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Saturday, June 28, 2008

{Birthday Recap}

Jenni & Calli... my newest good friend & neighbor and Calli is a fantastic friend from Arizona, whom I haven't seen in over a year.

For my actual birthday that was on Tuesday, Mike took me and our ENTIRE family out for mexican food..... that was my gift. My good friend Jenni (who lives in the same complex as I do) gave me some YUMMY brownies that had melted chocolate on it w/ peanut butter frosting, and a beautiful bouquet of flowers w/ sunflowers in it. It is so incredibly beautiful....

My parents gave me a dozen roses, & these were bright pink, and since I had used my one vase to put Jenni's flowers inside, I had to settle on a gravy bowl for my vase for my parents flowers (I never get flowers, so it's RARE that I get it twice in one day). They have bloomed so incredibly beatiful, so I have to say bright pink roses are my favorite color now if I am to get roses. :) ::hint hint::

Thanks to my mother in law Deb for making a fantastic yummy chocolate cherry cake! And also thanks to my parents for bringing my favorite ice cream flavors!! Would you believe my two little stinkers have eaten it all???

Pic below: Carla & Jordonna, the girls' dance teacher & another dancer's mom
Pic right: Jennifer & Stephanie ~ isn't it funny how we're leaning to the left?

On Wednesday night, I met up w/ 10 other friends of mine at this fancy restaurant inside a beautiful Hyatt hotel. They have a chocolate bar inside that is complimentary if you pay the $40+ for dinner, but if you don't want dinner, it's only $11.95 for unlimited trips to the chocolate bar. :) We had so much fun. I made bright pink flowers for everyone's hair... and told everyone to wear something that would go w/ the bright pink. I think everyone was in heaven during the 2 hours we were there... or maybe it was a sugar high? Whatever it was, it was outstanding! Before we left, I gave everyone a Hershey's bar that was covered in scrapbook paper, to match the colors (hot pink & black), and I attached a "Care for more chocolate? Thanks for coming! Amy" note on it. Everyone laughed. (forgot to take a picture of that bar, but you can see the flower hair thing in the pictures)

After dessert, two of my childhood best friends (Malonda & Jennifer) decided they were taking advantage of the no children evening, and wanted to see Sex in the City movie (is it Sex AND the City or Sex IN the City? Either way, they have sex & they're in the city... so I don't know what the right title is). I decided to tag along, and so we hit the 10:20 movie that night. We had no clue it was going to be so long.... we didn't get home until 2 a.m. Yawn! Anyways, before the movie, we had plenty of time to try to find something to eat (I guess chocolate doesn't cut it for some people?), so we found an Uno's Pizza, and ordered some appetizers for the movies, which Malonda brazenly carried inside the movie theatre, ignoring the "NO FOOD OR DRINK" sign. They could care less. Jennifer and I enjoyed our 3 pieces of mozzarella sticks a piece.... they promised us 9 sticks, but we only got 6. Bummer.

So, the movie... whoa. That's all I can say. It felt like old times being w/ friends who I grew up. I haven't seen Malonda in years, but it was like yesterday when we got back together that night. We giggled through the movies, gasped at certain spots, exclaimed "I can't BELIEVE they showed that!", and "What were they THINKING?" at other scenes. I had never seen a real Sex in the City show on HBO, just the edited version for TV, so I was quite unprepared for a lot of the scenes shown.

Getting my cake here...and everyone sang to me. How embarrasing

I realized through all this that I am richly blessed with friends. Friends who are OK with spending $15.00 to help celebrate my night. :)

Psst... I'm having a hard time getting this blog post to move around so I can add captions of my friends and the evening. So, that's why some pics have captions, and others don't. I gave up playing with everything. :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

{The Zoo, Birthdays, & Father's Day}

This is what happens when I get slack about downloading pictures from my camera and blogging. YOU get an eyeful and a bunch of stories that goes along with the pictures!!

Last Friday Jennifer invited the girls and I to go w/ her to the zoo. We had a blast at the zoo, and enjoyed seeing the new baby zebra that was just born. We took pictures (I say we, because the girls are really interested in the camera now) of turtles, elephants, and poop... yes, poop. I won't post the picture, but yeppers, it's elephant dung. And no, I didn't take the picture of THAT... Jennifer can take the blame. :)

At the end of the day, when we were SO hot, and SO tired from walking SO far (from Africa, let me tell you, it's a LONG walk with three big kids in a two kid stroller pushing uphill).

We sat down for a second to capture our breath, and I spotted the perfect picture of Jennifer's two kids and Madison. They looked so cute looking at the otters, that is, until I captured Madison picking out a wedgie in her butt. Oh, there goes the cute photo! But never to fear, I got the next picture and it's perfect!!

So far this summer we're really enjoying our swimming time. We got a few times a week, and it's finally gotten to the point where the girls are no longer getting sunburned.

It doesn't matter how often or how high the SPF number I apply, these girls are getting tan... they're also learning how to do somersaults in the water, handstands, how to dive looking for their diving sticks, how to backstroke... and how to splash the crud out of each other (and me). They are turning into little fish, and they are totally content with this. We love going to the pool with our good friends the MacArthur's.... lots of fun!!

We celebrated Father's Day last week, with the one gift Mike requested: a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. Go figure... ice cream cake? That is one of the top requested gifts from men, from what I understand.

Then, we celebrated my birthday last night, w/ a trip to Jose Peppers and a cake from Mom N. and ice cream & flowers (beautiful flowers!) from Mom & Dad. Sadly, I don't have enough vases for flowers (I never get flowers, and most certainly never get flowers twice in one day!), so I had to use my gravy bowl for the roses. :) My good friend & neighbor Jenni gave me some yummy peanut butter & chocolate brownies & BEAUTIFUL sunflower flowers also.... I'm LOVING them all!

And this little guy.... I have totally fallen in love with little Owen. He's such a sweetie. Who can resist this little face? Definitely not me and his mother!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

{KC Highland Games}

Maddie relaxing & eating our favorite snack... Pringles
We always take this to the games.

Wow... what a day!! We started early this morning for Riverside to participate in the KC Highland Games for Highland Dance. Katie was placed in the Beginner 10 & under group, and Madison is still in the Primary group. Katie danced against 6 other dancers, Maddie was against 3 other dancers. They both did a FANTASTIC job... Maddie I think was exceptionally nervous before her dance, and she kind of flubbed through her Highland Fling, and messed up completely. Katie did the Highland Fling, Sword Dance, Seann Trius, Straspthey & Highland Reel and the Lilt.

Madison dancing the Sword Dance

Madison dancing the sword dance

Katie dancing the Straspthey & Highland Reel (she's the middle)

Katie dancing the S & Highland Reel (she's the 2nd from left)

Again.... S & HReel (2nd from right)

When it came time to announce the winners of each group, there were some "comments" made about the way judging was done. Maddie only got one medal, and I didn't even catch which group it was in b/c I was so shocked she didn't place at all.... even another mom was eyeing me and going "WHAT?!!!" So, until I talk to her dance teacher to see if she really did that bad of a job, I'm just going to blame the judge... sounds like any mother, right? LOL

Madison dancing Swords
Katie dancing swords
Katie & the swords

Katie had stiff competition. There was a girl from Houston who danced, and also Bryn, one of her best friends in dance. Between the three of them, they placed all the medals. Katie got 2-first place medals (Straspthey & Highland Reel & Lilt), 1-Second place medal (Sword Dance), and 2-third place medals (Highland Fling & Seann Trius). The girl from Houston got 2 First place, 2 second place, and 1 third... so probably but a few points, she won the Best Dancer for that group. Still proud of Katie though! She did awesome!!

All 4 girls have taken lessons together for the past 4 1/2 years.

The neatest thing of the day, and something that we learned from the first year of dancing, is that we have to stay for the entire award ceremony, because they have additional prizes to award to the Most Promising Pre-Premier Dancer (she won this prize a few years ago, after we had left to go home...), and some other award, which I'm not sure what it is (possibly the person who had the most points?). When they announced the Most Promising Dancer, Katie's name was announced!! Wahoo Katie! Way to go girl! She got a beautiful standing plaque that is either glass or crystal, and has etchings in it. I'd rather her get that than the Best Dancer Plaque, which was another bowl... Lord knows we have so many bowls already from her winning a few Best Dancer awards. Enough with the bowl! Give trophies!!:)

Katie after getting her Most Promising Pre Premier Dancer Award

With the award....

I say I complain about the judge for several reasons. In another group, one dancer won all 1st place dances, and she was downright HORRIBLE... several people mentioned this, so in reality, I don't know how well the judging was done, or maybe even this judge was looking for something particular? I don't know... kind of stinks sometimes.

We finished the day off with a movie to Kung Fu Panda (or whatever it's called).

So, until the Omaha games in July.... Katie is NOW a Novice dancer!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

{Walking the Dinosaur}

Last Saturday the girls and I went to the new Sprint Center to see the Walking the Dinosaurs exhibit/show. I had seen this show on commercials, and it looked incredibly neat, but the tickets were outrageous (I didn't really look for prices b/c the girls aren't *that* into dinosaurs, unlike some nephews of mine). Friday night I was at Jenn's daughter's birthday party (Jen is my best friend), and she had another good friend over, and they asked if we wanted tickets to see it the next day! They only had 3 left, but we took them.

This picture was so cool b/c everything was blown up w/ air and had strobe lights in somewhere. It resembled the plant life. If you look at the picture above, the palm trees in the stone was inflatable as well... so cool!

These tickets were $50 tickets, and it was SO awesome to sit up close! The dinosaurs were incredibly so real looking, and it was just awesome. I disobeyed the rules, and took some pics with a flash before I was caught and told to stop taking pics w/ the flash on. In my defense, I had just realized the pics turn out better without the flash on, and when I turned my camera off, then back on again, I didn't know the flash would be on.. oops! The girls LOVED the T-Rex dino. She was awesome! I say "she" because the baby t-rex was moving around (there were people under that dinosaurs' costume... I had to laugh b/c I saw 4 feet coming out of the baby one's, and I thought "wah? I thought they only had 2 feet and itty bitty hands!"). At the end when the momma T-Rex came out, the baby finally found her momma, and everyone in the audience went "aawwww". :) Then the momma would ROAR and the baby would try to copy with a "baahhh".

**If you click on the pictures, you can see them bigger.

Getting ready for this weekend at the Scottish Festival. The girls have been practicing hard! I'll update with results from that competition this weekend!

Friday, June 6, 2008

{And the ophthamologist said}

Or however you spell opthomologist (the special eye doctor)....

Katie's eye condition (amblyopia of the left eye) is CURED!! Yay! Her left eye was a little weak, so they put her in glasses about 5 years ago. She's been wearing them off and on since then (more off than on). After a quick checkup, the doctor said she no longer has to wear her glasses and that it's strong enough on its own to see!! :)

Katie's THRILLED! (so are we! One less medical bill!)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

{And the dentist said....}

Maddie will need braces withing 3 years. :( ::sigh:: She had her first panoramic xray done today, and you could see all of her teeth just crammed under her baby teeth. He said there literally isn't enough room in her mouth to put it all together. But, her empty spots will soon be filled w/ her adult teeth.. and they were huge. :) So, three teeth are growing in, one still empty, and braces in the future, oh, and 2 cavities.

Katie's teeth were perfect. She had a filling that was knocked loose a few months ago, and he said he didn't want to fill it b/c that particular tooth was getting ready to become loose. Apparently we lose 20 teeth (I thought it was only 12), and yes, we lose out molars too. Who knew? Not me! But, her teeth is perfect straight, thanks to good genes. :) The Sonicare toothbrush is doing her teeth wonders!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

{Yay for Good Grades!}

I had forgotten to blog about the girls' good grades this year!

Since we had made a move from one school district to another, the way they're graded is a bit different. At one school they're graded by numbers: 1 = they're not grasping the concept at all, 2 = they're kind of grasping the concept, 3 = they understand the concept,and 4 = they exceed the understanding for their age group. Katie mostly got 3's, an occasional 2, and maybe a 4 in reading.

At the new school, they are back to the A, B, C's for the grading scale, something I'm much familiar with. I was always thinking "OK, does a 3 equal an A or a B?". I never really understood it. Well, with the girls changing schools, and were a little behind (Katie was), I was worried about her grades for the last quarter. She came home with all A's and one B!! Yay for Katie! Her extra help in math paid off, apparently as she got an A in math! She had to be tested for the extra help in math, and she qualified, so that was a relief to get her caught up. Her B was in social studies.

Madison didn't get graded on anything, but merely a "Yes, she can do this, and yes, she can do this, etc". Kindergartners don't get grades. But, she can go on to 1st grade!

And while we're speaking on the subject of Madison.... her stuttering is almost GONE!! Yes! Amazing! Miracle! I'm just so thrilled that she's speaking a hundred words a minute, and no repeating one word over and over and over and over again. I even tried to get her to be seen by the new school's speech therapist, who took forever to even see her. By the time she did get around to see her (a week before school ended), she told the teacher "this girl doesn't have a problem, why am I needed?". :D

She still struggles a bit, but it's SO much better than what it was. So, a big major THANKS for the prayers for Madison! I know a lot of people in the family were worried about this (I was too... Mike had more faith that I did and would always say "she'll grow out of it").

Have pictures to upload, but blogger is being stubborn right now, so I'll upload as soon as I'm able to.

Monday, June 2, 2008

{My New Bargaining Chip}


I always told myself I would never resort to using bribery as a mean to get things done, whether it's chores, behavior modifications, or just getting along with each other. However, I noticed these two little girls will do ANYTHING to get to go to the pool. Thus, my life is tremendously easier when it comes to having a bargaining chip in my hand. :D

We've gone a few times so far since school has been out (actually, it might have only been two times), but they're already dark skinned, and Maddie's hair has gotten lighter.

However, with the pool comes a few problems. One of those is bloody toes. On the first day of playing in the pool, Maddie came to me with a few bloody toes. Now, everyone who knows Maddie knows she's a drama queen. Big time drama queen. When it comes to blood, she wins Oscars. However, this time she came to me and said "oh Momma... look at my toes, they're bleeding, but that's OK because I'm OK". I'm just dumbfounded... Uh, OK? Then, here comes Katie a few minutes later "MOM! I'm bleeding!". And on her toes too. So, the next day we went shopping for some beach shoes so the girls will no longer have bloody toes. I think their situation was blisters.

It's so fun to watch the girls play Marco Polo in the pool, and to run and jump in the pool. Thanks to the swimming lessons Papa & Grandma Keesee got for them earlier this year, these two girls are now little fish, and can swim pretty easily. I got in the pool the other day, and tried to show Katie how to do a somersault in the water. Then on to handstands. She's still not getting it, and before we were done, Maddie was doing it by herself with no problems. :::giggling::: Poor Katie... Maddie had her beat when it came to whistling and now at somersaults in the water.

We're busy getting ready for the girls Scottish dance competition ~ they're practicing every morning and doing their barre work. Their first competition is in a few weeks, so they should be ready for it! They're so excited.
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