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My oldest affectionately (I hope!!) named me that, and I figured it was only appropriate - for both me...and this blog ;o)

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Wanna be a rock star?

I recently started teaching preschool in a program run by the Asheville Arts Center. I knew that I was excited about not only being back in preschool, but to have the opportunity in such a cool environment. But until last night, I had no idea just how cool of an environment it really is.

Last night was the open House for the Arts Center - a chance for the community to check out the programs offered - dance, music, drama, preschool. I was there to work, but had also planned on signing the girls up for lessons. We started out by signing Lana up for piano, and Kaylee for classical voice, and we thought we were done - until we saw this...

Rock U is the class, and it has to be one of the awesomest things I have ever seen!! 3 hours a week these kids practice and jam...stage presence, song writing, it's all covered - and they play real gigs! Remember the old Jack Black movie, School of Rock? This is Asheville's version....and Kaylee is psyched! Watch out Hannah Montana, she wants to be a rock star... (geez - now I'll have that silly song stuck in my head!)

EDITED TO ADD: The Hannah Montana reference is my attempt (not Kaylee's thoughts ;o) to be cleverly funny (HAHA).


Whew! We made it through a horribly hectic week, and none-too-soon. We started off in the beginning of the week putting together a last minute small party for Kaylee's birthday. She invited a few girls to join her at the pool to celebrate with cupcakes and swimming. Sounds like a good plan, right? Well, it would've been if someone had called the pool to verify that they would be open normal hours. As we stood at the gate waiting for the giddy gals to be dropped off, a pool employee came out and told us that the pool would be closed all week. WHAT?!!!! He explained that it had been on the city schedule that was mailed out at the beginning of the summer. You gotta be kidding me...I was supposed to actually read that? So, we trekked back down to the car, cupcakes in hand, while we quickly tried to come up with a back up plan. Bringing them home wouldn't work - the house was covered with layers of dirty laundry and dishes. There really was no where else to take a bunch of girls in bathing suits, so we cancelled out and promised to have a re-do soon. (Kaylee did meet one of the girls at the mall for an afternoon of shopping, so all was not lost :o)

The next day, Lana and Garrett started school...leaving me to wallow in the fact that my babies are in 4th grade (real school) and 6th grade (middle school EEK!). All went well with the exception of new lockers. It's a hereditary disability with the females in our family - opening lockers. For some reason they present an almost insurmountable challenge to my girls. Kaylee has learned to compensate...she leaves hers unlocked all year. But when Lana was faced with the same issue on that first day, she was terribly upset that she couldn't figure it out. In a rare moment of nurturing, Garrett offered to meet Lana at her locker to open it for her (awwww <3). The idea of her younger brother saving her at school did NOT set well with Lana, but she did allow him to loan her his combination lock to practice on. She was determined to master the skill. She fell asleep with the lock in her hand...and woke up still working on it. Finally, she got it...and was ready to give the one at school a try. Success...problem solved!

Kaylee had the luxury of waiting until Thursday to start school, meaning a few more sleep-in mornings. Maybe too many, because when Thursday arrived, it did so with a bang. The short version (and the one I'm allowed to share ;o) is that the first 2 days were really, really - I mean REALLY- difficult for Kaylee. She made it through - and even got in the car with a smile on Friday - so it is looking better.

So, with relief, I can say we did it! We made it through! And hope for an uneventful and easy remainder of the school year.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


As promised, here are some pics from our adventure at Paddle Inn Rafting Co...I wanted to take more on the raft, but it was a little hard to do while I was freaking out - LOL.

The happy family (I had no idea what was coming :)

Garrett and Kaylee


Monday, August 11, 2008

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you....

happy birthday dear Kaylee....happy birthday to you!

It is official - my baby is 14!! She gets the last day of fun and party, before school starts, all about her. The difference about today is that the siblings will be okay that the day is all about her (as compared to the other days that are not her birthday LOL).

The celebration started yesterday with a white water rafting trip at Paddle Inn Rafting Company. With all of the excitement and chaos surrounding baby Jude, our family pool party (originally scheduled for yesterday) was postponed, so we woke up yesterday to Daddy's brilliant idea of a family rafting trip. The hour and half drive went fairly smoothly thanks to our new Sirius Satellite radio! Amazing what Radio Disney for 90 minutes straight can do for a person. For the kiddos - it couldn't get any better! For the adults - it's a trade off of having to hear the Jonas Brothers (for what feels like nonstop) instead of the "questionable" pop music played on regular radio stations (one listen to "Lollipop" and you'll get what I mean). So anyways, we arrived at the rafting hut, and registered for what we lovingly referred to as the "poor man's special." For $34, all 5 of us could take the raft on the short run that lasts about an hour. The kiddos were disappointed when they realized that we wouldn't get to go through some of the more adventurous spots (and I admit I was, too), but frugality (is that a word?) won out. Blah, blah, blah...we listened to the guide give us instructions before sending us on our merry little way. I mean, how hard can it be? The river didn't look that rough from the road. Next we boarded an old converted school bus (bringing back many Junior High memories - eek!) and hung on for dear life as Paddle Boat Petty raced down the little windy road - enough to make even the best NASCAR driver green with envy (or at least motion sickness). He let us out with our 600 pound raft and bid farewell!

After some logistical trials and errors, all 5 of us finally got the raft to the river. Off we go!!! Now, did I mention that Robbie was the only one that had ever done this before? Great! Who needs a guide...we have our own experienced rafter acting as captain. Oh, but wait, did I mention that it had been over 20 years ago? And that he didn't remember a whole lot at first? No? Well, neither did he (LOL). As we pushed off, immediately, we went the wrong way - down a little canal, backwards. Luckily for us we made it (although barely) back out into the river. It was then that I saw the white caps. Wait a minute! Where is the calm, flat water that we were going to float over? Isn't it like the lazy river at Wet N Wild? You mean that we have to ride over those waves (more like jump), and get wet (in 46 degree water), and still use the paddles to try and avoid the rocks? You mean the kids and I have to paddle too? Okay, so let it be known, that this is not a "sport" that I fact, I despise it. Sitting up on the blow-up bench, not able to reach all 3 of my kids, and not having enough hands - thanks to that darn paddle. I just knew that Garrett as going to fall out (probably because he told me that he was going to fall out intentionally), and we would never be able to get him back into the raft. What if Kaylee or Lana fell out too? What if Robbie fell out? I remember when the kids were little, and I would take them out alone, worried that I only had two hands. I haven't felt that way in a looooong time - until yesterday. Every bump and rock and wave we rode over I tried ever so hard to grab all 3 and keep them in the raft - infuriating them all. I was really scared, and showing a weakness like that with my kids is never good. Garrett jumped up and down, the girls laughed, and I cried...and Robbie told me to stop looking so terrified. That was all with in the first 15 minutes! So miserably, we continued the run. We only got stuck on a rock once, and were so very lucky to be rescued by another rafting group as they rammed into us head on to free us. The time went quickly, and since he had been so patient (well not really, but he didn't disobey), we let Garrett accidentally on purpose fall out of the raft at the beach. So, as a huge relief for me, our adventure had come to an end. We dried off, got in the car, and headed home...all the while listening to the accounts told by the kids (that just means that they gave me a really hard time and made huge fun of me on the way home). The final consensus was that everyone loved it (except me!), and next time I am not allowed to go - which is fine with me. I'll stick to the pool (which is exactly what we are doing today!).

Pictures will follow...we took a waterproof camera on the raft, and Kaylee is saving some film for underwater pool pics today!