21 June 2013

Vacation Bible School 213

Vacation Bible School may not be a "Mormon" institution, but, it is standard summer activity for the Ball Team.  Through the years we've been Methodists, Baptists and Anglicans.  This year we went with a new one (to me, anyway) - Assembly of God. This is one upbeat gang of Christians.  Seriously high energy.  There were complicated visual systems, sound effects and those balloons behind the little three there?  Yeah, that was the beginning of the rainbow of balloons that spanned the two story-high entry way into the gym/assembly hall.  Welcome to the high-tech Bible belt.  The name of the VBS was Champ Camp - all about being a champion. The little ladies took the cheerleading class, where they learned cheers celebrating God and our hometown Panthers.  Jay Michael took the soccer class and made stained glass/crepe paper windows and kicked goals.  They all loved it.  At the end of each night they gathered and answered "moral values" questions.  The correct answer was rewarded with a chocolate football large enough to shame any Easter bunny.  Charlotte won one and shared with the whole family - it was huge.  They discussed honesty and obedience.  In their sports, they talked about diligence and hard work.  They talked about winning and losing and they always ended it with - Be a champion.  That's a good message - no matter what source it comes from.

17 June 2013

Les Miserables

Rachel had a part in 24601, A Musical Tribute to Les Miserables.  It was fantastic.  It was produced by our local community theatre group, so it was a nice mix of adults and kids.  She had four costume changes and lines in seven songs.  She wasn't a character, she was in the chorus and played in scenes all throughout the show. She was a prostitute, a drunken tavern patron, a scullery maid, and a revolutionary on the barricade.  The actors were amazing and the scenery was minimal, but, imaginative.  Jean Val Jean was played by Brandon Nichols - look for big things from this guy - WOW.  What a voice.  Her forensics classes in school prepared her well for this walk-on background role.  Now she wants a spotlight role - next audition is next month.  She has the acting and singing bug!

The show was very moving - and you know Victor Hugo said it best - "To love another person is to see the face of God."

14 June 2013

Girl's Camp - 2013

You can barely see Rachel in this picture (second from the left, seated, hands up with a pink headband holding her hair back), but, WOW - look at that setting!  This is where my big ladies spent their week.  Classes, activities, songs, and study - a week at girl's camp.  In the heat and having a big time.  That's our Stake President -Bruce Burkheimer - the tallest one in the picture - standing in the back.
Rachel (far right) with her buds - Lindsey and Camille.  Leaving a day before everyone else, 'cause they are fourth years this year - that's girl's camp jargon for, "we get to do all the fun cool stuff like mountain biking and rock climbing!"
Samantha (second from the left) leaving the next day with her friends (from left to right) - Selena, Brianna, Rachel and Rosemary.  That's their fearless leader Sandy Sheppard standing behind them - ready to spend a week camping in the Arkansas summer sun!
Our house has been a little quieter with the big ladies away.  I love that they get to do something away from the rest of us and even without each other, since they are in separate campsites this year.  As much as I love having the family together, we all have to make our own way and do our own thing.  Break away from the pack.  Then come home and tell Dad and Mom all about it!!!!

11 June 2013

Piranhas Back In The Water

The summer means warm days turning into hot days in Arkansas.  It means watermelon and sleeping late.  It means playing all day with friends and staying up late with sisters.  All this is true for everyone in our family - except Charlotte.  Charlotte swims, and swimming means 8 am practice, then night practice from 7-9.  It means lots of time in the pool and less time at play dates.  It means hard work and sore muscles.  This girl, at 10, is dedicated to her sport.  She literally bounces out of bed in the morning, grabs her bag and heads for the pool.  Her first meet was last Saturday and she has already shaved as much as 5 seconds off of her times.  Now 5 seconds may not sound like a long time, but, in a race to the wall, it is HUGE.  Go Charlotte.  Big things are coming this season! 

03 June 2013

End of Soccer Season, 2013

Meet the Junkyard Dogs! 
left to right:  Jay Michael, Ethan, Micah, Peyten, and Braxton
Brinkley was on our team, too, but, not in the picture.
Jay Michael loved playing soccer for Coach Erik and Coach Mike again this year with this sweet group of five year olds.   He loved games; he loved practice; he just loves soccer.  What a great season.  We aren't supposed to keep score at this age, but, Jay Michael had his fair share of great goals and quick passes to his fellow Junk Yard Dogs!  Jay Michael was known for his "showboating" after goals!

We are already looking forward to next season!