Getting His Kicks

As I mentioned Saturday, Kevin’s most recent martial arts belt testing occurred Friday night. Kevin, a brown belt, was testing for his brown belt with black stripe. Since Mrs. Earp was wrapped up with prom duties, I took Kevin to the testing. As we pulled into the parking lot, I told him, “I want you to do everything fast and hard.” For the most part, he did not disappoint.

Kevin (right, in the photo) performed all his moves very well, punched hard, and kicked harder. (At one point, he connected with a kick, knocking his sparring partner to the ground.)

My only complaint was he pulled a few punches, but he was bigger and more experienced than his sparring partner, and he’s always been afraid of hurting someone. Other than that, it was a great evening, and Sensei Dave (the owner of Premier Martial Arts) told me afterward, “He’s a different person than when he started.” It was a nice compliment to receive.


Prom Night

In typical teenager fashion, Kyle decided to attend last night’s junior prom a few days before the ticket deadline. One of Kyle’s friends from grade school – a girl I always wish he would dating (she’s incredibly nice) – set him up with one of her friends from high school. Lily, as you can see, is also a redhead, and Julia was very happy she could claim two “Ginger Buddies.”

Lily came to our house last night for pictures, then they went to the local park for group photos with their friends. I missed out on the occasion – and many chances to embarrass Kyle – because Kevin had belt testing for karate. (When Kevin saw the photos afterward, he told Mrs. Earp, “LIly looks like a Disney princess.”)

I’m daywork this week, so I wasn’t awake when Kyle got home, but Mrs. Earp said they had a very good time, and Kyle said he was glad he went.

Which brings me to another point. As far as dating is concerned, times have certainly changed since I was a lad. When I was in high school, my school (and surrounding ones) always held dances and socials. We met girls there, and relationships formed out of those events.

Kyle goes to an all-boys school which no longer holds those social functions. Between schoolwork and lacrosse, he doesn’t interact with or otherwise meet girls. As such, he’s never had a girlfriend.

Now, I really have no desire for Kyle to get a girlfriend. The last girl he really liked inexplicably went from a close friendship to despising him in a matter of seconds, and he never really got over it. Plus, as I have told Kyle on many occasions, “Bitches be crazy.” That said, it’s an odd situation to me. He has a lot of female friends from grade school, and from all accounts, Lily is a terrific person, but boys aren’t meeting girls anymore.

Baby Driver

So, this happened…

A few weeks ago I took Kyle to take his learner’s permit test. We waited at the DMV for almost an hour until we were called, and when our number finally came up… Kyle failed the eye test.

Fast forward a few weeks and one doctor’s note later. Mrs. Earp took him again Thursday, and he earned a perfect score on the written test. As such, he is now allowed to drive as long as a parent is with him. He will need 65 hours behind the wheel to be able to take his driver’s exam.

Mrs. Earp took him out Thursday, and I got him Friday. Now, I’m not very good at being a passenger in a vehicle. I’ve been in a few accidents, and the one I had with Miss America – long story, I’ve blogged about it before – was especially rough. Since then, I need to drive, or I suffer anxiety attacks.

So, I sucked it up and let Kyle take the keys. We spent an hour and a half on the open road, in the rain – they want you driving in all types of weather – and with the exception of a few foibles, Kyle did very well. He is a bit of a Larry Leadfoot – like his mother – but besides a few anxious swerves and one burnout – again, leadfoot – he’s on his way to getting his license.

*Where he will then be responsible for transporting his siblings to sports/dance practices, gassing my car, and doing other menial tasks I refuse to do.

The End Of An Era

After six productive years, a handful of all-star games, a few trophies, and a title appearance, Erik is officially retiring from soccer at the ripe old age of fourteen.

Erik has decided to play lacrosse (YES!) in high school, and considering how the high school runs “tryouts” – the teams are picked well beforehand – he wanted to spend his spring playing lax for his local club. The decision is bittersweet. During his first year, Erik was the kid who knelt down and picked the grass. Then, during a game, he was stung by a bee. After the tears stopped, he went on the field and completely took over the team. We’re convinced the bee was carrying steroids.

The kid once scored thirteen goals in a youth indoor soccer game (with one assist), and has always been a talented striker. He was the boy everyone said would be playing in college, and while he enjoyed lacrosse, he never really preferred it over soccer. I think he was swayed by the fact Kyle plays, and now that a few colleges have expressed interest in Kyle, Erik sees a future for himself.

Saturdays indoor finale was most likely his last, but he went out in style. Erik played harder than anyone on the floor, scored two goals, and played impressive defense. His team lost the game 11-3, but Erik made a statement during his exit.

It’s sad to see him not playing a sport he loves, but I have no doubt he will excel in lacrosse this spring, and for years to come.

Happy Birthday Kevin!

Today is my youngest son’s tenth birthday.

Kevin is our eccentric child. The boy doodles mini comic books, makes videos with his “plushies” (stuffed animals), and created his own language called “Derp Words.” For example, Pop Tarts are “Poop Toots,” sauce is “sus,” and soda is “so-ad.” While this may seem unusual, fear not; Kevin is nothing short of brilliant. His grades are excellent, his vocabulary is impressive (sadly, sometimes too, um, “adult”), and his teachers adore him.

Now if only we could install a filter on him – since he always says whatever is on his mind – he’d be the perfect child.

We’re not sure what Kevin’s birthday dinner will be, but since it’s Ash Wednesday, I’ll guess he’s going for pizza or pancakes. Unfortunately, I’m working tonight, so I’ll miss his choice.

Kevin is absolutely the best Valentine’s Day present anyone could ever ask for. Happy birthday, Kevin. We love you!

Happy Birthday Erik!

Today is my middle son Erik’s 14th birthday.

Erik is my mini-me. He looks just like me when I was a kid, he’s very introverted, and gets stressed rather easily. Erik is also crazy stupid smart – unlike me – and usually earns first or second honors. Also unlike me, Erik is very popular in school – especially with the girls.

He’s in his final year of grade school, and will be graduating in June. Next year we’ll have two high schoolers, so I really need to earn a lot more overtime. I guess the bright side is soon both of them will be out of the house. (Kidding.)

We’re not sure what Erik wants for his birthday dinner yet, but I won’t be able to partake. I am scheduled night work for everyone’s birthdays this year… except Julia’s.

Happy birthday Erik! We love you.

The Princess And The Penance

One of the reasons why I took the day off yesterday was I had no posts written and we were very busy; particularly with Princess P.

Julia’s class received the sacrament of Penance Wednesday evening in preparation for First Communion this spring. Princess P was very excited for the event, and claimed she had “three sins to confess,” but we weren’t allowed to know what they were.

The mass went smoothly, save for the two ignorant white trash fathers behind us who couldn’t stop talking and/or playing on their phones. I’m no Ned Flanders by any stretch, but you’re sitting in church, not at the local dive bar! Clowns.

Princess P’s class is not very large, and her row was up quickly. While standing in line waiting for the priest to call her over, she kept rocking back and forth. I’m not sure whether she was excited or nervous, but she was making a mess of her hair!

The sacrament went well, Julia said her priest was very nice, and since we promised her a snack afterward, we stopped for donuts. Pink icing, off course.

Happy Birthday Kyle!

Today is my oldest son’s 17th birthday. A junior in high school, he rarely gets excited for birthdays anymore, but yesterday he had an epiphany: “Hey, I can buy a Call of Duty game without you now, because I’m old enough for the “Mature” rating.”

Kyle is still in his school’s honors program, is still playing lacrosse, and took the PSAT for the second time. He’ll be taking the SATs soon, and while he’s nervous, I’m sure he’ll score higher than I did. (Not a difficult feat.) Kyle can be the typical moody teenager, but he also shovels snow for the older neighbors, watches his siblings for us, and is basically a good kid.

It’s hard to believe Kyle used to be this little boy…

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Continue reading “Happy Birthday Kyle!”

Happy Birthday, Princess P!

Today is my beautiful, smart, redheaded daughter’s ninth birthday!

Julia is my fourth and final – um, probably – child, and my only daughter. As such, she is my princess, can do no wrong, and will immediately shipped off to the convent when she becomes a teenager. God help the boy who takes an interest in Princess P, for he will become intimately familiar with my firearms.

The princess is an outgoing, fun-loving girl, who makes friends easily, does well in school, and loves dance class. Yes, she sometimes talks entirely too much, and yes, she does wear a pair of short shorts I simply despise, but all in all, she is a joy to be around.

Princess P still wants to become a “Princess Ballerina” when she grows up; a vocation I assume would pay rather well. Besides, with three older brothers, Julia can be whomever she wants to be. Like, say, a hockey goalie.

Happy birthday, Princess P! We love you very much!

Peace Be With You

Nine days into The Jury Trial Which Will Not Die, I am completely and utterly sick of court. After the events of this past weekend, I am completely and utterly sick of humanity. So, I needed to post something which will make me feel better.

My kids’ elementary school holds mass the first Friday of every month. During the celebration, the teachers give out an award called Peacemaker of the Month. It’s given to one child from each classroom based upon that particular month’s featured trait.

This week, my eighth grader Erik received the award for the trait of Fairness. I guess he let the girls in his class stare lovingly at some other boy last month.

Any hoo, Mrs. Earp was able to attend the festivities – since someone was stuck in court with the dregs of humanity – and the post-mass snacks. Erik has won Peacemaker a few times in his elementary school career, and it’s nice to see him win it before going off to high school.