Tag Archives: necklace

Wilson’s Green Necklace

Wilson is a strong swimmer, almost better than his big sister. Tom and I have been wanting him to take the swim test to earn his green necklace before the summer ended. If he didn’t take it now, he would have to relearn some of his skills at the beginning of next year. Today we promised Wilson ice cream if he took the test. He practiced his treading water for a few minutes in order to prepare. He actually started singing while treading water, almost as if he were mocking the skill. He had it in the bag!

Now this is where the story really begins to show Wilson’s personality and age. He is such an enigma to me sometimes. He didn’t want to take the test until the life guard said that Tom could swim next to him. Then he jumped into the water without a thought and was ready to go. He swam across the pool and even tried to do the correct stroke with his arms. He rested a bit and then treaded water for the full minute. He even kept his ears above the water for part of the time, which is difficult. The lifeguard pronounced that he passed and we all cheered. Wilson smiled while we congratulated him but he quickly started to cry because he didn’t want to give back his yellow necklace in exchange for the new green one. Thankfully the lifeguard was very kind and said that he could wear both. I took a picture of wilson with his new necklace and he looked like this….


He remained grumpy for the next thirty minutes of the pool time. Tom tried to get wilson to go down the slides at the pool, which are not tall nor are they fast, but he wouldn’t do it. He cried the whole time. It is so baffling to me that he can be strong and brave yet also cry and be afraid of a simple little slide. We did finally realize that his fear came from the super fast slide that he went down at the other YMCA a few weeks ago. In the end, he finally jumped in the pool and played right before we left.

I have learned over the last year that wilson will not do anything until he is mentally ready, even though he is clearly physically ready. He could ride a two wheeled bike when he was three years old, but only did it once and then wouldn’t try again until a year later. He could have passed the swim test a month ago but didn’t want to, and even today we had to bribe him to do it. I honestly can’t complain, I have a four year old riding a two wheeler and passing the green necklace swim test. Those are great accomplishments. I just need to remember that inside that tough exterior is a little four year old boy who has little four year old fears.

I am proud of Wilson and his green necklace. In the end, he was proud too. I told him how excited Grandma and DaDa would be to hear the news. He called them to tell of his great feat which cheered him up. The ice cream didn’t hurt either. :).

Here he is during ice cream…



Green necklace

There are two types of necklaces to be earned at the YMCA pool.  The first one is the yellow necklace. To earn this the kids have to swim half way across the pool and float for just a few seconds.  Both kids earned this necklace last year and were allowed to swim in the shallow water alone.  The next necklace is the coveted green necklace.  This is a much harder necklace to earn and one that every child wants to have around their neck.  This necklace allows you to go anywhere in the pool by yourself and lets you go down the two watersides.

Both of the kids are pretty good swimmers, but they couldn’t tread water for the required minute.  Because Tom was an All American swimmer growing up, he is in charge of teaching the kids to swim.  They also go to him to learn and then listen to what he has to say.   Because we have been going to the pool so much over the last few weeks, Faith has really gotten better.  On Saturday morning we went to the pool at 10:00am after Wilson’s sports class.  Faith and Tom practiced her treading water for many hours.  At 2:00pm she decided to take the swim test.  She did amazing!  She swam better than I have ever seen her swim.  She swam the full length of the pool by herself.  She rested for a few minutes and then treaded water for one minute.  Her little feet and arms were moving so fast in order to keep her head above water.  The life guard that was giving the test told her to slow down or else she was going to be too tired to finish.  I don’t think that she could have slowed it down.  She is so tiny that she must have needed to move fast in order to stay up.  It was actually really cute.

She passed the test.  I was so proud of her I almost cried.  There aren’t too many goals that six year old have set for themselves yet.  However, this was a big one for Faith.  She wanted that necklace.  I seriously don’t think that she has taken it off since she earned it.  It is a bragging right.  Here is my little swimmer…



Projects, Projects!

I love a good project. I don’t think I am happy unless I have one. Raising three kids and keeping house is not considered a project in my book. A project has to challenge me and it has to make the house look better. In the past six years I have painted almost every room in the house, I have painted the trim twice, I have moved or replaced six light fixtures, decorated Faith’s room, installed smoke detectors, and rearranged more furniture than I care to recall. I still have a long list of things that I want to do: install laminate flooring downstairs, put in track lighting, rip up the carpeting on the stairs and refinish the wood underneath, and set up a sitting room.

I think that this “project” addiction is an inherited gene. My mom is a total handy woman with a constant list. She comes by this naturally from her parents. I have no where near her abilities in handiness, but I am learning and trying. To me, it is fun. I now subscribe to DIY magazine which is making my “to do” list even longer. Fun, fun, fun!

It drives Tom nuts sometimes. He tells me that I have to finish one project before I can start another. Last time he gave me that challenge I finished three in one weekend just so I could start the one I wanted. In a drunken moment I got him to agree to letting me refinishing the stairs, although I am not sure I can really do it right. He doesn’t have to help me. He just has to tolerate the clutter until it is finished. I always finish and it always looks better than it did.

Today I did a simple project from my DIY magazine – a jewelry holder made out of tree branches. Easy. I collected my branches on a walk with the kids. I used a 1 x 4 that I bought at Home Depot for the base and then I used the drill to make the holes in the base. The one in the magazine sits on the dresser but I want mine to hang on the wall. This will allow the necklaces to dangle instead of tangle. :).

Here is the picture from the magazine:



Here is mine.  It actually looks better in person.  Where did they get the perfectly pronged, white wood?  Oh well, made with love.  :)