Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Another sports season

Once again we are in the midst of a school sport – basketball! Now Sarah is not a basketball star, but she enjoys playing the game and in my opinion, Junior High is the time to play for your school and have a blast doing it. Honestly, it’s been a bit of a tough year, but it’s been a learning year. The coach is awesome, mixing the girls up A LOT and working hard on the concept of team and school spirit and sportsmanship. We are looking forward to seeing the growth of the TEAM and of Sarah!!


Niiiiice rebound, girl!


Keep working on that ball handling, Sarah. We’re so proud of you!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Under God’s Sea

For the past 4 months, much of our lives has been consumed by preparing for the sixth grade musical, which is always performed in November. I started helping the director this past summer with set ideas and brainstorming. In September, Bethany auditioned for a lead role and I signed myself, Ed & my dad up to help in various ways.

I remember well the day that Bethany got the letter with the cast list…she gasped and started laughing and I said, “What? What?” And she said, “Faith (one of her best friends) is Professor Gill and that’s the part she wanted!” I took the paper and took a look – sure enough! Then, right below Faith’s name I saw Bethany’s. She also had earned a lead and hadn’t even noticed yet! We were SO excited and rehearsals began. I helped out as an acting coach once a week and working on sets in various different ways.

Last week, all the hard work paid off as the sixth graders at LC put on a fabulous musical called “Under God’s Sea in 3-D.” I was able to be at the dress rehearsals all week long, helping the director, and watching all these kids in a fabulous production! Most of their rehearsals since the beginning of the school year were during recess or during music class, so it’s absolutely amazing that they can put on the quality show that they do. We’ll be getting a CD of pictures and a DVD of the show soon, but in the meantime, I’ll share the few pictures I do have.


Bethany’s character was one of 5 students taking their final exam in a submarine at the Alleluia Aquatic Academy. She had several lines and several solo parts. The girl on the stool was her on-stage, non-identical twin, with whom she bickers. They were too cute!


The captain there is Professor Gill, played by one of Bethany’s best friends. Her family goes to our church and she & Bethany often sing together in church. It’s so exciting to think about the years of performing they may be fortunate enough to experience together!


And that is The Whale. The Whale consumed hours of sleep from my dad while he brainstormed how to build it, as well as hours of awake time building the skeleton and then covering it with the fabric – that’s the part where a couple other ladies & I helped out. Not only is The Whale about 9 feet long, but its mouth moves up and down, as do the flippers and the tail. The Whale also has a blowhole – the kid in the middle held up a squirt gun and viola! Water came spurting out the blowhole! During the matinee (when all the kids in K-5 get to watch the performance), the audience went absolutely bananas whenever The Whale would make an appearance!


There were a couple scenes when the kids in the sub had to do some real physical acting…during this scene the boy on the right is taking the sub down to the ocean floor way too fast and the kids are holding on for dear life. It was totally awesome.



These are the Ninevites. They’re slapping each other with fish. If you don’t know why that’s funny, go watch the Veggie Tales Jonah movie.What a great acting job to give a bunch of 6th grade boys who don’t really want to act!


The kids on the dock – they sang their hearts out!


One of the last scenes…Bethany singing one of her solo/duet parts. In this scene, Jonas (the red-head on his knees with his head bowed) is asking forgiveness for having disobeyed and suffering consequences. The beautiful message in this musical was that God is a God of second chances, a God of forgiveness, and a God of loving mercy.


Bethany & her awesome director/school music teacher. We LoVe her! Congratulations Bethany & the 6th grade class on a job well done!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Halloween, our style

Okay, so Halloween was almost a month ago. Goodness, I can’t believe I’m that far behind in posting blogs!

So, here we go: I really, really, really dislike Halloween. I can’t stand the decorations in the stores, the scary movies, the teenagers smashing pumpkins. I think the whole thing is just plain dumb and I’ve never really understood the fascination behind dressing up. Never. I do not get it. I don’t even really remember playing dress up as a little girl…I like to GET dressed up – like, in nice things, but the whole dressing in costume is just beyond me.

When the big girls were little, we had a fun tradition with our friends that on Halloween we could get together as families, eat pizza, carve pumpkins, and read “The Pumpkin Patch Parable.” The kids would dress up, but generally as little lady bugs or princesses, etc. It was cute and we were with our friends. It was a good tradition. In addition, the preschool that the big girls went to hosted a Harvest Party, so we generally would dress the girls up for that and go to the party. But we have never gone trick-or-treating or anything. I really don’t like trick-or-treating either and would prefer just to shut the lights off and watch a movie. However, my DH is afraid we’ll get egged or something if we don’t answer the door to trick-or-treaters, so we answer the door. I keep telling him that this is not Southern California, but he doesn’t want to take any chances.

A few years ago, the girls started their own tradition of seeing what they could come up with in the house for costumes. We usually carved pumpkins and they would answer the door for trick-or-treaters in their costumes. It was a fun alternative for us.

This year, things were just a little different…the big girls were both invited to parties over the weekend of Halloween! Sarah’s was the Friday before (just a costume party with her friends) and Bethany’s was on Halloween and they actually went trick-or-treating. I hesitated even letting her go because I really hated the idea of her going door to door begging for candy, but because of the girls and family she was going to be with I decided that it would be OK.

Sarah decided she was going to be Obi Wan Kenobi. She did a GREAT job going through closets and coming up with her costume idea. The only thing we had to buy was a large piece of brown fleece that I found at the thrift store. Score! She didn’t have a light saber, but borrowed one from a friend. The first picture is from the party, the second I took at home before she left.

Sarah 2011 Costume _MG_2705

Bethany & her friends got the idea to be “The Cat in the Hat” and Thing 1, Thing 2, Thing 3, Thing 4, Thing 5, & Thing 6. Cute! The brother was the Cat and all the girls were the Things. Here are the girls with their amazing music teacher after they went visited her on their trick or treating route:

IMG_4089They even had a little song they sang when they went to the door. I was thrilled that they used their creativity and their personalities to come up with something that would BLESS people when they went door to door. That’s my kind of trick-or-treating…as opposed to the first few groups of kids that came to our house who just stood there looking at me when I answered the door and didn’t even say “Trick or Treat!” Sheesh!

Becca & Elise also used their imaginations and came up with these costumes:


a sweet & cute cheerleader


and Princess Leia


We had lots of fun!

So, while I still prefer to think about the Protestant Reformation on October 31, I’m proud of the way my family has been able to think imaginatively and enjoy the night, even if it’s just a little differently every year.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Photo Shoot & Food!

A couple Sundays ago we had a fun afternoon with some friends, which included a fall photo shoot, yummy enchiladas made by my foodie friend, and coffee & an apple dessert. Love these guys!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Parent Teacher Conferences

Tonight we went to Parent Teacher Conferences at school. I LOVE conferences - it's so much fun to get to know the teachers and to find out what your child has really been up to at school. Fortunately for our children, no spankings were necessary this year, as all the teachers were full of compliments about each girl.

Each girl was called SMART. Each girl was called a DELIGHT. Each girl was complimented for their STRONG CHARACTER. We went home proud.

And we went home grateful. Grateful to have these teachers in our daughters' lives. Grateful for their mastery of their subject matter, for their love for teaching and children, for their ability to make learning a joy. Grateful for their example of Christ for our daughters and for each child in their class.

We are blessed.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lots of Celebration!

As is consistent with her personality, Becca’s birthday celebrations included lots of fun, laughter, and flair!


Opening a gift from M,S,J, & C – she’s spotted it and is excited!




Hugging the cozy sheets from R,J, & E – she LOVES sleeping on them!



Love this movie from G&G!



And of course the soft and beautiful hat, scarf, & gloves from Gr. Grandma were a HIT!



I *think* she’s making her wish…I absolutely LOVE this picture!


Now this next series of pictures is awesome. Watching Becca open this goofy gift was SO funny! She looked into the bag, saw the Rooster Webkinz, and threw back her head with giggles. Her two best friends loved her reaction and we had quite the giggle fest.




She named this Rooster “Chicken Pox”, which they all found hilarious. I love 8-year-olds!



Watching their movie and eating popcorn – what else would you do at a sleepover?



Oh yeah, sleep! Which they did. From about 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. Not too bad for a first sleepover!



Making a giant poster together on Saturday morning. All about animals…and they intend to bring it to school when they study animals. Look out, Miss K!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One year ago…

A year ago today was our amazing Faithgirlz event which I helped to plan and promote in our little town. When I look back on that day I am filled with gratitude…for a God who pulled off such an event; for ALL the many people who came together to volunteer in so many ways; for my family who helped and prayed and gave of their time with me in order for this event to happen; for our speaker, Nancy Rue; for Alecia, Jessica, Kris, Tracey, & Tami who coordinated so many things and prayed so much; for Colleen & Grace, our praise & worship leaders; for the countless prayers of GEMS sisters and family and friends from around the country…and for all 759 women & girls who attended and were blessed on that day.

Just a little look back:

A slide show of photos and my blog post from that day

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Happy Birthday to another awesome SIL!


Now this SIL of mine is also pretty amazing. She’s smart (picked my brother, after all), talented in so many ways, intuitive, thoughtful, and funny. God has called to her to raise that pretty fabulous little nephew of mine and the new baby, due in January, and she is the most devoted, informed, educated & intentional mommy I know! We’re so thankful for her! Happy birthday, Sis. We miss you and love you lots!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Field Trip #2

On Friday, October 21st, Becca’s class headed out to a different pumpkin patch for their highly educational field trip. I had the honorary pleasure of being a “group leader” which meant that I had to write down what all the children in my group said. It was pretty fun. The children were to make observations regarding the apple orchard, the pumpkin patch, & the Christmas tree grove. The most common observation I wrote down was “muddy.” That’s because for this field trip it was very, very wet. As in, lots o’ rain. Thankfully it was not super cold or I might have let sweet Miss K be a group leader herself.

Because of the weather, I did not bring my good camera on the field trip. I just used my phone…hence the poor quality of pictures. However, Miss K brought her good camera in a plastic bag and took fun pictures, which you can see on her blog post regarding the pumpkin patch field trip.


This was my group of very sweet second graders. Becca’s the one with the hair in her face…we call her Pete when that happens. The girl on the right is Becca’s current best friend. The other girls are, of course, her friends also. I’m pretty sure Becca is friends with everyone. Yesterday I drove by the playground during lunch recess and she was in the middle of a gigantic group hug with pretty much every girl in her class.



Becca’s entire second grade class. Note the mud? And this was in a pretty dry spot…


This shot was the teacher’s idea. I think they had to do it about 12 times before all the moms had a good picture. Becca’s teacher has a personality VERY similar to Becca…full of the dickens & drama with a caring heart.

It was a fun field trip, but I will admit that when it was over I went home, put on dry clothes, made my favorite brown sugar cinnamon mocha, and warmed myself by the fire. Ah…being a mom of 4 school-aged children has its moments…field trips & quiet time home alone!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Field Trip #1!

A couple weeks ago both Elise & Becca had pumpkin patch field trips…different pumpkin patches, different “education” purposes…but both pumpkin patch field trips. I was able to go along for both of them and they were both a lot of fun! For now, I’ll just share the pictures from Elise’s field trip, which was Thursday the 20th.


on the bus…big kid stuff!



the chosen pumpkin…teacher’s instructions were: “You have to be able to carry it yourself.”



on the wagon ride…a little windy & cool, but not wet! Hooray!



on the playground at the pumpkin patch…she spends most of nearly every recess going across the monkey bars and she has gotten really good and fast!



riding around on the little barrel train and loving it



the farmer took the train through a gully of mud & water…I could hear Elise giggling above the train!



Elise’s Kindergarten Class!

Not a lot of education on this Kindergarten field trip, but they smiled and had a good time and got along with their friends, which is also pretty important in Kindergarten.