Thursday, June 14, 2018

Highlights of the Week

Elinor and her beloved cousin, Gentri.  Abe's brother's family (Daniel) came over for a hot dog roast Sunday evening.  I don't think anything could make Elinor happier than time with Gentri.
Popsicles were eaten. 
Sets of sisters and cousins.  How wonderful.
Speaking of sisters-- I got to go on a little hike with my own dear sister this week.  That was pretty much the highlight of the week for me.
A recent evening at a park with people I love.
We spent a couple hours at the Museum of Natural Curiosity while Cannon was a his ballet workshop.  We took along a friend to fill in for Cannon. 
She had a love/hate relationship with these pink boots-- taking them off and one numerous times but never able to walk away.
Is it spending so much time with Peter?  Is it the girls being gone to girls camp all week?  Or was it bound to happen anyway?  The feistiness has reached new and frightening levels with this one.
She does love to smile for pictures.  I saw her totally turn and smile for a picture another mother was taking her child.  She is master photobomber and she's not even two!  Clearly she is gifted.
This one isn't so much a highlight of the week.  George and I spent the evening at the Instacare waiting forever to get an x-ray on his ankle.  Not broken, but ankle joint effusion-- ooh, fancy words for what happened when his ankle took a major hit when Cannon t-boned him with his bike this morning.  He has quite a bit of fluid throughout his ankle joints from the trauma.  He was in a lot of pain all day today and just lay on the couch all day-- very unusual behavior for George who is tough as nails and very active.  So now he has a fancy ankle brace with instructions to rest and elevate.  It's not all bad.  It's good for the 7th child in the family to feel special!  Must it really take an ankle injury to feel special?
I think he was emotional and physically exhausted from the pain and laying around all day.  There were a lot of tears throughout the day.

Glad You're Having Fun... NOW COME HOME ALREADY!

Abe went up to girls camp for a day and a half this week.  He had a great time-- minus the migraine headache in the middle of the night.  He did love getting to be with his daughters on this one and only girls camp where all three of them got to go together.
I've missed them all week, so I may gush about their magnificence more than usual.  Please forgive me.
I adore Elinor's natural style.  It's like she's not even trying, but she is so cool.
Faith at her first girls camp.  So excited and so ready to embrace it and take it all in.  Not even a smidge of homesickness. 
Bethany's last girls camp.  She was a YCL (youth camp leader?  I don't actually know what the letters stand for).  She was so excited to shower love and gifts on her girls in her cabin. 
Faith and her bestie-- or should I say her "old chum".
Els and her swim team buddy who is in an adjacent ward.
Bethany getting set for the challenge course swing.
Faith was flying high.
Elinor coming in for a landing. 
I'm sure they have had a fabulous week with our fabulous ward.  BUT WE MISS YOU, GIRLS!  COME HOME ALREADY!!  

Please Come Home to Me

My girls come home tomorrow.  They've been at girls camp this week.  ALL THREE OF MY BIG GIRLS-- gone.
I've been home with three boys and Greta.  And Greta has undergone a personality change this week and it's not pretty.  
Let me say this.  My life has NOT gotten easier with the girls gone.  True, I was down by three children and the schedule was markedly simplified with not having to worry about the logistics of transporting them to to their many practices and lessons and work schedules and such.  But OH!  How I've missed their conversation and their humor and their helpfulness.  I had not realized how much they helped out with the younger kids.  I had forgotten the stresses of being home with all young children.  I would so much rather be home with eight children ages 1-18 than 4 children ages 1-10.   
I dreadfully miss the older kids.  With no big people at home, you have to take EVERYBODY EVERYWHERE!  
Cannon started his three week long ballet workshop this week.  We had to leave the house around 2:00 pm.  Right smack in the middle of Greta's nap time.  This might explain her transformation into the toddler from "you know where" this week.   Seriously, wailing and growling, and gnashing of teeth.  The girls are going to wonder what happened to their adorable, sweet baby sister.  They will wonder what we did to her in their absence.  
Basically, what I'm saying is, if you are a mom of small children (no one over the age of 11)-- your life is HARD!!!  I know it has it's rewards, but let me tell you-- it gets WAY better.  Teenagers are marvelous.  I hear young adults are hard.  
My oldest is on a mission and loving life, so I can't comment on young adults yet.  But the teenagers are interesting and excited about life.  They are testing out their independence, but still in your nest.  They talk to you-- in reasonable voices.  
 Little ones need help with everything.  I feel like my two youngest yell and scream their needs at me all day.  They can't get their own food.  They need help with bathroom needs.  They need to be buckled in their car seats.  They need stories read to them.  They need help bathing.  They need help with shoes and socks.  They need to be watched when they go outside to play.  They follow me around-- no exaggeration-- three of four tried to break into the bathroom while I taking care of needs today.  Or perhaps worse than following me around, they sneak off and find ways to silently get into trouble.  
I'm not used to having to meet all these needs by myself.  I am accustomed to having three other moms (Bethany, Elinor, and Faith) around to help with all their needs.  So, yes, I am a big whining whimp this week.  I've gotten older and am out of energetic "young mom" shape.  I'M EXHAUSTED from all the little needs.  I will give Cannon a shout out and say he has tried to be very helpful and I do appreciate his efforts.  But still, he's no match for the three girls!
So there you have it.  I am not what I once was.  If I ever really was that great.  Being home with small children is lonely.  I remember that feeling.  Thankfully, that's not a feeling I have much anymore.  
The girls come home tomorrow.  I CANNOT WAIT!!!   

Friday, June 8, 2018

Summer Jam Session 2018

Our piano recital this year was a lot more fun than usual!  We brought in a drummer to rock out with the kids.
My awesome friend Dave is a man of many talents, and he was so kind to spend an evening rehearsing with all these kids and then performing in the rock concert recital the next evening.
As much fun as the music for this recital was, it was one of the most challenging recitals to prepare for.  The kids had to learn their pieces well enough to pass them off to a metronome so they were prepared to play them with the drums.
Some of the cute gals performing-- I love how so many of the kids really got into the fun spirit of the evening and dressed in their best rockstar clothing.
Shout out to Jakob Schramm photo bombing this picture!
 By far the best fashion statement of the evening was Kim (my only favorite adult student).  She played "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey.  She killed it!
Bethany played her electric violin, Dave was on drums, and I was on keys.  We played the opening and closing numbers-- "Dancing Queen" and "Who's Crying Now".  Bethany was awesome!
It was so much fun to get to work with these two!
I adore all these boys, but do you see the little wanna be Beatle on the far right.  Hayden.
He played "Twist and Shout".  I gave him a tough song and he and I sort of went the rounds getting that song learned... BUT HE DID IT and he did it so well!  He brought down the house!  I was so proud of him!  And I love his look.
Awesome Katelyn-- this was her last recital with me.  She's just gotten too good and I'm sending her off to a more advanced teacher who can help her get to the next level.  I'm happy for her, but sad because I've taught her for about seven years and she's been delightful and I'm so proud her.  She played "Listen To Your Heart" and she rocked it!
These three ladies just get better and better the older they get.  Want to see something crazy...
Here they are (plus one more friend) at the first Summer Jam Session back in 2012-- six years ago.
Here I am with Dave and my kiddos on Tuesday night.
Six years ago.  We were so sad to not have Elinor with us for this year's recital-- she was at a youth conference type retreat with friends.  For the record, she's got a really great "Root Beer Rag" by Billy Joel worked up for her upcoming piano recital. 
Faith played "Shut Up and Dance" and she and Dave had kids up and dancing in the aisles.  It was fun to have lights on the stage, but have the lights off in the main room.
Faith picked up this jacket on a recent treasure hunt at a thrift store.  She didn't know when she would ever wear it... until The Summer Jam Session!  The boys weren't sure what to wear, but fortunately they had a dance dress recital the same evening as the recital.  The all black was the base of their tap costume.  Add some hippie glasses and your all set to perform Beatles songs.
George played "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da."
Cannon played "Ticket to Ride".  I loved the drums on his piece.
This was a great recital to brings kids to because dancing and clapping and cheering was encouraged--as was waving cell phones in the air and hooting and hollering.
It's going to be hard to top this recital!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Foxes and Schramms Cut Down a Tree

Sadness.  The big cottonwood tree in our front yard, was all but completely dead.  I think there were two branches that had a smattering of leaves.  We've known it needed to come down for a couple of years and we've sort of been living in fear that it would fall on our house. 
During our lunch after hiking up to the Timpanogos Cave, we were discussing the tragedy of our dead tree.  Keith said, "Let's take it down this afternoon." SERIOUSLY??!! 
 Foxes are really good at having fun.  But Schramms are really good at working hard and getting big projects done.  It's possible that we're both good for each other, but I'm certain we came out ahead this weekend.
It landed right where Keith hoped said it would land. 
 Keith and Jacob worked for hours with the chainsaws cutting up the tree limbs.
We had other great helpers as well.
Lots of moving wood around.
We were so glad the tree was in a place that we could fell it.  Would have been a lot trickier in the backyard.
We loaded scrap wood into the truck and we took a trip to the dump.
Then we unloaded it at the dump.
Then we took a selfie of us at the dump... it was my first trip to the dump, after all.  It almost looks like we're at the top of Timp!  Ha ha ha!
Let the games on the tree stump commence.  Not quite as good as the tree, but I venture the kids will make the most of it.
To the Schramm Fam I say, "Thank you so very much."  To say 'we couldn't have done it without you' is a gross understatement.  Abe and I are so relieved to have that monstrous tree down.  You may have quite literally saved our lives!