Sunday, June 27, 2010

Munich Feis 2010

This years Munich feis was so much fun!  We traveled down with our usual "feis traveling buddies", but this time we added 4-year old Lily B. (youngest of my friend Michelle) who started dancing this year.  The drive down was uneventful this year and we were in Munich by 3:30 PM.  Saturdays dancing went well, although the usual amount of hecticness and rushing around ensued...after all, a feis is a feis, right?  After "our" girls were done dancing we stayed to watch the Open competitions.  This year (because the England/USA world cup match was the same evening) they managed to finish the whole thing by 7 PM (it's usually closer to midnight).  Sunday morning we drove home after a leisurely breakfast at the hotel.  
   Sarah danced well.  The level that she dances in now (Intermediates) is a lot different in so many ways.  It is also a lot HARDER.  You can't really "place out" of these dances like the beginner and primary levels.  In order to "be done" with a dance you HAVE to take 1st place, and even then your teacher can have you dance this level as long as necessary until you're ready for the Open Level Championship dancing, sometimes needing to "place out" (or take 1st) in a dance 2 or 3 times.  The last feis we went to was the Oeirachtas in Bremmen where Sarah danced Intermediates for the first time.  This time she was feeling more confident and it showed.  So while we don't have any trophies this time we can definitely say that she improved and the judges noticed that as well.  Sarah is pleased with her progress, but also sees many areas she will need to work on before the next feis, especially since she has her eye on being able to dance at the Open levels before we leave Germany in 2012.

On the road we stopped for a picnic lunch a little more than 1/2 way there.

Having dinner at the resturant next to the hotel with a bunch of Tir na nOg families
Sarah's first dances were the teams she participated in.  She won 2nd with her 4-hand team and1st with her 8-hand team.  The girls always perform in their matching school dresses (the green ones in the 4 hand picture) but by the time results were called all the girls had to be in their solo dresses for the Intermediate dances that were about to start (the 8 hand picture).  I think it is kind of neat to be able to see all the girls up there in their unique solo dresses, although they do look sharp when they all match (I am such a sucker for things that match!!)

Sarah taking second place in her Intermediate Reel - her "no way" face with best friend, Hannah, after coming off stage.  All her hard work paid off and she performed above her expectations. 
Mom and Sarah waiting for Intermediate results
All Sarah's closest (local) friends are from her dance class.  We could not ask for a better bunch of young women for Sarah to be spending most of her free time with.

After all her dances and results Sarah changed and crashed on some chairs while waiting for the open set dances to end.  After everything was over we went back to chill at our hotel.  We had 2 rooms across from the main building and the room that the girls shared had a balcony.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cub Scout Day Camp 2010

This past week was Cub Scout Day Camp.  It was Micah's first year participating in the week long camp.  He has been a "guest" of the camp in the tot-lot always watching all the cool stuff Noah got to do.  Micah was so excited in the WEEKS leading up to day camp and had so much fun during the actual camp.  Krissie volunteered to run the crafts tent with her Boy Scout assistant, Noah, his first year not able to participate in the camp.  This week is also the week leading up to Sarah's big Irish Dance competition in Munich, so she couldn't volunteer at the camp since she had almost daily practices.  We're catching rare glimpses of Rob these days..... he is taking a 6-week class (NCO academy) and even though the school is local (at a different base just 15 minutes from Ramstein) he is so busy that we only see him on Sunday afternoons.  Busy at work all day long in the craft tent I sent my camera and trusty Boy Scout (so handy to have, I highly recommend EVERYONE get themselves one) out with my camera to capture some shots of Micah during the camp.
Archery was Micah's favorite part of day camp, AND he was REALLY good at it! Byte the end of the week he was shooting all his arrows onto the target. 
BB shooting was always exciting.  Micah was able to shoot a bulls-eye by the end of the week.  Noah even sneaked over to the range with another den and as a helper a couple of times so he got to shoot a few times, too.

Sports and Scout-skills were another part of the camp.  Micah had a good time playing despite the heat.  In scout skills he learned how to tie a neck tie the day Noah was picture scouting.  
Noah has a little bit of his Mom's photography-love in him and took MANY MANY creative shots with the camera (over 200 pictures in the 3 hours he had the camera).  This shot of Micah in the scout-skills tent is my favorite.  Noah wanted to make Micah look gigantic.  

Mom and Noah standing outside the Crafts 1 tent that they ran.  Micah during one of his visits to the craft tent.

This is the den that Micah walked around the camp with all week.  A great group of second graders - can't you tell?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Today the boys played in a piano recital celebrating their teacher's piano studio's 20th anniversary!  She had recitals all weekend long with food and entertainment (in addition to her students performing).  The "American" student portion of her recitals was on Sunday night.  Before the recital she had Tir na nOg come out and perform some Irish dance, so by the end of the evening we got to see all 3 of our kids perform!  The boys both did a great job and thanks to our good friends (who let me borrow their video camera) I actually have their performances to share with you! Huzzah!

Noah first performed a piece called "Le Cou Cou" by Louis-Claude Daquin.  He is NOT happy with his performance at all and really doesn't want me to post this video... but, he's 11 - I'm proud and can not be stopped.  He has only been playing this piece for 2 weeks and it's really not ready to perform... but on his lesson on Wednesday his teacher said, "I think you should do it...."  SO, he worked hard on it in the 3 days leading up to the recital, but it is a hard piece and he probably could have used another week with it.

Micah performed both his pieces in one sitting.  He has only been taking lessons for about a year and really enjoys it so far.  Micah likes to do things HIS way and does not like to be told he is doing them wrong... especially by his older brother or a metronome!

Noah's last piece of the evening was "Backwater Blues".  This has been a super fun piece for him - he loves playing it and has enjoyed practicing it.  You can't see in this video but he is just smiling away while playing this song.
After the recital all the student came to the front to pose for a group picture and Frau Schmitt handed out these wonderful hand carved wooden notes that she had made to commemorate the recital and the 20 year anniversary.
Once we came home we set the timer on the camera and posed for a family picture.  You can see the boys "trophys" and the balloon creations that they got (one of the forms of entertainment at the recital).  Sarah did a great job performing, as always, but this post was really more about the piano so I didn't take a whole lot of pictures of her this time.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cub Scout Crossover Camp-out

This weekend was the big Pack 232 crossover camp-out weekend.  Crossover is where the boys officially put on their new rank and can officially start working on the achievements toward that rank and earning belt loops, pins, and other fun stuff as that new rank.  On Friday night Rob camped out with Noah and Micah, then on Saturday Krissie came out and joined them for the whole day.  The ceremony was late Saturday afternoon.  The boys enjoyed time fishing (both Micah and Noah caught a fish on Friday night!), grilling out, playing sports, hanging out in the shade, and messing around with water (it was HOT!).  We were too busy to take a ton of pictures of everything we did, but we did get a bunch of shots of the ceremony, which was the most important part!
Noah spent this camp-out as a spectator, which was kind of fun for him.  Here is is lounging with some of the Dad's and siblings waiting for the ceremony to start.  
At the beginning of the ceremony the dens walked in according to rank.  Here are the Tiger Cubs walking in and waiting for the festivities to start. 
After everyone was seated the Tiger's were the first up to crossover.  The cubmaster asked them to prove they were ready to be Wolf Scouts and the Tiger's sang a song for the group (it was "I've got the Cub Scout spirit deep in my heart" sung to the tune of "I've got the Joy").  After their song they were deemed worthy and the two leaders walked them across the bridge to the waiting parents.

once they crossed the bridge all the parents took off their orange Tiger neckerchiefs, slides, and hats and replaced them with their new, yellow Wolf rank items.  

After all the other dens finished crossing over and the ceremony was over we posed for a picture, but it's hard to see with all the shadows on the boys (and leaders) faces created by their hats.  But, anyway, here they are: BRAND NEW WOLD SCOUTS!  congratulations.
After we marched back to the camp site Kristen said a tearful goodbye to her den.  She will be moving before the next school year and won't be able to be their leader. The boys gave her a big group hug and it was very sweet.  She is a terrific leader and we have had one of the best cub scouting years EVER with her as Micah's leader.

after changing and before breaking down camp there was time for a couple more campfire S'mores before heading home.  What a GREAT weekend the boys had, and the weather was SO great!  We are so proud of our scouts and especially Micah today!
the BEST part of camping.

Friday, June 4, 2010

signs that summer *might* come, after all

Noah is learning to mow the lawn and Micah is all ready for his big cub scout camp out this weekend with a new haircut to beat the heat!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Last Den Meeting as a Tiger

This weekend is the BIG crossover ceremony and camp-out with the WHOLE PACK, but today was the last official den meeting.  The boys presented their leader and assistant leader with some gifts and we had cake and ice cream at the park.