Saturday, August 18, 2018

Where has the year gone?

A friend had messaged me not long ago to tell me that she loved my blog, and how I had it set up. After a little chuckle, I realized that I had not touched this blog in well over a year! When I posted last, L was just picking out what instrument he was going to play his first year of Middle school and here I sit, D just finishing up her 3 weeks band practice with her trombone ready for her first year of Middle school. We sure have packed a lot in this last year.

L did amazing in middle school, he played and excelled at playing the trombone, had many honors classes and made high honor roll, his first year as a Boy Scout, running cross country, being on the Lego Robotics team, learning to play Magic the Gathering, breaking both arms in a freak skiing accident, and now growing taller than me with his voice starting to change.

D finished her last year in elementary, finished her 2nd year as a Junior Girl Scout, sang in Circle the State with Song, ran in Running is Elementary, tried her hand at a number of afterschool sports clubs, spent a week away at Girl Scout Horse camp, and started to learn to play the saxophone. She is really looking forward to the start of middle school next week, especially the library.

We bought a house! That was pretty much the biggest thing over the last year. Seated on just under 2 acres of mostly wooded land, we found a 1963 3 bedroom home. Each kid finally for the first time in their lives has their own room. We also rescued 2 stray female kittens, and brought home and raised 10 chickens, although we are now down to 8 and still awaiting eggs. In Jan we took a family vacation to Orlando, the first time all 4 of us flew together, and spent a long weekend in the Harry Potter section of Universal Studios. We have all gained new friends, and lost some of the old sadly, and have overall been loving life to the fullest. I hope to try to maintain the blog a bit more, but with extra time at a minimum I'm just not sure how often that will occur. And as a funny side note: This was my 10 year anniversary of this blog! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Almost in middle school: Instrument selection.

It is hard to believe some days, but L is soon to be 11 and graduating from 5th grade. That means next year he will be in middle school, scary! The fun and exciting process started a few weeks back when the middle school choir, band, orchestra, and art class came to our school to have a talk with just the 5th graders. Our students got to hear all about these fun opportunities and listen to some music. (also fun side note, our principal jumped in on the piano and played while everyone sang, then kept on playing all through both lunch periods!). So last night came the fantastic night of going into the middle school and getting to try a bunch of instruments out in person. Adam had to work that evening, so D, L and I headed out. We had been talking over the last few weeks about what he would like to choose. He was set on playing the saxophone and then came home yesterday adding the cello to the mix. We headed in and he was thrilled to see so many kids he knew from both our current school and our former school. I asked him if that made him feel a bit more comfortable and he agreed it sure did.

We signed in and got a number on our paper, then waited. I know I enjoyed looking around at all the other kids trying out instruments while we waited. You could tell some kids felt very comfortable with what they had in their hands, and others didn't. Then it was L's turn. The gentleman from the instrument company was very kind, and patient. L said that he was really just interested in the saxophone, so he was given just the mouthpiece with the reed to try out. L was instructed how to put it in his mouth and how to blow and make the sound. I could tell he was sort of nervous, but quickly relaxed. He did pretty good with just the mouthpiece so they let me hold the entire saxophone. L struggled a bit once it was the whole instrument. Not necessarily holding it, but making the same sounds he did when it was just the mouthpiece. He was told he could try up to 3 instruments, and would he like to try anything else. On a whim, he said trombone. Shocked me. The gentleman told him how to hold his mouth again and buzz into just the mouthpiece. L did amazing! The guy challenged him to make a higher and lower pitched sound explaining how to do that, and L was able to get it right away. He then thought he would try the trumpet. Since he came to the trombone so quickly I thought this one might as well, but that didn't seem to be the case. L struggled right away. He gave it a great try, but it just didn't seem to be his thing.

We then went and waited for the stringed instruments. Luckily by the time we got there, there was no line. A kind lady from the instrument company asked him what he was interested in and let him try a cello. He did really well, getting the hang of how you need to move the bow to get different sounds. She then had him stand and try the violin. Again he did really well, and got the hang of using a bow.

It was time to check out and decide. I asked L what he was leaning toward, and without hesitation he exclaimed the trombone! I honestly did not see that coming, but am so very happy with the choice. He really did excel at that instrument while we were there, and all the trombone players I have known have been great people. We signed up for the short summer class he will need to attend, and talked to the company about rental, and were on our way.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

How has it been almost a year already?

Where has the time gone? It was almost a year ago the last time I posted, and boy has so much happened in that year.

L had his last 2 camp outs as a Cub Scout, D transitioned to a Junior scout, we celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary, Adam was in an accident where it was him on a bicycle versus a car (I would say he won, because he had minimal injuries considering he was hit by a car), I had a road trip to Michigan for a girl's weekend where our car decided the transmission was done, the kids and I took our first flights in an airplane (mine to San Diego with my best friend), the kids and I took a 10 day trip to Maui to visit my mom and her husband, Adam had to have hand surgery to correct damage done from the accident, I took another road trip to Ohio to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday, we had to buy a new car, school started again (4th and 5th grades), many many afterschool programs, I started to work at the school, science fair projects, Girl Scout cookie season, Circle the State with song choir, pinewood derby, and so much more!!!!

Here are a few pictures from the past year. I hope to be better about posts this next year.

L running in the Running is Elementary Race

May the 4th celebration at the library
Mother's day winery hopping

My first ever flight, with my best friends to San Diego

D's 9th birthday party

L's 10th birthday party

Scout night with the South Bend Cubs

12th wedding anniversary

D dressed as Hermione at a Potter library event

My girls weekend in Michigan

Kids first ever flight, 10 days in Maui

On top of the volcano

 A shark sighting at the beach

First day of 4th and 5th grade

Seeing Ruth Bader Ginsberg talk at ND

I was able to meet the wonderful author, Jen Lancaster, at a local event.

D had Girl Scout archery camp

It was a very Potter Halloween this year for our family.

We took our annual Christmas trip to Chicago.

We both got to go on the annual 4th and 5th grade ski field trip.

L's science fair project.

L won 3rd place in the entire pack for Pinewood Derby this year. 

D was able to sing in a multi-school choir

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