As you all know, we left Pennsylvania last Monday and returned to Kentucky. Rydan had just two days to earn his fourth stripe at Taekwondo, which would allow him to test for his blue belt on Saturday. Up until this point, he has been able to test every eight weeks, and has successfully passed each test. After missing ten classes due to our Pennsylvania trip, he seemed a little nervous about having only two days to earn that last stripe which would send him to the belt test. The pressure was definitely on.
At the end of his first class on Tuesday, Mr. Nelson began handing out fourth stripes to a few students. I could see Rydan anxiously waiting and wondering if Mr. Nelson would stop to place the final stripe on Rydan’s belt. When he didn’t, Rydan simply packed up his gear and we walked out to the car. His spirits were high, and he said “Mom, I think Mr. Nelson just needs one more day to see if I still remember my form.” He was right. At the end of class on Wednesday, Rydan received his fourth stripe.
So on Saturday, he tested for his blue belt. We are so proud of how well he performed, despite missing ten classes just before belt test time. It’s clear that he has a strong determination to succeed at Taekwondo.
As usual, we will not know official results until the awards ceremony on Tuesday evening, so make sure to check our Facebook Page to see if we have a new blue belt!
On the road again…
As you’re reading this, we are on our journey back to Kentucky. As sad as I am to be leaving our friends and family in Pennsylvania, I am anxious to begin our summer vacation with our southern friends. We’ve missed you, Walnut Ridge! The Buffingtons are coming home!
Don’t miss us too much, Pennsylvania, because we will return on June 20th for a bonus visit. That means 18 more hours of driving for this mommy.
In the meantime, here are a few highlights from the second half of our PA visit.
The Buffingtons (minus Daddy), are in Pennsylvania! We arrived last Thursday and have been enjoying ourselves ever since. The hospitality at Hotel 550 on East Main Street (aka Nana & Pap’s house), has been phenomenal. It’s been so great to be in the presence of family again after not seeing them since Christmas.
Here are a few photos from our stay so far.
With the whole week still ahead of us, don’t miss next week’s post for Part II of our Pennsylvania Vacation! Ryan, we miss you so much and can’t wait to see you on Friday!
School’s out! Rydan has officially completed third grade.
On Friday, his classroom hosted a learning celebration and invited parents to come see what the students have learned throughout the year. Part of the celebration included awards given out by Mr. Sauls to his students, recognizing them for various talents. Rydan was awarded with the “Future Public Speaking Award,” for his “confidence and need to speak in front of others.” If you know Rydan, this comes as no surprise. He proudly accepted the award.
We officially kicked off summer vacation with a Memorial Day picnic at our neighbor’s house last evening. Fun was definitely had by all. We are so very grateful to have found such amazing friends to get together with on holidays when we aren’t with our family in Pennsylvania. The kids played hard, we ate good food, and shared a lot of laughs.
Happy Memorial Day to all of our readers! Don’t miss next week’s post, which will be written from PENNSYLVANIA!
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: Kentucky, Taekwondo, Tournament
On Saturday, Rydan competed in his second Taekwondo tournament, The Minion Showdown, in Independence, KY. This tournament was much smaller than the previous one he attended, so it was a slightly different experience, but still a worthwhile one for Rydan to take part in.
Like the last tournament, students were grouped by belt color and age. Because there weren’t nearly as many students, many groups included various belt colors. Rydan’s group consisted of six students. He was only one of two purple senior belts. The rest of the group had a blue belt (one rank higher than Rydan), and three green belts (a rank lower than Rydan).
Students were first judged on their form.
Next, they were paired by height for the sparring portion of the competition. Rydan was paired with the blue belt student in his group. He did extremely well, considering that his opponent had slightly more experience. The judges ruled in his opponent’s favor, so that automatically ended Rydan’s chance at a sparring medal. His opponent went on to win first place in sparring, so this was definitely a tough kid.
He did, however, come home with a fourth place medal for his form!
Despite the disappointment that Rydan could have felt after not placing in sparring, he continued to clap for the other students and held his head high. I am so proud of this kid, and love that he took pride in the experience of the tournament rather than getting caught up in the competition aspect of it. As soon as we got in the car to leave after the tournament was over, his first words were “That was a really FUN tournament!”
How was your Mother’s Day?
Mine began with a 4-mile morning run in beautiful weather. After that, I enjoyed lunch at my favorite restaurant in Lexington, Saul Good, followed by dessert at Orange Leaf, all in the company of my three favorite people. The rest of the day was pretty low-key, but the fact that I was able to actually take a little nap in the afternoon made me one satisfied mommy.
My gifts began on Friday already, when Ryan came home with an Edible Arrangement of fruit and chocolate-covered strawberries.
Rydan and Lily nearly ate the entire thing at dinner, but I did manage to sneak the chocolate-covered strawberries into the refrigerator without them seeing, and enjoyed them after both kids were asleep.
On Saturday, Lily made me a picture at church, which she was quite proud of.
Rydan also made a bouquet of flowers for me at school. Each stem has a chore attached that I can pull out for him to do at any time.
I also received this pretty bracelet from my kids yesterday.
To all of my fellow mommies, step-mommies, and guardians – I hope you all had a fantastic Mother’s Day! And even though we only get one day a year for the flowers, hand-made gifts, and cards, make sure you celebrate the fact that what you do really does matter, every single day.
Filed under: The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: Boston, Coldstream Park, Derby Stakes 5K, Running, The One Fund
Congratulations to Orb! The winner of the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Because of the evening rain, we didn’t take part in any Derby Day festivities like we did last year. However, I did run the Derby Stakes 5K at Coldstream Park on Saturday morning. This was a very special and important race, as 100 percent of the race proceeds benefited The One Fund Boston charity to help those most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15th.
I truly have no words for what it felt like to be part of this race. The running community is filled with such determined men and women who have incredibly strong spirits. We don’t give up. We always want to go further and run harder. We take pride in our achievements. And with each finish line we cross, that spirit only gets stronger. We all run for different reasons, whether it’s to be physically fit, to relieve stress, or to simply have some “me time,” but on Saturday, May 3rd, 2013 at Coldstream Park, each of us ran for Boston.
Nearly 300 runners came out to show their love and support for this beloved city. One thing I love about being a runner, is my fellow runners. Yes, they are competitive, but they also know how to unite with one another, and with other running communities. There was a true sense of unity as we stood at the starting line together and took a moment of silence for those injured during this year’s Boston Marathon. And as each of us crossed the finished line with our loved ones cheering us on, I couldn’t help but think of Boston. Now more than ever, I am so thankful that God has given me the ability to use my legs and run. I am proud to be part of such a tough community of runners who believe in themselves and believe in each other.
I finished this race with a time of 23:25, and was awarded with first place in my age group (22 females total). My horse shoe trophy is now the coolest one in my collection, but it will also forever carry the most meaning.