Friday, May 29, 2009

A sad day....

On Saturday morning we will be putting our family dogs to sleep. Chloe has suddenly gotten really sick and is just getting worse. She can not longer control her back legs. She is getting hurt trying to walk around the house and as of today is in pain. Chloe was our first baby. Chad and I got Chloe the July after we got married. She has been a sweet, loving and wonderful dog. She will be sadly missed by all of us.

Malloy was my dog when I lived at home. He is 16 years old and blind in one eye. He is losing his sight in his other eye and has begun snapping at the kids. Who could blame him? They startle him because he can not see them coming. He is the cutest mutt ever. We are not sure how he will do without Chloe. I am afraid he will just get worse. That is why we are taking them both together. Malloy has been such a loving companion and truly a wonderful dog.

Both of our dogs are like members of our family. They have both lived wonderful and full lives. Chad, the kids and I will miss them terribly. I would appreciate your prayers tomorrow as I am sure this will be hard for the kids. Grandma is going to pick up Katie and we are taking the older kids with us. I was (and still am) not sure if it is a good idea to take them with us. They all want to come and I don't want to upset them anymore than they already are. I am hoping they all can handle it. I am not even sure I can.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Black, White, Tan

I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago about Princess Katie and her big question. It is still hurting me that my sweet baby is sad that she does not look like us. She is so young and I really do not think she understands a lot of the things I tell her. My friend Charity was telling me about going to the Women of Faith convention and how she saw a women there who sings a song called Black, White, Tan. Just tonight I remembered the name of the song and looked it up. It doesn't fit our situation perfectly because she is an African American women singing a song to her biracial children. However the message in the song is beautiful. I ordered the CD because Katie loves music and I think singing it over and over to her may help her understand. Grab a tissue and listen for yourself. It is a very beautiful song about our Fathers love for us.

Black, White, Tan - Nicole C. Mullen

Here are the lyrics:
Mama looks like coffee,daddy looks like cream
Baby is a mocha drop,American dream
All the colors in the rainbow is in her family tree
Woven altogether in a paisley tapestry

She holds real tightly to her parents' hands
Baby loves that woman,baby loves that man
And her soul gives a smile 'Cause she understands
That love is black,white,tan
Yeah black,white,tan

Everyone is precious in the Father's sight
It don't matter red,or yellow,black or white
He just loves you 'cause he loves you
And I tell you this is true
You are not a color and the color is not you

Hold real tightly to your Daddy's hand
Cause He loves that woman,He loves that man
And let your soul give a smile
Every once in a while
Let your soul give a smile
Every once in a while
Let your soul give a smile
Every once in a while

'Cause love is black,white tan
Yeah I know that love is black,white,tan
Yes I know GOD's love black,white,tan
A little girl will tell you Black, White, Tan

The Cannery!?

What is a Cannery? It is a "store" operated by the Church of Jesus Christ and Later day Saint*s aka the LDS or Mormons.

Lisa and I (are you surprised) have been doing a lot of research of food storage. The LDS have wonderful beliefs in food storage and being debt free. From what we gather from websites and blogs they try to have a 3 months supply and a 1 year supply of food for their household. In theory a 1 year supply looks good to me. If Chad were to lose his job or someone was sick or injured it would be very useful. We could live off our food supply and it would be one less thing to worry about. In reality getting and storing a years supply of food for a family of 6 takes a lot of time and space. I have the space, I just need to get it organized. It is the time where I am lacking. I am really trying to get better at time management. Maybe if I stopped blogging I would have more time. Honestly if I stopped reading blogs I would have more time:)

Back to the Cannery. In the many months Lisa and I have been researching food storage the Cannery kept popping up. We kept seeing the writers of the blogs we like mention saving money (our other hobby) and buying in bulk at the cannery. We knew we HAD to get in to this place. We were thrilled to find out that there was a Cannery located less than 20 minutes from our house. We just had to figure out how to get in. You can not just drive there and go in like it is Kroger. First we were not sure if you could even shop there if you were not LDS. We were getting conflicting stories from the websites we were reading. The most recent information we could find said non- LDS were once able to shop at the cannery. However after Y2K it was closed to the public. We needed to find someone who could get us in.

Months earlier I was talking to the cashier at Kroger about grinding wheat and making bread (I am way to friendly). As the bagger was taking my groceries to the car he mentioned that she was Mormon. Since I needed someone to get us into the cannery I asked the cashier if she would take us. She did some research and found out we could go alone. Yeah!!!! After months of research we were able to go. We just needed and appointment. It took a while to get an appointment because they are only open a few hours a week and we could not get in contact with a live person. Finally someone answered and we were in!

Lisa and I packed the kids up about a week later and headed to the cannery. We were so excited! It took us less than 20 minutes to get there. We went in filled out our order form, they loaded the stuff on carts, we paid, they took it to our car and we were done. Months of research and it took us less than 10 minutes. That's OK. We can not wait to go back. I am sure it will take us some time to get through all of this wheat, oats, powdered milk and re fried beans. Dinner anyone?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Big weekend plans

I had BIG plans this weekend. I was going to get my flowers planted, get my storage room organized and clean the carpets. Not to mention clean Katie's room and my sewing room. How much did I get done you wonder? NONE!!! We played all weekend:) Chad and I worked a fundraiser on Saturday. It was supposed to last until about 11:00pm so we had the kids stay all night with grandma. Much to our surprise we were able to leave at 8:00. We decided to not pick up the kids and had an evening to ourselves. We went out to dinner and watched a movie. It was really REALLY nice.
Sunday we afternoon we were invited to a cook-out at Lisa's. Chad was working at a baseball game and I was home alone. I had not made a dish to take and I really thought I just wanted to stay home. While I was talking to Lisa on the phone I changed my mind. I made a macaroni salad and a few "angeled" eggs and headed out the door. We ended up being about 20 minutes late because Princess Katie had fallen asleep on the couch and then woke up on the wrong side of it. She threw a monster of a tantrum which had me rethinking even leaving the house. She finally calmed down and we were on our way. When we arrived she sat in a baby swing and refused to move or let anyone touch her for about 30 minutes. She even ate her dinner in that crazy swing. After that she was out, running, playing and having a great time with her "best friend" Sarah.
All of the kids had a blast. They played kickball, some mixed up game of football, climbed trees, rode bikes and so much more. We had such a great time. We always have fun with Lisa's family, but this was really a nice evening. We ended the evening just as it started to sprinkle. But not before we made smores. YUMMY!!! To bad Chad missed it all. Not to worry Lisa's husband Oscar had a great idea. We are planning a camping weekend. Lisa is so excited! (please read this with the sarcasm it was intended)
This picture of the girls is from when I was in Florida and Katie had a play day with her friend. I thought it was to cute no to post.

Thanks for the pictures Lis. They are so cute and much more fitting than the pictures from New Years Eve!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day I am thankful to be an American. I am thankful that our country with all of it's faults is still the best nation in the world. It is a nation worth fighting for. It is a nation that men and women, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers are willing to risk their lives to protect. These men and women serve everyday. Even if you are against the war please support our troops. This Memorial Day I thank the service men and women and their families for all of the sacrifices they make to keep us safe and free. I remember the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. On this Memorial Day I thank GOD for his blessings on our country.

A Memorial Day Poem
by C W Johnson
We walked among the crosses
Where our fallen soldiers lay.
And listened to the bugle
As TAPS began to play.
The Chaplin led a prayer
We stood with heads bowed low.
And I thought of fallen comrades
I had known so long ago.
They came from every city
Across this fertile land.
That we might live in freedom.
They lie here 'neath the sand.
I felt a little guilty
My sacrifice was small.
I only lost a little time
But these men lost their all.
Now the services are over
For this Memorial Day.
To the names upon these crosses
I just want to say,
Thanks for what you've given
No one could ask for more.
May you rest with God in Heaven
From now through evermore


I found this on another adoption blog I ran across today. I am not sure if $160,140.00 is really what they government thinks it costs to raise a child. I just thought the rest was very touching. Even if I missed some of my kids first steps, words or first smile.... I still get to be the first one they hug each morning and be the first one they ask for when they are sick. I was the first to see them ride a bike, swim in a pool, catch a football, hit a baseball, walk into a school and hear them read their first words. I get to kiss them good night at bed time and wake them up with kisses in the morning. There will be many more firsts in our lives and I can not wait to experience them with each of my children. $160,140.00 doesn't seem like a lot of money over 18 years. However, I think all of the blessings these children are to me is priceless.

The Price of a Child

We have repeatedly seen the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way.
The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition. But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down.
It translates into:

$8,896.66 per year,

$741.38 per month, or

$171.08 per week.
That's a mere $24.24 a day!

Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is don't have children if you want to be "rich." Actually, it is just the opposite.

What do you get for your $160,140?

  • Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
  • Glimpses of God every day.
  • Giggles under the covers every night.
  • More love than your heart can hold.
  • Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
  • Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
  • A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
  • A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites.
Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up.

You get to:
  • finger-paint,
  • carve pumpkins,
  • play hide-and-seek,
  • catch lightning bugs
You have an excuse to:
  • keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh
  • watching Saturday morning cartoons
  • go to Disney movies
  • wish on stars
You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:
  • retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof
  • taking the training wheels off a bike
  • removing a splinter
  • filling a wading pool
  • coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs
  • coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.
You get a front row seat to history to witness the:
  • first step
  • first word
  • first bra
  • first date
  • first time behind the wheel.
You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren.
You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match. In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits. So, one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!
Love and enjoy your children and grandchildren.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Little House and Thankful Thursday

Some of the fondest memories I have of growing up are with my Grandma. She baked delicious breads and pies, soft cookies, homemade candy and sewed beautiful quilts. I spent countless hours with Grandma watching her do these things. While she was busy cooking and sewing we would watch her "stories" which consisted of The Little House series and The Young and the Restless. Each day after lunch we would cuddle on her bed and watch one. To this day I can not watch a Little House episode without hearing my grandma's voice saying "Lace... Shhhh! Let grandma watch her stories". I gave up the Young and the Restless years ago:)

Today the kids and I watched the Little House on the Prairie movie. We also began reading the book. Leanne wanted all of the kids to put their heads down on the table with their eyes closed as I read it to them. It was warm here today and I had the windows open. As the warm wind blew in and I read to the kids I was taken back to 3rd grade when my teacher did the same thing each day after lunch. I guess you could say today was a nostalgic kind of day for me.

As a treat for the kids as we read the Little House series this summer we will cook our way through it. I have been reading and enjoying the Little House cookbook. I have always enjoyed reading cookbooks so this is nothing new. However, this cookbook is filled with quotes from the book and interesting historical facts from the time period so I am enjoying it even more. We will not be able to duplicate many of the recipes because we do not have access to many of the main ingredients such as lard, salt pork (which seemed to be a daily staple, so I may look at a butcher shop for it)wild berries and wild game. We will do our best and just enjoy the time together in the kitchen after reading a few chapters each day. Today for dinner we roasted a whole chicken and made green beans and corn bread. For dessert we made peach crisp with homemade vanilla ice cream. It was a really nice dinner and the kids were proud they helped me.

My brother often stops by to say "HI" on his lunch break. I know he is really stopping by for a hot lunch and last nights dinner leftovers to take home. When he comes he often jokes that I am the modern day Laura Ingalls. Since the kids are normally at the table doing school work and I'm in the kitchen getting bread started for dinner and making lunch. However, Laura Ingalls I am not! It would take all day to do the things it takes me just a few hours to do with modern appliances. Which leads me to what I am Thankful for this Thankful Thursday:

My new Bosch Mixer that can make 6 loaves of bread in under 20 minutes.

Air Conditioning even if we don't have it on yet.

A stove that doesn't make my entire house hot when I bake

Running water

Electricity at the flip of a switch

and last but not least... I am thankful for time spent reading with my kids and the memories we are creating.

What are you thankful for today?

Since I am still unable to load new pictures I am adding pictures I already have on my computer. These are from two of the historical field trips we took with Lisa H. and her kids Jake, Seth and Sarah. As you can see the kids had a blast!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sleep issues

I am so sleepy this morning and I didn't even stay up all night watching mindless television or shopping online! I am sleepy because it is impossible to sleep in my bed anymore. With 2 adults and Katie it is bad. To make things worse Justin has been coming in sometime in the middle of the night again. That child is scared of everything. When I say everything I mean the dark, spiders, Dr. Phil, clowns, balls, really you name it and he is probably afraid of it. His fear of spiders is what has him in our bed the last few nights. We had a large black blood sucking tiny spider in in the kitchen on Monday. It took me to long to find something to spray it with and he scurried away to freedom. Justin is convinced it is a wolf spider which would obviously suck blood since it would have to be related to a werewolf. Justin is also sure he saw it in the kids bathroom later in the day which is right beside his bedroom. He will NOT go in either room alone. All of this boils down to I CAN NOT SLEEP! It is so hard. When Justin is in bed Katie moves closer to me. I think I am moving to Katie's bed tonight. I hope they don't follow me:)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A spring makeover and Thanks

I thought my blog could use a little spring cleaning. I think it looks pretty cute, but I am not totally happy with it. I am trying to figure out how to make a nice header. You may see some changes as I try to get it all figured out.

Thanks to Lori, Sherry and my sister in law Kathy for the sweet comments, support and suggestions to help us help Katie. Katie is doing just fine. She and I have talked about it in a way I hope she understands. We do own and read books about being adopted, she is around a pretty diverse group of kids and she has many African American baby dolls. On her new cheer team there are 3 other little girls who are bi-racial. I am so excited she will have these girls around her. She will also be able to see that they don't look like their mommies either. My mom had a great suggestion to make Katie feel better... Adopt another baby. Grandmas! They are always looking for a way to get another grand baby:) Last week I would have considered it. However, on Monday I babysat for a friends 5 month old and remembered how much work babies really are. We will stick to the books and dolls!

Since my camera is still not working I am using Leanne's. I can not load the pics on the computer with her camera. Since blogs are boring without cute pictures I thought I would add some cute pictures of Katie I already have on my computer.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A new cheerleader...

Cheerleading tryouts were last weekend. Leanne is on a Junior Level 5 team and is also helping out the youth 3 team by double teaming. We are very proud of Leanne and all of her hard work. Leanne started cheerleading at age 7 and has progressed at least 1 level each year she has cheered. She started as mini-pee wee level 2 and is now on a level 5 team. Level 6 is as high as all-star cheer goes and that is for college age kids. Leanne is so talented. I love watching her as much as she loves cheering.

We have a new cheerleader in out house this year. Miss. Katie "tried out" and is on the Tiny level 1 cheer team. She is so excited! Katie tried to cheer last year, but was a little to young. She cried the entire time she was at the gym. This year is the total opposite. She is so excited every time we get to the gym. She walks right in like she owns the place:) I can not wait to get her little uniform and see her on the competition floor. We do not compete until November, so I have a long wait. It will be so worth it!

Just for fun- here is a video of our Senior 5 all girls team this year at worlds. This is what all of the girls in our gym strive for. They all want to be on the senior 5 team and go to worlds. Leanne will be old enough next year.

Katie's BIG question....

I had to work another ball game today. I was gone about 7 hours, so dad had a long day of kids and laundry (I am so thankful he did that for me).

When I got home in the late afternoon Chad said he needed to talk to me. He was a little sad, so we sent the kids upstairs to talk in private. He began to tell me his story:

Katie was sitting on Daddy's lap and looked at him and said "Daddy, why am I like this?"

Chad- "like what Katie?"

Katie- "Brown"

Chad told her she was brown because that is the way God made her. She then wanted to know why Chad was not brown. He explained to her that everyone was different colors because God made us all this way.

This is where is gets really sad. Katie continued:

Katie- "I hate being brown"

Chad- "Katie you are beautiful. I love you brown!"

Katie- "I want to look like you Daddy"

I could see the hurt in Chad's eyes. I can feel the same pain right now. I knew that one day Katie would know she did not look like us. I really thought it would be much later. With the kids home with me and not in school (and uninfluenced by many kids)they are really color blind. We do not put and emphasis on peoples skin color EVER! It is just a non issue in this house. I can not figure out where she heard something like this. Maybe she is just becoming aware of it on her own?

I think it is so painful for us because it seemed to make Katie so sad. We have never wanted to do anything to hurt her. She is so precious to us. We never want her to feel the pain of racism or be tormented for being adopted by a white family. These are things we were aware could happen when we adopted her. Honestly we thought our love alone would be enough to protect her from heartache. We tell Katie daily that she is so beautiful, so smart, so funny, so cute, so adorable... as we do all of our children. We smoother them in hugs and kisses and tell them how much we love them all day. We never intended for her to feel badly because she was not "like" us. I am at a loss of what to do. Do I not make a bug deal over it? Do I talk to her about it? Do I wait until she brings it up again? I just want to make her feel better and protect her from all of the bad feelings she will have in the future. I know it is impossible to keep kids from being hurt as they grow up. It is a part of life, I get it. However, she should never have to feel bad because of the color of her skin. I thought things got easier as kids got older. I think it just gets harder in a much different way.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Belated Mothers Day

I hope all of the mothers who read my blog had a wonderful Mothers Day. I had a really nice day. The kids got me a very sweet card, a locket and a bracelet. My husband gave me a BOSCH mixer:) I am thrilled!!! It should be here one day this week and I can not wait. Lisa said she is going to come over and take my picture with me new mixer to post on my blog, since I talk about it so much.

I did not get to see my mother yesterday. She spent the day at the hospital with her sister who is now battling lung cancer. Her other sister, son, brothers and mother were there as well. As for my mother in law... I gave her the best gift a daughter in law could give. The day alone with her boy and her grandchildren sans daughter in law. I know she was thrilled. She got to sneak them twinkies and chocolate cake for dinner and not have the looks from me:) I love my mother in law but we differ on a lot of things.

I spent my mothers day doing what any loving cheer mom would do. I fund raised by working at a baseball game. I was exhausted when I got home. Chad had the house cleaned up and ordered chinese food for dinner. It was a great day.

I regret that I do not have any new pics to post on my blog. I have been using Leannes camera since mine is broken. I have to figure hers out or get mine fixed soon. Blogs are no fun without cute pictures.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Before the recession...

we were really really in love. This is what I heard on television today.

After all of the kids were in bed tonight I started watching Dr. P*hil. I want to preface this by saying I do not normally watch daytime talk shows. I have been TIVO'ing Dr. Phi*l for quite sometime and usually just erase it. Today's show caught my eye so I watched. The things I heard these people say amazed me.

I am not sure what the topic was called exactly, but it had to do with Detroit and the terrible situation that city, like many cities, is in due to the economy. They highlighted two young couples who both have beautiful new baby boys around 7 months old. These were college educated and previously employed people. They apparently were living pretty well before the bottom fell out of the automotive industry. One couple stated they were making around $120,000 prior to job losses and now are making less than $40,000 and can not find jobs.

I am not discrediting this as a sad situation. Anytime a families income is reduced like that it is difficult and the situation should not be taken lightly. However it was everything else they said that caught my attention. Both couples major concerns (other than losing their homes) were the cuts they had to make. The first couple says (as they are eating pizza Hu*t for dinner) that they can no longer go out with friends, go to the movies, take a nice vacation or buy the baby new brand name clothes. Please do not get me wrong, I love to go out to a nice dinner, taking my family on vacation and I have an affinity for boutique clothing and European shoes that makes my husband want to hide when I say the kids outgrew everything. That being said, I can also stretch a dollar to make it a twenty if I need to.

I think that in general we are such a materialistic society. I am guilty of it myself. I love to see my precious children dressed in GAP and Gymboree. However we must realize that these material things do not make us who we are. Of course it is easier to grab a pizza than to mix up a dough and make it from scratch. It is also more fun to sit in a theater with yummy movie popcorn and raisinettes than to grab a movie from the library and pop the popcorn yourself. But are having to make these changes a reason to not love your spouse as much as you did when you could afford the small luxuries?

There are days that I think this recession is a blessing. I know it sounds crazy. People are losing their jobs, homes and cars etc. We have been affected, though thankfully not to these extremes. As for being a blessing... people are spending more time with their families, changing spending habits and praying more. This is not how I would want people to come to do these things, but this is what I see happening.

As for my family we will continue to live a slower life. We will still get our movies from the library or borrow them from friends, we will eat homemade pizza and I will pop the popcorn. We will shop second hand and get out the old toys instead of buy new ones. I will also continue to love my husband as much as the day we got married even if we can't go to Disney World this year!

Hats off to Mrs. Dugger

Today I had 7 kids. It was only for about 7 hours, but I am exhausted. Lisa called me this morning to let me know her dear brother in law had went home to be with the Lord after a long battle with cancer. She asked if she could bring the kids by for a few hours so she and her hubby could be with his family. Of course I wanted to help my friend anyway I could and told her to bring them over for as long as she needed.

To get ready for the kids I decided to do down and make some icing for the the cinnamon rolls I made yesterday so the kids could have a treat for breakfast. I also needed to start some laundry so my hubby would have clean towels when he got home from work. Since we would be having company I scoured my downstairs restroom as well. Katie was the only one up, so she mopped the floor for me. It was very helpful;) Non of this was necessary, but I needed to get the cleaning done today and I was pretty sure with 7 kids I would not get it done with them all here.

I must say the kids were as good as gold. The played a little Wii, watched about 3 seconds of television (since we nixed scooby-doo) and played outside the rest of the day. We gave them all the day off school work and the enjoyed it to the fullest. At one point they had every bike, scooter, pair of skates, skate board and any outdoor toy they could find in my front yard. It looked like a toy store exploded. While the big kids were outside Katie and Sarah were playing dress up and turning me into a frog, a princess, a puppy and a baby. They were so cute! I made them 3 pizzas for lunch and chocolate chip cookies for snack and the gobbled it all up. They were starving again just a few hours later. The kids got along great, cleaned up nicely and had a lot of fun.

That being said.... this momma is exhausted. I do not know how Mrs. Dugger raises 18 children with such a sweet spirit, a smile on her face and never raises her voice. Seven has me ready for bed at 6:00. I still have to fix dinner, pick Leanne up from tumbling and dry those towels. It counts as clean towels if they are in the washer right!?

And since blog posts are no fun with out pictures:

Here is what I found my princess up to after her friend went home. You can not take your eye off of her for 1 minute!

I hear pastel eye shadow is making a comeback.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

And the award goes to....

This evening Leanne and I attended the awards banquet for the cheer season. They hold the event at the beautiful Pinnacle Country Club just down the road from our house. The evening is filled with good food, good friends, laughs and tears. It is so nice for the coaches and the gym owner to get up and recognize all of the hard work and dedication the girls give to the team or teams they are on. There were over 250 people there today representing all of our teams from the special needs Shining Stars all the way to the senior level 5. Each girl goes in front of the crowd and the coaches say something special about them and give them a trophy. They also award scholarships to all of the graduation seniors. As you can imagine it is a long evening, so Chad opted to stay home with the other kids. Actually, he said "please do not make me go!". It did last just about 4 hours, but it was worth it.

Some of the nice things they said about Leanne where...

"She is a an amazing flier, amazing tumbler, has a great attitude and a hard worker."

At the end of the night they give two girls from each team a special award. This award is usually funny, but goes to a few special girls who work hard and always give 100%. When they started to announce the awards Leanne leaned over and said "I hope I get one this year" (since she has not in the past). When they started to announce the awards for her senior team the coach said "This award goes to a girl who is an amazing flier and tumbler. She is the best flier on our team. This girls in not only an amazing flier, but was a great base on a younger team as well." By this time Leanne is thinking it could be her or one other little girl from her team. Then her coach says "We are calling this award the Head in the Clouds Award. Because this girl not only flies so high, she is a little ditsy sometimes and keeps us all laughing." Leanne leans over to me with the biggest smile on her face and said "that's me!" It was so funny! She was right. She was awarded the Head in the Clouds award for her hard work, dedication and her innocence. She could not have been happier. And I could not have been more proud.

Here is a picture of Leanne with her favorite coach Justin. Justin will sadly be leaving us this year. He will be greatly missed by both of us. He has taught Leanne all of the skill she knows and many life lessons as well.