Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Valentine's Day Part 2 (AKA Ambassadors @ Abravanel)

At the beginning of the year Josh decided to try out for the ambassador orchestra group.
A small handful of students from each county elementary school in the valley form the ambassadors.
They met almost every Saturday for over an hour to practice extra songs beyond their regular orchestra pieces.

The evening of February 13th they gave a small concert in the tabernacle.  {Josh is in the very back on the right}  They had 11 cellos this year and so the conductor was constantly having to tell them to play quieter :)

Then, Valentine's Day, we all drove down to Salt Lake in a bus and stopped in at Abravanel Hall.
This trip was the climactic event of the year for the ambassadors.
We listened to the Utah Symphony practice for at least an hour.  They played some classics!
It was fun for the kids to hear songs they recognized performed live.

After their practice was over the kids took the stage.  A few of the symphony members stayed to work with the kids and a guest conductor came.

She was really cute with the kids.  She was patient and very positive.
It was fun for us parents to sit and listen.
  They didn't sound bad before, but in the symphony hall, they sounded awesome :)

After a good workout with their instruments we loaded them back onto the bus and then walked a few blocks to City Creek and swarmed the Cheesecake Factory!

We had a group of over 50 so they had to split us up into a few different tables.
They kids had all brought valentines and passed them out to each other while we waited for our food.

The man on the left was our bus driver...and also a retired orchestra teacher.  Josh said he had subbed in their orchestra class a time or two.

Josh got a Cookies and Cream Cheesecake...

...and I ordered a Red Velvet Cheesecake.  The perfect Valentine treat :)

It was so fun to spend a special day with my Josh!
I'm glad he is enjoying playing the cello and being involved with the orchestra.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Valentine's Day Part 1

We had lots of Valentines around our house mid February :)
I usually just buy the cheap, little boxed ones from the grocery store but even though it was more expensive, I printed from Pinterest this year.  It made it a lot more personal and fun!

Josh did Valentines for his fellow orchestra peeps (more on that later)
The lighter red one says "You had me at Cello"...clever :)
Cello Link...and the Scale Link

Matt wanted to do an Olaf Valentine when I gave him the choice.
The Idea Room posted Olaf with a couple of different options for the wording.
This one says, "Oh, look at that...I've been impaled"

This one, though I used it last year for him, is just too perfect for Ben during his ketogenic years while popcorn is his only real treat :)

Abby loves anything fox.  She's liked foxes for quite a while...way before the song :)
There was no question about this being Abby's valentine!

This was the other option for Olaf.  I did these for some teachers.
The same link from above will lead you to this printable as well.

I really appreciate people who create wonderful things and then generously make them available for everyone else!  It makes things so easy.

Abby made her valentine box all by herself.
I love it!
I should have taken her picture Valentine's Day morning with her fox valentines and her fox box and her fox sweater.  She was very coordinated :)

The night of February 13th  Josh hurried and put a box together.
He wasn't going to be in class for the Valentine exchange so he didn't really need one but decided last minute that he wanted one. 

Andy brought me gerbs.  As I've mentioned in another post, he usually does orchids but decided to do something different this year.  He was also very sweet and gave a rose to Abby (above right).  I think she felt pretty special :)

This was not for Valentine's Day but it goes so well with this post...
Julie, from Me and My Stitches, sent this very thoughtful gift to let me know she was thinking of me and sending love my way.
She makes these beautiful, little paper pieced pendants.
Isn't it lovely?!  She is so talented!
Thank you again Julie :)
If you are a quilter or have friends that are quilters, one of these would be a perfect gift!

Hoping you all had a happy love day!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Other Happenings...

Lots of little odds and ends...

I told Andy the other day to remind me to buy an amaryllis every year at Christmas time.  I've always been fascinated by them but have never grown my own.  This was the year.
I loved watching it grow so quickly and then bloom.

Does everyone else have the Olympic bug?!!!
I wanted to be kind of festive so I printed some of the pictures of the events and cut out the olympic rings on chalkboard vinyl with my Silhouette.
Quite by accident, Josh and I found some international flags in town one day.  I told him to grab an American, Canadian (since I'm 1/4 Canadian) and a Russian flag but the Russian ones were all gone so he chose an Irish flag.  We are the Bryans you know :)

Now, when we open our T.V. cabinet to watch the Olympics, we've got a little party going on inside :)

Also, you may have noticed in the pictures above that I have a beautiful, Russian, Matryoshka doll.
My mom has collected these over the years and has an extensive accumulation :)
I don't quite remember how I scored this purple beauty but I love it!   

There are 10 little dolls...

...the smallest one, about the size of a pistachio nut.

I love the detail!
 It's fun to have a reason to pull her from her usual spot from a shelf downstairs and place her in an honored location for a couple of weeks.

A couple of weeks ago, our church leaders asked us to join with all the other LDS members in the valley and fast for moisture.  Apparently, we are dangerously low in the water department right now...or I should say WERE!
The week after our fast we received large amounts of snow.
Here in our little valley, we recognize the miracle we have witnessed :)

Last week, Matt lost one of his top, front teeth...

...and the next night he lost the other one!

Both were quite painful and dramatic events.

But all is well now, especially when you get to use Mom's phone and take a whole bunch of selfies :)!
{This one is my favorite!}
What a cutie bug :)