2014 Elementary Track Meet

Click for more photosThis year the Puyallup School District again held its elementary school track meet.  With Daniel off to junior high school, David was the only Averill participating.  He ran in the 4×100 relay and also the 800 meter.  These events are always tremendous fun – not so much for what happens in the races, but mainly for the interactions with all the kids.  And David is so very social that he is an absolute blast to watch all day.

After David ran the 800 (video below), he was speaking with the superintendent, who later shared with me that he got a kick out of his conversation with David because, while they were talking there was a line of junior high girls at the fence saying, “Hi David” and pretty much insisting on getting his attention.  It seems everybody knows this kid!

Click the photo to see more from this great day.

Track Highlights

Aylen track team

Daniel had his first season of Junior High track and he LOVED IT!!!  He is such a gifted runner (so is David, but we’ll get to him) and he seems to get stronger as the races get longer.  The longest junior high races are 1600 meters (1 mile).  For the first couple track meets, seventh-graders are only allowed to run Junior Varsity; after that, it’s whatever they qualify for.  Varsity and J.V. run at the same time so sometimes it’s confusing to watch.  In the first race, Daniel finished first overall.  He explained that it was because one of his teammates – a fast 9th grader – was unable to compete that day.

For the second race, you need to watch the video.  With good competition from the 9th grader mentioned above, Daniel finished in under 5 minutes!  I won’t spoil the race results, but it comes down to the end.  I will say that both boys established new Personal Records in this race.  Take 5 minutes and watch.

Meanwhile, David competed in the Elementary Track Meet (there’s only one for the district).  Although there are some good runners, David’s size and Ethiopian heritage render the race one in which the rest of the competitors can only hope to come in second (in the 800).  He runs hard and only tries to beat the clock (which really means the others will finish far off in the distance).  Click on the picture at the top to see a select set of pictures.  You’ll find the boys running, watching/cheering teammates, talking with the Superintendent (who takes a very strong interest in the boys – he’s super supportive), and generally having a good time.  David’s 800 meter video is posted below.

Christmas Day!

Celebrating the Lord coming to save us is always THE highlight of the year.  We love to get together with family, eat, open gifts, eat, visit, eat, watch football, eat, play games and, occasionally, eat.  This year was special for a number of reasons, including Sarah & Kyle joining us AND it was Ermias’ first Christmas in America!  We always take a lot of pictures and video.  This year, I organized the video into gift opening and other highlights.  I tried to cut it down to the essentials, but we had so much fun that I just couldn’t cut it too far.  Click on the photo above and enjoy both videos below.

More highlights:

Christmas Morning Musical Interlude

Predictably, the boys were up and anxious to come out for Christmas morning before the adults were ready to go.  We had them practice their instruments – David on the euphonium and Danial with his drums.  Since Sarah, Kyle and Caio were here, Daniel let Caio jam on the drums a bit.  Daniel has been playing the drums just over two years and David has only had the euphonium for a couple months.  They’re both pretty good.  Enjoy this brief video.

Christmas Eve 2013

Missing Janel & Ryan

Sarah and Kyle were home for Christmas, which made it extra special. We enjoyed great food and fellowship at Richard & Margie’s home. We put some of the video together for your enjoyment. Sarah & Kyle bought Daniel & David a fart gun from the movie, Despicable Me, which provided a fair amount of (disgusting) entertainment throughout the evening (and way beyond). Caio (Kyle & Sarah’s awesome exchange student) got to handle a crab for the first time. Enjoy the pictures and the video.

Daniel’s First Wresting Season

Daniel is always adventurous.  One of the things we admire about him is his willingness – actually – to try new things.  If those things are athletic in nature, he is virtually certain to sign on.  This year he tried wresting.  Sary-Jo made it to most of his meets, and Randy made a few.  We’ve included a sampling of pictures and some video.  As you can tell on the video, Sary-Jo is a pretty excitable mom when her son is on the wrestling mat!  I don’t know exactly what Daniel’s record was, but he won more than he lost.  More important, he gained some additional confidence and was part of a different team.  We’re very proud of him.  Click on the picture to see more.  Enjoy the video below.

Haunted Hustle – 5K

Daniel and David

Last year, Daniel was unable to run in the Haunted Hustle because he got sick.  So, David had to come in first in the 17-and-under category.  As a result of his first-place finish, he was able to compete for free this year.  In the 2013 race, they were both healthy and ran well.  Daniel finished in about 19 minutes (a little under because he didn’t start at the front of the pack).  David finished in less than 21 minutes.  Daniel gets to run for free next year, but David’s name was drawn for a free pair of running shoes!  What a day.

Here’s video of both boys finishing.  And there are plenty of pictures – click on the one showing to see more.

Vacation – Day 6

Ryan and Daniel

We went on a little drive… we headed up to North Shore to take in some of the variety that Oahu offers.  We also hoped to find some sea turtles on Waianae Beach – we were not disappointed!  We saw over a dozen turtles hanging out in the shallow water and on the beach.  They were all over and easy to get close to.  Volunteers were there to answer questions and to ensure that people didn’t get too close.  We took a bunch of pictures and video.

Ryan used his smartphone to guide us to some amazing shrimp!  Shaved Ice too.

We also took a bunch of pictures around the resort – just us hanging out and looking good!  Click the picture to see more, and watch the brief turtle video.

Vacation – Day 4

Top of the Diamond Head hike

What a day!  We took off early to hike Diamond Head.  Sary-Jo and I have talked about this hike since we first starting going to Oahu and now we’ve finally done it.  It was a very windy, but beautiful, day.  There were quite a few people but we found parking right away and headed up the trail.  Naturally, Daniel & David wanted to press a little harder than the old folks so we sent them on ahead.  Once they reached the top, they (mainly Daniel) decided to just run up and down the stairs while we made our way up there.  Janel and Ryan also went ahead of us a bit, but we enjoyed the scenery all the way.  After the hike, the boys found some great trees to climb.

After the hike (and breakfast), we went to Kailua Beach, which Ryan knew of.  It was beautiful (we’ve yet to find an ugly Hawaiian beach but I suppose it’s theoretically possible) and the kids (all four of them) had a great time in the water.

Great day and great pictures.  Enjoy the pictures and video.

Vacation – Day 1

We’ll post our summer vacation photos (& video?) in a series of updates.  Once again, we went to Oahu, but this time Janel & Ryan were able to join us!  We had an incredible time with them.  The boys love spending time with their sisters and brothers-in-law.  And, of course, it was Hawaii so the weather was perfect and the surroundings beautiful.

This year, we tacked an extra day at the beginning of the vacation before we went to the condo.  We spent that first day in Waikiki and all four of the “kids” took a surfing lesson from Big Wave Dave’s Surf Shop.  All four of them got up on their boards and managed to look rather proficient out there.  They also got to go in an outrigger canoe.

After surfing, we spent some more time in Honolulu and Waikiki before heading out to Ko Olina.

We’ve got a bunch of great pictures out there – click the one shown to see the rest. And enjoy this short video.