Monday, December 09, 2013

Yep, a post.

Remember me?  I'm sure no one even comes by here anymore because there's been nothing to see for over three months.  I cast no blame except to myself for not posting.  No apologies, no excuses, and no long stories why.  I'm just jumping right back in to it.

Quick recap, I've been teaching science to 4th, 5th, and 6th graders at the girls school.  I love it.  So much harder than I ever imagined, but so very rewarding.  I have a 4th grade "homeroom" class that is sweet as can be.  I love 'em all.

Girls have been doing their things - both in dance, both doing cheerleading, both in Girl Scouts (yes, I'm the leader of both troops), both learning tumbling; Syd has an extra day at dance and Layne does piano.  Just have to remember what day it is.  LOL!

The girls are one year older (Syd, 11 and Layne, 7) celebrating birthdays within three weeks of each other not too long ago.  Syd was a vampiress and Layne, Dorothy for Halloween.  And we went to Mimi's for Thankgiving (Jess had to work and did not want to begin preparing dinner when she got home, so we went out).  And now we are finishing the last few touches of decorating for Christmas.  The elf showed up right on time on December 1, and has been wreaking havoc since then.  LOL!

My parents are coming for the holidays, and I hope to post more - not only about the upcoming festivities, but some commentaries and pics about what's been going on the last three plus months.  After all, as Jess says all the time, this isn't really for you, it's for our family and chronicling our life.  So I have a little bit of catching up to do.

Until next time ...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Summer Vacation 2013 - Part 3

Over July 4th weekend, and just like last year, Layne was Rachel's Diamond State Princess for the Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Pageant.  Unlike last year when Rachel had two princesses, Layne was Rachel's only princess this year.  So there was a lot of Layne & Rachel alone time.  There was a lot of rehearsal time.  We had a fun going from one function to the other.

Wednesday was the Arrival event.  Here we were going down the elevator to line up and get ready to be introduced to everyone.


Rachel in white with blue polka dots and Layne in blue with white polka dots.  These two love each other!


At 11:00am, each of the teen queens was introduced.  After she descended the stairs, she joined the current Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen as well as Miss Arkansas. Each princess was crowned by her teen queen.


Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen - Laura Leigh Turner, Miss Arkansas - Sloan Roberts


After introduction.


On the stairs, taking a picture with ALL of the Diamond State Princes and Princesses.  I think there was  about 60 of them - ages 4-12 years.


Miss Arkansas Sloan Roberts is a former dancer at the studio where the girls dance, so she and the girls know each other.  Syd wanted her pic with her so bad, so we grabbed her and snapped a couple.


But Syd wanted her own picture.


So, then Layne did too.  LOL!


That night, the princesses and the queens had a pajama party - no parents allowed!  Layne and Rachel had matching pjs.


At the ice cream social, Layne received her certificate from the former Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Laura Leigh Turner.


This years dance was "Rock Star" theme and they danced to Gangnum Style.  So fun!  Here Layne wanted to show me some of her best rock star poses.  LOL!






And during the dance.  We just always looked for the blue tutu.  LOL!




Gangnum Style!!



And then she got ready to walk out on stage with Rachel, as she competed in the evening gown portion of the pageant.  All the princesses wear white ... and their crown.



Getting ready to take a group picture with all the princesses in white and crowns.


Layne is right most third row.



We ended up pulling her hair back for the actual stage walk.  The following picture was taken AFTER we learned that although Rachel made the top 15, she did not make the top 10.  Layne cried - not because she wouldn't go on stage again with Rachel (like she did last year when she came in 4th runner up), but because she was really sad for Rachel.  


Then all the princesses sang "Some Day, I'll Be Miss America" to a little dance.  It was cute and Layne did great, despite her sadness over Rachel not making it.




The weekend was fun - Layne had such a good time learning the dances and meeting new friends.  She also loved every minute of Rachel-time she got.  She is still deciding if she wants to do it again next year - Rachel will be too old to compete next year, so Layne would have to be another teen queen's princess.  This was her thing with Rachel, so it's a big decision for her.  We shall see...

While Layne and I were busy doing the DSP things, Jess was out playing with Syd, Maddie, and Colin.  And when we got a free few hours, we joined them.  The kids went go-carting, we played laser tag, and mini golf.  We also went on a duck tour around Hot Springs.  It was a lot of fun.  Here are a few pics.
At the gangster museum with Jess.


An afternoon having fun - we started with a duck tour.  And then some mini golf (this is outside Jurassic mini golf).


At the wax museum - pondering like Einstein.


At the best pancake house in town.


Here, Maddie and Layne show off their cousinly love.  <3 p="">


Good looking kids ready to go to the Saturday night finals for the pageant.


We returned home from the pageant late on Saturday night.  We packed up Maddie and Colin, and early Sunday morning, we said goodbye to them and put them on a plane back to Florida.  Sad to see them go, but we had an awesome couple weeks during their visit.  Can't wait for them to come back next summer.

We had one day to get unpack ... and repacked for Nationals.  The dance competition was held in Tulsa, OK.  So on Tuesday, we packed up the car and headed five hours north.  That post, coming soon.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Vacation 2013 - Part 2


Since I posted last, we've been out of town two more times.  We got home last week and spent the time unpacking and just trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer.  I've been working on editing and resizing all the pics from my camera and phone so I can post them all here.  So get ready!

After SeaWorld, we drove to Jess's father's house in Vero Beach.  We spent a couple days visiting with Bill and his ladyfriend, Caroline.  We enjoyed a couple days of visiting and sun.

First, they took us out on their boat to do a little fishing.  Sydney was pretty excited.


Unfortunately, none of us were very interested in actually baiting a hook and holding a pole except for Syd.  Layne just wanted to eat pretzels.


And lounge around.  LOL!  Doesn't she look comfy?!


But Syd just kept right on fishing.  Got a couple nibbles, but not much more.  I think she was just enjoying looking pretty cool.  LOL!


Bill and Caroline have four crab traps off their dock and they eat the crabs they catch - well, they eat the claws.  Here, they girls help him with this stone crab.  They usually clip off both claws before throwing them back in the water (the claws grow back), but Jess and I felt bad leaving them defenseless.  So Bill only clipped off one.  LOL!


Sydney wanted to fish all the time.  She would fish when everyone else was in the pool.


She was very determined to catch something, but every time Caroline baited the hook for her, she'd feel something tug and when she reeled it in, there was nothing.  She was so bummed.


So she got in the pool instead.


Layne got in the fun too.


And so did I.  LOL!


Playing "momma and baby turtle".  LOL!


After a day on the boat and an evening in the pool, Layne decided to wind down while playing with some of her SeaWorld pals.


Then "Grandpa" made them some popcorn in their movie popcorn maker.


The last night we were there, Bill and Caroline took us to dinner at the yacht club where they are members.  We had to get all dressed up.

My pretty girls!



After dinner, we drove to my parents house to begin our visit with them.  We did a lot of just hanging around because that's what we like to do best.  LOL!  The kids did a lot of swimming in my parent's neighborhood pool while the adults went shopping.  One day, we all went to the pool and brought along the camera for some more fun water pics.

Megan couldn't get enough of Layne.  And Layne just ate it up!  A match made in Heaven.  LOL!



Maddie (left) and Sydney (right) breaking the rules of the pool!  Yikes!


Yeah Colin!!


Peace, Maddie.


Even my mom and dad got in the pool!


Colin photo-bombed mom's pic.  LOL!


Posing ...


More posing (I know a little blurry, but an adorable underwater pic of these three!).


Even more posing.  LOL!


Layne insisted.  LOL!


More Colin.


My honey!


And me!


After a few days of thoroughly enjoying hanging out with my family and 10 days in Florida, we hit the road and headed home.

When we left Florida, we had two extra passengers.  Maddie and Colin came back to Arkansas with us.    They had never been to our house sans their mom.  So it was a fun, exciting trip for all of us (we love you Megan, but if the kids are going to spend time away from you, we want it to be with us.  LOL!)  They had spent several summers in Massachusetts with my other sisters, so we felt like it was our turn.

We arrived home from Florida on a Wednesday.  We had a week to unpack and swim and let the kids have some fun hanging out together before we hit the road again.  Here, the kids took advantage of a rainy thunderstormy day (thus, closed pool) and had a water balloon fight.

Here, Colin gets Sydney while Tuck tries to duck for cover.  LOL!  Maddie and Layne stay at a safe distance.  


Layne got a little brave and threw one at Colin.  It turned it to a "boys against girls" fight, but Colin did just fine being a team all his own.  LOL!  (Notice Maddie in the wings with a water balloon at the ready.)


Sydney revenges the earlier blow from Colin and gets him squarely on the back.


When it was all done, they picked up the balloon pieces and dried off.  I had fun just watching, so I know they had a blast playing.


The kids had so much fun hanging out for the week - swimming, water ballooning, insanity-ing (Maddie and Colin went with Syd and Layne to their dance insanity classes).  Then it was time to head to Hot Springs for the pageant where Layne was a Princess.

More on that in the next post.  Until then...