Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 2016 on FB

May 2: I found my 12-year-old twins sleeping on the floor in the living room recently because they'd fallen asleep watching a movie. They were sharing one pillow, and I snapped a pic because it reminded me of a photo taken of them when they were about one month old. They were sharing a pillow then, too, because they'd just graduated to sharing one crib at the NICU (they'd been in separate incubators before then). It melts my heart to know that they are still so close!

May 5: Josh took me on a motorcycle ride tonight. It was heavenly! The world smells divine with all the blooming lilacs and blossoming trees right now!

May 6: Micah ran well at the district track meet today. He gets down on himself for not being at the front of the pack, and i keep telling him that with time he will be (most of the runners he raced against this year were older 7th and 8th graders). After the meet was over, I treated him to dinner and he smiled when he opened his fortune cookie because it reaffirmed what I'd been telling him ;).

May 8 [posted by Ammon]: Well, I guess I better join everybody else and write a sappy post about my mom cuz it's Mother's Day haha. I guess my mom is pretty okay sometimes 😉 she's the best mom I've ever had 😅 and even though she embarasses the crap out of me, I'm glad she comes and supports me and my brothers at all of our games and events no matter what, don't tell her I said that though. If any picture describes her it's this one 😝 happy Mother's Day Kala Tolman I love you.

May 10 [posted by Josh]: Congratulations Salmon Savage golfers. Boys district champs,girls 2nd place, both headed to state!

May 13: I think this is the best year for lilacs that I've ever seen! I love the sight and smell of them!

May 14: Amazing Race (the only show our whole family watches together) is now done for the season, and we're all disappointed in who won it this time around. [the dancers won, but we really wanted the gay guys to]

May 15 [posted by Josh]: Well, after 10 hours of driving, dodging several deer,elk,moose,antelope,and idiotic drivers, one broken down bus, one trip from Arco,back to Gilmore, back to Arco,then on to Boise. We finally made it to the golf course in Nampa. Good luck at state tomorrow boys and girls! I am going to bed!

May 16 [posted by Josh]: And he's off. Hit em straight Ammon! ‪#‎stategolf‬

May 17 [posted by Josh]: Gearing up for day 2. @ammon12tolman ‪#‎stategolf‬ ‪#‎gosavages‬ ‪#‎comeback‬

May 23: Josh and I both only went to Disneyland once each when we were kids. And neither of us have ever been back. This is the year we're taking our kids on their "ONCE" trip there, too! We just booked our hotel reservations last night for November's trip, and I gotta admit it made me a little giddy with excitement!

May 25: This is what it looks like to meet my college class deadlines miraculously ahead of schedule! Ahhhh.... so happy to finally take a moment just to breathe and enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of spring.

May 25: Tonight was the Awards Ceremony at SHS...these two unknowingly dressed alike! What a handsome, classy, talented duo!

May 30: Today has been a glorious taste of the summer that's about to begin (only 1 1/2 more days of school left). We worked and played together as a family: planting the garden and pumpkin patch, then going on a motorcycle ride, hiking, and cooking tinfoil dinners over a campfire. I've truly loved spending the day with my family today!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Week 21

{May 23 - 29}

On Monday night, I gave the Family Home Evening about faith. We just started the last chapter titled "Attributes of Christ" in the Preach My Gospel book. We've been having FHE lessons out of this book for almost a year and a half now! I had a little activity to go along with it, where the kids pulled out little cut-out leafs from a bag. On each leaf was a sentence, and the kids had to decide if it was something that helps their faith grow or something that diminishes their faith, and put it on the growing tree or wilting tree. We played "Scum" for the game--Kanyon really REALLY wanted to play it again after we'd played it with the Roseburough's the day before, and then we had creamies for dessert.

On Tuesday after school, I was super duper impressed with Kanyon. I had a piano lesson right after school, and as I was teaching the lesson, Kanyon pre-heated the oven, put frozen pizzas on a pan, cooked the pizza (for our family dinner), got his homework done, and got his shinguards and long socks on in preparation for his soccer practice at 5:30. He did all of this in the 30 minutes that I was teaching piano, and he did all of it without me asking him to! I was totally overjoyed! Kanyon is 9 years old, and has to be constantly reminded to do expected-everyday things like brush his teeth, wash his hands, do his homework, and feed the animals. So when he did all of this completely on his own, I was totally blown away! It just made my night!

It's crazy on the evenings when soccer is at 5:30, because we don't even get home from school until about 4:25, and it's a whirlwind to get everything done. It's even worse when I have to teach piano! So, after we came home, and I taught the piano lesson, then we ate dinner at 5:00, I checked Kanyon's homework, and we left at 5:15 to head back to town. I found out after school that Jonah's Thursday soccer game had been switched to Tuesday night due to the music concert on Thursday. I forgot my camera, so I just snapped a pic on my cell phone of their team's bright orange shirts. I love the color choices of the team's shirts this year! They're SO bright! Even though nobody is up close in this photo (they play on such a huge field this year and as a result always seem so far away), you can tell who's on Jonah's team based on the orange spots you see! It was another close game, but this time Jonah's team won.

After the soccer game ended, we headed to the movie theater for free popcorn night. It is Ammon's turn for the monthly date, and he wanted to go see the "Captain America: Civil War" movie. Jonah and Micah did too, so they came as well but they had to pay for their own ticket. Kanyon wanted to see "Angry Birds", which was also playing at the theater this week, so he brought his own money and Josh watched that with him (since he's not big on watching superhero films) while the three other boys and I watched the Marvel film. It was even better the second time around! We all enjoyed our time at the theater on Tuesday night!

On Wednesday, Jonah and Micah had another 6th grade field trip to Idaho Falls. They had to be at the school by 7am, so I drove them in early to get to that. They went to the Tautphaus Park Zoo , had a picnic lunch, and went rollerskating. They said they had a super fun trip (better than the museum trip two weeks ago), and had a lot of fun at the zoo with their friends.

The High School Awards Ceremony was on Wednesday night. Ammon got several awards in the science department. He said during the assembly at school that day, he was awarded the "Student of the Month" representing the science department, too! He has had four science classes this year, but has loved having Ms. Wolfe as a teacher so it's been a good experience for him, and I'm glad she feels the same about him!

Ammon and his best friend unknowingly wore matching
clothes to the ceremony. Josh and I thought they'd
planned it! They both looked so handsome!

Thursday was a horrible day for me. A little background info first...I taught K-5 music for 4 years. I've been in charge of the Kindergarten Graduation for 5 years (I did it last year too, even though I was no longer the music teacher). This year, I'm not in charge of it. Which is totally fine--I'm not at the elementary school building all day like I have been the last 5 years (this year I'm half-day Kindergarten and half-day Preschool), and I don't have contact with all the kindergarten students like I did last year when I worked in kindergarten all day or when I was the music teacher and had them all as my students. Two years ago, our school implemented the "Leader in Me" program, and the principal asked me to come up with songs for each of the 7 habits to teach to the entire school. I happily did so, because I felt like it was a worthwhile endeavor. The first song I wrote was "Be Proactive" to the tune "SpongeBob SquarePants". I love that song; it was a great first habit song! It's very catchy, so the students learned it really fast and it stuck! However, there was a big catastrophe with one student and his mother that happened after I taught the whole school that song, and I lost my music-teaching job as a result. I don't want to go into details--I've already done that in a blog post back in 2014. So...now back to the present day. On Thursday morning, I was helping Mrs. Mark line up the kids for Graduation practice, and we had them stand on the stage so they'd be familiar with the expectations for them for the real program next week. Then they started to go through the songs for the program, and they sang "Be Proactive", but to a totally different, depressing tune. I couldn't figure out what was going on, because I'd taught the morning class the song, and they usually sang it so happy and loud. Then they informed me that the current music teacher told them to sing it this way instead. I was FURIOUS!!! The music teacher NEVER informed me that she was using my song in the program, nor did she ask for permission to change MY song, either. I was appalled that she'd taken my song and turned it into something that was not at all what it was intended to be. I went straight to her room to confront her, but of course she was gone on a field trip for the day. I just couldn't believe that she'd done that; it was so unprofessional, disrespectful, and insensitive of her. It's upset me how she's run the music department as a whole into the ground. I am constantly STILL being asked when I will return to be the music teacher because everyone's so disappointed with the current results of their child's music education. I was just shocked that she would undermine me in this way, too. I had a meltdown right then. I went into the office and bawled and I couldn't stop the tears from falling all morning. It was just so hurtful; this song ultimately caused my departure from being the music teacher, but I stand by this song and it's message. I would've been fine with her including it in the program, and teaching it to the kids, as long as she used the appropriate tune. The slow, depressing tune COMPLETELY changed the song, and was a slap in the face to me. I called and left a message on her phone telling her my feelings and asking her why she never asked me before changing my song, but she still hasn't responded. When the kids went out to recess, I cried ugly tears for the entire 15 minutes, and then I started to feel a little better. Mrs. Mark decided to just remove the song from the Graduation program, which was not my intentions, but I'm so grateful for her understanding and insight. She has been fabulous to work with the last two years and I appreciate her so much!

Thursday night was busy. I made tacos (quick and easy!) after school, then I drove the twins and Kanyon into town with me for Kanyon's soccer game at 5:30. We watched most of it until the twins had to go inside for the music concert. Josh drove home after driving bus, changed, and drove back into town to watch one quarter of Kanyon's game before the concert started.

The group of boys heading inside for the concert: Jonah, Nathan (his parents
coach Kanyon's team), Micah, and Erik (his brother Aidan is on Kanyon's team)

I can't tell you how much I loved seeing Josh walking
up to me during the soccer game. I'd had such a horrible
day, and just seeing my husband made me feel instantly
better. He still gives me butterflies in my stomach!
He looked so handsome, and I just love him and am SO
grateful to have him in my life--he's my rock! 

Ammon worked after school at the golf course, then also went home and changed, and came back in for the concert as well. The students in the guitar class were the first performers of the evening--which included Ammon. There were only 12 students in the beginning guitar class, and they've only had this class one semester. They sounded fabulous! Ammon has really enjoyed this class; much more than he did band last year. They played two songs, and I loved listening to them. Ammon also received the award "Most Improved Player" from his teacher Mr. Anderson!

The 6th grade beginning band class performed next. They had 3 songs, and they've improved so much even since Christmas at their last concert! Micah plays the trombone, which was highlighted in one song (it was a big hit with the audience), and Jonah plays the trumpet. I was so proud of them!
the group during warm-ups

Jonah and Micah left on Friday morning for our ward's youth overnight trip to the Twin Falls temple. They did baptisms and a service project at the temple, and ate dinner at Bishop's parents' house.

Josh and Ammon were working and mowing clients' lawns all day, so the house was pretty quiet with just Kanyon and I. When Kanyon mowed the lawn that morning, I started pruning the dead branches out of our hedge and cleaning up the dead leaves/weeds under it, and I accidentally got stabbed by a branch when I was about halfway done with the big section. The branch broke off and got stuck in my arm. I pulled the branch bit out, but part of it got remained inside my arm. It made me feel queasy (I hate the sight of blood), so I quit after that! I went into town that afternoon to go take our garage paperwork into the County Building Dept. to get a building permit, but since it's Memorial Day weekend, there was only one person working and she said they wouldn't have a chance to look at it all until next week. Then I went to my hair appointment with Kerry. She cut and colored my hair, and I felt SO much better! It's been over two months since I last got it done--which is way too long to go in between haircuts for my short style. I've been feeling shaggy for a while, and this was just the pick-me-up I needed! Josh had a horrible day mowing lawns (it kept raining off and on and the mower wasn't working right). Ammon even texted me mid-way through the afternoon to tell me that Josh was really upset, and we laughed about how intense dad can be when he gets so angry. When he came home, he needed a break, so he surprisingly took me out to dinner at the 28 Club! It was a lovely treat and we both enjoyed dinner immensely! It's our favorite restaurant in town, and that's the fourth time we've already eaten there this year--which is a lot for us (we usually only go on special occasions). We rented the movie "Everest", and watched it in bed after we got home. It's a true story, and I hate the way it ends.

On Saturday morning, I worked a little bit on my next college class, helped Kanyon do laundry, and went to town to the redi-care to see if a Doctor could get the twig remnant out of my arm. Unfortunately, the office was closed due to it being Memorial Day weekend. Boo! I picked up the twins from the church around 12:30. They had a fabulously fun time! For lunch, we had leftovers and fried eggs! The Williams' have been so nice to bring us two dozen eggs in the last two weeks, and they've been screaming "eat me! eat me!", so we did! When I was cooking them, they even smiled at me!

 On Saturday afternoon, I finished trimming, weeding, and cleaning out the second half of the large section of hedge. It looked so much better to me! However, I asked Josh if he thought it looked good, and he was acting like a dweeb and wouldn't respond in a positive way. Ugh. I hate when he gets like that. I told him later that day how much I dislike how he's incapable of complementing me. He doesn't like when I confront him with my feelings, so he took off on a 4-wheeler ride and went shooting his gun for a while. When he was gone, Krissy surprised me with a short visit. I loved talking and laughing and catching up with her. When Josh got home, he took me on a motorcycle ride (I've been craving one all week) about 8:00 to the grocery store to get a few groceries for the weekend.

After church today, we ate outside for the first time this season at Grandma and Grandpa's house. The weather was beautiful! Afterwards, I did a few more trimming projects in the yard, and noticed that my peony is about to bloom! I'm so excited! I want my yard to get to the point that there's always something different blooming!

Tonight, we went over to Jackson's house for a little get-together. Phil had mowed a few golf course holes into the grass, so Josh and Ammon played that with the men played for several hours. Micah and I played SkipBo with the ladies during that entire time. There was a big group of kids hanging out for Warren's birthday, so Kanyon alternated between hanging out with them and wandering around doing his own thing. Jonah opted not to come because he was really into reading his Harry Potter book! When it got too dark for golf, the guys came inside and we played the card game "golf" together until we came home around 11pm. I had SOOOO much fun! I laughed so hard; it was a rejuvenating evening spent with good friends!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week 20

{May 16 - 22}

Ammon was at the state golf tournament in Nampa all day on Monday. He played fairly well for not having previewed the entire course the day before. It was a gorgeous course and the weather was excellent. Ammon was the top scorer for our team at the end of Day 1 of the tournament.

The golf tournament on Tuesday went much better for the team as a whole. They were all more relaxed and their play reflected that. Ammon scored 88 on the second day. He was a little disappointed in his score, but Josh and I are both proud of his abilities to play so well at state.

I took the day off on Wednesday. I worked for a solid 7 hours on my Children's Literature class, completing the last Task for that class. I worked on that class for 6 weeks, and was SO glad to finally have all the requirements finished!

On Thursday, Jonah and Kanyon had their first soccer games of the season. Jonah is now in the U-16 league (for youth ages 12-16), and on the larger field. His coach is David Harry. Kanyon is now in the U-11 league (for kids 9-11 years old). His coaches are the Deschaines. Since Micah ran on the track team, he isn't playing soccer this year, but he IS helping to referee some of the younger league's games. He was really nervous about it, and wasn't too happy about doing it, but he did great!

Jonah's team tied with the other team. There's only two U-16 teams this year, so they have to play each other all season long.

Kanyon played goalie for his team the first half of the game. It's a bit more difficult and fast-paced than the U-8 league he was previously in. The first quarter was kind of rough, but the second quarter went much better; he stopped several balls and had some good drop kicks.

Kanyon is an excellent defensive player. He was much more in his realm the second half of the game!

On Friday, I worked on assignments for another college class most of the day. I was tired of studying by dinner time, and I didn't feel like cooking, so I took the family out to Dave's Pizza for dinner. It was yummy! The twins, Kanyon, and I played SkipBo while we waited for dinner to be done, which was fun for me, too!

Jonah and Micah had their second scout Merit Badge Pow-Wow on Saturday morning. After I dropped them off at the church, I took the final for my Elementary Science class, and PASSED!! I was ecstatic! I passed off two classes in one week. Then I went home, and completed the Lesson Plan for the Application part of the Science class. I completed the requirements, submitted it, and PASSED that class, too!!! I was on a roll! I'd been so stressed out all spring, because I didn't think I'd be able to get all 15 credits done in 4 months, and these were the last 6 credits I needed to finish before the end of May, and I got them done a whole week ahead of schedule! I was so proud of myself! And suddenly, I didn't know to do with myself and my time. So...I watched movies that have been on my DVR since January, waiting for me to have time to watch them. I watched four movies! I started in the afternoon, and watched them that evening and night. I didn't go to bed until after 1:00am.

This afternoon, we had the Roseburough family over for dinner. It was Micah's turn to invite a friend's family over, and he wanted to ask Peyton, a new boy that moved to Salmon after Christmas. We ate pork chops that Josh grilled, loaded baked potatoes, rolls, and cantaloupe. Amy brought two yummy desserts, and we had a nice time together. It was the first time we've spent time with them, and they were very enjoyable company. After dinner, the kids played outside for a while, and when they came in for dessert, I played the card game "Scum" with the kids afterwards. So fun!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Week 19

{May 9 - 15}

On Monday, Josh and Ammon left for District Golf at Rigby (Josh drove the bus again). It was an overnighter, so they were gone for Family Home Evening. The boys and I decided to read in the Pearl of Great Price instead of having a lesson because we've been reading it as a family, and we were so close to finishing it. Since there was only 4 of us at home, we thought it would be a good idea to pick a 4-person game that we don't usually get to play when we're all together: the boys chose the game Sorry. I'm not particularly fond of that game, but they like playing it!

Josh's grandma planted over a dozen lilac bushes at the beginning of Corbett Lane many years ago, and they are blooming brilliantly right now! I swear I've never seen them look so amazing before! I stopped and picked a few on Monday to bring home so we could enjoy the smell inside our house, too. I've enjoyed driving past them every day and admiring their beauty!

Ammon played pretty good at the district meet on Tuesday. He shot a 93 and tied for 5th place overall. The Salmon High School boys got the lowest team score, earning themselves the title of district champions.

My co-worker Janna's mother passed away on Tuesday. Janna had been gone from school since last Thursday, when her mom was life-flighted to Missoula. Janna is the head teacher for the afternoon preschool class that I work with every day. When she left, I realized that I would be in charge of creating the following week's lesson plans. I was happy to be able to help out in some way, but it was a very stressful week. I basically had no lunch all week long, I worked through every morning recess and possible prep time getting ready for every afternoon. (I'll admit I did have a meltdown for a hot minute at work on Wednesday when I found out that the library lady wouldn't be coming, because she reads and sings with the kids for 25 minutes, and that meant I would have to suddenly come up with books and songs too after already doing all the lesson plans and materials). On Tuesday, though, there wasn't even a substitute available in the district to replace Janna's absent position, so I taught the class alone. That was a whirlwind day at work. I was SO glad when Josh came home late on Tuesday night. I swear things always fall apart in his absence!

On Wednesday, our family finished reading the Pearl of Great Price! That was exciting! I really enjoyed reading about Joseph Smith's first vision, translation, and the circumstances surrounding both. It made me want to watch the Martin Harris pageant again--I haven't seen it since I was a teenager.

On Thursday, the preschool had their big field trip & picture day planned. Most of the preschool kids are on a block schedule: they come MW or T/Th. For our field trip, ALL the kids from both blocks came, so we had double the kids. Thankfully, Geri (the head teacher in the morning) came up to help me that afternoon! We took the kids to visit the elementary school where they'll be in Kindergarten next year, and we took them to the city center to visit the student art show (where some of their work was on display). While at the art show, I found a piece of art that Kanyon submitted with his class. All of their class's pictures were in front of the windows to let the light shine through what they'd colored with crayons over paper they'd painted black. It was cool! When I showed my photo of it to Kanyon, however, he didn't recognize it because apparently they'd done it a long time ago.

The morning preschool class did the handprint bird paintings on the left.
Our afternoon preschool class made the fork flower/potato vase paintings on the right.

I don't think we can fit any more kids around our snack table!!!
It was a busy, chaotic day! By the time school was over, I felt so relieved; I was glad to have made it through the week! I treated myself by going to the new Captain America: Civil War movie with Kerry. It was excellent, of course, and was so nice to just sit back and relax!

On Friday, I worked diligently on my college class assignments. I'd work for a couple hours, take a break outside for a bit, and repeat the cycle. I wanted to be out enjoying the beautiful weather and sunshine, but I was so far behind in my college class, that I knew I needed to get work done, too. It was a good balance. A surprise gift showed up for me on Tuesday in the form of a mailed package: another glass ball that Josh had ordered for me for Mother's Day. After I hung up the other two several weeks ago that we'd gotten from my Grandpa's house, we felt like the third (and last) section of the deck needed one, too. I hesitated buying one myself though, and I thought I might buy one later down the road when I felt like I could afford such an unnecessary expense. I didn't know what the package was when it arrived, because Josh usually orders parts online. So when it came, I just left it in the living room. When he got home from Idaho Falls on Tuesday night, he opened it up and brought it to me, wishing me a late happy Mother's Day, and I was SUPER ecstatic!!! It was beautiful and was just what I'd been hoping for to hang in that section! So on Friday, as I was in between working on my assignments, I hung it up outside. I absolutely love it!

Our deck just grew another ball!

On Saturday, Kanyon went to Cub Scout Day Camp at Cockrell Campground. There was a science theme this year, and he'd been looking forward to it for weeks. Cheryl Beers is the stake primary president, and she's so creative, fun, and organized, and always has the best kid activities! While he was gone to that, I went to Janna's mom Beverly Cockrell's funeral. It was nice, and surprisingly short--it only lasted about an hour. Josh picked up Kanyon from scout camp for me, and took Micah to a friend's house to play for the afternoon. When I got home, Kanyon showed me one of the things he did while at scout camp: made his own music by putting a pencil through the hole in the record, spinning it around, and then putting a skewer in his mouth and playing on the record as it spun around!

On Saturday night, Josh and I went to karaoke and dancing with John and Amanda. It was the first time I've gone to karaoke since...I don't know...November? And it was the first time we've hung out with John and Amanda since the end of January--she hasn't really talked to me since January 29 when she found out that I went to someone else to get my haircut because she gave my scheduled appointment time away. Surprisingly, Josh and I had an enjoyable time; I sang some new songs, Josh even sang, and we danced several times. The Inn was pretty empty, so we got to sing as much as we wanted. I like that it's smoke-free now, so our eyes don't burn, our throats don't get raspy, and our clothes and hair don't stink as a result of being in there. Josh had to get up at 5am the next morning to drive bus for the golf team to drive to Nampa for State Competition, so we were hesitant to go out in the first place, but he was really enjoying the night, so we stayed until around midnight.

This morning, Josh and Ammon left our house about 5:30am state-bound for Nampa. Last night, I had a moment where I felt overwhelmed with unsurity about their trip--I felt uneasy that something was going to go wrong. At 8:45am today, Josh texted to say that they made it to Arco, but the bus engine light came on and was beeping, so they were turning around to head back to Salmon, and the bus supervisor was driving down to meet them halfway with a replacement bus. It turned their trip into a 10-hour drive. They didn't get to Nampa until 4:30. Their practice tee time was 2:00--they [obviously] missed it. They'd never been on that golf course before, and didn't even get to play 18 holes before they had to head back to the hotel in Boise for the night. It was a terrible trip--Josh's worst bus trip ever and Ammon hated it, too. They'd all wanted to leave yesterday afternoon; they've left on Saturday afternoon in the past when the state competition golf course is over 6 hours away, but the A.D. wouldn't allow it this year. I'm glad they finally made it, though, and all in one piece!

Today was a musical day for me. I played a duet in Sacrament meeting with one of my piano students Wyatt. We'd practiced the duet piece for I Stand All Amazed multiple times together during the week. I thought we were pretty prepared, but there were a few mistakes that occurred during the actual performance. It was to be expected, since our practices had gone so well! ;)

Malachi and Molly came up to Salmon to visit for the weekend (much to Kanyon's absolute delight!). Kanyon spent every possible minute he could down at Grandma's house this weekend so that he could be with his favorite uncle. On Friday, he went down mid-morning after he'd gotten his chores done (it's the only time he's happy to do chores and gets them done quickly), because he knew Malachi would be here that day, and he wanted to already be at Grandma's house waiting when Mal arrived. After about an hour, Grandpa sent him back home saying that Malachi and Molly wouldn't be here until midnight. Kanyon came home so sad. But surprisingly, just two hours later, they were here!!! And he bounced back to being happy. Anyways, on Sunday, Malachi and Molly also had a special musical number in Sacrament meeting and it was so beautiful. Mal played the piano and Molly sang. 

After church, we ate at Grandma's house, and then I started getting everything ready for my students' piano recital that evening. It was at 6:00 in the high school music room. I like to make fun visual displays with the refreshments each year, and this year I got kit-kats, reese's, and strawberries to make the words [I heart music] and cream puffs and mini chocolate eclairs to spell out "POP". This year, my theme was "Make Music Pop". Each student had at least one pop song or a song from pop culture. My gifts to them were "Pop" items: otter pops, popcorn, lollipop, and pop rocks candy.  

Jesse, my newest student, played Jingle Bells, Pop! Goes the Weasel, and Hand Bells--a duet with me. She's only been playing for a month, but I love her enthusiasm for music!

Shyla didn't show up for the recital. She's been fizzling out lately, and I was surprised (but also not shocked) that she didn't show up. Anna played 3 songs: I Need Thee Every Hour, Oh! Susanna--a duet with me, and Say Something. She looked so pretty at the recital!

Wyatt also performed 3 songs. He did the Chopsticks duet with his mom (that was a fun addition--he was supposed to play it with Shyla, but his mom Hailey stepped up just days before the recital to say she was willing!). He also played I Stand All Amazed (but by himself this time since we'd done the duet together at church the same day), and Safe & Sound. That last one was a 6-page song, and he'd been working on learning how to turn pages and still keep playing the piano. He totally aced it and I was so proud of him!

Jonah and Micah came to the recital with me (which was a first). They were good helpers to assist me in setting up and cleaning up. Also, John was a huge help to me and I was so appreciative of him letting me use his classroom. The baby grand piano in there is so gorgeous and feels professional to play on, so I'm very grateful that my students had the opportunity once again to use it to perform on.