Midweek Through The First Week.

We have a third and fifth grader in the house.


It has been a little hectic, a little crazy, a lot chaotic…but I think we are settling in.

Emma got Mrs. S. – who she had as a teacher for kindergarten. About three years ago Mrs. S. moved to 5th grade and Emma has been frequently voicing her hopes that she would get her for a teacher again when she got to 5th. So she was overjoyed when she picked up the postcard. And her BFF Audrey is in her class, along with a lot of her other besties, so she is as happy as can be.


Could they look any older? Or any more ready for middle school already? It is astounding to see the change in them from just June until now. They clearly know they are the top dogs at the school now.

And as for our sassy, 3rd grader. She wanted and assumed she would get Mrs. J. because that is who Emma had. So she had a bit of a meltdown when she got Mrs. T. Audrey, who also had Mrs. T., tried to tell Ad that she is great and Mrs. T. helped her become a much better writer. “She really makes you work hard on your writing, Addie!” Oh, if I could’ve captured the look on Addie’s face when Audrey told her that. Not what she wanted to hear at all. Writing is clearly not going to be Ad’s forte.

But then we got to school and she realized that not ALL of her friends were in the other class. And…they get student planners and get to eat lunch outside like the big girls. So the tears have dried in her camp, too. (You can tell she is the social butterfly of the bunch. It’s all about the friends and fun stuff with our Addikins.)


Okay, they look way too old, too.

When I asked them on the first day what their goals for the year were, I got…

Emma: “To improve my handwriting.”  (Hallelujah.)
Addie: “To be a better writer.” (Surprising! But can I get another “Hallelujah?”)

Of course, ballet, piano, hip-hop, choir and girl scouts haven’t all hit the schedule yet – we are sort of easing into it all this week, but I think it has the makings of being a great year for all.


Want to see what we’ve been up to?

Oh, yes. This is going to be one big DUMP. This week has been the first chance we’ve been able to catch our breath and as we speak (type) the girls are up at Girl Scout camp all week, we are prepping to have the house (exterior) painted, and I’m furiously trying to organize three different trips. We leave for San Diego Nationals volleyball tournament on Thursday; Daddy leaves from San Diego for China on Saturday; The girls and I are back for Monday and then leave again on Tuesday for Michigan and Ken’s wedding.

Um…yes. This is our “down” week.

I have posted a few end-of-year excitements to Vimeo and will post more but I have to wait til my video upload limit resets on Thursday.

For now, as promised…The Voris girls in their Variety Show glory. Addie was in two (Smooth Criminal and Happy Girls) and Emma and the Dynamite Girls reconvened and added a friend to become the Hit Girls.

3 Voris Acts for the Variety Show – 2013! from carrie voris on Vimeo.

The next day we had the church musical and we had some serious technical difficulties with all of the cameras. I’m still trying to find some good footage of Em’s solo. It was amazing. She did a great job as Joseph and brought tears to my eyes.

Then two days after the musical, Em had another little solo part as Sacagewa in the 4th grade play. I have that whole play digitized, but I’ll try to just cut her little part out so that I don’t take up ALL my video allotment for next week, too.

Then last weekend the girls had their piano recital. I uploaded Addie’s – she and Em did a duet and then Miss Suzanne accompanied her on her second piece.

Addie’s Piano Recital – 6/13 from carrie voris on Vimeo.

Emma doesn’t want me to post hers because she messed up on Amazing Grace and was really upset. But her first piece was amazing, so I’m thinking that I’ll at least post that one. Maybe I’ll video her doing Amazing Grace at home because she can do it flawlessly when she isn’t flustered. And it is such a pretty piece. Again…as soon as I get some more video room!

And another one, that I don’t think I ever posted but just put up for the choir…the girls singing on Mother’s Day. You better believe I cried through this one, even after listening to it in the car for a bazillion times!

Mother’s Day – COS from carrie voris on Vimeo.

Be back with more as soon as I catch another 2 minute break! Hope your summer has started out with a bang, too!

Start of Summer.

Only 8 more get-ups until summer vacation. (Well, technically only 7 for me since I’m already up.)

But 8 more “getting the girls up and out the door.” Eight more days of packing lunchboxes. EIGHT more days til we are off of the “have to dos” and on to the “want to dos.”

May has been craaaaazy. As I’m sure you can deduce from the lack of posts over here, and the abundance of snapshots and status updates over on Facebook. It is easier to snap a photo with my phone and Instagram it, than it is to actually sit down at my computer, download real photos and write. I just can’t seem to string three free minutes together to do anything, much less to try and sort out the chaos over here.

But, let’s try. What has been happening…

Well, baby Amelia finally made her appearance. And although we haven’t seen as much of her as Emma would like, that was an exciting start to May.

We moved our school Carnival from October to May this year, which at the time seemed like a great move, and we raised LOTS of money so I suppose it was, but it just added to the craziness of the end of the year. It was lots of work, lots of fun.


We finished up the Girl Scout year with two field trips. (Yes, both in May because we are masochistic like that.) One to the LA Zoo to work on the World Scout Patch…


And one to our local Wilderness Center where the girls are doing their Service Project in the fall. Oh, and we had a combined recycling drive and food drive in there somewhere, too. It’s all so hazy.


Two Birdies have been really, really busy. Besides stadium chairs and glassware wedding gifts, we made one of our favorite friends some rocking Roller Derby tees for her birthday. (And then we all went rollerskating for the first time – it was easily the first time I’d been on skates in 25 years. Funny how it is kind of like riding a bike – you don’t really forget how. Thankfully.)


We finished our living room project! I’m going to devote a whole post to that because the transformation is kind of amazing, at least to all in our household. I’ll try to take some photos of it today. But it took, of course, longer than expected and was difficult to coordinate in the midst of everything else going on. When will I learn?

So now we are in the last two-week crunch. I can’t look at my calendar without having full on anxiety. So I look at what needs to be done today, make sure I get some good workouts in, and just power on. It is all going to get done.

Up this week…we have the Variety Show on Friday evening. My co-chair and I are trying to move it outdoors in the field for the first time. So this is presenting all kinds of new complications. Em’s crew is dancing again…


And Addie’s crew from last year (Lollipop Girls) have morphed into the Happy Girls and are doing the sweetest little song/dance number, EVER. She is also in another act with her friend EJ. (Which doesn’t at all make it more crazy.)


So that is Friday night. And Saturday afternoon they are in the musical at church. Em is actually playing one of the Josephs (there are 3!) in a show about Joseph and his life. I’m trying to sew some amazing technicolor coats for that right now.

And we have end-of-year parties, each of them are in a class play/production (Gah, must make a covered wagon today, too!) and then…THEN, it will all be over.


Summer can’t come soon enough.



We are still here. Just sort of “floundering” a little. I can’t believe how much I owe you all…I don’t even know where to begin with the updates. But I promise over the long weekend I will catch you all up to speed and explain why we have been pretty much non-existent around these parts.

I just had to post this one photo I just downloaded off the camera. I love it so.


Best volleyball day ever – last week at Regionals. Em had some serious playing time, serves, scored points, 3-for-3 on wins. Excitement with a capital E…and you can see it on her and Coach Laura’s faces.



Productivity on full tilt.

It was a “short week” since we had Monday off but we have managed to eek a lot of productivity out already – and it’s only Wednesday!

Birdie #2 and I finally delivered two projects today. One was a batch of etched awards for a local elementary school and the second was…THE ballet studio order. It is finally done and if we never see another Peter Pan shirt, it will be too soon. I promise to get photos and post about it soon…they really did turn out kinda awesome.

I sent my tax paperwork off to our tax man today, too. Hopefully we will get good news again this year, confirming the fact that it was a good idea to buy our house. (I already know it was…but as the house list of projects gets longer, I sometimes wonder.)

And finally my car is back in the driveway and legit with the state of California again. My registration was due last week but I hadn’t taken the car in – and couldn’t since I didn’t have it – to get smog tested. So check, and check! Done.

But the very best piece of productivity came from Birdie #2′s “great idea of the day” yesterday while we were in Hobby Lobby doing some recognizance for our next big project (we are the decorating chairs for the big SEF fundraiser next month – so SG peeps, buy your tix right now!).

Laundry is the bane of my existence. I used to loathe unloading the dishwasher, but I’ve kind of resigned myself to the fact that I need to do that each morning, like it or not. But laundry…grrrr….laundry! On any given day walk into our living room and there are stacks of laundry waiting to be brought upstairs and put away. I have one laundry basket that I use to carry laundry down – or out from the laundry room – so the girls are often left to carrying their “stacks” up to their rooms. Sometimes they make it and sometimes half of the stack is even still folded when it gets put away.

So Jamie’s idea (we tease her about having only one good idea per day, but in reality she has MANY good ideas!) while we were in the spring aisle at HL – why don’t we just get each of the girls one of their own little baskets in their own favorite color and then fold clothing directly into their basket. They can carry it up (because it is kid-sized) and it gets put away and brought back down so they will get a fresh batch of clean, folded laundry.

We’ve used it the past two days and it is kind of amazing how such a little thing can make such a big difference in an otherwise dreaded chore.

photoI’m sure it is just the novelty of something bright, pretty and new – but so far so good and nobody is bucking the new system.


It’s like we live in the “olden times.”

We use our fireplace a lot in the winter. The days might still be sunny and warm-ish here in California, but the nights get chilly! This morning it was a mere 45 degrees when I went out for my run, so yeah…we like to have a fire in the evening. Plus our fireplace is in our living room where our TV and our computer lab (both laptops and a few ipads) are, so almost every evening after the girls pop off to bed, that is where you can find J. and I.

Last year I did a little barter with the tree man – he trimmed our giant ash and avocado trees and I built him a website and got him listed on Yelp. So when I saw that he had firewood for sale, delivered, at a reasonable price, I gave him a call thinking he might need a little web update in exchange for some wood. He didn’t, but he gave me an incredible deal just the same and after trying to stack it all, I’m quite certain he threw in some extra above the 1/2 cord that we had ordered, too.

So we got to work this afternoon hauling and stacking. At one point Emma commented, “It’s like we are Laura in ‘Little House on the Prairie.’ Having to haul all this wood.”

Yes. Just like the “olden times.” Having your wood all split and dried and delivered steps outside of your doorstep.

Look how thrilled they look.

Last little bits of school.

I can’t believe that school has been out for nearly two weeks…wait, two weeks today(!) and I’m just now trying to get caught up. I fear if I don’t get these blogged…they will just get archived and forgotten. So at the very least, we are going to do a whirlwind trip down memory lane and why we were so insane around here the last month.

Addie’s “sculpture (?) was selected for the SG District Art Show. They wander through all the schools and select art and then have a gallery night. Em’s art was picked last year and the year before, this time it was Ad’s turn.


Um, it’s a cat. Of course it is.

Next up, we had a field trip (or three!) thrown in. The third graders visited the Botanic Gardens in Claremont and learned about the Gabrielino Indians.


When in Claremont…you do as the Indians did, I guess.


Next up…our little thespians performed in class plays. Addie was…of course, a cat in the Little Red Hen.


Em was one of the lead parts, as the King Snake in two performances of the Biomes play. She did an excellent job. I’m certain J. has video of this and I’ll try to get it up soon. My favorite line of hers was “NO! It’s because of my thermoregulation!” And you can bet all the kids in Mrs. J’s class know what thermoregulation is!


And then the church musical hit. The musical was Once Upon A Parable – and it was spectacular. The entire cast was fantastic. Em had quite a few different roles. Addie was…ha! No, not a cat. She was a piglet this time. And she even had some lines. I know that video exists of this one too…I promise…it’s coming.


Would you look at those t-shirts, though? I wonder where they had them done? ;)

Let’s see. We had two different dance recitals and all of the crazy rehearsals that went along with each. Em is taking a hip-hop class, so she shuffled to Party Rock Anthem.


She got to be one of the girls that runs down the aisle at the start – it was dark and they were all lit up with glow-sticks. She was really geeked about that and told Daddy where to get tix and what side to sit on for the “surprise.”

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There were no photos or video allowed – so the first shot is obviously before the recital. And I don’t know HOW that second shot got on my camera? Strange. I bought the DVD, so in a few weeks we’ll have the dance in all of its glory.

Next up we had a ballet recital for our prima ballerina. Addie loves her some ballet, it is the one thing I never have to ask twice about, she is always ready to go and always dancing around and practicing. She is hoping to picked for the Select class so she will “get to” dance twice a week (aye!) like her ballet idols, Audrey and Yvette. She is fascinated with Yvette who went en pointe this year. (I am a little bit in awe of her myself, I must admit!)

The lovely ladies after the performance.


There is no keeping of the costumes and of course, no cameras or videoing allowed. And for this one I didn’t even try…we were really far back. I bought a snapshot for her book and yes…the DVD. It will be here soon, too.


They did an At The Movies recital, so Ballet I danced to Woody’s Roundup from Toy Story (hence the cowgirls!). Every year I am blown away by the production quality of their shows. It really does make the time and money so worth it. Addie dedicated her performance to her Daddy since he had to spend Father’s Day at the ballet. Smudge-y lipstick and all.


We had our end-of-year piano recital. This was Addie’s first performance in front of a real audience. She did great. Might have been a little nervous since she played a very fast Cinderella’s waltz, but she got up and did it which is more than I can say for me.


She would like me to include this photo so everyone can see that recitals are “great because you get to wear fancy dresses!”


Ems is an old pro at this piano thing, now. She played one of my favorite pieces she does and then she performed Hedwig’s Theme – from Harry Potter. She has been working on it for months now and Miss Suzanne finally gave the ok. She was really excited. But too fast on her bow, so I just got a blur of her fancy dress.


I love watching her play. She is so focused and looks so beautiful.

And…(I told you it was crazy around here!) we had a little outdoor party for our fabulous ladies who all have June birthdays!


I think the kids really liked the ice cream bar…


Yes…homemade ice cream. I’m obsessed now. I think I did 5 or 6 batches and there wasn’t really any left. So I think it was a success.

My favorite part was lighting and releasing our wish lanterns. Diane and Jamie started this tradition for my birthday and we have decided that it is a tradition we will do for everyone.

Light a lantern, make a wish, send it off.


The rocket scientist of the group – really, he IS a rocket scientist! – assures us that the fuel burns out when it gets up high and then it will just fall back to earth. My wish is that he is right.

I’m sure your wish is that this never-ending post will finally be over.

And it is.

Wishing you all a fantastic summer.


Hello, my old friend Monday. It has felt like a very long time since we last met.

I guess we have just been consumed with piano recitals.

(Emma playing for the Shrove Tuesday Variety Show at church. I LOVE how everyone made it into a sing-a-long. If you watch closely you can see Em start to smile when she realizes that people are singing along. It was kinda cool.)

And there have been some choir performances at church.

(This was the Gospel Cherubs’ Sunday to sing by themselves, but only a few showed up. So the Star Chorus – Em, Avery, Ava and Nicolas, the “big kids,” helped and filled in. Sorry for the incredibly shaky camera work at the start, I was trying to dig out my offering envelope and video at the same time!)

And we had many rehearsals and a fantasticballet performance thrown in for fun, too.




(Addie was a Golden Bunny in the production of the 12 Dancing Princesses, and she and her ballerina friends were outstanding. Her idol, Audrey’s older sister, Yvette, was in the 5pm show as well and not allowed to come greet her fans after the performance. So Daddy Alain hoisted Addie up so she could shower her Yvette with flowers.)

And last, but certainly not least,…the cookies. Oh Lord, the COOKIES!




Needless to say, I’m cookie’d out already. And so very happy it is Monday. Everyone back to school, back to work and last week under our belt. Not that this week is any less busy, but only two more Mondays left before we are out of here!

Those Little Things.

It is the littlest of things that sneak up, grab me and squeeze my heart just a little too hard.

Like the girls coming down from the shower all squeaky-clean the other night and climbing on the sofa with me. They still shower together mostly for ease and efficiency, but I am no longer needed for the “is all the shampoo out of my hair” check, they (most of the time) happily check each other for leftover soap. But the showering and getting ready on their own bit of independence has been coming for quite awhile now – that wasn’t the little thing that sent me reeling. This was…

Addie says to me, “Look Mama – we cut our all of our toenails and even our fingernails. All by ourselfs.” (Yes…she did say ‘ourselfs’ instead of ourselves. Cuteness that I know I should be correcting, but just can’t for a little while longer.)

Now, mind you, I didn’t relish the chore of cutting their nails, clearly not a job that was top ‘o the list for me. But the fact that they don’t need me to do it anymore? That was just one of those little things.

Those little things that remind me just how fleeting that time is when we have the girls all to “ourselfs.”

Kickin' back