Friday, April 27, 2012

It's All About The Girl

The Girl has been quite the busy bee these days.  Besides keeping up with normal school work, Run Club and piano lessons, she's had a few other things on her plate.

Recently, she and her class went on a field trip to cap off the end of their latest novel study, Alice In Wonderland.  This included dressing up as a character from the book, going to a local park that is full of Alice In Wonderland character statues, have tea and tarts, play crochet, and complete a scavenger hunt.  After that they headed to another park to eat and play.

I have to admit, at first I thought that this field trip was a lame attempt to squeeze in their mandatory two field trips for the year.  I had never been to the Alice In Wonderland park, and was not informed of all of the activities that would be there.  So, naturally I had envisioned something similar to the scene in National Lampoon's Vacation when the Griswold's visit the Grand Canyon.  While the Griswold family takes in the wonder of the Canyon, Clark joins in, takes a deep breath while looking out, and then promptly tells everyone to get in the car after only looking at it for about two seconds.

Except this time it would have involved about 72 third graders, and a couple of school buses.

Despite the feeling of impending doom, I signed up to be a chaperon.  I was thrilled to be informed that they had met the quota for chaperons, but if I wanted to follow behind in my own car and hang out with just my own child, I was welcome to. 

Hmmmm.  Yes and yes.

After arriving, I quickly realized that this trip was much more involved than just taking a look around.  That there were several very well organized activities, and their was a ton of fun to be had by all.  Parents included.

Here are some pics I took that day with my trusty iPhone.

Besides running around at themed parks, dressed as the Queen of Hearts, The Girl has also been participating in Battle of the Books.  This is a program that our school district participates in along with the local libraries.  Kids get to team up with their classmates and read 10 novels from October until February.  At that point, they start competing.  First within the school, and then against other schools, to see who knows more about the books they have read.  As you can imagine, this is right up The Girl's alley.   She devoured the books in no time at all and then went back to them again and again to memorize all sorts of different bits and pieces of information from each book.

She was an alternate for her school's team this year, and we were proud to make it all the way to finals.  The Girl made it to each practice (both in and out of school), and was able to compete in the quarter finals for her school.  Even though I was sad that she didn't get to compete in more competitions, The Girl set me straight by telling me she was, "So thankful that I got to compete and practice with the team when I did."

So proud of my humble girl.

Here she is at quarter-finals:

In a very serious huddle deciding on their final answer:
She was so happy that some of her close friends were also on the team:

We can hardly wait to do it again next year!

Lastly, The Girl has been working very hard on her back flip on the bar at recess.  Pretty much this entire year, all the third grade girls have made it their mission to be able to do a back flip around the bar at school.   Slowly, in the last few weeks, all of them began accomplishing this goal.  All but The Girl.

Many tears were had over this.

She was relentless, and even gave up some of her Run Club runs to practice.  *Ahem*

Finally, yesterday was her day.  At recess she achieved what all third grade girls, who are worth one's salt, need to achieve.  The elusive back flip on the bar.  I couldn't help but be elated for her.  I had started getting pretty emotional about her being the last one to reach the pinnacle of third grade success.

Well, once you do something you've been trying to do for a long time, the next best thing is to do it over and over and over again.  There was no way The Girl was going to somehow forget how to do what she'd been working on all year.  That kind of perseverance comes with a price, folks:

She'll be taking a break from the bar for a while.

That's my girl.  You gotta love her!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This is Getting Embarassing

Are you ready for another marathon "Update Post"?  You know, the kind that will get you all up-to-date on the goings on in our family for the past MONTH OR SO.  There's nothing better than flipping through a family album that doesn't belong to you, is there?

This is why the number of people reading my blog is so high.  I write about the riveting.  I share things that leave people begging for more.  It's who I am.  An overachiever, if you will.

With all that out of the way, hold on tight.  It's gonna' get wild.

First, The Little Man finished up a great season of basketball.  If they kept score at this age, I would definitely say they killed it this year.  For sure.  There's no doubt in my mind.

There he is with is trophy and new basketball.  I would post the little video clip that has his coach gushing over what a great kid my boy is, but that might be pushing the whole "gloating" thing a bit too far.

I can't afford to lose any more readers at this point.

Trust me.  He gushed over him and all of the other players.  Thankfully, I do have it on video for our own little keepsake.

We've also had a few chances to snuggle up with this sweet bundle of joy:

That's our sweet cousin C-Lee, at least that's what we call him.  While The Girl was so hoping for a little girl cousin, as you can see, she is thrilled to pieces over having a new baby cousin.   And did you see that picture of The Little Man?  Look who's grown out of his fear of babies!  That's my boy!  He's all growing up on me.

Also, starting back at the beginning of March, my kids joined a running club at school.  Honestly, I was SHOCKED that both of them even had an interest in doing it at all.  However, not only have they decided to do it, but they both have really liked it, and have excelled in it.  The idea is to accumulate 25.2 miles in a 10 week period.  At the end of that time frame, they will participate in a real marathon and complete their last mile (bringing them to a total of 26.2 miles) at the actual race, receiving a medal.  The kids are both pretty pumped up about being in a real marathon as well as receiving a real medal.  The incentives at 10, 15, 20, and 25 miles have also helped.  They run once a week at school and then have to run at least once a week at home.  Like I said, both kids really enjoy it, and I hardly ever have to even remind them to run.  They usually ask me to go for a run.  Ironically enough, they like the track at our neighborhood high school the best.  The one place I refused to run, is their most favorite.  I think it's because they feel like they are in control there.  Whatever it is, I don't care.  I am thankful to see them each doing something they like, and doing it well.

Here they both are at a recent run at their school.  

We've also been to a real bona fide play.  We had an opportunity to get tickets to see Beauty and the Beast at a fairly discounted rate.  Since The Girl's new passion is drama, I thought it would be beneficial for her to see a professional performance.  I am so happy we did!  We were all totally blown away by the performance.  Despite driving home at close to 10:30 at night on a school night, we all chatted and chatted away about our favorite parts, which character we liked best, the best song, and so on and so forth.  It was a magical evening.  My kids are both begging to go to more performances.  I don't think they realize that it's not just like heading out to the movies.  Tickets are pricey.  However, if another opportunity comes along for a great show, we're in!

Here we are waiting outside the theater:

On a funnier note, I thought it would be a great idea to have an "Indiana Jones Weekend".  They kids are into any type of series, books or movies.  I thought that maybe they would like the Indiana Jones trilogy (although, I was informed that there are actually four movies in that series).  Here's what that looked like:

Those movies might have been a little too intense.  Needless to say, we made it through only the first two. 

Then we battled the nightmares later that night.

Now we know were the line is.

During the second movie, we worked on this:

I thought it would take the edge off the movie if we had a little distraction in the form of a jigsaw puzzle.  It did, but still, we had nightmares.

We had a fabulous Spring Break this year.  The only thing that was bad was that it ended, way too soon.  Some of the kids in our area go to schools that have a two week Spring Break.  A lot of the parents complain about this. 

I can't understand it.

After having some fabulous weather, celebrating my birthday, hanging out with friends and family,  spending some time shopping, and then doing necessary chores in between, I was ready for that second week of break to just catch a break.  Sadly, it didn't come.  The kids returned to school and are now in the final stretch of their third grade and kindergarten year.  Trust me, they are already counting down the days until summer break.

And so am I.

Here they are enjoying some tube time in a fort they made:

Just this past weekend was Easter.  I am happy to say that we have officially gotten rid of the Easter Bunny.  I have been weaning the kids off of him for the last two years, and this year, he made no appearance, and was not missed.  Don't get me wrong, we still had candy, and the kids wanted to throw their own egg hunt.  However, I feel like the focus has finally shifted off of candy and gifts and onto a much bigger celebration, the resurrection of our Savior.  It felt good.

Over Spring Break, we made this resurrection garden as a craft one day. I had such high hopes for it.  I found the idea on Pintrest, and thought, "Well, we could make this the center of our devotion time for Easter."  It was going to be grand.  It was going to look like this:

 Here's ours:
 See, it had a great start.  It just didn't do anything more from this point on.  The wind blew it, it snowed, the wind blew it some more, and basically it was impossible to keep it watered enough to grow the grass.  So I decided to throw in the towel.

It's the thought that counts.

I didn't throw in the towel on Lent this year, however.  For the last forty days the Hubs and I gave up sweets.  Notice, I didn't say sugar.  I said sweets.  That meant no desserts or snacks that were sweet.  It meant I had to give up my one pump of toffee nut syrup at Starbucks as well as my nightly addiction to chocolate.  Sadly, it also meant we could not have our traditional family night of watching the Biggest Loser and eating homemade chocolate chip cookies.  The show just isn't the same without cookies.  Even worse, when the weather got so nice, it meant not going to our favorite frozen yogurt shop.

Guess what?  I didn't die.  Also, while there were times that I missed having dessert or partaking of a piece of chocolate, most of the time, I was calm, cool and collected.  It was nice to fast from this food group that had taken up way too much of me.   In fact, I don't think I will return to my toffee nut syrup at Starbucks or my nightly ritual of dessert.  Crazy, huh?  

Notice, I didn't say anything about giving up my chocolate chip cookies and Biggest Loser forever.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

How do you wrap up a post as random as this?  I'm not sure.  I think you just do.

You're all caught up!