Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gracie's First Piano Recital - Feb 27,2011

At home, Gracie was pretty excited about her concert.  I love that it never even occurs to her to get nervous.  She is thankfully not a worrier about performing!   And she was thrilled to wear her new dress from Aunt Camille!

 Gracie was studying the program, checking out the lineup.  It was nine or ten kids playing, but it went by amazingly fast.  I guess it sounds like a lot when you know they are each playing three or four songs.  But then you realize that each song is only about 30 seconds!

 Gracie with Miss Dorla and part of her class.  I don't know what happened with the group pictures, but we didn't get one of her whole class that actually included Miss Dorla.  And there were actually two classes combined for the concert - there are only seven kids in her class.

And after the concert, Gracie chose a restaurant to go to.  And she decided by getting on the computer and typing in Mexican restaurant to Google.  I guess the computer "knows" that we are in Burleson, so she picked a newer Mexican restaurant in Burleson because "the reviews were good.

And now to the important part, Gracie playing her favorite song (and the one I got the best video of), Ode to Joy:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Quick look at February

 Do we really have to dress like this in Texas???  You're kidding, right???
 Ack!  It is cold!!
 What's this stuff?  Hmmm, hard, sort of clear and very slippery.  Well, we didn't have to go to school and Daddy didn't have to go to work, but it's no good for snowballs or snowmen. 
 Keeping busy inside on those cold days.  "**I'll*** fix this labtop for you, Dada!"

 Doing our part to conserve energy and keep those rolling blackouts in  Texas to a minimum.  (Plus, Mike lets the fire get really hot and the house get lots warmer when we aren't paying for the heater to run!)
And then the next night, the weather redeemed itself by bringing snow our way.  It wasn't a lot, but the girls got a few snow angels out of it, Coco loved it and yes, Mike managed to scrape together a few snowmen (Clara got a big one, JM got a medium and there was a miniman for the side yard).
 JM was undeterred by the snow (and the lack of snow pants).  Boy was he a chilly boy once we got him inside! 

  And then the snow was over and it started warming up.  And unexpectedly, we had our night of sad good-byes with our wonderful dog, Elvis.  She's been with us since before the time Gracie was born so this was a very rough night.

And of course, there were lots of fun things in February to enjoy, in addition to all of the snow.  At school, there was the 100th day to celebrate (a big kindergarten occasion).  Clara made her shirt using 100 pieces of duct tape!  
 Next, there was the kindergarten valentine program and party.  It was a rough day for me and Clara, though.  I had to leave during the performance because JM was fussy (always a problem since her programs are at 12:45...naptime) and she was really upset.  It was just a few days after Elvis had died and I think it was just a hard day to have Mama miss anything.  But she did cheer up at the party since JM loves to play in the kitchen in Mrs.  Matejka's room (the play kitchen, that is), and I was able to give my undivided attention to her.  So this happy picture of Clara is at the party!

After Clara's party, we hung around waiting for Gracie's party to start.  It was a long day for us, but I was so thankful that Clara and JM got to go out to the playground during the wait and even stayed their during their big sis's party (thank you wonderful teachers who are willing to watch my son!).  It was nice to be on my own with just Gracie at her party, but I did start to wonder how I was going to be in two places at one time next year when Gracie & Clara have parties at the same time (elementary grades always have their parties at the same time).  Oh well, I'm sure we'll work it out!
 Check out this cool valentine holder they made.  Her teacher said she had made these as a child for her valentines.  I just thought it was so nifty!

And the last exciting event at school this month... Clara's half birthday celebration!! They like to make sure that each child gets a special day at school, so if you are a summer birthday, you get to celebrate your half birthday.  So Clara celebrated being 5 1/2.  We made a cake (vanilla with pink icing) - 2 cakes in fact, one with 5 on it and one with 1/2, brought some drinks and snacks and got to celebrate with her.  In kindergarten, the birthday child gets to stand on a chair and everyone else does the "birthday dance" around him or her and that's when I snapped this picture. They also get to celebrate with a special birthday blessing in chapel (where Mrs. Werner amazed me by knowing Clara "works so hard to do everything just right...", and they can give a book to the school library (Clara chose Olivia Goes to Venice).  I'm so glad they make such a special day for the kids at the school.  This came at a time when Clara really needed it, too. 
We had a few other things going on in February (most importantly, Gracie's 1st piano recital), but I'm going to stretch that into a few more posts.  I mean, why not?  March is only half over.  I'm rapidly approaching being up-to-date.  Baaaahhhhaaaahaaaahaaaa.  Heaven knows how many things I have wanted to include in this blog that haven't made it in.  But I'm thankful for the things that have and I hope that you all are enjoying it as well.  Even with all the large gaps and holes!

So I'll end with a picture of my favorite guys.  We were eating at "rice and beans"=any Mexican restaurant after Gracie's piano recital.  More on that next, promise.  Even with video!

You know I'm not really done, right?  I just love this picture of JM out in the snow on his own, wandering around.  He's got on these gloves that are so huge and his froggy boots, which we just had gotten him to try wearing.  And you can see all the smooth snow and the shadows of the trees. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Moving on to recent events...

So, I'm tired of starting off each post explaining why it has taken me so long to post. I'll just assume you can fill in the blanks (kids, sickness, JBF, school, weather, whatever comes to mind...) and move on to the real deal.

I was talking with Clara today and telling her that she only has 8 weeks of school left (they get out early at their school, esp. kindergarten).  I said then you'll be in first grade next year.  She informed me that she didn't want to be in first grade, but wanted to stay in Mrs. Matejka's class.  I reminded her that she could see Mrs. Matejka everyday if she wanted, but that she would be in first grade.  She thought that over for a minute, then announced, "I want to be in 2nd grade!"  Don't you love sibling rivalry????

I was pestering John Michael later, tickling him, giving away kisses and he told me "I give all my loves to the bird."  "Really, I asked - why did you do that?" "Cause then the bird can give love to all the other birdies."  Very sweet, no?  So then I had to persist and ask, do you still have enough love for me and Daddy and your brothers (okay, they are sisters, but he insists they are his "bruders").  At first he said no, but then after a few minutes, he said "I  have loves for everyone!" and started attacking me with kisses!  Which is crazy for him, since he is usually very stingy with them.  But lucky for me, right?

And the last story for tonight (unless I think of more while I am typing).  Mike got cornered at lunch by the girls with a very philosophical question.  Usually I am the one that tackles these things, but I wasn't with them at their picnic on the porch.  While they were getting ready for their picnic, Mike had to get out the wasp spray and kill a wasp.  So during lunch, Clara asks Mike "Do wasps have souls?"  As Mike was relaying this story to me, I knew it was going to get sticky for him quickly when I heard that question.  So Mike gave what he thought would be the quick and easy reply and would move the conversation on to other topics - "No, only people have souls."  Now maybe he thought he got away with that, but that delusion could only be short-lived.  Gracie piped up with "But did Elvis have a soul?"

Oops- have to pause for a quick update.  About one month ago, Elvis got sick one night after dinner.   Mike had to run her in to the after hours clinic and they found that her stomach had twisted.  A horrible thing (she was in a lot of pain, even with the pain med they gave her) and a big, big surgery to fix.  Elvis was almost ten years old, so we decided the surgery and recovery would be too much (and the vet thought so as well), so I took the kids up to the clinic and we all got to say good-bye to her and Mike stayed with her when they put her to sleep.  It was very unexpected and a sad time for us (and Coco who really misses her playmate), and no doubt part of what contributed to all these questions about souls.

Back to the story, Mike realized his easy answer wasn't going to work now, so he told Gracie that he thought Elvis probably had a soul.  Good thing I wasn't there, we might have gotten into a 30 minute discussion on souls, animals, pets, people, etc.  But it's good for them to realize that we certainly don't know all of the answers either!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What to do when you get up really early before school and the weather is great...

And that concludes the scooter ballet portion of our program...