Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sophie's Party 10-1-10

Sophie's birthday party was quite the event.

She invited street friends, school friends, and old neighborhood friends.  We had pizza for dinner, played Minute to Win It games, played night games, and made s'mores in the fire pit.

She was happy.

I was exhausted.  (Shhh.  Don't tell her.)  (Well, I guess she knows, since I told her the next day how totally exhausted I was.  And maybe I told her the day after that, too.)

I'm so glad she has such nice, fun, sweet friends, and I'm glad that I was able to make up her disappointing tenth birthday (a week before our move...let's just say the promised party never materialized.)

My First Piano Trio 9.30.10

One of my 2010 goals was to arrange two pieces for my kids to play as a piano trio: Kate on piano, Sophie on violin, and Josh on cello.  I'd started one months ago but it never got further than writing out the melody for the instruments.

Then I was asked if my kids could do something for our ward's Primary Program at the end of October (one Sunday a year, the main meeting of our congregation is turned over to the children's organization.  The kids do almost all of the talking and singing.  It gets pretty entertaining.)  When I got the assignment, I decided it was time to get started for real.

I thought I had until the end of October, but then Josh signed himself (and his sisters) up for a performance in his seminary class on Oct. 1.  So September 29 and 30 found me at the keyboard, scribbling away, trying to finish in time to allow the kids to actually practice once or twice before an 8:10 call time.  I'm not a natural at this composing business.  I don't have a lot of experience.  I am constantly second guessing myself.  This was NOT an easy process.  But I did it...after lots of prayer and erasing and more prayer and more erasing.  I 2 am of the night before the performance.

And they DID get to play it once or twice before school.

It's just too bad once or twice wasn't enough...Not nearly enough, especially for the seven year old pianist.  And despite the sloppiness of the seminary performance, I was quite proud of my efforts AND their efforts.

I was also grateful we had another four weeks before our real performance.  Even though I'd been cursing Josh earlier for forcing me to finish the piece early, it was definitely a blessing in disguise.  So now I've finished one.  I guess I'd better get started on the second...maybe I'll do a Christmas song.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friend School 9.29.10

It was our turn to host Friend School.  Ben chose Zoo Animals for our topic.  Seriously, preparing for the hour and a half of Friend School took me two days.  I'm hoping to get faster at this...

Piano Group and Salute to Youth 9.28.10

Ahhh...Piano Group.  I just can't really tell you how much I love Piano Group.  I look forward to it like I do nothing else each month.  This month was wonderful.  Cody and her husband Todd (a wonderful tenor) were preparing for a recital on Temple Square and wanted to run through some of their repertoire for us: some Schumann and Ginastera.  So lovely.  Jill played some Bach (the first mvt of the Italian Concerto) and so did I (the Allemande from the 2nd Partita.  I finished memorizing it the day before).  Am I forgetting anybody?

But does anybody have a better name than Piano Group?  We've all been discussing it and we haven't figured anything out.  Shout out any suggestions you have.

Later that night, David took the biggies to the Salute to Youth concert (the night once a year when young performers solo with the Utah Symphony).  They all came home inspired.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lacrosse 9.25.10

He's really doing it!  I went to his first scrimmage in South Utah County.  The other parents warned me that my first lacrosse match might make me cringe.  And it did.  But by the end, I was thinking hitting people with big metal sticks sounded like a lot of fun.

And even if I was a little worried (which I am.  A LITTLE worried) about injury, I can't describe to you how happy my boy is.  He loves this sport.  He loves his coach.  He loves his teammates.  And that's good enough for me.  Talk to me again after he gets a broken wrist.  Maybe I'll change my mind then.  But for now, I'm really happy he's found something to be passionate about.

And Sophie got to go to her first college football game with our neighbors.  Josh was jealous.

Pretzels 9.24.10

I'm Kinda Busy Right Now 9.23.10

So, you might have noticed that my blog posting has become slightly sporadic.  This might be why.

Can you read it?

That's right.  I'm crazy.  Totally and completely crazy.

And yet, kinda completely excited too.

So I've started the application process for my DMA.  And the auditions are in February.  And I'm freaked out.  And I shouldn't even talk about this in public, because what if I play my audition and they're all, "'re not really who we're looking for.  You're a little old.  And your playing is a little rusty.  So come back when you're younger and a superstar and have no children demanding dinner every night or help with homework or need someone to clean up the carpet yet again."?  Yeah.  That will be embarrassing, won't it, since I've announced my intentions publicly now and you all know what I'm intending.

So maybe pretend you didn't read this.  And if you did read it, and you're so inclined, pray for me.  Pray for me hard.  And also pray that Ben gets fully potty trained a little more quickly so I can be practicing instead of cleaning carpets.  And also pray that the people who will be listening to me in four months (FOUR MONTHS???) will think I'm worth taking a chance on.

(Because I am...  I think.)

Phoning It In 9.22.10

Ummm...I think I need to step up the originality of the pictures of the day.  I think we've had three or four pictures of Little People.

Then again, this IS my life, right?  And my life has a lot of toys in it right now.  So oh well, there may be three or four MORE pictures of Little People before we're all done.  Originality is for people without children.

Oh, I know that's not true.  Originality can also be for people with children, just as long as they aren't me.

Why I Love My Carpet Cleaner 9.21.10

In the background (behind the couch), you can see Natalia.  In the foreground, you can see Ben.  To the right, you can see my handy-dandy carpet cleaner.

Why is this my picture of the day?


Potty-training the three-year-old boy (yikes) and cleaning up after the 14 1/2 year old dog (double yikes) has worn me clear out.  I hate that so much of my life is revolving around pee.

Seriously.  Did any of us know how much our lives would revolve around pee before we decided to have children?  Or before we invited a dog to live with us?

Is this something I will miss once Ben has moved out of this stage?

No.  Nope.  Nuh-uh.  There's lots about mothering I'll miss when it's gone, but I really don't think this is one of those things.

FHE 9.20.10

We've started something (sporadically) that is working well (when we actually do it).  During Family Home Evening on Monday nights, we get out our calendars and talk about the schedule for the next couple of weeks.  We also review the kids' housework responsibilities and goals.

Doesn't that sound well-organized and efficient of us?  It IS (when we remember to pull out the calendars.)

Just to make you feel better about your life 9.19.10

Neighborhood Party. Also, Bri Doing Homework. 9.18.10

Gorgeous night, good friends, good food, lots of laughter and building friendships.  Best part?  Our next-door-neighbors threw it.  We just had to show up.  Loved it.
Mike and Bri came back after the race to hang out overnight (well, and Bri also had to do homework, which was very industrious and impressive of her.)  I miss them bunches.  We tried to convince them that Utah would be a perfect place for Mike to practice law.  I'm afraid we did not make a convincing enough argument.  Darn.

Arianne's Wedding. 9.17.10 (again)

This is my sweet niece, Arianne.  This is NOT her groom, of course. David made sure he was in as many pictures as possible.

I love family weddings.  I love having an excuse to hang out with so many people we love in one place. (Also, I love the food.)

(See what I mean about the relationship between Soph and Ben? Seriously sweet.)

At the reception.  David thought it was fun to chat up the musicians while they were playing.  I think he made them very very nervous.

And Five Guys to end our night...yummy.

Sophie. Eleven. 9.17.10


She's 11.

I love this girl.  She's a remarkable girl, turning into a remarkable teenager, just a couple of years too early.

Her birthday was a little complicated, as she had to share it with her cousin Arianne's wedding, but we did let her choose her own breakfast (Toaster Strudel, if you can believe it) and took her to dinner after the reception (Five Guys again.)

What do I love about Sophia?

1.  I can no longer call her Sophia.  She really dislikes her name.  She tolerates Sophie, but really hates Sophia.  I hope that this changes over time, because I really thought how nice it would be for her to have a long name and a nickname.  I always wished I had been Caroline or something and that Kerri could have been just a nickname.  Sigh.  Just goes to show, sometimes mothers just don't get things right, no matter how hard they try.

2.  How sweet she is with Ben.  She calls him "Hon" and carts him around on her hip and plays with him and lets him have her old stuffed animals.

3.  Her sense of style.  The girl is just cool.

4.  Her tender heart.

5.  Her responsibility.  She's turning into quite a good babysitter, and is starting to have moms in the ward call her.  She especially loves babysitting for her Activity Day leader.

6.  Her individuality.  She knows what she wants and what she does NOT want.  She hates to wear her hair down (which makes this picture all the more special) and will NOT wear something that isn't just right.

7.  Her strong will.  Today was our ward Primary Program (the children present the main meeting of our church congregation once a year.)  I wrote a trio for the kids to play.  She asked me to carry her glasses because she had too many things to carry.  When it was time for them to perform, I set up the music stand, and then, since she was holding her bow and violin, I put her glasses on her face for her.  She looked disgusted at me and said "NO!" and shook them off.  No way was she wearing those glasses.  Never mind that she had ASKED ME TO TAKE THEM UP THERE FOR HER.  It was hysterical (I had almost as many comments about the glasses incident as I did about the kids' performance) and just so Sophie.

8.  Her intelligence.

9.  Her sense of right and wrong.  She won't listen to songs if she hears a bad word.  Today we were studying the scriptures.  It was her turn and she read up to a certain point and said, "I don't want to read that word."  It was "hell."  I said, "Sweetie, if it's in the scriptures, you can read it."  But she wouldn't.  David read it for her instead.  He's good at that word.  (Just kidding.)  (Maybe.)

I could tell Sophie stories all day.  She has made our lives so full and rich and fun.

Happy birthday, my darling.  I only wish I could make the years go by much much MUCH more slowly.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Family Party and Celebrating Sophie 9.16.10

My sister, Bri, and her cute family came up so her husband Mike could run Top of Utah again.  (Was I sad I wasn't running it, too?  Actually, no.  I wasn't sad at all...  My decision to wait for Ogden in May was a very good one.)  We were lucky enough to have them stay here, so we threw a party.

Of course, we need no excuse to throw a party, but we had a great one:  Sophie's birthday was the next day.

Pizza (thanks to Bri and Mike) and brownies and ice cream and a bunch of happy people = successful party.

And look at my darling almost-11-year-old.  She's not REALLY that old, is she?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Guess What Sport Josh is Loving? 9.15.10

I was always so grateful that my children were small because I knew my boys would not play football and all that it entails: namely, wearing lots of pads and being knocked to the ground over and over.

Instead, Josh has decided to fall in love with a different sport.  Lacrosse.  Now he gets to wear fewer pads and get knocked by big metal sticks over and over.


I should be more worried about this, shouldn't I?  Instead, I'm kind of loving his lacrosse coach (our neighbor, Gary) and his lacrosse teammates (boys also newly reveling in their changing voices and using them loudly on our carpools to lacrosse practice) and also his love of all things lacrosse.  I think he would sleep with his stick if it wasn't a little uncomfortable.

And also, please ignore the green tint to this picture.  I could have edited it, but I didn't because, well, I'm still three weeks behind on my pics.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Park Time with Ben 9.14.10

I love having some alone time with Ben during the day.  He is very entertaining company.  Much of our drive to and from school involves singing songs about trains, telling knock knock jokes, and playing I Spy.  What can I say?  Three year olds turn an ordinary day into an adventure.  And every once in a while, he'll convince me to leave the dishes and laundry and take him to the park.  It's always a party at the park, even when he can't find anyone to befriend.

Helicopters and Crayons 9.13.10

David has a friend with a helicopter.  I don't have any friends with helicopters, do you?  It seems like a friend with a helicopter might be a fun friend to have, especially if he invites you to fly with him.

And this is Provo Canyon from the helicopter.

And this is Ben, coloring.  School has transformed Ben in some darling ways.  One of them is his sudden love of coloring.  He will color, intently, for longer than I've ever seen him focus.  It's darling, really.

Reading Time 9.12.10

I love watching my children interact with each other.


Let me rephrase that:  I love watching my children interact POSITIVELY with each other.

I especially love when Kate and Ben have reading time together.  Ben listens intently, Kate uses her best dramatic reading voice, and I feel like something is going right in our home, at least for a short, fleeting moment.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Something happened here, but I don't remember what 9.11.10

I'm pretty sure Josh had a party in this space and that I've blocked it out of my memory.  This teenage party thing is pretty hard on a mom.  I WILL admit, his friends are really cute and nice and I'm so glad he is enjoying life.  And we just provided pizza or hot dogs or something and stuff for s'mores and a movie (I guess, because that's what this picture seems to prove) and they had a great time.  The boys all walked around with their lacrosse sticks and the girls were polite and friendly and actually talked to us parents.  (Are all teenage girls that different than teenage boys?)

And make it FOUR bad pictures in a row.

Greek Festival 9.9.10

This is the third in a row of really terrible pictures.

I guess my project is NOT about quality pictures, but about remembering the life that inspired them.

And even though this is a terrible picture, it's a wonderful memory.  One of our favorite traditions is attending the annual Greek festival with our friends Llew and Sally.  We adore Llew and Sally and their amazing boys.  Hanging out with them is always fun.  But hanging out with them at the Greek Festival is ESPECIALLY fun.  We've been doing this since Josh was a baby, I think, and we've only missed a year or two in all that time.  We eat ourselves silly and watch the Greek dancers.  We've always had one or two kids dance along near our table, and this year it was Ben's turn.  I will be sad when they're all too old to want to dance at the Greek festival.

Josh is gorging himself on his own box (bought with his own money) of loukoumades, a fried dough tossed with honey and cinnamon.  Yummy.  I want one right now.  And YES, it looks like I'm eating one in the picture, but NO, I was STRONG.  I was holding Ben's and feeding him so he didn't end up covered in honey.  THAT is how strong I am.  I can HOLD a loukoumade and NOT EAT IT.  (Impressive, yes?)

Friend School 9-8-10

Ben has preschool at the U on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but Wednesdays are also special days for him. This summer, my friend Emily asked me to join their preschool for Wednesday mornings.  It's like Joy School, where we trade off teaching week by week.  I have loved getting to know the other moms a little more, and I love watching Ben having a wonderful time learning about birds, apples, feelings, and zoo animals with his friends.  I AM a little out of my league, though.  Check out the darling mats they sit on for circle time.  Yup.  That's the kind of darling project made by these awesome women that are part of the group.  I'm learning from them, but it's a little bit daunting.  Oh well, they'll learn to love me for who I am, right?

Youth City Council 9.7.10

Moving to Davis County had its adjustments, but the move has been (overall) really great for Josh.  I've been so happy to see him having so many rich and varied experiences, from Scouts to lacrosse to orchestra, and now to Youth City Council.  Our neighbors have three great kids.  Their son, Trevor, is the mayor of the Youth City Council.  His brother, Blake, is Josh's good friend (and their daughter, Leanne, is Sophie's good friend) and they both decided to join, too.  This was the night of their swearing in ceremony.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Just Because Ben is Awesome 9.5.10

Really.  Wouldn't you want this kid running around YOUR house?  I mean, his fashion sense is dead on.  And that smile?

(And yes, I know I'm out of order, but I forgot to download the pictures from my other camera until just now.  Oops.)

Playing Catchup

As of right now, I'm finally LESS THAN A MONTH BEHIND in my Picture of the Day project.  Aren't you proud of me?  And it only took eighteen posts in one day.

Sorry to flood your Google Reader, folks.  Hope you're not ultra-tired of us by the end of all the posts.  Feel free to just "Mark All as Read."  I promise I won't give you a quiz on the subject matter.

Labor Day 9.6.10

I love picnics in Heber.  The food is amazing and the company is great.

Yes, Alysha is wearing a mask.  They found a box of old masks leftover from David's dad's office and made good use of them.  More cousin fun...I love cousins.

After the picnic, we had a barbecue at our house with Llew, Sally, Jeff and Hillary, complete with bonfire and s'mores.  And the hardest part for me?  Not only did our picnic at David's mom's have TWO DESSERTS AND ICE CREAM, but at the barbecue, what did we end up with?  TWO DESSERTS AND ICE CREAM.  Seriously unfair.  I was strong, though.  I have $20 on the line (a contest with my cousin, Peggy) and I'm determined not to give up.