I know a lot of people brag about their kids like their kids are the best, well, mine are. (Pause for laughter) I want to recognize them both for the achievement, but most of all I would like to make a point that they got.

chris allen

JJ loves to swim, he has tried many things, many sports, but seemed to connect with swimming. He swam a whole year his first year and did what he had to do and then started to notice this was something he might be good at and even enjoy.

This past year he was posting good times and working hard in the practices. He was also collecting a lot of 1st and 2nd place ribbons, he was getting good and beating kids his age and older. This past May, he was awarded the most improved swimmer, which made us proud.

chris allen

Last year, Sam joined dance class. He wanted to go, but was unsure of the loud music, so many people, and he wasn't allowed to dance the way he wanted to. Many times I had to take him out of dance class and bring him home because of a meltdown. When it came time to perform at his dance recital, he cried and almost didn't perform with his class, then he skipped out of his finale.

This year, he wasn't sure he wanted to come back. His teacher Stacey encouraged him and even let him perform some Michael Jackson moves that let him shine. Every week he would work hard, and one week when he was having trouble he calmed himself down and got the work done. This year's recital was different. He performed with his class and came out for the finale. At the end of the finale he was one of 8 award winners with the most improved.

The point I want to make is, yes, I am proud of them. The part that I am most proud of, these are awards that show the payoff of hard work, a lesson we are trying to teach them, and to see that they are getting it and that other people notice is the best part.