27 October 2015

Just a Friday at school.....

What do your kids wear to school?  Charlotte has morning practice for her basketball team, so she wears her practice clothes out into the darkness on the way to school at 6:00 a.m.!

And Josephine had a frontier festival day and went to school as 1850s Josephine.  She was so excited - they are going to have a full day of activities - churning butter, cleaning rifles, weaving rope, shopping at the trading post, all followed up by a washboard hoe-down.  Fifth grade is so fun.

26 October 2015

Splash - October 2015

Simple, right?  A fall blanket, leaves, a sunny day and five smiling kids making a pyramid.  Love it.  Love the smiles.  Love the BallTeam.

24 October 2015

Happy Halloween, 2015

Happy Halloween - this year we celebrated a week early at the trunk or treat at church.  Rachel was working, so she missed out on the fun.  We had a pirate theme - each auxiliary had a booth for games and we enjoyed a pot luck dinner of hot dogs and chips.  Primary's (I'm in the primary presidency) booth was to dig for buried treasure - ie, gold chocolates in deer corn in a kiddie pool with palm trees.  Elder's Quorum (James is in that presidency) did a pirate ship cannon shoot.  He was in charge of rocking the ship while the kids got to shoot cannon balls at the attacking sharks.  So cool.
Count JMichael and Josephine, the brainy scarecrow.
Charlotte the cat and Samantha as the fighter (you can choose your own backstory)

23 October 2015

Cute Kid Quote, Josephine

This is the recycling bin at the door of WalMart.  You have walked past it hundreds times.  Maybe you put your Walmart sacs in there to recycle them.  I personally hadn't given it much notice.  Josephine mentioned to me as we were leaving Walmart last night that she finally figured out what that big bin was for.

Mom, she says:  you can put your Walmart sacs in that bin over there to recycle them.

Yes, I said.  Sure.

Josephine went on:  I just read it and figured that out.  When I was younger I thought it was a place to put your teeth when you lost them.

Look at the picture this time and tell me if you don't think that the tooth fairy now has a lost tooth recycling bin at Walmart?

Kids are so great. 

17 October 2015

Homecoming, 2015

Samantha danced with her team at homecoming this year and my friend was there taking pictures.  She was able to get some close up shots and I'm so grateful.  I love that I am able to publish this blog because I view every shot and post as a piece of time I was able to capture.  One day I'll be 80 and I'll read these posts and stare at the pictures which froze time for only an instant and saved it here for me to enjoy later.  Samantha can look back at 80 and see herself in living color as a beautiful 16 year old girl dancing at the homecoming game.  Her grandchildren will one day, I hope, enjoy these posts and pictures, too.  This goes, of course, for all my beautiful children and their grandchildren and generations to come.  For all I know Samantha when she she's 80, will still be able to do a grand jetee like she is doing in the last picture.  (She's the one directly above the 0, front and center.)  Go Panthers!
And Charlotte was there, too! Walking in the homecoming parade with the float for her swim team, the Wahoos.  So beautiful.

10 October 2015

Red Dragons, Soccer Fall 2015

Soccer season this year has been a real building experience.  JMichael has built skills and a real knowledge of the game.  For the first time in all his five seasons as a soccer player, he will signal to his teammates on the field, call out the plays to them and as a result he gets some great passes in.  It's just so amazing to me to watch my kids be themselves.  That might sound weird, but, JMichael was born as a sweet little lump who was hospitalized because he couldn't breathe on his own and then, in the blink of an eye, he is the curly headed left footer who calls a give and go at midfield.

02 October 2015

Josephine is Eleven!

Josephine is eleven.  Ugh.  This is flying.  Joey has always been the baby girl and suppose she always will be the baby girl, but, wow.  Eleven?

At eleven, Josephine is in the fifth grade.  Middle school.  She is on a team that rotates classes through three teachers.  It's a good middle step between elementary school, walk in a line everywhere, to junior high, individual schedules and you're on your own.  She is a whiz at school - I do not worry about her grades.  She asks tons of questions, argues with everything.  EVERYTHING.  And she is bright.  Super bright.  She explores, she experiments, she analyzes.  She is literally exhausting.  We just love her.

Josephine had to give up gymnastics - it's not her, it's us.  It just got too expensive.  She was really good at it, and that just means it's competitive and her coach was helping her master amazing skills, but, always asking us for more money.  Sorry Joey.  As a compromise, Josephine asked to learn the piano.  Brilliant.  Rachel picked up the piano at about the same age and she never took a lesson.  She just listens and repeats.  It's really amazing.  The ladies get their musical abilities from James.  I can't carry a tune in a bucket.  Josephine is learning from a lady at church who teaches her once a week.  In three weeks of lessons she is already on page 25 of her lessons book.  She's in a hurry to master the piano so she can learn another instrument.  She hasn't decided which one yet. 

Josephine is smart, witty and always ready to go somewhere.  Anywhere.  If our car leaves the driveway and Josephine is not in it, there's a good reason.  This child hates to be left at home.  She wants to explore, move and experience.  Joey doesn't like to cook, she doesn't like raisins or cucumbers and she loves to color.  Loves it.  She makes bracelets from rubber bands and cross stitch floss.  She is great at cleaning her room and I never worry about her remembering homework or projects - she's on it.  Another detail of Josephine at eleven - she loves board games.  She will sit still for a good book or a board game.  And minecraft.  Don't get her started on minecraft.  She's built some amazing things.  (she made a county fair - complete with livestock exhibits and rides and fair food booths - it was crazy).

Josephine Lisette.  Eleven.  The first BallTeam kid to do her birthday fingers pose with her feet.  We just love her.