October 3, 2005

The novice tournament

We arrived in good time, rather incredibly, considering the morning so far. Really, everything went pretty smoothly. The people who run Matt's tournament are, basically, the same ones who run State, so we usually have things run well and get to catch up with our "second family" a bit.

That part was absolutely wonderful! Since we spend (well, I say "we", since it has been and will again be both of us, though I'm a bit out of the loop with children at the moment) more time with these folks than we do our own families, I missed them. June pointed out to me that the last time she saw me, I didn't have kids (I was pregnant with Laura; it was at State, in April 2003), and now "suddenly" I had two! Even though Jane was mostly the one in charge of running things (she's in charge at State every year...for how many years now? Many, anyway.), we also got to talk a bit about how her retirement's going: BUSILY!

Another bright spot was Catherine. She is a wonderful lady from Prince of Peace, and it turns out she's a speechie from way back; I was talking about speech (explaining, in fact, why we don't make it to church every Sunday due to tournament fatigue) at the retreat a week and a half ago, and she said she'd love to come and judge. Done! Even better, she watched what we were doing in the tab room, and figured she could handle helping (it's not difficult, just complicated). She fit right in, and we had another willing helper. This could be the beginning of a beautiful thing; she's been looking for volunteer work, and Matt can always use more adult help.

I was able to help a little, too, since Matt had detailed a few of his team members to watch our girls for us as needed. Laura had a high ol' time, running around the stacks in the library, playing peekaboo around them, and eventually realizing that we were in a library. Full of books. YUM! She found the French version of "Where the Wild Things Are" first ("Max et Les Maximonstres"), which I read to her (glad for my minor!) Later, she discovered the English version, as well as Dr. Seuss and some others, which some of Matt's kids read for her. Most amazingly of all, she took a long nap in the afternoon (I took a few pictures to prove it, perhaps even to myself). We did have a little trouble when I took her into the room for awards; it was a big cafeteria, filled with cheering teenagers, and was basically her idea of a nightmare (noise, strangers, space--it had it all!) So, we went elsewhere to wait for Daddy to finish.

Many teens and adults got to hold Emily (including one girl who had never held a baby before; I took pics of that, too.)

We were all tuckered at the end, but it went well. No fire or other alarms went off, and no vending machines were broken (both happened in previous years...) We even finished ahead of schedule!

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