Sunday, March 27, 2011

Violin competition

T-Rex participated in a competition with her orchestra class. The students played two pieces and were judged.

When we arrived at the high school hosting the competition we could hear her class warming up. What thrilled me was that the teacher wasn't leading them, the kids were doing it themselves. I love when students are independently motivated.

Kids were standing all around the art room in small groups playing together, with some reminding all of them to slow down, and watch the tempo. Every now and then the teacher would interject something, but I was very pleased that the students were motivated to do it themselves.

We don't know the final results yet, but in listening to a few other schools they sounded very good for first year orchestra students.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve

Yesterday was a lovely day in the low 80's, so we packed up our kids, added a friend, printed off some letterboxing clues, and went hiking.

Ready to go!

Sometimes even the drive to someplace fun is tiring by itself.

This is peachtree rock. It has been standing since this part of the state was actually the beach. There is a LOT of sand in this area, and a lot of pinetree forests (like this one). Unfortunately people are dumb and have carved up this rock with their initials so there is a big rope around it urging people to stay back. The interesting thing was all of the worm holes found in the rock. Just below the rock was a wall of rocks and boulders that had a small waterfall and stream coming from it. The girls were looking for the first of two letterboxes in this area, but it appears to have been taken. There was a lot to climb on, and explore, and even Blondie was up for climbing the boulders. They went up to the top of the ledge and played at the top of the waterfall, and got as far under the rock wall as they could as well. The picture below shows some of the natural holes found in the rocks. We didn't find any fossils, but I don't think the girls were looking too hard. They were busy running around and climbing.

Big Al found this tree to climb.

Above are Big Al and Cheesie under the waterfall. Cheesie was doing a lot of posing for her dad, and was game for anything. Big Al was a little more cautious about possibly slipping on the rocks. T-Rex and "S" found a big bullfrog under the ledge of this wall that they were trying to figure out how to catch. Sadly, there was a lot of trash under there too - I really wish people took care of our parks. Below is T-Rex at the top of the waterfall.

We eventually found the rock and tree mentioned in the letterbox clue, but the box was gone. The girls didn't mind though because the rocks, waterfall and stream were a lot of fun to explore. Since there was still a second letterbox to find we set off to find little peachtree rock. Unfortunately the trails are a little confusing so we didn't find it.... instead...

we ended up on a ridge of very white sand. In case you didn't realize it, very white sand reflects very warm sun quite well, and the girls found the tiniest sliver of shade.

After the very white, HOT sand the girls were pooped. Even though we didn't find the second letter box they were ready to go, and it was still a ways to hike back. I think all snacks and most water was consumed by the time we got home.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Opening Night

Brian and my Mom submitted about 13 photographs each for the Photofabulous show in another town. Brian, Mom and the 3 youngest went ahead of me to spend a couple hours. I picked up Big Al from the regional science fair and made it for the last 40 minutes or so.

Brian received two third place ribbons from the judges. One pick was the portrait of Cheesie blowing bubbles (on his left) and the other was the flamingo picture in the upper left corner.

Mom won the most ribbons of anyone in the show - She received 3 first place ribbons (fashion, aquatic and still life), a third place (fashion) and an honorable mention for abstract. We are all thrilled for her.

Cheesie thought everyone should take a picture of her standing next to her "winning" photograph. She looked around and saw that there was a youth division, and was mad that she didn't know so she could enter. She's pretty sure she will rock it next time (very high self-esteem with this one).

Blondie got tired of grazing the food table and found that there was a lot of standing around mingling so she sat on the stairs for a bit. All of the girls found one photographer that they loved - he used women dressed as modern versions of fairy tales and put them in the setting of those fairy tales. Cheesie wanted to buy one, but sadly they weren't for sale.
Overall a nice evening and very proud of Brian and my Mom.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fencing Tournament

Today was T-Rex's first fencing tournament. It was divided into age groups, but kids of all skill groups fenced against each other. She is still a very beginner, but ended up with 7th place and a medal.

So here is what we learned:

First you have to put on your oompa loompa overalls (knickers)...... which you pair up with tall socks (a lot of the girls went for the flashy colors) and of course, the converse you don't leave the house without wearing.
You are placed into two pools of contestants and fence against everyone in your pool for round 1....OH, and girls and boys compete against each other equally (which I happen to like). T-Rex won the above bout, and lost the bottom bout. The boy below won 3rd place and definitely had more experience. Then you wait while they shuffle the two pools, and you chat with your friend and neighbor, "S."

Then you fence in bout number two, and wait around for scores. When scores are posted the finalists fence it out for 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Then its time for awards. The girl in pink socks won the tournament from Augusta, and the ninth place finisher left before awards.

Blondie could have participated in the afternoon group, but we chose not to let her fence because she had cried a couple days before when T-Rex beat her in class. So until we can display proper sportsmanship we'll watch from the stands. T-Rex learned a lot from the competitors with more experience and we'll see how that helps her in practice.


Looking at the date I am shocked that I haven't posted in a month. We've celebrated T-Rex's birthday, watched Blondie meet some challenges, and so many more things. I started this to document our activities for family, but just haven't been feeling the desire to sit down and write at night after our daily grind. I think I'm back on track now, and should be up to my random reportings later today.

So for the last month we:

... went ice skating with the cadette girl scouts. Big Al and the others had a great time. T-Rex tried to overcome her fear of skating, and skated about a fourth of the way around the rink, but then bowed out and could do no more. We were very proud of her for trying anyway.
...took the Brownies to the Children's Theater play of Alice in Wonderland (which turned out to actually be a version of Through the Looking Glass). They all had a great time and loved the cast.
...sold a ton of girl scout cookies with both troops. This was Blondie and Cheesie's first experience doing a booth (didn't really want to do it with Brownies before, but I have a super group of kids and parents who were up for the challenge). Blondie was a CHAMP at dancing in the costume we borrowed for the weekend ..... Cheesie didn't want folks looking at her.
.... celebrated T-Rex's 12th birthday with friends and a sleepover.
Missed? Big Al's trip to Williamsburg - took a camera, but forgot the memory card.
Coming up? T-Rex has a fencing tournament today, and Brian and my Mom are getting ready for a photography show next week and we are looking forward to the opening night party.