Sunday, May 27, 2007

House of Champions!

May I brag about my kids, just this one time? Thank you. All 3 of my kids began fencing last fall. First, it was just the boys, but they made it sound so great that my daughter had to try, too! They all love it. It is a once weekly class and they won't miss it for the world.

Yesterday was the annual fencing tournament for recreational fencers! All 3 of my kids were nervous. Kaitlin was nervous because she had no idea what to expect; she suspected she would be one of very few girls, (she was correct!); and her age category was "open fencing," which was Connor wasn't too nervous; he was up for the competition, just uncertain of where he would end up... and that boy likes to WIN. Kyle was extremely nervous. He is the youngest kid in their fencing class and usually loses. He had never fenced anyone in his own age group and I think he just wanted to prove to himself that he is a good fencer.

I'll spare you the details. Kaitlin and Connor had to fence each other several times. They usually go back and forth winning in class, but yesterday, Kaitlin won. In the end, Kyle won a silver medal for the age 10 and under category! This was big for him; he had to defeat a lot of kids and I could see his confidence soaring. Connor won a tie for third place in the open fencing, and ended up with a gold medal for the age 12 and under category! It took the sting out of losing to his sister:-) A real confidence-booster for him, too. Kaitlin ended up winning the gold medal for the open fencing category! Her final bout was won by one point. She fenced a young man who is actually a competitive fencer, and a very good one, but he was fencing yesterday with his left hand in the recreational tournament. She was so proud; I don't think she thought she could actually win. I believe all of her dancing really helped her footwork, which was graceful and controlled. Mike and I are just bursting with pride!

Moving on. Thanks for your comments and suggestions and ideas about how to continue knitting despite my shoulder issues. I must confess: except for an initial slowdown, I have not cut back on my knitting! I have tried to be very conscious of my position, constantly adjusting my shoulders, taking more breaks, stretching out frequently. I am searching for shoulder stretches and reading a lot about shoulders. I'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, I'm still working on the shawl, which is coming along nicely. I wish it were finished already, as I've had many opportunities to wear it! All in good time, I guess. Also, working on the foot of my first tennis sock! I am using the Sockotta yarn, cotton/wool/nylon blend, and a plain "vanilla" sock pattern with the leg/cuff cut down. They are pretty and very soft, and I hope they will bring me luck on the tennis courts:-)
(That's Luka, checking out my sock)

Okay, I did say we are a "house of champions," but perhaps I should say the kids are fencing champions, and Mike is a golf champion, but Cheryl is NOT a tennis champion. Not by a longshot. I played in my first league on Friday. Marcia was my partner, luckily, because she is pretty good. We lost, 7-5, 6-1. Everything I have ever done wrong, I did wrong. I swung on the volleys (out of the court); I didn't follow through on my forehand (out of the court); I twisted my racket on my backhand volleys (out of the court); I did some dumb one-handed backhands... out of the court! Okay, room for improvement, right? It was still fun, believe it or not! The ladies we played against were super nice, we didn't get creamed, and now I know what I need to work on:-)

It's sort of a rainy day and I'm craving homemade baked macaroni and cheese. Here is a simple recipe for our favorite:

Baked Mac and Cheese

1 lb. elbow macaroni or other small pasta, cooked and drained
2 Tbs. butter or Earth Balance
2 Tbs. flour
2-1/2 C milk (lowfat, soy milk, or rice milk all work fine)
2 C grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 chopped green onions
breadcrumbs for topping

Melt butter in saucepan over med. heat. Whisk in flour, then add milk and cook about 5 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in 1-1/2 C cheese and season with salt and pepper. Combine with noodles. Stir in green onions. Pour into a 9 x 13 glass baking dish that has been sprayed with oil. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, then sprinkle on some breadcrumbs. Bake 30-40 minutes, until the top begins to brown.
I'm off, for now. More soon!

1 comment:

Mike said...

Should also comment that all 3 champions were gracious and complimentary to their opponents in each of their matches... infinitely more important and pride-inducing than any of the medals.