Saturday, January 31, 2009
They came in 9th place in the nation but didn't make the finals by one point. Gracie still sounded very excited about it regardless of their placement. They plan to spend the next two days just having fun at Disney World.
We are very proud of you Grace, as well as all you other girls that we have come to know over the last 6 months. You guys are AWESOME. Go Cedar!!!
Type Cedar in the search bar and it will take you right to their routines:
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.
Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight. WHY?
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
My Gracie gave me a big hug and didn't let go for a long time. She sobbed on my shoulder, which made me start to cry. We were a mess.
I stayed until the bus drove out of sight, waving and giving Grace a thumbs up. She blew me kisses as the tears rolled down her cheeks.
On my drive home I got the sweetest text from her. It is kinda for "everyone" so I decided to put it on my blog where ya'll can read it for yourself:
"My heart is hurting. I love you guys soooo much. I can't stop crying. I love you. Tell everyone I love them, I mean EVERYBODY. <3333" ~Grace We love you too, Sweetheart and are so very proud of all your hard work. Kisses and Hugs.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
....and finally we can see his eyes. Thanks for being such a good sport, Josh. haha
Monday, January 26, 2009
Oh, my! We had such a good time tonight as a few families from church gathered at the Armstrongs for some time of fellowship. While the guys competed in all kinds of sports on the Wii, we girls decided to play a board game. None of us had ever played this particular game before but Lindsey had heard about it somewhere and we were all anxious to try it. The game is called "Would You Rather" and is suppose to be a good way to get to know each other. Let me add here...it most definitely did that! haha. I have not laughed so hard in months. My favorite part of the game was when sweet, sophisticated Lindsey had to keep two lil smokies up her nose for an entire turn in order to win the game. She ended up losing one of them so the game continued. When it came to my turn for the win, I had to interpret a cat stalking and pouncing on it's prey for a full 60 seconds. It was either that or let the other players write "GOOF" on my forehead with lipstick while I held my mouth open as wide as I could for an entire turn. I chose to be a cat over the "GOOF" but really, isn't acting like a cat in front of all my friends a pretty "goofy" thing to do as well? haha. We used Jacob's Elmo for the prey...Jacob decided to come save Elmo from the big mean kitty. haha! Be sure to watch the videos at the bottom of my post for a good laugh.
Lindsey goes for the WIN with Lil Smokies up her nose!
Here's my interpretation of a cat...which won the game :D
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Cedar Heights Junior High's winning dance team is about fun, hard work and building character.
Tough and Graceful
During a recent practice session at Cedar Heights Junior High in Port Orchard, a group of about two dozen girls jumped and swirled while listening to their coach: “Five-six-seven-eight, hit one, hit two, hit three …”
The coach, Kathryn “Kate” Grieve, reminded the girls about the position of their toes, legs, arms, heads etc. as they practiced their routine, piece by piece. Now and then she’d make comments like “Christmas tree” and “Where is your head?”— or give out praises.
The routines look like a mix between studio dancing and cheerleading — but they are not an ordinary choreographed expression through music and movement. Each routine is like a two-minute sprint session, according to Grieve, and these young ladies need good body and arm strength to be successful. An expectation is, in fact, that the dancers are at the top in their physical education class.
“It’s hard work. I love proving to people it’s a sport,” said Kayleigh Vetten, a freshman who’s been with the team since eighth-grade and is co-captain this year.
The team, — currently consisting only of girls, grades seventh through nine, practices close to seven hours a week — and that doesn’t include the mandatory regular one-mile runs with the students who need to make up PE, or the bi-monthly competitions during the season.
“It takes stamina, strength and physical fitness,” said Grieve, who started gymnastics and cheerleading at a young age and continued on through high school and college in a dance team.
To be selected for the team, students not only have to learn a routine for auditions but also must have at least a 3.5 grade-point average, have good attendance and a good discipline report. “For my team to be successful, I need to have not only great dancers, they also have to be great citizens,” Grieve said.
Good citizenship, in fact, is part of the team’s goal. The group is involved in community service projects regularly. They also hold a study hall every week, and are expected to be “above and beyond” the average student.
“I like that this teaches them life lessons. It’s not about the dances they’ll learn, it’s about the skills they’ll learn,” Grieve said.
That is the main aspect that attracted ninth grader Tamika Tiller, whose older sister also was on a team in junior high. “She said she learned a lot of life lessons and it pushed her toward her dream,” Tiller said. She, too, is learning how to better communicate, take criticism and even be patient.
The team performs at halftime during football games at the school and other athletic events. Last year, it changed the name from drill team to dance team — to better reflect the trend of gravitating toward studio-style dancing. This year, the officers — three captains and three co-captains — even selected a more lyrical routine.
Grieve’s high expectations for her team have been paying off. Cedar Heights frequently places well at competitions, including several first and second places this school year. On Jan. 29, the girls will leave for Orlando, Fla., to compete in the Universal Dance Association’s National Dance Team Championship. It’s the team’s fourth year of going to nationals, and they are one of two junior highs competing from Washington state — the other is John Sedgwick JH from the South Kitsap School District.
The prestigious event will be televised on ESPN, and participating shows the dancers “they’ve accomplished a lot,” Grieve said.
Part of their success, Grieve said, is a group of “fantastic parents” and the district staff who support the team and are just as dedicated as the dancers. “It takes every single one of us to make it successful, and also keep it fun,” she said.
The team is a good fit for the girls who are highly competitive, including ninth-grader Hannah Lawrence, one of the three captains. Having never danced before, Lawrence didn’t think she would make the team, but worked really hard for the tryouts, she said. The team is like a family, she said.
“I love to perform. You get this adrenaline rush — you’re the center of attention,” she said. “People are watching you, and you are doing what you love. It’s a lot of pressure, too, you have to put everything out there, your heart and soul.”
Now don't you be laughing at my BIG bow and clothes. That was COOL back in the 80's. haha
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Help me to give the best response when I'm pushed beyond my limits.
I know that when I can't pray, You listen to my heart.
I believe that You can change people and that prayer can change things.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Stretching before the performance.