Tag Archive | team

Crash Course in Volleyball Anyone?

If you are a Beach Boys fan, you should be familiar with the song “Be True To Your School”.  I don’t know why, but I have always loved that song.  I also know from past experience that our small school community is an awesome group of caring families.  Yet, I was still blown away from the loyalty and willingness that I encountered when I sent out my S.O.S. message.  I asked one mother, who had two children that were old enough, if one of them would be willing to be a stand in for one night.  Luckily for her children they did not have a current sports physical on file, because she was willing to throw them both into the ring with no volleyball experience what so ever.  You gotta love those moms who will volunteer their kids willingly and without their children’s knowledge.  He he he

The next mother I texted had asked her daughter and the daughter was willing to step in because her school needed her.  Her mother had told me that her daughter did not know any of the volleyball rules, but if her school needed her, she would be there for them.  The mother told me that she could tell her daughter was doing it out of an obligation to her school, not because she really wanted to play.  That was a bit of an eye-opener to see a young girl that had that sense of loyalty to her school at such a young age.  That shows how well her parents have raised her.

I had spoken to one of the faculty members earlier in the week who had mentioned that they would have loved for their daughter to play volleyball, but her daughter was not interested.  Well, I decided to send an S.O.S. text to her, hoping that her daughter would stand in for one game.  She asked her daughter again, yes, this mother asked her daughter.  The daughter was willing to try, but she really would feel better if she had someone work with her on what to expect.  So I volunteered to give her a crash course the day before to the game.

There was one other girl that I had spoken to about playing for the night.  She was very eager to try, even though she had never played before.  So I sent her mother a text and got her approval for her to play.  After I had found a second girl that was willing to play Friday night, I got back with the mother of the loyal daughter.  I told the mother that her daughter was welcome to play for our team if she wanted to AND if the mother wanted her to.  I knew that she was a mother of four children and that her girls already participated in gymnastics.  So I didn’t want to put an additional task on her plate.  The mother appreciated my offer, but said that if I was covered for the game, she would prefer her daughter did not add another extra curriculum activity.  I told her I totally understood and appreciated her daughter’s loyalty for her school.

After school Thursday, I arrived with a volleyball in my hand and a plan to give a crash course on volleyball.  I was hoping to use the school’s gym for the practice, however, it was being decorated for Grandparent’s Day.  So I ended up giving the two girls a crash course on the school playground, during a heat advisory.  So the heat was on in more than one way.  It was physically hot outside and I was teaching them everything they needed to know about volleyball 24-hours before their first game.  No pressure!  I decided that if I didn’t die of a heat stroke, then that was a sign that I was making the right move on getting a make-shift volleyball team together.

The crash course practice went pretty well and the two girls were willing to try.  So I gave them the run down on what to expect at the game.  I showed them how to serve and bump the ball.  I gave them a chance to try it a few times.  Then I explained to them that I was not expecting them to be this ultimate superstar on the court.  I was mostly looking for them to be a physical body to help us make a team.  I told them if they hit the ball over the net that was great.  However, if they did nothing more than stand there, I would be okay with that.  The girls were enjoying the crash course so much that they were asking if it was too late to sign up for volleyball.  I told them that they were more than welcome to join the team if they liked playing Friday night’s games.  I left the school that night with a pretty good feeling.  I knew that I had enough players to make up a team.  Whether they won or lost didn’t matter to me, they were going to be able to play the games and that was the most important part.


Patrick’s Day!!!

{Here is another story that was written and never posted.  It was created on November 17, 2014.  To Patrick – Thanks for spending the day with me.}

I’m sure I have mentioned my very loving, emotional, moody, spiritual, angry, creative, shy 9-year-old son before.  Patrick is my second child and suffers extremely from middle child syndrome.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I have referred to him as a pain in the butt!  But I love him with all my heart and he amazes me every day.  So when I woke this morning, I decided I needed to document the day I had with Patrick yesterday.  This way, later in life when Patrick is telling his therapist what I bad mother I was, I can remind him of the day I will forever proclaim “Patrick’s Day”.  (I’m just kidding about the therapist thing…or am I, hmmmm?!?!?!)  🙂

Patrick joined a Lego League at school last year.  It was the first year the school had this club and the coach/teacher was new to the whole thing too.  They started the club late in the school year and when the new school year began, the meetings didn’t get started as soon as they would have liked.  Patrick’s school had two 2nd/3rd grade teams that consisted of four students each.  They participated in their first Lego meet yesterday and I am so glad we went.

I need to back up a step and give you a little detail of what happened BEFORE the Lego meet.  At the beginning of the school year, it was decided that Patrick needed to repeat the 3rd grade again.  Mostly because he was having difficulty reading.  He was about to enter the Fourth Grade with a reading level of a First Grader.  It was determined, through some testing at the end of last year’s school, that he has some short-term memory problems that make it hard for him to remember sight words.  What does that mean, it means he has to work harder than most children when it comes to reading and writing.

Needless to say, he was not thrilled when he was held back a year and I was upset because he would miss out on many things that are not available to children until the Fourth grade.  However, he had a chance to be taught by a teacher he really liked again and he was already friends with all the kids in his new class.  So it was a good decision and he has greatly excelled this school year in many ways.

Because of the fact that he was held back a year, he was able to take part in the Lego League this year.  If he had been in Fourth Grade, he would have been too old to be in the league.  He also wouldn’t have been able to play on the 2nd/3rd grade basketball team that he is on this year.  Which is another thing that he enjoys and I think it is helping him mature.  So as you can see, sometimes a step back can really be 3 steps forward.  🙂

Now, Patrick’s basketball games had been announced before the Lego League meet was and when we discovered that the Lego meets were on the same day as his basketball games were, Frank and I both declared that Patrick couldn’t make it to both events.  Even though his basketball game was at 2pm and his Lego meet was from 7:45am to noon that day, that was way too much for me, not to mention my 9-year-old son.

However, Patrick wanted to participate in both.  He had really worked hard on his team’s project and as his coach stated, “He has really stepped up and took charge of his team.”  So when it was announced that Patrick’s team didn’t have to be at the Lego meet until 9:30 am, instead of 7:45 am and his basketball game wasn’t until the afternoon, we decided to let him attend both.  Looking back now, I am so glad we did.

After reading the Lego meet guidelines, it was clear that this was not an event that the entire family should try to attend.  It sounded like there was not a lot of room around the exhibits and more people would create more noise.  Which in turn, makes it harder for the judges to hear the presentations.  So it was decided that only Patrick would be going with Frank or I.  Since Frank would enjoy watching the basketball game more than I would, I figured I would take Patrick to the Lego meet.  That way, if the other kids did want to go to the basketball game, I could stay home with them and Frank could attend the basketball game with Patrick.

So at 9:00 am on Saturday, November 16, 2014, Patrick and I headed out the door to his first Lego meet, as little voices in the background were asking to go with and crying when the answer was no.  I’m sure to Patrick, that little moment felt like a victory to him, even though it was another heart wrenching moment in the life of this mother, for not being able to make ALL of my children happy at the same time.  Why would Patrick feel like it was a victory?  Well, in his eyes, he doesn’t get enough Mother/Patrick time, “Because of his stupid siblings Marie, Ann and Christopher.”

So off we went, my son and I, to his first Lego meet.  We met his coach and team mates at the event and they checked out the presentation while I stood there.  Believe it or not, it was an event that parents were not allowed to do any work for their children.  I have decided that this is the kind of events I like.  So I stood by and took pictures of the team as they made finishing touches to their presentation.

I strolled around the other exhibits and got a feel for what the kids were to expect.  I would ask the group of kids what their creation did and how did they make it.  I was giving the kids practice before the real judges came by.  I discovered that most of the exhibits had an actually purpose, yet Patrick’s team project did not.  Their only purpose was to make some simple machines, like a motorized pulley move.  So with some questioning of Patrick’s team and some suggestions, the kids came up with a name for their creation and what it was meant to do.  Here is a picture of their exhibit:


What does it do, you ask?  It’s a safety lab for carnival rides.  🙂  The little thing that looks like a car is the area that is motorized.  So the little people on top of it spin around when the power switch is turned on.  The two people at the red desk are the lab partners taking notes.  The people lined up in the back of the room are the next test dummies to get on the safety ride.  And last, but not least, the little partitioned area at the bottom right of the photo is the bathroom.  LOL

I think they did pretty great, considering that they had to make up a name and a function for their creation at the last-minute.  When the judges came around, all four of the team members spoke and explained a part of the exhibit.  They did very well and I couldn’t have been prouder.  Or could I?

I discovered 10 minutes later that I really could be prouder.  Because Patrick’s team was awarded a trophy for “The Most Complex and Decorative Award”.  Personally, I think it was the added bathroom that got them the trophy.  LOL  I was so thrilled for them and for our school.  Needless to say, I am so very, very glad that I took him to the meet that day.  It was a very exciting and fun experience…and I think Patrick had fun too.  🙂

Patrick was able to make it to the basketball game in time and the whole family went to see him play.  Afterwards, the family went to get a special treat from a nearby fast food joint to celebrate his big day.  Like I said, it was a great day with my son Patrick.  Yes, I was worn out by the end of the day.  Yes, Patrick still has moments when I want to tape his mouth shut, just to stop him from talking.  But I still love him with all my heart and soul.  He is my inventor in the family and he is always wanting to help fix things.  I see great things for his future as an engineer.  We just have to get him past the 3rd grade.  🙂

When he was in the First Grade, I couldn’t get him to sit down and do his homework.  Heck, I couldn’t even get him to write his name on the top of the worksheet.  He kept telling me that he didn’t write as well as other kids in his class.  I told him I didn’t care what other kids could do, I only cared what he could do.  Patrick looked at me seriously and said, “But I don’t have a working brain.  I only have an engineering brain.”  I told him, “I have no doubt that you have an engineering brain.  I truly believe you could make a rocket some day.  But if you don’t know how to read, write and figure math, than you won’t be able to explain it to the people who will help you pay for the rocket.”  He seemed to understand that, yet we still struggle with homework.  Maybe some day, he’ll create a machine that will help kids like him use their “engineering brains” to learn how to read, write and figure math.  I can tell you one thing for sure.  Whether Patrick builds a rocket or some other contraption some day, he’ll definitely see him soaring high one day in his future.