Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snow View

The weather man in our area was a little off today.  The forecast called for flurries with little to no accumulation.  The snow we had on the ground was melting and maybe 2-3 inches deep.  It started snowing this morning about 10:00 and hasn't stopped yet, although it has slowed down some.  While I was fixing dinner at a leisurely pace, since our evening plans were cancelled due to weather, I glanced out the window at our dogwood tree.  This is what I saw. Click on each picture for a larger image for better detail.
 Now I am not a good photographer.  I can not even come close to capturing the beauty of the snow on each branch.  But these are my attempts to share winter beauty with you.  Enjoy the moments.  Live fully.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Club!

For those of you who know me, you know I love to read.  I will read just about any genre, any place, any time.  My oldest sister is also a reader and my younger sister will read  on occasion too.  Every once in a while we all agree on a book.  That blue moon has arrived.

 One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp is the book we are all currently reading right now.  I must warn you that once you read this book you will not look at life the same way. And I have only read the first chapter so far.

So here we go.  I will mix in a few posts about this book as I go, along with the usual life happenings here in our home.  If you would like to read along, leave me a note in the comment section so I know you are with me.  This book is available all over the place and is even in e-reader format.

So jump in and here we go!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Another Karate Post

Just wanted to let you all know of our new karate statuses here in our household. Both little m's now don the white karate uniform each week for their lessons.  Yes, the youngest little m began his karate journey this past fall.  The big M, my wonderful honey, started back to classes after a 21 year break.  Because he earned his black belt  through ATA (American Tae Kwon Do Association) in high school, he was able to maintain the rank he had worked so hard to earn.  So in December he returned to the karate studio wearing his black belt.

This week was the first test since little m and big M started taking classes.  The oldest little M was testing for his brown belt, I was testing for my blue belt, and the newest member of the karate family was taking his first test for his orange belt.  The three of us tested on Tuesday night.  My wonderful honey worked the camera to capture all the special moments.

Both little m's performed wonderfully!  They knew their material inside and out.  From punches and kicks, to sparring and blocking.

Matt had to know his form and two one-steps.  One-steps are three and four moves chained together to prepare you for sparring (which we get to do in the higher ranks).

Mikey had to know his form, and spar with two classmates.

I had to know my form, three one-steps, and spar with two classmates.

At the end of the evening, Matt had is new orange belt, Mikey had his new brown belt, and I had a new blue belt.

On Wednesday night, Mike suited up for his first karate test in 21 years.  I may have mentioned this earlier in the post, but it does bear repeating.  If you stepped back from a sport, took a rest if you will, for 21 years, would you jump right back in?  Well, that is just what my amazing husband did.  He began taking classes again in December.  One month after the cycle began.  He had 30 less days to get his 18 necessary classes in than everyone else.  And he did it!  There were a couple of times he went to class twice a day!

So on Wednesday night, Mike dressed in his karate uniform and we all went back to the school where the karate tests are held.  This time I was behind the camera capturing the special moments and Mike was on the floor.

Mike's testing requirements were: his form, sparring with two classmates, and doing a board break.
This is part of Mike's form.

Here Mike has finished both palm heel strikes and is jumping for the side kick break.

Mike had to decide his own board break. He broke three boards:  two hand techniques (a palm heel strike with each hand) and a jump side kick.  He broke those three boards with ease.
While the little m's and I found out our results at the end of our test, Mike has to wait until results are sent into national head quarters and they return a letter with his score. I have no doubt that he passed his test.

While the three of us received new belts, once you receive a black belt testing runs a little differently.  Mike's test was a mid-term.  He has to take four mid-terms before he can take a test for his 2nd degree black belt next January.

A black belt is truly something you earn. It is also a lot of fun earning those belts as a family.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Christmas Play

Each year, our church puts on a Children's Christmas Program.  Last year, the oldest little M had his first speaking part.
  One line said with enthusiasm and confidence. 

While little brother had to be satisfied with being a part of the chorus.
(Mine is the one in the green shirt and brown scarf)

This year was a different story.  The youngest had a solo, and the oldest was assigned to be a key player in one act of the play.  They both worked hard to memorized their parts and songs.

When the day of the play rolled around, the bigger little M got sick.  I'm not talking nervous stomach, but puking from the toes sick.  He missed half of church in the morning and could not perform in the play that night.  With both sets of grandparents coming to watch as well as Great-grandma, we were disappointed he could not be on stage.

The littlest M, on the other hand, was ready to go.  Not a bit of nerves, and a few instructions.  Knowing his dad would be videoing the play, he said, " Dad, I'll be the one in the sungwasses and yeahwhoa gwoves wifout fingers." Just incase Dad would not be able to recognize one of his own.

One boy sick at home and the other performing his very first solo ever in the church Christmas play.  What a choice for a mother to face!  I did of course stay at home with the sick one and his bucket.

The understudy did a fantastic job.  The stand-in first grader did not even know he had a part in the play until that morning!  Didn't miss a line!  Nice job Camden!

My little M stepped up to the microphone, and with no hesitation, sang his part.  Loud and clear and confident. "Away in the Manger" with a six year-old accent.  "L's" come out as "w's" and "the" sounds like "duh". 

I have seen the video and was thrilled for him.  He did a great job. When his solo was over, he stepped back and took his place in the choir and finished the play. 

The little M that had to stay at home felt bad about missing the play but understood we don't pick the times we get sick.  This was something we couldn't help and there will be another play next year.

If ever anyone should get to be in two places at once, I think this circumstance fit the bill.