Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Watch Out, JoAnna is a Black Belt.

JoAnna received her Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do this past Friday evening. After two years of hard work, she completed the final testing phase to earn the title of 1st Degree Black Belt.

Friends and family turned out for the big occasion in support of her achievement. The "posse" as they are called, cheered and rooted for her as she completed each phase of the test.

Forms are a large portion, knowing where to yell and keeping your breathing under control.

Self Defense is a big part of the training. Disabling the attacker no matter the size is critical in escaping harm.

Blocks, Punches and Kicks help in gaining control of your situation. Learning how to read your opponents body movements so that your training will instinctively react to defend is an art in a way.

The three judges, one of which was a member of JoAnna's Posse (thanks Chuck!) observed and critiqued everything the students did during testing.

JoAnna did two different Kick Boxing sets, one for the Colored Belts, and the other for the Black Belts.

Breaking the boards!!

Sparring - JoAnna's least favorite thing - but fun anyway!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

Well this past Labor Day weekend we headed to the mountains. No banjo music was heard so all is safe.

We headed to Jeanne's Mountain house at the Nanatahala Outdoor Center (NOC) so we could go whitewater rafting. Maryanna and Elizabeth went with us and we had a great time.

Hannah Checking out the water before the run.

Patrick checking out the water.

Everyone signing their lives away!

JoAnna and Maryanna waiting for the safety briefing.

Here are a sequence of Pictures as we went over the final falls.

We did lots of Rock bumps and spins on the way down.

Dave our guide showed us the named rocks (that's usually not a good thing that they are named) to helps us when we go back and do an un-guided run.

On the way down, there is a place rafters can pull over and jump in off a big rock splashing other boaters. A kid jumped as we passed and executed a perfect landing drenching all seven of us on the boat. Even the guide said it was the best he had seen.

Patrick leans bank and chills on the way through the rapids.

The next day did a 4.5 mile hike starting on the road to nowhere going through the mountains and to Lake Fontain. There we swam a bit and then were picked up by a jet boat and cruised the lake.

Tunnel of the road to Nowhere and a river we crossed.

After swimming, he hopped on a jet boat for a ride back.

Patrick again leaning back chilled. Hannah with a BIG grin!

Maryanna and Elizabeth letting their hair blow in the wind.

First Day of School

The first day was actually Aug 13 but I for got the camera. LOL -- Anyway, they were outside ready to head off. We moved Hannah from Hancock this year after JoAnna learned a little to much about the inner workings while teaching there. They just weren't maintaining the Hancock tradition of Mind your Manners and Education First. One of the things that drew us to the school was they had a proven program and while the Bells were in charge it was the Hancock way. While this may seem odd in today's world of everyone wanting a say, they had proven themselves and they did not compromise when it came to excellence. After they left, The school has lost that drive and has fallen victim to its own success. Grades were expanded leaving curriculum issues to fall by the wayside leaving children with gaps in there education. The other kicker was after registering for the next year and given the total for the year, during the summer they hit us with a myriad of new "Fees" that pushed the cost well over other area schools. When questioned, they never responded.

Enough of my soapbox, Hannah is at the same school Patrick and is thriving. She is doing some volleyball and has made lots of friends. She is having a blast and loves her teacher Ms. Ivey.

Patrick is enjoying his classes and is really not impressed with snap grades which gives us a daily progress report for all his classes. While we really only look at them once a week, when he does well, he loves coming home and showing the grades off to us.