Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Raiders on the Plains

Right this very minute Bethany is walking the grounds of my alma mater.  The Loveliest Village on the Plains.  Heaven on Earth.  God's country. You get the picture.  She was up at 4:30 this morning getting ready to board a bus on her way to UCA cheer camp at Auburn.  I love that she texts me the minute she gets on campus wanting the scoop on the dorm she's staying in.  She always wants to know what sorority it houses...well, I take that back.  I should say the sorority it used to house being that they're so fancy with actual houses now.  Oh to be a student on that campus again!  I live vicariously through her and I'm fine with that.  I always ask a hundred questions about the Greek girls she sees while she's there and such.  But back to the real reason she's there...to cheer her heart out!  Late yesterday afternoon we all gathered at Decatur High to check out the JV and Varsity home pom routines.  It's pretty major to get thirty something cheerleaders to make the same moves at the exact same time.  They were great!  And not to mention fun to watch.  I wanted to raise my hand and ask if they could do it four or five more times because I couldn't catch everything by watching it once.  It's that good.  Last year they won, and even though they have more competition this year I just know they're going to be amazing.
Here's the video of their home pom...
video

If we weren't having to stay home because of the dance camp I'm teaching this week, we'd be in Auburn this very minute watching the big event!  Afterwards, the JV squad did their stunts...

This sort of makes my heart do a little flip every time...

She's an old pro by now, but it doesn't make it any easier to watch!
I might be a tad bit biased, but she's pretty cute in her D High uniform...

Right in the middle of it all, Towns pulled her own tooth...

We've been working on it for several days, but it just wouldn't turn loose.  Until, of course, we're in the middle of the exhibition and she screams, "I GOT IT, I PULLED MY TOOTH!" as loud as she possibly could.  Then as if nothing else was going on, Cate wanted to make sure she in fact did pull her tooth out and that it wasn't a trick...

She didn't skip a beat when she said, "Townsy, you a good toof pulla (tooth puller)."
Towns was absolutely sure that instead of another golden dollar the tooth fairy would leave $5 under her pillow.  Apparently she thought she deserved more since she pulled it herself.  The funny part is that she's such a wild sleeper that this morning when she looked under her pillow there was nothing there.  Her five dollar bills were scattered under the covers, behind the headboard, and on the floor. After I convinced her that the tooth fairy hadn't forgotten about her, she thought the hunt was fun!

That's a lot of Raider love in one picture...

Speaking of love, Towns got busy in the kitchen to bake her Bebby blueberry bread to take to camp with her...

Little did she know I was watching her lick the bowl a time or two.
I caught her in action and she laughed it off...

We'll have to work on baking etiquette minus the germ sharing!

This morning when the girls got up they didn't quite know what to think about Bebs not being here.  The only possible solution was to gather the tooth fairy money and head to the mall...

Towns was so sweet and insisted on using her money for two carousel tokens...

 With Bethany getting to go to cheer camp and Towns losing a tooth, this little love was feeling left out...

She keeps asking why her toofs aren't loose yet...and even more, why we can't pull them out regardless.
Bless her!

Have a fabulous time in Auburn, Bebby!
We miss you already and are so proud of you, you little cheer rock star!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Camped Out

I'm not talking about a tent in the woods, but rather the girlified camps our church's School of Fine Arts puts on every summer.  Today Towns finished up the All Things Bright and Beautiful art camp and Cate completed her first Princess Ballerina Camp.  Next week starts another dance camp that I'll teach and Bebby heads to God's country (the loveliest village on the Plains) for cheer camp.  That makes four camps in two weeks... we'll officially be as camped out as we can possibly be.  I intentionally planned all this (minus cheer camp, of course) during the month of June so that come the end of the next we're foot loose and fancy free for the rest of the summer.  We will have fulfilled all of our commitments...that feels g-o-o-d!

This is Towns' third and final summer to be able to be in Mrs. Kelly's art camp.  She's phenomenal with the kids, and Towns was so upset when she learned that this would be her last time with her.  Since I was downstairs in the dance studio teaching Princess Ballerina Camp while Towns was in art, I didn't get to see any of the treasures she'd been working on.  She's so independent and insisted on walking herself upstairs to class which is when I'd sneak a peak under normal circumstances.  She wanted it all to be a surprise, though.  Thankfully, J worked his schedule around our big morning of art shows and dancing finales and got to be at all of it.  With camera in hand he took over my job as photographer since he was the only one who got to go to Towns' art show...

I was so impressed when he handed my camera back to me and I saw the pictures he'd taken.  It's the one and only time I've ever missed going to any of Blondie's big events, so I was seriously trying to hold back the tears as I was dancing around in my pink sparkly outfit with fifteen 3 year olds.  He must have sensed that I really wished I could have been there and did a fabulous job of capturing it on camera.  This picture was Towns' favorite to paint...

Hers is the first one on the left on the bottom row.
She could hardly contain herself when we got home and she pulled this out of her bag...

My girl knows how I love an owl.  Especially one with huge bottle caps for eyes!  She's been telling me all week that she had a super fun surprise for me, and, oh, was she right.  I love it!!  J got an up close shot of it...

  When the show was over and the art had been gathered, it was time for Cate's Princess Ballerina Camp finale.  That's always the highlight of the week.  In my five years of teaching PBC, I think this might be my biggest group (and most famous - they made the Decatur Daily!)...

That's a lot of energy, a lot of silliness, a lot of giggles, and a lot of hugs in those two rows of sweetness.  I could have eaten them all up!  And I pretty much did just that...
I had several friends' children this week, which was a treat.  JM and Mary, I very much enjoyed your girlies!  And this little love muffin came all the way from Knoxville for Princess Ballerina Camp...

That's Emma.  I fell head over heels in love with her.  It could possibly be because she'd throw her arms around me ten times a day and tell me that she loved me.  What an angel!  Could you resist that?!  I think not.  Today she came up to me with tears in her eyes and said, "will I ever get to see you again?" and I immediately dropped to my knees and told her we must have a picture together.  That's why I love my job!!

We started the program out with the little ones lined up to perform a few dances.  You would know the teacher's kid is the one who creates the distraction.  Cate laughed her way through the entire thing and took Ella (in yellow) right along with her...

Go ahead and click on the picture to really get the full effect.  That's all while everyone else did just what they'd been taught throughout the week.  I was standing in the wings giving her faces to try to get her to straighten up...to no avail.  It actually took all I could do not to laugh with her, but that probably wouldn't be very appropriate.  Maybe she really is a clown, but I like to think it was just nerves. :)
She did great with everything else.  They all loved getting to dance on stage with scarves... 

When it was over, I presented the little princesses with a certificate and they showed the crowd their perfectly practiced curtsy.  Cate always got the giggles when we practiced it, and today was no different...

 I'm so thankful for a husband who took 237 pictures since I wasn't able to...


Towns was so excited that Madelyn was there to watch her sister Ella because that meant the two of them got to get reacquainted. Since it's been a whole two days since they've seen each other and all... 

Miss Elle also got a little Townsy love...

I don't know what I would have done without your help this week, Elle.  Thank you!!

After a few more pictures outside, we called it a morning...




This is what you get when you ask Buggy to take a picture...

Oh well.  You win some, you lose some.  And with that...
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dancin' in the Rain

Towns is her mother's child.  We both love it when it a good summer storm rolls in.  Usually we're sitting on the front porch swing watching it rain, but yesterday afternoon Towns decided watching it wasn't quite enough fun for her.  So she asked if I'd let her dance in it...

Why not?  You only live once!

You might have thought I'd just agreed to let her invite twenty of her closest friends over for a spend the night party (which is what she's been asking for lately)...

The girl was loving it, and I loved watching her...

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Daddy Kind of Weekend

This past weekend was double the fun.  Not only was it Father's Day, but Saturday was J's birthday.  I can't think of a better reason to celebrate, naturally!  He's not the easiest person to buy for, mind you.  When he gets something in his mind that he wants, he can't wait a second longer to get it.  He's such a kid at heart like that.  I was at a loss last week and was two minutes away from booking a weekend at the Shoals Marriott when Bethany had a great idea.  To Academy we went to load up on all of his favorite things.  Namely, Under Armor workout gear that he was so excited about he wouldn't think of wearing anything else to his birthday dinner...
God love him!  I don't think I've ever seen him as excited about a gift in all my days of knowing him.  I had to laugh looking back at this picture.  Taking the picture from the top of our porch steps makes him look like he's shorter than his car.  It also makes him look like he could rip my head off for taking a picture of him, but we all know that would never be the case.  Ha!
Dinner was rolling along smoothly for once.  Towns was happy because Bebby had given her an old touch screen phone that was still in working order...

J didn't even complain about this...

And the girls were actually all getting along...

We all know the truth.  It can only go on for so long before Cate strikes...

She's just pulled Bethany's nicely straightened hair (that you don't touch when it's been fixed just so) and thinks it's hysterical.  Just keeping it real.  It was pretty much down hill from there.  And Brown twins, I'm almost positive we were sitting next to your sister and her sweet family.  I think I was too embarrassed from then on to even look at anyone else in the restaurant, much less claim that the circus at the corner table belonged to us

Sunday morning brought another round of cards and presents.  Cate and Bebs were back on good terms...

I love this one of Bethany...

There's no telling what she's telling me there, but I'm sure it starts with a "Hun" and ends with a "ter".  Or maybe not, but it's highly likely that was the case.
We enjoyed being outside for a while at home but ended up at Pt. Mallard.  That was only after I had to divert these two clowns' attention away from chasing me down in the Escalade trying to run over my toes...

That would be the source of the smiles and laughter there!
I joke about it all, but we really did have a great weekend centered around one extremely hip dad and unbelievable husband...


He thinks he's terribly out numbered, but I remind him that those three will make over him when he's older.  My mom and her two sisters pampered my Pop like crazy, and I can't help but think those three chicks just might follow suit.  After all, we definitely owe it to him!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Big Apple Adventure

Last night wrapped up an amazing week of Vacation Bible School.  We did things a little differently this year by starting VBS Sunday night and ending Thursday morning.  It really worked out well and I'm hoping it sticks!  This year's theme was Big Apple Adventure which was so much fun.  My two chicks and I were quite fond of the shirts...
But after wearing it for five days straight (washing it regularly, of course!), I'm more than happy to hand it over to Bethany who's already claimed it anyway. 
The girls start looking forward to VBS once school is out.  I can't blame them.  I say this every year, but it's definitely not what I grew up knowing VBS to be.  It's not standing in the pew quietly singing Onward Christian Soldier.  In fact, it's quite the opposite.  It's loud, crazy, church shaking fun!  I love seeing adults and kids alike jumping up and down, dancing in the aisles, and getting excited about what we're there for.  This week there were 23 professions of faith.  Amazing!!  All the chaos and exhaustion makes it well worth it for that reason alone.  Speaking of exhaustion...I taught one of the four classes of kids who had completed kindergarten.  Every day when I got home I felt like they'd zapped every ounce of energy I had.  Wednesday afternoon I couldn't make it past the front porch swing!  I sat there for a good 45 minutes before the children all but threatened to call DHR if I didn't get up and fix them lunch.  Despite them wearing three grown women and a youth helper completely out, it was a fabulous week of learning and growing.  I always come out of it claiming that those sweet boys and girls have done more for me than I ever could for them.  Through the Bible stories we shared each day, the activities we did that went along with it, and all the super fun songs, they came away knowing about God's love as well as the ABC's of becoming a Christian. 
This was our group (minus a few)...
The cutie on the top right is Kooper.  That precious boy gave Towns his offering one morning so she could put it in the girls' bucket instead of him putting it in the boys' bucket for the competition they had.  How sweet is that?!  Every year the girls and boys compete to see who can bring in the most money for the mission project of the week.  This year our mission project hit close to home.  Literally.  The Phil Campbell community was destroyed in the April 27th tornadoes, and in a round about way we found out about Mountain View Baptist Church who had lost everything but carried on in the only thing they had left - their church parking lot.  They're still having VBS even though there's technically no building to have it in.  They say that their building might be gone, but their church is still there.  So this week we set a goal to raise $1,500 for them to be able to carry on their childrens ministry.  The kids knocked that out of the park early on, so the church staff agreed to all get a pie in the face if the kids could raise a total of $4,000.  By Thursday afternoon they'd brought in just shy of $7,000!!  Therefore, the church staff reluctantly took the stage last night at the big finale to receive a face full of whipped cream...
They were such good sports!  
I always love family night during VBS.  It's one big party!  Cate's class stayed in the preschool during VBS and didn't get to participate in any of the worship rallies, but when she got the chance to be in the sanctuary a time or two she absolutely had a blast (I couldn't not sneak her out of her class to participate!).  The songs were her favorite part.  So last night during family night she didn't want to sit down for fear of missing something...
When it was singing time, the girls were in the middle of it soaking it up...
Since I was teaching Towns' class and with her most of the time, I tried to get by and see Cate as much as I could.  One morning I found them on the playground painting the outside of the church with colored water...
Sally, Cate loved having "Oscar" in her class...also known as your sweet little boy, Carter!
Talk about a great way to keep 3 year olds busy!
Towns and Cate were so excited their daddy and Bebby got to come to family night.  J ended up on the phone for business most of the time, but Bebs hung in there with us...
We're tired and spent, but nothing compares to a great week of Vacation Bible School NYC style...
We just can't help ourselves...we're already signed up for next year!