Like everyone else on the planet, we've been watching the Olympics for the last week. Ry was excited to hear that the Olympics were in "Vancougar", because he played for the Cougars hockey team last spring.
We noticed that after every event, he would mimic that event. So I decided to grab my camera and ask him to demonstrate each event that he's seen so far.
We added our own touch in the middle, re-enacting an interview that Dutch speed skater Sven Kramer gave to NBC. You can see the original interview here.
Even though my schedule is already overbooked, I decided to take on coaching Ryan's Kindergarten basketball team (I'm also coaching Karsyn's girls team) this season. We played our third game on Saturday, earning an exciting tie with a last second basket. We're now 2-0-1 after three games.
One thing that's become very clear, is Ryan is physcho about basketball. He's been hanging around the gym since he first learned to walk because his older sister has played for 5 years now. So he's been around a basketball before.
He loves it. He's actually a bit obsessed by the whole thing.
What's more amusing is that he HATES losing. I can't imagine where he gets it from, but I digress.
So last Saturday, he's not showing his best behavior after the game. We're driving home, when I tell him, "if you can't behave yourself, then I may have to bench you for the next game."
He immediately shrieks, "What?!?!?!?"
Then he reaffirms my fears that his early season success is starting to go to his head.
"Don't you want to win?" he crys.
I can't respond, and looking at Sonya laughing doesn't help matters much.
Summer unofficially came to an end at our house on Thursday, with the new school year starting. This was a big deal for us, because Ry finally started Kindergarten. We’ve been trying to get him excited about the whole thing, especially when it comes to familiarizing him with letters and numbers.
His take on the whole thing has been let’s say, less than enthusiastic. He’s a little kid, and this is a big change for him, because a) it takes him out of his comfort zone and b) he doesn’t have the free reign that he did when he was in pre-school. I get all of that, so I have to be a little more patient with his transition.
Meeting Mrs Uchiyama
The sad thing is this is the only year both Ry and Karsyn will be attendingthe same school.
From what I remember about Karsyn, she was a little more in to the whole school thing when she started Kindergarten, but there was a little transition for her as well. I think Ry will do fine with the whole thing, but he’s been able to charm his way through life up to know. School is about getting out wheat you put in, so charm alone won’t get you very far.
Karsyn on the other hand is an old hand at school. For her, she’s the big fish on campus, because her school only goes up to 5th grade. She seems excited about her teacher, and her classmates. We don’t know much about her new teacher, other than she was born in Korea.
As soon as I heard that, I was instructing Karsyn how to say hello in Korean. It never hurts to grease the situation! What better way to establish a rapport with someone than to call out your similarities. Most people have no clue that she has Korean in her, so it always comes as a surprise. Spring “hello” on another Korean in their native tongue, and you’ve just created an ice breaker.
This is the launching pad to junior high school, which is the spring board to high school, which is the predecessor to college. That means that this is the year that her future really begins to establish itself. She did a great job in 4th grade, by taking more initiative in her studies. For that I was really proud.
She mentioned to me the other day that she was disappointed that she didn’t score in the highest ranking for math on the state proficiency testing (she was one group below), so I told her that rather than fret about what she didn’t accomplish, she now has a target set on an area she can improve on.
Her attitude is what I’m most proud of. I just hope her brother picks up the same trait. She’s becoming more competitive about her grades, which is a good thing, because the competition is stacked.
In any case, it’s the start of another school year, which is always fun. Some old faces, some new faces, and plenty of opportunity. Almost makes me wish I was back in school.
We spent this past weekend up at Lake Huntington, for three days of camping, fishing and boating. Our friend Dafna and her boys Nate and Ben were all sailing in a regatta on the lake, so we joined them for a few days of wilderness action.
Nestled between Yosemite and Kings Canyon, the lake is about a 4-hour drive from the South Bay. From Gilroy, it’s almost a straight shot through Los Banos and Madera, before cruising though the mountains up Highway 168, past Millerton and Shaver Lakes.
The lake is one of the prettiest in California, reminding me of Pine Crest Lake and Lake Alpine to the north. We had a nice big camp site that easily hosted our family, Dafna & her kids, as well as two of the boy’s friends Chris and Rylie.
I got to spend some time hanging off the side of a 20-foot catamaran with Dafna at the helm. It was great except for me almost falling off the boat as I tried positioning myself on the cable that dangles you over the side of the boat. After a couple of attempts I got it down, and really got to enjoy the real speed of a racing catamaran.
The highlight of the weekend for me though was seeing Ry catch his first fish. I’ve taken him fishing a couple of times, but he never had any luck angling. That all changed when he landed a nice 12-inch rainbow off the shore.
Karsyn brought home her own 14-inch brown a few minutes later. I loved to fish when I was a kid, so it was cool to see them experience the thrill of feeling a fish on the end of your line. Trout are fun because they’re active, but easy to land. Ry certainly got a kick out of bringing home his first catch.
After the first day of boat racing, we all trekked to a restaurant that overlooked the lake and enjoyed beer and pizza. The weather was perfect (warm, but not baking like the Bay Area), and the kids all seemed to have a great time.
We had the option of renting a cabin, but I opted for the tent thing, because the kids really wanted to sleep outdoors. I think that was the right decision because all the other kids were at the camp ground and it made for a real camping experience.
Sunday was highlighted by Nate & Ben taking 4th place in the final race of the weekend. These are teenagers that beat quite a few adults in their 16-foot catamarans. Watching the start of the races was pretty exciting, but watching them cruise to their best finish of the weekend was just plain cool.
After lots of smores, camp fire songs, fishing, lounging by the lake, and just plain relaxing, I have to call it one of my favorite camping trips.
Not that our lives aren't already overloaded with work and play, but spring soccer is finally here. Karsyn continues to play on her Under 10 Girls competetive team. That would be the same team that Sonya coaches.
We moved Ryan up to the Under 7 boys recreational team this spring, because we wanted to get him on a team that would be comprised of kids that he'd be going to school with. He's playing for teh Green Goblins. All his games are at West Valley.
We're sitting at dinner the other night and Ryan declares that he's going to, "be an Olympic!"
"A what?" I ask.
"An Olympic," he says.
I had to think about what he was trying to say, but before I could put two and two together he fills in the missing pieces.
"I want to be an Olympic, like in China on TV last summer!" he declares.
"Oh, you want to be in the Olympics," I say. "You know, you have to compete in a sport in order to be in the Olympics. What sport do you want to compete in?" I ask, waiting for swimming or water polo (the sports I competed in in high school and college).
He thinks about it for a second, then let's me have it.
The family trekked to Bear Valley for our annual cabin trip. We rented the "Rest A While" cabin in Dorrington with our friends Steve & Tracy. Ry has outgrown the training harness and it skiing ON HIS OWN!
We timed our trip perfectly (all by chance), arriving after the biggest storm of the winter, and leaving right before the next storm blew into town. The weather was perfect. I skied in a wet/dry shirt and my jacket. That's spring skiing.
We also linked up some other friends that were also at the resort. Brad & Lindi (and their kids), and Scott & Robyn (and their kids) who we know from Ry's pre-school. The kids are quickly getting to the level where they're about to pass us in skiing ability. Getting old sucks.