Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cannon Turns Seven

Cannon does "Blue Steel".
Happy birthday to one of the most wildly entertaining people I've ever met.  He is now seven years old, but seems much older.  A couple of weeks ago he and I stayed home from church because both he and Peter were not feeling well.  We had a little photo shoot.
He is very in touch with his emotions.  Can someone get this kid an agent?
He loves to learn about science-- here are a few "Science Facts" he wrote while reading a science book.
Good stuff.
And being the Renaissance Man that he is, he also sings.  This was a couple of months ago.

Here's a story.  Faith purchased these squirt guns with her own money for Cannon for his birthday.  I know it's not really polite to say how much a gift cost, but these were about eight guns for less than three dollars.  But this is the reaction he gave.
 Next he opened this gift from Abe and I.  And I quote, "Oh, a Zombie Strike gun...well, hooray."
I thought it would be a bigger hit than it was.  At one point I think I heard him say it was lame.  I questioned him and he said, "No, Mom, it's (air quotes) "Lame".  That means it's not lame.
It's what he wanted.  I think my children just ask for a remote control something when they don't know what to ask for.  Perhaps I should direct their attentions elsewhere.
One of the absolute worst renditions of "Happy Birthday" ever.  Truthfully, I don't think we even finished the song.  The song just died a slow, horrible, moaning death.
It was so bad, that I demanded a do-over, in nice voices.  That turned somewhat operatic.  However, it was an improvement.
Elinor spent a long time today making him a camoflauge cake.  It was quite the work of art.
How blessed we are to have Cannon in our lives.  Happy birthday to the Happy Chappy.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Please, Allow Me a Moment

Bethany received some very good news today and we are so very, very proud of her. 
Earlier this week she auditioned for the Lyceum Philharmonic Orchestra. For the last two years she has been a part of two of the Lyceum preparatory orchestras-- first it was the Chamber Ensemble and then this year she was thrilled to make it into Symphonic Strings.  All of the orchestras rehearse Wednesday afternoons at American Heritage School in American Fork.

For the Philharmonic Orchestra you must be in 9-12 grade (Bethany will be in 9th grade this fall).  We've heard this group play before and they are FANTASTIC!   Here is a link to see some of the crazy awesome artists they've performed or recorded with.

We knew auditions were coming up, and although we really doubted she would be able to make it in this year, we figured the audition itself would be a good experience to help her prepare for next year.  Bethany worked so hard to get ready for the audition.  The quality of the recording leaves much to be desired, here she is playing her piece the night before. 

This evening we received the email we were hoping for, letting us know that SHE MADE IT IN!  She is so happy and we are so happy for her.  It will be a very big commitment and she may be a little out of her league at first, but I am sure she will rise to the challenge and continue to grow as a musician.
Here is Bethany with her first little violin when she was about 4 1/2 years old.  There is something to be said for sticking with something and practicing every day...
 Congratulations, Bethany.  I hope it's been worth all those salty, tear-stains on your violin over the years!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Well, That Was Really Embarrassing

I don't remember what happened today.  I think it was a good day.  But I am distracted by this evening's events.  One horrible, excruciatingly embarrassing moment I would like to forget, but instead will record for all my posterity and the world to cringe along with me.  Here's the background.

Peter has been sick and as I have already made clear to everyone who has spoken with me since Peter's birth, he's not really a "go with the flow" kind of baby.  High-strung, high-maintenance, high-need, blah, blah, blah.  Well, when he is sick, he's worse--- by a lot.  So the sleeping, eating, throwing up and general fussiness we normally try to manage, becomes rather unmanageable.  Blah, blah, blah, more complaining.  I annoy myself.

*Peter, when you read this in the future, know that I love you and Dad and I have every confidence that you are here on this earth to do great things.  Your strong personality and determination will be a blessing to you and many others. They are, however, challenging baby traits*

So, although I didn't think he had an ear infection, I decided to take him to the Dr. just to make sure.   I just had time to take him in and then make it to Faith's gymnastics recital this evening.  The visit was short and sweet-- no ear infection, but a fairly red, sore throat.  I had a bit of time left so I decided to go visit my Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Tony, who live just down the street from Corner Canyon High School.  That was lovely.  I'm glad there are some lovely moments to this story.

We find seats in the crowd-- just Abe, Peter and I (Faith was sitting with the performers) and the show starts.  It's a patriotic theme.  That was lovely.  The music is lively and Abe is bouncing Peter on his knee.  Next thing we know, projectile VOMIT  onto two darling tween girls sitting in front of us.  All over their clothes.
OH, HECK NO!  That did not just happen!  Besides helping them clean, offering them a lifetime's supply of baby wipes, what is to be done?  Nothing.  I know very well there is nothing to be done.  Apologize?  Offer your first born child?  They wouldn't want one of your puking children anyway.
One of the girls was practically in tears.  I don't blame her, I was too.  Awful.  That one hour recital could not end soon enough.  
 On a bright note, Faith did very well and finally performed her round-off-back-hand-spring-back-tuck that she's been working so hard on.  Here's the video (she is usually 5th in from the left, with a big dark bun).

 But it wasn't worth the HORROR we endured.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Spring Homeschool Reboot

After a very busy first few months of this year, we have spent the month of May rededicating ourselves to our homeschool studies.  We had gotten side tracked too frequently, and in the hopes that we might enjoy some semblance of a summer break, we have really been working hard to finish up by the end of the month.  In addition, my wheels are turning as I formulate the plan for next year's home school.
A girl's night out with a few local homeschooling moms, both newbies and veterans, was very helpful for swapping ideas and inspiration for next year.  The best idea I took away from the evening was earplugs.  How had I not thought of that before?  Earplugs for kids to wear while they work so they are less distracted by surrounding noise and less tempted to add to the noise themselves. 

But here is something I have been putting together in my mind for several months.  And then a few nights ago I was rather fed up with life, so I ran away from home and didn't come back until I'd found all the parts I needed to put it together.

Behold... The School Board.
Each child as a color of magnets (we call them buttons) with all their subjects painted on.  They move the ones they need to complete each day to the center and when they are done, they move them to the far right column. 
So simple.  So effective.  I don't know why I didn't figure this out sooner.  The bottom row is for a bonus if someone does something particularly kind, thoughtful or unexpectedly helpful. 
  At the top there is a space for writing "The Plan of the Day".  This satisfies those in the family who religiously ask the plan of the day each and every day.  The kids are having fun writing strange names for themselves on the left.
I am quite pleased with how it turned out and it has been the shot in the arm we needed to plow through to the end of the school year.  Who knew moving little magnets around on a white board could be so inspirational?
  As the plan of the day suggested, we did go to the Payson Temple open house and my goodness!  It was breathtakingly beautiful.  It was wonderful to get to be all together in a temple.  I told the children that a dream/goal of mine is to have Abe and all of the children go to the temple together when Peter goes through the temple for the first time before his mission.  Wherever in the world they live, they must drive or fly home for the weekend, so we can be together. That's what I'm working towards-- that is my vision of what I want for my family.  Going to this open house was like a little preview, or taste, of hoped-for, wonderful blessings to come.
These are excited children.  They are so excited bouncing up and down that the camera can't even capture a clear shot.  And why are they so excited?
Because their father spoils them by letting them buy ice cream from the creepy ice cream truck driving around the neighborhood.  I tried to protest.  My practicality forbids spending on one ice cream treat what you can get a whole box for at the Wal-Mart.  But Abe is too nice.  He insisted that the children must have the experience once in their lives of buying ice cream from a creepy ice cream man. 
I really think they could have been just fine in life without that experience, but now they have one more reason to think Abe is more fun than me.  And they are right.  And I am grateful they have such a nice daddy 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Oh, Grow Up!

Do you know what I think is fun?  Adults acting like children when there are no children around.
Sometimes it is just so exhausting being the responsible adult all the time.
Andrea's birthday party was tasty dinner followed by laser gun battles throughout her rather sizable home.  Yes, it was as much fun as you might imagine.
In our house a laser gun battle is fast and furious.  In a space this large, it's more like laser guns meets hide and seek.  And it's kind of freaky.  By the third round I just hid. 
This won't come as news to anyone, but Abe is so much fun to play with.  If you want to have a great party-- invite Abe!  
A very enjoyable evening with very enjoyable friends.

Alas, the fun and games did come to an end.
But look what glories awaited me at home--
Life's responsibilities have some perks.
Is there anything more beautiful than sleeping children?
Yet another reason why separate bedrooms, much less separate beds, are not necessary for children. 
This beautiful robin's nest is in a tree in our backyard.  The robin is understandable very territorial and squawks at backyard intruders.  I don't know how long robins live, but I do wonder if "The Angry Bird" of a couple of summers ago has returned.  
A friend and I trade piano lessons for one of her children for sewing lessons for Faith.  At Faith's last lesson she sewed this bag for George.  She had previously  made one similar for herself and he really wanted one.  And as I've mentioned, George really treasures his belongings and collects as many treasures as he can.  He was so happy to get this bag made especially for him.
Bethany had her final orchestra concert of the year this past week.  Here is a  three minute video of their finale.  Makes me feel like eating some beef!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

Today was a lovely, low-key, happy Mother's Day.  I am so very thankful to get to spend my days and life with these people.
Abe made his Sunday special-- ham and cheese omlets for the family.  My favorite!
Abe and the kids got me very large cards for Mother's Day this year.  Very considerate of my poor vision.
Grandma and Grandpa Cannon joined us for a Mother's Day dinner and games. 
They are enjoying their mission in the Church office building downtown.  They may be getting older, but they aren't showing many signs of slowing down.
A Mother's Day picture of Bev and me.
Thanks to my family for the hugs, letters, kind words and love.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Play Ball!

Faith is a hardworking little lady.  She had an idea, made a plan, and put it into action. 
She organized a big softball game with lots of kids in the neighborhood-- all ages and abilities.  She wrote up adorable invitations and delivered them herself.
I was sure at least a few kids would show up, but there were over twenty kids there. 
Bethany was the oldest player.
I do so love him.
I was so proud of her, taking such initiative.

I love our neighborhood and am so grateful for the good people we are surrounded by.
Nicely done, Faith!