Thursday, July 18, 2013

My Love Seat

I have decided that I am just a whole lot of crazy.  After our camping trip, I decided to tackle my $25 Goodwill couch and give it a bit of a face lift. Unfortunately, I didn't take a before picture.  But, it was a sad looking piece of drabness.  

Rinar took a couple of kids to St. George for a quick golfing excursion and I got out my massacring tools: a chisel and needle nose pliers.  And then I went to work dissecting this couch.  There were staples everywhere.  My carpet was coated in them.

When Rinar got home and saw the destruction, he was speechless for some reason.

I found some beautiful fabric at Home Fabrics, for a great price. Since I paid for the fabric it was too late to go back.

The couch was really worn down, so I added a back cushion to it, to fluff it up again.  But then I was worried that it would slip down, so I decided to tuft the back.

At each step, I would get stumped as to what I should do. So I would take a break for a day or two and think about possible solutions. When I could think of something that would work, I would go back to the couch and try again.  

The seat cushions were probably the hardest part of the whole process, but I figured out something I could live with and just finished the darn thing.


This is definitely the hardest project I have ever completed.  It was a beast, but I did it.  I don't think I would ever do it again.

Riverton Carnival

We went with Melanie and her kids to the Riverton Carnival a few weeks ago. It was $1 ride night, so a super cheap night of fun for us cheapskates.  We gave a bunch of tickets to the older kids and let them go off on their own and then took our little ones on the kiddie rides.  They really enjoyed themselves.

And then I waited with the little ones while Melanie took Eli and Ava on the Ferris Wheel.  Man, those things take a long time, with the loading and unloading.  But they all seemed to enjoy themselves and while we were waiting, we ate cotton candy and drank some sugary drinks.

It was getting late when we left and Melanie and I thought it would be a good idea to get a snow cone at a street vendor around the corner. These ice shacks are all the rage in Utah these days. It looked pretty busy, but we dutifully waited in line for our turn. After waiting 20 minutes in line, we asked them how long it would take to get our order and they said it would be at least 40 minutes. What!?!  I don't think so. We packed those kids up in the car so fast and headed over to Arctic Circle. 

Just living it up in the summer time!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Eli and the Violin

Eli started taking violin lessons as soon as we moved here. He seems to be catching on. His teacher is Trina C. and she is a lot fun. I am just grateful that he seems to be enjoying it and that I have a violin teacher for all of my kids.  Very blessed.

I think it also helps that Eli is really into earning money these days. He always wants to do money chores so that he can get dollars. Trina has Bach Buck deals where he can earn "money" to spend at her store if he can meet certain challenges she gives him each week. Money speaks to this kid right now. I love it. He is really learning.

Uncle Mike

We have been so blessed to be able to live in Utah, close to family. My sister Catye and her husband Mike live in Provo and they come and visit us every so often. My kids get so excited to see them because they just love Uncle Mike. He is definitely the favorite uncle of all uncles.  He plays with them and gives them lots of attention. 

My kids are lucky to have an Uncle Mike.

Payson Lakes

We headed out of town on June 23 for a week long camping trip in the Wasatch mountains. We were finally able to take our camper on a long excursion and it was a lot of fun. We went to Payson Lakes, not too far from Payson, Utah.

Raef and Zach slept in a tent by the campfire and the rest of us hunkered down in the trailer. I have to say that camping sure is a lot more fun for me when I can sleep on a real bed.

The weather was absolutely beautiful. We were very fortunate.  I made sure to come prepared with things for us to do.  One of my main purchases was an inflatable boat.  The lake was small and close to our campsite. It was perfect for our little family.  Here is everyone on the maiden voyage. The kids were really excited.

 When you are unplugged and away from everything, it makes you do stuff you normally don't do. We started playing board games again.  The favorite for this trip was Rummikub.  The kids loved it. Even Eli and Harry got in on the action. Harry would pick out my tiles for me. He loved it.

We also went on a pretty long hike around Payson Lake and then down to the lower campground.

I brought colored pencils and notebooks and the kids stopped to do a little nature journaling.  They absolutely loved it.

But the highlight of the camping trip was bug discoveries. Harry, Eli, and Julia just loved finding bugs and petting them and watching them.  On our hike, they found a fuzzy caterpillar and they were all smitten with it.

The boys also had fun just playing in the lake.  The water was pretty cold, but they seemed to have fun all the same.

Then Rinar did a little stand up comedy routine. He was in the water trying to find a "boat" and he was cracking up all the kids. They laughed so hard. One of his boats was a shoe, or a hat, or a stick. Whatever. It didn't matter. He was so darn silly and the kids just ate it up.

 Another fun activity was rollerblading and bike riding. They really enjoyed that.  They would just zoom around on a circular course, over and over again.

And then we did some action shots. This was a lot of fun too.  My kids really like to take pictures. And as soon as I take their picture, they like to see the results.

By Wednesday, we were pretty darn stinky. So we headed back to town and went to the city pool to swim all afternoon and take some showers, with soap!  It was a blast. The Payson city pool is very nice. They have a lazy river and a kiddie playground/slide, and two large slides.  It was a nice change of pace from our mountain retreat. We were also able to go out and eat pizza. Yummy!

On Thursday, we packed up and drove the rest of the Mt. Nebo loop, which is absolutely breathtaking, and then headed to Manti for the Mormon Miracle Pageant.  We got there pretty early and had a lot of time to kill. It was so hot, I thought I was going to die. So we went to the public library and killed some time there, in a nice air conditioned facility.  The kids loved reading books, so it worked out well for all of us.  Then we had dinner at a church next door. It was a fundraiser for the community and was typical Mormon fare: turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, a dinner roll, ice water, and a chocolate iced chocolate cake. Typical, but satisfying.

We parked our trailer across the street so that we could just stay the night because the show didn't even start until 9:30.  I had no idea how my littles would do.  They are usually asleep by 8pm.  But they all stayed awake until the last 30 minutes.  But they sure were zonkered by the time we carried them all back to the trailer. It was a good thing we decided to stay the night.

The pageant was wonderful and I am glad that my kids could experience it.

We had an enjoyable time together on our camping vacation. I am grateful for the time I could spend with my little family.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Nordel's Family

At the end of ISSI, we got an impromptu visit from Rinar's brother Nordel and family. It was really fun to see them. Eli and his cousin Tru are best friends. They just love to play together and get along most of the time.

But Raef is especially enamored with their youngest son Boston.  He is like Raef's little toy.  He carries him around everywhere and plays with him all the time. It is really quite sweet.

Nordel, Brooke, and Bella were able to go to the final day of the concert for Suzuki camp and we were able to hang out afterwards and let the kids play. It made for a very nice weekend.

Intermountain Suzuki String Institute

Another year, another wonderful week of Suzuki camp at Juan Diego High School.  Raef and Zach continue to progress in their musical studies and Intermountain Suzuki String Institute is an integral part of their development.  I am always amazed at the growth I see after just one week of playing. It is fantastic.

Raef started the week before because he was able to play in the Chamber Days. It started on Thursday, June 13 and was three days of intense chamber training. He played in a string quartet with Emma T., Anna R. and Thomas, the cello player. This go around Raef was the oldest. And he did fantastic. They worked on a rather difficult Beethoven piece (Op. 18 No. 2 4th Movement) and I was so amazed when I heard the final product

Then on Monday we started camp.  It was the 35th anniversary of ISSI and they decided to perform an original piece by Michael McLean. It was 700+ students playing in the auditorium. It was quite the spectacle and it took all week, with lots of hard work, to pull it off.

Zach had 5 great classes: Performance (Solomon), Master Class (Johansen), Technique (Meyer), Chamber (Johnson), Orchestra (Becker).  His master class teacher focused on his head and holding the violin correctly. He tends to slump down when he plays.  It is something he is going to have to keep working on until it becomes second-nature.

Raef's schedule looked like this: Chamber (Waters), Technique (Steun-Walker), Repertoire (Richardson), Orchestra (Bayless), and Master Class (Smale).

Raef really loved his repertoire teacher Robert Richardson. Robert would let Raef play lots of harmonies and even taught him some new ones. He had a lot of nice things to say about Raef which made me smile. Raef is such a special kid and quite a talented violist.

This is Zach with his chamber teacher Matt Johnson. Zach got to play first violin and he just loved it. I think this was his favorite class.  They performed a Rondo by Mozart and it was quite lovely. Zach is a very confident performer.

This is Zach's performance teacher Nicolette Solomon. She is from South Africa and it did not take her long to learn Zach's name.

We look forward to another year of ISSI.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...