Sunday, March 24, 2013

Saturday Night

Found a new favorite take out place. Ever heard of Rice Monkey?!?! Slap yo gramma good!

Pomegranate Martinis 
(by the pitcher because who wants to mix drinks all night?) 
Easy! 12 oz. vodka, 12 oz pomegranate juice or blend, 4 oz orange liqueur, juice from 2 limes. Get it really cold so you don't have to serve it over ice and you can't shake it.

 A serious game of Pandemic. Here is part of the McAlvany 
crew trying to save the world from utter disaster . 

 Fun times with all these crazy boys!

 Totally getting in to the game, Declan and Patrick were 
determined to save us from a worldwide epidemic.

Jammie time!

 Justin caught his little one on the floor in 
utter bliss enjoying her cookie to it's last crumb.

Good buddies

 Sometimes Patrick wishes he had a sister 
just like Tess! Who wouldn't?!?!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Piano Update

Piano is as much of our life every week as skiing is for us in the throws of winter. It's an every day, every week exciting family adventure. Everyone is in lessons except me but with my Sugar Creek rehearsals, I'd say our family is pretty much steeped in music. What a gift that is to me to watch it all unfold before me. Had I listed the dreams for our family 5 years ago, I would have never thought to incorporate music into that and yet here we are.

Aeneas is really taking off and as long as we can get him on songs he likes he will work tirelessly until he gets something. He's the no no nonsense piano player. If he doesn't like it, he's not going to work on it! He's been learning the Star Wars theme song and is looking forward to the LOTR for next week. And's really getting in to making up his own songs like Patrick as well. I think he's pretty proud of himself overall. We are certinly proud of him!

Patrick this week performed in the Student Recital as part of the Bach Festival hosted by 3rd Avenue Arts and held at St. Marks. He was fantastic and although I didn't get his performance on video, I did capture him practicing at the church earlier in the week.

You can see the beautiful Harpsichord that is donated for the festival and Scott the Director of the Festival! The festival hosts live concerts and box lunches over the lunch hour every day this week. Gabrielle, their piano teacher, came to support Patrick with his performance along with a number of our other friends. The sanctuary was standing room only. I've never seen it so packed. Durango has quite a collection of talented little musicians. Watch out world!

Working out the kinks before the concert.

Since we only have a keyboard at home, one of the benefits to living on campus is that there are numerous practice rooms right across the street from us. We went over to the college to practice a few times this last week. It's hard to just go over the same piece again and again so I told Patrick to just play whatever to take a break from the Musette and then we can come back to it. This is what he played, totally new and unknown to me. 

My reaction was something like, "Where in the world did that come from?!?" 
He says, "I made it up."
"When? I had no idea you were working on something new!" 
He says, "Shoot. I should have saved it for your birthday. I've been doing it with the headphones on."

Octopuses and E.O. Wilson

Such great school projects the boys get to do at their school. Earlier in the year, Aeneas and his class studied people and heroes that "stuck to it" to accomplish great things. Aeneas chose E.O. Wilson, a famous entomologist that studies ants and has made huge contributions to science about their behavior. Here is a picture of him on his presentation day dressed up like E.O. along with Neil Armstrong! Parents were invited to a "Talking Statues" exhibit where we walked around the room to each "statue." When we shined our flashlights onto the statues, they came alive and talked about who they were and what they were famous for! Aeneas did a great job!

Last week, Patrick gave a his presentation on his Octopus research. There is a lot of background noise because it was set up like a job fair where parents could go around to each student and listen to what they were presenting. This is real life and sometimes that's messy and loud so it's authentic! (My video was broken when I went to Aeneas's class. Bummer)

Note "Squishy" in the background that he did most of the sewing on. He gets up faithfully to feed it shellfish marbles to him each morning. I wish he had that much dedication to his real fish!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Octopus: by Patrick

I can't take credit for finding this website that takes Powerpoint Presentations to a whole new level. It was actually one of Justin's students that used this program a few years ago for their presentation on the Louvre for the Innovative month. I've used it a few times since, like this past fall when I put together the presentation for Justin to "sell" his Greece trip. Patrick sat in on Justin's talk one night and when I asked him how he would like to present his 2nd grade research project he knew just what he wanted to do. He wanted Mom to teach him graphic design so he could do a presentation like Daddy's.

It's due next week and I hope to get a live video of him actually giving it but in the meantime, you can see his stellar graphic design skills. He's pretty proud of it.