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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Abigail's 2015 Ballet Recital

One of the highlights of the year for us as a family is Abby's yearly ballet recital.  She goes to a local Christian ballet school who puts on a fairly big and always spectacular ballet recital in June.  Starting in January, the girls start to practice their part of the recital.  There is a lower school and an upper school.  Abigail, as a younger girl, is part of the lower school.  The girls dance by class for the lower levels, the upper school girls all dance together as they are usually telling a story (this year it was the story of the fiery furnace - the book of Daniel in the Old Testament).  The little girls told of seven truths about God.  Costumes are ordered early in the year and we get them about a month before the rehearsal which starts all the excitement.  Last year Abigail was a monarch butterfly, and this year they wore pretty pink and glittery costumes.  Abigail was nervous this year, but not nearly as much as last year.  She was quite excited and was looking forward to all her peeps coming and cheering her on.  Margie and Olivia, Tanya and Hannah (Abby was on a road trip to Minnesota), Megan, Olive, Rusty, Rosie, Uncles Chris and Mike, Kathy G. and Grandma all came to the stunning performance.  Only Nathan missed it because of his mandatory all-star practice.  
This year Abby quite enjoyed her ballerina make-up.  The make-up is necessary to see any facial features against the bright light.  Especially a girl with Abby's light complexion would not show any facial features on DVD or photos.  She was really liking the lipstick and kept giggling about wearing it.  She also wore blush, mascara and eye liner.  Next year I will get her a good make-up kit.  This year it got so very busy and there are just too many choices of make-up colors.  Do you have any idea how many colors there are for blush????  Not even talking about lipstick.  And this mom doesn't even do make-up, so all is lost.  Maybe auntie Megan can help us out next year.  ;-)
This year's costumes were absolutely spectacular.  You are only seeing a very tiny selection below.  There are about 6 different costumes for the lower classes (each class has their own) and then the upper school has their own costumes (come in the pics below) as well.
Last year we weren't so sure about ballet but this year we are definitely in for the long haul.  Abby has caught the ballet bug and is constantly dancing to random music (favorite right now is Jeremy Camp's "He knows"), making up her own dances.  She is very good at it too.  And Isabelly likes to copy all her sister is doing.  Wish we had the money to send them both next year.  I will look into their scholarship program and see if it is for that kind of a scenario as well.

The upper school.  In the colored blue costume is Abby's teacher, Miss Cassie.  They are performing the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the Old Testament story of Daniel.

Miss Cassie, Abby's teacher.

My beautiful little girl.  She looks so grown up.  Next to her is her friend Jordan and next to Jordan is Abby's best friend from ballet, Abby.  That's right, there are two Abigails.  And even funnier, in the morning.class that performed on the other night, there was also a little redhead in the exact same costume as Abigail.

Photo credit:  Cavens Photography.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Old but cute

These are from January and I just saw them on Dave's computer.  They are too cute to not share...

Friday, June 19, 2015

Some Super Heroes Don't Have Capes, They Are Called Dad....

Happy Father's Day to an incredible, awesome dad!

Baseball 2015

Baseball season is over and Nathan's first ever All-star season has just begun.  He was a nervous wreck until he found out me made the team.  Now he's loving it and looking forward to the daily 3-hour practices.  Wouldn't you just love to be THAT in shape that you look forward to your 3-hour workout????  
He's had a great regular season, made new friends and learned more baseball.  He's developed into a nice all-around player who prefers the positions of pitcher, catcher, short-stop.  His favorite player is Mike Trout.  Hence, he got #27 for his All-star jersey.  And he finally got himself his first nickname.  A kid on his team calls him "Salmon" since he's got Trout's #27.  Nathan is proud of that.  Although his dad told him it is not good for wrestling season when you do not want to be seen as a fish (a bad wrestler who just flops on the mat like a fish).  
Dave is a fantastic coach and it shows with Nathan.  Nathan does not only have a good set of baseball skills, he also has baseball smarts.  He works hard, thanks to his dad instilling that work ethic into him.  As any 9-year old, he still doesn't quite know what to do when he doesn't experience success (might also be hard because his previous teams where all so successful).  
He made many new friends this year as his dad didn't manage, so many of the kids on the team were new to Nathan.  The weather this year has been fabulous, which always makes it easier for the girls.
I utterly love baseball season.  Mostly, because I love to see my husband coach.  :-)  He is incredible as a coach and I can't wait to see what he does during All-stars, where he was asked to coach.  

This is the first year where Nathan can steal bases and man, did he ever love that.  He was looking forward to it since last year.  

He had a great hitting year, also learning to be patient and not get yourself out when a pitcher is struggling to throw strikes.  That is hard for a 9-year old who wants to hit over the fence,

Sliding, another learned skill.  Pants that mom loves to wash and yes, all of his pants have holes in the knees.

His team relied heavily on Nathan to pitch and catch this year.  So much so that his arm got tired toward the end of the season.  He finished strong and now had some good rest, getting his arm back to speed.  He won't pitch in All-stars or catch for that matter, but he may be able to help out in a tournament situation when all the other guys are used up.

Elsa's Hair

Abby is just like me.  She is very sensitive when it comes to her hair.  Her hair is thick anyways, so any braid runs the risk of giving her a headache.  And with the curly, thick hair come lots of tangles that don't feel too good getting brushed and worked over.  But on this particular day, she was in a braid kind of mood.  She thought her hair looked like Elsa's (from Disney's Frozen movie), so she posed as well.

Friday, May 22, 2015

One Year Old Hannah

It's hard to believe my non-sleeping baby is 1!  That's right, she still doesn't sleep through the night.  Yep, coffee is my new best friend.  Or summer break.  This is totally my own fault.   But I blame it on Dave.  It's always his fault.  :-)
But other than that, this is such a charming little chubby thing.  I love her.  We all do.  She's stolen our hearts with her utter cuteness.  She's a complete W. - her dad's side of the family.  Other than the red hair, of course.  That's all my side of the family.  :-)  Oma is proud of that.  Well, we'll get to that later.

Just like Isabelle, she's a total daddy's girl.  Nathan and Abby were mama babies but Isabelle and Hannah, they want their dad over their mommy.

Not only does she have Abby's beautiful red hair, she has these absolutely striking blue eyes (baby blues - pun intended).  They are the same as cousin Olive's, icy on the inside with a darker blue circle around the edge.   They are still strange to me, being used to all brown-eyed people in my close circle.

She has the cutest little smirk.  See above.  It's her very own, no one else in the family has it.  It's super cute and she does it all day long.

She became best of friends with Oma.  She doesn't make friends easily unless you are a child.  She loves kids.  They must remind her of her siblings.  She is not a touchy baby though.  She likes to communicate from afar.

Smirk again.  It's just too cute.  She also looks great in blue/yellow and green.  None of them colors her mother can wear.  :-)

Hannah is very interested in people.  She is also a very busy baby right now, loving to empty the same kitchen cabinets every day.  We are working on that.

Hannah has the cutest toes.  They are her dad's in miniature.  It's adorable.  She has four teeth on the top and two on the bottom.

She's good friends with Captain America.  :-)  And she's a cuddler.  Hence the picture.  

And just an overall happy baby.  She smiles most of the day.  

She loves her pink car and her walking dog that she pushes around almost daily.  The dog makes her happy.  She doesn't actually need to ride in the pink car.  Her siblings do enjoy giving her rides though. 

We are in the playpen daily and play there with the Little People farm.  She is starting to enjoy her time in the pen.  :-)

While she wants to be part of the big kid's club, she doesn't want anyone touching her.  If they actually oblige, the will walk up to them and give kisses and hugs.

And she loves her daddy!

Hannah finally started eating food when my mom was here 4 weeks ago.  That's right.  Prior to that she only had an occasional splash with solids.  I mean seriously, what baby starts eating at one?  Especially if you have been offered food since you are six months old?  
She is strong-willed and super sweet.  She wants to be with mama, Oma or dada at all times.  She loves her siblings and gets super excited when she hears them for the first time of the day.  She loves reading books.  Most of her days, she spends running around our house and following mama.  At times she gets distracted and will play with someone or something else.  Sometimes she can even be convinced to play in her sisters' room with them for a while.  She has a love-hate relationship with baths.  Sometimes she loves them, sometimes she hates them.  
Bedtime isn't easy for her but she's working on it.  Her favorite food is - think about it - bananas.  Probably because we call her Hannah Banana.  She is sweet as can be, loving and so very interested in her people.  She lives with Copper but let's him know very loudly when he knocks her over.  She knows her people and gets excited to see someone like grandma who she hasn't seen in a few days. Like Abby, she LOVES music.  She bops her little head after a few notes. She gives the best ever hugs and pats me in the morning (copying how I always pat her back).
 She's been hanging out in her Ergo happily as long as she is close to Mama.  She's been walking for the last month and is very timid at exploring away from mama in strange settings.  At home, she is becoming a very sure walker.  Although she hates her siblings off-centering her with hugs and kisses.
She's a cutie pie.  And she's making our days busy and bright.  While babies are a lot of work (especially when you are 40 and running on a lot less energy than you used to), they are just so much fun.  This little Hanny, as we also call her, is a pretty easy baby and she has been gracious to go along with crazy schedules that older siblings demand. 
We love you Hanny and Happy Birthday!!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Travel Baseball

With Nathan's broken finger, his wrestling season was cut short this year (or to be exact, he never really started).  He was all too excited for baseball to start.  Over the winter, a new club opened up and the owner, a friend of Dave's, offered Nathan a spot on the academy team.  It is to support Little Leagues and to give kids a taste of travel ball.  Nathan was very excited about this prospect.  For the first few weeks, he was only able to do limited work as his finger was still broken.  Fortunately toward the end of the season, he was able to participate fully.

Here he is in his full uniform, wearing it so very proudly.  He is #27, after his favorite player, Mike Trout of the Angels.

It is not well seen on these pictures but his team colors are purple and black.  I tell you, we spent more money on his baseball clothes than his regular.  Baseball season is spendy.

This was the little cast Nathan got to hold his broken finger still.  It went over a smaller finger cast.  It is what made all the difference for him.  Prior to getting this, he was in agony.

He wanted me to take an extra picture of the front and back of his hat.  :-)

Nathan had a great time and made new friends.  He had two tournaments we traveled to, one 4 hours away, another just 1 hour away.  The first one the girls had a hard time because the weather was horrible.  The second they did great as we were inside.  New coloring books, markers and puzzles kept them well entertained.  David and I got a real sense of the community within the club.  We really enjoyed it and I caught the baseball bug or the season.  
Nathan did great in his games.  Although he was one of the younger players, unless he was sitting on the bench, his coach Gregg used him in key positions.  He also let Nathan pitch for two innings where Nathan did really well.  He allowed two unearned runs during his pitching (so I guess technically he didn't allow them??).  
The most memorable event of the two trips for me was when we went into our first hotel, Hannah had a blast running around the room for the first hour just squealing in delight.  My least favorite?  Cramming six people into two beds.
The verdict.  I could see us doing travel ball but there are a lot of things to consider.  Would the girls enjoy it?  The cost.  The additional cost of the hotels, etc.  Do I want to invest in something where it is out of our control if this is a long-term commitment?  (Kids have to try out every year and if Nathan doesn't make the cut, we could be out, no matter how many years we've been with the club.)  If it was up to Nathan, he would start this year.  He definitely has stars in his eyes. The pros about travel ball?  Of course it is a whole different level of baseball compared to our beloved Little League.  You get to travel (which can be bad or good) which might be really fun once we are homeschooling, aka always being home.  As for right now, it was a neat experience.  Overall, it was a really neat experience that really helps Nathan with his Little League season, especially after having a broken finger and not being able to condition through wrestling.  Finances and Nathan's talent permitting, we may do the academy team again to keep Nathan baseball sharp in the off-season.