Thursday, June 30, 2011

US Junior Olympics Bronze Medalist

Well, it has been a very long and nerve racking couple of days. First up was Graham. While I am incredibly proud of him, I am sad for him to say that he finished just out of medal contention. Graham fought excellently and, in the match that would dictate whether he made it to the metal rounds, I am sad to say he fell just short. Honestly, I think he fell victim to electronic scoring. While he did not totally dominate the match, I think it was clear to everyone that he was the more skilled competitor. Had this match been decided by judges there is no doubt that Graham would have won. Unfortunately, his kicks just never scored with the electronic gear. Although, we have plenty of photographic evidence of good, solid kicks that should have scored. :) Regardless, he lost in the last 10 seconds of the final round to a series of punches that we are still trying to figure out.

Sydney's day started out hard as well. Her forms competition was stacked with 25 of the best girls from all around the country. She did an incredible job on her form but, unfortunately, it was only good enough to place her 11th amongst the tight competition. Still, an impressive feat considering these were the best of the best.

Sparring, however, was where things began to change. Make no mistake, none of it was easy. Every round was close and competition was fierce. There wasn't a single girl without the mojo needed to win. Sydney, however, was fierce. She went out with a fire and vigor that would lead her out of the preliminaries and into the medal rounds. Sydney would fight a tremendously hard match which would place her in third place. In the end, she lost the match 3 to 1 which would have placed her in the final gold medal match to a girl that was flatly incredible.

I felt incredibly proud of her winning the bronze at the US Junior Olympics.

It has been a long road for a little girl with stage 4 Neuroblastoma.

Who would have thought?

I am beginning to think she may have even more purpose than her father.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Resurfacing in San Jose

Okay, so I know it has been a long time in coming. But, what can I say, things have been going well and for once I have just been participating in life. No stresses, no worries. Just me and the fam. For better or worse, I have not felt the need to be the reporter.


Probably, but it has been nice to just breath a little.

So, today I find myself in San Jose awaiting Graham's grand entrance into the Tae Kwon Do Junior Olympics / National Championships. In a bit he will be competing in forms and then later today in sparring.

My expectations?

Growing a great human being. Could he win? Maybe. But he has 40 of the top 6 and 7 years olds from around the world. In my eyes he has already won.

It is the journey.

That's our purpose.

Results to follow.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cat Scanning of a different sort

Good morning! Long time no write. Well, it should still come as no surprise that my lack of writing is not a sign of nothing going on. No, it seems like there just hasn't been a moment's notice. Regardless, here I am, with an update.

To say things have been busy would be an understatement. Most notably, we are just two weeks shy of the Tae Kwon Do National Championships (Junior Olympics). With that comes brutal and frequent practices. Currently the kiddos are having two-a-day practices and on top of that private lessons to polish off their forms. When Sydney is not doing that she is at "horse camp" this week where she is learning how to ride horses. The other two kiddos have found themselves doing a lot of traveling as they usher themselves from home to horse camp and Tae Kwon Do and back all over again. When they aren't carpooling they still seem to be finding hours upon end to swim.

Yes, times are good and the summer seems to be going superbly.

Lynley and I? Well, between work, play dates, swim parties, horse camp and Tae Kwon Do; we really don't get out much. In fact, we don't do much of anything but chase kiddos and muddle through chores. Don't get me wrong. I am not complaining. This is simply the life of a child's servant.

On a funny note:
Yesterday, Ainsley and Stephanie, our nanny, made a stop by Pet's Mart while they were waiting for Sydney's camp to finish for the day. Ainsley watched as someone brought a kitten up to the cashier for purchase. Ainsley did not understand how they would be able to scan the cat at the register so that they could by it. In her mind, the scanner is how it keeps track of what you buy. After all, it is the scanner (and apparently only the scanner) that tells the machine how much invisible money it has to take off of my debit card.

Out of the mouths of babes. How times have changed...

I have really become very close to Ainsley over the last couple of months or so. She is at a particularly snugly stage and we are having a blast together. And to think, this all began with a few trips to 7-Eleven for Slurpees.

The power of one and one time...

And purpose...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sydney's Birthday with "Lobster Legs"

Yesterday was Sydney's 10th birthday. This is a pretty big milestone in any child's life but I think given Sydney's history it just means that much more. She, of course, is just proud to be 10 and seems to be enjoying just being in her skin more than I have seen before. If yesterday was any indication, it looks like my little walking decade is going to have a wonderful year.

Well, to celebrate such an auspicious occasion we had to do it just right. Sydney, of all things, wanted lobster for dinner. (Typical woman thing to want in our family I might add.) Now, you may think that with that fancy new car that Lynley surprised me with for my birthday, that lobster must be the way that I roll. Oh you know, expensive cars, posh duds, fine jewelry.

Nope, not this guy.

I admit it. I am a coupon cutting, penny pinching tight wad with a neat freak streak. Regardless, 3 kids with lobster dinners - not this guy. We had to get creative. Now don't get me wrong, it was, after all Sydney's birthday. For her, a $20 lobster it was. However, for the other grubby little money scarfing munchkins, not so much. They wanted lobster because their sister was having it. Not because they could tell the difference between the lobster and the $7 snow crab legs.

That is when they became "lobster legs."

And that is exactly what Graham and Ainsley greedily chowed down on. Oh yes, they just love "lobster legs."

We now have a really nice thing going so please, please don't laugh if you are out with us and my kiddos order lobster legs. Else you might just end up with the bill.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Sometimes my purpose feels dirty. But still, it is so darn fun.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A fine ending

Summer has arrived. Oh, yes, school has come to a close and the kiddos are already knee deep into nothingness. I must admit. The kiddos all deserve some rest and relaxation. Sydney finished out the year on the all 'A' honor roll. Graham slid in with some marks of true brilliance on his achievement tests and Ainsley, perhaps the most brilliant of all, finished out her stellar year with almost more blue marks than green. Let me be clear. All of the kids surpassed my expectations.

Which says a lot. I expect them to be better than me and everyone knows by now that I have a very high opinion of myself. Then again, everyone that knows me would also expect me to have a pretty high opinion of my own progeny.

None the less, they were awesome this year and they deserve every bit of praise they get. I am a proud Papa.

Last weekend not only marked the beginning of summer but it also marked Ainsley's 6th birthday and the "pre" celebration of Sydney's 10th (count em' 10) birthday. We spent the day at NRH2O,a family water park not too far from us. Was it fun? Well, it was as fun as 2 adults and 7 kids could possibly have at a water park. The kiddos all seemed to truly enjoy themselves and we seemed to simply survive - a true mark of success, I think. Well, I had best be off.

There are twerplets rustling.

I am off to purpose.