Monday, February 25, 2013


 You know that feeling when you are hoping for a snow day and it doesn't happen?  Well...three of us had that very feeling last Thursday.  We weren't expecting a lot of snow, but we have learned that, in Oklahoma, it doesn't take much to cancel school.  I checked and double checked the school listings before waking Ben. I was so disappointed!  I was really looking forward to a day at home to play games with the kids.  

Both, Ben and Abby, had to be at school early for band, so Jon took them.  It wasn't until almost 8:00am that I got a call from the school saying that school was cancelled.  Seriously?!  They were already at school!!  It was only a matter of a minute or two before I started getting calls and texts from Ben and Abby.

Ben ended up getting picked up by Emily's mom and went to her house, with friends, for movies and fun.

Abby came home on the bus and I made her breakfast!

Nothing is better on a cold, snowy, icy morning than a yummy, hot breakfast!

 Of course, my little outdoor lover couldn't wait to get out there and play!

 I love the look of the ice on everything.  

 Abby spent a large part of her day catching up on Downton Abbey episodes!  Anna came over and, this is so pathetic, they watched Downton Abbey on their Kindles!  I finally made them come out of the bedroom and be social and watch something together.  Nothing girlier than wedding shows!  I love it!

Jon made my day when he offered to take us all out to dinner at our favorite restaurant!  Hooray!! 

I love snow days!!

As I type this, we are under a blizzard warning.  It has pouring rain outside all day, which is supposed to change over to snow and turn into a blizzard!  We are expecting 3-7 inches of snow by morning!  I don't to get my hopes up, but I would love another snow day!!
(I'm sure Ben and Abby wouldn't argue!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Winter Formal 2013

One of the things that Ben has most looked forward to this school year is Winter Formal.  He was looking forward to it so much that he asked his date way back in early December.

I was fairly concerned about Ben asking a girl to the dance so early.  A few months in high school is a long time!  Anything could happen in that amount of time!  Drama, drama, drama...  I made a prediction that something would happen; Ben wouldn't want to go with her or he would want to go with someone else.  I was almost certain that he wouldn't end up going with Jaden.

Of course, many things happened over the course of time and Ben really wanted to go to Formal with another girl.  (Emily!)  Thankfully, if teenagers won't listen to their parents, it is nice for them to have a wise friend that can talk some sense into them.  That is exactly what happened.  Ben called his friend and explained his predicament.  Ben's friend told him that he still had an obligation to take the girl that he asked.  He explained that it was ok to go as friends and that he would still have a fun time.  Thank you, Michael!!

Can it be possible that my baby is old enough to be going to a formal dance?  And with a girl, no less!  That's like...a date!  Ugh... There were many deep breaths by this momma!

The big day finally arrived.

 Aren't they adorable?!

Pictures were taken at Emily's house, so Ben and Emily had to at least get a few.

I just can't believe how fast my baby is growing up!

After pictures were finished, Ben and Jaden headed off to Luigi's for dinner and then to Starbucks for dessert.  (Jaden had never been to Starbucks and has wanted to go for a long time!  I am so glad Ben took her there!)

How did Ben and Jaden get around town?  Well, by their chauffeur, of course!  Ben insisted that Jon be their chauffeur for the night.  He insisted that I could NOT be their driver!  He was afraid that I would be too embarrassing.  Seriously?!  Fine.  Be that way.  I will say, that at the end of the night, Ben informed me that Jon is not allowed to be his chauffeur next time!  "Dad was so embarrassing!"  Huh!

All in all, Ben had a really fun night! He danced like crazy and even got one slow dance in with Emily.  He was walking on air when he walked in the door.  I am thankful that Ben was able to make the best out of a less than ideal situation.  I hope he learned a lesson about how to do things next year!

Oh...and now that the dance is over, Ben and Emily are officially boyfriend and girlfriend.  I am SO not ready for this!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day isn't my favorite holiday, but it is super fun to fun things for.  With this whole wretched foot situation, I haven't had much motivation or desire to do a whole lot.   Especially fun, crafty things.  I decided that I wanted to break out of my yucky mood and have fun.  

Things were slightly different around here this year.  Jon's dad was in town and Ben's girlfriend was coming over for dinner.   As if I wasn't already planning fun little gifts and a "valentine-y"table, it's always fun to do fun things for even more people!  (Pinterest helps too!)

The flowers are Emily's, but I liked to pretend they were mine for a little while!  Plus, they made the table look that much prettier!

Ben was trying to teach Grandpa how to play the trombone.  (:

I splurged and made the famous fried chicken!  YUM!

Ben and Emily
These are two very sweet kiddos!  I just have to say...I am SO not ready for this whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing!  As if it's not weird enough for my baby to have a was that much weirder for her to be over for dinner!  Being a mom of teenagers is so strange!

Emily, if you read this, I am glad that you were able to come over for dinner!  You are welcome over anytime!  You are such a sweet girl!  (: 

I told Jon that my one request was that I get a picture of the two of us before the day was over.  Unfortunately, Jon dove into his homework after dinner, I went to bed early and the picture never happened.  ):  That's ok.  I told him that since Valentine's Day was all about me doing for everyone else, that he owes me a real Valentine's day!  Maybe we will get our picture then.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Father/Daughter Banquet

Jon and Abby had the opportunity to attend the Father/Daughter Banquet this year.  I will let the pictures do the talking.  (I was able to be there to take pictures since I am on the Nikao parent board (:)

Good friends Anna and Dennis.

Jon and Abby were chosen to be contestants on the father/daughter version of "The Newlywed Game".
They did very well!  They, actually, won!  It made me so happy that the two of them know so much about each other!

One of the best parts of the evening!

Jon and Abby had a very good time together!  I love the fact that they were able to dress up and go on a very special date together.

Monday, February 4, 2013

All-District Honor Band

I had two very eager kiddos audition for All-District this year.  Ben and Abby got their music way back in May and worked on it like mad.  Between practicing at home and lessons with their instructors, they worked hard.  They both sounded amazing!  Being Abby's first year, she was a bit nervous about auditions.  That whole "fear of the unknown" thing can be so daunting.  It was cute, in the days leading up to auditions, listening to Ben and Abby talk about what it would be like and what Abby could expect on that day.  I loved listening to Ben be the big brother to his little sister.  It was so sweet.

Ben had a little bit more of a fire in him this year than he did last year.  He made it last year, but really wasn't pleased with his placement.  He was determined to do much better this year. 

The big day finally arrived.  Ben and Abby had to be dropped off at the school just around the crack of dawn.  They loaded up their backpacks with bananas (apparently bananas are supposed to help calm nerves) and we said prayers for calm nerves and great playing.  I assured the kids not to be nervous because the Lord already knew the outcome of the day.  I think I was speaking more to myself that to either one of them...

Ben called very early in the afternoon with the exciting news that he had made first chair in the first band!  He had to repeat the news multiple times before I could finally understand what he was saying.  He was so excited that he was screaming on the phone and jumping up and down!  WOW!!  I couldn't have been more proud of my boy!

Abby called a few hours later with slightly less exciting news.  She was chosen as first alternate in the 7th grade band.  Not terrible news, but not great either.  I tried to encourage her and let her know that that was still good.  There was still a chance that she would get to go.  I don't think it did much good.  She was pretty disappointed.  I think her nerves got the best of her.  She knew her music like nobody's business, but once she got into the room with the judges, she got flustered and kept getting lost in her music.  My poor baby girl.  Is it bad that I was hoping that a kid would get sick or not be able to make it so that Abby would be able to participate? 

A week later we headed down to Claremore for the All-District concert.

Poor Abby was so sad to not be sitting up on the stage performing.  It broke my heart!

She should have been up there!  ):

I told Abby that I am going to start making her play her clarinet in front of everyone I know!  She is going to have to get used to playing in front of others!

Luke was more interested in playing games than in listening to the music...

First chair trombone!  (Farthest right)

There's my boy! 

These kids only had eight hours of rehearsal time together!  Seriously!  So amazing!

Jubilant Flourishes
(Travis J. Weller)

Childhood Hymn
(David R. Holsinger)
See if you can pick out a popular tune in this piece.

Hypnotic Fireflies
(Brian Balmages)

(Ryan Main)

This last piece was so cool!  The conductor actually composed the piece for this particular group and then got to conduct them.  How cool is that?!

I am beyond proud of, both, Ben and Abby!  They both love music and are doing so well.  I love to listen to both of them practice and perform!  I look forward to what the future has to offer both of them!  God has truly blessed them with musical talent!