I guess I need to update this here blog thingie since it has been nearly three months since I did. The days are passing at whirlwind speed and nothing really new has been happening, just the same old same old as they say.
School started at the end of August and we are already doing report cards and SEP's (parent teacher conferences) next week. The school that I teach at has gone back to an extended year, or year round, calendar this year. We are the only school in St George that is doing this and so, we are already at the end of our first term. We have a week off for Fall Break starting next Friday. Then after that, we will start a Fall Intersession. This is kind of like Summer School, except a better model because we will have much better attendance since it is not a traditional time for vacationing. The teachers have the option of teaching for extra money or taking the time off. I opted to take the time off. I do not know if I will teach during the Spring Intersession which will be after Spring Break. Right now, I have declined, but I may change my mind. I am well known for that. I have pretty good classes this year, which I am happy about. I have my Gifted and Talented Endorsement now, so I have one class that is called a "cluster group" which has the gifted kids in it, and none of the lowest kids and my other class is an average class. It helps to meet the needs of all the learners so that you don't have such a wide spectrum of abilities to reach. I have found it to be working out well except that the other class is falling behind so I am having to do a lot more planning.
My nephew, Jude, is so amazing. He is about 3 1/2 months old and he is beautiful. He has a smile that melts my heart and he loves to chatter and talk which is tons of fun to listen to. He seems to be teething a little bit already and loves to suck his thumb to soothe the pain. He has a very easy going, happy personality and has really been a blessing to our family.
Erin had her 30th birthday last week and planned a bonfire out on the Arizona strip to celebrate. It was fun. It is just starting to really cool down lately and feel like Fall, which is my favorite time of the year. I was really cold out there, but once that fire got going, I thought my eyeballs were going to melt. ;) Jude was mesmerized by the fire. Erin said he has been out there a couple of times with them and loves the bonfires. And to add to the excitement and beauty of it all, it was a full moon night! Gorgeous!
I have a karate tournament coming up next month in Saratoga Springs, Utah. I am looking forward to it a lot. I am on the leadership team, also called STORM (Special Team of Role Models), and we have been working on a team demo to do at the tournament. This will be the first time our school will be participating in the demos since opening a couple of years ago. All the other schools are much bigger and have more experience doing this, so we have just barely gotten on it. The next day will be my individual competitions in katas, weapons, self defense, and sparring and that night will be the Black Belt test which I may stay and watch because my instructor and his 12 year old son will both be testing for their 2nd degree black belts. I will probably have to help referee the Black Belt sparring, which I just found out today. That will be an interesting experience. Hopefully I don't mess up and get any black belts mad at me. LOL.
I also have a test for my next belt, Chan Ban Bu, in November, but I am still trying to decide whether or not I really feel ready to test this time. Up til now I have tested and advanced every three months, but I have been struggling the past several months as the requirements and curriculum have really started to get more difficult, especially mentally. The kata, or form, that I have to learn for this belt has had me so confused and on the verge of tears so many times. I finally started to learn it when he put a bo staff in my hands and showed me what we were doing. I was like, "ohhhh, that's what my hands are doing" and I had the first half of it in 10 minutes after struggling to learn it for 2 months. The whole combination of foot movements, advancing and retreating, Chinese covers, and upward, outward, inward, and downward blocks, reverse bow steps, pivot punches, ball of the foot, heel of the foot, and on and on and on, still has me so confused. My instructor tells me that I am doing well, but that I am just too critical and perfectionistic, and to look at the small bits of progress. If I do test and continue on track, I should be able to test for my black belt at the end of April. If not, I may wait until October of next year.
I am hoping to be able to make it out to Cali for Christmas time. I want to go to Disneyland badly. I haven't been at Christmastime in a long time and I love it at that time of the year. Also, I have an uncle there in Simi Valley who has been having some serious health problems and I would like to go see him. Erin needs to take baby to see the Cali family and so we have been thinking about doing that. We have not had a big family Christmas out there in several years and Erin and Will have been in Houston for the past few Christmasses so it would be very nice to do that again. A lot like the "old days." It is my hope anyways.