Saturday, March 23, 2013

Girl Scout Camp

 One of our favorite parts of Girl Scouts is being able to go to Girl Scout Camp every year.  It is so much fun to be able to spend that time away with Kirsten.  This year camp was March 1st to the 3rd and we went to Camp Bette Perot outside of Palestine.  This year we had four girls from our troop go to camp -  Keeton, Azalea, Lily and Kirsten and all of their moms, Misti, Stacey, Jennifer and myself.  It was a perfect group.  Everyone got along so well and we had such a great time.  We left right after school on Friday and headed down.  We stopped in Athens at Braum's for dinner, and of course the girls had to get ice cream.
 Once we got to camp, checked in and unloaded, wde headed to the dining hall for a pajama party.  The girls were able to sing songs, eat GORP and make crafts.
 Our cabins were pretty great.  We stayed in Horseshoe Arch.  There are 5 cabins - 4 for girls and 1 for leaders in a semi-circle.  In the middle is the common house and the bath house.  Each cabin has 8 beds - four on each side.  So our four girls had one side of their cabin to themselves, and a troop of 5th graders from their same school was on the other side.  We had to stay in a separate cabin and we were pretty nervous about it.  However, the girls did great and went to bed as soon as we tucked them in.  We were surprised and excited.

After breakfast on Saturday, we headed back to our cabins and the girls just wanted to play.  They ran around outside and played for a couple of hours.
 The theme for camp this year was The 2013 Girl Scout Games - Together we beat the Odds.  It was patterned after the hunger games in that we were each from a district,  and had to do a demonstration for our district.  We were from District 3, the Music District.  I was pretty excited about that.  For our demonstration, we had each of the girls at camp make shakers out of cups and beans.
Then they decorated their shakers with stickers and markers.  We had everyone bring them to skit night that night to use for clapping.
 Saturday we were also assigned as the Hostesses for Lunch.  We got to the cafeteria to set up the table and benches.  We took advantage of the empty dining hall to take a picture by the beautiful fireplace.

Our beautiful girls!
Joined by myself and my co-leader, Stacey
After lunch, we headed over for our Horseback riding time.  The girls got to change into cowboy boots and helmets then have their safety briefing.
 Kirsten's horse was named Odie.
 She is a natural and loved being back on a horse!
 Last time we went, the girls were Daisy Scouts and so they could only do a pen ride.  This time since they are Brownie Scouts, they got to do an hour trail ride.
 
 Back safe and sound and happy!
 After horseback riding, we headed straight over for our Archery lessons.
 First, we had to sit through a safety briefing.
 Then everyone received their bows.  Kirsten chose this one because it looked like Merida's bow from BRAVE.
 We were the last troop and they had extra time and space, so they let the moms do archery too!
 Don't we look cool?!  I was actually a little sore the next day.
 My little Princess Merida
 We were also able to spend lots of time hiking through the woods.  The kids were just finishing up their Forest unit in science.  It was so fun to watch them identifying all of the things they saw on our hikes by their scientific names and getting super excited about it.

Before dinner on Saturday, we headed back to the cabins to change into troop shirts. We had actually decided not to do troop shirts this year, but Lily's mom surprised us by making them and bringing them to camp for us.
 They had the Girl Scout Trefoil with the Hunger Games logo in it.  On the sleeve it had music notes and our troop number.  They were amazing!  We actually won the award for best troop shirts.  Thanks to Jennifer!
 After dinner it was time to exchange SWAPS.
 Kirsten brought in quite the haul.  They are a great keepsake for her to bring home from camp.
 Then finally it was time for skits.  Our girls dressed up and danced to "Call Me Maybe"
 They were really cute and everyone was singing along with them.
 When we got back to the cabin, there was a surprise for our girls.  The other troop in their cabin had made spiders out of clay and pipe cleaners and placed them on the girls' pillows.  They wrote thank you notes and then put them on their pillows.  It was great to see them develop a great relationship with their cabin mates so quickly.
They spent the next hour or so having a dance party in their cabin.  At some point, Kirsten decided she was tired, climbed into her sleeping bag and crashed while everyone else was still dancing.  I sure got off easy!  They rest of the girls went to sleep pretty easily too, which was great because we wanted to go to sleep as well!
Sunday morning we got up, packed and did our camp KAPERS.  We were in charge of raking the path and mopping the common room.  The girls were actually excited to do it!
We had breakfast and then headed home.  On the way home we were driving down the highway when we saw a chicken sitting in the median.  You can imagine all of those jokes that followed....

It was a great weekend.  It was really cold, and we were all tired, dirty, and sore by the end, but we had a wonderful time, made many memories, and built relationships.  We are so glad that we could go.

Pictures of my Girls

Over Christmas we had a ton of pictures taken, but somehow managed to not get any of our two girls together.  We decided to go back in February and have their pictures done.  They wore their beautiful matching purple dresses from Grandma Lowe.  I love that they still like to dress alike!
 I love this one because I can see their size difference
 Katie started dancing around the studio and they took about 30 random pictures of her twirling and spinning.
 A close up of my beautiful 2 1/2 year old.  Her smile and eyes always brighten my day!

 Kirsten is growing up so much and turning into such a beautiful young lady.
 Even after 7 1/2 years, I am still in awe of her smile and especially her beautiful dimple!
I love being able to capture their lives in these beautiful pictures.  I love my girls!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

 February 14, 2013

We had a wonderful Valentine's Day this year.  It was fun having Megan here with us to celebrate  We got up early to get presents, chocolate and roses out for each of the girls.
 Jeremy got red roses for each of the girls.
 I made heart shaped cinnamon rolls and strawberries for breakfast.
I was able to take some time off of work in the afternoon to head to Kirsten's school for her class party.  Don't I have a beautiful Valentine?!
 For dinner I made enchiladas and we had chocolate covered strawberries for dessert.  We had such a wonderful Valentine's Day this year and loved that we could share it with Megan.

Gingy

February 25, 2013

Introducing the newest member of our family - Gingy!

Gingy is a 12 week old Shih-Tzu puppy.  We are so happy to have him as part of our family.  The kids love him!

Katie loves holding him and picks him up and carries him around everywhere.  We are working on that!
 Kirsten has been very responsible with the dog and has really stepped up to help take care of him.
 We will see what the future brings, but so far we really love having him here.

Michael's Birthday Party

Michael Lenderman had the most amazing birthday party this year.  It was a Batman party.  Each of the kids were bat recruits and had masks and shirts - even Katie!
 They went through trainings and then had to battle the villains.  Chris was Batman and Rick was Robin.  I was the Riddler, Cathleen was Penguin, Megan was Catwoman and Jeremy took the cake as The Joker.
 Unfortunately, the red lipstick we used stained Jeremy's face and he had the red lines on his face at church the next day.
It makes my parties of playing and cupcakes seem simple - but we had so much fun!

Megan, Bonnie and Clyde

In February, Jeremy's parents went on a two week cruise to Hawaii.  We had the privilege of Jeremy's sister, Megan staying with us along with Bonnie and Clyde for two and a half weeks.  
 I have never been one to like dogs, in fact I very much disliked them.  We fell in love with Bonnie and Clyde though.  We had so much fun snuggling on the couch with them.  Katie and I enjoyed their morning walks and it got to where she was the one walking them.
 We also loved having Megan here with us.  She was such a joy to have and Katie in particular became completely attached to her.  It reminds me of Kirsten and Kacey's relationship.  I am so glad that they had the time together to build that bond.  We miss having her smiling face here every morning.

Class Performance

February 1, 2013
Kirsten's class did their annual performance at Good Morning Ogle.  They sang a really cute song about fractions, since that is the unit they were working on in math.
 Katie was really getting into it and singing and cheering along.
 Here is her whole class afterwards
 She had quite the cheering section with her dad, mom, sister, Grandma Alleman, Aunt Megan and Grandpa Lowe all there to support her.
We are so proud of our Kirsten and for how hard she works at school!