Monday, November 30, 2015

Field Day & Thanksgiving Week [+ Recipes!]

Annelise's 4th Grade Field Day was Tuesday, November 24th:

The kids were out of school the next day; I taught Zumba, Annelise came with, & we celebrated life with crêpes at Sweet Paris!!! Our fave: La Canadienne (poutine cheese, scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon & maple syrup) and the sweet crêpe of the month: Shockolate (Mayan chocolate infused batter, Nutella mousse, dark chocolate shavings, & chocolate drizzle)

Wednesday night, I prepped for our Friendsgiving with my must-have roasted sweet potato/cranberry/pumpkin seed "salad" and signature gingerbread pumpkin trifle! I posted "formal" recipes ages ago, but my versions have so evolved (read: gotten easier & BETTER) over the years...

Roasted Sweet Potato/Cranberry/Pumpkin Seed "Salad"
• peel, chop up, & roast a bag of sweet potatoes at 425°, spraying or tossing them with the cooking oil of your choice (I use coconut) & sprinkling with ground ginger, salt, & pepper
• when they're totally roasted & tender, dump them in a bowl and toss with dried cranberries & roasted pumpkin seeds
• you can also add cumin to the sweet potatoes and scallions & roasted red peppers to the salad, if you want (that's in the original recipe, but I don't like them, so they don't go in mine :-P)
• if you want a little dressing (I usually skip, b/c I'm lazy & it's delish without) do a thick balsamic glaze

Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle
• bake a pan of gingerbread & let cool (by far the best: Trader Joe's Deep Dark Gingerbread Cake & Baking Mix
• prepare one box of instant (sugar-free, if you prefer) vanilla pudding, and mix in one can of pumpkin purée along with pumpkin pie spices to taste (whatever you like: cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, etc.)
• in a pretty clear glass bowl, crumble some baked gingerbread on the bottom, pour some pumpkin spiced pudding mix over that, add a layer of whipped topping (a la Cool Whip), more crumbled gingerbread, pumpkin pudding, whipped topping, etc., until you reach the top, and refrigerate

(I cooked my brined turkey a la Alton Brown and JB did his mashed Yukon gold potatoes in the morning. Friends brought a ham, green bean casserole, bread, cranberry sauce, etc.)

By the time I finished, my body realized I could finally crash *hard*, with no cheer for a while & no more Zumba for the week... ‪#‎claritin‬ ‪#‎heatingpad‬ ‪#‎blankets

Thanksgiving with two families of friends over was low key, but still appropriately celebratory. :-) The rest of the holiday weekend included bubble tea, boys' tournament football practice, Praise Team rehearsal, singing Sunday morning, family movie times, ZERO Christmas shopping, & trying to otherwise take it easy. Thankful!

My Sunday afternoon situation: lap beagle, heat dish glow, Christmas tree glow, & REDSKINS DOMINATING!!! ‪#‎httr

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Turf Bowl 2015

We ran our youth football league's championship Turf Bowl games for five different divisions on Sunday, November 22nd. We left our house at 6:30 AM and didn't leave the stadium until after 9:30 PM! JB announced each game over the PA system, Will & Annelise ran around & played, and I ran all of the cheer logistics for every division with my Cheertators. Who knew that 15 hours could fly by so fast with these BFFs? :-)

Earlier prep, rehearsals, & game day:

I received the *BEST* compliment re: Will from this little boy's mom - "Let me just tell you. Will is such a sweetheart. T saw Will walking with some of the kids from the team. He started shouting, “Will! Will! Look Mommy, it’s Will!” So T called Will’s name and he came over. He was asking T questions about T’s day and T’s Christmas list. T kept answering with much more detail than necessary. Will sat there with us for at least 20 minutes, instead of running around with his teammates, keeping T company and taking pictures with him." I told her hearing that is a better win than ANY trophy!!!

Our Senior Varsity division was the last game of the day, so my girls got to dance under the lights! We had over 50 girls from 6 different squads in this performance, (our 5th different dance of the day.) [My Falcons were in the middle. ;-)]
Stunt in the dance (Annelise flying)
Mid-dance jump! (Yes, that's me doing it on the sideline :-P)

This sweet girl was a junior cheer coach for another Senior Varsity squad, and her mom said she thinks *I'm* the coolest!!! WHAT?!?! :-P She was *too nervous* to ask for a selfie with me (again, WHAT?!?!?!?! :-P) so she asked her mom to ask me! How adorable is that??? What an honor...

And finally, my girls with our trophies!

I'll share another post in the coming weeks with the pro pictures from the Turf Bowl that the professional photog took and video of our performance, whenever they are ready.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thankfuls of Late

Thankfuls of late: I got pulled pork barbeque & hot now Krispy Kreme while choreographing 6 different Turf Bowl dances together with my Cheertators = delicious extreme productivity & teamwork! I choreoed new Zumba, as well. (I worry about letting Zumba slide when cheer is so intensive, but not this year!) I discovered the joy of kinesiology tape for my sore, strained medial deltoid!!! I enjoyed lunch & restaurant exploring one day with another BFF. I got to chaperone Will's choir field trip to a high school show choir production. The kids helped clean up the house one day. Bonnie Blue beagle got out of our yard (lawn guy left the gate open) and a neighbor boy brought her home! I got to take a "Yin Yoga + Massage" workshop = HEAVEN!!! My right turn signal went out; our auto guy fixed it for FREE *AAAND* banged out several dents from when a blown tire in front of us on I-10 hit the front & side a year & a half ago! (They were just cosmetic, so I didn't want to pay $$$$$ to fix on such an old van...but I *hate* that damage, & he made it look MUCH LESS WORSE!)

I'm also thankful Annelise was chosen to give the introduction in her 4th grade musical, "At The Bandstand", last week! They did three shows on Thursday, and she spoke so clearly & with enthusiasm! #proudtheatremama

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Party's Over

We lost Saturday. Severely crushed...and sunburnt. :-P It tears me up to think that this was Will's last football game where I officially coach his sister to cheer for him. I'm not ready to focus on the bright side, yet... (but when I am, I know that it's my beautiful squad, who did a great job, who will love Turf Bowl practices still this week & will dazzle our Turf Bowl performance for our 3rd place trophies with our boys this coming Sunday.)

This Falcons Family has been the only family we have had here in Texas...and I am so thankful...

Of course, I'm still in & running the cheer show; but this was Will's last youth football year, b/c starting in 7th grade, he'll play for his Junior High. This was the last game for this team we've been with for years. Next year, my girls (13 of 16 are all younger; Annelise will be the oldest) will have to find a new team to cheer for - not a problem, but it won't be our full family unit, anymore, without Will playing & JB head coaching him. *sniff*

It *WAS* truly a LIFE'S DREAM FULFILLED that we got to share these years as a complete family unit, united in coaching & participating all together!!! We came from years of very minimal family this! What a tremendous answer to prayer!!!

We had our team party on Sunday at one of the players' family ranch - gorgeous! For their coach gift, the team gave us this massive metal shield they had designed & crafted with every football player & cheerleader's signature sealed in it. It's a showpiece!!!

I have 3 "graduating seniors" (6th graders) on my squad whom I am going to miss SO MUCH!!! (I need to recruit some new older girls to base & back spot Annelise in all those high flying extension stunts! :-P)

The "big girls" getting to fly...and lifting me up, too. :-)

OK. Time to focus on me running our division-wide Turf Bowl dance!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Van Lizard

This *seriously* happened: driving Annelise to tumble...& this little lizard head popped up in my (broken) door handle fascia! Annelise took pics as I drove! We just didn't want him to freak out, jump, hide (& subsequently die!!!) When we got to tumble, I parked by the grass, corralled him in the corner, & he walked up my arm to safety. Add successful animal rescuer to my résumé! :-D (Yes, he turned brown on the wood paneling, & yes, we're already Geico customers! :-P)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sunset Pyramid

More stunning Texas sunset stunting...

We didn't get to actually do this stunt in a halftime performance, b/c not everyone could come to the 11/1 makeup game, and our 11/7 game was too rainy to risk putting up anything high like this. Oh well... It was still pretty! Maybe we'll fit it in next year...

First Round Win

Our Falcons won our first-round playoff game 28-0 on 11/7!!! ❤🏈❤🏈 The chilly rain began right before halftime, but my girls still rocked their show, even though my flyer opposite Annelise (A is the horizontal flyer on the right in the stunt; she was supposed to have another girl mirror her) bailed b/c of the weather literally 30 seconds before halftime! :-O Her dad didn't know it was that close to performance & made her go, but we scrambled to make the best of it. Not too bad, considering:

Then we made the best of it (certainly helped that we were winning ;-)) and had a BLAST marching up & down the sideline, following the action & cheering under our umbrella huddle! :-D (Plus, it's not like we could get wetter or colder. ;-))

The second round of playoffs is tomorrow, Saturday 11/14. We play at 2 PM CST, and if we win, we'll get to play in the championship Turf Bowl for the first time EVER... Lift up prayers of strength, focus, & excellence for our team!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sunday Night Lights

We were crushed on Halloween morning, when our football league deemed our field too swampy to play. :'( We went on with our disappointed day, although we did have a nice Halloween:

But Sunday morning, 11/1, we woke up to a notification that we'd be playing a Sunday Night Lights surprise makeup football game on the high school competition field!!! My heart leapt that 11 out of 16 of my girls could make it! They rocked that competition field AND got to do TWO halftime dances: the other team wanted us to do our Opening Ceremonies dance with them - fabulous teamwork & cheer camaraderie ❤ - & then we did our little Halloween dance with last-minute reworked stunts (see last pic) that they nailed! Will played a GREAT defensive game, too!!! 🏈