Thursday, March 29, 2012

Laura's Spring Piano Recital

Laura had her spring piano recital this last Saturday morning.  We were ridiculously early to make sure to get seats where I could get a good video and pictures.  She was incredibly prepared as usual and did a magnificent job.  She played "Are You Sleeping" and "Hippos."
Before the performance
All her teacher's students
Laura playing
Grandma F. got injured and wasn't able to make it, and Grandpa B. was ill and couldn't make it either.  So, here is her performance on video for them.

The next day she played in Grandma and Grandpa's ward with her piano teacher.  She played and sang in her angel voice the primary hymn "When He Comes Again".  She made me cry.  I'm hoping to get a recording of her playing and singing with her teacher to post here.  However, she fell on the playground at school this week and missed her lesson.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sara Rides a Bicycle!!

I was pretty sure that Sara was ready for riding a bicycle without training wheels at the end of the summer last year, but we just didn't have the weather to work with her. Since the weather has been so warm these past weeks, we've spent some serious time outdoors on our bikes. When Daddy came home from work early today, we got him to take off Sara's training wheels. Mommy ran with her 3 times and then she was off on her own riding a two-wheeler! Check her out!!
Teaching her to ride was so quick and easy! She appears to be a natural! I mean, I learned to ride at 12 yrs old with serious patience and help from all my big brothers and here she is at 4 years old having conquered it with very little help and in one hour without training wheels. Go Sara!! We are so proud of you!

**Other than just being "Sara" and incredibly talented with gross motor skills, we did learn a lot from teaching kid #1 to ride a bike to kid #2. Having the proper equipment made all the difference. We learned that it was key to have a very small bike (12") to start. It's a lot less scary and a lot easier to handle when both your feet can touch the ground. She learned to pedal on this tiny bicycle with training wheels. (We tried to teach Laura on a 16" - our first mistake.) We also have a balance bike (or running bike) that Sara was flying around on and learned all the basics of balance, recovery, etc. I cannot sing the praises of this training device enough! (Eliza is currently working on the same skills with an even smaller balance bike and loving it.) Hopefully, teaching #3 with all our increased knowledge and experience will be equally simple and we'll all be riding together as a family soon!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Has Sprung with Sara

Spring is tentatively showing it's head at our house. There are little girls in summer skirts, helleborus blooming in the garden, pillows appearing on the porch, and a springy decor in the house. My heart lives in spring, even if the allergies lay me flat. How I love the warm weather and the outdoors after being all cooped up!
Sara showing off the purple helleborus in the front garden.
My spring mantel.
The daisies are from Tai Pan Trading. My banner features this file and this file from silhouette. Deb gave me the word idea after I realized Easter was coming super quickly this year. Now I just want to change my standard mantel decor: I'm trying to decide between milk glass or mercury glass - suggestions?
Sara enjoying one of her favorite springtime treats: Marshmallow Bunnies. She even brought them as her treat to preschool today. Apparently they were a big hit and a lot of fun to play with!
I had to use an Easter printable because they are so quick and easy to change. I used this one and recolored it. Then I massacred a wreath from Tai Pan to get my vessel fillers.
Sara showing off her fabulous springy outfit, the blooming garden and trees and the new pillows on the porch.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Top O' the Morning

I was planning on doing a similar party for St. Patrick's day as I did last year. However, when I realized it was on a Saturday, and I saw this fabulous idea, I changed gears. I edited the idea to fit our own tastes and didn't use the printables, but made my own. Yep, I mastered creating my own print and cut files for the silhouette and got them all done the night before. (I have them saved and would be happy to share if you're interested.)
The menu was "tricky toast" or french toast with "shamrock syrup" or buttermilk syrup, "leprechaun links" sausage, "strip o'bacon", "rainbow fruit" (red strawberries, orange clementines, yellow bananas, green kiwi, purple grapes), "pot o' gold eggs" made very gold with a drop of yellow food coloring, "lucky charms", and "pinch-proof potion" green milk. It was delicious and super fun. We all ate ourselves silly and skipped lunch.
Naturally, we had to invite my folks and their very Irish-named selves over for the occasion. They came with gusto; dressing fantastically and bearing fun green gear! Sharing these little holidays with Grandma and Grandpa make them significantly more special.
Yay for little holidays, a supportive husband, happy kids, and amazing parents! Happy St. Patrick's day!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Laura Sings

Laura had another master class this week.  She has been working on singing "How Does She Know" from "Enchanted."   She knew all her words, was animated and got a great critique from her teacher and the studio director.  Here she is!!

The critique from her studio director:
"I am a HUGE Laura fan!  This is a hard track and I can tell you have practiced really hard at home.  You are so talented and I am so glad to have you in the academy!  Your pitch is excellent.  Love the actions and using your body to tel the story.  You have improved so much this year!  Wow.  You should be so proud of yourself."

Sugar Cookies for Breakfast

Ever since Valentine's Day, Sara and I have been craving sugar cookies.  Yes, Sara asked for them daily for 2 weeks. So, I asked for a recipe from Danyelle and we made sugar cookies.  They were AMAZING - the recipe was phenomenal and who can say no to cream cheese icing!  The girls had a great time decorating and we ate the entire batch in 2 days.
No one had enough, so we purchased some more cookie cutters and made them again!  They are going to become a tradition, I'm afraid.

Family Reunion??

Recently there has been quite the craziness trying to plan, schedule, coordinate a family reunion with Jason's family for this summer.  Somehow it ended up being last weekend when his sister said she could be here with us.  So, last Saturday, a few of us (12 of 26) got together for lunch, bowling and some time together.  I forgot the good camera, so the pictures are from my little pocket camera and not the best quality.

We all had a great time bowling!  The little ones did great and Laura went without the ramp!!  There was much laughter, cheering, and smiles!
 After bowling we went to Grandma's house (where Laura finally met up with her cousin) and hung out until time for the girls to get home for bed.  The girls and I were in the basement playing and doing cheer performances with cousin Rylie - an amazing teenager that my girls adore!  It was good to be with Jason's family that could be with us.