Thursday, June 11, 2009

Valuable time spent together.

Michael and I started Tae Kwon Do together three years ago. It's hard to believe it's been that long. The boys were 9 months old when we put Eden in what used to be called Tiny Tots at the school where my Best Friend Billie's youngest, David, was taking the class. I was sitting there with Billie one night shortly after Eden started taking classes and I don't remember if it was me or Billie but one of us said to the other, I would totally do this if you want to try it out.

Here is a picture of me and Michael when we were just starting. You start with a plain white belt, we are wearing the first earned belt and testing for a yellow belt. Billie is at this test as well but in the line of students in front of us for this test. Every test after this one, Master Bertrand would line the three of us up so that you could see the form in perfect sync with each other. We practiced together and would come home after each test and look up the moves for the next form, so excited to learn the form before the following Tuesday's class. Bill Thomas affectionately referred to us as the "Over Achievers".

This is Eden testing for her "Green Stripe" in Tiny Tots. After the students graduate from the Tiny Tots class they are allowed to study to earn color belts. In Tiny Tots, they add a stripe to the White Belt. Eden is currently a Red Belt. This means that she is three belts away from becoming a Black Belt. Michael and Billie earned their Black Belts earlier this year. I made it to a green belt and was having a lot of trouble doing the stances for the forms because of my knees hurting so bad. I went to see the orthopedic surgeon who replaced mom's knee and she told me that I have early onset osteo arthritis and a grade 3 condromalaysia in my left knee. (In layman's terms it basically means that I have little to no cartilage left in my knee, aka my knees are totally screwed!) She told me that most exercise helps conditions like mine, however the constant twisting of the knee required in a tae kwon do stance was causing more damage and therefore I had to quit. However, I'm extremely proud of Mike and Billie for their accomplishment!!! and I'm pretty proud of myself as well. I have a pretty great round house kick!
I am also proud of Eden. I'm not sure that she is still so excited about taking the classes but she is very good at the forms and can break a 1" thick board with both a kick or a "hammer fist". This translates into being able to break a rib in self defense. I hope that she will always practice enough that she will always be able to protect herself.

Check out this picture of Billie breaking two 1" boards with a punch. (FYI, this is a very VERY difficult break, a black belt tested just a few weeks before this test and could not accomplish this break, I mention this because black belts are more advanced in their training and even after several tries, she still did not manage this. Billie broke these boards on the first try like she was simply punching through paper!) Shout out to my girl! I LOVE YOU SISTA!!

Here is Michael breaking a board with a back kick. This is also a difficult break. You have to spin around fast enough to site the boards then place the kick just right so that they break. Billie and Mike both did this break as a requirement to earn the black belt after kicking into the air across the floor 100 times. Billie almost passed out from the exhaustion. Luckily she had her best bud there with her big mouth screaming at her "come on girl. YOU GOT THIS!!!"

Bill Thomas and Joel Evans are the black belts standing with Mike and Billie. They were instrumental in helping them achieve their black belts. We love you guys!

Since I couldn't do Tae Kwon Do anymore, Michael and I have tried to find something that we both enjoy doing together. It took us quite some time, but in the last year, we have both discovered a love of taking pictures with a DSLR camera. We went to Las Vegas two years in a row for spring break with Billie and Jason, and Michael isn't a gambler so we took the digital Kodak Easy Share camera that we had. Michael got a pretty good picture of the strip at night, but it was just a "snapshot" quality picture and he just wasn't happy with it.

Here is the picture. I actually thought it was really good and I had Jennifer, (my brother's wife) help me turn this into a background for my MySpace page that I used when we were counting down the days on the second trip out. When we came back from the second trip Mike was so frustrated that he couldn't get the picture that he wanted, he took the money that he didn't gamble, and bought our first DSLR. We bought the Canon Rebel with a 18mm - 125mm kit lens. Michael likes taking landscapes and interesting scenes. He has a wonderful eye for what is "unique" and takes really great pictures. I love Macro shots. You guys have already seen several of the shots that we have both taken. Our ultimate goal is to capture a really great, tack sharp picture of the Louisville skyline at night. We are still trying. You wouldn't think that it would be that difficult of a job, but, the conditions have to be just right and there is definitely a "sweet time" and the river has to be almost perfectly calm. It's not very often that the river is calm enough to capture the reflection of the skyline like we are wanting. So, all three of our kids ask us on a regular basis if we can go to the river.

This picture was taken with the Canon Rebel XT sitting on a tripod the night of the "hurricane" when all of the power was out on the Jeffersonville side but Louisville still had power.

Glenda has a picture of the skyline when the river looks like a perfect mirror reflection of the skyline.

Now we try to think of the best places to go to get really cool pictures. Eden and the twins have their own little hand me down cameras that each likes to use and we are starting them out young!

I saved the best picture for last. This awesome picture that we got from the Belvedere in downtown Louisville last night when Mike and I took the kids over and let them play while we shot pictures and played with shutter speeds.

I really hope that this will be one of those pictures you can click on and zoom in. There are so many cool things in this shot. The Belle of Louisville is reflected perfectly in the river, the headlights and tail lights making the light streams, the interstate signs are in pretty good focus, the arch of the 2nd Street bridge, and I love how the street lamps look like twinkling stars!

1 comment:

  1. Very good! You guys are die hard fans! Chad has NO interest in taking pictures..unless it's of a fish he just caught LOL. Great pics & story, Linn.