Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Parts Parts and More Parts--The Scarlett Pimpernel

Lydia is our resident actress.  She LOVES being on stage and is honing her acting skills all the time.  She even drops pieces of theater at home.  :)  She has attended several acting camps and is currently taking a drama elective in school.  She LOVES that too!!  This past year she had the opportunity to participate in two productions put on by the theater department at Blue Ridge Community College.  BRCC is the local community college and is approximately 30 minutes from where we live.  In the spring she participated in Looking Glass Land.  It was a comedy and a spin off of Alice in Wonderland.  The kids who participate range in age from 9 to 17.  She was on the younger end of the cast so she was cast in a smaller role and then was cast as extras in several scenes.  Some with speaking parts and others without.  It was so cute.  There is a post about it from back in May.  If you click on "Looking Glass Land" to the right of the blog, it will take you to that post. 

This past fall she decided she wanted to take part in the BRCC musical.  She really didn't think she wanted to do a musical as she is not too keen on singing, but her friend Olivia (who she met doing Looking Glass Land) was going to do the musical and she wanted to do that with her.  I explained that if you didn't try out for a big part, all of your singing would be group singing.  And that is just what she did.  She played Young Kate and was again cast in many group extras that only required group singing.  She made two additional awesome friends and loved every minute of it!  She is due to start a new fall semester drama this weekend.  Hoping one day she can make some money doing what she loves!!

Lydia dancing with Silas.  This was one of her extra parts.  She looks so pretty in this picture!!  It was hilarious, they never actually made eye contact while they were dancing.  So cute.

Ending pose.  The entire cast finishes and does this pose so that everyone can get a picture.  Flash photography is not permitted during the play itself.  This was Lydia's posed section.  As you can see, she is dressed like young kate.  Kate is a tom boy and Lydia needed to be in that character.  She did very well.

My girl!!

This is during warm ups before one of the shows.  I love this one!  Behind her is her good friend Bridgette and in front of her is her good friend Olivia.

This is Olivia and Lydia during rehearsals.

L to R:  Bridgette, Olivia, Lydia, Ivy

Grammy and Paw Paw came one night.  Emily was there too.  Ryan and Mike had come the night before.

Friend, Emily Sponagule came one night.  Emily now takes drama with Lydia in school.  She has been to see both of Lydia's BRCC plays and liked them so much it inspired her to try a drama class.

Matt is the director of the musical.  This was taken during the cast party.  He gives each one of the cast members a little certificate and thanks them for their hard work.  He was really great!!

These have been so wonderful to watch and be a part of!  We have met tons of new people and have made good friends through these productions.  Can't wait for the new one to start!!

Raising Band Money

As you know from prior posts, Ryan is a member of the East Rockingham High School Marching Band.  He really loves it and is really good at it!  The arts don't get the money that athletics do so they often have to have fund raisers to be able to grow their program.  ERHS has an agreement with one of our local BINGO halls to have the band members prepare and serve food for the BINGO night and the school gets a portion of the earnings for that night.  It often helps the band get about $300 once a month.  It's really great and great for the kids to volunteer!  It is my understanding that the same people often volunteer over and over again and there is not a lot of parents who are willing to volunteer with or without their kids.  It is unfortunate that more people don't help.  I have volunteered a few times and take Ryan with me when I do.  It is really good for him and the money is being raised for his particular activity.

Prior to this past time, we have only signed up to prepare food.  There are two different shifts you can choose from when you sign up.  Food prep is the first shift and server is the second shift.  We have always done first shift.  On the day that suited us in November, there were no more food prep slots left so I signed us up for a server shift.  Ryan was not happy with this as he enjoys preparing the food and is not too keen on having to talk to people he doesn't know.  Pushing him out of his comfort zone--he loves it when I do that.  :)  We were on the serving line and put Ryan serving the chicken and bread.  The only talking he had to do was to ask if they wanted light or dark meat and if they wanted bread.  Not too bad.  When they could hear him.  ;)

I love these pictures.  I couldn't take pictures until the line died down.  The line is usually out the door that you see in the picture.  When people were coming through I was working too hard to take any pictures.  I was serving the potatoes, gravy, pork (if they wanted that over meat) and the green beans.  :)  I was really proud of him.  We did this on November 12, 2016.  We will do it again before the year is out.  Next time Ryan wants to prepare again.  He didn't care for the serving as much.  I like the serving better.  :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Paint Night

Paint Night!  If you have not participated in one of these, I HIGHLY recommend it!  I have been doing paint nights for about a year now.  I wish I could do one each month, but time does not allow that and it does cost money.  :)  Paint Nights are this trendy thing that people are doing where everyone paints with an instructor and everyone paints the same picture.  Small variations, but basically the same.  My first experience was with my former twins club.  The new MOMs who have taken over ARCMOM hosted a paint night.  My friend, Kara, and I went.  We painted a picture with two flamingos.  It was fun, but stressful.  We were next to two ladies who had clearly done this paint night thing before.  They were really good!  We had no idea what we were doing.  As a result of not liking our flamingo paintings, we decided we were going to try another one that didn't have animals in it.  Once I did that, I was hooked!  :)  It is such a stress reliever. I know that sounds weird, but even though you are stressing over your painting, you are ONLY thinking about your painting and nothing else. 

The picture on the left is the one that hooked me.  Loved it!  The one on the right was another one I did. Love them!!
My friend, Kara, went with me to the one on the right.  In addition, I asked two other friends of mine--Holly and Andrea.  They went with me too and loved it!  Holly and Andrea have gone to several others with me too.  We did the sailboat one together. 

Holly, Andrea and I decided we wanted to take our girls to paint one night.  We took them to an adult one instead of a kid one.  They loved it!  It is interesting how they don't stress about it as much as we do and are happier with their finished product than the adults are.  :) 

 Tammy really played up having kids at this one.  She called all four of them up front and told them to ignore their parents if their parents tried to tell them what they were doing wrong in their picture.  It was too cute!!

Lydia, me and Emily.  Our paintings.  The instructor was doing a stop suicide campaign.  Our paintings are hanging in the family room with the rest of them. 
We had a ton of fun that night!  We were in a pub so it was really funny to have our minor girls in a bar to paint.  We played it up.

L to R - My daughter Lydia, Holly's daughter Emily, my Emily, and Andrea's daughter Rylan.

I did one without Andrea and Holly.  My friend Julia was getting ready to move to Richmond and Lorrie and I decided to do something with her before she moved and this is what we did.  Now Lorrie is hooked too!!  :)  She has been with me two more times and has joined the Holly, Andrea, Stacey and Lorrie pack!

Julia, Lorrie and Me

This past weekend we tried it on our own.  Holly, Andrea, Lorrie and Lorrie's mom along with the kids, got together.  We found a picture of a snowman and painted it the way we viewed it.  No instruction. Just based it on what we have done in other "classes."  I think we do better with instruction, but really liked doing the snowmen!  It was really fun being able to talk more to each other since there were not other people in the class.  Like idiots, we managed to leave without getting a single group picture.  Here are our hanging paintings. 

L to R-Stacey's snowman, Lydia's snowman, Ryan's snowman

Emily's snowman
We had a ton of fun with them though and plan to do more just on our own, but we are going to use youtube instruction.  Youtube is so awesome!!  You should try a paint night if you have not already!!  I know you say "I can't paint anything."  Trust me, I said the same thing.  Still do!  I can't draw stick people.  There is just something about the way they explain it to you.  It just makes sense.

Catching Up!!

I am so sporadic with my blog posting!!  It is crazy!  It seems that sometimes I have all kinds of time to post and other times just no time at all.  I love keeping this blog as I feel it is a photo journal that my kids will always have.  At least I hope they are always able to access it.  I need to figure out how to turn it into a photo album they can hold.  Would be a lot to print out.  :) 

This particular post is going to host a bunch of different things we did over the summer and into the fall. 

Emily's softball season ended.  She very much misses the game and would like to be playing now, but just was not into doing the travel team at this point.  May change her mind in a few years, but I am hoping she will want to try out for the JV softball team in two years when she is eligible.  Softball season ended and her amazing coach, Crystal, arranged for the girls to have a fun afternoon!  They had a picnic and then went to Massanutten (a local resort) for some flipping fun!


She does love her softball!!  These were the Shooting Stars.

Hoping the Shooting Stars (Emily's softball team) can have a team again this spring!! 

In July my Dad's Cousin, Martha, hosted a mini reunion.  The Leftwich family was supposed to have their every-two-years reunion at Pennmeryl Farm, but things fell through and it didn't happen.  So Martha and her husband John were gracious enough to host a mini one.  I took this really great group picture and it ended up being really blurry.  I didn't realize I had the manual focus on.  Uggh!  I will make sure that it is on auto focus, or I will at least focus it, before that would happen again.  :) 

We had three generations at this reunion.  My dad's generation is now the oldest.  All of the members of his Dad's family have passed away.  My dad has two sisters, Judy and Kathy.  I have mentioned them in previous posts.  My dad's sister Judy passed away, expectantly, several years ago.  Two of her three children were at this mini reunion.  My dad's cousin's children were there and some of her grandchildren were there.  It was so fantastic!  Below is a picture of my three kids, my brother's two kids, my cousin Shawn's two kids and my cousin Michelle's two kids.  They played together as if they had been able to do that all their lives.  It was so sad when we left.  They didn't want to leave each other!!

Love this picture!  I love that they all had such a great time playing together!  How often do you get to play with your second cousins?
2nd cousins playing cornhole

You have seen my postings on Geocaching I know.  So often we don't think about Geocaching.  We love it so much and it is something we do so seldom.  Throughout the summer and fall, this past year, I think we may have gone Geocaching maybe 2 times.  Sad!!  This was one day that we went and we took the dog.  And then there is a picture of one other day we went to one close by our house.  I wish we would think about doing this more often.  We really do love it!

Geocaching in Charlottesville
Sometimes it takes us a while to find one and we will get frustrated.  :)  This was one of those times.
Stopped for ice cream and a little arm wrestling after geocaching

And hanging out with the cows  :)

This was a pretty place to get a cool Cache!  Not sure if Lydia is not wanting to take the picture or if it was too hot or what.  This one was pretty close to our house.  JMU Farm.  I do remember it being pretty hot that day and lots of bugs.

On our way back from Geocaching in Charlottesville, we stopped on Lydia Mountain to take a picture of Lydia in front of the signs.  I did this a long time ago and it was taken with an old phone I had.  The picture quality was not that great.  This quality is not the greatest either, but better than it was.  We go over Lydia Mountain every time we go to Charlottesville through Ruckersville.  We always seem to be on a time table when we are heading over and say "We will stop there on the way back" and then either forget or it is dark when we come back.  We finally remembered to stop on Lydia's Mountain to take a picture!!

One day maybe Lydia will live in one of these.  :)

In September, we visited the Pumpkin Patch.  A couple years ago, my brother, Paul, told us about a pumpkin patch he visited while visiting my parents.  It is in Weyers Cave.  They let you fill up a wagon with as many pumpkins and gourds as you can put in there without holding on to the pile (to keep it from falling)--for $25.  This year they changed their price to $30, but it is still a great deal!  We went there last year too.  September was a bit early and it was very warm that day, but September (after the kids birthdays) is the start of fall.  Just wanted to be able to display them as long as we could.  We had a really great time and got a TON of pumpkins!  The bad thing about getting them in September is that by Thanksgiving, some of them have started to rot and had to be thrown away.  On the up-side, you  have so many that it really doesn't matter. 

Lydia Pumpkin posing

Emily did a little gourd dancing.

Not really sure what was happening here.  :)

This is the wagon we get to fill.  I thought I took a picture of it when it was full, but I guess I didn't.

Getting ready to hunt some pumpkins.

Pickin some

The gourd dancing was a little bit out of hand.

More Pumpkin posing.

This is what our door looked like once we washed them all off.  The three little ones in the front became Loki's favorite ones.  He would carry them around everywhere.  He also eventually poked holes in the green gourd by carrying it around with his teeth.  It didn't last too long.

 At the end of the school year last year, Lydia and Emily had a friend move to Hawaii.  Abby (the friend) has a father who is in the military.  She has moved around a lot.  I think I could stand living in Hawaii.  :)  Abby sent the girls a care package back in the fall.  It was so exciting!!  They received a bracelet, hair bow, mini backpack and a shirt!!  They loved receiving it!  They have talked to Abby a couple of times since she moved.  I wish there was something fun we could send to her!!

We need to have something fun we can send from Virginia.  Who knows what that would be.  :)  She lived here for a few years so nothing she has never seen before.