Sunday, June 26, 2016

Away on vaca

I'm currently in Michigan with the girls, Grammy and a special guest.  A few weeks ago, I asked my brother if my niece, Beth, who is also our goddaughter, would be interested in traveling to Michigan with us as she had never been out here to visit family.  She and her parents said yes.  I decided to keep it a secret from the girls because if for some reason, Beth wasn't able to join us, I knew how disappointed they would be.  Grammy and I had this text conversation a few times:

Grammy:  Do the girls know about Beth yet?

Me:  No

Grammy:  When are you going to tell them?

Me:  When she gets in the van

And that's almost exactly what happened.  Grammy and Beth arrived at our house on departure day while I was upstairs.  Anna came running up the stairs, confused saying, "Beth is here and Grammy says she's coming with us!?"

I have photos from our trip thus far to edit but haven't had much free time.  I also have a library book to finish before it is due back in a few short days.  I do have Grammy helping out but without Rich here, there's more for me to do.  I'm not used to being the driver and before this trip, I couldn't remember the last time I had pumped gas.  (Spoiled, I know.  Don't forget I was a city commuter!)

Here are some lessons we've learned from the road:

  • Always carry a back-up credit card with you
  • Walmart has free high speed wifi (yes, we shopped there!)
  • When it's 90 degrees out and you need to dry clothing, hang it in the car.  

  • Hope to be back soon with photos!

    Thursday, June 23, 2016

    Changes: Endings, beginnings, the beginning of the end

    6.23a

    A few weeks ago, the girls participated in the year end gymnastics show and it was decided that this would be the end of their gymnastics career.  They felt more comfortable with their decision after watching the jazz dances at their recital, knowing that they can cartwheel, backbend kickover and do the other acro moves the older girls could do.

    6.23b

    (Yes, one child wasn't photographed that evening.  Apparently, I didn't have written consent.)

    6.23c
    (Tween attitude or Anna being Anna)

    School has officially ended and in a few short months I will have three fourth graders, which seems absolutely insane to me.  The boy/girl stuff has already started.  Thankfully, nothing inappropriate involving my kids but I've heard some stories.  Well, not inappropriate stories but girls making boys sit with them on the bus or insinuating boyfriend/girlfriend status.  Ack!

    Here's an example from my kids:

    Allie:  "I heard Steve and Ty talking about me."

    Anna:  "What did they say?"

    Allie:  "Steve said, 'I like Allie,' and Ty said, 'I think it's the other way around.'"

    Anna:  "That Ty is a smart kid."

    6.23d

    Me:  "What happened?  Why did you make those faces?"

    Them:  "Anna pinched us!"

    6.23e

    The A Team had their post dance recital haircuts.  My stylist cut Allie's hair a bit past her shoulders at first and then moved on to Anna.  She did that in case Allie suddenly decided that she didn't want to go bob short.  It wasn't that far off from what Allie wanted (a long bob) so she kept it. I love it!  Anna has hers not quite midway down her back and it looks so fresh and healthy.  She even has a bit of pink still in there.

    6.23f

    They now have completely different hair lengths.  Do you think that will assist with telling them apart?  Rich arrived with Emily at a summer party held by Allie's friend (all the girls were invited but I showed up a little later with A and A) and everyone said, "Hi, Allie!"

    6.23g

    6.23h

    6.23i

    Tuesday, June 21, 2016

    Whole Wide World (Dance Recital Weekend)

    6.20a

    6.20b

    6.20c

    6.20d

    6.20e

    6.20f

    6.20g

    6.20x

    6.20h
    Oooops!

    6.20i

    6.20j

    6.20k

    6.20l

    6.20m

    6.20y

    6.20n

    The girls' performances this year at their dance recital were outstanding, leaving me beaming and full of joy.

    Because I was able to accompany the girls to many of their ballet classes, especially this spring, I felt better prepared with respect to costumes and hair and other dance recital details.  I, of course, did not give myself enough time for hair and make-up on either day though.  We had three costumes changes (times two kids) this year and yes, I learned how to layer tights.  There was enough time between performances though so I didn't have to rip costumes and tights off of kids in a mad rush.

    Rehearsals were on Saturday (photos and videos allowed) and the recital was Sunday afternoon (absolutely no photos or recording of performances.)

    Because of the costume changes and in case Anna needed me, I mostly stayed backstage in the changing area with the girls.  Their first ballet dance was to Whole Wide World (by Mindy Gledhill.)  I was standing in the hall by the stage door and someone waved me in to stand sidestage and watch.  Despite listening to this song and watching them practice this dance since September, I wept.  I actually almost outright bawled.  Allie absolutely sparkles on stage, Emily is my sweet, graceful ballerina and then there's Anna, my tiny baby who wasn't supposed to be able to do this but there she was dancing her heart out.

    The woman who does the choreography is extremely talented and the competition teams (older girls) consistently place at or near the top.  Allie's and Emily's original tap class was too crowded so the studio opened up another day/time for anyone who wanted to move.  The spinoff class ended up with four boys and four girls, so the instructor paired them up and choreographed a dance for Rock Around The Clock.  It was perfection.  The kids were so animated and danced so well.  Everyone loved it.  The second tap dance was with the other tap dance and instead of costumes, they were told to wear black and white.  The goal is to not buy anything and with Allie's help, we were able to pull together two outfits.      

    Another successful year of dance.  Next year can only be bigger and better!

    I wanna hold the whole wide world
    right here in my open hands
    And maybe I'm just a little girl
    A little girl with great big plans

    6.20o

    6.20p

    6.20q

    6.20r

    6.20s

    6.20t

    6.20u

    6.20v

    6.20w