so, we like to give our kids a rich mixture of experiences in life. our local parks and recreation department is pretty good about providing classes and sports that are quite varied giving everyone something to enjoy. this fall, we found a fencing class offered for kids ages 4 – 6. perfect for our kids.

the class started about 3 weeks ago. JD has loved going to the class and last week Ellie was nearly ready to quit. things all changed this past Tuesday. you see, JD and Ellie were chosen to fence against each other. JD jumped up enthusiastically because he was just sure that he was ready to turn pro. anyway, before talking about the results, here’s a few photos of the class (click a photo to see a larger version):

Ellie in action against another little guy

Ellie In Action Small

and here’s JD striking another young guy

Jd Strike Blur Small

so anyway, this week they went head-to-head for all of the marbles. the match started off fairly equally. each child went for a strike and the strike occurred at the same time. no points are awarded when both kids strike and score at the same time. this happened about 3 or 4 times and then Ellie figured out that she should try and block the incoming strike, which she did. JD was blocked away and before he could get his foil back into action Ellie had managed to strike JD in the chest. ONE to nothing, Ellie. the next round, they both appeared to strike at the same time again and JD started to back up to get back into the on guard position; however, the instructor/judge hadn’t stopped things and Ellie quickly realized this and struck JD. TWO to nothing. JD managed to score on the next exchange to keep the match close, but that was all the scoring JD could manage. Ellie scored the remaining 3 points and won the match 5 to 1.

when we arrived home, i helped Ellie out of the car and said something encouraging to her. JD obviously heard me praising her fencing skills and burst into tears. obviously, losing to his sister was emotionally draining.

Ellie now loves fencing and it’ll take a little work to convince JD not to quit. but, he’s enjoyed playing with the sword (foil) and the other equipment enough that i am pretty sure he’ll be back. plus, this was a nice way to demonstrate to him the importance of playing defense in addition to the offense.

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First day of school photos added

I have added some photos from Ellie’s first day of school last Tuesday and also from JD’s first day last Wednesday. You can click on Photos above to view the photos. Here’s a preview:

Ellie Jd Day 1 06

Sept. 2006 update

Wow, what a summer. Hard to believe school starts later today. Ellie has already met her first grade teacher last week and it looks to be a fun year for Ellie. JD met his preschool teacher last week as well. He’s pretty excited to be back in a routine and to be going to preschool where Ellie will go after she gets out of school each day. We’ll pick both kids up around 4 each day at the same place.

Speaking of JD, I think I forgot to write that JD learned how to ride a bike this summer about a month ago. He can start, stop, turn, and all that jazz. He’s pretty proud to have learned before Ellie. In defense of Ellie, we bought her a bike that is just a wee-bit too big, so she can’t get both feet on the ground. She can ride just fine, but she has to find a grassy spot to stop so she can jump off and land on her feet.

But, the bigger news with JD is that he read this week. He has sort of done this in the past, but it seemed to be more of a guess. He knows the sound of all letters and even some of the double sounds some letters make (e.g., C), but putting them together is a hump that he’s just now figuring out. He read a bunch of 3 letter words and seems to finally get it. He’s got a year before kindergarten starts, so I have no doubt he’ll be pretty good when that time comes. Yeah JD.

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