Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thanksgiving Pictures

Wow! I am not only at home, but I even have a little free time! (I really should be working on my lesson plans for today, more about that later, but I just need a little veg time...) And blogger is cooperating, so I am finally getting our Thanksgiving pictures posted.

Every year, Mindy - the cute blond there to the left snapping a picture of Nathan - makes a pinata. She has gotten really creative, and they hold up really well under all the kids banging on it. So these are the pictures I got this weekend!

Nathan appears to be a little on the short side, but enjoyed swinging the stick around. His cousin was holding the pinata a bit too high.

Just look at those eyes though! He was a little sad that he didn't get as much candy as some of the others, but he's not really much of a scrambler.

When there is a tree, there Oren will be also! One of the great truths of (my) life. I really don't mind having such busy and active boys, they keep me on my toes. Hopefully none of them will break both arms at the same time being all crazy though!

Open your eyes, kiddo!

William just enjoyed running around the backyard, getting hugs from everyone. It was a gorgeous day, and we didn't even need our jackets with the sun shining. It's freezing now, so I am so glad that we had such a nice weekend.

An update on the last few weeks.... where to start...? We had a pretty busy week before leaving for Mark's folks. I prefer not leaving clothes in the washer and dishes in the sink, so when I was actually at home I was busy cleaning. Then last week was spent trying to get the kids back on track as far as our routine goes!

It's amazing how a week can be so busy, and I not remember hardly any of it. A sister in the ward called the week before Thanksgiving, asking about piano lessons. Her husband is one of the pediatricians on base and they have 9 kids. The oldest is taking lessons from a more advanced teacher, and the two youngest are 3 and 1. But the other 6.... She asked if I could teach them. I agreed, a little scared, but excited. I have missed teaching and was wanting to start putting up flyers next year anyway. my new students range from 5 to 15, from brand new beginner to late elementary/early intermediate. 6 different personalities, playing abilities, schedules... We're breaking them up over a couple days. 3 on Tuesday after school, the youngest on Wednesday morning, and the last 2 on Thursday after school. Amanda is watching the kids in the afternoons until Mark gets off work and grabs them, in exchange for free lessons for her oldest daughter. We were going to start her in January anyway, this just works out nice money wise for her and gives me a chance to focus on the students without worrying about the kids.

It meant spending several hours at their house last week, though, doing initial evaluations to make sure where they were all at. I need to know what basics they know and remember, what pieces they have been working on, what sort of goals they have and pieces they want to learn. And they need to know what I expect from them as far as practice and our lessons go. So we got that out of the way last week and are starting our actual lessons today! They are all very excited, which bodes well for how this will all go. The nice thing is that they insist on paying after each day's lessons, or at least every week, so I won't have to deal with late payments and fees, or trying to say they paid when they didn't. I keep track of all the time I spend, and I write out reciepts when I get paid so we both have proof. Especially when the parents pay with cash. Just good business, and protects both parties...

Mark has been a really good sport so far. He has had to take the kids a lot, and I haven't been doing well as far as getting good meals on the table this last week. That should settle down this week though. Amanda watched the kids Friday so he and I could go out for my birthday. We really needed the time together! Our stake does an annual Creche exhibit every Christmas, so we got to walk around and see all these amazing nativities from all over the world. People donate them for the exhibit, and then collect them afterward. Members and nonmembers alike, and it's open to the public. They do musical numbers periodically, the different wards, and they even have a live nativity. Joseph, and Mary holding baby Jesus. Who occasionally is a real live baby. Not when we went, but it's still really neat.

We also rearranged the living room this weekend. I had picked up a large computer desk several weeks ago, that could fit all our computer stuff on it instead of having a bunch of different surfaces all cluttered together. Mark was clearing out the garage so he could fit the car in there, and dragged the desk inside. Because it is one large piece, it wouldn't fit in the same space as all the little pieces, and a switch was called for. Everything got shuffled around, and the result is a nice open living room, with the piano on an interior wall far away from windows, doors, and heating vents. There is an office wall, and plenty of room for kids to run around. I had been itching to rearrange anyway, because I didn't really love how it was before, so I was glad of an excuse. I think Mark would have preferred it not have been at 10 at night... ;-)

I think that's about it, we are usually pretty busy anyway, but it's just routine appointments and errands. This week will be crazy too... gotta love the holidays! :-)


Nicia said...

Wow! You've been busy!! And to answer your question, yes we are getting stationed out in Cheyenne for 4 to 5 years. Why in the world would anyone choose to live there just for fun?! ;)

Rachel H. said...

SUCH GREAT PICS!! Looks like you are really getting to know your camera!

What a busy week! I am excited for your new students and the chance you will have to teach again! You are so talented and it will be nice to share that with others!!