Sunday, December 31, 2017

17 for '17

Seventeen memories that I'll take with me in 2017:

  1. Outgrowing my home and teaching piano lessons out of a local church. Almost tripling the number of students I teach in 18 months
  2. Dayna qualifying for the State Science Fair
  3. My parents surprising the girls with an Easter visit
  4. Getting to spend time with some special first graders while doing a long-term substitute job
  5. My first broken bone and spending most of the summer in a boot
  6. A trip to the Grand Canyon
  7. My niece Krista and her husband Cody getting married
  8. My parents' 50th Anniversary
  9. Getting to make another trip (alone!) to Oregon to see my nephew Noah marry Rachel
  10. Annie starting Kindergarten and learning how to read
  11. Studying Romans in Bible Study Fellowship
  12. Planning birthday parties for the girls - a hotel for Dayna and Pete the Cat for Annie
  13. Watching Dayna try something new as she went out for Cross Country
  14. Another fun season at Vala's Pumpkin Patch and watching the girls hang out with friends
  15. Celebrating 20 years of being together with Dan
  16. Loving my jobs - teaching piano lessons and working as a substitute teacher
  17. The time spent with my family and friends
Happy New Year!

I'll Be Sick for Christmas

It seems Annie and I couldn't catch breaks this month. Annie experienced her first trip to the school nurse, which ended with a 103 fever and diagnosis of strep. Two weeks later, she started running another fever and missed her Christmas piano recital. Then two days ago, I was diagnosed with strep and missed the Wilson family Christmas. We're hoping for better health in the new year. I did manage to get some things accomplished while lying in bed, though. Like finishing a hat:

 and watching the snow and binge watching Netflix.
Missed my family, though. Here's to next year...

Hello Harley

Shortly after Christmas, we decided to get a new hamster. Not knowing how long Hickory will be with us, we felt the girls needed a diversion. Dan was adamant that we would not get another female...until he met this little girl. It took us a day to agree on a name. But we would like to introduce Miss Harley:

Christmas 2017

We had a houseguest for Christmas - wish she could have stayed longer!

Saying Goodbye to Hershey

Our sweet Hershey Girl decided to be a bit of an adventurer. She liked to climb, but once she reached the top, didn't quite know what to do. We think she fell wrong, because one night, she just wasn't moving right. By the next day, her back was really rounded and she was dragging her hind legs. Soon after, she fell asleep and didn't wake up. It was hard losing our sweet girl right before Christmas. Honestly, we know our days are limited with our Hickory, as he is getting pretty old (we thought we were about to lose him last August.) But losing Hershey was a shock - and her unclaimed gifts under the tree Christmas morning were hard to see. Rest in Peace, sweet Hershey Girl.

Cookie Dates

The last day of school and first day of vacation saw our house humming with frosting, sprinkles, crafts, giggles, and all-around fun. I'm not sure if I was crazy or not hosting the mayhem, but memories were made. And these kids are pretty special people!

Christmas Recital - 2017

It looks like once again, my little piano studio is showing growing pains. We may have outgrown our space for our Christmas recital. It was standing room only, and two of my students weren't able to make it (including sweet Annie who was home with a fever.) But the students played very well and represented themselves in a way that should make them proud.

Christmas Programs

Annie's first elementary Christmas program. Dayna's middle school band and choir concert. Children singing in the church service. The 50th anniversary alumni concert at Alaina's high school (I watched in solidarity, since I couldn't be there to play.) It's been a busy, musical month.

My tile is about to be destroyed when they renovate the school. At least I have a picture.

Ashland Arts Council Christmas Concert

We were pretty excited to be asked to perform as the Wilson family this year for the Ashland Arts Council's annual Christmas Concert. The Arts Council owns an historic church in town, and it was such a beautiful place to play our music. Several of my piano students performed as well. Piano, recorders, cello, "drums" was a lot of fun being the musical Wilson family.

First Date

Twenty years ago - in all our glory. No, we didn't go roller skating on our first date, but this is the earliest picture I have, from shortly after we started dating. I'm still in awe that he's stuck with my craziness this long. Twenty years....and still rolling. (you can groan now)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Clean Bill

October and November were filled with some rather invasive medical tests after some abnormalities were spotted during a routine exam. When all is said and done, I'm relieved to know that the blood work and biopsy produced nothing to cause concern. Nor is major surgery necessary at this point.

I'm still fighting what I consider to be significant fatigue - there are days I'm not comfortable driving for fear of falling asleep. And days I'm not working, it's not uncommon for me to sleep for several hours in the afternoon. I'm hoping to get this figured out soon, as I will be doing another long-term sub job in the spring, on top of three evenings of piano lessons.

So while the big questions have been answered, I'm still knocking on doors to get to the bottom of other issues.

Back in My Element

It seems November was filled with more music subbing days than normal. I've been able to teach from Kindergarten through High School, including both of my girls. I confess, it's a little bit of a stroke to the ego to be asked to specifically teach a methodology that's part of my background, namely singing in solfege (the do-re-mis, for those not familiar). I can't believe how quickly various groups were able to pick up on the concept and make incredibly beautiful music. I was even in tears at one point with the high school choir at the beauty of their singing. It was nice to be back in my element and remember what it was that drew me to music education in the first place.

Fir Real?

This beautiful balsam fir is now gracing our living room. It's a fun tradition to go to Prairie Pine Plantation each year, drink hot cocoa, look for hidden squirrels, ride in a wagon, and find the perfect tree. This year, note that Annie is wearing shorts. You just never know in Nebraska.

Why I'm Thankful

I'm thankful that even when I don't feel victorious, God's promises don't depend on the way I feel.

Turkey Day

Video to follow when my ipad is cooperating.

Faith of a Child

Two separate scenes with Annie this month:

A: "When I grow up, I want to be a Sunday School teacher and tell kids about Jesus. But I want lots of other jobs, too. Maybe a different job for each day of the week."

Mom: "What day of the week will you be a Sunday School teacher?"

A: "Um, how about Thursdays?"

Then there was the night she got out her "computer" and sent an email to God in lieu of her bedtime prayers.

Sweet girl - she's been talking so much more about God lately. It's been so much fun listening in on her conversations with Him and about Him. 

The Day My Heart Stopped

Imagine sitting in the kitchen, doing your thing, when your preteen daughter walks in and exclaims, "Mom, we're making babies in science class, and you get to be my sub tomorrow!" heart stopped. It was an interesting moment, but a lot of fun sitting in on an assignment where partners were flipping coins to determine the genetic outcome of a hypothetical child. I must admit, my "grandbaby" won the gene pool.

It was also refreshing to see a lesson on genetics that didn't point out the fact that some children don't share genetic material with the people in their families.


I'll just let this picture speak for itself this year.

Most Improved

Dayna finished her first sports season well, and was even voted Most Improved Runner by her coaches and teammates. She's already participating in winter running, badgering us to sign her up for a 5K, and preparing for track season in the spring. Way to go, Dayna!


20 years ago, Dan and I presented our Clarinet Buddy project on an aria from Tosca. This month, we were able to splurge on the "good seats" and see our fourth performance of this opera. It's hard to believe twenty years have gone by since we drove straight through to Oregon to see our first performance (and incidentally, the trip where he met my parents.)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Candyfest - er - Halloween 2017

This year, we had a movie theme. Princess Poppy from Trolls decided to show up at our house.

And from the Hunger Games trilogy, the valiant Miss Katniss Everdeen.

Wonder Woman also showed up to save the day! The girls had fun. The weather was COLD (and snowy!) And there was much chocolate to be had.