Thursday, February 26, 2015

Kay and Jimmy sports update ( Billy piano recital next week)

Jimmy is heavy into 7th grade basketball, every day after school and 2 games/week. Unfortunately, the team isn’t doing well (1-9 record) and the games are all at 3:45pm, perfectly bad timing for parents. Tracy was able to rearrange a few meetings and actually catch a game this year. It was nerve racking!   1st off, he’s the tallest kid on the team – by far! If he stood up straight, he’d even be taller than the coach. He’s on the team with some of his besties (Anders and James) along with a whole new slew of friends.   If you haven’t been to a 7th grade basketball game lately, let me give you the run down.  Individually, these kids have talent; they can shoot, block and pass.  Collectively, it’s a goat rodeo. Think full contact basketball with kids ranging from 5’ to 5’ 10” tall who all think they are the next Kevin Garnett.  It’s a fast paced game with tons of attempts at 3 pointers (which almost never make it but it’s too hard to pass up the glory of the shot) fouls (Jimmy consistently fouls out of games) missed passes (Jimmy throws the ball so hard he practically knocks over this teammate) and missed free throws. 

We keep telling the kids ‘games are won on free throws’ and ‘use your fouls wisely grasshopper’ but to no avail. I’m surprised that more kids aren’t hurt on a daily basis. But…they are definitely engaged (i.e.: intense) and are getting a great workout. I feel bad for the coach.

Despite his best attempts to teach them the game, they go out there and the frontal cortex of the 12/13 yr old brain takes over. Its every man for himself.  Needless to say, the kids aren’t big fans of their coach. I think it’s a lose/lose situation and note to self – never volunteer to coach 12/13 yr old boys basketball. There is a week left in the season, we’ll see what happensJ

Kay and Tracy had a “date” day and went to see the Gopher women’s gymnastics team at their MN meet (Hamline, Gustavus and Winona State). I didn’t realize it but they are multiyear Big 10 champs and it shows!  (I felt bad for the other teams, the U just wiped the floor with them …)  It really was as close as you get to Olympic quality gymnastics on a random Sunday afternoon.  The facilities are impressive with big screen, montages of the players, rally cries and incredible coverage of the meet.

Goldie the Gopher was even there getting the crowd amped up.  Kay was immediately smitten and declared “I am totally going to the U to compete in gymnastics, I want to be on the BOARD!!” (see photo to know what I mean).  We were there with some of her teammates and they were in heaven. Running around, getting treats, watching routines, talking about what they will be able to do some day, getting temporary tattoos, etc etc…  The girls were impressive and there we a few moves that were hard to watch and made your heart stop. If Kay is able to do those one day, I’ll need warning during the meet to NOT WATCH!  They were handing out posters of the team and after the meet, the girls could get the teams autographs, so so cool and really inspirational for the kids.  On the way home Kay was googling which level you need to be at to compete at the university level. Currently Kay competes at level 5, they are talking of having her skip level 6 and go right to level 7 (the only difference between level 5 & 6 are two skills that she’s been actively practicing/mastering – they think she’ll have them nailed in the next month and then she can go right to level 7). 

 You can compete in college at level 9 but to get a good scholarship and into a big/good school, you need to be at level 10.  Level 11 is training for the Olympics.  Given she’s got Jr High and High School ahead of her still and with the rate she’s going/improving/working, this is really within Kay’s reach.  She’s excited and totally recommitted to gymnastics. Super fun Sunday!            

Another side bit of good news? Tom’s mom (Kay) is in chemo treatment and handling it really really well. None of the challenging side effects.  Keep your prayers coming, they are working! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Random updates, good news, bad news good news

Starting with the good news, we are having a really fun February!! Everyone seems to have come out of their post holidays January hibernation and were ready for some fun. Jimmy had a Bar Mitzvah (Jacob aka Snowflake), Billy and Kay had a dance party at Tae KwonDo, Tom and Tracy had dinner with Jim/Jen Fellows, we ALL ate yummy brats at the New Bohemian sausage and ale house by our house with the VanMeters, Big 10 subs with Wendy and a gated community party where the kids overtook our house and the adults when to a sing a long with Erin Schwab (our favorite local performer - think Bette Midler; huge voice, show tunes and great '80's ballads). The kids all had Vday parties at school and while Jimmy's basketball team isnt winning, he's having a blast with his friends. Its all good!

Then, on the evening of Vday we learned that Tom's mom (Kay) was getting admitted to the hospital with severe bloating in her abdomen (bad news).  They removed 1 liter of fluid and started tests. We drove up on Presidents Day to visit her and see how she was doing. She looked great and was in good spirits ... all things considered. The doctors knew it was cancer but didnt know the type or severity until more tests came back.  Also at the hospital was Tom's dad (Jeremiah) sister (Brigid) brother (Pat) and aunt Marty. It was super nice and low key and fun to catch up even if we were all a bit jumpy. I think Kay mainly wanted to get out of the hospital so that she could get some good sleep. Hospitals are no place for sick people!!   Kay made Oreo cookie squares and once again proved her Master Kids Chef worthiness. Everyone raved about them and it was nice to have a bit of a treat together.

On the way home, we got the best bad news you can get!  (aka: good news) Kay has a very treatable and minor form of ovarian cancer. 3 months of chemo and she should be as good as new.  Funny how that sounds like good news when you worry about the worst (but hope for the best).

Please send thoughts of peace and healing to Kay. I'm sure the next few months will be challenging, but its do-able, especially with the families/friends support.

Give everyone you know/love a big hug and recognize how blessed you are.... Be grateful for everyday!!  Love to you ALL!