August 20, 2008

Let the dynasty begin...

Last week, Jessi was invited to join the Junior Team at the Gymnastics Factory. It is a great honor, but also a great commitment. Just as with Elizabeth, Eric and I prayed about it and asked Jessi to pray about it. Of course, she feels that God wants her to be on the team and she is really excited. John is taking a Parent and Tot class on Saturdays and really enjoys it. Even Kyle is talking about taking gymnastics after he is done with T-ball. Eric and I are joking about starting a gymnastics dynasty in which an Overtoom will be competing in gymnastics from 2016 (Elizabeth), which, hopefully, will be in Chicago, to 2024 (John). We will have to meet some interesting financial challenges if that were to actually come true.

With Jessi starting team, I am embarking on a new role: part time work. I mean VERY part time. I will begin tutoring a homeschooled boy in geometry this fall and will be working at the Gymnastics Factory, where the girls train one day a week in exchange for reduced class fees. My philosophy is that every little bit helps.

August 9, 2008

That's entertaining! Or Not!

Six Flags day: If you remember a previous post about fair rides, I was a little concerned about going to Six Flags because a fair ride made me queasy. Rest assured, neither prunes, nor Yanni will be welcomed into the house anytime soon. Eric actually has told me that Yanni will never be welcome in the house. The kids and I had a blast going on rides. I was able to go with Jessi on "The Demon" which features both a loop de loop and a cork-screw turn. Elizabeth and I went on "The American Eagle" and "Viper" rollercoaster rides. I rode with John on the Whizzer and log flume ride. I didn't get to ride with Kyle, though :-(. I wanted to go with Kyle on the "The Demon," but, although he was thrilled that he was tall enough to ride the rollercoaster, he wasn't so thrilled about going on the ride. We all went together on a river rapids ride. When I went with John on the Log Flume and the Whizzer, I asked him at the end if he liked it and without smiling, he said "yes". However, the picture they took from the log flume showed something more like a grimace than a smile as we went down the long. Kyle's favorite part was the bumper cars, which he went with Eric.

Bad Day: The day after Six Flags was a bad day for everyone. We had all stayed up too late and were going through withdrawl after all the stimulation and sugar consumed (mainly in sodas). In the afternoon, I was apologizing to the kids for being so grumpy and Jessi chimed in, "Don't worry, Mom. God loves you anyway!" I've got to remember that line when my kids misbehave!

America's Got Talent: Eric and I managed to make it through a whole hour of "America's Got Talent" on Thursday to see who would go on to CA. We missed the Tuesday show because of Great America. Normally, I don't watch those type of shows because they seem to be in the genre of Roman Ampitheatre, like in the movie "Gladiator". However this season, a friend of Kristi Kloos, my sister-in-law, is competing. His name is Neal Boyd and he has a fantastic operatic voice. I think he is much better than the cross dressing opera star, even if the "guy" can sing from bass to soprano. However, watching the show was painful, mainly because of the judges. Halfway through I was so tired of seeing David Hasselhoff cry and Sharon Osborne trying to look stern. And of course, they left Neal Boyd as the last contestant. I felt so sorry for him because they really played on his emotions. From now on, we will tape it so we can fast forward. Go Neal!!! Vote early and vote often!

August 2, 2008

Kitchen update

A few months ago, I decided that I was sick of our kitchen. I had been living with it for almost eight years. It had a drop ceiling and dark walnut cabinets that were yucky, probably because I didn't do spring cleaning often enough. See what I mean? Don't you love the combination of faux butcher block, dark walnut and those antique brass knobs that have long been tarnished? In this picture, the drop ceiling is already gone, a July 4th project Eric completed.

Our budget is pretty tight right now, so we decided to paint the cabinets instead of re-covering them. Last night, after working for three weeks with a vacation break and other distractions, I finished painting a section of cabinets. This is what they look like:
I will work on the rest of the cabinets in five different groups to minimize problems with matching the doors and to minimize the amount of stuff we have to store on the table. And then there will be the big job of painting the walls, removing some useless decorative shelving, painting the windows, putting up curtains and replacing blinds. We will also probably recover the counters to match the new color scheme. One of our friends said he has the cutting tools to do it. It will probably be Christmas before we are done with the kitchen, but it will feel like a new kitchen. It also feels good to know that instead of just chucking old stuff, we are re-using and refurbishing perfectly good materials to make them beautiful.

The Fair

I didn't enjoy the fair as much this year as I usually do. I have two things to blame for this: a really hot day and the "Ring of Fire." The first part of our fair experience was letting kids go on a few rides. The younger kids went on three because they chose cheaper rides. However, Elizabeth wanted to go on "Ring of Fire", which cost four tickets. The "Ring of Fire" is a roller coaster ride in which the cars go around a vertical loop. I decided to go with her, partly as a protective mom and partly because I usually enjoy the rides at Six Flags where you go upside down, either in a cork-screw or a loop. However, as I buckled myself up for the ride, the thought occurred to me that it would take some time to build up enough momentum before the ride would start running in circles. As the thought lingered, the ride started up and I realized something: I do NOT like hanging sideways looking down. Nor do I like hanging almost upside down or even hanging completely upside down for more than three seconds. I also realized that I don't like going in loops backwards, which is strange because I don't mind riding trains backwards. Over the course of the ride, I also came to realize that the operator loved having people hang upside down for up to ten seconds because he slowed us down at the top a LOT. Elizabeth was, of course, having a blast while I was using all the self control I had to keep from screaming "Get me OFF this thing." When the ride was done, Elizabeth was ready for a second run. I, however, solemnly swore that I would NEVER get on that ride again. I think I picked up an extra grey hair or two. I also felt queasy for the rest of the time at the fair, so much so that I could not eat either of the fried dough products covered in powdered sugar we bought. And now I hate that ride for two reasons. It ruined the rest of the day for me and it made me feel old. This was a ride I in which I used to glory riding. I just hope that when we go to Six Flags in a few days, I will be able to enjoy "The Demon" with Elizabeth and maybe Jessi, which has both a cork-screw and a loop in it. If not, I might as well start eating prunes, playing shuffle-board and listening to Yanni. Sigh.