Sunday, March 28, 2010

An Addition

Welcoming the newest member of the family!

Isn't she beautiful? How about a little close-up?

This beauty joined the family this week after Dan and I recently started shopping around more seriously for a piano of our very own.

When we moved to Texas almost 3 years ago, we were so thrilled to be able to bring the old family piano with us for a little while as Mom had just purchased a brand new Kawai grand piano that spring. Knowing that the piano would eventually be passed on down to my younger brother, Jon, we got to be the interim home for this much beloved old piano. The last 3 years have been wonderful having a piano in our home after living through college without one, and it's also been fun being able to play so much on the piano that I grew up with and learned to play on.

This piano has a legacy of its own. Every time I've called a piano tuner to come and tune the piano in the last few years, I feel a little sense of pride to hear how impressed they are with the condition of this over-100-year-old piano. It's definitely well-loved and played, and does not play quite as well as it used to, but they can tell it's been loved and well taken care of as it's held up through the years. I'm not sure how many lives it has had, but I do know that it belonged to my great grandfather, spent some time in the basement of a church in Idaho, made a cross-country journey to Kansas City pulled by my grandfather in a trailer out to my family probably before I was born, moved back to Utah when I was 9, and had a nice 3-year stint with us here in Houston. Now it will be on to San Francisco to live with my brother and sister-in-law, Jon and Carrie, and their baby Shayla on it's next life. I'm sure all of my siblings feel a bit nostalgic about this piano, learning to play from Bastien, Music Tree, and Alfred methods, playing duets of "Heart and Soul", hiding and/or finding Easter candy left behind by the Easter bunny 3 months earlier that somehow was missed during the hunt and was well-hidden and forgotten under the music holder. I feel privileged to be a part of some of the many lives that it has seen.

But the time has now come to get ready to pass on the piano now that Jon is finishing up school at BYU and they're moving to California this summer. I didn't want to end up without a piano for a period of time if I could avoid it because I'm attached to piano ownership now, and I'm also teaching lessons, so Dan and I started shopping around in the last month or two. When we found our new Kawai, I fell in love with it. It's a used 30-year-old 52" full upright, but newly factory-refurbished, straight in from the factory in Japan last week, so like new. It plays like a dream! And of course it looks like a dream too, and I love the shiny black finish. Anna and David, of course, like to touch it as much as I do, so I'm learning quickly the tricks to polishing off the fingerprints. But I'm so excited to have our own piano that I will teach them to play on when they're older. I hope that our new piano will be as well-loved through the years and will become a legacy in our family as we grow with it.

And in the meantime until June or July, I am the lucky owner of 2 pianos in my front room! So anyone up for some fun duets or quartets, come on over for some fun jam sessions!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Park fun

This was a week and a half ago, still definite jacket weather, but a gorgeous sunny day! So we had our regular weekly preschool class at the park and let the kids run around. We loved this "tire park" that our friends introduced us to, so I'm sure we'll go back for more fun this spring and summer.

Another one bites the dust

courtesy of David, resident 15 1/2 month old Captain Destruct-o.

Dan and I got this set of 8 glasses when we were first married almost 6 years ago. David has managed to, in the last month and a half, break not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 of the 5 remaining glasses we owned still intact. This most recent break was engineered by his diabolical plot carefully orchestrated by waiting until the dishwasher was only "fake-closed" and unattended, then pulling the door down, climbing up, and innocently emptying cups and bowls from the top rack onto the kitchen floor. Poor glass never saw it coming. Thank heavens for Corelle-ware that withstands toddler tosses. I guess we not only need locks for the cabinets, but also the dishwasher. Do they even sell such a thing? Oh wait, it's called the self-locking door already there. Note to self, Always push dishwasher door fully closed to lock so your 1-year-old can't "help" anymore. Or I could of course be better about emptying the dishwasher the second the dry cycle is complete so David has nothing to empty for me... oh who are we kidding? Do I ever empty the dishwasher that quickly after it's done? Please tell me I'm not the only one who grabs plates and silverware to set the table for dinner straight from the dishwasher--when it was run over 24 hours ago?

In the meantime, looks like I get to go shopping for a new set of drinking glasses. Thanks, Destruct-o Davy.

Chattering Anna

I'm constantly amazed at the things that Anna says these days. There is power in words, and Anna is learning the beauty of communication. Here are a few lessons she's learned.

"Mommy, can I have..." Anna spies my tall glass of water and grins, "I can have some of yours, Mommy?"
"But Anna, I want to drink that since it's mine."
"That's ok, we can share!" says the little imp.
Yes, we have the art of sharing down well. As long as we're sharing something that wasn't Anna's to begin with.

"Mom, you're a nice Mommy." followed by a hug and big grin. "Can I have some more pretzels?"
"Mommy, you can give me a snack if you want to!" followed by another big smile.
I love it when Anna gives me permission to do stuff. Hmm, she seems to have manipulation down pat too.

Not to mention the constant correcting of her parents.
At bedtime when we're tucking both little ones in:
Dan: Night, big girl. Night, little boy.
Anna: Da-a-a-d, we're called babies.
Don't forget the eye-roll. Where did she pick up on the eye-roll already, anyway? She's only 3 and a half, for goodness sake.

And then there are other equally adorable and very sweet things too.
"Mommy, you're my best friend!" paired with a big bear hug.
"You look so wonderful!" after I've brushed my hair in the morning. Anna loves using the word wonderful.
And everyone needs a 3-year-old to tell them that they look wonderful. It does the heart good.

And I must say that my favorite part of the day is when Anna wants to sing with me, whether we sit at the piano and sing, or when we sing before she goes to sleep at night. There is nothing sweeter than hearing her break out into "I Am a Child of God" when we're driving in the car.

Love our sweet, growing, talkative girl!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


How we've missed you!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Felt Heart Wreath

This is for Katie, Melissa, and Tammy, and anyone else who wants to know how to make the Valentine wreaths I posted here.

I first read about it on the blog Be Different Act Normal here.
The original idea came from the blog The Idea Room here.

They're really simple to make, just take some time to cut out all the felt circles. I roped Dan into helping cut some of them out while we watched a movie. For the 9" wreath I used 2" diameter circles, and for the 12" wreath I used 3" circles. And the best part is it is so inexpensive to make, especially if you use a 40% off coupon on the strofoam wreath.