Wednesday, May 10, 2017

waitin' for Spring

As we powered through the end of the winter there was no slowing down. There were lots of activities keeping the girls busy. Olivia attended a super fun birthday party for her friend, Ava at Board and Brush in February. The girls made their own creations on distressed wood. Since the party consisted of the entire girls soccer team the artwork was all soccer inspired. I was super impressed with how Olivia's board turned out. Such a nice keepsake, and a great party with great friends!

Every year around this time Olivia and her dance team perform at the Mad Ants basketball game. They do this every year. Our local basketball team does not draw the biggest crowds, but the performance gives the girls a chance to perform their new dances for a audience. Olivia loves any chance she gets to perform, and I love watching her. They did a great job!

The highlight of the winter for Olivia was being Principle for a Day or "Lower School Director", as they call it, at her school. We won this experience for her during a silent auction and gave it to her as a Christmas gift. I think it may have been her favorite gift as she counted down the days until she was in charge!

The day kicked off with picking out a special outfit for her teacher to wear. She was thrilled to be able to embarrass him with this nice ensemble! He was a good sport and happy to follow the director's orders. Then it was time to get down to business in the lower school director's office. This included making some school announcements and making some decisions for her class for the day.

She was then treated to lunch and a trip to the book store with the director. They had a great time venturing away from school for a few hours and getting to know each other a little better. After lunch she met the school headmaster and got to sit in on a few important school meetings. I think the day wrapped up with bringing ice cream treats back for all of kids in her class. She came home that day with a smile that would not quit. It was definitely one of her best days, and one she will not soon forget!

Soccer called us out of town for another tourney in late February, but because of other commitments at home we were not able to take Olivia. She was more than excited to tag along with her bestie and her family though. The girls usually face pretty tough competition in these tournaments, but they seem to grow tougher each time they play, and they always come away from it knowing they gave it their best effort! Of course the down time between games is really what the girls love the most. Spending time together and just being silly. They may not always win their games, but the fun they have makes up for it.

Since Olivia was away overnight for her tournament, we promised Cecilia she would get to do something special with just Todd and I. We surprised her with a tip to SkyZone. It had been quite awhile since she had been here for some trampoline fun, so she was ready! This girl jumped for 30 minutes straight without stopping, and loved every second of it. She was pretty excited to be able to tell her sister that she went to SkyZone without her. I will admit it is sometimes nice to spend time with the girls one on one.

It was nice when March finally arrived. Signs of Spring were in the air and it was time for the first of two dance competitions of the season. Olivia and I dashed down to Indy for the day so she could compete six dances with her group. These girls work all year long to perfect their routines, so when competition time rolls around they are ready to go. Dancing brings Olivia so much joy and she gets so excited about competing.

It was a jammed packed day, but the girls kept their smiles on and their energy up! They scored very high in most of their dances and even walked away with some special judges awards. I was so impressed with my girl...and not only with how well she performs, but also how she manages to remember so many different dances. The competition was a success and at the end of the day I had one tired dancer.

Since Olivia and I were out of town for the entire day Cecilia and her Daddy had something very special planned together. It involved being pampered like a princess for the day! Things kicked off with a princess make-over in the afternoon. There were different stations where she could get her hair and make up done, and even a manicure! She also got to enjoy craft time, making a princess wand, sash and corsage!

Once the makeover was complete it was time to learn to walk and wave just like a fairy tale princess. She was a little shy for this part, but warmed up to the idea pretty quickly. It was easy to feel like a princess, when you look like a princess! She wore the princess gown from her ballet class last year. It was the perfect outfit for the event!

As if all of the pampering wasn't enough, Cecilia got to attend a princess ball that evening with her Daddy. Before heading to the ball they stopped at Nana's for a little hair and make-up touch-up. Then it was off to the ball for some dancing and snacks. Being princess for a day was the perfect activity to distract Cecilia while her sister and I were gone all day. The princess life suits Cecilia very well!

It is hard to imagine that the school year is nearing an end. Olivia's 4th grade year has been full of so many neat experiences. A few highlights of the winter included a Spanish performance of The Tortoise and the Hare and a class field trip to the State House in Indianapolis. This school has provided Olivia with some wonderful opportunities and she is soaking them all up. 

It's been a great school year for both girls, but we are ready for pool days and summer nights! Counting down the days!

Friday, March 31, 2017

the busy-slow months

With only moments of 2016 remaining, Olivia wrapped up the year in a fun way...with a soccer tournament! The 3v3 tournament is a New Years tradition. The girls play in it every year. Olivia's team did well this year, coming in 2nd place in their division. It was a fun day and a great way to ring in the New Year!

The girls enjoyed their time off of school during Christmas break, but time was running out. Olivia headed back to school a few days before Cecilia, which meant that Cece got to enjoy a special day with Nana before heading back. Their special day consisted of shopping, lunch at McDonald's and a trip to the ice cream shop (of course!). It was the perfect way to wrap up a great holiday break.

Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean that soccer slows down in the winter. Olivia practices indoor with her travel team, while also continuing to play Futsal, This particular session of Futsal ended pretty well for Olivia...with her scoring the winning goal for her team! That goal helped them win their little mini-tournament and wrap up the session. The best part of it was how proud she was of herself. She loves soccer, but she often doubts her ability. These little boosts of confidence are exactly what my ten year old can use at this stage of her life. 

When not running Olivia to soccer we are doing whatever we can to keep Cecilia occupied through the winter. One chilly Sunday we decided the best way to pass some time was with a nice, long, warm bath. This girl loves a good bath. She can stay in there until she's wrinkled and shriveled, loving every second!

In January the girls and I had the chance to take a mommy-daughter yoga class. It was more targeted towards Cece's age, but Olivia wanted to come along as well. One of my girlfriends recently received her yoga certification and wanted to start a class for kids. We were her guinea pigs. It was a fun little thing for us to do together and a great way to introduce Cece to more Yoga.

The winter months can drag on and on, but not when you have soccer to keep you busy. This tournament was out of town so we decided to make it a girls road trip with Olivia's friend Aleah and my dear friend, Lesley. The girls' games were all on Sunday, but very early so we went down the night before. That gave some of the girls from the team time to swim at the hotel before getting a good night's sleep!

The girls had 3 games pretty close together, so when they had a moment to rest they did just that. The games were tough, but they played their hearts out. They may not win them all, but you can definitely see them improving as a team which is so great to watch!

The girls were a bit disappointed by the outcome of the games, but the agony of defeat was quickly forgotten when we mentioned that we would be visiting the candy store on the way home. We spotted this fun candy factory on the drive down and promised to make a stop on the way back. What a cool place! So many yummy treats...the girls were in heaven! We left with lots of goodies. It was the perfect way to wrap up a fun soccer weekend!

The soccer fun continued throughout January with a super cool opportunity. Olivia attended a clinic hosted by one of our home town pros...Sarah Killion! She put together a 4 week clinic to teach the girls some great skills, but the week after it started she was called up so she missed two of the weeks. The facility brought in another pro to fill in for her, which was still pretty cool. Sarah made it back for the final week and wrapped up the clinic on a high note. Olivia really looks up to Sarah and has learned so much from her.

As we headed into February you would never know it was still the middle of winter. We had a few unseasonable warm days during the month, which were very unexpected, but also very welcomed. One of the days, while Olivia and I were busy Todd took Cece to a huge playground nearby. She was so thrilled to be outdoors running around. It was just what she needed to keep from going stir crazy!

Helping to break up a usually slow month is Valentine's Day...a holiday that we tend to celebrate solely on the kids behalf. Hard not to be excited about a holiday that is full of hearts and all things red! The day consisted of an heart-shaped pancake breakfast, cookie decorating at Nana's, and of course Valentine's goodies! It's hard not to shower these two cuties with tons of love on Valentine's Day because my heart is just overflowing with love for both of them!

It's hard to believe that Olivia is 2/3 of the way through her 4th grade year! She loves her new school and has had some pretty awesome experiences throughout the year. Lots of field trips, special events and trying things for the first time The month of February was full of even more cool events. First was the Dad's breakfast. The school put out quite the spread and filled the cafeteria with Dads. Olivia and Todd had a great time!

Later in the month was the annual Sock Hop. This was her first time attending the 50's themed dance and she was so excited! She got dolled up in her poodle skirt and high pony tail and spent the evening running around the school gym with her pals. She has had so many new experience at this school this year, and has created some amazing memories with her friends!

The thing that occupied most of our time during the month was preparing for the science fair. Fourth graders are required to participate, and I think the expectations of the students are pretty high. This was new territory for Olivia and for me. First she had to pick her project topic. After some research we settled on, "How Greasy Are Your Potato Chips?" With some assistance from me she performed the experiment, recorded her results and drew her own conclusions. When all was said and done she was pretty proud of her finished product, and her hard work paid off. She received a special judges award for her presentation and display. It was a learning experience for both of us and a glimpse into the challenging school work that lies ahead for Olivia!

Cece has been having a productive year in Kindergarten as well. She has been working very hard on her reading, writing and math skills. I get regular updates from her teacher, Ms.Beth which make me so proud. On one day in particular I received a text message from Ms. Beth showing me a huge math work that Cecilia had just completed. It was so big that she had to complete it in the hallway. Her sense of accomplishment can clearly be seen on her face. Makes my heart happy!

Cecilia has had some new experiences this school year as bowling! She tied on bowling shoes for the first time ever during her school's annual Bowl-a-Thon. She was super excited for this event and for a field trip to the bowling alley during the school day! She and her friends may have needed the bumpers up and a slider to help the ball roll down the alley, but she still managed to knock down quite a few pins! Her first bowling experience was a success not only for her, but as a fundraiser for her school. 

So despite the doldrums of winter we still managed to stay busy and have some fun! I think we enjoy the running around with our hectic schedules. Not sure what we would do with ourselves otherwise!