Monday, March 2, 2015

iFly {Indoor Skydiving}

We had to find something really special to do with Stuart's mom while she was visiting we took her to iFLY to try indoor skydiving!

iFLY's amazing wind tunnel creates a cushion of air that lets you get the feeling of free fall without having to do something crazy like jump out of a perfectly good airplane!  I won't try to explain all the geeky science behind it but you can check out their website to see how the technology works.

Both of the kids wanted to add a "High Fly" experience to their flight so we paid just a little more for the experience and they got a special stamp on their hand to remind their instructor that they were extra crazy brave.  With the High Fly experience add-on, the instructor will fly with them up to the top of the wind tunnel and then float back down and they will do this several times together.

We went through a training class.  It was very straightforward and even Rachel who is only 6 years old got the most important lesson - the four hand signals that the instructor will give during the flight.  He will motion to straighten your legs, bend your legs, lift your chin, and relax.  Easy!  iFly states that even children as young as 3 can fly.

Everyone got geared up in their flight suits.  Aren't they a cute bunch!

Nicholas was excited and wanted to go first.  He was a little wobbly at first.  It is important to keep your body in the correct position and not kick your legs or flail your arms because it will make your body spin or fall when you may not want it to.  But with a little practice Nicholas soon got the feel for it and he did great!

Here's a video of Nicholas' first flight at iFly (remember you can't see the video if  you are just reading this through email.  You have to click over to the actual blog to see them!)
He did even better on his second flight.  He was flying pretty high!

And on the second flight is when the instructor takes them on the "High Fly" where they go WAY, WAY, WAY up in the shaft!  Oh my goodness!  It looked like so much fun but my mommy instinct was still cringing for my little guy.

Here's the video from his second flight!  Doesn't it look amazingly fun!!!

Rachel was next.  She had good form in the beginning and showed us a few smiles.  She's only 6 years old so she was really brave to even try this!

I think she may have gotten scared when she flew a little higher but she did great.  I'm so proud of her!

Here's Rachel flight video:

Stuart's mom was third in our group.  She is one adventurous lady!

Here is Janet's first flight video:

I am so proud of her!  She was excited about trying this from the moment we mentioned to her.  How many grandmothers want to experience the feeling of skydiving?  Not many that I know!  She is Super Grandmother in my book (and she even looks like it in this picture!)

She did great and had a smile on her face the whole time!  

Here's her second flight video.  Notice that as she enters, Dustin looks over at Stuart and asks him (through hand signals) if he should take her up on the High Fly!  He shook his head no...but oh how funny of him to ask!  That would have been quite a surprise!

iFLY is a once in a lifetime is a little pricey so you might only be able to afford to do it once in your lifetime!  But it would be a fun thing to add to your Bucket List.

iFLY is located at 8380 Hwy 121 in Frisco.  For more information, please call them at 214-618-iFLY or check out the iFLY website.  You can also follow them on Facebook at iFLY Dallas.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Beauty and the Beast Jr. Opening Night

It's opening night for Beauty and the Beast Jr. at the Actors Conservatory Theatre!

I had to put Rachel's hair up into a ballet bun.  I'm pretty sure a true ballet instructor would frown on my sad attempt but Rachel thinks its cute.

This is the first night she has had to go in the makeup line at the theatre.  She was a bit nervous but she made sure she was in line where our sweet neighbor was doing makeup.


Rachel ran over to a mirror to take a look at herself.  She tried to look her eye shadow but couldn't figure out how to see her eyelids!  She's so cute!

Here's our little tea cup in her costume.  I am so impressed with how the costumes turned out.  They are just plastic planters with the bottoms cut out, straps added, a little paint, and a gold duct tape wrapped piece of foam added for a handle.  There are some amazingly creative people in the theatre!

Rachel sat down in the Beast's chair that was back stage.  She giggled and said sneakily, "I'm sitting in my master's chair. Hee hee hee!"

Nicholas is an enchanted knife.  The flatware headpieces were quite a feat to create. It was hard finding just the right way to keep the headpiece stable on their head AND comfortable for them to wear.  There were multiple things tried but eventually they turned out great!

All of the knives are boys so some of the parents were a little concerned that the boys might try to have a sword fight while wearing their headpieces....because that just seems like the natural response when two boys are wearing giant foam knives on their heads.  But so far they have maintained their composure quite well and I'm happy to say that all of the knife headpieces are still in one piece.

Each knife has a corresponding spoon and fork to make a complete utensil trio.  Nicholas has entertained us with his stories after each rehearsal about how "annoying" his spoon and fork are.  They mess with him and poke him and act silly around him.  He thinks they are annoying but they all seem to smile while they are messing with each other.  It's cute :)

Before going on stage, the cast does a few warm ups for their vocal chords as well as their bodies then they all say the Actors Prayer.  I love this part!

The Actors Prayer

There's magic in the theatre and the theatre is magic.
God bless those who create that magic.
Your talent is your gift from God.
The way you use that talent is your gift back to Him.

After opening night, we often go out to dinner.  We let the kids pick where to go and of course, they pick Joe's Crab Shack.  Yum!  Nicholas ordered an adult steampot full of crab and a whole lobster.  We were a little concerned that he wouldn't actually finish it all but then we realized that we could just enjoy munching on his leftovers after he went to bed.  Unfortunately, he finished it all except for the potatoes and corn.  He said, "After opening night, you have to feed the boy heartily!"

Rachel got a kid-sized crab steampot.  She dug out her own crab meat like a pro and finished every last bite.  Her favorite thing was the melted butter.

I caught her dunking her fingers in the melted butter just so she could lick them clean.

I told her to stop doing that.  And she did.

But then I caught her drinking the melted butter straight from the cup!

Opening night was a huge success and I'm so proud of the kids!  Tomorrow is a long day though.  On Saturdays, they have to be at the theatre for 12:00 to get ready for the 2:00 show.  The show will run until approximately 4:00 at which time they will rush to get out of their costumes so we can meet up with the cast for dinner at Cici's Pizza Buffet.  Then we head back to the theatre for 5:30 to get ready for the 7:00 show.  The last show for the weekend will be Sunday at 2:00.  That's four shows each weekend and we do this for two full weekends.  It's exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time.