Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Piano Recital

I had a piano recital for my students last week. This was the first recital I've ever held, and it turned out surprisingly well. They played a mixture of "regular" songs and Christmas songs. Since I only have 5 students right now, everyone got to play 3 songs and the program was still under 30 minutes.
 All the students practiced hard and did a great job on their songs.

I had sisters play a duet. It reminded me of playing duets with my sister. 

There was a mother daughter duet too.

Both my boy students took it very seriously. They memorized a song, they had great form while playing and bowed very precisely when finished.  I loved it.
I'm glad we had a lot of people in the audience so the students had someone to perform for, and there was always a big applause.  Afterwards, we had some cookies and punch, which was a big hit with all the young children spectators.

Dallin and his friend from preschool snuck away from the refreshment room to play in their own recital.

I think we have 2 potential piano players here:
video

I'm really proud of all my students and how hard they've worked this year.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Have you ever been so hungry... part 2

Have you ever been so hungry that you kept eating while you were asleep?
video
Connor has.

Have you ever been so hungry that you ate peanut butter by the spoonfuls?
Dallin has.
Ok, I'm pretty sure I have too.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas-ing

Dallin is enjoying all the cartoon Christmas specials on TV right now. His favorite is the Charlie Brown Christmas. We borrowed that one from the library and watched it several times already. Dallin likes to sit on the warm laundry fresh from the dryer. One night he was watching the Charlie Brown Christmas when I pulled some laundry out. He was conflicted: sit on the warm laundry in the laundry room, or watch Charlie Brown? Solution: he dragged the basket by himself in front of the TV.



The day after Thanksgiving, we got out our Christmas decorations.
Dallin is really excited about Christmas. Specifically, he's excited about the presents under the tree. He's been to several birthday parties over the last few months, so he knows what presents are and he's finally excited for them to be for him. Every morning, he wakes up and asks if it's present day. Don't worry, we'll spend the next month teaching him that Christmas is about more than presents.

We put the tree in a corner and a baby gate in front of it. Connor is at the perfect age where he can get into all kinds of trouble, but doesn't quite understand being disciplined yet. Dallin has figured out a way around the  baby gate. He climbs up on the couch and goes over the arm. 
 
Then he turns the lights on and stacks all the presents from biggest to smallest.

The nativity sets are displayed op top of the bookshelf. Dallin discovered he can reach them by using a laundry basket, step stool, or overturned shoe basket to stand on.
I've found a few sheep and a manger lying around, but nothing is missing so far.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving

We hosted a Thanksgiving dinner at our house and invited some friends to join us.The menu was divided between everyone, so no one family had to provide the whole dinner. 

I made a pecan pie. Dallin ate all my pie dough scraps.
I also made the turkey, using the same brine and roasting recipe for the third year in a row. It's a keeper. 

Mckay helped Connor take a nap while I cooked.

Here is a picture of the whole spread.
We were all starving, so we dug in right after I took this picture. And then we were all too stuffed to think about taking any more pictures. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Have you ever been so hungry...?

Have you ever been so hungry that you ate right through the wrapper of a granola bar?
Connor has.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Halloween 2012

The weekend before Halloween we had a ward Trunk or Treat at someone's house. There was a bonfire, a big open field where the cars were parked for trunk or treating, and a trail through the woods that the teenage boys turned into a spooky Haunted Trail for the night.

Dallin was a dinosaur this year, a repeat of last year's costume.
 Connor was a monkey, reprising Dallin's role from 2009 and 2010.
Connor was the perfect age for this costume. It fit well, and he is at the perfect "monkey stage," walking unsteadily through the grass, crawling around and getting into everything. 
He loved the dogs locked up behind a fence.
 You can't see in the picture, but they were big dogs with rough barks. They were very nice, good dogs, but I was surprised Connor was not afraid at all.

That's the end of the pictures from the trunk or treat. We were watching a friends child that night so we had 3 kids instead of the usual two. Mckay (being assistant scout master) was helping with the haunted trail, so I had all 3 kids on my own for a while. And Dallin was incredibly terrified of anyone wearing a mask that covered their eyes, so I was holding him, trying to calm him down most of the night. Taking pictures was the last thing on my mind.

Dallin has a buddy at church that often sits next to us. He's 11 and he helps Mckay keep Dallin and Connor sitting quietly while I play the organ. So, Dallin's friend showed up to the party wearing a morphsuit, one of those skin tight spandex suits that covers your entire body and face, like this:

Dallin was absolutely terrified of him!!!! Even when his friend took the face part off so Dallin could see who it was, he would scream again as soon as the mask went back. I'd try to take Dallin far away from him, but Dallin would search though the crowd to find him (trying to make sure he could see the evil monster so it wouldn't sneak up on him, I guess) and then scream and cry again. It was a rough night on the poor kid.

On Halloween, Dallin had a party in his preschool classroom, so he got to take his costume with him to school. He looked like a pack mule on his way out the door that morning.

Then we went trick or treating with some friends in their neighborhood. There was only one run in with a person wearing a scary mask, so Dallin handled the night well. He said "Thank you" and "bye-bye" at every door. Mckay dressed up to fit the theme of the boys' costumes. (And I did a little bit too.) Can you guess who he is?
Any ideas?

We start with a dinosaur, then we progress to a monkey.... he was Charles Darwin. He even brought a copy of the Origin of Species. And I was Darwin's wife. I know throwing on an apron doesn't really make you Darwin's wife, but it was the best "housewife" costume I could come up with in 2 minutes.

 We had a donut eating competition.
 I started out strong, but it is a lot harder than I expected to swallow while laying down.

When we got home from trick or treating, Connor was wiped out.
I love that he was holding a fork the whole time.

Dallin stayed up for another hour or so trying to eat every sucker in his bucket. This is the first year he's actually been interested in eating his candy, so we let him.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Wrap-up

Here are the leftover pictures from the month:

This one kind of speaks for itself. Connor eating chips right out of the bag. Adorable.
(Yes, that is a blanket fort in the back of the picture.)

***
Since the weather has taken a turn for the cold, I pulled out the boys winter clothes in the next size. I found an outfit that I got at my baby shower for Dallin almost 4 years ago. It's 24 month size so he can just now fit in it.
 There are probably few 2 year olds that look cute in a one piece romper like this, and even fewer 3 1/2 year olds. But he finally fits in it!

***
Dallin will sometimes pass out on the floor after playing hard and Connor likes to torment him while he sleeps. Connor's weapon is a vacuum attachment.
video

***
Every time I pull laundry fresh from the dryer, Dallin climbs on top of the warm clothes.


***
We made the mistake of talking Connor for a "walk" around the neighborhood, actually letting him walk on his own instead of riding in the stroller. Now he has realized that there is no magical barrier around our yard and he has the power to leave it on his own.
Anytime we go out front, he takes off down the sidewalk.

 ***
Dallin helped me carve a pumpkin. I carved it and he put the cut out shapes back into place like a puzzle.

I love his eyes here:

And again with the eyes.
 Maybe he's trying to copy his pumpkin's triangle eyes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Field Trips

There is a great little zoo here in Lafayette. It's free and only 10 minutes from our house, yet we've only been there twice. I'm not sure why. It closed for the winter last week, so I took the boys to see the animals before it closed. 

Dallin loved the goats. You can walk in the pen and be right next to all of them. Dallin was fascinated. One of the goats started chewing on Dallin's jacket (as often happens with goats when you have loose clothing), so I gently pulled it from the goats mouth and told Dallin that the goat wanted to eat his jacket. Dallin looked down at his jacket, grabbed a corner of it, and offered it to the goat for eating. Such a sweet boy: always thinking of others.

Dallin liked the tunnel through the otter tank.

He also liked the wallaby enclosure and how close you could get to them.
This is him telling the wallaby to "Wake up!" 

Those were about the only animals still left out that could tolerate the cold. I'll have to be a better mom next year and take them to the zoo several times.

 Next to the zoo is also the biggest, coolest park in town.
Connor went straight for the tallest slide.

They both like to swing, but always want someone to swing with them. Solution:
Put them both in the same baby swing!

Connor LOVED it.
 Dallin liked it too, even though this picture doesn't particularly show it.

On Connor's birthday, Dallin's preschool class had a field trip to the apple orchard. Connor and I got to join them. It was so fun. It was a coldm windy day and none of us dressed appropriately for it. We all snuggled up inside the barn while they read the kids a story about apples and talked about what they do on the farm. Then they let all the kids sample a few different varieties of apple.
Dallin politely took each kind of apple then handed it to me. He's in a big picky-eating funk right now.

Next we got to ride on the tractor.
 Connor was mad that I dared to put him down when he was cold.

We rode around the orchard as the farmer pointed out all the apple trees, the beehives, and pumpkin patch.

We got off the tractor at the pumpkin patch and Dallin got to choose his own pumpkin and gourd to take home.
He chose this weird bumpy gourd.

Connor chose an even weirder gourd with wings on the sides.

The whole class had a great time and Dallin was very sad to leave to orchard.

Along with our pumpkin and gourds, we bought some apples to take home that I turned into the most delicious apple crisp.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Birthday Party

Connor got to open some presents from his grandparents on his birthday.
 He loved being surrounded by boxes.

He didn't quite get the hang of ripping the paper off,
though Dallin offered several times to show him how.

He got lots of cars and clothes and new shoes.
 He really loves all the cars.

A few days after his birthday we had a little party and invited some of his friends over.
 He got more fun toys to play with. This boy is set!

I made cupcakes, each one decorated with the letter "C" in sprinkles.
I cut a "C" out of wax paper and used the negative space left behind as a stencil. Mckay did all the tedious stencil work and I think they looked fabulous.

 Connor didn't really blow the candle out, but he did grab the flame several times with his fingers.

He hesitantly poked the frosting and licked his finger.
 It took a few licks before he decided he liked it and then he really dug in.
 He didn't care for the cake so much, he just wanted the frosting. His face definitely shows that.

 The decorations were simple. In fact, there was really only one decoration, but I love how it turned out. I made a timeline of pictures showing Connor's growth from birth to 12 months, with a picture for each month.
I just hung some yarn on the wall and attached pictures with clothespins.
 I traced the numbers off the computer screen and cut them by hand from construction paper. Although, many people told me I could have done this much faster with a Cricut or Silhouette machine. Call me cheap old fashioned. 

Remember that little pouch I sewed for Connor's present?
 I made him finger puppets!
These particular puppets go along with the monkeys and the alligator song. ("Five little monkeys swinging in a tree, Teasing mister alligator, 'Can't catch me!'")
(made from this tutorial)

So far, Connor has no feelings either way on the song, but he does like it when you put the puppets on his fingers. He rips them off pretty quickly, but then giggles and wants more.

It's so easy to entertain a one year old.