New Dance Camp Videos

My phone ran out of memory while I was recording my daughter’s summer camp recital. When I realized that I missed the last 2 songs of the medley, I approached a kind looking man with a video camera and exchanged email addresses, hoping he might send me his footage. He did and it is way better quality than what I had anyway. Here are the 2 videos. (Because he was recording to capture his daughter, he left out the tap number in between these 2 segments)


My kids rode on a school bus for the first time last night…to see the local fireworks 🙂

We listened to a brass band for a bit and watched folks playing with light sticks before the fireworks began. We also munched on the popcorn and peanuts we brought.

The fireworks themselves were pretty darn cool. There were a bunch of shapes I had never seen before… Spirals, stars, circles, Pokeballs, even a cube! We had a good time.

Dance Camp

My daughter attended dance camp last week. For the final day, they put together a dance medley. I think the girls accomplished quite a bit in 4 days! Unfortunately… My phone ran out if memory while I was recording, so I missed her last two songs.

Here she is ready for camp each day:

She loved packing a lunch each day and getting to eat with the other girls.

She also liked waking up earlier.

Back to the Rain Forest part 1

In an effort to finish up our final theme for the school year, we did some Rain Forest things this past month.

We watched many videos on Discovery Streaming and on Netflix, including the Magic School Bus, a documentary on deep inside the Amazon Rain Forest, and others about different indigenous people and animals and the layers of the Rain Forest.

We visited the Rain Forest at the Cleveland Zoo to see the plants and animals up close. The kids played “Where’s Waldo” searching for the camouflaged animals. We got to see the many adaptations the plants use for living in very shallow soil and we got to ooh and ahh at the acrobatics of some of the animals.

The kids each picked a rain forest animal to take home (stuffed).

We bought a coloring book of animals to enjoy.

The kids made notes of some of the things they learned using the iPad app Notability.

We read some magazines and a choose your own adventure about the Rain Forest.

We looked at a jungle sticker book about plants and animals and picked out the ones we had seen at the zoo.

We made a Pandora Station to listen to some of the sounds of the rain forest. The kids liked the mixture of tribal singing with techno in this “Deep Forest” album.

Dance Recital

My daughter performed in a recital at the local theater with her hip hop class. She had a bit of stage fright the night before, but we talked through everything that could possibly go wrong and how it would be ok no matter what. Good thing we did as 3 of the 10 dancers didn’t make it, including the boy who was supposed to act goofy and get the others to leave the ballet line and join in with hip hop dance. Luckily one of the girls offered to fill in, the others switched their places around, and the show went on! She had a blast and is really excited that she will be going to a week of dance camp in June.

Guitar Stickers

When I was practicing on the guitar the other day, I decided to try to pick out a few simple melodies by ear. I figured out a few, learned a basic scale, and then had the idea to get out the kids’ songbooks we have. One came with our pipe xylophone and the other is the “Treasury of Children’s Songs”.

While looking at the songs, it occurred to me that I could use colored stickers on the guitar to help with learning the placement of all the notes. I made them the same colors as the xylophone music for ease of use. I plan on marking up copies of the sheet music for the other book.

I love the “Treasury…” book. We have used it many times over the years and we have a CD that goes along with it. In addition to the great songs, the book also contains great art. There is a work of art to accompany each selection. Some are oil paintings, embroidery, watercolor, and more.

It All Started With 50 Cents

The kids and I have been playing all day together and enjoying lots of new things. It started with 50 cents and a trip to the grocery store. Yesterday, my daughter and I went shopping for groceries together. While I was in the check out, she hit up the toy machines with the coins she brought. She got a few things including this plastic transformer that she gave to her brother. It was 50 cents.

This was super timing because he has just gotten into the old Transformers show on Netflix. It inspired him to look for his other transformer toys in his room.

While he was digging those out, he found an old plastic toy called a Crazy Bone. He used to get them at the toy store when he was little. This set us on a search for the other Crazy Bones. This was a big job because they were mixed into his big blue bin. It contains all the random toys, jewelry, found items, etc. that he has collected over the years. So…We dumped it out to search.

We found foreign coins.

We found dice.

And we found 6 Crazy Bones!

This led us online searching for how to play with them. There are lots of games resembling jacks, shuffleboard, marbles, and more. The kids and I tried out one where you bounce the Crazy Bones and try to get them to land inside an open box. They had such a great time, we headed to eBay to seek out a few more.

For a bit, we played with the random toys from the bin and then my daughter headed off with an idea and some found rubber bands…to create this:

It sounded pretty good. Then she asked for J’s guitar. We had been looking into getting her one for her birthday, so it seemed like a good time to try it out. I had been checking out a few guitar books on Amazon for her, so I was able to flip right to some chords and showed her how to read the charts. We both liked it although J’s guitar is a heavy beast! My son came in and played too 🙂

Then it was back to Crazy Bones for a sliding game called “on the line”. You take turns sliding and try to end on the line or closest to it. We made up rules that on the line was 2 points, closest was 1 point, play to 10 points.

Time for dinner. Hopefully our evening will be just as fun!

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

We went to the TBO show today with J’s sister, his mom and dad, and some family friends 🙂

The first half moved a bit slowly and the seats in the stadium were definitely not sized to fit me, but by the second half, I really enjoyed the show. You can win a lot of brownie points with fire and lasers, LOL…

Afterward, J. and I went out to eat at the Ritz while my dad and Anne still had the kids (and were enjoying a lovely dinner at McD’s).

It was nice to dress up and go out as a couple again. It has been awhile. It occured to me that while J.’s company was having work parties every December, I always bought a new dress to wear. Wearing this dress I bought 3 years ago pointed out the fact that the work parties were basically my reason for buying dressy clothes. I will probably need to do something about it in the future as it seems the parties are gone for good.