22 December 2011

Some Holiday Firsts...

Christmas time is nuts because everything around Christmas time is fun, right? Ok, Walmart on a Saturday in December is the exception, but when is that NOT horrible?

This year, the kids did their first Christmas Suzuki Concert with their new violin teacher. Up until this summer, I had been the sole teacher for both of them, and it's been heaven to pass off some of that responsibility to a friend/fellow violinist who we all adore. Ms. Ruth has held a Christmas program for the last 15 years, and Jack and Jane were lucky to be a part of it this year.

This really was one of Jane's first performing experiences, so we learned we need to work on her performance etiquette a bit. Thank goodness she was the youngest, and smallest, so it was a little more laughable than it will be in a few years when she may still be biting her nails and coming in 2 notes later than everybody else!

Really, the kids worked extra hard to prepare for the performances, especially Jack who played almost all the pieces the big kids played. They did GREAT, and were really excited about playing. They were especially grateful for the support of loved ones who braved downtown on a very busy weekend!

This performance was in the downtown library auditorium, a fantastic venue. Their afternoon one was at the Joseph Smith Memorial building, and since Jeff was doing the single dad thing from 2pm on, there were few pictures. Understandable, Super Dad.

Alice enjoyed her first dance recital and did great. We had to bribe her to get her costume on ("Alice, want a cookie?", and I quickly turn her into a mouse. Voila!), but she loved the dancing! We've loved our little neighborhood dance group, and it's been a GREAT introduction for the really little ones, like Alice.

In the Green Room, Alice loved the attention from the older girls. They were all dancing to selections from the Nutcracker. Fun!

I'm a street musician lover. During my long days/evenings downtown last week, I had a short break and ran to do a bit of shopping. I ran into these guys busting out their brass. Not a huge brass fan, but honestly, it goes GREAT with the season. I was so happy to see a little variety downtown. Love the bagpipers, but really... one on EACH side of temple square? Enough already!

Any favorite firsts this season? Or, favorite street musicians you've seen? I remember seeing a girl belting it out with a mandolin when I was about 13 at Pike's Market in Seattle, and I've never forgotten it. Awesome.

17 December 2011

Halloween... seriously.

Found fun pictures I didn't want to forget...

The annual Pumpkin patch trip is always a highlight for us. The mud this year added an interesting aspect.

I think every kid likes getting one "just my size".

Trip to "Little Spooks" at This is the Place. Very fun, and even with cousins and Mimi this year!

Carving those pumpkins was fun and messy. I did my usual copying of a pattern from a book I bought 7 years ago (so creative), Jack (and Jeff) gave his a nose like Voldemort, and our 3rd was done by our special guest. His FIRST pumpkin carving experience ever!

Crazy cousin time at Mimi and Papa's.

Cousins at Grandma and Grandpa's who have apparently been all "fun"ed out. Maybe we should have done pictures FIRST?

And, the kids on "the big night". No trunk-or-treats this year, so we did it the old fashioned way, and I loved it. Nice weather, walking around, seeing friends and neighbors, FUN! Alice went MUCH further than expected, and Jane got too tired of asking at every house "do they have a dog?" and ran home to pass out candy with Daddy.

The girls pretty much changed their costumes THAT day, so thank goodness for good dress ups! Jane decided she wasn't ONLY a princess (until this dress was hand-me-downed to her by a dear neighbor friend, she was going to be a witch), she had to be a short-haired Rapunzel. Frying pan and all. Jack wasn't great with his timing, but the expression would have been about right.

Alice fell in love when our neighbor opened the door in THIS. I felt like we were in Disneyland! It was a challenge to get her off the porch!

Having kids has made Halloween one of my favorite holidays ever. And next year... we'll have ONE more kid to enjoy it! Baby is coming in MAY!