Monday, November 23, 2009

Adam Cornwall and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very BAD Day

Did you ever have one of the days when you go to work and work really hard, but you feel like you accomplished nothing. I did. Maybe I'll move to Australia.

Today, my sixth graders couldn't play eighth notes to save their life. What happened to the last 2 months of working on eighth notes? Do you think people in Australia can play eighth notes?

My seventh and eighth grade band drummers wouldn't listen, my flutes were flat, and I have a broken saxophone. My bass clarinetist always has to tell me who is misbehaving and I had a trumpet player throw up. I need to move to Australia.

My music appreciation kids are bored and three of them say it's the sixth grades fault (I have 6th-8th grade in this class) what's not exciting about podcasting. Maybe if it was in Australia.

When I came, I wanted to finish arranging a piece for my high school band. The file wasn't on my flash drive. I think I saved it in Australia.

I wanted to cry, but my children wanted to play. I guess I will have to cry another day.

Kelly says some days are just no good... even in Australia.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Band Camp

Last week I had a short little band camp for my small band. I was pretty proud of the work the kids put in when they showed up to rehearsal. We learned 10 songs and then had a performance on Saturday. Our performance was for Rainier's little festival they have every year called Rainier Round-up Days. Not the most exciting festival, but it was a great opportunity for the kids to play at a community event and be seen as not just a band that plays for sporting events. We played for a car show section of the festival and only played for about 15 minutes, but we had a crowd of about 75 people just standing around listening to us play. I think we sounded pretty good and I think we will do it again next year.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


If you didn't know Kelly and I have now bought a house. We painted the majority of the inside Thursday, Friday, and Saturday while Grandpa Acheson worked on the plumbing in the bathroom. We are kind of scrambling right now because school starts up very soon and we were actually supposed to close on the house July 17. Unfortunately for us the USDA was about a month behind in processing their rural development loans. That only cost us $2000 in per diam. On the other hand, we have a great house that we bought for $20,000 less than it is worth. Yeah instant equity!!!

I don't think the reality of the whole thing has hit us yet. I think it will when we are actually in the house and not painting it.

The really great thing about this house is Mackenzie already went next door and made friends with a girl named Taylor. Taylor is the same age as Mackenzie and they get along really well.

I can't wait for Mom and Dad to get home so Dad and I can work on projects together.

Tomorrow's project: Go under the house and assess the damage while I hook up our dryer vent that fell off.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Outside games

Mackenzie has started to invent her own games. The other day we were outside and she really wanted me to play her new game with her. The new game is called Ka-Koh. I don't know how she came up with the name, but there you go. I asked her how to play Ka-Koh and from what I gather everyone spins around in a circle and the last one to fall over because they are so dizzy is the winner. My head only lasted two rounds of the game. Now she wants to play it more often. I don't know. I think we need to change the game a little.

The other game she likes to play is duck duck goose. Let me tell you it is pure excitement with just three people. Spencer has no clue what's going on he just likes to bop people on the head, Mackenzie likes to run around the circle, and I like watching my kids have fun and feed off each other.

What other summer outdoorsy type games can I play with my 3 year old and 18 month old?

Friday, June 26, 2009

iPhone editorial

One of my favorite teachers at WSU, who only taught one year as a visiting professor, writes editorials every once in a while. I enjoyed this editorial about the iPhone and more generally all the little gadgets that spring up that we think we can't survive without.

check it out here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Fun!

Summer is here which means Kelly goes to work. She is involved in a Summer Theater program that takes up here day from 9-5. I have the wonderful time to be with the kids for the summer. Yesterday we went to Tolmie State Park at the Advise of my mom. The tide was really low almost a -5. Mackenzie didn't want to walk to the water, but Spencer and I did. I ended up carrying both of them for while.

As we were getting ready to walk up the trail to go home, a nice man showed us his find from the low tide. He found a baby octopus. That made my day and the kids liked it too.

We also saw jelly fish.

And Spencer liked the Sand Dollars.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


My high school band is rather small. This year I had 6 people in the band. It is really hard to find music for six people when they are on such different playing levels. This year I played the TUBA with the high school band as well as the Trumpet and Trombone. Here is a little clip from our end of the year concert with me on the TUBA. You might need to turn up you speakers a little bit it is not the best recording. I am playing my arrangement of a piece called "Military Escort" written for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Tenor Sax, Trombone, Tuba, and Drum.


Mackenzie has been growing up so much in the last few weeks. Things seem to be clicking for her. For example, at night we tell her Princess Mackenzie stories (they're stories about her and the things she did during the day. It doesn't take a lot of creativity to tell them). The other night she looked at me and stated "Those stories are about me aren't they daddy."

She is also starting to reason with us. I told Mackenzie it was time for bed and she replied "Maybe I can sleep in your bed with you and Mommy?" of course I said no and told her that would be silly. She then countered with "That's not silly dad, it makes sense (referring to sleeping in our bed)."

Her most recent venture is doing number 2. She has had a hard time figuring it out. Today was great because I don't think she was feeling well and she had to go like four times. I think she figured out what to do. Well she knows she is rewarded for going #2 and I was cleaning up the gamecube from another day and she asked if she could play the bongo game. I told her no and her cute response was "I went poop, dad! I should play the bongos then." Instead I let her have a picnic for dinner in the living room and she could watch Charlotte's Web.

I love my kids. They is never a dull moment with them and I hope there never is.

Really that's otter pop on Spencer's face and sweater.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I love toy trains!

Tonight I wanted to work a little on my trains and both kids wanted to come out and run the trains. I am totally excited that they want to play with the trains. I think that is the perfect hobby, when your kids can play and enjoy the hobby with you. We got out the engineers hat and started running the trains.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Funny Muppet Clip

I love it when I find a good muppets clip on YouTube. This one is a parody on Oceans 11.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Whole lot of Nothing

This morning at 5:00 Spencer woke up. He went back to sleep for 20 minutes and woke up screaming. Several times he did this until at 6:00 I decided it wasn't worth getting up and trying to sleep again. We went downstairs and watched a little tv and started having breakfast. At 6:20 he started to scream. Why? I haven't the foggiest. At 7:30 Kelly and I called a member of the ward to come over and check him out. When the doctor arrived at 8:00 (he needed to get dressed and had never been to our house) Spencer fell silent and went to sleep. We checked him out and there really wasn't anything that the doctor could see. It is now 8:30 and he is finally out for a while. Cross your fingers. So, it all really turned out to be a whole lot of nothing.

Friday, May 8, 2009


If you are interested in hearing the trauersinfonie click on the link.

Days that Drain

Today was perhaps the hardest day I have ever had teaching. At 10:30 this morning the high school faculty was informed that one of the juniors had taken his life between 8:30 and 9:00 that morning. While it was not one of the students in my class I knew him because of his upbeat personality, his devotion, and his humor. He always greeted me in the hallways with a smile and was always looking to help someone who was down. At 11:00 when classes started up after our nutrition break, each faculty member read a prepared statement to their classes and then let them go to where ever they needed to go. I didn't think that I would be sought out by students to simply sit in my room and get a hug. It was the hardest thing I have had to do. It is the one thing I hate doing because I don't feel that I am any good at comforting. I think I deal with these kinds of things in ways that others don't. I like to listen to Wagner's Trauersimphonie. It is calming yet moving and covers the emotions that I feel need to be covered.

The hardest part was seeing how many people love that student and are going to have a big gap in their life without him there. I'm sad. I have had to be strong enough for the students and now that I am home I am simply sad. I think I personally am starting to feel the effects and start to cry every now and again.

Mackenzie asked me tonight why I my face was wet and patted me on the knee saying it was okay. She did just what I did all this afternoon for my students. I feel so much closer to the students in Rainier then I ever have and I hate that it is because we lost one.

Not a lot of information has been released. I hope they don't release anymore than they already I have. I'd rather not know.

I'm sorry if this is random. I just needed to write my thoughts before I explode.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My beard

I don't know if all of the family has seen my newish beard yet, so I've decided to post a picture of the wonder that so many cornwall's have tried and failed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Failed Verizon Math is tested

Okay so I thought this was pretty funny. If you remember a little while back Ian posted on Verizon Math Fails

Here is a follow-up to that video. It's just a picture but it is totally worth a thousand words.

Family Photos

We decided that it was time for a new family photo since our old one doesn't contain Spencer. Target was having a deal and we went for a session and got a bunch of really cute pictures. Our order will be in on April 1st.

The kids did amazingly well, Spencer only cried once and they both got to play with a ball. They are really cute and rather photogenic. In fact I felt rather photogenic today as well, I think it's my beard; it makes me look more mature.

Well, I am exhausted from the whole process and I will post a link to the pictures when we get one.

Band Festival

I had my first real traveling experience with my middle school band. We went to a band festival in a little city close to Chehalis called Adna. There were 14 schools with a total of 425 kids performing. Now this was a mass band festival so there were no adjudicators and each group played one song on their own then there were 4 songs that all 425 of the students played together. It was a very cool experience and what I liked best was my kids were the better behaived kids in the whole group. They also knew their parts a little better than many of the other students.

I had all the fun traveling experience one would want to have and a few experiences that I don't care to ever have again, but know they will happen. I had 3 of the 14 students forget at least one piece of music and one of my drummers didn't load his drum onto the bus. I told all the drums they were responsible for any percussion they play and needed to load it. I knew he hadn't loaded it and just waited for him to ask me what we were going to do. We ended up using a drum from one of the other schools, but I hope he has learned his lesson.

At the end of the concert several parents asked if they could take their kids home with them, everyone of my band kids begged to ride the bus home. That sure made me feel good that they wanted to hang out with the band even when they were given a choice to go straight home.

Well, now we are back to school and they have returned to their normal squirely selves. But what a great experience they have all had.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sickness and a happy home

This week was a rough week, but at the same time ended up really good for the whole family. We have all been sick Kelly and I have sinus infections and both kids have colds. I don't think I have ever gone through that much klenex. We used almost 6 boxes this week between the four of us, sometimes one box a day. Well as we all started to get better we were finally able to play outside and have some fun. We have all been hanging around the house watching tv because no one felt good enough to do anything.

On Friday, Kelly left for Time Out for Women. I am really glad she went, she always has such a good time and comes back feeling better about herself and spiritually charged. On Saturday it was raining so I had the kids and we got bored inside. Mackenzie isn't quite old enough to play most of our games and I can only take so much of Hi-Ho Cherry-O! So I put every one in the van to go to Capital Mall to play on their indoor playground. After getting in the van I realized that I had to fix the windshield wipers because the drivers side windshield wiper broke off completely at the base. So with the kids strapped into the car I quickly fixed it and we went to the mall. We played for half an hour when Spencer came up to me and stuck his arms out for me to pick him up and layed his head down on my shoulder. We got home just in time to welcome Kelly home from Time Out for Women.

Today we woke up and it was snowing. I don't know what that's about, but it's already almost gone. I thought Spring was supposed to be near by? I am starting to get nervous about tomorrow because I am taking my middle school band on their first trip. We are only going about 40 minutes away, but it is a mass band festival where all 12 schools play the same 4 songs in a huge 400 piece band. I am excited, but I want everything to go well. I still have 5 kids that haven't turned in permission slips to go. AAAAAAAH! That's like a third of the band. I know of one student that can't go, but come on I've reminded you every day for the last two weeks to get them turned in.

Well I am hopefully going to be taking pictures and will post them as soon as I can. Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lets go fly a kite

This morning when we got up it was nice and windy so we broke out Mackenzie's new kite. If we could find the batteries for our camera I would have taken pictures, but alas, none were to be found. It was cute. She wouldn't actually fly the kite, she just wanted to watch. We flew it for about 10 minutes and then it was time to go home. The kids got cold pretty quick and they are already fighting a cold they didn't need anymore sickness.

On top of everyone being sick, we finally got all of our clothes back. This means we now look like we are trying to move out (or in) because of the amount of boxes we have every where. We will be very glad to have it all put away and have our house back.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Multi-phonic tuba playing maniac

When I saw the Dallas Brass last Friday their tuba player did the coolest piece. And instead of describing it to you I'll let you watch it for yourself.

Tuba Multiphonics

This guy is insane.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Conference Weekend

Wow what a day. Today was the first day of my Music Conference. I am in Spokane and I have had some great sessions with some great teachers. First today I went to a class on teaching rhythm. I know I'm a percussionist, this should come easy. Unfortunately this is not true. Rhythm has come fairly easy to me so it has been hard to understand why some of my students don't get it. Well a very famous percussionist by the name of Garwood Whaley talked about the importance of the kinestetic relationship needed to learn rhythms and transfer them from one song to the next. I came out of that class with a lot of good ideas for my classes. And it should only take 5-10 minutes of class.

After that class I went to the coolest concert by the Dallas Brass. They put on one incredible show and had a cool tuba solo that used multiphonics and all sorts of other weird techniques that allowed him to create a one man band that had this weird techno sound to it. Words really can't describe it.

Lunch was fun, I was able to catch up with Dr. Weiss. He and I talked about different ways to work with my choir as well as recruit. The biggest issue he pointed out but I already knew was scheduling needs to be evaluated. I have some conflicts with AP classes.

After lunch I went to a workshop on getting a more balanced sound from the choir. It was a really good class and I came away from it with a lot of stuff, but he had way too much information and we could have gone on for more than an hour and a half. It was really good information and I am definately going to try some of it.

The last workshop I went to was about the importance of communication through gestures and how to use it in a warm-up. The presenter was so funny and engaging. He had a lot to say and demonstrate with a local high school band.

The final event of the night was a concert with the Spokane Symphony and my favorite concert perfomer Evalyn Glennie. It was a phenominal concert that started off with a Webern piece called Langsamer Satz. Then Evalyn Glennie came out and performed my favorite percussion concerto Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra by Joseph Schwantner. Wow she was incredible. The finale of the concert was Suite from the Firebird which is always a great finale.

Well now that I'm home I should go to bed.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Cornwall Adobe submarine

I don't think this week could have been any worse. I kind of feel like one of my dad's jokes and am waiting for the adobe wall to fall in on my adobe submarine. Monday was good, no problems. I could call home and not have to worry about what news I was going to get. Tuesday really wasn't terrible except for the fire in our kitchen. While everything is sooty now everyone is okay and we have been blessed. Our insurance is covering the cleaning and painting as well as giving us money for food while we live with my parents. Tuesday evening I had 2 basketball games to play so I was unable to go home. Wednesday, I was tired but okay. Then I got home and Kelly was having the worst headache of her life and we ended up going to the emergency room for almost 3 hours. Because it was her first visit for a migraine they had to run lots of tests include a CT scan. We get to Thursday and I am exhausted. We are now living with my parents for probably the next week. Cleaners won't be able to get into our house at the earliest Tuesday. Well the adobe wall feels like it has sprung a leak and the slightest change we push the wall over. I'm glad it is fast Sunday today.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


On Saturday we started potty training Mackenzie. It has been so great. I think it was a good idea to wait until now. She has gone through about 1 diaper a day and has gone on her own most of the time. Today was a momentous day in the potty training. Mackenzie is no longer in diapers except for bed time. We are so excited, now we really will only need one set of diapers since Mackenzie and Spencer both wear the same size diaper.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A very busy week or two

There has been so much happening lately so I will work my way backward starting with today.
Today is Spencer's birthday. I can't believe that he is already 1 year old. Here are some of his accomplishments by age 1. He is 26 pounds. That is 4 pounds less that Mackenzie who is 19 months older. He is 30 inches tall and loves to walk. We think he is allegic to milk and has an appointment in a month to be tested. He fell over New Years and tore the little bit of skin off that connects your top lip to your gums. He bled and cried but he's better now.

Last night Kelly and I went on a double date with some of our friends. We went to a musical fireside which was more of a concert than a fireside, but to have it in the church it needed to be called a fireside. The singer was Brian Stukie (I don't know how to spell his name.) I talked with him after the concert and he kind of new me. He said I looked familiar and when I told him I was Megan's little brother it was kind of like in the movies when someones memory is jogged and everything comes back. So we chatted a little about what Megan is doing and about my choir in Rainier. Brian has a totally awesome voice.

On Thursday I was supposed to have a basketball game for my pep band to play at, unfortunately with all of the flooding that didn't happen. When I drove to school in the morning I drove through a really big puddle and when I got to school I was asked how I got there because the road I take was closed. Apparently it was closed about 5 minutes after I went through.

Wednesday the school sent home several students and teachers because the flooding was closing down several roads in our district.

Tuesday I had the first basketball game for the pepband to play at. They did rather well. It always amazes me how well my 6 man band does. They are a little hard to hear during the game, but they are there and playing. The crazy part about Tuesday was it was a double header basketball game so we played from 5:45 - 9:15. The kids did great.

Moday was a great day. I came to school with a new interactive white board. It is the coolest toy I have ever played with. I get distracted sometimes during class when I figure something new out on the board and spend five minutes showing my class what I just figured out.

Well I will have to put a video up sometime of the white board in action. It is way cool