Sunday, June 19, 2011

Emily's swim meet

Emily had a long course swim meet yesterday.  That means that the pool length was 50 meters instead of 25 yards, and is considered an olympic size pool.  It was a USS swim meet with judges all along the pool.  It was a beautiful day, not too hot or cold.  We had front row seats, thanks to my parents for getting there early, and could see just about everything. 

Emily was swimming four events...three individual events and one relay. The events were 50 backstroke, 100 breaststroke, 50 freestyle (all three in the 10 and under age group) and the 400 medley relay (12 and under age group)  Emily was placed pretty well in the individual races.  In all of her races there were at least 75 kids per race, which broke down to about 8 heats or more.  The fastest kids are in the last few heats.  Emily was constantly in the second or third to last heat.  She was ranked about 20th in one event, 16 in another and I can't remember the third but it was basically the same. 

Emily didn't beat any personal bests necessarily, but I am proud of her for going out there and doing her best!  Here are the videos of her events. 

50 meter backstroke....

100 Breaststroke...

50 Freestyle...

Enjoy!  There will be  more to come throughout the summer! :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

chris and his bully

So, my son had a bully in kindergarten and first grade.  His name was Joey.  Joey disguised himself as a friend but then would always try to get Chris in trouble.  He made it his mission in school, to get Chris in trouble.  In kindergarten it was just things like kicking Chris in the back during carpet time.  Chris would get up and move and then get in trouble for moving during the lesson.  It was little things like that, and Chris just didn't know how to handle it.  He was dealing with his ADD on top of that and we dealt with one issue at a time. 

In first grade Joey was put in a separate class so as not to bother Chris anymore, at my request.  But lunch time recess was nothing any of us could control.  He would come up to Chris and trip him, or punch him, or kick him.  We started to tell Chris to fight back, knowing he might get in trouble.  I had a conference with both teachers, Chris' and Joey's, to try and get things to stop.  It didn't really work.  The lunch moms weren't doing anything about it and weren't telling the teachers, so most of the time the teachers had no idea what was happening.  I had assumed Chris was letting the teacher know...and so went the entire year of miscommunication.  The last week of first grade Chris broke down and begged to be transferred to a different school.  I finally had it, and talked to his teacher at one of the end of the year field trips.  She was shocked at the things I told her and promised that Chris' last week of school would be peaceful.  Joey ended up having indoor recess during lunches so that Chris wouldn't be bothered and then Joey was transferred to a different school.  It was suppose to help him with his mental issues.  Chris was overjoyed at the prospect of having a "Joey free" second grade. 

Second grade, this past school year, was so peaceful.  Chris thrived in his new class with his new friends and not having Joey to deal with.  His grades got better.  His behavior issues got better. It was a great year for him! 

Last night, at Emily's softball game, Chris and I were sitting in the stands.  He was playing his DSi and I was watching warm ups.  I looked up and saw Joey coming into the stands.  He looked at me, then at Chris, and went to sit with his mom.  His cousin, or sister, is on Em's team.  He didn't say anything for awhile but he was starting to talk loudly about Mario Bros and things he knew Chris was interested in.  When that didn't catch Chris' attention he started to mention Chapman Elementary, "where he used to go to school".  Then he started talking to his brother about this kid named Christopher who used to go to school with him.  The whole time this is going on, Chris is completely ignoring him.  He knows it's Joey and made the decision to ignore him. Well, this went on and on and on for the whole game.  It got so bad that the kid was standing behind Chris, breathing on his neck while watching him play his game. He kept saying that he knew he was Chris.  Chris, Chris, Chris, Chris, Chris Herman...etc etc.  Then when Chris went to the bathroom with Jerry Joey came up to me and said "you're chris' mom".  I looked at him and said..."yep"....then continued to concentrate on the game.  That through him for a loop because I just acknowledged that we knew who he was but were choosing to ignore him.  When Chris came back he proceeded to put his earplugs in so he didn't have to hear Joey.  That just infuriated Joey, which made Chris happy.  I think you get the idea on the whole two hours. 

I am just so proud of my son.  He stood up for himself to this kid by ignoring him.  He didn't take any of the bait!  At the end of the game, Joey yelled to Chris..."hey Chris"...and Chris forgot and said "yeah?".  Joey..."wanna play with us"....Chris "no thank you".  I patted his head and we left for the car.  It is amazing to me how grown up one kid can get in one year.  I have so much respect for my child today and know that he will do OK in life.  He stood his ground, as hard as it was to do.  He didn't let Joey get to him.  It is amazing to watch your child figure things out like that and I will never forget that.  Also, to hear him retell it to Emily and hear her respond to was fun to listen to.

To my wonderful are growing up to be a fantastic kid.  I am proud to say I am your mom and that you are my son!  Keep it up!  You will go far in life!!!  I love you so much, Christopher Michael Herman!! :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My horrible thursday night.

So, my 2005 Taurus gave out on me.  I was on my way to work Thursday afternoon and had swung by the Starbucks beforehand.  I needed that shot of espresso to get me through the whole afternoon of teaching.  When I pulled back onto Southfield my transmission just wouldn't shift gears.  The tachometer was going crazy!  I managed to make it to work and called Jerry.  He didn't answer  so I called my friend Bill.  He told me he'd meet me at work when I was done and take a look at it.  I was also supposed to meet my friend Karen after work, we were going to go see a movie at the IMAX theater that night. 

I taught my students and then went into the lobby of the studio and saw both of them sitting there, so we headed out to look at the car.  Karen ran to the closest gas station to buy some trans fluid, couldn't hurt to try that first.  Didn't work.  After a while of trying different things, driving it around (or attempting to drive it around) I finally called AAA for a tow truck.  Bill and Karen stayed with me through out the wait, of which I was so grateful!

Now, the story of the tow truck ride is a whole other ball game.  That guy was NUTS!!  He loaded my car onto the bed of his truck and locked it down.  So far so good.  Then he turned to me and told me he wanted me to ride with him.  I asked him if that was really necessary since I had friends to ride with, and he said yes.  I looked at my two friends and told them to follow the truck, and asked them to not lose me!  This tow truck guy was just weird.    I got in the cab and the guy takes off.  Not slowly, mind you, fast!  He pulls onto Southfield and runs the first yellow light.  Now we've already lost Bill.  He wasnt' even out of the parking lot yet.  Karen stuck close!  Through the next yellow, and the next.  He didn't like to slow down or stop.  I looked in the side mirror and still saw Karen behind us.  Now we are turning onto Biddle to go south into Trenton and the driver pulls out his GPS.  Instead of just letting me tell him where the place is, he is trying to load it into the keyboard.  The truck is kind of weaving now and I'm getting a bit scared.  He comes up on a light that is red, with two cars in front of us, but he's not stopping because he is too busy looking at the GPS.  I start making some noises like "ah ah ah ah", I just cant seem to find my words to yell "hey jackass!  There is a red light!!" .  He looks up and yells some choice words, swerves into the turn lane and stops for the light, barely.  Karen is watching this and just can't believe her eyes!  We drive through Wyandotte and get to a major intersection where the light turns yellow.  I assume he's going to plow through it, like usual, but NO....he decides to slow down as if he's going to stop.  Then at the last minute, he plows through the light...full steam ahead!  Karen is now stuck for the light.  She races up to catch us when the light turned, telling me that she went pretty pretty fast to catch up to us.  We did manage to get to the garage, but boy it was quite the ride!

Karen and I had already missed the movie so the three of us went to Mr. Nicks for some dinner and a couple beers.  I have some of the best friends out there!  I would have been lost without them. 

Since that night I have sold my car to the garage, and took a loss I'm sure, and bought a new Dodge Journey.  With the kids getting older and needing room for bags, equipment and gear  I think this is going to work out nicely.  I am NOT going to like the second car payment but we did it before, we can do it again.  It'll just take some adjusting.  The car is not loaded with all the high tech stuff, but it has enough for me to need to get used to it!   

People have said I am spoiled for getting a new car but in reality, I will have this car for seven years.  It just made more sense to get a new car at this point in our life.  Right now, I'm just thankful I came out of the two truck experience alive! :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thank you God!

This morning was quite an eye opener.  At 5:30am Jerry and I were jolted out of bed by a bright light, the house shaking and the sound of bricks falling.  We thought our house had been hit by lightning.  A quick check told us that we were fine and looking out the window it looked like the neighbors were fine.  Jerry went to lay with Emily, who was freaking out, and I went back to bed. 

When I woke up the  kids I checked my FB really quick and saw Jerry's status, that the neighbors house had been hit by lightning and half the roof was gone.  I was in shock!  I made the kids lunch, like everyday, and then ran outside to see for myself.  I had instant tears.  When I went back in Emily wanted to see so she put her shoes on and outside she went.  When she came back in she looked like she was in shock too.  We talked about how lucky we were and I reminded her about how every day we have on this earth is a gift from God and that we need to treasure our lives together.  I think she finally gets it!

When we went out to look for the bus we noticed a TON of kids at our stop (our driveway).  Kids I had never seen before were now at our bus stop.  They all wanted to see "the house", so they walked two blocks to our stop.  Crazy!  After the bus had left I ran in, got dressed, and started to walk down there to see if there was anything I could do to help.

As I was walking down there, Cindy saw me (the wife of the house) and started walking towards me.  I gave her a huge hug and asked her if she was OK.  She started to explain what happened.  The corner of their house was hit by lightning which instantly ignited the roof into flames.  She didn't even know.  Never heard a thing.  Either did Brook, the youngest daughter.   A neighbor from down the street, she doesn't know who it was, woke her up by pounding on her front door trying to get them to wake up.  He basically saved their lives.  The oldest daughter was at a friends house for the night and the husband is out of town for work.  Someone had driven by and saw the fire, and called Chelsea at her friends house to say she should probably call home, that he thought her house was on fire.  Chelsea tried to call but couldn't get through.  She found her way home and realized that everyone was safe. 

I just can't even imagine having to deal with all of that.  I am so thankful to God right now.  I am thankful that it wasn't my house.  I am thankful that the whole family is safe down the street.  I am thankful for another day on this glorious earth! 

To anyone who follows my blog, you are loved.  I appreciate every single one of my friends and family!  I don't take one day for granted or one relationship for granted.  Thank you for being a part of my life and know that you are appreciated!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Wow! What a week!

So, I know it's been a really long time since I've blogged.  Honestly, I just haven't felt like it.  I have been really busy, but not blog worthy stuff really.

About three weeks ago my choir, Seaway Chorale, had its spring concert.  We celebrated the four past directors and had a fabulous concert.  I finally got the solo I have been dreaming of for years, On My Own from Les Miserables!  I have auditioned for it at least four times and ended up with it this time around.  I always knew I would rock it out but for some reason no director felt I would until now.  I got up there and put myself into the role.  I put all my heart and soul into my performance and was told that it was my best ever!  I was so proud of myself! 

Since then I have made some major decisions in my life that has had me kind of down in the dumps.  I have spent the last ten years on the Board of Governors, nine of them spent as the Music Manager.  That means that I have had a hand in what music is sung on the concerts and have loved that role!  I enjoy being a leader in an organization that has been a part of my life for the last 30 years.  It has been stressful and not free of much drama, but I have loved every minute of it.  Last week I stepped down.  I was asked by my family, parents and some friends to consider it for the last two years and after much bugging I decided that I must be missing something they aren't.  I must be so stressed out and upset that I just can't see the forest for the trees.  Well, they were wrong.  I was right.  Basically, I spent last tuesday crying all day long, knowing that I was giving up my beloved spot on the board that night.  I sat in my car outside the church where the annual meeting was being held and bawled my eyes out.  I just didn't think I could make my legs take me in there.  It was one of the saddest days of my life, I will admit.  During the meeting I couldn't really talk to anyone and felt like I was attending my own funeral.  A little dramatic you say?  Maybe.  The fact is Seaway is my life.  I loved being a part of helping it succeed.  Now I am no longer that person. I feel like a part of me has died.  That was the start of a very long week. 

I have been trying to walk everyday, until a couple days ago when my knee started acting up.  It is so swollen, so I took a break.  I was really enjoying my time in the fresh air and sun but now feel like I am once again unable to do things I want. 

Now this week I have sang at two funerals.  I have my third one tomorrow.  It has made me really think about what is important and value the life I have.  The first funeral was for my H.S. swim coach's wife, Donna Monas.  Max was very touched that I sang and played the funeral, so that made it worth doing!  As I stood in front of the congregation, I looked out and saw so many of my old was a bit overwhelming.  I saw swimmers from my era and parents of students.  I remember, back in high school , when Max and the other coach Jim would get so upset at the thought of me spending my summers at Interlochen instead of swimming.  I would tell them that I couldn't make money with swimming but I could with music.  It was always an issue.  Swimming and Music just didn't mix well back then.  Now, this week, I was able to take that music and comfort him in his time of grief.  That was a very overwhelming feeling.  I realized the irony in it and just hoped that he understood finally.  When Max sat me at his families table for the luncheon I realized he really did.  I was overwhelmed at him doing that, and realized just how close you really do get to your coaches growing up.  They are like second or third fathers, mentors, and rocks! 

The second funeral was for my friend Sylvia's mother and tomorrow's funeral is for my other friend Denise's father.  Both ladies are in Seaway Chorale with me and it is nice that they want us to celebrate their parents lives with them.

All of these funerals have made me pause and think about life a bit.  I am a very lucky person.  I have a wonderful family, living parents, and tons of friends who would do just about anything for me!  What more can you want?  Life is good, and I just need to remember that on a daily basis. 

Hug your kids, your parents, your spouse and your friends.  Cherish every relationship you have, no matter how good or messed up they are!  You just never know when He will call you back home! 

I love all of you!!