Posts Tagged ‘swimming’

January 16, 2013…. the year begins…. tardily…

January 16, 2013

This is the longest hiatus I have ever had from MSJ.  I am astonished that you faithful readers keep coming back and reading in my absence.  Hopefully something I wrote somewhere along this journey gave you something to smile about!  At this point, headlines would not even fit the bill for the last two months of craziness in the Crosby household.

We had the Great Computer Crash of 2012 which began with a mystery download from an unnamed son (who knows better) which slowed our computer to a snail’s pace, but gave us a nice icon of Jesus wearing red head phones.  So, off the tower went to Howard, the other savior (little s).  THEN, the plug-in dealie on my laptop broke… broke right off the board (whatever that means).  We are still in denial about having to pay the same cost as buying a new laptop to have it repaired. So we have been internetless since December10th…. until yesterday.

Good thing there was a three week road trip in there!  It wasn’t our original plan, but it worked in our favor to drive up and down the western states and into Canada using our friends’ and relatives’ computers.  The Crosby Canadian Christmas Adventure was cold but quite enjoyable spending time in British Columbia… by the fire place and eating hot soup and sipping warm cocoa.  Rick and the older kids went to a spin class several times, but also took in: swimming, ice skating, paint ball, pickle ball, a glow-in-the-dark ping pong tournament, snowboarding and skiing.  The kids haven’t seen their Uncle Glen in 10 years!  Hopefully it won’t be that long next time!

Thirty-six hours after we returned from the west coast road trip, we embarked on our southwest road trip to take Larisa (our firstborn, first graduate, first everything) to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK.  If you haven’t been to ORU  (or to the 1960s in a while), it is a trippy scene….. I’ve never seen so many buildings made of gold and sidewalks that are diagonal.  Seriously, if you are a film producer and need a 1960s set, DON’T BUILD ONE!  Go to Tulsa; it’s all there for your 1960s dreams to come true.

We did have a successful first launch of a child from the nest.  Rick and I had plenty of reflection time (due to him mistakenly taking three extra days off work) as we drove from OK through KS, CO and NM on our way home to AZ.  My conclusion to our happy send off is that we have no regrets.  We feel like we did what the Lord called us to do with homeschooling and pouring our lives into raising our kids.  (Not that we are done, by any stretch of the imagination…. nine more years.) Most importantly, I am thrilled that Larisa gets to go to a school still based on the foundation is started on….. Jesus Christ.  I’m so blessed knowing that she is surrounded by other kids who are sold out to the Lord and are striving to learn to be more like Him.  ORU is unusual in today’s world and it is the perfect place for our girl right now. (The JB posters were a joke…. thank GOD!)

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Yes, I still accidentally set six places at the table on the first night home, but there were no tears.  Only smiles of joy and gladness.  And I can blog again.  My world is right-side up, despite a choppy start to 2013.  Happy New Year!

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G R A D U A T I O N ! ! !

June 4, 2012

We did it!  We successfully got one whole child through homeschooling.  This is a monumental achievement for a homeschool mom.  We wonder all along if this day will ever come.  We hope and pray that we aren’t wrecking the kids by doing this ourselves.  And that right there is the key…. I never felt like I was doing this by myself.  It was me, and my terribly supportive husband, my co-op mamas, our support group, the state organization (Arizona Families for Home Education) and mostly God, who called us to this way of life and education 12 long years ago.

I have no regrets for choosing homeschooling.  All the sacrifices and tears have been worth it…. every little bit.  I do have a few regrets involving course choices and follow through, which we all encounter our first time.  I have learned from my mistakes and have already made corrections for guinea pig #2 who just finished his first year of high school.

I liken the homeschool journey similarly to childbirth.  The painful memories diminish as the joys grow each day.  Truly my happy homeschool experiences outweigh the horrible ones 100 to 1, for which I am stupendously thankful.  Our family is close and we love each other.  We love being together.  We love playing games together and they don’t end in yelling matches or wrestling fights.  We even love vacationing together.  Secretly, the kids even love learning together, but they try to keep this under raps.

The great news is that I am still looking forward to planning next year!  I still love homeschooling.  I love being with my kids.  I love learning and teaching.  However, it is with great relief in my ever-loving-heart that I have exactly 81 days of NOT homeschooling ahead of me.  They will be busy days of summer movies, packing and planning for college for our graduate, swim parties, a 9-year-old birthday celebration, a marriage retreat, a relaxing vacation to the beach and then Tahoe, the homeschool convention and a visit to friends in Kansas and Colorado.  I have waited for THIS DAY…. June 4, 2012 for a Loooooooong time.  It arrived.  I am beyond elated.  :o)

Monday’s Smorgasbord

June 6, 2011

My favorite words by Nora and the definitions by yours truly:

  1. Teddy Burr (teddy bear):  when a stuffed animal gets under your saddle.
  2. Unnerwhere (undies): what’s that unner there?… unnerwhere?
  3. Peaksa (pizza): when you take a little looksie in the oven door to see if the cheese is indeed melted.
  4. Enbalope (envelope): when you quit eloping earlier than planned.
  5. Austeen (Austin): the new teenage version of her older brother.
  6. Chickenout (check it out): what you do when you are too scared to jump into the cold water.
  7. Heronimo (Geronimo): an old Indian hero – Nora yells this when she jumps into the swimming pool.

Other tidbits of information from today’s saga:  VBS has begun… hip hip hooray!  My mother and I went shopping and out to lunch!  Boooyah!  The colorful fabrics at JoAnn’s caused me to be deeply inspired to CREATE!  I bought a pattern to sew a dress for Nora!  Ohhhhyeah!  I was dismissed from jury duty before they even saw my outfit!  Rockonnnnn! And I got a ticket from a nice officer of the law.  Booo-hisssss!  Traffic school, here I come! No, I wasn’t speeding… the city closed the road that is the closest entrance onto the freeway… and I took it anyway… for the last time.

Camping Chronicles

June 1, 2011

Yes, we camped for three days in the dirt.  It was dirty.  But there was a gorgeous creek.  It was freezing… well, not actually freezing with ice chunks and all, but REALLY cold.  There was sunshine the whole time… except for the clouds, which we welcomed with glad hearts… a break from the heat of the day.  This may sound a bit like whining, but we actually had a great time laughing and laughing and laughing. 

Three camp chairs, of antiquated status, were put to rest as the bearer of weight went crashing to the dusty ground.  It was comical all three times… and I was even one of them.  Currently, I’m sitting on the front of my chair for the time being.  A bit of a bruised backside.

A highlight, or lowlight as the case may be, was my son losing his retainer.  He plucked the clear plastic guard from his upper jaw right in front of my eyeballs… he was standing in between the fire pit and the picnic table.  He had a banana in the other hand.  The scene was burned into my brain. But what he did next with the clear plastic retainer remained a mystery.  He didn’t let me know that it was missing until nighttime.  Yes, we lit lanterns and donned flashlights searching for the plastic gem… to no avail.  I dreaded the phone call to let his ortho-paying father in on the news.

The next day, he and I carefully dug through the entire trash bag… removing each and every piece to a new trash bag. It was disgusting.  Really.  Half way through the bag, he told me, “If it is in here, I’m not sure I’m going to want to put it back in my mouth… ever.” We also tore apart the boy’s tent… piece by smelly piece. Nada.

An hour later, I was envisioning his teeth moving back to their previous locations… and knew we would need to get a new retainer Thursday morning right after we arrived home.  I didn’t have the ortho phone number in my cell, so I put on my brave face and called my husband.  He was not impressed with my tale of woe.   As it happened, he was in a different state, waiting for his passengers to fly home… and the ortho number was not in his phone either.  As we made small talk I was slowly wandering around one end of the campground AND I FOUND IT!  Yes, that clear plastic gem was lying in the weeds next to the clothesline.  I screamed and yelled in my joy.  Rick didn’t understand a word I said on the phone.  Eventually we all rejoiced.  The retainer was “washed” (term used completely loosely) and installed back in its rightful place…. however a bit more snug than usual after the 12 hour absence.

See, camping went jes fine.

My Son is a STUD!

September 4, 2010

This is a blog about my son Austin.  He is 13-years-old for 10 more days.  He is one amazing child.  Please allow me a few seconds for a proud Mommy moment.  After playing hockey for 8 years, he was told in March that he has had too many concussions for any future contact sports.  We all cried for three days and then went to California for a week to recover.  Aus is very athletic.  He has a clear glass trophy on his shelf that bares proof:  National Champion – Fastest Skater.  We could not be more proud… and then hockey was gone.

Since May, Austin has started riding his road bike…. not just around the neighborhood either….long rides.  Within the last six weeks he started riding  thirty-two miles 2-3 times a week.  Intense biking.  He even got some stretchy shorts!  In June he road 72 miles around Lake Tahoe in one day.  Amazing…. and when he got home he asked if anyone wanted to go swimming in the lake. (I said no.) 

Then Austin found out about triathlons.  They are very popular in the Southwest, where we happen to live.  Might have something to do with our amazing weather MOST of the year.  It was 109 today…. not amazing quite yet.

Austin can swim.  But he has never had swim lessons and didn’t know any strokes or how to breathe while swimming until last week.  And he can run.  But he only started running within the past two weeks for training.  It was 2-3 mile runs 4-5 times.  That’s it.

This morning, my brave and strong son entered his first mini triathlon, the Anthem Sprint Triathlon.  3 mile run.  12 mile ride.  400 meter swim. 

Not only did he finish, but he took first place in his age division (11-14 years old) and beat the second place guy by over nine minutes.   His time was 1:15:39.  Then we heard the results from the next age group (15-18) and we realized he beat the winner of that category by more than four minutes.  Wow.  Imagine how well he’ll do once he learns to swim smoothly!

When asked what his favorite part of the race was, Austin replied with a coy grin, “Passing people on my bike.”  He also told me during the run when he passed other runners and they saw his age on his calf many said in tired dismay, “He’s ONLY 13!”  Made me smile.

We are so proud of Austin and the way he has kept a great attitude through the whole hockey kerfuffle.  (That’s fun to say!) Seriously, he ate, drank, slept and breathed hockey since he was in diapers.  He never played another sport…. until now.  WOW!

Wilderness Survival

May 24, 2010

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All photos courtesy of Barny Mo.

Yes, we camped in the great outdoors again.  That’s twice in 30 days and we have another adventure on the calendar for July. It’s almost time to start filming a reality wilderness show. Two days before our departure time my throat started getting hot and scratchy.  Not good.  Echinacea became my new best friend.  I figured I could be sick at home with no one to take care of me or sick in the woods with my family and friends.  Last time we camped at Lake Pleasant I was by myself with the kids for three full days before Rick showed up.  I would not have done that with a hot and scratchy throat.  But alas, Rickey was coming on the SAME day as me, albeit, nine hours later than the boys and I.

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It’s the first time EVER that I went to bed in my tent wearing my wool socks and flannel jammies before the mandatory campground quiet time commenced.  Sadly for my non-camping times, but happily for camping moments, my air mattress is more comfortable than my bed at home.  Earplugs were inserted and a blissful night was had in the fresh creek-side air.  Mornings come early outside and breakfast was consumed by 7:00 am.  By 7:30 am I was headed back to the tent for nap #1.  Nap #2 was after lunch.  Despite my throat, continual sneezing and nose blowing, we did have a relaxing time.

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Wet Beaver Creek was recently stocked with 9-12 inch rainbow trout… that were delicious!  The boys fished and fished… caught trout and crawdads… rode their bikes… hiked….. gathered fire wood…. swam…laughed and laughed…. and ate.  Then they did it all over again for two more days after that!

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Austin invented an ingenious way to keep the soles of his water shoes from bunching up at his toes.  Duct tape is the BEST!

One of my favorite moments of the trip was when all the kids climbed into the back of a truck for a quick trip up the creek for a better swimming hole.

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But Keeve was asked if he wanted to ride in the trailer behind the truck all by himself….. not knowing that the trailer had been unhooked from the truck.  The look on his face was priceless when the truck pulled away and there he sat with all of us cracking up.  He took it like a sport and laughed with us.  Good times.

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More tomorrow with my report for the National Camping Association on Chuck, the Nazi camp host.

Highly Amusing

August 6, 2009

Some of you who know me well will find this tale tremendously, highly, even ridiculously amusing.  I awoke this morning at 6:58… even though the clock said 7:03…. I’m so onto Rick’s trick of setting it ahead.  I jumped into my bathing suit, (ok, maybe jumped was a bit of an exaggeration), grabbed my water bottle, Nike goggles, cover-up, BIG towel and headed out the door to meet Donna at the Tramonto lap pool. 

Clouds are not often seen in the great blue skies of Phoenix, but this morning they were plentiful.  When clouds do make an appearance, they are often white, puffy and here only for show…. no action.  This morning, some of their uglier grey cousins showed up to bare their teeth.  Donna and I felt the sparse raindrops but jumped in the pool anyway.  There was actually blue sky peeking at us from straight above.  We swam for 18 minutes and both surfaced simultaneously at different ends of the pool…. to hear rolls of thunder break the silence of the morning.  You’ve never seen two women scramble from a swimming pool so quickly….. earlier than originally planned, but SAFETY FIRST!

I’m always reading, as some of you know.  I always have a book with me.  This cloudy, thunderous morning was no exception.  Being that I was ahead of schedule, I went through Micky Dees for a $1 breakfast burrito.  I parked in the Albertson’s lot and slowly devoured my handful of Mexican goodness while reading International Adoption: Sensitive Advice for Prospective Parents.  I bought it yesterday afternoon and I’m on page 95.  It’s a good read.  I’m relating to the two women’s adoption fear, joy, anger, sadness, doubt, elation, etc. etc.

I finally realized that the breaky burrito was gone and I should probably head home to greet my children, who will undoubtedly be lying on the couch watching a movie…. and eating crackers.  My plans were foiled by a dead car battery.   Sheesh.  My first thought was “There is no way I’m asking for help in my bathing suit!”  I pulled my AAA card out of my wallet. (Anyone remember a few years back when I discovered I had been removed from the AAA family plan???)  Well, my card expired on July 31, 2009….. SIX DAYS AGO.  Stop laughing.  I phoned Rick to inquire of my AAA status.  He confirmed that I was indeed still covered by roadside assistance, but suggested I phone a friend instead of waiting an hour for my friendly tow truck driver.  I phoned Donna… no answer.  I phoned my Mom… Dad was gone.  I phoned my Dad… he was downtown getting his tires rotated.  I phoned Jill, who told me her long tale of woe regarding a wedding-gift-headboard-nightmare that was still ongoing.  Finally I asked if she could come save me…..  I told her that I had wet hair and was in my bathing suit.  She did her normal loud guffaw and agreed to come.  I continued reading.

Jill pulled up and when I climbed out of the van in my bathing suit and cover-up, she was positively disappointed that I had my cover-up.  She was hoping for just the bathing suit in Albertson’s parking lot.  Anyway, before we electrocuted ourselves with the jumper cables (even though we knew that red stands for the blood of Jesus and is positive) a kind elderly gentleman showed up and took care of business for us.

All this before 8:30 a.m.!!!