Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mini recital for the stitt family gathering!

Sunday night we went to Andrew and Camille's cute new place and had dinner. Kirsten and Grandma provided the after dinner entertainment with their rendition of "Jolly Old Saint Nicolas." This is one of the songs she will play for her first recital on Dec. 5th. We are so proud of her for agreeing to do the recital. When we started piano she flat out told me she wouldn' t do them, but now she's agreed to play 2 songs. What a big step for her this is! We just may have found her nitch!
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Grandma Stitt's visit!

Saturday night Grandma got to come and visit at our house. She played games with the kids, read stories and made cookies. The kids enjoyed the time shared with grandma. Kirsten especially enjoyed grandma and her piano skills.
Kirsten has been taking piano lessons going on 3 months this month and is doing great! She loved that when grandma was here they got to play some duets. First they practiced saying the notes outloud and then the counts of the finger placements as dictated by her teacher.
They practiced the assignment together...
Then the highlight, played some duets! Too bad grandma lives so far away she is a great teacher.

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Time Out for Women!

Ellie Woodhouse was a good sport Friday night as she accompanied her aunts and grandma to Time out for Women! Isn't she adorable! I snapped the picture too late she was smiling!
Friday Night we (Corinne, Becca Laing, Candace Carter, Carrie Tijerina, Tara, and I,)( Monica Bair and Jen Baldwin drove up later) drove up to Salt Lake and dropped our overnight gear at the Hampton Inn. Then walked the 5 blocks to the convention center where the Stitt girls(Debra, Rachel, Ellie, Aubrey, Camille, Caitlin) were saving us seats. We had a few minutes to spare before the show began. We listened to Sis. Nelson (Elder Nelson's wife) speak. She was such a pleasant surprise with humor and realness about her that made you want to memorize every word. She taught to take charge of your life and role, identify what needs to be done, stop complaining and get to it. Then Sis. Sherri Dew spoke and again I loved the realness about her...their status in life makes you put them on a pedistal, but in reality they are woman who have feeling just like the rest of us...strengths and weaknesses too. She taught that sometimes we have to "take one for the team," and that we need to boldly share the truths when inspired that we have taken for granted in most cases (Chastity). A violinist, Jenny something played the violin and was amazing! I usually don't appreciate string instruments but she made me change my mind with her talent.
We headed back to the hotel that night and played the name game and Catch Phrase until the manager asked us to keep it down. We then retired for the evening and started the wake up schedule at 6am. I'm not getting any younger and this made me feel ooooold! Me and my baby sister Corinne before another day at Time out!
My good friend Becca! She is such a fun person to hang out with...always concerned for other's needs and a ready smile for everyone!
We had two rooms.. our room consisted of Becca, Tara ( a friend and coworkers wife of Becca's husband), me and Corinne.
The group of hungry girls waiting to be seated at Olive Garden during out lunch break! Tara, Becca, me, Corinne, Jen Baldwin (back R) Monica Bair, Carrie Tijerina, and Candace Carter. What a fun group of girls!
Corinne, me, Camille, Rachel, Aubrey, Caitlin, and Mom. We were able to get a ticket after one of the sister in our ward ended up not being able to go. Mom then got a ticket from Virginia and got to come out on Friday afternoon to join us girls for one more hurray before heading to Paris for a year. It was another inspirational day on Saturday as we were instructed by Hilary Weeks,Michael Wilcox, Emily Watts, Mary Ellen Edmunds ( she is an older woman that had a contagious giggle), and Kris Belcher that her even being there is a miracle. I encourage everyone to go it is well worth the money and just great to have a "time out" for yourself.

Corinne and Ethan came down for the weedend!

The kids loved having Ethan to play with and spoil! They all took turns playing on the piano and Ethan loved pushing all the buttons. The Cooks arrived on Thursday afternoon and Friday the Corinne, I and the little boys went store hopping looking for matching shirts for our family picture the next weekend. Corinne was a lifesaver, but I was sad that we used our time together to go shopping. Thanks for your help Corinne. Friday afternoon Corinne and I headed to Salt Lake for the Time Out For Women Conference. Nathan watched all the kids for use overnight and into the evening of Saturday so we could get a break. What would we do without our awesome husbands to remind us to take a little time to ourselves.
Ethan fell asleep while eating after church before we put him in the car to head to the shuttle stop back to Idaho Falls.
The mode of transportation for Corinne and Ethan so no to worry about the weather and the tending of Ethan. Thanks Corinne and Ethan for a great fun packed weekend! Come again soon and bring Spencer!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A little bit of this and a little bit of that!

Yes, we got a real piano! This is the Yamiha Clavinova CLP 330. It is a beautiful electric piano that we never have to tune, it's lighter weight in case we ever move, doesn't take as much space, has head phones, so I can play after the kids are in bed and not worry about anyone hearing my mistakes, but still sounds, plays, and performs like a real upright grand piano. Kirsten has been taking piano lessons for going on 3 months now and was getting frusterated because her teacher wanted her to pranctice varying her sound with loud and soft. This was impossible on the keyboard that doesn't have tension in the keys. So I started looking on the classified ads and the almost purchases kept on falling through. I then started looking a the gallerys, but everything was always too expensive...even the trade ins. All this time I was looking for and upright piano because thats what I had growing up and loved the feel and look of the"real" pianos. Then I looked at the pros and cons for the electric with all the advancements in technology and we got a really good deal on this one...more than we wanted to spend, but well worth the investment if we were serious about having Kirsten take lessons with success. We all love the new music in our house and not a day goes by when someone doesn't play "kirsten's piano" as Caleb calls it when he wants a turn. Kirsten's piano teacher has asked her to count outloud the notes when she is practicing a new song and Caleb the spong that he is has started doing the same and will sit at the piano as while playing say "1,2, 1,2." It is so cute! Now we just have to wait till he get a little older to start him with lessons.
After persistant asking from Zach, Nathan helped Zach build yet another tower one night. Boy do these boys love to build with their legos and their Dad!

Caleb has been fighting against the staying in bed once he's been tucked in and tries to sneak downstairs and see whatever we are doing...he didn't last that long this time and we found him on the stairs asleep. Silly little guy who is not so little anymore...sigh!

Halloween night 2009!

At the beginning of the year, I was way too ambitious in signing up to help in both kids classrooms. So Nathan once again bailed me out of trouble and took time to help out with Zach's Halloween party and I helped out in Kirsten's class. I was incharge of coming up with a craft activity to do at a center and then man it. The day before the party I tried out the egg carton bat that I had planned to do and it was hard even for me the cut through the cardboard carton....so with this in mind I went on the hunt for a new simpler project. Kathy Anderton saved the day when she mentioned the styrophome spiders that she had seen done at her school. Then the problem was not what to do, but where to get the black wire piping for the legs and for 25 kids worth. I eventually concluded I wasn't going to find them after going to 6 store and as a last resort went to the local grocery store down the street and found some colorful striped ones and for only $1 a package. The spiders turned out great. I found the styrophom balls at the craft store, the black napkins I got at the dollar store and the eyes at walmart. Cute activity that went off without a hitch except that there was no time for pictures during the activity, thus Kirsten's pose at the end with her spider.
I was feeling lazy and didn't want to make dinner so we got one of the pumpkin pizzas from Papa Murphy's. Hint for next year...go get it before 5 pm then there won't be a mile long line not only in drive through but inside too.
The kids were happy about pizza any way they get it!
We went trick-or-treating with the Reynold around our neighborhood and found this "freety" (freaky) house with gravestones and a fogger machine going. Nathan tried to take a picture and it turned out better than I thought it would. Kirsten was the witch, Zach the lion, and Caleb the fireman. I love it when we can reuse Halloween costumes!

Pumpkins from start to finish!

We were a little late at going to pick out pumpkins this year; leaving it till the week of Halloween. When we went to pick out our pumpkins it was bitter cold outside so we we strongly encouraging the kids to "hurry and pick a pumpkin." Caleb of course said, " me hoad it."
Here's Kirsten finding her perfect pumpkin. This time we didn't have our fingers go through the pumpkins underside because lots of the pumpkins were soft and starting to rote from being on the ground too long. Yuck! Luckily we were all wearing our gloves.
Here are the perfect pumpkins that we finally found. We are all frozen and eager to get into the van and out of the wind.
On Halloween morning Nathan took the initiative and carved pumpkins with the kids. Here is his demonstration on how to get the goup out. The kids always have the same reaction..eeeew!
Nevertheless, the plunged into their pumpkins and got the job done. We had to save the goup in a bowl for Zach's choice of pumpkin decorating this year.
Still hard at work....
The finished products. Kirsten's selection....
Zach and Nathan had way too much fun with this one!
Caleb, just glad to be a part of it this year! His pumpkin was harder to carve...it was really tough. We didn't know there were differences in the skins until this year.
The happy cheesy kids and of course their pumpkins!

FHE at the Woodhouse's

Well this picture is a little out of order, but as you can see the boys love to rough house with their Uncle Danny. However, we did manage to contain that energy until the end of the evening!
Aunt Rachel and Danny invited us over to FHE and we had a great lesson on "Gratitude." Rachel taught about the meaning and shared the story, or rather Nathan butchered the story of the 10 lepers that Jesus healed...we all had a good laugh. Then we drew pictures of the things that we were grateful for...i.e. cars, houses, husbands helping around the house, our families, our pets...
Then we put are grateful pumpkin pictures on the pumpkin patch poster. It was a very cute idea. Thank you Rachel and Danny for inviting us over. We then played a couple of games...we were taught a animal sign tag game, which the kids did better at remembering what they were than us parents and then played a roudy game of "Duck, Duck, Goose that I got too into and therefore took a break from when Ellie woke up.
We were then all entertained by sweet little Ellie's cute smiles and attention. Zach and Caleb were trying to get her to smile by tickling her toes.
Next was dessert. Rachel made these yummy pumpkin cookies! Everyone enjoyed them!
Zach enjoyed them too...he just wasn't at all pleased that I made him pose for a picture when he could be eating. Caleb, of course didn't mind and just dug in!