Friday, August 31, 2012

Week 2 of school

This week has seriously been a butt kicker!  For starters, we didn't have much of a weekend last weekend.  We went up to Wyoming for the first ever Cowboy Feis; during the summer it seemed like an ok choice, but coming off the first week of school I had to seriously reconsider my sanity!  We picked the girls up from school and hit the road for a 3 1/2 hr drive.  Stayed in a hotel (I barely slept), then had a full day of dance.  Lu (my younger child, but champion) was supposed to start at 8, so we got to the place right after 7 and got the girls ready.  She didn't go on until close 9, and of course, my oldest was dancing across the school at the same time.  Husband and I had to split up-I went with Lu because she was wearing her long hair wig for the first time and I had to be ready if there were to be a wardrobe disaster!  Lu's dancing was over in about an hour, but we had no idea when the awards were going to be announced, or where for that matter, so we stuck around.  I missed all of Pie's soft shoe dancing-she needed to move up in 1 of 2 dances to get to champion but did not.  So she was bummed.  They finally announced results for the champs and Lu placed 4th in overall for the first time ever! (She became a champ last November, but did not dance again until this June in competition)  We watched the rest of the day for Pie in  hard shoes, then watched the girls do their trophy special dance.  (This doesn't count, it's usually for charity or something and they get a trophy).  Pie tied for first-she got a rhinestone cowboy hat, a beautiful celtic belt buckle and a trophy.  We had to wait until after lunch for Lu's results, and I really wasn't expecting anything great.  She was in an under 14 group (she is 10!), and there were 20 something kids.  She got 2nd place!  We were so excited for her-so both my kids got the coveted hats (they only gave them to 1st and 2nd place), and the day ended very nicely.  Only I hadn't eaten the ENTIRE day.  My urine was turning orange (how's that for TMI?)  We got something to eat before our drive home and I tried to rehydrate.  It was a long 3 1/2 hr drive home to say the least!  Sunday was not a rest day as my kids had to go to a city 45 min away for their weekly team practice.  They were gone from 11:45 o almost 6. 

Pie is facing some new challenges this year; she is in 7th grade taking Algebra (super nerd!), and all of her classes are pre-AP with the exception of her two electives, orchestra and german.  She had homework last week like nothing we have ever experienced!  8 hrs+ one night!  She was up past 10 two of those nights; I am very concerned that she is in over her head.  In addition, she tried out (and made it!) into chamber orchestra, a small group that does advanced work.  She was after school practicing with the teacher leading up to try-outs and really just kicked her own butt last week.  AND to top it off, her school has a new policy which they claim filters down from the district, not their own policy, that if a child completes the work as was assigned, the most they can get is a 3/4.  To get a 4/4 they have to go above and beyond-do more than was assigned.  ??????  I am not pleased about this at all.  This seems like an unrealistic goal for a 7th grader already in very advanced classes.

So it has been a rough week.  Not too bad for Lu-she is learning her states and capitals, but she has a very good memory and memorization isn't too hard for her at all.  She was moved up to a champ level weekly class last week that has her getting home on Tuesday nights at 8:45.  That is an adjustment for sure.  Luckily she doesn't have to get up until 8.

So we have no plans for the long weekend-and even dance! (Short lived-the following weekend we have a competition both days) :(  Hope the kids can get into the school thing soon!  We are all struggling to keep up unfortunately.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I am having a hard time adjusting to this school business!  My girls started Tuesday (? why?), and I got an email during the day that my poor Lu would have to attend dance class that night.  They are not used to getting up early, so they were toast, and then to add a championship class onto the day?  Best part, my daughter is 10, and the other kids are high school and college, with the exception of a 13 1/2 year old.  Class runs 7:00 - 8:45, 15 min before she normally goes to bed.   But she did it, and she did not stick out.  I watched the end of class and she was confident and looking good!  I was so glad!  Today went a little smoother, but the evening was a disaster!  My husband is in the middle of his first batch of home brew, and he needed the girls to help him bottle and pour.  It went way too late-my oldest showered in time for bed, but my youngest did not.  My oldest was also working on homework way past her bedtime, and little one was watching TV with Dad at 9:40.  Not a fun night-I don't like being the mean one yelling at everyone.  But COME ON PEOPLE! 

I spent a lot of today laying down.  I took my male cats to the vet this morning then found myself completely exhausted.  Hope I'm not getting sick-I think it's just the transition to having to wake early!

We have to go out of state this weekend for an irish dance competition.  I hope it is worthwhile, because at this point I'm wondering what in the heck I was thinking signing them up-first weekend after school starting?????  Oh well!  I'm still lamenting the end of summer. :(

Monday, August 20, 2012

Another not crafty post!

My girls start school tomorrow!  I can't even believe it!!!!  It is my oldest's first day of 7th grade (which around here is 2nd year of middle school), and my baby's first day of 5th grade, which is the last year of elementary school!  :-O  How is that possible???  We have a super screwy schedule out here.  Oldest has to leave the house by 7:10, be at school at 7:25ish (my driving, we are out of the school bus area), school starts at 7:40.  I drive home, get Lu up and ready around 7:50, she and I leave around 8:35ish (again my driving), she's at school by 8:50, school starts at 9.  Afternoon, I get oldest at 2:30-sometimes we drive home and I leave her here to practice her violin or we run errands.  We pick up the small one at 3:40.  It's a crazy day-I really don't have much time (5 1/2 hrs) in between drop off and pick up.  THAT is the hardest part of the school year for me.  I spend a lot of time in my car driving and waiting. :(

I'm going to miss them so much!  This summer has literally just disappeared.  But when I think of the the things that we got to do, it was quite a bit.

1.  Chicago - the girls danced at Nationals and we loved Navy Pier.  It was a mini vacation.

2.  Cousin time - we got our beloved J. this summer more than any summer in the past

3.  Grammy and Grandaddy time - getting to see them on a regular basis is such a blessing.  They have been CO resisdents for a year now.

4.  County Fair - lots of fun!

5.  So much dance-summer intensive, performances....

6.  The Pool! 

7.  Our quick mountain getaway

8.  Elitch Garden - this park used to be affiliated with Six Flags but they separated in 2007.  The girls, their cousin J and I all went last Monday.  So much fun!

We have so many beautiful photos from all of the fun stuff that we did this summer.  It makes me really sad for it to be over and have them away from me all day again.  But I know it's what kids are supposed to do, and I know they enjoy their friends.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sweet Escape

This past weekend we made a rare getaway up to the mountains.  Although we live very near the Rocky Mountain National Park, getting away is a challenge in itself.  Because our kids are involved in competitive dance that competes at the national level, every weekend is full of practice; Saturday mornings, Sunday afternoons in a town an hour away.  Other weekends are competitions, sometimes several hours away.  Although I am very proud of their accomplishments, it can be a real drag!

My parents were out of town and we had a free Saturday, so we took off the RMNP.  We didn't get out of town until around 2, so we didn't make it up there until close to 4.  It was a beautiful day, and the "falls" that we found right away delighted our children.  They scared us a little a lot climbing on slippery rocks, but they really had a lot of fun.  We mistakingly took the only one way road in the park, and then attempted to drive it back THE WRONG WAY.  That was fun-there was barely room for one car, no guard rail, and a scary steep fall down.  Luckily we made it safely out of there (by having to drive 9 miles straight up to the top on an unpaved road!), then safely down.  Before we exited the park we made a wonderful discovery! We saw cars pulled over and flashing lights that we assumed belonged to police cars, but instead we saw baby elk talking to their mother!  I was so thrilled to record the unique sound that they made.

The kids really wanted to see something big before we left, and this was an entire herd.  The mother had already crossed the road and gone below, and her babies were calling to her.  The park rangers had everyone get in their car so that the babies could safely cross.  VERY COOL.

My kids start school on Tuesday. :(  Our summer really just flew by! :(  I am so thankful that we got to do so many fun things....just not ready to get back into the old swing of things.  Blah.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I was inpsired by Angie over at Echoes of Laughter to make a Clafouti.  We had some fresh strawberries in the house, and husband had made some fresh vanilla ice cream.  So I had to!  There was an interruption issue involving sugar and the telephone, so I can't be completely sure that I followed the directions carefully.  I don't think that I put enough sugar in, and I put way too much lemon zest!  This was my first time ever zesting (I did not enjoy it!  My niece was supposed to be here to do it show me how, but she had to go home.) :(  The Caflouti turned out beautiful, and was snarfed down quickly.

I would definitely like to make it again, this time with less zest and the right amount of sugar!  The family enjoyed it, so thank you Angie!

We also went to the County Fair here locally.  The weather was actually BELOW 90! (woot, woot) and we had a good time.  Saw lots of animals, rode a few rides, had some treats....good stuff!  My niece rode a scary ride for the first time--that was really cool! She loved it and now I want to take her to an amusement park where she can ride some even better rides!

School starts early here, and we only have 2 weeks left. :(  It has gone by so fast!  I'm not ready for early morning, homework, projects and packing lunches.  Ugh.  I generally enjoy my kids being around, so there's that too. :(   I am however, ready for the HOT non-stop days to GO AWAY.  I'm already looking forward to bringing out my pumkins and fall decorations.