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First Day, Last Day

June 3, 2015

Our traditional first and last day of school comparison shots~

Sept. 2, 2014:

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Yeah, they’ve grown a little!

And with that, this school year is done!

Twelve!!

May 25, 2015

It was so weird this morning to walk into sacrament meeting and only see D and E sitting on our bench.  Then I remembered: C going to pass the sacrament for the first time today!

He had his twelfth birthday and was ordained a deacon last Sunday.  I am so thrilled at the young man he is becoming.  And I think it’s past time to share the birthday pictures.

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We always let the birthday child pick the day’s activities.  So we started the day having breakfast at Kneader’s.  C got the sausage, egg, and cheese croissant and a raspberry smoothie.

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Little A got the, well, what is that?  A bear?  A dog?  Anyway, she was thrilled to eat the blueberries and bananas and then wouldn’t touch the pancake.

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DH technically had the day off, but he got so many phone calls from work and various other requests that I think they ended up counting it as a working day.  So there were a lot of interruptions.  But we managed to open presents (after following A’s treasure hunt clues to find them) and then the boys spent most of the afternoon building Legos.  DH had to go back into work for a little while, or they would have gone shooting up at the range.  C wanted biscuits and gravy for dinner and before we watched a movie together, we went and met with the bishop so C could have his interview for receiving the Aaronic priesthood.  All in all, it was a pretty awesome day!

Here’s C, our wanna-be secret agent, with his new guide to sabotaging the Nazi war machine.  It’s amazing what you can find on the internet, and for only $5!
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He also got new clothes, another book about the aircraft treasures of the Smithsonian that he’s been wanting, an Avengers Lego set, and some German warship models to build.  Someday.  When we live somewhere other than here.

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Quasi-Easter pictures

April 29, 2015

For the first time in a month all five children went to church!  Little A finally got to wear her Easter dress, so we tried to take some pictures.

E did not want his picture taken and Little A wanted her shoes off.

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“Five in a Row” is getting harder and harder to do these days!

Going, going…

 

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Gone!4-IMG_0517

DH laughs at me because I’m always getting distracted by little girls’ dresses in stores.  Of course I’m always getting distracted by little girls’ dresses!  I’ve waited years to buy dresses for someone.  Tie shopping isn’t all that exciting and once I’ve bought four white shirts and some ties, the boys are set for Sunday clothes for months!  But Little A can always use more dresses.  Don’t you think?

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15 months

April 23, 2015

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Little A has finally mastered the art of standing still and posing for pictures.

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2-IMG_0490Currently she
  • Has 7 teeth
  • Loves her dolls and stuffed animals
  • Loves to go, anywhere, anytime
  • Loves it when Daddy comes home (and can almost say “Daddy”)
  • Loves to dance and is very attuned to music around her
  • Thinks all cell phones are hers
  • Has quite the set of lungs when not getting her way (or my cell phone)
  • Still has us wrapped around her little finger

April 17, 2015

I see that I have written one post in the last month.  So much for my commitment to blog more often . . .

Here’s what’s up with us:

We’ve decided to sell our house!

Technically, we decided to sell it about two years ago, but then there was shoulder surgery, morning sickness, a new baby, and spending what felt like every available moment getting the house ready to sell.  Every deadline we set for ourselves, we neglected to meet for one reason or another, but (over two years later) we finally put a “For Sale By Owner” sign in our front yard.  And then got a hundred and one calls from realtors trying to convince us why we really shouldn’t do it ourselves and should hire them instead.  Talk about pushy.  I’ve quit answering the phone.  Which might not be the best strategy if we want to talk to potential buyers.  But there’s only so much I can handle in a day since Little A’s been teething and I’ve had a good night’s sleep maybe three times in the past six weeks.

Anyway, we do have a realtor we’ve worked with for a long time and do intend to list it with him in six weeks or so if we don’t sell it on our own.  And there are various reasons we’re doing it this way that I don’t want to rehash yet again.  Suffice it to say we know what we’re doing and why.

I have to laugh though.  Some of them ask why we’re looking to sell such a cute little bungalow in such a great area!  Basically because I’m living here with essentially two bedrooms, one bathroom, a yard the size of a postage stamp, and five children.  And I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!  I’m at the end of my rope.

I wrote a much more detailed angst-ridden post two Januarys ago.  (If I weren’t so exhausted at the moment, I’d find the link.)  The way I was feeling then has been compounded by two more years living here plus the addition of one more (terribly cute and adorable and we wouldn’t trade her for anything) little person.

Not to mention school.

I’ve not been blogging about school lately because school has been so disrupted this entire year.  Yes, we’ve been intending to list the house since the school year started.  I don’t know why we haven’t been able to get it done.  We’ve taken off so much time to “work on the house” that as A says, “We’ll have to school through August to finish everything.”  That might be the optimistic view of things.  Even when we’re having a good day of school, I am so consumed with everything else in my head, that I’m not feeling very effective at all.  We need to move simply so I can clear out some space in my brain and get back to where homeschooling takes up most of that space.

My parents said they saw our online ad and could hardly recognize our house.  It’s actually really nice to have it so clean, as long as I don’t think about the boxes and boxes of books, puzzles, games, and other nice things we like to spend our time on that have been packed away in a storage unit for, well, years now.  We have gotten rid of so much stuff, stuff that really did need to go, but I am not a minimalist at heart and I cannot wait to get into a bigger house and be able to have space to keep the things we really do want to keep.

For posterity’s sake, here’s what the house kind of, sort of looks like. No, can look like if we had no hobbies and very little personality.  Yes, we took these pictures, then put all the junk back.  No seriously, there was very little clutter to put back, and we’re doing a really great job at keeping it looking this nice, except that all seven of us have been sick with something in the past two weeks (currently, pink eye is making the rounds.)

And yes, I know professional photos would be even better, but it is what it is for now.  We just had to get some photos  out there to go with our sign.

This is a quirky house.  I love it, but it’s quirky.  It was built in 1896, then added on to in the 1950s and bricked in.  The basement was dug out by hand and we had quite the job updating the plumbing, electrical, and every wall and floor in the place.  The kitchen was especially fun, what with 12 layers of wallpaper to scrape off the walls.  Oh, the stories I could tell.

Let’s settle for pictures.

Bedroom 2: bunk bed, trundle, and another mattress that comes out at night.

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Bedroom 1: Where the other three of us sleep.  I cannot wait for Little A to get her own room.  And the couch.  It really needs a new home too.

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Bathroom and laundry: Oh, the toilet room.  And the laundry room.  I can’t wait for the laundry room to not share space with the bathroom, but it beats having the dryer in the kitchen as when we first moved in.

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The kitchen: Notice the lovely vintage 50s cabinets.  There’s still a roll of the vintage wallpaper in the basement.  It’s so ugly!

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Living room: 6-7-IMG_0468

Yes, I like the color blue if you haven’t noticed.

And my favorite: the dining/library (when we had books here)/school/music room.  This was the bedroom of the original house, but we’ve always used it as living space, and I haven’t wanted to give that up for another bedroom.  We installed the laminate flooring ourselves specifically for good acoustics for my cello. (Carpet sucks up the sound.)  It looks so good, I almost want to go practice.  (And I should, I have another concert next weekend.)4-6-IMG_0460

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The boys are obsessed with playing chess lately, probably because this is the first time in forever the chess table has not had a pile of stuff on it.  And their other board games are in storage as they frequently remind me, as if I need reminding.

No yard pictures.  That’s still a work in progress and we need to tear down an unstable carport structure.  Beyond that we’re trying to decide how much more time, money, and effort we want to put into this property. Personally, I’m done.  I’m so ready to move on.  That’s the other big question: Where are we going?  We have no idea.  We need to get our equity out of this house and see where we end up financially.  Everything else is a big question mark right now.  I’m just trying to hold on to that rope!

Not Wordless Wednesday

April 9, 2015

It’s still Wednesday. Barely.

Notice anything new?

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I know, the rimless glasses are quite subtle.

With our gene pool, it’s amazing we’ve only got one in glasses so far.

Of course we have two in braces, or in the process at the moment.

Thank goodness for that HSA account.  And A’s straight teeth.

 

Penguins at the Symphony

March 19, 2015

Yesterday was the Day of Reckoning, otherwise known as Tuesday.  It’s the day (night, actually) when I go to symphony rehearsal and see how much all my practicing has paid off!

It’s concert week, and this one is a doozy!  It’s also our side-by-side concert where we invite local students to join us for one piece.  I’m not telling the little 8th-grade cellist who’s sitting next to me that I haven’t practiced that piece, which is  Finlandia, at all because the other music we’re playing has taken all of my time and energy.  It’s been several weeks of late night practices again.  Toddlers and practicing during daylight hours just don’t mix! Yet.  Hopefully one day I can practice while the sun’s still up again.

We’re playing Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, which is mostly ok except for the third movement, the infernal dance of the king something or other.  I don’t know the translation, but it’s infernal alright!  I’m getting closer to playing all of the notes up to tempo, but it’s been a challenge.

Then our final piece is Sinfonia Antartica by Ralph Vaughn Williams, which features some of the music he composed for a 1948 film about the ill-fated Scott expedition to Antarctica in 1912.  (He opted for the Italian spelling to match the word ‘Sinfonia.’  Our conductor says his spell-check gives him grief every time he types it out.)

It is a quite fascinating symphony and really does evoke images of Antarctica.  You can picture the vast barren landscape, and feel the cold.  We get to use the wind machine our percussionist made a few years ago for another concert.  And I’ll swear there are penguins in the second movement.  It’s quite cute and I can almost play it!  This has been a very difficult piece to learn.  Even when it’s in C Major, there is a sharp or flat on almost every note.  I get to the point where I can’t even hear a whole step sometimes.  The tonal center shifts around so much.

It has helped to erase a lot of the previous markings.  Sometimes our music comes to us clean, but sometimes it has a lot of fingerings from the previous player.  I always start with those if I can to save myself some time and effort figuring out fingerings, but this time around, it was easiest to just start over.  Some of the fingerings  were so bizarre.  You just think, “Really?  Of all the possibilities, those were the fingerings you went with??”  I can see why they wrote this helpful little note next to one heinous section:IMG_3325

Although with fingerings like those, I think you’d need more than good luck and a smiley face to get through it!  I think what I have now will work out much better.  I think. Unfortunately I don’t know for sure because I still didn’t quite have it last week and this was about the only page we didn’t get to this Tuesday night at rehearsal.  So I guess I’ll find out on Friday night if my practicing has been sufficient. Then the concert’s on Saturday night.

And then maybe I can get some more sleep.

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Anybody that is local and wants to come, it’s at Libby Gardner Hall, March 21, at 7:30 p.m.  I can get half-price tickets for you on Friday night if you let me know.

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