Archive | February 2013

My Letterman Jacket

On Tuesday I was so excited about the Swim Banquet because I am a Senior and it was my turn.  After we picked up my friend, Jenny, we got to the Banquet on time and got some ice-cream.  There were lots of people and it was hard to find a seat.  I wanteto see the slide show but Coach Helen wanted to start with awards.  Then it was Big Sky’s turn and I went up in front with my friends Caelin and Jenny;  Cameron came later.  Coach Helen said nice things about each one of us and we got a package with blue and gold ribbons for Big Sky:  a North Face back pack, a big laundry bag with my name on it and a blue/gold pot holder from myself :-).  And then my swim friends came up and gave me a letterman jacket!  My friends helped me put it on and then everybody stood up and clapped. Then I went back to sit with Jenny and I wore my new jacket.  Coach Helen gave more awards and we had a slide show of lots of pictures from High School Swimming.  It was fun!  My favorite part was the jacket and the slideshow and the ice-cream! (Click here if you want to read about Missoula Invitational Swim Meet and click here if you want to read about High School State Swim Meet in Hardin.)

After the banquet my mom wanted to take pictures with friends and with coaches.  Coach Helen said:  next year I hope you come to Masters’ Swimming on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  And my friend Hailey said:  next year I hope you will come to the Grizzly Pool to watch us swim. We took my friend Jenny home and then we were in the car and we were quiet and I was thinking and then I said `next year.’  My mom said, `Hand me a kleenex, please.’  And then she reminded me what Coach Helen said about swimming Masters and what my friend Hailey said about watching my friends swim next year.  `Are you a little sad?’ she asked me.  `No, I am happy.’  At home I put our senior picture `This is not our first Rodeo’ poster in my scrapbooking box `High School Swimming is all done,’ I said and then I went to bed.  I was tired and excited both at the same time. 

On Wednesday I wore my Letterman Jacket on the bus to school.  My mom told the bus driver about the Swim Banquet and about the jacket.  She was crying a little bit.  Silly mom. But now I know when she does that that she is giving thanks and being proud of me so it is okay.  At school I did not put my jacket in my locker.  I wanted to wear it to my classes.  In painting class, I was careful not to get any paint on it;  in Culinary Arts I was careful not to get any dough on it; and at lunch I was careful not to spill my lunch on it.   I wanted to wear my Letterman Jacket because . . .  well just because I was grateful and proud and excited . . .  everything!  

On Thursday, I got up early and helped pack the car to drive to Utah to see Matthan swim.  I wore my Letterman jacket in the car.  When we got to Deer Lodge my mom asked me if I was warm and if I wanted to take off my jacket.  So I took it off because the car was warm.  I made 10 pot holders and then my mom wanted to listen to The Iliad by Homer.  She said that that after The Iliad we could read The Hobbit.  And that is what we did. We got to the hotel in Salt Lake City and then ate dinner at McDonalds.  I had grilled chicken wrap, small fries, garden salad and water with no ice.  At the hotel my mom and I watched Downton Abbey.  It was so happy with the baby and then it was so sad.  

In the morning we got up and ate breakfast.  I made 10 pot holders and then I played games with Grandpa and then Uncle Jeff came and we played more games. And then we waited and waited for Matthan.  We were so excited!  And then Matthan came to the hotel with his USC swimming friends.  I showed him my Letterman Jacket but he was not very surprised about it—he already knew I was going to get it—he kept the secret.  Good job, Matthan!   He said that it looked nice on me and we took a picture together.  And then we talked and talked and talked.  It was fun!  Then after McDonalds with Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Jeff we went to the swim meet.  Matthan swam 50 breast.  Go Matthan!  Go SC! It was fun!

Saturday morning we got up and we ate breakfast in the hotel and we played more games and did more talking and then it started to snow.  It was very prettyeveryone was worried about the roads for going home.  But Matthan was very excited to see the snow!  He misses snow in southern California.  Then we went to the swim meet.  Matthan swam 100 breast, 200 breast, and 200 IM.  Go Matthan!  Go SC!  It was fun.

We drove home in the snowstorm:  I made 10 more pot holders;  I listened to The Iliad for my mom; and in the night I took a nap and then we were home!  Sunday we went to church, unpacked our stuff, worked on homework and then relaxed.  

playing games together at the hotel
playing games together at the hotel
Go SC!  Go Matthan!
Go SC! Go Matthan!
USC @ Utah
USC @ Utah
#1 SC Fan!
#1 SC Fan!
sporting Trojan and Eagles gear
sporting Trojan and Eagles gear

crazy southern California boys

with my coaches

with my coaches

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My Presidents’ Day Weekend

On Friday I watched James Bond Skyfall at the library with my mom and dad.  I saw fighting, a fire and lots of shooting and at the end it was so sad.  On Saturday I was so excited because I got to usher for MCT’s Aladdin play.   I couldn’t be an actor this time because I was doing high school swimming but ushering is the best thing if you can’t be in the show.  I wanted to usher all four shows!   I was looking for my clothes: black pants and white sweater but I couldn’t find my black pants.  My mom found my skort but the button was off and it was dirty.  So I sewed the button on almost all by myself.  My mom helped a little but then I washed it and dried it all by myself.  It was such a nice day that my mom wanted to walk to MCT.  On Saturday my mom and I walked to MCT together.   We were careful about checking for cars at the crosswalks and pushing the buttons when there was a stop light.  First we went to the library and then I walked from the Library to MCT all by myself.  I ushered with Carol as the House Manager for the 3:00 show.  My mom came to House Manage for the 5:00 show and then we went home together.  
On Sunday, I walked to MCT all by myself.  My mom was very proud of me but I would like to tell her that I was very proud of HER when she did NOT call MCT checking up on me to see if I got there on time.  So there it is:  I covered both Sunday shows all by myself!  Maybe that is the bigger deal:   three years ago, when I was a Freshman I remember when we started volunteering at MCT, my mom had to be with me the whole time and now that I am a Senior I simply say `good bye’ to my mom at the door and leave her to her Greek and Hebrew.  After the shows I called her on my cell phone to ask her to pick me up—I could have walked home on my own but it was dark and I was hungry, maybe next time!  I said:  please pick me up now.  I am at MCT.  So I got to see the show four times.  There was a funny donkey who was singing and dancing and a princess in the castle.  There were lots of penguins.  It was fun.  I saw friends and I handed out programs.
On Monday I went to lap swimming with my mom.  I am excited to go back to Missoula Aquatic Club swimming in March but lap swimming is second best to coached swimming.  Then I got a haircut.  It feels better.
In the afternoon I went to the Ad Ed Center and hung out with friends:  FFA friends and new friends.  We decorated cookies and ate a snack.  We rode the wagon.  Austin was driving the tractor.  He was very careful.  No one fell off the wagon.  I gave hay to the cows.  The cows were eating the hay.  Then we went to look at the baby pigs.  They were growing bigger and bigger.  Some of them were sleeping and some of them were drinking milk from their mother and some of them were fighting with each other;  well, my mom said that they were playing.  I got to hold a baby pig and I touched a lamb and I touched a rabbit.  It was very fun.
I like Presidents’ Day:  No school!  I hope my mom has time to read The Hobbit with me before it is time to go to bed.
Tuesday night is the Swim Banquet at Sentinel High School.  I am very excited because I am a Senior.  I suppose that I need to be prepared to have a silly mom and maybe a silly dad tonight.
I ride on the wagon and feed the cows.

I ride on the wagon and feed the cows.

I like squealing pigs.

I like squealing pigs.

My High School State Swim Meet Weekend

It all started when my mom insisted that we drive over grandmaʼs house to watch television which did not make any sense to me because we have a television but she said we had to go because we couldnʼt get the signal for KPAX on our television. Anyway, we drove to grandmaʼs house and there I was on T.V. I was swimming at the Grizzly Pool and they showed me swimming and diving; later Coach Helen talked about me and my friend Hailey talked about me and my mom talked about me (click here to read her thoughts of the interview).

Then we went home and went to bed . . . and the next morning I wore my Big Sky Swimming warm-ups outfit and everyone was talking to me and saying that they saw me on T.V. and `way to go, Mathaliaʼ and `have fun at State, Mathaliaʼ and `Good Luck,Mathalia.ʼ My mom picked me up from school and laughed when a friend encouraging me to swim fast asked about PED’s and going to Florida.  I said `yes, I want to swim fast, take PED’s and fly to Florida!’   Mom said, `Well, you had better hope Coach Helen doesn’t find out.’

Good Luck, Mathalia and have fun!my locker decorated for the State Swim Meet

Good Luck, Mathalia and have fun!
my locker decorated for the State Swim Meet

On Thursday, we drove all the way to Hardin on the big Beachliner buses: wow it was a long drive. All the swimmers–ninety of us—got a little bag with breakfast and then later we got a bag with lunch.

6:00 a.m. boarding the busses

6:00 a.m. boarding the buses

We had lots of time: time for napping and time for talking and laughing with friends; and time for listening to music. In Hardin I remembered the pool; I had been there before. The first time was five years ago when I went with my mom to watch Matthan swim.  Matthan was a sophomore and I was still in middle school.  I sat up by the announcer where it was quiet and not very many people and I watched the swim meet and made lots of pot holders while my mom officiated and Matthan was swimming.  The second time I was there was three years ago when I was a freshman and I got to go to the State Swim Meet. My mom came on the bus with the whole team and we stayed in the same hotel room together. This time is a lot different because I am a senior and I came all by myself with friends!

alone in swim meet chaos

negotiating swim meet chaos all by myself

My mom says she is so proud; maybe that is why she is crying all the time. Anyway, it felt really good to warm up in the nice pool and then go back to the hotel for a delicious taco bar supper. I stayed in the hotel all by myself with friends!

In the morning on Friday I went down to breakfast and my mom was there making eggs. I talked to my mom but I ate breakfast with my friends. Then we got on the bus to go to the meet. My friend Jenny wrote my races on my hand with black ink. I got ready for my races all by myself. I swam 50 free, 100 breast, and then the 400 free relay.  I got ready and was on-time for all of my races.

waiting for my heat, getting mentally ready for my race

waiting for my heat, getting mentally ready for my race

beautiful, legal breast stroke!

nice, legal breast stroke!

enjoying my swim and all the cheers

enjoying my swim and all the cheers

race is done!  well swum!

race is done! well swum!

getting read for the anchor leg of the 400 Free Relay Race

getting ready for the anchor leg of the 400 Free Relay Race

The relay was really fun because I  had never swum the 400 Free Relay. I got to swim the anchor leg and everyone was cheering and clapping and shouting: `go Mathaliaʼ and my mom was taking pictures and crying. Silly mom. After the race she took more pictures of me and of me with friends and then I took a shower and got dressed.  I went back to the hotel and ate a fancy Olive Garden dinner with salad and bread sticks.  I hung out with friends and High School Swimming was all done for meSaturday I got to watch my friends swim in finals and I got to cheer them on in their races: Go Kate from Big Sky. She got a medal in the Award Ceremony just like Matthan when he was a Senior and got a medal. It was fun. We got on the bus and drove to a grocery store. I bought chicken and potatoes for three dollars. Then I hung out with friends on the bus until we got home.

My dad picked me up and at home I scrubbed my hand really hard to get the black ink off my hand. High School Swimming is all done! Well, we have one more thing: High School Swim Banquet on February 19. I put it on my calendar; I am really excited because I am a senior. This year is my turn!

At church everybody was talking to me: good job, Mathalia! I saw you on KPAX News, Mathalia! I was so proud of you, Mathalia! Way to Go Mathalia!  This year is my turn: graduation is June 1, 2013! Thank you Coach Helen and High School Swimming, Thank you Missoula Aquatic Club, Thank you Grizzly Pool, Thank you KPAX, Thank you Missoula, Thank you Montana; thank you God.

p.s. If you see my mom, tell her to stop being silly and just give thanks for the past four years of high school and know that His faithfulness will continue to be new every morning in the years to come. Then tell her to go chill with her favorite book:  To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven . . . He has made everything beautiful in its time . . .[therefore]  nothing is better for [her] than to rejoice . . . and enjoy the good of all [her] labor—it is a gift of God.

Of Pirates and Pigs

On Friday I got to see Gretchen in The Writing Center again; I had been a long time. She was excited about my newspaper article. I did very well on the job: Kelly had written me a note about changes in the log-in slips and I did it all by myself. My mom was very happy about this. Walking home I told my mom: What did you do in Culinary Arts today? I made biscuits. And then I ate one biscuit with strawberry jam.

After unpacking my stuff, I pulled out my dress-up box in the attic. I looked through my dress-up books and found a pirate idea. My mom helped me make a cloth into a head kerchief that pirates like to wear and we found a belt too. We were looking for a dagger—Matthan used to have lots of them!  But we couldn’t find any in his bedroom and he isn’t around to make me one.  I miss Matthan!  Anyway, at the concert they gave me an eye patch so I looked like a real pirate even without a dagger. It was fun! There were lots of pirates and the Conductor had a crazy pirate costume. I didnʼt even recognize him and he talked very funny. He said ARRRRR a lot. It was funny. Mostly I liked the concert; some of the music did not sound very good but the bad parts did not last very long.  They really messed up Beethoven and Mozart but at the end they played Pirates of the Caribbean and they did a good job!  I saw lots of friends: church friends, my pastor, and my swim coach. It was fun!

after the concert: my turn to say ARRRRR!

after the concert: my turn to say ARRRRR!

On Saturday I had swim practice and walked home all by myself. I remembered my key! After lunch we put on our work clothes because we wanted to help FFA friends with the new baby pigs. We drove to the FFA Farm but there were no friends. Still my mom wanted to see the baby pigs.

I told my mom that the baby pigs were that way . . .

I told my mom that the baby pigs were that way . . .

`Are you sure?ʼ `Yes.ʼ So we walked all the way to the barn on the slippery ice and my mom laughed and laughed:

big pigs

Mathalia, these are rather big baby pigs. I want to see the new baby pigs, the little ones. Where are they?ʼ Well, I didnʼt know but we walked around and kept looking and listening and finally my mom found them in one of the barns. We found mother pigs with the babies and they were very little and very cute and they were making lots of noise sucking their milk and it was very fun. But we were too late to help friends. FFA friends were all gone and the work was all done. Everything was nice and clean and tidy–all cleaned up. My mom was a little disappointed about not being able to work but she was very happy about finding the very little baby pigs.

 the really little baby pigs

the really little baby pigs

And then I went to a play at the University: Biloxi Blues. I saw swimming friends and Coach Sarah. The play was funny; there was a gun and there was fighting. On Sunday I went to church and I did some homework before I went to Grandmaʼs house. Grandpa was not there because he went on a trip so we didnʼt play Muggins.  We did a puzzle but it was kind of boring because Grandpa wasnʼt there to hide the pieces for me to find. I missed my Silly Grandpa!