Friday, June 27, 2008

And.. We're Off!

Well, I really hoped my life would get less crazy. So far, not much. But at least it's FUN! I wanted to say a fond farewell to everyone. We're heading up to The Lake with Vince's family. I can't wait! I love skiing and swimming at The Lake! I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and post them. I'll try to pop back in soon. But for now, I'm off to have a much-needed VACATION!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

She's Ridin' a Two-Wheeler!

We were up visiting Vince's brother who lives a few hours from our house. His wife left for an author's conference and my Mother-in-law stayed to watch 6 grandkids. So she asked me to come along to help her out! So I took Brooke & Evan and we went up and stayed for several days. We had so much fun. While we were there, Brooke kept asking me to take off her training wheels on her bike. I told her we'd wait till we got home so Dad could do it. Then it dawned on me--"I'm perfectly capable of working these tools! I may have no idea what this one is called, but I can turn it like a pro--remember, 'Righty Tight, Lefty Loosey', okay I'm good!" And before we knew it, the wheels were off, and so was she!

She wiggled and wobbled for about 45 minutes. Then we decided she needed more space, more than the narrow sidewalk she was working on. So we all took our bikes down to the church parking lot a few blocks away, and by the time we got there, she had mastered it! It happened so fast! I thought it would take several days of working on it, but she was so good. She had a few really good crashes and scrapes, but she jumped up every time and rode away.

So now my little girl is all grown up! Yes, I know she's already seven years old, but it's amazing how time flies. They start out so little, and you turn around and they're riding off on their own, reveling in their new-found independence!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Craziest of Crazies!!

Oh, man! I'm glad this is the end of the week, and beginning of a new one. Last week was CRAZY! I felt like I was running non-stop the entire week. Which is also why I love Sundays. I can finally relax, and take a nap, and catch up on my blog. Sorry if you've felt neglected. And I wouldn't be surprised if I lost all my readers this week. Hopefully life will be less crazy now (hopefully) and I'll have more time to stay up to date (hopefully). So if you're up for a long post, good! Here's a portion of everything I did last week:

Brooke finished 1st Grade. Next time she goes to school, she'll be a 2nd Grader! Yikes! And she'll finally have her little brother going with her. *Sniff Sniff!* Can't believe both my babies will leave me. But every time I say that Evan laughs at me and assures me that he will come back home every day. Even my sadness at being left home all alone doesn't keep him from wanting to go to Kindergarten!

Brooke with her 1st Grade teacher, Mrs Roberts. We loved her so much.

This was a special week for Brooke too because Thursday was her Birthday! That has been hard for me, to realize she's now SEVEN! I'm the mother of a seven-year old! I still can't get over how big she is.

She really wanted a fancy cake, but I just didn't have time to make a fancy cake. We comprimised on a rainbow cake, though. We got the kind with the colored sprinkles in the cake, and I bought M&Ms, Skittles, and marshmallows. And Brooke & her girly cousins had a wonderful time decorating the rainbow cake. It turned out really cute. She was happy because it was fancier than a plain old cake. And I was happy because it didn't take me all day to make it!

Brooke, Bekah, & Bethany putting on M&Ms. I wondered how much was put on and how much was snacked on!

Very cute rainbow, Brookie!

Typical Brookie pose & smile. I love the look Bethany is giving her too! So cute!

My Mom & Dad, and several of my siblings and Mary's kids all came over for presents & cake and ice cream. Vince's Mom drove down (she was flying out on Friday for a funeral) and she came a day early to be with Brooke on her Birthday. The funniest thing was that both she and my Mom got Brooke the EXACT same present! Obviously they both knew what she likes! She loved them both even if it was the same toy! She thought it was great that now her ponies can each have a twin. We all thought it was hilariously funny!

As I mentioned, my sister Mary is here with her family from Colorado. And my sister Beth flew in from Boston! So we have spent as much time playing together as we can. We also had a big photo shoot yesterday since we were ALL together--my entire family. That hasn't happened in a long time. So it was so nice to all be together again. I'll post pictures of our family once Mary gets them to me.

This week was also the last week of music classes. I finished teaching. We had Festival for the older kids, and recital prep for everyone. And then I had the programs to type and print. Recitals were yesterday. I wish I could say they went over without a hitch. They rarely do. There were numerous problems: the doors were all locked when I got there 1/2 hour before my first recital, the recital hall then wasn't set up, they didn't have the right disk drive to read our disks, then the drive we finally got plugged in didn't work, then we got it working but one of the disks was corrupt, etc. This is why I have nightmares before EVERY recital! There always seems to be something! But the kids all did awesome! I'm very proud of them and their progress this semester. And I have to say I have a WONDERFUL HUSBAND!!!! He was the one running around behind the scenes, driving to the studio 3 times to get what we needed so the show could go on! I don't know what I would've done without him. Probably cried! I'm also glad I decided to come extra early. And even at that, if the people had unlocked the recital early, we probably could've started on time. Oh well! It's done with now and I won't have to worry about that for 6 more months!

My own kids also performed in their recitals, and they both did great. Evan was the funniest. I swear he's going to be the class clown--I can see it all now. *Sigh* We've practiced and practiced this for weeks. He got up and played his first song fine (although he didn't even sit on the bench--he STOOD UP to play while I'm sitting in the audience shakin' my head)! Then he stopped before his next song, finally decides to sit down, and flings his right leg up onto the bench and faces the audience. Then he just stares with a completely blank look on his face. After about 20 seconds, and several chuckles from the audience, I step up and remind him he has one more song to play. He did a great job, and bowed very flamboyantly. My mom says she thinks he's must be of the mindset of a Victor Borge!

Brooke also did very nicely. Not quite as comical as her little brother, thank heavens! I'm impressed now that she can add in those extra finishing touches like dynamics and articulation that make it sound much more musical. It was harder to hear them in her actual performance, but at least I know in practicing she can really bring that all out! :0)

I also had a wonderful opportunity on Friday to meet some of my online running pals. We got together and had a yummy lunch at Heidi's house and let the kids play and just visited for about 3 hours! I was amazed at how fast the time flew by. It was great to finally be able to meet these ladies. I'd already met Leslie. She's the one that came to the SLC Marathon and jogged with me a bit. Did I mention she was days from giving birth at the time?! I loved getting to hold her sweet little baby girl. Heidi's friend Stacey came too. She was the one I rode the bus with up to the Ogden Marathon. And Meagan was there with her almost 6 month old baby too. These ladies have been a huge support for me while I've been training for my marathons. Hopefully we can get together again soon. Here are the pictures ladies:

That's Stacey, Leslie, Meagan, Heidi, and me.

And here are the kids having a great time eating hot dogs on the porch:

So that was mostly my week in a very large nutshell. In between all these fun activities I was scrambling around trying to get things finished up for my summer students, cleaning house for my Mother-in-law's stay here, taking her to the airport, and just trying to stay on top of my other normal duties. So now my family knows why I was so cranky last week (sorry, fam) but I think things will be much less stressful now. And the nice thing is these were all WONDERFUL activities! I was just grateful that I wasn't stressed out because I was doing awful unpleasant tasks. They were good and fun and I enjoyed doing them. There were just a lot of them this week!

And to finish off, here's a picture of Evan coming home from the recital all tired out. The kids fell asleep in the car coming home. I mostly thought it funny that he fell asleep with his hand in his sock:

And now I think I deserve a nap myself!