2018 State Gymnastics Meet

Isaiah has been in gymnastics for the last three years. This year, he qualified to start competing in meets. After attending several meets, he qualified for the state meet and was super excited to attend. He, along with several others from his gym, participated in the meet. In his level, there were two other boys from his gym, both of whom he gets along with beautifully.

The meet started with all the competitors marching into the gym to line up with their groups. Some of the gyms were huge, while others only had one or two participants. All were equally excited to be in attendance–and very nervous. After they marched in, they were sent off to various parts of the gym to warm up for their first events. Isaiah’s group headed for the pommel horse and mushroom. Sadly, they were directly behind the uneven bars, which were also in use, so I wasn’t able to get any photos. However, I could see them. Isaiah gave one of his best performances ever and knew he’d done well.

Next up was the rings. This is one of my favorite events, but also one that has been difficult for Isaiah. It requires incredible strength and control, as well as enough courage to turn upside down, while several feet above the ground (the rings hang above the coaches’ heads). Isaiah was so excited when he arrived today because he’d spent time practicing on a set of rings at the local playground and had finally figured out how to pull himself up into position without assistance. He showed off his new skill beautifully for his coach and the judges.

State Gym Meet 2018

Pulling himself up

State Gym Meet 2018

Pulling his knees up to complete a required position

State Gym Meet 2018

The position he worked so hard to master

State Gym Meet 2018

Preparing for dismount, after being upside down

State Gym Meet 2018

Words of encouragement

After that was the floor routine, with more new skills to show off. After years of trying, Isaiah is finally able to properly do a cartwheel, which means he can actually complete the routine. He was so excited to finally do the routine correctly and we were all so proud.

State Gym Meet 2018

Part of the floor routine

State Gym Meet 2018

The tripod position

Parallel bars has always been one of Isaiah’s strengths. He loves them and has done well with them from the start, probably from all the practice he’d had before with swinging from literally any surface he could, ever since he figured out it was possible. He typically scores well on them, but has continued to improve with every practice and every meet.

State Gym Meet 2018

Parallel bars

Then Isaiah did his high bar routine. This is another that he struggled with, thanks to the need to turn upside down. He spent a long time too afraid to flip around the bar, worrying he’d fall on his head (I can’t say I blame him!). Now that he’s willing to do it, he’s learning and improving rapidly.

State Gym Meet 2018

On the high bar

The final event was the vault. Isaiah is still at the lowest competitive level, so his group doesn’t use the actual vault. They’re still learning to use the springboard to jump into the air and how to land on their hands and flip. His routine consisted of jumping off the springboard and sticking a landing on the mats, then going back to the board, going into a handstand and allowing himself to fall onto his back (can’t complete a full flip without getting into the air, so they’re supposed to land on their backs).

State Gym Meet 2018

The first part of the vault, jumping from the springboard

When all was said and done, Isaiah had done his absolute best in every event. Did he win? No. But it’s his very first year competing, so no one really expected him to win right now. For the time being, it’s all about learning and having fun with his friends. As long as he continues to love it, he’ll continue to compete, whether he comes in first or last place. The most important thing for him to know about this year, though, is how proud his family and coaches are of his achievements. When he started gymnastics, he was shy and lacked any kind of confidence in his own abilities. I had to beg him to stay for class, then stick around myself and watch. Now, he dashes out the front door and takes off to class without me (we live close to his gym). He was afraid to use any of the equipment and didn’t have a clue how to do anything that was being asked of him, in those early days. Now, each of his coaches has stopped me at various times to say it’s amazing how much he’s learning and that he has a new skill to show them every week! Gymnastics has been absolutely amazing for Isaiah in so many ways. He’s stronger, more confident, and so much more willing to take risks and try new things. He’s learned that he can be independent and do things himself, instead of clinging to an adult and hoping they’ll fix it. I look forward to many more years of gymnastics and watching my sweet little boy grow into a confident young man.

State Gym Meet 2018

Proudly wearing his medal

State Gym Meet 2018

He tied for 2nd on pommel horse with his buddy and couldn't be happier

State Gym Meet 2018

Isaiah and his teammates from his level, with all their medals

State Gym Meet 2018

Isaiah's team with their all-around trophy for their level. They weren't quite sure what to do with their giant trophy.

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“Gingerbread” Houses

Isaiah wanted to build a gingerbread house, but the kit was an absolute disaster (pieces were warped and it had the wrong type of icing, so nothing would stick). Instead of giving up, we decided to improvise. So, we pulled out some graham crackers and made some buttercream icing. We spent the next while carefully decorating houses made of crackers with an assortment of candies. Isaiah thought it was a wonderful idea because he had permission to eat it when it was finished.

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Ready to start!

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Trying to taste it before it was even decorated

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Carefully decorating

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Isaiah's finished house, with him begging to eat it, in the background

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Time to eat it!

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My mom with her house

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Everyone's finished houses: Mine on top, Isaiah's on the bottom left, my mom's on the bottom right

Frozen Bubbles

It’s officially COLD outside! We were able to go outside this morning and blow some bubbles that froze in the air for us. I managed to catch a couple on my wand, so Isaiah could examine them more closely. It was pretty cool to watch the ice crystals spread over the entire bubble.

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Isaiah approves

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A closer shot of the bubble

2017 in Review

It’s been a while since I had time to write, so I guess I’ll try to get back into this by starting with a review. 2017 has been crazy, so here goes.

January
In January, we had some nice weather, so we decided to take a trip to the zoo. We brought a homeschooled friend along with us and she and Isaiah had a blast.

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Zoo selfie

Isaiah turned 7 this month, but we had to wait until February for a party, since he really wanted all his friends to be able to attend. He was so excited to be 7!

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The birthday boy

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Proud boy with his brand new Nerf guns

February
This month started with Isaiah’s birthday party. We opted to do a party at the zoo, instead of trying to do one at home this year. It was a huge hit with Isaiah and all his friends.

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The kids had so much fun at the zoo! They loved running ahead of the adults and talking to the animals.

March
March brought Isaiah’s very first ever gymnastics meet. He was so excited to finally be old enough to participate. It was a fun meet where everyone got to participate and came home with an award of some sort, unlike most meets, which are highly competitive. It was a nice start to his gymnastics career.

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He loves the rings

DJ and Shiloh had a baby shower this month. We were all so excited to be waiting for a new baby boy.

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DJ and Shiloh with some of the gifts

I’d been counting down to March for almost a year because the live action Beauty and the Beast movie was going to be released. I couldn’t wait! Then, to add to the excitement, I met an awesome guy who offered to take me to see it.

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The first photo of me and William

April
In April, Isaiah got to meet William for the first time. We opted to meet up at the zoo, so Isaiah would have something to keep him busy, in case he felt shy. Turned out he didn’t need something to entertain him. He fell in love with William immediately!

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All of us at the zoo

Isaiah had never been to the Children’s museum nearest to us before, so we decided it was time to pay a visit. Isaiah loved every bit of it. He made new friends in each area and had a blast playing with all sorts of imaginative play centers. When he reached a point where he couldn’t function anymore, he insisted that William carry him to the car.

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Children's museum fun

May
Isaiah participated in field day at school again this year. He’s getting better at the skills and had a blast participating with all his friends.

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A couple of his events

June
June brought a great deal of excitement. DJ and Shiloh’s baby finally decided to make his appearance, adding one more family birthday to our busiest month. He’s a beautiful little boy, named Kendall.

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Introducing Kendall

July
William proposed to me this month. He brought me and Isaiah to the zoo for a fun day, then stopped to propose up on the hill, near some of my favorite animals. Of course, as soon as he tried to get down on one knee, Isaiah took off. Once we’d caught Isaiah again, William was able to propose and, of course, I said yes.

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My ring

The zoo in Sioux Falls had koala bears this summer. I adore koalas, so my mom, Isaiah, and I loaded up for a very long drive to go see them. We’d never been to that zoo before, so there was lots to see, besides the koalas. I will admit we spent the most time just sitting, watching the koalas, though. They were just so stinking cute!

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Some of our many zoo pictures

August
Before I had to go back to work for the school year, my mom, Isaiah, and I decided to take a little vacation. We thought it would be fun to try to see Nebraska in a few days. It was a challenge, but we pulled it off. We got to see lots of important landmarks, as well as visit a zoo we’d never been to before.

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Just a few shots from our adventures

September
Isaiah and I took William and his sister, Iris, to our favorite pumpkin patch. Isaiah had fun showing them all his favorite activities and playing with them.

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October
We welcomed a new, sweet kitty to our home this month. A family friend was being forced to rehome her babies, due to a severe allergy in her family. I was happy to offer T.J. a new home with us. He’s settled in and loves his new home.

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T.J.'s first portraits

Since Isaiah got to show off his favorite pumpkin patch, William’s family invited us to come and see theirs. Isaiah, of course, loved every second. I hardly saw him the whole day because he took off with Grace, William’s youngest sister.

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So much to do!

We all adore the zoo, so we decided to take Iris there for some adventures, too. She hadn’t been there since they’d done some major construction and added new exhibits, so it was fun to show her the new stuff.

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Zoo selfies

November
Isaiah always helps my dad with his magic shows at the local pumpkin patch. This year, the owners of the pumpkin patch gave them each a small gift for helping out. Isaiah was absolutely giddy at receiving his very first paycheck.

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Posing with his paycheck

December
Isaiah had two Christmas programs this month, one at school and one at church. Before the school program, my dad took some family pictures for us. Isaiah loved participating in his programs and having his family in the audience for them. He’s so proud of himself.

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The family pictures and some shots of his programs

Independence Day 2016

Just wanted to share some fun fireworks pictures from this evening. We had lots of fun hanging out with some friends at the park waiting for the fireworks. Isaiah got to sit by one of his buddies and talk to a few others, so life was pretty good in his world.

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Red, white, and blue

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A single burst

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Pretty

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The little one kind of looks like a butterfly!

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This is my favorite

Glasses Update

A year ago, Isaiah went to the eye doctor following an announcement that he was seeing double. At that point, he was given “reading” (anything up close, since he wasn’t reading yet) glasses.

It’s been a year now, so it was time for another eye exam. Isaiah was happy to go, as long as Darth Vadar Mouse and Zaboomafoo could also attend. He followed directions and answered questions. He was fascinated by the equipment.

At the #eyedoctor with some furry #friends

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Once his exam was finished, his eye doctor told him to start using his reading glasses full time. He says his prescription hasn’t changed enough to warrant new lenses, but he feels that it’s time to wear them all the time. Isaiah is pretty excited about that idea. As soon as we got home, he collected them and put them on. He says he can see a lot better now, too.

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Silly pose

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Happy boy

VBS Program Silliness

Isaiah had a program this morning as the conclusion to a week of VBS. All the kids sang some of the VBS songs and the workers told about the lessons and demonstrated some of the activities. While the leaders were talking, the kids sat on the stage, waiting as patiently as small children can. Since the program lasted over an hour, sitting quietly was becoming a bit of a challenge by the end. As we neared the end, I’d had to give Isaiah “the mom look” for poking his neighbor, so I wasn’t planning to take my eyes off him again any time soon.

The time came for a closing prayer and dismissal, much to the kids’ pleasure. While the rest of the church bowed their heads for the prayer, some of the kids had just had enough sitting. Isaiah and the little girl beside him started discussing his muscles (after a year of gymnastics, he’s suddenly discovered that he’s developed some pretty impressive muscles). According to him, she didn’t believe he had big muscles. Well, we can’t have that, so, in the middle of the prayer, Isaiah rolled up his sleeves and showed off his muscles for his friend to poke. Catching sight of what was happening, one of the other kids, also in his gymnastics class, joined in to show his equally impressive muscles. By the time the prayer ended, they’d lost interest in the topic. With the final “amen”, they quietly filed off stage with the rest of the group, with most of the people in the room oblivious to their little game.