Thursday, June 30, 2011

And Now, Swim Lessons

We may have just finished swim team, but now we have moved on to swim lessons. When Ella's favorite swimmer (and person) Rachael said she was going to be offering 2-week swim lessons from her house, I immediately signed up! Addie is working on actually swimming (which this week has translated to feeling brave enough to put her face in the water) and Ella is working on the technique of her strokes and learning to dive. Ella especially loves the lessons because it means she gets to see Rachael EVERY day. Hopefully she survives the long holiday weekend without any Rachael time :-). 
I took some pics on the first day and things have changed a little since then. Ella is now doing her practice with her buddy Johnny before Addie and her little friends do their swim lesson. It has worked out perfectly and I wish they could keep it up all summer long! 
(it is especially nice since Mike is home and I don't have to worry about keeping track of Preston by the pool :-)
ready to get started
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(we went and got Addie her own goggles after the first practice...purple ones of course)
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Addie with her buddy Ellie
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this little frog was quite a distraction
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checking on the froggie once the lesson was over
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and then it was miss Ella's turn
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ella's First Track Meet

Saturday morning was Ella's first track meet. It was a little disorganized (the Y's track program is pretty new), but overall Ella still had fun and I think the meets will get better as the season continues. She ran in the 100m, 200m and the 4x100m and was ready to go home after and relax :-)...Mike and I were too after trying to keep up with Addie and Preston during the meet.
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warming-up
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the 100m
the 200m
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

What We Did

this week...
went to the $1 movie to see Megamind (one of our favorite movies). I was using it as a trial to see whether I should try taking Preston to see Cars 2 at the theater and he will be waiting until it comes out on DVD :-). He does love seeing all the Cars 2 promotions everywhere we go though.
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Mike took Addie with him to San Antonio to visit his fam for a couple days and it was just me, Ella and Preston here. They left Wednesday morning when we FINALLY got some rain! I had a photo shoot that had to be rescheduled and a million errands to run, so although it didn't pick a great day to come (for me anyway), we were still glad to get it. It's amazing how green everything looks again after that one day!
Wednesday night I brought them both to the YW activity with me and Ella thought she was pretty cool. She has come a couple times with me over the last month due to our crazy schedule and she really, really can't wait until she is 12 and can come for real!
The next day helped me juice some lemons for this dinner, which they didn't like, but the adults loved (we went and ate it with my mom). Then it was off to Ella's track practice. Preston wanted to join the team too...he is PURE energy.
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(these ones are from my cell phone)
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Friday morning it was off to a canning party where we made strawberry jam. It turned out super yummy and I came home with some canning supplies. I have been wanting to try canning some homemade salsa and raspberries are finally on sale (they are my favorite), so I think I may be brave enough to give it a try now.
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Addie had lots of fun on her special trip too though, including a day at Six Flags where she was the only little kiddo to be spoiled :-). It was a nice little break for everyone, but we are all glad to be back together now.
I couldn't resist, sorry Ella ...
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Father's Day

I had been planning to take some cute pictures of the kiddos with Mike on Father's Day, but of course it didn't happen. Instead, right before bedtime I took some of them goofing around on the bed, but they ended up being just perfect. They sure are lucky to have such an awesome Dad and they LOOOVE him so much...me too :-)!
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

The End of Swim Season

Ella was really sad to see her swimming season come to end, and even I was a little bit too...it was definitely my favorite sporting experience so far. 
I brought our old camera to take video of Ella racing but then we forgot the other camera for good pictures of the final meet...oh well, at least we still got some. I was helping get Ella's group lined up for the races this meet and Mike was on his own keeping Addie and Preston contained (no small task), but we were all cheering for Ella Bella. I was most thrilled that she swam her backstroke race this time...and even won her heat (the third one, but still:)! Ella and I stayed for the entire meet this time so we will know what to expect next year when she will be competing in all the strokes and to cheer on her favorite teammates, Rachel and Mason. Rachel and Mason were the main two teenagers who helped her everyday at practice and also happen to go to our church. Every Sunday she now really looks forward to seeing them, especially Rachel who is currently her most favorite person in the world. Luckily, Rachael is going to be doing some little swim lessons from their house (for a great deal) and Addie and Ella will get to spend the next 2 weeks seeing her everyday still. We had fun cheering on the team and Ella loved being there for the end to help push Coach Rod in the pool and swim a little bit before we headed home. I sure wished I could jump in the pool too, it was HOT!
(also, this article on drowning was over on Melancholy Smile today and I thought it was a good read, especially with all the swimming we do in the summers here)
hanging out under the tents waiting for their races
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with her swimming hero, Rachael
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Ella and her friend Johnny waiting for their turn in the freestyle relay  
(they were the only team in the 2nd heat, so they got 1st...and they were thrilled!)
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Ella is at the opposite end from me, with her little swim cap on
25m freestyle, heat 3, 1st place with time of 50:75 seconds
(the video isn't great, I was still helping swimmers in my lane while recording)
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I switched lanes so I could help Ella for the backstroke because she was still really nervous. She was scared to get in, but she did it and we were so proud of her!
25m backstroke, heat 3, 1st place with time of 1:08:60
at the finish line waiting for the last swimmers to get in
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with her other swimming buddy, Mason
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Friday's Fun

By Friday I felt like we were really back on track with normal life again and the kids and I decided to tackle a baking project. We made some chocolate chip zucchini muffins with this recipe and they were delicious!
Preston wanted a banana first and he such a character lately (sometimes silly, but mostly stinker) that I couldn't resist.
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We were having fun smelling the spices before measuring them and Preston's faces were so funny I tried to video it. Of course this time he didn't react as well and then Addie inhaled too deeply and freaked out.
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That evening Ella and I headed to the pool for team/individual pictures and some playing in the water afterward.
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silly faces
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This was the first day Ella got up the courage to go on the slide by herself too...we are making such big improvements in the water this year!