Saturday, May 31, 2008

Recital Day for Madeline

So this has been a busy week for us. Nonnie (my Mom) has been here all week. She came for Sadie's recital and stayed until Madeline's recital (details later in this post). It's been great having her here all week and I already miss her.

This has been a week for finishing probes (reports on things that go into a "probe book" and they decorate it, etc.). Sadie's last probe for the year was on the Roman Aqueducts. Very dry subject - teehee. Have you ever tried to find stuff to decorate a report on Aqueducts? Until you have you will never know the angst of such an exercise in futility. Madeline's was a little more labor intensive, yet, easier to decorate for. She had to make a model (which, of course, means paper mache' for us - ugh!) of a stingray. Here it is...
She made a 90 on it. I was proud of her. I really didn't help her at all, except mixing up the mache' soup and typing it up - which I used a font too big and she got counted off 5 points for it. Big help I was.

At some point during the week - the days all run together now - Anna got into the ink pads (yet again). Just when I think I've hidden them or put them up high enough, she either finds one I didn't know about or fooled myself thinking it was hidden well. Here she is in all her blue splendor.

Yep, that's blue on her face, hands, arms, legs, feet. She looks like she's turning into Elfaba (from "Wicked"). She actually did try to clean herself up, finding some wipes and trying to get it off herself. Didn't work.

On to today...

Here is Madeline and Nonnie as we were leaving for the recital. Mads didn't seem nervous at all.

At "her" chair backstage, with her costumes. Such a cutie.
She had alot of energy and couldn't resist running around and managed to find this "stage" outside the theatre. When she first got up there she was still and facing the other way. I told my mom that I bet she turned around and posed and sure enough, this was her pose.
After a wonderful show, every ballerina should receive flowers. We did not disappoint.
Gettin' some Nonnie-lovin' before she headed back to Louisiana.

I will tell you all I feel like a circle has been completed in some way today. 4 years ago, we (Sadie, Madeline and I) went to Andrea's (Ricky's daughter) recital at Texas Hall (where Madeline's was held today) and Madeline, especially, was smitten. We happened to be sitting near a wheelchair spot (think "mini stage" for a 3 year old) and Madeline could not stop dancing with the girls onstage. I said to her that we should go in the back so we didn't disrupt people trying to watch the people on stage and we got up and went to the back and she said "up there?" pointing to the big stage. I told her "no, we can't go up there but you can dance your heart out back here". She and Sadie danced their way to the end. I told Miss Persis about it later at church and she said that I should have let her come up there, that she would have let her dance. I doubted what she said at the time (that Miss P would have let her on stage) but having had the last 4 years to get to know her better, I believe she would have, if for no other reason than to allow one more person to realize their dream.

They both took dance that next year at Miss Persis' Studio which happened to not be a recital year. Madeline had her own vision of dance and wasn't ready for anyone to tell her how to do it so she didn't finish the year. Sadie was old enough that I made her finish the year but she opted out the next year finding out it was a recital year. No big stage for her.

Fast forward 2 more years and here we are. Madeline wanted to take dance and did very well at it, loved it and looked forward to dancing in the recital. Today, she did just that. Saw her dreams realized when she took that big stage and danced so well and so energetically. Not one moment of stage fright or second thoughts. I asked her on Wednesday night after the first rehearsal at Texas Hall if she liked dancing on that big stage. She enthusiastically said "yes". I am so proud of her seeing this year of classes, rehearsals and recital through. She's made it look so fun that even Sadie wants to give it a go again. That is yet to be determined. However, as I reflect on today's events, I see the growth of my Madeline, the love of dance that Miss Persis unknowingly instilled in her 4 years ago performed on a stage as big as Madeline's unlimited potential. Thank you, Miss Persis (and all your wonderful teachers).

This is not necessarily a "bootleg" of the recital as it is the dress rehearsal that took place last night. It's just the first dance that Madeline performed. She is the one essentially in the middle of my frame. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Anna's program

Anna had her "end of year" program today. I can only imagine in this picture, she was telling her friend "see, that's my mom, right there, taking another picture of me to put on her blog".

All the kids were singing "Buenos Dias" and she was looking around like "what the heck are all these kids doing singing all at the same time?".
She at least did one of the motions for "Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee". This was the one and only motion she did. But, she was the cutest one up there. And I really don't think I'm partial at all. Well, maybe a little.


Gotta brag!

Gotta brag on my Sadie, please indulge me.

She missed two, TWO - 2, one + one, on her TAKS test. She only missed one on her reading so, all in all, on both tests, she missed only 3! She is commended on both.

Way to go, Sadie.

You can all go about your business again.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Graduation Party

Today we celebrated our niece Hannah's graduation from Bishop Dunne High School. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in her class and we are so proud of her. Dana threw the shindig and a great time was had by young and old, alike.

This is Madeline playing in the slip and slide...
nice action shot, huh?
Anna having some watermelon.
Anna, caught in a net.
Anna on the ground, begging me to take a picture of her so she can see it and her blue eyes. She seems to be enamored with her eyes lately. She just discovered, on Thursday, that she has blue eyes, and not only that but she has two of them!
My baby boy, Jon.
Sadie wowed 'em with her hitting ablility.

Young and experienced domino players.
Our whole little gang.
Mads up in a tree.
Sadie and Mads having fun up in the tree.
All three girls posing in the tree.
Really, it was alot of fun today and thank you, Dana for such a lovely place to sit and enjoy or play or relax or eat or whatever we wanted to do. We appreciate your hospitality.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

busy saturday

Yesterday, my Mumsey came to our house to stay until next Saturday. Everyone was so excited. Especially Madeline and Anna, they went outside to wait for her...
One of the reasons she came to visit was to see Sadie's piano recital. This is Sadie on her way to the recital. We got her a balloon to wish her luck.

This is her performance.

After all the performances, awards were given out. Among others, she got a gold medal for her theory test (state issued, I think- it looks VERY official) and a bronze medal for piano (Michele issued) and she also won a practice something or other and a bunch of other ribbons, too numerous to mention.

All of Michele's students were very impressive. She does a really great job teaching piano. Thank you, Michele, for your gift of teaching.

Michele and Sadie hugging (that cute red tin on the table was our gift to Michele, it had all sorts of goodies in it.

After the recital, Sadie made a pinata out of a pizza box. I have a video of Sadie and Madeline trying to break it but it's almost 4 minutes long and I didn't figure y'all wanted to watch that for that long. So, here's a picture of Anna trying to break it. I think it had fruit snacks and popsicles in it.

Then, as if that wasn't enough, Conrad, Mom, Phillip and Lisa (neighbors across the street) and I went to the gun range to shoot guns. Here's my "pistol packing mom" shooting hers.

I have to admit, it was a lot of fun, especially once I got over all the loud gun shot sounds (well, I guess that's what they actually were). In the beginning, I was jumping everytime a gun was shot and man, that got tiring - hard to aim a gun when you're jumping, too. I did pretty good, got lots of holes in my target. I foresee us going back there. Thanks, Mumsey and Phillip!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The bird incident

Here is a story tailor made for my blog. It is a true account of happenings in my house, just this morning.

As a warning - if circle of life incidents (as in animals doing what they do in the wild) make you queasy or infuriated, please read no further.

I was vacuuming away (it's what I do before my Mumsey visits) and Anna comes to me and says "Puss - intelligable- bird - eating". Now from this I got that Puss caught a bird and so I asked her "where is Puss?". She said "in here" and did that cute thing she does with her hand to indicate to me to follow. Of course, I did. This is what awaited me in the living room...

In case you can't tell, those are feathers all over the floor. Now, normally I wouldn't show our yucky carpet on this blog but this is a necessity to show you the amount of carnage.

I asked Anna where Puss was now and she went around the end of the couch and this is what I saw.

Apparently, all our cats are "Puss". This happens to be Rosie and lest you think he's innocent...
Incrminating evidence right there on his face.

Coming out to survey the damage he had done.

Then I looked behind the couch to see if the bird was dead or alive and alive he was.

Scared half out of his mind, but alive and NOT wanting to be in our house but enjoying the safety of behind the couch. And, since I was cleaning when this all happened, I would like to point out that I did NOT have to clean from behind the couch before I took this picture. It somehow stays clean! I think I want to live there. Anyway...

I called Conrad to tell him of Rosie's exploits and asked him how to get the bird out from under the couch. Just as a reference, this is the part of the couch that has a hide-a-bed in it and is heavier than...well, I don't know what, it's just heavy. That's about as far as I could get it out.

He suggested a broom and finally with some brooming and coaxing, it finally came out to the awaiting open patio door, flying to freedom and what is left of it's little birdy life with a story of survival and, hopefully, an appreciation for the gift of life.

That's our bird story.

I am happy to report that all feathers have been vaccuumed up and the only indication that anything happened is the feather left on Rosie's face. A kind of scarlet letter, if you will.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

just some stuff

OK, important things first.

ACA got the 3rd grade math TAKS scores back and 98% pass rate (2 didn't pass) and 20 something got 100 on it. What this means is ACA is offically rated exemplary again this year. I am so proud of the students and the teachers and administration for doing such an excellent job of educating our children. No, I don't know how Sadie did but I'm sure I'll find out soon and when I do, I'll let you know.

OK, next...

Madeline got her pictures made today for dance. This is her and Kolton (one of her best friends)...

Aren't they the cutest? I told Kolton he needed to take his momma out for a date in his little tuxedo. This is only one of her costumes, you have to have something to look forward to!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Wow, what a day yesterday. First was field day.

The downside of being the PTO President is that while I am at most all of the events of the school, I am not able to "be there" with the girls. Most of the time, I'm in the same vicinity or same room so I am able to see whatever is going on. At field day, it's different. The PTO has water and snacks and we have to "guard" them with our lives, lest they disappear before their time. We are under a pavilion while the actual events are out in a field where, unless they're right by the pavilion, we can't really see what's going on.

The girls would come in every now and then and show me their ribbons, see, here's Madeline showing off her early winnings.

This is Madeline and her teacher Mrs. Eisenhower. Mrs. Eisenhower won't be back next year. She's decided to stay home and "be a mom". Her husband, Mr. Eisenhower, also teaches at the school and Sadie will probably have him for something next year.
Sadie showing off her winnings. They're mostly second place ribbons. She's improving!
This is Sadie's class in the heat of the battle of tug-of-war. They did not win.
I went down for both girls' tug-of-wars and when Sadie was done, Madeline impulsively went up to her and hugged her in comfort. It was such a sweet thing for me to witness, I was glad I was there for the moment.

Anna, up to this point, had been with Jennifer. She takes such good care of her. As you can see, she's had a bang trim and while it's not as evident, also a bath. Jennifer had told me she was going to trim Lora's bangs and I told her that if the scissors found their way to Anna's bangs it wouldn't offend me. And, here she is - and you can see her eyes! She does a much better job than I do at that, for sure. Then she brought her up to field day and Anna had fun running around and being out in the open air and drinking water. All in all, a good day for field day. It was gorgeous, not too hot and seemed well organized. Of course, the PTO's part was efficiently run. Teehee!

Then, we had the Mother/Son outing at the Rangers' Game. Not the best day to have it since field day takes it out of most of us (especially us old - oops - experienced ones). But, when I planned the Mother/Son outing, field day was supposed to be May 2. For some reason, it was changed and we could do nothing about it so off we went.

We had some people meet at my house and walked up to the Ballpark (so as not to have to pay the $12 for parking). While walking, the National Anthem was sung and a flyover by helicopters (the type is still under debate at our house). I took a picture - the only picture of the night since I forgot my camera. I took this one with my phone. I think it's one of the coolest pictures I've taken.

And, just for the record, I found out why the flyover on opening day wasn't very loud. They were conserving fuel and slowed down and thus the "quiet" fly over. Posh. I want loud!

By the time we got home (after a 16-8 victory with 6 homeruns by the Rangers) I was as beat as I could be. I am still tired. We were given Hurricane Harbor tickets for tomorrow and I think Conrad will be taking the girls to that. I've got some cleaning to do anyway, Mom's coming on Friday!

Speaking of which...we will be going to the shooting range when she comes. She's all excited. She's bought another gun - one with a laser on it. OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!!! While she's here, she'll be very busy. We have two recitals, one end-of-year program, a lunch duty day, two Griffin Buck Truck days and the shooting range. How will we fit it all in?

By the way. If you're in town, Madeline is cordially inviting you to her recital. It's May 31 at 1pm. E-mail me or call me and I'll give you more specifics. She just wants everyone to be there.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

So, I'm a little late in updating my blog for this but...the girls had a special Mother's Day gift for me. And, as you know, in this family, gifts that are impossible to wrap are the best so without further ado...enjoy...

Tuesday, Madeline had a field trip to the Dallas Aquarium. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! This place is amazing. I took mostly video since, as you can imagine, the place is filled with glass - off of which a flash bounces, therefore, hard to take a picture. However, this shot of the flamingoes is one of my favs just because of their coloring that really showed up nicely in shot.

I have about 20 little videos that I hope to splice together (I found out I have video editing software on my little computer here) and put to music when I have time. Be looking for that in the next 20 years or so. Hopefully I'll get it done soon but, my goodness, I've been REALLY busy here of late and it's not looking like it's going to slow down any time soon. EGADS!

Obviously, Mads and me at the aquarium.

Really, I can't say anything bad about that aquarium. I was totally enjoying myself thinking "this is actually a fun field trip" when we ran across the seahorses. Now, let me tell you, if we had gone to the aquarium and they told us that the only sea creatures available for viewing were the seahorses, I would have been just fine. Those things are amazing! I mean, really, have you ever gotten to see them in the sea? Me neither, but there they were in their semi-natural habitat just swimming around with their little tails all curled up and their little fins going so fast you can't even tell they're moving. What a creature! OK, rather than go on and on ad nauseum about these things, I'll put the video I shot of them on here. Enjoy!

Isn't that just the bees knees?

I highly suggest this place for anyone, young or experienced or experienced persons who want to take young ones on an adventure, this is THE place to do it.

Weather just started POURING rain here. Hope it doesn't hail, tired of that already. Hope that video finishes loading before the power goes out....come on...come on....just flickered...come on...anytime now...yay! There it is!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day thoughts

Happy Mother's Day!

For all you mothers, future mothers and people with mothers, I hope you are having or have had a lovely day. I hope you remembered all the mothers in your life.

My thoughts on Motherhood...

Mothers are people, pure and simple
Usually not too pure and never simple.

Mothers have to be able to do at least 4 things at once,
and that's in the easier moments.

Mothers are artisans, chefs, emergency technicians, cleaning crew,
psychologists, event planners and many other things people are paid big bucks to do.

We love our children unconditionally and without fail.
We kiss their boo-boos and bolster them when they feel like failures.

We never stop worrying about them, even when they grow up.
We always have their well-being top-most in our hearts.

That's not to say that we don't sometimes dislike our children
or wish they wouldn't talk so much.

Or wish they would sleep a little later on Saturday mornings
or call more often or use deoderant a little more liberally.

Or use their heads more, or crack the books more or stay out of trees
or keep their rooms cleaner.

However, even for all the times we wish our kids________(you fill in the blank)
there is not enough time, words or space in the universe to explain the love we feel for our children.

They are the air we breathe, the space we occupy, the thoughts in our heads
the very beating of our hearts.

Motherhood may not pay too much monetarily but no one can put a price on the hugs,
kisses, or just pure joy we get from watching our children grow into lovely humans.

OK, well, that's my thoughts on Motherhood today for all you mothers. I know it's simplistic and probaby has been stated many times before but, it fell out of my heart when I sat down to update. So enjoy.

Happy Mother's Day to the Mothers who shaped and gave me life. Mumsey, Auntie B! And to all the other people I know who are mothers, may your day be blessed with hugs, kisses and phone calls. And, if you feel unappreciated by your own children, from one mother to another, I appreciate all you do.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to Anne Schindehette, the mother of my first husband. May your day be blessed!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Today, ACA was honored by the Federal Department of Education. It is National Charter School Week and we received a proclamation from President George Bush, himself. No, unfortunately, he didn't deliver it himself but he did send Tracy D. Young, the Deputy Secretary's Regional Representative of the United States Secretary of Education. Pretty impressive title. Along with Ms. Young, Dr. Patricia Crisp, the Public Affairs Specialist of the United States Department of Education, Dallas Office attended. My, those are alot of words in titles. I'm feeling mighty impressed with our little school.
This is Ms. Young.
Ms. Young, Mr. Simon and our Honor Choir, who sang during the presentation.
Mr. Simon and Ms. Young, holding our proclamation.
The proclamation. if you click on it and enlarge it, you can actually read it.

If I get the video of the actual "proclaiming" of our proclamation, I'll put it on here.

Yay, ACA!!!