Sunday, August 8, 2010

Checking in

Where did July go? I swear I blinked and it was over. This summer has flown by way too fast, I feel like we haven't gotten a chance to enjoy it as much as I wanted.

Things are going good around here though. The boys start school on Wednesday, so I've been running around like crazy getting school supplies ready and finishing up all the little projects I wanted to do before they go back to school. They're super excited to go back. Josh got the teacher he really wanted and Matthew's best friend is in his class, so things are looking good so far.

Friday night the boys tested for their high yellow belt in taekwondo. I will kick myself for the rest of my life that I didn't bring a video camera to the event because I missed what was probably the cutest and proudest moment of Matthews life so far! One of the things they had to do to earn their high yellow belt was break a board with a side kick. Keep in mind that Matthew is only six! He's one of the youngest kids at the school at his level, so he's really had to work to keep up with the big kids.

They've been practicing breaking the board in class and he's really struggled with it. It takes perfect aim, a lot of coordination, a lot of focus and a lot of strength to break a board with your foot. In class they practice with a plastic board that snaps together in the middle, so they can re-break it over and over, but at testing they use a real piece of wood. When I realized that the kids were going to need a LOT of practice to break it, I bought them a re-breakable plastic board so that they could practice at home.

Josh struggled with it at first but with a lot of practice has been able to break it pretty consistantly. Matthew, on the other hand, has continued to struggle. He practices over and over with every bit of strength he has, and it's just been really tough for him. The whole family has been working with him at home and encouraging him when he gets frustrated.

So the night of testing came and we were all nervous for him. Testing is nervewracking anyway because they have to stand up in front of a huge group of people to do it and every eye is on them. Frankly, they're braver than I am because standing in front of big groups of people freaks me out. There was several parts to the testing and they did all the other parts first. The kids had practiced a lot and flew though the other parts of the testing with no problem.

Then it came time to break the board. My stomach was in knots for Matthew. Seriously, I think I was more nervous than he was! They got out the board, Matthew stood up there, focused, kicked...and didn't break it. They told him to try again, so he focused again, kicked...and broke the board right in half! They're supposed to break it and then bow to the master and wait to be excused, but as soon as Matthew realized he'd broken it he got a huge grin on his face, started jumping up and down and ran over to Josh and Josh gave him a big hug and a high five. Everyone laughed and Master Lee had to remind him that he needed to go back and bow and wait to be dismissed, lol.

I can't tell the story even close to as well as it actually happened, and I literally can't stand the fact that it's not on video, but it honestly one of those moments in my life that I'm never going to forget. Watching Matthew practice every day and not give up even when it was hard, and then see him reach his goal was just awesome. And even more awesome was watching him run straight to his big brother for a hug after he did it. I was so proud of him that I was sitting there with tears in my eyes trying really hard not to start bawling! I LOVE my kids. I didn't know I could love anyone as much as I love them. I love watching them learn and grow and reach their goals and I love how close our family is. I love that we can share our struggles with each other and count on each other for support and I'm glad that my kids have siblings who will cheer them on and celebrate their victories with them.

Both of the boys did  fantastic job at testing and will officially be given their high yellow belts at their next class. I love that taekwondo school. Have I mentioned it lately?

In Clarissa news, she just gets cuter every day. :) Her two favorite words of the week are "shirt" and "stop it" (OK, technically that's three words). The other day the boys were arguing about something and Shawn said "Boys!" and Clarissa said "stop it!"! LOL! Apparently we say that a lot? It's now one of her favorite things to say. She is also obsessed with clothes all of a sudden, and likes to point out our shirts. Yesterday we were at the store and she lit up when we went through the clothing department. Between her love of purses, sunglasses and clothes, that kid is all girl. :)
That's pretty much all that's up around here right now. I'm sure I'll be back with picture of the boys first day of school on Wednesday! :)

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