Thursday, December 31, 2009

Andy's First Recital

Andy had his first guitar recital the week before Christmas. It was a pretty laid-back affair, and he played three versions of Ode to Joy. Here's the first version with his teacher, Shannon, accompanying.

He did very well throughout the performance, despite much nervousness the week before. I was hesitant to push him to perform given my first (and about last) recital experience in fourth grade, which involved crying and running from the stage at Mulholland Church on Metairie Road. But his teacher strongly encouraged that he do it, and without being able to explain why I wasn't pushing him (since Andy is always within ear-shot, and I didn't want to make him more nervous because of my experience EONS ago), we all agreed he would, and that was the end of the conversation.

We were proud as punch of Andy getting up in front of 30+ people and sailing through like it was no big deal; a feat Otto and I would have night sweats about if we were asked to do the same. And I think he really liked the fact that his guitar was plugged into an amp so that everyone could hear it better. Made him feel like a classical guitar ROCK STAR!!

All I Want for New Year's....

is my two front teeth, my two front teeth, oh my two front teeth!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dad comes for a Christmastime visit!

We took Dad to Bower Ponds for some sledding on Christmas Eve.

Dad even took a turn down the hill! Apparently the ready-team accidentally sent him on a collision course with a little girl, so he created quite the trail of poofy snow behind him as he dug in his heels to try and steer away from her.

Otto heading back up after a run.

Snow-covered Sam.


Later that evening, Dad and Andy enjoyed the 'Fireside' channel that I found, since we couldn't enjoy a real fireside. Dad really liked this channel; he'd give us updates on when "the arm" would stoke it or add a log. :o)

We had a very nice Christmas morning. Santa ate a few cookies and left some gifts. Dad gave the boys some goggles. Lookin' good!

Dad was the designated bow collector. The drill was: get present from tree, take bow of gift, stick on Papa Rex, proceed to unwrap.

Otto getting cozy in his new robe.

Figuring out the new gadgets.

Taking some test shots with one of MY Christmas presents, a new-to-me Nikon. Nice camera!

Sam with Christmas-morning aftermath behind him.

Andy with his toothless grin.

The next day we headed to Banff to show Dad the Canadian Rockies.

Gettin' them doggies along.

Coming up to the mountains.

Frozen waterfall.

Our first stop was The Banff Springs Hotel, just to walk around. It's so very pretty, inside and out.

Gingerbread rendition of the hotel that looks suspiciously identical to the one that was on display last year. Me thinks the hotel chefs are not making it from scratch every year. :o)

In front of the giant tree in the ballroom.

One more, with flash this time, I think.

Back patio view.

Pretty china display in one of the shops downstairs.

Sporting their new Christmas sweaters at dinner. We did a little shopping after we ate.

The next morning at brunch.

After we ate, desperately trying to keep our eyes open towards the sun for a family shot. Then we did a little more shopping. :o)

The last day he was here, we took Dad out to Canyon Ski Hill so we could show him some of our cool moves.

Sam going up the tow bar...

and skiing down the hill.

Great job, Sam!
Me coming down the hill,

Andy coming down the hill.

Starting to get darker now - quick group shot!

And one more of Dad and Jess!

We had a great time. When I called him to make sure he got home safely, he mentioned a lady that sat next to him on the plane that had been to Banff and went on a dog sled ride, which he thought sounded fun. Already making plans for next time! :o) Thanks for coming, Dad!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Tree Decorating, and snow

The tree has been up for about three weeks now, so I suppose I should post some pictures. Andy looking into the ornament. And Sam, too.
Our neighbor outside, shoveling snow. There was LOTS to shovel on this morning. In fact, here's Otto shoveling now! The boys got their gear on and headed out, too.