Bike Ride ~American River Parkway

For Christmas last year, the whole family got new bikes.  Well, Jacob got a cart but Santa will be bringing him his own little bike this Christmas....shhh!  We've been on tons of rides on the trails around the house but we hadn't made it any further afield although Doug had purchased a bike carrier at the same time as our bikes.  Yesterday we finally made it out to the pathways along the river in the American River Parkway.  I can't believe we hadn't been out that way before.  It was absolutely beautiful!

 Doesn't Jake look cute tucked in back there!

The girls wore out fairly quickly but Doug was prepared.  He brought along a blanket and some PB&Js for a little picnic.

 Lauren and Jacob found a ladybug.
 Doug took a break.

 Then everyone set off to explore.

 The kids had been asking to go down to the water the whole trip and we finally found an easy place to access the river.
 Jake spent his time collecting rocks and throwing them into the water.
 Lauren and Anna met "Gracie and Beau" and spent their time throwing the ball over and over again for the happy dogs.

 The girls coordinated their clothing...to match each other...and their coats matched their bikes.  They're too funny!
 We're getting so excited because the grandparents will be here in just under two weeks.  We cant wait!    We'll see you soon, Granny and PawPaw!


Final Performance

Anna had her final OZ performance last night at MTC. It was so much fun. Even though we're looking forward to a break, we're sad it's over. We met so many wonderful kids and parents there. What a great group of people!

 We had planned to get flowers for Anna for the final performance but she didn't know that.  She kept saying, "Gee, people sure are getting pretty flowers.  I would like to have some too but that's okay, Mommy, I really don't need any."  She was so happy and surprised when we pulled this bouquet of roses out at the end of the performance.

I knew she really wanted flowers but as flowers don't last forever, I wanted her to have something as a keepsake.  I found this wonderful pop-up book by Robert Sabuda, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and gave that to her as well.  It's a fantastic book.  You can take a look at it here.  This has been such a wonderful experience and we can't wait to do it again.  MTC has their next auditions in April for a summer production.  They're still determining whether they will be performing "Legally Blonde", "Seussical, The Musical", or "Dr. Doolittle".  I'm so surprised because after seeing 3 of Anna's 6 shows, Lauren has told me she wants to give it a try the next time around!


Welcome to Oz!

Anna has been a busy girl the past few months.  She's been working with the McLaughlin Theatre Company on their production of "Oz, The Musical".  She has three roles she plays between the two casts.  Her main role is as "Boq", the munchkin mayor.

When she's not playing Boq, she is a member of the "Lollipop Guild". 

In both casts, she is a "Citizen of Oz".

 As Boq, she has a dancing and singing solo in the song "Ease on Down the Road" and she also has five main lines in the play:
1.  Welcome most noble witch to the country of the Munchkins.
2.  ....the wicked witch of the west.
3.  Tell us noble Dorothy, how did you come to this place?
4.  Perhaps Oz will help her.
5.  The road to the Emerald City is paved with bricks.

The whole play is so cute and the director has just done a fantastic job with the kids.  I think the costumes are outstanding.  They started with a $100 budget and had to ask for a small increase.  The mom that put it all together has a costume design background and is so amazingly creative and talented.  Wow!

There's the lullaby league.
Dorothy in her "ruby red sneakers with the Scarecrow and Toto AKA Ziggy (he's gained a little weight through the experience as they trained him for his role with doggy treats).
The Tin Woodswoman...
The Wicked Witch of the West and her Flying Monkeys...the wings are made of one red boa each, hot-glued to cardboard cutouts.

 The Citizens of Oz with collars and cuffs made from a thrift store curtain purchase with embellished t-shirts.
 The Wizard of Oz and his Guardians of the Gate...

 The Cowardly Lion...

 The Poppies...

 Glinda the Good...

I'm just so proud of all of these kids.  They've put a lot of time into these roles.  The thought of being in front of a crowd singing and dancing is terrifying to me, but these guys make it look easy.

We've been listening to the CD of cast music for months now...endlessly...over and over and over.  It cracks me up that Jake even knows the words now.  He rides along in his car seat, nodding his head and kicking his legs in time to the music, singing:
Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.
Wake up - sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead. She's gone where the goblins go,
Below - below - below. Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong' the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked Witch is dead!

I'm so very, very proud of Anna.  She is so charismatic and sings her part with such gusto.  She loves it and has been having such a great time. 
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