Monday, September 17, 2018

Kung Fu

Kate is generally a girl who prefers her sports to be non-team in nature so we have tried her out in tennis, tae kwon do and swimming. She enjoyed tae kwon do but it became super expensive the more you progressed and (at least it seemed so to me) to be more about the yelling and progression through the belts than it did about athletics or life-skills. So we dropped the classes and took the summer to swim in the lake and reevaluate our options. Then her Chinese class at school had a local Kung Fu master come and give them all a demonstration/mini-lesson.

When I checked the company out, it turns out they generally only speak in Chinese as most of the families that go there are Chinese. They have competitive teams if you stay with it and you can also learn self-defense. With all of that in mind, we found an online coupon and signed her up for some lessons and she really loves it. And she gets to practice some conversational Mandarin with the other kids/families and her teachers. Lucy now wants to go but she's already got soccer until the end of next month so we're holding off for now.

In addition to the movements for Kung Fu, there is also a fair amount of warm up involving splits, backbends, lunges, situps and pushups. She is a sweaty mess after an hour of this.

What I really like is that it is helping her find her balance/coordination and giving her a voice. Even though she is rather loud and overbearing at home, she comes across as timid and a low-talker when out in public as the center of attention. This is forcing her to use her voice to project. As you can see in this video, coordination and voice projection are not her strong suits.

Kung fu with Kate from Lisa on Vimeo.

In this video, since she just started, she only knows half of the routine so when they got to the part she hasn't learned, she stepped out of the line to sit and watch. (You can hear the parents around me speaking in Chinese to each other--this is why I'm really hoping we can eventually get Lucy into this to help support her in both language and culture).

Kung fu with Kate 2 from Lisa on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Family Campout

I have been on our neighborhood's youth committee for 2 years and today marked the end of that commitment. There are a lot of volunteer committees that keep our neighborhood running and nearly all of them ask for a two year term with half of the committee rolling off every year so there are always members on board who have been-there, done-that. It was a fun ride and allowed me to meet a lot of great neighbors but I have to say, I am so looking forward to my first Halloween here without any obligations other than to take my kids trick-or-treating!

My final project in our youth committee was the annual family campout held in the park around the corner from our house. The youth committee arranges for trash cans, port-a-pottie, handwashing station, food, drinks, movies, and firepits. A good amount of the items are donated by neighbors who plan to camp. People started setting up tents on Saturday morning but the "official" festivities didn't start until 5pm.

Lucy was so tired by this point. She had been out until 11pm on Friday night for a birthday/movie night at Lamar's house, then got up early for myofunctional therapy on Saturday morning followed by a soccer game. By dinner time, she was toast but would not rest for fear of missing out on something. 
Both girls rode their bikes down and then helped us set up our tent. Since our tent is so small, I camped out with them this time while Len got to go home and take a shower and sleep in a comfy bed.

A neighbor provided hundreds of glow necklaces which the children found a great use for. Turns out there is a huge evergreen bush with one entrance that leads to a kind of cave under the bush. The kids decorated the entire underside of the bush so that it glowed once night fell. It was magical and my camera skills did not do it justice. I really need to take a course on nighttime photography.

You can just make out the tiny entrance to the left where a grownup is trying to enter. I say trying because there were screams of "Grownup Intruder!!" being shouted as they all mobilized to block the  entrance!

Youth committee provided individual bags for s'mores. 

"The Parent Trap" was the first movie shown. "The Great Outdoors" was shown next although by that point, nobody was actually watching the movie. 
Most of the littler kids staggered off to bed around 9:30. Lucy came and sat near the firepits next to me around 10 but would not go into the tent alone to sleep. Kate was still going strong. Around 10:30, someone brought out a cast iron panini maker and started making cheese, avocado, tomato and bacon sandwiches which perked Lucy right up. I finally got us through the port-a-pottie and into the tent by 11:45pm. Most all of the kids seemed to settle into the tents around midnight. The adults partied on until 1:30am when I finally heard the music switch off. 
Morning came at 6am when I heard the first zippers being opened on the tents nearby. Carla got up early to clean away all the bottles before the kids got to running around.  The was the view from inside our tent.
The weather was perfect for sleeping--somewhere in the 50s--although the dew/mist overnight left all of us feeling a bit damp.
Carrie arrived at 6:30 with donuts, muffins, juice and coffee.
Lucy did NOT get enough sleep. 

 Someone woke up happy to have donuts for breakfast.

 Lucy looks wrecked.

One of the things I love about the kids here is that they all just find their own entertainment. There were so many pickup games of baseball, football, soccer not to mention the bike riding and general running around.

We headed out around 8:30am so Kate could get to flute and kung fu and Lucy could not rest at home. It's been a low-key day. All of us (except Len and Bella) are tired and grumpy. They played for a bit this afternoon with their friends riding bikes and having nerf gun wars in the front yard. Now they are fighting over real estate on the sofa.

Len and I tried moving all the clocks in the house forward by an hour so we could get them into bed early without listening to them whining about what time it is. Unfortunately, there are too many clocks that are set automatically (their watches, the DVR player, etc) that our plan didn't get past Kate who pointed out that "SOMETHING IS WRONG MOM!!! THINGS ARE NOT ADDING UP!!!"

7pm will not come soon enough.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Undefeated in Game Two

5-1 was the final score with Lucy's team winning their second match of the season. And this was my game winning photo of her:
First though, was a warm up with the coaches.
See that boy's soccer team in the background? They will be relevant to this narrative shortly so keep them in mind...
She got a goal past her coach from last year.
But before she got to play offense, she had to be the goalie...her least favorite position. Her body language says it all.

Remember the boy's soccer team I mentioned? Lucy ended up watching them...and her team was still in play with the ball.
Her team is still playing...
Her face! She's so annoyed.
The other team scored their only point of the game with Lucy as goalie.

She had to do half the game as goalie and when the whistle blew, she was taking off the jersey and running in at the same time. Lucy was so hot standing out there for 25 minutes that she drank all of her water. Kate ran across with some extra water for her.
 Half-time over, Lucy got back in on offense this time. Kate settled back down with her book.

Lucy got the chance to make three shots but their goalie was a beast and stopped all but one of Lucy's shots. Lucy managed to get one by her to score later in the game.


Sophia, the other red-shirt below, ran ahead of Lucy so Lucy could kick the ball to her. Sophia ended up making the goal and Lucy got her first assist.

 Lucy's game has really improved. She stayed with the ball much more and was in the middle of the scrum most of the time. She also got better at finding open players so they could run the ball down to the goal.

This was where Lucy made her goal. The ref got in-between us when she made the actual goal. Grrr.

 Game over!


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