Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

June 30, 2012

June 2012 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 3:12 am

June Highlights:

Kids Out on Summer Break

The kids completed another year of school. Lilah, received all As and some great citizenship comments. Luke did well on everything except writing, which is an area we’ll have to watch and possibly seek some help with as he gets easily frustrated with our direction. His teacher suggested he keep a writing journal in the summer (good luck on that one) and continue reading so that he is ready for 4th grade. I was thinking madlibs might be a good place to start with Luke so that we can turn the writing and learning into a game, something he responds to a little bit better than a “writing assignment.” Lilah asked if we saw her straight As (she’s always very eager to show off how well she does — especially in comparison to Luke) and then quickly inquired as to how her brother performed. We told her they both did well and that they should both be proud of their hard work, but Lilah gave me a knowing smirk as if to say yes, but “I still did better, right?”

Lilah also got a chance to show off her work on the yearbook, a two page spread that she was responsible for designing herself.

We celebrated the completion of another school year by going to Yama’s restaurant, a place we take the kids to once a year to commemorate this milestone. They love the food and also enjoy watching the chef entertain them with the food preparation — they love the onion volcano and the when the chef tosses an egg into the air and then breaks it cleanly on the way down by catching it with the edge of his spatula.

Luke Takes Swim Lessons and Video Game Camp

Luke knows that our trip to Hawaii is coming up at the end of August so he has reluctantly embraced swimming lessons. He wasn’t very enthusiastic at first, but when we started coupling that with a few outings to the beach I saw a pretty dramatic change in his energy. He is becoming more and more comfortable in the ocean now and has even ventured out into the water on his own without needing to have me by his side. This happened the other day when I was boogie boarding with him. I had started to get a little cold as I hadn’t brought my wetsuit so after about an hour of being out in the water with Luke, I told him I needed to chill on the shore for a while. He said that was okay, but that he would continue to catch waves on his own. For the next hour, I watched him ride wave after wave to the shore and then eagerly run back out into the water to catch some more. He didn’t go out there super far, but he went out just as far as if I had been out there with him. He also challenged himself by occasionally dunking his head into the water — something I had not seen him do before. With the steady progress he appears to be making, I think he will have a lot of fun in Kauai when the time comes.

The other activity he’s keen on is learning more about is how to make video games. He really enjoys playing a game called Minecraft so I have had to learn more about his video game world so that I can help when he needs to find new maps and worlds to challenge himself. Cathy found a 1-week camp that teaches the kids how to make their own games and he seemed to enjoy the experience as his friend Mason was also in the camp. The entire week, the kids plan, then create their own game which they get to take home with them at the end of the week on a CD. Everything went really well, except for the part about getting the game on a CD. The instructor said the kids should be able to take the game home and play it, but when we tried opening the game on our computer we discovered there was no program on our machine to play this game.  The instructor did not provide any troubleshooting instructions either so now we’ll have to contact the company to see what our next steps should be. Overall, however, this was a great experience for Luke as it helps give him an understanding of how games are made and how he might make his own game one day if that turns out to be his passion.

Lilah the Night Owl

Lilah has turned into my little vampire. If I fall asleep on the couch at night, I’ll typically wake up around midnight or after midnight and groggily walk myself over to bed. On my way to the bedroom however, I’ll see that the light in Lilah’s room is still on. The reason? She loves to read. She’s already read the Hunger Games trilogy and now she’s on to her next series of books. It’s unbelievable how absorbed she gets in her books, but being an English major, who read dozens of books himself, I totally get it.

If she’s not reading, she’s on the Star Doll website. The Star Doll website is described as the largest online community for girls who love fashion, making friends, shopping, decorating and being creative. Basically it’s a place where Lilah can create her own doll persona, virtually decorate rooms, and showcase her creations to other Star Doll members who comment on her works or buy things that she creates.

As she’s told me before, she has lots of different interests. I did get her to agree to swim join the swim team again in the summer because she is going to participate in the junior lifeguards program this year, a pretty intensive 3-week program where the kids learn about water safety and do all kinds of ocean activities — swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, skin diving, water rescue and more. They also do dry land conditioning exercises such as push ups, running, and all different types of calisthenics. In addition they learn about teamwork, marine ecology, and leadership. I think Lilah is going to have a blast in this program (she just doesn’t know it yet). It will also be something she does before we go on our Hawaii trip which should really give her a whole new level of confidence in the ocean.

Mom and Dad

Cathy put what she learned in her Body Pump certification class into practice this month as she taught three Body Pump classes, one of which she videotaped and sent to Les Mills for her final evaluation. All Body Pump instructors are required to do this in order to get certified. There is always the chance that you won’t pass the first time you send your video, which means you may have to team teach with another instructor for another month before you can teach a real class or you may have to resubmit a new video before you begin teaching (this usually happens if the Les Mills reviewers feel you still need a lot of work). Cathy thinks she did pretty well on the video so I think her official certification should come in the mail shortly. She said it’s still pretty nerve wracking because your certification is always accompanied by a 20-page report (maybe not that long, but pretty close) that evaluates your performance and lists all the things you did wrong and need to improve.

I competed in two triathlons this month, shattering my personal bests in both races by several minutes. I ended up with another 4th place finish in my hometown race in the process, but this time I was behind the third place guy by way more than 24 seconds so I don’t feel like I just missed getting on the podium. It has been a good month of training and I am looking forward to competing in at least two more races before the season ends. I also ran a 10K at the beginning of the month posting the best time of my adulthood 45:14. I am happy with the way the season is going and am still having fun doing the races. This is also the first season in which I’ve backed off all the really intense training I used to do which included intense intervals and hard effort medium distance biking and running sessions. Instead, I have stuck with the low intensity training advocated by Philip Maffetone. This method of training may not appeal to everyone, but I can’t argue with the results I’ve had since I implemented the program in December of last year.

The other big news is that we rented out 3 of the 4 units of our four-plex. So now we feel a little bit more like real landlords instead of investors. It’s been an interesting ride so far.

That’s all for now…more next month!

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