Monday, February 27, 2017

Charter Renewed and Talent Show!

Michael Jackson celebration moves

We are so glad the PEC reversed their decision and renewed our school charter.  The whole thing was ridiculous and cost us another year of being able to build our new facility (and cost in many other ways too).  There were no clear allegations against us of any wrongdoing, and our governing council was practically ambushed in a meeting and not given the opportunity to even respond to the arbitrary and ambiguous statements.  The legal battle will continue because they only gave us three years instead of five they should have, but at least we know we'll have a school next year.  I go back and forth between home school and the charter school as I feel is right or necessary each year, and I can't say how glad I am to have this wonderful school choice for my kids.

I can't believe that next year I will have a high schooler.  I toured the other options for high school up here where we live, and making that choice will be difficult for Dallas.  One has way more funding, and therefore way more activities (hobbies, music, sports, clubs, etc).  Our school has hardly a thing, so the high school age kids tend to leave for greener pastures which is understandable.  I certainly wish there were more teachers, and more of those options.  But along with the greener pastures, you sometimes get all the kids that don't want to be there, who aren't interested in learning, are into bad things, and you are just one of many.  I love the family feel of our school.  When I showed my 1st grader this picture of our seniors (this years graduating class), she knew several of them by name because they help with her P.E.!

We also watched the seniors do a Charlie Brown skit at the talent show, and they were so funny and comfortable together.  The teachers did a really funny skit too! (several of the teachers at the school are from our church).

During a talent show break, they played, "Celebrate good times!" by Cool and the Gang to celebrate our recharter.  All of us in the audience at the PAC just danced and danced and a few students even got up on stage and danced their hearts out.  It was so fun!  These are indeed good times. 

Here's a picture of the whole school.  Small and sweet out here in New Mexico.

And here's the wonderful job the boys did on their talent show performance.  (Leia did a cute song with her first grade class too, which you probably can't hear).  We have so much talent, and I was so impressed by some of the performances.  I could have had all my kids do piano and stuff, but I knew that would be boring, so just Sam played Phantom of the Opera on the piano, and the three together did their Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson) dance.  It was certainly one of the best.  It was was definitely my favorite!!! (though I told them not to sign up anymore.  I don't have time for this!)

Dallas, Sam, and Evan Dancing to Smooth Criminal:

 Sam's Piano Piece - Phantom of the Opera:

Leia's first grade class song (she's on the far right):
This kid is the king of throwing fits and being contrary.  One day Pat wanted to go out and swing with him and it was really cold, so we put his coat on.  He kept ripping it off.  So we put it on backward and buttoned it up the back so he couldn't take it off.  That was hilarious.  And it allowed us to capture his pout face.  Now before you go feeling sorry for his cute self, let me just tell you that we went to Costco today and he refused to go to the bathroom when Pat took him.  So we left the store and then in the car he said NOW he had to go.  Back into Costco we trekked, and he sang, "I made you go back in the store."  Don't let the shyness fool you.  He's sharp.  He's also a punk. 

I found this book I used to have at the thrift store!!!  I loved it when I was little.  I remember always wishing for the yummy food inside. 
Pat's mom, Brenda, always does a family calendar each year.  Here's the pictures of our family that were in it.  I like this first one because we didn't have it and it was of them with their Texas cousins on a hike we took here in NM.

I just can't get over how much Leia has grown.  This picture below just makes me smile. (Which is more than we can say for Charlie).
Leia made us laugh the other day as she told on a boy in her class who talks to much.  She said, "And I didn't want to invite him to my birthday party, because he makes everyone laugh!"
Pat said, "Well then he would probably be really fun at your party."
She replied, "No Dad, I don't want to be changing my pants every 5 minutes!"

I miss that girl so much, and though she's doing superb socially and academically, she still has many days when she cries to please "just stay with you".  That kills me.  I might homeschool her next year again since it will be the last year Charlie is home, and my last chance to be with them full-time before going into nursing school (if I go).  They grow up so fast, so my schooling is secondary to them.  But the current plan is for them to all be in school at some point and for me to be doing nursing.  But we'll see...

For some years now Dallas will grab any vegetable scraps he sees in the garbage and take them out to the chickens.  I think that's so neat.  I always want to save them for that or composting, but I always forget.  He's been caring for people's animals in our ward and for a teacher at school and is so responsible and dependable.  He's always making me laugh and I just think he's awesome.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Leia is 7 ! Charles is 4!

Last minute I decided to throw a party for Leia.  She hasn't had one with friends in years, and I knew next year would probably be just family since she's turning 8.  So we had a party for 7!!!  If I had to sum up Leia, it would be clumsy, excited, dramatic (especially in fights with her brothers), and sweet.  I wish you could hear her talk.  Her primary teacher broke her ankle badly and hasn't been to church for months.  Leia uses big language with her tiny voice and was so cute talking about Sister Ettin's "damaged foot".  Her tiny voice reminds you she's only a first grader, but her language cracks us up; like she's much older. 

I was thinking of what games to play and such to keep the kids entertained.  Then I just decided to rent a bouncy-house-thing from someone down the street.  I don't know why that came to mind, but it was so perfect!  Especially in my super-busy life right now.  It was $150, which is a lot, but they set it up, took it down, and other than that, we only bought ice-cream cones for all the kids, and it wasn't so bad.  I figured it would count for Charlie's birthday too.  Plus, the kids all got to play on it like crazy and loved it so much!  I wondered if they'd get bored, but not at all.  They just kept going in a circle; up and down, up and down.  I'm sure they were totally worn out after the party!  There were some side games like freeze tag and Dallas throwing kids down the slide if they wanted it. 

I told all the parents "No Gifts", but she got some anyway, and they were the neatest things!
This beautiful dress, for example, came from her friend Isaac, whose mom is the most talented seamstress I've ever known.  She whipped this out quick that morning, because she "didn't feel like going to Walmart".  It is so cute!!!  We love it! 

Friends from church, dance, and school.

The kids loved the swingset too!

Just our family.  We had the bouncy slide for four hours (though it ended up being 5) so our kids got to play before and after the party.  (It was just a 2 hour party).

I love that Leia's hair is getting so long that I can do cute things with it!
These were the dolls her friend K made (with his mother) for her!

Since Leia's in first grade, I made these cookie flowers for her class.  On their way out at the end of the day, they got to walk by this flower box and pick a flower!  I told them to not eat them until they asked their parents if it was okay.  The cookies were baked with sticks in them and then wrapped and stuck into that green foam for flower arrangements, and topped with a moss/grass looking cover which you can't see.  It was so fun!

Then we had cake and blew out the candles just with our family at night.  Aunt Stephanie sent a box of the cutest girly things!  It made ME so excited!  I'll have to get a better picture closer up, but this is a darling lady-bug dress, and an adorable locket, with cute bracelets and bows to go with it!  She loves it!  And we love Aunt Stephanie!!!

And we have a four year old!  I have so much to say about Charlie, but my time is limited, so for now... Happy Birthday Charlie!!!   He did a good job blowing out his candles.
Leia gave him a princess of hers as a gift.  He was visibly disappointed and said, "Awww."  Then as he opened his next present, we heard him say under his breath, "I hope it's not a girl present."  He is so funny!
We didn't find anything for him we liked, so he just got a couple little things from his siblings.  And his favorite: these super heros from his friend P, whose mother made the princess ones for Leia!  These cute super heros crack me up!  The curl for Superman is to die for :)

 I love how I woke up in the morning and Evan and Leia had decorated for Charlie's birthday by putting up those streamers and balloons and making this special placemat and chair for him.

Had a fun day at the Biopark on his birthday, but Pat couldn't come :(. We are so dang busy, there was not other time, so we just had to go.

Funny note: Charlie's brothers are about to dance in the talent show and Charlie has learned the dance pretty good himself.  Too bad he's not in it!  He's the cutest of all, and a surprisingly good dancer!  But he had his first prayer in primary yesterday, and although he says prayers really well at home, he wouldn't do it in primary, so I doubt he'd ever dance in front of people.  When my friend Theresa called him up to say the prayer, she said he walked up like he was going to his death; like someone had asked him to walk the plank.  His face can be so funny.  But he is slowly coming out of his shyness and that's hilarious too, when he does something crazy and unexpected.

Then a package came from Aunt Stephanie, Uncle T, and June!!!  She's aware that we hope to see the Lego Batman movie sometime and got him this really cool Lego Batman costume!  He wears it all the time.  Best ever!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Karisa Read This Before Cutting Your Hair!

If you have decided to go short, it can't be any shorter than these! 
And you don't need bangs.  Maybe face-framing that starts at your jaw and on down.  (If you do cut bangs, they should be cut at about the tip of your nose.  Trust me!  I am you.)

Karisa- you don't look good with chopped up hairstyles like below.  You need long and simple in the front (like above).  Or with only a thin bang layer.

These (below) are the best your hair has ever looked short.  Just make sure it's like an A-line; longer in front, and chopped up a bit in back like the top picture.

This one is chopped up a bit, but seems to look okay for some reason.  Normally I hate it when it proceeds to get longer and longer as it goes toward the back.
These two, below, were using hot curlers.  But it was a bit of work!  I don't like work.

Okay, here's an exception to the bangs rule.  If you have just a tiny bit of bangs like this below, that come at least to the corner of your eyebrow, that will work.  The rest of the hair mostly the same length to the shoulders or longer.

Most of the time, go for long unless you just need a break.  You love your long hair; being able to scrunch it with gel, or blow dry it out straight with a little coconut oil to control it..  You love being able to braid it on the side, or ponytail it.  Do not layer your long hair!  (Maybe light scissor drag, or the thinning shears since it gets really thick in the middle of the back only). 

 I tell you these things for your own good Karisa.  You need it, after what you did today.