Sunday, March 22, 2015

Billy and Belt Testing

Billy has been deep into Taekwondo and practicing heavily these past few weeks to get ready for his first belt test here in the US.

Billy is no stranger to belt testing as he currently owns 10 belts since the Taekwondo journey started three years ago. He's diligent, confident and he really enjoys the sport.

Billy would began his day with several practice rounds of patterns in the hopes of mastering them for the test. Then he would end his day the same way. Taekwondo lessons and private lesson during the week and mindless electronics training on the weekend, a kids needs a break now and then :)

The testing day finally was here and Billy was ready, albeit a bit nervous, but with Zen like focus he bowed and enter the dojang with his goal in his mind and in his heart. The place was packed and even Mr. Lemon was surprised by the turnout, many young grasshoppers ready to advance. The whole group warmed up and stretched out preparing for the upcoming test.

Billy was focused and was having a good time smiling and interacting with the rest of his TKD buddies. He was perfect in form and when it came time to break his first board, WHAM, bring it on!
The whole test went on for about an hour and a half and when the dust settled, Billy was one of only 4 kids to have ever received their brown belt and he was very proud and all smiles.

Once we got home and things settled down we were hanging Billy's old belt on his " belt board" with the rest of his belts and Billy leaned over to Nikki and in his quiet way whispered to her. " look Nikki, I did it!"

We are proud of Billy and his commitment to his sport!
Way to go Billy!!!

(A few side notes, it seems that our sign was the 1st sign EVER at a belt testing in 13 years, everyone loved it! The red uniforms are for those that have been invited to black belt club, a big honor!)








Monday, March 16, 2015

The BEST St Pats Day Party and Parade EVER!

60 degrees, good friends, beer, food = The BEST St Pats Day EVER!!!
Telling the story through photos....
BSM class or '79

Family!

Neighbors!

Friends!


Beer!
Speed!


Moms!

Kids!


Parade!

Old and New Attendees

Costumes!
Celebrate!

Party!!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Jim Fellows is boring

HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY Jim Fellows!!

Last night Jen Fellows threw Jim Fellows a killer surprise 50th birthday roast. Hosted at Buca (way yummy foods) everyone took turns telling Jim Fellows stories and Jim himself even got into the action at the end. It was so fun to see and be with all their dear friends and family that we met at the wedding. REALLY good times. Tom emcee'd and wore a tux with converse and jeans. They made Jim "masks" that we all held up when he came into the room. Some great stories were shared:

Jim getting arrest at all of his youth retreats
The girl from imponema
Veggies that make your pee smell
Jesus Shaves
Tom's career as a lawyer and judge (the best practical joke on Jim in his entire life)
Unhouse trained rabbits
Buddha cats named Gar
Lots of fart jokes
the list goes on an on ...

Jim is such a good friend to so many - it was so fun to honor him and have some fun/love together.

We love you Jim Fellows!  Here's to another 50 years on this planet!!
Amanda and Karen - smartest women we know!

Andrea her daughter and Jen's daughter and her friend


Jim and Andrea, his cousin
Jim and Jen

Jim with himself

PARTY!

Tracy with her boys
      

Friday, March 13, 2015

Travelling Baseball yes or no....

So the lad has been going to batting and pitching clinics and one on one instruction for the past 6 weeks gearing up for the all important baseball try-out, which occurred this past weekend.

About 60 13 year olds crammed into the Orono sports center to take the field for 8 different stations from which they will be ranked and the drafted according to some formula that the author was not privileged to learn. For those of you not in the know, Jimmy loves playing catcher and he is pretty darn good at it, so he was hoping that his skills would help him make it on to one of the two travelling teams.

The league consist of a travelling AAA, a travelling AA, and a select team and then 5 different house leagues. The caliber of play is the highest on the travelling teams and not so much on the select and house. We were trying to keep Jimmy focused on making a team where he can both learn and contribute, however it was AAA or AA or he was not interested, tough competitor.

Well, the tryout came and wouldn't you know it Jimmy had a cold, and the other curse a new glove.
He did fine in the first round and was called back for the afternoon session which dropped the total down to about 40 kids. He was a bit downhearted when he came back, having dropped a majority of his pitches, making connection on his hitting attempts and felt he didn't  "show case his skills". He was in near tears. The kids is passionate!

The waiting had begun, the tryout ended Sunday afternoon and the teams would be drafted and published on Wednesday, three whole days of waiting......below is the AA Roster;

Roster

Ryan Baker

Jacob Chow

Caleb Hoffman

JJ Martin

Charlie McNeil

Ethan Mielke

Jimmy Murphy

Ryan Nelsen

David Peterson

Nicholas Renk

Jason Schumacher

Jacob Wall

The team will meet in late March to begin practice and positions will be decided then but in the
mean time Way to go Jimmy!!!!
If you want to see us this Summer come to the ballpark, the Dojang or the Gymnastics Arena, because that's where the Loudamericans will be....more to come

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Kay Update


Kay had her last competition of the season at level 5 and …it was a surprise come back!!

The meet started off VERY stressful as her 1st event was bars. Normally she rocks these but… nerves must have taken over because she fell off twice. Its brutal to watch your child make mistakes on skills that you KNOW they have mastered. But..as we talk about, being an athlete is only ½ physical the rest is attitude and mental strength and Kay proved that in spades!  Up next, beam.
 
The warm up for beam was nerve wracking. All of the girls fell off at one point and one of her friends LITERALLY landed on her head twice trying to practice her back hand spring on the beam. (This was the 1st meet where they were doing a back hand spring on the beam, not just a back walk over). I thought I was going to throw up. Really hard to watch but she was ok and got back up and tried and tried again (with success!). Kay’s beam performance was good, she executed her back hand spring and had terrific form.  Then, her favorite, floor. She was AMAZING!! A near perfect performance, with skills, technique and a front and back tuck that were landed perfectly. You could tell she felt good and had totally put the bar performance behind her. That’s what I’m talking about!! Finally, vault.  This is normally her least favorite (think speed, strength and not weighing very much, she literally goes flying)  but….she nailed it.
 
A really nice vault!! So, overall …. 7.1 bars  8.2 beam  (1st place) 8.75 vault (2nd place)  9.5 floor (1st place and the next place finisher got 9.1) for 2nd overall.  She really did well and was very happy. As an added bonus, her team took 1st place overall too! YEAH!! Now, its …training for level 7 (yes, they think she should be able to skip level 6 as one of the key skills is a back hand spring on the beam) and competitions this fall. It’ll be nice to get into a deep skills routine and get ready.

Go Kay Go!! So so proud of you and your winning physical and mental strength as well as your great attitude and team spirit.










With gymnastics over it was then off tot he 6th grade Choir concert! Kay and her classmates entertained us with several different show-tunes and she even had a solo! She was having a great time and had a smile on her face the whole night!








The girls had to "pose" after the show and ham it





up they did!!









Below is the video link the first one is Kay on the Beam and the second is Kay on the floor:
http://youtu.be/-829f8eLTxg
 http://youtu.be/gnKgvoeReLs

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Billy Piano and a visit with Grandma Kay

Billy for the past few weeks has been dreading the Piano recital, the introvert does not like the lime light so to speak. He worried the entire night before, tried in his own 10 year old way to hope and pray the day would never come and in doing so barely slept the night before, but as we explained to Bill time waits for no one and the show must go on!!!





The chosen piece for the recital was March Militaire by Franz Schbert in the key of C of course. Billy spent weeks practicing the tune with the sound off on the piano as well he is Billy. Then without warning from Mom or Dad the day of the recital was upon us. Of course alumni and extreme extroverted older brother was happy to take the stage for Billy and fill time, but no, Billy was indeed ready. Billy was number 10 in the program and became a tad bit more nervous with reach passing student.

Finally it was time to take the stage with a deep breath and a final Ok, he was ready. Billy played those 78 seconds like they were the last 78 seconds on earth and did a fantastic job and with a nod to his instructor and a bow to the crowd he was done and ready to " get out of here". We are proud that Billy hung in there beat down the butterflies and persevered, way to go Billy!

The performance over we headed off to visit Granma Kay in St. Cloud. She has been doing great with her chemo and was super fun to hang out with, and to Billy's horror he was asked to play his recital piece for Grandma and Grandpa, as well as Brigid, Dennis, Stacia and Charlotte. We had a super fun afternoon visiting and playing with cousins and boy oh boy is little Charlotte cute! Kay had fun entertaining her and decided she wanted to take babysitting lessons!

It was a super




fun afternoon and we will be back again to visit and hang out. Keep the prayers coming and we all are praying for a full recovery!
More to come.......



















Introducing on the Piano.. Billy Murphy;
http://youtu.be/OkYSNBtjs9Q

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Kay and Jimmy sports update ( Billy piano recital next week)


Jimmy is heavy into 7th grade basketball, every day after school and 2 games/week. Unfortunately, the team isn’t doing well (1-9 record) and the games are all at 3:45pm, perfectly bad timing for parents. Tracy was able to rearrange a few meetings and actually catch a game this year. It was nerve racking!   1st off, he’s the tallest kid on the team – by far! If he stood up straight, he’d even be taller than the coach. He’s on the team with some of his besties (Anders and James) along with a whole new slew of friends.   If you haven’t been to a 7th grade basketball game lately, let me give you the run down.  Individually, these kids have talent; they can shoot, block and pass.  Collectively, it’s a goat rodeo. Think full contact basketball with kids ranging from 5’ to 5’ 10” tall who all think they are the next Kevin Garnett.  It’s a fast paced game with tons of attempts at 3 pointers (which almost never make it but it’s too hard to pass up the glory of the shot) fouls (Jimmy consistently fouls out of games) missed passes (Jimmy throws the ball so hard he practically knocks over this teammate) and missed free throws. 





We keep telling the kids ‘games are won on free throws’ and ‘use your fouls wisely grasshopper’ but to no avail. I’m surprised that more kids aren’t hurt on a daily basis. But…they are definitely engaged (i.e.: intense) and are getting a great workout. I feel bad for the coach.






Despite his best attempts to teach them the game, they go out there and the frontal cortex of the 12/13 yr old brain takes over. Its every man for himself.  Needless to say, the kids aren’t big fans of their coach. I think it’s a lose/lose situation and note to self – never volunteer to coach 12/13 yr old boys basketball. There is a week left in the season, we’ll see what happensJ




Kay and Tracy had a “date” day and went to see the Gopher women’s gymnastics team at their MN meet (Hamline, Gustavus and Winona State). I didn’t realize it but they are multiyear Big 10 champs and it shows!  (I felt bad for the other teams, the U just wiped the floor with them …)  It really was as close as you get to Olympic quality gymnastics on a random Sunday afternoon.  The facilities are impressive with big screen, montages of the players, rally cries and incredible coverage of the meet.



Goldie the Gopher was even there getting the crowd amped up.  Kay was immediately smitten and declared “I am totally going to the U to compete in gymnastics, I want to be on the BOARD!!” (see photo to know what I mean).  We were there with some of her teammates and they were in heaven. Running around, getting treats, watching routines, talking about what they will be able to do some day, getting temporary tattoos, etc etc…  The girls were impressive and there we a few moves that were hard to watch and made your heart stop. If Kay is able to do those one day, I’ll need warning during the meet to NOT WATCH!  They were handing out posters of the team and after the meet, the girls could get the teams autographs, so so cool and really inspirational for the kids.  On the way home Kay was googling which level you need to be at to compete at the university level. Currently Kay competes at level 5, they are talking of having her skip level 6 and go right to level 7 (the only difference between level 5 & 6 are two skills that she’s been actively practicing/mastering – they think she’ll have them nailed in the next month and then she can go right to level 7). 

 You can compete in college at level 9 but to get a good scholarship and into a big/good school, you need to be at level 10.  Level 11 is training for the Olympics.  Given she’s got Jr High and High School ahead of her still and with the rate she’s going/improving/working, this is really within Kay’s reach.  She’s excited and totally recommitted to gymnastics. Super fun Sunday!            


Another side bit of good news? Tom’s mom (Kay) is in chemo treatment and handling it really really well. None of the challenging side effects.  Keep your prayers coming, they are working!