Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sometimes being from a big family sucks...

Being from a big family is a wonderful thing... most of the time! Lots of love and lots of laughter and lots of great memories for the most part. But sometimes being from a big family kinda sucks... like when your dad unknowlingly leaves you at Dairy Queen and doesn't even come back to get you or when your mom promises that she will get your graduation announcements out and she never quite gets around to it. I'm pretty sure that sort of stuff doesn't happen to only children! So Kylie... this blog is f0r you!

Consider this my apology for not getting any graduation announcements sent out for you. That really stinks and might even be enough to drive some kids into counseling. Kylie, you need to know that you will have to share the therapist's couch with Brad too. He never got any announcements either. While I can't picture Kacey's announcements in my head, I'm pretty sure I didn't fail right off the bat. (She'll correct me if I'm wrong.) I got one done for Kristy and for Courtney but poor Brad and Kylie missed out. Even the ones I did, I only sent to about 5 people. I don't know why. I don't mind receiving announcements, in fact, I like it. But for me it just seems like I'm bothering people.

My kids are amazed when they hear that other kids actually get money (sometimes enough for a laptop!) from people for graduation and they look at me with incredulous looks that say, "Why haven't you ever told us about this?" I shrug sheepishly and try to explain that it's not likely that anyone will send them graduation money when they don't know they're graduating because they haven't received a graduation announcement. Ooops!

So I would like to formally declare that Kylie did actually graduate from high school this past year, in spite of it not being announced. She also graduated concurrently from Big Bend Community College with her Associate's Degree in Arts and Sciences. Normally I don't like to go around bragging about my kids accomplishments, but in light of the circumstances - I feel I must. Please bear with me as I brag away in the hopes that my daughter will one day forgive me.

Kylie not only graduated - but she did really well. She was actually #9 in her class. Well... sort of! The principal told us that technically she was in the Top Ten and that we were free to tell prospective colleges that she was #9 but she would not be recognized at graduation as such. You see, shortly before graduation the high school recalculates the GPA's giving extra points for each AP class. (Kylie took 3 AP classes before heading out to BBCC. She would have taken more but she was a little busy... attending college!) After the recalculation, Kylie was knocked out of the Top Ten. Now don't get me wrong, I am completely in favor of weighting GPA's for students who take Honors and AP classes. I just have a problem with giving students extra points for taking AP classes and not giving them extra points for taking actual college classes. I believe they should both be weighted the same, but I don't have a Master's Degree so what do I know. It's a wonder I can tie my own shoes. I wonder if there's a Master's in common sense?

Kylie, the smarty pants that she is, also broke the family record for highest ACT score - 31! This did not make Kacey happy at all. You see... (as you can tell I really love dot dot dots - they add drama) Kacey got a 30 on the ACT and we were so proud of her. We wanted the other kids to be motivated to do just as good as Kacey (if not better) but as we looked over our lazy brood we could see the future and it looked pretty unmotivated. So we decided to offer $1000 to whoever got the highest ACT score in the family. (We are smart enough to know that high ACT scores will likely lead to scholarships so that $1000 would pay for itself.)

Kacey's 30 made it past Kristy (28), Brad (29), Courtney (29) and Kylie (29) and she figured she was home free... but on Kylie's 3rd try she got a 31! The family's response was really quite unkind. All the older siblings were like, "Kylie? Seriously? Are you kidding me?" She should have been offended but she was too busy gloating. Kylie thought she was home free and feeling very confident about her chances of winning the $1000 (which should be offensive to Kendall and Bryan) until... Kendall tied Kylie's 31! Poor Kylie didn't even have much time to enjoy being on top. At least Kacey got to enjoy the top spot for a good 6 years. Kendall got a perfect score in Reading! But wait, this is Kylie's post...

So, the bottom line is - Kylie is a lot smarter than she looks! (There's a line you don't see on too many Josten graduation announcements.) She received a 1/2 tuition scholarship to BYU Provo where she is now attending school. Way to go, Kylie!

Kylie accomplished so much in her four years of high school. She truly is amazing to me. She is so talented. I am her biggest fan. When I think back at how adorable she was as a child, it amazes me that I was able to tear myself away from her entertaining antics long enough to get any housework done. She was so cute and so precocious. I guess there was just so much cuteness that I knew that if I left it, it would be there when I got back. Somehow we all managed to have a life in spite of Kylie's adorableness.

Let's begin our stroll down Kylie's high school memory lane...

There are so many good memories with drill team. Kylie was Lieutenant her junior year and captain her senior year along with her good friends, Kenzie Baker and Mattie Bergeson. Over their 4 years on drill team, they earned 7 state titles and 2 national titles. This was a talented group with an awesome coach, Lori Baker, and we enjoyed so many great experiences together. Kylie got to be on drill team for two years with Courtney and two years with Kendall. The pinnacle of her drill team experience would be last year when the team went undefeated (1st place at every competition in every category) and was the first ever in Washington state history to win 3 state titles in the same year - Kick, Military and Dance! What an incredible day. Kylie also opened the competition by singing The National Anthem with teammates Breanna, Lauren and Mattie. I am so proud of Kylie and all of these girls and will treasure those memories. (That's all we have left now is memories - don't get me started!)

Kick - Jai Ho

Captains and Lieutenants showing off their new hardware!
Karlee, Kenzie, Mattie, Kylie and Caitlynn

Kylie and big sis, Courtney

Kylie and little sis, Kendall

One proud mom!

Dance - Africa

Pom - Knock on Wood

Kylie and best bud, Kenzie

Kylie, Karissa and Courtney getting ready to rock out for guy/girl

Kylie & Dylan - her guy/girl hero!

Breanna, Lily and Kylie

Military - Superman

3 happy captains with 3 state titles - Kylie, Kenzie, Mattie

There are also so many great dance memories. Hopefully, Kylie has more good memories of me and dance than bad. It's not always fun to have your mom as the director! Some of the highlights were:
  • taking home the huge trophy at Dance America nationals in Utah
  • winning the production award and having two Elite numbers in the Top 4 at Spotlight nationals in Seaside
  • performing at Disneyland and Universal Studios
  • performing at Gonzaga basketball games
  • so so many other great experiences that I can't even begin to list them all!
Suffice it to say that sharing all of these dance experiences with Kylie has been priceless!!!

Elite - Out of Your League

Chillin' at Chili's after competition - Kendall, Kylie, Kenzie, Mattie, Dayna

Elite - When I Grow Up

We have attended some great workshops and worked with top choreographers like Jaymz Tuaileva. Here is Courtney and Kylie with Jaymz.

Bring on the awards!

Kylie even added Nutcracker to her resume!
Kayci, Aja, Kenzie, Kylie

Love these girls!

We also had some great pageant experiences together. (Well, at least the experience is fun when it's all over - ha ha!) Here is Kylie being crowned Miss Moses Lake's Outstanding Teen by best bud, Caitlynn Lawson.

Time to get your wave on!

Kylie with Miss Washington, Kristen Eddings

Kylie was Junior Miss 1st finalist along with good friends, Mattie Bergeson (Jr. Miss) and Katelynn Reed (2nd finalist).

What an truly outstanding group of girls who ran for Junior Miss this year. It's unfortunate that they had to run against each other because it was so close and any one of them could have earned the title in a different year. I really wish they could have all been on the court because they deserved it. What an amazing group of girls Kylie was fortunate to share the experience with.
Lauren, Katelynn, Mattie, Kylie and Kiersten

The best Elle Woods ever! Kylie performing song for Junior Miss from Legally Blonde the Musical.

Kylie and escorts at Junior Miss

My two best friends and I got to take our girls with us on our annual trip to New York. Here is Kenzie, Kylie and Mattie in Times Square. We had a fantastic time! I am so grateful that we all shared this experience together. What a fun group!

I could watch Kylie perform all day long. I sat through many rehearsals and multiple showings of Suessical and I didn't want it to end. (Well, I could do without the slow songs!) Kylie was amazing as Mayzie La Bird. (Kendall was also a fantastic Cat in the Hat and Bryan was a pretty good Wickersham - but once again this post is not about them.)

Mattie as Gertrude and Kylie as Mayzie - birds of a feather!

Kylie, Kenzie and Breanna in all their Suessical glory!

Kylie also delivered a stunning performance as Sharpay in High School Musical. Here she is with Nicole (Gabriella) and Jordan (Troy.) Troy (Jordan) asked Sharpay (Kylie) to be his date for the Homecoming dance at the conclusion of the first show and there were so many confused little girls in the audience who were just beside themselves at the thought of Troy going to Homecoming with Sharpay and not Gabriella. Some even refused to shake his hand. It was so cute and funny.

Ryan and Sharpay (Mitchell and Kylie) They made a great team!

Other memories I will treasure is seeing Kylie perform at the Young Ambassador's Camp at BYU. Here she is with her West Side Story cast mates. (Kylie is back right in green.)

Here she is with her Lion King cast mates.
(Kylie is on far right.)
I love, love, love watching this girl perform.

Kylie also took choir all 4 years and was a member of the Jazz Choir her junior and senior years. It took a major amount of juggling to make that work but it was well worth it. What a great group of kids she was able to sing with including two of her good friends, Lauren and Breanna.

Here are some of the Jazz Choir kids with their director, Mr. Holloway. I will miss hearing these kids sing! Thanks for the memories!!!

Another great thing about Kylie is that she would actually talk to me and tell me about her day and things that were going on in her life - unlike the other kids. Kacey was okay unless I wanted to know who she liked and that was classified information. Brad and Courtney were like Fort Knox. I had to pry information out of them with a crow bar. Actually, Kristy was always willing to share so she also gets a gold star in that category. (It's just that her life wasn't as interesting as Kylie's.) So thanks for sharing Kylie - I enjoyed it!

Kylie was blessed to have such an outstanding group of friends to grow up with. Here are some of them at seminary graduation. (Rest assured, the future of the Church is in good hands!)

Here are some of them at high school graduation.

Kylie & Kenzie - best buds forever!

Kylie & Kenzie at prom. (No, they weren't each other's dates - not that there's anything wrong with that!)

Kylie is a great sister.
Here are Kendall and Kylie all ready for school... or maybe it was Halloween - who can remember!

Courtney and Kylie

Kylie, Bryan and Kendall dressed up for New Year's dance of decades

The many faces of Kylie... all of them exquisite!

Kylie, it has been a pleasure to be your mother all these years and I am so proud of all that you accomplished in high school. I hope that you have a daughter just like you so that I can do it all over again. (Only this time you get to be the bad guy so it will be so much better!) I am so sorry that I never got your graduation announcement done. Hopefully you will forgive me.

You are amazingly talented and even more beautiful on the inside than you are on the outside. You always made good choices and never gave us cause to be concerned - how is that possible? Yes, you can be a brat but I suppose that's what keeps you from being translated. I really do admire everything about you. Being your mom is pure joy.

I would like to thank those very thoughtful people who gave Kylie a graduation gift even though they never received an announcement. You are so kind! Like I said, she had an amazing group of friends and they have amazing parents. She lucked out. I wish all kids could have such a strong group of peers to grow up with. It certainly does take a village to raise a child so I want to thank my village for helping me raise such an outstanding young woman!

I simply adore each and every one of my children and often wonder how they turned out so incredible in spite of my lackluster DNA contribution. One might suppose (if they didn't know him) that the majority of the good traits must have come from their father. That theory is entirely possible but since none of my kids (to my knowledge) walk into people's homes and help themselves to anything that might be in the fridge without asking, we all have to wonder how much of David is really in them? Hmmm... But this post is not about all of my kids - it's about Kylie. And every once in a while in a big family, you should get something all to yourself and not have to share. This post is just for you!

If you can't already tell... I love you, Kylie!