She Performed Beautifully

The Queensland Ballet Academy Gala for 2019  is now complete. There were four performances in total. Friday night, Saturday day, Saturday night and Sunday day. The week leading up to the busy weekend was rather hectic too. We had a new homestay arrive on the Sunday morning. All dancers had the Monday of school and dance and the entire week off school to prepare for the shows. Kyah used her time wisely; did a pilates class, some school work and rested on the Monday. Tuesday onwards she had 11-12 hour days. Leave home 9am, home by 10-10.30pm.

The change in routine was tough for both of us. We are usually in bed, if not preparing for bed by 8.30pm. So the late nights were a bit of a shock to the system, but it needed to be done. In preparation for a performance or competition, if you are performing / competing at 10pm, there’s no point training at 8am. You need to try to get your body to adapt to performing at the new time. So I figured that’s why they were working those hours. It may have been another reason totally, but I am sticking with that line of thought.

Anne arrived on Wednesday evening. So I had to pick Kyah up from rehearsals at 10pm and drive to the airport, pick up Anne, and then drive home. Anne had to wait at the airport for us to come to pick her up, but she knew that would be the case.. Kyah drove. She did well. Once we got home, we sat up for a short while chatting to Anne.

Thursday, we picked up another girl, Meg, (we did this every day that week), and drove Kyah and Meg to rehearsals. Then Anne and I volunteered for 2 hours at Queensland Ballet. It was their Giving Day. Queensland ballet were hoping to raise $2m in a 24 hour period. For every dollar that was donated, certain sponsors were quadrupling the amount. So Anne and I helped for a couple of hours with that. In the end QB were successful in raising the money they wanted. This money will go towards fitting out the new premises at Kelvin Grove State College. Hopefully it will be complete by early next year, ready for the academy students to use.

We picked Kyah up at 10pm. By this stage her dad had arrived, so there was more excitement in the air for her. I still had to work, so I got both Anne and Kevin working for me! They were preparing lunch for Kyah, doing the drop off and pick ups, and I had them do lots of food prep for us. It was almost like a commercial kitchen at one point. We had so much food being cooked, it was amusing. The freezer is now full of ready made meals for us to pull out and eat when we need. I think they will last us for a good 2-3 months.

On top of the meals made, chocolate brownies and protein balls were made. Some of these were consumed over the busy weekend. The rest are being consumed this week, while I recover.

Their first performance was Friday night. When Kyah came home, she was hyped up so it was difficult for her to settle and go to bed and sleep. Saturday was a hectic day: I had clients early. Kyah needed to be  at the venue by 10am. We had another homestay student arrive at 10.30am. A friend, Grace, arrived at midday, because she was coming with us. We left just after midday. Met up with Ruth, Clare, Kirsten, Annie, Deb and Eloise. We were all spaced around the theatre because we’d purchased tickets at different times. Me being the ardent mum that I am, managed to purchase tickets in the front row! Kyah is used to that by now – having me right in her face. Her biggest fan and also one of her biggest critics. The performance was great. Amazing talent, ability, technique, choreography, presentation, costumes, music, lighting, staging. It was great. Very much worth seeing.

Deb, a friend who came with us has been going to the ballet for many, many years. Her comment was that she “…forgot she was watching adolescents…” That’s a good compliment, one that I totally agree with. QB are doing a fantastic job of teaching these up and coming dancers.

The ten of us (Ruth, Clare, Kirsten, Annie, Deb, Eloise, Kevin, Anne, Kyah and I)  met afterwards, took photos, and then had burgers and a drink. It was so nice to see everyone and catch up on some of their news, even if it was only for a short while. We are both very thankful to everyone who came and supported Kyah as well as those who sent messages of well-wishes for her performances. It means a great deal to both of us.

Kyah had to prepare for the next show that evening, and we all headed home. Kevin (her dad) drove back to Newcastle. Anne and I sat around and waited for 10pm to come again, for pick up. This particular evening Jimmy Barnes was performing at Riverstage; right beside Gardens Theatre. Needless to say there was people everywhere and I got to hear a few songs from Jimmy while I was waiting for Kyah to come out.

Sunday was again another hectic day. Dropped Kyah to Gardens Theatre. Anne and I found the Northside Flower Market and bought some absolutely beautiful flowers. Believe it or not, they actually have a scent and as I am writing this, 4 days after the purchase, they still look as fresh as the day we bought them!!! We then went to church, had lunch with a group of friends, picked Kyah up at 4.15pm. Drove Anne to the airport. Drove home and Kyah unpacked from the busy week. Then I had to turn around and go back to the airport to pick up one of the homestay girls.

It was a very busy week and I am still recovering. Kyah had Monday off school, as it was a pupil-free day, so that gave her a bit of an opportunity to recover, which is great for her. Unfortunately, one of the girls coughed on Kyah all weekend and now Kyah is feeling a bit unwell, but we are hoping she can get on top of it by the morning.

 

The last couple of weeks leading up to the Gala week were also busy, but we had some fun activities thrown in there as well.

We went to the Queensland Museum to see the Space Exhibition. It was pretty interesting; lots to see, loads of facts and information about space travel. We spent almost 3 hours in there, so that should say something. That same afternoon we went to the movies and saw Ad Astra, with Brad Pitt. The movie was good to watch, especially after we had spent so long in the museum looking at space stuff beforehand. (It wasn’t planned that way – it just worked out it happened that way). So we had a very space-focused day. At one stage when Kyah was young, she wanted to be an astronaut, so it was very absorbing for her.

Kyah was asked to do a dance at church as a special celebration to pray for the Jewish people and Jerusalem. She looked beautiful, and her performance was lovely. She choreographed the dance a few days beforehand, so it was all totally her input. So many people gave her compliments afterwards about how they were in tears and deeply moved because the dance was so anointed. That was really encouraging for her to hear. I can imagine there will be more of that to come.

We are looking for a new place to move into. Where we are is really not that accessible with public transport. Even though we live 4.5km from the school Kyah attends, it may take her over an hour to get home some afternoons, because of the timing  and routes of the public transport. This is not really ideal. She had dance practice recently that fell on a public holiday, in preparation for the Gala performance. Kyah had to leave home with me very early so I could drop her to public transport that would get her there on time. I was working with clients, otherwise I would have dropped her in there. So, we need to look for a new place to live. That is taking a bit of our time at the moment. Checking places out on the internet, going to look at some of them…. My gripe: it is very interesting the measurements written on floor plans … for some reason they seem to be very exaggerated in some cases. I wonder when the real estate industry will get an overhaul. It is very disappointing to turn up to a place when you are expecting floor sizes to be 4.5m x 7.2m and you know by looking at the room that the measurements have been increased by 25% at least.

We went and watched a local dance school perform their end of year show. The intention was to see the standard the kids are at and what type of dance school they are; what genres they focus on, music selection, costumes and age appropriate dance moves. We were very pleased with what we saw and had the assurance that Kyah would be able to teach dance to the younger kids. This is something we want to look into her doing next year, so we are looking around now. Obviously, the dance school will also be determined by where we move to. But it doesn’t hurt to look.

We are now in the final term of school. Lots of things for Kyah to complete before the end of year. Dance exams will be coming up very soon. As yet they have not been told a date, but I can imagine it will be very soon. After that they then get told if they are accepted back into Queensland Ballet Academy for next year. We are hoping and believing for God’s plans to come to fruition. Everything is in His time.

Numbers 23:19-21  God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? 

Upcoming Gala Performance

Gosh how the time is flying. Another month is gone. School holidays for Kyah have come and gone. She was fortunate enough to have one week off both school and dance, and now she is back into dance, with another week off school.

I will fill you in on the happenings since the last post, as best I can. Kyah was doing some of her Diploma work on her computer and managed to spill some water on her laptop computer! It wouldn’t turn on so I suggested she grab a tea towel and place it on the bench, then cover the tea towel in raw rice. Place the laptop keyboard on the rice with some books on it, to ensure the laptop did not fall. Leave it for more than 20 minutes and hope and pray. Well, after 30 minutes the computer worked again. I am figuring the rice absorbed the moisture that was in the keys. So she was able to use her computer and back everything up. Even though the computer worked, she said it was running very hot, so it was off to the computer store to purchase another laptop. Oh my gosh they get you with the price now don’t they? Captive audience aren’t we??

I have had to delete all the files from Kyah’s laptop and iPad so we can trade them in, as we no longer need them. As I was going through the files I found the journal Kyah had done on our trip through Canada. It was so nice reading it and remembering the holiday, but also reading it from a nine and a half year olds’ perspective. We would happily go back to Canada, especially Yellowknife; we had such an amazingly different experience.  Down to minus 30 degrees. Snow over one meter high beside the roads. Dog sledding. Snow shoeing. Ice walks where crampons were essential footwear. Seeing beavers nests and how they set up for winter. Watching the set up for ice fishing nets on the lake the ice truckers use. Riding snow mobiles. Mushing. Skiing Whistler and Blackcomb. Having snow come up to your waist as you walk. And the most memorable of all experiences – seeing the Aurora Borealis.

This was taken in Canada when we were doing an ice walk in Johnston Canyon.

Back to reality…

Kyah has managed to get through all her subjects for term three. She is confident she has passed all her subjects; as yet we have not received a school report for all the subjects she is doing. I imagine the report will be forthcoming.

She is now almost half way through her Diploma in Business so she is able to drop a subject at school. This will be implemented as of term four – starting next week. What a relief for her. The Diploma course is proving to be very time consuming as it requires feedback on numerous drafts for the same module. The feedback is taking time to receive as well, so it seems to be a bit frustrating in that Kyah is not able to complete a module, have it marked and signed off as ‘successfully completed’ and move on to the next module. She is currently waiting on feedback for three modules and starting another one. It’s a bit confusing, but it is how she must do it in order not to waste too much time. She will get there.

We are thinking that next year while she is completing year 12 she will be able to undertake a part time job. We are hoping it may be in dance teaching or in a dance shop. But she should have some time free for a job. This would be amazing to think with the huge load they have with dance and school, but it is a genuine possibility. It will also be good for Kyah to get out there into the employment world and take on added responsibilities. Available time for her will be the determining factor.

Our two homestay girls finally moved out. They were with us for two months. They were very pleasant to have around and absolutely no problem at all. It is great for Kyah to have people around that she has to consider. Being an only child she can become very used to not considering others, so I think it is a good thing to have others in our house. We have another student arrive in a couple of weeks and two teachers attached to international schools coming. I think by the end of November we should be just about done with the homestay people for the year. It does keep us busy, but also it is nice to be able to open our home to others and make them feel welcome when they are in our country.

Our cruise has been paid for. We are definitely going to NZ. Both of us are very much looking forward to it. It will be a much needed break. Loads of activities to do on the ship, as well as participate in fitness classes, go to the gym, racing dodgem cars, rock climbing, indoor sky diving, along with simply sitting down to meals and not having to prepare them, nor having to clean up afterwards. My idea of a perfect holiday. Bring it on.

The last few weeks of school were pretty busy for Kyah. Finalising all assessment tasks, getting her diploma done and ballet. Queensland Ballet have an upcoming Gala performance in October. So the dancers have all been preparing for that. Kyah has been doing her 2-3 sessions of pilates each week as well. She has got to stay on top of prehab and maintain and improve her strength all the time. The preparation days for the Gala are very long. She leaves home by 6am and arrives home after 5pm. She is at dance all day. So when she gets home, it is feet up or feet in an ice bucket,  bit of rest, eat a healthy dinner, shower, unpack, prepare for the next day. Then she repeats the process the next day… a bit like Groundhog Day. She is enjoying it though.

There are a number of dear friends coming to watch Kyah perform in the Gala. I am really looking forward to catching up with every one of you. It is only 2 weeks away. So much to get done before then…

We had a bit of a gathering at our place in September. About 20 people, all playing games, laughing, enjoying each others company. It was lovely. Kyah managed to corrupt one of the “more responsible” women. She had Luell and herself go out on to the back verandah with a bottle of water and gently pour it through the timber cracks down onto some of the people sitting and chatting at the BBQ table!! I knew what was going on, but the others didn’t for a little while. They thought it was spray from a bottle being opened or sprinkles of rain. It was actually very funny to see it happening. They had fun. It was a great time for all, memories made and friendships strengthened.

Kyah went down to see her dad for a few days last week. She flew down and back. While she was there she caught up with a couple of friends, which she loved doing, she went to the gym with a friend. But mostly she spent the time with her dad and the dogs. She said she had a nice time. I think the fact she had no structure, except attending the gym each afternoon (thank you Tina), and just chilling without any commitments was exactly what she needed. Now it is back to the routine.

She arrived back on Thursday night, to give her a day to unpack, settle back in and wind up for the sprint to the end of the year. She started back dancing on Saturday, and it will be full on until after their Gala and exams.

We received her report for QB and she is doing really well. We are both very pleased with the report. Obviously there is always room for improvement, but it seems she is doing well and is meeting all criteria more than satisfactorily. This is not a guarantee she will be in again next year, but we walk in hope and faith on that promise. We will find out after the Gala and the exams, which will be early to mid November. Keep praying for God’s will to be done, please.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. KJV

September 26 marked three years since her horrendous accident. She was boarding the plane to come home at the exact time it happened three years ago. Her foot does not give her any problems at all. It is still a bit larger in the ankle, but that will probably never change. I thank God every day for the miracle of healing and the blessing He has given her. We are blessed in that others have heard of her injury and can see the number of miracles that happened regarding her foot including the complete healing of it. It may give them hope and direction and possibly plant a seed of faith in them that will grow.

We have heard that one of Kyah’s most lovely dance teachers, back when she was very young, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Robyn really was the instigator in us pursuing Kyah’s ballet career. She recognised Kyah’s ability even when she was 8 and 9 years old. When we left Port Stephens, it was Robyn who said to us that Kyah really should pursue ballet and that she has huge potential in the ballet world. We catch up with Robyn when we can and hopefully we will be able to see her over Christmas. Our thoughts and prayers are with her through this tough time.

On another sad note, one of my dearest friends has been diagnosed as having a tumour in her pancreas. We are hoping surgery to remove and then reconstruct the pancreas will be all that is needed, but we must wait and see, and hope and pray. Both Kyah and I simply adore Sandra and this has been a huge blow to us.

Trying to stay positive:

Ever wondered what cheese and bacon rolls would look like if your child (Kyah in this case) left a packet of them in the glove box of the car for 16 days? Well, here’s your answer!!  Thankfully the bag was closed and there was no smell. But I would not recommend anyone do it. Needless to say, they went straight in the bin, no consideration of giving the scraps to the birds or dogs.

Kyah has been doing some driving and is going well. Her confidence is growing along with her ability. She is learning to read the traffic more effectively each time she drives, and she is becoming more aware of how to spot a lunatic on the road. Driving home yesterday there was one of those tiny motor scooters that simply do not have the power to reach 40km/h. What an experience for her. Cars were trying to get away from the scooter, pushing in and out of different lanes, the scooter rider was (I think) totally oblivious to the traffic confusion they were causing. It was quite amusing to watch, and teach Kyah what to do and what not to do and see how certain drivers respond when they realised they were driving behind a very slow vehicle. Kyah did well to merge with the traffic and avoid being stuck behind this scooter.

We use the driving app and it is so easy. Kyah simply puts in the odometer reading and the start location. Presses start and the app follows where we drive. When we get to the end she then puts in the odometer reading again. If it is night time she needs to specify that, otherwise it gets registered as a day drive. I then go online with an email prompt and approve the drive. Then the time gets added to her diary. It is so easy. If any of you are thinking of doing it this way or manually, I recommend doing it this way. It is so easy.

Our home is turning into a bit of an animal farm. We have a cat that visits us every day; Lunar. He is actually a nice cat – if there is such a thing !!! He used to live here and when the previous tenants moved out, apparently he wanted to stay, so he moved in with the neighbours, but comes over here every day. He almost behaves like a dog and he and Kyah have a good play a few times each week. He is a lovely natured cat, likes to make himself at home. We also have a few currawongs that come into the house now. They obviously feel comfortable enough to walk into the house. Mind you, the birds don’t come in when Lunar is around. It’s entertaining if nothing else.

 

Kyah is dancing at church this Sunday. It is a low key dance, just her. We have a ‘Day of Prayer for Israel’ on Sunday and Kyah has been asked if she could dance just for one song as part of the entertainment and celebrations. She is such a blessing to watch when she dances, so those of us that know she is performing are all looking forward to it.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. NIV