Thursday, June 30, 2022

A Recap of June

It has been a busy month filled with celebrations, trials and an abundance of learning.  I received a new cell phone for my 50th birthday. The kids, my mom and husband all joined their money together and got me a much newer cell phone from Ebay. I love it. It has three cameras and I have so much to learn. Check out what it can do in the picture below. I look forward to improving my photo taking with it. 
My husband and I also celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary by having our rings resized (my rings were crazy tight), cleaned and some minor repairs to my engagement ring. To say I was spoiled this year is an understatement. 

Rebekah is deep into her summer of Ballet Summer Intensives. She started with two weeks at The International Ballet Academy in our state. She really learned a ton from the experience...some positive and some negative. It wasn't the greatest fit for her and some of the teachers were very harsh to all the students.  She did enjoy living in an apartment with room mates and a house mom. However, the dance experience was exhausting and painful. Some of the girls who have been to many more intensives said this one was very different from most. She was glad to move on. 
Day one of IBA.
Rebekah came home for a few days in between intensives. They are actually very close to each other, but the cost of staying in a hotel for a few nights was still more expensive than bringing her home. She enjoyed the very brief break to see her family and cat. She is currently almost a week into her second summer intensive. She loves this one so much more. She texted me that she is 10 million times happier in this one. The teachers are super sweet, the boarding is working out great and she feels like she can make lots of progress in the level in which she was placed. She was placed in the highest level for both intensives so far, but this one had placement tests on the first day and she feels more evenly matched with the teacher's expectations. 
While she was in the first intensive, she discovered Boba Tea. Has anyone else had this? We picked up two for the road when I picked her up. They really are good. I am so glad she is having this amazing experience. She is learning so much about herself and what she wants to do with her life. It is well worth the 1300 miles I drove this month carting her back and forth. 

Elijah also had an exciting month. He has been saving a portion of his pay check for months now. He set a goal to have a certain amount in savings before making a big purchase (he didn't touch the savings...the purchase was extra). That day came and it was time to buy a seven string electric guitar. He searched and searched until he finally found an affordable one, but it was back ordered. He ordered it and then the waiting began. After  two months of more delays, he found the exact one he wanted used and in excellent condition for several hundred dollars less. He snapped it up and has been playing ever since. Now he has a new higher savings goal before buying another big purchase.

I spent one week in June painting Rebekah's furniture. This crazy cat love to climb and be as high as she can be. She climbed to the top of the box spring that was leaning against the wall. 

I can't believe it is already time for July. Life just flies along. Rebekah is gone for another week and then home for a few. Another busy month on the horizon.

Blessings, Dawn

Thursday, June 9, 2022

A Murder Mystery Dinner Party

 We decided to have my 50th birthday party a few weeks early since Rebekah will be out of town on my actual birthday. She really wanted me to have a party and wanted to be able to help plan and attend it. We decided to have a murder mystery dinner party. We used Masters of Mystery which is an online site that has lots of game options. We purchased the 1940's post war party set in a London Mansion. It came with all of the character booklets, the game, invitations, costume ideas and the host instructions. Each character received their own booklet that was about 11 pages long and led them through all of the rounds with scripted answers to questions that other players would ask them. We were very pleased with the Masters of Mystery game. It was very detailed and easy to follow. 

We decided to have the party outside since Covid is climbing in our area and my mother is having surgery and Rebekah is leaving for a dance intensive this week. It would be a devastating time to get Covid. Fortunately, we have a carport which has proven to be especially useful in recent years. We decided to add an extra layer of protection by having everyone sit in family or neighborhood groups. This allowed us to use our multiple sets of dishes which are in small sets which was an extra bonus of using multiple tables. 

As each person arrived they gave their secret letter to Dear Husband who was the host/investigator.  He placed their letter in a jar for later and gave them their booklet and character name tag.  After round one he took one random letter from the jar and announced the murderer by letter. They then played off the guilty side of their booklet (with out the rest of us knowing). After a little bit of socializing, we did round one and got our plates of food. 


We served rotisserie chicken, roasted vegetables, dinner rolls and strawberries. We also made mock Champagne (ginger ale and white grape juice) and spa water (lemons and strawberries). 
We bought the cake at Harris Teeters. It was lemon filled white cake. We picked it because it looked the most retro, but it was also tasty. 

It was all around a lovely birthday party. We had a blast and it was so nice to have some social time with some of my friends. Dear husband did a superb job of leading us through the game. We some how missed getting any pictures of my husband or Rebekah and only got the above picture of me. The boys opted out of my party and will do something special with me on my actual birthday. 

Blessings, Dawn

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Spring Show

 Rebekah had a lovely show to wrap up the school year.  Rebekah was the Lilac Fairy and danced an excerpt from Sleeping Beauty. She also performed Peasant Pas from Giselle. Lastly, she performed two original contemporary pieces which were choregraphed by her teachers. They performed two shows back to back on Saturday. 

This concludes her school year with the Pre Professional Program she has been in this year. It was a crazy year with tons of outside drama that influenced the year. The directors of the program ended up filing for divorce in the middle of the year. Much of the year was much more disorganized and fly by the seat of your pants then we are used to. However, Rebekah feels that it was not a wasted year. She feels that the male director is the best teacher she ever had and she did end up getting many, many hours of one on one training from him because her class was so small and there were multiple injuries that the other students experienced during the year (so they were often present in class but forced to sit out). She feels like she needed that intense training to help catch up her ballet skills. 

We do not know for sure what the plan is for next school year. We are unsure if this program will even survive to exist next year and if she would want to stay even if it did. The performance quality (stage design, organization back stage, choreography) was much poorer quality than she is used to.  We are looking at another local program that she will audition for in August. Until then, she leaves in two weeks for her first of three summer intensives. The first one is two weeks long and we hope will be a wonderful learning opportunity. 


Monday, May 16, 2022

Mother's Day

I had a lovely Mother's Day. I think it may have been the best ever. Rebekah and I took my Mother to a bridge that has been converted into a really beautiful garden. The garden stretches over the bridge and down the sides and almost under the bridge. It was so sweet and lovely. We will have to go back again soon. 
It was filled with little gardens within the garden. This was in one of the children's gardens. 

The mirror, mirror on the wall area was very creative.  I also loved how they converted the old boat below into a darling garden. 

The doggie stick library was too cute. Dogs are welcome in the garden and they could get some fresh water and pick a stick to take home from this section. 

We somehow lost the picture of all three of us. which is such a disappointment. 

After our lovely walk through the garden, we went into the tiny town. We had lunch and then went to the "new" permanent carnival which is a collection of rides from the 1940's and 1950's. We were stunned to see the Merry-Go-Round that used to stand on the Museum Mall in downtown Washington, D.C. It is the very same Merry-Go-Round that I grew up riding on whenever we were in the city and had been right across the street from my father's work. We just had to go on it! 

It was such a thrill to go on something that I had grown up riding on. What a small world we live in! Who would have thought we would find something like this more than 500 miles from my childhood home?

We took my Mother home, then picked up my husband and sons. We wrapped up the day by attending a showing of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. It was a perfect day!

Blessings, Dawn

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Goodbye, Birthday Month ... Hello, May

April flew by quickly. We celebrated three birthdays here. Elijah turned 20 this past week. He is doing really well. We are so pleased with what a nice young man he has become. He is popular at work and everyone always has nice things to say about him. He finds his job in fulfillment at Target challenging, interesting and a bit stressful right now because of the major renovation Target is going through. He is still working part time, but enough hours that he has a benefit package now. 

He also has a nice friend group which he plays with online and a group of teens and young adults that he does Belegarth Medieval Sports with each weekend. His savings is growing and he is learning more and more about managing his money. Now, if I could just convince him to learn to drive. That is a major goal this summer. 

My husband celebrated 15 years at the local Veterans Hospital on the same day as Elijah's birthday. He is a supervisor now of just over a dozen people. He finds the job a bit more stressful than he thought it would be and sometimes works six days a week right now to try and offset the major understaffed issues that his hospital has dealt with for years. The higher you go up the ladder just means the more jobs you seem to do. He still spends hours every day in addition to his new job duties doing his old job duties, because they are so understaffed. He is a very busy man. 
We shot confetti cannons at him. 

My mother also celebrated her birthday. She had her traditional Angel Food cake and we served her homemade Chicken and Dumplings. Then we played scrabble and Rebekah creamed us all. 

We started the month off with Tim's birthday, which I already wrote about in an earlier post. 

It was a very busy month between all of these lovely birthdays and celebrations and our family vacation. Now, if the pollen would just settle down so I could breathe and stop itching...LOL. There is much to do in May to prepare for summer. Rebekah will be away from home most of the summer. It is going to be a new experience for all of us. More on that later.

Blessings, Dawn