Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Diva is Made...

Claire and Sara in front of the limo.
"Besties" in the limo.
Everyone loaded up.
All the divas ready to go.
Posing with their ride.
Making bracelets.
Getting nails done with Miss Beth.

Claire has been asking, wait, begging for a limo for her 7th birthday since before Christmas. Being the softy parents that we are, we gave in and for her birthday party with friends had a limo. The afternoon started off with 11 (one girly got sick) girls arriving at our home for painted nails and makeup. They also made glamorous bracelets. Miss Beth and Miss Sara helped with the corralling and makeovers, much to Claire's excitement (Thanks Beth and Sara!). The white Hummer limo arrived during these makeovers. One of the little girls spotted the limo out front, unexpectedly. She yelled "The limo's here!". All the girls started screaming and ran to the front door. It was hilarious!!!! After calming the riot, the girls were outfitted in hot pink feather boas and sunglasses for their debut in Bentonville. I heard several times, "We're divas!" and "We're famous!". It was too cute! After pictures, everyone climbed in the limo and we headed to a local pizza place for pizza and cupcakes. Afterwards, we drove through the Promenade (our open-air mall) with the windows down and the girls hanging out waving! Then the drop-offs began. Each girl was dropped at their respective homes, with pictures by the parents as they got out. Claire opened presents in the limo while this happened, and they also sang and played games to pass the time. I must say, it was a HUGE success and lots of fun!
PS: Everyplace the girls went, it looked like some terrible flamingo accident had occurred!

Spring Break Part Two

Landon on Barney.
Claire and cousin Thurston.
The new cousins.
Claire and her popcorn cake.
Climbing the fallen tree.

We got to Gram and Poppy's Monday evening. We celebrated Claire's birthday with a popcorn cake and floats (Thanks Gram!). Tuesday we spent the whole afternoon out at the farm with Barney...with some fishing and tree climbing thrown in! It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed the spring weather. Wednesday afternoon we finally went to see Thurston. Oh yeah, and Unkie and Staci too! Thurston is so sweet, and both kids got a kick out of his facial expressions. Although Landon had more fun playing ping pong with Unkie, Claire held Thurston a couple times and laid on the floor with him too. It was good to see them all doing so well! Thursday we ventured to the book fair at the hospital where Gram works and then went swimming at the indoor pool in Marion. Uncle Frank bought us Pizza Hut that night...which was a good ending to the day! Friday was some more playing outside before loading up and heading home. Thanks Gram, Poppy, Unkie and Staci for a fun and very full few days!

Monster Jam

Watching the action.
Cars transformed and then fought each other. Landon thought the "fire thrower" was cool!
"Grave Digger was there Mom. He's the best ever!"

Papa, Geoff and Landon went to Monster Jam Saturday evening in Wichita. Monster Jam is something that Landon has watched and played for almost two years. He was so excited when he found out he'd see it live! The boys had great seats, great pizza and a great time! Geoff made a video of the action that I'll try to get on here.

Spring Break Part One

The only close to a good pic I have of all four cousins at the zoo!
Cousins celebrating a birthday!
Just love this pic! Laney keeps us all laughing!

Our whole family left for KS Friday afternoon, albeit in two vehicles. Geoff only came for the weekend and a meetings at work on Monday & Tuesday. We went to Nana and Papa's first. Joy and rapture ensued as the cousins were reunited and were able to play to their heart's content, even though there was snow on the ground! We went out to lunch Saturday and the kiddos were treated to an afternoon at the toy store (Thanks Nana and Papa!). Saturday evening, the boys had a night out at Monster Jam (separate post to come) while the girls went out to eat. Sunday was spent celebrating Claire's birthday with family and rainbow cupcakes (Thanks Ling!), and then play time at the cousin's house. Monday was a beautiful day, and since the snow had melted away, it was hard to resist a visit to the zoo. The cousins enjoyed talking about the animals and cooperatively picking where to go next. Goodbyes were said, a Lucy sandwich made between Claire and Landon and many woeful statements made about "missing my cousins" as we left the zoo. They all get along so well, it's hard to watch them say goodbye! The kids and I loaded up and headed to Gram & Poppy's next. Thanks again to Nana, Papa, Ling and Hoopy for your hospitality and the fun times!

Pirate Day

The 1st grade classes at Claire's elementary school do "Pirate Day" the last day of school before spring break. They dress the part, and then spend the day doing everything "totally pirate", as Claire said. Even their spelling words were involved, with ones like coin and spoils. There was even a treasure hunt at the end of the day.
PS: I cut Landon out of the picture because he's only half dressed, but insisted on being in the pic!

Monday, March 29, 2010

So many little time!

I sat down here with a time limit on my blogging today...too much to do! But the server or something is not cooperating and I cannot download pics, so I'm saving the blogging for later. I do have to put a teaser in, though! I have pics from pirate day, spring break, Monster Jam and a million stories to tell! After tomorrow I'll have Claire's official birthday party pics too! Geesh, I'll be blogging for the rest of the week! Dance recital pictures tonight and just found out Landon's Tee Ball practices will be the same time, same day as Claire's dance lessons (There's a whole week of days, and they pick that one!). I'll catch up soon...

Monday, March 15, 2010


Ok, I grew up dancing. That's what I did. I danced, I taught dance, and now I'm watching my daughter dance. But, what's different now is... it's EXHAUSTING! I don't know how my mother did it! The costumes, make up, attitudes, awards...this is a world I know, yet am learning to appreciate in a whole different way. Claire's final regional competition was this last weekend. She did her duet Saturday morning. The girls earned a Platinum medal with points and 2nd in their age division. Sunday afternoon was the Bugs dance, which earned a Platinum medal and 1st in the age division. It was also 2nd overall in Junior Lines. Their company production number got a Platinum, 1st in age and also earned the coveted Entertainment Award from the Judges. It was 4th overall in Production. Another winning weekend for the group! I took zero pictures...what a bad Mommy I am! We have a break from dancing until recital now, much to Landon's sadness (this is sarcasm!).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Teacher Conferences

I have been in a debate with myself about schooling for Landon next year. He has one more year of preschool, and I want it to be the right amount. You know, a good balance between prepping for KG and spending time with Mommy! Through this situation, I have learned alot about Landon's abilities. WARNING: Bragging begins now!!!! Landon recognizes and can write all his letters, even some of the lower case ones. He can count past 40, sometimes even to 100! He can problem solve and is socially well-adapted to a classroom. He's helpful and shows empathy when appropriate. And although he doesn't show these talents off to me, these are all wonderful things...and it makes my heart swell knowing my little man is doing so well!

I had an official Parent/Teacher conference for Claire this week. WARNING: More bragging!!!! The teacher told me everything I already knew about her academic abilities...reading is above grade level, easily learns math, writing is a breeze. But then I heard some things that surprised me a little...the teacher told me about Claire's kindness to everyone, and how she doesn't gossip or intentionally hurt others' feelings (which I was informed is starting already!). Claire is VERY sensitive about what others may be feeling, and is inclined to ask them to share those feelings when she gets a chance. Her big heart shows in her writing at school. Some of the passages she came up with would bring a tear to your eye! So not only is she smart, she's also sweet...which makes this Mommy feel a little relieved. I say that only because I don't get to see that side of her often!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Smells Like Spring...

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the kiddos are playing outside without coats. It is gorgeous here today! This put me in the mood to clean this morning. While I was cleaning I reminisced a little. I can remember, very vividly, helping my mom clean our house in the spring. I remember the Easter stickers on the window, the changing of the bedsheets, and the windows being open to let in the fresh air. I am not able to open the windows to this poor little guy would be a snotty mess if I did (I ruined the spring picture with that description, didn't I!). So, I use Febreeze. I love this blue bottle! It is my favorite thing while cleaning. In fact, I do it almost everyday. I go through ALOT of it. But my house smells as close as it can get to spring air, and my son is not up all night with congestion. It's a give and take relationship...and I'll take Febreeze!


Between convention classes the girls were bouncing around together saying "ATD, what, what?" Studio spirit was high the day after competition! The blond-y on the lower left is Claire...she seems so little in that picture!
Landon and his buddy, David (who is Claire's duet partner's little bro) hanging out.
Claire and Rachel (duet) before heading to get dressed for competition.

This is from observation at her dance class. They are prepping for recital!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Round Two (insert bell ding)

Our entire family headed to Branson Friday afternoon for Claire's second dance competition. Geoff was able to come along this time, much to his daughter's content. We stayed at a beautiful resort hotel, only because this competition also included a convention (dance classes from master teachers) during the day Saturday and Sunday. The girls were divided into Junior and Senior age groups for the classes, and the teacher's rotated among them. Claire adored one of the jazz teachers...he was lots of fun and not strict at all (her words!). Competition was Saturday evening, and boy was that a whirlwind! What we did in a VERY full day in Tulsa, we did in 4 hours Saturday night! It was stressful...between quick costume changes and a person taking numbers back at least 5 ahead of schedule, we were moving the fastest you can make a terrified 6-year-old move! She started feeling sick to her tummy (which made me nervous because the stomach bug was going around the company), but was perfectly fine after everything was said and done. The girls all did AWESOME again! Claire and Rachel's duet, the Bugs dance and the company production number all received enough points for 1st place awards! Sunday was more convention and then final awards. The company's production number received the high score of the entire competition...earning them the coveted Top Prize! Everyone was excited, including the moms, who watched that dance with chests full of deep breaths just waiting for someone to fall off the tiny stage! Overall, a great weekend, and with one more regional competition to go, Claire is still loving every minute of it! Pics are coming...