Thursday, February 4, 2016

January Happenings

Here's what's been happenin':

We haven't had a YMCA membership for a couple of years, but Roger's job had a great deal where they pay for a lot of the price for a family membership, so we just had to sign up and take advantage of the deal. Usually you pay almost $50/month for a family, we are able to pay almost $30/month and the company pays for the rest! They also hold us accountable--we have to check in four times a month in order to keep our membership. So far, the kids and I have been hitting the gym 2-3 times a week. Being homeschooled, we can go to the Y during the early afternoon when it's not crowded. And, Lauren is old enough now that she can work out with us on the gym equipment, so it's been  awesome! I was working out on some weight machines and looked over and saw Lauren singing as she was working out on the eliptical; not out loud, but just mouthing the words, but also sweeping her arms to the side like she was performing. I started videoing her and she didn't notice at first, but then realized I was doing it. She is so funny--doesn't care where she is, or who's watching, but she's always up for a performance. I found out afterwards that she was listening to the song Let It Go from the movie Frozen.

This past weekend we went to Kansas City so the Wichita Community Children's Choir, which Lauren is a part of, could perform with three other choirs from around Kansas. It was a day trip, and the concert was really short, but it was fun to drive to KC and hang out for a few hours. The church was absolutely beautiful, but too small for all of the kids and audience members. Plus, no microphones were used, so when the adults would introduce their choir and tell us the songs they were going to sing, we couldn't hear everything, I think because the church was so expansive that voices just carried away like the wind and couldn't be directed to one place. I love Lauren's director because she also is a choir teacher at a middle school, so she knew how to project her teacher's voice in the church and she was the only person we could hear clearly. However, when the choirs sang, hearing them was not a problem. Each choir sang two songs, and then all choirs joined together for one song. Enjoy the videos!

We have just not had much of a winter at all this year. Evan has enjoyed going outside to practice soccer with his goal, or as this picture shows, throwing his knives at wood logs--in shorts and no jacket!

Our favorite football team, the Denver Broncos, was in the playoffs, so I just had to go to church dressed in orange and blue, sporting my Bronco earrings. Then, after church we watched the game and Evan had on all of his gear, plus his blanket, and Broncos pillow pet he's had since he was little, and he and I literally were jumping up and down for joy when the Broncos won! We are so excited for the Super Bowl this weekend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

It's a New Year

2016 has arrived! I can't believe it! I will be turning 45 this year, and Evan will become a 10th grader, and Lauren a 7th grader this fall! No No No Way this can all be happening--time just moves so fast!

Last year we started keeping a memory box. We would write down anything on paper we wanted to remember, or put in a concert ticket stub, etc. in order to recall those things at the end of the year. Lauren recorded the most things, I was probably second, Evan put things in when I made him, and I don't believe Roger did anything. Maybe this year, we'll all do better? Here are the things we recorded:

~(Rebecca, Lauren) On our way to CYT winter class, we saw a guy in his car listening to music and jamming out. He did this at a stop light and kept it up as we were following him for a while to our class. Lauren said, "Mom and I were cracking up. It was the funniest thing ever and it made my day!
~(Rebecca, Lauren) We went to see Wichita State University's production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. The director noticed Lauren was wearing a Peanuts gang shirt and commented on how she liked it. We told her that Lauren had just played Sally in the same show for CYT.
~(Rebecca, Lauren, Evan) We went to see Matthew West with Colton Dixon and Mr. Talkbox in concert. Kristi Johnson, Keirra, Daniel, and Jenny Huff came too.
~(Family) Went to Janet Grote's funeral. It was lighthearted and not depressing. She is missed.
~(Lauren) I got the best buddy ever in Robin Hood. Her name is Anne. She gave me so much sweet stuff and I can't wait to see her again. We had Friday, Saturday, and Monday rehearsal for Robin Hood.
~(Evan) Went with the youth group to Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO.
~(Lauren) I went to my first Bagels and Bibles.
~(Lauren) I got a book at the library for the summer reading program and it's my favorite book--Recipe for Adventure.
~(Lauren) Attended Triple Threat Theater camp.
~(Evan) Started Biology class at Faith Academy, and dad's new Trail Life group.
~(Evan) Mom burped and passed wind all day. Yes, TMI (too much information), but it's true. I had forgotten that day until we were reviewing the memories. I don't know what my gut was going through, but it was an all day ordeal. Thankfully, I didn't have to go anywhere that day, and that the gas didn't smell. Seriously, it was just noise. Sorry you had to read this, but I believe in keeping things real. 
~(Family) Took a 10 day Disney cruise to Hawaii.
Some time during the year we watched a youtube video of a police officer lip syncing to Taylor Swift's Shake it Off. His dash cam taped him. He was hilarious, and did a great job. When he would pass people or have to slow down to let people cross the road, or was at a stop light, he would act all cool and nod and wave at people, and then immediately start up again when starting to drive again. Hilarious!

In addition to remembering last year, this year has had a couple of exciting things happen already. Roger's truck got rear-ended. He was stopped behind a car that was making a left turn, and the truck that hit him I guess wasn't paying attention. When he texted me our truck was a mess, I was expecting a smashed in back end, broken tail light, etc. The fender was a tiny bit smashed in, and there was a split in the metal on the right side of the fender, so I didn't think it was that bad. After an estimate, it's going to cost insurance over $2000 to be fixed. Roger said he knows this isn't how the rest of the year is going to be, but I told him I wasn't so sure. We are trying hard to work on our debt and I think we're going to get hit by the devil with things this year to prevent us from getting out of doubt--it happens every time we are trying to get rid of debt. Not only that, but after this accident happened, our church's pastor asked Roger if we would like to teach another Dave Ramsey get out of doubt class. We've taught this class 2 or 3 times before, and we always get asked in a year when we are working hard on zeroing out our own debt. Every, single time. I don't want to teach this class again, because I feel like a hypocrite. I think Roger enjoys teaching this class, and I'm not sure what he wants to do yet.

In the school year 2014-2015, a 5th grade teacher started Wichita's only showchoir for highschoolers called Flight. She held a workshop for middleschoolers called Flight Jr., but Lauren was only a 5th grade so couldn't attend. In December, another workshop was opened and Lauren could attend this year. The group met for a total of 9 hours before their performance this past Sunday. This is Lauren's love--singing, dancing, and performing. We were allowed to videotape Flight Jr., so we did. The group did a great job. Lauren is just such a natural at this stuff, and I love seeing her smile on stage. Here's the video:


Friday, November 6, 2015


October was a fun month.

We went out to Cheney Lake where there is a gun range one Saturday afternoon and Lauren and I got to shoot for the first time. It was a small gun that shot little bullets so that was easy for us. Roger and Evan are already pros at using guns. Then, Roger had me shoot a gun that's been in our safe always loaded so in case I ever needed to shoot an intruder. He warned me ahead a time it would have a kick on it, but good golly! I wasn't ready for it. As soon as the gun shot off, I have no idea where the bullet went exactly because I just about fell backwards and my eyes were closed! I mean, I know the bullet went straight, but I just wasn't able to spot it. We decided that although this gun would definitely take care of an intruder, what good would it do me if I couldn't control it? So, we're keeping the gun with the smaller bullet clip ready to go for me in the safe, and if I ever have to use it, I'm under orders to just keep shooting until the clip is empty. Lauren did great. She's a great archer, and now shooting a gun.

We also "tried out a dog." We have some friends who had two 4 month old pups they couldn't find homes for. Evan and I struggle with animal allergies, but we wanted to give it a try overnight. Evan reacted with a scratchy throat and just knew it wasn't meant to be. He was sad, but Lauren was heartbroken. She cried for days over not being able to have that dog. I didn't react at all, which was surprising, so it almost made me wonder if I was outgrowing the allergy? She was a great dog, but it just wasn't meant to be.

Evan finally got to go do another Sheltered Reality performance after more than a year. It was at a school about 30 minutes northeast of Topeka. The kids and I drove to Topeka the afternoon before, stayed in a hotel, and then came home after the show--a 3 1/2 hour drive. It was worth it, though. Evan does so well drumming, I just wish more places in KS would invite and pay for the group to perform so we could do more. I'm hoping our Trail Life group can do it at some point.

Lauren got to do some dressing up this month. One night at church they got to come as a Disney character. We were able to put together a homemade outfit and she went as Elsa from Frozen. Then, one of her friends came to church and they dressed up as 50's girls with super powers. Then, Lauren got to wear her 50's costume again and go trick-or-treating with another friend. It was a beautiful night to do that.

Lauren also got to start singing on the church's Youth worship team. I had Evan snap this picture of her for me, so I didn't embarrass her by going into the room and taking it myself.

 We bundled up one evening and went to see Hotel Transylvania 2 and Pan at the drive-in. Roger and I sat in the middle van seats that can turn around backwards, and the kids had 4 layers of padding to lay on in the back of the van after we folded the seats down, and we all had hats, gloves, and blankets to keep warm. One of my favorite things to do.

Lauren had her CYT showcase this month. This is some of her friends hanging out as we celebrated at Spangles.

I got to enjoy watching my favorite front yard tree change colors for autumn.  We had some very windy days which stripped the leaves off sooner than I would have liked (as I type this, our tree is now bare). The last pic is of the tree across from our house on the other side of the pond. Gorgeous!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Starting Anew...Again

Yep, yep, has been over a year since I've blogged. This time, I am not going to apologize nor promise to do a better job because I honestly don't know if I can do that. But, I'm hoping that today will be a new day to do a better job.

This past year has been busy. Evan went back to soccer after taking a year off. It was fun to watch his games. He had some goals, plus some great assists and moves, but he let a lot of the teammates influence his decision making skills. If anyone even hollered his name, he felt he automatically needed to pass the ball to that person, even when he had complete control over the play and could have possibly made a goal. No matter how many times Roger and I talked to him about this, it didn't change. I guess this is a case of when a teenager's emotions/decision making is based on peer pressure vs. parental guidance. He has decided not to return to soccer this year.

Sheltered Reality has been his big interest. There are still not enough shows close by to partake in, but we did get to go to OK City for a weekend to perform for a Job's Daughters group. That was fun. It was 4 Iowans, 2 Kansans, and 1 Texan performing for a group in OKC, LOL!

Lauren' new adventure this past year was Christian Youth Theater. She joined last August and auditioned for the Sound of Music production, but didn't make the cut. That was very upsetting to her as she was so hoping to get the part of Brigita. The next week was audition for You're A Good Man Charlie Brown and she didn't want to try out at first, but finally decided to, and she got the main role of Sally! She was fantastic and literally stole the show. We had so many people approach her and us and tell her she was their favorite character. Even months later, people still remember her performance, although she is kind of over it and wants to move on to another memorable role.

There are probably more memories, but for not this is all I can remember. A new season of life is starting with schooling--Evan is a high-schooler, EEK!--, a new CYT production is coming up that Lauren will be auditioning for, and a major vacation is happening in a few weeks. Some great things to write about, and I'm going to try.

Ta-ta for now!