From the moment he was born, Alex has commanded attention – in a good way!  As a baby, he was always smiling and happy; as a toddler, he was demanding of attention over his less extroverted brother.  As a preschooler, he was known in many circles for his ability to tell jokes along with punch lines that were actually funny. (As opposed to Sarah’s current:  Knock knock!  Who’s there?  Owl.  Owl who?  Of course owls say who!)

Groan.

When he was four, the church put on a musical of “Noah’s Ark” and he was so enthralled by hearing his own voice on the microphone, he sang a solo and a star was born!  He says that he never gets nervous when he’s on stage; he just sees all those people watching him, and it makes him feel happy.

This has been a big month, music-wise, for him.  It’s Music Festival month, so he’s been practicing hard.  The first week of the month, he performed twice during Musical Theatre week: once with a group of all the singers his age that take lessons from his teacher and once as a solo in the ten-and-under class.  He sang “The Baseball Game” from “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and came second with a mark of 86 out of 12 kids.  (He was the only boy in each!)  There is some really tough competition in his age group and in discussions about the fact that there were so many good kids competing with him, his comment was that it was okay.  He likened it to the Olympics:  “When the athletes train with the others that are the best-in-the-world it encourages them to do their best”.  He also made the comment that he’s never, in his Music Festival career, received a yellow (third place) ribbon, so that would be okay too!

He’s old beyond his years sometimes…

Last week was spent with his boys’ choir.  We all went to Halifax last Friday night where his choir joined three other boys’ choirs for a concert.  It was beautiful – 120 boys in song together…  The other three choirs came to us for a concert on Saturday.  There were gym activities scheduled for all of them in the gym of the elementary school before they went to the church for rehearsal, supper (sandwiches & sweets which I was responsible for organizing), then a concert.  While I was organizing the food, D’Arcy came in to tell me that the Halifax bus had backed into our van at the school! (Long story short, it was the bus driver’s fault, so it will all be worked out quickly – that weekend should possibly be a post of its own!)

On Sunday, Alex auditioned for “Suessical”, being put on by a local summer spotlight theater program.  His choir director had suggested to him that he might be willing to make an age exception in Alex’s case because Alex is still nine and the program is for kids between 10 – 18.  We signed him up and he auditioned on Sunday afternoon with his musical theater piece.  I warned him that he might not make it because they had 55+ kids try out for a maximum of 30 spots and I reasoned that  he was so young, they might choose someone else.  Lo and behold, he made it!  He’s so excited!

This week, he had three voice solos.  He came 1st in the male 10 and under solo “Someday” on Monday (he was the only one in the class) with a mark of 86.  Yesterday was his Nova Scotia Folk Song, “The Sauerkraut Song”, in which he came 2nd with a mark of 87, and today he sang a Canadian Art Song, “Dragons”. Before he sang it, he told us that he was hoping to get a personal best.  I’m very much NOT a stage mother.  My parents keep Alex all week and practice with him since the adjudicators stay at the B&B; I only get to see him as he’s about to go on stage and this seems to work well for all of us.  I tell him “have fun!” and he’ll reply, “I’ll do my best!”  I was disappointed for him today when he sang because I’ve heard him sing “Dragons” much better than he did today many times.  It wasn’t bad, but he has sung it much better!  As it turned out, he won the class with a mark of 88.  The first thing he said to us as he came back to where we were sitting was, “I did it!  I beat my personal best!”

He’s so proud of himself tonight and we’re proud of him – especially for his attitude!!

The adjudicators checked out late this afternoon, so when we got home from the Festival I went to work cleaning their rooms.  I realized that Olivia had taken in lots at her three days in a row as a supported when she held up the Swiffer duster and announced, “My name is Olivia M and I’ll be singing a song about dusters!”

Perhaps we have another child destined for the stage…

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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!

Today was Sunday School Closing at the United Church and Alex was asked to sing “Any Dream Will Do” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  This was the song he sang for his Musical Theatre Performance in the Music Festival in April.  Again, we were so proud!  This time we were able to record it with the camera.

We were so proud!!  Can you tell?  

I love the way Sarah is obviously enjoying his performance!

The kids all got their participation certificates for Sunday School, and their photos taken with the children who were there and their teachers.

 

The 7 & 8 year old class

The 7 & 8 year old class

 

The 9 & 10 year old class

The 9 & 10 year old class

 

My class - the 3 & 4 year olds with a couple of two year olds thrown in!

My class - the 3 & 4 year olds with a couple of two year olds thrown in!

Almost a week?

April 29, 2009

Wow – it’s almost been a week since I posted an update.  Life seems to be quite busy these days.  Between the arrival of the sunshine and  “guest season” this week, my time has been at a premium.  Some of the activities keeping us busy this week were: taking the boys to see the local High School musical production, Alex’s First Confession (wouldn’t I have loved to be a fly in the confessional for that one!), haircuts for myself & the boys, a “girls” party for the local NDP Candidate, Sunday School, rototilling the garden, de-thatching & raking the lawn, grocery shopping ($400 worth!),Alex’s performance of “My Caterpillar” in the Music Festival (84.5 and another red ribbon!), house-cleaning & re-arranging our bedroom, a Board Conference Call, Preschool, Band, Intramurals, Running Club, Dance, Choir, dinner out with friends, a Tourism Research Forum, and a full house of Music Festival adjudicators all week.  Phew.  

The boys’ school was closed down on Monday because the school had no power.  Which also meant no phones or computers.  And?  From various reports – no emergency lighting on the Primary, One & Two Floor!  My sister-in-law was up at the school to pick up Luke because he was sick and offered to bring Evan home for me.  (Alex hadn’t gone to school because that was the morning he performed in the Music Festival).  Karen told me that she was almost in tears, trying to find the kids in the dark and that the teachers were using their cell phones to try to contact the parents of the 600 kids!  What a nightmare!!

Olivia’s new diet seems to be going well, although I haven’t weighed her yet to see if she’s gained anything.  

Sarah is obsessed with brushing her teeth these days because she doesn’t want to get a cavity.  I know I should be pleased that she’s so conscientious, but waking me at 4 am to ask if she’d brushed her teeth before she went to bed did not make me very happy!

Evan was given a registration form by his phys.ed teacher to join the Junior High Spring Basketball League.  He’ll be playing with boys in Grades 5-9 and the first practice is tonight.  He’s considering going away to an overight basketball camp this summer, so it will be good for him to meet and get to play with some older kids and build on his skills.

The boys are registered to run the kids’ portion of the Bluenose Marathon (4.2k) on the long weekend and D’Arcy and I will be running the 5k.  Back in January, we had thought we’d like to run the 10k, but I’ve hardly been out running lately and just won’t be ready.  5k it is.  Eek!  (I’m so not a natural runner…)

I have booked our summer vacation(s), so am excited to be planning those!  We will be staying at a hotel in Halifax for three nights surrounding our nephew’s wedding, and have rented a 29′ RV to go camping in PEI for five days.  It’s fun to have that to look forward to, knowing the busy season is just getting started.  Our numbers this year are down so far, and from the looks of our bookings, that trend is going to continue for the near future.  People are still booking though, so we won’t panic yet!!  

This is sort of a disjointed update, but that’s how my brain is working these days!!

Any Dream Will Do…

April 1, 2009

Alex sang in the Music Festival the past two nights. He & his friend Maddie sang “Jolly Holiday” from “Mary Poppins” last night and did so well!! They tied for first place. 

Tonight, he sang “Any Dream Will Do” from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat”.

I was so proud!

He brought at least both his parents, and the music teacher from his new school to tears with his performance. The adjudicator said that he hopes Alex will continue to sing and perform; he lights up when he is on the stage. He told me that as soon as he walked out there, he wasn’t nervous anymore.  (I was nervous enough for him!!)

Unfortunately, after everything we told him to do and remember (have fun, sing to the audience, remember to bow & acknowledge your accompanist…) we forgot to tell him to go to the bathroom first!  He said when he was behind the curtain, waiting to go on stage, he had to pee so badly, he almost had to lie down!!  After the performance, he kept looking back at us and I didn’t know what was wrong.  Finally, he left his seat before the last performer, and came back to us in tears because he didn’t know what to do.  He thought he was going to throw up because he had to go so badly by then, but didn’t think he was allowed to leave!  D’Arcy took him out and he was relieved when he came back in!  😉  

We were accosted with given a brochure about a boys’ choir for ages 8+ that will be starting up in September when we were leaving.  They were encouraging him to join and he’s looking forward to it.  Auditions are in May.  Also, his voice teacher told him he did such a good job, she’s going to get him to perform it in church for everyone.  

Alex has always had to work harder than everyone else to do things because of his vision, so my heart fills with joy to see him find something that he excels at and watch him enjoy it so much.  

Any dream will do…