Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dance Season 2014

Turns out I'm lucky enough to drive to the dance studio EVERY SINGLY DAY OF THE WORK WEEK this year.  I know, everyone says I did it to myself because apparently I don't know how to say no.  That or I'm a total sucker for working my hind end off so my kids can participate in all of the activities they'd like to participate in.

Sam told me this spring that she wants to take pointe.  In talking to Jenny I learned that she needs a minimum of 1-2 yrs of classic ballet classes/training prior to taking pointe class or she will very likely ruin her feet.  Seeing that she wants to be a dance teacher I think she kind of needs her feet to be well loved and taken care of.  I talked to some people at Tueller's and apparently they are putting students into pointe classes at the age of 11 now.  They start classic ballet classes there at 3 yo - LaShar's doesn't offer classic ballet classes because they don't have a demand for it.  The only other place I knew of in town that teaches ballet is the Cache School of Ballet (aka Cache Valley Civic Ballet).  I called this summer and found out the information about classes, tuition, etc.  In doing so I learned that they operate on a semester basis rather than a season or yr basis.  The fall semester is 15 wks and runs $300 (that's $100 a month or $48 a month more than what I pay for her competitive tuition).  They also have to wear a uniform - black leotard, black skirt, pink tights and pink ballet flats (not half soles).  I explained to Sam that if she signed up at CVSB and stayed at LaShars it would mean she would be dancing four days/five hours a week.  This wouldn't leave much time for friends or much else.  I told her she had to make that decision and if that was the decision she made she had to be ok with it.  I also told her if her school work slipped I would pull her out of the second studio because school is most important and still comes first.  It took her a week or two to decide that's what she really wanted to do.  Her dad wasn't so sure - something about that's too many days, too many hours for a kid her age. ;)  When Sam heard that she had a bit of her mother's "I'll show you" attitude come out.
Thus, she has begun dancing at the Cache Valley School of Ballet this year.  She feels super naked wearing the uniform and was horrified to think I didn't have her black skirt the first day (hence a super quick stop at Wal mart on lesson two prior to class starting).
After her first lesson I asked her how it went.  She told me that they were doing a dance and the teacher was telling them to do this and do that and she didn't understand what the teacher was talking about.  Finally the teacher stopped and asked who didn't know what such and such was.  Sam raised her hand and the teacher asked her what level she had been in prior to this class.  Sam told her she was new there.  Apparently the teacher had been using the French names for the ballet positions rather than the English version of 1st, 2nd, 3rd position, etc.  Sam told me, "Once she used English I knew what she was talking about!  Who does that mom?!  Who uses the French words?!  I don't speak French!"  I tried really hard not to laugh.  I had to tell her teacher at LaShars about it and let her know she should throw out the French names on occasion in order to help Sam out!
I asked her if it was something she thought she was going to want to keep doing after the first semester.  She kind of shrugged her shoulders and said we'll see.  She likes the instructor and she said the class wasn't bad "once she started speaking English!"  I think she just feels out of place because she's uncomfortable in her leotard (they don't require that at LaShars) and everyone else in her class has been there since they were B's age.  I felt bad for her on Wednesday though because apparently the instructor didn't have them stretch on Tuesday and her legs HURT like the devil on Wednesday and I still made her go to class at LaShars.  She did say that they stretched before their second lesson though so that was good to hear.

The bright side of Sam's self induced torture for my other kids is that the Cache Valley School of Ballet is located at the Whittier Center.  This means that for an hour and a half twice a week they get a free for all on a huge playground.  It was quickly voted favorite dance studio by these two:

 And this little diva started lessons this week as well.  This time there was no crying, no screaming, no standing in the corner telling me "You're ruining my life!"  I took her upstairs and helped her with her shoes.  She had met Teacher Misha the day or two before and she was good to go!  I asked her if I could wait downstairs and she was like, "Um, yea.  Bye!" and off she went!  Yay for progress!  And, yay for the fact that her dance day is one of the days Sam is already at LaShars.  Too bad their classes are back to back instead of at the same time!

The boys are back in tumbling this year as well.  They loved going so much and asked if they could do it again this year.  That means on the one day that I'm not hauling Sam to dance lessons I'm hauling boys to the dance studio for tumbling!  At least they're on the same day, right?  Too bad they are back to back too instead of at the same time.  Oh well, makes us get creative on what to do without spending any money while kids are at practice!  How we're managing to squeeze piano in there a day as well, well, I'm not really sure!

Trout & Berry Days

So Sam spent the night last Friday night at my parents house.  My dad called me Saturday morning to see what we were up to and if we wanted to venture to Trout & Berry days with him & Sam.  I'm always game for something fun, so, why not?

They have this fish catching contest of sorts.  You pay a dollar to go jump into a hay bale/tarp made swimming pool that's so full of trout you could walk on them.  Certain fish have a tag on their gill.  If you catch a fish with a tag on it you win a prize.  They do these by age starting with 2-3 yr olds and working up to women.  Oh, did I mention that you catch the fish with your hands?

Brooke was all game until she realized I was going to stick her in the pool with the fish!  That's when she decided to cling to me and cry!  Ha!  Silly girl!  She LOVES fishing.  I was surprised at her reaction.  I kept pointing the fish out to her and telling her to "grab it!"  I'm pretty sure she thought I was insane.  I put her hands into the water to try and help her and she immediately pulled them back out of the water and put them up by her chest.  I finally reached in and just pulled one out for her.  I was showing it to her and she was still crying.  I told her to touch it and she did NOT want anything to do with that!  So, being the awesome mom I am, I rubbed it against her hand!  I told her that we'd go get a bag for her fish and to come with me.  Once I go the fish in the bag and handed her the bag (so she wasn't actually touching it) she was just the proudest thing in the world!  You would have thought it was the biggest fish she'd ever seen!  Later she told us she didn't like it because the fish were "tickling my feet!"

Up next was Caleb.  He ended up going in with the 7-8 yr olds because he missed the 5-6 yr olds (that's when B went because she missed her age group).  He had told me he didn't want to do it.  When I told him I'd go in with him that's when he decided it might be ok.  He wasn't too keen about getting into this pool either.  I was trying to tell him just to use both hands to reach in and grab the fish around its belly.  When that didn't work I told him to scoop one out and just toss it over the edge onto the grass and we could go get a bag.  We finally got one out for him and got it into a bag.  When we had go over to take Brooke's out there were some guys there with knives and we thought they were going to filet it for us.  No, they just cut the dang head off.  Stupid!  So we told Caleb to let his fish keep its head!

Now Nash I wish I had had a video of.  Sam had my camera and was off by the bouncy houses.  I thought for sure Nash would have this down.  The kid is fearless.  He had his pant legs rolled up and had watched every group before him go with intense concentration.  I figured he'd nail it.  Oh. My. Hell.  The kid was HILARIOUS to watch!  He got in the pool and would barely stick his fingers into the water and then jump away and pull them back!  I kept yelling at him to put both his hands into the water and just grab it around the belly.  Nope.  Then I told him to just scoop one out of the edge.  Nope.  At one point he quit his dancing and climbed onto the hay bales around the edges and tried to get one with one hand that way.  Nope.  Poor kid ran out of time and never got a fish.  Later he told me that he didn't like them by his feet.  I told his dad that he needs to spend a lot more time with the fishies!  If his mom is willing to stick her hands into the pool and grab two different fish for two different kids AND she gutted both of said fish all by herself, he should be able to grab a fish!  Or at least not dance around in a pool filled with them and make himself look like a spastic wild man!

Here's where he's on the edge of the hay bales

Anyone that knows my dad knows he's a balloon hating Nazi.  I was shocked when he told the kids they could get a balloon animal.  Caleb got a green octopus, Brooke got a blue horse & Sam & Nash got green one eyed monsters.

Sam also got grandpa to cough up the money for this adorable hat.  She sure loves her hats.

First day of school 2014!

When did she turn into an 11 1/2 yr old sixth grader?!  I did not say that was ok!  She has to wake up between 5:30-6 am so she can be out the door by 6:30 to catch the bus.  I was really worried about that because sister is NOT a morning person.  Lucky for her she has mostly gotten herself up (thank you dad's old alarm clock in her room) and gotten herself ready.  I get up at 6 to be sure she's up but usually only end up talking to her for a few minutes before going back to bed for a bit.  She's gotten her locker down (I think...well mostly anyway) and is enjoying each class.  I think she really likes that there are lots of new kids to get to meet.

When, how and why she became OBSESSED with Batman I'm not really sure...but, she is.

Fourth grade?!  What?  Weren't you just in Kindergarten?  This year Nash has Mr. Curtis (all the fourth grade teachers at his school are men) and seems to be enjoying it.  He's gotten the year off to a great start by being organized and responsible (thank you for beginning 7 Habits with my children Canyon Elementary).  Nash is ready to begin his AR tests because he has about 5 books he's read over the summer to test on (unfortunately there are only tests for two of those books - boo).  He has set himself some awesome goals and the best part is is that he's excited about them!  Wahoo!  Here's to hoping Nash LOVES fourth grade.

School all day?  Finally?  First grade is great for mom!  Caleb is in first grade this year and has Mrs. Olsen (who just happens to be who Nash had in first grade and we love her dearly).  Caleb seems to be enjoying school so far.  He hasn't said too much to me about it.  When I ask "What did you do at school today?" I generally get "Um..I don't know."  Yep, he's still in "Caleb-land."

Love how handsome these two are!

And this sassy little super star qualified for speech this spring when I took her to the district preschool screenings.  She's super excited about the fact that she gets to go to her brothers' school 2 times a week for preschool!  It's only 30 minutes each time but she doesn't care.  She's on top of the world!

Preschool starts on Tuesday for me.  I had my open house yesterday and today.  Had all but about 4 (out of 20 kids) show up so not too bad.  Most of my four year olds were here last year so that will make it nice.  Four of the eight in the three year old class are related! (Sunny, Brooke, Braxton & Lincoln)  We're going to have lots of fun & I'm glad Travis will be around for 2 weeks instead of one so he can go on all our field trips!  But he's thrilled about that idea!  I told him on the phone tonight I just realized I scheduled our trip to the fire station the next time he's home so they can put all the gear on him again!  Good thing he's such a good sport!

A few days into school I left a note out for Sam.  You can see her response in pen on the right side.  Made me smile all day long.

Nash gets baptized....FINALLY!

Well, better late than never...right?  This one took us awhile but that's because his dad wanted to be able to baptize him...check!  Nash did a great job (not that I was worried, I"m pretty sure he's part fish) and so did his dad (no forgotten words!).  We're proud of you buddy!

Floating the Oneida Narrows

Our last big hoo-rah before school started was a camping trip to the Oneida Narrows with my mom and dad, Uncle Doug, Aunt Kathy, Uncle Darwin, Aunt Debbie, Melissa & Braxton.  Travis, Sam & Nash had floated the river before with Melissa & Doug but I had never done it.  I wasn't too sure this was a good idea when we left home.  
We lucked out and had a great camping site.  The kids went to the water immediately and promptly made friends.  Then they ended up borrowing the peddle boat their friends had & played around on it!

On Saturday we floated the river for the first time.  I felt so bad!  My mom hit a rock in the first set of rapids.  She didn't make it too far before her tube was flat.  My dad helped her get on his tube and he got out of the water (he's floated before and mom hasn't).  Mom had to wait 20 minutes for Doug and Melissa to come by but eventually they made it!  We had a good float and ended up going to the stopping point (mom only went to the half way point).  Brooke rode in my tube with me and Caleb rode in a tube with Travis.  Sam & Nash had their own tubes.  We let Brooke, Caleb & Sam out at the half way point.  Poor Nash got dumped out on the second half of the river but he recouped fast!

We floated the river on Sunday too.  My mom and dad left early and didn't float with us.  They did take Brooke & Caleb home with them though because they didn't want to float again.  That made it much easier for me!  Brandon & Katie came up and Brandon floated with Braxton this time.

My butt found a rock under the second bridge.  This is after we came out from under the bridge and I was suffering from my rock collision!

There is this nice jumping rock on the second half of the river.  We stopped both days & Nash & Travis jumped off multiple times.  Travis did a flip off of it on Saturday and ended up hurting himself so he wouldn't do it again!

It was a fun float and I think we're going to make it an August tradition!  So much fun!

A few days after we got home this is what my knee looked like (major crash at the half way point).