Sunday, January 22, 2012

Growing fast, college classes, gymnastic meets, and nose to the grindstone

Boy howdy, did we ever hit the 2012 pavement running! Not that we weren't dragging ourselves to the finish line of 2011- we've been ragged for awhile. We are all full on activities. No more new stuff for awhile!

Son turned 16 right after New Years. He towers over me now, and is within an inch of Dad's height. I'm still the boss of him, though. (-:   As excited as I am to see he and his sister grow up, I feel the aches of empty nesting on the horizon. It will still be years before it happens, but I feel it just the same. Son got his driving permit a few weeks ago, and we are off parking and three-point-turning in the empty parking lots. On top of that, he started his first course at our local community college a few weeks ago, too. It's a video production class, 3 credit hours, twice a week. He is interested in media production as a career, so I hope this gives him a little taste of the possibilities.   Son also continues to work as a gymnastics coach at our gym, which rounds out his activities. 

Daughter competed in her very first USAG gymnastics meet last weekend, up in two-big-cities-to-the-north. She has wanted to be on the team and compete for quite a long time now, and we are thrilled for her! She did well, and we all had a good time at this fancy, very large meet. We also got to watch an exhibition of the really good gymnasts the night before Daughter's session, and were wowed! (it was the highest-scoring level 7-10 optional teams of the meet, for those who know what I'm talking about)  It was a fun, humorous event, to boot, and saw some very amazing gymnastics.  My parents and aunt came out to watch Daughter compete, so that made it special, too.

If you want to see Daughter's floor routine from the meet, you can find it here.

Being brand-new to the meet experience, and not quite sure as to what we might expect,  I am happy to report that it was very good- the atmosphere was relaxed and low key, even for such a big meet.  The gymnasts relaxed with their coaches between events, and teamates openly supported each other.  In the years working up to this experience,  one thing I had wondered about is if the negative behavior that can be found in other youth sports would be found at our meets.  I am glad to say there was none of it, in my experience, that day.  I'm sure it happens, but am glad we didn't see it.  The parents, coaches, gymnasts, and spectators all acted admirably, from what I saw.     Two Olympic gymnasts were on hand to talk to and write autographs, as well as give out awards at the end.  (one of these gymnasts was actually the meet director)  Every gymnast got an all-around medal, and a custom leotard.

As fun as it was, it was a lot of activity for me and my introverted family.  After 4 hours of all the people and happenings and noise, we were ready for a battery recharge.   Lots of carbs and chocolate sounded good to us- Olive Garden was the last stop before hitting the interstate for home.  (-:

Daughter's next meet is this coming weekend, one One-City-to-the-north.  We're getting geared up for another meet week!

In other news, we got the winter/spring garden started this weekend.  I don't always have a garden in the spring, but we opted out of our summer garden last year, because of the drought conditions.  We had pulled all the garden beds out back then, and tilled the dirt to be exposed to the elements and "rest".

We have two new beds rebuilt now, and have put in the peas, bok choy, and roquette/arugula.  Next month, we can put in spinach, soy beans (edamame) and green onions.  I March, we'll put in carrots, parsnips, and try some casper pumpkins.  My regular pumpkins have not made it the past few seasons, getting infected with borer beetle larvae.  They made for good science experiments, but not for pumpkins!  This casper variety is a white-skinned squash, and it can be planted earlier than regular pumpkins.  I hope to avoid the beetle problem with the different variety and planting time.  If they work, and we want orange jack-o-lanterns this year (or any other color!) perhaps we can spray paint a few.  (-:

Happy Asian New Year!  It begins tomorrow, and it is the beginning of the Year Of The Dragon.  Husband and Daughter are both dragons, so they are very excited.  We are making spring rolls tonight, and hope to make other Asian dishes as the week progresses, as we fit dinner into our hectic schedule.  Off to shred the napa cabbage for the spring rolls.....

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