Saturday, July 31, 2010

A little break

While Frank was in town he had to attend a training class in DC so I went along for a nice little break. I said I was just going to lounge around and sleep and read, but of course I didn't actually do that. I did get plenty of sleep but I also got out to see some things.

On Wed after we arrived we had some awesome, awful-for-you food from a little shack on the water called Jimmy's Grill. I had a shrimp taco and a fish taco and Frank had steak and cheese. I just found the place online and it turned out they didn't even have seating but it was a tasty lunch in the hotel room. And they passed out free samples of strawberry cake.

In the evening we went to the Nationals baseball game. We sat on the 1st row next to the field on the first baseline. Great seats! Here's our view:

Frank caught not one but TWO foul balls. Both went up behind us but bounced down into a tunnel area for the field crew that was right behind us. All he had to do was jump, run and catch. He kept one ball and threw the other in the crowd behind us. I caught a t-shirt.

On Thurs Frank went to his seminar and I slept in a bit, went and got a pass for the Holocaust museum, ate lunch with Frank and then toured the museum at my own pace. That was nice - I read every sign and took as much time as I wanted. I was there a long time. Learned alot. Thurs might we went to the National Archives and after running through the rain found a place to eat while we waited out the showers.

On Fri I had planned on biking to Mount Vernon but it was a long ride from DC and my plan to take the train to Alexandria and bike from there didn't work because the rental shops didn't open until 10am. So, I just took the train to Alexandria and wandered around there touring homes, taverns, churches and a very old apothecary for a few hours.

It was very nice to get away for a short trip. The next few weeks will be crazy so I hope I stored up enough energy and positive attitude to make it through!

Friday, July 23, 2010

More brides to be...

All the girls wanted me to post their photos in my wedding dress. At the time I didn't feel like uploading all the photos and they felt slighted. So, here are all the girls in the gown.

Madeline (the only one that it actually fit) and Mimi (the actual bride to be)
I don't think Madeline has any intention of ever wearing this dress

Emily (who swears she'll be the one to wear the dress)

Olivia (my bet is on her to wear it)
Marcy (we have hopes that she'll actually be too tall to wear my dress!)

And even Leah Schwarz (who could slip right out without worrying about the zipper)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Soccer Camp

Emily's friend Beth from Calgary came for a visit and they went to soccer camp together. I had planned on them attending a full day camp (one that we had never tried before) but it got cancelled less than a week before it was due to start. That will teach me to try something new. All the girls have attended Bobby Moffat soccer camps for years (Madeline started at age 6.) I should have just stuck with what I knew worked. So, I called Bobby in a panic and set them up for an indoor camp in the morning and an outdoor camp in the evening. This actually worked out great because it gave us the afternoon everyday to do something fun (like swim, go to the movies, go to a water park, eat ice cream, etc.) I will never go to anyone but Bobby Moffat again!!
Beth and Emily looking like soccer twins!

Emily with Bobby Moffat after winning MVP at the morning camp

Emily, Beth and Coach Jimmy at the indoor camp

Beth, Emily and Coach David at the outdoor camp

Marcy and Leah Schwarz also attended the morning indoor camp. They had a good time and one camp a day was plenty for them. I think they both learned alot even if they thought it was boring sometimes. Leah even won Personality of the Week (which Beth also won at the outdoor camp in the evening.)

Marcy and Leah with Coach Patrick

Visitors from....

OHIO!!! Way back at the beginning of July we had Grandma, Pop, Maizee (and boyfriend Chris) and Mandee to visit in Dallas. It was a full house but lots of fun with card games, hide and seek, Clue, and everyone "hitting themselves". We didn't have great weather but they still got to see everyone in the July 4th parade, enjoy the picnic, and watch the girls swim. Plus, we ate lots of good food (and even more leftovers!) It's always great to have the whole gang together. See you next year!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Watch out!!!!!

Madeline passed her driving test yesterday afternoon. With insurance secured (wow, it costs alot to insure a 16 year old driver!!) she was free to hit the road. Her first outing - to cheer practice and back tonight. She made it and the car is all in one piece (as Emily pointed out.) I'm a nervous wreck about her driving alone but what can I do??? She does have a license now.

So, everyone in Dallas watch out for that little bright red Volvo S60. My whole family knows that I am adamant about not putting stickers on my cars but maybe I'll put one of those "How's my driving?" stickers on the car with my phone number. Do you think she'd mind???

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blast from the past #3

I know I'm supposed to be catching up on summer events but Olivia pointed out that her friend Jaydene did not receive enough face time on the blog. So, I thought a little winter event that Jaydene participated in would be a nice break from the summer heat.
Back in January I took Olivia, Jaydene, Marcy and Emily to Norquay to go tubing. This was a new activity this winter at Norquay. We didn't get much chance to ski this past winter because of weekends filled with soccer, basketball, skating, etc but I thought we could squeeze in tubing in the afternoon (and it required much less schlepping around of equipment.) The Agnews and Boumas met us there so we had friends for all!
Here are some of the girls on the tow rope to the top. You could also walk to the top which we tried once but that was quite a hike and it was better to wait in line!
This is Olivia and Jaydene coming down the chute. It was a pretty long run as you can see!

Here are Olivia and Jaydene and Marcy and Emily waiting in line for the tow rope. We were there for about 2 hours and probably got in about 7-8 runs. The lines were pretty long at the bottom and the top.

Emily B, Emily and Reise at the bottom of the hill!

Laura and Marcy goofing off in their tubes:

After all the tubing fun we stopped in Banff at the Old Spaghetti Factory before we headed back to Calgary. We were an overwhelming crew to serve!

We never made it back to go tubing again. We thought about going again at spring break but skiied at Lake Louise instead. It really was fun. Maybe we'll stop on our way to Kimberley at Christmas time.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

July the 4th (a little late)

I'm trying to get caught up on posting all of our summer events so far. We've only been home for 2 1/2 weeks but they've been busy!!

The annual 4th of July parade was on July the 3rd this year (I assume because the 4th was a Sunday.) We had less time to prepare than usual so the scooters were hastily decorated the night before (or was it the morning of??) I always feel a bit bad that my kids show up on scooters every year when everyone else is on bicycles. But, it makes much more sense to send bicycles to various living locales and keep scooters for our short stays in Dallas. Duplicate sets of bicycles are just not necessary.

Madeline and Ryan were the dog walkers in the parade. I was very impressed that they got out of bed and walked with us - in costume and all!!
The very patriotic girls with the incredibly patriotic scooters and Frank who looks like a patriotic bodyguard behind them.

Front and center - they look like they are leading the parade.

This year the picnic was held at the end of our cul-de-sac instead of the park. It had rained all week and the park was way too muddy. Plus, the city is so desperate for money they were going to charge the neighborhood association to use the park space! I think they may start using our street permanently - plenty of space, no cars, and a convenient end to the parade route.
This year they hired a train as entertainment instead of renting a bounce house. I think this was a great choice. Someone always gets hurt in a bounce house and it requires volunteers to supervise. The train was a big hit with the little girls.....
and the big girls.....

Another day at the ball park

We always enjoy attending the Rangers baseball games so while we had friends in town from Calgary and the Thompsons in from Houston I thought it would be great to head out to the ball park on a Sunday afternoon. Maybe not such a good decision!! 22 people sweated it out for 5 1/2 innings and then we just couldn't take it anymore. We spent most of the time standing in the small patch of shade up against the wall behind our seats or running to the bathroom to wet our free Vlad Guerrero shirts to use as heat stroke prevention. Everyone headed back to our house where some went for a swim to cool down and some enjoyed the A/C and the recorded final of the World Cup. Still a fun day but I'll think twice before buying tickets to a day game again!
Here are some photos of some of the 22 people in attendance:
Marcy and Molly

Marcy and Brian

Beth (from Calgary), Anna (looking good in the head cover) and Emily

John, Marcy (least affected by the heat, she was all over the place) and Mickey

Madeline, Mary and Mark

Olivia and Jack (Beth's brother who was quite the entertainer for Olivia and Marcy during his brief stay!!)

PS The last time I organized a group to go out to the ball park was the Calgary Vipers game at the end of May that got snowed out. The weather jinx continues to haunt me!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Big Move

The move to Kazakhstan is definitely looming large. We have about 5 weeks before we head off to Almaty. This has definitely been the most complicated move so far. We have possessions traveling by sea to Almaty from both Calgary and Dallas. Due to weight restrictions to Almaty we also have items which have arrived back in Dallas from Calgary. Some of that goes to storage and some comes to the house but right now it's all being held at a warehouse. Some of our stuff from Calgary has arrived by air in Almaty but since the house is still not ready it's also being held. I sure hope that shipment doesn't get raided as it's got all the stuff we need to live on until the sea shipments arrive sometime in Sept/Oct. At least the packing portion is complete (although we have many suitcases to fill in 5 weeks time.) Here's a last look at our Calgary home on the last day of packing. We will certainly miss Tuscany!
The other portion of our big move was the big drive. Madeline and I made the 32 hours and nearly 2000 miles of driving in 2 days. Oklahoma was the worst - so close, yet so far away and soooooo much construction! Madeline helped out with the driving both days but I think she quickly learned how boring highway driving can be. Here she is at the wheel:

She'll be taking her driving test next week. Wish her luck!!!

Hula Hoop

For some reason all the Mount girls are pretty good at the hula hoop. I'm pretty sure they don't get it from Frank but I'm not great at it either. Give them a hula hoop contest and they are in (except Madeline who can hula hoop with the rest of them but has definitely out-grown the hula hoop contest!) Olivia even did hula hoop for 1/2 hour at a time during the school year to fulfill her "daily physical activity" requirement. Yesterday I took Olivia, Marcy, Emily and Beth (her friend visiting from Calgary) to Hawaiian Falls water park. They had a hula hoop contest. After 7 rounds Olivia, Emily, and Marcy were all in the finals (poor Beth - she tried over and over!) Of the final 7, Marcy won!! She had to hula hoop while standing on one foot, clapping, turning in circles, etc. She won a free shaved ice which made everyone happy since I bought one for the others as well.

I didn't have my camera yesterday but here's a photo from the July 4th hula hoop contest. Our real competition is those Schwarz girls - but that's to be expected the way our families work!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Say yes to the dress!

My sister Mary is getting married in Sept 2011. She has been talking about wearing my mother's wedding dress. So, tonight when she came by to visit we found the dress and she tried it on. I just couldn't resist pulling my dress out of its preservation box and trying it on as well. I had to REALLY suck it in and I couldn't breathe after BUT I got it zipped up. Everyone got in on the dress up show and all the girls tried my dress on. Emily is now determined to wear it, puffy sleeves and all. Here are the two blushing brides:

My dress went back into the preservation box (I guess to wait for Emily's big day if she doesn't change her mind) but Mary is going to see what she can do about cleaning the lace on Mom's dress and maybe changing the sleeve style. It's got potential. Of course, Madeline still wants the chance to go dress shopping with Aunt Mimi!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sol soccer

I've had many soccer posts but you'd never know that Marcy plays as well and that I'm the coach! It's hard to take photos and coach at the same time so Marcy missed out all season. But, we got some photos after the last game at the team party. Marcy and the coach:

All but one of the girls on the team played on the indoor team in the fall/winter (and the new girl is a sibling of Emily's team mate) so everyone played really well together. We played in a league with 3 boys teams and 3 girls teams. It was a tough season because we lost to the boys every time but we played in close matches with two of them. Wish we could have beat them just once but the girls got two medals because "they were the best girls team in the whole league!!!"

By the way, the team name was Sol - assigned to us by Calgary West Soccer Club. This was my 4th season to coach and we had a different name every season including Roma, Lynx, Impact and Sol. Much different than the Ladybugs from Dallas!

Ballet Recital

Olivia has been taking ballet this year in addition to Irish dance. She wanted to try it again since she hasn't taken it since grade 2. After we found out we were moving this turned out to be a good idea since she'll be able to continue ballet but not necessarily Irish dance (we're still holding out hope that we'll find someone in Almaty who can help her keep up the Irish dance.) She had her recital last weekend. Unfortunately they did not get to come out in their costumes and no photography was allowed but here she is after with make up and slicked-back ballerina hair:

After Irish dancing for so many years Olivia had a hard time getting back into ballet. The feet gave her no trouble but adding in the arms was very awkward. I thought she did a great job (and I'll post the video when it arrives.) What's funny is that one of Madeline's friends was at the recital and asked Madeline later if Olivia did Irish dance. She is a former Irish dancer herself and said she could totally see the Irish dance in her posture, etc. I couldn't tell myself but thought that was interesting. She's an Irish dancer to the core!

Year End

The school year in Calgary is especially long, going all the way through to the end of June. But, it did finally come to an end. Marcy's class put on some "fractured" fairy tale plays. She was a sports announcer in "The Cheetah and the Sloth." I nearly missed it as I was busy with the packing but got there just as it started:

After the plays there was a class party with lots of food and running around. Marcy's teacher, Miss Simpson, really did a good job keeping the kids busy up to the last day which is appreciated. I hate it when the last two weeks are all movies and recess. Here is Marcy with Miss Simpson:

Emily also has some end of year activities (although her last two weeks were definitely NOT academic.) They spent one day in Canmore drawing and painting the mountains which apparently had some connection to a book they read. Emily's teacher, Mr Sprau, has really taught the kids some good art techniques this year so her painting turned out well. Maybe we'll frame it. Here are Emily, Beth, and Mr Sprau:

Webber also has a formal year end ceremony and each 4th grader received a certificate. It was a long ceremony and the picture below was the extent of the excitement for us!

I missed the actual last day of school for Emily but apparently it was quite sad. I feel awfully bad about taking the kids away from Calgary. But, hopefully in a couple months we'll be all settled in Almaty and feeling okay about the big move.