Sunday, October 28, 2012


When we bought this house 10 years ago there were soooooo many things that needed to be fixed. There were holes in the walls, several layers of awful wallpaper, disgusting carpet, painted crown moulding etc.  Little by little we've tackled projects.  Brian decided to pull the carpet off of the stairs.  It was a good move, but necessitated the painting and staining of the stairs. The stain on all of the wood in our house is sadly outdated. So in one weekend Brian sanded, and started painting the stairs.
Which definitely helped make them better, now we are working on the staining of the stairs.... which is a complicated process when you have 4 kids and 3 dogs who use them a LOT.
It also led to a second project.  More initiated by myself..... the dreaded popcorn ceiling.  I hate them all and would love the entryway to just have a beautiful flat ceiling.... but we haven't done that before. SOOOOO
why not start with the peeling ceiling in my bathroom that no one but Brian and I will see?  So I got the ladder, and found out that I LOVE scraping the ceiling (but don't love the carpal tunnel that followed).  After we finish the stairs, we'll have to spackle, sand and paint the bathroom ceiling, and IF we love it, I'll have to take on that entryway (and by I, I really mean I'll scrape and Brian can do the rest of the stuff).  THEN I'm taking on the awful brass light, and painting the hall dresser a dark black.... and eventually redoing the awful white tile that someone in the late 80's thought was cool.
Doesn't this look better? Okay, not yet.

Cheer Competition

It's that time of year again.  Big Al spends her fall weekends with her high school cheer squad. 

This year she was pulled up to Varsity when someone moved, so she has spent a lot of time trying to catch up.  

I must admit to watching most of the stunting while holding my breath.  I'm constantly waiting for her to be caught or land safely.  We make sure one of us is there in case she falls and is injured. 

Overall the team is dealing with a lot of injuries, so we'll see how the rest of the season goes. 

As long as she is enjoying herself (and maintaining our standard for grades) I have no problems with her choosing to do this..... although it is definitely nerve racking.

After the Tour

After watching the Tour of Champions we went to The Cheesecake Factory. It is a total CRIME that we don't have one in our city, but we don't..... so when we head for Charlotte we try to swing by.  It didn't matter that it was already close to 10:00 at night, and we still had to drive an hour and a half home..... it was CHEESECAKE FACTORY.

While waiting for our order, the girls got VERY silly. Big Al was the total ringleader - duck lips

Three out of four with their duck lips.  T-Rex was trying her "unimpressed McKayla" face (if you haven't seen all of those pics, you should google it, they are super funny).

T-Rex ordered Caramel cheesecake, Big Al got Red Velvet.

Cheesie took on the Tuxedo cheesecake, while Blondie stuck with the tried and true Hershey's chocolate.  My personal favorite is the Snickers. 

SOMEBODY in the group eats these microscopic bites of food which drives us crazy.  She didn't want to be identified however.  I keep telling myself it's because she wants to be a chef..... but she may just be very strange. 

Big Al with her "unimpressed McKayla" look. 
I love hanging out with the girls and now that everyone can handle later nights, the fun is really beginning.

Tour of Champions

My girls, like many others in America, spent a lot of time watching the gymnastics competitions during the Olympics.  While in Charlotte for a Lego store trip, we saw an ad for a Tour of Champions.  I bought tickets, and Friday night all four girls and I went.

We were so excited to see the girls come out and had high expectations for the performances.  We noticed pretty quickly that Mckayla was missing. We were bummed, but we still had the others, right?

We watched the girls work that bar and it was nice, but it was Olympic"ish."  There was a lot more emphasis put on the SHOW. 


 Pretty early on I realized that this wasn't going to fully meet my expectations. There was this odd little dance that involved almost zero tumbling....
BUT then here came the men to do their pommel horse type routines.  Nice, but also very objectifying when they all took off their jackets in a very Magic Mike type moment. They did do a great routine on the bars, and the high bar.  I was too mesmerized to take many pictures though.  I was not happy with their rings routine, but mostly because the show producers had the young women (Gabby, Allie, Jordan, etc) posed around them for no purpose whatsoever, and I'm trying not to have my daughters think that women are props. 

Then Jordan came out and did her floor routine (or a version of it) for us.  I loved watching the ease at which she can perform. 

Then Allie amazed us.

All four of them came out and performed on the beam. The lighting was so dark though it made it difficult to focus on any one girl.  I also left out the pictures of the lady hanging in the white silks.  She may have been part of the Olympics, but  it wasn't grabbing me.

THEN THERE WAS GABBY.  Thank goodness.  She also performed her floor routine, to a bunch of cheering little girls.  I wish there was more of her doing her THING, but it all seemed pretty short.
I left out many parts of this show because they also included rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline (which was awesome) and the silks lady, there was partner rhythmic gymnasts (which reminded me of Cirque) and a dance couple.  Nastia Liuken was on the floor as well, but tended to do other things. I was hoping she would do her tumbling as well, but maybe she has retired from that sort of thing.

At the end we watched them pose these strong young women in the Olympic rings, and spin them around a few times. The young men were objectified in the same way, but at least they got to show their strength by pushing off of the rings and hanging. 

Grand finale:  the men come out for their bow.

Then the women, do you see Mckayla?  She has a full left leg brace on, as well as a boot on her right leg.  Poor kid. Hope she can heal quickly. 

AND YESSSSSS!  She was making the face.  I wasn't impressed with the show either Makayla.