Sunday, September 30, 2012

Playing in the Leaves

Our trees are finally big enough to create a leaf pile.  Not a big one mind you and certainly you have to get on top of it before the wind blows them all away.  Miss A had been creating a pile all week long and she was psyched for a nice fall weekend to jump into the pile with her sister.

Sunday afternoon was the perfect time.

I love how willing the girls are to do yard work or housework if the end result is fun.  If only I could figure out a way to make laundry a fun event.  I might actually get to the bottom of the pile and get all those socks put away.

All in all, they must have piled and jumped a half dozen times!  It was nearly dark before I got them to come in for dinner.  Next weekend, the girls are hoping to help our neighbors pile up their backyard. They have about six big trees that are just ripe for the raking.

We are loving our nice cool fall this year and it is perfect for leaf jumping.  Of course with the allergies in our house, this also means a great excuse for a jump in the shower to get all the dust and mold off our hair and bodies.  A sacrifice we are willing to make to have a little fun!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sewing Project: Halloween Costume

Once in awhile, I have a crazy idea that I can "make" or "create" these fabulous things.  I might have mentioned that before!  It's an illness really.  This year, I determined that I could make Miss A's Halloween costume regardless of the fact that I don't own a sewing machine and that it's been more that fifteen years since I last attempted sewing.

I vividly remember my 2nd grade Halloween party.  My mother was the Room Mother and thus in charge of the classroom party. I had asked that year to be a clown and my mother had made me an adorable pok-a-dot clown outfit complete with a cute hat with a big ball on top. The best part was, that on the day of the party, my mother showed up at school wearing a matching clown outfit.  We were twins.  In the eyes of a little seven year old girl, could there be anything better?  I loved it.

Now I'm not going to be able to show up at Miss A's party wearing a matching outfit ( I actually think she'd kill me; times have changed) but I am determined that Miss A should really have a homemade costume and she  when she told me she wanted to be a clown this year I knew it was fate.

Thankfully, my mother was willing to help me make this costume. First, Miss A and I went to Hobby Lobby and found the most adorable tie die patterned fabric and the best accessories to make this clown the best ever. Then my mom and I laid out the fabric and the pattern and started cutting it out.  Next, we sewed the body.  Because Miss A is very tall, we had to adjust the pattern a little to make it fit.  My mom offered to sew the set in sleeves for me and I agreed.

Miss A looks adorable in the costume. I'm waiting until Halloween to reveal the photo of the completed costume!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cheering on the Team and Our Favorite Dancer

Miss M's dance team had the opportunity to perform at halftime for a high school football game. It was her first time ever dancing on a football field.  It was fun to watch her warm up with the cheerleaders and get a taste of cheer/dance team for a high school.

Miss M said it was the most unique dance arena yet; the ground was hard, it was a little bit chilly, and the crowd seemed so far away.  It's nice once in awhile getting out of your element and trying new things!  Miss M was thrilled that her niece who is a student at the school was in the stand cheering her on.  I told her that she had the largest cheering section; her parents, grandparents, and her aunt and uncle.  You can't beat a crowd supporting you.

Thankfully, Miss M still has two more years before she heads off to high school.  While it was fun to "play" high school for a night, I'm grateful that we are not yet having to make that decision about where M will spend her high school years.  We are blessed to have lots of options where we live including both public and private that we want to research, visit, and pray about.  We want Miss M to be where she will get the best experience.

For now, we'll just go with cheering her on at all her dance performances!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall Family Fun: Apple Picking

There is something marvelous about walking through an Apple Orchard among the trees and the fallen apples that awakens in you a love of fall.  It's as if you taste the season, feel it's warmth, and embraced by the beauty of God's World.  At least that's how I felt when my family and I spent the day at a nearby apple farm and enjoyed wandering through the rows of Winesap, Fuji, and Golden Delicious apples.

We not only got to pick a small bushel of apples to take home, but as we walked through the beautiful golden leaves falling off the trees,we got a glimpse at the beauty all around us.  It was as if it was just waiting for us to take all of it in. Our amazing day spent doing "all things fall" was just what our family needed after a busy few weeks of school and assorted activities.

Nothing beats watching your kids grab "apple picker" poles and reach for the highest apples.  I loved hearing them crunch on yet another type of apple to make sure they are picking the right kind.  Who knew that Winesap are the best for lunch boxes and snacks.  Golden Delicious are the best for apple pies and Fuji's are Miss A's favorite of all, but only the really red ones.

Sure we did the normal apple farm events, sitting on haystacks and walking over bridges trying to capture the same scene from the year before.  There were hammock making races, boys stuck in logs and giggling over a mother who thought that a small animal hat built a door in a tree trunk.  Then to make the afternoon "perfect," we had apple pie, apple slushes, and Carmel apples that left our tummies happy and our fingers sticky.

Fall how I love thee!  These are the moments I will store away in my heart for years to come.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Homecoming Dance

If I ever needed proof that time is really flying, I only need to look at the Homecoming Dance pictures and see my son all dressed up and look into the eyes of his date, the daughter of one of my best friends and there is no doubt we are in wrap speed around here.  My friend K and I both said that it seems like yesterday we were taking two little babies on a stroller walk talking about the best pacifiers.

Mr C and two of his best buddies and Miss E and two of her close friends had a great evening of fun taking pictures, eating at Ruby Tuesday, and dancing the night away.  

Miss M and Miss A were thrilled that we got to see the girls in their pretty dresses during the photo shoot.  Of course, it was all they talked about for days afterword.  We discussed their pretty their hair, how we loved each of the dresses and just how adorable they all were.  Miss A thought the dresses looked like something you could have worn for Princess Kate's wedding, Miss M loved the style of the dresses and envied how they could walk in such high heels.  

After pictures, we took the girls out to dinner (different restaurant from C though both M and A thought it would be great to show up at Ruby Tuesdays) and were amazed that a table near us was full of homecoming kids.  The amazing part was that the girls dresses were so short and tight.  One girl had to constantly "hike" it down to make sure all was covered up if you know what I mean.  I seriously wondered if maybe she had switched outfits at the restaurant certain that no mother would have allowed her daughter out of the house with that short of a hem!  

The real amazing thing is that in a few short years it will be my girls going to dances and I'll be the mother saying no to all the short stuff.  Makes you long for the days of Laura Ashley dresses and Jessica McClintok fancy dresses. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Homecoming Football Game: Victory and Tradition

The Knights are not what you would call a football powerhouse.  In fact, they haven't won a game in two years.  We claim it's due to the fact that it's hard to be "great" at everything.  Our ACT scores rock! However, this year the team is energized by a new head coach and a focus on creating traditions.  It's been fun to watch the team gel and we've all enjoyed the tailgates, pep rallies, and game day excitement.

What we've been the most proud of though is how play after play, down after down, the players get out there and give it there all no matter what the score.  That takes guts and I'll cheer for those boys any day.

Homecoming Week featured a tailgate and a pep rally; the perfect combination for fun in the afternoon sunshine and a great way to build some enthusiasm for the big game.  By Friday, we were all psyched; the girls were wearing the black and red, I had a new Knight shirt, P was doing his normal pacing during a game and Mr C and friends were going crazy yelling, screaming and cheering for the team. There were even cheerleaders from a local all girls school. Yeah!

It was an amazing night and at the end the scoreboard showed us with a huge victory. So much fun.  The best part of the evening was that the boys were welcomed back to campus with a "headlight red carpet."  P and Mr C took our van out to the school and joined all the parents in lining the main street of campus cheering, honking horns, and flashing their headlights while the football players walked down the road arm in arm!  It was an amazing way to celebrate the victory and to show our pride in the team.  Hopefully, this "new tradition" will become a common occurrence.  Go Knights!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tennis Anyone? Taking on a New Sport

Playing football last year really wasn't Mr C's thing and over the summer he decided that he wanted to try his hand at a new sport; Tennis.  Thankfully at the fitness club, we have full access to some really nice courts. Over the summer whenever he wasn't playing golf, Mr C was using a racket and perfecting his backhand and serve.  I'll give this kid credit; when he puts his mind to something he doesn't let anything stand it his way.

Mr C made the JV Tennis Team at his school in August. So in addition to practice every day after school, he  has been practicing  in the evening (after required study hall) taking on his dad in a match.  Thankfully, the courts have lights as I'm not sure that you can see those little yellow balls after nine without them!  My husband who bless his heart has not played tennis in years has really enjoyed these late night volleys and has said that Mr C who is quicker and more agile has really given him a run for his money.  Of course, he'd be quick to point out that he still beats him as he's smarter. But it won't be long until the tables turn!

I was able to watch two of his matches and I can attest that Mr C really has learned a lot in a few short months.  In his first ever match, he was behind his opponent three sets to zero and then rallied back to lose seven to six.  He might not have won, but boy was it impressive that this new tennis star was really catching on.  In fact, the parents of C's opponents commented that their son had been playing since a little kid.

What I've loved the most about this adventure into Tennis is that he's never given up, he's been coach able, he's tried the skills until he's perfected them and he's given it his all.  Some friends teased that Mr C is now only playing the "Country Club Sports." and while tennis and golf certainly aren't the intense contact sports of  football or soccer, he's definitely not just taking it easy. He's given 100% to the team and to being the best he could in competition.

At Mr C's second tournament, Miss A and I arrived a little late and by the time we sat down and got ourselves settled the match was over. I thought at first that maybe the previous match was just warm up; but was told by my son that it's a quick seven sets when you are winning every point. Oh how quickly you can get a little over confident!

I'm just so thrilled that Mr C goes to a school where he's not only academically challenged, but one in which he's gotten the opportunity to stretch himself physically and try new sports!  The best part of tennis and golf is that those are lifetime sports.  He can play them for the rest of his life, no torn ACL's or concessions to worry about.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Weekend: Splash and Rest Could You Ask For More?

It's amazing how much you need a few days off to recover from the first few weeks of school and fall commitments; Thank you Labor Day!  Spending the weekend with friends at the lake, taking a final dip in the pool, and having a family tennis game.  Can you say perfect!

The only problem with having so much fun is that you need a few days to recover afterwards!  Of course, the crazy busy fun also means that the mom didn't have time to catch all the perfect photos as she was too busy just soaking up the sunshine and happy faces of her children.  I'm still trying to balance the need to capture the moment with the desire to just enjoy "the" moment.  These are the days I pray for a Mary heart to just "ponder" more so that these days are stored in my heart.

Rest. Sun. Family. Friends. Fabulous.  Now if we could just have a few more weekends like this before the long days of winter.  That would be perfection.