Friday, October 28, 2011

Introducing this week's Star of the Week

William Francis Kim "Billy" Murphy!

The tradition continues as we work our way into the school year, Meadowbrook has each child in the the first grade class take center stage for a week and this week the star is.... Billy!

The child has to create a "bio" so to speak and list their favorite food, pizza, toy, icecream, activity etc. They also describe their families and what they want to do when they grow up. As you can imagine, Billy has it all covered. A few highlights?

Ice Cream - mint chocolate chip

Food - peperoni pizza

Toy - tie between Legos and Hot Wheels

Activity - swimming

Color - Golden

Best Friend - Cole

Siblings/Pets - Jimmy, Kay, Nikki, Timmy

What does he want to be when he grows up? A lego engineer

He also had to bring in his favorite stuffed animal and book. His choices? a stuffed beagle and the book "under the sea".

He's a pretty funny nut. He's reading like a fiend and is really doing well in school. Conferences are next week, so we'll get the full scoop then.

Love you Billy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

MEA, Garrison and Clearwater lake

Last weekend was MEA, for those of you non-Minnesotans, its a 2 day holiday from school for the kids while the teachers go to continuing education. Now, most of the teachers I know also had the days off, so I'm not sure how that works, but in Minnesota tradition, everyone takes off, Our destination? Clearwater lake for some perch fishing with the Millers. Tom found a cool old cabin on Vacation and we were off.

The weather was gorgeous, low 60's sunny, trees were just past the prime colors but wonderful none the less. Ang and I were loaded down with People, US Weekly and other fashion magazines. Tom, Wade and the kids had life vests and fishing poles. There was even a rumor that Paul Bunyon Land was still open (not true). We all had snack food and drinks:)

The cabin itself was your typical mid '70's structure, 2 tone green shag carpeting, a loft area that slept 8 kids and a double spiral staircase. They were also outfitted with ALL the best movies (Groundhogs Day, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Young Frankenstien...) we could have stayed for weeks!

The crew set off for fishing and the 1st day it looked promising, they pulled in 3 perch! We lit a bonfire and threw stones into the lake. Saturday was equally gorgeous and Kay & Caden were up at the crack of dawn, ready to go fishing. They actually had to wake Tom up, it was pretty cute. But, to no avail, the fish stopped biting.

We needed to have an alternative plan so we went in search of Paul Bunyan Land. It seems that we drove right past it without realizing it (what does that say about it as an attraction) and then learned it was closed. No worriess, Mini Golf was calling. Billy got a hole in 1 and won a free round of golf. The kids all got gift bags and Wyatt even had a blast.

Jimmy self regulated and determined that he was "out" for golf. He's too competitive and gets too upset so he and I headed off to the mall in Brainerd. I figured we'd just stroll around, but no... he found a new pair of basketball shoes, he just HAD to have. They were on sale and I even sprung for yellow laces. He is WAY too cool for school. He asked if he could sleep with them (not on, just cuddling them) and kept asking "do you want to touch them? Arent they cool? Smell them, they smell so fresh!". He's pretty damn funny. Now, we just need to wait 2 weeks for basketball to start.
More food, drinks, playing, movies, books, magazines, etc and it was Sunday before we knew it. We woke to drizzling rain and a great excuse to stay in and relax. Tom, Wade, Kay and Caden had the excitement of the day when moving the boat back to the trailer, it almost started on fire and the trailer had a flat. No worries, the handymen fixed it and we were off (again).

We drove home listening to the Packer/Viking game on the radio and planning our next long weekend away (Presidents Day ski/tubing adventure anyone?). The Vikings played a tough game, but the better team prevailed. Jimmy handled it well and Christian Ponder sure has everyone here excited. Football in MN is back.

Go Pack!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Football Wrap-Up

The boy's took the field for their final game this past weekend against the dreaded team from Wayzata. The boy's could not get the past out of the heads and true to beliefs that they have never beat Wayzata, the trend continued.

This game however had a very different outcome, which was very heartwarming and made us all proud to be parents. The boys played their hearts out and at the end of the first half we Hopkins was trailing by 18 to 0. The boys had done a great job and did not allow Wayzata any extra points. The second half Hopkins only allowed one touchdown and instead of giving up they played their best all the way to the end. The game ended with Hopkins running an 65 yard sweep and they were tackled on the 3 yard line when time ran out.

At this point things changed, the boys from Hopkins lined up as usual to congratulate the other team, the parents lined up as usual and created a tunnel for the boys to run through, which after a defeat is not a real happy and energetic affair, not this time. The boys all rang through yelling at the top of their lungs, WHO! WHO! WHO! The chant continued, HOPKINS,HOPKINS, HOPKINS, 123 GO BLUE CRUSH, Jimmy leading the way. The celebration on our side of the field would lead people to believe we had just won the Super Bowl. Looking across the field towards the Wayzata team they were standing there looking bewildered and wondering which team had really won the game!

The team gathered at our house for the year end celebration, hot dogs, cake, ice cream and of course football. The team had a great year learning many new aspects of team sports and perhaps the biggest and most important item, sportsmanship. They did a great job with every victory and with every loss, which is the harder of the two to keep your spirits up. The coaches, John, Doug and Dave all did a great job teaching our kids and keeping the focused on having fun and we thank them for all their hard work.
The coaches handed out Trophy's for all the boys and acknowledged each individual for the efforts and contributions, and the boy's were all smiles.

In the course of the pick up game in our back yard a new football phenomenon was found as a small,, quick, running back an a great tackler and her name is Kay, YIKES!!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Football Update

The chant " Who, Who, Who, Who, Who are we? HOPKINS, Who are we? HOPKINS, Who are HOPKINS, Blue Crush on 3, One Two Three, GO BLUE CRUSH" is heard rolling over the field and the opponent as Jimmy and the boy's from Hopkins take the field!

This is nothing other than 4TH GRADE FOOTBALL at its best! In the off season Jimmy did some recruiting and thanks to his efforts the team now has 7 black stripes (kids over 90lbs who are not allowed to advance the ball), a new quarterback along with several returning members of the 3rd grade squad making this years team a formidable opponent. The team has been playing well and each game they have learned something new and had nothing short of "a blast!".

This year the league has instituted a new part of the overall football experience and that is to identify and reward good sportsmanship, both individual and team. In a recent game the boy's were playing a team from St. Louis Park and Hopkins was winning the game very handily. The boy's told the other team how well they were playing, pointing out good plays and one of our players, while helping one or the opposing players up off the ground said "you guys are playing really hard". The kids on the side lines were giving encouragement to St. Louis Park to the point where parents from the team pulled our Coach aside and commented " what great sportsmen his team has". That is heart warming to us parents.

The team is now 4-2-1 and I will have to say, even though 3 of our victories were shut outs, the best game we played was the game that ended in a tie. Of course Jimmy is quick to point out that even though we tied Wayzata, we have never beaten them (not in 3rd grade and not this year). Alas, the tie game was a come back from a 14 point deficit to tie the game late in the 3rd quarter and hold Wayzata to no points in the 4th. It also included a late in the 4th stop, a 1st and goal attempt, and... it was awesome. The boy's were beside themselves and congratulated each other on a great game. It was a great performance by the whole team. (keep in mind that Wayzata is KNOWN for football, they have 10, yes 10 4th grade teams. Hopkins has 2).

To sum up the season at this point would be to quote Jimmy "You know Dad 4th grade football is a lot harder than 3rd grade" He is still one of the biggest but not one of the fastest. But he is in every play, he's a great leader with the team - leading push ups, sits ups, and encouraging EVERYONE and he gets his teammates pumped up to the point where a coach of the other 4th grade Hopkins team said "My team is missing that spark, you know we need to have a Jimmy Murphy on our team", makes for proud parents. Jimmy is so passionate, it makes your heart hurt. He's the most excited to play, the most energetic on and off the field and the hardest hit when they lose. In the huddle against their loss to Wayzata 2 weeks ago, he was literally sobbing, snot running out of his nose and everything. This teammates were wonderful, patting him on the back and consoling him (VERY nice since I think about 1/2 the team didnt know they lost and were unclear as to the score). Its hard to be a passionate 10 year old boy.

The games are harder hitting, there are pass plays, and most of the parents spend the entire time pacing the sidelines cheering and worrying at the same time, football you gotta love it! (Tracy is going to have an ulcer by high school, the tension is palpatable!)
The final game is coming up on Saturday, October 15th, and of course it is against none other than.... Wayzata.The boy's are practicing hard and the coaches are working overtime to get the boy's out of their heads and to stop thinking about our no win record agaist Wayzata. We are thinking about having the team over for popcorn and a" Hoziers Movie Marathan" to help drive the point home. Either way we will report the outcome.


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Star of the Week- Kay Marie Jeon Murphy

School is back in full gear and with it comes many of the Meadowbrook traditions - Star of The Week being a key one.

Kay spent the weekend digging through the cartons of memories she has stored throughout the house, attic, garage, basement, etc (you get the picture). She finally made her choices and adhered them to a large white board, practiced her presentation 2- 3 times and was ready to show the class.

The Star of the Week is a nice way for the kids to share their story with their classmates in a manner they are comfortable with and it is a nice way to spotlight each kid. Kay had a blast! She is doing very well in her reading and is working the spelling program quite hard. She has begun gymnastics and is going to attend Cheer America and learn to be a cheer leader, God help us.

Tom joined Kay at school on the BIG reveal day and took her to lunch in the cafeteria. Luckily being 8 means that you arent too embarrased by your parents (yet) and she was happy to show him off to her friends.

Way to go Kay you are always a star in our eyes!