Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tap/Jazz 2017: "Monopoly"

This year's Act II was incredible. It was titled "Monopoly". We had no idea how it was going to work when we first heard the theme, but I can honestly say that it was the most phenomenal and entertaining tap/jazz/modern performance they've ever done. My husband and I sat through it twice, and loved it both times.

Here is Bridget before her performances. Her persona changes when she puts on her tap/jazz costume and she becomes a sassy little thing.

Monopoly began with  rolling the dice, and landing on the "Electric Company". Jazz I performed to "Electric Avenue" and Jazz II (Bridget's class) performed to "I Got Bills". My husband recorded her performance and you can view it below.


Bridget's Tap II performance was after landing on the Short Line Railroad. They danced to "Locomotion". Bridget had the most fun with this one. She's been singing the song around the house for weeks.


There were also so many great performances. I wanted to record every one of them, but only got a few. My motive for doing this was to be able to show Bridget all the neat steps she'll be learning in the next couple of years.

After the next roll, they landed on "Community Chest". Two songs were performed for this one; the first is "Help" and the second is "Thrift Shop". You'll have to excuse my video making skills. I was using my phone and hit the pause button rather than stop, so it did some weird things.

Next was landing on "Oriental Blvd." The choreography on this one was amazing. The danced to "Pop, Drop; Roll". The applause at the end proves it was definitely an audience favorite. The young man that played the part of Mr. Monopoly/Banker was incredible. He added fun and humor to the entire production but proved in this performance (and others to follow) that he's an extremely talented dancer.

Next they landed on "Park Avenue" and danced to "Bell Hop Boogie", "Puttin' on the Ritz", and "Rich Girl". Unfortunately, I didn't record that last one, but they were really good too. 

Next was Pass Go and Collected $200. The dancers performed "Money", "We're in the Money", and "Money Makes the World Go Round". I think I was enjoying the performance too much that I forgot to record anything except for "We're in the Money". 

Next, it was time to Go To Jail. They danced to "Break Out" and "Jailhouse Rock". I thought the costumes were really good, and the performances as well. Mr. Monopoly shows off his dancing skills again in "Jail House Rock". 

Next they landed on Boardwalk". I'll give you one guess as to what song they danced to (loved the costumes in this one too). 

Next they landed on Carolina Avenue. This time I remembered to take a picture of the lovely young lady holding the property cards. She played a major role in the performance by letting the audience know where we were.

There is only one song that comes to mind for North Carolina. This performance was so wonderful and choreographed by one of Bridget's favorite teachers.

Next up was Tennessee Avenue. Loved their rendition of "Cotton Eyed Joe".

I didn't record the beginning of the production, but the finale did just as well to tie it all together. I had no idea that there was a Monopoly song. As you can see, the Banker stole the show yet again.

We were so happy to see our girl again after her performance. She made a lot of faces for us and tried really hard not to smile for me. Again, we thought she did a great job. The entire production was amazing.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ballet 2017: "The Twelve Dancing Princesses"

You will have to excuse the dance posts for the next couple of days. I am trying to be diligent in documenting Bridget's dance performances in a timely manner.

Bridget completed Beginner's Ballet II this year. She has now been dancing for four years. This year, the ballet was based on "The Twelve Dancing Princesses".

Here she is in her costume before leaving the house. She needed to get in a few last minute twirls.

We've arrived! Every year, I take a picture of Bridget in front of the auditorium at about the same spot. It's so neat to see how much she's grown. 

Bridget's class was in Scene III, "Never a Dull Moment". Bridget has always been a happy and smiling child, but even after four years of dancing, she cannot bring herself to smile on stage. She said she's too scared to smile. We hope she will soon grow out of this.

During the performance, I took pictures while my husband made a video on his phone.

After the performance, they did something a little different by having even the youngest dancers come back to the stage for a final bow. The older dancers of course took their bow first, then made room for the little dancers.

We thought she did a great job this year. While she's growing up so fast, she proved that she was never too old to be carried back to the van in Daddy's arms. This may be the last year he gets to do that!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Homemaker's Journal: Monday, May 22, 2017

Dance season is officially over!!!! No more lessons or rehearsals until the fall. We love dance, but the rehearsal and performance schedule at the end of each season wears me out. My dancer slept 'til almost 8 o'clock this morning. I think she's happy to be able to relax again.

T-ball season is still in full swing and we have another game this week. I'm happy that we're not still juggling dance and t-ball together. Having only a game once or twice a week is a nice and welcome change.


Thunderstorms are in the forecast for this week, finally clearing up on Friday. Temperatures will be in the upper 70's and lower 80's, a welcome change from last weeks scorching upper 90's temperatures.


All of the children slept in today and the household seems to be quite lazy. The kitchen needs tidying up (as it always does).


During some of our downtime last week, I managed to do quite a bit more de-cluttering in our school room. I love throwing things away, but not the process of having to go through every little thing. My husband has suggested the idea of taking the boxes and plopping them into the trash bin, but I'm not too keen on throwing out all of my children's keepsakes and memories.


The dancer on her Saturday performance of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses".


"Fatigue is the common enemy of us all--so slow down, rest up, replenish, and refill."
—Jeffrey R. Holland


Leftovers, hot dogs and hamburgers, french fries, and whatever else is in the pantry and freezer. I will resume with menu planning in June. For now, I'm going to rest.





Rest, catch up on school work, and set up second graders first annual standardized test. If the weather clears, we'll work in the garden and finish our backyard landscape border.



Friday, May 19, 2017

Week in Review {Week #35}

Another week done!


Bridget completed her second grade handwriting book in which she learned to write in cursive. Now to keep her practicing over the summer...

She also completed a spelling lesson, in which she spelled a particular word correctly on the pre-test, spelled it correctly in her workbook and oral quizzes (which I do immediately before the final test to make sure she's ready), but when it came time to do her written test, she spelled the word incorrectly. It was more aggravating for me than for her because I knew she could spell it correctly, but I had to mark it wrong for the sake of honest and fair grading.


Bridget had her dress rehearsals on stage this week and her performances will be this weekend. She is so excited and nervous. On Wednesday, she told me she was sad to have had her last in-studio practice because it meant that the dance year was over and she wouldn't see her teachers or classmates until the new season begins in the fall.

George had two t-ball games, one on Saturday morning in which my parents joined us, and another on Thursday evening. His life right now revolves around t-ball. He constantly talks about it and he probably dreams about it.

And finally, this cute napper has been a real trooper as we've shuffled his big brother and sister to their activities. After we dropped Bridget off at her dress rehearsal on Thursday, we drove 15 minutes to Daddy's office so that I could hand off the boys and George would make it to his t-ball game on time that evening. When I parked the van and we were waiting for Daddy, I turned around and caught him snoozing. Liam has taken a nap for 3 days in a row now. I love how he can just fall asleep anywhere. I think the heat we've been experiencing lately (a whopping 98 degrees on Wednesday!) has made his extra sleepy. 


Friday, May 12, 2017

Week in Review {Week #34}

I am making a slight change in my end-of-week posts. Instead of counting the 52 weeks from January, I'm going to use the week we're on for school. Much easier to keep track this way. So if you're wondering why I jumped from Week #2 (the last time I posted about our week) to Week #34, this is why.

We are finishing up Week #34 of our school year! Or at least that's what my schedule says. We are supposed to be done with grammar, handwriting, and math but we're not. We're also supposed to be finishing up with science, writing, and spelling. We're not. We're not even close. It looks like we'll be schooling through summer. My advice? Don't move during the school year, and especially don't do it twice.


This week, Bridget covered two math lessons, two spelling lessons, and quite a few grammar lessons. She is also almost done with her handwriting book. She learned cursive this year and is doing well. Her cursive writing is not perfect, and sometimes barely legible, but she's trying her best and I see it improving the more she practices. We still have not started back up with history and science, so I don't have any "fun" pictures to post from our school week.


It was a busy week for after school activities. Bridget's dance season is winding down and their performance is next weekend. She had practice three days this week. 

George is playing t-ball this year and had his very first game on Tuesday. Before his game, the team had team pictures done as well. I don't know when we'll get those back, but I couldn't resist taking a few of my own. 

This is the first activity George has done by himself. He's always had to share the spotlight with his sister, but now it's all on him. Score isn't kept in t-ball, everyone gets to run the bases, and both teams "win", but it was still fun to watch all of the little four and five year olds run after the ball. He had a great time! He has another game on Saturday and I'm sure it will be just as fun and entertaining.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What We're Reading {May 2017}

I love seeing what people are reading and I wanted to start sharing what we're reading, and hopefully it will help us get back into a better routine.


It feels like it's been ages since we did a read-aloud. The children love them, especially, Bridget (7). While I am not ready to start back this month, I intend to pick a read-aloud for June.


In February, I thought it's be a great idea to read clean Christian romance books. Honestly, they were more funny than romantic, which I appreciate. I'm not into the sappy romance stuff, but enjoy a romantic comedy. While this was great for February, it actually continued through April. I'd read one, only to realize it was part of a series, and then of course I had to read the next books.

This month, I'm finally at a point that I have added back more of a variety in my reading.

My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira

A story about a young midwife intent on becoming a surgeon during a time when the profession was exclusive only to men. Takes place during the American Civil War. So far, I am enjoying it. The story is told through the perspectives of Mary Sutter, two other male surgeons, Dorothea Dix, President Lincoln, and various other characters, both historical and fiction. While I enjoy various perspectives, I wish the book would focus more on Mary and her journey to becoming a female surgeon. I'm over 3/4 of the way done and while the story has taken may twists and turns, I have yet to see where the story is headed. 

Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

I started this book in March but couldn't get into it. It's a good story, but didn't mesh well with other books I was reading. I fully intend on picking it back up this month and finishing it. It's a biblical fiction story, taking the character of the woman who stole a touch of Christ's garment in order to be healed.

Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas

I like to have an easy reading "feel good" book that I can turn to when other books get a little intense or long-winded. I chose this one, a book about a woman in the 1950s, returning to West Virginia's Appalachian mountains with her young daughter, hoping for a fresh start.

Silence by Shūsaku Endō

A couple of months ago, a trailer popped up for a movie based on this book. It looked extremely violent and bloody, but I was intrigued by the history of it. While I may never see the movie, I wanted to give the book a chance. This book may be the reason I turn to my "feel good" happy books. It is the story of two Portuguese Jesuit priests in 1600s Japan, a country showing great hostility toward their religion. 

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

I have been working on getting through the other library books so that I can finally start on this series by Philippa Gregory. It is the first of 15 books in the Plantagenet and Tudor series. This is only my favorite period of English history. The series starts with the story of Jacquetta, the Duchess of Bedford, wife of Richard Woodville, and future mother of Elizabeth Woodville who married Edward IV, King of England.


Bridget is looking forward to being baptized later this year, and so has taken it upon herself to read the scriptures. This is a daunting task for a 7 year old who is still learning to read. She was off to a very good start when I could sit down with her and help her with the hard words (which there are many), but lately she has slowed down, as I haven't been able to spend as much time helping her. However, she's still trying and I am proud of her for doing so.

Bridget also falls asleep reading ballerina picture books or the Berenstain Bears (which she will also read to her brothers as a bed time story.)


This is a little misleading, because neither George nor Liam can read yet. Right now, they have to have Berenstain Bear books in their beds at night. They love the pictures and know the stories by heart. Sometimes George will "read" them to Liam. It has been awhile since I have taken them to the children's library to pick up some new fun books. This is on the to-do list.

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