Saturday, March 25, 2017

Kays state meet

At level 8, this is the 1st year Kay could qualify for regionals. In order to do so, you have to score over 34 at the state meet. We weren't too worried as she has gotten over a 34 at each meet this year but, boy was she nervous.  She chatted nonstop all morning, was on the phone with her friends, took 2 hours to do her hair and makeup and was rather short with us if we asked how we could help or what she needed.  Its hard because if we tell her "don't worry, you'll be fine" she thinks we are putting pressure on her.  It's really a no win situation. She takes is all so seriously and wants so badly to do well.  She wouldn't let the boys come watch her but did let Grandma and Grandpa Murphy "in the house" so to speak.  I'm hoping this is all a phase and part of being 13....

She was the only level 8 at the 13 yr old level that competed yesterday from her gym but her friend Lindsay (age 14) did make it to regionals earlier in the day and Kay was thrilled but ... rather than thinking, ok, if Lindsay can do this, so can I.  She thought, well if Lindsay made it now I HAVE to make it.  Really, her anxiety about competing is becoming a borderline problem. We need to figure out how to help her calm down so that she can focus and trust herself. God knows she works hard enough and is extremely open to her coaching. (and ... doing the mediation just the night before the meet isn't helping)

She started off so strong on floor!! 9.325 and it was a joy to watch.

Then was vault, not her favorite or her best event. And, it showed.  8.05  vault 1  vault 2

We were anxious to see her bars as she had a great week of practice on the bars, nailing her routine and getting her pirouette to the point where her feet weren't hitting floor, a BIG accomplishment!  She  did manage to nail her pirouette and landing but the 1st part of her routine was a bit wobbly and she didnt look strong on her easiest skills. Her nerves were starting to show. But, she got a 8.85 and was proud of her pirouette

Finally beam, this is usually right up there with floor as her strongest event and with the above scores she only needed a 7.75 to go to regionals.  Her warm up on beam was perfect and we thought - she's got this!!  Unfortunately, nerves took over and she fell off the beam. Twice. Thats so hard to watch as we KNOW she's just devastated inside. But, she got back up (twice) and finished a gorgeous routine with a perfect landing. beam 1st part beam 2nd part

Waiting for her final score made me want to throw up but she did it. She squeaked out a 7.8 so ... We are going to Sioux Falls for regionals!! Woo hoo!!

We are trying to tell her regionals is all just about fun. It'll be the last meet of the year and doesnt really "count" for anything other than for fun.  But, she's already worried that its her 1st out of town meet and she wants to do well.  Sigh.  The good news is ... everyone that makes regionals gets a team Minnesota leotard and she loves it!

So, a few more weeks until regionals! Let's hope can keep her off the ledge until then.

We are so proud of how hard she works, how badly she wants to do well, how she supports her team mates and how coachable she is. We just wish she's go a bit easier on herself and let herself enjoy it. I suspect she'd do even better if she relaxed and enjoyed....

Love you Kay!!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Conferences, final projects and choir concerts

Its mid March and that means end of term and 1/2 way through 2nd semester, woo hoo!!

All of the kids made honor roll, are all plagued by the Murphy curse (talking to your neighbor) and they each had some significantly fun accomplishments....

Ian is getting all A's and is especially loving Cooking Class. For his final exam he had to cook 3 dishes in 50 minutes. He practiced over and over at home and never really came in under 50 minutes. We were worried (if you thought Billy had only 1 speed, you haven't met Ian. Not only does he only have 1 speed, its sloth like. But, he's incredible precise and the veggies he cuts up and his measurements are perfect). He made water chestnuts wrapped in bacon, kimbop and strawberry spinach salad.  Part of the exam is inviting and serving a guest. Tom was the special invitee and was able to enjoy a lite mid day meal thanks to Chef Ian. Unfortunately, Ian didnt understand when Tom said he was allergic to nuts so he wasn't able to eat the salad (not sure if he didnt understand or was just being very literal and following the recipe to a tee - thats another Ian trait, he's a good direction follower).  Great photos below:)

Jimmy is a mix of B/A's and it was fun to hear what his teachers had to say... They were all raving about his participation in class, the questions he asks, willingness to help, engaging other students, etc.  He is naturally bright and curious and has an easy time with the course materials. Unfortunately, he can sometimes be distracted by less than ideal friend nonsense and doesnt always apply himself to his ability.  There were themes of ... use your powers for good, double down on the hard work of homework and apply yourself a bit more.  You are an exceptional student that is capable far above the  mixed B/A's on your report card. He was asked to play drums in the upcoming choir concerts and he's thrilled. Plus his band teacher got him interested in drum line and gave him some youtube videos to watch. We are hoping this is the answer to "how to take music to the next level" - they are cool!  (Chops, Inc - Minnesota Brass Indoor Percussion - Oregon, Wisc Shadow Armoda)

Kay is also a mix of B/A's and has made HUGE progress in language arts. Her teacher raved about the good choices she's making and the quality of her work.  She is an engaged and curious learner and needs to be moving at all times in order to focus (as a kinetic learner she is going to have to figure out how to talk to teachers about this...).  She is capable of better grades and will need to do a better job of remembering to hand in homework, especially when she gets to 9th grade.  Her teachers also love her and are constantly surprised that she and Jimmy are siblings (not sure if thats the size or personality differences at play).  Her gym teacher filmed her gymnastics routine and uses it to show other students what he means by different skills when he's teaching his gymnastics class.

Billy is our steady eddy A student. He is practical about homework and never procrastinates. He wonderful to have in class as he's calm, has good energy and loves to know how things work. He loves science and is really excited for the next unit.  He loves to read but ... has a hard time getting his thoughts onto paper (he's a man of few words which could be an issue in 7th grade if he doesnt learn/practice this year).  He also could be doing much more than he is and doesnt seem to be challenged.  It would be good to get him in honors classes next year to see how high is high. He does need to watch his chatting with certain friends but thats a pretty rare occurrence and usually stops at the request of the teacher.  He also had his 6th grade choir concert and it was the worlds fastest concert - 22 minutes. In fact, one of the other mom's went to the wrong school for the concert and missed the whole thing.  They sang songs of peace and inclusion and they. were. awesome!


Chef Ian

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Almonds - whoops

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Kim bop

6th grade choir concert

Academic All Star!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Happy St Pats Day!!!

Another successful ST Pats Day party. It had all the right ingredients, good friends, beer, kids, yummy food (Tom smoked 50 lbs of pork and made homemade BBQ sauce and blue cheese coleslaw, yum!), GREEN!!

We had our parade, a bonfire and the kids had a killer game of ghosts in the graveyard.  We ran out of meat, coleslaw, BBQ sauce sweets and  juice boxes. Plus Tracy managed to give away the troublesome bottle of Southern Comfort that has been plaguing us (thank god for Jack G!).  Still have a bit of beer left, which is a bit unusual (maybe a 1/4 keg left?) along with some fruit, bottled water and 8 1/2 eaten bags of chips. BUT, we gained 5 bottles of wine, 18 bottled beer and a pair of blue shorts (assuming they are Jimmy's friend James who came in shorts but left in sweat pants).

I love that there is always someone at our party we've never met and that people see folks they didnt know we knew or expect to run into.  Small fun world:)  (turns out one of our neighbors, who's husband works with Tom, is the sister of a friend of Tracy's from college)

Here's the proof....

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A big weekend for Kay and Billy

It was a crazy sports weekend for Kay and Billy.

Tracy and Billy headed to Waterlook Iowa for a taekwondo tournament with his team.  They had Ana along for her 1st out of state meet and everyone had a blast. We went swimming, out for Chinese and ... the kids all kicked some major butt at the tournament. Go St Rogers Park TKD!  You are amazing!!

Demo - came in 4th but this team has a ton of potential

Pomsea - Billy took 1st (gold) and looked great with a 8.5. Interestingly enough, when he was competing in the tournament of champions round, he looked equally as good but only got a 7.5.  Even he's not sure why the scores were so different but you can check it out for yourself....

Sparring - the entire team was on fire!!  Billy, Ace and Esa all took home the gold in some really killer, aggressive and tough matches. Not sure that I agree, but at the Iowa tournament, head shots are allowed for ages 9+ (in MN those are only allowed at 15+).  I didnt know that until 1/2 way through the tournament and was trying to figure out why none of the kids were getting called for fouls.  It made for super aggressive sparring and the kids stepped up and showed what they were made of.    Billy ended his match in a tie, which is beyond nerve racking, at 9-9. Then it goes into sudden death.  Billy got his kick/point in the 1st 2 seconds of overtime.  YES!! Proud of you all!  (He's in the red)

Weapons - he competes with the bow staff and he's damn good. But, weapons is a funny event because they take it by belt range and age range (vs belt/age combo) so he was with the 12+ and Red Belt +,  said differently, he was competing with black belts that were 17 years old. He was 1/2 their size!  He didnt place but he was keeping track of scores and said he tied the 3rd place winner. Interesting.... Its fun to watch.

Fun - silliness, swimming, Chinese food and a yummy team breakfast, doesnt get much better than this!!

Kay had her Rising Stars Tournament and looked great, with the exceptions of a few errors that we'll describe below. All in all, not her best meet but good enough to get a score that would qualify her for regionals if it had been state, so ... she's consistent!  She had a hard time holding it together after the beam (you'll see why below) but bounced back and is more determined than ever to do her best at state in 2 weeks.  You are one tough cookie Kay!  Proud of you !

Bars - in warm ups, she was doing pirouettes and her feet weren't hitting the ground.  Couldnt quite pull it off in competition but it was her best bar score this year 8.625!!  She was funny, she said "I sort of forgot I was in competition for a moment and lost my focus".  Huh.  And, she has 2 weeks to "get" the pirouette before state.  Go Kay Go!!

Floor - it looked GORGEOUS!! Really put together, unfortunately she stepped out of bounds and got a 9.05 (still a pretty damn good score). If she had stayed in bounds, it would have been a  9.55 which is unbelievable!!

Vault - we are going to leave this at - needs improvement  ... 8.175  (Toms phone ran out of space at this point so no video of vault or beam which is just as well I suppose)

Beam - again, it was amazing and you are totally getting excited that she's nailing when ... she falls off during her spin.  Its the easiest skill and a silly mental mistake  8.85 but without the fall it would have been a 9.35 - I think that shows how good the rest of the routine was.

So, over all 34.75 and we have a bit of work to do on staying mentally focused.  But, better to make these mistakes now and know how they feel so that you can correct before state.

She's got this:)

Love you both, you are both strong, determined, coachable, focused and warriors.