January 3, 2016

Winter Break 2015

It feels like we fit in a year's worth of fun into two short weeks of winter break. From decking the halls to skiing the hills, our minds are filled with a flurry of memories. We cut the tree, braved a storm, welcomed friends and family, baked cookies, rode a train of lights, cooked a traditional Christmas dinner, visited cousins, celebrated the New Year (via Squaw Valley Torchlight Parade!), and discovered new backcountry on our favorite mountain. Now my feet are up, and I'm already missing 2015. It was a fantastic year!

December 16, 2015

Nutcracker: Behind The Scenes

A major highlight of this holiday season was participating in our local production of the Nutcracker. My youngest daughter had two roles. She was the youngest dancer in the opening party scene, and she was also the mini-shepardess in the variation scenes. Parents were required to volunteer, and my role as chairperson of production was to oversee set up and tear down. The floor, also known as the Marley, was taped down tightly across the stage. The backdrops were hung with shoe-tie knots for easy release after the production. Stage hands used weights and pulleys to manage each scene of the ballet. Everything, inside and out, was just magic. Thank you, Ballet America, for motivating dancers throughout the years.

December 1, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Our trip to visit family in Southern California this Thanksgiving was a blast. Spending time with my husband while "Nana" had the girls was an added bonus. After turkey and fixings in Ventura, we continued to Goleta for a cousin visit. Up in the hills of Santa Barbara is a natural rock playground called Lizard's Mouth. A stunning ocean view greets you after scrambling boulder upon boulder. The setting is simply fantastic for kids and families (as long as kids are careful!). The kids also enjoyed putting on theater performances for the grownups. P.S. If you ever happen to be near Goleta, don't miss the butterfly grove

November 30, 2015

Ballet 2015

So much of this year's ballet experience has been focused on 1) making Basic 3 dance level, and 2) participating in the annual Nutcracker ballet. In fact, my daughter has been talking about Nutcracker for an entire year, starting the very day after last year's Nutcracker ended! She has accomplished so many of her goals, and dances happily at all classes and rehearsals. We are more excited than ever for this year's upcoming performance. Congratulations to our "party-girl and mini-shepardess".

November 14, 2015

AYSO Youth Referee

I really enjoyed watching my daughter volunteer as an AYSO Youth Referee this soccer season. In addition to her regular U14 team commitments, she also took certification training for the U8 and U10 leagues. Many of her Saturdays involved a referee match in addition to her own game. Aside from the cool uniform, she gained more knowledge about the rules of the game, and asserted leadership skills while making calls and providing the younger players with direction. My favorite part was watching her interact with the adult referees at half time to review how the games were going - just like a true professional!