Friday, October 17, 2008

Ella Shining Brightly

Huge Mom mistake....I left the camera at home and could not take pictures of Ella's first gymnastics competition. A friend took some of her for me, but I have yet to receive them :-(

So I'm posting without pictures.

All I can say is WOW! It was my first time watching a live gymnastics competition, and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was so exciting. Ella positively glowed she was shining so bright. This, for now, is her element. She can't wait to go to the gym for practice, and does her stuff pretty much every waking hour at home. It showed during her competition, and she did,, absolutely awesome! She's not hardcore, she's super hardcore!

Who knows where this path will lead her. She has so much drive and so much passion, I am incredibly happy that she found something she loves so much and is so good at.

Now, where do I get Valium before the next competition??!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Strewing the Path

A local community theater, The Chattanooga Theatre Center, put on High School Musical. Sophie, Max, Ella and I loved the movie, so I thought it would be fun to go see the theatrical version.

Alex and John joined us, although neither one of them really loved the movie. It was definitely one of those times when they decided to do stuff that might not be their particular cup of tea, just so we can all be together and they can share in something the rest of us really enjoy. A gift to us to share in our passion.

I loved the show. The set was awesome and some of the actors were really good. They did a great job with the production and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Max and Ella both had a hard time with the fact that the actors playing the roles didn't look like the actors from the movie.

I remember feeling the same way about Grease. It was my all time favorite childhood movie, and I was a bit disappointed when I saw a live version as a child, and it did not include Olivia and John!

All in all, they both ended up liking it, but Ella was better able to get over the actor thing than Max.

Sophie also enjoyed it, but the big surprise of the evening was Alex. He absolutely loved the show and was literally bouncing off the walls with excitement. He stayed and asked the actor who played the kid who likes to bake for his autograph.

It was so cool, to see him so jazzed and full of enjoying the moment. It was more confirmation to all of us to step outside ourselves and give the gift of doing things for each other. He did not go expecting to love musical theatre, he went to hang out with us. How wonderful that by strewing his path, and him being open to the experience, he discovered a love of something new.

Friday, October 10, 2008

3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival

We went to the 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival this past weekend. It is an awesome, free, outdoor, on the Tennessee River, concert.

John and the kids picked up some picnic things: a bottle of wine, bread, cheese, tomatoes, hummus, sushi. Sophie had made chocolate chip cookies earlier in the day, so we had a feast.

We listened to some incredible music while we hula hooped, threw the Frisbee, hung out together, and played with a myriad of little kids who were drawn to our blanket, toys, and of course, the kids.

Max was drawn to the stage area, and couldn't help but dance. He drew a crowd. Some asked him to teach them how to dance, and eventually admirers gave him money in appreciation of his passion. He was so proud and happy. He earned $10 and loved sharing his dance with people.

Ella made a friend who gave her the chance to be the big sister for a change. They played together for a long time and Ella simply glowed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hunter Education

Alex has expressed an interest in hunting over the past year or two, so we have been looking for ways to feed that interest. While we were looking up information on what season it was okay to hunt certain animals that we see on our property...wild turkey, deer, rabbit, etc., we came across a hunter education class. This is a necessary class in order to get his actual licence. John and Alex signed up for the class last week. It was from 6-10 pm Tuesday and Thursday. The first class was soooo boring. It made for interesting conversation about what it would be like to have to do that 5 days a in, going to school. Even though he was interested in the content, he said so much of it was common sense that it was truly boring. We also talked about doing things we might not love, in order to get to do the things we do love. So although it was boring, it held importance for Alex. I told him he didn't have to go back on Thursday. The reply to that was an enthusiastic "no way". He reasoned he had sat through 4 hours, there was no way he wasn't going to get that certificate in order to get his licence. John and Alex both had to complete "homework", and had to take a test on Thursday in order to complete the class. Alex has never had to do anything like homework, nor has he ever taken a test. We went to Rock City all day Thursday, and literally as soon as we walked in the door, Alex rushed upstairs to finish his homework. Then, John told him he could just copy the rest from his completed work, and Alex was adamant that he was going to do it himself. Since we've never really had reason to, we've never talked about tests and how certain types of questions are meant to "trick" you into thinking logically. This turned out to be one of those was a mixture of multiple choice and true/false...both of which can cause confusion in the uninitiated. While I wasn't worried, I was curious how Alex, always unschooled, would do on such a mainstream schooly type thing. Would he be able to reason through the questions, especially those darned T/F? Out of 50 questions, he only missed 4. When they need it, or want it, they will learn it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My Camera

We've had a bit of a financial setback recently, so when I broke my camera the other day, I was pretty upset. John and I have committed to sticking to our budget and not spend a penny more than we planned. We have been doing so well, and it feels like little bounties have been falling in my lap since consciously making the effort to spend less. So, a new camera was not what I wanted to spend money on right now. We went to bed with no clear plan one way or another for a new camera. When I woke up the next morning, John had left one of his little notes for me by the pot of hot coffee he makes for me in the morning. The note said, "I think I fixed it?"

Woo-Hoo! He did! He did fix my camera! And it cost us nothing!!!!!

Thank you, John. I love you.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rock City with Friends

Alex and Ella at overlook...our house would be somewhere way over to the right

Max and Ella at Overlook

The kids with James at the Needle's Eye

Chris, Andrew and Micheal

Scary Garden Gnomes

The infamous "See Rock City" birdhouses....made into hats

The whole gang

The kids at Mushroom Rock

The swing bridge

We finally made it to Rock City. It was an absolutely beautiful day. I dropped my camera while trying to take pictures at the overlook and it busted. Oh how sad I was. I tried to let it go and enjoy the rest of the day with some really great people. We feel really lucky to count this family as friends. After our sightseeing, we had a picnic and the kids played hard and climbed some fabulous trees. We then made our way to our favorite local ice cream spot and on to to Coolidge Park for more games, lounging in the incredibly soft grass, rides on the beautiful carousel, and finally home. What a day. As the kids and I reflected on our two-year anniversary of having moved here, we all discussed how lucky we feel to live in such beauty and to have made such great friends.