The Herald Bulletin

March 19, 2014

Jim Bailey: Grandkids’ varied activities keep grandparents hopping

The Herald Bulletin

---- — Weekends haven’t been our own since our grandchildren have gotten into a wide variety of activities that have piled up the miles on our car.

The end of LeeAnn’s swimming season freed us to catch up with the other grandkids. The Anderson High School freshman just missed the sectional consolation finals in the butterfly by less than two seconds. Now she’s into choir rehearsals, and she was recently promoted to the Anderson Area Youth Chorale. That gave grandma Bonnie another job altering a dress for her.

Then came Gracie’s Upward cheerleading in Greenfield. Her mom, Ruth, is one of her coaches and resurrected the old AHS “Crank It Up” cheer. Gracie tends to do her own thing, so despite a rule against human pyramids (for the safety of the performers) she and a couple of her mates covertly formed one in the hallway before a game.

Next was a trip to Ohio for Cameron’s baptism at Springdale Nazarene Church. The Thrive service also included baby dedications and welcoming new members.

Ronnie’s fourth-grade Math Bowl team was one of the best in the state last year. This year he hoped for a repeat performance in the 18th annual Indiana Academic Math Bowl. We were there for the area competition at New Palestine’s Sugar Creek Elementary.

It was a bittersweet second-place finish in his enrollment class for Ronnie and his Maxwell Intermediate squad. The leadoff trio, captained by Ronnie, correctly answered 6 of their 8 questions. But their 24 of 32 total fell short to the host school by two.

The kids had from 30 to 60 seconds to answer story problems like this: What is the probability of tossing a coin and getting two heads in four tosses: (a) 1 in 4, (b) 1 in 8, (c) 3 in 16, or (d) 6 in 16?

For the record, the answer was (d).

As I tried to come up with the answers when the questions were read, I ascertained early on that in math I am NOT smarter than a fifth-grader.

We watched Jason a week later at his Upward Basketball game. His team, the Clippers, lost to the best team in the league. He scores off and on and is still learning defense, but he sets a mean pick. His mom, Becky, is the assistant coach, using all the knowledge she gained from grade school ball at Park Place Elementary.

There was more. Gracie’s dance team performed during the pregame at an Indiana Pacers game. And Courtney, who is into culinary arts, made a Mickey Mouse birthday cake for Bonnie’s big 7-0 last December.

Cameron missed school the day after his baptism with a sore throat. He went to school a day later, armed with mentholated cough drops, which were confiscated by school officials who said he couldn’t take them without a doctor’s order. It seems school policy considers cough drops to be medicine. I dunno…

Jim Bailey’s column appears on Thursday. He can be reached by email at