Saturday, August 30, 2014

She got her red belt!

Emilee has been taking Taekwondo since she was 8 years old.  So, she has been at it for about 4 years.  Today, she became a red belt.  At one time all three of my children were taking Taekwondo.  Hunter being the first, then Megan and finally Emilee decided she wanted to.  (She had no interest at first)  Then Megan decided it wasn't for her, Hunter didn't like the hard work but Emilee stayed.  There are days when she doesn't want to go and times she gets pretty frustrated when she is there.  For the most part, she enjoys it and is glad to go.  She has stuck with it and worked hard.  She has been to tournaments and done well.  The next belt after red is black.  She wants that black belt and is determined to get it.  I am proud of her.  Keep it up!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

First Day of school -- August 2014

Not sure if you have noticed, but I have made many posts today.  Just trying to catch up.  I used to be so good at blogging and then, I don't know, things happen.  Life just gets so busy.  So I decided to catch us up briefly on what's been happening this year.  So this is my last post today and hopefully, I will try to stay more in touch with my blogging skills.  For this last post we will talk about the first day of school.  School started here early this year because they gave us back our Fall Break.  Woo-Hoo!  Some people say they would rather have a longer summer break and forget about Fall Break.  Not me.  I love Fall Break.  It is a great time for traveling and even if you don't want to, the weather is just perfect to have some good old fashion family fun.  Needless to say, I was very glad for the shorter summer break.  Besides, my kids were really ready to go back to school.  So let's start with Megan,

Megan is hitting a milestone this year.  I huge one.  She is starting high school.  Yep, that's right....high school.  I am still in AWE.  I still can't wrap my brain around that.  I swear, it was just yesterday when I dropped her off at her kindergarten class in Las Vegas.  That makes me a mother of a high school student.  It's just weird I tell you.  She also hit another milestone.  She started seminary this year as well.  In our church, when kids get to high school, they also take a seminary class first thing in the morning before school starts.  This is a chance for them to really dive into the scriptures and get a good understanding of them.  Megan was not sure she was for this.  She thought it would be like going to church every day, but I think she sees it differently now.  She seems happier this year and I think that may be do to opening up the day with thoughts about our Heavenly Father and keeping that with her for the entire day.  She seems to have had some good days this year.  I hope and pray those days will continue.
So I put this on facebook on the first day of school.  I wanted to show how crazy it was that I had this high school student now.  Though, she did make a very cute kindergartner.  
Emilee is also starting a milestone this year.  She is now starting middle school.  Seventh grade.  She gets a locker, a rotating schedule and I even let her start wearing some make-up.  She now tells me she needs a cell phone.  Hmmm.  Not quite Emilee, but maybe soon.  She has been enjoying herself.  Though she already has had to change lockers.  Somehow her locker kept jamming up and so I had to go up there and ask them to change her locker.  I have to say, it is a beautiful locker.  It has wall paper up, a rug, magnets, mirror, whiteboard and even a chandelier that lights up.  Megan didn't want hardly any of that stuff when she started middle school, but not Emilee.  She wanted the works.  Why not.  Maybe I can get her to take a pic and I will post it for ya.  Anyway, she is doing great and having lots of new and fun experiences.
 Hunter started fifth grade.  This is the first year he gets to change classes.  He has Math and Science with his homeroom teacher and then has Reading and History with another teacher.(With whom I just love.  She also taught Megan and Emilee in the Fourth grade)  I of course am a little worried about Hunter this year.  He doesn't speak up too much in class and this is the year where he really needs to speak up and let them know when he doesn't understand.  He will also have to work harder this year then ever before.  He is growing up and it is time to start being responsible for his own learning.  He is a good kid though.  He has enjoyed things so far as he has not had any homework yet.  

So that's it.  That is the first day of school.  Three great kids with aspects of a great new year.  They will do great this year and I know that they will have many many successes.  I am so proud of them already.  They beautiful, kind, smart and talented.  It will be a very AWESOME year.

Louisville, KY - July 2014

A big family vacation was not in the cards this year.  We have been saving our money to go to Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida.  Our plans are to go this October for Fall Break.  Jeremy does a lot of working out of town and was going to Louisville, KY.  He asked us to come along this time and make it a kind of mini vacation.  At first the girls were going to go on this big zip line there that is in an underground cave, but at the last minute, they decided to go to the amusement/water park.  That was right across the street from our hotel.  Hunter didn't want to go.  He had plans to hang out with some friends here and keep his grandma company.    

It was quite and eventful day.  Hot, very hot.  Emilee didn't want to go on the scary rides with Megan and so she was frustrated, but by the end, Megan finally got Emilee on a log ride.  Emilee loved it and couldn't get enough of it.  By then though, it was too late to go on the other things.  The park was closing.  Oh well. Hopefully she will have more courage for our trip to Florida in October.  The next day, I did some shopping with the girls and we met Jeremy and had Cheesecake Factory.  They have never eaten there and hope to eat there again real soon.  I think they liked everything about it....especially the cheesecake.

 It was a short trip.  Every time we come home from a trip to KY, we always stop at one of the caves.  This time it was the "Lost River Cave".  I think I would like to visit the area again.  There was a lot more I would have liked to see of it.

It had a butterfly habitat there.  It was fun to be in the middle of all the butterflies.  Very beautiful.  I highly recommend this place.

Alabama Sports Festival June 2014

Emilee has been taking Taekwondo since she was 9 years old.  She is now a blue belt with three stripes.  That means that the next time she tests, she should be a red belt.  The next belt after that is black.  She really likes it.  Of course there are times, she doesn't want to go, but for the most part, she likes it a lot.  This is the third year in a row that she has participated in the Alabama Sports Festival in Birmingham, Alabama.  It is a little like the Olympics, but on a state level.  Most of the time she competes in sparring and forms.  She always does really well in forms, but she gets very frustrated when she competes in sparring.  This year she decided to take a break from sparring and try board breaking.  So she competed in forms and board breaking this year.     
 In forms she did AWESOME!  She came in first place.  She was extremely happy.  Board breaking was another story.
They don't really focus a lot on breaking boards in her class.  She had only tried it a few times and the boards were a lot thinner then this.  She found out, because she was 12, that she had to use the thicker boards.  She panicked a lot.  She became very nervous.  Even though people assured her that the boards break very easily.  Still, she lacked experience.  I told her, I wasn't going to make her do it, but she did anyway.  I was very proud of her.  She did so well on the first board.  (You break three).  The other two, she just couldn't do and she hurt her foot.  She came in second though.  So not bad for a first time.
 I guess I am a mean mom.  I made her smile for a picture anyway.  Though this is right after.  She is not up for smiling too much.

She did a little better here.

 Afterwards, we went for ice cream by the river and let her soak her sore feet in the cold water.  She cheered up quite a bit.
Hunter stayed with a friend who lives in Birmingham now and Megan came down with us.  She was a trooper.  I know that she really didn't want to go and was bored out of her mind at the competition, but she came to support Emilee and for that, I am very proud of her.  She is a good sister.

May Birthdays 2014

So, by now you should know that the end of month is like Christmas for us.  All three kids have birthdays in the same week.  So of course it began with Megan.  
 I actually didn't get to be with Megan on her birthday.  This is the third year I have not actually been with Megan on her birthday.  Globals is always during her birthday.  So the first year I was at Globals with Emilee, then the next year Megan was at Globals and then this year I was at Globals with Emilee again.  It will probably be like that again if either one of them wins next time also.  So, she celebrated with Jeremy, her grandma and Hunter.  As you can see, they gave her cinnamon rolls.
She turned 14 years old today.  It is very hard to believe that she is really that old and that I am old enough to have a fourteen year old.  I am still in denial.  This year instead of going out to try and find something for her, Jeremy gave her $100 in cash.  I guess when she opened the card, she thought it was just a $20 until she opened it more and kept counting 20's.  She was quite surprised.
 Hunter was next.  He turned 10 years old this year.  I took him and a few friends ice skating on his request.  Two of the boys had never gone before.  They struggled at the beginning but they made it through and actually enjoyed themselves.  Afterwards I took them to the pizza place called Stevie B's and let them play some games.  It was a very easy birthday for me.

Of course he also had to celebrate with the family and his favorite dinner is Pesto pasta.  We call it green spaghetti.
 And ever since Hunter had a GiGi cupcake, he now has an aversion to frosting and just wanted a batch of brownies instead.  Again, pretty easy!
I can't believe my youngest is 10 now.  Man, the time does go by fast.
 And then finally, the last birthday is Emilee.  She turned 12 this year.  Maleficent came out on her birthday and asked if she could take a few friends to go see it.  How could I say no.  Another easy one for me.  Here they all are in front of the movie theater all sweet and cute.
 And this is how we moms see them. Crazy, crazy and more crazy.
After the movie, I took them to get frozen yogurt.  I sat at the next table and pretended I didn't know them.  I think they all felt big.  
 Emilee also celebrated with the family.  Her favorite meal is chicken and rice
...and she has no problem with frosting.  12 years old and going to middle school.  She will be my girly, girl all the way.  She loves clothes, nail polish, make up and shoes.  She never thinks she can have enough shoes.  

Happy Birthday kids!  Hope your year is fantastic!

Sixth Grade Graduation for Emilee

Emilee is finally out of sixth grade.  Talk about excited.  She was so happy!  She couldn't wait to hit middle school.

Of course all the sixth graders are.  They are more then ready for a little more independence.

Emilee will make a great seventh grader.

Emilee-- Space Camp 2014

So, in sixth grade around here, the kids get to go to space camp for a school field trip.  Even though this is an expensive field trip, it is cheaper then if we were to do it on our own.  Megan went when she was in sixth grade and now it was Emilee's turn.  She was especially excited because in fifth grade she was suppose to do Camp McDowell and I had to pick her up because she had caught the flu.  So she was not missing this for anything.  This is drop off.
This is the outside of her dorm room.  She was excited to room with one of her best friends.
This is the inside of the dorm room.  She had lots of adventures during the day.  Hated sleeping there.  She said she was really cold and the beds were not comfortable at all.  She also got some kind of rash there.  Who knows.  She has sensitive skin.  And they had a fire and had to evacuate one night.  Even with all that, she still had a great time.

Destination Imagination 2014

Once again I managed Emilee's DI team.  It was quite the year.  We had a team of 5th and 6th graders this year.  As much as I wanted them to do Challenge D:  The Improv challenge, I couldn't get them to do it.  Megan's team decided they wanted to do Improv and this is the first year that Emilee was put in the same age group as Megan and so she didn't want to compete against their team.  She convinced everybody that would be a bad idea.  They went with Challenge B:  The Scientific challenge.  They had to create gear that would get them out of a bad situation and help the survive in that extreme weather environment.  Emilee's team this year was called Warning:Extreme Danger.  In their story, they found themselves landing on Jupiter, fighting against Alien squids and trying not to be sucked into the Great Red Spot.  Guess what?  They survived.  It was quite the story.

At Regionals they came in first place.  This is indeed an accomplishment.  They were by far the youngest team going against Middle Schoolers.  Megan's team also got first place in their Improv challenge.

Megan's team at Affliate.  They did a great job.  They got second place.
Emilee's team at Affliate.  They did a fantastic job.  I thought for sure they would get first, but they also came in second.  

So with my two second place winners, I thought.....Whew..No Globals this year.  I can relax.  Then it came.  A first place team had dropped out.  They pulled out a team randomly from the second place winners and guess what? ....Warning: Extreme Danger was that team.  Well, of course they were just excited and so the fundraising begins.  We did a lot of fundraising and with that hard work, everything was paid except for $175 per team member.  Not bad for a $900 bill for each team member.  So onto Globals we went.  (Remember...Globals is where the team competes against the whole world.  That tournament is always in Knoxville, TN.)

Here we are, ready to go.  They were excited!
I signed the team up to have a buddy team.  I thought that would be a fun experience for them.  Their buddy team was from Romania.  I had hoped they would get to visit with them more often, but our schedules were very different, and it just didn't work out.  The kids exchanged t-shirts and gifts and loved it anyways.

Here are some highlights of our trip above.

It was a great trip.  The kids were fun and got a long well.  They did awesome!  Next time, Emilee will be at the middle school and under a different group.  It means a whole new learning experience for the both of us.


Once again the Easter Bunny made an appearance.  I think next year, the Easter Bunny might be just a little more conservative.  Sometimes, he just can't help himself.  Darn Easter Bunny.
Down below are the kids dressed up and ready for Easter.



Yep, I have beautiful children!