Sunday, March 13, 2016

David, David, David!

I have more exciting things to post about David! This has been an exciting time for him. :)

Sleepover with Bailey! David's best friend from Wisconsin moved here to Ohio. They've been able to hang out pretty regularly. Somehow I doubt they'll follow us to California. Boo. We will miss the Zampardis! (David and Bailey have one more epic play date left this coming weekend.)

Boy Scout camp out! David joined in at a Boy Scout activity, and he earned his Whittling Chip!

One day Greg took David to work. David got to sit through one of Greg's lectures and also see what a thesis defense is like. Then in the afternoon they headed over for a farewell visit to the Air Force Museum. David had an awesome time!

Tae Kwon Do! These are all the boards David has broken at all of his belt tests. Wow! (Look at that BLACK BELT. Hooray!)


David's team made it to the playoffs! They were the best 4th grade boys team in the district.

It was a great season! We are so impressed with how hard David worked!! He was always super excited to go to practice, and he tried his very hardest. He really dedicated himself to learning what his coach was teaching them. He improved so much! I am so proud if him. I am so amazed by what a mature young man he is becoming. Go David!

P.S. Yeah, so I have to conclude this post with a sister selfie. These are the girls entertaining themselves while waiting for David's playoff game to start.


Guess what! Our house was clean. Okay, it was only like for 5 minutes. But it was clean. All of it at once. All of it!! At once!!! I took pictures to prove it.

Before I show you the pictures, here is the deal with our house. We were able to sell it without putting it on the market! Isn't that awesome??? What a relief!! We are so, so, so grateful.

I honestly do not think our family would have survived multiple showings. And we didn't have to find an agent. Or stage it. Or any of that. Just clean it a few times for the buyers etc and that's it. (And cleaning it a few times for the buyers etc was confirmation that truly our family would not have survived weeks of multiple showings. Nope.) The arrangement has been an answer to prayers--ours and the people buying it. This house is very good at being an answer to prayers. :)

I feel a little weird posting pictures of my house. But I took them so we could remember what it looked like. (And this seems like a logical place to put them.) My hope is that years from now my kids will look at them and say, "Wow, we lived in a clean house." And also I hope they have lots of happy memories, of course.

Oh yeah, there's also a basement...which is very...special. (The first owners had a brother who owned a saw mill: The entire basement is paneled with real cedar. Real cedar! It's like summer camp down there. Or a 70's nightmare. It's pretty awesome. Our kids have spent many many hours playing in the basement. Hooray for basements! How we will miss you in California.)

We close on our house April 8. Then we start the long drive to California...

Sara: Star Student!

A few weeks ago Sara was the star student!

She and Mary made her poster. (Every family needs a Mary to help with these projects!) They did a great job. Sara was so proud of her poster! She was able to talk about each picture, and she proudly practiced a lot with our family.

Sara loved being Star Student. She was proud, excited, and confident. Greg and I were both able to be there to share this special time with her.

Besides presenting her poster (she did such a great job!), she also brought a favorite toy (Cat) and asked her teacher to read the class one of her favorite books (Corduroy). She also answered questions from the class and shared a treat with them. There is a video of some of her Star Student morning HERE.

This is Sara and her best buddy Jacob. He took her under his wing from the very first day. They are such good friends! We love Jacob.

Such sweet friends!

Greg and I were so proud of Sara. This was the first time I have seen her in this school environment. She was so confident! She didn't hesitate to participate or interact or talk. She obviously felt safe and comfortable. She was beaming with joy--and so I was too! 

(We made the difficult decision to move Sara from her toddler Montessori program to the school district's traditional preschool program after Christmas. It was good to see her thriving in her new school! Fortunately, she's still able to attend her Montessori school on Fridays--because we love that place too.)


Here is a picture of Sara with her whole class:

And here is her official Kings Preschool picture:

And, just for fun, here is her fall portrait (from the other school):

Such a cutie!

Young's Jersey Dairy

We couldn't leave Ohio without a final trip to Young's! 

This was a blast from the past. We met our dear friends, the Chrisman family, there. (Love them so much!) They were the ones who introduced us to Young's way back in the day, the first time we lived in Ohio.

Good food; good fun. And always better with friends!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Arrow of Light

David earned the highest rank in Cub Scouts, the Arrow of Light. We're so proud of him!

 I seriously love going up and getting pinned by him with each major Cub Scout accomplishment. (I did not see that coming when I found out I was pregnant with a baby boy.) But I just glow with pride. :)

He has been very committed to Cub Scouts. David was always willing to rise to the occasion and meet the requirements. He was so happy and proud to receive his Arrow of Light.

Below is a picture of him with his buddy Jeff. They both received their Arrow of Light rank together. They have been best Cub Scout buddies. They are such good friends and quite a special pair of pals. David will miss Jeff so much. In the picture below they are with Tom Norman, one of their Webelos leaders.

HERE is a short clip of David crossing the bridge into Boy Scouts. I remember when he was but a wee Bobcat and his shirt was too big. He definitely grew into it. And now he's well on his way to being a Boy Scout. I love that kid. (And he loves I guess I love Scouts! Funny how that works.) So proud of him! He cannot wait to get started with Boy Scouts.

P.S. This was also the evening of the Blue and Gold Banquet. Greg was in charge, since he is the Cubmaster. He did a great job! There was lots of international food to sample, the place was decked out with festive decorations, and the boys gave presentations on different countries. Greg also put together a nice Arrow of Light ceremony. It has been fun for our family to have Greg serve as the Cubmaster. David isn't the only guy I'm super proud of! :)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Black Belt!!!

David earned his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do!

We are so proud of him. He has been working really, really hard preparing for this! He did so awesome at the black belt test. (Which included 100 push-ups and breaking stacks of boards.) It's a big deal! They have to know so much! Master Park will say something like "Blue Stripe Form" and David whips out all these fancy moves. I don't know how he does it. Greg and I were so impressed. He worked hard, and he was really well-prepared. He made it look easy-peasy. 

Now that he has the stress of the test behind him, he's enjoying TKD even more. He especially likes mentoring the younger students and helping out the instructors. 

You can see highlights of his belt test HERE. (David isn't a huge fan of this video--he thinks the music is "too dramatic." And Greg and I are like um sorry dude but this is the only song that could possibly be the soundtrack so get used to it.) Also, if you don't want to sit through the whole thing and you just want to see David flying through the air crouching tiger style, watch THE END.

Belt test group photo

Look at all the boards he broke during his black belt test!

David and Master Park being tough.

Congratulations, David, you're the best!

P.S. Have to include a cute Sara story. David's black belt has been a big deal. And quite a bit of time has been spent at the studio. Last week when Sara saw a South Korean flag in a totally different context, she pointed to it and said, "David's black belt!"

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Girl stuff

One day while David was visiting his best friend Bailey (who fortunately moved from Wisconsin to Columbus), Mary and I (and Stacy) made a much-anticipated visit to the American Girl store. 

American Girl does cause me some eye rolling. But now that Mary is old enough to really, truly play with hers, I'm rolling my eyes much less. Mary is diligent in saving her money for new clothes, accessories, books, and play sets. And she wisely doesn't want anymore dolls. She just wants to focus on Stacy.

It was a fun trip to the store. Sara was at home, so Mary was free to browse as long as she wanted without a needy little sister in tow. Mary was careful and thoughtful in how she spent her money. One of the things she purchased was a set of supplies to play school. So much fun! She has spent hours playing school with Stacy and her stuff animals. She's even made little flashcards and has been quizzing Stacy. (That sure beats Xtra Math!)  Hanging out with Mary is a lot of fun. What a great little shopping trip.

(Mary and I spent a fair amount of time looking at the dolls trying to figure out which one looks like Sara. None. It was kind of weird. Especially since Mary looks exactly like hers. Will Sara want an AG doll? Will she want one that looks like her? Which one will she think looks like her? How will she see herself? Will she recognize she doesn't really look like any of them? Will she care? Am I just messed up because Mary looks almost freakishly like a doll? I had some complicated feelings...)

Another cuts!

One evening I took Mary and Sara to my hair stylist for hair cuts. They were so excited! Mary loves going to the salon and getting her hair washed, trimmed, and styled. Like LOVES. (She did not inherit this from me.) Sara was super excited too. The last time I took her (in August), she was clingy and scared. But this time she marched right up to Barb and told her she was there for a hair cut. Then she insisted on going first. She was so mature and adorable! I love my girls! Here are their after pics:

Speaking of hair, the other day Sara had her first pig tails!! Look how cute. . .

Aren't you just dying from the cuteness of those little piggies??

What a cutie. 

This morning Mary and I dug out some matching dresses that we had totally forgotten about. Super cute. Sara and Mary let me take a few pictures of them after church.

Then they performed a dance for me. They had been working on the choreography this morning. Even though they didn't have the music, they gave me a sneak peek of what they've been working on. You can see their Sunday afternoon driveway dance here. (You can also see how much they love being sisters.)

Wow, I sure do love my girls.