Basketball Challenge


Karshner Elementary School (where our boys attend) and Spinning Elementary decided to stage a friendly basketball game between the 6th graders. They actually played two games – one for the boys and one for the girls. The kids and families had so much fun. We were especially impressed with the sportsmanship as the kids cheered each other on and just generally had a great time. During the girls game, it was so much fun to see the kids sing the Karshner school song, which they had learned during music class this year.

Click the picture to see more. Watch the video of the school song (I missed the beginning due to the spontaneous nature of the singing).

Sound to Narrows 5K – 2013

The boys both ran in the Sound to Narrows 5K Teen Challenge again this year.  For those not from the area, this is a huge annual event in Tacoma, with the main attraction being a 12K run.  We don’t think either of the boys is ready for that type of race yet.  The 5K course is very tough because it starts out downhill, but the last mile (plus a bit more) is uphill, with quite a bit of elevation change involved.

Daniel finished 6th overall with a time of 19:15; David finished 14th overall (12th among boys) with a time of 21:03. We are so proud of them.

You can watch the video below.  Click on the picture to see more.

Band Concert

Daniel was in the elementary school band this year, which consists of students from multiple schools. The band is directed by the junior high school director (pictured with Daniel) and classes are early in the morning two days per week. We are so proud of his progress as a musician and performer. His skills as a drummer make us think of Janel often.

Click the picture to see more. Watch the video.

Elementary Track Meet 2013

This is the first year that David, as a 4th grader, could participate in the district-wide elementary school track meet. It was Daniel’s third (and final) such meet. The meet is structured such that 6th graders compete against only 6th graders, while 4th and 5th graders compete against each other. This allowed Daniel and David to compete in the same events and not compete against each other. They both ran the 4×100 relay; David ran the first leg in his race while Daniel anchored his.

They each ran the 800 meter (two laps around the track). Since distance running comes so naturally to them, they were the big attraction at the end of the meet. Even the superintendent remarked to Daniel that he was late for a meeting, but wouldn’t leave until he saw Daniel run. Neither of the boys disappointed – Daniel took first in his race with a time of 2:26 and David was only 8 seconds slower as he took first in the 4th and 5th grade race. The younger kids, as you might expect, have a great variation between the fastest and the slower runners.  When David finishes, there are kids stretched all the way around the track.

My (Randy’s) favorite aspect of the track meet is watching the kids have fun and supporting each other. For each of the four 800 meter races (two for boys and two for girls), for instance, the crowd cheered mightily until the last student crossed the finish line.

Click the picture above to see more. Enjoy the video.


Honor Band Concert 2013

Our boys show talent in so many areas, including school and multiple sports.  In addition to that, Daniel has been very impressive in his musicianship.  He has been playing drums for nearly two years now and his skill and rhythm is excellent (prompting memories of another drummer in the family – Janel).  He was selected for the Elementary Honor Band, which is made up of select musicians throughout the school district (9th largest in the state). One of the directors, Robin Blumenthal, was one of Janel’s percussion teachers.

The concert was outstanding! It included the Honor Chorus and Honor Orchestra. Grammy and Grandpa were there, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable event.

Click the photo above to see more pictures. Watch the video – they sounded great!


What a glorious day we had for Easter, which is truly fitting the celebration that Easter is.  Our Lord is risen and He deserves all glory! We started the day with the boys opening their baskets and searching for eggs.  We left a bunch of video in here because the boys were just being themselves.  We had fun with them.  After church, we went to Julie’s house and there was a fairly major party happening.  The kids kicked a soccer ball around (I know – this is a shock to all), and we generally just enjoyed the perfect weather and great company.


Our weather turned nice a bit early this year, and we went out to take advantage of it.  Of course, the yard had been neglected over the winter and was in desperate need of some attention. The day before Easter was a good day to begin to tackle it. David wanted to learn to use the mower, so Sary-Jo took a bit of video. Daniel, meanwhile, was busy pulling weeds. It was a great day to work together as a family and improve the house. Feel free to watch a couple minutes of video below.

St. Patrick’s Day 5K

Daniel & David

Last year, Daniel ran the St. Paddy’s Day race in Tacoma for his first ever 5K.  We thought David was probably too young to run that far so he ran the 1K.  We had told Daniel to take it easy and not to feel bad if he had to pause or walk for a while.  Then he went out and amazed us, even though the weather was horrible (slushy snow & rain mixture).  This year, we signed both boys up for the 5K with confidence that they’d run (and run hard) the whole way.  The weather was much better than last year, although still typical for March in the beautiful Pacific Northwest (cold and wet).

The race always draws a huge crowd – this year there were 1,582 people in the 5K.  The boys started up front with the rest of the fairly-serious runners.  They took off strong and kept going.  Daniel’s goal was to finish faster than last year’s 19:43.  David wanted to finish within two minutes of Daniel’s time.  Both boys achieved their goals as Daniel took a full minute off his previous time on the same course.  He finished in 18:43 and in first place in the 14 and under age group.  David came in at 20:26 and third in the age group.  Overall, Daniel was the 12th finisher and David the 31st.  We continue to be amazed.

2013 Basketball Season

Daniel and David

David played up a couple years because of his size and athleticism.  After tryouts, both boys ended up on the same team.  We could sure get used to the idea of taking both kids to the same practices and the same games!  Not only that, but they also played very well and won their league.  They were undefeated until the last game (Daniel missed the last game to play a soccer game; the basketball team had already clinched first place).

During the course of the season, individual and team progress was very apparent.  Both of our boys learned to see the court and pass the ball well, and they were relentless on defense.  They also learned to make shots.  Early on, almost all shots were an adventure; but by the end of the season, lay-ups were a sure thing and other field goals had a good chance of going in!  We had a lot of fun watching and cheering on the whole team.  Special thanks to the coaches for keeping the kids well grounded and emphasizing sportsmanship and teamwork.

We were disappointed with most of the pictures, but you can see the best of them by clicking the one above.  We also put together a 3-minute montage of video highlights, below.  David is number 11; Daniel is number 15 (and left-handed).

Christmas at Home

David & Daniel

We had such a great vacation, and it extended through the entire school break, that there was no real time left for exchanging gifts at home.  We arrived home late at night with school the next morning.  We allowed the boys a quick peek at the gifts, but left them wrapped until the next night.  David was quick to predict what was in each package (and was nearly 100% as revealed in the video).  Both boys were thrilled with their gifts and expressed gratitude.  Since this is being written so far after the fact, I can say that the Go-Pro video camera and the Wii U are both huge hits.  So are the Ethiopia Soccer T-Shirts pictured above.

Speaking of the picture above… yes, David really is taller than Daniel now (but not by as much as the photo seems to show).  I’m not sure if it’ll stay that way because I think Daniel has another growth spurt left in him, but David has not slowed down.