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Thursday, January 29, 2015

JT's Pen Pal

JT has had a pen pal for nearly 6 months. It has been a fun thing to add to our lives. JT's pen pal is Giovanni. Giovanni lives in the Tampa, Florida area and I've been friends with his Mom since before our two little guys were born. This past summer, the two were able to meet for the first time when we all traveled to Atlanta to meet up with some of our Mommy friends. Giovanni and JT hit it off and seem to be kindred spirits.

 Giovanni, far left, along with JT and another friend, Hugh this past summer in Atlanta.

 Silly faces!

Seeing this photo that is now about 8 months old makes me realize how much these two have grown and changed!

     After our trip to Atlanta, we decided that it would be fun to have the boys be pen pals. With school starting, their writing skills would be developing and it would be fun for them. Don't you remember just how fun getting mail was when you were little? It's the time in your life when everyday you want to check the mail. So we started writing shortly after school started and have continued, usually one letter each month.

JT opening his latest letter.

These letter bring a big smile to JT's face every time!

A trend we each started after our first letters is to buy a book that each boy selects for the other. Not only are they practicing their writing, they get to practice reading. 

This month JT got a new Star Wars Leggo book! It's his new favorite and we are looking forward to sending our next letter back to Florida.

Power League #1

     Last weekend, Courtney had her first Power League for Ethos. Power league is a one day competition among other Ethos teams that should be of similar level of talent. During the course of the day, the girls play 3 other teams. After the results are finalized for the day, all of the teams club wide are re-seeded. In a few weeks, at the next Power League the teams will face some different teams- some moving higher in ranking, against older or "better" teams, and some moving down. It's about bragging rights and most importantly, getting some more time on the court without having to pay an entry fee for a tournament.

 Warming up!

 Courtney's team was wearing their white jerseys for the day.

 Pep talk before the next set.

 Sister block!

 Celebrating an ace! Love seeing the opponent on the floor from where the ball landed.

The girls had an overall good day. They won one match in two sets and the other two opponents went to the third set, with very close scores in the end. Sadly, they lost in their third sets, but the girls are growing individually and as a team. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Star of the Week

Recently, JT was The Star of the Week in his class. Every week as student in his class has a turn being the star and they get to share about their family, interests, and share photos. JT was the last star for his class since his teacher went in reverse alphabetical order (last name).

JT was so excited to bring home the Star binder for us to prepare his turn. All of the other student's papers were inside so JT had a fun time reading all of the other entries before we started working on his questionnaire. JT answered all of the questions and then colored the paper.

JT holding his filled out All About Me paper. 
Favorite Color-Blue
Favorite Animal: Shark
Favorite thing to do at home: Play with his monster trucks
Favorite thing to do at school: Recess
I am a star because... I am funny.

JT then chose photo he wanted to share with his class- the one where he's a baby, he's about 2 weeks old. Then JT chose some of his favorite activities- soccer and riding his bike. He ended by including photos of all of our family. JT loved his turn being star of the week and he is most certainly a big Star at home!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ethos 2015- MLK Kickoff Tournament

The 2015 Club Volleyball season is once again upon us for Courtney. If you aren't familiar with club ball, it basically is where you play in the off season with the thought that hard work and preparation will get you ready for your next year in high school. It's pretty much a "must" at a high school level in order to remain competitive with your teammates and competition.

Courtney is playing with Ethos Volleyball, North branch, for the 2nd year. She has grown tremendously and we are looking forward to another great year. She has been practicing since December and last weekend, we had our first weekend tournament.

 Meet the 16 North Travel Team. L-R Bottom row: Courtney, Zoe, Kathryn
Top: Lauren, Ona, Lia, Sydney, Sophia, and Emma.

 This is the girls inside joke they developed when we hosted a sleepover for the girls a few weeks ago. I don't remember how it came about, but its provides a great comic relief during practice and games I've been told.

 Courtney is taking on a new role this season as the team's setter. We had another player/setter on our team that suffered an injury in December that required shoulder surgery :( Coach then called on Courtney to step up and play this position. She is doing a fantastic job so far!

 Coach Niblock talking to the girls before our day of competition started.

 All smiles and ready to play!

 The girls doing what I think of as  the "Stare Down". The other team was getting their warm up time on the court and its customary to stand on the line and watch the team and mentally get ready.

 Game time!

 Kathryn serving.

 Back row ready to serve receive.

 Our animated Courtney serving.

 Courtney also serves as team Captain. She is the only person on the court for our team that can address the ref.


Get that set!

Court can also block pretty well ;) Get some air, girl!

Action at the net!

Horrible photo, but you can see a successful block as the ball is coming down on the opponents side of the net.

Zoe in action.


Sophia in action.

Ethos 16 North for the WIN!

Taking on another Ethos team.

Being up on the 2nd level gives a great view of the play developing.



Another W for Ethos!

This was a two day tournament, but I failed to empty my SD card for the camera before returning Sunday. I got the dreaded "card full" notification about 5 shots into the match, so this is my best shot of the day. I'm loving seeing how these young ladies are growing together and as a team. More Ethos news to come in the near future.