Monday, July 16, 2018

Front Porch Fix

In keeping with the saga of our apparently dilapidated house, here is the story of our front porch.  At the beginning of last summer, the mortar began cracking around the base of our front porch causing the bricks to eventually fall off.  Next came the spalling on the surface cement.  This was definitely not a job we wanted to tackle DIY so we got a bid for the job from a local contractor.  Unfortunately, he was unable to get the job done before it started snowing, so we asked if we could please be his first job in the spring.

The first step was to jackhammer all the old cement out and get the area prepped for pouring.  Talk about a racket!  Our entire house was vibrating for hours, and the noise made practicing nearly impossible since the music room is just inside the front door.  The whole process took nearly six hours, but it was fun to watch :)

It was such good news to hear, "The cement truck is here!"  I'm always a fan of the part of a project where things start getting put back together.  This one was especially fun since we didn't have to do it :)

It took two pours to complete the porch area, and we were so happy with how it turned out.

The final pour was for the step and sidewalk.  This final step was done the day before we left for vacation so it still needed to cure.  We left it with it all fenced off, and returned to a finished job.  Yay!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Another Birthday--New Baker

Immediately following Andrew's graduation
and preceding our vacation was Benjamin's
16th birthday!  Since we have a serious lack
of bakers in our home now, Helena is the new
baker in residence :)   Her first birthday cake
was a dairy-free, chocolate chip cheesecake--yum!

Not bad for a first attempt!

It was really delicious!  I should note that the Coco Whip which we used on top is delicious, but should not be used on anything which is even slightly warm.  It quickly began to melt and run down the sides.  Blah!

Just had to fit this picture in here
since we are missing him so much :(

I guess I could caption this a super sixteen shirt, or
just say that we hope you had a super birthday!
Happy Birthday Benjamin
We love you!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Graduation Day 2018

It's hard to believe that Graduation Day has come and gone for 2018.  We will be having a graduation for three straight years so I guess we'll have to get used to it.  Andrew especially enjoyed some of his senior classes this year since they were favored subjects.  It's always interesting to see what each one takes a liking to and for Andrew it was Government and Omnibus.

Getting that diploma that certifies you have finished your studies is always a relief.  Now all he has to do is to figure out what path to take next--not always an easy task.

Andrew's graduation party was a quiet, family affair.  I tried to make it special for him with a dinner of treats--it was really yummy :)

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mother's Day 2018

Sweet Kristin made the most delicious lemon custard
dessert for lunch after church.  It was so good!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Spring Recital 2018

I've seen some students not be nervous before a recital, but James was so relaxed for this one that it just made me laugh.  Of course, the comfy chairs probably helped :)

Helena and Benjamin show just a bit more tension, and a lot more concentration.

After all the students had played their pieces, it was time to present the trophies!
Each year, several of the students in the ladies' studio participate in MMTA achievement testing.
This is a rather rigorous program that tests students on their aural awareness skills, technique, music theory, and performance.  Any student receiving high enough scores two years in a row receives a trophy!

This year Helena earned two trophies!
She got one for flute and one for piano :)
What a great accomplishment!

Monday, June 11, 2018

A Yummy Dessert and the Family Pet

After watching a cooking show on the FOOD network, Benjamin was determined to try making a rolled cake.  Kristin was gracious enough to help him with this endeavor and we were happy to help him eat it when it was done :)

I think the consensus was "never again", but it was quite tasty.

This lovely critter started hanging around our backyard patio for so long that we named him.  Well everyone, meet "William the Fearless".  We tried everything to convince William that our backyard was not his hangout spot, but he was not startled by anything until he heard one of us cough.  Apparently in the life of a skunk, a cough is much to be feared.  William stayed with us for several weeks until the lure of the open road was too much for him.  Alas, William's mother never taught him to look both ways before crossing........

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Matthew is 21!

Matthew turned 21 on his birthday so Kristin made hime a special cake.  This year she decorated with the closest she could get to an anchor since he has enlisted in the Navy.  We get to have him with us for a couple more weeks and then won't get to see him again till after his graduation from boot camp.

I think Kristin was imagining all the candle wax we were going to be eating due to Matthew's technique.

This is pretty normal when someone is opening gifts on their birthday at our house--we all crowd around to get closer to the action :)


This is probably one of the best pictures I have had taken with Matthew.  Please ignore the glare on my glasses, and the frizzy hair :/