Category: Phoebe (page 1 of 25)

I hit publish before I wrote a title, so now, this is it. (Because I can’t think of anything else.)

The girls participated in the Ohio Music Teacher’s Association Ribbon Festival –  Julia for the ninth, Lucy for the fifth, and Phoebe for the first time.

You can see Julia and Lucy’s past performances here:

2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016

I love the Ribbon Festival and look forward to it every spring.  It is possible that this isn’t true, but in my memory, every Ribbon Festival Saturday has been sunny.  I’ve been watching many of the same students perform alongside my children for years and it’s inspiring to watch them grow.  It makes me hopeful for our world.  So long as we’re nourishing that part of ourselves that music speaks to, the part where it comes from when we make it, I think we can be okay.

Lucy was the first of my kids to perform, so she was the one to alert me to the fact that my camera was switched to photo not video which is why the beginning of her song is cut off!

Lucy plays Allegretto I at the 2017 Ribbon Festival

I think this is her best performance to date, which I always seem to be saying because she is getting better and better at managing her nerves while playing for people.  This is what the judge wrote:

Good steady playing.  Nice effort to make mp & mf differences – can you make the differences even bigger?  Your posture and hand position are very good, and your stage presence is excellent – beautiful bow!  Keep up the good work!

Phoebe had a rough first performance. Nevertheless, she persisted!

Phoebe plays Cuckoo at the 2017 Ribbon Festival

Phoebe has worked hard on Cuckoo. I was surprised to see her struggle so much.  But she was proud to have done it.  And Jack was proud of her, too.  Did you hear his “Bravo, Phoebe!” at the end of the video?  He’s her biggest fan.

Here’s what the judge shared with her:

Congratulations on your first Ribbon Festival!  I hope you will play in many more.  You did quite well in playing the right notes, and in getting the hands together.  You show good promise as a young pianist.  Be sure to play the piece several times from memory for your family and friends so you strengthen your memory of the music before you play it in public.  I look forward to hearing from you again.

Julia performed last and did just fine.

Julia plays Sonatina Op.55, No. 1 Vivace at the 2017 Ribbon Festival

The judge wrote this:

– Good p to f contrast at m. 8.  At m. 22 – can you give more sound when you start the sixteenth to show us that it’s a sequence of earlier material?

– Nice contrast in mood at m. 53

– Smooth passagework in sixteenths.  Can you bring out the top note of RH chords?

– Can you pull your hair back so we can see your face and make a more direct connection with your beautiful performance?

– Very well done – please keep up the good work!  Solid preparation.

I am so proud of my girls.

Julia, Lucy, and Phoebe at the 2017 Ribbon Festival

I love it when they play the piano.

Things look a little different.

It has been quiet here because I’ve been moving.  My Mommy’s Place had been down since Phoebe lost her first tooth.  Yes, Phoebe lost her first tooth!!!

Phoebe lost her first tooth!

I’d wanted to tell you about it when it happened, but my blog wasn’t functional.  I tried to fix it, but it came down to a server problem only my web host could solve and they were like, “yeah, yeah, yeah, when we have a minute” so, after more than a decade, I finally moved.   I’d had “move to a new web host” on my to-do list for years.  I knew it was something I needed to do, but it seemed like  a daunting task, and it really was since I waited until my blog wasn’t working to do it.   My admin panel was inaccessible and I had to move it using phpMyAdmin and I was so afraid of LOSING IT ALL and the bottom line is, I have a new host for all of my posts, but sadly none of my comments.  They didn’t make it.  A version of them exists in two SQL files on my hard drive, so maybe one day  they will return, but most likely not.  “Restore my comments” is the new “move to a new web host.”

It’s kind of nice here, though, isn’t it?  I still have some work to do, but I like it.

Christmas Eve 2016

Christmas Eve

Warm Fuzzies

The girls have been on Christmas break from school all week and it has been wonderful. We’ve had plenty of time for making cookies, watching Christmas shows, playing games and just being together. I love the pace of life on break. The kids have been playing together – all of them, even Julia, which is glorious for the younger kids as they have missed her so much lately. As the world opens up to her, she’s spending more time in it. She is growing up. Lucy had told me that even Julia’s bedroom feels far away from the rest of the house and I knew just what she meant.

Sleepover

Julia invited them to have a sleepover in her room the night before last. We blew up the air mattress and they all piled into the Big Kid Room and felt very special. They don’t remember sharing a room with her so much anymore. I sat in there with them to ask our three questions (What do you need help with? What are you thankful for? What made you say “wow” today? An idea inspired by this post at Left Brain Buddha.) and do a Dr. Puff Meditation (Oh, how we love Dr. Puff.). As the giggles faded and their breathing got deep, I realized that the time these kids have under the same roof like this is slipping away fast. Julia is twelve and a half. They have less than six years before the big sister goes off to college. (Oh, please, please let her go to college.) I just feel so grateful for this Christmas break.

I am also thankful for our Mabel and Dipper.

Jack and Mabel

Dipper sleeping on the couch

The last thing I thought we needed were more cats.

Happy little Dipper

I was wrong.

Use props to take fun Christmas pictures.

Ho Ho Ho Dave

Julia with a moustache

Santa Lucy

Candy Cane Cutie Phoebe

Distinguished Jack

Christmas prop picture

Dipper the red--nosed reinderr

Messy! Messy! Messy! (Said in the voice of Professor Hinkle in Frosty the Snowman)

We’ve been making some form of edible Christmas house during the holidays for many, many years. Usually, I post a photo of the kids smiling with their finished products after I’ve cleaned up the mess, like this. But this year, Lucy pulled out her Hulk hands and smashed hers out of frustration because I guess I should have made royal icing instead of buttercream for building. (Why did I make buttercream?) And Julia felt her Mystery Shack wasn’t photo worthy either, so instead, allow me to show you what the process looks like.

Graham cracker houses in process

Making graham crack houses

It looks messy.

The house that Jack built (with his mom)

The Christmas countdown is nearly over. Since I last wrote to you we’ve Elf-ed Ourselves (on paper, not digitally), played Chrstmas Bingo and charades, opened a present (Christmas shirts!), made magic reindeer food for Christmas Eve, played Christmas Mad Libs, had a paper snowball fight, made ornaments for the tree, and we played a reindeer game with some friends.

Reindeer games

How about them antlers?

Kids Without Hats (The Opposite of Safety Dance)

We had our first substantial snow of the season yesterday. It was a bit of a surprise. The kids were dismissed from school an hour early. I was already there helping with the Santa Shop and I had no idea it was snowing at all until they announced school was closing. The kids were tha-rilled. Once we got home, they didn’t even bother with boots or hats, they just jumped out of the van* and went straight to snowball fighting and snowmaning.

The kids and their snowman

Lucy puts a nose on the snowman

Jack

*I have a new van. Dave hit a deer on his way to work one night in November. Neither the car nor the deer survived.

Dave's car met a deer

So for a few days my van pulled double duty, getting Dave to work and kids to school and it was just too much for Vanessa. Her engine was already on its last legs. I’d been babying her in hopes that she’d hang on until spring. She didn’t. We lived with a rental car – a brand new 2017 Dodge Caravan we named The Super Mega Ultra Ninja Go Machine – for two weeks while we looked to replace two vehicles for less than $8,000. Dave and I are still congratulating each other on that accomplishment. He found himself a Ford Focus and I now have a white Pontiac Montana I call Joe.

Today, the kids have a snow day. Tomorrow it’s back to school for two days and then, CHRISTMAS VACATION BEGINS. I’m just a little bit excited about it.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Dipper is the most adorable kitten in the entire world.

Dipper

He is happiest when he is touching another living thing, so if we aren’t actively holding or petting him, he will scale the most accessible pant leg and find a place to get cozy and nap.

Dave and Dipper

He doesn’t mind if you’ve got stuff to do. He’ll go along.

The cat on his shoulder

And because he owns our hearts, we will walk around bent at a 90 degree angle to let him. In fact, he is perched on my left boob as I type to you.

It’s December and we’ve been doing Christmas things. Julia, Phoebe and Jack danced in our dance studio Christmas show, or shows. There were three. Julia was in all of them. Bee was in one and Jack was in a different one. The girls were snowmen.

Phoebe and Julia after their Christmas show

Jack was a Nutracker bon bon and I would love to show you video of that, but they asked us not to take video of the show and though I did it anyway (like at least six other people sitting in front of me), I figure I probably shouldn’t post it if we weren’t supposed to be doing it, even though you know someone probably put theirs on Facebook. What I can show you is the requisite after show shot.

Jack and Julia after their Christmas Show

(I love Julia’s hair like that. She normally wears bangs that nearly cover her eyes and the only reason she isn’t wearing them like that here is because this was the required hairstyle for her performance. I love seeing her face and asked her if she might like to wear her hair like that more often. She said NO.)

We’re already a third of the way through our Christmas countdown. This year, it looks like this (with a cute guy standing by).

Christmas Countdown 2016

Each box contains a candy treat for each kid, a slip of paper with an activity to do, and an envelope with instructions and Lego pieces to add to the scene we’re creating. (You can see the Lego scene over the cute guy’s shoulder.) The Santa sack is packed with wrapped Christmas books – we open and read one each day. And finally, there’s the Santa beard cotton ball countdown. So far, our activities have included hanging candy canes on the Christmas tree, drinking hot cocoa while wearing whipped cream Santa beards, a trip to the Festival of Lights at Oglebay –

Sidebar: Look! Thanks to the kindness of a stranger, we actually got a family picture while at Oglebay! And I am sharing it even though I am fat! What!?!

At Oglebay's Festival of Lights

Now, back to the list.

– making paper snowflakes, making red and green paper chains, opening a surprise snowball, visiting the Christmas store and choosing a family ornament, enjoying warm sugar cookies and eggnog, and tonight, we will be going to see a live Nativity scene.

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We’ve been making a Thankful Tree at Thanksgiving for seven years now. Usually, we make it from paper and stick it to the wall (like this). This year, we tried something new.

Thankful Tree

We used branches that had fallen from the trees in our yard and cut out cardstock leaves with the things we are thankful for written on them. You don’t need to read mine – they are right here, in person.

The kids and our Thankful Tree

It’s Halloween!

We carved some of our surprise pumpkins today.

Our pumpkins

We’d done our trick or treating on Friday, right after Lucy had her first day of crossing guard duty at school.

Lucy's Day as a Crossing Guard

She was so proud and excited to do it!

Our town offers trick or treat twice – once for businesses and once for residents to give out candy. We went for business trick or treat since we’d be missing the residential trick or treat for state marching band finals (where our band earned a superior rating – the best you can get!).

The kids in their costumes, take two

Lucy dressed as a butterfly.

Lucy the Butterfly

Lucy's colorful wings

Phoebe was a dragon.

Phoebe the Dragon

Julia was a Hogwart’s student. (She made her own wand.)

Julia the Ravenclaw

And Jackson was Spiderman.

Spiderman

Spiderman

(He was really into the posing.)

Does whatever a spider can

I’ve had a cold for more than two weeks, but let’s not let it ruin anything.

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