Tae Kwon Do Tournament

Brian participated in his first Tae Kwon Do Tournaments in January and February.
The first one was near Chicago in the middle of January, and since this was his very first tournament, we signed him up to compete as a Tiny Tiger. He ran through the entire Red Belt form without any help from the judges and won the “Black Belt Attitude” award in his group.
Some of the highlights –

Brian practices his form and goes into a square block.


Before they start, one of the judges always asks if this is the first tournament experience for any of the competitors - so Brian is raising his hand



Brian shows off his trophy and medal. He is very proud of them!


We stayed at the Pheasant Run Resort, and they have a cool indoor / outdoor pool. Because half of the pool runs outside, it is maintained at bath water temperatures – great for jumping in after running around in the freezing temperatures outside - as shown by Erica here -


And Brian wanted me to take his picture inside:


We all had a great time!

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Snow Day - Take Three..... Erica gets her ears pierced!

The school cancellation trend has swung from "we never cancel school" to "we're going to be the only school in a 50 mile radius to cancel school on Thursday". I could hardly believe the news when my neighbor broke it to me Wednesday evening.

So, what to do on Thursday, after being homebound since Monday, with sub-zero temperatures outside? In the afternoon, we went ice skating at the ice arena and then to the mall for a late lunch.

Each time Erica and I have been to the mall recently, she longingly looks at the earring store and tries to muster up enough courage to get her ears pierced. She asks "Mommy, does it hurt to get your ears pierced?? What does it feel like??". Inevitably, she talks herself out of it.

But not today - I was VERY proud of my little girl - there wasn't even any drama associated with the experience. No wincing, no whining, and (thank goodness) no crying. She looks so cute with her earrings:


A close up of her ears:

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Snow day Take 2

As predicted, school was canceled today. And WOW, did we get a lot of snow. I don't know what the "official" total was, nor do I really know how they even measure it (cause of all the blowing and drifting - I mean, there are several bare patches in the yard but by the door, the snow is 3 feet deep - how do you measure that??).

Scott spent several hours last night shoveling the driveway. And then more time this morning. I went out and took a picture of our strategically cleared driveway - two paths for the two cars [The Capri doesn't need to be out in this weather].


The sun was starting to come up and cast a golden hue on the sparkly snow and these coneflower brachts:



You can see the waves of snow carved out by the winds the night before:





Our neighbor spent most of the morning shoveling out his driveway - in doing so, he created a huge, 6 foot snow pile. While he was working, the city snow plow came by and mounded more tall piles of snow in our cul de sac. Instant sledding hill!! The kids enjoyed playing in the snow, having snow ball fights and sledding:











Sometimes a Snow Day is just a lot of fun....

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Snow Day

I guess that the weather forecasters were correct in the Winter Weather Warning for this area. There was more than 3 inches on the ground this morning, but the bigger issue has been the high winds blowing the snow around and creating these high drifts.

Scott headed out to work, only to get to the interstate and find gridlock in the Southbound lanes. Apparently they closed down that section of the interstate. So he headed back home. His comment - "if I had taken the Corolla, I would have had a hard time getting home". It's days like these that we are glad to have a honkin' 4 wheel drive Tahoe.

Later, Scott took Erica to Kathleen's house and he said there were numerous cars and mini-vans stuck on the roads. We watched our neighbor struggle with their mini-van on our little street. They left it on the street.

Scott and Brian played outside for a bit and started to build a fort in our playset:



Then Brian hit me with a snowball, right in the face! Here he is, winding up:


I wasn't very happy after he hit me, as I was trying to take his picture, and the snow got all over me and the camera.

And Scott relaxes in the fort:


I'll try to take a picture of the front of the house - we have deep snow drifts developing there.....

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My Prediction - 3 Inches

of snow will be on the ground tomorrow morning.

My prediction is based soley on the fact that the local school district made the decision to cancel school for tomorrow, a decision made due to the snow, sight unseen. In the 5 winters we have experienced here, we have never had a snow day. As the attendance manager at Erica and Brian's school has [quite authoritatively] said "in my 20 years in the school district, we have never had a school cancellation due to weather".

Until now.

And, the reason for my prediction.

Heck, we all recall growing up and having an occaisional snow day. But NEVER called off the night before the storm hit. It's just not right - I remember having to go to sleep [at the normal bedtime] with the air of uncertainty and anticipation. And in the morning, when school was called off, it was like Christmas morning - everyone excited and running around, clamoring to get outside to play in the snow.

I hope I am wrong and that 10 inches is on the ground when I wake up tomorrow morning [at the normal get up time], so the kids can go play in it as I telecommute into work. Maybe I'll get a chance to play out in the snow, and even make a Snow Angel. [I can do that, even with just 3 inches of the white stuff, eh?]

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