Camp Serve, and no it’s not for volleyball!

Hannah at Volleyball camp, not Camp Serve but I did not have pictures of the serving!

This week Hannah is at CAMP SERVE through our Church. Many of the local Evagelical Churches got together to offer this for tweens. Each day, they gather in teams of kids from each Church. The early morning is fellowship, Bible Study, games and some fun. Then they head off for a service project!! Hannah was not at all excited about this camp. She asked me no fewer than 8 times if a) Camp Serve was really another volleyball camp – um, no or b) if Camp Serve couldn’t be traded in for gymnastics camp. Um, no. Monday they cleaned the yard of a homebound elderly woman. It required scooping rotting leaves from gutters, digging out kitty poo from the window wells where apparently kitty goes, pulling buckets of weeds, etc. Hannah said at the end, the nice little old lady came out and was so grateful and appreciative. Her hands shook as she told the kids “thank you thank you thank you if you had not done this, I could not have stayed here – my neighbors were upset my yard was in such disrepair”. Tuesday they made baby packets for unwed teen Moms but this project was done WITH folks in a nursing home! Now Hannah is bounding out of bed – excited to see what that day will bring. Service feels good and it’s addictive. I’m delighted she is spending a week devoting some serious time to others. Good stuff.

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72 costume pieces unpacked, cleaned up and packed for next week….

One of Hannah's dance numbers....

Another competition down… Showbiz is done! It ran Thursday through Sunday at the Convention Center. Long weekend, but Showbiz is a fun one for sure. We get the best of the best for competition around here and it’s worth the money, stress and drive to be here every year. Our studio did very well, some numbers we were left scratching our heads why they didn’t take it all, some numbers we knew quite exactly why we did not take it all and our big A line numbers we were delighted to see them sweep it all a few times. To use academics as a metaphor…you want to get an A on your dance and then you want to get the highest scoring A in the class. Showbiz is a well run event, large private dressing rooms for each school, we are allowed access to all the nooks and cranny spots on our floor for the teams to practice, food is readily available, a small mall of merchandize is just waiting for your debit card to blow through, huge stages, cavernous back stage/prop area and nice video and still shots of your groups available instantly to purchase.

Zack’s numbers scored personal bests – two high golds, two platinums. Trophies run from gold — lowest, high gold — middle of the road, platinum – the best you can earn. Then you also want HIGH SCORE which means YOUR Platinum has the highest score behind it. Zack’s line never takes it all but to even be in firing range of taking some of it, is rewarding for them. Hannah’s line is a solid B line in a very A line competition. They danced their hearts out, and scored well, but not great. All high golds, no high scores (you can still get high score of the day – even with a gold – if you were THE highest scoring number). No changing that till she upgrades her line. Becca’s line earned all high golds but being 1st graders, they were de-light-ed!!!! She came running off the stage after awards gushing, “Mom we got trophies for EVERYTHING and wait – we also got PINS!!!” Then I bought her ice cream. Only Santa’s surprise arrival could have topped that moment.

Luke was able to avoid the Convention Center and the dance competition ENTIRELY this weekend which was truly amazing and a mini Christmas for him in effect. He is currently at a hockey game where he is trying his hand at GOALIE. Yikes. Goalie is tough – no one remembers you were shot on 100 times and you blocked 97 shots. They only remember the three shot that got through you, which better be one less shot than we got past THEIR goalie or it’s all…your…fault.

Hubby is HOME! He landed on Friday night and I saw him late Friday night, and then again late Saturday night! We have not had much time to visit today but we are going to out to dinner later. Oh la la fun for us. He was a SUPER TROOPER and basically ran the entire Scouting for Food Drive on Saturday going into the event with a few texts from me sent as direction. Not only was it structured differently this year, it also was a nice freezing downpour. Soooo, this required him to move the event from our city to a pavilion in our twin city and do this an hour before the event started. I won’t bore you with the details but let’s just say it was a fine welcome home to you!!!! Despite the rain, we still collected a half ton of food which although far down from last year’s total, was a half ton more than the food shelf had that morning!

Now, I’m off to continue my life of never ending glamour. I’m going to put on my beat up old Birkenstocks and go outside to start the inaugural post winter doggy do clean up event. I can see Becca out the window, playing with about 8 cul de sac boys…this neighborhood is skewed oh about 7 boys for every girl. The girls have learned to play tough and fast or play alone. Who knows how demure Becca might have been if the ratios here were reversed. Guess we’ll never know.

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My freakish love of dance competition season….

Today begins day one of Showbiz dance competition downtown. All three of my dancing kids are competing…three of the four days. Luke has been spared the double digit hours of viewing thanks to a returned from snowbirding Grandpa P. and Luke’s own hockey game. Whew, you can hear his relief. :) Today though, I was needed here, so Grandma B. took Zack in for competition. Tonight was only one number for him – a really fun and funky tap number to an old 80’s hit song. This is a violin/techno dance remix, but I actually competed to this song back when it was a just released hit climbing up Casey Casem’s 1980 something Billboard Top 100. The more things change…the more they stay the same…

Funny what winds one person’s watch, busts the springs on another. I am a mild freak. I do so love dance competitions. Yah, there I said it. I know they are stressful and tense and expensive and time consuming and all to receive a highly subjective score on what is more a sport than a fine art but yet is judged as the latter. STILL – I love it. I love the excitement, I love the energy, I love the thumping music, the crowds, busting a button with pride seeing your kiddos on stage, seeing all the amazing students from our studio being rock stars on stage. I love it ALL! I love the Maui Waui’s, I love the hot pretzels, I love the stale popcorn. I love the overpriced, poor quality merchandise that we buy anyway for the pride of wearing “I competed here” dance logo wear. And I truly love our competition’s pieces. In fact there were a few numbers at our recent competition – Hall of Fame – where I do think my jaw hung open. Literally hung open. It was that good. They had me hook, line and sinker. We have a few of those as well and some went tonight – can’t wait to hear how they scored.

Otherwise I’m home staging for the big Scout Food Drive on Saturday. I chair this event but every year it falls on Showbiz weekend so Hubby steps in and does all the actual work on the food drive day. I just get all the credit. Pretty swell system for me huh? Although if he had to choose between helping collect, weigh, box, transport and unload 2400 pounds of food or managing 74 costume pieces for 16 numbers with 5 hair changes that involve double inverted french braids into pouf buns…I can say unequivocally he’ll take the food drive – every year – hands down. :)

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The itsy bitsy goal…

Just tonight, I was leading a group of young men in goal planning. Ranging in age from tween to almost voting age, I was attempting to motivate these young men to see the value in goal planning. My how I preached. “Write your goals down!” I bellowed as though I alone understood a written goal is a goal with a pulse.
I asked them for examples of goals they had and what they had written down as the baby steps to achieve their goals. Most boys stated “finish drivers ed” and “getting a car’ as their long term goal. The steps included such shockers as “finishing driver’s ed” and “saving up for and buying a car’. When queried HOW they would save up for this vehicle, I was met with answers such as “babysit”, “ask my Dad for money, er I mean a loan” and “grade money”. Later as I reflected on the obvious flaws in their plans, I realized I am guilty of this two step big picture planning as well. I want something, I think, “I want that and boy do I feel strongly about wanting that” and I somehow think that constitues step one in the aquisition process. Um, no. I am going to challenge myself to break down my own goals into actual, possible, reasonable steps. Goal #1….launch my new career…. stay tuned.

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