Monday, October 5, 2015

Dad is Great... Gives Us the Chocolate Cake

I know this isn't the case in all families, but in our house, dad is way more fun than mom.  Period.  No contest.
Also, as Cannon recently pointed out, even though Abe is older than me, I look older.  
Thank you so much, Cannon.
Abe's schedule allows him to take Bethany to her orchestra rehearsal in American Fork on Wednesday afternoons.  The boys went along last week for an outing with dad, which outing involved donuts.  
And playtime at a really cool park.
George was happy to successfully complete the monkey bars!
Taught by his older brother.
The girls enjoyed time with dad at a daddy/daughter young women's activity.
Now I must share a wonderful story about Bethany.  Last week she had seating auditions for her Lyceum Philharmonic.  As I mentioned before, we were quite surprised when she made it into this orchestra.  They have amazing performing opportunities and they are spectacular.  We just didn't think that was a possibility for another year or so.  
She got the music for this year's repertoire and YIKES!  It is hard, hard, difficult music.  There were about twenty excerpts to prepare for seating auditions-- four of which would be chosen, but she wouldn't know which four until she was there at the audition. 
So she started practicing.  And I mean  A LOT!  For three weeks it was three plus hours a day.  Oh, she worked so hard!  She was exhausted and walked around with her eyes glassed over.  And I worked hard with her, helping her with screaming high notes she'd never played before.  She is a first violin and we spent so much time plinking it out on the piano finding the notes.  
We talked about the very distinct possibility of her working this hard and still getting last chair.  She tried to make peace with that outcome.  She slept restlessly, and yet, she still kept working.  I was so, so proud of her.
The day of the audition arrived, she said two excerpts went pretty well, one was okay, and one was the only one she really hoped wouldn't be chosen.  But of course, it was.
The next morning the results were in and joy of joys-- she was 13th out of 18 first violins!!!!!
This picture was taken the evening after the audition, but before we knew the results the next day.  
Actually, it's pretty awesome where we were for this picture.  This was waiting outside the UCCU Center at Utah Valley University to go to the Idina Menzel concert!!
Needless to say, we had incredible seats.  I hesitate to share this picture, because the tickets were courtesy of Andrea and we really didn't do anything to earn or deserve such a marvelous evening, but wow!  It was fun.  Idina Menzel was fantastic.  It doesn't seem humanly possible to be able to sing like she does.
Okay, back to Abe.  Actually, Abe was at the concert with us.  But back to Abe being sweet with little ones.
He helped George put on these colorful toe socks just because George wanted them.  It's pretty challenging to put them on yourself, much less on someone else.  It was an act of love.
Oh, how wonderful!  Peter is just getting better and better.  And over the last couple of days he has started taking a couple of steps.  
I love his teeth!
Elinor played beautifully at her piano recital this evening.  She is preparing for a concerto and duet competition this Friday.  Here are videos of two of the three pieces she will be playing.  The first is a concerto with her teacher, Shari Aston.
This next one is "Ballad" with Corrine Schramm.  Corrine is a couple of years older than Elinor and a good friend of Bethany's.  I taught Corrine piano for a few years before I had to tell her, "Sorry, you're too good-- it's time for you to move on, my dear!"
You can't see Elinor very well, but she is the bun behind Corrine.
Abe was rather surprised to hear Elinor play tonight.  I suppose he didn't realize she had progressed as much as she has.  Sometimes-- much of the time-- it is hard for me to remember that she is only twelve.  She looks so much older.  She is a sweetheart and we are so pleased with her hard work.  
Faith and Cannon were celebrating finding a golden leaf in the back yard.  Is there anything more glorious than fall?  Or siblings being nice to each other?
They were raking leaves and bagging them in the hopes that their really nice dad would pay them for their work.  I never did find out the outcome of their endeavor.  It's best that I not know all the deals they make with dad.

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