Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Thrill and the Agony

I am in Olympics withdrawal. I admit it. I miss the sound of gold medals clinking together in the water cube. I long to see the chalk flying from the hands of the gymnasts and Bela Karolyi's outbursts about underage Chinese gymnasts and incompetent judges. I was becoming addicted to Michael Phelps and his momma, and the soothing sound of Bob Costas' voice. The drama...the anguish...the triumph...I miss it all.

And to jump from the glory of Olympics, to the excruciating DNC, is almost too much to bear. I want to go back to Beijing. Put Michael and Dara back in the water. Toss Nastia (what an unfortunate name) and Shawn back on the beam. Drag Misty and Kerri out onto the sand. I'll even watch water polo, speed walking, and wrestling. Just give me more Olympics please.

18 months from now, the Olympics return, a day's drive away, in Vancouver. We are already planning to go. Now how do I get to the Athlete's Village? I want to meet some figure skaters...

Out of the Mouths of Babes

We've been watching the Democratic National Convention this week. The other night when Hillary Clinton was speaking, Steven looked up from his cars and said,

"Why is that lady so angry? She sounds mean."

At the very least, I'm pretty sure she didn't help Obama a whole lot.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Idaho State Fair

Complete Horror::

Steven watching the cows being milked at the fair: "But that's not where OUR milk comes from is it Momma?" Maybe our children are a little too sheltered...


Riding rides, eating corn dogs (and smashing mustard all over Mom's shirt), cotton candy and funnel cakes, games, exhibits, and perfect weather!

(Aren't they cute waiting in line together to go on the jeeps?)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Adventures in Cheerleading...part 2

The things I learned at Cheer Camp...

1) Don't ever give a former cheerleader-turned-mom a microphone. You will be there a long time. You will have to stand and sit multiple times. You will have to scream after every sentence she says. You will have to translate words like "cheer-ability" and "rally" and dance to songs with the lyrics "ice cream and cakes and cakes" and "hot, hot, hot". And you will definitely want to pummel her with her spirit stick by the end of the weekend.

2) The stereotype that high school cheerleaders are ditzy, partying snobs is off the mark. (Not that I ever thought that!) About 20 varsity cheerleaders from Meridian and Capital High Schools gave up their Friday night and Saturday to come and mentor 400 little cheerleaders at cheer camp. They sweated with us, they performed for us, they encouraged the girls, and they worked as hard as everyone else. It was really cool to watch.

3) The mythical "spirit stick" really exists. And it was handed out, in it's tacky bejeweled glory, to the squads that had the most spirit (and then we cheered "We are proud of you, hey, we are proud of you!"...even though we weren't really proud, we were a little jealous and indignant that our spirit wasn't recognized...but of course that's not very good "cheer-manship"...see I can do it too...) I'm not really sure what makes a "spirit stick"-worthy squad, which is probably why our squad didn't win.

4) Coaches are expected to perform with their squad at the end of the weekend. Yes, to my shock and horror, I had to get up in front of all of the parents and football teams and perform 2 cheers and 2 pom dances with my girls. It was bad...very bad. 'Nuff said.

5) My daughter is awesome! Last weekend was such a bonding experience for Megan and me. See, I don't really care if she has a great high-V or tuck jump, I care if she is full of grace and virtue. And she totally rocked the character-aspect of the weekend. She was such a leader, encouraging her teammates, exhibiting a good attitude, making sure everyone was included and had a partner, and working hard. I was so proud of her and that makes this whole experience worth it! (Humiliating performances and all...)
It was soooo hot... and we were so tired!Megan is good at this whole cheerleading thing. We didn't know what we were getting into when we signed up for this, but we really are having a lot of fun!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Adventures in Cheerleading

So, I somehow have fallen into the role of Head Coach of Megan's cheerleading squad. And I am totally out of my element. Contrary to the popular perception of me (perky + blonde = must have been a cheerleader), I was not and never have been a cheerleader. (Although, that's my favorite lie to throw in in the icebreaker game "Two truths, and a lie." It gets 'em every time!) No, my glory days of high school were spent...wait for it comes... marching band! Yes, I was the queen of all band geeks, successfully mastering 4 instruments (flute, oboe, piccolo, and english horn), and leading the corp of 160+ as drum major my junior and senior year. While the cheerleaders in my high school were winning homecoming tiaras and little trophies with megaphones on them, my sites were set on "Superior with Distinction's" and "Best Marcher" awards. (I rocked a "right flank" like nobody's business!)

And our uniforms were a far cry from the perky, short skirts, form-fitting tops, and puffy cheer bow. My drum major skirt reached past my knees, black riding boots peeked out from underneath, and my polyester jacket, still smelling faintly of the previous owner, was tucked into wrist gauntlets and white gloves. The only skin I showed was on the back of my neck, owing to the required, slicked-up hair bun that gave the illusion of a uniform, gender-less group.

While the cheerleaders were worrying about knee injuries and properly executed jumps, I was wincing in pain from the 3-inch blisters that my drum major boots left on my heels, and building up my arm and shoulder muscles to be able to withstand waving my arms for a full 15 minute show. (I are impressed. 15 WHOLE minutes....but that uniform WAS heavy!)

So, as I wade through the foreign world of cheer gear, herkies, and spirit chants (relying on googling "Cheerleading for dummies"), I am reminded of my own glory days...and glorious they were!

(::Caution...the following images may be disturbing to some viewers...proceed at your own risk::)

Pretty cute for a band geek! That instrument is an oboe for those of you non-musicians.
Nothing weird here...he was the head drum major, my junior year. It was tradition for co-drum majors to have portraits done. The gun was part of our uniforms, usually worn in a holster...before the days of zero tolerance. The photographer thought he was being cute.

Stay tuned for "Confessions of an Academic Decathlete"...where I will regail you with stories of triumph, medals, and toilet-paper-on-the-shoe mishaps, in the mecca of all nerd meets...the Academic Decathlon. (Yes, I really did compete (and medaled!) on our school's academic decathlon team...and you thought I was just another ditzy blogger.)

Capital's Race Weekend

We had so much fun this last weekend! It was Capital Christian's Race Weekend. Our friends, Pastors Jeff and Melinda Knight from The Rock Church in Monroe, WA were here. Jeff is an amazing pastor...oh, and he also happens to be a NASCAR racer! (I think Jeff might be the coolest pastor in the Northwest.) Jeff and Ken have been friends for many years and we were excited to introduce Jeff and Melinda to our church and city, and watch Jeff race at the Meridian Speedway.
The weekend started with a Men's Breakfast on Saturday morning. Jeff put our church logo on the hood of his race car. Nice!
This little boy was lovin' it!
Jeff spoke at the Men's Breakfast.
Ken went along to the Meridian Speedway and hung out with Jeff and his crew in the pits. Jeff's crew is an amazing group of volunteers who work their tails off getting him ready to race.
Go #70!!My first experience at the races. We were totally into it! Over 350 people from Capital came out to watch and support Jeff and his teammate, Fred. Way to represent!
Jeff stayin' loose with his gorgeous daughter, Seven Addison, before the big race.One of the risks of racing. The driver walked away, just fine.Ken values his friendship with Jeff. They've mentored, supported, and encouraged each other over the years.
Jeff finished 5th. He was totally robbed! Check out his take on the race on his blog. He'll be back again, to win!Good friends, great times, and awesome memories! Jeff and Melinda spoke at Capital on Sunday morning. They have amazing stories of God's redemption, healing, strength, and faithfulness. They are truly living out the love of God in the world around them. We were blessed to have them here this weekend.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Child-Like Faith

Last night, the power went out in our neighborhood. It was out for about a half an hour. Just long enough to start gathering candles and flashlights. As we were speculating the cause and how long it would be out, Steven piped up...

"Well, I guess we're gonna' have to get a new house."

So funny and silly, but oh to have that kind of faith! He doesn't worry about what the future will bring, where our finances are, or if daddy and mommy are going to take care of him. He just assumes that if our house doesn't work anymore, we'll get a new one.

That's the kind of faith that God wants from me. Trusting in him every day to supply my needs and take care of me. God is faithful! His eyes are on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Coach Holsinger

Megan is doing Boise Optimist Cheerleading this year. Boise Optimist is the equivalent of Pop Warner or mini football. I got an email this evening from her coach, telling me that I was her assistant coach and that I needed to attend the coach's meeting on Wednesday night with her. Wahaat....I didn't know I volunteered to be an assistant coach? I vaguely recall, during sign-ups, checking a few of the parent volunteer it possible that I checked "assistant coach" without realizing it? What have I gotten myself into?

We'll see how much they really want me, when I show up with my rambunctious 3-year-old who has his own ideas about how to restructure the program. Do they allow boy cheerleaders?

Friday, August 1, 2008

This one's for you Trace!

One of my favorite camp pictures

Career Prerequisites

Today's car conversation...

Steven:: Momma, can firefighters get married?

Me:: Sure, lots of firefighters are married!

Steven:: Then, I wanna' be a firefighter when I grow up!

Me:: Awesome, son.

Glad to know he's got priorities.