Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lights! Camera! Dance! The Rehearsal...

We got a new camera. So far, we are not very good at it. I'm working on it, and so is hubby. The "crop" feature has become my very best friend. Great googily moogily. Anyway, the reason we bought a camera is for the performances the kids will be in this Christmas season. My phone is great for stills, but you add lights and motion and it's all over but the screaming. Usually it's me screaming because I missed something, but you get the idea.

And speaking of pictures, I am about to inundate you with a plethora of various shots from rehearsal. The big girl and the boy had 2 shows this weekend. The first was a tree lighting and performance, the second was just performance. I don't have many action shots from the performances because I was helping kids into costumes and we are still novices with the camera. The first night, my batteries died. The second day, the camera kinda freaked on me a little and quit working. I didn't think about taking the batteries out then putting them back in until we were on our way home. If all else fails, do a hard reboot. These are just rehearsal pics. I'll post pictures from performances later. Ready for pics? Here we go:

The big girl and her friend, B. I love these girls! Whenever they are together, they're dancing. In class, out of class, in the living room, with a fox, in a box, on a plane, on a train. They may not like green eggs and ham, but they love to dance!

This is just part of the group. There are a couple of more at the end of this line, but for some reason, I didn't add that pic. Hmmm...

I love this shot. Just happens to be one of my favs. I think it's the smile on K's face.

The final pose for Skater's Waltz. This is the number that opens the show. Fantastic way to open a show, if you ask me. And the girl 2nd from the right is my favorite dancer in the group. That's my big girl!

This is A. Oh. My. Word. She is an amazing dancer. She is beautiful and graceful and she may lose that pancake tutu. I'm gonna steal it, but don't tell anyone. It'll just be our secret...

Look at these cutie patooties! These are the junior company girls. These are some of my favorite costumes. The color is super gorgeous. The girls have worked very hard and they should be very proud of themselves! I know we are!

Ok. I am a huge Santa fan. I think Santa is awesome! But look at my boy! He makes an amazing Santa!

These are Santa's elves! The big girl is all the way to the left. Cutest. Dance. Evah.

The boy has three heel clicks he does. See the height? Yeah, that's what he does. He flies. Reindeer have nothing on this Santa!

This is jazz to Joy to the World.

The big girl's contemporary number to O Holy Night. That is my all time favorite Christmas song. This dance makes me tear up every time! Every. Time! My big girl leads them on stage. The girls needed a little extra practice for this one, but they did the work and got it done. Makes me teary just thinking about it.

There are more pictures I could have added, but even I have my limits. Not many, but limits nevertheless. If you have a chance to come see some very talented young people, please do. They have 2 or 3 performances left and a parade to dance in. I am so proud of my kids and so proud of these dancers.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Flower Power

I've been teaching a biology co-op one afternoon a week. I am digging it. Biology is one of those things that more fun with a crowd. It's the experiments. Who wants to dissect alone? Well, serial killers, but we aren't talking about them. We haven't gotten to the dissecting part yet, but I am working on it. We're getting closer every week.

We started with the plant unit. There is a lot more to plants than I remember. Some of it, I'm not sure I wanted to know, but I do now, so there you go. It was actually kind of cool. I might take one day before Christmas break and we may do the microscope labs we didn't get to do during the plant unit. Hmmmm, there's an idea. Anyway, we did the big collection and identifying and labeling lab. That was one of my favorites when I took biology, all 3 times.

To celebrate the end of the plant unit, we had a party with edible plant cells. The kids had to make edible representations of the plant cell to share. We had pizza and cookies and, wait for it, chicken enchiladas. Those things were super good. We also took a field trip to a local botanical garden. My family had been before, but some of the kids and their families hadn't. I gave the kids a sheet they had to fill out to prove they didn't sleep through class. They all did very well.

And, of course, there are flower pics:

Such a great place to go. All the plants were labeled so you knew what they were. They have several gardens set up. They have a native plants, a southwest garden, marshlands, butterfly garden, and more. The part the kids liked the best? The maze. They played hide and seek tag. At least nobody came running to tell us we couldn't come back! I call that a successful field trip.

Have a great day.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Daybook Be My Playbook

Catchy title, huh? Things are a little jumbled in my head, so it's the easiest thing for me right now. Ready? Come on...

  • I am listening to... Queen's A Crazy Little Thing Called Love. My kids are diggin' Queen. Me, too, actually. I downloaded their greatest hits and now the kids want me to make a CD for the van. Well, ok, when I get the time. Oooo, Destiny's Child now.
  • I am reading...Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. It is almost the continuation of The Shining. It's the story of the son, Danny. I borrowed it from a friend. It is so good. Hubby and I stopped at the library today and I browsed their bookstore. I walked out with 2 Dean Koontz books I hadn't seen before. I'm ready to read those, but I need to get through the Stephen King book first. Our after dinner book is the last 39 Clues book from the Cahills vs. Vespers series. We had started it, but we weren't able to finish it before we had to turn it in. In the four weeks we waited for it, we started Where the Red Fern Grows. We'll go back to that when we finish the current book. So much reading and switching, I hope we remember it all.
  • From the kitchen...So, you know we do the whole cook from scratch thing. Hubby has taken on a new endeavor in that arena. He bakes bread. I had done the whole bread from scratch thing a couple of times. It was just not my thing. I liked the bread the first day, but come day 2, I was not impressed. Hubby found a recipe that is super yummy on day 2 and beyond. It makes the most delicious sandwiches. Oh, my. His brother just gave us a ham from a pig he caught and I picked up some conch peas at the farmer's market. We are going country around here. Add hubby's bread, sliced and still a little warm. Makes me want to cook right now!
  • From the garden...We let the chickens free range in the garden a few times. That was hilarious the first time, watching the ladies look at each other and trying to figure out what they were supposed to do. They did a very good job of scratching and eating lots of little buggies from the raised beds. Hubby cleaned out the tower and gave it a good scrubbing. We got everything planted finally a couple of weeks ago. We have brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage. Our pepper plants are still hanging in there. We aren't getting any peppers, but the plants are still green and growing. I am so ready for those brussel sprouts! I've got a few weeks to wait bit I go out every day and encourage them. Go, sprouts, go!
  • From the schoolroom...Still trying to find a groove for the big girl. So much work, so little time! We have gone to a block system. She has one hour a day for each subject she has to do. So far, there have only been a couple of days where she had to go back and finish something. And now there's driver's ed in the mix. She is about halfway done with it and I am ready for it to be OVER! She has done very well and hubby gave her the first driving lesson today. I'm not sure I'm ready for that part, but it's almost here, so I need to get over it. I have dropped Latin for the baby and the boy. It wasn't getting done, and before I knew it, 3 weeks had passed and there hadn't been a lesson done. Ok, then, moving on. Works for me.
  • From the dance studio...rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal! We are about 3 weeks out from the holiday performances. All of the dances are done and now it's clean up time. The baby started rehearsal for the group that dances in the Christmas parade. It's tough right now, and it seems like we only have time for dance and school (because that's all we have time for!), but I am so proud of the kids for all of their hard work! I love to watch my kids perform!
  • Around the house...I know that one day Mt. Laundry won't be there and the dishes in the sink at Mt. Washmore will be gone. I'll miss the chaos and the scrambled to get out the door. I know I'll have time to actually clean my house. It will be here before I know it. Until then, I'm trying to not have a panic attack at all the cleaning that needs to be done around my house. I'm breathing, I'm breathing...I'm freaking out just a little.
And that's what I've got for now. Just a little peek into the funhouse. Who doesn't like a little fun?

Have a great day.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dancing for Joy...and a Few Tears

I'm late. I know. Get over it. Anyway...

The big girl and the boy made the company dance team at our dance studio! Yea!! I am sooo proud of them. One of my very favorite things in the world is to watch my beautiful kids dance.

The boy owns the stage like nobody's business. He was born to perform and be the center of it all. Good thing he's my middle child. He even has a ballet solo. That does not hurt his feelings at all!

The big girl's group for contemporary has me in tears at every practice. I cannot even imagine what a blubbery mess I will be come performance days. And she gets to be in the group of kids that perform at the tree lighting in our town.

Now, you may notice the baby is missing. She didn't make it. She was so upset, she cried all the way to the studio the day we got our letters. And since I was driving, there was not one thing I could do about it until we got there. Hubby came and got her and took her to dinner and got ice cream and he held her while she cried. That's an amazing Papa Bear. By the time I got home with the other 2 kids, she was all better. And working her way into an ice cream coma. Ice cream and Papa Bear hugs make it all better!!

Our weeks are crammed super full with school and dance and practice and, and, and. We only have one day a week where we are home and the alarm doesn't go off. That day varies from week to week. We are tired. But we are happy.

Have a great day.

Saturday, August 31, 2013


Hubby's almost done making tortillas, which means breakfast, so let's get started, shall we? Music's rolling, lights are dimmed, and queue:

  • I am listening to: Godsmack right now, but who knows what will pop up next. The kids were on restriction  from electronics for a week and today is the day they get them back. I have to be honest and say I can't remember what they got put on restriction for, since that was longer ago than yesterday. Anyway, The TV has finally come back on and I don't want to hear it. Yuck. Oooh, now I'm listening to Snap! I got the power!
  • Around the house: The pig sty has returneth. I miss July when the chores were getting done. But, we started school and science co-op, so there goes what little time we had for that. It's really not as bad as I make it sound. For the long weekend, hubby has a list of chores we need to get done. Yea, chores! Not really. I despise chores and I wish I had a chores fairy. The most exciting news is that we just celebrated the big girl's birthday. She turned 15 and we spent the day at Disney. Duh. We all had a good time, but you probably already knew that. Guess what she gets to do now? Learn to drive. That is hubby's job. I told him I carried and birthed the babies, he gets to teach them to drive. That seems fair, don't you think? Heaven help us.
  • For the holiday: Ha! I added a new category! We don't have big plans. We're talking about going to the beach. Hubby wants to metal detect after 4,000,000 people have been there for the weekend. We just bought a grill. It's a little $20 table top. We haven't had a grill in almost 2 years and we wanted one. Burgers're going on that thing this weekend. I. Love. Grilled. Burgers.
  • From the schoolroom: It's been a bit of a rough start for us. We started at the beginning of August so we are about 4 weeks into it. It has been a huge adjustment in workload for the big girl. She was using FLVS for Latin, but she dropped that class. What a big, giant cluster of mess that is! If you haven't used the website, it is not user friendly at all. The lessons seemed to weave back and forth, but never long enough on one topic to make sense. Her teacher was really nice. I have heard horror stories about some of the teachers. Gives me shivers. She will take driver's ed from them because I hear that's pretty good. I have high hopes. The boy and the baby have a heavier word load this year, too. I added vocabulary to their day. There was always vocabulary in their language arts, but I didn't feel like it spent enough time reinforcing the word. They're both using Wordly Wise 3000. I used it with the big girl when she was in the 5th grade. Love it! They are both learning Latin this year. They get science at co-op, so that kind of freed up a spot. So far, so good. They both seem to be enjoying it, so yea!
  • From the dance studio: We start dance next week!! I cannot even begin to express how excited we are about that. There are just no words.
  • And don't forget Stella: Stella is 6 months old now, closing in on 7. She is not the teeny baby anymore. She is so big. She can set her head on the dining table. We don't let her keep it there, but good grief. She is super smart. She and hubby were chasing each other yesterday. At one point, she reversed on him so many times, he had no idea where she was going to come from. I watched the whole thing and I had no clue! She's learned sit, lay down, show me your belly, and off, darn dog, get down! She still follows hubby like he saved her life. She has even made friends with the neighbor's dogs. They run up and down the fence line, chasing each other. She won't get to go play for real until she gets Bob Barkered. We still can't get her to stop barking at Mr. D, our neighbor. He even brings her cookies! Maybe one day.

I think that's about all I have for now. Tortillas are ready and I'm hungry.

Have a great day.      

Friday, August 16, 2013

Happy Birthday to My Big Girl!

Normally, for birthdays, I do the whole "I love my kid, who is the greatest kid ever" blog. I'm changing it up a little. Change is good, right? I don't believe that for a second, but I'm doing it anyway. So, today is my big girl's birthday. I love that girl something fierce! Here's just a few pics so I can brag on my girl.

Oh, my stars, she's beautiful! How on earth did I get so blessed? She is beautiful on the inside as well. She is kind and caring and loves very deeply. She is super smart and talented and I am honored to be her mama!

She didn't think she could get away with wearing a scarf. I think she looks great! I like that scarf, too.

You know she is patient and tolerant because I am her mother. She has to put up with me!! She will dress up like the cat in the hat while dancing down the street...

Or get her picture taken with Pocahontas, et al. at Disney because I asked her to. Ok, sometimes it was more like telling, but she never rolled her eyes where I could see, so she gets bonus points.

She has always had these beautiful, long fingers. When she got old enough to take care of her own nails, she grew them long. And they are beautiful. She is very artistic. She loves to be creative and this is her way of painting. And she's good.

These were some of my favorites. I loved the sunset colors and the beach emblems. She free handed those, by the way. She does have stencils, but she rarely uses them.

I love the penguins! They are so cute!! She did something similar to this. She painted tuxedos. Each bow tie and cummerbund was a different color. She didn't like them, but I did!

We got her some nail brushes and a dotting tool for her birthday along with some nail polish colors she's been asking for. She did this bee in about 5 minutes today. She was thinking about putting Winnie the Pooh on the other hand.

I could not be prouder of her! She has stepped outside her box and is taking on new responsibility every day. She is a talented, beautiful dancer. She decided to forgo her allowance so that she could take an extra dance class. She is so excited for dance to start! She has done very well with her school work, keeping a straight A average. She is creative and wonderful and a great big sister. I love her so much! Happy birthday to my big girl!!

Have a great day.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


I'm just going to dive right in. Everybody got your floaties?

  • I am listening to: Well, until I started blogging, I was listening to thunder. There's a storm all around us but not quite over us. It's raining all around us. Kinda cool, actually. Now my headphones are plugged in and my play list is shuffling it's heart out. The kids are holed up in a bedroom somewhere watching videos on YouTube. Yes, I know what they're watching and I really do know where they are. I think. Uh. Oh.
  • Around the garden: Some success, some failures. We seem to be the bell pepper masters. They don't get ginormous, but they have some decent size to them. We almost can't get them to quit growing. I found tobacco worms the other day on one of the plants. They chewed the tops off of most of the stalks. They will never do that again. I looked at the plant yesterday and they are already growing new leaves. Yes! Our okra in one planter is beautiful. The plants are anyway. I'll be excited to be able to pick. And of course, we have lettuce and spinach growing like nobody's business. Well, except for yours because I just told you. We have them growing in stages. We have what we're picking now in the aero system that hubby built, soon to be picked in the tower, and seedlings in the other half of the aero tower. We also have chard, baby bok choy, sweet potatoes, and strawberries. The strawberry plants were bonuses as they just showed up in the garden one day. Awesomeness!
  • Around the school room: Out with the old, and in with the new. All the new books are in the appropriate drawers, waiting for the first day of school. The big girl has been registered for her Latin class. We're just waiting for her to be assigned to a classroom and a teacher. Co-op day and time have been set. The big girl and I have made lesson plans. A school supply list has been made. I have some ideas for field trips that have to do with our biology. Believe it or not, even the kids are ready to start school.
  • From the kitchen: Tonight is make your own pizza night. I've been in kind of a cooking rut lately. I get that way, usually in the summer. I'm done, over it. And then, a couple of months later, I get my second wind. Come on, second wind!! I did make some brownies the other day that were super delicious. I added peanut butter to them. They were so good, I had to make a second batch. A few months ago I learned how to make a really good roux, which is a base to gravy and some sauces. I use it for everything. Macaroni and cheese seems to feature prominently in the requests for dinner. I use the roux to make the cheese sauce. I added mozzarella to it the last time I made it. Holy cow, that was good! Other than that, I'd rather make a phone call or reservations.
  • Outside my window: Weirdness. Weather cracks me up. The storm that was around us has moved. Now it's gray out the back windows and sunshine coming in the front windows. Mother Nature is a woman, you know.
That's about it for now. I need to go cut veggies for pizza. My belly's growling.

Have a great day.   

Friday, July 26, 2013

Curricula! Curriculum! Curricula! Curriculum!

I love homeschooling. I had great mentors when I started homeschooling that have helped me on this journey. Without my friends, I don't think things could have gone so well. The knowledge that veteran homeschoolers have to share is priceless. Whether it's issues teaching addition or if diagramming is necessary, everybody has an opinion and has had that same question. One thing that we all have in common, no matter the length of time we've been at this, is making sure we have the right curriculum for our kids. Curriculum isn't always one size fits all. Some are, or at least a multi-level curriculum. Love those! We have had some duds, let me tell you what. We have also made really great choices. Here are a few of my faves:

  • Story of the World: We love this curriculum. It is taught in a Charlotte Mason way, with fact woven into stories. This has been our favorite history. There are 4 volumes, starting with nomads and moving forward. If I could get my hands on the 4th volume, we would continue to use it. There is map work for each chapter. You chart the path, highlight the major cities, and actually see where in the world we just talked about. There are several activities for each chapter as well. They vary from cooking to arts and crafts to light sewing to who knows what. There are several recipes we got from the activity guide that have become family favorites. They also vary by age. They have activities for younger, elementary to upper middle or high school. It also includes a reading list that goes with each topic discussed. We have done history together since we started homeschooling. And this is why. We switched to something else I can't even remember, and my kids asked to go back to this. Absolutely!
  • Wordly Wise: This is vocabulary. I look at different vocabulary books every year. Most of the time I let whatever vocabulary that comes with their language arts be it. The problem with that is the kids don't remember it because there aren't enough reasons for them to. There may be a couple of activities, but writing the word 10 times, though it can be effective, is not what I consider an activity. That's memorization, not learning what the word is, what it means, and how to use it. Wordly Wise does that. Each list is at least 15 words. There are at least 5 activities for each list, the last one being my favorite. The last activity is a paragraph followed by questions. It's reading comp and usage! There are the same number of questions as there are vocab words. Each word is used either in the question or the answer. It's not the kids favorite when they have to figure out which word goes in the answer, but I like it! It makes them think harder. One of the best things? It is relatively inexpensive at about $20 bucks for workbook and answer key. They even have tests available, but that's what I use that last activity for. 
  • Rod and Staff Grammar: This is one of those things that I wanted to use for a long time, but wasn't sure if it would fit my kids. I bit the bullet. I got a set for free and it was the baby's level. She learned so much using R&S. It was one of the things she asked to do every day. Who wants to do grammar every day? The baby and then the boy when he started using it. Grammar was not something that I had focused very strongly on, but it shows up later when they start writing. One prominent feature is diagramming. Diagramming is one of the most debated topics in homeschooling. Crazy, right? There's the side that says it's not necessary, then the other side that says it's vital. I can tell you I used to be on one side, but now I think it's one of the most important tools in teaching grammar. It really helps you to see what goes with what, and how to tell and adjective from an adverb. I kid you not.
  • Grapevine Studies: I can not say enough good things about Grapevine Studies. Learning the bible using stick figures. Who came up with that? I don't know, but we have the best time with it. I am no artist. I can, however, draw stick figures. Not well, but still. The thing I like about it the most is that the kids remember what we've learned because of what we've done. How can you ask for more than that? You should ask them about the 10 plagues and the boils. Eeeewww!
These are just some of our favorites. They make my kids like school more. They make our day much more fun. They make our day go much more smoothly and quickly. They make my life easier, and I like that for sure. Now it's your turn to dish and talk about your favorites.

Have a great day.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dancing the Days Away

Summer dance, we love you so...

Since we have been dancing, which is 11 years now, we have wanted to take summer dance. The issue has always been time and money. This year, however, we got a deal we couldn't turn down. So we didn't. I could kick myself for not trying summer classes earlier, deal or no, but that would be futile and a waste of my time. Except for ballet for the big girl and the boy (those classes were actually quite large), it was almost like having private dance lessons. Here's some pics for your enjoyment.

This is the big girl with her friend, D, and our tap teacher. We love Mrs. V! The big girl was worried about tap since she had never taken it before. She loved it. I'm so glad we took the time before camp to teach her some steps. I think that helped her when she got to class. You should have heard all the giggling coming from that room. Loved it!!

This is the baby's ballet class, with the ballet mistress, Miss S. That woman is amazing! The baby was the oldest, with the other 2 girls being 5 and 7. I am so proud of the baby. She did very well and found a new dance style to love. It makes my heart happy when my kids are excited about dance.

This is the scaled down version of the big girl's ballet class. This summer was the first time she has taken an hour and a 1/2 class. She would come out of class shaking she worked so hard. Then, with a huge smile, would say "I can't wait to come back tomorrow!"

Hip hop, baby!! I had signed the boy and the baby up, but the boy missed the first class because of camp. The big girl missed hip hop so much, I had her take the last class and she loved it. See the cutie patootie in the bottom right side of the pic. That's Miss C. Holy smokes, that chicky can dance! I am so glad the kids got to take a class from her. Notice that 3/4 of the class is my kids? They rocked it!

Once again, a couple of pics of the big girl's ballet class. It was hard to get a pic of everyone because of vacations and stuff, but that class was huge. Miss. S said she was going to push the girls, and women, really hard this summer and she did! I'm proud of all of them for making it through with smiles on their faces!! I would sit and watch the class thinking "There is no way I could that!" and theses talented people made everything look easy! Stinkers...

This was the last tap class for the boy and the baby. The class they took earlier in the week had just been my kids. I like the diversity of the class and the fact that all the people in this pic are our friends. What a great way to spend the day!

This is my favorite pic of the big girl's class. Aren't they beautiful?! I think so.

This is the boy's ballet class. This summer was the first time he has taken an hour and a 1/2 of ballet as well. He got quite the workout. Miss S has very high expectations of him and pushed him a lot this summer, too. He pushed himself. He rocked it.

The kids learned so much this summer! They got pushed beyond their comfort zones and did such a fantastic job. We were there Monday through Thursday, from 930 in the morning until at least 130 in the afternoon for 3 weeks. I brought lunch for everyone and we sat in the back rooms, eating and swapping stories. It was spending time with family. I have known most of these kids since they started dancing and most of the adults, too, so they are family to us. My kids were taught by amazing and talented teachers that put their heart into every class. They left every class excited about the next one. We went home every afternoon and took a nap!! It was awesome!

Have a great day.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


We got a dog. We've had her for about 3 months, and our lives will never be the same. She is sweet and loving and is very protective of us. She also loves it when our neighbor, Mr. D, gives her "cookies". She will be 6 months old on the 17th of this month. Here's a couple of pics:

Ohmigosh! Look at that little fur ball!! How can you not want to cuddle the stuffing out of her?!? Look at her little paws. She was attached to hubby from the word go. If he took a step, she did, too. Funniest thing ever.

That sweet face. Notice she's laying next to hubby? Yeah, that happened a lot. Still does even though she's 20 lbs heavier.

 This pic makes her look big, but she's only about 8 weeks old. Those cute little paws have started to fill out some. Uh. Oh.

This was Stella's first vet appointment. Notice who she's sitting next to? Good thing I'm not a jealous woman. She did very well. She did get protective when the vet came in and Stella barked and barked. She would back up in front of the kids like the vet was going to come after all of us with that thermometer. Crazy dog.

I took this a couple of weeks ago. You can't really tell how much she's grown in this pic, but she's at least triple the first shot if not more. This is what she does all day. "Play with me!!" "No, Stella, I want to watch TV." "Play with me!!" Then she jumps on the couch, or you, or you on the couch. At least she brings toys.

I love Stella. I love her so much, I decided not to show you the pics of the broken blinds. One happened when she was chasing a fly. I'm surprised the window is still intact. The other happened when she tried getting out of our bathroom window to the garden, where we were. The window was closed. Again, we must have some awesome windows. Blinds, not so much. She's so sweet, I won't show you the pieces and parts of her toys that she's ripped apart. The toy in the last pic is in pieces. She still plays with it, though. I will tell you that I am so glad hubby decided to get a dog. I'm glad he picked Stella. And I'm glad when he gets home, he takes her outside to play. She has found a Frisbee that has become her new favorite. Just like she's our favorite.

Have a great day.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Lucky No. 7

One of my favorite things is to sign on to Blogger and see new blogs. It just makes me happy. Mine have had the shades drawn for a little bit, but let's see what I can do to change that.

  1. Summer dance. Oh, I love to watch my kids dance. The baby is taking ballet and hip hop this summer. This is her first exposure to both. She loves them. That makes me happier than you could ever know. Our hip hop teacher makes my heart go pitter pat. She is awesome and creative and she makes me smile. Ballet is not that mamby pamby stuff you think it is. You should have seen the big girl's class sweating it out today. Oh. My. Giddy. Aunt. I have to say that I was jealous. Sounds weird, I know. Just watching them made me wish I could move like that. The big girl is also taking tap. Her first class is this week and she's a little nervous. The boy is taking ballet and hip hop. His first hip hop class was today. He rocked it. I am so proud of my kids stepping out of their boxes.
  2. Summer camp. My two big kids just got back from camp. They love going to camp and I love sending them! The boy had a "primitive" cabin. That meant the bathrooms and showers were in a separate building from where they were sleeping. The big girl had a cabin full of girls she knew and some new girls. Her cabin counselor was one of the cabin counselors she'd had her first year of camp. 4 years ago. What is that?!? How could that much time have passed? The boy came home with a gaga ball wound on his hand which is much better than the goose egg he came home with last year. The most important part of camp: they come home on fire for God! The passion is amazing and I pray it stays with them forever!
  3. Summer reading. Yeah, that hasn't happened. We normally join 2 or 3 library programs, but summer dance and summer camp is what we've been focusing on. We're reading, just not with the library. We finished A Wrinkle in Time before the kids left for camp, so now we need a new after dinner book. Hubby and the kids are asking for the next 39 Clues book. On to the library website I go.  
  4. Summer bowling. We signed up for Kids Bowl Free. If you haven't, do it. We pay for shoes and that's it. There is a group of us that plan a date and get together. It has been great for the kids and great for the mamas. If we an all make it, we do. If not, we don't. It has been a mucho, mucho good time.
  5. Summer cooking. We are at the dance studio quite a bit this summer, so I've been making lunch and taking it with. And sharing. So far we've had black beans and rice, chicken salad, and chicken spaghetti. Tomorrow, I'm making a 7 layer dip (with 6 layers) and tortillas. Hubby was a sweetheart and made tortillas tonight. The big girl shredded a huge block of cheese. I made guacamole. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
  6. Summer school. Yeah, when is that going to happen? It's not. But I am planning my little heart out. I am facilitating a biology co-op starting in the fall. I am sooooo looking forward to it. I'm a freak, I know. I want to have a plan to start with and see how our dance schedule falls in to place. There may be a lot more crock potting going on. Oh, and I learned how to use the timer feature on my oven! That comes in handy, let me tell you what! The big girl has a ton of work to do this year. We did cut down her online classes from 2 to1 just to see how the work load goes. Hopefully it goes well...
  7. Summer yuckiness. Lots of stress in our home this season. We were working on getting our home loan modified. It didn't work the way we wanted it to for a while, but that is finally settled and done! We breathe a small sigh until September when it becomes final. We are on probation until then. Mother's Day was so hard for me to get through. I absolutely miss my mom. There is a hole on my heart that is the size of the universe. And then there was my birthday. The last time I spoke to my mom was my birthday last year. Blech!! 9 days after my birthday, she was gone. I have just been one big bundle of nerves and bitchiness. To top it all off, I've been stress eating. I have done very well with that for the last year and a half, but throw that ugly cocktail together and I had to wash it down with something. That something turned into everything I could shove in my mouth. I've gained 10 pounds, but it feels like 50. Here's to season's past, and the end to stress eating. Please. And thank you.
Well, winner, winner, chicken dinner! I made it to 7. Who would have thunk it could happen? Me, really, because I had a list. Me and my stinkin' lists. But, if I don't write it down, it didn't happen.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Daybook, 'Cause I'm Tired, but I Want to Blog

Oh, I would love to say this is a quiet day. It kind of is, but there are chores that need to be done and my house is a sty. We've spent 3 going on 4 days being lazy, lazy, lazy. It's time. But first, I blog, because I really don't want to clean my house.

  • Around the house: as mentioned in the opening paragraph, it's a sty. There's 4 loads of laundry on my love seat. Stella has chewed her duckie until the stuffing has fallen out and she refuses to vacuum it up. The dishes are overflowing the sink even though I already loaded the dishwasher once. I will not mention the huge pile of curriculum I need to take pictures of and post online to sell or the way I have to dig through the pantry to find anything or the fact that I still need to clean out the recital bag. Crap. I think I just mentioned it. Well, there you go.
  • I'm listening to: something I swore I would never listen to. There are tap shoes tapping in my house. The big girl will take tap this summer for summer dance. The only problem is that she'll miss the first week because of camp. She also wants to try out for company so that means she has to have tap. Which she's never done. The boy, the baby, and I are teaching her some simple, basic steps to get her ready and hopefully keep her from getting too far behind. So, because I love her dearly, I'm letting them tap in the house. Thank goodness for iPods and earphones!
  • From the garden: something is eating our tomatoes and it better not be you!! Something has taken to gnawing parts of our growing tomatoes. If they would finish one, I would be OK with that. Nope, it gnaws a good chunk out and then goes to the next. We tried neem oil and a pepper spray, but it rained. And rained. And washed it all away. We haven't tried again because it's been raining every afternoon. The next few days should be good and dry so we'll try again then. The lettuce in our tower is amazing!! I go out every day and pick some for us and trim the ugly leaves for the chickens. There's not much ugly out there, but I do what I can. The chickens are loving it as much as we are!
  • From the kitchen: with the 4 day affair that recital is, there was much driving through, but not much cooking. I have more than made up for that. Hubby, too. Sunday morning, hubby got up bright and early and made us pancakes. That man makes the best pancakes. Ever! Last night I made a turkey and lots of stuff to go with it. Hubby asked if it was Thanksgiving already. Homemade hamburger helper has become a staple in our home. This time I added carrots and broccoli so it was a one dish meal. It was really a couple of dishes, but that's ok, too. The frig is loaded with leftovers, so I shouldn't have to cook today.  
  • I am reading: Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You by Hanna Jansen. It is the story of a young girl from Rwanda that lost her entire family. Holy cow!! I can only read it in bits and pieces. My heart aches. Our after dinner book is A Wrinkle in Time. I tried to get the big girl and the boy to read it and they both declined. Grrrrrrr. I figured the only way I would get them to is to make it our after dinner book. We are all enjoying it. Just goes to show, I do know what I'm talking about. Most of the time.
  • From the schoolroom: Not much! This is part of our summer break. I decided not to summer school. We'll be at the dance studio a couple of days a week and nobody will want to school when we get home, specially me. This summer will be the summer of PE and fine arts. Bowling and dance on our schedule and a trip or 14 to Disney. The most pressing thing I have to do right now is get the portfolios together for the kids' annual eval. I'm working on it! We did a lot of work this year. Next year will be no different. I've already put the new stuff in the school drawers and have made a list of school supplies we need for next year. Pencils are NOT on that list. I must have hundreds.
That's about it for now. I might take a nap. After the laundry gets folded and all the unexciting, but very necassary chores get done. Or I might wait to that stuff until after my nap. Yeah, you know where this is going. Sweet dreams!

Have a great day.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dance the Night Away

This past weekend was our annual dance recital. The kids worked really hard this year. It was an amazing show!! The kids each got to take 2 classes this year and they loved it. I have to say I think it was the best show yet! I got a couple of pics on dress rehearsal night, but sort of forgot after that. I did manage to get some on the last show night because I was bound and determined! I did a lot of running from back stage to the audience to see my babies dance. Good thing I knew the cute guy working the door. That would be my fabulous hubby!!  

 This is the costume for the big girl's jazz number. That's her friend K. The song was "Lights". They had folding chairs they used that were strung with, what else, fairy lights. They were amazing!!

This is the baby's jazz costume. The girls had a new jazz teacher this year. Mr. Matt is phenomenal! I love his creativity and the way he pushes the kids to do their best. When they say I can't do that, he asks why not. This was the girl's first year of jazz and she loved it. She got lots of compliments on her performance.

This was the baby's tap costume. I wish I had gotten a full cotume shot, but I didn't. This is the only reason she wanted to change out of her jazz costume! This was her 2nd year of tap. She got booted up to the third year class. She's fantastic! She gets her talent from her big sister!

This is the boy backstage. This year the boys didn't have a real dressing room. They set up a makeshift room backstage and the boys made the best of it. This is the boy's friend JT. This is the boy's tap costume. It was a '50s themed number, complete with cool car. He rocked it. Duh!!

The baby and the big girl were in the same dressing room this year. Having them together was a huge help come costume change and call time.

The boy striking a pose in his ballet costume. He's a funny one. He loves ballet and he is so good at it. I've told the kids they all have to take ballet. It is a must have for a solid dance foundation.

And again I didn't get the full costume. The big girl and the boy had ballet together this year. They were phenomenal to watch. Can you tell I'm a proud mama?

And because I can't let my kids have all the fun, even I danced this year. I took hip hop. The cutie patootie on the right is our dance teacher, C. I love to watch her dance! She is so creative and her numbers got rave reviews. We did an '80s workout theme. I had the best time!! My dance mamas rocked it!!

When the big girl was about to start kindergarten, she said she wanted to be a ballerina. We haven't looked back. It has been such an incredible journey to watch my kids over the years. The two oldest are talking about trying out for dance company. That would definitely be an adjustment for us. We've talked about the commitment and what it means and they are both up for it. This was the best dance year yet. We are so sad recital is over. It came so quick and was over even quicker! We are so excited for next year. We're so excited that we're taking summer dance!!  Can you tell we love to dance?

If you missed the show, I am so sorry. I think the dances this year were so good and you could tell everyone worked extremely hard to make it a great show. I hope you can make it next year!

Have a great day.