Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hello, goodbye.

Ryan & Katie, First Day of School, August 2009
at Holiday Inn Express (post-fire)

Katie & Ryan, Two Days After the Last Day of School, May 2010
back at the Holiday Inn Express
(this time just for fun—and the cinnamon rolls)

Another May Shot

And Another from the First Day

I love how all of these first/last day pictures are like a race: Ryan gets taller, Katie catches up, then Ryan takes the lead again...

Last year I bemoaned the changes our babies went through in the course of one school year, so you'd think I'd be used to this transformation thing. But they're my BABIES!!!

The HI Express "after" shots were taken during our Memorial Day Weekend get-away. The kids had been wanting to return to our former home for a while, so we figured this holiday was as good a time as any. It was camping, Dub-style: indoor pool, air-conditioning, board games, soft beds. Works for us!

For the record, here are the kids on our new porch on the actual last day of school, May 28:
And here's how the kids feel about being finished with this school year:Happy, happy summer!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Another Saturday, another early morning! Katie and I got up, got dressed, and hit the road for Denton for the Texas Flute Festival. After tackling the long lines at the registration table, we found the band hall for the beginning flute choir rehearsal.

There Katie joined a roomful of other beginning flutists to learn a piece the choir performed after 45 minutes of rehearsal.

It was a great experience, but Katie surely got tired of standing all that time!

After perusing the vendors' displays (and trying out a bass flute—cool!), Katie joined two of her classmates for their ensemble performance.

They did a great job with "Tomorrow"!

Later on, Katie played her solo for an appreciative judge. Then we were off to another flute choir concert, this time by Flutissimo! (and yes, the exclamation point is part of the group's name).

The concert was called "All in the Family" and featured the different instruments in the flute family. We heard piccolos, alto flutes and bass flutes during the performance.

It was cool to see them all in action, and it was a great way to wrap up our day!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Perfect end to a perfect day.

This was the perfect Friday. In fact, it was so incredible, I posted this as my Facebook status:
Because Senior Project presentations were over, my students were in an incredible mood. But as relieved as they were, they were also grateful. I can't remember the last time I had so many students express their thanks, and it was humbling. I even received a note (you know, one of those read-in-case-of-bad-days notes) from a sweet student, and her words really touched me. The whole day was just a string of feel-good moments with my students, and it truly reminded me why this teaching thing is not just a job but a calling.

So to top of my fantastic day at work, we had our Friday Family Night dinner at Los Molcajetes and then took a walk.

And what a beautiful night it was for a walk!

Brett and the kids showed me a section of the park I'd never seen.

So nice to wrap up such a wonderful day with my favorite people in the world!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


The NRMS band's spring concert was outstanding. Ryan's band did a great job with its three pieces.
And we were excited that we could see Ryan's forehead through most of the performance!

Another highlight of the concert was when Mr. Smith called the other band director, Mrs. Shadman, at home. She had just given birth to her little boy, so she had a good excuse for not making it to the concert! On speakerphone, however, we got to hear from her. I especially loved it when Mr. Smith's asked her a question: "Is it hard to have a baby?" Her response: "Not as hard as teaching middle school!"

But the best part of the night was when Mr. Smith announced the outstanding players for the symphonic band. The outstanding brass player for 2009-2010?

Ryan Weiss! (applause, cheers, much rejoicing)

Afterward, we celebrated at—you guessed it—McDonalds!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Solos and Six Flags.

On this busy Saturday, we began our day at a local high school for a district solo contest. Both kids did great jobs on their pieces, receiving I's.

Afterwards, we ran home to change clothes and then headed to Six Flags! It was our first trip of the 2010 season.

After about a 45-minute wait, we finally got our turn on the Titan. The weather was overcast so we thought the park might not be too crowded, but Six Flags was hosting a TON of school choirs and bands that day. Oh, well.
It was strange to see the Giant in mid-renovation!

It was a fun end to a busy day.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The mother of all special days.

Our Mother's Day tradition is pretty atypical. Instead of looking for a nice restaurant, we try to find the least likely place other families would take their moms. After years of searching for the elusive deserted Mother's Day eatery, I think we've found a winner.

A&W/Long John Silver's! For much of our visit, we had the restaurant to ourselves. A few men came in later, but otherwise, there was no waiting, no crowds, no fuss, no muss. And the kids got their burgers while we dined on grilled salmon!

Memaw didn't mind the restaurant choice one bit. And she loved her gift

and enjoyed reading her cards.

We even got one of the round corner booths. Hooray for togetherness!

Later that afternoon we went to Nana and Papa's house to give Nana her gift and cards.

And I was treated to flowers and candy: SWEET! It was a great Mother's Day in the midst of a busy May.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Beach Within Reach.

We were up and at 'em early for a Saturday, but it was for a good cause. Katie and the rest of the NRMS beginner band competed in the Beach Within Reach contest at early-30.

This was her band's only spring concert, so we didn't dare miss it!

It's crazy to think that these kids have been playing for less than a year!

We're so proud of our flutist!

After the concert, she and most of the other band kids were off to Hurricane Harbor for a chilly day of fun and (a tiny bit of) sun.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Post-audition tradition.

"So can we go to Marble Slab after this?"

I should've anticipated Katie's question. For at least six years, we have gone out for ice cream after auditions for our church's children's musical. This year was different, though, because Ryan's too old to participate. Still, since this was Katie's last time to audition, we didn't want to drop our tradition just yet.

The delicious ice cream was the perfect reward for our stellar soloist!