Thursday, June 07, 2018

Ellie's Gymnastics Showcase

Ellie finished her first year of gym and had her little "showcase" three weeks ago.  It was such a fun little event, and she was even awarded a medal and a trophy, which I wasn't expecting.  Such a nice surprise, and she was thrilled!
I'll never forget the very first day we walked into the gym.  She took one look at it and then turned around to me and said, "You know, mom, I'm going to need a BIGGER gym for when I get to LSU."  And that was exactly why I didn't tell her the name of her gym was The Little Gym.  But, no worries.  I didn't have to.  It was the second or third week that Mason was with us when we went, and he immediately broke out the "little" gym jokes.  She was not amused.  I wanted to hang him up by his toes.  I can definitely say that Ellie learned a lot at The Little Gym this year, and it was enough to let us know that she's pretty serious about this gymnastics thing.  So we'll see.  In the meantime . . .

Her showcase began with a group routine with all the girls in her class.  It was really cute. 
After the class routine, each of the girls did her individual routines.  The floor exercise was first.  Ellie knew it by heart and had already showed it to me at home.
Up next was the beam routine.  Ellie is pretty fearless on the beam.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
And then she finished up with her bars routine.  
Once the routines were finished, the girls were given the opportunity to do whatever they wanted to for us.  Ellie has been working hard on her split this year.
Goofball had a hard decision to make.  She couldn't decide if she wanted to do the bars or beam first.
It was no surprise to me when she chose the bars.  If you ask her what her favorite is, she'll most likely tell you the bars.  She has worked so hard to be able to flip over all by herself.  At first, she couldn't get her momentum in the right spot to go over.  Once she figured that out, she could flip, but she'd get stuck halfway.  Now she can do a complete flip (most of the time).

As much as she loves the bars, she really enjoys the beam, too.  She has worked hard learning how to jump up from the beam and then land back on it.  Currently she's working on doing a cartwheel off the beam.  Honestly, I don't even watch.  I know she's going to do it.  So it's just better if I don't watch.

And then Miss Madisyn invited them up to the podium and presented them with their awards. 

Mason had a baseball tournament the same day as her showcase so he wasn't able to be there with us.

We're taking a little break this summer, but she's already bugging me about finding her a "new" gym for the fall.  I wondered if, after the dance recital, she would decide she'd rather dance.  But it looks like we'll be back at the gym.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

It's only Wednesday.

Often times, things don't exactly turn out the way we envisioned them.  After a pretty intense school year and a too-busy spring, I was looking forward to a lazy, laid-back, stress-free, restful, relaxing summertime.  But . . . no.

Our June turned into a month of four baseball tournaments and a lot of practices for Allstars.  If we aren't home, you can find us at the ball field.  You know, I'm really not a ball field kind of girl.  So I had to come to terms with that last week, which also meant giving up on that restful, relaxing summertime I'd been dreaming of.

And then came this week.

Sunday night after Mason took a shower, he came running downstairs to tell me that his sink was full of water and almost overflowing.  He can be so dramatic sometimes.  And then I go upstairs to find this. 
His sink hasn't really been draining properly for quite awhile, and I've been saying that something is wrong with it.  We suspected a few months ago that someone (and I'm not naming any names . . . I don't even have to) had been mixing up concoctions of lotion and who knows what else and then dumping it down the sink.  But I hardly think lotion could clog up a pipe, which means it wasn't just lotion that went down the sink.

But Sunday night was different.  The sink was full, and Mason hadn't even used it, which meant the shower had backed up in it.  And it wasn't draining.  At all.  So I grabbed a bucket and loosened the pipe underneath the sink so I could drain the water out and into the bucket.  My bucket wasn't big enough for all the water so I had to fill the bucket, tighten the pipe and then come downstairs to empty the bucket.  The door to the back porch was the closest so that's where I went to dump the water.  When I was coming back inside after my second trip, I felt something slimy land on my arm as I was closing the door.  Needless to say, it scared me to death, and I screamed.  The kids all came running in here.  I told them I thought it was a frog.  I didn't bother looking for it because I was just trying to drain the water out of the sink.

So I'm upstairs again, and I hear Mason yelling that there's a gecko in the house.  Great.  But, honestly, I really don't care.  I'm more concerned about my upstairs bathroom flooding.  I finally drain all of the water and decide to leave the bucket under the sink "just in case."  My solution?  I tell the kids they can no longer use the bathroom upstairs.  At all.  But they aren't worried about the upstairs bathroom.  They don't want to share the house with a gecko.  Under normal circumstances, I would've let it ride.  I was so tired, it was late and it had been a really long day.  But, alas, I finally found the gecko and managed to get him back outside.

Of course, Seth is in Wyoming while all this is going on.  He is ALWAYS out of town when the really fun stuff goes down.  When I told him Sunday night what happened, he said I needed to get the shop vac and duct tape it to the pipe and suck it out.  And drano.  Clearly, we are beyond home remedies now.

I decided it was probably time to call a plumber because something was clearly very wrong.  But I wasn't in a hurry because they could just use the bathroom downstairs instead.  I honestly didn't want to deal with it.  No big deal.  Until the next morning.  Mason wakes up and tells me there's water in the bucket under the sink.  How can that be?  No one had used the upstairs bathroom since I drained the sink the night before.

So not only was there water in the bucket under the sink, but the water was overflowing into the bottom of the cabinet.  So I dumped the bucket downstairs again and cleaned up the rest of the water.  I noticed a steady drip of water coming from the pipe that goes into the wall.  So I called my father-in-law.

To make a very long story short, it took two days, but my father-in-law was able to unclog the pipe.  We still have no idea what it was, and I probably don't even want to know.  I always feel so bad every time I have to call him over here when Seth is out of town.  But you know what?  It wasn't over yet.

Last night on the way home from baseball practice, my truck starts "yelling" at me, and all the lights are flashing.  It's telling me the PSI in one of my ties was 13, and I watched it go down to 5 in about five seconds flat.  It was late, it was dark and I just wanted to go home.  So I drove the rest of the way on a flat tire.  As soon as I got out of the truck, I could hear the air coming out of the tire.  I looked at it and immediately saw it - a hole in the tire so big that I could put my finger in it.

So . . . I had to call my father-in-law.  Again.  I told him I just wanted to be sure it was okay for the tire to sit on the rim completely flat all night without damaging the rim.  He said it would be fine.  So I turned the light off, shut the garage door and walked inside.

This morning my father-in-law came back over.  He put the spare on for me and called around to find a place to get me a new tire.  I wasn't able to go today because Hannah Kate was leaving for church camp, and Mason had baseball practice again so he took the truck for me and got it fixed.  When he brought it back this afternoon, he told me to call him if I needed anything else while Seth was gone.  I mean, I think I've called him enough this time around, and I really don't want to call him again this week!
After I got Hannah Kate off to camp, I came back home and began the massive project of purging Ellie's room of all the junk.  I have to do this about four times a year.  Oh, that girl.  I should've taken a picture of what I brought out of her room.  I mean, I just can't even!  And every time I say I'm not going to let it happen again.  So after I finish this project, I notice I have a missed call and voice mail on my phone.  The number was registered in New York, New York so I knew immediately it was a junk call.  But usually they don't leave a message.  It was an automated message, and the beginning of it was cut off so I heard only that there are four serious allegations against me, and I needed to call a particular number within the next 24 hours or I will be arrested.


I can't make this stuff up.

That's been my week.  And it's only Wednesday.  What about you?

Oh, and if you don't hear from me after tomorrow, I guess you know where to find me . . .

Just kidding.  I'll be at the ballpark.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Celebrating the Journey: Hannah Kate's 7th Dance Recital

Our beautiful ballerina took the stage for her seventh dance recital three weeks ago.  This day comes around once a year, and it seems like it came so quickly this time.  It's one of my favorite days of the year.  Hannah Kate was even more excited than usual this year for the recital.  
The theme this year was Celebrate the Journey.  All of the dances and musical selections were meant to take us on a journey of celebrations, parties and festivities.  Each dance celebrated a holiday or special occasion.
This year we were back to two dancers instead of three (since Ellie traded in her ballet shoes for the bars and beam).  Ashley commented that Abbie has only three more recitals after this year.  We've been watching her recitals for twelve years now, and it just doesn't even seem possible that she will graduate in three years.  Hannah Kate danced in the 6:00 recital, but we also went to the 1:00 recital to watch Abbie dance.  As the afternoon wore on, Hannah Kate started getting antsy and so impatient.  She was just ready to take the stage!
Abbie wanted to help with Hannah Kate's makeup this year.

Hannah Kate's first dance was her jazz performance.  I videoed each dance at the rehearsal so I'll post that here (the quality isn't great, and they were still working with the lighting at that point).  Hannah Kate really had a lot of fun with this one.  She danced to Wake Me Up Before You Gogo.  She is the fourth one from the right side and ends up on the front row.

I really loved Hannah Kate's ballet dance this year!  It was such a beautiful dance, and Mrs. Katherine did an outstanding job with the choreography and then instructing the girls.  Hannah Kate admitted that it was one of the most challenging dances she's done, but she did a fabulous job!  She worked so hard on this dance, and that extra ballet class she took this year really made such a difference.

In case you haven't guessed, Hannah Kate's ballet performance was in celebration of Christmas!  They danced to music from The Nutcracker.  Hannah Kate is in the third group.  She is the first girl who comes out on the left.
It was difficult for her to choose, but if you were to ask Hannah Kate what her favorite dance was this year, she'd probably say her lyrical dance.  She really enjoys that class.  It was a beautiful dance, as well.
Her lyrical dance was a celebration of the forest, Earth Day.  Hannah Kate is the second one on the left that enters the stage.
There are SO MANY things I want to teach my children, instill in them.  It seems overwhelming most of the time, even impossible.  I always feel like I'm forgetting something, or it's not enough or I'm just too tired for one more thing.  But one thing that is very important to me (besides their spiritual training and discipline) is that they learn to always respect, support and love each other no matter what.  So, just like pretty much everything else we do, the recital was a family affair this year.  We even had front row seats!  
To be fair, each family draws their tickets for the recital, and I happened to draw row A.  I usually don't prefer to sit that close, but I do have to admit I enjoyed it this year.  Every time Hannah Kate danced out on that stage, she was glowing!  It was such a joy watching her own that stage, doing what she loves to do.  She truly takes my breath away!

"Let them praise His name with the dance."  ~Psalm 149:3

Monday, May 21, 2018

Cooking Eggs

This is the Mother's Day card Ellie made for me in her Sunday School class.  I wish I would've known nearly 13 years ago that all it took to be a good Momma is to let them cook their own eggs!  Maybe I finally figured it out. 
This all started in January.  Ellie saw a video of her little bestie "cooking her own egg."  I wish I could post it here because it really was the most hilarious thing.  You just have to know CG.  Her facial expressions are out of this world funny!  That's really what made the whole video, especially when she dropped the shell in.  But as soon as Ellie saw it, she would have nothing but to "cook my own egg."  Every. day.  I am not even kidding.  

I am so not a morning person.  At all.  I prefer to not be spoken to before lunch time.  Just kidding.  Almost.  And I just really want it to be quiet.  No television, no nothing (I've never watched any of the morning news shows).  I'm so not a morning person that I don't even drink coffee or fix myself breakfast.  I do "make" my children eat breakfast every morning (because that's what "good" Mommas are supposed to do, right?).  I also don't keep cereal in the pantry so there's that.  That means I cook breakfast every weekday morning for them.  But now Ellie does her own.  Eggs.  Every. day.  And they can't be "white" (in other words, store bought) eggs.  They have to be the "ones that aren't white" (our friends have chickens and keep us in good supply).  The day that we ran out wasn't a good day for her.

So I taught her how to crack and scramble her own egg in the skillet.  She pulls the stool over to the stovetop and does everything herself.  I really should document that with her own little video, but I just haven't.  I'm too busy making sure she doesn't catch anything on fire (we have a gas cooktop)!  But, honestly, she could probably do it without me hovering over her.  She's that good now.  And it really is such a big deal to her.  There are many mornings that I'm just not up for it (like today), but girlfriend has to have her egg, and I love that something so simple makes her feel so loved and important.

For lots of reasons, Mother's Day isn't usually one of my favorite days.  I'm glad this year was different.  The week before, Mason has an orthodontist appointment.  They were giving long-stem roses to all the Mommas.  I love fresh flowers so very much and try to keep a vase of them on the counter as often as possible.  So I just loved this.  Of course, I didn't necessarily love the cost of the braces Mason is going to begin wearing this summer.  After four years of patiently waiting and three broken appliances in his mouth, we are finally ready for braces.    
Since my husband is so into technology (and obviously that little calendaring experiment went over so well), I decided to create a Mother's Day wish list ON MY PHONE and text it to him.  That went over mostly well.  One of the things I asked for was for the fan blades and window sills in the family room to be cleaned (which requires borrowing a ladder that's so tall it has to be hauled on a trailer).  Move over Kendra Scott and the spa.  Clean fan blades totally made my Mother's Day! 
Another thing I really wanted was strawberry shortcake.  I didn't put that on the list though.  I made it from scratch myself.  Even though there's no chocolate in sight, it's one of my favorite desserts.
And these are the Lord's three blessings to me that made me a Momma.  I'm quickly headed into a new season of mothering.  We'll have a TEENAGER in the house this summer.  No doubt about it, I'm not quite ready for that yet.  Give me a toddler, and I can nail it.  But a teenager?  Goodness.  I don't know yet what to do with that.
It's been 18 years since I spent Mother's Day with my own Momma.  You know, looking back, she just made it look so easy!  I never remember her getting impatient with us or frustrated with us or fussing at us.  (But keep in mind that I was the PERFECT child.  Just kidding.  Not really.)  She just did it with so much grace and poise.

I always wonder what my children will remember of their growing up days and how they will remember me.  There are many things I hope they'll FORGET.  Because most days, it's the hot mess express over here.  But, most of all, I hope they'll remember and know that I love them to pieces and gave them my very all.