Sunday, May 15, 2016

Dance Recital 2016

Molly has been taking dance classes since she was three. After taking a hip hop class last summer, Ryan joined Molly in dance classes this fall at his request.  I enrolled them both at a brand new studio near our home.  They have enjoyed having this shared activity and took three classes together, hip hop, ballet, and tap.  Today was their Spring Recital.  And of course as their mom I thought they were amazing!  I am so proud of their hard work and the dedication they put into developing their God-given talents.



The Hip Hop costume was both kids' favorite in the recital.  Ryan's step had a little added swagger in it when he put on his costume.  And Molly became a just little bit sassy.  They danced to "Get Your Head in the Game" from High School Musical.  (WARNING: neither of their parents are experienced at capturing fast action shots in the dark, so they are all blurry).










Their second number was ballet,  choreographed to the song "I Believe" from the movie Descendants.  Ballet has always been my personal favorite to watch.  There is nothing more lovely than seeing beautiful ballerinas gracefully gliding across the stage and strong young men leaping across the stage to soft, classical music.  Molly loves to dance and does a good job in all three classes, but I feel like ballet is her strongest dance genre currently.  I am not a dance teacher and the only dance I ever took was clogging, so I don't know if I am right.  :)  But what I do know is that I love Molly's smiley face when she performs on stage.


And I kind of love this picture with her on one foot.  I know SHE knows the name of what dance step she is doing here, but she is asleep as I blog, so I can't ask her.  And like I mentioned, I only know clogging terms.  So if you want to know what a "rock step" is, then I am your gal.


As you can tell by her sweetly forced smile seen here, Molly did not let that smile leave her face, no matter what else she did or did not remember, she remembered to smile.


I love these beautiful ballerinas waiting to come on stage.  Love the tutus, love the flowers in their hair, love the way the light is shining on their sparkles.


You might remember from December, that Ryan loved the lead Russian dancer in the Nutcracker and has set a goal to get as much height as he did by the time he is in 9th grade, too. He has just a few more feet to go.


Ryan even had a chance to lift his partner in the ballet performance.


We didn't catch the height of his second leap, but we caught the smile after he nailed it.  One of the only times this guy smiled on stage.  He told me boy dancers don't smile, they just look cool.  (Not really sure where he got that idea from).




Coincidentally, all of the kids in the hip hop, ballet, and tap classes live in our neighborhood.  Aren't they a great looking group of friends?



The third and final dance was tap.   They danced to the Bruno Mars song "Runaway Baby."  Ryan might prefer the hip hop costumes, but tap is his favorite type of dance. And he is really good at it. Which is funny, since he had zero interest in even trying it.  "Did not want to put on the shoes the first day of class" disinterested.  However, in order to try out for Nutcracker, he needed to enroll in a ballet class. And he REALLY wanted to be in the Nutcracker.   The ballet class that Molly was in had an opening but it was a combo ballet and tap, so he begrudgingly did both and discovered a real talent that would have probably otherwise gone undeveloped.  Don't you love how things like this happen? How God leads us to our gifts without us even knowing or planning it.  I also love how Ryan doesn't ever remember not wanting to take tap at all.  He has "always liked tap dancing. Forever."  He started the fall just taking hip hop, and is now in three classes and has learned that he really loves to dance...and be on stage.




Miss Molly loves tap, too.  I cannot believe how much she learned this year.  She had only taken one tap class as a 3 year old, and no tap the past two years.  I don't think I will ever tire of watching my little girl dance. Or the ridiculously adorable costumes she gets to wear.


Pretty sure I won't ever get sick of watching my Ry-guy either.








After the recital, Miss Laura surprised the dancers with trophies and medals.



Thank you to the Kruegers for driving two hours to watch a less than two hour recital and then immediately turning around to drive two hours home.  You rock! I love you!


And thank you Daddy, for working so hard to pay for two kids in dance classes and recital fees and costumes.  All three of us really appreciate it!  Big brother is missing from the pictures. Sadly, the stake's 11 year old scout camp was scheduled for the same day and time as the recital, but Andrew was able to come to dress rehearsal and see his favorite dancers perform a night earlier than the general public.


Thank you Miss Laura's Dance Studio for a wonderful dance year and for teaching my children so much!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Rachel Graduates College

We were blessed to take a whirlwind trip up to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains to see my baby sister graduate from Southern Virginia University this week.


Rachel was born the summer before my senior year of high school, so I have had the opportunity to watch her grow from an adorable little baby that sucked two pacifiers into a kitty cat that pounced on everyone's laps well into her elementary school years and then into a violin playing- ice skating-National Honor Society member who was always 100% truthful and accurate. She has served a mission for our church and now has earned a 4 year college degree.  I am so proud of her hard work and dedication.  And I can't wait to see where the next part of her journey leads her.  I know that God has a beautiful plan for her life.

We came up the night before graduation and went out to eat at the sushi restaurant that Rachel worked at this school year.


After dinner, we drove up the mountain to look down over the town.


Back at the hotel, Rachel opened her present from our family...a box of confetti and balloons stuffed with money. Of course they were pink!


Rachel posed for us the next morning in her cute dress before she headed to line up. Notice her pearls.  My mom and dad gave each of us a strand of pearls when we graduated college. Three girls and three strands of pearls.



It rained, so the graduation was moved indoors.




There was a lovely reception for graduates and their families afterwards.


The rain slowed to a sprinkle, so we were able to get some pictures together around campus.













Since she graduated on Cinco de Mayo, we went to a local Mexican restaurant for lunch.


After lunch, we hopped back in the car and drove the 5 hours home so we could go back to school and work on Friday.  It was all worth it though to be together.  The boys loved being in the mountains and begged us to take a picture of them on the way home at the gas station, so they could remember how pretty it was.


I know everyone adores their baby sisters, but I think that the age difference makes me feel a tad bit of "motherly" pride in the amazing woman she has become, though I know I had absolutely nothing to do with any of it.  I love you, Rachy.