Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hannah's Gymnastics Competition

This past weekend, Hannah had a Gymnastics Competition. She has been very excited for this day to arrive. She had a goal and all she could talk about was standing on the steps, being either 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the competition. She wanted to stand on the steps more than anything.

Last year at this time was her very first Competition. There was 24 kids and Hannah took 10th place. Not bad for just starting out. I was proud of her.

This weekend, there was a total of 29 girls who competted in her age group. But in total, there were 60 kids who took part in the Gymnastics Meet. But for Hannah, she was competting against 28 other girls.

They started out on the balance beam. She did great. She wabbled a bit when she had to jump up. And her cartwheel landing of the balance beam was a lot of hopping, meaning her landing didn't stick. But over all, she did great. The best on her team on this day.

Next, she went to the floor. She knows this routine backwards and forwards. But on this day, Her handstand that was supposed to turn into a summersault didn't quite work out. And this was a required element. I knew for Hannah at this moment, her goal was gone. But I was so proud of Hannah for still picking up and finishing her routine. Besides this one incident, her routined looked fabulous.

Next her team went over to the Jumping area. Her team in general has a problem with this portion of the Meet. An area that needs help, for sure. But Hannah looked great doing her summersaults onto a higher mat.

Lastly, they ended up on the bars. Hannah's routine was flawless. Flawless I tell ya. With the exception of her landing. Come to find out, Hannah's performance on the bars was the best of the day, out of all 60 kids. So exciting for Hannah to hear and she loves telling everyone that.

So then the fun part comes of waiting for the results of the day. They do it by age group. And Hannah's group was last. There were a total of 29 Girls. They start with the 29th place and go on up to 1st place. Finally, they get to 5 girls left. And Hannah was still waiting to be called. Then 4 girls left. And instead of a 4th place, there is a tie for 3rd place. Hannah's name was called. Oh My Gosh, she was so happy. I think I was shaking and was more excited for her than she was. She gets a trophy, which only those in 1st - 3rd get. Although, they only had 1 trophy for 3rd place, so no one got to take one home that day. She will get it next week. She said that was the saddest part of the day.

I am so proud of Hannah! She did so awesome. I am glad that I get to go and watch her during her Competitions. I really enjoy it. She is so excited about Gymnastics. And she is so precise in what she does. I took videos but I don't have them uploaded yet to share. Plus, I taped them in Compact mode. I didn't mean to, but that is how it ended up. And so they are blurry. So ticked about that. But at least we can see her perform, even if it is blurry.

Here are some pictures I got of her warming up and standing on the steps.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ian's Amazing Acheivement!

Tonight, Ian went to bed for the first time without a bottle!

He is 2 1/2 years old. I know a bit old to still have a bottle. I had tried to take it away before, but the crying was terrible and I gave it back. He just wasn't ready. He was only getting a bottle twice a day....nap time and bed time.

The problem is.....it isn't the "bottle" he is attached to. The bottle (empty or full) is like a pacifier to him. But he won't do Pacifiers.

But he has a huge rash on his chin and it is from the wetness from having the bottle in his mouth. I talked to him today about it. About being a big boy. He understands everything, just can't respond as he doesn't talk yet. He shook his head that he was going to be a big boy.

When I put him down tonight, he was fine for the first 20 minutes. Then crying started. After 1/2 hour, I got him up and told him, "I forgot. Big Boys need drinks of milk in a sippy cup before bed. Do you want one?" And of course he did.

So we went and got one. After two swallows, we sang two songs then he gave me the sign for bed and it was time for Spencer to also go to bed. So the two boys went to bed at the same time and Ian did not cry.

I am so excited. There is no turning back. I am hiding all signs of bottles before I go to bed.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hannah's Baptism

Yesterday was Hannah's Big Day. She was baptized. For those that don't know, we are Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In our Church, one must be 8 years of age before they are eligible to be baptized. Hannah turned 8 at the end of February and has been waiting for this day for a very long time.

We had so many people that came to Hannah's Baptism on Saturday. We had well over 100 people in attendance. We decided that 1/3 were people we knew from Church. But 2/3 were people we knew from Gardner's Work or from our little Village we live in. Hannah has so many friends and they all showed up with their families to celebrate with Hannah on her special day.

After the Baptism was finished, we celebrated at the Church. As usual, I planned too much food and came home with more than half of what I took. Times like these, I realize I am an over-acheiver. On each table, I had a small colored vase with a tulip in it. Hannah gave one to each friend to take home as they left. Something special to remember her day by.

Another thing that was re-affirmed to us. Here in Germany, it is customary for one to bring a gift to such an event. In America, it doesn't happen like it does here. You can see part of Hannah's stash of gifts at the end of the post. This was seriously bigger than her birthday and Christmas combined for 3 years. She got so much money along with the gifts. It was amazing.

We had a great time and it was so fun to have so many people here to share this great experience with Hannah.

I have a few funny moments from yesterday.

First off, I was in the Kitchen getting food ready. We were at the church more than 3 hours early to set everything up and to fill the baptismal font with water. After the Font was filled, Hannah came into me and said, "there are bugs in the water. I don't want to go in there." It was cute how she said it. And then, she had to show me the bug, which we determined was a small spider.

Second thing, The water was freezing. She was shivering so bad afterwards. We didn't realize how long it would take to fill the Font with water. And ended up starting it a bit too early. It should of been warm for her. But unfortunately, it wasn't.

In School on Mondays, the kids sit in a circle and talk about what they did over the weekend. As I was getting Hannah changed out of her wet clothes, she was very excited and exclaimed, "I know what I am going to talk about in Circle Time on Monday!"

Saturday Morning, Hannah knew that Gardner was out picking up a surprise for her. She had gotten a few gifts up to this point, and so a gift is what was in her mind. Gardner returned and Hannah was playing the Play Station. Gardner had gone to the Train Station to pick up Adrian, our former Exchange Student who lives in Berlin. We told Hannah that her Surprise was here. He was standing right behind her and she didn't realize it. And without turning away from the play station, she asked....Is it wrapped? We all broke out in laughter and made her pause her game. She was very happy to see him, as we all were. It is always nice to see him. To think it has been 4 years since he lived with us. Adrian is a huge part of our family still and we all love him very much!

Oh, there are so many more things I could say that happened. I am grateful for all the help I got during the Festivities. I had people who took over with the food once the Baptism started and also did all the clean up, including washing dishes. It was nice to be able to be with my family and friends instead of in the Kitchen the whole time. I thank each and every one of you for your help!

Oh, one last note.....This afternoon, the doorbell rang. I thought it was Grandpa with Ian and Emma. He took them on a walk. I was very busy so opened the door without looking and started to walk away. Then I noticed it wasn't him. Hannah's School Teacher was here. She was supposed to show up for the baptism and never did. I knew something must of happened, as we had just discussed it on two days before. Come to find out, she thought the baptism was today. She even went to the church to find out she missed it. She felt terrible. We felt terrible. Hannah was happy to see her though. It was very nice of her to stop by.

Here are some pictures from the Baptism:

March 2007