Thursday, April 30, 2009

Limelight Moments

It was a crazy-busy weekend. We scurried from one performance to the next, enjoying each fleeting moment in the spotlight.

The kids spent weeks rehearsing for their school’s performance of Seussical Jr. and Alyssa had to juggle them with preparations for her State gymnastics meet. Both events were on the same day but the scheduling ended up working perfectly—even if it was crazy—for us.

The first show was performed on Friday night. It really was delightful. Though I’ve rolled my eyes more than once about the way the directors treat this show likes it needs to be Broadway-worthy, the vocal performances, choreography, costumes and make-up truly were amazing. I don’t think it’s your average elementary school show. Caleb was fabulous in his cameo role as the Grinch and Alyssa was an adorable Who.

We got home late from Friday’s opener, hurried Alyssa off to bed and pawned Caleb off to a friend for a sleepover. Caleb had a baseball game on Saturday and furthermore could not possibly bear the thought of having to endure another gymnastics meet. But this wasn’t just any ol’ meet. It was Alyssa’s State gymnastics meet.

Alyssa at Sectionals - She placed 6th

Because of Sunday conflicts, Alyssa’s never been able to compete in a State meet. After her performance at the sectional meet, she earned a gold ranking. (Each of the gymnasts who qualified for State were divided into gold, silver or bronze divisions.) We were, of course, proud of her, but were disappointed because we knew that the gold gymnasts were going to compete on Sunday. We were able to ask the committee for an exception and they allowed Lys to join a bronze session with two of her teammates. But, we were told, none of her scores could count. She would not be allowed to place. She understood the situation and was just happy to compete. So, we arrived bright and early (7:45 am—to a location an hour away from home) Saturday morning.

This state meet session consisted of 80 little girls, each between the ages of 6 and 8. In other words, the gymnasium was swarming with miniature leotard-clad bodies doing pretty impressive routines. Alyssa had her best meet to date scoring a 9.15 on floor, a 9.375 on vault, a 9.125 on bars and a 9.15 on beam. Her all-around was a 36.8!

When it came time for awards, we were thrilled to see Alyssa presented with the Judges Choice award for floor. We thought it was so nice of them to acknowledge her since we knew she couldn’t place among the all-around awards. Imagine our surprise when, minutes later, we heard her name announced as the State champion! She ran to the podium and stood atop the number one spot while a medal was placed around her neck.

We started frantically motioning to her to take it off. We knew it wasn’t fair for a gold level gymnast to take the first place award at the bronze level session. In an instant, the woman at the score table went sprinting to the podium to set the scoring straight. They had to remove all the gymnasts from the podium and take the medal from Alyssa’s neck. The crowd buzzed with confusion while Alyssa took a seat and the awards were redistributed. She handled it all like the champ that she is. Whether her division or not, she had outscored 79 other little girls her age so we’ve been calling her State Champion, even if it was only for a minute. That fleeting moment on the podium still must have felt good for her.

We loaded our champ into the car and raced her to the school for the matinee performance of Seussical. She managed a quick change of costume and had make-up applied with a few minutes to spare. Caleb had been brought to the school by our friends so I said a quick “hello” before the performance. He’d had a great morning playing baseball and being with friends.

After another fabulous show, we had two hours to spend at home before returning for the final performance. Caleb and his buddies wanted to play baseball during the break. I wish I’d gotten a picture because I thought it was so funny to see the four of them holding bats and gloves at the park with their face make-up on. Each of them was a different character with very different make-up designs and it just looked so humorous.

By the time we made it through the last show, we were exhausted. Grandma wanted to take the kids out to celebrate all their moments in the spotlight but what should’ve been a fun outing turned into tears and fits and angry parents around a restaurant table.

Exhaustion aside, it’s always pretty exciting to stand in the limelight.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Easter 2009

Better late than never, right? Here's proof of another great Easter holiday.

Though it seems impossible to get the kids to smile and look adorable all at the same time, they really did look cute all dolled up in their new duds from Grandma.

Caleb kept trying to pull out the bunny ears. Why do kids think that is funny? I finally let them do a "silly" picture so he could do them. I guess this is as silly as Alyssa can get.

The annual HOA egg hunt is always lots of fun. It's a well organized event and the kids always come away with lots of good candy.

The best part is being able to hunt with friends.

The kids also had fun at the ward egg hunt. We had a great Easter feast with Grandma and Grandpa Hatch (my pic of the meal didn't turn out) and I always love doing our special Easter lesson that celebrates the holiday's true meaning.

It was a great Easter weekend!

Senior Year

When I asked Caleb to pose for an annual egg hunt picture he said, "Yeah, get a picture of my senior year."

Senior year? I guess it is. The oldest group of hunters is 4th/5th graders, so it's the last year he'll be able to participate in the neighborhood egg hunt.

When I complimented him on his egg-finding skills he said, "Not bad for my senior year."

As much as I don't like the sound of it, we've had another "senior year" moment recently. This year's Pinewood Derby was officially our last.

Caleb wanted a car dedicated to two variety of Cougars. One half was painted red for WSU and the other blue for BYU. He also wanted it to be a Ford. In the end he named his car "Ford Cougars." Funny, funny boy.

Ford Cougars ended up doing quite well. It won 7 out of 8 heats and was good enough to win second place. Caleb was so proud.

First place went to his best friend, Mason, and I think Caleb was just as happy for him. The PWD was several weeks ago but Caleb reminded everyone at last night's pack meeting--where he earned his Webelos rank and religious knot--about their victories. It was a good senior year.

And evidently, when taking a senior photo, a "number-one" pose is required.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Before and After

Remember this?

What a difference 18 months can make!

Alyssa's so excited to travel to Vancouver for her Sectionals meet this weekend. Wish her luck!