Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Roots and wings...

This girl is a star! 

She got to sing with a choir in the opera Hansel and Gretel at McIntyre Hall. Which is sort of a big deal around here! :) It was months and months of practicing, way more intense than I realized when we signed up. Her sweet music teacher that she takes singing lessons with had asked us to please consider being in it. She just felt Leiella would be perfect in it, and would really enjoy it. She's so sweet and such a wonderful teacher, Leiella adores her!!! I was worried it would be a little bit too much for her (the starting grade was suppose to be 2nd grade but her teacher wanted to make an exception for her) but after talking to Ryder and hearing from Leiella about how much she wanted to do it we said yes. Since she was the youngest one there, she ended up being totally spoiled by everyone. It might have gone to her head a little bit. We are still dealing with some diva issues, ha ha! ;)

They were the gingerbread children. So she got to rock this awesome outfit. I absolutely loved it! Especially the bonnet, be still my heart! 

Here she is with her wonderful teacher, she really is so good at what she does. Her love for what she does and the children, it just shines through and the children are so eager to please and make her proud because of it.

Leiella was really excited opening night, after all that practicing! Getting ready to go onto a real stage, under bright lights, in front of a large audience... So much to take in. I was a nervous wreck, she was cool as a cucumber. And really happy that she got to wear lipstick. ;)

I find myself in awe of this little girl so often, so much braver than I, and seriously talented and smart, and beautiful. It's just crazy. I don't understand where she came from...

The girls in the choir. They were all so sweet and got along so well, it was just such a great group of girls. They treated Leiella like the treasured little sister, just doting on her, helping her and supporting her. It was so fun to see them all mothering her. And needed because as the littlest it got a bit overwhelming for her sometimes. Especially the super long dress rehearsals. Plus Leiella was also practicing in her regular choir and getting ready for their Christmas celebration at the same time. I'm telling you it was a lot. She went to practice for the opera for an hour and then had choir directly after that for another hour. Good thing she loves singing so much.

I love that she can do such grown up and brave things and still hang on tightly to Tressa (Leiella has informed me recently that this is the correct spelling, ha ha!) her doll that is not a doll... she's real. And don't you dare say otherwise! 

After Leiella left with her group to go on stage I sat in the green room (so I could watch her on the screen in there) and had some serious butterflies in my stomach! All the things that could go wrong! She can be a bit of a momma's girl, what if she suddenly decided it was all too much and started to cry for me. Or fell off the stage during the dancing around part (she had to go seriously close to the edge!), or forgot what to do, or... It was hard to let go and trust that she could and would shine on her own. And she did shine. She freaking rocked it! I tear up just thinking about it. But I'm emotional like that. ;) She was on cloud nine when she got back to me, and I picked her up for a snuggle because I needed her to be little again. For a moment.

Her friend (the sweet boy I watch) came to watch her opening night and brought her flowers! That was the high point of her whole night. Red roses.

There is something about this picture that just gets me. Her long legs and proud face, gripping her roses and holding the door open for me. She has just grown so fast. First performance down three more to go!

We finally got to go see the opera on the last night. I was volunteering backstage all the other nights but wanted to see the real deal at least once. :) Because she loves the girls so much she felt brave enough to be back stage without me (they went on almost at the very end of the opera so they had a long wait before going anywhere). I was only a little bit worried but I had no need to be, she did great. I will have to admit I found the opera tedious, but it was all worth it when they got on stage. She looked so little and adorable and she was putting her all into her singing. I had told her that since we were sitting way up in the balcony (tickets were expensive, good grief!) I'd need her to really sing, and boy did she.

She ended up with a lot of flowers on the last night. :) Ryder didn't think he was going to make it in time, because of traffic so I had someone else pick up some flowers to bring for her, plus my mom got some flowers to give her. Then Ryder ended up getting back in time so he grabbed some flowers as well, not knowing that I already got some, ha ha! It was kind of cute and funny seeing her walking around in the lobby after the opera with her arms full of flowers.

One last picture with the woman that made it all possible and the little star that shone bright.

"Two great things you can give your children: one is roots, the other is wings." 

Friday, November 6, 2015

All dressed up with no where to go, just the way we like it. ;)

Autumn is my favorite season. :)
Does anyone else see the face in this stump and the twiggy hair? Or is it just me... Ha ha!

Halloween came damp but still without a nip to the air. I had one of my all day classes to go to and Leiella had her rehearsal for the play she is going to be in (whole different post) and the boys had their last soccer game at the same time. It was a busy day! Thanks to a good friend helping out it all got done. When I got home I was pretty burnt out and so was everyone else, so we decided to just go around to our neighbor's houses instead of going to a Halloween party (which was our original plan). I'm so thankful that my children need down time about as much as I do.

Leiella, my little angel. :)

Ira as Captain Nobody!

Atticus wanted to be a dove. He made the mask himself. :)

Banden as Peter Pan!

So much love for my little creative munchkins!

Walking the neighborhood. We were about the only ones, it's apparently an very old fashion thing to do these days. We cling to the old ways. ;)


Being silly. :)

So tired out, the cuteness is too much!

Once again the kids left their candy out for the Great Pumpkin! And he did not disappoint. ;)

They each got a candy bar on Halloween night as well, so they weren't completely treat-less. I also made some grain free pumpkin bars with a maple topping that were crazy good! 

It's all so very exciting! There were pumpkin seeds and glitter everywhere!!!

Another great use for my new turkey roaster, giant batches of apple sauce. :)

Pumpkin patch!

We almost didn't make it to a pumpkin patch this year. I'm telling you life has been crazy busy.
Anyways we found a really nice local pumpkin patch this year. I think it's going to be our new spot. :)

I love this picture of Leiella and her daddy.

She found her perfect pumpkin. :)


I swear this kid is turning into a young man right before my eyes!

Nothing like finding your own perfect pumpkin. :)

They had all sorts of cool pumpkins there!

Lots of picture opportunities...

We had a blast, and best part of all it's really close to home. :) They also have an apple orchard there. I asked if they sprayed them and she told me they didn't, they use organic practices but aren't organically certified. Just what I was looking for!!! 1.00 a pound, so awesome! I went back a couple days later and got a bunch for apple sauce and drying.

Finished pumpkins! From left to right... Leiella's moon and stars, Banden's wolf howling at the moon, Ira's spider, and Atty's owl. :)

Kitchen update... still in progress.

So we have been working slowly but steadily on the kitchen. The counter tops are completely in, and thankfully we were able to use the same sink. For a moment there we thought we were going to have to buy a new one. My husband does eventually need to do some replumbing, but for now it is working, although well taped. ;)

Doors are off and cabinet bases are primed. 

Ready for some paint!!! :)

First coat, sage green!

We will be painting the walls a light wheat color as soon as we get the cabinets completely finished.

The drawers are all primed and waiting to dry.

That's all the farther I got. These last two weeks have been crazy busy so I didn't get any further. Ryder got most of lower door sanded and painted and put back on. Hopefully I will have time to finish the rest soon. I so want to get the walls painted as well and be done with this kitchen remodel. I'm really happy so far with the way it is turning out. I'm starting to enjoy my time in the kitchen a bit more. :) Also, I don't know if you can spy it in the picture, but I got a new stainless steel turkey roaster that I can use as a crock pot. I am so in love with it! I've been using in non-stop since I got it. My old crock pot hardly made enough for us all, it's so nice to be able to make big meals and even have a little left over for quick meals I can heat up. I have a feeling it will never make it off my kitchen counter. ;)


Mushroom hunting in our own back yard... Well not really, but just across the street. ;)

We were on a conk hunt.  Artist conks, or Red-Belted conk. Of course we also had to stop for any lingering blackberries. 

We found an ancient huge conk, well past it's prime but still cool.

Of course we had to stop and check out our favorite spot at the river.

Ira made friends with this huge cricket...

This little girl was super tired so we stopped for a rest on a log, in the sunshine. So nice. :)

Best brother in the whole world! As I said Leiella was super tired so Banden offered to give her a ride on his back! He carried her for so long! In fact when he was done he was exhausted as Leiella skipped off. ;) He really saved the day as she was close to tears before he offered to carry her.

We were blessed to spot this beautiful owl sitting on a branch gazing at us as we walked past. It was such a wonderful and exciting experience.

We didn't find any conks, much to my children's disappointment, but they did spot some Turkey Tails! Yay!