Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts

March 20, 2012

Top 10 Reasons We Love Spring!

Finally, it's Spring. The last 6 months in the Pacific Northwest felt particularly long this year. I'm sure I say that every year. Nonetheless, I'm grateful. For us living in the rainier part of the country, I feel very thankful for a new season filled with hope and newness. Here are my top ten reasons why...

1. My boys love to pick flowers for me and I love it when one of them hands me my first Crocus of the season.

2. The longer daylight hours provide hope and excitement for the longer sunnier days ahead...we get to be outside all the time!

 3. We can take our school work outside once in a while, which also includes a lot of critter gathering...SCIENCE!

4. Our Outdoor Adventure Club happens more regularly. In these wetter parts, sometimes you have to just throw on your technical gear (waterproof everything) and get out in the weather...but I am always thankful when we can shed our layers and let the sun touch our skin.

5. I know it's still pretty wet around here in the Spring, but I'm hopeful. Drier, warmer days are ahead and we are looking forward to playing more often with friends outside.

6. Baseball season begins....

7. On the days that are still cold, but dry, we love to head up to the lake near our house and explore!

8. Spring is the time of year when all of our babies were born, so for's also birthday season!

9. It means cold and flu season are on it's way OUT!!!! With four young kids in our home, it takes forever for and illness to make it's way out of our home. I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

10. Spring cleaning! Need I say more? OK, actually that there is this strange light that streams through our windows more often, I can see the dust and the dirt everywhere. I also get a sudden urge to purge at this time of year. I love the feeling of organizing the things we want to keep and getting rid of those things we just don't need anymore, but someone else might.

I love having a reason to look back over the last couple years in photos and ponder the many reasons why we love Spring!

Linking up with:

December 23, 2011


Back in September, O decided that he would like to give Karate a try. So we signed him up at our local community center with Sensei Michael Morris. He's awesome! The bonus part of this was that his best friend, G, also signed up and they've been loving their classes.

Classes are twice per week in the evenings at 4:45pm. This isn't my favorite time of day to be leaving the house with four tired and hungry children...but we've made it work. My friend Jenny, G's mom, and I take turns bringing our four children to karate class. This helps so we each only have to go once each week. So thankful we can do this. I'm sure that once summer is here and our kids are that much older, it'll be a bit easier to conquer the afternoon and evening sports.

Anyway, since September, O and G have taken their first belt test. Because they are younger, belt advancements go in half increments. Normally, after white belt, one would test for yellow next. O's class includes kids ages 7-10, so they all tested for black stripe. Now, they can't wait to get their yellow belts.

We really love what Karate is doing for O. It's definitely building his confidence and helping him to learn how to focus more and defend himself. He gladly uses his new-found self defense moves on his brothers and rather enjoys it.

We did decide to take the month of December off to enjoy Christmas and some unscheduled free time. After the kind of month we've had....I am truly thankful God prompted us to do this. (more on that in another post!) Now that we are nearing January, O is already looking forward to starting his class back up again. When we signed up for Karate, I don't think Jeff or I really thought about the fact that Karate is one of those non-seasonal types of sports. Most other sports ARE seasonal with a beginning and an end for each year. Not so with Karate. So, we're taking it one month at a time, but knowing that O really loves Karate so far and wants to continue on. He also loves baseball and wants to sign up for that again in the Spring. We're just not sure we can manage two sports for one child at once. It would be a lot for O to take on as well.

So, for anyone out there whose kids also take Karate and would like to keep doing it....what do you do? Do you take breaks? If so, is it hard to catch back up with your classmates? We were told that even taking one month off would put O behind a bit, but he still practices at home, so we think he'll catch up pretty quickly. But, if he took a whole season off, is it difficult to re-enter and pick up where you left off?

Looking ahead, our Sensei will now be offering a Karate/self defense class for 4 and 5 year olds beginning in January. C has wanted to take Karate as well, especially since his big brother does. So, we've signed him up. His class is only once per week and in the mornings, which will be easier. We're really excited for him and hope he loves it too. We think that Karate will be a sport, at least for now, where he can also keep his BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid) on and still be able to hear everything going on. C would really like to play baseball as well, but we're waiting on that for another couple of years because it will be much harder for him to safely keep his BAHA on. It could just get knocked off of his head so easily. We've heard of other kids who just don't wear them during sports, but C is almost deaf and it would be very difficult for him to understand the coaches when not wearing his aid. We'll just take each sport and year one at a time. Maybe Jeff will coach and can sign with him. We'll see. For now, we're not worried and thankfully, C does understand. He knows we're in no way giving up on sports for him. We just need to consider all options and get a little creative...not a problem.

Practicing his Kata at home before class.

O and G working together in class

This is Sensei Michael, working with his students.

At almost every class, Sensei spends some time in conversation with the boys. I love that part of it. He believes very much that the discipline of Karate helps a child focus on their academic work. During the first part of the school year we took part in the Mt. Si Karate School sponsored Academic All-star challenge. Sensei challenged the boys to practice positive habits that can help them with their school work. Much of what was outlined in the challenge, we were already practicing, but some of it was new. O signed up and did great. It actually helped to keep him a bit more accountable and disciplined in some areas. After everyone completed the challenge, Sensei threw a big pizza party and gave everyone awards. I really appreciate his care and concern for the kids.

Day of their first belt test!

The test, itself, was quite an experience. Several classes were testing together for different belt ranks.

There were about 10 black belt judges there to help score each student.

They really did such a great job! A proud moment for us parents!

Check out those black stripes on their belts. Congratulations boys!!!
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