Friday, February 17, 2012

Club Basketball

Club basketball is offered at our school for students in grades 5-8.  Since Cara is a 5th grader this year, we asked if she wanted to give basketball a try.  Her first response was "NO".  But, then after a few phone calls and a little prodding by a few parents she decided to give basketball a try. Simply put, Cara has never played basketball before.  She attended basketball camp last year, but didn't really seem that interested.  Cara is not really the aggressive or competitive type. 
Cara's grade at school is the smallest grade and the whole 5th grade only has 11 girls.  Therefore, they needed almost every girl to agree to play club basketball for this to work.  They ended up having 9 out of the 11 girls decide to play.  These girls have been practicing three times a week since the beginning of the year.  They have team jerseys and also team t-shirts.  Last Friday they all wore their team t-shirts to school for a jeans day.  They looked very impressive for a group of 5th graders.
Out of the nine girls, six of them are over 5 ft tall, so they have a size advantage over almost all teams.  However, most of the girls have never played basketball before, so, therefore, it is a huge learning experience of all of them.
Last weekend was their first tournament.  They played in the Norfolk YMCA tournament.  The tournament had 88 teams competing in boys and girls divisions in grades 4-8.  The girls played three games on Sunday.  They lost all three games, but gained valuable experience to help them in the future.  We were so proud of them.  Even though they lost, they never gave up or quit trying. 
Cara did score a few points.  Usually she plays low post because of her height.  This is such good exercise for her and this has improved her friendships which each of her teammates.  This weekend we will be at another tournament and the girls will play a minimum of three games again.  We all hope they come home with at least one win, but they know that they are still learning how to play the game.
Cara did play a team from Wayne.  These two little cheerleaders would lead the Wayne fans in cheers during timeouts and during halftime.  They were so cute that I just had to take their photo.  They had older siblings playing on the team and it was a way for them to stay interested after being in the gym for a whole afternoon sitting through many games.

Take care,

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Monday night was the last night of this session of gymnastics, so, parents could stay and watch the progress that the gymnasts have made.  Usually, we drop off and dash. 
Ashlin warming up.
More warm up activities.
The bars may be Ashlin's favorite.  She loves to swing and climb.
Trying to balance on the beam is hard.
Erica also enjoys the bars.

I love Erica with this pose on the balance beam.
After doing a bridge then they had to turn it into a walk over. 

Both girls are showing improvement and have both signed up for the next six week session.  Next session they will both be in the same class since Ashlin is having a birthday soon which will bump her up a level to beginner.  Gymnastics helps them build tummy muscles and improve flexibility, strength and balance. 

Take care,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy 9th Birthday Erica!

Yesterday was Erica's 9th birthday! 
She took treats of juice boxes and cheese and crackers to school for the students in her classroom.  She did get to pick the restaurant that we went out to eat at for supper.  Erica picked Taco John's to eat supper at.  She loves their potato oles and tacos.  She did get to pick out an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.  Erica didn't want a traditional cake this year so instead she picked an ice cream cake.  She did receive lots of cards in the mail with well wishes from family (She has been stalking the mail for the last week).

I do find it hard to believe that she is already 9 years old.  It seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital.  Erica was born the day before a snow storm (what OB doctors say about the barometric pressure change effecting labor probably is true).  She is growing up before our eyes.  Erica is known for being sneaky, but having a quick smile and a good sense of humor.

Happy 9th Birthday to our Erica!  She may have already out grown her baby nickname of "pack of sugar".

Take care,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Catholic Schools Week

Last week was Catholic Schools Week and the week was loaded with activities for the students and their families.  The week always kicks off on Sunday with a Soup Luncheon after Mass.
A penny war was held at both the grade school and the high school and all the money raised was donated to the Humane Society to build a new shelter for homeless pets.  Sister Kevin came and spoke to the students about the cause.  At the end of the week the students at the grade school had raised over $1,000.
Sister Jania came another day and spoke to the students about vocations.
One morning the parents were greeted by the teachers while dropping off with a cup of coffee and a candy bar as a thank you for sending their children to Sacred Heart.
Archbishop Curtiss was at school one day to bless the new oratory (chapel) in the elementary school.
The Archbishop stayed into the afternoon and watched the high school peer ministers put on a living rosary.  This was a truly amazing experience to watch and listen to.  Candles were placed on the gym floor in the shape of a rosary and then lit one by one as the rosary was recited by all in attendance.  As the rosary was being said each mystery was acted out on the stage by a group of high school students.
Afterwards the Archbishop answered questions from the students on a variety of topics.  For example, If his hat is heavy, if he wasn't the Archbishop what job would he have, what his hobbies were, etc.
On Friday the entire school had an assembly put on by the "Spoon Man".  He had a great catholic message for the older students and was very entertaining for all the students.

It was a great week with many activities.  I have said before that I am glad that we chose to send our children to a faith-based school.  Yes, it is sometimes hard, but definitely worth the sacrifice to have our children in an environment where it is okay to pray and talk about their faith.

Take care,

Sorry these photos are so small.  When I copied them from the school's website this is what happened.  I tried to enlarge them and then they became distorted.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

4-H Project Day: T-shirt Chemistry

T-shirt chemistry is an activity that combines chemistry and art to create a t-shirt that looks like it was tie dyed.
Place the plastic cup inside the middle of the t-shirt.  Position the opening of the cup directly under the section of the shirt that you want to decorate.  Stretch the rubber band over the t-shirt and the cup to secure shirt in place.
Place about 6-9 dots of ink from one marker in the circle pattern about the size of a quarter in the center of the stretched out fabric.  If you like, use another color marker to fill in spaces in between the first dots.  There should be a quarter-size circle of dots in the middle of the plastic cup opening when finished.
Slowly squeeze approximately 20 drops of rubbing alcohol into the center of the circle of dots.  As the rubbing alcohol absorbs into the fabric, the ink spreads in a circular pattern expanding outward from the center.  The result is a beautiful flower-like pattern.  Apply as much or as little rubbing alcohol as desired, but do not let the patter spread beyond the edges of the cup.  Allow the developed design to dry 3-5 minutes before moving to a new area.

Heat set the colors by placing the shirt in a laundry dryer for 15 minutes.  Other suggestions including rinsing the shirt in a solution of vinegar and water as a means of setting the colors.

The girls thought this project was fun and easy.

Take care,

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ashlin's Big Day

Last Thursday, February 2nd, was a BIG DAY for Ashlin.  Last Thursday was the day that Ashlin graduated from Speech Class at school.  This was a huge accomplishment for her.  We were not surprised when Ashlin was tested for her speech and we found out that she needed to go to speech therapy class twice a week.
Ashlin receiving her graduation certificate from Mrs. Johnson.  On Thursday, it was the last day of speech for 4 students in the building.  Mrs. Johnson was sad to lose some students, but she was so proud of them and their accomplishments.
In honor of Ashlin's last day of speech, she gave a speech in front of her class.  Ashlin's class had no idea where she went when she would leave the room.  Ashlin has been going to speech class since she was in preschool and she has been the only student in her grade level to attend speech.
Following is Ashlin's speech that she gave in front of her class:

I started speech in the third quarter of Preschool. My speech teacher was Mrs. Johnson. I could not say the sounds of f,th, g,m,and k. I went to speech on Mondays and Thursdays. I did worksheets on the sound that I was on for that week. Sometimes we played games. I had problems saying words such as: girl and frog.

I still did speech in Kindergarten. I still had Mrs. Johnson as my teacher. In Kindergarten I worked on the sounds th,g,and f. I did not have to work on the sounds k and m anymore! I still did worksheets and played games. I still went to speech on Mondays and Thursdays.

In First Grade Mrs. Johnson was still my teacher and I worked on the sounds f, k, and m. In First Grade I only went to speech on Thursdays. I did words on cards. I also played on Mrs. Johnson's i-Pod Touch. One Thursday Mrs. Johnson told my mom that I would NOT have to go to speech anymore.

Speech is for people that do not know how to say certain sounds. Mrs. Johnson helps people like me who do not know how to say certain sounds.

I do not have to go to speech any more.

I thank Mrs. Johnson for helping me for the three years that I was in speech.
After Ashlin was finished, Mrs. Miller, showed the class Ashlin's speech that she wrote with very little help, except for Cara typing it for her.  Ashlin then answered any questions that the class had for her.

Daddy videotaped her speech while Mommy took pictures to remember Ashlin's big day.  In honor of Ashlin's big day she provided snacks for the class in the afternoon.

We were all sooooo proud of her that day! 

Take care,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Project Day: Ceramic Tile Coasters

Another project that the girls both chose to complete was to make four ceramic tile coasters.  First step was to select four pictures that you wanted on your ceramic tiles.
Then you had to put glue (mog pog sp?) on the tile surface and place your picture.  Cara chose two volleyball pictures and two basketball pictures.  Erica chose a few soccer pictures and a few dance items.
Then they had to let that layer dry before adding another two layers of the glue.
After letting the coasters dry, then a spray was applied to preserve them.  This was a quick and easy project.

Take care,