Saturday, 19 July 2014

Little Rays of Sunlight? Day 22 of My 52 Days of Summer

I have been feeling rather down this week. With all the problems in the swim club I have just had a really had time getting out of the dark cloud. Then this week Allen's car died. We thought he had it fixed when he and his friend put a new radiator in (and got it changed quite easily!) but today it seems to have a new problem. Hopefully it's something that our mechanic can quickly fix - maybe they just didn't get things hooked up quite right.

Tonight our crazy kids decided to try some more independence skills and they took the bus downtown to go to Shakespeare in the Park. This left me home alone for the evening as Allen was off on an appointment. It was really great to have some time to myself. Luckily, I listened to a really interesting podcast today. It was about women in the church and the importance of women having a voice in the church and easing the pain some women are experiencing. It was about people and the things that they go through when they are ostracized or excluded from a group that they were a part of. It really helped me work through some of my feelings about the swim club's issues.

A couple of points I really liked about women in the church:

  • Elder Ballard's book, Counselling with our Councils, says: One of my main purposes in writing this book is to encourage priesthood leaders to invite the sisters to more fully participate in developing solutions to the difficult problems facing members of the church. 

  • If you are within an organization and you damage relationships you lose your ability to bring about change. add to the kid's story. After Shakespeare in the Park somehow they ended up at Olympic Plaza (not sure how that happened....they're not that close together!) and there was a festival there. They called me to see if they could stay. Seems they didn't have enough change for the bus ride home (although, Peirce seemed to have a different story in the background). Allen picked them up after his appointment. Phew!! Glad to see they didn't get kidnapped and shipped to some third world Latin hovel.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Football/Swim Club Avoidance Day 21 of My 52 Days of Summer

Today was Peirce's pay day from all his hard work at the stampede. Allen was going to drive him to pick up his check - but Peirce ended up demonstrating some of his cheeky non-charm and Allen told him he was on his own if he was going to talk like that. Instead, he decided he'd try taking the bus. It was quite an adventure. He has never gone that far on the bus, and hasn't gone alone. He did it though! When he got home, he was a much nicer kid too. :)

Tonight there was also another swim club meeting. The board decided to do their information night after all. I was actually pretty relieved to have something to do so I'd have to miss it. I need to step away from all this craziness as I'm having a hard time not internalizing and rehashing everything. Allen went. I don't know if it went too well though. After, when we were home, he really didn't want to talk about it much. He said there are just so many people with hurt feelings, on all sides, that it just makes him sad.

Tonight the kids and I volunteered at the football game. It was a lot of fun. Jill and I worked in a pizza stand. Peirce was disappointed to see he was responsible for condiments. Jill took pity on him and let him swap spots with her now and then. We had a lot of fun. I'm really glad I get to do this with the kids.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Day 20 of My 52 Days of Summer

Last night we attended another board meeting with the swim club. This time the board finally attended. After business was conducted, they opened up the floor to questions.

It was ugly. The board was defensive. Their speeches were filled with emotion and punctuated with swear words. They were accusatory and talked down to the people in the room. They said that no one (no one?) steps up and does anything in this club. They said we had no right to question their decisions. They were defensive and mean and frankly, rather frightening.

After, I was talking with someone about how this could all get to this. What were the red flags along the way?

I thought about the times I heard people complaining in the bleachers or in groups on deck at meets. Mostly, I stay out of those conversations. Maybe I should have said something to them though. Maybe I should have encouraged them to talk to the person they had issue with rather than talking about them.

I thought about a time when I went out for dinner with a bunch of parents and kids after an away meet and how one mom responded when I walked into the restaurant. We were the second group to arrive. Two women were there and there was a long row of tables that had been put together for the group. One mom, seeing me enter, quickly let me know there wasn't room for us. I just shook my head and asked the waitress if we could pull one more table over. Really, I should have had a conversation with the mom who was so bizarrely rude.

I thought at times when people in the club have been exclusive. Last year where there were a bunch of people (the gang, as I call them) all wearing the same t-shirts at a meet. Turns out the story is there was a parent who was unhappy with things in the club. She had talked to someone about it and made a comment about how they were all high and mighty like a gang in tuxes or something like that. So, in response, this group all bought t-shirts that were tuxes and wore them all weekend at the meeting.

I was stunned. If student's did something like that in our school we'd be working hard with them to help them learn the problems of being exclusive. How do you deal with it when adults do stuff like that?

It all left me feeling sick. Today my heart is racing and I feel like throwing up. I need a day to just sit in a park and stare at the horizon.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Day 19 of my 52 Days of Summer - My Summer is Being Stolen!

It's been a long nine days. The past week Allen and I have mostly been focused on swim club issues. We had a big meeting at the church. I chaired the meeting. It was probably the most nerve-wracking meeting I ever chaired. However, everyone was very respectful and I was left feeling very hopeful that the members of the club could come together and fix this situation.

The week has continued with bumps and surprises. One of our big concerns was that our head coach had been fired without due process (reviews, probation, etc.). The board posted his position and were accepting applications. We were concerned that a wrongful lawsuit could be pending and that if a new coach was hired and then a new board decided to re-hire our head-coach, we could have another lawsuit for breach of contract with the new coach. What a mess! All the while we were trying to bend the ear of the board. They wouldn't reply to emails. We did talk to them in person when we saw them at the pool, but the conversations were not very open and as a matter of fact, one ended with one board member telling Allen if he didn't stop asking questions "we were going to have a problem". The email and phone campaign continued. Yesterday we got a lawyer to write a cease and desist letter. We wanted them to stop the process of hiring a new coach until the membership could be heard. We had requested a meeting and it was scheduled for August 10. Today, after receiving the letter, the board decided to step down. It continues their lack of communication approach. However, perhaps now we can put a new board in place and try to repair the damage. Time will tell. We have another meeting tonight. I have great hope!

All that is a lot of detail to explain that my summer is being stolen!! We need to put this to bed so that I can get on with the important things of summer. I need to clean. I need to blog. I need to read. I need to have fun with my kids. I need to relax! All these things take time! :)

Monday, 7 July 2014

Summer Stall Day - Day 10 of my 51 Days of Summer

Yesterday we drove home from Edmonton and brought two of our favorite kids with us.

Good times!!

When we got home we got a surprising email. The board has fired our swim club's head coach. Emails started flying and phones started buzzing. Everyone is by upset about this. It sounds like there is a small group determined to get rid of him. They may not have realized that if that is how they do business they will lose all the coaches. We just may not have a club in the fall. I spent a bunch of time today making phone calls to get up to speed and feel like I must step in. Time to rally the membership. 

I hate that they have done this to my summer! My relaxing has been stalled. *sigh*

End of Seniors! Day 9 of 51 of My 51 Days of Summer

This is the longest meet we have ever been to. Today we were quite ready for it to be over. Jill swam 100 fly and 50 free. 100 fly was her best race. She made it to the finals and she got a new personal best.

It has been great to visit with Virginia and Andy as well. We sure appreciate their hospitality!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Day 8 of My 51 Days of Summer

Today was a much better day of races.  200 IM and 200 fly were both great. Jill qualified for the finals in 200 fly. This morning she took off one second and tonight 3 more seconds. That is a good day! She said it felt like the best race she has ever had.

I didn't do as much reading today. Lots more visiting and talking and too much time wasted on the ipad. It was lovely :)

We went for lunch at Wok Box. This was my fortune:

Friday, 4 July 2014

More Swimming Day 7 of of my 51 Days of Summer

More time at the pool today. Jill's goal has been to get a National time. Today she missed it in her 50 fly by .05. A heartbreaker! She got 30.45 and needed 30.40. The crying is finished though and we are on to tomorrow. Good thing for cell phone plans that allow for a good long talk with dad, and for aunts who know the right things to say (you're so you know how much work it takes and that you can do it) and do (frozen yogurt run definitely necessary!) Even though she hasn't accomplished all she'd hoped to so far, she has taken time off every race - and so she keeps moving in the right direction. That is big!

Peirce has started his job at the stampede. I'm so proud of him! Allen says he is eager and motivated. He gets up and gets himself ready and wants to go early. If only we could bottle that and spread it out over the school year!

I'm having a lovely time reading and visiting with other swim club parents. I'm totally ok with waiting around at the pool! It is interesting to see how people spend their time. Some really follow the heat sheets and track all the kids races (great team players!) Others are becoming masters of Candy Crush. iPads and iPhones abound. All I know, is there is a LOT of waiting around time. Gotta do something!

Seniors! Day 6 of of my 51 Days of Summer

Jill and I are at the Seniors Provincial Swim Meet. She swam 200 free today. She won her heat (that is always nice), got a personal best, but had hoped for even better than this best. We decided it is just the warm up to the bigger, more important events.
Jill was in lane 4.

I have to say, I don't really mind hanging out at a swim meet all day. I spend a little bit of time visiting with other parents and a lot of time reading and writing. It is quite therapeutic.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Busy in the Kitchen! Day 5 of of my 51 Days of Summer

 This morning was spent in the kitchen. We are Getting ready to go to provincials! We are packing sandwich meat and crackers and tuna and a few more great treats. Yesterday we cooked a huge roast from the superstore wholesale store that I also sliced up.

Breakfast cookies

Potato salad

Asian Slaw

Bean salad

Banana bread

I was going to make bread too, but I am feeling maxed out.

Happy Canada Day Day 4 of of my 51 Days of Summer

What a great day! We did a lot of visiting today. A Canada Day breakfast with some friends, lunch with the missionaries, then we celebrated Hannah's birthday. She is 6! Hannah is our miracle girl. She was diagnosed with autism a couple years ago. She and her parents have worked tirelessly this past year on diet and supplements to help with issues she faced. She has come so far! This year she will go into Gr. 1. Lots of exciting things to come!