Category: Videos (page 2 of 15)

Laughing so hard it no longer makes a sound.

Dave showed me this video and I was like, “Huh?” We watched it again with the kids and I laughed. Now, countless views later, we sing and quote it like it’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail or something.

“That log had a child.”

Oh, let’s watch it again.

Sometimes picking the title is the hardest part.

I rolled up to school drop off with my van looking like this.

Driving Purple Poopmobile

We call it our one-eyed, one-horned driving purple poopmobile! It happens each fall that the birds start eating berries and hitting the van with purple bombs. I will wash it today and it will look like that again tomorrow, but people don’t know that and it mostly looks like I just don’t care! This is what happens when you park under a shady tree. I should clean out my garage and park there instead. It’s on my to-do list after clearing the stairway into the attic. I don’t really want to do either of those things. They are things that would make my life easier once I do them, but not so much easier that I’m all that motivated to get on it. There are so many other things I could do!

We have a six year old in the house again.

Phoebe is 6!

Happy Birthday to Bee!

Blowing out the candle

She’s still young enough to get away with running around in nothing but her underwear. The best thing she got for her a birthday? A hungry kitten she and her sister found. The kitten doesn’t belong to any of the neighbors and it’s beginning to look like she belongs to us.

Phoebe and her kitten

Kitten love

Phoebe named her Mabel.

Sweet Mabel

Adorable Mabel

She’s adorable and I can’t even try to pretend that I don’t already love her to pieces.

Julia participated in her first marching band competition over the weekend. When we shared with people that Julia was joining the marching band, more than five people said, “Oh, they win everything.” And they do. They did! Someone incredible made an awesome recap video.

Yes, that’s Julia licking the Best Percussion trophy at the 1:04 mark. She said it tasted like victory.

Vacation, all I ever wanted.

This is what Phoebe looked like yesterday – her last day of preschool.

Phoebe, on the last day of preschool

A few hours later, she graduated.

Preschool graduate

Phoebe graduates from preschool

Phoebe with her preschool teachers, Miss Heather and Miss Jen

After Julia and Lucy’s last day of school today, we celebrated the start of summer vacation with the old balloon wreath dart game, per usual.

Welcome to Summer Vacation

Balloon wreath dart game

Jackson won a whoopie cushion and it looks like we’ll be entertained all night.

Whoopie Cushion

Keep Calm and Play the Piano

Julia and Lucy had their year-end piano recital earlier this month. Everyone calls it The Cookie Recital because parents bring cookies to share after the performances which I love because baking cookies is my jam. I long for that feeling when someone chooses my cookie from the tray, takes a bite and exclaims, “Oh! These are delicious! Who made these?” (It has happened before!) Or at least finding that at the end of the event, none of my cookies are leftover? Yeah. I like that. But there was none of it this year because the glass in my (brand new!) oven door was broken by a flying step stool, so I had to take: *hangs head low and whispers* store bought cookies. Now, no one ever really knows who brought which cookies and it truly does not matter to anyone if they are homemade or store bought. As long as they aren’t poisoned or stolen, people are alright. But the shame I felt about those cookies was real. The fact that this is a ridiculous reason to feel shame makes it all the more shameful. These are the things I think about while I eat Little Debbie Salted Caramel Cookie Bars in my closet! I will tell you this, though: all of my store bought cookies were eaten.

The girls have had a great year with Ms. Winn. We love her. She is a wonderful teacher. Our hearts were broken when Mr. Palmer retired. I worried that the transition to a new teacher would be tough, but Ms. Winn made it an exciting opportunity. Julia and Lucy have made a lot of progress this year, thanks to Ms. Winn.

Julia, Ms. Winn, and Lucy

Lucy was the first performer at the recital. She played Long, Long Ago by Bayly and did a lovely job. She started to lose her way in the middle, but pulled it together without having to go back to the beginning or repeat a whole section which is a testament to how much she is growing musically. She has a better grasp of her music and I’m so proud of her.

Julia played Minuet in G Minor by Petzold.

She was disappointed in her performance because it was not her best. She was worried that she’d let me down, too. She wasn’t the only great performer to flub their piece. It happens. I still love hearing her play. I’m not sure she realizes that she cannot ever disappoint me by playing the piano.

Phoebe kept calling it The Barn instead of The Farm.

Last week, my mom and Jack and I accompanied Phoebe on her preschool field trip to The Farm at Walnut Creek. We had a great time feeding all sorts of animals, many with amazing tongues.

Phoebe feeds an animal with the largest tongue we saw all day

You can see more pictures here. I wish I had gotten one of Jack feeding the giraffes because he was so excited to do it. He told me about it, though.

Way big giraffe

I took all the photos with my phone. I haven’t carried my big camera in a while, which I feel guilty and sad about because 1) I have a pretty great camera and 2) I haven’t put as much effort into taking pictures, lately. The camera on my phone is so quick and convenient! And life moves so fast! I also need new rechargeable batteries.

Phoebe’s Funhouse

Phoebe loves to watch Hailey’s Magical Playhouse on YouTube. I can’t remember how we discovered it, but it has been her favorite thing to watch ever since. She wants to watch it all the time! ALL. THE. TIME. So, when she asked if she could make her own videos, I said YES! YES! I thought it seemed like a lot more fun than just watching videos or hearing me say no when she repeatedly asked to watch more videos. Here’s her first one. She’s very proud of it.

Musical

May began with Julia’s Spring Band Concert.

She’s the first drummer on the left, except for the last song in which she is the bass drum player on the right.

She loves band. She’s been practicing with the high school marching band after school, learning the marimba and playing the synthesizer. She’s also been writing music.

Julia's original music CD

Earlier this year, she put together a couple songs and gave them to her school principal along with a letter asking her to consider playing one or both of them at the school Valentine’s dance, which she did.

She told me she wants to be a composer. I told her she already is.

“Beautiful Tone, Beautiful Heart” – Shinichi Suzuki

We’ve been a part of the Ohio Music Teacher’s Association Ribbon Festival for two presidential terms. I can prove it with these links!

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

Julia played in her first Ribbon Festival the year President Obama took office. Lucy played in her first and (Julia played in her fifth) when he started his second term. It’s President Obama’s last year in the White House. I don’t know who our president will be next year, but I’m thinking a lot about that and also the fact that next year should hopefully, finally, be Phoebe’s first Ribbon Festival and maybe also Jackson’s.

Lucy and Julia at the 2016 Ribbon Festival

This year, Lucy played Au Clair de la Lune, which is my favorite song from Book One.

Lucy plays Au Clair de la Lune at the Ribbon Festival

Here’s what the judge said about it.

Beautiful singing tone! Your balance between the hands was very good and I can tell you’ve worked hard on that performance aspect. Remember to keep the wrists supported and up so you have greater control of your fingers and the piano keys. Be aware of your pinkies – can they be closer to the other fingers of your hand when when they’re not playing? Sometimes 5th fingers like to fly away, so inviting them to join in with the other fingers will help your hand work as a unit. It can take some time to get the 5th fingers to work with the others, so keep practicing. Review notes starting from each line so memory can be secure and comfortable. You really use your ear to listen to the sounds you are creating. Great job today! Thank you for playing.

Julia played the Vivace movement of Clementi’s Sonatina in C Major, Op 36, No. 1 from Book Three.

Julia plays the Vivace movement of Clementi's Sonatina in C Major, Op 36, No. 1 at the Ribbon Festival

(The shaky camera work and the scream at the end of the video were courtesy of Jackson. The abrupt cutoff marks the moment I’d HAD ENOUGH!)

This is what her judge said.

– Very clean playing and a steady rhythm.
– Like your touch and sound very much
– Nice expression
– Try to be more flexible with your wrists – may make it easier to play the scales
– Well done and keep up the good work!

I was proud of the girls and so was their teacher who – for the first time – was not Mr. Palmer. After 36 years of teaching, Mr. Palmer closed his studio and retired last August.

Lucy and Julia with Mr. Palmer at his retirement reception

He taught us so much and the impact he’s had on our lives is immense. And we’re just one of so many families that feel the same way. I am thankful for Mr. Palmer. He is an exceptional teacher and an extraordinary man. We miss seeing him every week.

Mr. Palmer's Studio

Julia at the piano at Mr. Palmer's Studio

He’ll be a part of who we are forever.

Our Musical Weekend

Saturday night, Lucy stood behind the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Orchestra with the Children’s Chorus and performed. She sang beautifully and with her whole heart. (And I could not help but remember this.)

Lucy performs in the children's chorus with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Orchestra

The Children’s Chorus was an incredible experience for Lucy. The Orchestra Music Director and Conductor, Eric Benjamin, rehearsed with the chorus for six weeks to prepare for the annual Yuletide Celebration and he was amazing. He was exuberant and fun and knew how to connect with the kids. Lucy was scared the first day. She cried and we nearly left, but one of the assistants invited her to just stay and watch. So we stayed and she stood next to me watching rather than join the rest of the chorus. About halfway through that rehearsal, she started to participate. And when it was done, Mr. Eric gave her some encouragement to come back and bring a friend. She did.

The next week was better and the third week, they kicked the parents out of the room and it was even better yet. She was inspired. She sang all the time and we all got to know her songs. But there was nothing like seeing them performed. This is her favorite song from the performance. Night of Silence.

Night of Silence performed by the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Orchestra featuring the Children's Chorus (and Lucy!) and Ronald Barkett

I cried. It was just so beautiful.

When I picked her up after the show, the rehearsal room was electric. The kids were so enlivened. They all knew they’d done something very special. It was amazing. I was grateful that she could be a part of it.

Lucy, Eric Benjamin, and Kaitlyn

Julia sat next to me at Lucy’s performance. She was excited to see the orchestra perform. She joined the band this year and has just begun to feel what it’s like to play with a group. She’s playing drums and had her first concert on Sunday.

Julia plays the drum in the sixth grade band

This is her favorite song from her performance. Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. She played the bass drum for this one.

Julia plays Jolly Old Saint Nicholas with the sixth grade band

She told me she’d liked to learn to play an instrument from every instrument family.

My little drummer girl

She’s on her way.

Putting on Shows

I made Phoebe mad recently. She took my phone and recorded herself crying and gave it to me as a memento of her sadness, and also my meanness because “look what you did, Mom.”

Phoebe records herself crying to remind me that I am mean and do not let her do anything she wants

I asked her if I could share it with you and she was delighted for you to witness her suffering. Somehow I think we’ll be recalling this video one day when she’s accepting an Oscar or getting arrested for her performance art.

The kid loves to put on a show. Last night, she stood on a chair at the dinner table and asked for our attention so she could sing a song that she gleefully introduced as, “Mom’s gonna hate this!”

Her favorite thing right now is dance class. She got to be a Nutcracker Bon Bon in our studio’s Holiday Show.

My Bon Bon

Julia performed as well – her last in tumbling as she’s now moved to jazz.

Julia's last tumbling performance

Lucy tumbled, too.

Lucy with her flowers after her holiday show performance

Phoebe also chose to ride in a Christmas parade with her friends from dance last Friday.

Phoebe on the Melody & Motion float at the New Philadelphia Christmas Parade

Saturday, Lucy rode and sang in another Christmas parade with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Children’s Chorus.

Lucy sings with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Children's Chorus at the Dover Christmas Parade

She has a Christmas concert this Saturday. Julia will be playing drums in her first school band concert on Sunday. And this is a typical scene at our house (including the banana peel on the coffee table).

Feliz Navidad

All the shows. All for me, their ever-loving and enduring audience.

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