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Monday, January 26, 2015

Alamo Classic 2015

Last weekend was a weekend of firsts. Micah's first basketball meet and Abby's first 'big' gymnastics meet. This was a huge meet with teams even coming from Mexico to compete. It's more a meet for the higher (lvl 6 and up) girls but they host meets for the littles too.   It was a big change from the little gyms the girls have previously competed in. Instead the competition was at the convention center.

The girls were all so impressed they got credential badges to show they were competing. I can't say I blame them - little things like that can impress me too ;)  These girls have competed together this past season and it's so sweet to see their friendships growing. 

The team started off on beam and it was not Abby (or pretty much anyone else's) best showing. I'm not sure what was up but beam scores seemed really low for all the team. This is coming right after the meet in which Abby had her highest beam score and this weekend it was her second lowest but yet she looked like she did better than that to me.  I got really nervous for Abby at this point knowing she had a lot to make up for to score higher than the coveted 36 to move to level 2. I also knew from past scores she was fully capable of making it up but it wouldn't be easy. 

The girls didn't seem to let the beam get them down too much and were smiley waiting for their turn on floor. 

Abby's floor routine was fantastic and earned her, her personal best score and 3rd place on floor! My nerves went down a little bit after seeing that beautiful performance.

Next up was vault. Not her best, but not bad either - an average score for her. High enough there was still a chance to have a personal best AA score but enough so there were still a lot of nerves as I watched waiting for her turn on bars. (At this point I'm glad she isn't at the point of doing the math in her own head and psyching herself out!)

Finally bars. She needed a good score - a 9.2 to be exact - didn't need a personal best (9.3) but better than her average score had been over the season.  Her warm up run throughs made me extremely nervous because I could see she wasn't keeping her legs together as she went through the motions. Finally it was her turn and she looked great - legs together, everything went smoothly. It was a ball of nerves waiting for the score to come up on the app (since that was loading faster than the tvs that were showing the scores)  Finally it came up - a 9.4! 4th place on bars and that means she had a 36.2 her personal best AA score!

We are so proud of this girl and she was so so happy knowing she would move to level 2 as soon as she got the skills down.

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Five on Friday

Oh Happy day! It's Friday! I'm linking up with  darciaprilchristina + natasha for 5 on Friday! Lack of blogging means I've got lots to ramble about today! 

1.  It's halfway through January so how are those New Years Resolutions going?  Based on the attendance at our gym, everyone is getting after it. My resolutions included: 

- working out with consistency  
 check - other than Lexie being under the weather for a few days I've down well on getting to   the gym 4 times a week. I love my gym so this isn't a tough one but I majorly slacked on going consistently from Thanksgiving through Christmas and I want to be consistent again.  I was able to start off the new year with a bang - also known as a two hour Margie kickboxing class. I'll finish this week off with a bang as well - a two hour body combat (kickboxing) new release launch class. I'll earn my Friday night pizza at least ;) 

- drinking more water: 
 check  - I've been drinking minimum 3 refills of my favorite mason jar - usually 4 plus an extra water bottle full of water on gym mornings/evenings 

- reading through Bible in a year: 
 check - I've been using the She Reads Truth app and it   has a plan lined out for you and shows you your percent of progress. I'm liking this plan because you read some Old Testament and some New Testament each day. It breaks it up from getting into a rut in some of the Old Testament books. 

- blog more often: 
not so great on that one so far but hopefully I'll get back on track soon! 

2.  My parents came over for Lexie's birthday weekend and while they were here my mom helped me start on a gallery wall for the girls room. I was torn between two sets of pictures (one for each girl) or one large picture wall so I let Abby pick and she choose one large gallery wall. I think I'll also do a few smaller things on separate walls for them as well - especially a space for Abby's gym medals, ribbons and a picture or two. 
Hanging the pictures made me realized I need to print more! I need to decide a print some from when Lexie was one and two. Right now she's has two newborn prints and one from our fall family session.  There are still more touches to be done on this (like placing in the As where they go instead of standing on the pictures and spray painting the black frame pink and the silver A gold) but I'm loving having this up on the wall now. 
I want to add a few more quotes in the mix along with a few other pictures and maybe a few shapes (a cross, a crown?) I can't decide which quotes/Bible verse though and if that's maybe too much? 
What would you choose? Or do you have a favorite that's screaming to be included and I haven't seen it before? Show me! 

3.  Micah is playing basketball this winter. We took a break from t-ball in the fall as the lack of action while fielding was frustrating to him. When Beau's friend at the Y recruited Micah to be on his son's basketball team for the winter session we went for it. One practice in and he's pretty pumped up about it. He's worn his jersey every day since getting it Wednesday evening. Their team is the Spurs. ;) I'm sad I'll have to miss his first game this weekend but I guess it's the start of how our future will look. Three kids, two in sports currently means they will at time overlap. 

4.  Abby's got a big meet this weekend. Big as in it's a huge gym with all the higher levels competing and teams coming in from out of state (and out of country - there's a team or three coming from Mexico.) I'm learning more and more about this whole #gymmom life as we go through our first whole season. In the fall the Compulsory season for the level 1-5s where all the routines are the same (so we listen to the same floor music over and over and over and over….) That ended in December. Now it's Optional season which is mostly for the higher levels 6-10 and they do routines they create themselves with their coaches with certain required elements. However in these meets, they also allow the littles to compete even though it's not really technically their season (still more of the same floor music over and over for them though!) 
 Abby's worked so hard this season and has done awesome!  She's so close to moving up levels and has been working really hard at it. She's been .15 away twice this season so we are all hoping this is the weekend she gets it! 

5.  Valentines day is going to be here before we know it! The hubs and I don't usually go out Valentines weekend because of the crowds but our gym has PNO and it falls on the 13th this month so I'm debating trying to go out somewhere. As a Christmas present to each other we went out to Chama Gaucha for a fancy date and oh man this creme brûlée was so good. I'm still thinking about it a month later. Makes me want to go back there for Valentines! Do ya'll go out for a Valentines date or do you postpone/go early to avoid the crowds that weekend? 

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Monday, January 05, 2015

Horseback riding in Dallas

Last month Abby had her last gymnastics meet of the compulsory season. This was a fun end of the season meet and it was in Dallas.  Beau's aunt also happens to live in Dallas and has mentioned forever that we should bring the kids up to meet her horse so while we were in town, we were sure to take advantage of the opportunity.

Abby was first up on Beau's Aunt's horse Deuce.  They started off in the circle pen and then went out of it and walked around the property.
 While Abby was getting set up on Deuce, Beau's Aunt's friend and owner of the boarding facility was saddling up one of her horses for the little two to ride and Micah went off to find her and help her bring Spice out. He was quite happy about finding himself a horse to ride when he walked out holding the lead rope.
 Lexie was happy to start by taking it all in. Of course Miss Daredevil had to sit on the top rung of the pen (Daddy was just out of the frame and moved back behind her after the picture)
Lexie really thought she wanted on a horse and so we put her up there with sister but that only lasted about two steps before she wanted me again. 
 Meanwhile Micah was happy as a clam learning how to use the reigns to direct the horse where he wanted to go.
Rhett had come along for the weekend (my spoiled pup!) and was happy making friends with the barn dog. 
After watching for a while longer on my hip (she wouldn't be put down!) Alexis decided she really, really, really did want to ride a horse. So she got her own turn and while a little apprehensive at first she quickly warmed up and really enjoyed it. 

But was quite content with just one circle around the pen. After that she was both happy and done! Abby then had her turn using the reigns on Spice. 
Jake had a turn leading Spice around too! 

 However you can't just have the fun part. They loved learning how to brush the horses and seeing their neat tricks they knew after the riding was over!

Thanks so much Aunt Amanda and Donna for letting us come visit and letting the kids ride your horses! 

The kids now have horse fever and I think Beau does too. He's trying to convince Grandpa to come back here and retire and build a barn for horses on the land he has here. ;) 

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Friday, December 05, 2014

The One I Wrote For You

Disclosure: I was invited to a special pre-release screening of The One I Wrote For You and received a James Avery charm like the one featured in the film. All opinions are my own and I was not required to blog about the film but I couldn't not share it with y'all. 

A couple weeks ago, I took Abby with me on a special mother, daughter date to see a pre-screening of the movie The One I Wrote For You. I was excited to be able to see a movie that I knew would be good for her to see but that I'd also enjoy, in other words a movie that wasn't Frozen, animated and or staring talking dogs. Family friendly films that are truly enjoyable to both the parent and the child seem to be too few and far between. Not only is it a family friendly film but it was filmed right here in San Antonio and featured local businesses.

The One I Wrote for You stars Cheyenne Jackson (Glee) as Ben Cantor and Christine Woods (The Walking Dead, Flash Forward) as Alicia Cantor. Gracie, their daughter is played by Avi Lake from Austin, Tx (who was an absolute doll and we were able to meet her after the movie!)

We are introduced to Ben, a barista at a coffee shop, (truly local if you are in SA!) a dedicated father and husband, working as hard as he can to provide for his family.  We soon learn he nearly had fame at one point but gave it up for his family and to stay true to his beliefs.

His daughter, Gracie, can see his talent and encourages him (in a mischievous way) to try out for a TV competition (similar to The Voice or American Idol but for song writers.) His wife, Alicia, also can see that in his heart he does still want the song writing career and tells him "If you want to be a good husband, then do what you love." I love how the film portrayed their family, you can just feel the love between them while watching the film. 

Ben digs his heals in wanting to continue to provide for his family the way he thinks he should, instead of chasing his dreams but eventually is convinced to go for it.  

Ben is accompanied on the tour by his manager Mickey (played by Kevin Pollak) who while, before in Ben's first chance at fame may have bent to Hollywood ways, this time he learned from Ben "You realize it's possible to still make money without selling out and giving up your integrity" and Mickey tries to help Ben focused on the bigger picture. However, we quickly see how easy it is to lose focus. I loved this line from Mickey "Winning isn't everything and luck isn't winning. Sometimes it's hard to see the bigger picture if we are stuck in the game." Such an incredible message and truth we could all stand to remember in our lives. 

 Fellow San Antonio blogger Colleen, of San Antonio Mom Blogs tweeted out that she had teared up twice during the movie and I couldn't help but be glad she admitted it and knowing I wasn't alone! I loved the film and Abby enjoyed it as well. The One I Wrote For You had such a great positive message while not being just another kid movie, but truly family friendly so that everyone in your family could enjoy it. 

You can see the trailer for the film below and find a theater near you for the Texas premiere weekend here: http://www.theoneiwroteforyou.com/theater-locations/  The One I Wrote For you opens today and you should totally make time in your weekend to see it! (Bonus you don't need to find a sitter because they'll enjoy it as well!)  

After the screening, we were able to meet the youngest star of the film, Avi Lake. Abby was able to get an autograph and talk to her. We learned she has a hedgehog for a pet and I'm shocked Abby hasn't asked me for one yet! She was fantastic in the film and I'm sure has a bright future in front of her. 

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wake Up Brother Bear

Disclosure: The littles and I were invited to preview Wake Up Brother Bear during their final dress rehearsal and received a copy of the book Wake Up Brother Bear. All opinions are my own. 

Finding things that will entertain and educate a toddler all at the same time is not always an easy task. They don't always go hand in hand. Even story time at the library while geared to their age doesn't always keep their attention (I've seen the best librarians get flustered the toddlers would rather wiggle than listen to a story they've never heard before) 

My oldest went twice on field trips to the Magik Theater and when Lexie was itty bitty, we saw the A Pirates Holiday, one of the Magik Theater's traveling shows. However the shows aren't something I'd think of when playing something for a younger toddler. Sure I'd probably bring them along if I was taking an older sibling but I'd likely worried they might not get through the entire show. 

The Magik Theaters's newest show however is specifically thought out to entertain our littlest ones.  This show is part of a collaboration with Imagination, a leader in theater for the very young. In this show, your littles will be able to not only watch the performance but also interact with it in developmentally appropriate ways.  

This special performance took place in the Pearl Studio and instead of seats and a stage, we all sat around the 'stage' - a grass (turf) circle - criss, cross applesauce style, right on the edge of the action and there were no bad seats! All the little received a bag with props inside to use to interact with the show when it was time.  Lexie LOVED these props - especially the flower and flashlight. 

During the show the children sat totally enthralled by the show. At appropriate times they were invited to participate in the show using the props they had received or props that were laid out on the performance area already. 

All the different movement and sensory opportunities to participate helped break up the time the littles were sitting.  Even when the littles weren't participating directly, the actors had their complete attention with their captivating story-telling skills.  

Toddlers especially love and learn a lot through repetition. If you've ever been around a toddler, then I'm sure you know they love to hear the same stories and songs over and over. I love that the show uses some familiar songs and a variation on a familiar story within the play because it gave the littles the sense of comfort of the familiar while still letting them experience something new.  

The props are collected as part of the play (because they had to go to bed of course - a classic toddler tool to pick up things) after being used so if you have a two year old like mine that loves to hold onto little things like mine be prepared to help them put their props up when asked. Lexie did have trouble giving up her flashlight and I was worried she would be upset the rest of the play, thankfully the play was so captivating that she quickly forgot about it (until the play was over at least.)  

If you are interested in taking your toddler (and by all means I think it's fabulous and you should go!) Wake Up Brother Bear will run Saturdays at 9:30am and Sundays at 11am December 13, 14th, 20th and 21st at the Pearl Studio. After the holidays, the show will be available to tour daycares, schools and libraries in South Texas.  

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Dickens on Main: a fun, free family event in Boerne

Disclosure: I was invited to a complimentary bloggers Paint and Sip crafting night out at The Shabby Palette to learn more about Dickens on Main. I also received a gift bag from the vendors participating in Dickens on Main. However all opinions are my own.

When I imagine a picture perfect Christmas season, visions of snow, sledding, Christmas carolers, bundling up in coats and scarfs and sipping hot chocolate all pop into my head. A small town main street all decorated for the holidays and sharing the magic of Christmas with my littles. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the simple fact we are in South Texas we don't often get the snow and sledding part of the holidays down here.

That is unless you head just a few miles down the road into Boerne for Dickens on Main. There you can stroll down historic downtown and be taken back in time to experience some real Christmas magic.

There will be plenty of keep the littles entertained while you are able to shop in some of the adorable quaint boutiques along main street. Some kids activities I know we'll be checking out are:

- Petting Zoo
Say what? A snake? My bigger two littles would LOVE that! 

- Trackless train ride

- Make classic Christmas tree ornaments for all the kids (1 to 101!)
- A visit with Santa
- Snow machines up and down Main Street!

New this year:  A 10 foot high, 60 foot long snow slide each evening!
How awesome does this sound? Big enough even the kids at heart can join in with enough sleds to make sure the fun doesn't slow down. If you have littles, don't worry, you'll be able to slide down along with them!

No littles? No problem there is plenty for the grown up kids-at-heart too!

You'll find Ice Sculpture Shows in the South Pole Plaza with these beautiful pieces crafted right before your eyes.

The fan favorite "A One-Man Christmas Carol" will return with six performances. Between shows there will be other entertainment as well. You can also enter the Dickens Costume contest.

Friday night will feature the Lone Star Swing Orchestra at the North Pole Plaza. Saturday will featuring the Dickens On Main headlining event with Two Tons of Steel!

Turns out my visions of a picture perfect Christmas aren't just visions but can be found just right down the street (well depending on the weather maybe without the coat and scarfs - it's chilly now but you never know it could warm up again!)

Dickens on Main is celebrating it's 15th year and will run from 10am to 10:30 pm on November 28th and 29th on Main St. in Boerne.

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