Saturday, February 23, 2013

Chess Tournament

 Today the boys participated in their first ever regional Chess For Success tournament with 7 other students from Vernon.  All 9 of these boys that qualified were 1st timers..and they did a great job!
 Nate.  He had the highest ranking going into the tournament.  This boy loves chess.
 Chris playing game #1.  These boys are so lucky to have each other.  They are both obsessed with this game.  They play it constantly, watch strategy videos on You-Tube, then play some more.  Yes, kind of like chess geeks...but they're cool chess geeks!
Chris won 4 games, lost one; Nate won 3 games and lost 2.  
Chris qualified to compete in the state tournament that will be held next month at the Convention Center.
As  much as this was about the game of chess, it was equally about one of life's toughest lessons for twin win some, you lose some, and there are no guarantees that all will be equal just because you were born at the same time, on the same day. 
Good thing they love each other so very much.  
Nate will be at the sidelines next month cheering on Chris as his biggest fan.

The Mighty Oak

I found this letter last night in Christopher's stack of school work....a letter written by The Mighty Oak.  I guess that all of the talk around here about having to cut down our oak trees got to him.
Plus, I love the (old-school) red star of approval.   

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Goodbye, trees!

 Back in 2006 we planted two Scarlet Oak trees in the front yard curb strip.  They were small trees with great potential~they were going to grow big and grand and be representative of our time in this house; one for each boy that would be theirs forever.
 They did start to grow, and provide shade, and become a part of our home. 
So when the City of Portland arborist told us 6+ years later that these trees had been planted where they were going to wreak tons of havoc for our gas line, water line, power lines and that they needed to go, I was not happy.  After all, they were the ones who marked where we had to plant them!  
Saturday was the day.  Of course, Chris and Nate came out to help hold the rope. 
Now all  I've got is an 8" stub of a tree trunk that I will do something with. Oh, and a front yard that looks bleak and empty. A new tree will be planted next month.  Let's hope that this time they've marked it for a place that will be fine forever.