Sunday, May 23, 2010

Such a fun weekend.

Alright, so let me tell you about our busy weekend. It started with me and the girls, and KK, getting up kinda early (for a Saturday) and heading over to Shreveport for a dance recital.
I put them in these super cute outfits, which you will soon see didn't last very long. Ellie was naked by the time we got to the Boardwalk in Shreveport. She said it "itched" her. She was referring to the monogram on front. And so... we had to pick out something else while we were shopping. Because I KNOW this stubborn kid of mine, she will never put it on again.
But you can bet, I will give it the ol' college try!
There was a library festival going on, so we strolled around there for a while, as we waited for the recital to begin.
The recital.
This was the real reason we drove over to Shreveport. Melanie Massey Physical Therapy (MMPT) was the sole sponsor of the 9th annual Sweet and Sassy Dance Team's recital.
This basically meant that we funded the show... shirts, costumes, trophies, flowers.... etc. Beyond that, I can take no credit!
Wish I could though, because it was AWESOME!
See? New outfit on my eldest kid.
The crowd gathered.
You see, this was no ordinary recital! It was for kids who are in therapy for many different reasons. And as I have said many times, I like having my kids there to learn that kids of all abilities make good friends!
Gabbi Girl hung right here between my legs!
Ellie hung everywhere else! Sitting still is not her "strength"!
And then the show began. The theme this year was, "Louisiana. We are Family."
So the kiddos came out in a procession, tossing mardi gras beads.
This cute darling is one of triplets, two of whom do therapy at MMPT. This precious mom has her hands full! And always a big ol' smile on her face!
And this is Brianna. She came to me as a little bitty one. I think I started seeing her right around one year old. And here she is making me so proud as a big girl.
Some of these girls were just members of the dance troupe, but I didn't really know them. They may or may not take therapy from MMPT. I just know they were extremely inspiring on this fun day!

There were choreographed dances for just the big kids.

And I might add, I was quite impressed with their ability to memorize so many steps to so many dances and words to so many songs.
This is one of our students who messed up and told us she was a dance teacher in a rural area nearby. Hmmm....
guess what. Consider yourself recruited!
I just marvelled at the very close friendships that were formed, no doubt, through the many rehearsals and dance classes. Sweet relationships!
Ok, so this was the big girl group.
There was a little girl group too, as well as individual performances.
The little ones needed a little more help to get into position on stage.
But once they were there, they did it all on their very own!
Moms and dads stood in the wings, swollen with pride!
And then they swooped in to help their little darlings get back off the stage.
Miss Bri was one of the first to do an individual performance. She told jokes. She is something else! So funny! Anyone who knows her cute personality can appreciate her humor and choice to tell jokes.
By the way, that is mom, Jenny, on stage with her, and dad, Noah, watching out front!
Then came Elizabeth's solo. She used a little prop and did a fantastic job with her dance.
Don't you even think these girlies were the least bit intimidated. They were not!
Mallory sang some seriously fast paced song with words that I don't think I could figure out, much less learn to sing myself. Very quick lyrics. Good job, Mallory!
And I LOVED her costume. Hot pink duct tape to the braces on her feet that matched her hot pink duct tape bracelets. Very creative!
Parents and grandparents were all in the audience, just beaming! And cameras flashed the whole time!
Miss Katherine had a couple of unique performances. She is an ol veteran to the recital, with this being her NINTH year in the group! She danced to Kung Fu fighter, and her dad showed up on stage at the end to present the piece of wood that she kicked RIGHT THROUGH!
Really cool!
And then came Riley's turn. Riley is all of 2 1/2 years old. She was scheduled to sing a song she sings in daycare every day. Mr. Ron and Miss Jenn accompanied her to the stage.
And, well, let's just say, Riley had other plans. Eventually, her mom, gmom and aunt were singing from the audience, while she just sat up there and grinned.
I call that being in total control, RileY!
Still, they beamed from the audience!
Our emcee for the event was Sam. He did an unbelievable job! He plans to be a "minister of the gospel". Seriously, Sam is an inspiration. He was funny, witty, and provided a testimony of one with a grateful heart that made you happy to just know him!
He also provided info to the audience regarding his condition, cerebral palsy, and how that very thing has given him the opportunity to talk to others about Jesus and how they can know Him and go to Heaven. I am telling you... COOL dude!
I loved this routine. All the girls came out in LSU shirts and did a cheer... big kids combined with the little ones.
I liked how kids of all abilities were able to participate in this cheer.
ANd then came Mary Catherine's song. This is her mom and dad. Her mom, like all "stage moms" sat up front mimicking the movements as if she was willing the correct motions to her child.
But Mary Catherine didn't need any help at all! Not only did she perform a very heart touching rendition of Ariel's "part of that world", but she did it with all the theatrics of a seasoned little actress. It was touching.
Funny how several of the big kids' solos were to Justin Bieber songs. I'll tell you... if you ever think there is a "difference" between those with and without physical disabilies... well, let's just say.... they ALL love Justin Bieber. You get what I am saying!? Tweens are tweens are tweens! Please note the tee shirt below... yet another Justin shirt!
Ahhhh.... Katherine is back and she has her pet dog with her this time.
How dadgum ingenious to do dog tricks at this talent show!? I love it!
Mallory came back for an encore. And this time she stood to sing.
That takes a whole lot more energy than many of us can imagine!

I was really proud of her for that!
And then the grand finale....
The girls came out in costume to perform to Amazing Grace. It was beautiful!
It was a packed house, and everyone was touched by the girls' hard work and beautiful performance.
Lastly, came the award ceremony.
Each girl came across the front of the stage to get their mom a rose and themselves a crown and trophy.
And now a word from our sponsor....
or should I say, just stand up there and blubber like a baby! That is what I did. I just become so overcome with emotion in these types of situations. I couldn't even speak! I was so emotional!
The words that just kept coming to mind were "honored", "privileged" and "Humbled"! I tried to get those words out, but, welllll.... Mostly I just cried!
I also tried to convey my admiration to the parents who have been so dedicated to the therapies and braces, and wheelchairs, and then to the weekly dance rehearsals to make all of this come together. I feel that working with kids/ (adults too) with disabilities is my calling, so it is never hard for me to work with them. But to talk about it, publicly.... well, I am just humbled. That is all I can say!
I actually don't even know who had my camera during all of this, but apparently I am celebrating with Sam! He rocked!
And then came the long ride home! My girls were beat!
I am so glad they got to be there with me. It was the first time Ellie has had questions about braces and such. "Mom, why do they have that bobo?".
It opens dialogue for me to tell her about how kids learn to walk or to move in all different kinds of ways. I told her that the braces were to help those kids be strong to walk. She simply said, "Oh"!
Or, "Mom, why does that girl walk with that?". (walker)
"Because, Ellie, it gives her help with her balance so she can walk faster and be safe."
and that was that!
I love my inquisitive little princess. (Yes, she scored her a crown too!)
What a special day, celebrating a bunch of special kids!


Hannah Kate's mom said...

Wow! That was amazing and very touching. You have my complete admiration in all that you do...your girls, your work, your generosity and most definitely creativity! Love the girls'outfits!!! What is that font on the monogrammed outfits?

Marina said...

This post was great! Thank you for sharing this experience. I am so proud of all these children...this is a major accomplishment.

Amy K said...

What an inspirational post...I bet it was a fabulous recital!
Lovin' the pictures of your girlies too - the outfits are adorable (both of Ellie's)! :)

Bj said...

WOW....MO, THIS IS TOTALLY AWESOME....I know you are so very proud, as well you should be. These kids are absolutely amazing. Goes to show that kids are kids, no matter the circumstances. God bless each one of them with a long productive life!! And blessings to you Mo, for all your too are truly amazing!!.......huggers, BJ

Beverly said...

Amazing! Thanks your for sharing. In high school I worked at the UVA reahab center for children and I loved every minute of it. I've always wished I had moved in that direction for a career. I admire you and all your therapists who work so hard with these kids. Loved the outfits too! It makes my heart swell and my eyes tear to see your beautiful pictures!

c.holley said...

That was so great!! Me and Kenzie CANNOT believe what a big girl Miss Gabbi is! At te Beach Club when we hung out with y'all she was still a baby!!!! Now less than a year later shes a walking toddler!! And her hair is so long!!! And Ellie is so precious!! I miss y'all!


randdmom said...

That is so inspiring! Wish it was video instead of still shots!!! They looked fabulous!

Diana said...

Hi Mo ~ Beautiful, just beautiful that's all I can say. What a WONDERFUL way to teach your girls to be kind and compassionate - just like you.
I always took great pride when any of my girls came home from school & told me that they hung out with a student with disabilities, or had lunch with them.
The pictures of the two of them sleeping in the car seat is great - just plain old worn out!
Have a wonderful day, Diana from Colorado

Unknown said...

Melannie, it was a great day!! The kids all worked so hard to get there and all did great! Of course, I am biased to mine. She learned three of those jokes the night before and practiced a couple of times only. What a smart angel I have.
Btw, u started seeing Briana when she was 9 months old and only had the back office (the adult clinic now). We thank God for putting u and the whole Melanie PT Inc family is our lives!!!!

tricia said...

so touching;thank you for sharing

snekcip said...

Amazing! I have seen several blogs about "dance recitals" or upcoming recitals and this is by far the most beautiful and touching of them all!!

Mo you are truly beautiful...inside and out!!

MLP said...

I'm blubbering like a baby myself! Oh wow!!! What an amazing day...LOVE love LOVE all that talent and LOVE that you were the sponsor! Way to go, Mo! You really are the!!!

Family Traditions said...

Mel, thank you so much for sponsoring this years Recital and Talent Show. Also, for posting the great pics. I could not be prouder of the Sweet 'N Sassy Dance Team and the Talent Show participants. We look forward to bringing you a bigger and better show next year, so be thinking of a theme for us. Hope you have a great time at the beach. Hugs

blessedmomof3 said...

Awesome!! What an amazing event the recital must have been. Thank you for helping to provide those precious angels with such a great experience. My nephew plays in a Challenger baseball league which is open to children of all abilities. It is an awesome thing to see those children forget about braces, wheelchairs, etc... And just enjoy being kids. I am so thankful that there are people like you who help to make events like these happen!!
The girls outfits are PRECIOUS. I love little short dresses on baby girls showing off those precious little legs. Outfit #2 on .Miss Ellie was mighty cute too.

blessedmomof3 said...

Awesome!! What an amazing event the recital must have been. Thank you for helping to provide those precious angels with such a great experience. My nephew plays in a Challenger baseball league which is open to children of all abilities. It is an awesome thing to see those children forget about braces, wheelchairs, etc... And just enjoy being kids. I am so thankful that there are people like you who help to make events like these happen!!
The girls outfits are PRECIOUS. I love little short dresses on baby girls showing off those precious little legs. Outfit #2 on .Miss Ellie was mighty cute too.

Auntie said...

Awesome post! I LOVE this talent show!
Your daughter's outfits are so, so cute!! Just a hint--my little nephew is allergic to whatever the tagless "tags" are printed with in the new children's clothing, so his mom has to put a large band-aid over the print inside his shirt to avoid it irritating his skin. Perhaps a large band-aid or a tegaderm patch on the inside of Ellie's outfit will allow her to wear it again without it being "itchy" on her skin?? (I, too, have a "sensitive" daughter, and I know how stubborn they can be if something doesn't feel right! Sure hope you can find some way for it to work, 'cause those outfits are ADORABLE!!)

Unknown said...

What an awesome post! I danced at a studio for 14 years (of course that was another life time ago!) and reading this post brought tears to my eyes. I'm sorry to say that I don't ever remember even considering those that couldn't dance like I did. You are an amazing person for giving not only the kids, but the parents an oppurtunity to feel that pride of seeing their child on stage!!

Tammy said...

Thank you for this wonderful experience! I felt like I was right there, you rock in the photo dept. May God Bless you, I think you rock! Hugs from Fort Worth!