Saturday, March 25, 2017

Excitement At Every Turn

Elinor got a cute new hair cut this week.  I absolutely adore it, partly because it reminds me of Elinor when she was younger.
She usually had bangs in her childhood.
Soon she'll be sporting a cute pair of glasses to go with her new hairdo!
Little Georgie is doing so well with his violin.  I love to hear the sounds of beginning violin again.  It's been so long since Bethany first started.  Granted I do rather prefer the polished sounds of a more advanced violinist, but there is something so sweet about a beginner.
I like it when he sings as he plays.  He is also making great progress on the piano.  It always happens that kids gain musical fluency right about the same time they really catch on to reading.
We have lots of violin "Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars".   Well, if Bethany is going to grow up so fast, we must make sure we have more violin music in the house.
 She had just woken up from a nap and was a fat and happy little thing.  Last night she actually slept through the night.  I was pretty freaked out when I woke up and had to go check on her.  All was well, she was just sleeping.  Go figure.
On Abe's day off last week he dropped Bethany off to a violin lesson up at the University of Utah and then took Faith on a quick jaunt to the zoo for a little daddy/daughter date to celebrate her birthday.
Going to the zoo with only one child?  What is this thing you speak of?  I've only ever gone with twenty-five children in tow.
I don't want to say how many hours these guys have spent geeking out today.  But it's a lot.  And Cannon has been there for all of it.  Will someone please tell him he is only 8?  I don't think he's one wit behind the rest of these guys-- and we're talking about some really smart guys.
Peter and I got strange granola bar samples at Costco.  I ate mine and he set his down on my bag.  I thought he didn't want it.
So I ate it.
It was the wrong thing to do and he was not happy about it.  The rest of the time in the store and the whole way home he said over and over, "Sad... me... ate...mean...Mom... tear...sad...mine!"  He's a boy of few words, but he gets his point across.
Faith went to the Dr. last week to talk with the doctor about this cold allergy business.  We left with a prescription for an epi-pen--- just in case.

Happy Eleventh Birthday, Faith!

Whew!  Birthday season is serious business!-- All three girls have their birthdays within a month of each other.  Faith chose a Hollywood, red-carpet movie party.  She has so many delightful friends and although it was a very loud night, it was quite fun!
It's hard to believe she is now eleven. 

Elinor with her cute new bangs.
I guess the boys needed a little break from all the girls.  
They played some games.  Loud games.

The kids all got situated with popcorn, candy and a soda.  Thank you very much, Pinterest.
Faith chose to watch the movie Sing.  
Cute girls!
Faith loved these pens.  We knew Bethany would love them too.  In fact, today, Bethany  made her way to Walmart to purchase her own set.  Now Faith won't have to hide hers from Beth. 
Spiderman even made an appearance on the red carpet.  

Bethany Goes to Prom

Bethany went to Prom on Friday night.  She looked beautiful and her date, Josh, was a handsome gentleman.  His family used to live in our neighborhood, but they have seminary together and are still good friends.
This was her first "real" date... as in, not doubling with her parents.  She was quite nervous, but said it was much more fun and relaxed than she was expecting.
A neighbor who does hair did Bethany's beautiful up-do.
Another dear friend did gel nails for her, but I forgot to take a picture of them.  They were adorable.
We couldn't help ourselves.  We had this red carpet display up for Faith's birthday party later that evening.  They had to have a picture on the red carpet.
What prom would be complete without a picture under a balloon arch.  Once again, it was up for Faith's party.
Look at her dress.  Isn't it beautiful?  I will now tell you a story about this dress.
It's a rather long story.  It begins about 35 years ago.
This picture was taken at the wedding reception of my Uncle Spencer and Aunt Michelle.  I am the little brunette on the far right.
I remember being completely enamoured by my Aunt Michelle.  And as the pictures show, I was by her side all evening long.
I have always had a special connection with Spencer and Michelle.  Maybe everyone feels that way about them, but I think I do more than most. They were the ones who met Abe and approved of him in my parent's absence (they were living in Rome, Italy at the time).  Uncle Spencer, the cop, noticed Abe's car registration had expired on our date together.
I've always felt they loved me and wanted to talk with me.  I remember Uncle Spencer helping me ask a boy to a dance at BYU by making up and delivering a fake warrant with information about how to get out of trouble with the law... going to the dance with me.  (Like he could have said no to that!).  It was a little harsh, but effective!
I just love them.
So when I got married to Abe, I thought it fitting that their little girl, Kristen, should be my little flower girl.
This June will be twenty years since this picture was taken.
Kristen was so cute!  And it seemed a lovely connection to the past.

What does all this have to do with Bethany's prom dress?  Bethany remembered that Aunt Michelle had mentioned if our girls ever needed a formal dress for a dance, we might be able to borrow one they'd saved from their three daughters.
Sure enough, the first dress Bethany tried on was Kristen's dress from a high school dance.
It fit her like a glove and there was no need to try any others on.
Spencer and Michelle just keep blessing our lives.

Pig Noses and Red Rover

My new favorite picture.
A couple weeks back I was teaching the kids of our book club to make great pig noses with a piece of scotch tape.   I hesitated to put this picture up because of the little gal on the right.  She knows not what she does.
I can't be the only one who finds this funny.
If you've never made a scotch tape pig nose, you really ought to try it.  It quite changes your whole face.
I'm a terrible person.  Not only did I allow it, but I encouraged the kids to play Red Rover.  Our book for the month was Old Yeller, so we sang "Old Yeller, Old Yeller, send so-and-so right over".
Of course a couple of kids got hurt.  That's why I'm terrible.  I know the risks and yet...
I figure this is my little way of fighting back against the "everyone gets a trophy" mentality.
Red Rover is raw and real.  Kids can and do get clothes-lined.  Arms can and do get broken.
Maybe it's because I was always a sturdier gal and it was a game that favored the hefty.  Every other game was for the scrawny, agile kids.
Even so, putting children at risk is no way to deal with my body image issues.  I understand that.  Shame on me.
The injured.
Of course it's the little ones.
We stopped after the injuries (I'm not a complete savage), but they did have a fun time while it lasted. 
Here are some fun pictures from a recent science club at another homeschooling house.  Bubble Mania!
My kids have really enjoyed the weekly club gatherings with our homeschooling friends.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Has Arrived, both Meteorologically and Astronomically Speaking

There are strong feelings in this household as to when we can officially declare and celebrate spring's arrival.  Actually, only Abe feels very strongly that March 1st signifies the start of spring.  He is a meteorological spring kind of guy.  I don't care much, except to point out that the calendars follow the astronomical start of spring on March 20th.  Normally, spring just means misery to me because of tree pollen allergies.  But, I am not in torment this year!  All Hail Flonase!  I am downright comfortable and throwing my windows open with abandon!
In preparation for Faith's upcoming 11th birthday party, we paid a little visit to the Dollar Store recently.  George came along and discovered his mothership.  In the same way Clark felt at home in the reptile house at the zoo, and Bethany felt at home in Charming Charlie's trinkets and bobbles store.  For George, a collector of all things valuable and not-so-valuable, he could actually afford to buy treasures with his own money!!!!! How glorious!  Can someone get this kid a gift card to the dollar store for his birthday?
His purchases on this day were a bug catching net and a squirt gun.  I couldn't argue with those choices for a six year-old boy.
We have a chicken problem.  Well, actually, Elinor has a chicken problem.  But since the chickens have been escaping their enclosure for quite sometime and making themselves too comfortable with our backyard, it has become all of our problem.  Abe and Elinor built them a taller fence.  We should just clip their wings.  Perhaps we will.  Baby steps.
As for now, we have a taller fence that one of the chickens can still escape from.  The chicken's name is Katniss.  She is a tricky chick.  Clark made threats against said chicken today.  Which led Elinor to make threats against a prized D&D book.  Which led to me yelling at everyone to get back inside the house.
There was a lot of love.
I took the five youngest to the zoo on Saturday and it was a complete zoo!  That's what I get for going to the zoo on a super nice spring day on a Saturday.  I'm a homeschooler-- I should know better.  I do have other options for days I can go to the zoo.  Silly me.
The kids were quite well-behaved and I dare say we are entering a time when we may be able to go out and about a little more often.
The baby carrier proved useful for both Greta and Peter.
When Peter saw this gorilla statue he started laughing and said, "Nakee"-- which is his word for naked.
I can't believe I'd never seen the humor of the naked gorilla statue before.  I'll never be able to look at it the same again.

Faith and her daffodils.  Abe started taking pictures of Faith with these flowers when she was about three years old and every spring he takes another.  And then Abe cries.
I expect this tradition to carry on for several more years.  Abe's kind of big on traditions that way.
In some very good news, Greta is now going to sleep on her own and taking real naps during the day.  It is a beautiful thing.  And now that I have publicly acknowledged it, she will get sick tomorrow and not be able to sleep unless I'm holding her again.  Oh well, it was really nice for the three days it lasted.
Two leading members of the mutual admiration society.  
Elinor is right in the thick of "piano season".  Last Saturday she had her Federation performance where she was given a Superior rating.  Tonight was a studio recital and Saturday is her Achievement in Music (AIM) performance.  A couple weeks back she had her AIM ear training and theory test.  She has a great relationship with her teacher and is very diligent with her practicing.
Here she is with good friends Corrine and Sariah.  I used to teach all three of these cute gals, but now I just teach Sariah.  Els and Corrine have moved on to bigger and better things.

 Here is tonight's performance.
Today Gret was wearing my very favorite baby sandals.  I thought how she has almost outgrown them and how the days of any of my babies wearing these sandals are numbered.  I can't stop time,   but I can take a picture!  I'm pretty sure that someday my heart will ache for the days of adorable, squishy little baby feet.