Dance Camps

This summer the kids (especially Mayci) spent lots of time at dance camps (plus a sports camp for Zeke). They all had a great time and it helped break up our days.

Mayci started the summer with princess camp. One day her teacher even came in dressed as Belle ready for the ball. That was an exciting day for all the girls.

Mayci, Nicky, Noah, and Joel did a ballet and jazz camp. The boys were kind of crazy but they had tons of fun. One day we went to pick them up and Joel was sound asleep, totally worn out by all the activity.

Mayci’s next adventure was Encanto camp. They danced to We Don’t Talk About Bruno. She had a ball at that one. After all, she absolutely loves Encanto!

Zeke did a two day Disney sing-a-long camp and then did musical theater camp. He really enjoyed being on stage when he did the acting class at school, but add in singing and dancing and that’s his idea of heaven (he loved it so much he’s taking musical theater at the dance studio this year).

Mayci and Anthony took acro camp where they both enjoyed dancing and flipping and stretching. Mayci was made for acro with how bendy she is (she’ll be taking acro class this year).

Ballet camp is where Mayci discovered not only does she enjoy doing ballet, she is good at it. Anthony, who had never taken ballet at all before this camp, learned so much including the correct terms for some of the moves. Mayci was disappointed to discover she’s too young still for a ballet-only class, but that’s okay. She’s taking a ballet/tap combo and a ballet/jazz combo this year so between the two of them it’ll be like she’s getting a whole ballet class after all.

The last week of summer all four of the older little ones went to camp. Anthony and Nicholas took hip hop. My new favorite thing is little kids hip hop dancing. So of course Anthony will be taking hip hop this year.

While Anthony and Nicholas were doing hip hop, Zeke and Mayci were doing ballet and tap. Zeke loves tap (so of course he’s taking ballet/tap with Mayci this year).

This summer of dancing ended in Mayci winning a spot on the competition team and us picking out classes that will put at least one kid at the studio five days a week. Apparently dance is our life now.

Recital #2

A few weeks ago Zeke and Mayci performed in a dance recital, both doing tap routines. They’ve both been taking ballet and tap once a week since August.

The girls Zeke danced with were wearing similar costumes to what Mayci had except in yellow. One thing is for sure… the girl costumes at this recital were WAY cooler than Zeke’s!

Mayci’s hair had to be half up/half down and they said I could do a few beads. I did braids and really more than a few beads. Between her hair and her costume she was super adorable.

Recital #1

A few weeks ago Zeke performed in his first ever dance recital. This one was for the place where he takes hip hop.

He was so cute up there dancing with his group. The whole show was amazing. Lots of talent at that studio.

They’re done for the summer, but he’ll be taking a few camps and then will be back in August for at least two classes a week, maybe more.

School’s Out for the Littles

Friday was the last day of school for our older three little ones. They all had a great year and learned so much. None of them are particularly glad that summer break is here. They thrive on routine and while we have a routine at our house it’s nothing like they have at school so breaks are a little hard for some of them.

Zeke got an excellent in conduct (his teacher says he’s very polite and kind to everyone). He also got excellents in Health, Art, Theater Arts, Music, and PE.

Language Arts – B 80% (86% for the year)
Reading – B 86% (87% for the year)
Math – B 85% (88% for the year)
Social Studies – A 96% (98% for the year)
Science – A 97% (98% for the year)

Mayci got 3s in Music and PE. In conduct, she got one 2 (for talking when not appropriate… she can’t really help it… she’s my daughter after all) and then a mix of 3s and 4s. She got a 4 for her stage of writing, a 2 for remembering to capitalize the beginning of sentences, and the rest 3s in Language Arts. She got all 3s in Reading. She can count by ones and tens to 100 and got all 3s in Math. She got all 3s in both Science and Social Studies and a 4 in Health.

Anthony got a 3 and 4 in PE (the 4 is for coordination and balance… he is definitely uncommonly coordinated for a four-year-old). His stage of writing is a 2. He got a mix of 2s and 3s in Language Arts. He knows 20 uppercase letters, 18 lowercase letters, and 18 letter sounds. He got mostly 2s and a couple 3s in Reading. He can rote count to 39 and can count to 30 with one-to-one correspondence. He got mostly 2s and a few 3s in Math. He got all 2s in Science and mostly 2s and a couple 3s in Social Studies. He got a mix of 2s and 3s in Conduct. He got all 3s in Fine Arts and Technology.

It’s hard to believe the school year is already over. When they go back in August these three will be in kindergarten, first, and second grades and they’ll be bringing another brother with them to school every day since it’ll be Nicholas’ turn for Pre-K. But for the next few weeks we have summer school and dance camps and a musical theater camp to look forward to!

2021

This has been a busy year for us. I simultaneously can’t figure out how the time has gone by so fast and how we fit so much into just twelve months. Tomorrow will be 2022 and the start of twelve more months of adventures.

In January Fritz and Adrian got their first semester report cards for 7th and 9th grades and both did amazing for their first time in public school since kindergarten and second grade. We also continued trying to figure out just how much food to make to feed our small army (spoiler alert: it’s always too much or too little).

In February we put up a baby urinal in our bathroom and it’s been the best thing we could have done. There was more figuring out how to feed our small army (we’ve pretty much got it down now). We got a playground put up in our backyard. We ended up with COVID in the house and had to quarantine at the same time pretty much the entire state of Texas shut down due to a freak snowstorm and crazy cold (we got lucky and never lost power).

In March I started getting more creative with Mayci’s hair. All the adults in the house got vaccinated for COVID. Zeke turned six on Pi Day. The next day Noah had surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids and have tubes put in his ears. We got brave and took all six kids to HEB for the first time.

In April I sprained my foot when I gracefully fell down the stairs of The Beast. We also discovered Zeke has hair like Fritz’s: It grows SO fast!

In May our six-year-old officially changed his name to Zeke. School got out and so Mayci finished pre-k, Zeke finished kindergarten, Adrian finished 7th grade, and Fritz finished 9th grade.

In June the kids were bored of their 11-week summer vacation within about 30 seconds so we started our summer schedule which continued the entire summer and worked great. We got Fritz’s end of course results (all three passed). We entered Birthday Season when Adrian turned 13 on Juneteenth. The end of the month the twins turned two.

In July we got Adrian’s STAAR test results (he did great especially because it was his first time taking that sort of test). On the 6th Nicholas turned 3. And then on the 11th Fritz turned 15. Adrian saved all year and enlisted the help of a few other people in order to give Fritz an Oculus Quest 2 for his birthday. On the 18th Anthony turned 4 ending our intense streak of five birthdays in less than three weeks. Fritz got all registered for the virtual school for 10th grade.

In August we finished birthday season on the 2nd when Mayci turned 5. Zeke and Mayci both took off in their reading (best decision ever to work on teaching them how to read over the summer). We found out who the three elementary schoolers’ teachers would be (they’ve all been the perfect teacher for each kid, especially Zeke’s). In the middle of the month it was time for four of the kids to be off to pre-k, kindergarten, 1st, and 8th grades (and Nicky moved to a new room at preschool). A week later Fritz started 10th grade. Just before the end of the month my beautiful mother turned three-quarters of a century old.

In September we started getting monthly boxes of Young Adult books from Literati for Adrian (love those books). Dance classes started up for Zeke and Mayci. I did the most complicated and beautiful hairstyle on Mayci that I’ve done so far (53 twists). The twins moved out of their cribs and into their big boy beds. We took four of the kids to the movies for the first time. Mayci went to dance camp at the high school and got to perform at halftime at a football game.

In October we pulled Nicholas out of preschool. We got the four littlest boys new church clothes. I did some fancy hair on both Mayci and Haley. We had some really cute costumed kids on Halloween.

In November Jamie and I went to see The Beach Boys again. Lola moved in with Cameron and Tami and it’s helped Nicky’s eczema so much (he’s allergic to dogs). We celebrated Jamie’s 46th birthday and one year since we adopted the kids by playing at a trampoline park. We got our family pictures taken. I started having more time to read again thanks to Haley playing with the twinplets six hours a week and the kids getting a little older and more independent.

In December Nicky suddenly started looking much older and bigger than his little brothers. Anthony’s dreams came true when we put a Christmas tree in our living room. My Daddy turned 77 on Christmas Eve.

And now here we are on New Year’s Eve looking forward to what 2022 will bring us. We know a few things like Trek for the big boys, Fritz being ordained to the office of Priest, Birthday Season ending with us having 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14 and 16-year-olds, Ani turning 22 in February, Zeke turning 7 in March, me turning 44 in April, Cameron turning 21 in October, and Jamie turning 47 in November the same day we hit two years since the kids were adopted, and having kids starting pre-k, kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 9th, and 11th grades in August. Whatever else 2022 has in store for us, I know it will be awesome!

One Happy Dancer

On Saturday Mayci got to participate in a dance clinic. She was taught a dance routine by the girls on the high school’s dance teams and then she got to perform at halftime during the football game that night. She absolutely loved it! She had so much fun that we signed her up for the cheer clinic they’ll be doing next month.

The Ballet Boy

Zeke has started weekly dance classes. He’s taking a combo tap and ballet class. He absolutely comes alive in that studio.

They start out wearing their tap shoes. Zeke loves the sound they make as he walks. He is so excited that he canmake his taps sound different based on how he moves his feet.

He does so well copying the arm motions his teacher makes. He focuses so well the whole entire hour. He just really loves it so much.

He is the only boy in his class. I told him we need to dig up a clip of Dule Hill as The Tap Dance Kid. Zeke said, “Who is the ballet boy?” I said I didn’t know. He said, “It’s me! I’m the ballet boy!”

About halfway through the class they switch to their ballet shoes and do some stretching and toe pointing and flexing and work on graceful hand movements.

The first class the teacher had each child do a ballet spin on one foot. Zeke is the only one to successfully make it all the way around so she had him take a bow.

The last few minutes of class are dedicated to creative movement. They do some skipping and dancing and just basically have lots of fun. The smile on Zeke’s face after class is just radiant. Dance is totally his thing right now!