Tuesday, January 31, 2012

For the Readers

I know there are only a handful of you who actually read this blog, but for those of you who do and who also like to read, I have a blog link to share with you.
Admittedly, I have not been as diverse in my reading as I would like to be. I spend a lot of time reading young adult fiction in an attempt to keep track of what my older kids are reading. And a lot of time reading easy, fun reads that don't require too much thinking on my part, books that are mostly for entertainment. However, I am well aware of how many other good books and authors I am missing out on. There are lots of classics that I want to read or reread. I do try to squeeze one in every once in a while. I'm having a lot of fun reading this blog and learning a few things about different authors, and types of books. Plus getting a lot of suggestions to put on my reading list. (Man, that list is just endless. There are not enough hours in the day, or days in the lifetime, but I still keep collecting book ideas.)
Just stop in and take a look around. It really is interesting, and entertaining. I happen to know one of the blog authors pretty well. He's got lots of good things to say, as do his two friends who also write for the blog.

So check it out: Improve yourself, improve your shelf, as the blog says.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


If you were to come to our house and walk into the living room, this is some of what you may see. You might get the idea that we are a very musical family. That wouldn't be entirely true. Don't get me wrong. We are all music lovers, and clearly, there are at least a few of us who can play a few notes on some different instruments, but for as many instruments as there are around here, I would expect to be listening to someone playing something all the time. It doesn't quite go like that. The majority of the time, (except for the required practice time - usually in the morning), all these instruments just sit quietly. In addition to the piano, harp, upright bass, trombone, and guitars pictured here, we also have a keyboard, a 7 piece drum set complete with cymbals, 3 more acoustic guitars (1 big, 2 kid sized), 2 basses (1 accoustic, 1 electric), an electric guitar and a smattering of harmonicas and even a couple of recorders thrown in for fun. Oh, and don't forget the PA system. Do you think that's enough for one family? (And the 2 youngest kids don't even play an instrument yet!)

Samantha has been trying to remedy that last bit. Here she is instructing Peter on the basics of trombone playing.

He absolutely loves playing it. And the thing is, he can actually make some sound!
She has also been giving Duffy some very detailed lessons. (I haven't taken any pictures of their lessons yet, but I should.) Samantha writes down very detailed notes of things Duffy needs to practice and is teaching her the different slide positions and so on. The best part about these lessons, is they don't cost me a penny and I don't have to worry about anybody's practicing since it's just for fun. (I'm kind of maxed out with just 3 kids taking lessons - I don't know how others do it.)

In any case, we have plenty of instruments sitting around waiting to be played if any of you would like to come and entertain us with your musical skills.

Currently, we are looking for an ensemble piece involving the harp and maybe the bass, piano or guitar. Anyone know of anything good?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dressing Up

Maybe it all started with Shawn. He had to dress up as Abinadi for our Young Men's/Young Women's Book of Mormon reading catch- up breakfast. He did a fine job playing the part. (This is the second time he has been Abinadi since we've lived here.) He had to work really hard for those abs, too.Soon after that, the little girls begged me to get out the dress-ups. (They've been "put away" for a while because I couldn't stand the mess that is ALWAYS left after the dress-ups have been out.) Since it had been quite a while, I gave in and pulled them out. Then I was required to be the audience for a fashion show.

Amelia's friend Hallee has only brothers, so these dress-up opportunities don't come often and she was as excited as my girls.

Amelia displaying one of my dresses circa 1978ish? It screams 70's doesn't it?
And Samantha was a little too cool for the whole dress up thing but was happy to M.C. the show and was very dramatic in her announcements of the models. (She certainly keeps us entertained.)

Duff only wanted to wear one dress so she didn't make as many appearances as the other girls.
And of course, once the camera was out, Peter wanted in on the photo action as well.

Ta da!
The fashion show kept them busy for the afternoon, but of course, despite all promises, there was a huge mess all over the house. (Dress ups just can't stay contained to one room - ever.) So, after about 3 days of picking up boas, shoes, gloves and the like, I put them all away again. Constant access just doesn't work well here. We'll save them for a rainy day.

And several days later, Samantha came up with this lovely costume. She was obviously being a superhero. (This came about from a little video of Samantha and I that Shawn made and posted on facebook a while ago. Samantha dresses as a superhero and defeats the bad guys by playing harp music with her mind.)
I'm not sure who she was going to fight against on this day, but clearly the dress up fun continues. Can't wait to see what's next in the costume department.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hijacked Phone

The latest photos from my stolen phone. I'm guessing Amelia took them, but who can know for sure?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ah, January

So nice to have Christmas put away and have a little time to breathe and try to return to regular life after the holidays. Just me and Peter hanging out at home in the afternoon. Fun time with my helper.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Reading Stats

After begging Jonas to keep track of his reading (just so I wouldn't continue to get him books he had already read - and by the way - to no avail. He just refused to write them down.) And after realizing, some way into a handful of books that I had, in fact, also already read them, I decided to write down all the books I read in 2011. I didn't set out with any specific goal, but as I got later into the year, I started considering the possibility of 100. If it hadn't been for the craziness of the Christmas season, I might have made it, too. Oh well. I'm sure if I were to count my started but not completed books, I would have been over my goal. Maybe next year - or maybe not. (It's possible that I put a little more time into reading than I should have in pursuit of this goal. Some other things may have suffered a little. But let's not dwell on that.)
So here are the stats:

96 books completed
28,264 pages
avg. 78.4 pages/day

(That last one is an interesting number to consider. This is not at all how it happened. There were days with well over that number and many days with none at all, but that's how it averaged out.)

Like I said, I have no particular plans to read a certain number of books as of yet, but I will continue to keep track of them just for fun. (And to avoid unknowingly reading books I've already read.) And maybe I'll get around to actually posting my books on Good Reads, but then again, maybe not. I am the worst kind of Good Reads participant. I probably get the majority of my book recommendations from my friends on Good Reads, but NEVER put mine on there. Maybe that should be a goal. I'll think about it. As for now, I'll just continue reading.