The highlight of the day didn't have anything to do with Christmas...although it certainly could be considered a gift because of the impact it has and will have on Olivia.
Olivia had the opportunity to be a part of the taping of a commercial for the Ann Bancroft Foundation.
Olivia and Ann Bancroft are talking to one another
about her dog, Scissors, who Olivia had the chance to meet.
Each of the seven girls who participated in the taping had lines they had to say based on the answers they gave to three questions the foundation asked them.
Olivia's lines for the commercial.
Olivia watched two other teen girls get taped. Both the teens did a great job with their lines.
When it was Olivia's turn, instead of bringing her lines with her and putting them at her feet like the other girls did, Olivia handed me her lines and walked confidently up to the box and looked into the camera to say her lines. She said them a number of times...just like the other girls.
We could watch Olivia on the monitor as she was being taped.
The lights in the studio were overwhelmingly bright and hot. Olivia said after the taping that she was glad she didn't wear socks. "My feet were sweating it was so hot!"
The biggest challenge for her was the lighting glare on her glasses. They adjusted the lights and camera; had Olivia put her head down slightly, move her glasses, and stick out her neck further."
After she finished taping, all seven girls came in and had a group picture taken with Ann. These are all girls/teens/women who had and have dreams and have had the courage to pursue them.
It reminded me of going to St. Kate's (a women's college in St. Paul) and being surrounded by smart, inspiring women who were motivated to reach their educational, career, and life goals. This felt like that...except it is specifically designed for girls between the ages of 10 and 18. The Ann Bancroft Foundation's programs are reaching them at such a pivotal point in their lives.
Some of the girls with Ann Bancroft.
They all look so happy and confident!
Olivia was front and center in the picture, and got to stand by Ann. She's been doing a lot of reading about Ann's expeditions and dog sledding, so to be able to spend time with and talk with a woman who has done what Olivia is dreaming about doing is both inspiring and life-changing for her.
Olivia with Ann Bancroft.
They're listening to someone give directions about
what to do next.
Sophia also received a grant from the foundation to realize her dream in June 2014: to go kayaking and sailing on Lake Superior; trail riding on horseback on the Gunflint Trail; and zip lining near the end of the Gunflint Trail. She is equally as excited as Olivia about this opportunity, and is counting the months until she can go on the trip.
The trees were decorated in downtown Minneapolis.
Olivia was in awe of how pretty the trees and
Christmas decorations were...especially
deer shapes that were wrapped in white lights.
As it ended up, the taping finished early (around 4:10 p.m.), so it was still light out and I could see. It hadn't snowed yet, so the roads were fine.
The hotel room. We're on the 14th floor.
We could see the traffic (the white lights out the window) and
a huge flock of crows flying at eye level.
There were literally hundreds of birds in the flock.
Olivia was fascinated watching them fly in front of her.
So, we enjoyed a break from caring for the pets and horses for the night. I enjoyed having someone else make us dinner.
Dinner in the room.
Olivia liked this table because it was on wheels and
rolled out from underneath a larger desk.
(She didn't eat all the food...about half the pizza we saved
to eat at home on Friday.)
As a side note, it's good that we're in Minneapolis because it will make it easier to visit my Mom (Olivia's Nana) on Friday. She was hospitalized today - right before we arrived at the taping for the commercial.
My Mom collapsed while my sister was walking her to the car in the garage. (She was going to take her to the doctor since she's been sick for much of the week.) My sister called 911 and an ambulance came and transported them to the hospital. My Mom's blood sugar level had dropped to 59 (dangerously low). By 9:30 p.m., she was settled and stabilized in a room at the hospital.
Needless to say, it's been a day filled with excitement - good and challenging.
Luke 2:15 - When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child. All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said. Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them.
The shepherds went back, singing praises to God for all they had heard and seen; it had been just as the angel had told them.
What do you call Frosty the Snowman in May?
Sophia as a snowman in 2009.
This was taken at Como Zoo
in preparation for their Zoo Boo event.
We learned what treats are associated with Christmas and counted how many of them Sophia and Olivia have eaten:
- Apple cider (Sophia, Olivia)
- Boiled custard
- Candy canes (Sophia, Olivia)
- Champagne, or sparkling apple cider
- Chocolate fudge (Sophia, Olivia)
- Christmas cookies (Sophia, Olivia)
- Cranberry sauce (Sophia, Olivia)
- Eggnog (Sophia)
- Fruitcake (the girls may have eaten this, we couldn't remember if they did or not)
- Gingerbread, often in the form of a gingerbread house or gingerbread man (Sophia, Olivia)
- Ham (Sophia, Olivia)
- Lefse rolled with butter and sugar, particularly in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota (Sophia)
- Prime Rib (Sophia, Olivia)
- Plum pudding
- Russian tea cakes (the girls may have eaten these, we couldn't remember if they did or not)