Sunday, May 21, 2017

Will's Orchestra Concert

Our end of the school year recital/program tour continues with Will's first (and possibly only) Orchestra Concert.  Will has been learning the violin this year and I'm really impressed to see how far he's come.  We can actually recognize the songs!  Will's probably going to read this and he should know that I'm mostly joking and I'm really proud of him for giving the violin a try. 

The weekend before the concert, Will and I were running errands between soccer and baseball practice.  I asked him if he was excited about the orchestra concert and if he wanted to keep playing an instrument and maybe take lessons this summer?  He answered with a quick 'no' and then paused and said, "Mom, can I tell you something without you getting mad at me?"  Well that's a tough question to answer right?  I said 'yes' and Will told me that sometimes he just plays whatever note he wants during the song.  I tried to hide my giggles but I couldn't.  So that sums up Will's short but entertaining musical career.  For now.  And at least I don't have to worry about a drum set in the basement.  
Getting ready to play "French Folk Song." 

Some serious violin-ing going on.  

Hmmmmmm, everyone else appears to be playing a note while Will's free-styling?  Taking a break?  Waiting for a solo?  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Pictures of Reina Dancing

Reina's ballet recital was last Friday.  This year, she was enrolled in Ballet 2.  2!  She had a small class and a really nice teacher and she had a good year. The teacher encouraged them to work on their flexibility and posture.  Reina flips cartwheels in the living room and can do the splits way better than I ever could and she's really starting to dance like a ballerina.  

That's our girl on the left.  Look how graceful she looks!  

She got to dance a little solo during the middle of the performance.  

Someone takes her ballet pretty seriously.  
Post-performance with the grandparents and daddy.  
Reina's favorite part of the recital - flowers from her dad!  
Reina's taking a dance camp later in the summer to help her decide what she wants to do next.  Jazz?  Modern?  Ballet 3?  Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pictures of Will looking serious at his first track meet

For the last three weeks, Will has been participating on the elementary school track team. It's his first chance to be on a school sponsored sports team.  The weather hasn't been exactly helpful for track events but when it snowed, the coaches moved practice inside and the kids kept working.  Will participated in a city-wide (well eight other schools were there) track meet on Monday and had a great time!  I took part of the day off and packed a bag full of sunscreen and cold drinks and I almost froze to death.  Okay, that's a little dramatic but it was cold!  After dropping the kids off at school, I made a u-turn back to the house and grabbed long pants and a light jacket before I headed to the track meet. I should've grabbed my ski jacket and a blanket but I'll remember that for next year.  

Back to the track meet.  Will was participating in three events:  long jump, shuttle relay and hurdles.  The long jump was up first.  It took Glenn and I one lap around the stadium before we realized that the long jump was actually outside of the stadium so we missed his first jump.  

Getting ready for jump #2.  

Stretching and looking serious.  

He's ready to go!  

And there he goes!  
At this point, I should have a picture of him landing in the long jump pit but honestly I haven't mastered the art of taking pictures and cheering at the same time and therefore that picture does not exist.  We watched his second and third jumps and thought he was doing pretty well.  Turns out, he placed 6th out of 30-something 4th grade boys.  Sixth place was good enough for a ribbon!

Next up was the relay.
There's a smile!  

Getting ready for the baton.  
The relay was a lot of fun to watch but at this point, I was getting pretty cold.  Glenn had to go back to work so I was able to snag his jacket. After the relay, Will came and sat by me (awww!) and we watched the rest of the events before Will's hurdles.  For the hurdles, there were at least 4 heats of 8 boys each.  Will's heat was towards the end.  
Getting ready to hurdle something. 

No action shots here either because I was nervous!  I had no idea how fast Will was compared to the other kids and given the fact that I can trip over a tiny crack in a sidewalk, I didn't know how much jumping ability he had inherited from either side of the family.  Long story short?  Will finished second in his heat!   I was so impressed!  We had to wait for one more heat to see if he made the finals.  He did!  More hurdling!  The final heat included two of his friends from not only school, but his class.
The Jaguars lined up for the final heat.  
It was another great race and Will grabbed another ribbon by finishing 6th.  Pretty amazing for his first track meet!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

UW Spring Game

Last weekend, Will's Saturday soccer game was canceled because the field had too much snow on it but by mid-day, the sun was shining and the temperatures were warming up so we headed over to Laramie for the UW Football Spring Game.  For once, the weather was possibly nicer in Laramie and we had a terrific time.  We hadn't been to the Spring Game before so we weren't sure what to expect.  We arrived a little early and Reina spied the pony mascot - Cowboy Joe.  

Pony and handlers obliged us with a picture.  Future Cowboy Joe handler right there?  
Once inside the stadium, we snagged some seats on the 50-yd line and watched the offense and defense battle it out.  It was fun to watch the action that close up, even though it wasn't a real game situation. It was a defensive battle and the final score was 3-0 but we had fun watching the action.  
Dangit, I can't figure out how to rotate this picture.  Rotate your head instead?  

The highlight of the afternoon was that after the game, the fans were invited on to the field to get autographs and take pictures with the players.  I can't imagine this happens at some of the bigger schools but what a thrill for my football fan...okay and for me and Glenn, too.  Even Reina seemed to enjoy it.  

The kiddos and the UW quarterback Josh Allen.  He's the rumored first round draft pick for the NFL next year.  True story!  
Reina and the back-up quarterback.  

Will and some defensive players.  
We spent a little while getting autographs - Will was even giving some gloves by #58.  He was pretty excited about that. The autographs and the gloves are currently being framed at a craft shop to be added to Will's sports' shrine.

We are in the midst of football, baseball, softball and track season.  But it is time for football yet?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What we've been up to, April edition

I last blogged 16 days ago and honestly, I thought it was just yesterday.  This month has flown by.  Will is playing soccer and started track practices at school.  His first official school sport!  Mom is way too interested and not getting nearly enough details to satisfy her thirst.  I know that he's participating in three events in the track meet coming up next month.  I also know that I kiboshed his desire to get track shoes - - - for a sport that will last slight more than three weeks.  Will's also participating in 4-H shooting sports once a week.  He played goalie during last week's soccer game and while I worried about his beautiful face, he did a great job and seemed to really like playing back there.  This week's game was snowed out because it's April in Wyoming.  Wyoming weather this year is wildly unpredictable.  65 degrees and sunny one day and snowing the next.  We try to remind ourselves that summer is somewhere around the corner.  

Reina is getting ready for her dance recital in a few weeks and her piano recital one week after that.  She's also playing softball and enjoying it!  She's on an all-girls team and she was disgruntled that the team name is 'Pony Express.'  She thought they were named that because girls usually like ponies and she didn't think that was an accurate representation of girls' toughness. I explained the origin of the Pony Express and she's feeling better about the name.  I didn't mention that it's also the name of a local company that's sponsoring her team but details, details.  I can't wait to see her play.

Glenn is getting a little stir crazy in this time between fall hunting seasons and summer.  He's tried taking Will turkey hunting once or twice this month but either the turkeys or the weather haven't cooperated.  Last weekend, the weather cooperated and he and Reina went fishing on Sunday while Will and I stayed home and did chores and watched a Harry Potter movie that Reina can't watch yet. For the record, Will's read all of the Harry Potter books! I'm so proud of him!  Back to Glenn - he celebrated a birthday last Friday.  We had a few friends and a bunch of kids over and had a fun dinner party.

So Reina and Glenn fished and they came home with a cooler full.  Reina sure loves to fish.

What have I been up to?  Work, running people around to practices and lessons, reading some good books, knitting the same scarf that I started months ago, going to an exercise class a few times a week that makes me so sore that I need ibuprofen,  trying to start some plants in the basement to get a head start on gardening season and watching Netflix every once in a while with Glenn. Good stuff.

Will knows the password to my phone so each day I find a new wallpaper picture.  Here are some of my favorites.

A mom and daughter selfie taking in my messy office.

Bring on Spring!!  

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Spring Break 2017

More than a week ago, the kids and I arrived back in town from our Spring Break trip. This year, Glenn stayed home to work and watch dogs, cat and chicken girls, and the kids and I headed southwest for a visit to Arizona with my parents.  It already feels like the trip was a month ago but I'll try to capture as many memories as I can.  

We left on a Saturday and Grandma H drove with us while Pop-Pop battled a bad cold and stayed back in Cheyenne for an extra day.  We had new movies on the Kindles, a book on tape, the last Harry Potter book for Will and more pop songs than either Grandma or I wanted to listen to.  The kids are pretty good travelers and we made it all of the way to Gallup, NM for the night.  The next morning, we headed into Arizona.  Our first stop was the Painted Desert.  It was a bit of a last minute decision but I'm so glad we drove through it.  
Future senior picture?  Will at our first stop at the Painted Desert.  Well, our first stop after the gift shop.  
Reina, a cupcake and the Painted Desert.  
Happy to be on vacation!  

This was one of my favorite stops. The rock was filled with pictographs and my favorite was the bird and frog that you can see there.  

A pueblo foundation in the Painted Desert.  Reina really liked all of the 'old stuff' and maybe we have a future archaeologist on our hands.  

I think this was called Newspaper Rock?  It was filled with pictographs. The scale is hard to determine here but the boulder was gigantic. I used my zoom lens but it was filled with drawings.  

Petrified wood!  

Reina and a giant piece of petrified wood.  

A cool petrified stump.
After the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, we drove for a few more miles and stopped at Walnut Creek (Canyon?) Cliff Dwellings.  After a slightly steep hike, we were able to walk through actual cliff houses from somewhere around 1300-1400. This stop made a big impression on kiddos and adults alike.  The kids were impressed at how old everything was and I couldn't stop thinking about teaching a toddler to walk on a cliffside.  Eek!

After our many side excursions, we rolled into Phoenix on Sunday evening.  We stayed at a fun resort that night and kids spent time in the pool on Monday.  Later that day, we traveled across town to our hotel in Scottsdale and Grandma and Pop-pop's condo across the park.

On Tuesday, we headed to Salt River Fields to watch spring training and the Rockies!  We sat in the grassy area overlooking the outfield and it was a gorgeous day for baseball.  Will even got an autograph from Rockies outfielder, Carlos Gonzales.
The view from our seats, with the zoom lens.  

Will and Dinger and Reina!  

Will (second from left) hoping for a toss from the outfield.  
On Wednesday, we visited the Museum of Music in Phoenix.  Will was nonplussed by some of the exhibits but he really enjoyed the room where you could try out a bunch of instruments.  Reina could've spent all day at the museum.

Will probably needed these Elvis glasses, right? 
We didn't leave the gift shop of the museum empty-handed.  Reina had her eye on a $56 ukulele but I said it was too expensive so when I noticed a $10 harmonica, I said "how about this?"  Her eyes lit up and that's how I ended up with an 8 yr-old, a harmonica and a 14-hour drive home.  

After the Museum of Music, we spent a few hours at Top Golf and the most important thing to remember from that excursion is that I WON.

On Thursday, the kids had time for one more swim, we gave Pop-pop and Grandma lots of hugs and then we pointed the car north and started home.  We stopped at Homolovi State Park in Arizona and saw more pueblo sites.
Obviously, you can't take any artifacts out of the park and there are pottery shards everywhere.  Someone has placed different pieces on rocks and it's a very cool way to see all of the different types.  

It was a little windy up at the top.  

More shards and a turquoise bead.  
The weather in Cheyenne was supposed to turn to snow on Friday so the kids and I kept a steady pace home.  We made it to Santa Fe on Thursday night and had one last night in a hotel.  Friday morning, we grabbed a donut and I drove them around the old plaza in Santa Fe - one of my favorite spots in the West.  Then we headed north.  The kids did a terrific job.  We didn't have any snow until we crossed the state line into Wyoming.  Will thanked me for the trip and told me that he'd never forget it.  Not a bad sentiment to hear on the last day of a long car trip.  Glenn and the dogs and the cat were happy to see us and I was delighted to have a few extra days to get cleaned up before it was time to head back to work and school.  We can't wait for our next adventure!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Amelia Earhart by Reina

Last month, Reina had to write a book report on a t-shirt.  She could've picked a mystery, historical fiction or a biography and she chose "Who Was Amelia Earhart" as her book.  Reina enjoyed reading about Ms. Earhart and her tshirt was delightful - she decorated it with a drawing of Amelia and some scenes of her life, the fact that she liked to play football with the boys, she once rode a sled under a horse, she had a yellow car that she liked to drive fast and of course, a deserted island where she might've ended up.  Just like Reina's Pilgrim project, she came home with a good grade and a stack of comment cards from her classmates.

"I enjoyed listening to the part when ...."
You dressed up.  (Mom's comment - Reina wore a homemade by Grandma pilot's helmet and her swim goggles since we didn't have any aviator goggles.)
She was in the rases
It cud hurt her eyes (why pilots had to wear goggles, I'm assuming)
She was nuve fun (I have no idea)
Reina said the football
She played football because I like football
She needs goggles so the wind doesn't smack her in the eyes.
She needs goggles so the wind doesn't SMACK her in the eyes.  (Reina made a big impact with that one)
You told us about the horse.
When she died
You talk about the rolocoster
She made her own roaler coaster.
the fact
She liked playing with the boys.

"I would like to learn more about..."
How did she crash
I like your presentesnen
New sne pipe (again, no idea)
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart's deth
What body part got hurt.
Amelia Earhart
good plus 22 exclamation points
not much
the rolucoaseter
the boys.

I love this peak into second grade brains.  A mixture of curiosity and morbid-ness.  Can't wait to see what the next project is.