Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Storm

The song that Matthew wrote now has a name and he even wrote sheet music for it! The song is called Summer Storm. I recorded him playing it this morning. Not bad for an 11 year old! I'm really proud of him!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Music makers

So Matthew is now about a year into piano lessons and now he's composing his own music. He's always playing around on the piano and apparently he came up with something that turned into a song.

Matthew is our musical kid and Josh is our computer kid, and the other day they decided to put their skills together and create something. Matthew wrote this song and Josh recorded Matthew playing it on the piano and used his computer skills to add some digital effects and this is the result.

No bad for an 11 year and a 15 year old!

(Also, the title isn't really the title. They're still trying to come up with a name for the song and Shawn and I kept giving them goofball suggestions and somehow it morphed into that. It makes us giggle. We're easily amused. They'll come up with a real title eventually.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Happy things

Today was Clarissa's last day of Kindergarten! She's done awesome this year! She's reading like crazy, she loves to draw, she writes us adorable little stories and I absolutely love watching her learn and grow.

Today they made tote bags in class for the last day of school. I loved how Clarissa decorate hers, so I took a picture. That girl is obsessed with cats. Everything is about cats with her these days. Super cute. :) I told her she could use that bag to pack some games and activities for the car trip we're taking  to Oregon in July and she's already planning what she's going to pack. I love her. 


image


Then this evening I got an awesome surprise at my door! Tonight is the first night that I didn't attend the youth group activity that I'm no longer a part of. So for their first activity with their new leader, they made little thank you notes for me and snuck over to my house and decorated my lawn with them! They rang the doorbell and hid and when we opened the door we were greeted with this. And of course I cried, lol.

What a thoughtful, sweet thing to do! It made my whole week! The girls came out of hiding and I got to hug them all and tell them goodbye. I'm going to treasure these little notes. They really made me happy. :)

image



image


image

image

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Lots of tears!

For the past four years I've been volunteering with a youth group at my church. I've been in a presidency where I was the secretary for a while and then was moved to help oversee the 12-13 years girls. I taught classes on Sunday and helped plan and run Wednesday night activities for teenage girls.

At times that job has been really hard. At times I have kind of wanted to quit altogether. But overall I have really loved the opportunity to serve and make a difference to those girls and it has enriched my life.

And today it was time to say goodbye to it. They rotate presidencies eventually and today was that day. It was time for our presidency to step down and hand it over to a new group of wonderful women who will take over and do a fantastic job.

I've kind of been ready to be done and especially with starting school in the fall I'm getting too busy for it, so I thought it would be a relief to finally be done.

But then I went in there today for my last meeting with the girls and suddenly I realized how much I have loved serving them and how much I have grown attached to them and saying goodbye seemed impossible. I try not to be a crier, but sometimes I can't help it. The girls stand and recite a theme each week and standing up today to recite it, knowing it was the last time for me was so hard! I was going to sit in on one last class with the new leaders, but the tears wouldn't stop coming and I finally decided to go home and have a good cry about it.

So here I am, crying about the leaving the job I thought I wanted to leave. If you had asked me a week ago I would have told you that I was ready, but now I'm just sad. I really loved those girls and I loved teaching them and leading them and watching them learn and grow.

And it's not like anyone is going anywhere. I'll still see them at church, I just won't be in their classes and planning their activities. I'm going to miss that a lot. When they asked me to be a part of the program four years ago I was terrified. Teenage girls are kind of scary, lol! I was afraid that I wouldn't have anything to share with them and I wouldn't know how to relate to them. But I have grown as I've served and I have loved the opportunity to be a part of something special and wonderful, and I'm really going to miss it.

My new church job is designing and distributing the weekly church bulletin. That is a much less time consuming job that will work better with my upcoming busier schedule, and I'm sure I will enjoy serving in that capacity too.

But I sure will miss my girls. I'm going to have a good cry this afternoon and then pull myself back together and keep moving forward. On to new adventures!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Eek!!

At this very moment Josh is driving around ON THE STREETS in his very first drivers Ed driving lesson! He started drivers ed on Friday and this is his first actual drive behind the wheel. I've been tracking his iPhone this morning like a weirdo stalker, lol. They're just driving around the neighborhood by the high school, but it feels like a momentous occasion. All of this growing up stuff is hard as a mom and the first drivers ed lesson is a pretty big moment! He'll do great and it will be fine. It will kind of be nice having another driver in the family, actually. But still, it's sort of a terrifying moment for a mom! I can't wait for him to get home and tell me how it went. My baby is growing up!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Last day of school!

The school year has come to an end for Josh and Matthew (Clarissa has a few more weeks). It seems like just yesterday I was freaking out about sending my babies to their first year of middle school and high school and just like that the year is over.

They both had amazingly successful year! Both of them got straight A's the whole year and today Matthew got the choir student of the year award. I could not possibly be more proud of them and all their accomplishments.

So I want to say that summer is now officially in full swing here, but Clarissa has a few more weeks of school before she's done and Josh has literally one day of summer vacation and then Friday he starts drivers Ed and Monday he starts four online summer school classes. Because Josh is going to be working on his high school diploma and his college associates degree at the same time, he has to cram some extra classes in there to get it done. He will most likely be taking at least one summer school class every year to stay ahead. He's taking four this summer so that he can stay ahead and also clear up some space in his schedule to be on the yearbook staff in the fall. If he takes a couple of required classes over the summer, he has room for a couple of electives during the school year and it makes his school year schedule less intense. Also, his next years English teacher assigned everyone to read Fairenheight 451 over the summer and there will be a test on it on the first day of school. That school does not mess around.

So he has a full plate this summer, and we also have our vacation to Oregon in July, the boys are both going on a pioneer trek with our church later this summer and Josh is going to somehow see if he can cram his Eagle Scout project in there at some point.

I will be spending my summer having panic attacks about my baby driving a car, and preparing myself to start college in the fall. Life is hurtling forward at full steam right now. Here's hoping we can all keep up!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Taking the show on the road

Matthew is playing this song in two different church congregations this Sunday. He's playing it for our church services and then when his piano teacher heard he was playing it at our church, she asked if he would come play it for her congregation as well.

It's an arrangement of an LDS Hymn called I Know That My Redeemer Lives. This particular arrangement was written by Paul Cardall, who is an amazing pianist.

This a ridiculously difficult song for a kid who has only been playing the piano for less than a year. He has worked harder to master this song than anything else he's done.

Our piano isn't fancy, but we had him go over to the church to practice there and it sounds amazing on the church piano with the acoustics of the room. I wish I had a recording of that, but you'll just have to listen to it on our piano. I know half my posts have been Matthew's piano lately, but I post what makes me happy, and listening to Matthew play the piano makes me very happy. :)