31 March 2013

Easter 2013

Spring may well be here.  The temperatures have been getting higher lately, and the flowers are starting to bloom, ie, we may have to cut the grass soon.  Today is Easter, so it feels like spring, no matter the weather.  In church this morning the little ladies sang with the primary in sacrament, and then did a second song with about five other senior primary girls.  This was the first time, outside of the yearly primary sacrament programs, that Charlotte and Josephine have been up on the stand to sing.  They sounded awesome and weren't nervous at all.
We came home and dyed Easter eggs.  Why do we only do this at Easter?  It's fun.

Rachel played Easter bunny and "hid" the filled eggs in the yard.  Everyone else found them.  Yes, even Samantha.  She may be 13, but, who doesn't love candy?

The candy crew.  Don't you love Jay Michael's face in this one? I do.
On a more spiritual note, we also made these: Resurrection Rolls.  I found this link on FaceBook that a friend posted and it really hit the mark.  A delicious treat, a point-on object lesson and a spiritual message.  The trifecta of Easter. See the hollow middle of the roll?  The empty tomb!  And yes, it worked!  Not all my projects actually turn out.  This one is a keeper and I think it will be a new Easter tradition.

24 March 2013

Rachel is Fifteen

Fifteen fingers.  Yes, Rachel turned 15.  I've been telling her for weeks that she is turning 12, but, it happened anyway.  On March 14, 2013, Rachel Mae Ball turned 15.

We had birthday danish for breakfast.  We celebrated with breakfast because all the ladies and Jay Michael had dentist appointments at 8 am and we had four parent teacher conferences in the afternoon.

She received these cool little figures from her friend, which are from Rachel's favorite video game - Portal.  Click here if you would like to learn more about Portal.
Rachel had never had a manicure before, so her MaMa Jean (James' stepmother) took both of us out to get our nails done.  It was fun; my fingers are the coral color, Rae's are a deep violet and Jean's are the classic red.  We also had lunch at Carrino's, which was delicious!  Happy Birthday to us!
A few Rachel facts:
Rachel is wearing glasses with no lenses in these pictures.  She also wears converse everyday.  She went through a make up stage, but, has recently decided that she doesn't want to wear any at all.  Rachel likes to bake goodies and drive.  She is into video games and her new laptop (her birthday/tax money splurge).  Rachel has many friends and likes to spend time with them.  She is taking AP classes and forensics and French as her electives.  She just joined the community theatre group to be in Les Mis - more on that in June.

My birthday is just a few days after Rachel's and my folks sent us both flowers.  Aren't mine gorgeous?  I spent my birthday in Branson and treated myself to a new pair of earrings at the coolest bead shop in Missouri - Plum Bazaar.  If you are in Branson, check them out.

20 March 2013

Spring Break 2013

For the first few days of spring break this year we hit the road and went to Branson, MO. We met my brother David and his quite pregnant wife Dawn there for two of the days. We stayed at a hotel with an indoor water park. I would recommend this place to anyone with kids 10 and under. Our big ladies played and were good sports about it, but, truthfully, they were finished with the water park after the first few hours. The little ladies and Jay Michael couldn't get enough. I didn't take many pictures. Here are a few:

This is a view of the indoor water park (that's Rachel, Charlotte and Samantha, all in black swimsuits).  There was a three story climbing area full of ways to trap and expel the water flowing through it.  The ladies could divert the water into buckets and hoses and dump it on passers by below.  At the top there were slides to come down and do it all over again.  There was a lazy river with innertubes and hot tubs for the rest of us.  Jay Michael was tall enough to go down all the slides alone.  He was quite excited to be taller than the line.
At the very top of the climbing structure there was a HUGE barrel.  It was constantly being filled with water from a pump that ran through the whole park.  When it filled, the overflow would spill out, ringing a bell.  As that bell sounded, kids from all over would flock to a designated circle on the floor.  When the barrel was overflowing, it tipped all its water on the waiting "victims" below.  It was fun - to watch.
We played minigolf in black light.  If you look closely you can see Jay Michael putting his hand and golf ball in the alligator's mouth.  The paintings were amazing.  Next we played laser tag.  See the group of blue lights in the picture?  That's Jay Michael's back.  The red line is his laser gun.  There were 19 kids in his group.  Rae finished 6th, Samantha was 7th.  Charlotte was 13th, Josephine was 14th and Jay Michael was 19th, but he literally had a blast.  He wanted to play laser tag from the beginning and he loved it all.

We rode go karts.  Lots of go karts.  Uncle Dave was happy to step in and drive.  Rachel, Samantha and Charlotte could all drive alone, but, our littlest two needed a chauffeur.  James paid a dear price for his fun on the go karts.  He didn't get out of bed the next day.  At all.  We rode five tracks total and we did all the big ones - three stories high and full of twists and turns and drops.  Great fun.

We had to go to get ice cream - at Dairy Queen.  Not too exotic, but, hey, we don't have one in AR, so this is a new treat to the ladies.  Another new treat - Krispy Kreme.  How is it my kids have never been to Krispy Kreme?  Poor deprived children.  We went in and watched the fresh ones going through the fryer and glaze-waterfall.  The guy behind the counter handed us one each of the fresh hot ones.  YUM!  We left with two dozen warm donuts and I know the kids loved them because out of 24 donuts, I had two and James had two.  The other twenty were devoured by the ladies and Jay Michael!  On a side note, I remember when we were first married and James had started his first drafting job.  After his first day of work we went out to celebrate.  Where did we go?  Krispy Kreme in Newport News, VA.  I guess the ladies and Jay Michael get their love of warm fresh pastries naturally.
This is the only group shot I have, and it's still missing Dawn, James and me.  This was right after a harrowing wooden go kart track ride.  We cool.
We also hung out in the indoor pool, the hot tub (a lifesaver for James) and we spent a day at the outlet mall.  We ate pizza, stayed out late and watched Saturday morning cartoons together in bed.
I can only speak for myself, but, I am ready to get back to routines and school and work.  And my own bed.  Breaks are great.  But so is being back home.

10 March 2013

Clips and calls

Luna had a grooming this weekend.  She went in a shaggy mess and came home a cute clipped pupper with bows in her ears.  Darling.  Samantha was excited to see her all pretty again.

In other news, Samantha reffed her first game.  Only one coach yelled at her and she's decided to try again.  This is our friend Lindsey here with her.

08 March 2013

Fourth Grade Concert

Charlotte was very excited about the Fourth Grade Concert at her school.  She sang the songs around the house, but, not so that I could understand them; she said it would be a surprise.  Wow.  It sure was.  The class did a lullaby from Nigeria, a Spanish children's song, a negro spiritual, and a hit from the Go-Go's in the 1980's!  Talk about variety!  They also performed a hand clap kind of rhythm song.  Not really a rap, just words and using claps and stomps to keep the beat.  It was a fun one.  You could see it in all their faces that they were having fun with it.  About five members of the class also got to play the xylophone - they had five in different shapes and tones.  Charlotte is pictured here playing her part on the bass xylophone.  I love that she loves music.  I love that her school allows music to be a focus.  All the kids did a great job.  Way to go Charlotte!  Keep on singing!

06 March 2013

Lunch Date

Lunch with Josephine (second grade).  The ladies love it when I can slip away from work and eat with them at school.  I have even eaten at the junior high with the big ladies.  I guess I'm not so embarrassing yet.  That, and I bring take out.  Yeah, maybe they like me because I bring food....