Sunday, January 12, 2014

Upstate Tournament

As I mentioned in my last post, we traveled to our first tournament of the season on January 6th.  It was held in Central, SC at Southern Wesleyan University.  It was quite hectic before we left as I am serving as Registrar and Logistics Coordinator for the region so I was on the computer answering lots of e-mails.  Victoria also decided that she couldn't do one of her Informative speech because the topic, human trafficking, was too emotional for her after researching it.  She is required to do a platform speech this year so I told her she had to write another speech for this tournament.  I did give her permission to use her script for this tournament.  She chose to write on introverts and then asked if she could switch to the category of After Dinner Speaking.  She was given permission and finished writing the speech on Saturday.

The first 1.5 days of the tournament are the preliminary rounds so Tuesday afternoon began the announcement of breaks.  This is when announcements are made about which students are moving on in their respective events.  Debate breaks were announced first and we were excited to hear that Victoria had made it to double octas in Lincoln Douglas.  She did not advance any further but it did earn her a spot at the Regional tournament at the end of the season.

 Members of our club, Apolojax

Speech breaks were made Thursday morning and the excitement was high!
 We found out that Victoria broke with her Open Interp...
 and Hannah anxiously awaited to hear about Humorous.  Can't you see the agony?

 Her prayers were answered and she made it to semifinals!
 Later in the day, many of our club members sat together to hear about speech finals.  We hadn't heard about After Dinner Speaking because the low amount of students only allowed it to break to finals.

 The girls anxiously await and find out they both made it to After Dinner finals!!  Yes, that was the speech Victoria rewrote and managed to memorize in time!

 Hannah also found out that she made finals in Humorous!  She was a little excited!
At the awards ceremony, we found out the results of their hard work!  
Now to prepare for the next tournament which is here in town!

Birthdays and a New Year

So after Christmas, we really hit the ground running.  For three days, we were involved in the setting up and happening of a wedding for the daughter of close friends.  It was a wonderful time (and probably good experience as my girls are quickly approaching the age where wedded bliss could take place) but definitely busy.  I don't have any pictures to share as I was too busy with the wedding to take any.

The day after the wedding, the twins and I jumped in the car and took a drive to SC.  A close friend of theirs through speech and debate was turning 16 and invited them to her Mystery Dinner party.  The family graciously opened their home to us and even had a warm dinner of soup and potatoes waiting for us when we finally arrived.  The girls had a blast helping prepare for the party and then solving the mystery at the party.

No, we don't need another cat!

 Madame Mauve and Professor Plum

Lady Lavender    

The birthday girl in orange as Senorita Naranja

 The victim was found!

After our short but enjoyable stay, we traveled back home on New Years Eve.  We got home just in time for the bonfire party that was being held at our house.  Our oldest, Kemie, invited friends from her college and singles group of friends so we had about 15-20 young adults here.  We played Mafia, enjoyed the bonfire, danced and played card games.  The last ones left about 1:15 a.m. with one girl spending the night.  What a joy it was having all those young people around.

Now that the new year was rung in, it was time to think about speech and debate because we had to leave for the first tournament on the 6th in, you guessed it, SC.  I think I am getting to know that state quite well!  The rest of that week was quite a flourish of activity and on top of it, we had a pastor candidate come in town to see and get to know our church and area.  Since Mike is on the pastor search committee, we attended dinner with them Saturday evening which was a great delight.

Sunday was my 46th birthday so in the midst of the all the packing and getting ready, we found a little time to celebrate.  I chose Japanese for lunch and greatly enjoyed all the yummy food.  Victoria and Kemie bought a variety of cheesecake for dessert so that was enjoyed later in the evening.  Victoria did make sure to pick up "magic" candles but I did get them all blown out for a second!  I am thankful for another year the Lord has granted me and look forward to whatever He has as His plan for me in this next.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Christmas Happenings

So I'm a little late getting these up but once you hear everything that has happened the last few weeks, you will hopefully understand why.  

The week before Christmas, my MIL came for a visit.  One of the activities we enjoyed with her was making Christmas cookies.  We made sugar cookies, peppermint patties, snowballs, and reindeers.  The reason we made so much was due to a party I was hosting that night. 

 I also made Orange Sugared Cranberries with a recipe I found on Pinterest.  I didn't have orange so I used lemon instead.  They were absolutely delicious!!!  Definitely a keeper!

My mom was at the party and my brother James drove her out.  He brought his new friend, Buddy, to meet us.
 After MIL left Sunday, we had the fun of a wedding.  Michael was invited to play his hammered dulcimer at a small wedding.  Another lady from our church played her cello.  It sounded very lovely together and added to a very sweet wedding.  You can listen to it here.

Due to girls' work schedules, we made a switch in how we normally celebrate the holidays.  We had Christmas eve at our house with my side of the family.

 The girls got a gift of beauty from their Aunt and Uncle so Abigail gave her mask a try.

 My mom learned to knit at Thanksgiving and made scarves for all the girls.

We also got a Twister game so we played a few games of it.

 After everyone went to bed, the gifts were set out under the tree in anticipation of the morning.
 Christmas morning, I woke up to a sweet surprise.  A cardinal was sitting in our maple tree.  We don't get to see many of them so it was a very pretty sight.

 Before the girls came downstairs, we did our traditional reading of the Christmas story from the Bible and counted the money in our Jesus Box.  We are giving the money to a friend who is going on a mission trip to Finland this summer.

 I also took our traditional picture of my girls.  Not too many more years that all of them will be home on Christmas morning.
 Then we headed downstairs and the gift giving began!

"I found Baby Jesus!"

 Hansel even got to come in for a short while and join in on the fun!
 I think someone was a little jealous that they didn't get a Sonic Screwdriver.  If you don't know what that is, just ask someone who watches Dr. Who.
 She was excited to get a sweater that looks like Daddy's.
 After opening our gifts, we headed over to Mike's dad's for Christmas with his side of the family.

 Aunt Mandy had to give a hand in opening Puddin's gift.
 so did her oldest!

 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!