Adventure Update # 060: Back to School!

Gracie @ a New School

Gracie – First day of school 2021

Well, we have made the transition to our new schedule!  I am bringing Gracie down to Binghamton every morning for school – since she is now @ Seton.  I thought that with this new schedule – I would be into the office earlier, and out earlier – but that has NOT proven to be the case yet! Gracie has been involved in various after-school activities – and that has resulted in me being both in earlier – and leaving later than I usually do!

Gracie has adapted really well – and seems to be is thriving at her new school. She made high-honors for her first semester, ran X-Country and is now in the Robotic’s Club & Science clubs.

I don’t know how she is doing it all – but she is. I am the one that seems to be having more difficulty adjusting to this new schedule!

Gracie X-Country

Gracie is proving to be very competitive in X-Country.  She’s had several meets where she has placed very well – and just seemed to get better as the season progressed!  She really enjoyed X-Country this year – and may have found “her sport”!

X-Country was totally new to me this year. I have never been to a meet – and really didn’t know what to expect when I showed up to the first one – at a school I had never been to before. I felt lost – and didn’t even know where they were to start- or where they were to finish. Thanks to some other parents – I managed to see her finish at her first race.

I was very amused & impressed when, on one of the early meets of the season, she finished a minute or so before an older boy that started on the course 2 minutes earlier than her!

Usually the 7 & 8th graders would race together. Gracie was pretty routinely finishing in the top 20 – with the occasional finish in the top 10. When she has raced against just 7th graders – she usually finishes in the top 10. Some of these meets are pretty big – with over 100 girls in her division.

Her very last race of the season was a real mudfest. But the mud didn’t slow that girl down! She finished 4th out of about 67 runners! One of her team mates actually lost her sneaker in the mud and finished the race with only one sneaker on! Yes – she did go back and find her sneaker after the race.

Gracie – The Great Pumpkin Unload!

The Great Pumpkin Unload

Gracie has to do some volunteering & community service for her theology class throughout the school year. One of the service activities she signed up for was unloading pumpkins at the church for a fund-raising pumpkin sale. When we headed out – we really had no idea what to expect – or how large the truck was. When we got there – we saw a tractor trailer in the parking lot. Uh oh! Despite our shock – we still failed to appreciate just how many pumpkins an 18-wheeler could hold!

We were off-loading the pumpkins, in assembly line fashion – for nearly 3 hours – before we took the final pumpkin off that truck!

Annie & Dominick Soccer Team

Dominick & Annie Soccer

Dominick & Annie played soccer for the school this year. Even though it was for 10 – 12 years olds – Annie played as a 9 year-old for the beginning part of the season. She was one of the youngest on the team. They both did really well. Dominick usually got a goal or two for each game – and as many as 4 in one single game. Annie got a couple for the season. The level of competition was higher than either was accustomed to – so I was very proud of them!


Sophie is in kindergarten all day now – for 5 days a week! Melani – after 12 years – finally has a couple days to herself each week to get something done – since they are all, finally, in school all day.

There is only one subject Sophie dreads – tech…. Apparently she does not like having to use the computer mouse.  I am beginning to question the paternity of that kid!

Kids’ Artwork

Just some of the artwork they have created over the last several months….

Gigi’s 100th Birthday!

My Grandmother turned 100 this September! She loves to get cards – so the kids made her some special birthday cards this year. After all – it’s not very often we are going to get to celebrate a 100th birthday!

Sophie’s Soccer Debut

Sophie – Owning her defensive spot on the soccer field…

Sophie has been just a little less than enthusiastic about starting soccer this year. It’s a real chore to get her to go – and even more of an impossible task to get her to participate.

This past week has been the worst so far this season! As a parent – it is difficult to tell sometimes when to push a kid, and when to yield. We have been firm with the children from the get-go, that they have to do something for exercise and sports. Soccer is a really easy sport to start with – since it is so intuitive (ball, grass, kick ball. One goal is yours – the other is the opposing team’s goal)

If I were to put a positive spin on Sophie’s performance this week – I would say that Sophie totally OWNED her defensive spot on the field. Nothing good happened for the other team – in Sophie’s defensive zone!

Unfortunately – the size of her defensive zone was very, very small. It was precisely the size of her two stationary feet….

Gracie was at cross country meet, but Dominick & Annie were on the sidelines to cheer Sophie on. They were commenting on how her total lack of participation was really rather sad…..

Yes – we certainly urged her on. We definitely WILLED her to move and just appear as if she were trying. And there were even brief moments – where we THOUGHT she might just have slightly moved a foot. But all was for naught & to no avail. She stood her ground – but only the ground directly below her two feet!

Other parents were murmuring. We suspect they were speculating what was wrong with Sophie, they were grateful she was not their kid…. that her problems obviously went deeper than soccer… All this mixed in with a little pity for us, as her parents….

Because of Sophie’s unwavering and rigid posture, some other parents apparently mistook her for an actual lawn gnome that had accidentally been left or misplaced on the soccer field. An understandable mistake – since she is actually just slightly taller than most lawn gnomes.

But as the parents of 4 children – we were undaunted, and, in-fact, barely even fazed! Dare I say- Melani and I were slightly amused!

After all, this isn’t our first kid, and certainly not our first rodeo with a stubborn little ankle-biter!

Although Sophie may have won the battle today – she will, undoubtably, lose the war on this front! She was on the field – and met the technical requirements of participation. But despite her meeting the letter of the law – it was a far cry from what the spirit of the law required….

Oh, she is soon to discover the depth of the tools in our toolshed to deal with this kind of stubborn behavior! I almost pity her…..



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Blessed father of 4 wonderful children & trophy husband to 1 lovely wife. Part-time blogger, full-time nerd & aspiring Renaissance man!

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