Monday, June 27, 2011

Dallas Bound for Dance Nationals

Claire's dance company went to Dallas again this year for national competition. We left Friday morning with our good friends, Rachel and mom-Diana in tow. The drive up was fun, as the girls were excited and ready to dance! Claire did more dances in much less time this year, so Saturday and Sunday were pretty much all work, no play! Dancing started bright and early Saturday morning. We did get to go to a mall Saturday for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and a little shopping. More dancing Saturday afternoon and evening led to dinner with another dancer and her parents afterwards. Sunday was another early morning with only a small break for lunch between dances. Our car had 8 costume changes in all, 5 of which were Claire's. The groups all scored Platinum medals and Claire's lyrical dance "Friends" was 2nd overall in the Junior Small Group category. That's saying alot as they had some stiff competition this year...including one of Claire's other dances and her friend Rachel's dance! But neither of those placed in the overalls this time. Two of Claire's other dances placed 2nd overall and 6th overall. It was a successful competition and a whirlwind of a weekend, not to mention an emotional one! Last competition with our ATD (All That Dance) family. Lots of tears were shed by lots of people. I was touched to know that so many people would miss us! They will be missed too!

Rachel, Claire and Jessica at dinner Saturday night. They were all "orphans" together this year and "bugs" last year.
Miss Hannigan and her orphans after their performance.
Claire and her ATD big sis, Catie Beth.
Ready to dance!
Wicked World stretching together for the last time.

We made it to TEXAS!

Summer, Summer, Summertime! Part 3

Playing in the park
In the shovel of Big Brutus, a mining relic in KS.

With Geoff gone, and a national dance competition in Dallas coming up, Landon needed a plan. So last Wednesday morning we met Gram and Poppy in West Mineral, KS to see Big Brutus and make the hand off so he wouldn't have to watch any more dancing! The kids had fun exploring, even though Landon was recovering from not feeling well the day before. We also had lunch, celebrated Poppy's birthday and played in a beautiful, shady park. I was sad to leave my little man for the first time for more than a day (other than when he was too little to notice) and even Claire was sad the closer we got to Bentonville after leaving him. Landon seemed only concerned once when I talked to him during his stay. I think he was kept busy swimming, fishing and playing with his cousin Thurston. When Daddy arrived in Wichita Friday, him and Landon were reunited and had some more fun with Lucy and Laney and on Papa's lake before coming home.

Landon told me this morning he enjoyed have "alone time" with everyone in KS. "I can share with Claire sometimes, but this time I didn't have to and I liked it. Even my cousins liked it! And nobody had to worry about what Claire was doing."

Summer, Summer, Summertime! Part 2

In front of the inflatable slide at the Naturals baseball game. These faces are just so summer-sweet!

Geoff left for Colorado for a two week work event a few days after school was out, and so I made plans for something everyday to keep us busy and from missing him. The first plans were dance classes, every day, for at least two hours. Although that sounds laborious, Claire was in her element and Landon was able to play with a couple of his "little brother buddies" and therefore both were happy. We also enjoyed some things that we had never done before. The splash park downtown, a nature walk to the new art museum (that is still being built) and a Naturals baseball game. We also had extended playdates with "besties", swimming at the pool with neighbors, a movie, and of course birthday parties and house showings! Now you will understand why I stated I was so tired in the post below (haha)!

Summer, summer, summertime!

So we are finally getting to enjoy some summer! But we've been so busy that by the time I actually have time to blog, sleeping usually takes precedence! But I realized today that as I was synching my iphone (which has become my camera because I always have it with me) that I have some catching up to do! DISCLAIMER: I still REALLY want to be sleeping, as we just got home from TX late last night, but I'm gonna try to get at least some of this done, and hope it makes sense!!!!

This first blog is still from recital. These pics are making me cry, even though I thought I had every last dance-related tear shed after this last weekend. I am amazed at how much a teacher can touch the soul of a child, and, in turn touch a parent's life. These two dance teachers have been amazing to Claire, and both of them cried as much, if not more, than I did this weekend. I hope that they know how much they mean to us, and even though they weren't the first or the last dance teachers Claire will have, I believe will be the most special of her life.

Miss Julie (ballet)

Miss Meghan (company)

These three friends were together from the first year in their yellow rain slickers with their little round faces looking up at the sky singing ah-ah-ah-ah to the song If All The Raindrops.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And the school year ends...

Landon's "Good Manners" award from preschool.
Landon and his "High Five" award from school. He learned 5 important facts about himself including address and phone number.
Claire looking "Australian". Her entire school has International week and each grade takes on different countries. She also made a diorama of a Dingo's habitat.
Landon enjoying some snocone at Claire's field day.
Claire and her "bestie" Shaelyn.

Claire receiving her academic award. All A's all year! Her class also voted her "best all-around friend" sweet!

Finally the school year ends! We had 8 extra days due to snow days, but that didn't stop the fun! On Landon's last day, the kids had a water day and received awards. Along with the two pictured, Landon also received a sight word award. Landon loved preschool and his classmates. He adored his teacher, and in fact, told her he wished she could move with us and be his Kindergarten teacher!

Claire's last days were filled with International Week, Fun and Field Day and Awards. Landon and I helped with field day...all 90+degree heat. It was HOT, but the kids had a blast! And I know I've mentioned it before, but this is no normal field day. We are talking all out games and hair painting, a DJ and water sports. Claire also received awards as mentioned above, and the teacher noted to me afterwards that Claire will be missed at CPE. Everyone knows her and loves her there! That's saying a lot coming from the largest Elementary in Arkansas!

Since school has ended we've been busy with dance, gymnastics, swimming and playing. Geoff is gone for two weeks, and soon Landon will head to Kansas for a few days while Claire and I head to Dallas for national dance competition. I'm trying to keep us busy so we aren't constantly thinking of what looms in the near future. Dreading packing and moving, but the result will be joyful! I truly can't wait to be back in KS closer to my (growing!) family, old friends and to start a new beginning.