Monday, February 27, 2012

Fear the Frog!!

After much deliberation, Madeline has decided to attend Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth.  We are very excited for her and extremely happy with her decision.  After two years so far away from us it will be nice that she will still be close to home (but far enough away that she doesn't have to see us unless she chooses.)  Go Horned Frogs!!!

Can you feel the Pride?

Madeline's Pride cheer team competed in the NCA Championships this weekend so I came to Dallas for the weekend to watch.  They have been working very hard over the the past 2 months to get ready.  Unfortunately, the team did not place well and I can't figure out exactly how they score these things.  They seemed to do really well in comparison to the other teams but there must be more to it than I know.  Anyway, Madeline was disappointed but she performed very well personally and now she can look forward to trying out for TCU cheer!

Madeline with "poof" and performance makeup

During performance:

Madeline and Austin with the cows outside the Convention Center:

There are lots of crazy, enthusiastic cheer parents out there and as you can imagine most of them are moms but I could resist getting of photo of this dedicated dad.  But, notice he's keeping himself occupied with his phone:

Winter Formal

Not only did I get to see Madeline's cheer competition this weekend but I also got to see her off for Winter Formal.  I got to play the in-person parent rule and worry about curfews and after-dance plans and appropriate behavior (not that I don't worry about these things all the time but they are hard to enforce over the phone.)  Madeline had just enough time to shower and dress after competition and get to her friend's house for pictures.  I went along to get photos of the whole group.  She looked very nice (and so did Austin!)

Now check out these shoes - Madeline's are the multi-colored.  All the girls had on similar heels.  I don't think  there is any way they kept those on all night.

Almaty's Got Talent

Because Frank and I were going to be out of town separately over the next month we realized that we wouldn't all be together again until Spring Break mid-March.  So, we had a family night at home last weekend. Marcy planned a talent show and we all had to sign up for a time slot (Olivia was let off the hook - her talent was working on the science fair in her room.)

Marcy performed a dance choreographed by her and her friends for PE class and she gave an ice skating info session/demonstration.

Frank did a juggling demonstration with the help of Chinook who put Frank's skills to the test by trying to steal the golf balls while he juggled.

I performed the only demonstrable talent that I have and gave a dramatic reading of "If You Give Cat a Cookie" (I think that is the right one!)

Emily gave a soccer info session/demonstration and played "Oh, Canada" on the trumpet.  Frank was patriotic and stood for the anthem (and was even wearing his Canada shirt) but that just messed Emily up.  It's hard to play the trumpet if you are laughing.

To finish off the event there was an open dance party.  We are all open for talent bookings should you need entertainers for your next event!

Correction:  Emily has informed me that I read the book "If You Give a Cat a Cupcake." The cookie one features a mouse.  She was appalled that a librarian could make such a mistake, but truthfully, I believe those titles have been over done. My apologies, none the less.

Snow much fun!

We have had a pretty cold winter in Kazakhstan this year (although the worst of the cold was over Christmas break and I missed it - Yeah!)  Last year it would snow and melt, snow and melt but this year it snowed and stayed, and snowed more and stayed.  A couple weeks ago it looked like the big melt was happening so Emily and Marcy got outside to build snowmen before it was all gone.

Lots of snow did melt in just a few days but then we got another dumping of a good foot or more and the snowmen look like two steep peaked hills in the backyard.  Hopefully March will bring warm weather and an end of winter.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Character Day

Can't believe it's been a whole year since last character day at AIS.  We are celebrating Literacy Month again and Friday the girls got to go to school as a book character.

Marcy dressed as Pippi Longstocking

Emily as Clementine

And Olivia as "Olivia"
(she even let me take her picture)

I don't work on Fridays so no costume for me this year.  But, I did go to school for the costume parade and stopped at the library to get a picture of fellow librarian Yuliya dressed as Tacky the Penguin:

Those are Frank's shorts, by the way.  He's never worn them but swears that he will wear them on the golf course as soon as it is warm enough.  He wasn't the least bit offended by the fact that I lent them out as part of a tacky costume.  I have my doubts about whether they will ever be seen on the golf course.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ice Skating Fashion

Marcy got three new skating outfits for Christmas.  She loves to dress up in sparkles and sequins for skating lessons.  Before she only had a leotard/skirt, more ballet than skating.  We've had a little trouble getting her consistent lessons since we returned from break (her teacher went to Austria for competition and not too many others speak enough English.)  But, she has had an opportunity to wear each one.  Here she is in her favorite:

I didn't get photos of the others but they are equally as fashionable!

Disco Fever

Emily attended the AIS middle school Valentine's Dance on Friday.  If you haven't seen the photo posted on Facebook then you can check it out here.  (I did not take this photo!  I did not even look into the cafeteria where the dance was taking place.  The photo was taken by the sister of her dance partner and posted by the sister's friend.  Emily is friend's with these girls because she is in their math class and they played soccer together.)

Emily and Philip
(and he's Canadian!)
Frank was pretty happy with the distance maintained.  Most stunned may be Madeline who is constantly telling Emily that she should dress nicer and pay more attention to how she looks instead of being a tom-boy all the time.  But, maybe at this age the boys feel more comfortable with a girl who can compete on the soccer field.