Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Come on everybody, here we gooooooo!!!!!!

This post actually should have come before the last one, chronologically speaking.

Ten points to whoever knows why I titled this post the way I did. It does have to do with Peter Pan, but I need more specificity than that.

The Princess was in yet another play, Peter Pan, a month or so ago. I think this was my favorite that she's done so far, besides Seussical. She was one of Tiger Lily's indians. Check out these pictures:

This the pristine dressing table, before everyone tore it up. These girls don't spent a lot of time cleaning up until after the show.

The girls all take turns doing each other's hair. The Princess has very thick, very curly hair, so she usually straightens it to make it more stylable.

This is Issa. She is a doll. She and her brother have been in many shows with The Princess. In fact, Issa's brother was her dance partner in A Christmas Carol last year (That' s him in the top hat, if you click on "A Christmas Carol")

This is Tiger Lily, aka Sarah. She's a kick. The kid is really talented, and she and The Princess really bonded on this show.

La Princess. Or, Ugga Wugga Princess, in this case.

You might be wondering what's up with The Prince. He was recently asked to play keyboard at The Junior High service at our church. He has really been loving it. He was upset this past Sunday because they had a guest there to lead worship. The Prince said to me "Mom, playing is how I worship! I don't sing!" He truly felt gipped!

This is Annie and Tudor. They are acting out a bible verse to help the kids memorize it.

Here's the Prince getting ready to play.

Here, some of the kids are doing hand motions to a praise song.

We got to babysit a sweet little guy last weekend. His name is Jon, and he loves Michael, and vice versa. We did our usual babysitting trip to the park.

Jon wasn't too sure about that slide, but he'll go anywhere The Prince is going.

Jon had a book about Jonah and the Whale, which is apparently his favorite. I think we read it twenty times while he was here!

I hope your week is going well, and that you feel God's presence in your comings and goings!

Be blessed!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

When Dreams Come True...

When I was a little girl, I loved to dance. I took tap and ballet classes at the Parks & Rec. from the time I was about three. Not to toot my own horn, but the teachers always put me in the front row so the other girls could watch me. I have a talent for memorizing dance routines, I guess. :) So, yes I tooted my own horn. Sue me.

I took ballet with a very serious teacher until I was about 12. Then, I switched to tap for awhile. The last dance class I took at age 16 was tap. After that, I got into English (dressage) horseback-riding, and that took center stage (or center arena - whatev) for several years. During that same time, I was on the drill team at my high school. We were not a "military" style drill team, but a dance style. We had awesome choreography, and it kept me dancing for those four years.

A few years ago, The Princess was taking class at a local studio, and we both signed up for tap. The class had three different levels of tap students, and I was in the middle! Imagine, at 40 years old (and the oldest one in the class by about 20 years), and having not taken class since I was 16, I wasn't even the worst in the class! Unfortunately, the teacher was flaky, and he missed so many classes that we just quit.

The Princess has also taken dance since she was about 3 or 4 (can't remember which). She, too, started out at Parks & Rec. I remember she wouldn't dance at first. She just stood next to me with her little elbows digging into my leg, watching the other little girls carefully. She finally got up there to dance, and loved it.

When she was about 8, she took ballet with a wonderful teacher who lived just a few blocks from us, and taught from her converted back-house. The Princess did really well with that teacher, and stayed with her for about three years, until she got divorced and moved away. :(

The Princess decided to take a break from ballet. She started Jazz at another studio, and finally did start taking ballet again. The ballet teachers were a couple, he from Russian, she from Mexico, both of whom danced professionally. They really challenged The Princess, and she loved and hated it at the same time. Ballet is, after all, a discipline.

Then, she started taking class at yet a different studio. She was able to take Jazz, Tap, Musical Theater, Acting, Voice and Creative Writing. She really didn't want to take ballet, but then realized that ballet is the basis for all other dance, and decided it was time to start again. The girl obviously has a love of performance, and I saw her grow so much during this time. However, it came to the point where she wasn't being challenged enough, her favorite ballet teacher quit, and the studio wasn't offering more advanced classes. A few weeks ago, we moved on to yet another studio. This time, my mom and dad offered to pitch in most of her tuition, which was the only way The Princess could have attended. Grandparents ROCK!

I haven't mentioned that she has decided to try to dance professionally. It's a huge commitment, and she knows it's a tough business, but she has to try. That's how dreams are, I think...a little on the crazy side.

And so, one of her dreams came true today. She has wanted to dance "en pointe" for years. She's talked about it, dreamed about it, hoped for it, and despaired that it would never happen. There were no pointe classes at her last studio, so the option wasn't even available...until now.


She must have tried on four pairs before the best fit was found. The lady helping us said "They will not be comfortable." There is a specific fit you want, though. And, she was wearing padded toe covers, which are hardly any padding at all, if you ask me.

They have a mini-dance floor, so you can try out the shoes.

And up she goes!

It was fun watching all this. The lady at the dance store (whose name I didn't get, darn it) was very knowedgable, and wanted to be sure The Princess's first toe shoes were just right.

Ta da!!! She isn't shaped like your traditional ballerina, but she can dance like nobody's business.

Regarding the "costume" changes: this kid knows that Mama's gonna take pictures, so she wore the skirt, and changed into knit ballet shorts while we were there, for a more balletic look, I 'spose.

Truth be told, this is kind of a dream come true for me, too. I was weeks away from going en pointe when I was about 12, but I flaked out. I just knew it was going to hurt, and it just wasn't worth it to me. I really regret that decision. And frankly, my feet are ugly anyway, despite not going en pointe.

And so, when the Princess sat there having her pointe shoes fitted, then got up and actually raised up onto her toes, I got a little teary-eyed. She is so much more goal-oriented than I ever was, and it makes me really proud.

Blessings to you!

I have another post hot on the heels of this one, so check back soon.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Adventures in Cooking

I may have mentioned before that my housekeeping skills are less than stellar. For some unknown reason, my mom and dad never required me to do chores. In fact, my room was such a disaster area that they would just close the door.

Similarly, I was never taught to cook. When The Gearhead and I got married, it was a big joke among my friends that he'd be doing all the cooking, since I didn't even know how to boil water. I even got a little plaque at one of my showers that someone had made that said "Gearhead's Kitchen." Except, it said his real name. :-) He proudly mounted that sucker in plain view in our apartment's kitchen. It was a little demoralizing.

Eventually, I did learn to cook. And now? The Gearhead says I'm a good cook, and my mom says I'm a better cook than she ever was. I beg to differ, but I do know my way around the kitchen now.

So, a few weeks ago, I found a really awesome book called The G.I. (Glycemic Index) Diet by Rick Gallop, via my bloggy friend, Mel. She has had some success in the past with the diet (which is really just a healthy way of eating), and I really needed to get back to my weight loss efforts. Then, I got Living the G.I. Diet, also by Rick Gallop. Half of that book is a cookbook. I've been cooking up a storm since then, and everything so far has been really good. The Princess and the Gearhead have been eating everything I make. The Prince is so darn picky, so I never count on him to try new stuff. My friend, Cherie, has joined me in doing the diet. She had the fantastic idea to cook up some of snacks and trade half of them so we can try more things and have more variety.

I'm getting away from my original intent for this post.

So, last night, I cooked up two batches of soup: Navy Bean and Southwest Chicken and Bean. The Navy Bean isn't my favorite, but it's very filling. Again, per Cherie's advice, I let the soup cool a bit, then separated it into serving size freezer bags, and put them in to freeze. The Princess had the Southwest Chicken & Bean Soup before heading to the theater tonight, and LOVED it.

A little while ago, I decided to have some Navy Bean Soup. Only problem? I had put the bags on a steel wire shelf in the freezer, and the soup had frozen around the wire. The soup bag The Princess had was lying on top, so it wasn't affected, but the other seven bags were frozen solid onto the shelf. I had to laugh. It's so like me to not think ahead on stuff like that!

The Gearhead went to work, trying to pry the bags off the shelf.

That was not a fun job. It was as if they had become one with the shelf. I tried using a butter knife, but that was obviously not going to cut it (hehe I made a pun).

He finally had to take the shelf out of the refrigerator. I kept giggling my silly head off. He just shook his head. And sighed. And wondered how in the world I get along in life.

It finally came down to running warm water on the soup until it de-thawed enough to pry it off.

The soup is esconced in the freezer again. This time, I placed it in a metal pan, so it won't adhere to the inside of the freezer.

And that's how it's going here!!! How are you?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bad, bad blogger, Part Deux

Why oh why, can't I just post lately? I spend a lot of time on the computer, looking at other people's blogs, but can't seem to get myself to come here and post. I got a talkin' to today from Daja. She looks really nice, but she can sure guilt a person into doing her bidding!!! Just kiddin', Daja dahling.

Anyway, all is well here. Well, all is okay here. Times are tough all around, and we're feeling the pinch. The Gearhead is working like a dog to keep our heads above water. I haven't had a call for work in almost two weeks...yeah, it's that bad. But, God is good, and we have food to eat, and a place to live. Can't really complain, ya know?

Okay, I'll be back soon...I hope. I know I've made myself a liar more than once here, and I KNOW y'all are checking here DAILY, because my life is just.that.interesting. I'm sure I have pictures I haven't shared here, like our last couple trips to the beach (oh, so darn much fun), and to the County Fair (hot and expensive), and of my doggie's foot injury. My camera is all the way on the other side of my expansive (giggle, giggle) house, and I'm just too lazy to go get it. I'll post pics later. Maybe. If I feel like it.

Blessings to all,