Watching Home Alone as a Mother

The Holidays are officially over. We stretched them out for as long as we possibly could, but on Monday the kids go back to school. Last night as we sat around the noisy rambunctious dinner table we talked about how great this Christmas season was and then we toasted our glasses with the obligatory “clink” that they do in Despicable Me. One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is watching tons of movies. I am not even a movie watcher. It has been years since I went to a movie theater without the kids and if someone asks me what my favorite movie is I fumble for words. That all changes at Christmas time when I have all the time in the world to watch the funniest, cheesiest, most heartwarming flicks out there. My movie snack of choice is a big bowl of popcorn and Peanut M&M’s.

The candy mixins are a must! In fact, I put a bag of popcorn in each of the kids’ stockings along with a box of their favorite candy which ranges from Skittles to gummy worms. We watched Elf, Rudolph, Santa Clause 1-3 and we liked Olaf’s Frozen adventure so much we watched it twice.

I even enjoy the Hallmark Christmas movies. Yes, they are the same thing over and over. That’s what I love about it. I can give my brain a break and escape to a Christmas Tree farm in the Smokies, or Alaska, or Vermont. Speaking of Vermont J and I watched White Christmas TWICE in the past month. He will probably be embarrassed that I am even acknowledging this but he is the best Christmas movie partner, even the chick flicks.

Last night for our final Christmas movie (until next Christmas), we watched Home Alone for the first time with the kids. It was a little mature for the younger kids. It kept their attention and all, but I am pretty conservative and there is some language and scary parts. It’s funny how much your perspective changes as a mother. I loved Home Alone as a kid. I just laughed and laughed. This time I talked through the first half and it went something like this-

Now, remember you don’t need to repeat everything you hear in movies.

Do you think that was a very nice thing to say? No. No, it wasn’t.

We should never talk that way to each other.

Is that a good choice or a bad choice? Right, that is a very bad choice.

Oh my, that was another bad choice. This whole family is making some very bad choices right now!

What should you do if you are ever lost or somewhere by yourself? Yes, that’s right. Do not do what he is doing.

Do NOT try that in real life you will break your neck!

 

It was funny though and we had a good time. At the end we showed them the commercial that Macauley Caulkin is in now. It was great because we have a Google home so they thought it was awesome.

I try not to let the kids “talk” to Google too much because it can get out of hand, but sometimes it knows just the thing to say. Elle got a shirt for Christmas with unicorns on it and it says “I believe in magic”. This sparked a big debate between all four children.

The girls said they believe in magic, but in classic Z fashion he crushed their imaginations with some facts about the reality of illusionists. Ezie, who looks up to his brother, crossed his arms and firmly agreed. This conversation went on for a while and SJ started to get very upset and was even shouting. She stormed over to Google and said “Google! IS MAGIC REAL?” His reply was “It’s more fun to believe.” and that seemed to appease everyone. Good answer Google. Well played.

Today we take down the Christmas decorations and it does make me a little sad, but we’ve had fun. SJ got her first journal for Christmas this year from her grandma. With permission from SJ (who is only 8 and isn’t concerned about privacy yet) here is an excerpt from her first journal entry which sums it up well.

 

 

Topic: Sedona’s Christmas Wish

Date: Dec. 30, 2018

I love to run super fast in my life. I really wish to have a Stick Bot and a Grumbly. My wish came to life, but on Sunday I got two Stick Bot and Tuesday the very last present was a Grumbly. I was so joy. I had joy everywhere in my heart.

The End.

By | January 5th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Top Three Goals for 2019

Today I decided to look back at my old blog posts with New Years resolutions/goals and see how often I actually accomplished them. It turned out I succeeded slightly more than half of the things I set out to accomplish. That’s pretty okay. It’s enough for me to keep making lists at the beginning of the year. Who am I kidding? I could probably fail 100% of the time and still make goals every January. I am a list addict through and through.

As I looked back at my lists though some of them made me proud because I DID donate my hair to Locks of Love in 2013 and in 2014 I managed to start reading more, a positive habit that I have continued ever since! Some of the unmet goals made me cringe like when I said I was going to start eating vegetables and take vitamins everyday or my plan to go on a cruise in 2015 (I got pregnant and had a baby instead).

I had to laugh out loud at the multiple attempts at more date nights. In 2016 I wrote “Every year I resolve to do one date a month with my husband. I say this every. single. year. and it’s never happened. Yet here we are married 15 years and going strong so I guess I can’t worry about it too much. Anyway, all that to say I think 10 is realistic.” Except it wasn’t. The thing is, our lives had been so crazy since having kids especially when you factor in co-sleeping and breastfeeding. It was really challenging to break away from my babies. We could never afford a sitter and we don’t have parents close by.

The good news is there have been some recent changes that have made our number of outings significantly higher.1. My dad retired and my parents moved to northern Kentucky so even though it’s another state it’s only 45 minutes away. 2. I am no longer breastfeeding. This means that not only can we get out more frequently we can actually do overnights!!! I can hear the hallelujah choir singing. It’s been 10 years since that was a possibility (not that it never happened in 10 years but it was rare).

I am pretty sure we will be able to reach the goal of one date a month this year, but I am not even putting it on the official list. That’s just a random side note.

As far as the list for 2019 I have narrowed it down to three things in order to stay focused.

1. Clean out the garage and sell $100 worth of stuff.

Our garage is packed full of clutter! I want to get rid of a bunch of stuff and organize it, but in order to make it a measurable goal I put the $100 thing in there which I will accomplish via craigslist or Facebook. It’s also like a little incentive.

2.  Learn more sign language.

I mentioned that I have learned quite a bit this year and I want to keep it coming. My main focus is numbers (past ten), finger spelling, and days and months.

3. Write a Book

This one makes me want to throw up a little bit, only because it’s a new year’s dream that I failed to fulfill in 2017. I am working on two books, and my memoir probably won’t happen for a couple more years. The one I plan to self publish this year is a surprise. I’ll keep you posted.

Not sure I’ll complete them, but I can try because

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Shoot for the moon even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.

A champion is defined not by their wins but how they recover when they fail.

Let’s see… what other inspirational quotes can I think of to get me off the hook. Just kidding.

Happy new year everybody. 

 

 

By | January 3rd, 2019|Uncategorized|2 Comments

All Things 2018

Romans 8:28

 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

 

When I look back on all that happened in 2018 I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I want to write a reflective blog post, but where do I begin? What happened in 2018 is so significant to us that I am literally writing a book about the past 7 years. With that being said I don’t think I need to go into all of the details, but let’s look back at some of the highlights.

First of all, in January J left his computer programming job which he loved and had gone back to school for and he became a full-time staff member at our church. I wrote all about this milestone in “Our 2017 Miracle

I recently stumbled upon this photo is from 2011.

It was our last Christmas in Texas right before we moved and these missionaries that we really respect and admire were in town. They were saying a prayer over Jeremy who was about to leave to follow some vague calling.

The other side of the story is our pastors here in Ohio also lived and ministered in that same small town in Texas! In 2011 the Lord called them to start a church in Ohio. We never knew them. We may have crossed paths because they had even been to the coffee shop that we helped start, but we definitely never met or knew that each other existed.

Now here we are seven years after both of our families felt called to leave Texas and follow some divine appointment.

And these two kids right here (the pastor’s son is on the right and SJ on the left) were both born in Waxahachie Texas 5 months apart! Now they both are pastors kids in Milford Ohio!? What are the odds?

I don’t want to lead you to believe that stepping back into ministry has been this dream come true and now our lives are complete. It’s been a really intense roller coaster ride. As soon as J came on staff we moved from our church building to a school. When the school shut down for the summer we got the boot. That’s when we started meeting in a tent! That was a real test of faith let me tell you. I am a 1980s-Pentecostal-tent-revival hippie girl so I wasn’t phased one bit personally.

However, when you are in ministry you carry the weight of the congregation’s well being kind of like you do your own children. If your family is sick or hurting you feel it too. It was tough.

J was working around the clock along with plenty of other people doing construction and trying desperately to get us into the new building. I don’t even want to think about how challenging that was so let’s talk about how in the middle of all that we were gifted a trip to Chicago to see U2 in concert!

It felt like bad time timing because there was so much going on but I’m gonna preach for second here- IT WAS PERFECT TIMING BECAUSE THERE WAS SO MUCH GOING ON. J and I had tickets and were forced to go be alone together and take a break and have the time of our lives.

We needed that! Every married couple needs to be forced into doing something like that every once in a well. The timing probably isn’t going to be perfect but get over it. The world will still function without you balancing it all. I know running off with your spouse isn’t always an option (believe me I know) but sometimes it is an options and we are the ones standing in our own way. Okay, I’m done with my exhortation, but I know someone needs to hear that.

The most significant milestone of 2018 came right after Chicago and that was when SJ graduated from Ohio Valley Voices. I can’t even type that without tearing up. My deaf daughter can talk.

Instead of crying through another emotional post about how miraculous this is I will just give a few links about SJ’s growth from 2018.

SJ’s last year at OVV

A look back at 6 Years of learning to hear and speak

The Graduation

My Little Christmas Star

Our two littlest kiddos had their own milestones. Ezie has started going to Kindergarten and is at the same school as his older siblings  and Elle is 100% potty trained praise the Lord.

In August of 2018 we were finally able to meet as a church in our new building. Also at the beginning of the school year Mandy Harvey the deaf singer came to our church and I found myself in a whole new role as ASL worship interpreter and sign language coordinator. Ever since that Sunday in August we have had regular attendees at our church who are deaf and I could tell you one miraculous testimony after the other of how God has orchestrated everything. My ASL is still very rusty but now that I have friends who are deaf and sign I have been able to become so much more comfortable with sign language. The relationships I have formed and the things that I have learned are one of my
most unexpected but favorite parts of 2018!

Last but not least J and I celebrated 18 years of marriage which was extra special because I got married at 18 and so I have officially been married over half of my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s my best friend and we were meant to be.

So that’s 2018. A lot happened and I will never forget it.

By | December 31st, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

My Little Christmas Star

Every Christmas I am reminded of how far SJ has come. Her first three Christmases she couldn’t speak or really even hear. For her fourth Christmas, she was at Ohio Valley Voices learning to talk. Every year the school has a Winter Program and it is a great opportunity for these deaf children to show off what they have learned. The first year SJ had started saying a couple of words, but at almost four years old she could still barely talk. Here is a video of her saying and signing daddy, mommy, Deemah (because her friend Deemah was next to her and she spotted Deemah’s mom in the crowd).

 Here is an excerpt that I had written about that Christmas in 2013.

” The next day at the school’s Christmas party Santa gave her a present. SJ unwrapped it to find a simple paperback book called “The Littlest Christmas Star”.

I smiled and was happy for her, but when I read it aloud I realized it was so much more than just a story. It was about a boy that wanted to have a big part in his Christmas play at school, but all of the major roles were taken. His part was to dress up like the Bethlehem star and he only had one little line which was “follow me”. At the end of book it talks about the bright light shining down on him. The crowd cheered and he knew then that even though he may have had a small part, he was a BIG star. I would say that book was more than just a gift from Santa to SJ, I think it was also a gift from my heavenly Father to me. Seeing SJ in the winter program could have been a reminder for me of how far behind she is compared to the other kids in her class. She can’t speak as well as her friends and she couldn’t quite muster out the words they had practiced for weeks, but still, that night as she stood up there and spoke into the microphone she was my shining star.”

The following year she was able to say “Santa, I want a Minnie Mouse for Christmas. I love you mommy, daddy, Zion, and Ezra”.

She had a long way to go in terms of vocabulary and intelligibility but she had come so far! Every Christmas she was up on stage at her school and each time her words were more and more clear. Last year she had her final performance at Ohio Valley Voices Winter Program. What a delight it was to watch her sing a small solo of Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer.

This year was bittersweet. It was her first Christmas (since she was three) that she was not in the Ohio Valley Voices Winter Program, however that doesn’t mean she didn’t get her time to shine. Not only did she help me greet the congregation at church on Sunday and Monday,

but she also had a couple of lines in the video that the church showed of the kids’ reciting Luke Chapter two. She had two different lines but here is a clip of her saying “An angel of the Lord appeared to them”

It’s such a simple line, but I was reminded in that moment what a miracle it is that she can say that! It’s something I don’t take for granted.

She recently brought this paper home from school.

It doesn’t look like much. It’s just a worksheet for the students to write and draw how they imagine they would respond to the sights and sounds of the North Pole. As I read about what SJ imagined hearing I was reminded again of the gift of hearing.

These were all special moments for sure, but the icing on the Christmas cake was when I got a letter from SJ’s teacher reporting that she was at grade level academically and she had no issues or concerns at all. This meant we did not have to meet for a parent teacher conference because she is doing so well. What a praise report.

 

I can’t believe how grown up she is. Her 9th birthday is right around the corner. Before SJ was diagnosed I never really considered hearing a gift, but know I do and it’s one that we get to unwrap year after year as SJ continues to shine!

By | December 30th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Duck and Fruit Cake

Christmas was full of firsts this year. We didn’t travel because now that J is on staff at the church we have big-time commitments for the Christmas services. We had our usual two services on Sunday followed by a Christmas Eve service on Monday. 

This was our first Christmas at our church and it was special. After the journey we have been on (living like nomads for 6 years) it helps make Ohio feel that much more like home.

 

But let’s back up! It’s been almost a month since we decorated our tree and put some lights outside.

This was also a first at this house because of usually being out of town.

We are hoping to add on to the decor every year and making a tradition out of it. Like our breakfast with Santa tradition. One of my favorite things to do this time of year is go to Breakfast with Santa at Heritage Fellowship. I have always had the honor of photographing children with Santa as a part of a fundraiser for Palmyr’s Playhouse. Here are some pics of my kids from the event.

Another tradition is Christmas goodies!

We made such a messin the kitchen but we made memories too Also, I tried fruit cake for the first time as part of a sermon illustration.

AND I had DUCK for the first time. After the candlelight service, my parents took the kids to see lights at Coney Island. J and I were going to eat out but after calling four different restaurants to find out they were closed for Christmas Eve we knew we could count on Chinese. When I asked the server what the most popular dish was I decided to try it. This dish happened to be duck fried rice.

 

Moving right along, we celebrated Christmas with my side of the family the day before Christmas Eve.

One of the highlights of the evening was when Ezie’s cousin gave him a wooden action figure that he had made by hand.

We also had Christmas morning with just the 6 of us and a Christmas celebration with J’s parents who came in from Texas.


There were plenty of parties and presents, lots of sugar and lights but at the end of the day, I know that we could strip all of that stuff away and still have the best Christmas. We have Christ at the center and we have each other. That’s what makes any of this any fun at all.

 

By | December 29th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Christmas Card 2018

It’s 12:05 am Dec. 25! Merry Christmas!!! 

 

I should get to bed because we all know that my children are going to be awake at the crack of dawn ready begging J and me to get out of bed so that we can start the festivities. I wanted to pop on the blog for a quick moment though because it has been so quiet around here lately. Of course I have nothing but Christmas itself to blame for that and that’s okay. I love Christmas. J and I were talking tonight about how it’s kind of sad that Christmas is about to be over and we know that the lights will come down soon and school and work will start back up. We are both trying to soak it all in.

With that said here is this year’s Busch Family Christmas Card.

I am in love with the results.

I took the portraits of the kids on the back

but the ones on the front were taken by a friend of mine. We traded photography services. I took some pics of her and her husband recently

and she did this session for me.

I was originally planning to paint the letters and stand in front of a very colorful bowling alley in our city. However, when I took a few snapshots of the kids in front of this white wall holding the plain wood letters I decided I liked the simplicity of that even better.

In the end I couldn’t be happier with how it all came together.

Here are a few of the other shots that we got that day.

You can’t see it on the Christmas card but I love that we got to incorporate two of our favorite hobbies music and photography (not the vintage camera on the floor).

 

We also did some of the kids with dad.

 

Then some of just me and the kids

I call this one “No family is perfect”. Ha!

Anyway, I seriously have to stuff some stockings and get in bed! Merry Christmas everybody!

 

By | December 25th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Candy Land Party

For Elle’s 3rd birthday we did a Candy Land Theme and it was incredible. The idea found its way to me because my parents had a Candy Land themed Trunk or Treat in 2017 and I saw what a great job they did on all the props and prints. I made sure they didn’t even think about throwing it out and had them give it all to me when they were done.

The party evolved a little from Candy to princess theme because Elle and her little friends LOVE dressing up. I figured since there is a “Princess Lolly” and “Queen Frostine” in the Candy Land game it wouldn’t be too far fetched to have guests wear their favorite princess dress or choose one from our large selection.

I also pulled ideas from previous parties we have had, like putting the netting over the gift chair like I did for SJ’s butterfly party.

I also decorated the old door with photos of the birthday child like I did at Ezie’s farm party, SJ’s tea party, Elle’s Bumble Bee party and the butterfly graduation party. It’s becoming quite the tradition.

The girls had fun posing in front of the Candy Land backdrop. Pretty early on I surprised them all by coming out in a “queen” outfit competely with royal crown and jewels.

I paid five bucks for the prom dress from a thrift store and I borrowed the accessories from my sister in law. I tried to transform into queen mode so rapidly that I got bright red lipstick all of my teeth. I think the girls knew I wasn’t really princess material but it was funny and I don’t think they’ll forget it.

For a craft we decorated crowns that I got from Hobby Lobby. The whole kit was very low cost compared to my idea of getting individual tiaras from the dollar tree.

The crowns came with stick on jewels so it was mess free, and since the party was so close to the holidays I was able to get Christmas stickers that included candy canes, ginger bread, and peppermint. This fit in perfectly with the Candy Land theme.

 

What a great craft! Next up was the Candy Cake. Talk about a pinstrosity!

I tried to make the number three by cutting a bundt cake in half and splitting it. I also added frosting, sprinkles, and candy of course. It was a mess, but you know what? The girls devoured it and I had a lot of people tell me they love seeing a unique homemade cake with “character” over the over the top fondant cake boss perfection.

To help balance out ALL. THAT. CANDY. I served humus, pretzel chips, fruit, cheese and nuts on the side. I have said this before but I like offering whole fruit for children rather than fruit salad. They usually just want a certain thing anyway so why go through the trouble? It all worked out nicely.

Last but not least I had the candy pinata. This was my fifth homemade pinata and it was relatively simple since it’s just a ball (paper mache balloon) wrapped in tissue paper.


I admit I love throwing parties for little girls. I imagine what I would want if I were their age. When I was brainstorming outloud to my mom I said “I don’t know, I was thinking maybe it would be fun if I were a queen” we both started laughing outloud because I knew what I meant. It might add some extra fun to the party if I dressed up as a character, but out of context it just sounded like a very random and whimsical statement.

Anyway, I am so glad I got to do this party for Elle. We all really enjoyed it.

By | December 13th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Messy Mom Gets a Day Off

 

The other day I read a book to the kids called “Mrs. Claus Takes a Vacation”. It was really cute. In this book, Mrs. Claus feels like since Santa travels the world every year she should get a chance to get out too, and she does! She travels the world and has a great time (while Santa tries his hand at some of the more domestic duties at home). Eventually, she misses the North Pole and is ready to come back. There is a surprise ending though so I won’t spoil it.

If you are a feminist you might not like the predictable gender roles in the book, but I completely related to Mrs. Claus. I am a stay at home mom and I rarely have any time to get away from the house by myself. I recently was going through an emotional rough patch and I knew I needed time alone or I was going to explode. So the day before Thank giving J watched the kids so that I could do my own thing. He even made me a Dutch Baby which is like a specialty crepe pancake and it is my favorite food!

 

After breakfast I went shopping. I started off at a thrift store, then Half Priced Books, and Rose and Remington.

 

Thrifting, reading, and “R &R” are all happy places of mine so I was feeling mighty fine.

 

For lunch I went to a local place called Harvest Market.

I had local spaghetti squash with pesto and feta from their hot bar. I don’t eat out much so when I pay for someone to cook something my expectations are pretty high these days. This hit all the right notes. Let me tell you it was divine. I finished off with a dandelion latte and started strolling along the streets of downtown hoping to find something sweet for dessert.

The walk was nice and the weather was perfect but I still needed chocolate. 

 

That’s when I decided to finish off my outing with a warm cookie from Chick-fil-A. Thedrive-thru line was and I thought maybe I should just go inside. Why not? I have no children to unbuckle and get out so let’s do this! I went into the noisy restaurant full of moms and children (everyone was out of school). I walked straight up to the counter and ordered one cookie. That was it. One cookie to go.

Some people probably stopped reading because this story is so detailed and boring but to me it was an incredible first time experience to be savored! I went into Chick-fil-A by myself, got a cookie, and left! Here is a graphic I shared on my Instastory-

Chocolate milk? No. Play land? No. Fighting? No. Trading a toy for ice cream? No. Heping a child wash hands while listening to instrumental worship music? No.

Cookie? YES!

I was home by three and then J had to go lead worship for the youth group so it wasn’t even a full day, a big trip, or a night out. It was enough though. I walked in the door and said “There. I’m better.” It was just the reset I needed.

By | December 4th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

First Lego League Competition Results

I wanted to do an update right away after my post about Z’s big competition.

I had several people texting and messaging me the day of event wishing us luck, sending up prayers, and checking in. I couldn’t believe it! This competition was a big deal for us, but I didn’t expect anyone else to care. I don’t mean that in a grumpy way but it’s just a 5th grade lego robot competition and it’s entry level. For family and friends to actually show interest and support for our son’s hobby makes me aware of how supremely blessed I am!

With that said, here is your play by play of the entire day!

Z and I had to get up at 6:00 am. When we went outside there was what looked like a really bright star next to the moon. Z said “Hey I think that’s Vega” and I had no idea so I just went with it and said, well it must be good luck then. Only, then he started doubting his astronomy and naming off more stars and planets and giving facts about each one. In the end we determined it was probably Venus which is clearly visible right before Sunrise this time of year. Regardless of what the bright speck in the sky was it was a nice start to a space-themed competition.

The competition started off very strong for our team. The kids were standing tall and beaming with pride. They got to practice with the robot and scored extremely high. They had to go before the judges and explain their robot design. They had to be judged on a project that involved space radiation solutions and they knocked it out of the park.

They are even judged on the FLL core values which involve sportsmanship, teamwork, “gracious professionalisms” and more. It was going fantastic and then the robot competition really began and they choked. Big time. All of the mommas were in the bleachers wide eyed with our hands covering our mouths. The dads were cringing and holding their breath. The team had programmed the robot to go through the obstacles. The attachments were built and the technicians were trained but after receiving 121 points in the practice round they finished the first round with a big fat goose egg. ZERO points.

One of the 5th graders burst into tears which made me choke up. I watched my son pull his hood up over his head and try to shrink into oblivion. I followed them out of the gym to catch up with Z for a really brief pep talk. I looked him in his tear filled eyes and I said “It’s okay. You’ve got two other chances to do the robot run. I am here for you. Your coach is here for you. So many people are cheering you on. You need to shake it off and get back in there.” He looked up at me completely defeated and I said “Take your sweatshirt off”. He didn’t respond, but at the time he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt. He had a big floppy hat, and his pockets were full and weighing him down. It’s like it was Z in disguise. Some of the accessories are just part of the fun of the competition but for him it was like he was hiding. I nudged him “Come on buddy, you’ve got this cool shirt that you all designed with YOUR NAME on the back and no one can see it.” I encouraged him to show his name and then I gave him a hug as they moved on to a restricted area.

An hour went by and it was time the team to come back to the gym for the next round. When Z showed up with his team he looked the same as when I left him but next thing you know his coach runs over to me with Z’s sweatshirt and extra stuff. Z had decided to take my advice. They walked over to the table and spent the next round of two an a half minutes absolutely crushing it! Granted it wasn’t my magical pep talk or sweatshirt idea. It turns out there was a battery related error in the first round that caused the robot to malfunction. Either way it was so riveting and thrilling to watch the robot do its mission. We all cheered and went wild every time one was complete.

At the end of a very long day all the teams lined up for awards. The kids were pumped. I had my phone ready to record when their victory was announced. Except the more the awards went out and the fewer that were left, the more the team’s smiles turned downward. There was one certificate for the final remaining slot to advance to the city regional competition and I got my phone ready to record hoping that maybe, just maybe they were that team. Except it wasn’t like in the movies. It wasn’t our team’s name that was called. Everyone was dismissed and there were a few tears followed by lots of hugs.

The team met up afterward for some much needed dinner. The coach got everyone ice cream sandwiches and went over the judges’ score sheets. They talked about how everyone was feeling and what would come next. At the very end I raised my hand because I felt like I had something to say. Their coach and teacher had already poured so much wisdom and encouragement into them I really didn’t have much to add, but I guess my mouth and my heart have a hard time laying low. I was given the floor and I don’t remember exactly what I said but this is the gist of it:

You all know that Z’s sister is deaf right? That means that she can’t hear, except for the fact that she has cochlear implants. Cochlear implants were invented by innovators like you. They are a way of taking science and electronics and technology to give deaf people bionic ears so that they can hear! 30 years ago that wasn’t possible and it’s because these engineers are working on solutions like this the technology keeps getting better.  I was just explaining to one of the mom’s how SJ can swim with her implants now. They also just recently became compatible with the iPhone and it keeps getting better and better. That’s what you all are doing. You are coming up with creative and innovative solutions that make things better. Robotics and programming are fun but it can also change people’s lives! You should be proud of everything you’ve accomplished. YOU are going to be world changers.

And then we all started clapping for our team. They didn’t get far in the competition but no doubt in my mind they are going to go extremely far in life. Although I wouldn’t mind if they did get through qualifiers next year.

By | December 3rd, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Robotics Mom

I’ve never had the honor of being a soccer mom, dance mom, or any other sport mom. Maybe someday one of my kids will be really into team sports, but not so far. When Z was barely two years old he awkwardly but methodically maneuvered his toddler chair and mini basketball hoop to where he could sit and put the ball into the hoop. I have the whole thing on video. I should have known then that he was more into engineering than athletics.

When Z was 7 he asked his dad “When you were young did you HAVE to play football?” J replied “No, I didn’t have to. I wanted to. I enjoyed being on the football team”. Z let out a big exhale and said “Oh, good. I thought it was mandatory”. We still get a good laugh about that one.

 

Z started working on coding and robotics when he was in Kindergarten.

It is his passion!

So when the opportunity to be a part of a competitive robotics team was presented, he jumped on it. He had to have teachers referrals and fill out an application in order to make the team but now he is one of seven kids in the school’s fifth grade FLL team and he is loving it. FLL stands for First Lego League. It sounds like it involves a lot of building and lego construction, but that’s not the majority of what they do. It’s mostly about programing the Midstorm EV3 robot which works with legos and figuring out how to complete missions and get through obstacles.

I won’t go into all the details because quite frankly it’s over my head.

This year’s theme is space which is Z favorite subject. He loves to watch space documentaries and read about space. Don’t get him started on nebulas or kepler22-b (I had to have him remind the name of that planet so that I could include it in this post I don’t anything about space). The cool thing is I have a friend who works for NASA in Houston and the FLL team was actually able to do a Facetime interview with her for part of their research. It was so cool to watch my friend who I knew when she was in Highschool interact with and inspire my son and his friends. They geeked out over getting to talk with her.

For Z, the idea that he can combine robots and space means he is living the dream, but just like with sports, you have to put in a lot of effort and time to go the distance.

The challenge is rewarding though.

 

So that’s what he’s been doing since August and it’s all leading up to the first competition which is this weekend! We are so excited for Z. If they qualify to move on to the next round it will be a first for 5th grade at his school. I am trying to balance staying positive and hoping for the best, but mentally preparing for what happens if they don’t move on to the next level. I’m sure some of you sports mom have more experience with this and can give me advice on how to encourage my young man when things don’t turn out the way he wanted.

No matter what happens I couldn’t be prouder of Z. He knows that I am proud of him and one of the things that makes me the proudest is that he is sincerely grateful for this opportunity. He always tells me thank you for all the time, money, and efforts that we have given for him to be able to do this. Like any child, he keeps us on our toes and gives us more grey hairs every day, but he is special and I am one blessed momma.

I’m looking forward to this new season of life as a robotics mom!

I’ll keep you all posted on what happens. Go team C.O.D.E.!

By | November 30th, 2018|Uncategorized|1 Comment