Mary’s first piano recital

On Tuesday Mary had her first piano recital. It was a little unexpected. I forgot that she didn’t have a lesson and didn’t reschedule with the teacher, so he offered me a last minute chance for Mary to play in the monthly recital for younger kids. She did great!

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The video is not of Mary’s piece (Mary Had a Little Lamb), but of Mary doing her “find and play” for notes on the keyboard. Her teacher gave her the last minute option of adding that to her performance, and after contemplating it for a couple quiet minutes, she whispered that she wanted to show the class how she could find all of these notes on the keyboard. 🙂

Marathon Saturday

On April 22 we had a lot of things going on! Lydia had a harp recital at the Springville Art Museum, the girls had their final ballet performance, and I thought Lydia had her final performance for musical theater. Because I can not keep track of dates lately, I was completely wrong about that and Suzanne drove all the way down from Salt Lake only to discover the performance was the following Friday. Oops. To top it all off, the girls had the Daddy Daughter Dance at the end of the day. It was a busy Saturday!

At her harp recital, Lydia pulled a trick from both Mom and Dad and completely forgot her piece (which she played over twenty times a day to perfection before the recital). I always had performance anxiety and experienced memory slips regularly, and Abe related that at his first piano recital he completely forgot what he was supposed to play and just made something up on the spot. We were proud of Lydia for persevering to the end!

Also, we loved the Springville Art Museum. It was also fun to see Abe’s grandfather’s art on prominent display!

Abe's grandfather was decades ahead of his time with this piece.

Abe’s grandfather was decades ahead of his time with this piece.

The recital hall.

The recital hall.

Ammon spent the recital exploring the museum. Abe spent it chasing Ammon.

Ammon spent the recital exploring the museum. Abe spent it chasing Ammon.

After the harp recital, we went home and got ready for the girls’ final performance of The Lion King. The actual recital was, no joke, four hours long. We hightailed it outta there as soon as the girls finished their number because we thought we were going to be late for Lydia’s final musical theater performance. Oy ve.

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After the recital, we rushed over to Scenic View Academy, where Lydia’s final musical performance was supposed to be. I realized when we arrived and the doors were locked that the performance was supposed to be the following Friday.

Since Suzanne had driven all the way down, we decided to use the time by taking a Qualtrics tour. The gardens were gorgeous and the kids enjoyed playing in and outside of Qualtrics. The only picture we have is this one:

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Then we headed to Zupas for dinner and raced home to get ready for the Daddy Daughter Dance. The girls, Abe and Tom had a fabulous time. I know the girls and Abe look forward to this event all year long. They love dancing, dressing up, and basically everything about it. This year they had a fifties theme.

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And that was the last to-do on our crazy April Saturday!!

FHE

Sometime in April we had an FHE wherein we played Monopoly and learned about the plan of salvation. Here are some videos of the girls telling us the plan and of Ammon playing Monopoly.

Meeting Baby Helen

The Hongs were in town and so Abe and I drove to Sundance to meet their new baby, Helen. She was adorable! She was so calm, sweet and cuddly.

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We also got to visit with their friends, Ruth-Ann and…I forget his name? (I am catch-up blogging almost a month after this visit actually took place.) They were really delightful, though.

And of course we love seeing Jon and Shirley!

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Easter

On Easter Eve Abe and I scrambled to get the egg hunt and baskets together. We were exhausted. We officially made the ugliest baskets EVER, complete with rabbit sculpture kitsch that a sweet octogenarian neighbor gave me before she moved away. We were just grateful we had not thrown them away, because there’s nothing our kids love more than cluttery objects/trash. Honestly, they adored their Easter baskets, and I was so grateful. I hope they’re always this easy to please…

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Ammon during sacrament meeting. You will note he is not actually in sacrament meeting. He lasts about thirty seconds before he wanders all around distracting everyone, and we promptly take him out to either a room like this or the church halls. I miss our old church that had a lovely garden out back. That was such a solution for the crazy toddler stage.

Ammon during sacrament meeting. You will note he is not actually in sacrament meeting. He lasts about thirty seconds before he wanders all around distracting everyone, and we promptly take him out to either a room like this or the church halls. I miss our old church that had a lovely garden out back. That was such a solution for the crazy toddler stage.

The girls were thrilled to take Ammon to his very first day in the nursery!

The girls were thrilled to take Ammon to his very first day in the nursery!

I taught a lesson on faith in Jesus Christ on Sunday, so it was up to Abe to come home and make the leeks for the Miner dinner. He did an AMAZING job.

I taught a lesson on faith in Jesus Christ on Sunday, so it was up to Abe to come home and make the leeks for the Miner dinner. He did an AMAZING job.

The Miner Easter egg hunt was so fun for the kids.

The Miner Easter egg hunt was so fun for the kids.

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We invited the neighbors to join us for dying Easter eggs twice this year. This is one session, and I forget what day it took place--probably the day before Easter?

We invited the neighbors to join us for dying Easter eggs twice this year. This is one session, and I forget what day it took place–probably the day before Easter?

Seattle weekend

On Friday I flew to Seattle. I felt anxious leaving the kids behind, but my mom was so sweet and watched them until Abe came home.

When I got to Seattle, I met up with my friend, Candace. We had the greatest time reconnecting! We picked up a rental car and drove straight to the conference we were attending on female LDS sexuality. The conference lasted a day and a half, and it was incredible. Jennifer Finlayson Fife from my home ward created and lead the conference, and I felt sorry that I had never had the opportunity to get to know her better when I lived in Evanston. She is a remarkable woman with a very unique and compelling paradigm. We just loved everything she said.

While at the conference, Candace and I got to meet up with another mission friend who was attending, Julie. It was so great to see her too! We all sat together, and Julie gave the best comment of the whole conference when she pointed out how Eve’s decision to eat the apple was very similar to our own opportunity in life to exercise discernment and take responsibility for our choices.

The conference lasted until 10pm on Friday night, and after that Candace and I headed to our apartment right by Pike’s Place market. We talked for hours and also found our apartment neighbors to be very entertaining.

On Saturday, we went to Piroshky Piroshky and had the absolute best pastries I have ever had in my life. I think about them every day and can’t wait to go back at the end of May.

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From there we wandered around Pike’s Place. Candace picked up some coffee for herself from the original Starbucks, and I got some crab from the fish stand. And then, because I was worried we would starve at the extremely long morning conference session, we went to a crumpet shop and ate crumpets.

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From there we headed to the conference. We had resolved to be early so as to get spots on the comfy couch, but we were so engrossed in conversation that even though we arrived thirty minutes before everyone, we didn’t actually leave the car until the conference was about to start. Luckily, we discovered some comfortable seats by the window that no one else wanted because you couldn’t see as well. I was there to listen, so the comfy window seats worked for me. (The conference was held in the most charming house on the bay.)

Also…I haven’t gotten this blog fixed yet, and so even though I have other photos from the trip, none of the other ones will load. Maybe when the blog gets fixed I’ll come back and upload the missing photos.

Anyway, the conference broke for lunch and Candace and I went to pick up some nearby, way-too-greasy yakisoba and bulgogi. Then we headed back to the conference and stayed there until it ended at 5:30pm. The last two hours of the conference got pretty technical, and I was recovering for lunch, so I have to admit that my attention–which had, until then, been completely devoted to everything Jennifer was saying–wandered a bit.

After the conference, Candace and I explored the nearby beach before going back to town and getting dinner at a delicious French restaurant right in the market. We kept talking until way too late. It was just so great to see each other and catch up!

On Sunday, we slept later than intended and so only had time to go straight to the airport to catch our flights home. It was so lovely to come home and see my beautiful girls peering out the window and greeting me at the door.

I had a wonderful time in Seattle, but I was tired from all of the idea sharing, conversations, and travel that I spent the next two days sleeping in every spare minute. I finally feel recovered enough to blog today…four days after arriving home! 🙂

Here are some more pictures from the weekend, now that the blog is fixed.

This is the girls at home, snuggling in our bed while I was gone.

This is the girls at home, snuggling in our bed while I was gone.

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This was a picture of Jennifer lecturing. I should have gotten more pictures of the house we were in. It was stunning!

This was a picture of Jennifer lecturing. I should have gotten more pictures of the house we were in. It was stunning!

Candace and I at a beachfront park.

Candace and I at a beachfront park.

magic show and dinner at the Harper’s

This morning we hustled to get piano done before leaving for the library story time. When we arrived home from story time, Eli, the neighbor boy, had set up a magic stand. He was selling tickets to his magic show for $1 per adult. Kids were free.

In fact, he trained all of the neighborhood kids as his assistants and paid them in quarters. Lydia and Mary proceeded to spend the rest of the day outside engaged in the magic show. Occasionally I would peak out and see Lydia holding a sign on the street corner soliciting customers for Eli’s show, and Mary was just running all around in frenzied excitement.

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Later in the afternoon, I spent over an hour following Ammon around outside as he wandered everywhere. He knows how to ride a scooter! I held the handles to make sure he wouldn’t fall, but he knew exactly how to hold on and what to do with his feet. I don’t know where he learned this, but I was shocked.

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In the evening Lexi babysat while we went to dinner with the Harpers. They were the most delightful hosts. The cheese enchiladas were outstanding, and they made orange-infused creme brulee for dessert. After dinner, we listened to selections from Joe’s record collection while playing the game, Pandemic. We lost and the world got destroyed by pandemics, but it was such a fun game!

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ice skating and bird matching

This morning we got our music practice out of the way, read some books, ate lunch, and had some quiet time before heading to the ice skating rink to meet up with the Marshalls.

I was horrified to learn that this morning Derek had ripped his pectoral muscle off in CrossFit. Chelsea has such an amazing attitude, but we are praying for him. I can’t even imagine what that would feel like!

The twins were too excited to pose for a picture, but we got the girls!

The twins were too excited to pose for a picture, but we got the girls!

After an hour and a half of skating, we returned home to dinner. I was so proud of cooking it in the morning so that we could just go ahead and eat. Getting that done early meant that we had time to play a bird memory game afterward.

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This is Mary in full-blown tantrum mode after Lydia matched one of her favorite pairs of birds. (Her current favorites are blue tits and puffins.) Actually, she kicks and screams too. I got that on the following video...

This is Mary in full-blown tantrum mode after Lydia matched one of her favorite pairs of birds. (Her current favorites are blue tits and puffins.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtINxnV7ZIE

I also took inventory of Mary’s life with Mary. I did this with Lydia a week or so ago and it felt so great. I asked Lydia about everyone and every activity going on in her life, and she was extremely enthusiastic about everything. We concluded that her life is fun (except for harp practice and homework). Mary came to the same conclusion and cheered every time I named one of her activities or a loved one in her life. The only thing she doesn’t like is piano practice because “you’re too serious during piano practice, Mom.” I love these inventories because we all get to see how many amazing aspects of life we enjoy. That’s easy to forget because of all the tantrums that take place around here…:) 🙂 🙂

Lunch with Kim…and a nose wax

I love Spring Break! I love the pace of life and not having to run everywhere with our heads cut off. The kids are loving it too. This morning the kids had a dance party to Moana. I stopped doing whatever I was doing and just enjoyed watching them.

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I apologize that these pictures are sideways. WordPress refuses to save them in a rotated position, so I am just inserting them sideways in the hopes that one of these days I figure out the problem and can go back and fix these photos.

I apologize that these pictures are sideways. WordPress refuses to save them in a rotated position, so I am just inserting them sideways in the hopes that one of these days I figure out the problem and can go back and fix these photos.

For lunch, Kim Baker came over. I just love her. We ate pizza, spinach, and lemon curd parfaits and talked for a couple hours. She is such a delight, and visiting with her was such a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

Sadly, Ammon decided to skip his nap today, so after Kim left it was kind of chaotic. By 5pm I was seeing stars. Abe was due home in half an hour, and I struck a bargain with the girls: Stay with Ammon in his room and make sure he doesn’t die (the room is baby proof, so this is actually a feasible arrangement), and I let them out of music practice in return. By that point, we had delayed practice to the point where it wasn’t possible anyway because I had an evening haircut.

At my haircut, I also got the inside of my nose waxed! The receptionist told me about this on the phone when I was scheduling my appointment. She said that it wouldn’t hurt and that I would get addicted because I would breathe so much easier. It didn’t hurt at all, and I can breathe easier, but the best part is blowing my nose. Wow, everything just shoots right through. Disgusting or awesome, depending on how you look at it. (I love gross details, so it’s awesome to me.)

Here are the CRAZIEST before and after pictures from my haircut. I really need to get my hair cut more often, and I need to be doing more to condition it. The stylist not only cut my hair, but she deep conditioned it. (Sadly, the pictures are sideways because this silly blog won’t save them in a rotated state, but I will try to fix that later.)

Before.

Before.

After.

After.