Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Unexpected Joy!

What do you do when you are rearranging large pieces of furniture, have sweat dripping off and your cell phone rings?  Ignore it, of course!  What happens then when your land line starts ringing immediately after the cell phone quits and your STILL pushing that same large dresser?  Again, ignore it!  What about when the cell phone starts ringing yet AGAIN???

Answer it, 'cuz there is someone who desperately wants to get in touch!  

That's what happened yesterday as Sarah and I were rearranging her bedroom furniture.  And I'm so gld that I did answer the call because it was my niece, Mara.  She was at the airport with a very long lay-over  (about 6 hours) and wondered if we had time to meet with her.

Yes, yes, yes, of course we can!  With some quick arranging we headed off to the airport!  As we left the house, a summer thunderstorm was brewing.  We quickly realized, just a mile down the road, that the storm was a wicked one.  Debris was scattered all over and a tree had fallen across the road.  We were not delayed long as 2 enterprising men quickly removed the tree with a chain and their truck!   We wouldn't realize how bad the storm was until our arrival home, several hours later. 

Our visit with Mara was short but wonderful.  We hadn't see her in two years and what a difference those years made!  Mara was coming from a medical "camp" at Georgetown University.  She is going into 10th grade but has already decided that she wants to go into the medical field.  So she spent a week watching an autopsy, diagnosing illnesses and listening to lectures!  She received two college credits and tons of excitement!

After a long dinner (can't believe how LONG we were in the restaurant, so glad we didn't have a plane to catch!) and some catch-up, it was unfortunately time for Mara to leave!  With hugs and kisses we sent Mara to meet her plane.

Back home we went to find our garage door up and all of the power out!  Seems that the storm was pretty powerful, we surmised that the electrical surge may have caused the garage door to go up.  Not sure how long the power had been out but it sure had the cats nervous.  With candles lit, we sat down expecting a long, uncomfortable night (very hot, with 80% humidity outside).  

Imagine our delight when the electricity popped back on about  30 minutes later.  Oh, another moment of unexpected joy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

See, I told you so!

Sarah informed me the other day that I had NOT put any photos from her birthday on the blog.  I surely did not believe that!  I mean, I am SUCH a conscientious mother, I would NEVER forget to blog about something as important as my daughter's 12th birthday.

But, sure enough, when I searched the blog there was not a photo to be found about her birthday.  I'm not sure how that slipped past me but it did.

SO, here is a blog post for Sarah.

Planning the 12th birthday celebration seemed so easy; movie (Toy Story 3), swimming and a sleep-over.  However, because not all of the girls could come we had to change the original date, which didn't help because still some of the girls could not come.  Sarah wanted to change the date ONE more time and I wouldn't let her.

I was secretly happy that not everyone could come; that meant less girls staying awake till all hours of the morning.  The celebration turned out to be wonderful!  The movie was great, the girls got to swim for hours and they even went to sleep at a decent hour!

Now that Sarah is 12, I do see a difference--both physically and emotionally.  She is still dramatic but less immature about issues.  Dave and I agreed that she could go to the beach with her friend's (Emily) family.  I missed Sarah lots but we kept in touch via text and calls.  She had a great week and came back a little more responsible and respectful.

Sarah also did a musical theatre/tap camp last week.  The theme was Mary Poppins.  One of the tap dances, Step in Time, the tap company girls will work on and eventually take to competition.  It was so very well done, I can't wait to see once they have more time to practice how it will look!

Sarah has also decided to compete on the cross-country team at her new school.  I am thrilled that she is showing interest in something at school and something that is not dance related!  Not that I don't like her dancing but I really want her to try other things and not just be so focused on the arts.

I've allowed Sarah to stay home by herself for short periods of time.  She has shown herself to be very responsible.  I've even allowed her to watch Analiese when I take Grace to the gym.  It isn't even an hour but it gives her some experience.  Once again, Sarah has shown responsibility.

I'm very excited about the upcoming school year and the changes I will see in Sarah.  She is hurtling toward being a teen and I fully expect the ride to be an exiting adventure!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Under construction

Thanks for your patience....I'm still trying to figure some things out AND get a good photos of the girls!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Where's MY vacation??

I keep getting these fleeting feelings of anticipation for my vacation. Not a problem if I had an upcoming vacation. Since I do not the feelings are disturbing.

This is the first summer in a long time, at least since Dave and I have been married, that I have not been on a vacation. Yes, I know we went to the mountains for the weekend AND I went with Grace to Virginia Beach for the TOPs camp. BUT...I haven't had a VACATION!

You know the kind where the decisions are pool, beach, magic kingdom or epcot? I want a week where reality doesn't intrude, and the phone doesn't ring! I want to go to the beach....

Grace does have a scheduled gymnastics meet in Cancun....I wonder if we can extend our stay for a few extra days???

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

TOPS-Elite Camp

Team photo



Gustavo, our host

Mihai Brestyan, Alicia Sacramone's Coach

Liang Chow, Shawn Johnson's Coach

What a great experience! Grace spent the weekend in Virginia Beach at camp (click here for additional photos). She was invited to the TOPs-Elite Camp with the National Team training coaches. The schedule was grueling: 8:00-11:30 & 4:00-7:30 every day. The girls rotated between bars, floor, beam, vault, trampoline, dance, science(mental toughness), and stretching. Grace loved every minute of it!!

The girls were trained by some of the best coaches in the US. On vault, Liang Chow, Shawn Johnson's coach, worked with the girls. He seemed to be the most gentle and jovial man. The girls loved him and named him as their favorite! Then on floor, there was Mihai Brestyan, Alicia Sacramone's Coach. The girls enjoyed working with him also! On beam was Tammy Biggs, who was one of the coaches for the 1996 Olympic team.

Grace was nervous the first morning but that feeling was soon replaced with excitement. The atmosphere that was created was so safe and encouraging. Grace completed several skills that she never attempted before (on the floor: round-off whip, round off back tuck, round off lay-out, front tuck, and back handspring X2. on the beam: back handspring- step-out- back handspring two feet, back tuck and round-off back handspring. on the bars: toe-circle and front giant). She was so proud of her abilities (as was I!!)

Additionally, the girls worked with the National Team's sports psychologist, Dr. Alison Arnold. The parents were also treated to a session with her. She was so fantastic! She helped the girls understand the power of positive thinking. She gave them some skills to use when they feel stressed or negative. The parents were given suggestions on how to encourage their daughter while not adding to the anxiety. We now talk about Grace's "evil twin" Marsh who tries to get her to think that she might get hurt or about her "monkey mind" that is not focused! What great skills and strategies we now have!

We didn't get to do too many free activities but did get to beach for a little bit and also the girls got to swim. But, mostly it was about the gym and building friendships between each other. Us Moms even got to know each other alittle better!

Overall, it was fantastic and well worth the money that was spent. Grace wanted to stay and train at the gym and just cannot wait to go back next year! I guess we better start saving now....