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Friday, February 24, 2012

New Beginnings ... it's a Princess Pageant!

Last night was New Beginnings for the Young Women in our ward. 
The theme for the evening was "Daughter of a King" -- and the room and everyone was dressed to perfection and beauty!  The girls all wore floor length dresses (most of them did), and all just looked beautiful.

There was a mock beauty pageant, in which several girls portrayed contestants who had different personalities (i.e. Katie was Miss Perfect 10 ... she took great pains in making sure her looks were perfect).  After they got done w/ their pageant, they came out in the "values" of the YW theme:  Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice & Accountability, Good Works, Integrity, and Virtue.  All of these values the girls work on in the course of their YW years -- each value they learn something completely different but yet enriching to their lives.

Here is Katie as "Miss Perfect 10"


All the pageant girls after they get their value (Katie is Miss Knowledge)


"Prince Charming" was our bishop  :)  This is after Katie gets her little crown (all the girls get a sash and a crown, a scepter that has their name embroidered on a white hankerchief and a white rose)


Since Katie just turned 14, she is no longer a "Beehive" (the group for girls ages 12-13).  She used to be the Beehive President, and was just released a few weeks ago.  Here she announces the newcoming Beehives for the year. 


Afterwards, "Prince Charming" talks to the girls (all lined up on each side of the walkway) ... 

Finally they sing a song to us parents...


One of the moms & her daughter made this amazing cake for our refreshments!  It was incredibly beautiful and delicious!


When it was all over & done, the parents headed into a different room to look at the values the girls are working on.  This year Katie is working on Knowledge.  All the girls also wrote on each girls' page of things they love about them. Here is Katie's page:


Here is Katie & her BFF Madison...

and finally, here is Princess Katie.  :)


Thursday, February 23, 2012

gone shootin' at the shooting range!

Last weekend we took some time specifically for family time.  I love it when just the four of us escape and just do things together.  Since Mike loves guns... and both of the girls are really good with their shooting (OK.. normally I wouldn't brag about myself but since I'm always writing about how great everyone else is in my life, but there's no one to brag about me, so I'm just going to do it and say that I have a good arm as well for shooting!).

Mike is very good with the girls & I making sure we know how to handle a gun in case of emergencies.  We practice when we are at the cabin -- and Katie has shot two animals with her rifle.  So, practice is good for us.... we learn how to load, unload, set the safety, etc ...

So, Mike took us to the shooting range.  This was my very first time at a shooting range.  This is the conversation as soon as we entered the office.

Owner:  "Have you been to a shooting range before?"

The girls & I:  shaking head no

Owner:  "OK, read this list of rules."

The girls and I read the list of rules.

Owner:  "Great -- do you have any questions?"

The girls and I shake our heads no.

Owner:  :OK ... what's a berm?"  (looking point blank at me)

Me:  "uh ... uh... uh... I don't know.  I've never heard of that word before."

Owner:  "Exactly.. when I ask if you have any questions, that's when you speak up and say 'what's a berm?'  So, let me ask you again... do you have any questions?"

Me:  voice squeaking out "uh.. what's a berm?"

Geez.... what a mean man.  I understand the importance of being smart but he was just a little too..... mean for me.

Anyways!  Moving on!  Here are some pictures of the girls, Mike & I shooting.  We took a picnic lunch and enjoyed a few hours at the range.





Maddie gets bored after a few minutes, and heads to the SUV and breaks open lunch...








insert sarcastic remark:  so happy that Maddie picked up the camera to document that her mother does in fact attend these events as well!


All in all, we had a great family escape together!  But I totally rock the .22 pistol!  (end of bragging session for me)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Winners of the Celtic Woman giveaway!

I still have no clue how to clip & post from the random generator (for some reason .. it's not working!)

... but the winners are #13 & 16!!!

#13 will get the DVD
and #16 will get the CD!!

Congratulations Shelly & RSK ..... :)  I will be emailing you shortly for your addresses!!

Thanks for participating everyone!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Katie's birthday party brought to you in black & white...

If you are reading this blog post and have yet to enter in the Celtic Woman giveaway .. hurry up and enter!

Katie's birthday party was last weekend -- almost 2 weeks after she turned the big 1-4! 

She was dying for a skating party. 

She's also a klutz.

She also always manages to get hurt... no matter what she does.  But still, we went ahead w/ the party.  So much for bowling... no one gets hurt in bowling! 

She invited five friends.. but only three were able to come.  Cotillion was also that night, and Katie didn't want to attend... but her other friends did, and so they were busy getting ready for that big night!

Katie and her BFF Madison ....  unfortunately four years ago she broke her wrist skating.. and guess what?  She fell on her elbow and got hurt again.  Thankfully after a day, her elbow "popped" and last I heard it was feeling much better... 

Now this friend is Nina... she is wearing the helmet and all the wrist guards.  She was at the mall when she passed out, and she hit her head, so her parents wanted her to wear a helmet when skating.  This is her first time skating, and she fell many many times... good thing she was wearing a helmet!  Those are good to have!



Katie & her friends:  Madison, Nina, & Missy


for some unknown... stupid reason... the concession stand offers shots of pickle juice for .50 cents each.  They all (mostly all.. Madison wasn't that thrilled) wanted to try a shot.  So I gave them two bucks and they all chugged those suckers down.  These were the expressions: 

Katie is a lover of pickles.... this stuff didn't faze her.  Not one bit...

Madison on the other hand....  had to force it to go down.  Poor girl.  I understand her agony in the moment.  That is some pretty nasty stuff!


And Nina?  ... "gasp!"

I took cupcakes with us, and left them in the car.  We ended up leaving early and headed home (in part to some injuries and about a million little kids all skating around) -- when we got home, the cupcakes were tossed to and fro -- someone --I won't name any names..... took the cupcake carrier (it's old, and doesn't have "places" to put the cupcakes, but it's still a carrier!) and just did circles with it.  So, they were all messed up and all just... over the place!  So much for that!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Celtic Woman giveaway!

Imagine my excitement last week when I get an email from a rep from the group of Celtic Woman asking me if I'd like to sponsor a giveaway for them on behalf of Celtic Woman.


I love Celtic Woman.  I have loved them since they came out years ago debuting their first album.  Their voices truly sound so angelic sounding.  So soothing, so relaxing, so uplifting.

The giveaway is for a SIGNED copy of their newest CD, Believe, as well as a SIGNED copy of the Believe DVD, which was recorded in Atlanta, Georgia. 

I have watched the DVD and listened to the CD.  The music have moved me to tears... literally.  Madison & I both share a love for this group -- and boy do we have our favorite songs (and performers!).    They perform classic Irish songs, as well as timeless classics for all to enjoy (Ave Maria, Bridge Over Troubled Water, You'll Never Walk Alone).

From February until the end of April, Celtic Woman is touring the United States.  Check to see if they are coming to a city near you....
In the meantime, check out their YouTube channel ...

Want a chance to win a signed CD or DVD of their newest hit called Believe?  (two winners!) Here are a few ways:
1)  Leave me a comment!  Tell me if you love Celtic Woman and what is your favorite song of theirs!

2)  Follow me on my blog!  Leave me another comment telling me you are a follower!

3)  Blog, Twitter or Facebook about this giveaway!  You can earn more entries by doing this!

Giveaway will end on Sunday night, February 12th, 2012 at 11:59 p.m.
Please, leave me your email address so I can get in contact with you for your address.  If after 48 hours after I contact the winners, and no response, I will draw a new winner. 

Many thanks to the rep from the group for sponsoring this giveaway!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

When spellcheck is needed....

Well, Maddie did it again....

She made a newsletter today and she was SO stinking proud of it.

I was too.  I was laughing as well.

Here is the picture of part of her newsletter.  A background first:  Maddie is in the class that has the deaf/hard of hearing kids in her grade.  She loves learning sign language as well, and there are assistants & interpreters that come with the teacher everywhere they go. 

Read on ..


See her lovely ... "ass-tint" and "inter-puter".  That's assistant and interpreter.  Not to mention that "Are" that should've been "our"...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Baby rag quilt blankets....

I've made a few rag quilts in my life.  Each time I remind myself why I don't make them, but sometimes life is just funny and a new baby comes around in my family and I feel the need to make another quilt.

Here is the latest rag quilt creation.. it was MUCH easier doing it this way rather than the squares, so should I ever lose my mind again and decide to make another rag quilt, this is the way I'll be doing it. :)

The baby blanket is for my cousin's first soon to be born baby ...  a little boy.

I'm so grateful for Katie and her fingers.  She is the one who did about 80% of the snipping on this baby after I sewed it all together.  Whew!  At least she didn't cut through the thread!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Highland Dancing at the Burns Dinner

Every last Saturday in January the Scottish Society (I assume all over the world..) holds a very fancy dinner on behalf of Robert Burns .... a Scottish poet.  He is the poet who wrote "Auld Lang Syne" among other poems.  He is also referred to as "Scotlands favorite son". 

So, it is typical for Highland Dancers to dance at this dinner that is held every year.  {However this year and last year the Irish Dancers here have been dancing at the Burns dinner... taking up even more time than we're given -- they got 30 minutes, we got 12!! .... so it doesn't really make any sense why they're there since Burns was Scottish....  it's never happened at ANY of the other Burns dinners that the girls have danced at .... strange!} Since Katie has been dancing for 8 years now, Maddie for 6 years -- the Burns dinner is something we look forward to every year.

Now that we have moved down to San Antonio, the girls no longer compete in competitions (you can read more about a previous competition in that link).  We found the Scottish Society and they joined the dance group there.  The teacher, Miss Annette, is wonderful, and the girls have really enjoyed their time with this group.  Miss Annette teaches and puts together wonderful choreographed dances.  Since Katie & Maddie do know quite a few of the traditional dances that you would find Scottish dancers dancing at competitions, they do and have done solo dances at events as well.

On this particular night, Miss Annette managed to make all 8 costumes for the girls (and herself).  She did an AMAZING job.  They debuted their new costumes for this dinner.
In this particular picture, Miss Annette is giving the final instructions before they head out on the stage.  They are only given 12 minutes to perform, which really is hardly ANY time at all b/c some of these girls know a lot of dances and many enjoy watching their beautiful style that emerges through the dances.  It is so refreshing to see that all the traditional dances that are done, and are all symbolic or created from a story in the Scottish history.


Lined up before they head out  ... a group picture.


Walking out to the stage...


For this blog post, I am just adding pictures from the dances that my girls danced.  Here Katie is dancing the Seann Triubhas --


Katie and Miss Annette are dancing a choreographed dance...



Miss Maddie danced another choreographed dance with two other girls..



Finally the dance of the evening.... a group dance for 8 people, all dancing different steps.  It was beautiful to watch.

Scottish Highland Dance is a very vigorous sport.  I call it a sport because it is recognized in Scotland as a sport.  The dancers dance on the ball of their feet (except for 4 dances).  It takes a massive amount of stamina for the arms, hands & legs to dance these dances.  I should know because I had to learn the sword dance and teach it to Katie... I was exhausted after doing it once! 
If you would like to read more about the history & general information about Highland Dance, you can click here.  To see past dances that my girls have done, you can check out my Youtube channel here ... (it's under the user name twocuteblondies if you can't link it right).
You can also find Highland Dancers at any Highland Games that are generally found in the spring, summer and fall times of the year.  The San Antonio Highland Games are coming up on the weekend of March 31 & April 1st in Helotes.  There is generally so much more to see at the games other than dancers.  There are competitions for Bagpipers, Scottish heavy athletics (you can see people throw logs-- also called caber toss!  Pitch hay bales, hammer throw, herding dog trials).  Not to mention, this is the one place where you will most likely see men wearing their kilts.  Of course, Highland Games come enrich in history as well.

It took me awhile to get used to hearing the sound of bagpipes.  I was always amazed at how my girls could listen for the melody and know when to dance, when to do what at certain points in the song -- but now I think bagpipe music is beautiful and not a bunch of noise.
So, I encourage you to attend a nearby Highland Games.  It really is a lot of fun, full of culture & heritage and you do learn a LOT of interesting, fun things about the Scottish culture. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Building a cabin ... part 9

Mike went up last week for a quick weekend w/ his dad & his brother.  They came down from Missouri for a visit with Mike.  Unfortunately they had to leave early to head back home, so Mike had some time to work on the bathroom!! 

He managed to get the bathroom tiled!!  Wahoo!  HELLO SHOWER!  {I'm totally not a bath girl.. I love my showers}

We (remember... HE) needs to finish caulking around some of the edges, so he'll do that the next time we go up.  Also, need to change out the part where the water comes out b/c it kind of splashes water a bit when it comes out (it's too small) -- we need a longer ... thing.  Whatever it's called.  Faucet?

The final stop in the bathroom is putting the floor down and a few other knick knacks.. and then the bathroom will be DONE! 





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