Festival Season

Warning, this is a catch-up-family post, which is momspeak for an I’m-going-to-brag-on-my-kids post:) I thought I’d tell you about our two week experience with the Kiwanis Festival. For anyone who doesn’t know, its a music learning/competition festival. This was the first time for all three kids to compete and actually, I never competed as a kid, so it was my first experience too. I think the only thing more nerve wracking and time consuming than participating yourself is having three children participate:) It made for a very busy two weeks. Arianna played piano first. She did an awesome job. I wanted to film them all and put it on here, but the festival forbids any recording. I understand. I wouldn’t want someone else secretly filming my child! Anyways, she played two pieces by memory without messing up a single note. She tied for second place! I was just happy for her that she didn’t miss any memory because she’s way to hard on herself when it comes to those things. I’m working on teaching her that she doesn’t have to base her entire self worth on how she does on tests, etc. I think she gets some of that from me:) So we’re working on it together:)

Last Monday, Emma and Arianna both sang. Emma had two songs. At her age they don’t grade or place them. Which is too bad, because she was the only one in her class so she could’ve had two first places:) But they do give her remarks. I loved both of her songs, but she had one called the Penguin Waltz, which is so cute you melt just listening to it. I was curious to hear what the adjudicator said because I think she has an amazing voice, but I am her mother:) He agreed with me though! Once he heard her sing the second time, he wrote on her paper, “Oh if a butterfly could sing....”. Emma’s teacher told me I should make a picture out of it and hang it in her room. I think I will. How special! Arianna then sang three songs. She worked so hard on those. Especially her favourite one called “My Dog Spot”. Of course her favourite was about a dog! It was also super hard. The melody was in dissonance with the accompaniment much of the time. I don’t know how many hours I practiced with her, but it was worth it:) The first time the adjudicator talked to her he said, “I guess it runs in the family!”. He just made the girls experience wonderful. Arianna got a couple of ties for third place. I love to hear them sing.

Jonathan played the piano twice this morning. He made me the most nervous. He has practiced way more than the girls, but often his learning disabilities betray him. Its hard to play music by memory when one of your main disabilities is low working memory! Put simply, as far as I understand it:), he doesn’t have the ability to always quickly access information. He would have a piece totally perfect, then later that day be barely able to play it. With his music he’s a beautiful pianist, but I just wasn’t sure how it would go today and I would feel bad if he lost the memory after working so hard. He played both songs without missing anything!! I could’ve cried I was so happy for him. I would have been proud of him either way because I saw how much work he put in at home, but it was nice to see his big smile when he sat down:) He got a third place and a participation. It appears from this experience and a few performances at his teachers house that the pressure helps him focus better. Which is awesome:)

Usually I’m away for these few days. It was my anniversary yesterday and Michael and I usually go to Toronto on Sunday night and stay till the end of a conference we go to at Faithway. Technically, he’s working Monday night and all day Tuesday representing the camp, but we have the whole day Monday together - which usually means I get to sleep in until 10 on a weekday:) - and I love going to the conference too. I was really sad when Jonathan’s schedule made it so that I couldn’t go with Michael. There’s so many people that I would’ve dearly loved to see and I tried to find some way to go to at least part of it, but it just wasn’t working out. I felt like I really needed to take Jonathan myself, especially since it was his first year. So today I was feeling a little sorry for myself being stuck at home, but when Jon smiled at me like that, it made it worth it. Then tonight, I was putting the kids to bed and Emma asked me for “A Little Snuggle Buggle” (where that phrase came from, I have no idea!). So I climbed into bed with her, even though I was worried about falling asleep since today was so crazy. She pulled my arm around her and said, “ahh, my heartbeat was hurting because it needed a little love”. After I stopped laughing, I was thankful for the reminder that my kids are so special and I love spending time with them. Although I know I can’t always make it to every single special moment, I was glad I had the last two weeks.