Sunday, December 31, 2017

Elf On The Shelf - Day #8

On Day #8, our elves arrived and so did REAL SNOW!
The kids looked everywhere for them and didn't find them until we opened the blinds that morning.  
Our elves arrived in mason jars with a special note.   
One of Lilah's elves, Ariel, doesn't like snow, so she didn't arrive.  The truth is... I only could access two mason jars without waking up the rest of the house. LOL! AND Napoleon didn't arrive because of Ty's bad behavior from the day before.  
Jax found the elves.
Lilah was super excited and so intrigued that they were outside and in jars.
I thought this idea was pretty neat.  I LOVED that they had an opportunity to hang with their elves in a "safe" way! I came up with this idea in 5 seconds flat... when my other idea fell through.  
Above: the twins are enjoying hot chocolate with their elves.

Elf On The Shelf - Day #7

On day #7 that our elves arrived, they arrived celebrating Lilah's great news!!!
All of the Disney princesses held up perfect "10"s.  Hehe.  They also left the photo of Lilah, in front of Attic Productions, and an encouraging bible passage.
"There are different kinds of [talents], but the same LORD.  There are different kinds of [skills], but in all of them, and in everyone, it is the same GOD at work!" ~ 1 Corinthians 12:5-6
For the full "show", click below and enjoy the video footage.  
Our elves are the best!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Audition Footage!

Okay, I decided to share these videos because ONE day, Lilah will want to look back and see how much SHE HAS IMPROVED and grown.  So.... keep in mind that my girl had butterflies and NO EXPERIENCE AND remember, she's 8, EIGHT people!  Haha.  

Below: this video is of 1of the 2 cold reads.  Lilah has never done a cold read in her life and she had no idea what to expect.  I think she did pretty good considering she had no experience. I love how she read with tone and infliction.

Each person auditioning was asked to introduce themselves and give a little intro to their personality. Lilah is ALWAYS giving the peace sign. AND without fail... she did it in her audition too.

Lilah was taught a dance choreography. Then, she had to perform it as part of her audition.  
Lilah learned the dance choreography in five minutes and performed it beautifully. The first 25 seconds, each person was told to just improv their own dance move.
Next up, VOICE lessons/solo singing audition. YIKES. This little girl is pretty talented when it comes to dance and acting, but she is not confident when it comes to vocal abilities. When she learned the song with EVERYONE, she came back to me pretty upset. Saying, "I can't sing high pitched and this song is all high pitched!" It knocked her enthusiasm out of the park. She was pretty upset. She doesn't like to fail and felt like this would be what would mess up her opportunity.
"Rise up and sing..". You have to listen closely to hear her. Remember, she never claimed to be Mariah Carey. Singing is slightly out of her element. It takes some guts to do this stuff. LOL! 
That's a wrap!

Lilah's First Audition!

It was a text that I wasn't expecting from a friend. She said something to the effect of, "Hey, just wanted to let you know that there are a few audition dates for the production "Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs" at Attic Productions, if Lilah is interested." My friend has mentioned several times that she sees talent in Lilah. This friend, Zayne, has seen Lilah's talent just through exploring our family blog. Zayne recently moved here from Florida, AFTER connecting with me through my blog, to ask me questions about Roanoke.  The story is truly unbelievable and I will have to share it with you one day. Since moving to Roanoke, she has been in a few productions of her own at the Mill Mountain Theatre.  So, needless to say, she knows what it takes.  

I asked Lilah if she was interested in auditioning and without hesitation... she said, "YES!" I was super excited because I never want to force ANYTHING on my children or try and live vicariously through them.  So aside from offering up the dates and times, this was ALL with Lilah's approval and willingness.  

The day before she was really excited and even had me print out some monologues for her to practice.  The day of, she was slightly nervous.  I thought she was going to change her mind, but she pushed through, knowing that if she ever wanted to have her own Disney show... she HAS TO START somewhere.  Hahahahaha.
We arrived! With true excitement and undoubtedly some butterflies. We filled out a sheet with our personal information on it and then checked the boxes of characters that Lilah would be interested performing as.  She did NOT check Snow White, LOL!
The theatre is adorable: a good size, clean, charismatic, and intimate.  
They asked each person auditioning to take a still photo with their name. I guess this was simply to help trigger the faces, for those who would have the final say, as to whether or not someone had what it took to be in this particular play. I mean how could they possibly remember who was who without snapping their faces/names?
And then the auditioning began...
There was (16) kids auditioning.  The groups were split in (2) and each group had to do two cold reads in front of everyone who was present.  I was really hoping Lilah would make it to the second round, so she could see what she was up against, but she was called on the first round.  Eeeeekkk! Her cold reads went smooth.  She read with intentionality, infliction, and got into character. The kids also had to memorize a dance and a song.  The dance was performed on stage and the song had to be sung as a solo.  If I share any of her audition footage, it will be in the next post, but I am debating. Her audition was excellent, considering she had ZERO experience of a cold read and considering her butterflies, but it didn't depict even a 1/4 of her talent.  I was still pretty pleased though.
AND so was the director, Ms. Georgia. 
On Wednesday, December 6th @ 9:25 pm, we received "the call."  Ms. Georgia bypassed ME  and asked to speak to Lilah. She told Lilah that she made the cut and asked Lilah if she would accept a spot on the stage. Lilah of course said "YES" with a BIG SMILE.  I was over here like, "What?! What?! What's going on?"  I was blown away that I wasn't told first being Lilah is a minor, haha.  I am so glad that Lilah was still up WHEN, on a school night, she ordinarily would be in bed. I am guessing the director wants these children to take full ownership of their role in the production.  For two straight days we had to hold in the good news.  We weren't allowed to tell anyone because she hadn't broken the news to the kids that didn't make it.  That was Ms. Georgia's next step.  Out of 60 children who auditioned, Lilah made the cut of 25.  The musical will be on February 2nd, 3rd, 9th (my birthday), and 10th. Tickets are $8.00.  Please let me know if you are interested in coming to watch this sweet play.  For now, we drive to Fincastle 2-3 days a week (two for play practice and once for set performance).
Oh my Liley, you are going to go places.  You are a performer, a dancer, and an actress to say the least. My favorite hashtag for you is #shescaresme (in a good way), because it's trueAs one of your teachers once said to me, "That girl is a natural born leader!". You're feisty and sweet.  Strong willed, yet tender.  Pretty much fearless. Your personality is larger than life. You are so outgoing. I am watching you and wishing I had half your ability. I can't wait to see how the Lord shapes and molds you with all the talents he has gifted to you.  This play is a great beginning! A huge honor.  I am so excited I get to spend my 41st birthday watching you perform!
#Cloud9 #ProudMommy

Friday, December 29, 2017

BEAUTIFUL Cosmetic Bags!

In the post previous to THIS ONE... I shared that sometimes I find things that I LOVE and must give to multiple people. It certainly doesn't mean I just don't feel like picking out something special.  IT JUST MEANS... I LOVE my gift finds and don't like to stray from what I know is AMAZING.
These bags came in 4 different patters and colors.  I only liked 3/4, so I eliminated the fourth patter from my gift selections.

These bags ARE GORGEOUS.  Good quality.  VERY Girly.  And SO FUN.  
I gave four of these out to friends.  2/4 received a gift certificate to LOVELY_LIPS.  It went with the theme.  WHICH as you all know... get me hooked on a gift theme and the recipient is MORE THAN BLESSED.
Each cosmetic gift set came with (3) cosmetic bags ranging in size: small, medium, and large.  The first bag said something on each set.  I love the "Hello Gorgeous" and "Put Your Face On!" so much. The medium and large bags were either glittery or patterned.  I just love the unique and classy colors/patterns chosen.  

Rae Dunn Inspired...

Each year, I find something REALLY nice, personalized, affordable, in style, trendy, and/or GORGEOUS that I want to give to SO MANY people, so I do. LOL!  The items either fit the person, the budget, the need, the category, OR I just love it so much that I want everyone to have it. This year, there were two items that I was a little obsessed with giving.  The first... were these Rae Dunn, inspired Christmas ornaments. I gave them to school teachers, the principal, the bus driver, Sunday school teachers, business owners, our pastors, my nail technician/friend, special friends near and far, my in-laws, and several other people. If you received one and now feel like this was just something I gave to everyone... DON'T THINK THAT WAY.  It truly is something I LOVED so much that I wanted everyone, I love, to have .  My hope is that this item is used year round because Rae Dunn is that type of product. OH AND... I even bought 10 of these ornaments for my tree.  I didn't take photographs of EVERY ornament I purchased, but here are a few of the ornaments I did take photos of.
Apparently, I forgot to take a photo of my personalized ornament.  LOL!

My Christmas tree was gorgeous and so special because of THESE ornaments.  

I bought (12) ornament hangers at A.C. Moore, but sadly it wasn't enough.  When I went to buy more, they were GONE and they aren't getting anymore in until next year.  A few of my recipients didn't receive one, so I am going to check Amazon and see if I can get more. Basically, all of that to say... I bought close to 25 of these ornaments if not MORE!
I gave these ornaments a special touch of my own by adding the gorgeous and very popular buffalo plaid ribbon (which by the way was IMPOSSIBLE to find this season).
I am even excited to have one for my desk.  I love anything LIPS, LipSense, or LipBoss related.
These special ornaments can be ordered at Four Seasons Gifts.  My girlfriend, Carmen, owns this shop.  There is truly NOTHING I haven't liked that she has made.  She's very talented.  As the old saying goes, "Find something you love and be sure to buy it in every color!"  Rae Dunn only comes in black and white, so I bought 30+ in the same color, just different names.

Christmas At Grandad and Grandnee's Home! ~2018

My in-laws have been very gracious to us, over the last two or three years, to host Christmas Eve dinner.  If I had to fit in another homemade meal, table setting, or prepare for company on top of all that we have going on, I think I would crack. Hahah.   spend the month of December trying to stay on top of it all and then the week after Christmas I spend an entire week cleaning/organizing, catching up on my sleep, and undecorating.  Christmastime like a part time job.  
This year, my kids truly needed their wallets to be reloaded.  They LOVE gifts, but they also have so many wants throughout the year and we just can't buy everything they want.  That doesn't teach them the value of a dollar, nor do they appreciate things nearly as much as when they buy it for themselves.
You can tell by my kids' reactions that what was filled inside of their new wallets was beyond impressive.  
Their hearts were full and so were their wallets.  LOL!  Thank you Grandad and Grandnee for the $250.00 that they each received.  
The first photo, in this post, was self-timed obviously.  I try to capture every moment, with whoever we are with, as we never know when are last days on this earth will be.  The photo quality is horrible, but the people in the photo are awesome.  I am so thankful to Reid and Renee for raising an excellent son, who provides and loves our family above and beyond.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Unicorn Obsession!

If you follow me on Instagram, some of these Christmas posts may feel like duplicates and I apologize. Sometimes I get share happy and fail to realize that my viewers may be the same on both feeds. Once I get back to my normal, daily posting, I will make certain that I just give my IG followers sneak peaks, that lead them to my blog for the FULL post.  I just have NOT been able to post daily due to the holidays.  As you saw earlier from today's post, my Liley received, from Santa, some gymnastics equipment/clothing and then she also received a WRAPPED box of unicorn items.
First up, "Always be yourself unless you can be a unicorn.  Then, always be a unicorn!" sign. This item came from Altar'd State.  
 Unicorn headphones: Amazon!
 A JoJo Siwa Unicorn BOW from CVS.  
 A unicorn shirt: from Macy's, made by Epic Threads.  
 A unicorn face mask from Justice.  
An adorable, faux fur unicorn mini backpack, from Justice.  
Other items not mentioned, because not photographed individually are: Project 7 Unicorn gum, unicorn ornament from Michael's Stores, unicorn slipper sock from Old Navy, unicorn socks from Justice, and some unicorn post it notes from Wal-mart!

I sure hope she likes unicorns by her birthday because I got a ROYAL steal on some Meri&Meri unicorn party items from Macy's... like 90% off.  I shared this on my IG account and probably won't share it on the blog, so go check it out.