Sunday, April 27, 2008

High-Caliber Piano Playing and Singing

video
Here's Savannah and I playing the piano. I promise, I'll let Cindy take some video of me playing something a little more challenging soon.

Noah's Ark Highlight

Here is Savannah's favorite song from her Noah's Ark program at the preschool:


video

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What time is it anyway?

So it is 11:35 Wednesday night and Brian and I are realizing we probably should not have waited until tonight to get our living room/desk room/music room ready for the big day tomorrow (the piano arriving for those who may not know what I am talking about :) ). We ended up pretty much changing the entire room around. The only piece of furniture that has stayed in the same place is, ironically, the one piece we didn't think would be able to stay in the room. This is, in fact, my (I mean our) brown leather recliner. I am very happy we were able to get this to stay because I like to sit in it and read while Brian works/plays games/plays the piano. I am sitting here in it as I write! See, we have come to a point in the moving process where I am no longer needed. Brian is setting up his computer stuff. All I can say is how many different cables could you possibly need! Ridiculous! But, if it all works when he is done, that is all that matters :) He did, as you can gather, get the internet back to working. I will say, though, that one of his computers seems to be having a growling issue. I am hoping it will calm down before we make it to bed (bed, what is that??) so that I can sleep :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Introducing...


...our new addition. Brian is now an owner of his own baby grand piano! I was finally able to get him to go out and look for one. He has been putting off getting a new piano for a long time. I don't think he was actually planning on getting one this time but, once he started trying them out, I think he realized how "bad" our current one is. Mind you, we bought our current piano for only $250 from a teacher friend of mine who was trying to get rid of it. So, I would have to say we definitely got our moneys worth (10 years later). However, it is pretty much untuneable. I knew it was getting bad when he would play a piece I didn't know and I could tell that it was out of tune. So, after two days of looking, visiting 4 different stores, Brian finally found the one he just could not pass up. We were definitely in the right place at the right time as far as pricing and we couldn't pass it up. So, next time you are here, you'll have to have Brian play for you :) I am looking forward to hearing more of his playing myself. I think he'll have a hard time passing by it without striking up a tune!


I'll post more pictures once it is delivered.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Food, food, food...

Not much has been happening in our lives the past few days. We are missing our company but also settling back into our routine. Savannah sort of had a bomb explosion type of day yesterday but did much better today. I think she had just been stretched too thin as far as what she was capable of adapting to over the past couple of weeks and she had to get it all out yesterday (yeah for me :) ). So, what I decided to talk about today is food. As many of you know, I enjoy food :) Well, mostly, I enjoy cooking. Since having Savannah, in particular, I have found that I really enjoy a wide range of food. I enjoy experimenting with different things I thought I would never eat and the food network has become my favorite channel. It has been fun learning new flavors and how they mix together.

Tonight we went out to dinner before our orchestra concert. We went to a restaurant called Aubergine Bistro. Brian was given a gift certificate there as a gift so we decided to try it out. I had a wonderful filet. It was cooked perfect and almost melted in your mouth! The salad was excellent. It was one of my favorite types of salad, mixed greens, feta cheese, walnuts, raspberry vinaigrette dressing, yum. However, they had a new addition to this salad, sun dried tomatoes. I was a bit skeptical because they are a strong flavor and not one I would think would go with this sweet salad. Boy, it was wonderful! I cannot believe how it added a whole knew dimension to the salad! Brian tried something new. Take a look at the picture in the top left corner. That would be what Brian ate tonight! It is elk. This is the second time he has had an opportunity to order it. He passed the first time but couldn't resist this time. He loved it! I wouldn't touch it, but he really enjoyed it. All I can say is that it was awful red on the inside. Me and my medium filet kept to our side of the table :) On our way home we got to discussing what exactly an elk is. So, here is your lesson for the evening. An elk is a deer. It is the second largest deer after the moose (which is in fact a different animal). At one time an elk was believed to be a red deer, however, DNA research has found that they are not the same animal. Also, and Brian was really excited about this part, they are highly susceptible to infectious diseases. Now he finds out! The discussion also lead us to talk about other four legged "deer" type animals. So, just for your information, a gazelle is an antelope. An antelope is related to a cow or goat. And Brian did not eat either tonight :)

Last night at small group the opening question from our study was what foods can you remember eating as a kid that you could not stand. It was interesting to hear what everyone had to say. They also asked if you were ever able to grow to like these foods. We have determined that Brian has gotten over his "green peppers and celery" episode from Kindergarten and has grown to eat pretty much anything. I am amazed at some of the stuff he comes home and tells me he has eaten for lunch with his friends. As for myself, the one thing I can remember is that anything that could be made into a pancake type shape, did. Potato pancakes, salmon cakes, tuna cakes and so on. To this day I do not even like the idea of a crab cake. I am also not a big fan of potatoes au gratin, although I think I ate something along those lines tonight. Brian and I were reflecting on how we were both opened up to a whole new world of eating when we were married. My family eats a lot of spicy foods, which was new for him. For me, the introduction of southern type foods like various forms of greens were added into my "like" column. Anything stand out from your childhood that you didn't like to eat?

As I stated before, I really enjoy cooking. If you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share, send it on out! I am always willing to try something new. There is a running joke that I never make anything twice because I am so busy trying new things :) I am working on this though.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Grace


Grace as defined by Sandra Lee:

"Grace" has become one of my favorite words. To me it means learning to balance the good days with the bad. Grace is about being proud of yourself, your actions, your life, what you stand for, and the way you give back. It's being generous when someone hurts you; it's knowing when and how to react. It's knowing that someone you're not fond of today might turn out to be the only person who puts his or her hand out tomorrow just when you're about to step in front of a moving bus. Grace is offering understanding and acceptance when the rest of the world does not.

A woman with grace is a hero of her home. She makes everything happen for other people in her life but never forgets to make herself a priority too. She runs the household, where she is the strength and foundation. She teaches by example as much as she does with her words.



This is a really good book if you are interested in Memoirs or nonfiction books. Sandra went through a lot in her life and fought hard to get to where she is today.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Congrats



Congratulations to my Florida sister-in-law. Tonight was her ceremony to honor the Seminole County Teachers of the Year. She was named teacher of the year for her elementary school. It was a really nice ceremony. It is nice to know that there are people who still give honor to this profession. I think the words that touched me most were the letters that were read from students of teachers who were being honored. Some of the kids (well, adults in most cases) who wrote these letters had these teachers 20 years ago. Wow! To still be remembered that long ago! It reminds me of why I love teaching. I enjoyed getting to see some of my old teaching friends and realized that I definitely would like to go back to teaching in the school system. I am happy for my sister-in-law. She is a good teacher who works hard at what she does. She is one of those who gives the profession a good name :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

What will the furture bring?

This weekend was a lot of fun. Meme and Grandpa have been here for a few days to see Savannah in her program. Oh Saturday, we decided to go to the park for a while. It was a nice, a little warm, but still nice for the park. Well, Brian remembered that UCF was having their spring game, so he and Grandpa went. Brian was thinking he would like to take Savannah with him. While I would have loved to have some free time, I didn't think this was a stellar idea. Meme and I were not going so it would be two less people to run after her. So, off they went to the game while Meme and I brought Savannah back home. We actually had a very relaxing time at home. We watched The Wild and all took a little nap. I was able to finish up my book and Meme and I both did some knitting. It was nice! Savannah rarely lets us have this kind of relaxing afternoon, so we really enjoyed it. And Brian and Grandpa enjoyed the UCF game as well.

Sunday was the big event. We went to see Beethoven Lives Upstairs at the performing arts center. Savannah had a really good time. The first hour is the instrument "petting zoo". You get to walk around and "pet" or try out all the different instrument families. She was able to try the clarinet, flute, harp, violin, cello, trumpet, trombone, and drums. Her favorite was the harp. Hopefully that will alter someday to an instrument that is a little more practical! The second hour is the performance. She sat very well during the whole program, at least, well for a four year old! There was a little fidgeting, but she did well. There were tons of little excerpts of Beethoven pieces. She really loves to listen to Beethoven so I figured she would like this. I look forward to seeing more of these programs in the future.

Seeing Savannah playing all these instruments and then seeing her play doctor, giving everyone in the house a check-up, made me think of the future. What will she become? What kind of person will she be? Will she ever be able to express herself without yelling? Will she be able to sit and eat and have a normal conversation? Some days I feel stuck in whatever phase she is in. I think it is getting better and then we get pulled back down into it again. I know eventually we will move on to something new. I am really trying to work on my outlook. My mother-in-law was commenting on how you need to try to remember those good times and not just the difficult. I hear some people talk about how it is just going to get worse. This is hard for me because it just encourages the tendency to look at the negative all of the time. But, every once in a while you get the positive outlook. Those people who are able to see past the frustration and enjoy thier grown children. I pray that I can start to see the positives in our life and just keep working through the challenges. I really want to enjoy my time with Savannah and discover who she is and who she is going to become. I cannot do this without letting go of the negative. I am reading a book by Sandra Lee right now. She is one of the Food Network stars and it is her memoir. She had an amazingly challenging life. I am enjoying seeing how she was able to rise above all that she went through to become the woman she is today. I bring this up because for the first 5 or 6 years of her life she lived with her Grandmother. It was the only time she felt safe and happy as a child. I want this time for Savannah to be happy. For her to be able to look back on her childhood and remember good things. I think that the more positive I can be the more happy she can feel. Mind you, I am not saying she should get everything she wants, because I do not think this produces a happy person. But, that is a different topic all together :) So, as I stated, I am praying for patience and a positive outlook on life. And I look forward to seeing who and what Savannah will become.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Noah's Ark



Tonight was Savannah's Noah's Ark program. It turned out very cute :) Savannah was not so sure she wanted to go onto the stage. You can see in the pictures that Mrs. Terry had to carry her into the Sanctuary to get her to go in. Apparently Savannah was scared on Wednesday during the rehearsal because their was a recording of a rainstorm playing. Savannah has developed a new fear to thunderstorms over the past two weeks. I saw her outside of the Sanctuary and she looked terrified. I am glad that Mrs. Terry was able to get her up there. Once she was up on the stage, she was fine. All of Savannah's relatives who were able to come said that she was singing out and doing all of the hand motions. They could hear her where they were sitting because she was singing out so loudly! I wish I was able to see it :( I look forward to watching the video tomorrow! Brian is busy away playing with his new Mac (his new toy) to make the video. I can't wait!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

MIA

So I have been MIA for a while. I can come up with all kinds of excuses, but, instead, I will catch you up on what we have been doing. Brian posted the picture of Savannah on her swing (as you can tell by the short post. I am a bit more wordy than he is :) ). She had a good time playing with her friend in the backyard that day. She jumped up on her swing and asked me to push her and, when I walked away, she kept right on going! It just seems to click and they have it. It is so nice once they can do it by themselves. She still cannot start on her own. I feel this is due to the fact that she basically is swinging with her upper body. If you watch her in the video, you will see she basically does not use her legs. So she does not have the leverage to get her going. However, it is nice to get her started and then be able to walk away. It keeps her busy while I am trying to make dinner or clean. She will swing for about 20 minutes straight and then come in to the house and tell me she is done exercising :)

Last week was Spring break. It was nice to be able to not have places to rush to every day. I was able to get some gym time of my own in, which was nice. We also visited the library. Apparently I went a little nuts one day putting books on hold because every other day I have a new book to pick up. Many of you know I love to read. A few years back I realized that I do not need to keep buying all of these books (I think we single-handedly kept Borders in business) because there is something called a library where I can check them out for free! There are a few authors I still purchase, but, for the most part, I now spend lots of time at the library website requesting books.

This past weekend was busy! We met up with some new friends at the park on Saturday, which was a lot of fun. Then, we heading home to meet up with an old friend who came to visit us from South Carolina for a few days. We had a lot of fun with her. On Sunday, we went bowling. We went to the Oviedo bowling alley for the first time. It was a lot of fun, but I have to day, I liked the Winter Park alley better. It was much more cozy and inviting. Savannah loves to bowl! Of course, she wants to do it herself. I was afraid she was going to throw the ball into someone else's lane. They have these neat things now (I have not bowled a lot lately, so they may not be that new) for little ones. They are bumpers that pop up just for them! They then pop back down when everyone else plays. The ones I remember from when I was younger had to be put down at the beginning of your game and everyone had to play with them on. So, that was nice. Although, I had to play a few rounds for her once and I determined that I do better with the bumpers up :) However, as a side note, I must mention that when we took her to the Winter Park alley a few weeks ago, there were people there getting married. I have to admit that it is not what I expected at a bowling alley. To each their own :) It got me wondering, where are all the different places you have heard of for people to get married? Enjoy these pics of us at the alley. I had to add the one of her "blow drying" her hair with the fan. It is so her :)







Anyway, Monday was back to school day for us. Savannah had a hard day, as did most of the kids. It is really hard to have time off. It seems to really mess up their little schedules. They do thrive on routine. We also threw in program practices for their upcoming program. That just complicated everything. On Tuesday we went to Sea World with our friend from SC. We had a lot of fun but boy was the park packed! There were people waiting in line for over an hour to go into the Shamu show. Of course, they still had another 40 minutes to wait once they got into the theater! I was thinking it was nuts to wait for that, but my friend reminded me that if you came all the way here to go to Sea World, you were probably coming to see Shamu. Boy how spoiled we are living here! We actually have passes so we can go any time. My thoughts are, I'll just come another time instead of waiting in that line! She was saying that she really realized how much we take all of the things we have here for granted when she moved to SC (from here). She was telling people she was going to Sea World and they were all "wow!". One thing that I think is really neat for the kids around here is getting to see the space shuttle take off. There are many people who will never get that chance. A lot of people will get to come to the theme parks but even most of them will never see the shuttle take off. How cool it is to live here :) (OK, so it is hot, but you know what I mean). Here are some pics from Sea World, including the big man, Shamu himself. We lucked out into hitting the stadium at just the right time to see the show. Although we waited for about 35 minutes in the stadium, we did NOT wait outside the stadium for over an hour. I mean, I can just come another time, right :)










Our friend left today. We were sad to see her go :( We miss having her and her husband here living by us. Tomorrow Brian's parents come into town for a week. We are looking forward to seeing them! They are coming down to see Savannah's program. She is very blessed to have grandparents who are willing to make the drive to come all the way here just to see her program. We wish we were able to see them more but feel lucky that we are able to work out getting to see them about four times a year.

Savannah is going to have a full house to see her on Friday. Brian and I will be there, her Meme and Grandpa, her Grammy and Papa, her Aunt, Uncle, and two cousins and possibly her Great Grandmother! She is definitely loved :)

That is what has been going on in our lives for the last week and a half. Hope everyone is doing well! Safe travels to Meme and Grandpa as they head out early tomorrow morning! We cannot wait to see you :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Swinging

Savannah has finally learned to swing all by herself.  Here's some video:


video