August 2016 ~ A Banner Month!

Besides getting her ears pierced and beginning the first grade (mentioned in previous posts), Natalie had a few other significant events take place during the month of August.

Last year Natalie had a great time being part of the Rock City Dance Apprentice Company. This year she decided that she wanted to do more dancing so she auditioned for the RCDC full company. She worked so hard on her dancing all summer and had a great time auditioning with her friends. The same day Natalie got her ears pierced we got the good news that she had earned a spot in the full company! Audition pics are below.img_4220img_4241img_4276img_4202img_4279img_42552208x1656-jpeg-070738c1e34c48708995e98407be0769img_4204
On ear piercing day we went to the Museum of Discovery where Nat had a fun time lying on a bed of nails. That’s where we got the exciting news that she was accepted into the full dance company (see her happy face below – the one with white tile in the background). After the Discovery Museum we went to a nearby wildlife museum that had lots of cool fish tanks and interesting displays.img_0102img_0115img_4356img_4309img_4301img_0107img_0127img_0130img_0139

A few days later Natalie visited the same 2 museums again with her favorite twin friends.  It was great to reconnect with them a couple of days before school starts.  Natalie was so excited to find out that one of the twins is in her class this year.img_0188img_0206img_0227img_0214

I haven’t posted many pictures of Louie lately.  He has been having a rough time for the last couple of years.  His allergies have been absolutely terrible.  He spends most of his time wearing a cone to prevent him from covering his entire body with self-inflicted sores.  He has been getting allergy shots for several months now.  I don’t think they have helped his itchy skin much, but they have helped to clear up his ears which were previously a horrible mess.    In the pics below Louie is finding great joy in eating a pinecone.  I don’t know why he loves them so, but since he chews them up throughly before swallowing them I just let him chow down.  It’s one of the few things that makes him happy these days.  Louie will be 9 years old in January.img_4497

Natalie and one of her favorite dance friends… she is lucky to have such a sweet group of girls to dance with.  She is dancing 4 days a week now for a total of 6 1/2 hours.  She is studying ballet, hip hop, tap, contemporary, jazz and lyrical.  img_4489

Ready for tap class to begin… Nat’s teacher told her tonight that she has great taps and asked her to demonstrate to the class.13958126_10210204064361668_8952057759834831232_o

Two days after school started Natalie had to have 4 teeth pulled!!!!  Yikes!  She was a trooper though as always.  She got a little sad when she looked in the mirror after coming home.  She teared up a bit and said “Mama, I look creepy.”  She had 4 bloody holes in her gums and 2 new teeth coming up in the wrong place behind them.  The next day though her mouth looked so much better.  A week later her teeth had already shifted into the right place.img_4437

Behind our house at sunsetimg_4364

Playing dodgeball at a b-day partyimg_0233

Dressing up Remy.  This kitty is so laid back…he’s up for anything.img_0155

Meet the teacher night the week before school.  Natalie LOVES her new teacher.  She is so happy to go to school every day this year.img_0178

She also got to visit her sweet kindergarten teacher from last year.img_0182

Water fun… only a few days of swimming weather left.img_4602img_4578img_4571img_4550

Near the end of August we got a kayak and finally started exploring the watery world behind our house.  The lake behind our home connects to a swampy area which connects to the Little Maumelle.  Each time we go out we explore a little further.  During our first journey out a big blue heron flew over our heads.  Amazing!img_4469img_4501img_4502img_4513img_4519img_4517img_0703img_4484


July 2016 ~ Summertime Fun

4th of July Silliness

Magic Springs Waterslide



Fun Stuff

Time with Friends

Vocal Camp

This summer Natalie attended a week long vocal camp at Wildwood Center for the Arts.  She wasn’t really loving it after the first day and was reluctant to go back on Tuesday.  However, she stuck with it and ended up having an amazing time.  Next year if the dates don’t clash with her dance schedule she is planning on attending again.



Natalie was involved in a photo shoot to represent her dance studio, Rock City Dance Center.  She had a great time and was thrilled to see her photo on the sign in front of the gorgeous new dance studio.


May 2016

Little Rock Dance Competition

Natalie and her 11 teammates had their final competition of the season this April in Little Rock.  The baseball dance – shown in the second video below – won first place for their age group.  It was a musical theater The car dance (a Jazz dance) shown in the following video got third place.

By the way, there is another little Chinese American girl on Natalie’s team.  With their hair pulled back and stage make up on the two girls look a bit alike from far away.  Natalie is the one on the left side of the videos and group pictures.









1688x2250.jpeg.b22ea98a896b4f6d9c41cca37cd91190When I asked Natalie which types of dance are her favorite she said, “Jazz, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Ballet and Tap!  All of them Mama!” Natalie is just a beginning dancer, but seeing her face light up when she is on the stage makes her look absolutely amazing to me.

First Dance Competition

In March the Rock City Apprentice Company had their first competition in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  Natalie and her wonderful dance friends did a fantastic job.  Their first dance titled “Crusin'” was referred to by the team as the car dance.  Their second dance was titled “I Don’t Dance”… the kids called it the baseball dance.  They did a great job on both dances, but the judges were especially enamoured of the baseball dance.  They received a special judge’s choice “Showstopper Award”for that dance.  The most memorable moment for me was when Natalie came on stage for the baseball dance.  As all of the kids were getting into their starting positions I noticed that Natalie went to the wrong part of the stage.  I was trying with all my might to send her a telepathic message to move to her right.  I don’t think she got my message, but she finally realized that she wasn’t in the right spot.  Natalie quickly ran to her assigned spot which she reached right as the music started.  She jumped right into the dance without getting flustered or even missing a beat.  I was so proud of her.

January 2016

Yay… I’m almost caught up on blog posts.  At least I’m in the right year now.


Playing sleepy time with her dolls & animals


Nat still sleeps with Cindy & Betsy every night – she’s had them since she was 2


Going to a Bday celebration


Snow Day!!!


Her handwriting has improved so much this school year


Putting the barbies to bed…note one is sleeping in the bathtub

In Mid January Natalie was in a dance showcase which was mostly an opportunity for the dancers to do a full dress rehearsal before their first competition in March.  She had a great time being around all of her dancing friends.  Natalie also gets a big thrill anytime she gets to wear makeup which is only when she is performing on stage or during Halloween.

Natalie and friends celebrated her 6th birthday at River City Gymnastics.  Everyone had a wonderful time jumping and playing on all of the fun equipment.  I’m so grateful that Natalie has such a sweet group of friends.


The birthday girl is about to jump into the foam pit.


The Birthday Crew!

Summer of 2015

Last summer we were so busy we didn’t even make it out of the state of Arkansas. Natalie attended several dance camps including an audition into an apprentice dance company for which she was accepted. She also was taking swimming lessons for the first month of summer.  We quit those at the end of June though as she was getting almost daily practice in our swimming pool and has become a proficient swimmer.  Natalie also continued her speech, occupational and physical therapy for a total of 6 hours a week.  At the end of summer she finally tested out of physical therapy -Yay!  All that swimming and dancing has made her so strong!  We also spent lots of time with friends and family.  We saw Nat’s Great-grandmother and granddaddy in SW Ark.  We made several trips to Magic Springs Amusement and Water Park where we did the scariest thing I have ever done in my life.  It is called the Sky Shark… a ride that pulls you 115 ft into the air and then drops you straight down.  (see the final picture).  It was all Natalie’s idea; ironically she gave me the courage to try it.  She wasn’t a bit afraid and immediately wanted to do it again when we were done.  It’s driving her crazy that she won’t be tall enough for several years to ride all of the adult thrill rides at the park.  Natalie is cautious about so many things, but she had a very adventurous side.  During a birthday party at the Science Museum she volunteered without hesitation to hold fire in her hand during an experiment.  Brave girl!