Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Concert Attire

You can usually expect concerts around Christmas time, and at the end of the year, but I feel it is a bonus if there are performances in between. This January, I got to go listen to bonus concerts from both June and Robyn. Today, I will even include video, which I usually don't.

First up, Robyn. They had this strange BOOM concert. They combined with another Jr. High and played songs conducted by both school's band directors. Here you can see Mrs. Taylor leading the combined group. And you can almost see the top of Robyn's head. Look closely now.

We were sitting pretty far back, so I wasn't holding my  breath for good pictures. Then after a song, Mr. Winters (Ivory's orchestra teacher and the band director at the other Jr. High) told the parents they would play the same song again, but this time parents could stand on stage. You better believe I went up there, since my kid stands in the back.

Here she is with Sam who is in her class. Ahem...if you look to the left, the boy in glasses is the one who has been crushing on Robyn and giving her gifts.

Wait, can she see over that stand?

And now for the music. I figured since I was right up there, I'd better take a video. Some things to look for:

  • Robyn is playing snare. The boy next to her is from the other school. Mr. Winters is a great band director, but I think he is not a percussionist. I don't think there is a separate class for percussionists. This boy seemed to be struggling a bit. He tends to watch Robyn out of the corner of his eye to keep up. 
  • I like watching Robyn count while she plays.
  • I pan through the band during the video because I think it is fun to see all the parents on stage. You can see Mr. Winters for a moment.

It was a fun fast concert.

Next up June. June was recommended for Honor Orchestra. Kids from all over the district were chosen and sent music. They practiced on their own and then came together on a Friday for rehearsal and then the next Saturday for a concert. We had never done this before, and if I could recommend anything, it is BE ON TIME. We arrived three minutes late and missed the first number. Guess they jump right in.

Can you see June up there? She is three rows to the right on the conductor. I would have circled her, but Photoshop is out of commission.

Here is a nice blurry picture of her with her long hair and boots. She got to be stand partners with Brooke, which is nice because they knew each other.

Now for the video. It is fun to hear all these talented kids. I believe this was song was a Sword Dance. There is some discord in the music, but that is intended to symbolize the battle.

Love all these girls. They all love playing. What a great group. Left to Right: Brooke, Holly, June, Lauren, and Hannah.

Music is such a great addition to life.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Goodbye January

It is actually almost the end of February, thank goodness. In case you were wondering, we had another victim. June got sick on Ivory's birthday and has been down all week. Poor kid. Like I said, can't wait to put this month behind me.

But let's go back and enjoy some moments from January. There are always such interesting tidbits left on my phone.

Dad doesn't pack the kids around like he used to, since some of them are bigger than I, but the littles know they can still get him to give them a ride now and then.

Still making lunches daily. Robyn was drawing these cute critters at church one day, so I made similar faces and she finished up the rest. Can you tell what animals they are?

We have neighbors that water color. Abby is really very good. She asked if I wanted to come see a piece she had finished. She did the one on the left and her older sister did the one on the right. I think they are both beautiful, but I really love the birds in the snowy trees. Lovely.

I really like the simplicity of this necklace. Cindy gave it to Becca as a gift, and I had to snap a photo. I could make something like that...

Snuggle bug alert. I don't think Ivory is mad in this picture, but then again...she doesn't look happy either. Maybe she is still waking up.

Check out Tyler in his swag. He was getting ready to go to Front Sight again. Do you remember last time when a casing landed inside his shirt giving him a wicked burn on this back? That wasn't going to happen this time around. He got a shemagh for Christmas. It is desert headwear made to protect the head and neck from the sun and sand, and in this case, hot casings. If you look back at the last post, some of the other guys had them. I think Tyler is looking suave with his gun, tactical belt, shemagh, and shades. He means business.

Ivory and I had a date last month. She has been planning this one for a while. She wanted to go Rock Climbing. It was really fun. I couldn't do any climbing myself since you have to be 14 to belay. Belaying is being at the bottom and holding the rope taut for the person above. So I did a lot of that. And Ivory went around and scaled walls all over the place. It was a good time.

June went to a Murder Mystery party for Hannah's birthday. It was a beauty pageant theme. Her character was actually the lady in charge. She said it was very fun, because she got to read lots of things and organize the other players. She looked so lovely going out the door. It won't be long before she has a boy on her arm. Yikes.

Not surprising that she came home with the 'Dressed to Kill' award. Luckily, her character was innocent. They gave out characters randomly, and Hannah was the one who was killed. I can't remember who did it? It might have been Sophie.

Rubia's birthday is right after mine and Tyler's, so we like to get together with her. She invited us over for a wonderful dinner. The girls went right for the bears of course.

I forgot to take any pictures, naturally, until right as we were walking out the door. We aren't all in there, but I certainly love everyone in this crazy picture.

Finally, June is still cranking out fun art. I can't wait for the Art Show. I believe she will have a lot of pieces in there. I sometimes get a picture before they are turned in, but not always. I can't remember what this one is called. Two tone, maybe? And figure drawing. I don't think it is quite finished judging from the missing leg, but I get the pictures when I can.

January was a great month. A great start to the new year, with lots more adventures ahead of us.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

39 Challenges

We love celebrating Tyler around here, but on his birthday, we also like to torment him a little. Probably because he is such a good sport. Four years ago, we gave him 35 challenges on his birthday. It was time for another challenge year. Lucky for Tyler, that means 4 more challenges. I didn't look back at his challenge post, but not surprisingly, some of the challenges were the same.

We took more pictures this time around, let's jump right in and see what this birthday boy can accomplish.

Here he is with a table full of tasks. Lucky for him, a few cards say he can skip a challenge, although one card makes him do a task twice. If he can complete 39 (if he fails one, he can use a skipped card) he earns a massage. (At a real massage place, not just from me and the kids.)

1. List the kids birthdays and their teachers at school. (FAIL, Tyler struggles to remember teachers' names.)
2. Do a word search in under 5 minutes. (I think he made it in six. That counts.)

3. Eat something mint.
4. Let everyone write their name on your back using ice. (Brr....cold.)

5. Sing a song as 'King Julian'.
6. Blow out 39 candles. (It takes a while to get 39 candles lit, but he succeeded.)

7. Smash an egg on your forehead. (We told him one in the bowl was raw and he had to choose quickly, but they were actually all hardboiled. He didn't even hesitate.)
8. Bring Pele back. (We. Love. Pele.)

9. Walk from the front door to the back door with a book balanced on your head.
10. Hold your breath for 45 seconds.

11. List 50 things starting with the letter 'T'.
12. Peel an orange with the peel in one piece.

13. Juggle six times without dropping an item.
14. Let mom do your eye makeup (on one eye) and someone must comment on it. (We went next door and it took Lynn a while to figure out why Tyler was strutting around her kitchen, but she eventually caught on.)

15. Do an insta-blog post. (He skipped this one because of time.)
16. Do an unscramble. (These are tricky, but luckily no time limit on this one.)

17. List 45 states. (Extra points for 20 state capitals. He didn't even try those.)
18. Hold still while we decorate your feet. (There was much laughing during this one.)

19. Watch your favorite Studio C.
20. Hold four kids off the ground at once.

21. Play GUNS until you win. (He won first try against June and Robyn)
22. Make a Limerick using a word chosen from a book.

23. Give everyone two compliments.
24. Without using hands, retrieve five gummy worms from a tin of whipped cream.

25. Clean the kitchen desk.
26. Saber a bottle, first try. (He actually didn't get this one. He got it on the second try.)

27. Call a sibling and sing them Happy Birthday. (You're welcome J.R.)
28. Let the kids paint something on your face.

29. Call your home teachers and set up an appointment for them to visit. (He drew the card that made him to this task twice. I think our home teacher was pretty confused by the second call.)
30. Do 25 pushups.

31. Turn off all the lights, read the next challenge by candlelight.
32. Draw a picture with your eyes closed and see if we can guess what it was supposed to be.

33. Take a vitamin.
34. Let Moxy lick your face.

35. Spell knuckleheaded backwards. (This was a joke because he had spelled it knucleheaded when we played a game a few days before.)
36. Find a stranger and have them sing Happy Birthday to you. (He skipped this one as well because of time.)
37. Teach us a phrase in Portuguese. (He told us how to say 'Turn off the lights'. Something....la luz, I think.)
38. Check the mail. (Inside was a card that said, YELL LOUDLY, IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! He had actually already done that one when he came home.)

Last one. Perfect Timing.

39. Take a picture of someone feeding you cake. (We did this last one at the neighbor's and shared the cake, since they are so patient with our silly family.)

The cake was delicious. Great recipe this year for Tyler's traditional choice of German Chocolate Cake.

I love Tyler so much. He is the king of this household. All the girls adore him. It was so fun to have him do all these challenges. I'll probably give him another four years off for good behavior before we give him another set. Maybe...

Happy Birthday Handsome!

*If any of you were keeping track, I'm not sure he finished all 39 tasks, with failed ones and skipped ones, but I think he earned a massage anyway, don't you?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Keeping the Tooth Fairy in Business

It seems teeth like to fall out around the same time around here. Just the other week, three girls separately came to me and told me to wiggle a tooth. I was impressed with all the looseness. I made some bets in my mind about whose tooth would go first. (Too bad I can't remember what they were, but I'm pretty sure I lost.)

First up...Ivory. She lost hers at school and came home with one of those cute little tooth boxes. She is losing side teeth now.

The NEXT DAY Daisy came home with her own little tooth box. Don't be fooled, those front teeth have been out since October. She lost one down below.

I had to get pictures of these two cuties who lost teeth one day apart.

Not to be left out, Pearl had a great loose tooth. It is her FIRST! She was so excited, but that thing was sure hanging on. She could push it out in front. Looks so silly.

But like all baby teeth, it eventually had to go. She lost it at school as well. (I feel like I should buy some tooth boxes to reimburse the school.) Oddly enough, Pearl was one of three kids in her class to lose a tooth that day. She told me that a girl lost one in the morning, and while Pearl was walking back to class, after getting her box, she passed a boy from her room who was going to get his own tooth container. I'm sure that isn't a record, but it is still remarkable.

Pearl lost her tooth while Dad was out of town, so we had to take a picture and send it to him. It is really hard to take a picture of something so small. I put it on a green background so it would show up better.

But wait...we aren't finished yet.

It was Ivory's turn, again! She lost her next one in Idaho. She said she bit down and it kinda hurt and she reached in and pulled out a tooth. There was no root whatsoever on it. I'm amazed it was still in her mouth. One more down for her.

Pearl still has some loose ones as well as Daisy, but for now the tooth fairy can take a break. She has been working overtime.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Growing Shoe Tree

It is time for a January phone dump, but first I'm trying to weed through some photos that need their own post. I figured my Christmas Shoes could hold their own.

The shoe tree is a favorite of mine. Tyler still doesn't understand it. I'm not quite sure even I understand it. There is no symbolism or great meaning. I just like the shoe ornaments and I put them all on their own tree. That's it.

There were 5 new shoes for the tree this year. I got a couple for my birthday in 2016, so they had to wait patiently to make their debut. This adorable running shoe was given to me by Kari. I love it.

Deanne gave me this cute high heel.

This one was picked up in Sacramento while we were on vacation.

This one was an impulse buy when June was picking out our family ornament. (It doesn't take much for me to buy a shoe ornament, but I couldn't resist the glittery red sparkles.)

And of course, the shoe I bought at Disneyland when I went in September. You can guess the character right?

While I'm posting pictures of favorite things, I thought I would add my birthday gifts from my mother and Vicki. Mom got me a crosstitch pattern. It is cute and perfect for working on while I wait for June to catch up on our current project.

Vicki is getting us all pictures of Christ for our birthdays, to put in our rooms. Tyler was up in ID, so he chose one for our room.

I love the story that goes with it.

If you can't read the picture, here is what it says:

The Picture is by Heinrich Hofmann (1824-1911)

Elder David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came to visit his son and my Mission President, President Robert Haight, who was presiding over the Canada Vancouver Mission.

Visiting with some of the Elders, one of the young men asked Elder Haight which picture of the Savior he liked  best. He reached into his pocket and slowly pulled a picture of the Savior out of his wallet. The small picture with tattered edges was the same picture you see here. Elder Haight said to the missionaries:

"I carry this picture of the Savior with me because it looks the most like him. The Savior was a meek man, and I think this picture most accurately reflects the Savior's meekness and humility."

When President Haight shared this story with me during an interview, immediately my testimony of the Savior was strengthened, and this picture took on a new meaning to me and has become my favorite picture of the Savior as well. When a man who has been called to be a special witness of Jesus Christ points to a picture and says it looks the most like the Savior, it takes on a new meaning.

Douglas M. Taylor (nephew of Mark and Dawn Thompson)

Pretty neat huh? We haven't found the right spot for it yet, but it is in our room currently and I smile every time I see it.