Monday, October 26, 2009

BOA San Antonio


What a weekend! Michael, Alyssa and I left on Friday afternoon with Ashleigh and her parents and her Uncle Jim. We got to San Antonio REALLY late, slept a little and Danielle, Michael and I headed out to see the Pflugerville Band. My good friend from high school, Tricia, has a daughter who marches in the band and I wanted to be there to support her. It was her first time at BOA San Antonio. The band is mostly sophomores. They could use the extra support. Plus, I wanted to see Tricia. It's been five years. I'm always up for a reunion. I must say, they did amazing! I really would have liked to see them in finals. After all was said and done, they came in 18th out of 50, which is certainly something to be proud of! I hope they come back next year. They definitely have a fight chance!

Bell performed last - 3:30 that afternoon. I had not seen this much of the show AND they chose to wear their new jacket instead of waiting until finals to show it off. Amazing. That's all I can say. I actually shed a tear for the first time in many shows.




While they were performing, I looked over and this is what I saw. Michael was SO intent watching the band. He was counting the beats...you can't tell it from the picture, but it touched my heart. You can see in Ashleigh and Alyssa's face - they were paying close attention too. They made a few obvious mistakes, but came out very well winning the Outstanding Visual Effect and coming in second in the Class AAAA awards. They got a talking to and came out fight in the finals. The entrance to the show brings a hush across the crowd. They certainly have a presence. Everyone wants to see them.

They won Outstanding Visual Effect and Outstanding General Effect...and won first place in the competition. I was so excited for Ben and for the band. They have some tough competition this year. I am always amazed at how great the other bands are and how much work they put into their show. We came back to watch all of the finals bands. This is probably my favorite part of the competition.




This is me and Ben - of course. What a proud moment for all of us. I will post about what else we did while we were in San Antonio. This is Michael and a long time friend, Daniel, showin' his baby brother some love.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mood Barometer



Do you ever wish you had a sign around your neck, something somewhere on you that told people what kind of mood you were in at the moment? Well, I do. Actually, only at my office, but it's there and we ALL use it.

One of the Directors, Scott, gave this to me right after he started. He said he found it and it reminded him of me. Now, if you don't know Scottt, that might offend you. Knowing Scott like I do, it was accept and appreciated. Randomly, someone will just change it as they walk past my cube. It might get switched by me if I am having a conversation with someone and I want to act mad. I will just get up, switch it to "bad witch" and sit back down. Or someone may be talking to me and just decide I need the label "BW".

If you know me very well, you know that I am pretty much always happy. I have a hard time waking up some mornings and sometimes I have some big stuff on my mind, but I am not an outwardly mean person and am usually always willing to help out in any way that I can. The sign is just a fun, joking way we play around at the office. It makes me happy to see it. It makes me laugh when I notice that someone has switch it around on me.



We all have the potential to be a "Good Witch" or a "Bad Witch". Every day you wake up you have the choice to be happy or upset or peaceful or frustrated. Your life is what you make it. Other people with try and try to bring you down. They don't like to see you happy. It only hurts you when you let all that get to you. Make your life what you want it to be. What do you want it to be?
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Monday, October 19, 2009

I Like To Read


One thing I try my hardest to find time for is reading. I don't do as well as I used to. It's funny...when the kids were little I read a lot more. I suppose it's because they had nap time and I was a stay-at-home mom then. There is not always enough time in the day to just do things for me, as hard as I try, because my main focus is my kids.

I just finished a really good book that I thought I should share with whoever it is that reads my blog. It's called "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein. I went to a book club a few months ago thinking that I would actually participate and go back to discuss the book we chose. I didn't. The premise of the meeting was to bring a book or two that you thought the group could would like to read. The group was recommended to me by my good friend, Susan. She found this website called Meetup.com. They have all kinds of groups. Anything that you can think of they have it on here. I had agreed to go with her to a few things and continually backed out so I decided to "un-join" the group as I was sure I would get an email telling me they took me out anyway.

The one group I did go to was the book club group. I didn't know anyone but Susan and the other women...well, I just didn't really feel like it was a group of women that I would "hang out" with...maybe I am just not as social as I would like to believe. Anyway, we all went around and shared the books that we brought and then we were all supposed to vote on a book. Keep in mind there are about 20 woman all who just LOVE the book they brought. The leader of the group decided to have us all draw a number and then took a vote or something...we ended up "deciding" on a book called "Shopgirl" by Steve Martin (yes the actor and yes it is a movie). I like to buy books that I can later share with my kids - the ones that like to read. This one I am not sure that I will offer to Alyssa to read just yet.

Wow, I just went WAY off the beaten path of my blog...one of the books that was introduced was "The Art of Racing in the Rain". When Susan and I left the meeting, we went immediately across to Borders to look for the book that we were assigned to read. There was only one copy and she reads very fast, so she took the book home and read it while I read something else. While we were there, we just looked around for a few of the other books at the meeting that looked interesting. As soon as we had walked in, one of the employees asked us if we would like a copy of the before mentioned book. I thought, sure, I love to have a good book on hand. So, I took it along with a couple of other books, one for me and one for Alyssa that she needed for school.

If you have ever wondered what your animal is thinking, this would be a good book for you. The basis of the story is that the main character, Denny, is a race car driver. He gets a puppy one day, Enzo. The story is told by Enzo, the dog. You read about their life together through the eyes of a dog that wants to be a man. There are ups and downs and happy and sad times, but in the end, it is a very sweet book and an easy read. It's one of those books that you could wake up in the morning wondering, "What is Enzo up to today?"
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

BOA Arlington Champions


Getting up at 5:30 in the morning is never fun. Getting up to go see the best band ever perform is always worth it. Ben and I were up, reluctantly, getting him ready to go warm up and take the field for Prelims at 9:30 in the morning at UT Arlington. As always, there was a game the night before, so neither of us had gotten much sleep. Watching other bands march is always fun to me. This day, I got there in just enough time to see the band before Bell. They were from New Mexico and I thought they were really good. They didn't make it to the finals. After Bell marched there was a break. I went down with the other parents to wait for the band and just be there so Ben could see me. You can't talk to them but there is just something about standing with all the other parents so that your child feels a twinge of love. It's important to him - it's important to me.

I decided to go home and make something of my day rather than my initial plan of sitting there watching bands all day. There was one band inparticular that I wanted to watch but I knew I would be seeing them at finals so I decided to pass. Ben eventually got home, played a little xbox and then decided to take a nap. His dad was getting remarried that night so we were a little anxious about what time Bell would be performing. The wedding was at 7:00, the first performance slot was 7:45, so we were praying hard for a later slot so Ben wouldn't have to miss anything.

We got word a little after 5:00 that Bell won all awards, Class AAAA 1st place, Outstanding Visual and General Effect and tieing with Marcus for Outstanding Music. That always feels good! They drew a 9:45 slot that night and had to be ready for warm up at 8:30 that night. We had worked it all out to where Ben would be excused from the afternoon practice and riding in with the band. He has done very well with his spot so he was able to just show up at 8:30. Ashleigh was a huge help in getting all the boys from their dad's house and up to UTA in time for Bell to go on the field for finals.

I went up there that night with Danielle, Ashleigh's mom, and we sat through all of the finals bands. This is probably my favorite part of the competition - watching what other bands do. There always seems to be parts of other shows that I really like and the music is always nice. Just before Bell took the field, we could feel water falling from the sky. I have never been to an outside competition when it was raining. I really wasn't sure at all how this was going to play out. For the next two hours, it did what I would call "mist". It wasn't rain. The drops were never larger than a pin head, but we were ever so slowly getting wet. It was cold all day long and now all I could think about was the poor color guard girls whose outfits are sleeveless and they are all barefoot. I am sure they were freezing. I just hope none of them got sick!


The awards portion is so cool - how they get the bands onto the field and the formation they make. We took two of the three top awards - Outstanding Visual Effect and General Effect and we took the 1st place position with a score of 86.4, which is really good! I was so proud! The band played their music one more time but they didn't march. I am not sure why, probably because of the mist in the air, but the parents were able to go onto the track and see it up close. All in all - it was a good day!

Benjamin and his first medal. What a proud moment.
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Things School Offer Now


Elementary school has changed. That's a good thing. There are stories all over the news that schools around here are cutting out physical education or recess or both. I am happy to report that Bedford Heights hasn't cut out either. I know that they fluctuate music/art and PE every other day, but we still have it. I don't remember if I heard this from Ashleigh, Michael's girlfriend, or from Jonathan himself, but they offer this dance class during PE day and Jonathan has decided to participate. I assume it's an optional thing, but either way, I am so glad he likes it.

Ashleigh helps in the after school program this year, so she sees Jonathan every day before he goes home. I sort of wish he was still in Extended Day now that she is there, but she is with the littlest kids so he wouldn't be with her anyway. She has told me how cute the dance class thing is and how much Jonathan seems to enjoy dancing. They switch partners all the time so he doesn't always have to dance with the same person. Note in the picture that he is dancing with a boy. I like that they aren't seperating them into boys and girls together. They aren't making a big deal about a boy dancing with a boy. Also, note the dance teacher in the back ground. She is the one in the dress and dancing shoes. The teacher dancing with the student there is the PE teacher.

I asked Jonathan how he is liking dance class and he responded, "I hate it"...with a smirk. "Really? Because you just told me you really liked it." "Oh yeah I do." Ha ha ha...he thought he was pulling a fast one. I am very much about my kids not being embarassed about what ever it is they like. If he wants to dance, I am all for him dancing. I can't wait for him to get to junior high and be able to participate in school activities. He is built more like a line backer, but I can't see him playing football - ever. And from the experience I had with Michael and Benjamin, he wouldn't be able to handle the ignorant coaches either. Pretty sure that's out of the question but I am fine with that. Band is much more important than the athletics he could participate in. He's probably more of a basketball guy anyway.

So that's the update on Jonathan. I know he gets left out at this time of year.
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

March-a-thon and a Drive Down Memory Lane


Saturday was the annual March-a-thon for the LD Bell Band. Last year I walked with the band and realized I wasn’t as fit as I thought I was. This year I decided to just drive and meet them at each rest stop. They started at my old junior high – Hurst Junior High. I missed that part but I met them at the first water break which was at my old elementary school, Hurst Hills Elementary School. It was so weird walking in the door because it looked absolutely nothing like I remembered 30 something years ago. It is so fun to see Ben interact with his friends. He is really liked among all the kids in band. He’s a pretty likeable kid, though. It’s a little awkward for me to be alone at these things. There are a few parents that I enjoy talking to, but they aren’t always where I am.


After chatting with the kids, I took off and went driving through the old neighborhood. It is so interesting to see “the woods” that we would walk through to get to school. They are still there with a sign that designates them as some type of park now…although there is no playground in there. Driving around trying to remember who lived where and seeing that most houses really haven’t changed that much. The trees have all gotten bigger and I would imagine the inside of a lot of these houses are updated, but the outside is still the same.


If I am ever remotely near this neighborhood I take my kids by the house that I grew up in. We moved there when I was one month old and we moved out during the middle of my 9th grade year. I will never forget it. My dad had just moved his practice to the other side of Hurst. I had the 9th grade Band Sweetheart award. I lost. I wasn’t a happy girl. It was December 15th, 1981. I don’t know why I remember that date specifically and I can’t guarantee it’s exact, but I think it’s pretty close.


The next stop was Chick-Fil-A so there I was waiting for them as they rounded the corner. They were going to perform their show music and then I would be able to visit a little bit more. These kids march a total of six miles (I believe) and it always amazes me how much stamina they have. I hope it’s as fun for them to do as it is fun for us to watch. From there they went to Donna Park Elementary to have a break for lunch. After that was started and the kids were resting, I decided to go home and get a few things done before needing to go pick Ben up for the day.

I love the LD Bell Band and what they represent. It is such a proud moment in time for me to see what great musicians my children are. If you are in the area, you should visit the bands website, www.ldbellband.org and find out what they are doing and where they will be.
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