Friday, March 29, 2013

We've got a teenager in the house!



Teenager.... -n, a person between the ages of 13 and 19 inclusive

As of March 22, at 2:31 p.m. - that is what we now have in our house. Carleigh turned 13 a few days ago and we definitely found some time to celebrate in our "RahnFamily" style!

The countdown had begun many days ago as we started talking about what it meant....a Facebook account, increased Data plan for her phone, possibly a new phone, and her request was ... a "big girl" room :).  So plans were made, and March 22 quickly approached!

Her day started going to school and being surprised with her locker being decorated by her friends. This creative endeavor included getting the principal to open her locker after hours for them - so that they could decorate the inside also. 

Upon returning from school, she had to get ready for her Hip Hop Dance Recital - Dress rehearsal. That lasted for a few hours, and then.... 

Celebration #1 and Cake #1:

Chocolate cake with Chocolate Mint Chip icing and just the four of us, and dogs!

We then went to sleep to wake up early and prepare for day of celebrations!!


Celebration #2 and Cake #2

My parents and extended family came over for lunch and  we had a small family celebration with cake #2 - Chocolate Chip Cookie cake with purple/white frosting...

Family left, and now on to the big event - friends!  Carleigh invited a few friends to sleepover and help her celebrate. She was told to keep it small and she had a tough time choosing just a few, but the big night finally arrived...

Celebration #3 and Cake #3

An added bonus of this birthday celebration was sharing our culture with Leyre (far left) from Spain, she was visiting Ana (second in from left), and had only visited the U.S. a few times. She had never been to Virginia, and never been to this kind of American celebration. She had a great time, and later on that evening...made the comment, "This is just like in the movies."

 Cake #3 was actually cupcakes.....


After cupcakes and fun, Don decided to have some fun outside and brought out our leftover sparklers from summer.  The girls had a blast, and Ana and Leyre had never seen or used them before.

Luckily our WOODEN DECK didn't burn down and we then moved inside.

Upon waking up the next morning, the one event that hadn't happened yet - was an event from a past "Carleigh birthday" that we resurrected. Attacking her with Silly string. The girls had a blast with this - and again... a new experience for Leyre and Ana.

Celebration #3 ended, the girls left and Carleigh and I began the task of finishing her last birthday present...a room redo!  The whole family went in and bought her new furniture, bedding and paint for her birthday present.

The task of turning 2 of her lavender walls into a "mermaid green" color was complete, and the room had been emptied of the furniture that was being replaced.

Here is the empty room, freshly painted waiting for the new furniture to arrive:

This is a 3-d program called photosynth that stitches pictures together to make a giant 3-d panoramic view. Click on the picture and scroll up, down, and around to get the full view.

 Here are the after pictures: Carleigh even color-coordinated her outfit! :)

So...she's 13 now, Spring Break is ending and it is still cold! Back to school to finish out the year, and then summer and more adventures!!! We can't wait!

Stay tuned to see updates on how our school year is finishing, and what we have planned for summer vacation!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 snow, but lots of activity!!

So, winter is almost over and we haven't had much snow to speak of...but time definitely got away from us. We've been pretty busy over the past 2 1/2 let's catch up! Many of these events were highlighted on Facebook...but for those that are interested, here's what we've been up to:
  • Florida - Don and Laura travel Solo
  • Talent Show - Katie performs and Laura produces
  • Patty turns 40 - my sister finally joins my decade
  • Basketball - Katie had a winning season this year
  • CATS - Carleigh as Georgina in this year's middle school musical
  • Carleigh turns 13 - hard to believe that my baby will be a teenager in a few days
  • Spring Break - can't wait to relax
And here are the details....

Florida - Jan. 28 - Feb. 1

  - Don and Laura traveled to Orlando sans kids for four nights. We were on "Professional Business" as we attended F.E.T.C. 2013 - Florida  Educational Technology Conference.

 We started our adventure with a side trip to Universal Studios - Orlando to see the Blue Man Group. The conference didn't start till Tuesday morning, so Monday night we ventured out....It was a great time!!

 Many of our dinners were eaten on this deck at Bahama Breeze - a restaurant within walking distance from our hotel. Live music, palm trees and great food - just a few of the reasons that we ate there 3 of the 4 nights for dinner.

The conference was held at the Orlando Convention Center. Lots of fun and lots of great technology ideas!!
 The stage where the keynotes and entertainment sessions were held. It was quite the production - over 7,000 attendees and representatives from all 50 states and 28 countries.

A trip to Orlando wouldn't be complete without a trip to Disney World. We were able to take a side trip - through the conference excursions - to Epcot for an evening. We had a great time walking around the World Showcase, eating at the Coral Reef and visiting with the characters. It was a little weird without the girls, but we managed. :)

Mickey says hi to Virginia!!

 Teacher geeks that we are...we couldn't pass up getting our picture taken with Moby from - a website that our kids use all of the time for educational videos. Moby is one of the main characters and we were quite the celebrities when we returned and shared this picture with the kids.

The exhibit hall was one of our favorite places, and the Edmodo booth was a "must see" to bring back Swag for our students.

Don driving one of the robots on display.
 After 4 great nights, and 5 days - we arrived back home to the chaos that we call our life. Were we glad to be home? Definitely! Would we go back to another conference? Definitely!

Talent Show - February 8

 We returned from Florida on February 1, and I went straight into Talent Show mode. I was in charge of the 42 acts that would be performing on Mountain View's stage on Feb. 8. Katie was in 2 of them. I had a great group of parent volunteers and everything ran very smoothly. I had high school girls co-host and all 100 elementary students did a great job!! It was a fun evening - all 2 1/2 hours of it! :)

I've been producing this show for 10 years!!! Though, it was dropped to every other year - so next year I'm off!
Katie getting ready for her solo - me peeking from behind the curtain...last elementary school talent show! :( action! At the end of the show.

Patty Turns 40!

Another milestone was hit on February 8, as my "little" sister turned 40. We had a fun, family celebration on Feb. 9 with my parents.

Here are some pics of us through the years...

Our most recent "Good Picture!" Taken about a year ago...
NYC - a couple of years ago

Happy Birthday to my wonderful sister!!


Katie had a great basketball season this year! She learned a lot, improved a lot and had fun! Her team had a winning season and was one of the top seeds going into the championship tournament.


The beginning of March marked the debut of Carleigh as Georgina, the chorus cat in CATS at her middle school. She had spent three months rehearsing and loving every minute of it. The show was incredible and we all loved it as much as she did.


And we celebrate spring break...WE GET SNOW!

We are using spring break as a time to relax, catch up on home improvements and just regroup as a family! Winter was a busy time for us, and now we hope to spend some quality time together and enjoy these lazy days before the craziness of spring and end of school year activities approaches.

Stay tuned for:
 - Welcoming our teenager into our house
 - Katie finishing 5th grade and moving on to middle school
 - returning to N.C. for year #10
 - heading back to Disney in July with Rina and Bubba