Thursday, February 27, 2014

THRILLER!!!! Thriller Night! :D

My hip hop students performed Thriller last night. This was my fifth Thriller performance with the YMCA and the biggest performance thus far. We didn't end having every kid in class there, but we did have ELEVEN students that performed! They did so darn well, I am so proud of them! Only a few were nervous this time around but every single one of them did there best. They sure had one spooky show!

I didn't get a video of the performance this time, the dance dad I asked to film for me somehow only filmed me talking at the beginning lol. Blahblah, you guys don't want to see THAT lol!! He did however, get a ton of really cool action shots for me! Thanks Dance Dad! You did great! :) Here are some of the photos from the performance. I did post some of my Instagram photos too (like I always do) because I really like how the filters looked with my monsters! Very cool indeed! Enjoy!

The spooooooky beginning pose

I did perform with them, as I usually do. I dressed in my original spooky teacher outfit, in all black and with my long hair in a bun on top of my head. I looked pretty awesome, I think lol! My students and fellow performers were impressed with my costume!

The dead and the monsters rising!

Attack! Attack!

I should note that my Thriller dance is based off of the music video's choreography, with obviously all of the pelvic and hip thrusts taken out lol. But I left in a lot of the key famous moves, like the monster walk. I enjoy teaching the Thriller choreography to students, along with the Moonwalk Move, not only because they are cool playground tricks (things kids do to show off on the playground basically, its a term one of my favorite teacher uses) but because they are monumental moments in the dance world. Michael Jackson was an amazing singer, but he was an even better dancer and performer. He was phenomenal on stage and has done some big things for the dance world. I don't know why I haven't ever mentioned that in my previous Thriller posts, but it is very important to me and I share it every session when we start popping and locking.

Monsters marching it out, Thriller style!

I am also proud to say that I received wonderful, raving reviews from the audience and some of the dance parents. They loved it! We had our biggest performance with our biggest audience and we had fantastic reviews! That means I have some pretty solid hip hop dancers! I am one proud teacher here! Congratulations kiddos! You are all masters of playing a character and of performing! Bravo, bravo!

Freestyling monsters! Get it guys!!

We took several group photos too, and then I took individuals with each student. I love all of my students! They are all so awesome! Thanks for being a part of my hip hop class and my crew! You are all going to great things when you grow up, I just know it! And always, with some style and some sass, taught to you by the one and only! :D This is why I love teaching! Right here!

My family is leaving town tomorrow for the season's first dance competition. I am so excited for April, but really wish it was here in town. The roads are just awful and it doesn't want to stop snowing anytime soon. Plus, she has ten dances total, I would love to see all of them and how they turned out (most I have only seen the rehearsals of or just the broken choreography for) and I need to be her support. Its a lot harder to nuture a stressing performer through texts messages across the state. We can just hope that it will be enough. Good luck Aunt April and Diversity Dance! We know you are all amazing! Make us proud!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Living at the BGS

Today is Karter's birthday! Happy birthday little man! We love you so much! We will be going to his party later today at his house. Alan is so excited and has been talking about it almost non-stop! He can't wait to see Kelton and to celebrate with everyone. I am also pretty excited to see all of our family friends. Yay! Its also my bestie Melissa's birthday today. She lives in California right now and is very close to having her baby girl! Love you Melly Mel! Happy birthday babe! Hope its the best yet!

Still waiting to hear back from the landlord of that house. Hopefully she will get back to us by today! We are also talking about something WAY BIG for our family in the near future. I am quite excited about the whole situation and a little nervous. It will be a big step for Lon and I as adults, something we have never done before. I will let you know more details as more things are finalized. Just be on the lookout for our big news! And give us lots of good energy so that we are successful in our new journey!

We have practically been LIVING at the Billings Gymnastics School this week! We have been there everyday so far since Sunday. Its crazy! Thankfully, we are able to take a break from it today. This gymnastics mama is a little exhausted from all the driving back and forth lol!

Alan had his gymnastics showcase on Monday. He did so well! Lon was able to come again, Alan was so excited that he was able to! He showed four new skills to us: the tripod, the V sit, the Over the Hill on the bar and the backwards roll. Alan demonstrated all of these very well, the only one he struggled with was the V sit. However that's to be expected with preschoolers, the V sit requires a lot of core strength, something that kids that age don't have.

Anna and Daddy, how they watched the showcase together.

His best skill was definitely the Over the Hill on the single bar! We may have a future bar gymnast on our hands! He is really good on the single bar! Who knows, he may be rocking the uneven bars when he is on the Boys Team! That would be awesome! I will post the actual videos when I get onto the computer next. He did very well!

So here is just one of the many examples of how awesome of a dad Lon is: Anna really wanted to participate in the showcase, she was quite upset that we made her sit with the audience. I mean, how dare we do that to her lol! So Lon decided that he would stand off to the side of the room with her to watch. He stood there with her the whole time, so she wouldn't disturb the other parents. Lon is just awesome like that. :) He literally watched the whole thing while keeping Anna entertained. Thanks babe!

Alan and Lon after the showcase. Look at that proud Daddy!

Yesterday, Anna had her gymnastics class while Alan was at preschool. We had a lot of fun and once again I was able to snap a picture of her playing. I apparently will just be taking one photo a class lol, because that's all I have been doing. But I love this picture, she looks so gorgeous and perfect. My little 90's doll, she is so cute! We had a good time in class, but it took a lot of convincing on my behalf to get Anna to stay all the way until the end. She doesn't necessarily like the foam pit and they always play in the pit at the end of class. I think she thought we would leave early like we did last week lol. We ended up staying though! For a cute little monkey stamp. :)

Tonight is my Thriller performance with my hip hop kids. I am pretty excited, its my fifth Thriller performance so far! It should be the best yet! Tune in tomorrow to see how it all went!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Teagan's Fourth Birthday Party

We are getting record breaking snow here in Montana this week. It has been snowing non-stop since yesterday! Its really thick and wet but very pretty! Driving in all the snow is just awful, so we have been hunkering down at Lon's parent's house to keep warm and all together. But yesterday, we venutred outside for two things: Teagan's birthday party and a home viewing. It was definitely worth it, we applied for the house and will find out in the next few days if we are accepted! Its small and a lot less private then we had originally wanted, but it will definitely work for this family.

Its a small two bedroom guest sized house behind the landlord's house. There's a apartment sized washer and dryer installed, plus an adorable cabinet for dishes in the dining room. No basement or garage and a small side yard, but its a house and its enough for us right now. We would be happy if we were accepted, it would still mean that we are back together. And at this point, that's all I really want. Here's hoping we get it and can move later this week!

Teagan's party was a blast, I am so glad we were able to go! We haven't seen the Skaggs family in almost a year, its crazy! Sometimes life gets so hectic and we aren't able to consistently see our loved ones, it is always wonderful when we do get together. We really missed them, Alan especially! He was the birthday girl's shadow for the whole party lol! It was so cute!

This is what they both gave me when I told them to pose for the photo lol... You can almost FEEL how excited they are!

Okay, this is a little better, smile Teags!

BGS recently bought a new bouncy house for their classes. Its so much cooler then the normal bouncy houses! This one has a basketball hoop inside, as well as a rock climbing wall and a slide! For the birthday party, the bouncy house was set up right in front of the foam pit. So the kids could go down the slide and right into the pit. This was the highlight of the whole party lol, it was so popular with all the kids! Alan and Teagan went through it so many times, I couldn't get them to stop for a photo. However, Anna and Harper weren't able to climb the wall like the bigger kids could, so I was able to snap a few pictures of her. She loved the bouncy house and kept squealing with delight! It was not as fun trying to get her out of it when it was time for cake lol. Glad no one took any photos of that. :/ She didn't want to leave!

It was a wonderful birthday, I am so glad we were invited! The kids had a blast, I was able to see some good family friends and have some much wanted "Mama Time" and we were able to celebrate a very special little girl's birthday. Happy birthday Miss Teagan! We love you so much! We will definitely have to start doing playdates again when we get our new place!

We will be living at the BGS this week too lol, with Alan's gymnastics showcase tomorrow and Anna's class on Tuesday. Oh well, its a good thing we love the place! :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gymnastics and Basketball, Just the Beginning of Our Weekend

So I totally hate doing this, hate starting blog posts with something negative. But I just honestly want to get it out of the way lol! We didn't get the condo we so badly wanted. It was because of my horrible awful credit, blah. Oh well, moving on and back to square one. We saw a place that was small but decent enough for our situation right now. I hate "settling" for things but we applied for it this afternoon. I mean, I wouldn't hate living there. It just has very little privacy and is quite small. But if we get it, I will be happy. So everyone keep up the good work! We love all the positive energy and well wishes! We will be together once again!

Be prepared for a long post and a photo dump. We had a busy weekend despite the fact that it snowed and practically blizzarded all weekend! It was cold again but that didn't stop my kids from having major cabin fever! That Anna is a wild, rambuncious child lately and I am now confident that she will have just as much energy as her brother does lol! She is crazy! With my last gymnastics class and Alan's last basketball game on Saturday and then Teagan's birthday and a house viewing on Sunday. The kids were quite tuckered out by the end of both days! It was a good weekend though, and here's to getting a new house this upcoming week!

I had my last tumble bears gymnastics class for the session on Saturday. The three little girls in my class did a wonderful job demonstrating the skill list for their level. I ended up passing all three of them onto Tumble 1 when they turn five years old. I am so proud of them and I hope that they continue in a gymnastics program throughout life! Gymnastics is so good for the body, mind and soul! Here are my fantastic gymnasts and I that morning:

Alan also had his last basketball practice and game of the season on Saturday. He was on Team Red this week, with his good friends Gavin and Aiden! Alan only shot one basket the whole game, but he definitely played some good defense. He also made sure to have lots of fun! I am very proud of my little BBaller! Go Team Red!

Yellow last week? Red this week? Whateva!

He played against some friends (That are girls, not girlfriends lol! Do you have to remind your preschooler of this????) from Child Watch on Team Yellow. I think a few times he forgot he was playing in a game and started chatting with one of them a few times, or even started swinging his arms and playing with his jersey while he was supposed to be open for a pass lol! Oh the joys of being young! :) He still has so many years before playing the game correctly actually matters, this is all about fun. They barely even dribble during the games. Its just good times for the young kids, helping them decide what sport they want to commit to when they are older. I love it!

So I was trying to keep up with the fast pace of the game but it was hard with my slow camera. I would usually get blurried figures or miss the action shot entirely. I was starting to get frustrated, starting to regret forgetting my Nikon camera I had left at home (darn!) but then I took this shot:

It is so cool looking! It reminds me of one of those new age action sports shots you see everywhere these days! Or maybe not fully lol, but you get the idea right? I think it looks so cool! Alan is in the center of it, with everyone all blurred around him. So awesome! I was quite proud of my photography skills for that blurry shot! Yay!

They did a great job the whole season! Alan especially, he had barely known anything about how to play baskteball when he started and now he knows quite a bit! They all did so well! We are all very proud of the whole group! Here is the group photo from that day, its only missing a few kids from the whole team that were not there on the last day. This is the best group pic I have from the collection of pics I took lol. Its so hard to get a wiggly group of kids THAT age to all look at the camera at once. Any photographer can tell you that. This one is my best, even though Alan has his tongue stuck out and Aiden is making a face as well. But most are looking at us! I'll take it!

Instead of getting jerseys this session like they usually do, the Y gave out preschooler sized basketballs. Each teammate received one with their name on it and a certificate for being on the team. Alan was shy while posing with his new basketball for some reason, but I am excited. It will get lots of use when we find a new house! Daddy cannot wait to start tossing a baseball around or shoot hoops with Alan! He has been waiting to do that since Alan was born lol! Now that Alan is also interested in sports, Lon just is full of happiness and bliss. He always wanted a boy. :)

I will continue with our weekend on tomorrow's post. It is getting late in the evening and its time for me to start preparing dinner. I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Our Valentine's Date

My mother is the best! She stayed home and made my dad a nice dinner with our kids on Valentine's Day, so that Lon and I could go out to eat. She is so awesome! Thanks mom! Dinner was the perfect ending to our awesome week!

We decided to go to Outback Steakhouse, instead of go somewhere wild. By the time we had decided where to go, it was so late! But it was a good decision going there, we definitely didn't regret it! The food there was just amazing! And our waiter was wonderful, even though it was really busy from the holiday, he was very helpful and attentitive to us. We tipped him real good because he definitely deserved it!

Lon with one of his drinks and his porterhouse steak

We had a blooming onion and french onion soup for our appetizer. They were both so perfect! The onion had that right zesty taste with its chipolte dip! And the french onion soup was too die for! It has a cheesy crouton top that was divine and the onion chunks! Wow!

For dinner, Lon had the porterhouse steak with a baked potato. I had the grilled salmon with shrimp and green beans. We shared our meal with each other and honestly, I don't know which one was better! My salmon was sooooooo good, I have been waiting forever to have salmon! But Lon's porterhouse was also so juicy and delicious. He ordered it medium rare, just the way I like it. Yum! They definitely know how to cook their steak at Outback lol. :)

I am reminded during times like these how lucky we are to be able to do things like this. We may not have everything, but we do have family members who are willing to watch our kids so that we can go out to eat. And we have each other on Valentine's Day, which not all couples have that. There are lots of things to be thankful for on this holiday. I love you Lon!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Exciting News!

I have just been terrible about blogging lately! I am so sorry guys! We have been trying to find a new house this week. We have looked at several places and found one that is right for us! We applied for it on Wednesday and will find out if we get it by Friday! I am so excited! This means that we could be moving into a new place by THIS WEEKEND!!! Please give us all good energy and positive prayers! We need all the good juju we can get! We desperately need our family whole again!

Alan had his second to last basketball game this weekend. He has one more this Saturday and then will be done with basketball for the year. He starts soccer in March. :) Alan was on Team Yellow this week. He played really well! I had to help him remember to guard the offense and to pass the ball when it was his turn, he still did a wonderful job! I am very proud of him and cannot wait until next week!

A coach and team meeting before the game begins

Take the shot Alan, take the shot! :D

I am also proud to say that I was successful in taking a few more pictures of Anna's gymnastics class this week. We had to leave a little early to view a house, but I did manage to take a couple pictures of their stretching time with the foam blocks. Anna and I have both been loving our class together. Not only is it our special Mama and Daughter time together, but she loves participating in all the activities now. It makes her feel like a big girl and she loves it! I love watching her develop and grow with each gymnastics milestone. And I am in a different perspective then usual again as a parent instead of a teacher. Although I do enjoy being a teacher, being a parent is even better! :)

Anna "sleeping" on the foam cube

"Put the cube on your head now!"

Open Gym also resumed this week. Anna was quite excited for that too. She was all over that gym on Thursday, playing with the balls and on the trampoline and going down the zipline and on the balance beam. Up and down and over and under everything! She had a blast! I was able to only get a few pictures of her. She is a blur lately!

Silly faces at Open Gym

We will be going to the library tomorrow too. The kids are excited to go again, with everyone sick last week we didn't get to enjoy it that much. They will be happy to spend some time there and enhoy, instead of get-in-and-get-out like we did last time. I also decided to start picking out a book for each of the kids myself. One that they may not necessarily pick themselves but one that they would enjoy regardless. That way they can expand their reading knowledge even more. I will start doing this tomorrow probably.

Wish us luck that we get this place! It is so right for us and there shouldn't be any reason we won't get it! I will keep you all updated next week!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Alan's Valentine's Preschool Party

Alan had a wonderful time at his preschool party! He really enjoys preschool and loves every holiday party they have. He had been talking about his Valentine party since he had woken up that morning!

He picked out Spiderman Valentine's for his classmates and Snoopy cards for his two teachers. I was so proud that he wanted to write the names on each card. At first he just wanted to try writing his own name but after he realized that I would help him too, he wanted to write them all! He did pretty good, although I do have to admit that a few of them were kinda hard to read afterward lol. I am still one proud mama!

Anna and I joined in for the beginning festivities at the party. We helped put the Valentines in each bag. They had decorated their bags as heart people. They were all so cute! Then the students colored two Valentines for their parents. Anna colored as well, she loves being a big kid too!

Here are a few more pictures from Alan's party. We all had a blast! Even Miss Anna didn't want to leave! We cannot wait until our next preschool party with Alan!

How did you celebrate Valentine's Day with your children?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Keeping Busy in the Family

We are finally all starting to feel human again! After a week of everyone getting sick and passing it around and around the household, we have finally gotten better! Whooo! This week we started going and doing stuff again. The kids were super antzy, even though they hadn't been feeling well, they had Cabin Fever baaaad. :) I took them to the library on Monday to renew my Frida book. Tuesday, Anna had her third gymnastics class while Alan was in preschool.And the end of the week is Valentine's Day with all of its fesitivities. What a week!

The kids always enjoy going to the library. We have made it into a weekly thing now and they love it. I love taking pictures of them at the library apparently too! I guess this post has the potential to become a photo dump lol! :P We played in the play area for sometime before picking out several Snoopy books for Alan. Anna chose a book about Spot the dog and one about Arthur babysitting. I need to finish my Frida biography and my VC Andrews book and write reviews before I get anymore lol!

Reflections with Anna at the library

Alan trying to climb! Crazy boy!

"The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish..."

I also finally took some pictures of Anna in her gymnastics class lol. Some? I mean one lol. With the class being a Parent Child class, its so hard to find time to take a picture. I am just as active and busy as Anna is during the class! Its crazy! We love it though. She participates in everything now, except for the foam pits. She is still scared of the foam pit a little bit and will only sit outside of the pit and stack the foam blocks lol. But here she is, popping bubbles with her classmates. She loves bubbles and they do bubbles at the beginning of every class.

Unfortunately because of the holiday, Open Gym isn't open this week. Anna only has one day of gymnastics, which makes me kinda sad. But I don't think it bothers her honestly. She will enjoy Alan's Valentines Preschool Party with us instead. :)

What our YOUR plans for the upcoming holiday?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Anna Ariel: 19 Months Old

We didn't end up doing too much this week, the kids were sick most of the week and today I have been quite ill myself. Plus with our blizzarding weather outside, it doesn't make for a good recipe for sick kids. The kids went to their gymnastics classes this week, but I unfortunately had to cancel our playdate with Kelton and Karter to the library. Hopefully we all get better soon, next week is Valentine's Day!

Anna is another month old... I swear this month she has grown up so much! I look at 2 year olds in daycare and she acts just like them. She talks so much more now and you can understand almost everything she says now. Her vocabulary has quadrupled in the past month! Its crazy to me! :D Only five more months until she is two years old! Wow! Miss Anna is still recovering from her croup and her teething, but she thankfully never caught the stomach bug that wreaked havoc on our house this week.

At nineteen months, Anna Ariel:

*weighs approximetly 24 1/2 pounds and is approximetly 32 inches tall.

*is mostly in size 24M or 2T for her clothing now. She has some 18M pants that are still long on her but her belly has started showing in her 18M shirts lol. She is still in size 4 for her diapers and size 6 for her shoes.

*has auburn colored hair with some streaks of red ish orange in it. Her hair is so long now, it goes past her shoulder blades!

*has quite hazel eyes with a little bit of blue in them. They are looking more and more like Daddy's eyes each day!

*has a total of seven teeth now and several more that are popping up too! She has been a teething monster lately!

*is a big kid eater now! Now that she has lots of teeth, we have started giving her a little bit bigger bites of food. She loves to use all those teeth to chew! Her favorite foods are spaghetti, hot dogs, fruits, macaroni and cheese, and smoothies.

*started gymnastics this month. We have another gymnast in the family now, just in time for the Winter Olympics lol! She has also quadrupled her vocabulary too. She is so smart! She has started learning her animal voices as well. Anna also has a newly developed love for reading and books and the library. She has always enjoyed books but would tire from them quickly. Now she will sit and look through several books from cover to cover! Being a book reader myself, I very happy about this! Miss Anna really wants to learn how to jump too. She will bounce really quickly and try to take off lol! She'll definitely get there soon! So many new milestones this month!

*still is sleeping pretty consistently through the night. She was sick this past week, which definitely messed with her sleeping some. Now that she can breathe clearly and her cough is gone, she is sleeping much better again. I did have a scare though earlier when I thought she was going to give up naps. She fought those too while she was sick but is back to taking naps again. Hooray!

*quadrupled her vocabulary this month, like I mentioned above in her milestones. I can even put down on the words she says now! Its probably 30-40 words at this point!

*her scar is fading some. I have started using Vaseline and Mederma for kids on it, plus keeping it mosturized with Vitamin E lotions. I have faith that by the time she is a teenager, it will be nothing but a light little line by her eye and a bad memory in our minds. I have a friend who's daughter had to undergo heart surgery as an infant. She is Alan's age now and the scar is hardly visible! So grateful for the phenomenal healing nature of our body and our skin!

*likes puppies and kitties, her family, the color pink and purple, Princess Sofia, gymnastics, playing with her big brother, singing, reading books and the library, Abby Cadabby, Elmo, dancing with Aunt April and Mama, skirts and dresses she can spin in and anything her brother has! She is such a big girl now!

Happy nineteen months Anna Ariel! You are getting closer each day to being two! We cannot believe how fast you are growing up and how beautiful your personality has become! We cannot wait to see you turn into a wonderful young lady. :) Love you endlessly, sweet princess!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Future Gymnastic Olypians!!

With the Winter Olympics starting this week, I just thought that I would update everyone on my little gymnast Olympians! Anna started gymnastics with Mommy last week, I was so proud! I haven't had the chance to take a SINGLE photo of the class lol. Our first class together, Anna was overwhelmed by all the different things and the huge-ness of the gymnasium. She wanted to join in with the older class and never wanted to participate in what her class was currently participating in. However this week, she did so much better! She loved class and participated in everything! I was so happy for her!

It has been artic weather here in Billings this week, highs of -5 degrees lol. Its supposed to be even colded later on this week! We have been stuck inside, its by far too cold for little toddlers to be playing outside. It seems to be the perfect weather for our little snow puppy Alan lol. He just wants to play in the snow all the time! Every time I am outside Alan is jumping in the snow drifts or running around, throwing snow lol! He's wild! :) Too keep him entertained, we have been baking up a storm! Chocolate chip cookies, brownies, Snickerdoodle cookies... Alan enjoys baking as much as the snow I think!

Miss Anna turns 19 months this week as well. She has grown up so much this past month, I cannot believe how much of a little girl she is now! I am pretty sure that her vocabulary doubled! She has figured out how to do a forward roll on her own and always wants to do them now! She has a new found interest in drawing too, she is always wanting a pencil to draw or write. I just cannot believe she is already so old! Here soon we will be planning her second birthday party! How crazy is that to think about?

Model diva status at 18 months old

They had a bouncy house at Alan's gymnastics class earlier this week! He thought that was the coolest! This week and next week's theme for his class is the Olympics. I think that's pretty cool lol! Alan also has his next "Look What I Can Do" at the end of this month. I am so excited to see all that he has learned! This is his last year in this age group's Gym Kids! Next year he will go to the 5/6 Gym Kids! Yay! So proud of my little Olympian! :P

I hope to watch at least some of the Olympics this year. I really enjoy watching Figure Skating, I would probably say that its my favorite sport event in the Winter Olympics. My favorite Summer Olympic sport event has to be gymnastics , of course, with synchronized swimming in a close second. :) See the similarity? I am quite excited to see what the Olympic skaters have have in store for us this year! I do enjoy the other sport events too, I hope that the kids and I get to watch a lot of the Olympics this year. Go Team America!

Will you be watching the Winter Olympics this year? What is your favorite sport?