Saturday was a huge day for dance performances! Our girls (1 or 2 per show) were in 9 shows today - including 3 extra shows in which S and B, along with their classmates, danced to the live fiddle music of Neek. Very exciting for them and a fantastic show! (S and her cousin B are among the dancers in this picture, during their Prairie Gael evening show.)
Add to that, 4 shows on Thursday, 4 on Friday, the Children's Program on Saturday, and Neil working behind the bar all hours, all 3 days... well, it was another busy Mosaic for us. As usual, Neil also helped with set up on Tuesday and Wednesday, and tear down on Sunday.
New/different this year:
That's a wrap for Mosaic 2014 - our 9th as dance parents, and 6th time running the Children's Program.
The girls performed Irish dancing at the Highland Games in Moose Jaw this afternoon. The weather was perfect for an outdoor event! This is G on the left and her best friend from dance class on the right. Both wearing brand new wigs. (G will be getting one in the same style as the blonde one. She didn't have it today because there was a mix-up with the order.)
M performing Irish dance at the Strawberry Social, an annual charity fundraiser for Save the Children Canada. It's always held in a church basement and is one of the girls' favourite performance events of the year. All three danced well! We can see their hard work is paying off.
The girls (and their cousin) performed Irish dancing at Spring Free From Racism today. S has danced here the past 8 or 9 years, and it's one of our favourite events. Shortly after dancing, I took Georgia to the Coop for her ringette game. The others stayed a bit longer and came to the Coop with mom (here to see the girls dance and play ringette today). As always, the girls enjoyed getting food and treats from various vendors at SFFR.
Our 2013-14 ringette season ended today. M finished yesterday, and both G and S played their last game of the season this afternoon. Despite not feeling 100% this weekend (sore throat, headache, and low fever; like several of her team mates), S finished strong with a hat trick in each of her last two games. Always fun to see her light up the game -- and her new post-goal celebrations are entertaining. We enjoyed seeing her somersault today. :)
The girls' Irish dance shoes - jig (hard) shoes on the left and ghillies (soft shoes) on the right - freshly polished for their St. Pat's performances this weekend (15th, 16th, and 17th)!
It's that time of year when Irish dancing and ringette playoffs collide... and this year, a trade show for Steeped Tea on top of it. Bracing myself.
Also, we've just finished 10 games in 6 days. The next 8 are more spread out.
M (far left) and G (far right) in their Irish dance class. It was M's 11th birthday today and I took birthday pictures, of course, but I chose this picture because it's rare for me to get a good dance class photo (especially one I can post - no faces) and it only exists because of this project!
Neil made M's favourite meal for her birthday: chicken fingers (homemade) and fries. I also made her a birthday cake with real-whipped-cream fluffy frosting.
Wish I was posting June. Oh, how it pains me to be a full month behind on this!
2. WATCHED & LISTENED
Podcasts (K) - tried a few new ones, but they didn't stick
3. EVENTS & OUTINGS
MUSIC & DANCE
MOSAIC (May 30-June 1)
4. RECIPES TO REMEMBER
6. SPECIAL PURCHASES
...which may explain why this is my only blog post in February. (I just couldn't let a whole calendar month pass by without a single post!)
Here's my one layout. More to come, I hope!
This is what I see when I leave my office, as I walk to my parking spot. The lights in the middle are from the refinery/upgrader.
I had planned to get today's photo at my set dancing class this evening -- and I did take a few photos there -- but I also took this emergency backup photo on my iPad when I left work today. I'm glad I did because my photos from set dancing wouldn't work for blog posting (people shots). We had a bit of a Christmas party at set dancing tonight, with a snack/dessert potluck and some singing and musical entertainment from various members of the class. With a few extra guests, we had three full sets (8 couples per set) and we danced the Connemara, Clare Lancer, and Antrim Square sets, plus the Circle Waltz (one of my favourites) and another two-hand dance. I really enjoy set dancing and will join again after Christmas!
My roundups are getting longer! I guess I'm adding more details, but June was also exceptionally full. Both Mosaic and the Avonlea Centennial could have had their own posts but they're included here.
2. WATCHED & LISTENED
3. EVENTS & OUTINGS
Mosaic, May 31-June 2 (and more):
Avonlea Centennial Celebration, June 29-July 1:
4. RECIPES TO REMEMBER
6. SPECIAL PURCHASES
Ringette ended on March 25 for both Sophia and Madeline. Both girls enjoyed the season even though their teams were at the bottom of the standings (in both divisions, Petite and Novice). Now they're looking forward to wind-ups with their teams. Madeline's team is going to make bath products at Bath Goddess, while Sophia's team is going to use the rock-climbing wall at the Science Centre. We parents enjoy ringette, too, so we weren't particularily anxious for the season to end, but will appreciate the free time on our calendar!
Sophia started playing badminton this week. Both Neil and I liked badminton very much when we were young.
The girls brought their report cards home on Tuesday. They're all doing very well. (Sophia just needs to put a little more work into long division. I found this game for her to practice, and she likes it: Snork's Long Division.)
I've been doing some scrapbooking. Hooray! This morning, I completed my ninth layout of 2012 (4 digital and 5 paper). Now I need to produce another one by Saturday night to reach my goal of six layouts in March.
I'm planning to file our income taxes tomorrow, start to finish. I hope I can do it in under 5 hours. I know it's taken longer in the past, but I'm counting on TurboTax to have saved a bunch of my data from last year.
I can't believe we have NO snow left at the end of March. At this time last year -- after a winter of unusually high snowfall -- we still had a huge amount of snow (see a photo from March 29, 2011). I like this year much better!
I registered all three girls for the QCM Mini Marathon in September. Madeline and I have already walked the 3 km route, and we're planning to walk it as a family on a weekly basis over the next five months.
I registered all three girls for swimming lessons at the university during the last two weeks of July. They'll be in levels 1, 4, and 6.
My current Irish set-dancing class concludes this Saturday, March 31. I was able to attend seven of the eight classes. I really enjoy it and have decided to participate in the next 8-week session -- Thursday evenings beginning April 12 at the Polish Club, I think. Who would like to join me?! (I have also agreed to do some set-dancing on stage at Mosaic!)
I'm fascinated by these genealogy indexing projects. I had no idea that anyone could help index data from old records. Digital images of the 1940 U.S. Census will be released to the public on April 2, 2012. Cool!
Where I stand, there's no end to the number of things that need to be done. Sunday afternoon I painted the bathroom wall and a piece of trim (MDF) so we could reinstall the towel bar and hooks. The towel bar and one of two hooks had (in separate incidents) become detached from the wall -- taking a bunch of the wall with them. Lovely. About six coats of compound later, we decided we needed a better way to secure the bar and hooks, so we screwed the board to the wall (to three studs) and then attached the towel bar and hooks to that. They aren't going anywhere now!
It looks and feels (in more ways than one) like Fall has arrived. The weather turned chilly this week. We went from six days of 30C+ weather to 18, and then 12. We had to cover our tomatoes overnight for the first time this year.
Our full calendar is another reminder that Fall is here (essentially). We've been super busy this month, and I can't believe it's the 15th already.
Sophia is running in cross country again this year. She's been to a few practices and two of four multi-school meets. She's doing very well, placing 9th last Thursday and 3rd today. Dozens compete (more than 75, I think), so it's quite an accomplishment to place in the top 10!
Sophia and Madeline have been to ringette conditioning camp nine of 12 times already. It ends next week on the 22nd, and then we'll have a week or two break before evaluations begin. (Yay!) Madeline also participated in the Come Try Ringette event last Saturday. Happily, her name was drawn for a new stick so we don't have to buy one for her. Sophia won a stick at the same event last year.
Irish dance lessons started this week for all three girls. This is Georgia's first year and she's very excited to finally have her turn! She's been waiting her whole life. This is Sophia's 7th year and Madeline's 5th. We'll be heading to the dance studio four times a week this year: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Ack! It's Madeline's first year of hard shoe, and she has separate classes for soft shoe and hard shoe. Sophia's soft shoe and hard shoe lessons are back-to-back.
Sophia is also taking piano lessons which is just once a week, thankfully. It hasn't been easy to get her to practice the past three weeks with the fantastic weather we were having and being so busy with ringette camp. I hope we can get her into an acceptable routine with this. She wanted to continue with piano this year, so she needs to put some effort into it! We've already decided this will be her last year in piano as she can participate in band at school next year.
In summary, Georgia has one activity, Madeline has two, and Sophia has three, plus cross-country in September and track in May. Sophia seems to need more organized activities, so I think this is fine for her, but she also has much more homework than ever before -- which is challenging for all of us! I spent a full hour helping her with homework this evening, and we didn't even finish. She'll have to finish it before her 8:00 am cross-country practice tomorrow.
I took many photos at the Irish pavilion yesterday where my daughters danced and my husband and I volunteered. While our pavilion is very lively and fun, it's certainly not one of the most colourful. This was the best I could do for my Picture Color prompt! But the scene does offer "a kind of technicolor merriment," don't you think?
I'm glad to have this photo because it represents our evening quite well. Neil was behind the bar from about 6:00 p.m. to midnight, and I sold bar tickets from 8:30 to 11:15 p.m. That was a new experience for me. I've never handled so much money in my life! We had three tills running with six people (one to make change and one to give tickets for each till). The line was solid almost the entire 2.75 hours, and we were selling tickets pretty darn fast. The volume was incredible.
Our day at the pavilion started much earlier, though. We ran the Children's Program from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. We had two crafts: a shamrock keychain (made with pony beads, pipe cleaner, and key ring) and an Irish flag bracelet (made with pony beads, cord, and lanyard hook).We also had Irish dancers from Prairie Gael in full costume (including our own children) teaching basic dance steps. We estimate over 80 kids participated which was a great turn out. Many thanks to Laurel, Bronwyn, and Donna for helping with the crafts!
Sophia and Madeline also performed on stage in the 2:05 and 4:15 shows, while our niece Bronwyn danced at 3:05 and 5:30 p.m. They all danced so well! I love watching them. All four girls (and Dash) went to Avonlea with their grandparents after B's performance. This allowed Laurel, Neil, and me to volunteer all evening. Fun and exhausting! The pavilion closed at midnight, and then we helped clean up/tear down for over an hour. I didn't get to bed until 2:00 a.m. Long, long day.
I'm not going into too much detail about our 2011 Mosaic. I wrote an epic post about it last year: Mosaic 2010. The main differences from last year are: I didn't dance (this year was so much easier; huge difference!); Sophia and Bronwyn didn't dance together (for the first time in 6 years); Sophia and Bronwyn performed hard shoe dances; I volunteered for bar tickets (last year, I cleaned tables all evening); and we were able to go to more pavilions this year (Greek, Filipino, Chinese, Francophone, Brazilian, and Korean).
One of my tulips today. It'll be the first to bloom in our little patch. Yes, they're quite late! I was lucky to have a few minutes to shoot this photo between getting home from the conference and the kids coming home from school.
As soon as Sophia and Madeline were home from school, they got into their dresses and I got their hair ready for their dance performances at Mosaic (5:05 and 6:05 pm). Sophia performed her fast reel (soft shoe) with Sarah, and St. Patrick's Day (hard shoe) solo. Madeline danced in a large ceili choreography with nine others. They both danced very well! We're glad L&B were there, as well as Darren, Ali, Gabe, and Avery for the second performance. After that, we went to a couple other pavilions: Francophone and Brazilian. Bronwyn came with us and Laurel met us at the Brazilian pavilion just in time for the 9:00 pm show. Wowza! What a show at the Brazilian pavilion! Truly amazing, and totally worth the 45-minute wait.
Taken Saturday en route to Avonlea to have dinner at Donna and Lou's. The sky wasn't what I had hoped to capture for this prompt. Oh well; I didn't have time to go for another shot on a brighter day. This photo was extremey dull SOOC, but I hit it with some Pioneer Woman actions: lighten, sharpen, boost, and edge burn at 50% opacity. (And it's still pretty dull!) Two things strike me about this shot: (1) That it was May 7 and there's not a speck of green in sight. Seeding was delayed this year due to the very wet spring; and (2) The old barn and graineries make it seem like this photo could have been taken 50 years ago.
My mother-in-law, Donna, had knee replacement surgery on Monday (her second one) and I hope she's doing well. I know she was in a great deal of pain the first day, but I think it's a little better now. I wish her speedy healing!
P.S. On Tuesday, Sophia had another quad meet (four schools). She got 3rd in triple jump and 4th in 200m.
On Wednesday evening, I took Madeline to her last Music for Young Children class. Over the past two years, she learned a great deal about music in Sunbeams 1 and 2 (and so did I!), but it was time to close the book on this one. I don't know why, but Madeline started detesting piano practice around the beginning of 2011. She would complain and cry through the whole thing, every time. It was painful and we're both glad it's over! She's going to play ringette and continue Irish dancing next year, so I think it would have been too much anyway. Sophia, on the other hand, will be doing all three (piano, ringette, and dance), but I'll think she'll be fine with it, as it's no change from this year.
On Thursday evening (May 12), Neil and I took Madeline, Sophia, and Bronwyn to dance at a fundraising dinner. They performed at 6:00 p.m., so it was a bit of a scramble after I arrived home at 5:15 p.m., but we made it. I didn't do their hair at all (no wigs), so that was a big time saver. We just ensured it was off their faces. Madeline danced a beginner reel and single jig, a couple of dances she knew well at one time but hasn't practiced recently. She had a few mistakes in both and was a little upset about it backstage. Sophia and Bronwyn performed St. Patrick's Day (hard shoe) for the first time in front of an audience, as well as the slip jig and their new reel (soft shoe). Sophia had a little mistake in St. Patrick's Day, but she recovered very well and continued in sync to the end. Bernie was impressed. :)
Also, Neil helped tie rosaries at school for both Sophia and Madeline's classes, on two separate days.
This week, Tracey encouraged us to actively create our image (rather than wait to discover something stacked). I had just made a scrapbook layout with a bunch of buttons on it, and I remembered a great photo of stacked buttons from one of the previous Picture classes. Plus, I like rainbows!
Sophia (grade 4) and Madeline (grade 2) received their second report cards yesterday. They are both doing very well in school. Sophia "excels" in physical education, arts education, mathematics, and science (not every single point within these categories, but most of them). Sophia has always been very physical and active, and her artistic abilities amaze me, so it was nice (and not surprising) to see these things reflected on her report card. It's also great to see the math and science items! Madeline "excels" in almost every area except physical education (she's "meeting outcomes" in that area).
I found this stack as is; I didn't touch a thing. (My dear husband deals with all of the lunch packing and unpacking. Yes, I'm very grateful!) Normally, I would hesitate to take a photo using the flash, but it was already dark and I wanted to capture this slice of our current life, so I took the photo and I'm glad I did. (The little one on top is used for Georgia's preschool snack.)
Last night, in the middle of the night, Georgia asked me what day spring starts. I said it started a couple days ago, to which she replied, "Okay, then what day is the snow going to be gone?" Other than being awakened at 4:00 a.m., I thought it was funny that she was thinking about this in the middle of the night. (What's not funny is that winter has returned! It's going to be -27 C with the wind chill tonight. Sheesh.)
When I put a hair net over Sophia's curly dance wig on the weekend, I was surprised and impressed with how the ringlets appeared. Only when I was looking through my photos on the computer did they strike me as looking like stacks of curls.