Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day at Smith Mountain Lake

(I set the date back on this post so that the next few posts show up on the approximate date they occured)

In our family, traditions often just happen. Once we do things once or twice, they all of a sudden have become a "tradition". One of our traditions is to go to Nancy's parents house at Smith Mountain Lake over Memorial Day. We don't make it as often as we like because its a 4 hour drive from home; so the extended Memorial Day weekend makes it easier. Its also right after Michael's birthday so we frequently use that weekend to celebrate Michael's birthday with Granny and Granddaddy. This weekend was no different.

Granny and Grandaddy gave Michael his first set of REAL Golf Clubs. To date, he has had toy and plastic golf clubs; but these are real clubs, just kid's sized. Michael spent a good part of the next days in the yard hitting "wiffle ball" golf balls. With a little practice and instruction, I think he will become QUITE GOOD. But then again, Michael seems to excel at most sports he plays.

Another favorite activity is going out on Granddaddy's boat. Emma got to enjoy this for the first time this year. And there was no turning back. Emma LOVED going out on the boat and didn't want anybody messing with her experience. She stood at the front of the boat with her hands on the railing and watched the water and let the air blow in her face. She really had a great time.

The kids also enjoy going in the water at the lake. Nancy didn't think it was going to be warm enough for swimming, but it turned out to be quite warm. Samantha was fortunate to be able to borrow a suit from some girls whose parents have a house two doors down; Michael, however, had to be convinced that it was ok to swim in his shorts (like a bathing suit is really any different). They had a great time swimming and playing in the water!!

We came home late Sunday night to avoid the traffic coming home on Monday. The kids enjoyed playing outside on this last day of the weekend. Emma LOVES to swing while Samantha and Michael are playing. It was still hot at our house on Monday, so we pulled out the sprinkler and let them run through it to cool off!!

It was a nice relaxing weekend!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Dance competition

This past weekend, Samantha's dance classes competed in the Starbound Dance Competition in Salisbury, MD. After her soccer game on Saturday, we packed up the car and drove 3 hours to Salisbury, checked into the hotel, and relaxed a little before heading over to the Salisbury Civic Center for the competition.

Their first dance was their ballet dance. It was called "Fool" and they earned a "Gold" score for their performance.

Their next dance was their jazz dance. The costumes for this dance were really great and the black jazz shoes (spray painted at the last minute the night before) fit the costume beautifully. The jazz dance was performed to Body Language and their earned a "Gold" score for their performance.

Their last dance was their tap dance, performed to "Ring My Bell". They earned High Gold for their performance and 5th place in the junior level overall for the entire competition - all performances from groups 12 and under. These costumes are neat because the girls were paired off by color and there were multiple colors on the floor!

After the competition was over and all of the awards were presented, we went back to the hotel. And then, in the small world category, I met a man at the hotel pool who happens to coach the Lacrosse team at a college in my hometown. His family lives not far from my parents. And, to top it off, his daughter takes dance from Lynn Hampton at the Ardell Stone School of Dance, where I studied dance for 11 years with her mother, Ardell Stone. I attended High School with Lynn. And, this man's wife was a former French teacher at Cave Spring High School, my alma mater, and chaperoned the French Club's Quebec trip I went on my Senior Year. She remembered me as soon as her husband mentioned my name - very small world.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The long wait is FINALLY over!!

We picked up our new car today. We have been waiting anxiously since the beginning of March when we decided that it was time to sell our 12-year-old Acura Legend and buy a new car. We decided on the Hybrid Camry due to the stop-and-go traffic Mike sits in to working - thinking that we can at least save on gas!!

When we decided to buy a Camry Hybrid, the cars hadn't even started rolling off the production line yet. They finally have, and after a couple of "false starts" on the delivery date, it finally arrived this morning.

We are quite excited - its been 5 years since we bought a new vehicle (the Town and Country minivan) and 12 years since a new sedan - so this is quite nice!!

Emma is too smart for her own good!

For a little background - Emma spends a lot of time in her playyard. It takes up about 1/3 of our family room, but its contained and has all of her toys so I don't have to worry about her getting hurt or roaming the house, and she loves to play in her yard.

Anyway, we have two books of puzzles. She has managed to pull most of the pieces out of the books. Just this morning, I cleaned up her yard and took all of the puzzle pieces and the books and put them on the coffee table.

I put Emma in her yard after picking up Michael from school. As I am on the phone, I look over to watch her pushing the wall of her yard and walking towards the coffee table - she has figured out if she pushes hard enough, she can actually move her yard around the room - she has now moved it close enough to the coffee table to pick up the pieces of puzzle and throw them back into her yard.

Like I said - too smart for her own good!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Emma's favorite words!

There are three words that are sure to bring a smile to Emma's face every time she hears them. Her face lights up and she gets a big smile on her face and giggles:

- Samantha

- Michael

- Lunch!!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Piano and Party! That was our weekend!

We had a crazy weekend. It consisted of the kids piano recital on Friday night, a t-ball and a soccer game on Saturday (with t-ball team pictures squeezed in-between) and a birthday party for Michael in the afternoon.

The piano recital was nice. If you take out the uncomfortable church pews and the freezing cold temperature, it was really great. Samantha and Michael both did a great job. Each child went up when it was their turn and introduced themselves, told how long they had been playing and then introduced their songs. Everyone, that is, except Michael. Michael got shy when it was his turn to announce his name and songs, so finally the teacher announced it for him. He got flustered one time during his song, but recouped and then they were both perfect. Both of Samantha's songs were perfect too and she looked very beautiful in her new dress.

This is a photo of Samantha and Michael with their piano teacher, Miss Madeline!!

Then on Saturday we had Michael's birthday party. His actual birthday isn't until this coming weekend, but since we have an out-of-town dance competition, we celebrated with his friends this weekend. We rented a "jungle themed" moon bounce and had kids over for bouncing, hot dogs and cake!! It was quite rowdy with all of the kids bouncing in the moon bounce. They had a great time and we had perfect weather for the party!!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The curses of Spring!

I love Spring. Winter makes me depressed, so the warm weather, bright sun, green grass and trees, beautiful flowers - they all just wake me up and give me energy. But with all those wonderful things come the curses - the allergies. I can just LOOK at a bloom on a tree and my sinus pressure will increase. I have no idea what I'm allergic too - and a trip to the allergist last season was less than enlightening. But, the allergies have gotten me nontheless. I am on day 2 of the sinus headache that won't go away. Despite the antihistamine, decongestant, and pain killers. Nothing is working - even sleep didn't take it away. UGH!!

Is it too early to wish for summer and 90 degree weather - just so I don't have to suffer allergies!