Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Final Garfield Band and Choir Concert

May 31, 2011

Danielle, my little one who likes to try everything, started the flute this year as a sixth grader. Although she was a beginner, she challenged herself to stay in the sixth grade band with the second-year kids. Her band teacher was impressed with her progress, and she had a great time with the music this year. Her last band and choir concert was the end of May, unfortunately on the same night as the CSF Banquet for Brianna, where Bill and I would both be. I got to be there at the very beginning of the concert, but bowed out in time for Brianna's event to start. Luckily, Danielle's two step-parents, Doug and Laurie, stepped in and were able to make sure her family was represented in the audience. (Some days you just wish you had a clone, you know?)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Miss Freya is Four

May 29, 2011

Miss Freya celebrated her fourth birthday a week ago. David and Carrie brought her into town for a family celebration at Blackbeard's. There was birthday cake, singing, and lots of playing, even for the big kids--rides, bumper boats, race cars, and a ropes course. (Honestly, I think the big kids had at LEAST as much fun as the little ones!) I'm so happy we got to share in Miss Freya's birthday this year--she has a special place in our hearts.

Closing Night of Hairspray

May 29, 2011

Hairspray closed Saturday night--the last high school show for all of our kiddos. Nicole's mom and I decided to get flowers for some of our little darlins. The kids had a great run, and Saturday night's show was the best one yet. Great high note to go out on!

Marlowe, Bree, and Nicole
This might have been the first time some of these boys have been given flowers. They don't appear to have any idea what to do with them. (Austin, Kyle, and Alberto)

The beautiful Miss Sarah Mayo came to see her good friend Bree on closing night. : )

Another Night at the Wiffledome

May 29, 2011

Always a good night out at the Wiffledome...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Get Delirious in the Purple Rain

May 24, 2011

A week and a half ago, Prince announced a surprise, impromptu addition to his concert line up. On a Friday he announced he'd be coming to Fresno the following Wednesday night. Doug and I, both long-time fans of Prince, both knew it would be amazing to get to go--the kind of opportunity not likely to come along again soon--but we also knew that we simply didn't have the cash to foot the bill on such short notice. We let the idea of us attending the concert come, and then go. Practically speaking, it wasn't in the cards.

Then Wednesday came. Prince songs were all over the radio all day, gearing up Fresnans for the Prince spectacular that evening. Late in the afternoon, we got a text from Doug's sister, asking us if we wanted to attend the concert. Um....duh! Yes! But no, we weren't able to go. She said her boyfriend Larry had a friend who had three extra tickets he was trying to sell, and Lisa was going to get one. Not wanting to go alone, she thought of us for the other two tickets. Tempting, yes, but still, we didn't have the cash. Lisa texted back after we declined, regretfully. What if Larry was willing to pay up front and let us pay him back? Oh man--we couldn't pass it up! And suddenly, thanks to Larry, we had pretty awesome plans for the evening.

Prince was spectacular--definitely worth seeing (and hearing). The man can rock a stadium! And at fifty-some-odd-years, he's still got better moves than a lot of twenty-two year olds running around. He played the hits and the people-pleasers, and was amazing, as always, on both the guitar and the piano. Unbelievable opportunity, and unbelievable night. Thanks, Larry!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Soccer Dad

May 19, 2011

Danielle recently brought home an essay that she'd written for class. It brought tears to my eyes, and, confidentially speaking, Doug was not exactly stone-hearted when I shared it with him, either. This is why we do what we do, Babe--it matters, and they notice.

Soccer Dad
by Danielle Lutjens

I would give a trophy to my step-dad for helping me with soccer. He is always supportive and looks for ways to help me get better.

Since I started doing indoor soccer, my step dad, Doug, never missed a game. He also cheers for my other team mates. Every person on all of my soccer teams appreciates him.

This year he has bought me goalie gloves, a goalie jersey, and soccer socks. He and I go to the park by our house and he helps me practice for about two hours, twice a week and when I get home from school he tells me to go outside and throw the soccer ball in the air and catch it seventy-five times without dropping it.

Every game for both seasons of indoor soccer that I have played he has come to. One time he cheered so loud he distracted the other team and we made a goal. He also congratulates the whole team even if we lose.

My step-dad is a super soccer dad. He is supportive and I have a great time practicing soccer with him. These are only a few reasons why he deserves this trophy. He is great.

Musical Jeopardy--Spring Choir Show Bree's Senior Year

May 19, 2011

Last week was the Spring Show for choir. Bree's been involved in choir for several years, and this was the final performance of her high school year. The Musical Jeopardy theme was fun and upbeat, but nostalgia still kicked in for Mom, so it's quite possible there were a few tears--in a good way, of course. So many of these friends of hers are kids she's grown up with, and I've seen them all blossom from little kids playing on the elementary playground to wonderful young adults getting ready to seek out their futures in the world. I can't wait to see what's next for these kids.

My baby, all grown upBree and her best friend, Shelby
Bree and her boyfriend Aaron--their very own American Gothic

Bree and one of her oldest and dearest friends, Austin
Nicole and Bree--friends from many years back
Part of the kids' second grade Destination Imagination team, plus the mom-coaches: Michelle and Nicole, Bree and me, Cindi and Macie, and Austin
Proud mamas
Bree and her best friend from elementary school, Macie
Austin, Nicole, Bree, and Macie--friends for eleven years

My sweet boy Austin
Miss Natalie--gotta love that kid!
Amber and Bree--these girls adore each other
Kathryn and Bree--'just-as-good-as-sisters' friends

Belegarth Medieval Combat Society

May 19, 2011

At the park around the corner from our house, there's a group that gathers each week to participate in combat. We've seen them now and again, and each time I've seen them I thought it seemed like something right up Nicholas' alley. Doug had also seen this group, and last Saturday decided to walk over with Nicholas to find out a little more about the group.

The gentlemen, many of them college- or high school- aged, were open and welcoming to an interested stranger in their midst. They're a Medieval Combat Society called Belegarth in which participants engage in strategy and hand-to-hand combat with foam weaponry. This particular group meets each week at the part and practices for competition against other units--some local, some out of town.

Bear, the leader of the group, spent some time talking with Doug, explaining a bit about the organization, strategy, appropriate attire, rules, and safety, which is a very important element. Then they invited Nicholas to join in, welcoming him as one of their own. When Doug was ready to leave, Nicholas asked if he could stay and continue the battle with his new-found friends. Doug came back home and asked me to head back to the park to pick him up a few hours later. By the time I got there to pick him up, Nicholas was sweaty and tired, but positively beaming. He'd spent three hours swinging a sword and a flail, fending off attackers with his borrowed shield, which his new warrior friends were gracious enough to lend him. I, of course, was happy that he was happy, but also quite thrilled that all of these things were comprised of relatively harmless foam.

When he took his leave of his friends, after shaking hands with them, his first words to me were, "Mom, is it okay if I go back again next week? That was really fun!' Guess where my boy will be spending his Saturdays now?