Friday, March 23, 2018

Favorite Things of the Week

The happiest moment of my week?  
Hands down it was when one of my piano students (and neighborhood friend) brought me a gift he had made for me.  
IT WAS A 3D FOX PUZZLE!!!!!  It's made of aromatic cedar wood (it smells really good!).  He used a saw to cut the pieces and then he put all the pieces in box.  When I first opened it, I didn't know what it was.  I had to put it together to figure out what it was.  
The fox will sit in a place of honor on the piano.  It is the piano mascot and we will now hold a naming contest among my students to find a suitable name for such a distinguished fox.  
Seriously, is that not the coolest gift?? 

The second happiest moment of my week?  
Getting my nails done this week.  
Wait a minute, Betsy!  Aren't you the world's most horrific nail biter?  How could you get you nails done? You don't even have any nails?
Well, I used to be the worst nail biter in the world.  I have mended my wicked ways and I rewarded my efforts by begging my dear friend to do gel nails for me.  Along with the joy of having pretty nails, I got to spend a hour or more talking with my friend! Bonus!
It's the little things.  Except that this is a pretty big thing for me.  

The third happiest moment of my week?
Watching this gang of neighborhood boys hang out, play games, jump on the trampoline, ride bikes and scooters.  These Boyz in the 'Hood are pretty great and their hours of playing together sure makes my life easier.
This picture was actually snapped last week, but the scene has been repeated this week.  The biker/scooter gang.

My fourth happiest thing this week?
Hearing the sounds of laughter and conversation down in the basement on St. Patrick's Day night as the D&D club enjoyed a Irish feast.  Of course, Clark wasn't there, but it brought so much joy to my heart to chat with them and enjoy their wonderful spirit.  I adore them all!  I hope they return as often as they want.

My fifth favorite thing this week?
That at least we attempted to carry on Clark's tradition of the leprechaun hunt.  It was pathetic compared to Clark's creativity and efforts, but it was something.
Whatever.  Greedy children got their foil wrapped chocolate and the leprechaun avoided entrapment.  Everyone is a winner.  We're all good.

Not my happiest moment of the week?
Cutting Cannon's hair. 
Oh, it's not that bad, but it's no easy job and frankly, I'm not very good at cutting his hair.  Fortunately, curly hair is forgiving.  And nine year old boys are even more forgiving. 

Full of Faith

Happy 12th birthday to our Faith!!!
Just like we did two year ago, we went to IKEA for her birthday lunch.  Sometimes a tradition gets started for no real good reason, but it is a happy memory, so we keep doing it.  I sort of think those are the best traditions of all.
What can I say about Faith? She is sweet, tough, strong, kind, childlike, ambitious, determined, playful, fun, artistic, talented, and beautiful inside and out.  She healed my broken heart after we lost Tessa.  She has her daddy completely wrapped around her finger.  She leads Team Middle Kids and is beloved by everyone who knows her. 
She is so excited to be in Young Womens with her two older sisters.  I think she will be well looked after.

Everything is Coming Up Elinor

After two years and mouth full of metal, Elinor got her braces off on Thursday.
Holy beautiful smile, Batman!
This was two years ago (almost to the day).  She had just turned 13.
And now at 15.   Wowsa!
We had a VERY good experience with Talbot Orthodontist (if anyone is looking for a good orthodontist).
When you're working out as much as she is for water polo-- you can eat whipped cream anytime you want.
Elinor had her piano Federation performances today.  She played beautifully.  Sometimes I just can't believe she is real.  I think she might finally be getting a glimpse of who she really is.
She took a well-deserved day off from practicing piano today.
I guess I pretty much want to be like her.  I'm trying on her new water polo cap.  Attractive, no?

Little Ray of Sunshine

Oh, yes!  She is that much fun.
The unapologetic spoiling of this little sweetie has begun in earnest and nobody in this house has any intention of curbing it.  I don't think I'm even going to try.  And we all know Abe won't. 
I like it when she wears yellow because she really is like a ray of sunshine to our family.
She loves to have her picture taken.  Obviously.
So in about twelve years when Greta is 13 and may be giving us a hard time, you can show me this picture and tell me, "You had it coming!"
I don't care.  It's worth it!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Grandma Lou Wishes Bethany a Happy 17th Birthday

"Grandma Lou" (Bethany's alter ego) was born in Indiana on Maytember 20, 1934.  She was the 14th of 16 siblings.  She has been gracing our family with her presence for a couple of years now.  
She has attitude and spunk and has never been married.  And we love her and wish she would spend more time with us.
Grandma Lou is 83 years old.  And if you can believe it, our beautiful Bethany is now 17 years old!  
While she went to Young Womens on Wednesday evening, her good friend Connor and his Aunt Candice (who Bethany adores) came over to decorate her room.  It was a family affair.
They did such a cute job!  
And Bethany was so tickled when she came home and saw it.  I think it made her whole week  month.
And there was a pile of very thoughtful gifts to go along with the decorations.  She was on cloud nine.
Her gift from Abe and me was an electric violin.  She has wanted one for a while and it is just FUN!  We've borrowed an amp from a friend and we've been jamming out quite a bit at home.  
Then we seriously upped the ante on Tuesday night and went to do some serious jamming with Dave Young on the drums.  He also strongly encouraged us to get her an electric violin.
For a couple of hours Bethany played and Dave played and I played (some) and Dave's daughter Tessa really played piano. And it was like getting high on music.  Dave was so good to have us over and share his talent and equipment.

Here's a little taste of "Dancing Queen".  Young and sweet only 17.  *Sigh*
Jacob and Bethany have grown up together and have been close friends for many years  Now he's become sort of her personal weapons supplier.  Last year it was a taser on her 16th birthday.  This year a machete.  We love it.  We think everyone needs a good friend and weapons supplier.
 To top off the birthday celebrations, Friday night was a big party with some really remarkable, awesome young people.  I enjoy these kids so much and I love the energy and enthusiasm they have for life.  
The guy in the black jacket is Zach  (the drummer's son) and he's pretty much like another son to us.
The ward/neighborhood gang.
 Bethany's orchestra friends. 
 Connor and Tanner were the designated ice cream scoopers.  
Cousin Kyli and Elinor.  I LOVE THESE GIRLS!  
Grandma Lou might say, and I think Bethany would agree, this was probably her best birthday ever.  Thanks to everyone who helped make it so.

Last Meet of the Season

Friday night was the final Red Rocks gymnastics meet and this time it was Abe, Faith, George and Peter that got to go.  They rode TRAX up and back and that was probably the most exciting part for the boys.
In what might sound like neglectful parenting on our part, this was the first time Peter has left the house in over a week.  Our van has been in the shop (sadness) and in a decision made in eternal optimism, we didn't get the car seats out of the van before it got towed away (sadness).  We hoped it wouldn't be that long without the van (sadness).  Our hope was not to be.  Instead, we are still without said car and the littlest kids have been trapped at home for over a week.  It was probably good for Peter to get out and about.
It was also the first time he'd ever ridden on TRAX.  That part isn't neglectful.  That part was good parenting on our part. 
The meets are so fun and exciting.
And the boys got light sabers (of sorts) which is obviously way fun for little boys.  Perhaps not so fun for the surrounding fans getting light sabers waved around their faces all night.
I requested a bad selfie on the train.  Peter, Abe, George--- well done.  You got the message.
Faith-- no.  Just no.  You still look way too cute.
Faith's eye is starting to heal.
Oh, the horror.  This from the children of two BYU graduates.
Curse you, amazing Red Rocks!  How can we keep from loving U?