Monday, April 29, 2013

Gymnastics on a Smaller Scale

After Robyn's birthday party, we went to Ivory's Gymnastic Competition. I guess I should be clear that I didn't see any need to do the competition. It cost a little extra, and I think we already spend enough. But last time they had one, Ivory really wanted to go, and I finally caved, and when I went to sign her up, it was already full. (Oops, I didn't realize there was a limit to how many kids could compete.) So this time around, Ivory pleaded to go. And what day should it fall on?? Why, Robyn's birthday of course. In fact, for a while, I  was worried that the two events would overlap, and I kept telling Ivory that if there was a conflict, Robyn's birthday would take precedence. Luckily, it didn't come to that.

I'd never been to one of these things before, so we just arrived and went with it. They divided the kids into groups, with overlapping levels. Ivory was in a group that had Beginning girls, level 1, level 2, and level 3 girls. (Ivory was the only level 2 girl in her group, but it seemed that one of the level 1 girls was doing the same routines she was. Honestly, I was a little confused how it worked.)

At this gymnastics place they start you in Beginning girls and then they call you when your child advances. Great. Seems easy enough. Ivory moved up to level 1 in about 8 months. Then just three weeks ago, they called and told me that she was ready for level 2. Great. This really doesn't mean much to me. But I was smart enough to put together that if she had just moved up a level, there were chances that she wouldn't be as good as the other girls in her group yet. And that didn't bother me. I just wanted Ivory to feel like she had done well at the end of the day.

They competed in four events. Ivory's group did floor first. Ivory can't do a back walkover yet, but she sure can get her leg up in the air looking good.

Next they did Vault.

Then came bars, but it was back lit and hard to see so I didn't take any pictures.

And finally, beam. Ivory did fall off once, but she jumped right back up to finish.

I thought she did great, and I cheered her on the whole time. Ivory looked over to where we were sitting often, so I could tell that she wanted us to see what she was doing. I took three of the girls with me. (Tyler stayed home with Pearl who crashed after the horse party.) You have to remember that the kids had already had a long day to begin with, so they were a little bored and tired sitting there. I took close-ups of June since she was underneath my legs.

Daisy was just plain bored and got drinks from the drinking fountain every 5 minutes.

And Robyn brought in some art stuff to work on.

During a break in the event, they asked if anyone had a birthday and everyone sang to Robyn. That was pretty cool and embarrassing for her.

Then it was finally over, but not really, because they did awards and they gave ribbons for every event. So, we were there another hour. They did tumbling first, then boys, and finally they got to girls. They have a good system where everyone gets a medal, even if you come in 7th or so. My kids got confused at one point because they announced Beginning Girls 8 and under and Ivory wasn't called. Robyn looked over and said in a sad voice, "Ivory didn't get anything." And I explained that was because she was in level 2, and they hadn't announced them yet. "Oh, good," Robyn said.

Finally, they got to Ivory's group. They announced the results for Vault first. There were five girls from level 2, so they started with 5th place. Then 4th, and 3rd. I was starting to get worried, because they weren't calling Ivory's name, and I thought maybe they had forgotten her. They announced 2nd place, and still it wasn't Ivory. So, I held my breath and sure enough, Ivory got first place!! She was so dang excited. And we were too. I know this is competition is on a really small scale, and Ivory doesn't know much, but it is still really great to get a first place ribbon.

Ivory went on to get 1st in bars and floor as well. She got 3rd in beam, and we cheered her on again. I really felt like a very loud parent, but we had no idea she would do so well, so we were really excited for her. And then, Ivory won the all around champion for level 2. I was one proud mom.

I still feel kind of bad that I wasn't expecting her to do so well. But she had just moved up a level. And really, the girls who competed were just the ones who wanted to pay for this event. There are most likely many other girls who just didn't come. But my Ives did great!! Boo-yah. Look at all her ribbons.

We didn't even stay for the last awards. Tyler and I were already late to Supercross. (Ah...the over-scheduled day!!) I raced home, dropped off children, cheered Ivory again, kissed the birthday girl, and went out on the town with the handsomest man I know.

We got there a tad late, but it didn't matter. We were there for the main events, and it was quite the show!! Thanks Ty's Dad for the tickets. We were just sad that you couldn't be there. It's always a good time.

picture from MotoUSA

And cut. Wow, what a crazy Saturday. Good memories.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Never Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Robyn turned...

....yesterday. It was a great day, if not the busiest day of the year so far. Things kept coming up, and I would see they were on the 27th of April, and I would *sigh* mark them in the calendar. I believe there was a whole 45 minutes of down time that day, and I spent it making cornbread.

We managed to
- Attend a ward breakfast and service project
- Have a horseback riding birthday party
- Go to Ivory's Gymnastic competition
- Cart our way up to SLC for Supercross

One right after the other. But amazingly, we did it all. But this post is mainly about the party and the birthday girl. We actually opened family gifts first thing in the morning. Robyn didn't want to waste any time.

She was happy with everything she got.

Have I mentioned her obsession with Littlest Pet Shops? I actually got her 27 of them and let her have a new one every other day for a month. (I will miss seeing her little face first thing as I opened my eyes, with her saying, "Pet shop??") She got a few more on her actual birthday, and she wasn't disappointed.

Here are some of her new ones.

And you may remember that shelf I made her last year. Well, she still uses it all the time, and now she has so many pet shops, they hardly fit on there. Spoiled, I tell you. (And yes, she knows ALL their names.)

Oh, I need to put this in here. Ivory made Robyn a birthday card. It was huge, but you could tell that Ivory had taken a lot of time on it. I like when the girls take extra time to make a thoughtful gift.

Robyn's big present has been on her wish list for quite a while. I got her some skates. Oh, and not just skates...rollerblades.

She wanted to try them on right away. And watching her today, it won't be too long before I can rest easy at home, not worrying about her breaking her neck at any moment.

Now fast forward through a service project, which was very good, by the way. I took 1, 4, and 5 and we weeded our hearts out at a neighbor's, and Tyler took 2, and 3 and they helped stain a fence. Robyn and Ivory came home covered in stain. And since it was red, it looked like they were bleeding. I made Robyn at least wash her face before we left for her party.

We did a horseback riding party, and it was FAN. TAS. TIC. I found a place online, (Lucky Star Horse Stables) and thought, why not? And it was perfect. The lady has a horse corral (spelled right mom) in her backyard, but also a playground. So, she takes the kids two at a time to ride and the other kids play. Plus, she decorates super cute.

And she provides party bags and plates, etc. I'm trying to think of something negative about it, but I really can't. Well, the only sad thing I can think of, is that she raised her prices after I booked. So, now if I want to go back again, it would cost more. But in my mind, it is still almost worth it to not have all the craziness at my house. In addition, I feel like I spend just as much with a home party regardless.

Everyone had a good amount of time on a horse. The owner would start off leading them, but when they felt comfortable, she would let them walk the horse on their own. Look at all these cute riders.

We let all the birthday guests ride first, so my kiddos had to wait a bit. I think they were pretty patient.

But finally it was time for the littles.

Yep, even my Pearl took a spin. This is significant progress because last year, if you got her too close to a horse, she would cry. So, I was super impressed with her. June gets props for being the very last kid to go. But since she was older, they let her walk on her own more.

Tyler had the camera there at the end to document the riders, so I didn't get any pictures of Robyn blowing out the candles. Oh, wait...there weren't any candles. I forgot them. But, here is the cake. (For the record, the only horse cake design Walmart had was My Little Pony. I decided to skip it.)

And Tyler did stop by for a brief shot of the feeding frenzy. I let Robyn cut the cake, so the slices were generous, and the entire thing was gone before we left.

Which is good really, because I don't really eat leftover cake.

So, super fun!! I did get Robyn balloons as well, but I was cheap and didn't put high float in them, so they are crawling around the floor already. Oops.

But, Robyn can't complain, because we took her to ride horses. Actually, she did quite the opposite. She made a point to tell me how great her birthday was, and how she liked all her presents and riding the horses and it was all great. And that was the best part of her birthday in my opinion. Nothing like a little gratitude. It sure goes a long way.

Happy Birthday, my sweet Robyn.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Family Crack Off 2013

Whew. Let's waste no time today jumping into the 2013 Crack Off. We have such a great time as a family, but it is always better when my parents and nephew can come.

I did document eggs, but we don't have too many pictures of the actual cracking, because we took videos this year. But, if you've seen one Crack Off, you've seen them all. But these eggs, you haven't seen:

It was quite the competition. And then something unexpected happened. Two eggs cracked at once. I was up against my Mom, and her egg was smashed in on one side. I was the clear winner. But as I looked closely at my Deviled Egg, I could see some light cracking. Could it be?

I was already in the loser's bracket, so I didn't have another egg to choose. So Tim and I went egg to egg, and I assumed that since my egg was weaker (with an already slight crack) that it would easily fold under pressure. But this happened.

The Universe is not right. Two eggs?? I admit that this has planted a seed of doubt in me concerning the Crack Off. Will this happen again? How do you plan for this? Let's hope it is a rare fluke. Or maybe I have learned that you just don't mess with a deviled egg...

One egg did NOT crack however. Did you guess?

Yep, that silly Anger Bird was undefeated. It must have come from a strong batch. I'm not too surprised it beat all the other eggs. I felt the dozen or so I cooked were very weak. I had 7 crack while they were cooking and that is odd. Usually I might have one crack during boiling.

So, you see it was a strange Crack Off overall, but definitely a fun one. I loved everyone's eggs. Did you have a favorite? I love to see who you would have voted for, for best decorated egg.