Thursday, August 02, 2018

Hanmadong 2018 - Billy takes Gold and Silver

Once again, Billy and Tracy hit the road for a TKD tournament. This time was Colorado Springs for the Hanmadong.  It was the 10th year that the Hanmadong has taken place outside Korea and it draws and international crowd - Korea, China, Costa Rica - to name a few.

The intent of the Hanmadong is a bit different than Nationals. Nationals is all about high level competition and visibility to Olympic programming. The Hanmadong promotes the philosophy of TKD, both competitiveness but also the rigor, spirituality, community and practice of TKD. You see families competing together and ages 4-94.  In fact, the oldest competitor this year was 94 and an orange belt (which means she started TKD at 93!  Remind me to take up TKD at 93!)  She looked great!
Another difference is that it focuses on the "creative" parts of TKD so … board breaking, Demo, pomsea (forms) and weapons. (Nationals is only sparring and pomsea) Billy competed in weapons and Pomsea and did really well, taking home a Gold (in weapons) and Silver (in forms).  Not bad for his 1st time at the Hanmadong.
As a celebration of the athletes, they also hold an opening ceremony with a parade of athletes, honors and speeches by the Olympic TKD Committee and a performance by K Tigers - a Korean Demo group that is simply amazing.
The only downside of this tournament was that we didn't get to see any part of Colorado Springs because we were too busy with the tournament. I think we'll extend our trip next year and make it our family summer vacation.
Billy had fun competing and hanging out with his buddies (Zach, Adam, Noah, etc). Its such a great group of kids and parent and the coaches are the best. 
Overall WTA took home 8 medals on day 1 and 20 medals on day 2. Since day 2 is focused on weapons, its fair to say that WTA swept the weapons competition.  It was so fun to know that our organization is so skilled at weapons and has such great coaching (Master Lemon and Master Jones!!)
On Saturday night, they host a gala followed by an after party for the kids. Its really a crazy dance party and fun for the kids to hang out together, across teams.  In a very small world moment, Billy and I made friends at dinner with the founder of Old Chicago and a Korean journalist. It was so fun to talk to them, hear their connections to TKD and talk about the competition.  We made friends, go figure!
Here the highlights in pictures - Way to go Billy - so proud of you!   We love you to pieces....

Billy Pomsea - Silver medal, missed tying Gold by .1 of a pt.
Billy BoStaff - Gold medal, Zach got Silver and was thrilled
Billy Warm UPs -  Getting loosened up with the team
K Tigers - Seriously Goggle them, they are amazing
Athletes walk in - It felt like the Olympics!

Billys Pomsea Scores

Team Huddle

Go Team!

Day 2 medalists

Day 2 GOLD medalists

St Louis Park WTA huddle

 St Louis Park Medalists

Master Lemon and Ms Grayce

Post competition swim, pre after party

Exhausted after 2 fun days of hard work

Billy and Ms Grayce at the airport

Team warm ups for weapons

Hosted at the Colorado College Hockey Arena

This is a big deal

Day 1 waiting to compete

Day 1 scores

Day 1 final scores/places


The podium for Silver

Billys looking good!

Adam and Billy chillin with the medal

94 yrs old!!

The Athletes

They even serve beer (which got me through the 2 hour opening ceremonies Friday night after being at the competition for 10 hours already...)

Crazy team antics

Day 1 medalists


Weapons scores

Gold podium

Even standing on a step Zach is still taller than Billy

Zach and Billy Gold and Silver!

LOVE this kid...

Master Lemon and Ms Grayce took Silver in pairs pomsea. They were .1 off from tying the Gold medal team from China - well done!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Kay is 15! and the party goes on and on and on ...

In true Kay form, her 15th birthday is the event of the year.

This year, it started on vacation in Michigan with a cousins celebration. Thank you to Grandma for throwing the party and thank  you to Grandma, Grandpa and Sue for the new white Pink jacket, she LOVES it!

Next up, her ACTUAL birthday.  In traditional form, we had fondue, kids champagne and shared all our favorite memories and quirks about Kay. We all love her creativity, tenaciousness and loyalty to her friends.  Her competitiveness, hard working attitude and sense of humor also made the top of the list. We opened a few presents from us and was amazed that we got her exactly what she wanted (not hard when she pre-loads shopping carts online for us to "find").

But, the BIG event ... her party.  This is always a massive deal with a theme, crafts, activities, sleep over, etc ... If you remember, we've done ... state fair, luau, live auction and now ... drum roll ...glamping.  The big event also includes weeks and weeks of prep, lists, shopping, price comparisons, communications, decisions, changing decisions, changing decisions back ... you get the idea.  All for a mere $200 budget.

After searching high and low for a group camp site, Tracy had the stellar idea to camp at the lake shore property of her work. There's HUGE screened boat house, swing set, slide, waterfront, pontoon, fire pit and porto potty. The only downside. The property is under construction and it took us a while to figure out how to get all the stuff (3 car loads full) down to the site.  After recon of driving across lawns and warning the residents, we figured it out.

Friday night, after a intense meltdown from stress, we headed out to set up - twinkle lights, decorations, supplies, staging areas, swim gear, flashlights, wood for the fire, towels, bug spray sunscreen, water jugs, tents, sleeping bags, pads, shaving cream, paint, succulents, pots, dirt, sand, rocks, chalk, bike pump ... you'll see where all this is going in a second...

Saturday Tom, Kay and Nora headed out to setup food.  Per Kay, the party was supposed to start at our house at 3pm.  Needless to say, this was one of the decisions that was changed multiple times, unbeknownst to us and...the girls all showed up at 2pm.  Tracy hadn't showered yet and Tom, Kay and Nora were out at the site setting up. Whoops!  Of course, the girls all came packing their own personal set of luggage ...  Another trip in 2 cars!!

We loaded up, headed out and ... let the game begin!!

After unpacking, setting up preferred sleeping areas and scoping the joint, we headed out for a pontoon ride. This included swimming in the middle of the lake, some sun bathing and getting (slowly) towed around the back of the boat on a life ring.

Back into shore for an epic shaving cream, ground chalk, paint fight.  Not sure how they designated teams or who won, but they sure had a great time!

After another swim, to clean off, they were ready for dinner. Tom was a doll and hand delivered pizza piping hot and fresh. You'd have thought they had never eaten.

Part of the plan was to float in the lake, on noodles, as the sun set. They timed it perfectly and it was gorgeous.  This led, of course, to a midnight swim int he middle of the lake with threats of skinny dipping. Not sure how much was actually de-robed but based on the giggles they were having fun.

As they were drying off, Bella and Tracy got a roaring fire started and they launched into gourmet s'mores.

By this time, Tracy was hiding in her single sleep tent and trying to ignore the screaming and giggling about spiders, bugs and boys.

Now they were ready for some music, more junk food and gossip in their sleeping bags.  They chatted and argued until Tracy checked on them at 2:30am.  1/2 the girls were SOUND asleep and the other 1/2 were talking nonstop.  About 3:30, one smart girl declared "lights out" and it went quiet.  Not soon after we heard dogs (coyotes?) howling in the distance.

One lone girl was up and at 'em at 8:15 while the rest "slept in" to 10am.   More sugar, salt and fruit for breakfast (Tracy was dying for a coffee) and they eased themselves into the day.

There was some serious creativity going on with the build your own succulent terrarium. They turned out really cute.

After all that hard work, another swim was in order.   Tom came to help us load up around 11:30 but I think they could have spent the whole day as a repeat of the day before.

All in all, it was a great party. We got all packed up, shipped home, unpacked and Kay promptly passed out at 2pm and didnt wake until 8pm. You know thats a good party.

But, just when you think its over ... its not!!

The grand finale of turning 15?!  Sam Hunt tickets at Target Field. (really its the Luke Bryan concert but Sam Hunt is opening for him) 4 girls, thousands of screaming fans, summer night, baseball stadium, country music. .... Does it get any better than that?!  (We were late in posting this because we were hoping she'd share a picture of her at the concert with her friends but - no go. She's says "they didnt take any pictures". Right. The girl is the queen of selfies. I'm sure they are plastered all over the internet and we are just blocked from seeing them. sigh - forward them if you see them!!)

Kay, we love you. We love your energy, ideas, big big personality and zest for life.  XOXOXO.

Love this gang of gymnastics team members

The accommodations

succulent terrarium station

Tom getting the boat ready


Instructions for "the fight"

The fight in action




The end result

Midnight swim
More night swimming


Why isnt anyone awake yet?

Getting creative

Final product

Post party nap - success!!