Sunday, October 30, 2011

Simple Gifts

Last week the Junior High gave a little music assembly…a little orchestra, a little choir, a little band. They don’t have a “Fall Concert”, but they have this assembly for parents. It’s always on a Thursday morning and now I am working Thursdays, so I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to go! Then I found out that that same afternoon was to be my Kindergartener class’ field trip to the pumpkin patch (as well as Elise’s) and that I could go (& get paid) and not work in the morning if I wanted. I said, “Cool, now I can go to the assembly and then go to work just a little late and the pumpkin patch and still get paid more than a regular day!” So, that morning I stopped in at my classroom on the way to the assembly and the teacher I work for said, “Guess what! My daughter has a solo in that assembly, so we’re taking our Kindergarteners to watch it!” Very. Cool. So I got to see the assembly and get paid at the same time!!

Turned out that Sarah also had a flute solo, so it was really a fun morning for us & the Kindergarteners!

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Check out Sarah’s solo in this video of Simple Gifts.

And their other fun song, Serengeti Dreams.

Friday, October 28, 2011

It’s a good thing you’re so darn cute

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‘Cause if you weren’t, you’d be in trouble a lot more often. That grin and that twinkle in your eye are just part of who you are and I love how God made you. We love you TONS and Happy 8th birthday, Bugga-boo! Welcome to a booster seat-free world!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

End of an era

Last week we watched Sarah’s last XC race as a middle-schooler! Next year in High School XC she will run twice as far in races, so it could all be very different. She wanted to make her last race her best and she was pretty pumped on the day of the race!

Just before she ran, I found her and gave her a special message from her Aunt Susanne: “Think like Lighting McQueen. Speed. I am Speed.” She grinned and giggled and off she went!

It must have been the special message because that girl ran like SPEED for the entire race! And she had nothing left in the tank afterwards, which is how she likes to feel at the finish, so she was happy.

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That’s her coming in towards the chute…she’s tired, but she was running strong.

I so wish I had a picture of the look on her face when Bethany showed her my stopwatch with her time of 9:43!! She said, “Yes! I did it!” and I did a little jump myself. (There I go again, being an obnoxious parent). Her goal was to come in 3rd, which she did, and to beat her PR, which she did (previous PR was 10:07) and, if possible, to run under 10:00, which she did!! Congratulations on a great season, Sarah B! I can’t wait for track…but, oh wait…we’ve got basketball first…

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mini Cheerleader

Ever since Becca could walk, I knew, despairingly, that she would be my cheerleader. There’s a “cheerleader walk” you know, and Becca’s got it. Had I tried (& believe me, I wanted to try) to force the cheerleader out of her, I would have failed. I’m not what you would call a fan of cheerleaders. When I was in high school, many (definitely not all) of the cheerleaders were snobby & not real smart. Plus I think the outfits are pretty inappropriate. And so ever since Becca could walk, I’ve been dreading the day she asked to be a cheerleader.

That day came. She asked to go to “Mini Cheer Camp” for 2 afternoons after school with the high school football cheerleaders and a bunch of other girls in 1st – 4th grades. Oh my. The ridiculousness of it just appalled me. I tried to say no. But ED (another non-fan of cheerleaders in general) said that I should let her go. That I shouldn’t “knock it until I’ve tried it.” Oh, brother!

And so she went. She had a GREAT time and I was actually somewhat impressed by the way the cheerleaders ran the camp (with the exception of the tipping the cow cheer which would take far too long to describe on the blog, but you can ask me about it sometime). And my most FAVORITE part was when, after picking Becca up from the first day of camp, she said, “Mom, I think tomorrow I want to wear my long shorts.” HA! My heart did a CARTWHEEL of joy! She DOES know that those outfits are too skimpy!!

After two afternoons of camp, the “mini-cheerleaders” were scheduled to perform at halftime of last week Friday night’s football game. Since I’m now on staff, I can get my whole family into home games for free (my one benefit) so we ALL went to the football game.

Shortly before halftime, Becca came to us with a bleeding hand and ripped pants. She & her friends had been playing tag with the boys behind the grandstand and she fell on the concrete. We quickly tried to wash her up and then off she went to do her cheers. It was kind of a difficult way to start the cheering, but she, like any good cheerleader, planted the smile on her face and eventually it was a real smile!

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It’s really hard to get photos of cheerleaders moving in the dark with a point & shoot…but there she is, in the middle!

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I’m quite sure the more interesting half-time show would have been from the field, behind the cheerleaders, looking at the parents in the grandstand. Ridiculous is probably the only one of many appropriate adjectives to describe all those parents watching, taking pictures, and video-taping. Even I, the self-proclaimed non-cheerleader fan, was one of those obnoxious parents, yet again, standing, cheering, trying to stake my claim on a good photo op spot…why, oh why, do I always fall into that trap? I don’t want to be an obnoxious parent, but I am. I’m just so darn proud!

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Who wouldn’t be proud of that sweet thing, anyway? I think I’m totally justified in that obnoxious behavior.

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And just in case you want to watch a bunch of mini-cheerleaders dancing to a Justin Bieber song…click on the link. Winking smile

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fall Glee

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

i heart fall

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but fall is my FaVoRiTe season. By a LOOOOONG shot. I love pretty much everything about it…going back to school, buying new pencils, wearing jeans & sweaters, drinking cider and brown sugar cinnamon mochas, eating soup, seeing the fall colors, waking up to crisp mornings with fog and watching the sun burn it off slowly in the valley…sigh…such a beautiful season.

This past Saturday we got to enjoy a bit of fall and a bit of a local fall destination, Stoney Ridge. It’s amazing. It’s full of the smells and sights of fall, and the decorations are simply candy for the eye. Yum.

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We ate pumpkin donuts…a new treat this year. Yummy!

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Oops. We ate the caramel apple pie ala mode so fast that I couldn’t even get a picture until it was all gone. SO. DELICIOUS. We also had cider donuts later on, and again, ate them so fast I didn’t get a picture. We also saw the animals (goats, ponies, rabbits, chickens, etc.) and went in the corn maze, walked the trail, and picked out our Christmas tree.

Yes, you read that right. Stoney Ridge also is open in December and they have U-cut Christmas trees. As we were walking the trail back from the pumpkin patch to the exit I saw the perfect Christmas tree. I walked down the row, checked it out, and gave Ed the thumbs up. Smile

The girls said, “Are we getting our tree today?” Hee hee. No, silly girls. And, it will surely be gone by the time we go to pick out our tree.

Did I mention the other great thing about Stoney Ridge? It’s about 90 seconds of driving from our house. It’s the only thing we live close to. And it’s awesome. It’s the one thing we Eversonites have to be proud of. We’ll take it.

When we got home from the pumpkin patch, we did a little fall decorating…

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First Becca went and picked the 2 pumpkins she grew from a seed she started last spring in first grade!

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We put them up on the front porch with a gourd we got at Stoney Ridge and some fall blooms in an old wood crate.

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And we fancied up the milk jug a bit…

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…as well as the fireplace mantel…

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…and now fall has settled in to our home and my heart is happy.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Music Festival

Last week was the 3rd annual music festival in town. We generally don’t participate in a lot of the activities, simply because life is pretty busy, but this year there was a community children’s choir that Bethany was asked to be a part of. Auditions (to place for voice range) were in September and the children were given a CD with the music so they could rehearse ahead of time. The performance was this past Wednesday and the children rehearsed together 3 times for a total of 5.5 hours and they sounded great!!

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They were part of an opening Festival Gala which included an accordionist from Finland, a beautiful violin solo, a string quartet, and ended with all the participants, including the audience, singing “America, the Beautiful.” I had tears. Why those patriotic songs make me cry, I do not know, but they do. And then to top it off my girl is up there on stage singing her heart out, so I just didn’t have any choice.

The video picture isn’t great, but you can hear how great they sounded. Bethany is the 4th from the left on the top row. Just click on each song name to view:

“The Sun is Arising”

“The Lamb”

“Yonder Come Day”

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

“The Happy Wanderer” (just a note here: the accordionist played with them at the performance, but they had never practiced together since he flew in from Finland that very morning!)

Which one is your favorite? Mine are “Yonder Come Day” and “The Happy Wanderer” – they were definitely the most fun to watch in person!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Unsuccessful

Some of you may know that the GEMS have been participating in a “clothing challenge.” It is continuing through October 24, but I am declaring a loss for my family. We have quit. I have a gagillion excuses, but that’s all they are – excuses. But, even though all I have are excuses, I’m gonna list them anyway.

1. I failed at this challenge because of the laundry. Wearing only 15 items per person means that I have to do laundry more often and I simply don’t do laundry that often. In addition, I have a laundry system in which I do laundry several times a week, but I do each person’s separately. I wrote a whole post on this a long time ago, but I can’t find it to link to it at the moment. Anyway, each person has their own laundry hamper and when it’s full, I do their laundry. You see, this way, there’s no sorting involved, except for taking out the whites and doing those in a separate load. When that person’s laundry is clean & dry, they get it back in a heap and it’s up to them to fold it and put it away, with the exception of Elise & Becca. I do fold theirs into piles and they put it away. Anyhoo, with this clothing challenge, I was having to do laundry in a way that is very much inconvenient for life right now – either throwing everyone’s all together, or do very small loads of each person.

2. I failed at this challenge because of the weather. When I picked out my 15 items, it was warm. Now it is cold. I tried to justify adding layers underneath to keep myself warm by saying, “Well, it’s the clothes that people can see that count”, but it was still cheating. I also swapped out some of the warm weather clothes for cool weather clothes, but that too was cheating. I tried to excuse my behavior by saying, “The girls in Zambia don’t have to deal with these weather issues”, but it was still cheating.

3. I failed at this challenge because I was sick of the mess. Four of us in the house were participating in the challenge. We each took 15 items out of our drawers and closets and had them lying around in our bedrooms. It drove me crazy. That means 60 pieces of clothing, at a minimum, were not put away. I couldn’t stand it anymore.

4. I failed at this challenge because I’m a western girl who likes clothes. Brutal and painful as that is, it’s true.

The bright side of failing is that I still learned a lot. The girls learned a lot. We learned that we are abundantly blessed and have much more than we need. We learned that our GEMS sisters in Zambia don’t have the choices and options that we do every day and we felt a little bit of what their life might be like in having less clothing and more laundry.

I’m just thankful that our challenge didn’t include doing laundry down by the river like our GEMS sisters do in Zambia!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Last photo shoot…for a while anyway…

This past weekend I had the privilege of taking pictures of friends that I’ve never photographed before! As always, it was fun, and we got some pretty fun shots. Here’s a sampling…

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Another friendly photo shoot

Loved these pictures from last week of a family that we love:

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There are more..some that I love…but for readers who may be receiving a Christmas card from these folks, I will just have to keep those hidden away!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

School Pictures 2011

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Elise, Kindergarten, age 5

 

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Rebecca, 2nd grade, age 7 1/2

 

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Bethany, 6th grade, age 11

 

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Sarah, 8th grade, age 13

 

We surely do have some beautiful girls.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I can sew! At least, a little bit. With some help.

Remember the fabric the younger girls picked out?

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The project? Book Slings.

And that requires sewing. Yes, it required only straight lines. But it still required sewing. And I just really am not good at sewing. But I have a few friends who ARE good at sewing. As in, they quilt. Which is, in my opinion, one of the finest art forms. I’m sure they could have whipped out these book slings in no time.

So I bribed them to help me. I baked fresh blueberry muffin tops with the fresh ground flour that one of the quilters (she’s got lots of amazing domestic talents) gave me. I was saving it for something special. And this was special.

By the way, that same quilter brought us dinner the other night as a thank you for taking her family’s pictures. My family now wants her for their mother. I think I need that recipe, dear friend!

Okay, back to the subject. Book Slings. Together, my quilter/domestic goddess friend and my quilter/farmer friend, helped me with threading the machine, getting thread on the bobbin, laying out the fabric, cutting the fabric, pinning the rod pockets for the dowels, and of course, the actual sewing. They even made me iron. It was a ton of work. And I could NEVER have done it without them.

Then I took a little trip to Lowe’s for the hardware, called my dad for the dowels, used a little spray paint to make everything white, enlisted Ed’s help to install the anchors and then finally the book slings were hung and books were slung! Beautiful! Bravo to me and to all the many people it took to actually do this project. I am forever indebted.

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The girls LoVe their book slings and they are incredibly USEFUL which makes the project even more satisfying!

AND thanks to another crafting friend for capturing the progress on her iPhone camera…

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I should also mention that my loving friends aided me in this project on one of our “Accountability Group” days. Basically, it’s our girlfriend-connecting day and we work on whatever project we feel like…generally some type of scrapbooking or crafting – but sometimes Dee just pays her bills.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Goal Accomplished

The goal for yesterday’s XC meet was to beat the #2 runner for the local public school. Sarah had lost to her at every meet except the first one and the goal was to beat her again.

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There she is, coming into the finish line, ahead of the girl she wanted to beat! And she even widened the gap! I think it’s good for this girl to have a goal to go after! She placed 3rd, with a time of 10:20, which is one of her best, and over a minute faster than last year on this same course. She has now set her sights on passing the girl who normally places 2nd at the meets…or else getting her PR again. Only two meets left!

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The Jr. High girls’ XC team, minus two runners & the coach who couldn’t be there yesterday. I’ll have to try again to get EVERYONE!