Thursday, May 29, 2014

February was FANTASTIC! Let's Move on To MARCH MADDNESS

As I said, February was great and fun things happened.  My JV Cheer team won at Nationals and my varsity team came in 3rd (which is really fantastic - see the title).  March was more fun, tho.  

The month of March began with the national dance competition in Orlando at Hard Rock - Universal Studios.  It is always a fun weekend and exciting; however, this year was a little more harrowing than usual.  Due to a misunderstanding, the team came very close to not making finals!!!  There was a HUGE deduction that put the team into 10th place. We didn't think they'd take more than 9 to finals.  The girls were horribly sad.  We couldn't believe the season would end like that.  But when the finalists were announced, Fleming Island made it!!  Whew!  So they danced another day!
Maddie helped out with makeup
Maddie getting her makeup done.
Each year, Rozzie and Nora get pictures taken right here on this "sofa" at the Hard Rock hotel
Then it was time to dance.  We were pretty sure that they could move up from 10th place, but how far up was left to be seen.  The teams were really good.  

Rozzie with her coach and other captain, Dea
It was really exciting as they announced 10th place and it wasn't us!!  We came in 4th and were very happy with that finish.  

Maddie has made some friends on the West Springfield team (who have won the competition 4 years in a row)
I don't have all my dates straight in my head and I'm sitting here typing.  If I get up, I don't know if I'll finish this, so I'm just going to continue typing.  In March, my grandmother passed away.  I was happy to be able to travel to California (Yuba City - outside of Sacramento) for her funeral.  It was wonderful to see so many of my cousins - many I haven't seen in over 20 years, and may never see again in this lifetime.  Grandma's funeral was wonderful.  Her casket was brought to the grave preceded by my cousin's husband playing his bagpipes.  Grandma is Scottish, so this was appropriate and meaningful.  
Aaron on the pipes in full regalia
Grandsons and a great-grandson as pall-bearers
Aunt Laurie, Aunt Marylee, and my Dad 
A cousin picture
And now because it is graduation and her 18th birthday, I give you Rozzie!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

January was a Blur of Cheer and Dance

I promised to tell you why Morgan wasn't home for Christmas, and I will not make you wait any longer!!  Morgan went to the bowl game in San Francisco with the BYU marching band.  She has a great time, although BYU lost the game.

The tuba section
My very favorite picture of her whole trip, maybe her whole band experience!!
School started up soon enough.  January is serious cheer competition season.  I just know that if I live through January, I'll be ok.   January means practice 4 days a week, at least 2 basketball games a week, and competitions every weekend.  The first of the competitions is a state cheer and dance competition in Daytona.  It is a really fun competition to go to and it is the beginning of the big competitions for cheer.  It is also the big state competition for the dance teams.  Cheerleading went on Friday.
The entire Fleming Island Cheer Program - Varsity and JV on Daytona Beach
We always kick of the weekend with a photo shoot on the beach which lasts about 2 hours, as we get pictures of each team, each grade level, funny pictures, friends, coaches, etc.etc.etc.  
Varsity and JV pyramid - 46 cheerleaders!!
Next we compete.  We struggled a bit at this competition and we weren't very happy with our performance;  however, our opening stunt looked really great!!

Both Varsity and JV won their divisions, though, so we were happy.

The very next day, we had to be back in Jacksonville for the FHSAA Regional Meet.  This competition is part of the Florida High School Athletic Association, so it is very important.  We have never won at this competition, either, and we were going up against some serious talent in Choctawhatchee (Choctaw-hatchee).  This school has some great programs.  Their band is one of the best we would see every year at state band.  Well, we recovered from our poor performance on Friday and hit a great routine on Saturday, winning the Regional meet and beating Choctawhatchee. While Travis and I were up in Jacksonville at the Regional meet, the girls were in Daytona dancing in their prelims.  Once my competition was over, we raced down to Daytona (get it?) and were able to see them dance on Sunday.  This year, the dance theme was Ninjas and our cousin Hayley designed a t-shirt for the team!!  Everyone just loved it!

Pre-dance picture - Hayley's shirt looks GREAT!
Maddie is all set to dance
Rozzie's senior dance performance
This next move in the dance required everyone to be in a circle and bend at the knees and lower themselves onto the knees of the girl behind them.  When they did this at the school pep rally, the place gasped in amazement.  Then the kids in my English class wanted to try it - HAHAHA. no. 

When the team went down into this circle, it really wowed the crowd.  
And then they won - third year in a row!!  This is a great accomplishment for these kids and they were so pleased!  No one has ever won the hip hop dance title three years in a row.  

Yay!  We're so happy (Nora, Rozzie, Maddie)
 The three state champ teams wore their championship jackets to school the next Tuesday and gathered for a picture after school.
Champions - Dance, Varsity Cheer, JV Cheer
Next up was the FHSAA State Championship.  We won last year, and to repeat was going to be really hard.  Travis came in town and I let Rozzie and Maddie skip school and ride the bus with the team.  They were great to have along on the trip.  Travis took a lot of pictures, including this next one.  This has turned out to be a team favorite.  We were getting ready to go into finals and were stretching and all.  I had to run and get something and Travis was peeking around the curtain and had his camera up.  I really didn't have time to talk or anything, but I game him this little wave.  The picture became an iconic image of my career (haha), not really, but everyone thought it was funny.
What up?
We performed twice - a semi-final and a final.  In our semi-final round, the kids did a little pre-performance chant and we were docked 4 points for it.  Easy fix, don't do the chant in the finals.  Both performances were clean and the final one was near perfect!
This is one of my favorite action shots with the girls up in the air like they are!

 And we won.  Which means a second championship ring!!  It was a great day, made even better since Trav and the girls were there with me this time (except for Morgan who was missed

Stay tuned for February.  It could come at anytime.  And I need more comments, so…comment!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Now That You Have Recovered From Your Surprise, Here is What Happened in November and December

How did it happen that I have gone 8 months without updating?  I know many of you have expressed feelings of anger and frustration with me.  Well, I have been a little busy.  I though I'd pick up where I left off.  You have most likely heard these stories and seen these pictures.  But since my last post only got 2 comments, I don't know if anyone out there will read, or care.  But for what it's worth, I give you November and December 2013.  We started off the month with a little trip to Utah - just Travis and I.  It was the Big Game - BYU/Utah.  Morgan was marching, and all that.  It's always good to see Morgan do her thing.  We stayed at Rick and Holly's and so Morgan and her friend came up there.  We went riding all over the mountainside and climbed up to the peak above the highest chair lift at The Canyons Resort.  We were up at about 10,000 ft.  Not much air to breathe, but a great feeling to see out to the Great Salt Lake.  Morgan didn't want to climb up, but I made her and I'm happy she was there with us!!
Morgan is unhappy.  
The game was fun, other than losing…again.  I love to be there for the pregame and postgame marching of the band!  I always tear up as Morgan marches by - glad for her opportunity to be part of something special like this.  Over the years, BYU has changed its logos and colors.  I still love the royal blue the best and lucky for me, this game was a retro royal blue game!  
This is one of my favorite pictures of us in a very long time
And the highlight is watching the bands.  The Utah and BYU bands always combine the halftime show.  They do an American theme as their collective colors are Red, White, and Blue.  
Looking all regal and such.

Travis and I arrived home to Homecoming week at Fleming Island.  Yay.  It really is fun,  just tiring.  It was my last year to ride along in the parade with my cheerleaders.  Luckily I have really great parents who were willing to build this amazing float.  The Homecoming theme was "Time" and so the cheerleaders picked New Year's Eve 2014 - the beginning of the year the seniors graduate.  And they wanted it set in Time's Square.  The pictures tell the story - it really was a sight to see.  There was a mechanized ball that dropped, confetti, noise makers, and Auld Lang Syne playing.  We won 1st place!!
My Chariot
A good look at the float - all the signs lit up!
Happy New Year!!

The parade ends at the stadium and then Gold Rush starts.  The different clubs and classes do a skit.  Cheerleaders cheer.  Dance team dances.  The dance team chose to do an "Old People" to go with the theme of "Time".  They looked so funny in their masks!
Rozzie is in the center!

Close up of Roz
Close up of Maddie
Senior Night

 Then the Homecoming game was on Friday night.  It was also senior night and we escorted Rozzie down the field.  She has been dancing all four years and now the football season is done.  Travis was able to delay his move in order to be present at senior night, the dance, and Maddie's birthday.
Both girls went to the homecoming dance, but not with dates.  Even tho Rozzie and Robert match, it was just a fluke.  But they are good friends and they made a handsome picture.  Maddie celebrated her 16th birthday with friends and a dance

Robert and Rozzie
Maddie turns 16 and goes to homecoming
At some point, Rozzie received her Young Womanhood Medallion!!
 Then it was Thanksgiving Break and we were off to Detroit and then on to Minnesota.  While in Detroit, the girls were insistent on International Travel, so we drove to Windsor, Ontario.  It was FRIGID, but we got pictures anyway!

The Detroit skyline
Another great thing in Detroit is the graffiti.  It is AMAZING!!  It is some of the best I've ever seen - great for pictures!!  But remember how I said it was COLD?On to Minnesota for Thanksgiving.   Jake hosted 72 (?) people at the Lafayette Club for dinner and it was tops!!

Just a nice family picture!

When no one else is at the club, you can do headstands in the hallway.  
All the girls in the club...
The best thing about going home…COUSINS!!  Sara hosted a game or 2 of Werewolves of Miller's Hollow, and all was good!
 We didn't have much in the way of furniture in the house for Christmas, so we hosted the dance team Christmas party.  Rozzie chose a blue and silver theme and everything looked really nice.  A friend of mine delivered tables and chairs which fit nicely into our empty spaces.  Then we really filled up with girls and had a fun night - no one cared that I didn't have all my decor out.  The tables looked festive enough.
DT dinner
It was a quiet Christmas without Morgan - I don't even have much in the way of pictures!  But stay tuned for January's update and I'll tell you why Morgan wasn't home for Christmas.

I just found these.  After 14 years here in Florida, Travis and I finally went to a University of Florida football game at The Swamp in Gainesville.  My cheer choreographer had taken a job at UF as the head cheer coach and so she gave us tickets.  We were in the 2nd row to watch the Gators lose.  Again.  It was fun to see Cortnee do her thing with her new team.  We worked together for 2 1/2 years and I'm so thankful for all she taught me about the sport!
Me and Cortnee - I even bought a Gator's shirt!
The Swamp