Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Bikes



OK, I know I haven't done Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or Boxing Day yet. That's all to come (maybe). The girls both got new wheels for Christmas. Lacy got a bike and Rose got a scooter. Since Lacy's bike was way too small (really it's more appropriate for Rose anyway) and she already had a scooter, we thought that would be a great solution so they'd both have one of each.

Unfortunately, with 2 feet of snow on the street in front of our house, there was nowhere for the kids to ride around on their new wheels. So we took them to the church and let them ride around in the gym for about a half hour or so. They had a blast!

This video is of the girls riding. Rose was originally singing at the top of her lungs, which is why I started recording, but right after that Lacy took over and belted out "Jingle Bells" while riding around on her bike. So it's some action footage with music for your enjoyment!
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And one more of Lacy with the giggles. She really had fun, and LOVES her new bike! I think we're going to teach her to ride without the training wheels this summer.




video

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another benefit to being crunchy

With the snow, the garbageman hasn't been by in two weeks. Many people fill their cans every single week, and now they're running out of room for their garbage. We, on the other hand, only fill our can 1/3-1/2 of the way full every single week. So this means that we still have room, even though we have 2 weeks worth of garbage piling up.

Our recycling is filled to the brim, but that's only 'cause it's Christmastime. And I'm not too worried about leaving the recycling out by the can.

A big problem that we do have, though, is getting to our compost bin. It is covered in a foot of snow still! Hopefully it will melt off in a day or two and I can pile on the new stuff we've collected. I've actually thrown away some of our food waste lately because of a lack of room in the bin.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here's a Holiday Song for you!

It's not perfect, but I'm not a perfect pianist. But this is the best I could do! For your enjoyment, "Bring A Torch, Jeannette, Isabella."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tinkerbell

When Rose sings Jingle Bells, it sounds like Tinkerbell. Rose has a bit of an obsession with Tinkerbell as of late, so this makes sense! Here's the little sprite singing "Tinkerbell."
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And Lacy singing "Jingle Bells!"
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter Wonderland

It's not even technically winter yet, but I sure could be fooled by looking outside right now! We have somewhere between 11-12 inches of snow in our backyard. We're planning on having a nice day of hunkering down and playing in the snow, thanks to the snowpants that Leslie so kindly donated to us!

And on to some pictures...

After the first snow earlier this week
Snow Angels
And now this is what it looks like today. I love the frosted look of the evergreen trees

A view into the neighbor's yard
Our backyard
And this should give you an idea of how deep the snow is! This is a cooler on our deck. We measured the snow between 11-12 inches on the top of this cooler.
And the crazy thing is, the snow's not even done yet! We are expected to get between 3 and 6 inches this weekend! And every time they make a guess, we always get more than that because we're at the base of the foothills. Most everywhere else in town got about 6 inches or so. A family that lives 4 miles from here got 16 inches! We're going out there tonight to check it out :)

I'll post more outside pictures when we all go play outside later today! I'll have to dig out my ski pants so I don't get wet. It will be lots of fun!

But, the snow should start melting away by Wednesday when it is predicted to rain. Just in time for Christmas. Yee-haw.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Kiddo Stats

We had a well child visit today and the girls got their official weights and measures.

Lacy is 4 years and 4 months old and weighs 40 pounds and is 43 inches tall. Let's review where she was 11.5 months ago, shall we? 30 pounds and 39.5 inches tall. This is quite a jump! She went from the 26th percentile for weight to the 74th! She is also in the 89th percentile for height, which is a bit higher than last year. She's had a major growth spurt lately! She's quite tall and is so much heavier. If she gains any more weight, she'll have to go to the booster seat instead of the 5-point harness. I expected she'd fit that seat until she was 5! I guess I was mistaken. Well, since she's gotten so big, I'm no longer nervous about her being in a booster seat.

Rose is my little sprite. She's gotten a lot taller, but not much heavier. Perhaps she'll have a growth spurt when she's 3 or 4 like Lacy. She weighs 27.5 pounds and is 36 inches tall. This is only 1.5 pounds more than a year ago, but 2.5 inches taller. She's in the 35th for weight and 61st for length, going down in the growth charts on both counts.

We also got Rose some vaccinations. We delay vaccinations, so she's only had one before this. We feel like she's old enough now that the adverse effects (if any) will be easier to handle and recognize than as a young infant. We did get her vaxed against pertussis because we feel it is a real threat in our area. We'll probably do MMR next month because there have been some measles outbreaks around here in years past, so that too seems like a real threat. We're skipping the flu vaccine and chicken pox, at least until they're older.

As far as development goes, the girls are right on track physically and emotionally. I asked the doctor about vision stuff, and she said it may be because Lacy walks on her toes all the time that she is so clumsy. But she did refer us to an eye doctor if we think that she still has vision problems later on.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful

This morning Lacy woke us up to "It's snowing!" We told her it wasn't, because to the best of our knowledge, based on checking about a half hour before then, it wasn't. Sure enough, huge flakes were coming down. At one point, we got about two inches of snowfall in a half hour. We have a total of about 5 inches right now, and it should stay as the temperature isn't predicted to go above freezing until Wednesday. We'll see how running all over town to deliver Christmas baskets goes at mutual on Thursday (it's supposed to snow that day, too! Yikes!).

We've gotten more snow since these were taken today.


The plan is to build a snowman tomorrow! Assuming Lacy is sweet (she's been pretty naughty today).

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Search for the Perfect Christmas Tree


Today we headed out and found the tree of our Christmas dreams. Or at least one that wouldn't take up too much room in the living room.

We went to the Christmas Tree farm that is about 1.5 miles from our house. How lucky are we? I love being able to support local businesses and farmers, especially ones that close to me. First we had to trek down to where all the trees are. (Yes, that is a chainsaw Dave is holding. You didn't think he would use a regular hand saw for a Christmas tree, did you?)


Then it was decision time. Rose had a good idea of what she wanted.

But we thought our decorations and lights would fit better on the tree Lacy chose for us.

Onto the business of felling the tree.


Timmmmmm-be-e-e-e-r-r-r-r-r
What a stud.
Returning from the hunt with the perfect tree.

On to the decoration of said tree...
With Lacy's new ornament
And Rose's too
And there you have it. Our Christmas tree.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I'm going to be brave

and post this really awful version of Clair de Lune for y'all. I've been practicing again for a little over a month now, and this song in particular for about two weeks. I used to be really good at this song. I think this song is the one that got me my scholarship. But that happened almost 13 years ago. So needless to say I'm a little rusty.

You can hear the page turning but you can't hear any dynamics (go figure-- I swear I played something other than forte during this 5 minutes!). And I have some pretty bad goofs during the song. Not to mention my piano is 104 years old with the original felts and strings, so it's a bit out of tune and has some issues, including a squeaky pedal. I'm going to post this song again in a couple weeks so you can see how I've improved. Hopefully by then I can figure out how to post it as an MP3 so you don't have to download it next time.

With no further ado... here goes nothing.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Bookworm

I cleaned out under Lacy's bed the other day and found a few toys, woody, some cups of water, and books. Lots and lots of books. How many books, you say?

More than a couple.

Girlfriend likes to read.

The book on top of the stack, Yoko, had been renewed twice and was more than two weeks overdue when we finally returned it to the library. It has been Lacy's favorite book ever since we checked it out. I'm thinking I'm going to have to buy a copy. Or just check it out a lot.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Piano!

Last month, I recommitted myself to practicing piano much, much more often. And I am happy to say I have followed through! Here are my practice totals for the month of November: total minutes practiced: 1775 Daily average: 59.16666667

Almost 60 minutes a day! With a 2 year old in my home! Who likes to climb on me when I'm at the piano! Which is why I practice after the kids go to bed!

And where I am on my music:

I have one piece finished. May Song, by Granidos, a Spanish composer. I am also working on a Sally DeFord arrangement of "Bring a Torch." I am currently working it line-by-line and hope to have it totally finished in a week or so. At least before Christmas! I am also working on a Chopin nocturne, 55.1. That is coming along quite nicely. Another one I'm working on is by Debussey, probably his most famous piece, Clair de Lune. I love that song. It is one that helped me get my scholarship at WSU. I am getting closer, but I still have a ways to go to get back to the level I was at 12 years ago. I've also been working, but not as much, on Bach's Praeludeum 21 and Beethoven's Sonata no. 8. I also have several more pieces in my "cue" that I'm going to get started as soon as I have another piece or two perfected, including another Chopin nocturne and several other pieces I had perfected at one point. And now, my goal is to play the perfected/memorized songs at least once or twice a week to keep them up.

Tonight it was really fun to hear one of my Young Women play "Sleigh Ride" at church with my neighbor, who is an accomplished musician and her piano teacher. It was the exact same arrangement I learned about 15 years ago when I was in high school! That was fun to hear. I should check to see if I still have the sheet music for it. It's a really fun song to hear, and to play! Leslie, you and I should work on it so we can play it next year when mom and dad are back!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Santa's Coming to Town!

We had the ultimate privilege of seeing Santa not once, but TWICE today! We went shopping at Target, and there he was, shopping for toys with his signature white beard. He wasn't wearing his suit though-- just a red t-shirt. That was really fun!

Later on, he put his red suit back on and with the help of our local firemen, went through the neighborhood collecting food for families that don't have enough to eat. We gathered up what we could give and sat outside waiting for Santa.

Oh yeah-- it was raining, too.



After what seemed like an eternity, he finally arrived, and we went up to his helpers (not elves this time) and gave them our donation. In return, we got candy canes! We had a lot of fun out in the rain waiting for Santa. Lacy reminded Santa that she wants a new bike for Christmas. Hopefully her Christmas wish will come true!