It’s the end of the school year, and we seem to be flying from one activity or concert to another.  Last night was Evan’s band concert.  This was his second year in band, playing percussion and he loves it!  He practices in our basement whenever there aren’t any guests around, but we honestly didn’t realize how far he’d come until we saw him in action last night!

Forget about looking like Christmas – it’s now starting to sound like Christmas!  It has been a week of concerts, recitals & plays.  I was feeling somewhat bah humbug about all the extra events this week, but when sitting through Alex’s Boys’ Choir concert on Saturday night, I realized that this is what Christmas is all about.  I sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the music.

Sunday, the boys performed in “The Drowsy Shepherd” at the United Church.  They were great!  The play was clever & funny, nobody forgot their lines and Alex did a wonderful job on his solo.  He was a shepherd and Evan was a sheep!  I thought he would be embarrassed to wear the sheep “mask”, but he just pretended he was a cloud…

When the play was over, we had just under an hour to get Sarah to her highland dance recital.  My parents took Olivia home with them for lunch so that we could feed the others a quick lunch at Subway.  They met us at the Recital.  I love watching the little ones when they are just starting out; we were pretty proud when people approached us afterwards to say that we have to make sure to keep Sarah dancing because she’s a natural!  She loved it – everything except getting her hair into a bun!

The Dancers

We rushed home from that to get ready for our last B&B dinner of the Christmas Season, a group of hairdressers who have been coming here for the past four years.  Oh my, do they have fun!!  Oh, and D’Arcy also got the rink set up in that time too as it’s supposed to get cold this week…  (Heaven forbid we take a moment to relax in a clean house!)

Yesterday, I went to Halifax for a beautiful luncheon/Tourism Conference wrap-up meeting at the Prince George hotel and then managed to get a Costco run in while in the city.  I got home in time to throw some pancakes on to feed the kids for supper between band, dance & choir and Evan’s band concert.  He did a great job and we were really proud of him.  We were all really tired by this point.  I had to laugh when I told Sarah to stop staring at the people sitting in the row behind us and she replied, “but he’s just like my dad – sleeping!”

I didn't notice my dad reading the e-book before I saw this photo!

Unfortunately, the only photo we got of Evan as the lighting in the gym was tricking Alex's camera.

We took the long way home to see some of the Christmas lights.  Tonight we have the boys’ elementary school concert and Friday is Sarah’s preschool concert which ends with a visit from Santa.

If we’re not into the Christmas Spirit by then, we never will be!

What were we thinking?!

September 6, 2009

Evan turned 11 yesterday and we gave him a drum set.

We have four children and live in a bed & breakfast.

Need I say more?

Actually, he (and we) all had a really loud great day.

The usual birthday tradition around here is that when you come down to breakfast in the morning, your gifts are waiting for you on the table at your place, but we had stashed the drum set in the guest living room and told him he could only go into certain rooms until the guests left.  We had planned to send him on a scavenger hunt to find them, but Olivia went upstairs and told him, “Evan – your drums – SURPRISE!!”  Then Alex, who was bursting to tell him, confirmed that yes, we had gotten him a drum set!  So we gave it to him without the planned fanfare.

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Did I mention I have four children, a husband, and live in a B&B?

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Oh yes, and my father is around a lot as well…

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Luckily, the birthday boy was willing to share, and I did note that he definitely had the steadiest beat!!

When asked what he would like to do for his birthday, earlier in the month, he had two suggestions:  a sleepover with his friend Alexander, and go-karting.  We picked Alexander up shortly after lunch and headed to Halifax.  As it turned out, it was the same price for six people as it was for five, so Evan suggested that we invite his cousin Mike.  It turned out he was keen, so they met us there.

We hadn’t thought to book ahead, so when we arrived, there were no less than 50 frat boys swarming around the place.  We reserved a spot for an hour’s time and headed to East Side Mario’s for some nachos & a drink.
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Cousin Mike will get his pay-back when Phinn gets a little older…

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By the time we got back to the go-kart place it was just us and two other teenagers in the group.  What a blast we had!!  Mike won and lets just say, I won’t be letting Evan drive with his friend Alexander when they turn 16 – he must have crashed ten times!!  (Thanks Emily, for waiting patiently and playing photographer – next time you & I are going head-to-head!!)

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On your mark... get set...

On your mark... get set...

The birthday boy

The birthday boy

We said goodbye to Mike, Em & Phinn, and headed back home to join the girls and my parents at our place for pizza & cake.  We had arranged to have it delivered at 6:00.  Evan was born at 6:11 p.m., so we got this photo as he “officially” became an 11 year old!

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When I have the energy, I try to make each of the kids a birthday cake that somewhat matches the theme of their birthday.  I really wasn’t sure how to go about making a go-kart, so I set to work making a drum set instead.  I told D’Arcy what I had in mind and he built & painted the stand for it.

Evan was surprised, to say the least – and it tasted great!!  (It was an egg-free vanilla cake made with butter and yogurt, had lemon filling between the layers and cream cheese frosting!)

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After supper, the girls went to my parents’ for a sleepover, the boys played the wii while we cleaned up, then we played Canada-opoly.

And laughed.

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We packed it in about 10:30 and sent the boys up to bed while we set the table and got ready for 6:30 breakfast for the guests.

The boys had decided that they were going to try to stay awake at least until midnight.  When I went to bed, they were giggling quietly wile talking about school, sports & girls.  D’Arcy came up shortly after me, and reported that as he listened from the bottom of the stairs, he could hear Alexander saying, “Evan, are you fading on me?”

They reported this morning that Evan fell asleep at midnight and Alexander at 12:01!

I’d say it was a very Happy Birthday!!

Evan spent every morning last week at band camp and loved it!  He’s a percussionist, so I guess D’Arcy had better get started on that sound-proof room in the basement!  He has two friends in the band with him – Mira who is also a percussionist, and Ross, who is playing the baritone.  The third percussionist was a boy who played on Evan’s baseball team last year and one of the highlights of the week was when he threw up “purple” on the drum on Thursday.  We all went to their concert on Friday afternoon to hear everything that they had learned  (three notes)! 

I was quite disappointed to find out that the parents’ auxillary has stopped supporting beginner band as of this year because the person hired to lead the Senior High band does not feel that kids need to be starting this early.  I totally disagree.  This is the age they pick it up the fastest.  Luckily, Evan’s instructor also believes in the value of starting band at this age, so she is determined to continue the program on her own.  The thing I worry about most is that the fees will be so expensive that band will be come an elitest program and that other kids who might want to, will not be able to join as a result.  

Sounds like I have another cause on my hands…