Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! Licky had a great Christmas Eve as the Cosmo PillowPets invaded his space. He was not amused. There was hissing!
However, I will pause here to say that Licky has been a different cat since Morgan came home. He has been on his best behavior and has allowed a snuggle or two. His hissing and growling has declined, too. We'll see how he takes Morgan's departure.

Christmas Eve was spent at the Collard's house for dinner, the Smith's house for a bonfire, and then back to the Collard's for dessert. Here is a great group of girls who have all grown up together. The girl in the red shirt and the girl in the red pants were both babes in arms when we moved here. It has been nice to stay in one place for a while and see all these girls grow up and many of them have moved on to college and other pursuits. Maddie is 3rd from the left; Morgan is 3rd from the right, with Rozzie next to her on the right, and then McCall in the red boots.

Here is the traditional Christmas day picture. This was after church. Rozzie and Morgan are wearing their new garb. Oh, and yes, Morgan colored her hair brown. Notice that Maddie is braceless - at least on top.

This morning, we went to the temple to do baptisms. Morgan has had a "limited" temple recommend that lasts for a year. She goes to the Provo temple regularly. She asked Travis if we could go as a family. Since there were no youth groups today (New Year's Eve), the temple allowed us to come and have a private family baptism session. As it turns out, the 1st counselor in the temple presidency used to be our stake president and Travis served on the High Council for a few years with him, and he was there to preside over our baptisms. He and his wife had us do one of their names that was very dear to them. This made for a very intimate time together in the temple, unlike I have ever experienced. We really enjoyed our time there together. We were done by 10am.

We wasted time for a bit and then went to lunch; we were all pretty starved!! Then we left Orlando and were back home by 3pm. That is when the fun started. The girls wanted to go nap and lay around, but I got them busy on the Christmas mess. It is all put away now and our house is back to normal for the first time in 3 months!! It feels very good.

I have finally finished the ornaments. I'm sorry they are late, but that is just the case this year. People ask why I continue to do the ornaments. My answer is that I'd feel bad for all the younger kids who didn't get any and their older siblings got a whole bunch. Maybe no one else cares, but I do. So there is the answer, it is really very simple.

The next 6 weeks will be pretty tough with basketball season and the last 3/4 cheer competitions. Once that is done, I will be happy. It has been a whirlwind, but it has been fun and I'm glad I did it.

I wish all my blog readers (3-4 of you) a very happy and prosperous 2012!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bicycle built for Seven

A week ago, my cheerleaders had a competition in St. Augustine at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. It is the same school that Ray Charles attended. It was quite an experience for all of us as most of the event workers were deaf - none of them seemed to be blind. We even got to see the school's cheer team perform. The coach stood in front and counted in sign language to keep the team on beat with the music. Then when the music stopped for them to do their cheer, there was someone who beat a bass drum. The cheerleaders could feel the beat of the drum to cheer to the beat. It was really quite amazing.

On our way out, we saw this contraption:

It is a bike that seats seven!! One person steers and all seven pedal. We were told that it is a strange sensation to pedal and move in a different direction than you are facing. I googled videos of this thing and it is interesting to watch in action. The school uses this for bike rides with blind students. I have learned quite a lot with this cheerleading thing!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

We have a couple bruised bumpers...

Two accidents in one week.

Rozzie and friends were on their way to Chik-fil-A last week after school and were in a 4-car crash. Two cars were a complete loss. Two had little fender-benders. All students were ok. That was a crazy afternoon.

This morning, Travis' car-pool hit a kid who was driving to school without his lights on. All were fine.

In addition, 0ne of my cheerleaders was in a big accident and her SUV is all crumpled up. She, her sister, and the other driver are all fine.

I hope that by the rule of threes, this theme has run its course.

Last weekend, Maddie's dance group performed at a Winter Festival in our area. Maddie loves this Tap routine to Michael Jackson's "Beat It". The red jacket is mighty impressive.
The group did a little Christmas dance which included a kick line. I just want to point out that Maddie is second to tallest girl in the group. Conversely, when I was on the dance line, I was always 2nd or 3rd from the end and was officially grouped with the "Shorties".

I thought you all might want to see a picture of Travis, Morgan, and Patrick. This cat LOVES to be held. He is very much like a baby or a puppy. He always looks like he is the most comfortable being on the planet. By the way, Morgan comes home tomorrow!!

Last night was Maddie's band concert. It was rather nice. I enjoyed the Chipmunk's song. Maddie played the kazoo for that song. She looked rather dapper in her uniform.

She didn't want to have a picture of her back, but I took one anyway so we could all see the back of this impressive ensemble. However, don't be fooled, her school is not the "Ougars", but the "Cougars".

School ended today, and not a moment too soon. I am so happy for this break. I cannot believe how quickly this year is moving along.

Anyway, that is all I have right now.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Competition Season Begins!!

Football season ended sadly in overtime. We were winning the whole game and then lost in OT. Very much sadness. But, the day before the very sad loss, we celebrated Thanksgiving. Maddie and I are into these cute cupcakes and so for the Thanksgiving table, we made corn!! They are covered in jelly bellies. The corn husks are phylo (sp?) dough. After dinner, everyone was very interested in the phylo dough and ate that!! I think the cupcakes turned out very cute!!

Lani, Roger, Clint, and McCall came over for dinner. How very odd to be missing Morgan. She was having a blast up in Idaho Falls with some friends. She even got in a dinner with Aunt Karen, Savana, Paetan, and Journey. Look how these girls have all grown up!! Sadly, there are no pictures of me...

Ah, here is a picture of me. See what you were missing? Anyhow, my cheerleaders had their first competition this weekend. They hit all their stunts perfectly in practice and warm-ups, and then they dropped them in competition. SO FRUSTRATING!!! We didn't lose...we came in 5 out of 6. It really is good for them. We are putting them right back out on the floor next weekend, so they can, hopefully, redeem themselves. Anyway, this is before the catastrophe - my choreographer/coach, Cortnee, whom I couldn't do without!!
Here we all are at our hotel, going off to lunch in our fabulous new t-shirts.

We really had a good weekend. One of the dads is a pilot and so he booked our hotel. We stayed at the Westin by the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The hotel upgraded Cortnee and me to a 2-bedroom suite with a kitchen!! It was just perfect for everyone to gather. We went to eat at Cafe Tu Tu Tango which serves everything appetizer style!! It was delicious and fun. They have belly dancers and artists for entertainment. It was nice to get the girls away from school and get to know them better. They were very well behaved (thank heavens).

Competition season for Rozzie starts in January, and February for Maddie. I guess it will just stay busy around here.

The cats are good. Travis was in Toronto last week and he loves that. He then had to hold down the fort while I was out of town on business. That has never happened before!! And....I think that is all for now. I'm "off" today so that I can work on a school assignment. I won't bore you with the details, but let's just say there are some very frustrated and angry teachers over this class we are taking.