Thursday, June 28, 2012

ISSI- year one

Intermountain Suzuki String Institute

It was our first year attending...and I hope we go back every year!
There were instructors and students from all over the country and even outside the country (I heard Argentina, Singapore, and Australia mentioned).  It made my 30 minute drive seem like a piece of cake!

Kate and I were able to attend Monday through Friday most of the day and we learned SO much.  (Ellie and Sophie aren't learning music in a traditional Suzuki approach.)  Our friends Jenna and Heather carpooled with us.  Fortunately, Jenna and Kate had most of their classes together!  It was so nice to have friends with us through out the day!

Kate's classes included:
cello repertoire  (Rodney Farrar)
cello technique  (Margaret Lewis)
art class
mastery class  (Mary Walters)
ear tuning

The cello specific classes were our very favorite!  The cello concert was a highlight!  Kate worked hard and learned so much.  We both felt lucky to be there!!!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

running to the sprinklers

Quiet weekends that finish busy weeks are my absolute favorite weekends!
Kate and I attended a Suzuki Institute ALL week.
Danny, Ellie and Sophie finished their week with an ALL DAY (open to close) adventure at Lagoon!
By Saturday morning we were all exhausted!

Our weekend recap:
breakfast at your leisure
the girls each practiced their instruments with me
after picking up their rooms + reading
Ellie and Kate headed to "clay class"
(our adorable neighbor Bethany, at Kathryn's request, put together this amazing clay class!  the girls made long necklaces with beautiful birds on the end from their own sculpting!  they were thrilled!)
Sophie and Danny headed to Costco
I grabbed my book and took a nap
Ellie headed to a friend's house
Kate and Sophie watched Allison in Wonderland
I finally showered
we all loaded up in the car and went tile shopping
we found the most perfect-i knew as soon as i saw it-very reasonably priced tile at our first stop!
(remodeling the downstairs bathroom)
picked up Danny's new golf clubs
(he bought a new set that he could have lengthened!)
took the girls to Spagetti Factory
went to Amanda's for dessert and to see Rob+Whitney+Lyla Bird!!!

got ready for church
Danny and I had off-setting meetings
attended church
(loved it)
came home and everyone in this house read or napped quietly for 1.5 hours!!!!!!
made dinner together
(egg-rolls, rice & stir-fry veggies)
ate out on the deck
attended to the garden
(thinned carrots, picked strawberries & picked peas)
note:  the deer are leaving our strawberries alone thanks to these solar powered.detect mvmt.annoying animal sound contraptions!!!!!  THANK YOU JARI!!!!!

after dinner we decided to head out for a walk
(yes...Sophie was in pj pants)
we ran into friends (Shawn + Lindsay) with the same idea---and walked and visited with them
the girls rolled down the grassy hill to see who could reach the bottom first 
they ran to the sprinklers on the golf course as the sun was setting
we returned back home for more homemade ice cream
and our friends endured a few songs we performed for them.

I wanted the weekend to last forever!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

what I have learned at your side

If I had to pick just two qualities I would like to inherit from my dad they would be:

generosity & optimism

Since I was very young I have memories of my dad giving money to people in trouble.  Whether they were on the side of a road, in front of a restaurant, a relative down on their luck or a friend in need---he was often there---willing without ever verbalizing judgement.  He still quietly arranges for my mom to "do good deeds" around their neighborhood, where many are in need.  He is the mastermind in the service, but sends it out through her or others---not wanting any recognition or accolades.  By some people's standards, my father is not wealthy...yet in my eyes, he has the largest treasures in the world; to be loved, respected with a heart turned toward others.

My dad has also had a passion for learning.  His learning has not been in a traditional academic setting---but his knowledge far surpasses many college graduates I know.  He has a curious mind that is filled with optimism---always believing in the human spirit.

One of my favorite stories that my dad has written in his life history...describes this spirit about him at a very early age---

I think he was 7 years old living in Gilmer, TX.  He was being raised by a single mother in the Great Depression.  Times were very hard for them and money was scarce.  

He writes,  "I spent most of my time just roaming the street and hustling odd jobs.  I know I drove a lot of the business owners crazy because I was always asking if I could do an odd job.  The problem was I was too young to have much skill at anything, although I had plenty of enthusiasm."

"There was a banker by the name of Green who always wore a white ice cream colored suit and I knew he had plenty of money.  I made a plan to approach Mr. Green and see if I could do some work for him and make a little money."  

"One day I waited for him to leave the bank and I approached him and asked, 'Mr. Green, do you have any work that I could do to make a nickel or a dime?' You can imagine what I looked like...ragged clothes and no shoes.  Mr. Green replied, 'I don't have any work for you just now.'  My heart sank because I had been planning this and I knew he could afford to give me some work.  ...As I was walking away I said, 'Thank you anyway Mr. Green.'  He said, 'Wait a minute son, I'll probably have some work for you later on, and I might as well pay you for it now.'  With that he reached in his pocket and pulled out a dime.  I thanked him and told him I would check to see when he wanted the work done.  He told me to see him the following week.  That dime was a lot of money for a seven year old back then.  I could go to the general store and get a piece of cheese and some crackers out of the barrel for three cents, and a piece of candy just cost a penny."

He continued, "From that point forward, I would go see Mr. Green and perform some chores like cleaning out the spittoons in the bank or sweeping up.  He always gave me a dime and sometimes I would give it to Mama or else spend it on something to eat."

Thank you Dad for all that you teach me.   You have followed Mr. Green's example throughout your life.  The initiative and optimism you held as a seven year old have served you well.  I have learned at your side how to treat others, look for those in need, stand up for what I believe in...and believe in myself.  I love you.  Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

birthday day....

Our girls have waited until their 8th birthday to pierce their ears...
(I'm kinda hoping Sophie will hold out even longer.)
Kate had said after Ellie had hers pierced that she would wait until she was 21.
She changed her mind...
so after swimming lessons we headed out to Claire's.

She was SOOOOOOOO nervous.
She held thightly to the bear they offered her and then squeezed the hand her little sister offered her.
The tears lasted until they handed her a mirror...
"Mom, I look SO different!" she exclaimed!
She is getting too grown up too fast if you ask me :)

Pizza for lunch with her favorite playmates (her sisters)!

 Off to see Mirror Mirror.
Can you believe two security guards were walking by when I tried to take their pictures in front of the theater and they wouldn't let me!  Not even for the birthday girl.  He suggested the brick wall.  Wow!  I am speechless!  Seriously!?

We finished off the evening poolside...with strawberries, cream and pound cake for dessert.  
What a perfect day!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


"Mom school" began today!  I am really excited about it.  The girls were NOT until we actually had it.  They loved it (we are only one day in)!  We'll see how it goes...I have high hopes.

Our first activity was a journal entry.  We answered this question (that I found here):  What was the most humiliating experience of your life?  Write a short, possibly funny, description of it.

Kate (pictured above):  June 5th 2012  "My most [humiliating] thing is. [When] I had to put on a [funky] hat on and say my favorite color i[n] Spanish.  Kate D"

Ellie:  "One day I was swimming and I threw up.  It was sad. :("
(She had thrown up in the pool (a few years ago).  They had to close it.  A large group of Junior High cheerleaders had just shown up for a party.  Poor Ellie.)

Mine:  "My most embarrassing moment happened in 3rd grade.  I was living in Thatcher, AZ.  Thatcher was such a small town I am not sure if it even had a stop light back then.  I was a student in Mrs. White's class.  I had just come in from recess and felt an urgent need to go to the bathroom.  I nervously approached Mrs. White's desk.

As I remember, she had a sweet but serious disposition.  Due to frustration over her students choosing class time instead of recess time to "use the facilities" she said "no" and reminded me that recess is a better time to go to the bathroom.  I was sent back to my seat.  Not much later, I was called to the chalk board to complete a math problem.  I still needed to go---badly!  I nervously approached the board.  How could I concentrate on a math problem when where I really needed to be most desperately was the bathroom?  Standing at the board, in front of the whole class, my bladder gave way.  I peed my pants in front of the whole class.  It was 33 years ago and I don't think I will ever forget it!"

I LOVED reading their thoughts...and how different all of our answers were!  Sophie was working on handwriting.  She wanted to copy our new "mom school" rules.  Next time I will help her write down her journal answer.