Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

We have had some wonderful Spring weather here lately!  Hooray!

A couple weeks ago Russell and Grant participated in a no-contact football clinic for three days.  Russell came home from school with the flyer and was adamant that he wanted to do it.  The clinic was for K-3 graders so I signed Grant up as well.  He wasn't sure he wanted to do it but ended up loving it!

I thought this was so sweet of these boys during the water break.

Grant was quickly favored by the coaches.  When he arrived on the last day the coach said, "There he is- there's my BYU QB!"  (One of the boys had worn a BYU shirt one day)  In fact, the one time they picked a kid to be the quarterback, he picked Grant.  Then at the end when they were playing a game, the coach threw it repeatedly to Grant.  Here is Grant catching the pass and running in for a "touchdown."

 I looked into the local junior football league-aaaaaand all the games are on Sunday.  So we won't be doing that.

 This handsome young man is enjoying his recreational soccer team.  He has a great team.  Seth plays forward.

 Last week Brenna, Seth and Grant played in the Piano Festival.  I took a picture of Brenna through the glass of this auditorium where she played for the judges.  She played beautifully and I was overcome by what a lovely young lady she is becoming.

To my delight, they offer Vocal Solo and Duet festival events here.  Seth and Brenna each entered the Vocal Solo event and sang together in the duet event.  They received Super Superior!  They really enjoy singing.

 Meet out favorite horse Sandy.  She lives at one of the local grocery stores and costs only one penny to ride her.  Sydney has ridden her several times but this was the first time Elise braved her.

 It is a happy day when the baby in the house can feed herself (well, more or less feed herself)

Our little fruit trees are leafing out.  I thought we didn't have any blossoms this year, but there are two on our peach tree!  And actually, the apple trees will soon be full of blooms!

On Saturday Seth, Brenna and Grant competed in a Bach Competition put on by the Bach Chorale to celebrate their 50th anniversary.  The contest was divided by age: 3-4 grade, 5-6 grade and 7-8  grade.  It offered a $100 first prize and a $50 runner up prize.  While it wasn't Grant and Brenna's year- Seth won!  He, of course, is flying high!  As a winner he gets to perform in the Bach Chorale concert this Saturday.  I am so proud of him- he worked very  hard.  And let me tell you, it is a wonderful thing for a mother to hear the words, "Oh it was so worth it!  Thanks so much, mom!"

This cute boy will be turning nine years old soon!  I took this photo in an attempt to make a baseball card birthday party invitation.  We will see if it works out :)

That is all for now.  I hope everyone is enjoying Spring!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Yikes! It has been over a month!

All I can say is, we have been so busy with good things I haven't had much time for blogging!  And, once a week or two have been skipped, it is very difficult to find the desire to sit down and blog, as the task seems insurmountable.  But, here we go:

Sydney was lying next to this cute blanket one day and I noticed that she and Tinkerbell were the exact same size!  So I convinced her to pose.  She makes a cute fairy, I think!

Russell is beginning to read a bit.  Here he is practicing reading his books from school.
 He looked quite dapper in his Cat in the Hat hat.
 Beautiful Elise is growing up quickly.  She says several words now: shoe, all done, outside, eat, bye, hi, uh-oh, Sydney, Brenna, Elsa, daddy, mommy, "let it go", no, yes, apple,

 I believe Spring has finally arrived!  It is wonderful!  The grass get greener every day, and we have been consistently above 50 degrees for a week.  Hooray!  The kids like to eat outside when they can.

 Sunshine!  Woohoo!!

 March 12 Seth, Brenna and I took a road trip to Iowa City (5 hours) to listen to my sister perform her Piano Recital.  She is pursuing her DMA.  It was such a treat!!  She did a fabulous job.  I love watching a live performance and this did not disappoint.  It think Seth and Brenna were inspired by it as well.  My parents were there as well as my sister Sarah who drove three hours, listened to the recital, and then drove back home that night.
 Sarah and Heidi.
 Heidi and Sam.

 Heidi teaches group piano classes and each semester her students LOVE her!  She has a gift for teaching and she loves her students.  A group of them made sign for her that they waved at the end of her recital.  Haha.
 Seth and Brenna and I stayed the next day to visit with Heidi, Sam and Grandma and Grandpa.  We were treated to a warm, sunny day (we hadn't experienced any of those up to that point this year).  I was also so grateful to Heidi for spending some time listening to Seth and Brenna play some songs for her on the piano, and giving them some great pointers.  I wish she lived closer so she could be their teacher!!

 We played frisbee in front of the old capitol building.
 The day of the recital was my mother's birthday, so we celebrated the next day by treating mom (and all of us) to a cupcake at a novelty cupcake shop in town.
 Here they all are lined up...

 Happy Birthday mom!

 Saturday morning I took Seth and Brenna to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.  It added a little length to our drive home but was well worth it.  We had a great time!  I had really wanted to take the opportunity to go with just the two of them because I knew it would be a neat experience and easier without all the younger kids.  Thanks much to Rob for being willing to take care of the kids at home so we could play!

The first exhibit we went to at the museum displayed a U-boat captured by the Allied forces in World War II.  It was fascinating to read the history.

 Another impressive exhibit was the railroad display.  It was a model of Chicago and then spread out to the surrounding areas, and all the way to the west coast.

 Pretty cool.  We also enjoyed seeing chicks hatching from eggs, and making our own tornadoes and tsunamis. :)
 My parents stayed a few days with Heidi, then drove to our house and stayed a few days with us. We love having them with us!!  My mom told me she heard Grant say, "Words cannot describe Elise's cuteness".  That about sums up how feels about his baby sister. :)
 The next weekend we had the opportunity to watch Sarah's kids again while they closed on their house in Cincinnati and did some painting.  Our kids always enjoy playing with their cousins and it is really easy to just add three more kids into the mix.

 To our surprise and delight, Heidi and Sam knocked on our door 9:00 Friday night as a surprise!  They had come to spend the weekend!  I had been trying to convince Heidi to come with mom and dad to visit, but she had stuff to do, so I was thrilled when they both decided to join the party.  I absolutely love surprises (especially good ones like this!) so I was very happy that they came.

Saturday was a beautiful day.  The laser guns came out, and much basketball was played :)  Mom and dad left around 2:30 and Sarah and Jeremy arrived from Cincinnati around 7:30.

 Rob had taken the van on a campout the night before so the carseats were out.  The girls lined them up and watched the basketball game.  So cute!

 I realized that my nephew Connor's birthday was the next day.  He and his family were going back to Chicago that night but I thought it would be really fun to celebrate his birthday all together.  So we made brownies and got out our birthday banner and placemat.  However, Connor was a little concerned during the celebrating because he had a special birthday cake waiting for him at home and he was a little worried that this was taking the place of his actual birthday he had been looking forward to, haha!  Connor's is the first birthday of the three grandkids born within 10 weeks of each other...which means that in less than ten weeks Sydney is going to turn four!  How did this happen?

 Grant enjoyed this "Geometrocity" project he started at school and worked hard over Spring Break to finish it.
 I had a moment of weakness at the store and bought this cute Frozen nightgown for Sydney, which she likes to wear all day.  (I seem to have a lot of moments of weakness with these cute little girls at the end of our child-train!)
 Last weekend I had the most wonderful opportunity of attending the BYU Singers reunion.  Just as wonderful is the fact that it doubled as a sisters reunion since each of my sisters also sang in the choir and were able to come.  Now if all four daughters are in one place at the same time, you can bet my parents will be there too!  It was such a great weekend!

Here my parents are pictured with their dear friends the Workman's.  They knew each other years and years ago when they both lived in Elk Grove.  The Workman's moved away when I was a girl, but when I was at BYU we reconnected with some of their kids, many of whom also sang in Singers.  Each Singers concert we had, the Workman's were there watching.  So, of course, they came to the reunion too!
 The reunion consisted of a one hour rehearsal with all the alumni at 6:00 on Friday night.  Then, the current BYU Singers performed a concert and at the end of the concert, the 300 alumni came up and performed the last three songs with the current Singers followed by a reception in the WILC>  The next morning we got to sing again!  and recorded two hymns.  Then we had a lunch in the Hinckley Center, followed by a slide show presentation and more visiting.  It was such a treat to sing under the direction of Dr. Staheli once again, and to sing in such a wonderful choir once again, and to sing in that wonderful choir with each of my sisters!!  It truly felt like heaven.

 All four sisters with Dr. Staheli.  Dr.  Staheli is retiring this year, so it was a special treat to be able to come to this reunion.  What a wonderful man.

This is a photo of those alumni who were at the reunion that sang in the choir in 1998-99.

This picture is out of order, but while mom and dad were visiting, Dad, Rob Seth and Grant drove three hours to Dayton, OH to watch BYU basketball play Ole Miss to qualify for the tournament.  Unfortunately, BYU didn't make it, but they have a fun memory of being there cheering them on!

Last weekend while I was in UT, Rob took care of the kids!  (Again-  What a guy!)  My sister Sarah and family had moved out of their home in Chicago Thursday, Sarah flew to UT for the reunion that same day, and Jeremy drove he and the kids to our house in Indiana to stay there while the movers transported their stuff.  

On Saturday our neighborhood had an Easter egg hunt for the kids.  So Rob took most of the kids and Jeremy stayed back with some who were sick.  

 Here are some more pictures out of order.  When I was in Iowa Rob braved taking four kids to Costco (which is an hour away!).  We hadn't been in months and, as you can see, he loaded up.  He even had a lady stop him and shake his hand, she was so impressed with his dad skills! :)

 I believe this is another BYU basketball game photo.

 Back at the Easter Egg hunt-fun activities..

 Grant received this "SunshineAward" at school that is awarded to students who are kind and helpful to others, and "spread sunshine."

 Yesterday we colored Easter eggs and also had an Easter egg hunt in our backyard.  This was a tradition we shared each year with our family in Idaho and made us really miss them!

Sydney was not too happy to be called back for this picture :)

 Our sweet next door neighbor does not have any grandkids yet, but loves our kids.  She came over one day and asked if it would be ok if she went shopping for the kids for Easter.  So she came over yesterday and really enjoyed watching the kids hunt for their eggs and see them with the gifts she had gotten for them.
 This cute girl just loves to be outside.  Today I said to everyone, "All right, kids, it is time to go outside!" and she just immediately ran over the the backdoor while yelling "Outsiiiiiiide!!!!"  It is fun to hear her be so vocal.
 As Rob says it- we added a member to our family: a trampoline.  Oh the kids are so happy!