Thursday, August 7, 2014

Back Track - Captain Happy & the 6th Grade Wrap-Up

Usually, I will back-date these posts, but this one is SO late (we are only about 2 weeks until the start of the new school year) that I am just going to put it here with the disclaimer that ... well ... it's late. Sue me.

Wonder Boy had a really great 6th grade year! He had to buckle down and work a little harder than in years past in order to stay on the honor roll, but he did JUST THAT ... he put in the time and effort and ended up with the grades he wanted. While it is hard to see him struggle, and harder still to see his disappointment in a less-than-perfect report card, I am happy he is learning this skill NOW rather than when he goes off to college.


Wonder Boy's favorite subject is still math. And he still loves science as well. But surprisingly, his favorite teacher was his English-Language Arts teacher, Mr. Z. Mr. Z brought a lot of energy to his class room and I think that helped motivate Wonder Boy through his less-than-favorite subject. As a result, the Boy has developed a new love for reading. And while he has always enjoyed a good book, that pleasure seems to have deepened over the course of this school year as he has been exposed to new genres both in class and at home.

One of the most fun things Wonder Boy "brought home" this school year was a new nickname. The high school orchestra director spends time at the Intermediate and Middle schools each week. And one day when working with Wonder Boy's ensemble, with Wonder Boy cutting up and keeping everyone in smiles (as he is wont to do when he is in his element), Mr. H dubbed him "Captain Happy."

I think you can get an inkling of that when you see the images above (& throughout this little blog). Wonder Boy has always been a pretty laid back chap. And when he is in an environment where he is relaxed and confident, he will often assume the role of class clown. I am just glad that Mr. H saw it much like we do - the expression of a kiddo who is just happy to be where he is at in life.

As usual, as I look back over this school year, I see tremendous growth in our dear Boy. He is physically taller, having sprouted almost 2 full inches since the fall. He is more mature. He is more confident. He is more independent. He is more ... well ... more Wonder Boyish than ever.

I am really looking forward to seeing where the next school year will take him!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

My Favorite Hats

We all wear many hats through the course of our lives. And the 2 I wear most proudly are "his mom" and "his wife." This year, I get to celebrate the wearing of those most precious hats on consecutive Sundays.

The first Sunday in question is Mother's Day and the Sunday following is our 22nd anniversary.

Like many ladies out there, I look forward to these special days. For some, these days are anticipated because they can finally garner some much deserved appreciation and attention. But things are different around these parts.


BOTH of my guys tell me every day, in word and deed, that they appreciate me, that they love me, that they are happy we are together.

So seriously, who could ask for anything more?

Not this girlie!

And I'm not asking for more, but I sure do love having a day where I can sit back and reflect on the wonderful years I have spent as mother and wife to these two amazing guys! And I'll admit, I do like to be fussed over just a little (just as I enjoy fussing over each of them on their special days).


So, to all the mothers and wives out there ... may your days be filled with laughter and love and may EVERY DAY be a celebration of all that you do for the loved ones in your life!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Quick Pupdate

It's hard to wrap my brain around it, but it just dawned on me that our dear Wonder Mutt has been part of our family for over 6 months now! He's more than 7 months old and hardly looks anything like the spunky little ball of fuzz we drove home that cool, clear November afternoon.


These days he's taller, he's longer, and he weighs a TON more than he did back then.

But we're not complaining. Along with the differences in size and weight, Wonder Mutt is now potty trained (for the most part), will sit somewhat patiently for his meals, and thankfully he also sleeps through the night - those late night potty breaks were NOT my favorite.

But most importantly there is something that has NOT changed in these first 6 months with our princely pup ...


and that is how much we all love him (especially Wonder Boy)!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Strange Start

We're now more than a month into this spring's soccer season and due to some rather ... creative ... scheduling, Wonder Boy and his pals have only had 3 games and 3 practices all together.

Strange.

But soccer is soccer and, as always, we are thrilled to kick off a new season!


So far, our guys in green have won 2 games and lost 1 game. And, as we have seen over the past few seasons, Wonder Boy's game is continuing to evolve. There is a true thrill to watching him take more of a leadership role on the field. He still seems happiest when he lines up in the midfield. And his passing skills continue to amaze us. But it has been quite a treat to watch him direct his teammates and make more of an impact to the team as a whole.

Game 2 Highlights

We're all looking forward to a very exciting season!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review

At the close of each year, I like to post a quick look back over the previous 12 months. And here is my glance back at 2013:


As usual, looking back on the year makes me a bit nostalgic. We had a good year as a family. We stretched out a bit, tried some new things, continued with some old favorites, and in general just grew together as a family.

Any time you have a child in the mix, looking back over any period of time you will be able to see huge leaps in growth and accomplishment. And we are no different in that respect. Wonder Boy has grown and changed every bit as much in the last 12 months as in his first 12 months. The young man that he is becoming is one that constantly leaves us in awe ... and in anticipation of what the next 12 months will hold!

So as we kick off 2014 in style, here's to everything that is yet to come!

Happy New Year from our family to yours!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I'm actually posting this on the way far side of Dec 25, 2013 (it's now 2014, but I'll be back dating this post). I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to work on this. Perhaps it's because our holiday this year was so nice and peaceful that even taking the time to write a blog post seemed like an intrusion on our family time. Whatever the reason, here is a brief review of our 2013 holiday ...

Instead of one big family gathering, our celebrations were a bit more spread out this year.

We launched our family festivities with the Christmas-ification of the house, both inside and out, on Thanksgiving day. And we kept adding decorations and other such signs of the holidays all the way up until the week of Christmas!

On Dec 20th as schools (both big and small) shut down, we kicked off our long winter break with a family wedding. The next day Wonder Boy tested successfully for his purple belt in judo (post coming soon). And the day after THAT we welcomed our first visitors and had a great lunch and early present exchange.

Christmas Eve found us at home, just the 3 of us. We enjoyed an early service, had a super special (though quite non-traditional) dinner, a reading by Wonder Boy, loads of Christmas movies, and the exchange of our gifts to one another. Christmas day started pretty early with more presents and was followed by another wonderful family visit for yet another great lunch and even MORE gifts.

*WHEW* That was exhausting even to type! Honestly, It was a whirl-wind of excitement and we have all enjoyed it immensely. Here are a few sights from our season of celebration:


We'd like to wrap up our holiday re-cap by wishing each and every one of you a happy and healthy 2014!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Purple!

When soccer is done for the season in both the spring and fall, we make our way back to the dojo to re-sharpen our judo skills.

Before soccer started this fall, Wonder Boy and his instructor were preparing him for his next belt test. There was some talk of trying to squeeze in the test before soccer season kicked off, but it just was not in the cards.

When we returned to the dojo in November, those talks and preparations resumed. Wonder Boy, feeling rusty after the 3 month break in training, was much more hesitant facing this belt test than any other before it.

As a family, we spent more than a month drilling him at home, going over techniques, and even quizzing him in the car on the drive to and from school most days.

Wonder Dad and I both knew he was ready, but when the big day arrived, you could sense his butterflies.

He needn't have worried though, as with every belt test I can remember him taking in judo, once he was on the mat, his training took over and he flew through the test with ease.


This test was a little bit different. Sure, Wonder Boy still had to demonstrate every technique he has ever learned. He performed combinations of techniques, and answered questions on general judo trivia.

But what set this test apart was the kata. Kata in judo is performed with a partner. And maybe because it requires some pretty precise coordination, Wonder Boy's instructor saves the teaching and performance of kata until you are an advanced belt.

Here is Wonder Boy doing the first three parts of the Nage No Waza kata.

Nage No Kata (first 3 parts)

You will note that I had the pleasure of being Wonder Boy's uke (throwing dummy). Part of that was due to the fact that the test was held at the start of the winter holiday when there are fewer ukes from which to choose. And part of it was due to the fact that you need to be an advanced belt to perform the kata (or, in my case, have it performed ON you). And finally, there are not a lot of ukes at the dojo anywhere near Wonder Boy's size. Many are smaller. Many are a LOT larger. So this turned into a mother-son affair. I truly have been honored to be a part of this special day.

And I think you can tell from the looks on our faces, Wonder Dad and I are ever so proud of our purple belt boy!