Sunday, September 17, 2017

Kidz Bop Concert--- Oh Yes, We Did

We were given 5 tickets to a Kidz Bop concert Saturday night.  I was somewhat familiar with the kids group that covers the latest popular music, but I've never been a big fan.  Even so, an opportunity to spend an evening with Abe and Team Middle Kids sounded very enjoyable, even if I didn't think I'd enjoy the actual music that much.
But WHATEVER!  I was totally digging it!  It was really fun music and I must admit the precocious, somewhat obnoxious kids were loaded with talent.
Let it be known that I have not spent much time at rock concerts.  If I had, I might have known I was doing the heavy metal sign totally wrong.  It should have just been the pinky and pointer finger.  Instead, I am clearly announcing to the world that I'm a 40 year old mother of 8 at a Kidz Bop concert-- who was thoroughly enjoying herself!
Abe and George doing "The Robot".  Of all the kids, George was most able to cut loose and have a good time.  He even left his seat a few times and headed up front to dance in the mosh pit of little people.
It was a struggle for Cannon.  He's spending too much time with his classical music in the ballet studio.
I suppose Kidz Bop was a little too low-brow for him.  He has such taste and dignity now.
Whatever.
Abe and I were so happy to get to spend the evening together.  We just don't see enough of one another lately. 

September 17, 2017

Greta was so tired at church today.  Some babies frequently fall asleep wherever they are, whenever they're tired.  My babies are not those kind.  This was very unusual for Greta!  But so, so cute!
I am paralyzingly afraid of spiders.  Is this fear genetic?  Does that explain why most of my children are also ridiculously afraid of spiders?  Or have I just taught them by my bad spider behavior?  I don't know, but the fear is real and when there is a spider sighting in the house, I freeze up.  This week one of the girls sighted a rather large spider on the kitchen wall near the ceiling.  We all uselessly gasped in fear and backed away.  George, MY HERO, came down the stairs and announced, "I'll get it."
Sure enough, he climbed right up on the counter and saved the day!  Can you say, "Favorite Child!"
  I may have mentioned it before, but this kinetic sand is worth it's weight in gold to me.  People still regularly plays with it.  It makes a mess, but I couldn't care less.  In this picture he was making pancakes and bacon with the kinetic sand.
 Bethany is getting ready for seating auditions this week and that means major practice time.  She's like a madwoman on her violin this week.  I'm quite proud of her and I feel quite sorry for her at the same time.  I have no doubt she will do well and I do love hearing her play so much.
While reading stories to Peter the other night, he saw this page and said, "Me play piano."
Something about these dinosaur bones must have made him think of piano keys or notes.
He played a very lovely song, following his music closely.  It did do my piano mama heart good.  And it gave me hope.  I've had some concerns of what music lessons might look like for this kiddo.  It's comforting that he may have some natural interest.  That should make it less painful for everyone involved.
The lion sleeps tonight.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Mother McCallister Visits Salt Lake City

This absolutely made my week this week--- and that's saying something because it was a very good week!  Marge McCallister is the mother to one of my dearest high school friends in Fairfax, Virginia. She and her recently retired school teacher friend are in the middle of a cross-country trip and they found themselves passing through Salt Lake City.  To my extreme delight she contacted me and we had lunch on Thursday.  I can hardly describe how good it felt to hug her and feel of her love for me.
Her son, Trevor ended up being one of my very best friends and they lived right across the street on Worcester Dr. in Fairfax.  The first time I saw him, he another great friend, Matt Owens, were playing lacrosse in his front yard.  Perhaps they had caught word or sight of a cute new girl who moved in across the street and strategically positioned themselves to be seen!
I immediately found my high school "home" in the band at W.T. Woodson High School. 
Top Row:  Alan Kayanan, Matt Owens, Trevor McCallister,
Bottom Row;  Becky Godlove, Yours Truly, Emily Brown. 
We were all in band.  The guys and the girls.  The girls were seriously good girls.  The boys liked to party a little harder, so we did our best to keep them on the straight and narrow.  There were other most excellent friends as well, but this was the core of our group. 
Just a few years ago were were all able to be together for a reunion and it was wonderful.  I think of these friends very often and wish we could be together more often. 
Strange to think that Clark is now older than we were in this picture as seniors.
I was the drum major, thus my different uniform.  I am so special!
I am seriously almost in tears looking at this picture of the six of us.
I don't think Abe will mind if I post this picture of Trevor and I going to a homecoming dance together.  This group of six kids went to other school dances together.  My favorite was when we drew numbers to see who would be whose date.  We all knew we were going together, but we didn't know until that night who our dates would be. 
 Almost twenty years later we had a reunion and remembered our date numbers.
Oh my, I am enjoying this trip down memory lane this evening.
Trevor's dad was a Methodist minister and my dad was a Mormon bishop at the time, and although they disagreed on the political spectrum, both his parents and my parents were very good friends and enjoyed going on dates together.
Marge McCallister was a second mother to me and the rest of the gang.  She is one of the happiest, most positive people I've ever met.  She enjoys the simple pleasures of life and family and friends.  
Just gratitude.  So glad I moved to Fairfax.  So glad I got to know these dear friends.  I don't have as much contact with them these days, but whenever I do it is nothing but the best of feelings for them and gratitude for the influence they were and are in my life. 

The Return of the Hobbit-- Book Club Begins Again!

Almost exactly nine years ago I hosted my first Kid's Book Club---"The Hobbit".  Clark was 10, Bethany was 8 and Elinor was 6.   We had so much fun and I look back so fondly on this group of kids-- some of whom have now started college.  Over the next eight years some kids came and went, but many families were staple members of the group.
Nine years later we read and discussed The Hobbit again.  Some of these awesome kids are the younger siblings of the original book club members.  My heart swelled again with love for these kids and we had so much fun.  Hosting the book club has been one of the true highlights of my homeschooling career.
 Way back when, the girls discovered a great way to be a dwarf in one of the games we played.
This week the girls made excellent dwarfs again!
"Smaug Tag" was just as much fun this time around.
Bethany is never far from the action at book club.  She still loves to play the games.
The dwarfs guarding the Arkenstone.
Strategizing on how to capture the Arkenstone.
We also played a game of finding the Arkenstone in the house.  The Hobbit hid it and everybody searched for it.  This picture is the mad dash to find it after it was hidden.
Greta loved watching the kids run and play.
The guys.
The gals.
Do you see little Fay-Fay on the left in her dance clothes?
I think the kids were doing elf ears.
We even had bacon and eggs, just like we did eight years ago.  Abe expanded "Bacon Wednesday" to include book club.
It was a very good day and I am really looking forward to a great year of book club.   

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Welcome September

Ahh!... the joy of geometry.
I took a picture (as you now see) and Bethany said, "Mother, this is why people thing homeschoolers are weird!".
True, so true.
Triangle Man.
Do you think he's heard the song by They Might Be Giants?
When we do our scriptures and reading aloud together each day we always start with a song and a prayer.  And we always sing the same song-- per Peter's request demand.  "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam".  And Faith always pops him up into the sky on the "...beam" parts.  It delights him.  And that is reason enough to humor him and sing the same song everyday.
An action shot of Peter and Faith on the right and cute little Greta playing with toys in her favorite sitting position.
One of the good things about Cannon having his Ballet West dance classes down at Thanksgiving Point is that if I plan things right, I can take little people with me and we can hang out at the museums down there during Cannon's class. 
Last Friday evening was particularly enjoyable because I just took Pete and we went to the dinosaur museum.  One kid in a museum?  Are you kidding?  It was a cakewalk!  I didn't feel anxious or stressed one little bit.  Even when he screamed and cried when it was time to go and said I was evil.  I could remain cool as a cucumber.  He had had a perfectly lovely time, until it was time to go.  Transitions can be rough when you're three.
 What a kidder.
Also, 6:00 to 7:00 on a Friday night was a really great time to go to the museum.  Almost nobody there.
Saturday I took Cannon and another dancer downtown for a Nutcracker rehearsal.  Once again, I thought I'd make it fun for the younger kids and we went to the zoo during the two hour rehearsal.  We had a really enjoyable time and although it was a bit sprinkling rainy, it wasn't at all too hot. 
We had a treat of popcorn.
And we enjoyed a treat of riding the carousel.
They are my joy!  Bethany and Elinor were excited for the super hero themed multi-stake dance last Saturday night.  They got matching shirts and hats.
The evening did not disappoint-- they had a great time.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Team Little Kids

There is a very large spirit inside this very little body.  Peter is so intensely invested in everything he does.  Lately he has been quite snuggly and loving-- frequently asking me to hold him.   He loves to have me read stories to him and when George does his reading aloud, Peter likes to repeat the words George says.  His favorite toys to play with are Tinker Toys.  This evening I spent about thirty minutes at a park with Peter and Greta and Peter delighted in swinging so high and braving the slides on his own.  He was happy.  I admit that seeing Peter happy gives me such satisfaction and joy because so often he has felt otherwise.  I treasure the times with him when he is smiling and peaceful and clearly and calmly communicating with us.  Similar to how Clark was as a little person, so much energy goes into the relationship, that it is extremely rewarding and gratifying when there is connection.
We enjoy his funny sense of humor as well.
Greta is almost 14 months and she has two bottom teeth and two top teeth.  She eats well, she sleeps well, she loves to climb stairs.  Clark is still her very favorite person in the whole world.  She loves to wave at family members and she is a sheer joy every single moment of the day!  I do not exaggerate.  I had forgotten how easily enjoyable a baby could be.  I thank Heavenly Father everyday for sending her to our family.  She heals me.
Besides the horrible air quality from all the wild fires burning around the West, it was a real treat to spend just a little while playing at the park with my two favorite little people.
George is a muscle man!  He's holding a styrofoam, prop boulder at play rehearsal this evening.  Abe, Clark, Bethany, Faith, and George are in the Bluffdale Arts production of A Tale of Two Cities Oct. 12-14.  Poor George is the little boy who gets run over by a carriage and dies.  Abe plays his father.  Normally I love watching my people perform, but I watched them practice their parts at home and it was too sad for me to enjoy.
The Cat.  I don't even know what position she is in here.
 When Peter requests a selfie, we take a selfie.  Or when he requests chips and salsa, we give him chips and salsa.  Or when he requests new toys to play with when he goes poopy on the potty, we give him new toys.  I am almost ready to declare him potty trained-- three days with no accidents is some kind of miracle and it's been rather hard earned-- and messy.
We're considering a Lord of the Rings theme for Halloween.  You know how much I love fantasy fiction.   Not really.
We've been talking about who would be who.  Abe is an obvious Gandalf type.  Cannon was born to be Frodo (at least he has the hair for it).  Greta will wear gold and be the ring.  And Peter?  Peter will be Gollum.  We've already trained him to crouch down and whisper, "My Precious!"  It's awesome.  And considering how he hoards and obsesses over coins he find around the house, it is somewhat accurate.