Tuesday, February 2, 2010
They Won and Then We had a Night with Knights
Warning: indulgent bragging mom moment ahead. I get to brag about my brilliant children once in a while. I really do generally avoid it, believe me. Skip if you don't want to hear. I also generally avoid being on the computer this late but I have insomnia. My baby has been asleep since 7:30 P.M. Why is that I fall asleep during Family Home Evening, miss out on treats, and then after everyone is in bed and the baby is still soundly sleeping I am suddenly wide awake? It's because of racing thoughts. One of which is the good news of my two children's recent victory. They are in scholar phase at ages 14 and 16 (see tjedonline.com for more on scholar phase) and loving it. Saturday was pay-off time for them.
"Are you ready to come to my celebration dinner at Spanky's (a restaurant) after the Freedom Bowl?" asked my son's friend Christian after their economics class at their Commonwealth School last Thursday. I happened to be there subbing for my friend Aneladee who had gone to teach a Commonwealth training in Mesa AZ. (see thelemi.com) She and her husband teach the class and the kids are learning principles of macroeconomics according to Thomas Sowell.
"You mean, are you coming to my celebration dinner?!" replied my son playfully. They are on opposing teams. I was pleased to know that another team would be representing Davis County homeschoolers at the Freedom Bowl competition the ensuing Saturday in SLC, UT. The Freedom Bowl was sponsored by American Youth Leadership Institute. (see ayli.org) AYLI uses the study guide about the Revolutionary War and the Constitution produced by rootsoffreedom.org. The cool thing about that is that Roots of Freedom uses a tree motif in its logo, which fits in nicely with Tree of Life Mothering. The motif even shows roots and fruit, which my logo for my upcoming book and website shows as well. But I digress.
The competition was stiff. My son got second place last year, first place the year before. My daughter got fourth place two years ago, and then first last year. This year she moved up to the senior division and could finally be on her brother's team. We had to round up a teammate from Tooele and they were still one person short. Two years ago, we had to find teammates way down yonder in South Jordan for my son. The drive to get him to a practice was a sacrifice but he and his teammates had fantastic synergy and they won first place. This year my kids and Tooele boy practiced through Skype. I love technology that saves me driving an hour with a screaming baby who thinks car seats are torture chairs. My friend Shauna's daughter, Lightning Answer Girl, joined my son's former team last year, displacing my son, and beat him last year. The word on the street was that the two teams to watch for were my kids' team and LAG's team.
I was looking forward to the fierce competition. Last year when they went head to head LAG answered almost all of the fifteen round of questions after two or three words of the question were given by the moderator, quite a bit before anybody else would buzz in. My son was quick but she was even quicker. She had all the questions memorized, and what first three words went with each answer. The girl went through 15 questions and answers in five minutes, which normally takes 20-30 minutes. This year, after prodding from me and other parents, the organizer rephrased the questions so the kids would have to actually think. Amazingly enough, those two teams never competed against each other. There was an odd number and the organizer did not have them play round robin. Each team had a bye.
Anyway, my kids' team won all four matches, whereas LAG got tripped up by the rephrasing and her team lost to Christian's team. Way to go south Davis county! (I really do love LAG, after all, she is my girlfriends' daughter and she gave of her bed so I could have a place to sleep when I stayed at her house the night before my NFL4LDS Moms Conference last spring. I was the one who knew she would be good at this whole thing and told her mom about it.)
My kids looked really sharp in their all black outfits. My daughter, who is into drama and fashion, planned this and even had her brother and the other boy (they were supposed to have four people but could never find a fourth) walk around the room once in formation and sit down all at the same time to intimidate one of the other teams before a match. I say next year they get their two cousins from the commonwealth school in St. George to be their teammates, and all wear black, including dark sunglasses. That would be way cool. My daughter is already coaching her near 12 year-old brother on how to win next year, with LAG's younger brother, Tooele boy's younger brother, and another cousin on his team. Forget a dynasty with Kennedys and Clintons, we are creating one with Shumways/Winters/Kaisermans/and Gierisches.
So my kids each won a scholarship, worth $165, to Simulations Week sponsored by AYLI in June. See http://ayli.org/concon.html It sounds so much fun I almost wish I could be a scholar youth again. Life is so much better for youth who don't want to be teenagers than it was for me, a female nerd who loved to do weird things like sluff high school assemblies, wait until 17 to drive and 18 to date, and study 5-6 hours a day. I was odd for thinking high school was a time to prepare for college, not play.
After that rousing competition, we rushed home. The two big kids and my husband went to a Supreme Court trial simulation for the south Davis county commonwealth school, and I took the middles and littles, all five, to a Knights of Freedom family activity. My 8-year-old was dubbed Knight of Respect. We had a fun night with the Knights, visiting and playing games. I am so grateful to Diann Jeppson for setting up AYLI with its Knights of Freedom chapters, Liberty Girl chapters (which my drama daughter participated in when she was younger) and the Freedom Bowl. She could have just stayed in her own homeschooling world, just doing things with her daughters, but instead she expanded her vision and gave of her gifts to create these organizations and events. Thanks Diann!
The best part of the whole day was seeing my kids win and my other son take a vow to be a knight. That means he promises to obey his parents, serve his family and others, and always tell the truth. The second best part was finally finding out that someone from my hometown who I knew from growing up does TJED. She lives in Morgan now and is between my older brothers in ages. I have seen her face at TJED events for years and always wondered if she was the person I thought she was. I took a risk and asked her and sure enough. We were in the same ward and in Mutual together. She was one of the big Laurels when I was a Beehive. She has a big family too and her husband took the Face to Face with Greatness seminar with me almost four years ago. I love making connections like this.