Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

March 31, 2012

March 2012 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke — dave9169 @ 9:42 pm

March Highlights:

Lilah – Surprise Party, Report Cards and Piano Lessons

This month Lilah took on the role of party planner, coordinator and conspirator. Her goal was to throw a surprise party for her friend Tory. With some help from mom, Lilah essentially planned the entire event: she chose the friends to invite, made sure the friends kept everything a secret, decorated the house, and created an appropriate ruse to get Tory to our house without her suspecting anything. It was cool to watch her go through her process and see her use modern tools like private chat rooms to plan the details of the party online with her friends in utter secrecy. Lilah’s friend Sabrina was responsible for getting Tory to our house — she arranged a fake shopping trip with Tory, but told Tory that she needed to stop by Lilah’s house quickly to pick something up. When we saw Sabrina’s mom pull up with the girls in the car, we all hid in the living room and waited for the girls to walk up and knock on the door. Cathy then answered the door, the girls walked in and we all yelled out “SURPRISE,” much to the surprise of Tory and the delight of all the girls who jumped out of their hiding spots and burst into laughter.

On the school front, Lilah continues to do very well, a fact she was eager to point out when she showed me her report cards — all As and one A+ for PE. The grades were great, but my favorite part of her report card was the comment from one of her teachers that said “Lilah is a positive influence in class.” What cracked me up however, is that as soon as I was done looking and commenting on her report card, she turned to me and said, “Now open Luke’s.” I know my daughter well enough to know what that means. She was so convinced that her report card was better than her brother’s that she wanted to show me that fact for herself. True her report card was better, but Luke did get two “Exceeds Expectations” for math and science, which is roughly the equivalent of the “A” letter grade. It was in the subject of writing that the teacher expressed concern for his progress so that’s an area we’ll have to get him to improve. I did not mention Luke’s deficiencies in front of Lilah because I know she would just end up walking to her brother and rubbing it in. Instead I told her I was proud of her hard work and the way she continues to improve in everything she does. I also told her that being a positive influence in class is awesome and that she should also try to be a positive influence on Luke so that he is encouraged to keep learning as well. Sure, she still got a few digs in on Luke later, but I think her comments to him were a lot more tempered than they would have been otherwise.

Lilah also started piano lessons again, after a 3 year hiatus. I must admit that she definitely practices a lot harder than Luke. When Lilah sits at the keyboard, she plays her pieces over and over again until she gets them right, whereas Luke practices as fast as he can so that he can get out of the room and do other things (play video games). My observation is that Luke does not like to obsess over perfecting things that he only has a mild interest in — thus the struggle when it comes to writing and practicing piano. But if he’s into what he’s doing — building Legos, playing or making video games — then he too will put in the time. The dilemma here is that what he’s interested in — with the exception of math and science — isn’t going to lead him to better grades in subjects he doesn’t like. And if you simply tell him he needs to practice more to get better, it goes in one ear and out the other. This is where I’m a firm believer that the drive to do things well, has to come from within, but as a parent I also know that I must constantly find ways to encourage and motivate my kids to at least give things their best effort even when their heart isn’t totally into the subject matter.

Luke – Spring Baseball, Speech Competition and Salsa Dancing

Luke had a pretty busy month. We began spring baseball and Luke is having to adjust to playing with older kids. Initially, we thought that he would get to play in the Pinto league with the 7- and 8-year olds. That’s the league he played in last year when he almost made the All Star team. This year, the plan was for Luke to play in Pinto and be one of the better players on the team, allowing him to play pitcher, as well as catcher, in order to improve his skills further and gain more confidence. Well, those plans were quickly dashed when we learned that Luke missed the birthday cut off by 3 weeks which meant that he would have to play in the Mustang league with the 9- and 10-year olds. This means that Luke has gone from being one of the stronger players on his team to one of the weaker players. But the cool part is that our disappointment has been short-lived. Luke is doing just fine on his team and doesn’t mind playing left field which is the position he seems to always play. He’s already told me that the infield is a little too scary right now as the kids can hit a lot harder. I witnessed just how hard the ball could be hit the other day when a kid from the opposing team tried to field a well hit ground ball only to have it pop up and hit him in the eye — fortunately the kid handled it okay even though he left the game with a black eye, but I was relieved to know that Luke would be playing in the outfield for now.

The other thing Luke has to get used to is the speed of the pitching. Little by little he is making progress though — he has gone from consistently striking out, to making contact with the ball and fouling off pitches, to finally getting walked and having a chance to round the bases and score a run after a teammate batted him home. The way he’s progressing, I think he will eventually get a hit and the good part is that he’s not particularly down on himself or anything — he’s just out there having fun which is what baseball at this age is supposed to be about.

The other big activity Luke had this month was the third-grade speech tournament. He entered the tournament with his friend Devon as they agreed to participate in the duo portion of the competition. Luke and Devon chose to recite a poem called “Dinosaurs Love Underpants, with both kids taking turns reciting different sections of the poem. I never really saw Luke practice all that much, but he assured me that a lot of the practice was going on at school. He then started to tell me about the competition and the different rounds and what would happen if they got to go “to State,” meaning the state finals or something like that. It was funny to look over at Lilah when Luke said that because she was about to tell him, “Luke, you’re not even going to go to state, so don’t worry about it,” or something to that effect, but I cut her off so that Luke could continue to tell his story and try to impress us with his grand plans. Sure, Luke did not go on to the finals for the competition, but he did remarkably well. At the competition, everyone was required to recite their poem twice in two different rounds. According to Cathy, Luke did not mess up at all in the first round but had a few minor hiccups in the next. That’s okay though, I’m just glad he did it and gave it his best effort and that he didn’t just agree to participate in the competition because his teacher did not assign homework during the week of the speech tournament.

Luke also learned some Salsa dancing this month which culminated in a short performance at his school. For the final dance, the kids all dressed up in white shirts, blue pants and red bandannas. Cathy got a few short clips of Luke dancing with his troop. The dances included group dancing, individual moves, and couples dancing so it was fun to see Luke put on his boogie shoes and dance with “yucky” girls.

That’s all for now…more next month.

1 Comment »

  1. Es un mes llenito…y creo que lo disfrutastes tu y los tuyos, eso es lo importante. Felicidades y Cariños

    Comment by Pamela Luz Roa — April 13, 2012 @ 12:32 am

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