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

Cleaning out 60 years

Over the last year, my family has helped my father clean out my grandparent's home. They didn't pass away, but they did need to be moved into assisted living. As they are now in their 90's, their health had taken a turn for the worse, and they needed more help then just themselves at home. So that left a packed home that my dad was trying to clean out on his own, while still working a very full time job. We took 2 full days over the course of a month last spring and just tackled the majority of the house. Because they lived through the Depression, they felt the need to keep pretty much everything, "you never know when you might need it". There was much of it that was just trash, like the cooler cardboard box that the holiday ham or turkey came in for every holiday from the company my grandfather retired from. No joke, every. single. box.  Or every peanut butter jar plastic lid for who knows how many years. But all of that had to be sorted and thrown away. To make the job even harder, we needed to go through every pocket, drawer, stack of stuff, because we would find money, or important papers just stashed in all of them. But overall, we found some very neat things. 

In the basement was a tiny little bathroom, one of which I had absolutely no memory of. The medicine cabinet looked like it had not been touched since the 70's.

I found the original house key. 

This was a small figurine that my dad had won at a Halloween costume contest. I thought it was interesting, but even more so when I flipped it over and saw the "occupied Japan" marking. 

Company seals from 2 of the companies my grandfather did work for. 

A silly poster of my grandfather from a company party. It was just too funny to not take a picture of. 

When I would go to my grandparent's house as a grade schooler, there wasn't much to play with. But one day my brother and I discovered this game in the basement and played it many many times. It needed to come home with me. 

In fact we discovered many many old games that were very interesting. We now have a bag of them to go through and decide if we will play them or sell them and give the money to my grandparents. 

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