Monday, June 25, 2012

VBS- Operation Overboard

If I didn't post at least one blog devoted to VBS, then you would have no idea what my life has revolved around for the last 2 months.  Literally every single day for the last month has involved answering questions about vbs, hosting trainings, making schedules, planning, meeting, meeting, more meeting, decorating, DECORATING, and answering a million text messages. Last year Lyndsey and I were the assistant directors to VBS, so as the succession follows that made us directors this year.  Assist. director didn't fully prepare me for the extent of being director.  Every waking minute and LOTS of sleepless nights with my mind racing of all the things that still needed to be done.  But in the end it all paid off.  We had an amazing VBS where we hosted almost 300 kids and 150 volunteers.

This is the awesome directors' team.  Lauren- asst. dir, Deena- decorating coordinator, Lori- asst. dir, Lyndsey- director, Mom & Dad doing some hard work decorating, and me.  When we reached the decorating week it is supposed to consist of decorating from 9-12 every morning and then returning to decorate from 6-9 every night.  Or at least those were the hours of childcare. Somehow I never left before 2 or 3 in the afternoon.  Got home in time to shove dinner down and drive 40 minutes back to church.  What an exhausting week.  We took Saturday off and then last minute decorating after church all day Sunday.  I left church at 9pm that night.  That week I pulled 2 -twelve hour workdays.  A huge thank you to my parents for taking Riley to camp every morning, so that he didn't have to hang out in the nursery, and for taking my kids lots of afternoons.  I was really grateful to the rain that let my husband get home early 2 nights to keep them as well as take them to a birthday party on Sunday.  All those hours and we were ready for Monday morning.
The highlight of our decorating, did you notice our Diver minister, Mike McKee.

This was one of my main decorating idea contributions this year.  "Our volunteers are Jewels".

We discovered some more hidden artistic talent in the church and covered windows in ocean artwork.

This is really just a small sampling of the MANY amazingly decorated places in the church.  We have so many talented people in this church.

Monday morning came and went relatively smooth.  We still stayed later than planned every day.  But it was because we kept coming up with ways to make things a little better than the day before, not putting out fires.  I feel truly blessed to have worked with the most fantastic crew of volunteers that helped our children learn to depend on God, claim Jesus, and many of other scripture sayings of the week.
Thursday night was our program.  Riley's 2nd grade group sang Dive Deep.

 Alex loving to perform!  She is constantly asking for us to listen to the CD and play her song.

After all our hard work, we were happy to show off for Papaw & Mama Karyn.  Mama Karyn doesn't often get to see programs so we take full advantage when she is in town.  :)
Our week ended and all the decorations were down by 3pm on Friday.  So sad to end such a fantastic week, but we were also glad to begin our official summer and get some sleep!

Alex's Dance Recital

Alex had her first dance recital in May.  She was so excited and I was so nervous/excited.  It was held on the first Monday that I was out of school.  On that day, Riley went to his first day of baseball camp, Alex had her first dance recital, and first day of full day VBS decorating.  I was one big ball of nervous energy.  Such a weird mixture of excitement and nervousness.  I was nervous for Riley because I knew he would be one of the youngest at camp and never actually played baseball, only tball.  Then I was nervous for Alex because she had never been on stage before.  But I was excited for them to have the chance to learn and show what they know. 
Here was Alex's professional photo.  Sassy looking, huh?  I love it.
 So the morning started with dress rehearsal at Will Rogers.  We dropped Riley & Gampa off at baseball camp and Mom, Alex, & I headed to downtown Fort Worth.  We had decided to do all the makeup and hair at home, but not actually put on the costume until we arrived. Everything went so smoothly.  Well the hair didn't actually curl, even with hot rollers this time, so we used the curling iron too.  Its just so baby fine, like mine.

Then it was show time, so Mom & I went out into the audience to see how she did.  We were only allowed to record during dress rehearsal, so here is a clip.
I was so proud.  She was absolutely beaming and loved every minute.  Then because it was dress rehearsal, we were allowed to go back and get her as soon as she danced and leave.  Except that Alex didn't want to leave.  She insisted that we stay until intermission to see the rest of the show.  I definitely see dance in her future.
That night the whole family reassembled at Will Rogers.  We had Randy, Me, and Riley.  My parents, Randy's stepmom Karyn, Aunt Kalee, and Papaw & Nemo.  My tiny dancer did not disappoint.  She shined again on stage.  Although I learned that Randy & Riley are in for trouble if dance stays in her future.  Both were so bored.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved watching all of it.  Randy & Riley just wanted to know how much longer. 

A Beautiful Grand Finale!
Once intermission arrived, we were able to grab our sweet girl and all go congregate outside.  Then my parents did what I forgot, and bought Alex flowers for her performance.  We told her they were from her brother, who was so proud of her.
One proud family of our little star!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Tiny Dancer

This Spring, Alex also tried something new.  She signed up for Tap Ballet and Tumbling Dance at Dana's Studio in Keller.  She loved every minute of it.  I should have know my drama queen would love to be on stage.  But as you can expect, dance costumes & stage makeup is a new world for this volleyball, basketball, and softball playing mommy.  So when it came time for our first set of dance pictures, I called in the professional, my mom!  Ok maybe not the professional, but I have always said she can be super mom.  Anyway so Alex had to be in full costume, hair curled, and make-up (Yes I said makeup, complete with RED lipstick) by 4:30.  There was no way I could accomplish this on my own.  So Mom picked her up from Mrs. Tracey's and brought her up to school.
We started with the makeup.  I did pretty good with that. And I do have to say that mascara did make those pretty blue eyes pop!  Then we started curling hair.  What can I say, she gets her baby fine locks from her momma.  It would NOT hold curl.  So we did the best we could, and went on our way.

 Not that I would do this everyday, but doesn't she look pretty?

I knew she had pictures, but still didn't really know what to expect.  I figured like every other team pictures, we would stand in a line with our payments in hand and watch them take individuals and then all the moms would stand together while they took the group picture.  Well not exactly.  We arrived to find a note on the door that said there was no room for parents in the picture room, so please wait outside.  Plus I didn't buy any packages or pay anything at all that day.  I did poke through the window and I did see her take the seated pose.  Sweet smile, but not a real smile.  I knew I wasn't buying that picture.  Luckily the stand up one was much better, but I will post that picture later, when I get caught up to the recital, because that was where we finally were able to purchase the package.  
After pictures, the girls did perform their recital routine one time for all of us to see a peek.

Sassy, much?

A New Way of Experiencing Faire

This may not be the way we used to enjoy Scarborough Faire, but for this time of our lives, this is what we enjoy most.  No, we are not dressed in garb and we are not thoroughly enjoying hanging out with crew.  But we are showing our children another side of life while dressed really comfortably.  Oh and just in case you were wondering, this way is way more expensive!
We met our friends Chuck & Jenn with their boys and Gary & Julie with G3.  Tbe big boys enjoyed "jousting" and then had a balloon sword fight. 
They were dressed all in a thick battle leather, with balloons attached to each shoulder and on top of the head.  The goal was to pop all the balloons of all the opponents without getting your own balloon popped.  Surprisingly Riley beat all the boys, including Brandon the oldest.  But they did make Brandon fight with one hand behind his back.
We enjoyed several shows that day, something we almost never do!  We loved the fire whip show, were surprised at how provocative Don Juan & Miguel had become, and Alex loved to watch the dancers.

But of course no day would be complete without souvenirs.  Alex just begged for her own fairy wings that came complete with fairy dust sprinkled on you.

Easter 2012

Our family has made a little change to Easter plans.  Egg hunts and family dinners now take place on Saturday.  My cousin & her family all live in Austin.  Due to the insane traffic on I-35 on holidays, we have decided all the festivities will take place a day early so that they can either leave bright & early Sunday morning or Saturday night.  This year since we finally got a Good Friday holiday, they came in early Friday so that the kids could play and eggs could be dyed.  Not to mention my parents & Aunt Jeanne flew in from their vacation in Hawaii on Good Friday.  The kids got lots of play time, a little nap, and then the egg dying took place.  In the past we have tried all the fancy dyes.  This year we just bought plain colors.  They had the best time and we got some of the prettiest eggs yet.

The next morning we had a little parade....
Had a little talk with PawPaw
Finally the big moment had arrived...The EGG HUNT!
Everyone started gathering the eggs, even Zoey, my parents new puppy.
Riley did his thing and ran around grabbing as many as possible.  All the while, we were yelling save some for the little ones!
Alex did her thing and sat down crying, being Miss Dramatic.  Apparantly "they were getting all the eggs!"  Nevermind how many they got while she pouted...
And Caleb did his thing....taking care of Alex.  I think he has shared his eggs with Alex every Easter for as long as they could hunt.  What a sweet boy!
All while the adults stood back taking pictures & laughing as they go.
This is my cousin Jamie, husband Chad, Aunt Jeanne, & Caleb.  I had to get in a family photo so that I can have group shots for our yearly Family calendar.
Grandma Betty, Grandpa Bill, and great grandkids!
Papaw & great grandkids- Nemo had to work since we celebrated on a Saturday. :(
Finally our own extended family.  We did not get one of us the day before, so we took it right after church on Easter Sunday.  Can't you just see the joy on Randy's face at having to take pictures while at church!

We concluded Easter Sunday by spending the afternoon with the Farris family, while my parents went home for a much needed nap.  I don't have any pictures of the afternoon.  But I can tell you that it involved all the Farris' minus Kalee plus Jason & Danielle Farris, in town from Alabama.  We had lots of fun, too many Bushwackers, and the boys got a chilly dip in the pool.  Ahh family!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Baseball Player

This Spring, Riley just melted my heart when he discovered baseball, well T-ball to be exact.  He has been asking for 2 seasons to play baseball, but we honestly figured that he would get bored and be off task.  Plus he was so good at soccer, I hated to take a season off.  Eventually I gave in, because he had to figure out what he thought before he was 12.  After much deliberation, we signed him up in Haslet.  I was secretely looking forward to him playing and practicing close to home.  He had such a great season.  His team was the Athletics, so I had to go buy Alex & I matching team shirts to wear to all of the games.  I was amazed at how focused Riley was during practice, and even more amazed at how excited I was to go to each and every practice.  We made the decision to sign him up for t-ball which he was still technically young enough to play based on age with a summer birthday, based on grade he would have been in coach pitch.  That was also a good decision.  He was one of the better players on the team, but probably would have been really behind in coach pitch.
His team was made up of lots of young players, with not a whole lot of motivation.  That led to our 5th place finish out of 10 teams, but we still finished with 3 wins, 3 losses, and 3 ties.
But most importantly was how much he learned and how much fun he had.  He even chose baseball practice over a birthday party one Saturday.  That really made me proud.
My dad even became a 3rd coach throughout most of the season.  He LOVED this.  I really think he enjoyed this season even more than Riley & I put together, if that is possible.  It was too bad that they missed 4 games because of scheduled vacations.
Riley learned alot and showed great promise of skills for the future.  That made me feel good after such a trying basketball season.  Right after school was out I even signed him up for Fossil Ridge's baseball camp.  This accomplished two things: 1) it gave him something to do instead of being in the church's nursery while I prepared & decorated for VBS 2)It gave him 3 hours of practice with a high school baseball coach who could really work on his skills.  He had so much fun during camp and my dad watched all 3 hours of camp every day.  Again he loves being a part of watching Riley learn and play his personal sport.