Friday, April 22, 2016

Leo Earns his First Degree Black Belt

Graduation Day!

First Karate Graduation

Leo made us very proud yesterday, April 21, 2016. This is a day we have been waiting for for many years. Leo earning his black belt is a goal he has been working towards for over 4 years, and the test day finally arrived yesterday. I as a nervous wreck all week, but my Leo put my nerves to rest with a confident performance.

We had always set the high goal of reaching black belt for Leo. Giving up was not an option, but Leo's positive attitude aure did help. We wanted Leo to learn that it is possible to reach a long term goal, with dedication and hard work. Our family motto of "Morris's never give up" played an important role in this grand achievement.

We enrolled Leo at Karate for kids when he was a mere 3 years old. At the time, we already knew Leo was highly intelligent, but his preschool teacher informed us that it was difficult for Leo to stick with the group and follow the structure of the class. We felt that Tae Kwon Do might help Leo with focus and his ability to follow directions.

At first Leo didn't take class all that seriously. He giggled and goofed off and had many time outs, but he stuck with it and enjoyed his time on the mats. He learned to follow the directions of Mr. and Mrs, Simpson and moved up belt after belt.

Over the years, I have seen Leo progress beyond what I could imagine possible. He has become disciplined, coordinated and has exercised his leadership abilities. He is strong in mind and body and he did what he set out to do! He earned his first degree Black Belt! He will be the youngest and smallest kid in black belt class and I know he will impress his new classmates. As Mr, Simpson announced, "Leo is a pioneer in our school." Joe and I could not be prouder parents and I foresee this as the beginning of a lifetime of trail blazing accomplishments for our exceptional son. We are proud parents....the kind of proud that words can't adequately express.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Leo turns 8!

My little boy has turned 8! I really am having a difficult time wrapping my head around it. It seems like just yesterday that he was a baby, naming off dinosaurs and obsessing about Thomas the train.

He has grown into such a fine young man, The top of his class, a favorite of his teachers! Their faces glowed when they spoke about him at the school conferences. With each day, Leo grows more fun and interesting. He has a zest for life and a curiosity about all things. Although he is a human calculator and has a natural talent for math, he also loves the arts and humanities. He has recently fallen in love with the Musical "Hamilton" and want to learn about all things related to Alexander Hamilton and that period of history. His natural curiosity about all things in life will serve him well.

Leo had a great 8th birthday and chose to spend it with his family. Grandma Laurel was in town, so he spent a lot of time with her. We also had a family bowling day and Joe surprised Leo with 2 tickets to the Blazer's game the night before his birthday. The tickets were a MOPS Bunco win and were in a suite and apparently, the boys had the time of their lives. Leo had a scruffy voice the next day from all the cheering.

Leo was gifted Money, gift cards, tee-shirts (Hamilton and Blazers), a ball...everything that he loves!

In addition to being an intellect, Leo is very athletic too. He is currently in Karate (black belt test this month) and is in Basketball and Baseball. This season, Leo is on the Rays with coach Jeff again. He's doing great!

Leo has recently made friends with the neighbor boys and often plays with them. We have given him more freedon to play with them and he is in Heaven!

Somerset is rounding up her year in preschool. She is close to reading and continues to read to the dogs at the library every Thursday night. She is really catching on and will be a reader very soon! She also has a special love of animals, especially dogs.

She continues to love all things creative. She is constantly drawing and creating in various ways. She reminds me a lot of myself in this way and I am sure that she will pursue a creative career someday.

She is my sleepiest, most  difficult child to motivate in the mornings. She is relaxed about her morning routine, which can be a challenge for me when I have to get the kids out the door by 8 a.m.

Rosalie continues to be the cutest human! She does yell "mine" a lot, which is annoying, as well as tossing her food on the floor, but she is so incredibly cute, that we always forgive her.

She is starting to speak in 2 word sentences: "Ro Ro out!." She continues to say. "No way!." when she is unhappy about something, which still is hilarious!

We continue to cut her hair in a bob, which suits her petite frame. Her bangs are growing out though, so her hair is constantly in her face.

She is very much a Mama's girl and would be satisfied if I held her most of the time. She does also enjoy climbing and doing adventurous things that make me nervous.

She continues to love all things Frozen and belts out "Let it Gooooooo!!!"