30 June 2015

Splash - June 2015

The splash for June 2015 really was a splash.  The underwater camera we borrowed for these pictures was fun and productive.  Summer is here and the BallTeam is in the water!

23 June 2015

Studly Samantha

So we have rules at our house.  No characters on clothing, shoes or backpacks.  No t-shirts from bands unless you can sing three songs.  No short shorts or words on your rear end.  And - no pierced ears UNTIL you do both of the following at the same time - turn 12 years old AND have more As than Bs on your report card.  Samantha actually could have had her ears pierced before, but, dance team would have required her to take them out and she has to have time to let them heal.  So, this semester, with dance team still a month away, she did it.  Simple sparkly studs - just like Samantha.

19 June 2015

Rachel is a Senior?

This happened....

I'm not sure where the last 17 years have gone.  I know they flew.  More pictures and events to come.  Rachel is our first baby to graduate - ugh.  I still can't wrap my head around it.  Sniff. Sniff.

17 June 2015

Go West Big Ladies, 2015

My mother made me an amazing proposal this summer.  She offered to take our big ladies - Rachel and Samantha - for a ten day road trip out west.  I reminded her that I was the last teenage girl she had been stuck in a car with for days on end.  Did she really understand what she was offering?  She was undaunted.  The big ladies - now 17 and 15 - were apprehensive.  Will she make us drink milk?  Will she make us go to bed before midnight?  Will she make us ride the kiddie rides?  It became clear to me that this trip was a fantastic opportunity for my big ladies and my mother to spend time together.  What better way to bond with - or fight with - your family than on the highways of America doing 65 mph?  Off they went.  Here are some highlights and pictures:

First picture from the road - Rachel braiding her hair.  They had lots of car time and they were amazed by the scenery of the west.  They quickly discovered that Arkansas mountains pale in comparison to the Rockies.

The big ladies remembered Rita's from when we lived in North Carolina.  Out west - this one was in Utah - they found a Rita's in a food truck!  Rachel said she just wanted to drive away in it!

While in Utah they did the Mormon scenic stuff - Temple Square.

Visitor's Center.  They also saw the Tabernacle and the new Assembly Hall.  They went up to the roof, where there is apparently a waterfall and a great view of Salt Lake.

The Salt Lake Temple.  Even though there are no other people in this pictures, they said it was crowded and they had missionaries talk to them all over.  They just said, we are Mormons, from Arkansas, just here seeing the sights.

Lion House for supper.  They loved the rolls.

A rainbow in the mountains.  This was taken the day they rode the trains.  The big ladies have lived in small towns all their lives, so Salt Lake was a big city and the trains were fun and fascinating.

Food truck stop.  Burritos and Rita's.  The good life.

More mountain pictures - that yellowish haze is sunlight hitting the distant slopes and reflecting back.

The beginning of sunset - beautiful colors in the mountains over Kenneth's (Ma's little brother and their gracious host) house.

A day in Park City.  They went ziplining and toured around the area.

And IKEA.  I love IKEA.  I have only been a few times, but, there's just something about that store that makes me want to come back and just wander around.  For years the big ladies have heard me talk about IKEA and Ma took them to the IKEA in Centennial, Colorado.

And a selfie while eating IKEA cinnamon buns after a day of wandering around and dreaming about taking it all home.  They did bring us all home IKEA stuff - plates and glasses and bowls and utensils - and tshirts from Colorado.  But mainly what I hope they took from this trip was time with their grandmother and an appreciation for getting out of town.  Ma said they were well behaved.  They were respectful and they travel well.  More adventures, undocumented by pictures - are a visit to a trampoline park, a shopping trip at Deseret Books, the movie Jurassic Park and lots of hotel hanging out time with Ma.  They were glad to be home and glad to get to go.  Thank you, Ma.

14 June 2015

Coach Charlotte

Charlotte may only be 12 years old, but, she's been swimming for the same team for about half of her life!  She swims for two teams - one year round and very competitive, the Dolphins, and one only in the summer, very recreational, the Piranhas.  This is her fifth season as a piranha, and she is now a junior coach.  She helps out with the 6 year olds in getting their skills down.  At 6 years old you can compete in the kickboard races - very low stress - and if you want to, you can compete against the older kids and make times.  Charlotte says mostly kids just want to have fun and since they are only six, swimming is just about having fun.  She gets frustrated because she has learned that kids don't listen.  What a valuable lesson.  She says she tries to tell them how to swim the right way and they just want to play.  Hahaha.  Listen to your coach!

10 June 2015

Ma is HERE!

My Mom is a brave soul.  She has decided that she will take my two big ladies on a road trip and cross the Rockies.  Then, upon her return, she will take my two little ladies on a road trip south and east.  Amazing.  More on that later.  Right now, we have some pictures of the pre-trip visit.
Samantha and Josephine at Walmart.  Gotta love pictures at Walmart.

Ma and Charlotte at the Purple Cow.  This is a diner style sandwich shop in Little Rock famous for its ice cream sodas.  Ma had a purple cow.  Her tongue was purple for hours.  Charlotte just finished her first swim meet of the season and we went out for lunch.

A staple - chess games.  Josephine and Ma ended this one in a draw.
More adventures to come.  We will have pictures from the road!

01 June 2015

Pool Time

 We borrowed an underwater camera!  Ok. Serious fun.   I highly recommend this for an afternoon of fun.
Trying to get the group together - everyone but Charlotte got in this one.

This is everyone but Samantha is hidden.

The BalTeam in birth order - headless.
JMichael - floating and smiling.

Josephine posing under the surface!

Charlotte and Josephine - underwater selfies.

Josephine smiles.

Charlotte is a natural under the water.

This is Charlotte, but, doesn't she look like Samantha here?

This smile says it all - see you at the pool!