They’re Movin’ On Up!

I mentioned Kevin’s dance competition yesterday, but I wanted to expound on it a bit now that I’m less stressed and we have better video.

The contest includes every school in Philadelphia who participated in the dance program. Teachers would come to the schools, instruct the kidds, and see how they applied the skills. The semifinals were yesterday, and as I mentioned before, Kevin and Grace’s team moved on. (Kevin and Grace are the dance team captains – as well as best friends.)

In addition to the waltz, the captains are permitted to perform for the audience. In this case, Kevin and Grace did the merengue – a dance perfected in My Blue Heaven – an fabulous film with Steve Martin and Rick Moranis. Suffice to say, Kevin and Grace wowed. They’re dressed in blue below.

The kids cheering for them at the beginning is also heartwarming.

After the captains’ dance, Kevin and Grace’s team learned their fate…

Continue reading “They’re Movin’ On Up!”

Dance The Night Away

For the past few years, my youngest son Kevin has been participating in dance lessons held at his school. It’s a program which reaches out to local schools and teaches those interested to dance – from everything from the waltz to hip hop. Kevin has always enjoyed the lessons, but we had no idea how good he actually was.

Last week, they put on a show for the parents – I was working, naturally – and Kevin moved on to the semifinals. He will be dancing the waltz with his partner and best friend Grace. Not only that, but the pair have been chosen as the captains of their dance team.

The semifinals are set for tomorrow morning, and sadly, he’ll be dancing while I am getting my biopsy results. Mrs. Earp bought Kevin a new shirt – it needed to be blue – with an accompanying bow tie. We’re trying to keep him grounded, and reminding him if he moves on, that’s great and if he doesn’t, he focuses on his accomplishments so far.

The fact he’s dancing with Grace is a good sign, so he’ll see this more as fun than as a competition.

UPDATE: Mrs. Earp sent video of Kevin and Grace’s waltz…

Kevin and Grace are in blue.

UPDATE 2: GOLD!!! Kevin, Grace and the rest of their team are moving on!!

Happy Birthday Kevin!

Today is my friend Kevin’s birthday. Kevin (Left, above) is one of my best friends, godfather to my son Kevin, and the lucky bastard who lives in the beautiful state of Arizona.

We’ve known each other for over twenty years, and in that time, he has hosted my family in Arizona twice, helped me through my two-year bout with depression, been a terrific surrogate uncle to my kids.

I don’t have a lot of friends, but the ones I have are tip-top. Since Kevin is a fanatic for hockey, I figured this may make his day a little brighter.

Happy birthday, Kevin! Have a great day.

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.

Kevin J. Earp, Super Genius

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The kids are going back to school. Today was Erik and Kevin’s first day in 8th and 4th grade, respectively. They both landed the teachers they wanted, and both had a lot of friends in their classes.

The one exception was Grace, Kevin’s “girlfriend”, who is in the other fourth grade class. It will be the first time they have been apart.

Anyway, when the missus went to parent-teacher night, she received Kevin’s Terranova scores. Terranova is standardized testing used to measure students’ progress in social studies, science, math, and so forth. Last year’s grades were available just now – boy, what a racket – and when I read them, I almost cried.

Last year’s third grade students were scored on reading, language, and mathematics. Reading is not his strongest subject, but he scored an 81. Kevin scored an 87 in language, which was impressive. However, the pièce de résistance was his math score: a 91!

All three scores were listed in the Above Average category, and while Kevin didn’t think the scores were a big deal, we were all very proud of him.

Good News, Everyone!

Despite the sh*tstorm which has enveloped my life, some really terrific events unfolded yesterday.

First, Kyle’s lacrosse team won their final game of the season, and played in both the varsity and JV games. Kyle finished his season with a goal, two assists, and winning 26 of 58 face-offs (a 45% win percentage). While his face-off stats were decent, he needs to seriously step up his offense next year.

Second, we spent the evening at Princess P’s dance recital. Julia moved up halfway through the year, because her teacher thought she would perform better with the older girls. Her group did a ballet number with the requisite tutu – or as Julia kept saying, “the two-three.” For that she wore the outfit on the right.

Julia’s group also did a jazz number – jazz hands! – and the same outfit was, um, modified. Thee tutu was removed and the cummerbund was removed, turning the outfit into a belly shirt. Daddy did not like.

I did, however, love her performance. She was fluid, graceful, and never once looked off stage for cues. Princess P had both routines down pat, and certainly hammed it up for the jazz number. (Including shaking her hips, which, again, Daddy did not like!)

Continue reading “Good News, Everyone!”

Only the Penitent Man Shall Pass

kevins-first-penanceMy youngest son Kevin received his second sacrament last night. Specifically, his first Penance.

The boy has been practicing hard and memorizing his prayers; so much so, he could recite everything after a day or two. The only issue we were worried about was whether or not he would freak out during the actual service.

Kevin sat well in his pew, kept his hands folded, but at one point we looked over and noticed he wasn’t wearing his glasses. A year ago, he snapped them in two while having a bout of stress, so we were expecting the worst. Kevin performed admirably, his sacrament went off without a hitch, and when we went to get him, we were relieved to find his glasses were in his pocket.

“They were smudgey.”

The other little urchins were left home, so we stopped at the convenience store afterward to get Kevin a snack. He chose donuts; the preferred snack of children with a clean soul.

Orange Is The New Black

kevin-receiving-his-orange-belt-and-bo-staff

My youngest son Kevin has taken up Krav Maga – which is apparently different than Karate (the Dane Cook of martial arts) – at Premier Martial Arts Counterstrike Kenpo. The boy has really taken to it, and passed his first belt test – while fighting with a broken arm – in September. Last night Kevin, a yellow belt, took his orange belt test.

He aced it.

His punches were strong, his kicks accurate, and his overall form was very good. Kevin passed the test easily, and was rewarded with his first weapon: the bo staff. God help his brothers and sister.

A Serious Man

My youngest son Kevin, who is eight years old, was tinkering with our typewriter yesterday. (Kids, ask your parents what a typewriter is, or simply Google it.) After a while, he pulled out the paper and showed it to Mrs. Earp. The letter was a formal dinner request, typed out and addressed to Mrs. Earp and I.

The request is about as hilarious as you would imagine. (Click the photo to embiggen.)

kevins-dinner-request

Apparently a dinner request is more serious when addressing your parents by their first names.

They Call Him Mellow Yellow

kevin-yellow-belt-testAfter a terrible, terrible week with my mom’s hospital stay, it’s nice to be able to post some good news.

A few months ago, Kevin decided to try karate. He was never a fan of playing team sports and this seemed to suit him. Kevin took to it quickly, and was devastated after breaking his arm. Thankfully, his instructor said if Kevin wanted to,, he could continue his training, cast and all.

So the boy went a few times a week, continued his training, and took his first belt test yesterday – cast and all. Kevin did everything the other students did, and there were no breaks – punny – given to him.

I am proud to report he completed the test with flying colors and advanced from a white belt to a yellow belt. And again, he did so with a broken arm.

kevin-yellow-belt-testing

Oh, for you longtime readers, Kevin’s sparring partner in the photo above is Captain America’s son Nick.