Thursday, December 03, 2009

In Honor of the Holiday...

My absolute favorite story of the season. You know you'll read it all the way through! Enjoy:

How The Grinch Stole Christmas
by Dr. Suess

Every Who
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot...
But the Grinch,
Who lived just North of Who-ville,
Did NOT!
The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be that his head wasn't screwed on quite right.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.
Whatever the reason,
His heart or his shoes,
He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating the Whos,
Staring down from his cave with a sour, Grinchy frown
At the warm lighted windows below in their town.
For he knew every Who down in Who-ville beneath
Was busy now, hanging a mistleoe wreath.
"And they're hanging their stockings!" he snarled with a sneer.
"Tomorrow is Christmas! It's practically here!"
Then he growled, with his grinch fingers nervously drumming,
"I MUST find a way to keep Christmas from coming!"
For, tomorrow, he knew...
...All the Who girls and boys
Would wake up bright and early. They'd rush for their toys!
And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
That's one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!
Then the Whos, young and old, would sit down to a feast.
And they'd feast! And they'd feast!
They would start on Who-pudding, and rare Who-roast-beast
Which was something the Grinch couldn't stand in the least!
They'd do something he liked least of all!
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Would stand close together, with Christmas bells ringing.
They'd stand hand-in-hand. And the Whos would start singing!
They'd sing! And they'd sing!
And the more the Grinch thought of the Who-Christmas-Sing
The more the Grinch thought, "I must stop this whole thing!
"Why for fifty-three years I've put up with it now!
I MUST stop Christmas from coming!
...But HOW?"
Then he got an idea!
An awful idea!
"I know just what to do!" The Grinch Laughed in his throat.
And he made a quick Santy Claus hat and a coat.
And he chuckled, and clucked, "What a great Grinchy trick!
"With this coat and this hat, I'll look just like Saint Nick!"
"All I need is a reindeer..."
The Grinch looked around.
But since reindeer are scarce, there was none to be found.
Did that stop the old Grinch...?
No! The Grinch simply said,
"If I can't find a reindeer, I'll make one instead!"
So he called his dog Max. Then he took some red thread
And he tied a big horn on top of his head.
He loaded some bags
And some old empty sacks
On a ramshakle sleigh
And he hitched up old Max.

Then the Grinch said, "Giddyap!"
And the sleigh started down
Toward the homes where the Whos
Lay a-snooze in their town.
All their windows were dark. Quiet snow filled the air.
All the Whos were all dreaming sweet dreams without care
When he came to the first house in the square.
"This is stop number one," The old Grinchy Claus hissed
And he climbed to the roof, empty bags in his fist.
Then he slid down the chimney. A rather tight pinch.
But if Santa could do it, then so could the Grinch.
He got stuck only once, for a moment or two.
Then he stuck his head out of the fireplace flue
Where the little Who stockings all hung in a row.
"These stockings," he grinned, "are the first things to go!"
Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile most unpleasant,
Around the whole room, and he took every present!
Pop guns! And bicycles! Roller skates! Drums!
Checkerboards! Tricycles! Popcorn! And plums!
And he stuffed them in bags. Then the Grinch, very nimbly,
Stuffed all the bags, one by one, up the chimney!
Then he slunk to the icebox. He took the Whos' feast!
He took the Who-pudding! He took the roast beast!
He cleaned out that icebox as quick as a flash.
Why, that Grinch even took their last can of Who-hash!
Then he stuffed all the food up the chimney with glee.
"And NOW!" grinned the Grinch, "I will stuff up the tree!"
And the Grinch grabbed the tree, and he started to shove
When he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.
He turned around fast, and he saw a small Who!
Little Cindy-Lou Who, who was not more than two.
The Grinch had been caught by this little Who daughter
Who'd got out of bed for a cup of cold water.
She stared at the Grinch and said, "Santy Claus, why,
"Why are you taking our Christmas tree? WHY?"
But, you know, that old Grinch was so smart and so slick
He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!
"Why, my sweet little tot," the fake Santy Claus lied,
"There's a light on this tree that won't light on one side.
"So I'm taking it home to my workshop, my dear.
"I'll fix it up there. Then I'll bring it back here."
And his fib fooled the child. Then he patted her head
And he got her a drink and he sent he to bed.
And when Cindy-Lou Who went to bed with her cup,
HE went to the chimney and stuffed the tree up!
Then the last thing he took
Was the log for their fire.
Then he went up the chimney himself, the old liar.
On their walls he left nothing but hooks, and some wire.
And the one speck of food
The he left in the house
Was a crumb that was even too small for a mouse.

He did the same thing
To the other Whos' houses
Leaving crumbs
Much too small
For the other Whos' mouses!
It was quarter past dawn...
All the Whos, still a-bed
All the Whos, still a-snooze
When he packed up his sled,
Packed it up with their presents! The ribbons! The wrappings!
The tags! And the tinsel! The trimmings! The trappings!
Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mount Crumpit,
He rode to the tiptop to dump it!
"Pooh-pooh to the Whos!" he was grinch-ish-ly humming.
"They're finding out now that no Christmas is coming!
"They're just waking up! I know just what they'll do!
"Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
"The all the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!"
"That's a noise," grinned the Grinch,
"That I simply must hear!"
So he paused. And the Grinch put a hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low. Then it started to grow...
But the sound wasn't sad!
Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn't be so!
But it WAS merry! VERY!
He stared down at Who-ville!
The Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook!
What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
"It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

And what happened then...? Who-ville they say
That the Grinch's small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his heart didn't feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light
And he brought back the toys! And the food for the feast!
And he...
The Grinch carved the roast beast!


(How many of you heard the narrator's voice from the classic movie in your heads while you read this? lol. I can't read it WITHOUT hearing his voice!)

Merry Christmas everybody! A little early! =)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Prayer Request

I'm sorry if I'm being repetitive. I've already sent out am email to everyone on my contact list. But I figured I may have some anonymous readers on my blog. 'Cause I'm such an active blogger, ya know! =)
Anyway, please pray for this little girl. Her story sure has hit me hard. Maybe it's because she is Kayla's age and it could very easily be us living through this nightmare. We saw her perform in "Godspell" the musical, only a month or so ago. She stole the show!
She was in LA, crossing a street with her Grandma and a car hit her at 30+mph. She has had some head trauma. For details, please read her family's website...
They are having a fundraising performance for her family on Sept. 5th, 7:00pm at Pau Wa Lu Middle School in Gardnerville. $15/ticket. Friends have also set up a bank account for her family. You can get the details on the family's website above.
First and foremost, please keep her and her family in your prayers. They need it right now.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Finally! a new backdrop.

After looking at so many cute blogs, I'm FINALLY starting to learn how to make mine a little more personal. Not sure if I like this design enough to keep it very long, but at least it's a nice change from the blah templates blogger offers...

Friday, July 17, 2009

More Dance

These pics are from Photo Happy in Minden, NV. Sorry Diana! Everyone, please don't copy them! I just want to share with everyone who isn't nearby. She's also started uploading action shots from the recital for everyone to see. I haven't had much luck with zooming in on the individual pictures yet, but it may just be my computer.
That said, I can move on with my post!
We just finished our first week of summer classes. Tuesday, Kayla had her Tap 2 class with the same teacher she's had the last two years. She moved her up to Tap 3 but wanted her to do Tap 2 as well this summer to give her a little more confidence. I'm glad she did. For once, the steps came easily and she was head of the class. She usually takes classes with the girls on the competition team and they always catch on to things so quickly. Of course, that's because they've had so much experience! It was nice for Kayla not to have to compete with that for once.
After that, Andy and Wes tried Hip Hop for the first time. Andy was really nervous. He didn't want to mess up and look stupid. I think it's his age (12 1/2). Wes was just excited. They both did great and really enjoyed it! It will be nice for the summer. Then Wes will begin football and Andy may or may not stick with it. Jake will definitely do another year. He loves it. This coming fall he will be moved up to Kids Hip Hop 2. More stunts. He's excited.
Then, Thursday Kayla had Tap 3/4. They combined the two levels since they didn't have enough sign ups and he just works with the younger ones a little more. Here's the real purpose of my post. Tap 3/4. This was her first class with her new teacher. He's 17 and an AMAZING tap dancer. He's also a sweet kid. Super creative with his choreography, too. His style of teaching is going to be a little hard for Kayla to adjust to. She's getting up there in ability and needs a challenge, so I'm glad he's tough. I think she would get bored if she did the same class again. But, after about 10 minutes she was red faced and sweaty. Then she started losing her good attitude and began tearing up. By the end she came to me crying, telling me she couldn't feel her legs and she didn't want to do tap anymore!
Ok, now don't get me wrong. He's NOT some crazy Nazi Tap instructor. He's actually really good with his students and they all love him. And they really learn to dance with him. He just doesn't let them catch their breath. "5,6,7,8. And again. Again. Again. Again...." She literally did an hour of constant movement, (with maybe five minutes worth of breaks to get water). And the steps aren't easy. And they're fast!! He focuses a lot on the performance instead of the steps. He's seems like a lot of fun. But, she's used to a much more mellow class, with lots of one on one, which means lots of standing around waiting her turn, too. This class was crazy. He definitely makes the most out of his hour! He told me after class that she was doing great and to tell her not to get discouraged. It was very sweet.
She did so great! I was so proud. Despite the fact that she was exhausted, she kept up with the other girls. She even did the steps right! In the past, when it gets too fast for her, she fakes the steps. She didn't do that this time. She also worked through and finished the whole class without quitting. And she really only cried in front of me. Although she was tearing up in class.
I thought she was crying because the steps were hard, but she said it was just because her muscles hurt and she was tired. She even begged me to go home and let her skip her Jazz class that was next. I didn't let her skip and I'm glad I didn't. Jazz helped stretch her out and cool her down. It also helped mellow her out. By the end of Jazz she seemed back to her normal cheerful self. Immediately following class, she went home with her friend and stayed the night. I haven't had a chance to talk to her yet. Which of course left me lots of time to try and decide how I want to deal with this.
I don't want to ever be that parent that forces their kid to do activities they don't enjoy. But I also don't want to teach her that it's ok to quit something when it gets hard! Plus, I know if she sticks with it she will have a real sense of accomplishment and she'll learn so much. And this is her only chance to learn from this guy. This will be his last year teaching. So tough! What to do? I guess I'll just see how she's feeling when she gets home. She'll be easier to talk to when she's not all upset. I know she will get used to the pace. Boy!, she'll be in great shape! Also, she has two friends in the class with her. And everyone's tired. So she's not going through it alone.
I called over to her friend's house this morning and they said she was fine last night. No complaints that anything hurt. So I'm thinking she may have been more tired and overwhelmed than anything else. I guess we'll see in a minute. She's due home soon...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I love Hair Blogs

Need I say more?

The 4th of July one was supposed to look like this, but as I got into it, I realized her hair wasn't long enough! Bummer. So, we improvised!

See my old post for some links.

Awesome Recital!

I think we've finally recovered, at least a little, from recital week. It went great! My kids were so amazing.

Kayla has finally learned to smile and looked relaxed and like she's having fun while on stage! Yay, no more terrified concentration faces. aka 'the face'! She is looking so graceful. Made me want to spend all my money and sign her up for every class! Too bad it's so expensive.

Jake did amazing for his first recital! He didn't seem very nervous beforehand and he did great. Only one of his three routines I noticed 'the face'! ;) He remembered all his moves and didn't look too lost most of the time. He's had a harder time than Kayla because he's a boy and a short one at that, so they were always putting him in the front. Great for us, but tough for him because he couldn't watch the older kids to remember the steps.
Makeup and hair. I know, wow eye makeup. But, stage makeup is always dark. After this week she actually asked me when she could wear makeup. Um, she's 11 next week. Ya, not. I love how her curls turned out!
Sorry I don't have any closeups of Jake. He wasn't really interested in getting pictures taken with mascara and lip gloss on!
I don't have any pictures or video yet of the actual recital. I was good and respected their request that we not take picture or video. We purchased them from the photographer. We're hoping to have them next week. I'll also post the studio portraits as soon as I get them all.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dance Hair

We've been experimenting with hairdos, trying to find a good, easy way to curl her hair for the recital. I did some googling and I have to say, Thank God for the internet! I learned so much! I found some awesome blogs that give all kinds of hair ideas with step-by-step instructions and even videos! I only wish I had found these five years ago! She's almost too old for lots of these styles.

In case you're interested
From these you can find many others...
So after doing all my research, we did her hair like this for Thursday night's practice:

Adorable. But after an hour of practice, no more curls. Yep, she defintely has my hair:

So, we did some more research and tried this last night:

First some crazy buns:

She didn't sleep very well,

"like sleeping on rocks".

And this morning:

Umm, ya.

Well, it definitely stayed all day!:

Yikes. Well, something in between I think.....

Sorry for the weird layout of this post. Blogger doesn't like that many pics... Can't wait to see what it looks like when I actually post it. My blog is narrower. It should be a hot mess. Sorry, but I'm leaving it. =)

Louie Tricks

So, to keep our bird busy and out of trouble, we teach him occasional tricks. He's is so smart. He just started saying "Peek-a-boo", so clearly! Cute. We've taught him to flip upside down on our finger on command, turn around and put his wings up when we say "wings". Now that he's started doing certain things, the kids have been creating variations of them. Wes has taught Lou to raise his wings when he points his finger, like a gun, at him and says "put 'em up!" So adorable. Just wanted to share this cute shot...

Friday, June 05, 2009

Count down to the recital!

And the count is 2 weeks!

Here are some shots of picture night last week. I ran out of time with Kayla so couldn't get a "finished product" picture before we had to leave. And Jake wasn't ready either, but it gives you an idea of his costume. He's in Hip Hop this year and doing two dances and the opening number as well. I'm proud of him for being so brave & doing three dances for his first recital! Kayla is doing three, too, but this is her third recital. She's an old pro. She's doing Tap and Jazz this year.

They're getting excited and a little nervous. But their dancing has really improved this year! Kayla's more graceful and Jake has really picked up on rhythm!

I'll post some pictures of Kayla's costumes later...

Our ambitious garden

I love summer! We've planted quite a bit this year and I'm excited to see how they do. The only one I'm a little concerned about is the grape plant. Typical of me, I saw this cute little plant and thought how fun it would be to grow grapes. The kids love them, Louie loves them, I love them... After planting it (and it's taking off by the way) I saw a full grown grape vine! Wow, they get huge! Hmm, now I can't move the little guy. Guess I'll have to prune and train it...A LOT! So here's a picture of the grape (green grapes, yum!). We also planted a strawberry patch since they've done so well in the past in our yard. We're hoping this planter will be a permanent bed that we can enjoy every year. I'll post some pictures later this summer...

We also planted a squash bed. I love squash! So of course, I blocked out how big they get and how much space they need and purchased way more than I had room for. We planted patty pan, crookneck, zucchini, and cucumber ( I know it's not squash, but a similar plant). Since I know I don't have enough room, I'm trying the vertical growing thing for the first time. I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to get them to climb those bamboo sticks, I may add some netting around the pyramid. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them! On another note, with the squash, we don't get many bees in our area. Therefore, in years past, I've had problems with the veggies pollinating. I would grow huge, wonderful vines, but the squash would never grow past a certain size. Well, after some research, I got pretty good at hand pollinating and have had some great crops. I'm happy to say, this year my kids are old enough to help! Now I won't have to go out with a flashlight and a q-tip at 4 in the morning anymore! I can just call my kids and remind them to do it! Yay! (The squash flowers only open in the morning, and the female flowers only open for one day, so if you miss that day, you miss your chance. I work early mornings and the flowers are usually closed by the time I get home. This is a time I wish I was close enough to go home on my lunch break!)

Those are the only interesting pictures I have. We've also planted tomatoes, raspberries, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, asparagus, and lots of herbs! We figured if we were going to go to all the effort of planting, it might as well be something we can eat! Also, it makes it fun for the kids. I still have garlic bulbs and some other seeds to plant. Maybe this weekend...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Wow! I can't believe it's been almost a year since my last post! Sorry! Is anyone still out there? Well, I have lots of updates so I might do several posts over the next couple of days...

Let's start with the kids:

We've had a full school year, our first year of really participating in activities for everyone. Wes and Andy played football for the first time this year. Wes LOVED it. Andy liked it but didn't like all the effort he had to put into it. I had that thought a few times myself. I wasn't aware that football practice was three times a week, practices going from 5-7:30. Followed by a game every weekend, half being away games. We went as far as Fallon, 2 hours away from home. Yikes. It was tough to juggle football and dance but we figured it out. Sign-ups are soon for next season and Wes is going to do it again. Andy is still undecided.
Kayla and Jake have both been taking dance classes and we're getting excited about the upcoming recital in June! Kayla has been taking Tap and Jazz and Jake has been taking Hip Hop. So fun.

*Side note: Now I know why I haven't blogged in a while. As soon as I try to write I've got kids reading over my shoulder, asking questions and now Lou, our bird, is screaming for attention right behind me! I can't concentrate!!!!!

Anyway, dance classes. Usually the kids have one performance per class. So, one for Jake and two for Kayla. But Jake's class is joining the "big kids" for a special Hip Hop routine that features all the classes together. So they've been working on that since Christmas. Then just last week the owners decided they wanted to change things up a bit for this year's recital and put on an opening "production number" with as many students as possible. So, both my kids really wanted to do it! Ok, Kayla always gets nervous about the recital and was worried about doing two classes this year because she didn't know if she could remember two dances. Guess she's gotten over that fear! And Jake, this is his first recital. He didn't even want to do the recital! I'm pretty proud of them for facing their fears and taking on a challenge. The new number is to a High School Musical 2 song and they only have 6 half hour classes to learn it. They might throw in a Saturday towards the end. I'm excited! I'll let you know how they do.

So other than their activities, AWANA's and school they haven't had a whole lot of time for much else. We've been making the most of our recent weekends by getting our yard cleaned up and planning and planting our garden. I love spring! Flowers in the front of the house, veggies and herbs in back. We're really considering planting a fruit tree. Maybe an apple, cherry or apricot. Hmmm....

Phil and I are good. Can you believe I STILL can't kneel down on my left knee. You gotta love cement walls and black ice. I am enjoying my new Rav4 though, to look on the bright side! Work is good but my commute is going to straight suck next month. Can you believe they are actually closing, CLOSING the road I drive to work for road construction for three weeks! They'll be opening it for weekends only. That makes my half hour commute to work turn into an hour and 15 minutes, if I don't hit much traffic. That's ONE way! How on earth are the department of transportation people even allowed to do something like that! Especially when people are struggling with the economy already! Who's brilliant idea was that? Oh and you know, they say three weeks but it is sure to be longer than that! I am so not happy.

The pets: the cats are cats. Haha. I love my cats but they dont' really do many new things to report. They eat and sleep and tear up boxes, get into my drawers, chase each other, and try to hunt the bird. I love my kitties! Louie is doing really well. He's getting (sorta) cuddly and starting to learn some tricks. He can go "upside down" (hang of our finger underneath by one foot), do "wings"(lift his wings on command) and the one he's working on now is "turn around". He also is starting to immitate us a little. He says "poo poo" "go poo poo" "what?" and occasionally "peek-a-boo". He also immitates some clucking and other random sound we make. His flight feathers are growing back and he's starting to build up his muscles and confidence. Right now, literally, he is hang from one of his toys on his tree and flapping his wings. He basically looks like he's trying to fly to me but he's tethered to the tree. He's just holding on with his foot. Sometimes he lets go and flies to me! A whole foot and a half! BTW, he can fly just fine around the room when he gets spooked so full flight is coming real soon. Not exactly sure how we'll do with keeping him under control when he can fly away from us (or to us for that matter! Right before we had him clipped last time, he would fly to us every chance he got, even if we were tryintg to leave the room, or go to the bathroom, etc!)

Pheeeeew! Are you still reading? Haha. Sorry. Good time to finish for now. I think I've rambled enough. Until next year? Haha, jk, I'll try to do better...