Eva has been performing 2-4 times a week since Thanksgiving. She sings with show choir, accompanied for them a bit, went to a Temple Square with Chamber Strings, and several other venues. I haven't seen any of those performances because she drives (yay!) and I have been carting other people around. She was asked by a lady in our ward to play three songs on her violin for the Eagles group. This was a little new because they wanted her to write a biography they could read for an introduction--it was fun to realize that she has performed enough that she has some impressive highlights. They paid her generously because they knew she was trying to earn money for her orchestra trip to California. The women were very kind and gracious. One of them followed us out and asked Eva to autograph and date her program. She kept saying, "I never understand why people don't get the autographs of performers when they are just starting out because they are worth more than any autograph given when someone is famous." Eva and I were amused. She also had her cross country banquet last night. She received a plaque for the Leila Kemp award, a special award they give an athlete who works through pain/injury to help the team. She felt a little guilty because it is a special award and they gave it to her last year, too. Eva did do something quite remarkable this year, though. Because of her stress fracture she had to take some time off, but the doctor cleared her for light running the day before districts and she ran a PR at districts, without which her team would not likely have been able to run together at state. She also got the a Purple Heart award which they give to an athlete who is not a captain but who supports the team like a captain. She is a natural leader.
Last Friday after our ward party some boys were outside knocking icicles off the building and Ethan knocked one off and it hit his head. He had a good sized cut, enough to nearly need stitches! Poor guy. On Sundays I have to get to church early so I can warm-up on the organ a bit and play for the choir and he has to be there early to prepare the sacrament so Eva drops us off and brings everyone else when the meeting starts. A few ward members told me that Ethan will stand at the back door and open it for people as they arrive. I love that kid!
Ivy's primary teacher told me that Ivy has matured a lot the past couple of weeks. It's true. She's still fun, but she is definitely a bit calmer. It's fun to see them grow up! A couple of summers ago Ivy took some lessons from a great high school violinist. She liked learning the violin but she wouldn't practice so we stopped lessons after just a little while. This fall she decided she wanted to play with the elementary orchestra. She skipped the elementary orchestra and started with the intermediate, knowing she may have to go back to the beginning when the music got a bit more difficult. Then she sat first chair in the fall. When Eva pointed it out to me I didn't think much of it because I know the director rotates the kids around there but the orchestra director interjected and said that actually Ivy is a real leader for her. I was glad Ivy helped her and then kind of forgot about it. Last week Ivy had another orchestra concert and sat first chair again! I payed close attention and was very impressed because I could see that she really knew what she was doing. Her bow hold looks almost as good as the kids who are probably getting private lessons and her rhythm and musicality is great. I spent most of the performance ordering how we could get private lessons for her. Several times when she is practicing someone (Vince, Ethan, a piano student, or ward member) will tilt their head, look around and inquire about Eva's whereabouts and say "Is that Ivy on the piano?!" She's not where Eva is now for sure, but something has happened and she is sounding impressive.
Nathan loves the snow. He and Ivy and there new little friends spend all their free time somewhere in the field behind the house sledding. They LOVE sledding! We had a new family in the ward and Nathan and Ivy each have a new friend. This is exciting for them, because while they have always had lots of good friends to play with they haven't had a friend close to home that was like a best friend. Now they do and it has been great in many ways. Sunday I sat on the stand for the whole meeting because there was a rest hymn. I marveled at how my kids had grown up to be able to sit through Sacrament meeting without an adult on the bench...
Nathan's new little friend also has a couple of little sisters. Partway through the meeting the little sister, age 6-7 gets up and walks out for a drink or something. On the way out she reaches into our bench and pokes Nathan. He looks a bit confused but just smiles at her. On her way back in she reaches in and pushes him on the arm. He just grinned up at her again, and then looked at Ethan next to him in bewilderment. I am losing it on the stand, trying not to laugh out loud. The people sitting behind the kids are in the same boat. A few minutes later she gets up again and when she walks by she nearly slugs Nathan and Ethan catches him when he topples over. So funny to see the look on Nathan's face. He is completely confused but he's so kind hearted that he still looks up to smile at her but by the time he sitting back up she is gone. While she was put I guess he needed to use the restroom and he didn't return before she got back. She walked in, slowed down as she approached our bench, looked, nearly stopped and looked. Her feet are taking her past the bench and she still doesn't see him so she actually walked backwards a ways before she returned to her seat. So when we get home one of the girls asks, "What is up with that little girl pushing Nathan at church?" I responded that it looks like Nathan has an admirer. Ethan has a fun twinkle in his eye and he nods his head vigorously. Some of his friends had noticed too and were asking him about Nathan's skills with the ladies. Nathan was still a bit confused. Poor kid.
Yesterday was also our wedding anniversary. We have had a beautiful 18 years together. Vince is the most patient person I know. His kindness, love, and faith continue to strengthen and teach me. Vince sent me beautiful flowers but we will have to go on a special date next week sometime because we have had kid stuff, holiday stuff, Bishop stuff, work stuff, etc and it wouldn't be any fun to try to squeeze in anything else!