Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mitch joined Cub Scouts

Besides school starting, I've been doing some other new things this year. One of them is joining Cub Scouts. I am now an official Tiger Cub. Dad came with me to the first few meetings, got excited, and now he's a Tiger Cub assistant den leader.

Our first meeting was a couple weeks ago. The topic was one of my favorite things -- maps! I got to draw a map of my neighborhood, learned how to use a compass, and studied the parts of a globe. That earned me two belt loops - Map & Compass and Geography.

In addition to the two belt loops, I also learned the Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack, the salute, handshake, and motto. I practiced it all week with Dad and did enough to fulfill the Bobcat Badge requirements. I was bummed out to find out that we only have our den meetings every other week instead of every week.

Today was our second meeting. Since our first meeting, Dad and I bought our uniforms and Mom tirelessly sewed all of our patches on. We were excited to wear them to our den meeting. At today's meeting, we earned two new beads as we talked about our place in our family and each of our responsibilities. We even made a small family picture album. 

I'm really excited about all of the fun things we have planned this year for Cub Scouts!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer of Swimming

We started out our summer with two weeks of blitz lessons at Waterloo Swim School. Blitz lessons are half-hour lessons that are scheduled Monday through Thursday in one week. We really liked that we could play and practice at the side of the pool before and after our lessons, and Mom loved that she could watch while in the pool, unlike other places where she had to sit on the side and watch. 

After doing that two weeks in a row at the beginning of summer, we decided the lessons were awesome but we were pretty tired out and it'd be better to take a week-long break in between blitz weeks. 

Hazel, flying through the water with the greatest of ease
The other thing that happened was Mom first signed only Hazel and me up for lessons. But during the first week, Turner said he really wanted to take lessons too. So he also took lessons the second week. He did great! 

When we got back from our road trip, we signed up for a week of blitz lessons, then a week off before another week of blitz lessons. 

We thought that would take us to the end of the summer, but the swim school had so much demand for more lessons, they tacked on two more weeks of lessons, which took us up to the start of school. We signed up for the last week, thinking we'd have a week off in between each blitz week, but Turner changed Mom's mind. 

Swimming makes me so happy!
Turner started out doing really well in the beginning of summer, but while we were on vacation, he fell into a pool once, then swam with a life preserver the rest of the time. 

When he went back to lessons, he was pretty freaked out about swimming without a life preserver. He screamed through most of his lessons until he got a new teacher, Preston. The week he had Preston, Turner made so much progress, Mom didn't want him to take a week off and have to start over again, so we signed up for an extra week, meaning we had three weeks of blitz lessons in a row!

With Preston's help, even Turner has grown to love the pool
With all these swim lessons, we all made a TON of progress! Hazel and I both passed from the orange level to white to novice. After novice, there's only one more level until we can join a swim team! After we passed each level, we got a bracelet, which was really exciting. We were very motivated to pass each level and are proud of our progress. 

We swam pretty much every day during the summer. In addition to our swim lessons, we tried out lots of different pools, including Deep Eddy, the oldest swimming pool in Texas. It's one of my favorite pools. We spent a lot of time at the pool in our neighborhood and the pool in our old neighborhood. 

We love Life Time Fitness!
The last weekend of summer vacation, we joined Life Time Fitness so we'd have a place to practice in fall, winter and spring, so we wouldn't lose all our new-found swimming skills. I love swimming, so I am happy we can continue swimming year-round.

Also, we can take swim lessons there. Turner is signed up now, and Hazel and I will take some once we settle into our school routine. In the meantime, we have had a lot of fun swimming in the gorgeous indoor and outdoor pools and trying out the huge water slides there. Hazel and I took the swim test -- swimming a length of the pool without stopping -- so we don't have to stay right with Mom while we are swimming. And Turner has started jumping into the pool and with some encouragement, will swim from Mom to Dad and back. Since we joined, we've been there a lot, and by practicing on our own, our swimming has improved even more!

We worked really hard and learned a lot this summer. Mom and Dad are so, so proud of us!