The last 10 have brought the typical December craziness of band concerts, orchestra concerts, taekwondo belt testing practice and gymnastic meets. It feels like EVERYTHING happens in December and, while fun, its exhausting.
Up 1st - Billy's orchestra concert. Unfortunately, Tracy had a work event that night (a Christmas choir concert with her organization glee club - super fun) so Tom was the lone parent. It was a combined 7, 8 and 9th grade concert and Billy even brought his violin home to practice! This was the 1st time ALL YEAR that we've actually seen said violin so it was nice to know it exists. His group played 3 songs and did a lovely job. Its always hard to see Billy because of height issues, but he seemed happy with this performance and he got to sit by his friends. What more can you ask for? Oh yeah, how about a trip to Chicago? Yep, the orchestra takes ALL kids, grades 7 and up to Chicago for a 5 day concert tour trip in May. He's super excited and we dont blame him! Almost makes me wish I was in orchestra (almost).
And, coming in 2nd ... Jimmy had a band concert the same night Kay had her 1st gymnastics meet. Luckily they were both at the high school and "all" we had to do was run back and forth between the gym and auditorium. Kay's started at 6pm and Jimmys at 6:30pm so it was almost do-able. We only had to miss 1 of Jimmys songs. There were a few interesting points in Jimmys concert. A) His band teacher didnt talk NEARLY as much between songs as he usually does, so it went pretty fast. B) most of our friends with kids in band were talking about how band this year seems really "easy" and all the kids are complaining that the music isnt hard enough. Interesting... C) Jimmy's sax broke after the 1st song so he "faked" it, with facial expressions, fingering and movement. I have to say, I was convinced he was playing. The band played 5 songs and were done in 25 minutes. Bravo! Jimmy is considering this year his "test" year. He is also playing the jazz band and the teacher knows that he can play drums and sax. But, in practice this week, another kid wanted to play drums so Jimmy said, "ok, then I'll play guitar". The teacher was floored - "you play guitar too?" Yep. Needless to say, he is now teachers pet. He figures he just needs to be consistently good and he'll be in the top try out band next year, at which point the music should get harder and he should be in with the other kids that are complaining about the music being too easy this year. On top of that, he's thinking of going out for choir next year too. All these music groups go on concert tours so I also suspect the travel is intriguing a motivating factor. We dont care as along as he loves it and participates and gets better. Wish I was 1/2 as talented.
Kay's meet was interesting. We haven't posted too much about her decision to move from club gymnastics to high school but lets just say, its been a study in decision making and trade offs. On one hand, she wants to get better. On the other, she doesnt want the pressure of club and is tired of working so hard. She was convinced that she could join high school, have fun and still get better. After the 2nd practice she came home and said "now I know why high school isnt as good as club. They dont have the same level of quality equipment, coaching and spotting". Good observation. Next, competitions. ... She gets majorly stressed out about competing and we are a bit worried since, with club, she only has 5-6 meets/year. In high school, its 16 meets. Wednesday night, she was a mess. Crabby, short and we were seriously worried about how much sleep she got. But, she was up and ready to go early on Thursday. She seemed to have fun at the meet and the vibe was definitely MUCH more relaxed than a club meet. She took 2nd on bars and 3rd on beam (against Eden Prairie) and no one else on her team even placed. She fell off beam on her front aerial (which is damn scary) and looked a bit nervous on all events. BUT ... they were new routines with a new team a new coach and in a new competition format so we think she did great, given all that. Plus, now the 1st meet is behind her and she knows what to expect. We suspect she'll nail it in the next meet (next Friday). On the way home she said "our varsity team really isnt very good'. Not sure what this means for her interest in continuing with High School past this year, if she'll go back to club or stick with High School. We just want her in gymnastics and to find a way to have fun but also deal with her stress/anxiety. Wish us luck.
Check out the photos we got, not all are great but when you are moving a million miles per hour, its the best we can do:)