Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spring Recital

Mitchell's end of the year recital was held on Wednesday night and how enjoyable it was!  What we love is that there are so many young men in our church who love to play the piano and they all encourage and challenge one another to excell still more!   

Future Piano Guys??? :-)
The first song Mitchell played was a duet with his friend Tommy. Tommy is an incredible violin player. He and his sister do a Vivaldi piano/violin duet that is outstanding ...I love to hear him play! He kindly agreed to accompany Mitchell on this first one, River Flows in You by Yiruma. River Flows in You is hands down one of my favorite songs Mitchell plays, it is beautiful! It is the song he played solo (no violin) for the Sunday @ 3 concert series at the Jansen Arts Center last Sunday. 


The second song is a different story! He changed his song from another piece to this one on Sunday... yes.... 3 days before the recital! He was originally slated to play his Rachmaninoff piece he has worked on for months...literally months! He has worked so hard on that song with much success but even after hundreds of hours working on it there was still this one part in the middle section of the song he has never been able to master. He realized that as much as he wanted to play that song it would not be without a difficult middle section so he decided to change. His teacher, Mrs. VandenBos is such a gem and wants the students to have fun and was all for him changing his song, even last minute! In fact she said if he changed his mind yet again and wanted to improv when he got up there then go for it! Straight away he began memorizing the second song, Racing Against the Sunset by Phillip Wesley. He altered the song a bit and only played 7 of the 10 pages but did pretty well in quick memorization. It is his pet peeve to bring music up to the piano during a recital as he holds himself to pretty high standards on memorization. This time around though since he had so little time for prep. he was open to the suggestion of bringing up one little part of his sheet music up there. He had just a little bit of the music prior to the key change that he had yet to fully memorize so he decided to take a small folded portion of music up with him. Well, poor guy, it would have been good had he not put the sheet music upside down AND backwards!! He still says he should have stopped, held out his finger as if to say "just a minute".... turned over and right side up his paper and started again with a smile! Needless to say you can catch the errors a bit in the playing but otherwise the second song was great and a memorable evening all together! Hope you enjoy!



Thursday, May 23, 2013

Young Composers Recital

This year Isabelle submitted a song to the Young Composers Contest through her piano teacher.  She worked long and hard on "A Wandering Heart" and placed 3rd in the piano level she is at!  Last month a recital was held by the LMTA for the composers and she got to play.  She was extremely nervous but still excited to play her song. ...we are so proud of her! I am sorry for the sideways video, I didn't think about how the video would play when I turned my camera sideways to take it!


Mitchell's New Ride

Well... Mitchell finally purchased his first vehicle and what an unexpected purchase it was!  Really ?!? ... a 1969 Custom VW Baja Bug that he has aptly named The Green Hornet! While he desired very much to have a lifted truck be his first purchase, at this point gas prices dictated he go for a more gas economical set of wheels.  NEVER in a million years could we have guessed this would be his aquisition! Thanks to a little coaxing from his sister Isabelle to look up VW Bug's on Craigslist...wala..... much fun is had by all! Needless to say he absolutely LOVES it and daddy and momma are happy with the decent fuel economy. Actually I think what I love best is the lack of annonimity he has in this car! Everyone will know where Mitchell is when he drives this beauty..... hahaha. The funniest part has been all the guys in the lifted trucks yelling out their windows as he goes down the road "sic ride man!" or "love the ride dude!" and the plethora of peace/thumbs up/hang loose signs he has gotten in just the few days he has owned the vehicle!  It is a keeper for sure!


A Swimmingly Good Birthday Party

So... only 3 months AFTER their birthday we finally have completed the twins 10th birthday party with friends!  This had to be one of the easiest and truly extremely fun parties we have done to date for any child! It was as simple as swim, swim and swim some more... eat a quick couple fishie cupcakes and had to open presents outside. We utilized every minute we could out of swimming so no time for present opening before the aquatic center closed! It was a bit chilly after being in the pool but Will and Shelley made quick work of the gifts and they all loved it! I am rarely in the photos with the kiddos as I am usually taking them so I was blessed when a momma there thoughtfully suggested a photo of me with the twins...a novel concept ... photos with my children!  :-) I have to get better about that!
We are blessed with a great group of friends for all of our children and I am so thankful for the memories that were made for both William and Shelley. :-)

A Visit and a Concert

This last weekend we got to have Grandma Honey up for a visit! She was here for two-fold reasons.  First, she got to see Mitchell perform a piano piece at a local concert series and the second is that we got to have her here to celebrate her birthday! We always love having her here and this time we also enjoyed seeing photos from her recent trip to Ireland.  It was a grand weekend for sure!


Mothers Day

Mothers Day felt extra sweet this year and in all honesty I can't put a finger on "why".  Chad and the children always work hard to make sure my Mom's day is special every year and this one was no different. I think it must just be a sweet feeling of joy and contentment and my heart was extra full this year.  I recieved some special gifts including something I have wanted for a long time... a 6 QT. Lodge Dutch oven coated in beautiful Red Enamel..... I LOVE it and have made some killer food in there already!  My dinner was exactly what I wanted and oh so good.... Veggie Panini's! I had the veggie one and the others had the veggies with some meat also. :-)  I have loved veggie panini's for a long time and while I would love a Panini maker, it is not practical to have a kitchen tool that only prepares 1 or 2 sandwiches at a time when you have a family of 7.  I realized last year that I can simulate a panini maker by using the grill and something to press down on the sandwiches....hence the sandwiches on the grill and covered with a jelly roll pan and bricks!  It works like a charm, you just have to be sure the grill is on low for sure. 
The deliciousness that was my Mothers Day dinner is pictured below.... pure bliss for me!





We had yet to have surgeries on any children until April of this year and them we had two surgeries 1 week apart! JD had a minor mouth surgery with a tooth extraction and William had a significant eye surgery... a Bilateral Strabismus surgery. Unfortunatly I didn't take any photos of JD after surgery but I did of Will.  Will's surgery was very effective but we won't kow the full extent of the recovery for another 2 months or so.  We were able to see an immediate differene in his eyes of course as the surgery corrected laziness in both eyes and it is amazing to see him look at you with both eyes at the same time!  His biggest hope for success is that he might be able to see in 3D, something he has never been able to do as both eyes did not work together. We will see if his eyes will fully correct over the next couple months to allow 3D vision with glasses! I loved how the other children prepped the house in anticipation of his return.  I was especially touched by the huge amount of time Shelley spent reading to William as he rested.  He really was pampered by the others over the days of his recovery and he loved it!


Moments in March

Isabelle's first batch of cinnamon rolls sans any help from Mom as I was gone at our church's women's retreat. They were declared delicious by all who had them!
Good Morning Birthday Boy!
I don't know how I missed this cutie pie picture in his birthday post...I couldn't resist!

Cowboy Kitchen Crew

Celebrating Ressurection Sunday with our sweet friends the van den Heuvel's and Grandma Kay. 
 It was replete with delicious food, excellent fellowship and good 'ol football!

Hell, Fire and Brimstone

In February, Chad and Mitchell attended our church men's retreat and it is a tradition with this retreat to hold a food contest. All the work on the recipe and presentation HAS to be completed by the MEN only. The boys were proud of thier accomplishment... Mitchell created the food and Chad created the presentation! Being that both the boys love hot stuff and Chad's an electrician, the combination of the food and presentation was just perfect for them!


Jalapeno Chicken Wraps

1 lb. bnls sknls chicken breasts
1T garlic powder
1T onion powder
1T pepper
2 tsp season salt
1 tsp paprika
1 small onion, cut in strips
15 jalapeno peppers halved and seeded
1 lb bacon, halved widthwise

Cut chicken into 2" x 1.5" strips. In large Ziploc bag combine garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, seasoned salt and paprika. Add chicken to bag and coat chicken. Place a strip of chicken and a strip of onion in each jalapeno half and wrap the jalapeno in 1 strip of the halved lengthwise bacon. Secure with toothpick. Grill uncovered, over indirect medium heat for 18-20 minutes or until chicken juices runs clear and bacon is crisp, turning once. Serve with ranch or blue chees dressing.

In which I catch up on a few posts...

So, being the lax blogger that I am, I have taken many a photo over the last few months with grand intentions of blogging and here I am mass producing all those ideas in one compilation post!  Well, I console myself with the lame thought… “at least I am getting them on the blog then eventually in the blog book I will create for our memories”…. Uh yah…. how much better it would be just to do the posts at the relevant time!  In my mind I often think I have to write a lengthy post to go with the photos when in reality many of the blogs I read often just do a quick line or snippet under the photo which captures the content of the post!  Well, no one ever told me I talk to LITTLE, that’s for sure!  I guess that translates into writing also.

Here goes the snippets…..