Tuesday, April 29, 2014

South Dakota Day Four (Swimming and a Surprise!)

I cannot believe how much I spent on swimming Saturday.  Kenny stayed home with the baby and read while Michael napped.  The same three tournament boys were gone all day, competing and judging, and I wanted to take the rest somewhere just to let off some steam.  And then I thought, 'Hey, why don't we swing by the tournament and grab a couple of Emma's friends who have been stuck inside the  building all week, and take them to this cool pool I saw during my 'Things to do is Rapid City' search'.
So, after packing a ba-jillion swimsuits and towels, picking up two friends, spending 40 minutes trying on swimsuits in WalMart for a couple kids who needed them, and almost getting lost, we came to our destination.  WaTiki Indoor Waterpark. 
The kids had a great time, and were nice and tired for the evening.  Which would have been perfect, had we not had the tournament awards ceremony to attend later on. Ahem.
The slides were huge. Sarah went up once with Joey, and then over and over again by herself. Ellie swam a few minutes, then came and sat on me the rest of the time.  Two different cookie-cutters, for sure.

I was hoping Nat would get his fill of Joey on this trip.  I think it worked.  

Can I just say that I have the sweetest 14 year-old daughter ever?  She wanted to spend the day at the tournament, but then changed her mind (completely unsolicited) because she knew the little girls could use her help in the pool.

If you ever want to make Emma really happy, just take her swimming. 

After the kids were worn out, we headed back to get ready for the evening award ceremony at the end of the tournament.  This tournament was a little strange for me, because I am always busy judging rounds.  This time I hadn't even set foot in the building.  It was my vacation!  So we headed to the church, visited with friends, and sat down for the ceremony.
This was a smaller tournament, so things moved quickly, which was nice because my little guys were wearing down awfully fast.
Sammy ended up placing 4th in Humorous, and 7th in Storytelling.  Not bad for a guy whose heart wasn't in it. And Thomas broke to semi-finals in Broadcasting, but didn't move on to finals.  His favorite event was Expository speech, where he teaches using props.  Earlier in the year, we were still moving in and really just threw together some things so he could compete.  After embarrassing ourselves and him, we changed things up a bit and he ended up breaking to semi-finals last tournament.  This tournament, we suggested he not even do Expos, because of trying to travel with all those props (easel, project boards, photos and box).  But he insisted.
As the emcee called all the Expos finalists (top eight) to stand by the stage, we saw Thomas up there with them.  Now, if you know our son, you know he is apt to throw himself into just about anything.  Knowing he didn't break to finals, Kenny and I exchanged glances, words, and shrugs with each other, and waited for an answer.
The emcee announced 8th place, 7th place, and on up, until there were just three left.  Thomas was one of the three.  I was really confused, but kept listening, and watching as our son who had just turned 13 the day before was all smiles and hugs with the other competitors.  Third place was awarded, then second.  Tommy was just about freaking out by now.  I was crying.  First place went to our little guy!  That kid jumped up on stage, and instead of shaking the hands of the ladies handing out awards, he hugged them hard, like they were old friends.  The audience was screaming (it's an extremely supportive group of kids). It was a very sweet night for Tommy.


After the ceremony, one of the coaches informed Kenny and I that Tommy had gone around the building asking everyone to please not tell his parents that he broke to finals.  And he asked if he could take down the postings that would have shown his name.
After lots of visiting, I took the littles back home for much-needed sleep, and Kenny went with the older seven to the ice-cream party. A blessed day for sure.

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