all of the time makes Christmas shopping a tad bit difficult so I have to grab every spare moment that I can. This year has gone by so fast. I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is next week. The good news is that my little one has the week off of school so we might be able to do a few fun crafts for the season. This will be the first year trying to make a corn free turkey dinner so wish me luck.

Summer = More time in the Gym

Now that it is summer my little one will be spending more time in the gym. She has been doing gymnastics since she was two and loves it. She has been on the competition team for a year now and enjoys competing. Competitions are over until September and now they get to learn new skills and perfect some ones they have been working on. She will be at the gym 4 to 5 days a week for about 3 hours a day. Hopefully her arm strength will improve and she will have a lot of fun. With the extra classes she gets to be with more girls her age and I think she really enjoys that. Right now her goal is to move up to the next level before September, I don’t think that will happen but if she works extremely hard it could.


This is my little one in the blue. It was at the gym’s summer show.



The only downside to more practices is that I am away from home longer and have not been able to do all of the things around the house that I would like to. With my foot being hurt it makes it hard to do a lot at a time. Sitting in the gym can get boring day after day as well, but she likes us to watch. I couldn’t come home anyways being as the gym is about 40 mins from our house it would take way too much gas. Overall it is worth it, she gets some exercise and gets to do something she loves.