Saturday, April 29, 2017

Gwen's Spring Recitals

Gwen's class put on a sprint music recital with another class. They sang some songs, recited poems and did some dances. Gwen sang a duet for a few lines in "Lets Go Fly a Kite" and got to dress up as a silly bird and dance around the stage in another. I'm so grateful the teachers took the time to do this. Its the first thing of this kind any of my kids have done (Although they all sang a few songs at their kindergarten graduations). 

Gwen's ballet dance recital was a smashing success this year. She was nervous about it and months before it happened, would ask "how many more times until the recital?" and when I said a number like 8 she gasped and said, "but I don't know all the parts yet!?"  Like I said in the last post, she is uncomfortable in new situations involving lots of people potentially looking at her.  We talked to lots of kids and their parents and talked about how for many of the dancers, this is their favorite part and practically the only reason they TAKE dance. By the time costumes came in and we brought Gwen's home, she was happy and excited for the recital. Her and I had a little date the night before as I took her to the dress rehearsal.

The next afternoon we got all dressed up again (but put on a little make up and remembered the hair spray).  Chris and the boys got her flowers and a bar of candy while Gwen and I got her there early. The boys did really well watching all the dances. Gwen did amazing in both her ballet and tap dances. We're so proud of our little ballerina.

 Gwen and friends Jillian and Lakyn

Gwen with her student teacher Jill

 Gwen and her neighbor, Malli Brynn

Gwen, Ainsley and Malli Brynn

Gwen and her good friend from her class at school, Ainsley

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Outside of school Activities

The schools around here do a program called Accelerated Reader (AR) where children set point goals for every 9 weeks and they earn points by reading books within their level and then getting 80% or above on a comprehension online test about the book.  Alec's teacher wanted to motivate her students to reach for even harder reading goals by offering to take any student (and a friend) on an afterschool adventure of their choice if they could reach 250% of their AR goal. Alec loved this challenge (he usually reached his normal AR goal maybe half way through the nine weeks) He and another girl reached the big 250% so Ms. Taylor took him and 3 other students to the bowling alley in Columbus. She paid for them to ride the bumper cars, bowl 2 games, get a pizza and play in the bouncy houses. It was SO generous of her and Alec absolutely loved it. 

Also this weekend, Alec and Chris went off for most of the day to a soccer tournament for Alec's Academy Soccer team, and Freddy and I cheered on Charlie and Gwen in their mile-long fun run. 

Gwen didn't really want to do it once she got there and saw all the people. I think she didn't like the idea of everyone watching her run. I tried to explain that most people there were only going to pay attention to their own children and that she would be running by lots of people. I really wanted her to do this and ended up making a deal with her by saying I would help her with her Saturday Jobs and getting extra screen time and ice cream. I knew she would really enjoy having done it, she's just really stressed out with new situations involving lots of people.  We ran into one of her friends from her class, Reed and he was super helpful in telling her she could run by him and that she should do it. 

The started the kids off in waves based on grade which was really smart and they were all organized with pick up after the finish line. The last digit of their bib number corresponded to a corral where parents had to pick up their kids. I was really impressed with the organization of the race. Just like I suspected, after getting Gwen and congratulating her, she told me she was glad I 'made her do it' because she 'had a lot of fun.'  Charlie was so fast, I couldn't even find him in his group at the starting line. He has such natural good form, its so fun watching him to athletic things. Although, Chris and I were thinking the race was slightly less than a mile, the kids ran it super fast! Charlie came in at 8:13. Gwen ran in at 10:10. Pretty impressive. 

We ran into other friends from church, the Duffs and the Leigh's (not pictured) with some of their kids. So fun to see friends. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Saturday the Primary was in charge of cleaning the church so we combined that with the Easter Activity we had been planning. After cleaning, I took the kids out front to do an Easter Activity that actually had something to do with Jesus. I set up an obstacle course that each child had to maneuver through while holding an egg on a spoon. I demonstrated (with a raw egg) how stuck we would be in life without Jesus' Atonement to allow us second (and third and fourth, etc..) chances. I gave each of the kids a plastic golden egg and had them say "Jesus loves me" every time they dropped their egg before they could try again to complete the obstacle course.  While the kids and I did that, some of the other leaders hid eggs for an Easter Egg hunt out back. I wish I would've gotten pictures of the obstacle course activity. 

We gave the kids their own full set of mini scriptures in their baskets this year. Maybe this will make it easier to bring them to church each Sunday. ;)

Despite Chris being gone at early meetings, I managed to snap a few pictures of the kids before church. Such a cute bunch!!

We ate dinner after church with our good friends, the Gines, and then came home and did our traditional Easter Egg Roll.

This year, the winner was....

Freddy! We finished the Easter Sunday with watching the #PrinceofPeace videos online. I am so grateful for our Savior's life and sacrifice and the peace it offers me.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Hailey's bday suprise disguised as a Girls Trip

We wanted to do something special for our youngest sister's 18th birthday, kinda like what we did a while back for my other younger sister's 18th birthday. We surprised her with a sisters girls trip! Hailey found out about it a couple weeks before, but its ok, since she doesn't really like surprises or being the center of attention. So we dropped the surprise birthday part and just had a really fun girls trip to Las Vegas. Since we don't drink or gamble or enjoy seeing scantily-clad anything, the location may sound surprising... but the inexpensive flights, good shopping, shows and food is what won us over. 

I joined the group the last, late at night on a Tuesday and we stayed at a nice Marriott Hotel close to the strip (courtesy of Dad's points!!) I stayed up WAY to late talking and just being so happy to be around my mom and sisters. The next morning we checked out a yummy restaurant Skinny Fats, known for fresh, healthy, yummy food. So. So. Good. 

We wanted to go swimming and relax alot but the pools weren't very big and it was SO WINDY that we only managed to go twice for an hour or so each, but it was still so nice to have some peace and quiet mingled with great conversation. We also walked down the strip to see some favorite hotels: Paris, the Venetian, Bellagio, to name most of them.   We ate at a french bakery for brunch one morning... AMAZING. 


I'm always partial to anything French and had to get a picture with my Paris buddy, Mom.

We saw one show: KA, a Cirque De Soleil production. It was incredible: actors flying above your heads on cables, a stage that twisted and lifted to a vertical position, sand and explosions falling everywhere, and amazing acrobatics with hoops, hampster-wheel-type-things, pegs, shadow puppets, spears, and bows and arrows. Seriously Awesome.  

Our last night we came to the hotel earlier for a treat and movie night-in.

It went too quickly, but by Friday AM, I had to leave bright and early to make it home by evening. I surprised Chris and the kids by showing up at the end of our branch's Good Friday Musical Evening. Its always fun to get the biggest hugs and smiles from my kiddos.