Monday, October 29, 2012

Natural Model

I get stir crazy when I am in the house a lot, so every once in a while I will call Jackson at work and say, "Let's have dinner up on the Monument tonight."  He always thinks that is a great idea.  After dinner we hike around a little bit.  The kids love climbing on the rocks.  I love breathing deep breaths of fresh air and listening to the quiet.  Estella loves having her picture taken and if I have my camera she always asks me to take her picture.  I had to chuckle this time because I realized what a natural model she is.  I tell her where to stand and that is all.  She turns and smiles at me...I take a few clicks and then she shifts to a new position...a few more clicks and she shifts again.  It is so natural to her.  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cello Recital

Jackson had his annual Cello Recital a few weeks ago.  After having the children's orchestra concert at the college recital hall and enjoying the wonderful acoustics there, Jackson really didn't want to settle for less.  All of his students came except two of the older boys.  They each played a solo (with me accompanying) and then the entire group played 4 or 5 pieces together with different parts.  It was very fun!  Jackson is a fantastic teacher and role model for these kids (if I do say so myself). 

I just LOVE seeing all of these boys playing the cello together.  I hope they all stick with it.  Can you imagine how much fun they will have as high school cello buddies?

Friday, October 26, 2012


 Jackson was gone one evening and I decided I only wanted to read a story to all of the kids at once at bedtime.  I didn't want to read one for Zandy, one for Essie, and one for the older boys (they actually usually read on their own, but I still really like reading to them).  I chose one I thought would work for all of the ages and started.  Alexander stayed interested for a while, but it got long and he started wandering.  He was happy and the rest of us were happy so all was well...or so I thought.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


 Estella is so funny to me.  I am surprised by her every day.  She is seriously loud.  Her excitement for life regularly bursts out of her in the form of shrieks, yells, or really loud strange laughs.  She is so loud and random with her outbursts that I am often startled and jump when she does it.  I had a friend tell me that she likes it when Essie is over because she can tell from anywhere in the house if they are playing well together because she can hear Essie.  She also said that she and her older kids often look at each other with a "Seriously?" look and laugh when Essie is over.  I completely know what she means.  I just love Estella.  She brings so much color and excitement into our house.  

I took her with me to Hobby Lobby last week.  She had never been there before.  We first explored the flower section.  She was immediately in awe at all of the beautiful flowers.  She was darting from flower to flower saying (with a lot of passion), "Oh Mommy, look at this one!  It is SO beautiful!"  There were a lot of gasps and squeals of delight.  Seeing her excitement I decided I wanted to buy her some flowers for her room.  I didn't want to spend more than a couple of dollars, but I wanted to bring some of that happiness home with her.  We walked around the store and came to a clearance section.  I glanced at the prices and they all looked acceptable, so I foolishly told her she could pick one out to bring home.  She picked an enormous sequined sparkly purple beauty.  Wow.  I thought maybe we could add something to it to tame it down a little and I spent way too much time trying to find something.  I ended up with a couple of $.50 silver sparkly things.  It all quite ugly to me, but it sparkles and Estella loves it. 

Have I ever mentioned that she loves clothes?  This is what she does for fun.

I love you my bright and colorful Estella!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


 Um...five kids is crazy!!!  Just like four, but a little bit more :)  I feel like I am frantically dashing from one crisis to the next, just about meeting all of the necessary needs but never quite getting on top of anything.  I keep telling myself that I won't always be nursing for hours each day, so there is hope that it will get better.  

I did just write an email to Thomas and Essie's violin teacher (Grandma Chelle) basically begging her to help me figure out my practicing dilemma.  I just can't practice individually with each of them the full amount of time they need to practice every day!!!  It is too much.  (I could if I had a cleaning lady and a cook, but I don't!)  She understood completely (she had 5 children who all played instruments) and is helping me shift Thomas to more independent practice.  

I say life is crazy.  It is, but it is a wonderfully full crazy.  I wouldn't have it any other way!!!

Here are two pictures of an afternoon, trying to get two kids practiced and dinner cooked all at the same time.  I just love this room in our house.  I feel like I am looking in to a dream when I am standing in my kitchen looking through the french doors.  The huge windows and the fireplace are so fabulous!!!

This is the first room you see when entering the house.  I love how big it is.  I think my favorite thing about this room are the curved steps.  I need some decorating advice...I am planning on getting some tall twigs or something for the vase under the pictures on the left.  Will that look okay? 

I am planning on getting a taller plant for the right corner of the room to the side of the bookcase, but we had this one so there it sits for now.

I can't figure out how to dress the window.  It is naked!  I love the colors in the rug, but I feel like they are too loud to go on the window.  I have thought about a soft swag, but I just can't picture it.  I am now leaning toward making a cornice box with long curtains inside, but I can't picture a fabric.  Ideas?  Suggestions? 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thomas Book 3 Recital

We did Thomas' Suzuki violin book 3 recital a couple of weeks ago.  He asked me to help him pick out his clothes.  As we were looking through his and Nicholas' closet we saw this red striped shirt.  We were laughing about the fact that he wore the same shirt for his Book 1, Book 2, and a group recital.  He thought it would be so great to wear it again for this recital and we could just call it his recital shirt.  He tried it on and the only trouble was that the sleeves were too short.  We just rolled them up and went on our merry way :)  Nicholas is determined to wear the recital shirt next time :)

Thomas is so wonderful.  I enjoyed this recital so much.  The pieces were very challenging in many ways.  I had chills when he played Humoresque and Gavotte in D Minor.  It is so wonderful to hear him developing a musical feel.  Thomas is very precise and exact in many ways.  Learning the notes to the pieces comes quite naturally to him.  Showing feeling through the music (especially in front of people) is something that is harder and he is pushing himself and doing wonderfully.  I am so proud of my sweet sweet Thomas.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Six Weeks Old

I have had a really hard time breaking out the camera lately.  I have a goal this week (while my boys are on fall break) to take some pictures every day...especially of the older boys.  They are gone so much (and when they are home things are CRAZY) that I don't have a lot of pictures of them.  I want to capture the special relationship they have.  I feel so happy to see what great friends they are.  

Here are a few photos from 2 1/2 weeks ago when Eleanor was 6 weeks old. 

Monday, October 08, 2012

Tree Swing

 Jackson grew up with a fabulous tree in his front yard that was adorned with swings, ropes, and nets.  That tree was so loved and is still loved by grandchildren every time we go to their house.  One of the first things I loved about this house was the giant tree in the front yard.  I asked Jackson's dad about how to hang ropes from the tree and he jumped at the chance to help me out!  He picked up Thomas and took him to his blacksmith shop.  They made some special tree-rope-hanging rings together.  Thomas was fascinated and told me all sorts of facts about how hot the fire got and how hot the metal got and how many cool tools Bubba has.  I spent way too much time researching different kinds of rope and looking for the best price.  We ended up getting impatient and ran down to a place in town.  It ended up being cheaper and better there!  I have to let go of the mentality that everything is cheaper online.  

Bubba came over again and helped us choose the best places to hang the ropes.  He is a master at knot tying and helped us get everything set up.  We now have three swings and a climbing rope hung in the tree.  This tree has become the center of the neighborhood as far as all of the kids are concerned :)  The grass is already worn to the dirt underneath all of the swings.  Hooray for trees!