Monday, December 17, 2012

How Sweet It Is

I am talking about the Land of the Sweets in which Clara visits during the second Act of the Nutcracker.  My first time ever seeing this Christmas time ballet was with Anna last year in Ohio.  From that moment on, all she ever talked about when it came to ballet was performing in the Nutcracker sometime...being one of those kids on stage. Upon our move to Virginia, we became very blessed to stumble upon a ballet school associated with a real ballet company that puts on a professional performance of the Nutcracker. Anna went through the auditions and a little girl's dream came true when she was selected to be a "bon bon" to come out of Mother Ginger's skirt in the Land of the Sweets.  It was many many hours of practice, a week of late night dress rehearsals, 7 performances over 2 weekends, learning how to do make-up and real ballet buns, confrontations with "dance moms", hours of volunteering, but is was all worth it to see her light up during her 5 minutes on stage. Here are some clips of my sweet bon bon (honestly I don't even know what a bon bon is!)...

 Being silly with her cast mates. These girls truly built a camaraderie that I look forward to seeing continue in our time with the ballet school/company.

 The gang before heading on stage for their last performance.

 Anna and "Clara".  
One of Anna's most cherished possessions is an autographed point shoe signed by Clara that she actually wore.  Anna is dreaming of the day she earns point shoes and hopes to be "Clara" in the Nutcracker some day.

 Anna and the Sugar Plum Fairy. The girls were in absolute awe of her.

 Anna signing an autograph :)

The best bon bon ever! She cried the whole way home after the cast party last night.  She was so sad it was over. I guess we will be doing it again next year! Great job Anna! We are so proud of you and happy to share the joy of this experience with you.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Major Thorson

On November 2nd, Joel was promoted to a Major in the United States Air Force.  We have been waiting for this promotion for 18 months so are ecstatic that this day finally came!  10 years in, 4 states, 7 moves, 1 deployment...we have come through a lot to get to this point!  Joel is such a hard worker, and does an amazing job serving his country, providing for his family, and giving 100% at home being the best husband and father.  I am super proud to see him recognized for his achievement and the kids announced to the whole school why they were getting out early that day! A big thank you to friends and family who came out to support us that day and all those who support us with prayers.

 Pinning on Daddy's new rank

 Major Thorson being sworn in

Ugh, why do the kids never cooperate for these photos?!  At least Joel and I look good :).

Congratulations Major Thorson!  You are my hero.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Meet Finn

Finn McMissile Thorson is the newest Thorson in our household.  We adopted him over Thanksgiving break.  I have had the dog bug for awhile but Joel has been dragging his feet but when he saw this face he was in love along with the rest of us.  He is half dachshund, half chihuahua (a chiweenie", yes this is a real breed!).  He ways a whopping 3 lbs and probably won't get much bigger.  Our biggest hurdle is to have Josie see and treat him as a real dog and not a stuffed animal. It has greatly increased our work around house...I mean really it is like potty training another kid! But so far he has enriched our lives greatly. The kids are loving the energy and playfulness he brings and you just can't help but smile to see them all on the ground playing with him.  Or when he is asleep in Joel's slipper with his little head sticking out!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My American Girl

Her name is Anna.  She has more energy that me on my best day, loves to talk, dance, and sing.  She never stops doing cartwheels. She loves reading Junie B Jones.  She is outgoing and stubborn, and a natural leader.  We pray that she will grow in compassion and mercy and that the love of Jesus will shine from her heart. We are so blessed to have her in our lives.

She turned 7 on October 27!  All she wanted was to take her friends Caroline and Kay to the American Girl Doll store for brunch.  It was magical for her.  They have chairs for the dolls, and serve them little tea cups, and truly make the birthday girl feel special.  It was a great time. Then we came back to the house for cake and ice cream.

 Blowing out the candles on the requested chocolate chip cookie dough cake.

 Anna with good friends Caroline and Kay.

Anna and her doll Emily at brunch.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Fish Called Josie

Josie is an anomaly at swim lessons.  They took this video to post on their website.  Maybe there is something to being "from" Hawaii or maybe our family is just has swimming in their bones 
(thanks Dad!)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Costume Frenzy

Why is dressing up so fun?!  The kids have had their Halloween costumes picked out for awhile.  Then about 2 weeks ago we got invited to a costume party which meant Joel and I got to join in on the fun.  We visited every thrift store in the area trying to make our vision come true.  We were the neighborhood spectacle yesterday but it helped us get some good pictures.

 Mary Poppins and Bert

 Captain America and need to be scared with these 2 around!

 My peacock, Anna's 2nd favorite animal which she begged me to be.  This is the 1st costume I have ever made and I must say I am pretty proud of it!

Okay, so our little ladybug wasn't too happy to be snatched out of bed, dressed up, and made to take pictures.  She really did love running around in her tutu once she was more alert.  But for some reason I just love this picture of her crying!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Festival

Yes, my favorite time of year!  I love all things fall and this weekend we spent a whole afternoon at a fall festival!  The place may have been a little ghetto in my book but that didn't stop us from enjoying it to the max.  The kids were in heaven.

Pumpkin Painting

Unlimited hayrides involving a ride through the woods with some giant spiders and graveyards.

 A giant slide.  The kids loved riding with "cousin Alyson"!

 Even Uncle Pat and Aunt Priscilla got in on the fun!

 Yes, us too.  I had hay stuck in every inch of my body.

Asher "surfed" down.
The day ended with s'mores in our fire pit, "camping" in our tent with some neighbor friends (we all ended up sleeping in our own beds), and spider hunting in the nearby park (and yes, this is for real!).


Monday, September 17, 2012

Jesse's time to shine

Jesse had a busy week!  He FINALLY started preschool.  We have been talking about his school since we moved here.  I believe he was starting to think we made the whole thing up.  I could barely contain him on the 1st day.  We were 15 minutes early because he was just sitting in the van waiting to go! He loves his school and teacher and remembers new names of friends every day.
Imagine your best "Finding Nemo" voice..."1st day of school!  1st day of school!"

He also started playing soccer for the 1st time.  He is one of the smallest ones out there but he has the best attitude and has lots of fun! His team is the Screaming Eagles. As we are walking down the field he is waving to all these kids and I say "Are they on your team" and he says "No, I know them from school".  I guess we have another social butterfly on our hands!

 Watching Jesse's game...It was a little chilly at first.

The girls keeping warm.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Our Triathletes

Anna and Asher had recently told us they wanted to start doing "running races".  Yes, that made this mama proud!  But of course, I run a tight ship so I was encouraging them to get out and run or bike every day.  3 times around our block equals a mile so I would sit out and cheer them on, or Joel and I would trade off running with them.  We really did see them get better!  At first they would sprint and then walk, but then they learned to pace themselves, and pump their arms, and breath right and they were running the entire time and getting faster!  We caught wind of a kids triathlon and Asher was all over we trained and they got more excited.  Well, Anna got more nervous and sick over it but if Asher was going to do it, by golly she was determined! The race was this past Saturday and consisted of a 50 meter swim, 1 mile bike, and 1 mile run.

 Asher just finished his swim! He had this smile on his smile the entire time!

 Finishing up his 1 mile bike...yes smiling!

 Sprinting at the finish!  Asher way surpassed my expectations for him. He came in 1st in his heat at 17 min 22 seconds and  finished 3rd overall!  He won a $10 gift card to Dicks sporting goods and bought himself some "sporty" slip on sandals to wear on the swim deck at swim practice.

 Anna running into the transition area after her swim.  Her face was much more serious than Asher but she competed her little heart out!

 Ending the bike portion...she said this was her least favorite part.  Believe it or not, it took her longer to bike the 1 mile than it did to run it!

 She too sprinted at the end and finished in 22 min 57 seconds.  She was very sad she didn't place at the top and it took a lot of explaining for her to realize she was competing with 7 and 8 year olds. She eventually dealt with her sadness and was able to be happy with Asher and pleased with her accomplishment.

My triathletes!  Asher is hooked and says he wants to do more and more.  He had such a good time.  Anna maybe not as hooked but again, if Asher is on board, she wants to follow.  We are just super proud of how they challenged themselves and their attitudes.  Hopefully there will be some more races in our future!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A picking we will go

We went apple picking even though it isn't really fall yet. This was really hard for me since my idea of apple picking is jeans and long sleeves, hayrides, and apple cider...but 90 degree weather doesn't feel right for all those additions.  I guess due to the weather this summer, all produce is running 3 weeks ahead of schedule and because of my husband's obsession with Honey Crisp apples (which we have to get before the dissapear!), off we went.  It was a absolutely lovely time and now we have enough apples to last a lifetime!

 Hayride anyone?

 My pickers

 Um, my eater?

 Jesse was the master picker of the group.  I guess he just had the right perspective to see the apples and disappeared in the mass of leaves to go after his target.  He loved the challenge of finding the perfect ones.

 Asher loved the challenge of taste testing to pick his favorite (turns out to be Empires).

Storming the castle!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mommy's point of view

August has gone by in a whirlwind.  The kids started counting down the days left until school, and I think this Mommy was more excited than the kids for that day to come!  Things that were next to impossible with 4 could now start happening again like errands and doctor's appointments, and a Mommy Day Out :).

Josie was finally able to have her 18 month appointment which resulted in a shot.  A ring pop stopped the tears but here she is clutching that ring pop ready for an early nap I guess?  That shot wore her out!

I was very nervous for Jesse on Anna and Asher's first day of school. He doesn't start preschool until Sept. 10 and I feared lots of tears and tantrums as he watched them go off.  I plan to have something special for him every day, you know Mommy and Jesse time.  However, our 1st special day ended up like this when a fever popped up and the "throw ups".

After a few days though we were able to enjoy some of our special outings like to a animal park and carousel ride :).

Anna and Asher on their 1st day of 1st and 3rd grade.  So far they are LOVING it!  It is hard to get much info out of Asher but Anna sings me every song she learns in music, acts out the gym games, writes down the names of every friend she makes, and redoes her reactions to everything.  I am very excited about the teachers they each got...I think they are good fits and each will prosper in their respective classes.  We are extremely happy with the school system here! 3rd grade seems like a bit of a change, the homework load has increased and testing now occurs.  I am a bit nervous, we seem to be learning expectations right along with Asher but pray together with us, he will flourish.

 A true Mommy's day out!  That is me above in the orange jacket.  I got hooked up with some old sailing friends here and was able to crew on a 36 foot sailboat in a race on the Chesapeake. According to the skipper, I am welcome anytime now and hope to have more days like this! It was a wonderful day and I felt all the Mommy stresses melt away as we sailed out of the harbor.  I can't even put into words how wonderful this day was. It is so great to have sailing back in my life again! We came in 5th out of 32 boots so I think we did pretty amazing!

 My 1st time at the helm of a 36-footer.  I could barely see over the wheel!
Reuniting with my past sailing buddies and Wet Hens from Hawaii Sherrill and Donna.  Donna was our hook up for this amazing sailing adventure.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

So much to say...

Every year I feel July is the month where I get backed up with adventures and pictures to share.  I guess it makes since with birthdays and anniversaries and vacations.  I sat here wondering how to share all that has happened and just decided to do a quick run down with pictures and short explanations....not really how I like to do things (short) but it is better than getting further behind!  So here it goes.

11 years and counting!  Joel's Aunt and Uncle took the kids for a night and we got to have a wonderful time out.  We went to a local winery for a tour, dinner, and tasting.  We loved the place!   For anyone in the area, Paradise Springs Winery is a must!

 We also got another round of visitors...Uncle Caleb and Auntie Amanda from Australia.  After looking through our pictures it doesn't seem we were very good at capturing them in many pictures.  However, we did plenty of sight seeing which I have lots of photos of!  This is a picnic at "Gravely Park" where we got to watch planes take off right over us - it was awesome.  The plane looks way too far away in this picture.  Trust me, it was great!

 We were very thankful for these sprinklers after a hot day of sight seeing in DC!

I love hippos :).  We are at the Museum of Natural History.
 We realized that the Red Skins training camp is in the same town we live in.  Once that was discovered, Joel, Uncle Caleb, and the kids were out the door in record time.  Jesse used his sweet smile and puppy dog eyes to score some autographs.

One of my favorite days was our chill day at the pool.  Despite our lack of pictures with Caleb and Amanda, our kids adore them and Josie was all over Uncle Caleb's beard.  The day they left the kids kept saying how much they missed them.  Amanda is a wonderful and talented photographer and we are overjoyed at some shots she took for us.  We can't wait to share the final products, including some with the girls in my wedding dress!