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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Getting Ready For Christmas


Well tonight is the night the big Guy comes and climbs through our chimney's, eats the cookies we leave and in return leaves us some presents. My 2 1/2 yr old granddaughter has been tracking Santa on the computer most of the day with the help of my 12 yr old Bridget. Little kids make Christmas magical.
I get so excited over the holidays. I am like a big kid myself. I even had to let Kaya,(my granddaughter) open a few presents tonight. (It is tradition to open one present of each persons choosing on Christmas Eve.) Only so she could wear them tomorrow. We didn't do any baking this year, our budget didn't allow it. Baking cookies for friends and family is becoming more expensive than just buying a gift. 
Christmas Eve is also a night were my husbands family that reside in NC all get together at his brother Matt's house for dinner, and story telling, and laughter, and the White Elephant gift exchange. That is where you draw numbers and you get to pick a gift, or you can steal someone else's gift  and then they have to open another gift. The gifts are something that have a sense of humor to them.
Now we didn't go this year, because I was laid up with severe back pain and swollen legs and feet. (I couldn't get a pair of shoes on) But my older 2 sons Kyle and Jacob did go. Kyle bought a 6 pack of Snow Day beer. We crossed off the Snow and put HOLI "Day' and he removed and drank one beer, so we wrote 5 pack under the HOLI "Day". Jake didn't realize he was supposed to get a gift, so thinking quick on my feet, I grabbed a 5x7 picture of my husband off the book shelf, we took it from the frame, he autographed it we put it back in the frame and wrapped it. Now My son was not to keen on this idea. I told him to trust me, it would be the best gift of the night. I was RIGHT as I usually am. Apparently this gift was stolen 5 x's and in the end his sister Ruthie and our sister-in-law Vicki almost wrestled over it. I'm only sorry I wasn't there to see the whole thing. Now my reluctant son was claiming VICTORY for thinking up the best present of the evening. 
So now his sister Ruthie wants to start an autographed collection of all her brothers. (There are 8 in all) Yes you read that right, 8 brothers. There are also 4 girls, 12 in all. There are 6 brothers and 1 sister who live in NC, the rest are all up in NY where we are originally from.
My brother will be staying with us tonight, and my son Kyle will also spend the night, and in the morning My daughter Kady, and my granddaughter Kaya will be over for a great big breakfast which is Christmas tradition. We would usually do midnight mass, but due to my back and legs, and my daughter Kady being sick, we will stay at home tonight. I'm sure God will understand. 
I hope you all are enjoying your families this evening, and enjoying your own traditions. I would love it if you left a comment telling of some of your traditions. Wishing you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS, or HAPPY HANUKKAH, or HAPPY KWANZAA or whatever tradition you may celebrate.

God Bless,
Kimmie <3



Bridget AKA Gidget

Me acting surprised

Jacob & Melissa(Kyle's GF)


Lto R Kyle, Michael aka Meat, Jacob(in the back)


Kaya openeing her early presents

Our Boxer Adella ever so watchful

OOH' & AAH's

The "Plague"


Well the day is about to come to end, and besides the "Plague" that has taken residence in my house, it has been an uneventful day. 
My 12 yr old was a bit on edge all day thinking that some cataclysmic event was going to happen because of all the whispers of the some horrific thing happening on this day.        
That according to the Mayan calender, the world was going to come to an end. I tried to explain that this day would go by like most others, uneventful. I told her of all the hype and fear of Y2K. That there were people who prepped themselves for a world shattering event that never happened.
Now to say my day was completely uneventful would be a lie. I have been nursing sick kids for what seems weeks on end. One gets better, another gets sick. Let me also mention that whatever this sickness is, it is horrible. My kids and my husband have been fighting this "Plague" for almost a month now. Fever, hacking, coughing, sneezing, laryngitis, earaches, stuffy noses, and the feeling of being hit by a bus. I have spent more time at the pharmacy these past weeks than I have in the past 12 months combined. The pharmacist is like"You again"? " Yup, it's me again"!! I might have to put her on my Christmas list I have spent so much time with her these past few weeks. Luckily, knock on wood, I have remained Plague free.
I have also been trying to and participating in craft swaps on If you are a grafter I highly recommend checking out the site. So while I have been waiting for prescriptions to be filled, I spent some time taking pictures to for a swap I am doing, and for a swap I just completed. I took some pictures of the town in which I live. It is a really nice community. It is a fairly small community, on the edge of a very large city. There is a great sense of community in my little town. There is always events taking place, people out and about, a place were folks still like to smile and say hello, were they will stop and have a conversation with a perfect stranger.
We also have one of the countries top private colleges in our community, Davidson College. I live in a great community. I took some pictures to share.
I will be sharing pictures with you all over the next week as part of a swap I am participating in this week. I have shared pictures on occasion, but this swap requires I share at least 2 pictures per entry over the next week. Quite frankly, I like seeing pictures when I visit others blogs, so I may share more often.
I hope this finds you all healthy, I am happy that the world continues on for all of us to appreciate and enjoy, and I hope you are all having a splendid holiday season.

God Bless,

Our Library

Local Restaurant (My son Jake works here)

New Art Sculpture by the Library

Speaks for itself :)

Another local Restuarant

Awesome Coffee house

What a bookstore should be

Davidson College

My FAVORITE place to shop

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Orleans...The conclusion


Now our trip to New Orleans was especially hectic and busy the 1st few days. Not only did Gidget compete in Solo competition, she also competed in the teams competition on 12/1.  She was part of a 4 hand team. There were 62- 4 hand teams competing that day. The teams had to be down at the Ballrooms ready to go by 8 am. Now Gidget didn't have to wear her make-up(which takes about 30 minutes to put on), but she did have to wear her full wig, which takes about 30 minutes to get on because she has so much hair.
Now one thing I have learned in the 2 years we have been competing is everything moves along on "Irish Time". That means things usually are not on schedule and always running behind. The Team competition was no exception. Teams always start out with the 8- hand teams competing first. They competed one at a time, (in a regular competition they usually compete 2 at a time). The 4 hand competition started at approximately 11:30 or so. At this point we have been waiting around for 3 1/2 hours. My daughters 4 hand was one of the last teams to go on stage. Now at least they competed 2 teams on stage at a time. Her team did well, they were 2 spots out of qualifying for recall. 
I was one of the luckier parents though, some of the kids were dancing on 2 or three different teams. Next year Gidget will be dancing on more than one team as well. 
After her team was done dancing, we retreated to the quiet of our hotel room to take a nap. Though Gidget went back down to the ballrooms to watch the senior kids do their solo dances.These are the kids that range from 17-21. I did get to watch a few in earlier in the morning while waiting for Gidget's team to dance. The way the older kids dance is a sight to behold. They are unbelievably talented, and unbelievably athletic. 
Though for us, Oireachtas(ore-ock-tus) was now over. All the months of hard work, the countless hours of preperation and practice,and the anticipation and it was over. It was truly a wonderful and exciting experience. 
So now it is time for a quick breather as the kids get ready to take a 2 week break from dance for the holidays. Then they will return and it will be back to work, learning all new dances, preparing for a Feis in Stone Mnt, Ga., which is a wonderful resort, we attended last years Feis there. Although for Gidget she will practice everyday for probably 2-3 hours a day to keep her stamina up, and her muscles from going soft.
As for the remaining days of our trip in New Orleans, we did do quite a bit of sight seeing, and our last night there we went on a Haunted Tour of the French Quarter. Our Tour Guide Yvonne was not only super nice, she was extremely knowledgeable of New Orleans founding early history. She took us to some of the most haunted location not only in New Orleans, but considered the most haunted in the world. We did not see or hear any ghosts on our tour, but did get to see some of New Orleans oldest buildings, and it was a great history lesson for Gidget.
One of the stops on our tour was the Bourbon Hotel. We met an older women in the lobby who started talking to us, (she didn't know we were on a haunted tour) and she began telling us of her room being haunted and some incidents that had occurred the previous night. She said it was the ghosts of small children laughing and jumping on the bed while she was sleeping. That the incident had woke her up. Apparently there are many claims of small children being heard laughing, or running up and down the hallway. We also got to go to the ballroom which is said to have the ghost of a women from the 1800's in it, and also the ghost of a confederate soldier.
Another location was the old Yellow Fever Hospital. The building has been vacant and boarded up for at least 20+ years. The weird thing about the building was it was the only part of the street where the street light didn't work, and where the trees wouldn't grow. We also saw the 1st Pharmacy. It wasn't open, but due to the hauntings at that location, they only open 3-4 hours during daylight hours. It is a museum, and looks like it did back in the 1800's.
I would most definitely love to go back to New Orleans and go on the Staemboat, and see more of the sights. It truly is a wonderful place to visit. I recommend going if you get the chance.
I hope you enjoyed by mini series on our trip, I have a few ideas for the last few posts of the year. I hope you will join me. Until next time....

God Bless,

Looking out our Hotel room window

The Ballrooms for the dance Comp.

Gidget's 4 hand Team

The best Potato Chips EVER

Beautiful Architecture

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Bike Taxi's

They call him "Touch Down Jesus" in New Orleans

Gidget at The Bourbon Hotel

Me, on the Haunted tour

The Haunted Hotel Ballroom

The Haunted Ballroom

The lobby of the Bourbon Hotel

The Old Yellow Fever Hospital 

Another view of the Haunted Hospital

Our plane ride Home

Sunday, December 16, 2012

VLOG: 3 things I would tell my younger self


Hi All, I was going to finish the last Installment of our glorious trip to New Orleans, but am trying something completely new, and will wrap up our trip tomorrow.
Earlier I was on a blog I follow, Lil Blue Boo @  were she is hosting an amazing giveaway. Pop over and check out the giveaway. If you like to sew this is a really great giveaway. I just ask if you do, to please leave in your comment that I sent you over. Now I don't get anything for sending you over to her blog other than blog curtisy. While I was going through and liking the different FB pages and blogs, I came across Gussy Sews. She had a coffee date with her friend and fellow blogger Alissa from Rags to Stitches. The question was posed that if you could go back and tell your younger self 3 things that would help you out in your current life, what would you tell yourself?? 
Well I bit the anxiety bullet, and I made a vlog to link up and post to Gussy's blog. I have to say, it was much more fun than I had thought. I was afraid of sounding funny. Who knows maybe I do, but I thought I sounded ok and I guess that is all that matters.
I hope you will listen to what I had to say on the matter, leave a comment and possibly make a vlog  of your own and link it up here. I used my cell phone camera to make mine. I hope some of you lovely ladies will make a vlog and please link up. I'd also like feed back on my 1st vlog, the good, bad and the ugly truth of how I did. I can't improve if I don't know what I may be doing here it is my 1st EVER VLOG; Hope you enjoy. 
Blessings & Friendship,

Saturday, December 15, 2012

New Orleans: Competition Day


Competition day... The whole reason for being in New Orleans. We got a very early start. We were up by 5 to start getting ready so we had time to grab a bite to eat before having to be at Gidget's stage so she could check in.
This was our first time ever attending Oireachtas.(ore-ock-tus) Everyone says that the first time is really just for the experience. It's like a a Feis on steroids. A feis(fesh) is a competition that the dancers compete by their level of dance. The levels go like this; Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Novice, Prizewinner, Preliminary- Champion, Open- Champion. As the dancer progresses up each level, the technique gets more and more difficult. Dancers at the top are true atheletes. The degree of discipline and stamina that is required is truly remarkable. Dancers also compete within their age group at each level as well. Gidget is a U12 Prizewinner, but has 2 dances towards her Prelim level. Dancers advance through the levels by getting a 1st place in each of their dances competing at Feis's. Now that may sound easy, but it is anything but. At Gidget's age level and dance level a typical competition size is about 20. She attended a competition in Cleveland where there were 40-45 kids, in which case they will split the group. Are you still with me??? The higher the level, the more difficult your competitors get.
Now to attend Oireachtas you have to qualify. The dancer Must have a 1st place in each a hard shoe dance and a softshoe dance at the Novice level. Basically 1/2 Novice 1/2 Prizewinner. But at Oireachtas you don't dance by level, you dance by age group. So a Prizewinner will compete agianst a dancer who may be an Open Champion. So basically at this competition everyone is good. There were 115 dancers in Gidget's competition.
The dancer will dance 1 hard shoe, and 1 soft shoe. The top 50 with the highest scores of each group will Recall. A recall means you get to do your set dance which a hard shoe. Those with the highest combined scores of all 3 dances will either qualify to go to National's or World's. 
Gidget danced phenominally, but did not recall. She was disappointed, because her teachers thought she had a good shot at recalling, but it wasn't to be. Which is not uncommon for a 1st time. Her teachers did say she dance remarkably well though. It was a bit of shell shock though, because every dancer was good. Which is much different from a regular Feis where Gidget usually scores in the top 5. She is a really solid and a really consistent dancer.
Though training to go to Oireachtas was an experience unto itself. She practiced about 12- 15 hours a week for 2 months. All the kids from her school that went worked really hard. I  was in complete awe of them. These kids had blisters on blisters, their muscles hurt, their knees, ankles, and hips hurt, But they didn't complain, they worked even harder. They were all Champions in my eyes.
Now I know that was a lot of confusing information and I hope I explained it well enough. I have been in this for 2 years now and I am still learning, so don't feel bad if you don't totally get it. 
If I get any one point across is that I want folks to understand what true Athletes that these kids are. They work hard, in and out of the studio. They breathe, eat and sleep Irish Dance. They all strive to be the best. They carry themselves in that manner too. I admire every single one of them. I would be remiss if I did not mention the wonderful teachers who work with these kids 5 days a week. Sandra, who owns the school, Pam, Michele, Audrey, and Patrick. They are wonderful and awesome teachers.  
To be continued........ Tomorrow Ceili's (caylee's) (Teams)
God Bless,

Getting Ready to do her Wig

She has Lots & Lots of hair

The Hair "Donut" is on

The hair "Donut"

Ready for her wig

Wig & Make-up on Ready to Compete
Chloe getting some finishing touches

Bridget with her friend and fellow competitor Meghan

Ready to go
Looking Beautiful

Waiting for the Recall List

Bridget And Katelyn having lunch