Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Theft

Today I came back to my room after lunch to discover that the super soft, huge green chair in my classroom was missing. In its place was a note on my blue construction paper: "I have flown back to the nest."

People. This chair is HUGE. And it was taken out of my classroom!

I was amazed, interrogated people in the lab, then finally followed the scratch on the door and the scuff marks on the floor to find it hidden in the Eagle's Nest, our little atrium area on the 2nd hour. I made the culprits drag it back to my classroom.

The war has started. Now I just have to figure out a way to get them back!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TSwift review

Written for my free-lance gig...

I’m not ashamed to admit my first concert was New Kids on the Block at the Missouri State Fair. I can’t remember much about that night, but I have grown to love concerts. My two daughters, ages nine and seven, have watched me for years get ready for concerts, and have begged to go with me. When I first heard that Taylor Swift would be coming to Kansas City, I knew immediately: this would be their first concert. Tickets were purchased in February, and the girls flipped out when we gave them the tickets. All through the spring and summer, talk of the concert would creep into our conversations. ”I wonder what songs she is going to sing” or “I wonder what Taylor is going to wear” was frequently heard. Her latest CD, “Speak Now,” was purchased, and listened to repeatedly on our family road trip, and even my husband knew all the lyrics by the time we returned home.

Finally, Saturday, September 24 arrived. Weather was perfect for an outdoor concert at Arrowhead.  Our group of seven girls and four moms met for some pictures and a quick dinner, then headed out. When got out of the car, the littlest ones began screaming in excitement, and didn’t stop for quite a while. I had not planned on buying shirts for my girls, but the other five purchased shirts, so I shelled out the $50 for two. We headed up the ramp—up and up and up the spiral, concrete ramp to the upper level of Arrowhead. When we walked through the concourse to the seats, the look on the girls’ face, to see all of Arrowhead in front of them, was enough to make ticket price worth it.

Through the opening acts, we took pictures, ate cotton candy, talked with friends, and waited anxiously for Taylor Swift to come out on stage. It was worth the wait when Swift came out in a gold dress, fringes spinning as she sang “Sparks Fly” At this point, my daughters were standing on their seats, screaming and singing as loud as they could.

Swift’s show was not just her and her guitar—she brought a whole crew of dancers and actors so there was always something to look at. The girls were mesmerized by the dancers hanging suspended in air, by the wedding dress of the bride in “Speak Now”, and by the giant bells that popped up from below the stage then slowly raised to the ceiling for “Haunted”. Their favorite part was the mime on stage, pushing a broom and making lights turn on before she performed “Mine.” My daughters noted every costume change; there were 10 during her 17 songs. All of the “side shows” did not detract from Swift’s performance but added a visual element to keep the audience entertained.

As this was Swift’s first stadium tour, she seemed to be in awe of the crowd. Several times throughout the night, Swift repeated “I can’t believe 50,000 people paid to see me sing,” and she also appeared to have tears in her eyes as she looked around the stadium. Call me na├»ve, but Swift appeared to be genuinely shell-shocked at her success in selling out a stadium. Most of the 50,000 fans were young girls and their mom’s (with a few dads, boyfriends, or little brothers scattered throughout) and they sang along with her on every song for two hours and fifteen minutes.

Swift ended the show with two favorites. “Fifteen” was performed in a large cream-colored ball gown from a velvet couch, and for the crowd-favorite “Love Story,” she was carried over the audience in a balcony. My girls did not take their eyes off her while she floated over the crowd. It was a stunning finale to a show full of story-telling songs.

Like Swift, my daughters seemed in awe by the stadium and the entire atmosphere of a big name concert. Just judging from this one experience, I would say they are hooked as well.  In the middle of the concert, my seven-year-old suddenly gave me a huge hug and said, “Mom, thank you for the tickets and the t-shirt.” She also did not take her t-shirt off for three days.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pictures until I can gather my thoughts

Last night was the girls first real concert experience. If you've read here for a while, you know I am a concert-lover. Last night we went to Arrowhead for the Taylor Swift concert. I'm too tired to put into words the night, so for now, enjoy these pictures with minimal commentary and tomorrow I'll fill in the gaps.

All the girls met at my house for pictures, and went to Rancho for dinner. They all look very unhappy here, but I promise you they were excited.
 My sister and niece. Her first concert and trip to Arrowhead too.
 Me and the girls. This picture showed me two things--I need a haircut and Macy is seriously almost as tall as me.
 Macy pretending to fall off the upper level of Arrowhead. Our seats were in the 7th row of the upper deck. Really, not bad at all for the cheapest tickets. (Cheapest being $57 apiece. Yowsers.)
 All 5 girls doing the "heart" symbol
 Macy and Kaylee
 Me and Amy (Kaylee's mom) This was the 3rd try. Apparently I like closing my eyes in pictures.
 My sister and niece on the complete opposite side of Arrowhead. She's on the phone with me. :) Amy was pretty impressed with her camera's ability to zoom that far.
 Macy, Kaylee and Tess.
 Taylor's encore...she flew over the audience in this balcony thing. Pretty cool.
 I think this was "Mean"
 Hannah and Macy in parking lot
 These two (and Hannah) screamed from the moment they got out of the car until the concert started.
 Macy's first visit to Arrowhead.
 Me and Kaylin. She literally has thanked me about 25 times for the tickets and the shirt. She is so sweet.
 Me and Macy.
 Enjoying her cotton candy immensely.
That's our night in pictures. Tomorrow, I promise, I'll tell the details.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A girl and her dog

Macy had her first volleyball practice last night. She LOVED it, and was teasing her dad that volleyball might be her sport instead of basketball. She was proud of her knee pads (given to her by one of my students, a high school volleyball player! Instant coolness factor!)

She came home and took her Gabey-Gabe for a little walk. A good night.

Monday, September 12, 2011

At the Circus!

Yesterday we headed down to the circus. The magazine I write for passed along free tickets, so that made it even better. None of us had ever been, and weren't sure what to expect. The line to get into Sprint security was LONG and it was warm outside. But I'm thankful they were taking security measures seriously, especially considering the day. The girls had never been to the Sprint Center and were excited about seeing it.

We didn't make it in time to attend the pre-circus festivities. You can see all the people down on the floor

The night before, Kaylin had spent the night with a friend, and was apparently VERY tired. She kept falling asleep during the 1st half--yes, falling asleep during the circus!! Who does that? I kept poking her, talking to her, and finally made her sit on my lap and not lean back. That seemed to do the trick.

Well, that and the massive amount of sugar in a bag we bought during intermission. Hey, it came with a hat too!

If you haven't been to the circus, I highly recommend it. We had a fabulous time (Kaylin did after she woke up). I always ask what their favorite part was, to the point where they know the question is coming as soon as we get in the car.

Bobby--the motorcycles inside the big dome
Me--the elephants and the trapzee artists
Macy--the tigers
Kaylin-- the tightrope walkers and motorcycle guy on tightrope

I didn't take any other pictures inside, but I can assure you it was awesome.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The big purchase

Macy has been watering our neighbor's flowers for over a month. She's been waking up at 6:30 on school days and on days off, and I haven't had to drag her out of bed once. She hasn't complained at all.

Because she had one goal in mind-- an iPod Touch.

Thanks to Pauly's extra generosity this week, she had $230 cold, hard cash in her hands and we had to make a trip to the store. We looked several places, but they were the same price no matter where you went,  and Walmart has the best return/exchange policy. We managed to eat lunch before the big purchase, then we were off.

I took a few pictures, but she was getting annoyed/embarrassed/giggly. I only put a couple on here.

And here she is with the big purchase... her very own iPod Touch, paid for 100% by her.

Words cannot express how proud I am of this little girl.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy birthday Bobby!

Happy birthday to my love... the champion of our family.
the hardest worker of our family
the most adventurous one of our family
the one who hates having his picture taken...believe it or not.
the one who has the most patience in our family
I love you, my dear. Have a great birthday!!