Saturday, May 25, 2013

We Play Basketball

It's what we do.

If you are any relation to my husband, you do to.

At seven years old, Bethelle got her first taste of team basketball.  Though I can't say she was the dominating stand-out on her team (there really wasn't one), I can certify that her skill improved drastically over the course of the season.

Unfortunately, I do not have very many pictures to document the season.  This is because practices and games were all on Monday and Wednesday evenings.  On Mondays, I sent Nick with maybe one or two more kids and I stayed home with Pierce and anyone else.  On Wednesdays, Nick was busy as a youth leader at church, so if I didn't carpool, I had the full crew there with me.  The sidelines were small and the kids were wild, so the camera didn't make much of an appearance.

But what we have, we have to share:

Saint Patrick's

You may have caught on to our trend of eating meals that match the occasion.  We eat red on Valentine's and we eat green on Saint Patrick's.

This year's St. Patty's Day was a bit of an odd duck, as it fell on a Sunday.  I always throw on a bit of green without any problem on the day, but it did seem a bit odd and a bit Catholic to pick out a green skirt to wear to church.  I don't recall ever encountering that dilemma before.  Well, this Mormon girl embraced her inner Catholic and vertigreed the whole family for church.  As it turned out, almost everyone else in the congregation did too.

After church, we had a festive lunch of green eggs and ham, complete with green plates, celery, and honeydew.
 I found these yummy cheese raviolis at Costco.  Seriously, how was I ever going to not put these in my cart?

May the luck of the Irish be with you!

Father Daughter Princess Ball

Our school district hosts a father daughter dance every year.  Having missed it last year, this was Bethelle and Nick's first crack at the event.  The theme was princess, and it could not have been more fitting for our girl.
Bethelle really looked forward to this for a long time.  She had everything planned.  Many of her friends bought new dresses for the event, but when you go to church every week and your mama likes you to be pretty.... well, there was already plenty to choose from.  Bethelle loves this gold dress, and I think it suited the evening well.

It's funny how I supposedly have no involvement in the evening (father and daughter, right?) and yet none of this could happen without me.  I make sure Nick keeps his evening clear, I do all the preparatory laundry, I make an early dinner, I order and pick up the corsage, I make the headband, I do the hair, I take the pictures, and then I sit home on what could have been my date night, or at least my night to have help with the kids, and clean up the day's mess while watching the three youngest and doing bedtime solo.

You'd better believe I was involved.

They had a great, great time.  So it was all worth it.

Nick sent me a few cell phone pictures from the dance.  The lighting was poor, but they tell the story.

 And oh, what a story it was.

You'll notice that in two of the four pictures that Nick sent, Bethelle is drinking.  Being thirsty, she had gone to the snack table to get some punch.  They had just run out, so the lady working the tables asks Nick, "Is it OK if she has some apple juice?" and gets her a cup.  Of course it's OK.  It's apple juice, right?  Why even ask?

It wasn't apple juice.  The evening was a dance; a loud dance.  Mouth the words "apple juice."  See how it feels on your lips.  Now mouth the words "Mountain Dew."  Mountain Dew!  Yes, they feel the same.  They look the same in a loud room.  They are not the same.  In our home, we drink milk, water, and green smoothies.  Juice is rare.  Pop (soda... whatever) never happens.  No one in this house ever consumes caffeine.  And my seven year-old was OK'd for a cup of the world's most caffeinated common carbonated drink.  According to her best friend, she was a riot: she partied hard and then crashed even harder.  By the time Nick realized, it was too late.  But at least it was funny.  And it had to happen to the Mormon girl.

Fortunately for Princess Bethelle, she had her handsome Prince Daddy by her side through her episode.  They danced and sang and had a wonderful evening.  Then they came home to the Mommy and lived happily ever after.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Long Day at the Studio

One fortuitous day, Curie just happened to be wearing her super cute, hand-me-down, pink cowgirl boots.  She gets a lot of comments on those boots.  And all the mammas want to know where I got them.  We were sitting next to a dad at Bethelle's basketball practice (post on the season to come soon) who also noticed them.  But this man was special; this man was... a photographer.  If you are a regular reader of my blog, you have probably picked up on the idea that this is one of my favorite kinds of people.  Not only was this man a photographer, but he had an idea.  A cowgirl idea.  He just needed a cute little girl with cowgirl boots.

Well, that fortuitous day turned into a very busy couple of days for me, collecting clothes and making bows, and making sure we had the right props for a wonderful, FREE, four hour, in studio session with a talented man behind the camera.  Well, I should let you make that determination for yourself, but I'm pretty confident that you'll like the fruits of his labors.  Take a look at some of my favorites.  Ok, about 26 of my favorites.  How could I cut any of these?!







Click here if you like what you see and are interested in contacting him!

First Day of Sun

Mark it down in the books, the first day of serious sun around here this year was March 4th.  Outside we went.  And it seems that we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Pierce was less cooperative.

Princess for a Moment

This picture may not look like a lot to you, but it's all we have of a very special moment for Bethelle.

Last March, my parents and I took my kids and some of their cousins to see the traveling BYU dance team, The Young Ambassadors.  I can remember seeing them and/or their close relative, the BYU ballroom team, as a child and being filled with wonder.  I wanted to do that.  I wanted to grow up to be just like them.  I was going to be a ballroom dancer.

Well, that didn't exactly pan out.  Physics and ballroom majors have very few overlapping classes.  But what was really important in that memory was the strength of the emotion in the moment.  When my mom told me that the Young Ambassadors were coming through, I was eager to take the kids.

A few minutes before the show began, my mom had taken most of the kids on a pre-emptive trip to the bathroom.  Bethelle and I remained in our seats.  As we waited, Shana, the girl in the above picture who Bethelle is hugging, came by and asked if Bethelle would like to be in the show.  The second song.  Bethelle loves attention and the limelight, so she was happy to help.

It was a magical moment.  I took Bethelle backstage and then got to watch the number from my seat.  Bethelle came out with a young couple, her "parents."  They were reading a story to her (singing, actually) about a princess and a castle and a rescue and dragons and danger and singing trees and I don't know what else.  As they sang, the story came to life around them through props, dancers, and costumes.  Bethelle was walked through it all as the princess.  The magical players swirled and paraded around her, lifted her, sang to her, and placed a sparkling tiara on her head.  You should have seen her. She was perfect.  Her face was all lit up as she looked at each new character.  She really interacted with the scene and added just the right touch to the song.  Ahhhh.  Alas, no recording was allowed.  All we have is this little picture from after the show, when the dancers came out in the crowd to greet everyone.

If Bethelle's existence wasn't already so magical, this could've been the best moment of her life.  Poor thing, she seems to have moment after fantastic moment.  But this one ranks pretty high on her list of perfect nights.

Mac and Cheese

You have a set of standard recipes, right?  I certainly do.  One of ours is Macaroni and Cheese.  I'm not a box girl.  We make this recipe.  I could make this in my sleep.  I probably do, sometimes.

Being made with real cheese (imagine that!), this stuff is pretty stringy.  So I started catching pics like this.
 Ha ha ha!  That first one was too funny.  These pictures have now become tradition.

 I told you that I make this a lot, right?

They now insist on taking pictures of the first few bites.  It is a part of the recipe.  And just a little tradition for us.  Isn't that what families are made of?