Tuesday, December 30, 2008


This year for Christmas Mackenzie got a few new toys. Starting with a new outfit for her Mr. Potato Head. She now has the Doctor Mr. Potato Head and Spencer got the Snowman Mr. Potato Head.

Being that this seems to be a dress-up year we got Mackenzie a doctors kit and her Aunt Diana got her the shirt and hat. She loves being the doctor, but loves being the patient even more.

In addition to her doctor outfit Grandma and Grandpa Cornwall got her a ballerina outfit complete with tutu. She wears it non-stop at home but is gracious enough to change when we go out.

For me, I went out and used the money I was given to keep me working on my trains. Here is stage two of my train table. It now has foam. Stage three is laying track and cutting out my river and lake. I also got some really old trains from my mom's cousin. They need a little work, but I am very excited to have more projects that I want to work on.

All in all it was a great Christmas.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter in Washington

Wow! I didn't know western Washington could get so much snow. We stayed at my parents house in anticipation of the coming storm. Wings were predicted to be 30mph and freezing rain and all sorts of good stuff. It really seemed like it was going to be a doozy. I brought my nice camera and tripod to take pictures of the ice covered trees and snow covered ground. We were so prepared. So what did we get? A lot of snow and that's it. No ice, no wind, just snow. It was a lot of snow, but I wanted the storm. Well here are some pictures of how much snow dumped. There are some places the snow reaches my knees.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let it snow!

I was excited on Wednesday to find out that school was canceled. Kelly and I took the kids out in the snow to a friends house to make a snowman and have fun. The kids had a great time.
Later that evening after even more snow I got a call that school was canceled for Thursday. Even better. That's two days I didn't go to school this week and had a great time in the snow with the kids.
Now, it's Thursday night and I have been called again that there will be no school tomorrow. I'm bummed because I had some things to do at school and I really don't want to make up that many days at the end of the year, but now I have added half a week to my vacation. So I say Let it Snow!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wilbur and Music

Mackenzie has recently started naming some of her stuffed animals. The first one is a dog that has been christened Wilbur. I asked about the name and she replied "Wilbur dad, like the Pig." It is so cute when she starts talking to it and calling the dog on her toy phone.

In other news, my Christmas concert was on Wednesday. I have mixed feelings about the concert. The kids did exactly as I expected. They did their best, but at the same time I feel like I have given into mediocrity. I had a trombone player that missed most of his notes because he put chapstick on and couldn't buzz his lips, and I had a choir that is very quiet when they sing. My students are having problems realizing that they should work hard the whole time and not just two weeks before the concert. I show them how to practice their music, I give rehearsal CDs, I have a few students that come in for extra help, but it is effort too late to really bring us up a level as group. It gets very frustrating.

The part that makes it better is the compliments after the concert. Things like we haven't had crowds like this at concerts for a while. or the students sound better then they have for 10 years. I know I'm following teachers that had a very different style, I know that not everyone got along with them, but how hard is it to teach music if you have even a small understanding of what to do and take time to practice what you don't know. The kids are always shocked when I play different instruments with them. I am actually becoming an okay trombone player and I can play the trumpet even better. I played saxophone last year and really learned a lot. How can you not play the instruments, you have to demonstrate things all the time to the younger students.

Well, I now get to go to the dentist and take care of those appointments now that it's okay for me take time off without feeling like I'm abandoning my students while they prepare for a concert.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

He WALKS!!!!!

Spencer walks now. That means everything is at least three feet off the ground in our home. I would take credit for teaching Spencer to walk, but it was really Andy, Stuart, and Noah that forced it on him. Just like Mackenzie, Spencer learned to walk in order to keep up with his cousins. Thank goodness we have them. Spencer endured his pain of learning to walk at Kami and Ian's house which included all of Spencer's bumps and bruises. He ended up with two lines on his forehead from smacking it into Ian's coffee table, but that's okay. He learned not to fall at the table now that he's back home. I love this stage. I don't have to carry that 24 pound ham (I would have said turkey, but he eats like a pig) as much.