Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christopher is 16!


Now that Christopher is 16, he should be able to figure out
one of life's most challenging questions…


…Where is that music coming from when I open the card?

Happy 16, Christopher!
We love you!!!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sibling Photo Shoot

One of the reasons I'm not entirely sane any more is
the attempting of a sibling photo shoot.

Can anyone else out there relate to the following?


This attempt number 31…..

Thankfully we did get one good one.  Did you get that?  ONE
I now have a nervous tic, but it's done.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Jonathan's Birthday

So, being a little behind doesn't even come close to adequately
describing where I am right now…totally overwhelmed probably
comes a bit closer.    For the first time I wasn't even able to get a 
birthday post done in a reasonable time.  Blah!!!!

It is no less significant though!
Jonathan had a great 21st birthday and we
were all able to celebrate  together on the Sunday following.


A team effort got all 21 candles lit before the wax
started dripping and ….


…being a good brass player, Jonathan blew them
all out and also blew a considerable amount of wax 
on the top of his pie :)

Happy 21st birthday Jonathan!!!
We love you!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Costume Recital Prep

The ladies have a costume recital each fall in their studio
which the students seem to really enjoy.  This year, however,
it was requested that the teachers join in and wear costumes too.
This instantly meant that Miss Emily would have some more
work to do :)


Emily is the one who made all the costumes.


Here, she is getting close to finishing Kristin's.


They all turned out well and I'm sure she's thankful to
have the job complete!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Playing for the Preschool

We finally found a time when most of us could play
for the preschoolers--not an easy task.  I finally gave up
on the idea that we would all be there.
We were able to have a quick rehearsal
before the kiddos came...


…then the teachers brought the children in.  They were so
well behaved and listened so well!
It makes playing for them so fun and worth the practice and
instrument hauling. 


Friday, October 14, 2016

More Equipment Repairs

Christopher has been having a great time getting to 
know our outdoor equipment a lot better :)




This time it was time for some service since the machine wouldn't keep running.  Ultimately only a carburetor clean-out was necessary which meant it only cost us a $4 can of carburetor cleaner and some elbow grease.   Not bad!





All fixed and ready to go!  
Now we can get things spruced up before winter :)
   

Monday, October 10, 2016

A Fun Celebration Day

We had a really fun celebration day on Sunday.  After worship we ate a hurried lunch and headed out to the falls for a brisk hike on a beautiful day.  The only unpleasantness was the amount of mud on the trails. We brought home a good bit too : (  Thankfully Emily had made Helena's "Frozen" cake Saturday night since there is no way we ever would have had time on Sunday.  It turned out pretty cute too!








Since this was her twelfth birthday, Helena got some
special gifts she was particularly excited about.
Can you tell she likes new clothes?

Friday, October 7, 2016

Happy Birthday, Helena!


Today is Helena's 12th birthday!  Since we're not officially celebrating till Sunday evening, Jonathan took her out for a special birthday treat.  Bigby is a favorite spot for treats so that's where they went.  Big brothers are great!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Preparing for the Preschool

It's that time of year again--time to play for the preschool at church.


This year James gets to join us and he is pretty excited about it.
Now, the logistics of trying to get everyone's schedules to agree
about when we can go :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

James's Book 1 Recital

Right before we began the semester this fall, James
completed Suzuki Book 1 and was able to have his recital.

His teacher Kristin made it fun with a story which had each
piece fit neatly in. It was the perfect "boy" story complete
with aliens and space adventure :)


The audience didn't find the story quite as interesting as James.
It was a warm day and we had lots of sleepy people--even Grandma!




Ta-dah! All finished and a nice bow too :)


James is now working his way through book 2 and has even joined the 
family orchestra on a few pieces we're working on.
He is very excited about that!



Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Happy 23, Kristin!




So…Kristin turned 23 today!  We celebrated on Sunday so everyone could be there with her.

This year she chose to have sundaes as her special birthday treat, and I think everyone enjoyed the change.  It did make blowing out the candles interesting, though.  They wanted to fall over and one didn't want to be blown out :)




Kristin found this fun shirt a couple of months ago.
It is so appropriate for her!  She is a truly wonderful accompanist.
I've witnessed her make many a save for musicians who suddenly
got lost or didn't count correctly.  So if any one is in need……

Happy Birthday Kristin!!!
We love you!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Little Pumpkins and Big Apples

This was an amazing year for our garden.  Once again we planted
quite late, but we were blessed with such a beautiful summer that
we harvested an amazing amount.


Our pumpkins which in years past have struggled to ripen due to
cool temps and lots of rain, did very well and I have a nice pile on 
the kitchen counter waiting to bake.

Finally, our apple tree which I had threatened to cut down if it
didn't produce this year, yielded about two dozen beautiful, large
honey crisp apples!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Benjamin Meets John

Maybe I should have titled this post "Benjamin Repairs John".
Oh well.  As usual our much-used tractor is needing attention
and this time Benjamin got to attend to it :)

It's a real bummer when you are driving the tractor and then
you realize the mower attachment isn't working.


So…first you have to take off the trashed blades…not fun.


Then you have to replace the spindle. 
(I have no idea what this does, but apparently it's important)

(You also have to wait for the parts you ordered to arrive.)  Meanwhile our grass is growing and growing and growing and growing and growing…..




Finally, Benjamin got to put the mower attachment back on and…


...we were back in business!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Christopher's Completed Projects

Christopher got his summer projects completed just before
school began this fall.  He isn't exactly fond of woodworking, 
but those were his projects this year.


This one pretty much sums up how he feels about
this particular project :)

First he worked on some wood trim pieces to cover up the heatilator on our basement fireplace which isn't usable.






His other project was a small, wall bookshelf to hold
woodworking magazines.


Assembly is almost complete.


Now begins the fun part…staining and finishing.

Using water-based products can be really tricky.  They like to leave bubbles if you don't know what you're doing.  It's great to have a dad around who can show you some tricks so as to ensure a good finished product.









…ever the enthusiastic student :)

Close to being done!












Feeling good!  It's time to hang it on the wall!


Can you believe it?  Dad wants it to be level too!  :)

Now the fun part of hanging the little wood panels.
This is where the saying "You can never have too many clamps"
really plays out.



The finished product!  
All the pieces have been stained to match the oak mantel.
No, Christopher had nothing to do with the other large pieces--
that would be my own master woodworker.  
I'm keeping him!