Sunday, February 28, 2010

Goodbye, Olympics

Olympic Fever has overtaken our household for the past two weeks. The kids have loved catching some of the action every night. They love to chant U-S-A at annoyingly loud decibel levels. Even Wes gets in on the action. When walking into the room and seeing the Olympics on TV, he immediately looks at Joel or I and asks "This guy USA?" If we say no, he walks away as if he can't be bothered. Corrie was troubled by the absence of team USA from some of the sports, and so set about making a list of the countries she deemed worthy of support. In true Corrie fashion, she decided on each country based on whether or not it has spawned one of her favorite composers or literary characters.

We also have a new appreciation for winter sports because we live in the land of snow and ice. Joel was nearly mowed down, while walking through our neighborhood last week, by cross country skiers coming out of their driveway. People ski, snow shoe, ice fish, go tubing, and play hockey here like crazy. Rather than retreat from the insane cold, everyone just gets out in it and has fun. Someday, perhaps, we will join their ranks. Joel is eager to take Corrie for a cross country skiing lesson. Watch out world.

And so, we are sad to see the Olympics go. But not sad to see the commercials go. We had to cover the kids eyes umpteen million times to avoid nightmare inducing ads for 'Shutter Island' and 'Clash of the Titans.' If we had seen one more P&G "up with moms" ad, I would have had to cover Joel's eyes as well. "You'll neeeeever waaallk aloooooone."

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mouse Trap

What to do on Daddy's weekend, when we all have disgusting colds and its freezing outside?? Play Mouse Trap, of course. Here is a video of Jack's special technique for rolling dice. I like his form.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A New Violin

After almost two years of playing violin, Corrie finally grew enough to move up to a larger sized instrument. As of today, she is now the proud owner of a 1/8 violin, versus the 1/10 she had before. It is a big improvement in terms of the sound of the instrument. This excites me greatly, as I am privileged to be her practice coach at home. In other words, I get to listed to a whole lotta 6 year old style violin playin', and I'm thrilled that it will now sound a bit better.

The violin shop has a great statue of 'Concerto Charlie Brown' out front, and seeing him is always a highlight for Corrie.

In spite of all the work involved for both of us, we are definitely seeing the benefits of studying an instrument. Corrie has had to learn a lot of discipline and has really had to stretch herself to master each piece. She is less than thrilled with practicing, but she loves to perform, and she loves to play with other kids. We were just at a group lesson today where she performed a Bach minuet with four other little girls. It actually sounded quite good! As with most everything in life, it is amazing to see the progress that happens from steady, daily work.

Welcome to the family, Jesse the Violin and Louise the Bow (yes, she names them). Farewell, Judy and Betty. We'll never forget you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Back to Blogging

I'm going to make an effort to return to regular blogging. I thought that the new blog design would give me inspiration. I'm still not sure if I like it, or if it hurts my eyes. I think that I am also in desperate need of some color in my life because of the frozen white landscape that has surrounded me for the past 3 months. As we approach March, the longing for spring is definitely kicking in. I am struck by just how different our life is in the winter as compared to the summer. I look at pictures from the State Fair, below, and can hardly believe that we are living in the same city. All of the pictures we take now look like this:

I will admit, though, that the kids love the snow. Soon, they will be old enough to completely dress themselves for the outdoor experience. Soon, they will also be able to shovel the sidewalks.