Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Violin Happenings

The week leading up to Valentine’s Day and the weekend itself was chock full of Bethany & her violin! On Tuesday evening the orchestra held its 2nd annual “Suites & Sweets” fundraiser – an event where music is played and dessert is served…twice!!


Excuse the terrible iPhone pictures…it was awfully dark in there.


The flash didn’t really help much…


Bethany and her orchestra buddies!


Now this next picture has absolutely nothing to do with the violin. It is only included here because it’s a Valentine picture. Sarah found this in her cereal on the morning of Valentine’s Day.



You see it right? It’s a heart-shaped cornflake or something. Really.


This also has nothing to do with the violin, but…those are the Valentines I gave to my Kindergarteners. I wanted to have the girls give them to their classmates, too, but I didn’t find the little bouncy balls until the day before Valentines Day at the Target about an hour away from us. I had looked all over our county, but hadn’t found them anywhere. So, since I found them, I quick whipped up those little printables (thanks to free ones on Pinterest) and delivered them to my Kindergarteners. I’m not *certain* the kids caught on to the play on my name, but most adults did. LOL! The girls did Ring Pops that said “You’re a GEM” or “For the Son of the King” – they were also cute and I’m a little partial to the “You’re a GEM” one. Winking smile


On Valentine’s afternoon, Ed, Bethany, & I headed over the mountains to Yakima for her Washington Music Educators Association Junior All-State rehearsal and concert! We had some Starbucks on the way…after all, it was BOGO since it was Valentine’s Day! All-State is a really fun experience…kids from all over the state audition and Bethany was the only orchestra player from our school to attend. We had one kid also go in band and several in both the Junior choir and the High School choir. Once there, you rehearse songs (that you have been given & practiced yourself ahead of time) all together, all day long, and then give a late afternoon concert.

We arrived in Yakima around 6:30, checked into our hotel (which ended up being REALLY nice!) and then decided to have dinner. We kind of forgot it was Valentine’s Day…we found a Mexican restaurant that was REALLY full of Hispanics, so we figured it was good. We waited quite a while for the food but it was GREAT! After watching some Olympics in the hotel, we zonked out for the night. The other girls spent the weekend with my parents.

In the morning we brought Bethany to the high school for her rehearsals. She was pretty nervous, but immediately met her “stand-mate” (whose name was unprouncible – SO many Asians there!) and they both seemed happy to have each other there.





Ed & I headed out and spent the day having coffee together, checking out antique stores, having lunch, and learning our way around Yakima. There is NOT that much to do there. Just sayin’.


We didn’t buy much at the antique stores, but we had fun looking and even made a purchase of several items in one place. Just before we walked into this shop, Ed was DARING me to find something – anything – that he would be willing to spend money on. And then he saw those license plates. Old blue & yellow ones from California. With his BIRTHYEAR on them. He sheepishly looks at me and says, “OK, these I would spend money on.” So I made him buy them for his office. I’ll hang them after we paint during spring break. There, now I said it out loud. Maybe it’ll actually happen now…I also bought that Ball jar and the white milk glass vase for really good prices to add to my collections.


I also saw these dreamy minty blue Pyrex dishes. I love them. But I didn’t buy them. They were too much money and I have no place to put them. But I love them.

Anyway, we headed back to the school in time to get good seats in the gym for the concert and WOW! What amazing sound from the orchestra and band! We were so impressed and SO incredibly proud of Bethany for auditioning and being accepted and playing with that awesome group of musicians! Bethany is in the last row of violins on the left, second chair in from the end.





Bethany with her teacher, Mrs. Smit, along with Mrs. Smit’s son, who was in the All-state band, and the band teacher, Mr. G. Everyone was happy & proud!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

LOADS of stuff

A lot of stuff has been happening! I’m gonna try to get mostly caught up in this one blog post. Two things are making this possible – #1: Ed got the pictures off my phone onto my computer, which was made possible by #2: 3 days of being SNOWED IN!! (Snow pictures to come later…)


This beautiful girl was the stage manager for the high school production of Phantom of the Opera, which was INCREDIBLE. She had a very difficult job, but she handled it amazingly and all I heard was praise for her organizational skills and the way she dealt with the people and the stress of the job. We are SO proud of her!



It really was an amazing production. Such talent! Musically, and in the acting, and in the sets, and everywhere! Truly, those kids deserve the high school Emmy awards (yes, they have those) for their performances. That said, I have to say, I do not like the story or the music in Phantom. I had never seen it before and I found it to be incredibly intense and troubling. But if there ever was a performance of that musical that I would like, it would be theirs!!

The end of January brings BEAR week (Be Excited About Reading) at school. This is NOT my favorite week. I wish they would do it in May when it’s nice weather outside. Part of the deal with BEAR week is that the kids are supposed to not have “screen” time. This is truly difficult when it gets dark at 5:00 in the evening and there are older sisters in the house who DO have screen time. BEAR week culminates (generally) with a book character dress-up day on Friday. This year, however, we had the dress-up day on Wednesday so that Friday could be BLUE FRIDAY…the upcoming Super Bowl in which the Seahawks were playing (& WON!) somehow trumped the dress-up day schedule, giving parents & teachers 2 less days to prepare. Ah well. We totally rocked the dressing up this year, I must say…



We have here Junie B. Jones is the Boss of Lunch and Nikki (an American Girl). And then…


We were the Cats in the Hats. And 10 of our cherubs were Things.


You can see our other sweeties here, too, but the Things were THE HIT of the dress-up day at school. They made their blue hair hats out of butcher paper and we pinned those round numbers on each kid. It was a blast! And considering I don’t usually like to dress-up, that’s saying something!


As I mentioned, the Seahawks played (& dominated) in the BIG GAME. The girls & I decided we needed to bring some special treats over to Grandma & Grandpa’s for the occasion, so we made these chocolate covered strawberries.







And that is what the bottom of my crock-pot looked like one evening after it sparked and snapped while cooking our dinner. I unplugged it immediately, took out the roast and cooked it in the oven for the rest of the day. And then I ordered a new crock-pot on Amazon and had it less than 48 hours later. I love Amazon Prime!

GEMS Girls Clubs hosted a Saturday morning event for Moms & Daughters called the We Walk Tour. It wasn’t about walking, contrary to the belief of those who didn’t actually *read* the information… Winking smile It featured the band “True Emotion” (they were awesome!) and author/speaker Sara Lynne Hilton. The theme of the day was “There is no such thing as just a girl” – and basically it’s about how God can use you wherever He has put you to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him, (taken from Micah 6:8, which is the GEMS aim). It was a great morning!




A cupcake bouquet at snack time! LOVED it!!



The girls all got to go up front at the end to pray with the worship leaders. It was such a powerful experience for everyone!


Later that day I took B, R, & E to see the movie “Frozen” and of course we had to have ourselves some frozen yogurt.


We loved the movie…especially Bethany. I have a feeling she might be asking for it for her birthday… What a great day!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Foggy Semiahmoo

We had yet another beautifully sunny & cold Sunday afternoon in January, so we decided to take a drive out to Semiahmoo. I always love to walk by the water in the sunshine. Problem was…the closer we got to the water, the foggier and foggier it got! Semiahmoo was completely socked in. It didn’t even look like the same place! Despite the wet, cold air, we had a great walk and Sarah took some awesome pictures.










Saw this amazing jellyfish way up on the shore…something I had never seen before!





We saw that eagle up in the tree, but only managed one picture before he flew off…we watched him soar for quite a ways!



Those last two are my favorite pictures from the whole day…no surprise there. Love when my girls are happy together. No greater gift in this world to me.