Vacation began, officially, yesterday after Julia’s last day of school.
Check out what pure joy looks like.*
I made the balloon wreath that’s also a game from The 36th Avenue and hung it from the door to welcome her home.
You see, there’s a piece of paper inside each balloon with either a number or a letter T printed on it, and one with a smiley face on it.
The plan was to take it to the back yard, but it was so cold and windy yesterday, we decided to bring it inside. Dave found the box our T.V. came in and hung the wreath from it and we handed the kids some darts.
They all took turns throwing their dart to try and pop the balloons.
(We let Phoebe stand a little closer.)
And when they did, they got to pull pieces of candy from a big bowl according to the number on the paper that was inside it. If they got a T, they took another turn. If they got the smiley face, they got a big pack of Twizzlers. Because Twizzlers in our house are like cigarettes in prison.
It was super fun.
Then we – all of us, even me – headed off to Lucy’s first t-ball game, which they won.
You guys, this is going to be a great summer.
*Can you name the movie that line is from?
She can’t stop singing that earworm.
I just love this picture.
I had to share it with you, along with the fact that I’ve managed to get showered two days in a row which means I may be getting my still-swollen (seriously, they look like turtle feet) feet back under me.
Meanwhile, this is happening.
And also there’s this.
How are you doing?
Dave gave me an INCREDIBLE new camera that I haven’t quite learned to use, yet. It’s so smart! There are so many settings! Shutter speed. Aperture. ISO. Dynamic Range. I don’t have a clue about any of it as evidenced by this picture I took of Julia and Lucy at The Ohio Music Teacher’s Association Ribbon Festival last Saturday.
(And yeah, that was the best one.)
If it weren’t blurry, you could see that Lucy is holding a First Year ribbon and Julia, a Fifth Year ribbon.
I did, however, capture some video that turned out alright.
Lucy was the first in her group to perform. She played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Variations D and C by Shinichi Suzuki. She started out so strong, it seemed she was on her way to a flawless performance. And she wanted to turn in a flawless performance, which is why she started over after that first little finger slip. I sat there, willing her to look at me so I could do our just-keep-swimming fish motion with my hand, but she already knew that’s what she needed to do and she did. She kept going.
(You can’t see it on the video, but the blonde boy you can catch a glimpse of in the audience on the right of the screen was giving her all kinds of encouragement – big smiles, head nods, thumbs up. I loved him for that.)
She was so pleased and proud when she finished, and so was I. She’s worked so very hard at piano.
Here’s what the judge wrote to her:
Congratulations on your first Ribbon Festival! Good job on both the Twinkle variations! What piece do you think you will be playing for your second ribbon next year? Practice a lot and who knows! Keep up the good work and the very best to you!
Julia was up next. She played A Short Story by Heinrich Lichner. Of all the songs she’s learned, it is my favorite.
She had a couple stumbles, but pulled off a decent performance overall. She’d had a tendency to plow through this song, gaining speed with every measure, so she spent a lot of time practicing with a metronome to learn to keep it steady. She was very pleased that the judge commented on that:
This was a very nice performance! You seemed very confident and your memory was solid. The tempo you took was appropriate and you kept it nice and steady throughout. There was just one slight slip. It would be nice if you could play the left hand bass pattern a little softer than the right hand melody. Thanks for playing today.
We celebrated with dinner at Denny’s – and dessert, too. And later, a squishy bath.
(Okay, it’s supposed to be “Squishy Baff,” but saying or even typing “Baff” makes me throw up in my mouth a little.)
The pictures are getting better, though.
Am I right?