Tuesday, April 26, 2011

music to my ears...

tonight was the cottage school's spring concert. oh, how the sound of recorders brings back warm memories of mrs. lebensorger and my days at madison school. she was an excellent music teacher and always made you feel as if you were playing in the philharmonic.

ethan and liv are both wanting to play a new instrument, guitar and violin, respectively. i'm actually thinking about taking violin lessons with liv. we'll see. sam is still playing guitar but having a bit of trouble finding a new teacher. the littles are about ready for some formal music instruction and i can't wait!

i really love having a piano, guitars and other instruments around the house. it's such a great outlet for the kids away from technology! sam and i are going to download the music to "the office" and try to do a duet on the piano and guitar in honor of the last episode. it's not mozart, but it ought to provide a few laughs!

dos hermanas y el ciervo comen tortillas...

deer love tortilla chips. who knew? moreover, little girls love feeding deer tortilla chips. listen for audge's belly laugh when she gets her salty little fingers licked.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

winter park...

world class skiing practically in our backyard is one of the best things about living in colorado. we took the oldest three to winter park for a mid-week spring ski session today. what an absolutely amazing day we had on the slopes! no lines, no crowds, and brand new powder overnight! yet another benefit of homeschooling! (we did do math and a state report on alaska in starbucks while dad and sam skied some more challenging runs.)

skiing down a mountainside together is one of my favorite family activities. today they were playing some reggae music as well, so two of my favorite things in the universe collided! we mostly stuck to the greens, but marcus always tricks us onto blue runs. i have to say, we're so much more confident each time we go! sam was poles up, head down the whole day! he was bailing down those mountains light years ahead of the rest of us. liv and i stick together and before long she was saying "come on, mom" or "mom, let's go faster!"

on our third run, a brutal front rolled in out of nowhere. marcus, liv and i were caught in a complete white out. we literally could only see the tips of our skis. we basically had to ski blind down the mountain, with fierce wind tearing through our layers and snow stinging and pelting our faces. we made it to the lodge, met up with the boys and thawed out for a good hour. a few chili dogs and some chicken soup later, the front passed and we hit the slopes again.

but what would a ski trip be without the ski patrol. we lost ethan. well, actually, ethan lost us. we turned left, he turned right and went down a blue/black, complete with rails and a jump. way, way beyond his ability level. he was missing for about 30 or 40 worrisome minutes. marcus finally found him at the base of the mountain. (ethan said he snow plowed the whole way down!) let me tell you, the ski patrol was johnny on the spot! they alerted each other quickly on their radios, and let all the lift operators know. we were so thankful to see his sweet face at the base of the mountain. then i wanted to wallop him over the head with one of my ski poles for leaving the group. i refrained and hugged him instead, while marcus hugged the ski patrol guy in charge of the search. he was the sweetest rastafarian named larry you'll ever meet.

we all feel like we've been beat up. a few of us popped some motrin and took hot showers. i can only imagine how we'll feel tomorrow. can't wait to do it again! the last hill closes in june, so we have a trip planned to a-basin in may. gotta love colorado!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

matinee with the middles...

since january, the middles have been preparing and rehearsing for their parts in two separate productions with a local childrens' theater. so, we all packed into the mini-van, filed into the theater and settled into our seats to watch the middles matinee.

ethan was uncle albert in mary poppins. we had just received a hand-me-down sport coat from our friends the parsons~perfect timing! paired with a clip on tie from the dress up trunk and some khaki pants, uncle albert was born. ethan is so naturally comfortable on stage. it's really apparent that nerves don't even play a factor from the smile he beams. he really loves being part of a cast and enjoys all the hoopla of performance day. let's just say the singing and dancing part isn't really his favorite. he's looking forward to drama class rather than musical theater in the future.

olivia was "tola" in the king and i. we found her costume at the tibetan store in the mall on massive clearance. i'm going back to get the other girls one so we'll be set for halloween! we twisted her hair into a bun, shellacked it with several ounces of hairspray and used some dramatic black eye liner. she was a bit quiet this morning in the car on the way there. olivia does get jitters before performing, but after a few moments on stage realizes that she really wants to be there.

while we won't necessarily make it to hollywood, it's really not the goal. we're thrilled that they want to keep performing and learning the ins and outs of stage productions. the confidence they gain and the self-assuredness is reward enough. and it makes for great photo ops. next up is a musical theater camp this summer themed "Jesus is the rock hop", a 50's style sock hop for the savior. grab your saddle shoes and poodle skirt! we'll save you a seat!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

popper toilee

ev loves the potty. she sits and sits for probably a couple of hours cumulatively a day. she talks to herself, talks to passersby, opens the drawers of the cabinet to have a look, investigates the goings ons in the water below.

the other day, while i was teaching the middles, she calls from the bathroom for me to come help. "mom! i need popper toileeeeeee!" ethan, olivia and i exchanged a glance and then burst into laughter. toilet paper. ev needs toilet paper. i think she made some kind of new hybrid word mixing paper towel and toilet paper. doesn't matter. i'm not sure i'll ever be able to write plain old "toilet paper" on my grocery list every again.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

i know, i know...

i am horrible about keeping up this blog. i have great intentions, but somehow after putting the littles and the middles to bed, straightening up the house, chasing sam off facebook and folding a load of laundry, my bed is much more enticing than the desk chair.

now that we're almost half way through april, i have a dilemma. do i try to catch up from christmas until now? impossible. frankly, i'm not sure i can even remember february and march at this point. the days are just full. full of the usual: homeschooling, cooking, laundry, laughing at the littles, managing the middles and savoring these years with old man sam. full of the unusual: audrey trick or treating in march, ev using watercolors as eyeshadow. i guess i can just cover some of the highlights.

we've celebrated another birthday! clark david wonky aloysius grizzwold ("grizz") was two years old in january. he's one of our favorite things about "home". an amazingly patient and loving dog, totally trustworthy and as loyal as they come. most days he can be found in the yard with the kids, chewing on a stick and waiting to hear the coveted word "treat". or at the fort with the boys investigating the woods, searching for deer poop like truffles. ew. and when we can get away, being the best running partner a girl could ask for. (scroll down to see the video at the bottom of the blog!)

grandma came in january and graciously allowed marcus and i to escape to the broadmoor for an overnight. time away from the kids, just the two of us, is so precious. let's just say it gives us hope and we see a faint dim light at the end of a very long tunnel. did i say that out loud? then jessica our old neighbor in westchester came to visit with her adorable 2 year old miranda. the zoo, playtime, snacks, giggles. it was lots of fun and evelyn is still asking for her friend "'randa". a sock hop at church, a valentine's day brunch at a friend's home, a renovation of the laundry room, a father daughter dinner dance for liv, winter camp with church for sam, out for dinner for marcus' birthday, spring break with a day trip to denver, watching 5 dogs over spring break, and most importantly, ev is potty trained!

lest you think we are now in the witness protection program when you try to call, baseball has started. when we're not at home, we are most certainly at a ball field watching ethan, our lefty pitcher, throw strikes!

there are days when marcus and i look at each other in disbelief over the pile of dishes in the kitchen, the shoes by the front door, the constanly revolving doors, the entire neighborhood's bikes in the front yard, the craft supplies and maple syrup on the kitchen counter. we are so in the thick of parenting and it can be really overwhelming at times. but we know we are blessed, they know they are loved and what happens in this house on a daily basis is eternal. so, we do the best we can, ask each other for help when we need it and we try to take time to marvel amidst the monotony and the little moments in this crazy, good, good life.