Thursday, May 20, 2010

The weekend's activities

This weekend was rather busy for Kate.  Saturday morning she had a soccer game, which Grandma and Grandpa Louagie came down to see.  She was super excited, and she scored her 4th goal of the season.  There was much rejoicing.  There are a couple of kids on her team (on in particular) who probably score 4 goals per game, but while Kate tries hard, she's not quite as fast or aggressive as a couple of the other kids.

Kate really seems to like soccer, so I'm often torn on what to do.  Around here in Cincinnati, you kind of have to commit to soccer early (like now for Kate) if you want to play in high school.  I always think I would have been pretty good at soccer had my parents started me playing early.  I grew up in Cleveland and it's just like Cincinnati - you have to start soccer early.  My parents were both from rural Illinois and soccer never crossed their radar when I was little.  No blame, just curiosity of what might have been, I guess.

This is Kate's 2nd year playing (spring only), and the second year that she's had the same coaches - her friend's dad is head coach and Mark is assistant coach.  I love it because I don't have to hang out at practice the whole time since Mark is there anyway!  But I have a feeling this is the end of Mark's coaching career, should Kate move on.

What I did do for many years growing up was dance.  I started at about 7 or 8 and danced all the way until I graduated.  I LOVED it.  Now, God did not grant me a professional dancer's body.  I'm way to, um, top heavy.  But I still enjoy dancing pretty much any way I can.  And of course I married a man who doesn't dance.  Go figure.

We enrolled Kate in a ballet/jazz combo class this year.  It was her first dance experience and she loved it.  The studio is run by a woman who used to volunteer in the kids ministry at our church, so I loved supporting someone I know.  It's a "ballet-focused" studio - all dancers are required to take a ballet class, which I kind of like.  I think ballet is the backbone of good dancing.

This Sunday was Kate's "recital".  At her studio the youngest 2 levels don't participate in the large on-stage recital.  It's actually rather nice since the recital would be quite long for them to sit through and some kids (not Kate, I'm sure, Ms. Shy-as-a-Mac-Truck) might freeze up on stage.  They have several "mini-recitals" at the studio and 2-3 classes perform their dances for the parents.  It was CROWDED, but fun.  The only bummer was buying a $60 cheaply made costume for a recital at the studio.  Apparently some parents get upset if they can't pay $60 for a terribly made costume for their child (I'd love to know who they are so I can smack some sense into them).  I really wish they could have just had a simple skirt to go over their leotard or something that was more affordable.

Next year Kate is going to try a Ballet/Tap combo - can't wait for "tappy shoes" all over the kitchen for the first couple of weeks...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gatlinburg Retreat

This past weekend, we went on a retreat with other leaders from our church to Gatlinburg.  We LOVE our church - Four Corners Church - and this was a really fun weekend.  I lead the early childhood area of our kids ministry, and this was an opportunity for people to just hang out and relax and get to know each other better.  We stayed in a 14 bedroom cabin on the side of a hill, with the steepest driveway known to man - we have a manual transmission and the first time made the mistake of stopping at the bottom of the drive.  I kid you not it took us 3 attempts to get up the bottom part of the driveway and you could smell our clutch for at least a day afterwards.  Wow.

The other fun part to the trip is that on the 13th, Mark and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary.  We spent our honeymoon in Gatlinburg, and so coming back for the first time almost 10 years to the day with the family was pretty fun, and a reminder of just how much things have changed (for the good) in 10 years.  Mark even took Kate miniature golfing at the same place he and I went on our honeymoon. :)

Here are some highlights from the trip....

The view from the cabin balcony

The view inside the cabin - a.k.a the "Lodge-ball" arena.  Lodge-ball claimed the saddle on the cross beam, several lampshades from the chandelier and at least one chandelier light bulb.  All was back to normal when we left on Sat.

Kate playing one of many games of air hockey.

Claire just being her adorable self, sitting in a window.

Sunset from the cabin balcony on Thurs. night

Kate "swimming" in the hot tub (we turned it way down and a bunch of the kids had a blast in it).

"Bouldering" in the Greenbrier area of Smoky Mountain Nat'l Park

Kate at the TN/NC border sign - I took a picture of Mark at this sign almost 10 years to the day before this picture was taken, while we were in Gatlinburg on our honeymoon.  My how times have changed in 10 years.

My awesome family posed on "the biggest rock in the whole world" according to Kate.

Claire chowing down on some bread before we headed home on Sat.


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