Thursday, May 9, 2013

GymFest 2013

I'm pretty sure I've posted a bazillion (yes that's a word) times before about my girls and their gymnastic skills. What can I say?  I'm a proud momma!  A few weeks ago, they had their annual GymFest.  Neither of them compete (I'm so not ready for that...and thankfully...neither are they) so this is the one time during the year that they can show us what they're really working on.  Well, aside from the handstands, splits and cartwheels in the Family Room.

Since they are both in "special" classes (Zoe is in Advanced and Ava is in Development) they were given specific shows that they were to go to.  So basically, we spent an entire morning at the US Gymnastics Center.

Ava was first...

I'm not sure if her love of gymnastics is a true love of the sport or the fact that she gets to hang with BFF Ashleigh for an additional 2 hours every week.

She's very proud of her handstand, back bend, and split!


I'm amazed at how much more confident she's gotten this year. There were days in September that she needed to be pealed out of my arms.  But now, she runs right in to Betta!

After Ava, it was Zoe's turn.  Some of her siblings weren't thrilled to be staying, but a bag of skittles and free reign with Dad's phone and the iPad made them forget they were about to sit through another two hours of gymnastics.

Zoe is more of a "let's see how high I can fly" type of Gymnast. Don't get me wrong, she cares about her handstands and cartwheels (on the beam) and her splits (they freak out Dad), but she loves to jump. High!

And dive.

I enjoy watching her get as much energy out as possible.  It's really quite incredible!

Huge props to her coaches that have to harness that energy...along with a dozen other girls just like her!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bread - It makes me happy

Anyone who knows me, knows that I enjoy baking.  But by "baking", I mean pies, cookies, cakes, etc.  And every Christmas, I've coveted my friends' Kitchen Aid mixers. Honestly, it wasn't even JUST Christmas that I got a little green with envy.  Anytime I took out that hand mixer and tried to cream not-yet-room-temperature butter. But guess what I got for my birthday?  (Did you read that in the sing-song rhythm that I typed it? No? Go back and read it again.)

Yup, I am finally a full blown baker!  Well...not quite, my eyes, one must be able to make bread before they can claim the title of "Baker".  I think it's the yeast that scares me. So, naturally, I attacked that challenge first!

It wasn't a complete disaster, but clearly, I needed to call in a professional.  My friend Emily is in the midst of adopting a little girl.  To help raise money for the extreme cost, she is doing auctions and making dinners.  She makes delicious bread.  De. Lish. Us. Bread.  Naturally, she was my first call.  We pulled out our calendars and picked a baking day.  What a great time we had!


We've tried to have another baking day, but it just hasn't worked out with our calendars.  So sad.  Still, I highly recommend calling up a girlfriend who can do something you want to do...and getting together to learn either FROM her or WITH her.  It was basically a grown-up girl play date.  And now, something that will always remind me of her.  Every time I bake her bread, I pray for her little girl.  I can't wait until the prayers can change from "bring her safely to her new family" to the day-to-day requests!

In the meantime, I've tackled so many more yummy treats: pretzels, pull-apart bread, and cinnamon bread just to name a few.

The problem I have now?  All this baking...means I need to do more running!

Anyone got any good recipes?

Seuss Day

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in March, the kids' school celebrated Dr. Seuss.  It was a fabulous day.  The kids each wanted to dress up as a different character, and the sucker that I am, I obliged.

We had a Cat in the Hat...

...a Lorax...

...a Grinch...

...a Cindy Lou Who...

...and a Sam...

Each class visited the "Cat in the Hat Cafe". After a quick snack, the older kids read to the younger ones.

 It was great to see teachers and even the principal get in on the fun.

It may have been a lot of work, but I'd say the payoff was worth it! (For the record: Eli is playing the Grinch, he's not sulking.)