"Being a family means you are part of something wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what." ~Author Unknown



Monday, April 29, 2013

Let’s Dance

This weekend was the the last in a string of 3 weekends full of dance.  That means for 3 weeks in a row we’ve been up before 6am everyday!  That, we will not miss!  Dance rules our lives though, and this is the time we actually get to see the hard work pay off.  I’ve said this before, but we’re not a competition studio.  Our kids are trained to perform and enter the entertainment industry if that’s their ambition.  We always do a couple competitions for the experience though.  It’s fun, we don’t care if we win(although we almost always do:), and it’s a chance for the kids to practice their dances on stage and for an audience.     

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Before the weekend we had rehearsal.  Livy is in a class that competes too, so we got to see her dances as well!

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So maybe I’m a little jealous of those muscles.

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I love seeing all the kids warming up!  It’s awesome to see them all together!

4 This is how dance kids do dinner.

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Competition means early mornings and long days.  Mark took Lexi and Sof to Kalamazoo for the weekend.  My mom had knee surgery a couple weeks ago, so she’s been recouping.  A visit from the grandkids was a perfect pick me up!  The good result of me being busy, is that Sof gets more time with Daddy, which reminds her that Daddy is a lot of fun.  I thought she would have a tough time with me not going to K-zoo with her, but she was up and ready before Daddy even got out of bed!

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Let’s go Daddy!!

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Saturday was Livy’s day to compete.  Adrienne also teaches 2 classes, so she was there with them.  She didn’t dance until Sunday though!

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My sister wasn’t so lucky to have her little ones out of town!  She had to keep this bug entertained all day!

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Sunday we had to leave the house by 6:30am, and Adrienne wasn’t feeling very fierce! 

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Once everyone got there and warmed up, they found their mojo and shined on stage!  It was an earlier afternoon finish, which left time for dinner out.  Always the favorite part of any dance event!

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This girlPointing up is graduating this year.  She’s going to a small college in Maryland on a sizable scholarship to study dance and pre-med.  The boy in the front right will be going to NYU to study dance and chemistry.  And they’re both nice to boot!  So proud of all our dancers!

10It never fails, once they’ve eaten the sillies come out.  They decided to give Adrienne a new look. 

11      Crazy kids!

Livin’ the Life

We’re busy gettin’ on with the goings on.  There’s been a lot of dance stuff that has pulled Mommy and Adrienne away from the house on evenings and weekends.  Sof has a hard time with that.  She needs her Mommy time.  She’s been a little weepy at school drop off’s. 

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She’s been a little clingly.

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I even woke up one morning and realized she was in my bed.

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She seems to have learned to make her own lunch though, so I guess that’s a good thing!  In our house, if you want something done right now, do it yourself.  If you want something done when it’s convenient, by all means wait for mama.  

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We had our Friday morning coffee date.  She waits all week for “Mommy and Sofie Morning” as she calls it.  A little glimpse of her as a teen(or maybe sooner)…

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Even Lexi was missing me a bit.  She asked if we could get ice cream before we picked Adrienne up from dance.  I told her dad was doing pick up, but he’d probably love an ice cream!  She said, “I want you to take me”.  I made sacrifice and had to eat ice cream.  What else was I supposed to do?:)

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We haven’t had even a peek of spring this April.  In fact, on April 24, it looked like this:

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Really?  I can’t even stand it anymore.  Just when I thought I couldn’t take another cold, wet day, we got a ray of sunshine!  It’s amazing what we packed into that one lonely sunny day!

22 We played outside in the back yard.

49We went to the park.

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We actually saw shadows!  ‘Cause sun is needed for those.

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How cute are my cowboy boots?  Yeah, I know, sooooooooo cute!

We even took a walk.  Well, we walked and Sof rode her bike.  She made it all the way! 

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More good weather seems to be on the horizon…dare I get my hopes up? 

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Even scratches loves the nice weather, but at night she wants to be snuggled next to her Lexi!

The Last of the Birthdays

We have so many birthdays in March and April that honestly, by the time it gets to Kaitlyn we’re a little lack luster with the celebration.  My sweet Peanut turned 7 though, and that’s important.  

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She shares the same big heart as Lexi.  Always concerned about everyone else, and always wanting to help.  A little mother in the making, practicing first on her baby dolls, and now on the real thing-baby Natty!  For awhile it looked as though she would be the baby of the cousins.  What a shame that would have been!  She is at her best when she is taking care of little sister and cousin.

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We had some dinner, presents, and playtime.  Natty Bug decided that Uncle Mark was her buddy for the night!

2I love the sequence of singing and candle blowing pictures.  It captures her personality exactly!  She would gladly step aside and let the spotlight go to someone else if they wanted it, but she appreciates relationships.  Her heart is happy when it is her time to shine!

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Happy Birthday Peanut!  May all your wishes come true. XOXO

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Thoughts, Ponderings, and Pics

Our weather in Michigan has been a parallel to our nation’s news this week.  It was sunny and 70 for a day, but in the blink of an eye it turned menacing.  Since then it’s been cold(even spitting snow), stormy, unpredictable, and so much precipitation at once it collected in puddles threatening to swallow you and your car whole. 

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The Boston bombings really struck a chord with me.  I’ve said several times this week, “I’m disgusted with humanity”.  I’m not really, I’m just frustrated with the lack of standards we seem to have in this country.  I’m sure many would counter me saying that in times like these it’s actually easiest to see the loving, generous, and good spirit of the human soul.  I agree, but what about the rest of the time?  Call it a hazard of the job, but being a teacher(and a mom) I am continually frustrated with the lack of responsibility we place on parental units.  We are always eager to blame failing schools, teachers, lack of resources, or anything else we can think of for why children aren’t thriving.  From my experience, the biggest factor in how children perform in school, academically, emotionally, and socially, is on the ball parents.  Parents that know what their kids are doing, talk to them, do homework with them, expose them to life, and most of all create boundaries for their behavior. 

9I’m not na├»ve.  I know I can’t control everything.  I can only lay the ground work.  Good kids will sometimes make bad choices. 

8    I want to my kids to know that every day you choose the path you will take to become you.  Every friendship choice, test, homework assignment, act of kindness, or meanness will eventually culminate in the kind of adult you are becoming.  Will you be a productive contributing member of our society?  Will you have the self control to walk the harder path because it’s the right one?  Or will you be inclined to take the easy way out, looking for instant gratification? 

2 So maybe I took the easy way out Friday.  I suppose I could have cooked an organic well balanced meal for my family. 

I will always sing my children’s praises, when they earn them.  I will not fill them with false confidence.  We keep it real here.  If you’re being annoying you will be told so.  If you are acting a fool you will be told so.  You will also be told when you have done a job well, contributed to the family, or made me proud.  It’s unbelievable to me the amount of parents that do not speak the truth to their children for fear of hurting their feelings.  How do children learn what desirable and undesirable behavior looks like if we don’t point out both? 

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The bombers’ father said his son was an angel.  Outstanding students and people.  That may have been true, but is he so blind to not see the possibility of evil lurking in them?  His older son spent 6 months overseas assumingly learning how to carry out terrorist activity.  You do not know where your son is for 6 months?  You think he’s just on vacation?  Shame on you.  Open your eyes and take responsibility for the children you are charged with, even after they’ve become adults. 

I could go on about this forever.  It is definitely my soap box subject, my hot button.  All I’m saying is good parenting can make such an impact on society.

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This week I tried to be conscious of the blessings in my life, even when they are challenging.

 18Why does this always happen just 2 hours after the cleaning lady was here?

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We had a quick overnight visit from our Grand Rapids friends. We always want more time with them, but that’s the beauty of it.  No matter how short or far between our visits are, we always pick up right where we left off. 

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We’ve been super busy with dance and it continues next weekend.  I love being a dance mom, so it’s not a chore:)  We had a great competition last weekend.  One of Adrienne’s dances got a perfect score, and was the top scoring dance overall for the whole weekend.  I hadn’t seen it since the fall when it was in it’s rough form.  It brought tears to my eyes it was so good!  Adrienne was amazing! 

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The cousins came to support, because we keep our people close:)

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We had dinner with our dance peeps after, and everyone was feeling celebratory!

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In support of all those who lost a life, limb, or sense of security in Boston, we will find our gifts and use them to make this world a better place.  We need more responsibility, self control, empathy, and most of all love.  Go out spreading it this week people…