Thursday, August 30, 2012

Xavier's Bucket List



  1. make gunpowder
  2. go sky diving
  3. have a Nerf war!
  4. Do a barrel roll (while sky diving)
  5. go into space
  6. find Raxacoriclefallopitorius
  7. move to Britain
  8. be the Doctor
  9. learn how to hang glide
  10. start a jazz club
  11. start a chess club
  12. get gold in nationals
  13. make a potato canon
  14. make a catapult
  15. make a working robot
  16. mess with a computer
  17. whup mom in Mario bros
  18. go seven days without video games
  19. learn parcour
  20. get a masters degree
  21. meet the myth busters
  22. ride every roller coaster in the world
  23. scale a building
  24. do james bond stuff
  25. meet Christopher Ecleston
  26. meet David Tennant
  27. meet Matt smith
  28. drive a monster truck

Kristina's Bucket List


  1. Run a 5K
  2. Visit 100 national parks
  3. Visit all 50 states
  4. Visit 100 museums
  5. Be a published author
  6. Learn to play saxophone
  7. Learn to play drumset
  8. Read 100 classics as an adult
  9. Compete in the US Tae Kwon Do Open
  10. Coach a medal winner
  11. Write a short story
  12. Get a bachelor's degree
  13. Learn to weave
  14. Learn to spin
  15. Learn to crochet
  16. Go skydiving
  17. Learn to swim
  18. Do a triathalon
  19. Walk the Appalachian trail
  20. Build a log cabin
  21. Learn to play poker
  22. Become fluent in Spanish
  23. Learn French
  24. Learn Greek
  25. Learn Hebrew
  26. Learn to sail
  27. Learn to surf
  28. Get henna'd from head to toe
  29. Play competitive kickball
  30. Do the front splits
  31. Do the side splits
  32. Watch the Olympics in person
  33. Get Masters degree
  34. Get Doctorate degree
  35. Volunteer 100 hours
  36. Live off food I've grown for 1 month
  37. Learn to ride a motorcycle
  38. Get a conceal and carry permit
  39. Enter every knitting division in the fair
  40. Donate 100 knitted items
  41. Learn to salsa
  42. Learn to swing dance
  43. Learn to tango
  44. Teach someone to knit
  45. Try 100 new foods
  46. Visit 50 countries
  47. Go on 52 unique dates with Gary

On Writing Bucket Lists

Bucket list, Bucket listLast night, Dominic told me that he really didn't have time to run with me every time I went running. It would cut into his video game time. This was after I mentioned that I was going to run on Saturdays.

I asked him, "How are you going to run a 5K with me if we don't train together?"

He quite emphatically told me he had no desire to run a 5K. At that point, I told him that running a 5K is on my bucket list. And that's when I realized that while I have an imaginary bucket list that I'm always adding things to, I don't know what's on the list because I forget. That means I can't look at my list and figure out what I want to accomplish next, make plans, and accomplish goals.

Today, we are writing bucket lists. I'm actually putting things down on paper. I'm making my children do the same thing, mean mom that I am. I expect our bucket lists to be quite different. I think theirs will probably include things like blowing something up (Xavier), playing video games for 12 hours straight (Dominic), and going to Greece (Gabriel).

Do you have a bucket list? What are some things on your bucket list?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trip Day 5



You have no idea how much I dislike posting blurry pictures. But I have to share my Nicky with you. Dominic was so supportive during the almost week we spent at the tournament. But, he was bored by day 2. On the last day, they desperately needed ring runners. The ring runners escort the competitors to their ring. On the last day, all the matches are held individually. The competitors are taken to the ring two at a time, instead of a whole division at a time. Dominic volunteered to help.

He was so incredibly adorable. He led each competitor to their ring and carefully gave them them instructions. Of course, the competitors were all over the age of 18, which made it even cuter. He got bored after about an hour and a half. He plans to do this every day of the tournament next year.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Black Belt Testing: The After- After Party










Also known as Dodgeball. Unfortunately, I wasn't the one taking pictures, and most of them are blurry. Fortunately, because of that, I don't have to blur out a bunch of faces.

As you can see, Gary and I believe that Dodgeball is a serious sport. We're not playing around. Truly, it was a blast and we'll definitely be doing it again.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Black Belt Testing Part 2: Self Defense

After you show off your forms and knowledge, you do self defense. This is done in a couple ways, and I love that my children are taught these things.








An excerpt from one of Gabriel's essays:
I was once into Tae Kwon Do to learn how to defend myself. Now I do it because I love it. I love to take part in the different classes, compete in tournaments, and learn something new every class. I love to help teach the younger classes, and especially the Tiny Tigers. Their enthusiasm in life is always inspiring. When I see someone else give it their all, it makes me soar to greater heights, as I always feel that I wouldn't be respecting their hard work if I didn't put in double the effort myself. It makes me feel great when I learn something new and put it into use. I've learned a lot about physical and mental strength. I've gotten a lot of patience and I've learned a lot about insight. These lessons have made me a better person, and will continue to do so.






If learning self defense does nothing else for my children, I know that it provides them with more confidence.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Black Belt Testing Part 1: Forms and Knowledge

It's been a week since black belt testing and our household is just now starting to get back to normal. I'm sure it didn't help that we spent the last three days watching the Olympics.

Before you ever show up for black belt testing, you have to write two essays. This is an excerpt from one of Xavier's essays.
I began tae kwon do because Gabriel started and all I wanted to do was be like Gabriel. It was a good thing because, if I had not, I would probably still blow up at any one if they made one mistake. My problem was self control, I didn't have any. So I got in a lot of trouble until I got my blue belt taken away from me. After that, I didn't get in trouble as much and now the only reason I get in trouble is because I'm bored...

As you can see, I have made improvements in everything I listed. I have self control. I have discipline. And I have friends. I also have discovered that I love tournaments. I do every tournament that I can, and enjoy it whether or not I win. I am mentally stronger from tae kwon do and I need it. I was the kid everyone picked on at school, not physically but mentally. All they said were mean things. I don't like talking about it so I write it down. My problem is I keep everything inside myself and don't tell anyone anything unless I am pushed. I am hoping that after I test I can work on this. I think I can hold off any mental pain through listening to music that matches my feelings.

It hurts a lot when people are bullying other people and I can't do anything to stop them. One time I tried and it didn't work. the next day I saw it happen again. It's not myself being bullied that hurts, but trying to stop people from bullying and failing, not being able to create friends and watching those bullies pick on everyone else. All I see at school is survival of the fittest.
I'm hoping tae kwon do will teach me how to stop this and create a better life for everyone early on.
 




At our school, testing requires a lot of things, especially black belt testing. Everyone, regardless of age, goes through the same testing. We must know forms (for black belt testing, there are 8 for kids and 9 for adults). We must be fluent in all kinds of knowledge, including Korean history, a modicum of Korean, and many definitions. They also ask you personal questions, like what you want to be when you grow up, and how tae kwon do will help you with this. 


Perhaps one of the hardest parts of testing is the waiting. When Gary and I tested for our black belts, it took seven hours. Fortunately, the boys' testing only took 4. Still, it was most impressive to me that the boys, especially Xavier, could spend hours sitting silently on the mat.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Log Cabin Blanket Complete




I finished my Log Cabin Blanket! I made a few modifications to the design, which is a really excellent design to begin with. The most significant modification is that I knocked the number of squares from 20 down to 16. I ran out of yarn, and was happy with the size of the blanket, so that's what I went with. It's still over 5' long, and at least 3' wide.

The other modification was mostly a convenience modification. The directions for knitting this require you to bind off and pick up stitches at every step. I chose to keep all stitches live so that I had minimal picking up, and almost no binding off. I didn't bind off any stitches until I did the outside edges. I used 4 circular needles to stitch the blocks. This allowed me to keep the stitches live and just work my way around the block. When I was finished with a block, I pulled scrap yarn through the stitches to keep them live. This make the knitting much, much easier.

I'd like to start another one, but make it using one colorway. I'm just trying to decide which colorway I like best.

Hat Wearing Kid


Friday, August 3, 2012

Dance Night

From Soule Mama: {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Please visit Soule Mama for more moments each Friday.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday

















I have been in the process of finishing projects that I had started. I am almost finished with the "Little Oaks" that I started for my niece. It truly was the perfect pattern for that yarn. I had barely enough to finish the pattern, and it is beautiful. I just need to figure out which buttons to put on it and it will be done. Opinions?

I've been spending time on my stretching machine over the past week. The splits are a work in progress for me. I've had the machine for a little over a week and I've gained almost 10 degrees in that time. I find that I can knit while sitting on it. In fact, that helps distract me from the pain. I don't crank it up to where it is extremely painful, but I do use it to push myself.

I've almost finished my Log Cabin Blanket. I only have the top and bottom borders left to knit. They each have six rows to them and shouldn't take me long. I figure that if all goes well, I should be done by Friday. We'll see. I've got a lot of other things I need to do besides knit.

I have also started working on the thigh high socks in this book. 
It is my travel project, though, and is in the car, which Gary has at work. I don't have any pictures of it. I've only just started it, so I haven't even finished the cuffs. I detest ribbing and can't wait to finish the cuff.

Have you read any of Rick Riordan's books? (Xavier is now wearing the shirt Gabriel has on in those pictures. My how time flies.) We love them at our house. I had only read the first book in the Kane Chronicles, so when I needed to pick up a new audio book, I downloaded the second. I really like the readers for these books. I'm almost finished with the last book, The Serpent's Shadow, then I'll have to find something else to listen to. Do you have any suggestions? I must have a good reader!

I'm joining in with Tami and Ginny today.

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