Thursday, May 30, 2013

Justin's Last Band Concert

Justin had the option to join band when moving to middle school. He could select band or the 'wheel' which was 4 classes through out the year.  He chose band.  I was so excited because this kid has always LOVED music and I thought it would be a great experience for him to play an instrument.  He decided to play the trumpet.  Which again made me so happy because my dad played the trumpet in the marching band in high school.  Unfortunately this is where the joy ends, he didn't have a great experience with band in 6th grade.  The band teacher, well shall I say lacked some of the skills needed to teach kids, especially kids in middle school.  He will not be continuing on with band in 7th grade. BUT they had their last Spring Band concert this month.  It was such a joy to see all the kids come together and play really well and Justin was a part of it.  I was truly so proud of him!

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Favorite Time of Year.....Strawberries

I wait for this all year...Strawberry has become a tradition with us and nothin' could be finer.

Friday, May 24, 2013

All-Star BB

Justin has been playing rec basketball as long as I can remember. He has played with several different leagues, YMCA, Carolina Court, Upward, WCCAA.  But his favorite is Yes I Can Basketball. What a great program!  The coach is a paid coach not a dad helping out, no offense to the dads but he learns so much about the game.  Coach Steven pushes the kids but really cares about them, he is loud and opinionated and is awesome.  The last 2 seasons Justin has played he has made the All-Star team.
The All-Star team is picked from all of the teams and you are chosen by your teammates and coach.  It is really cool that he has been chosen.  We ended the regular season in May with a wild and exciting game.  The team they played in the playoff game was so evenly matched, the week before Justin's team lost to them by 1 point.  Justin's team was up by 2 points with a few seconds to go, a kid from the other team shoots a 3 pointer and makes it, winning the game for his team!  Talk about excitement!
So for the playoff game, really evenly matched teams but Justin's team manages to pull it off for the win this time.  Great season!  So much fun.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Field Day

Every year, they look forward to FIELD DAY!  I have been volunteering for field day ever since Justin was in 2nd grade, this was my 5th year.  Justin has moved on to middle school and no longer has field day.  I volunteered for Ryan's field day, it was 3-5th grade classes.  Finally this year I didn't get a water station....thank goodness!  Last year I was at the wet sponge toss and got a wet sponge throw at me and it hit me in the neck.
I was stationed at wacky bat. There are two teams and each team has a bat, one person takes the bat and puts it on the ground and their head to the bat and spins around 5 times and runs down the field, goes around a cone and comes back and tags the next person.  So fun to watch....they either didn't follow directions or they were slipping on the wet grass.  Either way everyone had fun with this one.  There were 20 stations they rotated too. The weather was misty and overcast but they were able to enjoy without rain!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Young Author's Day

I have two young authors.  Both Sandy Ridge Elementary and Marvin Ridge Middle each had the kids write their own novels. The middle school had them work on it for months, writing and re-writing and editing the document.  Justin then had to save the document into a template on an online website so it could be published and bound.  The night before it had to be submitted so it would be ready for the book celebration, I asked Justin if he thought it would be a good idea if I looked at it, since editing is something I get paid to do!  He of course said 'No, it's fine' but I took a look anyway!  When he was copying and pasting the chapters from the Word document in to the template he had pasted Chapter 5 in every chapter going forward, so chapter 6 had chapter 5's text and chapter 7 had the same text from chapter 5 all the way up to chapter 13.  Plus we need to work on the consistence.  Needless to say he and I were up making the changes late.  But boy was it worth it!!

I can't tell you how proud I am of him for the time and effort he put into his book. This was difficult for him since writing is not something he enjoys or has an interest in. His dedication said "I dedicate my book to my mom, who is always there for me and my dad who encourages me."  He is so sweet!

Ryan's class wrote a book and made edits and then got to hand write them in a bound book.  He also had a celebration which in the elementary school way means 'junk food' at the party.  But that is a whole other topic I won't go into about how I feel about my kids getting so much junky food at school. And that every celebration had to include highly processed food with food coloring added.

Anyway back to the book.  So proud of his work, he so creative and love to draw.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Nick's Prom

Ok, so I am way behind on what is going on with our family.  Nick went to the prom in April and it is now the end of May and he will be graduating from high school soon.  I am trying to catch up but life has been taking up my time not blogging!  After the Karate tournament we drove straight to Huntersville to see Nick dressed up in his tux and ready for his prom.

 We went to the lake to take pictures.  And seriously, how handsome is he!!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Karate Charlotte Invitational

Ryan's taekwondo school, Karate Charlotte held a tournament the weekend we got back from Spring break.  So much fun.  
We arrived at 815am for the black belt meeting and then bow-in.  Ryan's first event wasn't until 12p, so I volunteered, helping with admission, t-shirts and whatever was needed.  Passed the time, while Ryan ran around with his buddies.
Always so proud of him, he competed in speed kicking (his best event, that boy is fast!), board breaking and sparring.  He got second place in speeding, Karate Charlotte metaled 1st (Zach Howard), 2nd (Ryan) and 3rd (Blake Houff) in speeding kicking.
He placed 4th in board breaking and sparring. This is only the 2nd time he sparred in a tournament, he never liked it at all.  He did so well and was tied for 3rd place and got to spar his buddy, Blake.  it was a close match.  After I asked him so what did you think, he said 'It was so much fun, I can't wait to to it again in the next tournament!'
Ryan and his friend Alex Moran, messing around, always fun times with our Karate Charlotte family!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Not just a towel...

Each night on the cruise, the staff would turn down our beds, put chocolates in the room, a brochure with the next days events and make some type of animal from towels.  Don and Nick were forever grabbing extra chocolates off the carts as we went back to our room.  I took a picture each night, I think I missed only one night.

Must be Dreamin.....

More about our wonderful cruise, I could post hundreds of pictures, we took over 200!  But I wont bore you, it truly was one of the best vacations ever! 
Our last port was in Costa Maya, Mexico. We decided to head into Costa Maya and take a shuttle or taxi to a beach. We went to Tequila beach, had a blast snorkeling and swimming, it was a short day because the ship left at 2pm.  The boys LOVED the Mexican Coke, it has sugar cane for a sweetener rather than high fructose corn it was so sweet.
It was a great day!  Took a taxi cab back to port, we squeezed the 5 of us into a really small taxi, 4 of us in the back and Nick up front.  When we got to the port we had to go through a check point and the guard asked our driver for our ship passes which happened to be in the trunk of the car.  Our driver said in spanish to the guard, "look at them don't they look like tourist"...not knowing that at least one of us knew spanish!
Our last formal night was awesome, all the wait staff sang and danced and got everyone up to dance.  Love the faces I caught on film and the dance moves!
It was a great trip, we were sad to see it end but have so many great memories!  We are so lucky to have been able to go with all 3 boys.  Nick will be moving on to the next journey of his life as he graduates from high school and leaves for the Army this summer.  We will miss him but know that it is his time to shine!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Are we Dreamin'.......

The second day on the Carnival Dream was Easter, we spend the day at sea and enjoyed the 2 pools, 4 water slides and exploring the ship.
It was our first formal night too and I think we looked pretty good!
Our first port was Cozumel, Mexico. It was a beautiful day and everyone was excited about our excursion.

Our excursion was on a speed boat called the Twister.  The boat took you out to a private island but before you got to the island they took you on a wild ride. They played party music and did 360 spins in the boat.  It was crazy fun!! Our boat drivers were awesome.  The boat would spin in a wide fast  circle and was almost on its side and the spray of water was so intense.  You couldn't help but feel like you were on a wet roller coaster.  We were completely drenched from the trip over to the island.  Luckily, they warned you before and recommended that you wear only a bathing suit and put everything else in a water proof compartment on the boat.
Once on the island, it was all you could eat and drink.  They had water trampolines and slides, volleyball, kayaks.  It was an amazing experience.

We had another wild ride back to the port and even had time for Nick to have his first mango daiquiri.  Drinking age is 18 in Mexico and he was 17 years and 10 months....close enough!
Our next port was Belize.  We didn't have anything booked for this port but decided to take the tender boat to the port to walk around.  This was our least favorite port and dirty.  We saw a dead rat floating in the water when we got to Belize.  Boys thought it was cool, gross!!

Our next port was going to be Maghoney Bay, which is an island off of Honduras.  But unfortunately the wind was so strong the ship couldn't dock.  We watched another cruise ship out our window trying to dock and just couldn't make it.  So we headed to our next port....