Thursday, October 2, 2014

Anna's 1st High School Game

Anna is jersey #1.   Nothing too exciting, just saw this on the boosters site and thought it would be fun for Anna to watch one day :)

P.S. - If you got this emailed to you. Sorry!  I have fixed it now so posts don't go out every time I write something.  More just a "family" journal/scrapbook now.   It is too much pressure to be entertaining and not go on and on about kids and still be interesting haha.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lake Tahoe Camping Trip - need to add pictures

We booked the dates for this camping trip months ago - really hard for us to plan that far ahead!  But we did it :)  Even a couple days before I kept thinking we should cancel because there was so much going on.  Then we saw the weather forecast - showers and thunderstorms 70-90% each day we were there.  Another reason to not go :)  But we went - with extra tarps, rain covers and changes of clothing.  It didn't rain once when we were there. It was actually great weather. Not too hot and definitely not cold.

I realized while there that this was really Porter's first official camping trip. (If you don't count the one when he was a baby and Eliza was carrying him and tripped.) We took him once when he was about 6 months old (when Eliza tripped holding him and he went flying) and then Porter and I "visited" the rest of the family for a couple of hours when Brett took the kids camping a couple years ago over Halloween (and I painted the entire inside of the house with Porter as my assistant).  No wonder he was in heaven the whole time. He made himself right at home with other kids there as well as the family camped  next to us (and their toys).  He was fascinated with the fire.  Whenever we had a fire going he would sit in a camping chair right up close to it and stare at it.  Eliza kept worrying that he would fall in and would always want me to sit right next to him.

We met one family who's little girl knew Claire and Eliza from Swim Team. She told her mom, "Claire and Eliza get all the points for our team!"  Haha. C & E liked that :)

I would say a majority of the time that we were at our camping site, Porter would race around on his "Glider". (A bike with no pedals, that our friend Chuckie gave us).  Well, racing, is exaggerating. He was super slow, but he thought he was fast.  I couldn't believe how much he rode that thing.  Around and around the camp ground (the paved road part).  It was a pretty small campground (26 sites) and pretty empty, but enough other kids that people were careful. He would sidle right up to a group of kids and say, "Hey! Wait for me!"   (ignored a lot!)  or he would go up to them and say, "Look at my awesome bike! Hey! This is my bike!"  I was laughing because they probably were thinking "Big deal!"  but a lot of the kids were nice to him and when they would pass by they would say, "Hi Porter!"   He never got tired of it.  The older kids did get tired of me assigning them to walk or bike with him :)  Oh well!  By the time it was time to come home, he actually was getting faster. There were a couple other kids with the gliders who were SUPER fast so I think he caught on somewhat.    He has never shown any interest in any of the tricycles or scooters, but this thing has captivated him!

We managed to get all 8 of our bikes loaded up on the roof and the rear bike rack.  It looked very interesting.  I think we need a trailer......we almost didn't bring the bikes because of the rainy forecast, but then I got worried with rain we really wouldn't have anything to do.

Lake Tahoe is beautiful - I couldn't  believe how clear the lake is.  You can swim out really far because it stays shallow for a long time and there is nothing but sand and water.  It was a little cool, but once you got in it felt nice.  I was so glad we brought our bikes despite what a pain it was to load them up (think jigsaw puzzle).

I asked Porter if he wanted to roast a marshmallow on the last night.  He said, "No....yuck!"  I should have left it at that, but I couldn't believe he didn't want one. So I had him taste it - then he was sold.  Just like the rest of us already were...well, except maybe Brett.

Friday, February 7, 2014

(Frugal) Friday Night Date

As pretty much the usual thing, Brett and I had plans to go out Friday night. Usually we run a couple errands and get something to eat.  This night was not that different.  I was wearing my typical uniform when Brett got home and I asked him if I should change into something nicer. He said yes.  We then went to Orchard Supply and to Lowe's where Brett bought a light bulb (special kind for our family room fan that had been out for several months and is the main lighting in the room, so needed to  be fixed).  He found it on Amazon, but didn't want to pay $6.00 for it.  So then we got to look at various stores for it. He found it at Lowe's for $10.00 and bought it just to have it done.  Then he regretted it after  we drove away. It was a really exciting conversation we had about that light bulb :)

Next stop - Brett wanted to find a place where we could sit for a while and go over budget stuff (without annoying anyone or having to leave a huge tip).  We couldn't really think of a good restaurant and the library was closed, so then we went to the church. It was freezing cold in the church.  Brett said I could warm up by playing the piano since I like to play, but my fingers were too cold!   Sometimes we will come over to the church to play on the piano or to practice a song (like this week Claire, Eliza and Luke were singing in sacrament and so we had come over a few times to practice).   Brett asked me if I would like a piano like the one that was in the room (Relief Society Room) that we were in. I said, "No, it looks too much like a church piano."  He asked me what color I would like if I could choose. I said, "Shiny black grand piano!"  but knowing we don't even have room for one (or the budget) I revised my answer to a nice dark brown wood - to match our decor.

At this point I was wondering why I changed into a nicer outfit :)  I was also wondering if we were going to eat as I was super hungry.  (However, as my jeans were cutting off circulation around my middle, I knew it wouldn't hurt me to miss a meal, but knowing this didn't make my hunger pains go away.) We sat down and discussed goals,  budget items, needs, wants - you know the usual - what are our priorities, what happened to the money, what are the big items that need to be taken care of (pipes, floor repair, oven repair, trees cut down - super fun things to spend money on!!)  We also added in some fun things - swim team, sports, vacation (maybe), couch etc.  Finally, we were done.  It doesn't take too long to figure out places to spend money haha.  At that point it was 10:00 pm and since nothing is open in Livermore that late we decided to just go home. As we were locking up the church door, I remembered out loud and very disappointedly, that I forgotten to put a piano on our priority list.  I have wanted one since we got married and it always seemed to get bumped out of the way for more pressing things (and sometimes just frivolous!) but the money was literally all spoken for. Rats.  Next round.  However, it was still good to have this budget session out of the way and hopefully, next Friday night Brett will let me eat!

Fast forward to Saturday.  Usual  busy morning - household/yard chores, Josh had Lacrosse practice, Brett took some of the kids to clean church, forgetting  a baptism of a friend in our ward, cleaning house etc. Later, I was heading out to take Josh over to a friends but Brett said he was going to Lowe's (really? Lowe's again? Fun!) so he could take Josh on his way.  Porter had just gone down for a nap and so I decided to take a nap too. About an hour later the phone rings and it is Josh's friend asking if Josh was still planning on coming over.  I was so confused - 1/2 awake too. So I tried calling Brett and he didn't answer.  I asked the kids at home if they had heard anything. I kind of just guessed that Brett had taken Josh to Lowe's with him first.  I went back to sleep.  A while later Porter wakes me up and says, "Mom! Come see the surprise in Living Room!"  Oh boy haha!  What could it be Porter? A big box that is your fort?  I walked out to the living room and around the corner there was a  foreign piece of furniture with a red bow on it!!  What???? My first thought was literally, "Oh no! It was not on our budget list!"  I asked  Brett how much it cost.  With a big grin he says, "Don't worry, it didn't come out of our account. I saved money on the side and paid for it!"  Wow!!    So we sat down and proceeded to practice the song the kids were singing the next day and we didn't even have to go to the church to do it :)

 Since that day Brett has noticed how often the piano is played by everyone. I wonder if he has more money saved secretly for piano lesson! :) He said if he had known  how much it was going to be used he would have bought one a while ago!  Anyway, it was a total shock and such a great surprise and I'm so happy to have REAL piano music in our home.  Thanks to my sweet, thoughtful husband!!!   And not to leave you  hanging about the mystery of why Josh's friend was calling about Josh  not showing up at his house was solved :) Enroute to dropping Josh off, Brett got the call from the person he bought the piano from that it was ready to be delivered if possible. Brett was originally planning on giving it to me for my birthday or Valentine's.   So Brett went to Walmart instead and bought the ribbon/bow and then took Josh with him to go deliver the piano.  Also, another mystery solved - Brett kept asking me if we should move the game bookcase/keyboard into the family room.  I said I didn't want to because I liked having the music in the living room separate from the computers/tv. Then he would suggest it again.  I thought it was strange that he was suddenly interested in our furniture arrangement. So when I woke up from my nap, the game bookcase/keyboard were in the family room and piano had taken that spot. Okay by me! I love it. The color and the simple lines. It even looks good with our bookcases and new(ish) pocket doors!

Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3, 2014: School Play Tryouts - add video later

I asked my kids if they were nervous before play tryouts today. They said they were.  I didn't tell them that I was WAY more nervous than they were.  

I don't know why I think it is so fun, but I LOVE watching them perform in their plays.  (Trust me, it is not because they are budding Thespians).  Brett made fun of me as I left to go to tryouts - he said, "You are going to watch??" and I just smiled and he rolled his eyes and said, "So much fun!!"  It really is!  He didn't even  know I had my video cam with me, which as I type I have already watched their tryouts 3-4 times each :)  This morning before school all the kids were singing and practicing their parts and Brett said, "I can't wait till this day is over!" I guess only a mom can appreciate it like I do!

Maybe part of the fun is seeing them stretch out of their comfort zone.  Especially Josh.  He said he didn't want to try out this year and I said that was fine. Later I noticed he took my Ipod and was back in his room singing songs while I was helping the girls choose a song to sing.  The picking a song to perform part however -  I do NOT like.  I'm not a singer, so it isn't easy for me to pick "the right song" just by what key it is in. I have to listen to them sing song after song and then try to narrow down which one fits their range/personality. Some times I can't take it anymore.  "Can I sing one more song?" "No, not right now. I just spent an hour with you. There are 3 other kids still."  "Just one more really quick?"  over and over. Or they all want to sing the same song...

However, that said, I was super excited because this year for tryouts they didn't have to sing "My Country Tis of Thee" like they have had to in years past.  None of my kids know it very well (shame on me) nor can they sing it that well due to how high it goes.  At least we had the opportunity to pick better suited songs.

So this year Anna sang, "Carrying the Banner" from Newsies because it was her right range, she knew all the words and could sing it prettily.    Anna has to work hard to get the right pitch consistently, but when she hits it, it sounds great. She loves to sing so I think we need to invest in some voice lessons for her. I listened through the glass window at tryouts today and videotaped it. I could hear her and she sounded great! Yay! 

A lady in the stake heard her sing in the play last year and months later we met up again at Girl's Camp and she told me that she would be interested in working with Anna because she loved her in the play.  I asked if she meant giving her voice lessons? And she said, no,just to work with her on her singing just for fun. She thought she was great and had a lot of potential and with a little tweaking she could be fabulous :)  I thought that was really nice of this lady. She sings beautifully herself.

The first play Anna was in (school play) she had three words as a mermaid in "Peter Pan" (3rd grade) and she opted to leave one word out (didn't want to take all the spotlight!)     

4th Grade - "Orphan Annie".  Anna got to  be one of the orphans. Can't really remember how many lines she had, but lots of stage time - and that's what matters, right?!! :)  I do remember she wore out my good black socks. It is funny because I was watching some video of this and it looked like Anna was saying all the lines. She said she memorized all the lines of the other girls just cause they heard them over and over so much.  Maybe she was hoping to be understudy of someone :)

Her 4th grade teacher was awesome and chose to also do an idividual class play, "Geology Rocks".  Anna was voted in by her class to play the part of "Earth". She had a full solo and she worked and worked at the song and I was bursting with pride when I saw her perform.  It was soooo cute and really well done by her and all on key!. I seriously love the music from that play. Still listen to it. I think my favorite cd ever would be cd of the kids singing all their different parts from over the years.

5th Grade - "Mary Poppins". Anna got to be the horse rider! Wow! Amazing :) I think she got 2 sentences  but lots of dancing around!  That was a thrilling part :)  Luckily, one of the cast members dropped out, so she also got to be a chimney sweep that had some fun dancing.

6th Grade - This year might have been the top of her career. She got to be Cogsworth in "Beauty and the Beast".  She had a ton of lines. I couldn't have memorized them.  And tons of stage time.  People raved about her personality and how funny she was on stage. Some even said, "Anna made the play!"  Aww shucks. This was a great year for Brett and I having 4 kids in the same production. It went by really fast, instead of previous years, waiting and waiting for your kid to have their one line.  I could watch that over and over (and have!)

7th Grade -"The Little Mermaid".  Anna was "Scuttle," the annoying bird, and had another whole song solo which she nailed.  This part required a goofy personality and she did it perfectly. Lots of stage time and lines too. There even was a very realistic scene with Josh (LeFou) and her arguing on stage. She also had to kind of be in charge of the group she worked with cause I think the directors knew they could count on her to be responsible and know when she was on stage and off. 

                        I love Anna's expression here!  One of the very few un-blurry pictures I got!

   Just chilling backstage with her buddy Lily and "the Voice"

8th Grade - I get butterflies just wondering what part she will get (all of them!). The play is one of the reasons she did not want to be home-schooled even though she asks me all the time if I would home-school her.  I say,  "Ask your dad," and then he says, "No."  This year the memo about the play said, "If you are cast, the fee is....." which they never have said before. Everyone always gets a part. So that is a little nerve wracking, but also exciting because Anna has proven her talent/abilities in years past and I know she won't be cut.  She said that Mr. Stern said her expressions were very refreshing. So I'm pretty sure he liked what she did. He knows her from choir and school.

Okay, now Joshua's play history :)

3rd Grade - He was a chimney sweep in Mary Poppins and did some awesome dancing with a broom.  They were all dressed in black and spinning around so it was hard to spot him all the time, but I was amazed that he got it and looked so cute!  

4th Grade - LeFou in "Beauty and the Beast".  When he saw that was his part on the list we didn't even know who LeFou was. We thought it was a singing piano (someone said that) and we were laughing about that.  But then we realized he was Gaston's side kick and had a major role. We were shocked  because this was only his 2nd play.  He had a ton of lines to memorize and I had to do special practices with Josh and Duncan (Gaston) to bring some life to their characters. Josh has it in him, but it has to be stretched out of him - sometimes very painfully.  But boy, was that a performance to remember. He had the solo, "Gaston" ("No one fights like Gaston, douses lights like Gaston....." and seriously, it was a show stopper. I thought they were the most boring Le Fou and Gaston so I told them I would make super duper ice cream sundaes if they made Mrs. Preece cheer.  Anna told me that Josh was really "boring in his part" so I went to rehearsal to watch and she was right. Duncan (Gaston) was cast perfectly (his real personality) but he was dry as the sand too. It was so disappointing to watch them!   So I got them to rehearse at our house a few times and explained that they were a team and they needed to play off each other.  I discovered through this experience that in my previous life I was a play or film director. NOT an actress, but a play director :) It was so much fun.  We found some fun moves off the broadway play and incorporated some neat moves and added some other things and worked on expressions! :)  They were afraid the play director (Tara, the principal and Mrs. Preece) would tell them not to change anything at this point (3 more rehearsals before show time).. I told them yes, they would say that if you didn't pull it off and do it the RIGHT way with lots of good acting!  Believe in your new moves!  I convinced them that the directors would die of shock and start cheering if they actually did everything we rehearsed.  And it happened! I was so proud of those boys.Another good side effect of those rehearsals is that Duncan was nicer to the kids after that. He used to swear at them during rehearsal and act mean and they were actually afraid/intimidated  by him.  However, just getting him into a different setting, he was the nicest kid. Anna even said, "I actually realized he is nice!" (He is her grade level).

This is Josh doing his Steve Martin King Tut imitation after his solo. He shocked everyone with an amazing a job.  It was Brett's idea to incorporate some of  Steve Martin's antics. He showed Josh the "King Tut" video  with Steve waving his hands above his head.  It took a lot of convincing (and bribes) but Josh got it down. I know inside the actor in Josh is screaming to get out and Josh wants it to come out, but sometimes needs someone else to pull it out of him and then it is easy for him.

5th Grade - Grimsby in "The Little Mermaid"  Another part where we didn't know who Grimsby was. He is the old man that is prim and proper and funny. Grimsby is always trying to get the prince to do the right thing. Again, a lot of stretching, but he did great. Josh always gets mad when we correct or suggest things, but after he watches himself on video, he makes a change. Then he is a champ!  He said to me once, "I thought I was acting way more than that!" (in ref to a practice video). He was an amazing old man Grimsby. Dashing, arrogant, snooty and funny all in one!   

6th Grade - We shall see. I'm hoping that since he has blown every rehearsal (forgot the words to "My Country", sang an octave too high (and definitely too high for him!) and when asked to pick another song, couldn't even get out Old Yeller (a song he knows well) and still gotten really good parts, it might be okay this year. This year he picked, "I'll Make a Man out of You!" from "Milan" much to my chagrin,  but when it is the night before and he is comfortable with it, what do I say?  He sang it nicely, but without any movements, oh wait, he pointed once to himself and once out to the judges and kept his  body pretty much in the same position.  He said Mr. Stern asked him to sing it again with expression......Okay! Still hoping his charm and good looks will carry him through. I'm hoping they still  vividly remember his roles as LeFou and Grimsby.  Please........:)

Claire and Eliza- for the sake of space/repeating info, sorry girls, but you get lumped together again :) 

This was their Kindergarten Play. We decided it was not really worth all the after school practices to walk on the stage and sing a song! :)

Their REAL stage debut began in 2nd grade doing "Beauty and the Beast".  Claire was Belle, just kidding! Claire was villager and barmaid.  I must say she looked adorable in her turquoise peasant skirt and white embroidered blouse (and brightly colored scarf) but enough about that.  Claire is just funny to watch.  She really gets into her acting.  Eliza was a fork(even though in her audition she told the judges she was trying out for Bell). And a sparkly, gold fork at that. She had some elaborate dancing moves and definitely was the shiniest fork on the stage. They were just lucky, actually, to be in the play being 2nd graders.  

3rd Grade: Being seasoned actresses, they were awarded even more impressive parts and got to be the tentacles in "Little Mermaid". Yes, you read that right. The tentacles!  Now that got a big laugh when we found out. At first they were slightly annoyed that their talents were not being noticed.  However, as rehearsals started, they realized how often they were on stage with Ursula and that good acting does not always mean lots of words. They were VERY expressive in their wiggly moves along with their angry, sneaky, foiled again expressions.  

                                   Can you see Claire really shaking her head and getting into it?
                                (A lot of comments from others were how funny Claire and Eliza were in their parts and how they loved their expressions.  Claire and Eliza got a little "frustrated" with the back tentacles actresses for not "getting into their part" lol.)

For tryouts this year, 4th grade,they both wanted to sing a song from "Newsies". (Yes, Anna passed on that obsession to the rest of the kids, and actually, me too!)  

I'll start with Claire. She had a few songs in mind, but when she sang, "I'm the King of New York" I knew it was a winner for her.  She is hilarious with all the actions she adds to it. She and Eliza had a cute routine down together with all these actions, but that wouldn't work for the audition because she  needed to do it on her own.   When Claire performs you can't help but laugh.  She's this little, skinny girl that is all over the place and very animated, but in a good way :)  She is also really good as listening to critiques by siblings and parents, so she is a quick study.  

Eliza could not make up her mind and so we had to narrow it down to what would showcase her voice the most. She is lucky cause she has a really good ear for being on key and a pretty wide range.  So despite the fact that her first choice was "Santa Fe" (a slower, love ballad) Anna and I both thought, "That's Rich" would be the best one.  During her audition (as I was peeking in the door) I saw the directors/judges pop their heads up when she started singing. They also were laughing when Eliza sang the part, "But I ran out my luck getting stuck on some dope!" then she half sings, "Hey baby, I was just talking about you!" and points at Mr. Stern and continues to sing, "Now listen sport, this life's too short to waste it on you!"  The words are just pretty funny and she totally carried it off. I think it is pretty surprising how well she can sing at this age and I think they were not expecting it. So we'll see....By the 4th audition, I wasn't afraid to peak my head in the window as much :) 

Luke - would  not tryout period.  Lucky for him he is in 1st grade and it is for 2nd -8th graders. I told him he had to try out cause I was moving him up to 2nd grade, but he still refused! That is okay, I won't be too pushy.  He was willing enough to sing in sacrament last week and that was great.  He'd rather sit and play with his legos or Pokemann cards (which I'm about to burn/toss) One of Josh's buddys gave him a whole box of them and now he is obsessed :)

Add short videos of their songs.......

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

We had a visitor today

...and boy was there some arguing. My friend Marla's grandbaby came to visit and I didn't even hold him once the whole time he was here. I was "in line" and never got a turn before his mommy came to get him :)

Claire, Eliza, Luke & Porter dominated the baby holding time. Luckily, Anna wasn't here to take a turn...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Swim season is over :( I love swim season and I always am a little sad when it is over. Brett and I (well, especially me) are able to actually pay attention to the meets because Anna stays home and watches Porter. She begged me to not make her do swim team this year and this was right after she did spring soccer at my request. She swims really well, but she said she would rather focus on volleyball and basketball and I think at this point, she should be making her own choices. Plus, she says she loves being home with just Porter and Luke because it is quiet and she can sleep in:) I love that Brett and I can actually watch the meets. It worked out great :)

 I get really excited about the meets, but Brett likes to remind me that this is small town Livermore, not an Olympic Training Team  :) The kids did really well (well, most of them) which always surprises me because we basically just throw them in the pool when swim team starts. But they love it and they work so hard and it is so good for them (and me!)

They all got invited to the Championship Meet which was the Saturday after Claire and Eliza's birthday.  I was going to make their cakes, but then they asked me if I could make them after Champions because they wanted to break some records (they were really close to breaking some of them) and not eat sugar all week. I was thinking it would be fine to have a treat on their birthday at least, but they convinced me that was what they really wanted to do. I was really surprised (and also glad I didn't have to do their cakes that week before girl's camp and several other things). So we had a cake free birthday and nobody really missed the cake too much.  However,  they still will get their cakes and I'm sure they will LOVE eating them :)

I'm going to go into a lot of detail now because this is really for our family scrapbook, so proceed with that in mind. You might just want to skim through the pictures!

Luke was so funny/frustrating because he was so against doing swim team and did not want to do the pre-swim team swim lessons, let alone even learn to swim without his floaties and life jacket on.  It was torture each lesson just watching. I told the teacher he had permission to toss Luke into the middle of the pool if that is what it took. He would sit and talk to the teacher about why he couldn't jump in or why he needed to swim from a different wall etc etc.

Eventually, due to lots of patience by the teachers, he somehow got over his fear and liked to go to the lessons.

This is typical Luke. He did the same thing with soccer(refused to go after the 1st practice even though he had fun so I told him he had two choices: soccer practice or naps every day and no movies. He chose the latter for a week, then after taking naps every day, he said he was ready to go back to practice and then he loved it and thinks he is awesome at it now. The same with learning how to ride a bike. I had to literally hold him onto the bike seat and tell him he could not get off until he could ride it on his own. Ten or fifteen minutes later he was riding his bike and never looked back. Mind you, he was 5 years old and it was time to let Porter have the bike trailer! :) He never graduated to swim team this year because you have to be able to swim the width of the pool and he didn't get there until the end of the season. I'm just glad he is swimming.  

This is Luke at his only swim meet (not sure why he was even signed up!)  He did one race and then ran and
hid on the golf course when it was time for his next race. Okay.....we are done with the meets for this kid!

Let's move on to more exciting swim stories :)

Josh had the fastest times in every stroke in his age group except for backstroke. However, even in back stroke he was 2nd fastest, 2nd to his friend Giorgio. He was selected to go to the Championship Meet (Livermore, Pleasanton, San Ramon and Dublin cities compete) to race in:

1)the freestyle relay (position 4 - the one that brings it in!),
2) the medley relay (position 3 doing the butterfly) and then
3)the individual freestyle
4) the butterfly race.


At Champions: Josh got 5th place in the individual freestyle race with 33.50 (his fastest time ever). His Freestyle Relay team came in 2nd place which was surprising because Josh and Giorgio are the two fastest freestylers on the team and the other two boys are 3 seconds and 6 seconds slower than Josh and Giorgio, so that was really unexpected for them to get 2nd place. They all just swam really well when it counted!
The winning team beat them by 5 seconds which is a long time in the pool!
His medley relay team  got 6th place and in the butterfly he got 10th place.

This is Josh with one of the coaches, Jonathan.

Claire was the very fastest on her team in back stroke and that just happened toward the end of the season. She didn't swim last season but wanted to swim this year, but she was definitely slower than a lot of the girls in the beginning, but she worked and worked to increase her speed.. You should have seen Eliza's face when she realized Claire was faster in the backstroke than she was. Interestingly, Eliza dropped her back stroke time after that, but never enough to beat Claire :)

 We figured out that the reason she does well in backstroke is that she doesn't have to dive! Her dive is definitely something that needs to be worked on :) See below :)  This was a weird kickboard relay, but her dive still looks exactly like this sans the kickboard.

Scooby scooby do!

Claire broke the Sunset Cabana Club record at the Championship Meet! (3rd overall)
She got 20.34 and the record was 21.70.  Not bad for a scrawny little girl from Livermore :)  Now she gets her name on the plaque up on the wall at Sunset Cabana Club. She is so excited.  She also was invited to compete at Champions in the Medley Relay (doing backstroke of course!) with Eliza and two other girls. They broke another record in this Medley and got 2nd place overall in the Championship Meet.

Eliza was the fastest in her age group this year  in every stroke except for backstroke (but that was okay because she was only 2nd to Claire!)

She was invited to compete in 4 events:
1)Medley Relay (with Claire) - 2nd place and record  breaker time.  1:23.98 (record was 1:26.25)
2) Freestyle - she got 16.79 and the Sunset Record is 16:53!  (So close to breaking the record!)
3) Butterfly - she got 19.83 and 3rd place in Champions. The Sunset standing record was 20.34 so another Sunset Record for Eliza :)
4) Freestyle Relay - 4th place

Eliza had the fastest time in breaststroke as well, but you can only compete in 4 events at Champions. However, the winning time at Champions was 3 seconds faster than her best, so it wouldn't have really mattered for her.


It was nice to have some pictures of the races. Our friend Jim, in our ward, takes pictures at every meet.

Eliza with Coach Jonathan - he is super nice to the kids.

Boy, doesn't she have an expression of, "Yes coach, I am SO listening to you and hanging onto every word!" (kind of a familiar look to me haha)

Below I have copied the results for the last official swim meet (before Champions) that got Claire upgraded to be able to go to the Championship Meet to swim backstroke for her team. Before this she was slotted to compete in the "Invitational Meet" which is where all the swimmer get to go if they don't make it to Champions.

It was fun to see both Claire and Eliza at the top of the list!  Especially Claire, cause it was so surprising! As a mother of twins - it was especially nice that at the Championship Meet  that they BOTH  broke two records. For once, it was FAIR! :)
Now we can toss these ribbons :)  Josh and Eliza were Heat 1's, Claire was a combination of Heat 1-3 :)

Regular Meet during the swim season:
 #59 Girls 7-8 25 Yard Back SUNSET VS. RUBY HILL
Sunset Rec: 21.70 ! 2012 Louise Maloney
Name Age Team Finals Time
1 Bailey, Claire 8 SUNST 22.82 
2 Bailey, Eliza 8 SUNST 23.80
3 Keegan, Lily 8 RH 24.18
4 Strain, Lauren 8 RH 24.22
5 Bowman, Elle 8 SUNST 24.47
6 Hankins, Kate 8 SUNST x25.28
7 Dainas, Caitlin 7 SUNST x25.66
8 Chew, Ellie 7 SUNST x26.43
9 Richards, Samantha 7 RH 26.74
10 Ring, Jillian 8 SUNST x28.17
11 Bailiff, Teagan 7 SUNST x29.36
12 Woodward, Serena 8 SUNST x30.61
13 Lee, Amy 8 SUNST x30.68
13 Wiedenfeld, Carley 8 SUNST x30.68
15 Piazza, Ava 8 SUNST x30.85
16 Amplement, Sara 7 SUNST x30.98
17 Raab, Saskia 7 SUNST x32.09
18 Sotos, Lois Ann 7 RH x33.26
19 Memula, Meera 8 SUNST x33.71
20 Pletschette, Lexi 7 SUNST x34.26
21 Mello, Alexandra 8 SUNST x50.36
--- Lam, Isabella 7 RH DQ

 This is the Championship Meet results where Claire broke the Sunset Backstroke Record with her new best time and got 3rd place overall at the meet!
#59 Girls 7-8 25 Yard Back CHAMPIONSHIP MEET
Sunset Rec: 21.70 ! 2012 Louise Maloney
Name Age Team Finals Time 1
 Robinson, Maggie G 8 LVTC 19.49
2 Tolentino, Lily R 8 LVTC 20.49
3 Bailey, Claire 8 SUNST 20.96  New Record for Sunset
4 Bowman, Elle 8 SUNST 23.14
5 Strain, Lauren 8 RH 23.53
6 Mannwieler, Alysa 8 CWB-PC 23.76
7 Williams, Elizabeth 7 PVSC 24.48
8 Harrison, Rachel 8 LARPD 24.93
9 Vorndam, Amelia 7 SR-VS 25.21
10 Hawkins, Francesca 8 SR-VS 26.04
11 Dillon, Sydney 8 PVSC 26.20
12 Hunter, Amanda 8 CWB-PC 27.46
13 Blancett, Emma 8 LARPD 27.95
14 Fuller, Rachel 7 RW 32.15
15 Wyland, Summer 8 RH 39.23
16 Belmessieri, Audry 7 RW 40.41

Girl's Camp with Anna!

I was super proud of Anna up at Girl's Camp. I got to be one of her 2nd year leaders this year and was super excited about it!  Anna is such a nice girl! I'm so proud to have her for my daughter.  (Not saying she is perfect, but almost!) She was never one spec of a problem.  She gave up her place to let others go first and she always tried to make sure everyone was doing well/happy.  She was grateful for all of the opportunities that she got to participate in up at Girl's Camp. Some girls were "bored" or didn't want to try things.   Rock climbing/rappelling, canoeing, making quilts, long, hard hike(s), turns with the boat (tubing) and just being with her friends was all super fun for Anna.  I had such a good time being up there with her. I might have drove her nuts being around all the time, but she put up with me.  Many girls griped when it was chore time, but not Anna.  She thought dishes and bathroom was fun because she was with her buddies.    I even overheard her changing the subject when girls started getting catty.  She is trying to read her scriptures daily, get through her Personal Progress book, be nicer to her little sisters :), and get through her Math book this summer.  Oh, and also get her volleyball serve down!   I couldn't ask for a better daughter. (now if any of my daughters ever read this, I will say I could say the same for all of them, but this time it is about Anna :)

But back to Girl's Camp!
Anna made several really cute things for her secret sister!  It was hard because the girls didn't know who they would get until they got to Girl's Camp, but she just went crazy. I had to tell her to stop and be done already!  She got this first idea off of pinterest - she added the temple and changed some of the words.

                                                           Mini marble run (our idea)

Porter sure likes it!

                                                Another pinterest idea for a prayer box:

                        Daily scripture reading/study for the girls for nightly devotionals (we were "Bo Peep" - each group of girls were assigned somebody from Toy Story)
 Crafts/handouts for the girls.  They LOVED the sheep. I was glad because they took forever to make! Even with the kids helping me....The girls had so much fun sleeping with and playing with them. They gave them hilarious names. Some of the sheep even got letters at mail time in the lunch room!  I also made some "black sheep" and if they found the black sheep on their sleeping bag it  meant they had to do a good deed for someone to get their white sheep back.   They all wanted to get a turn with  the black sheep! :)
Crazy camp songs :)

                                               Rock wall they rappelled up and down on:

                  Beautiful lake we played in and did the daily morning swim across and back at 6:00 am!

                                                           Anna, with her friend Jessie.

                                                     Waiting for their turn on the  boat:

                                  3 of the 4  2nd year leaders plus two JC's (junior counselors)