Monday, February 17, 2014

Portia's How To Do Gymnastics

Portia was watching some how-to videos on gymnastics tricks she's trying to learn. So she decided she wanted to make one of her own. Here she is doing a couple of her tricks. (I did trim off the back where she fell and kept getting up, trying again, which is a lesson of its own.)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Driving around—a lot

Last week, we had a crazy music weekend. Bianca's orchestra was invited to audition for America's Got Talent, so they had to add some extra practices in to learn a pop song—Smooth Criminal. So Bianca had to go downtown SLC Friday night for practice, then get up early Saturday to go back for regular practice.

Portia had her annual Suzuki Cello Graduation, so I had to drive Portia separately to SLC, while Eric picked up Bianca and took her to viola lessons, then down to Orem for the actual America's Got Talent audition. Portia's graduation went well. She only played Minuet Number 2, even though she had already passed off the Book Two graduation piece (Bourree) as well. Just minutes before Portia had to go up on the stage to play, I looked down and realized Portia had mismatched boots on—one of Bianca's boots, one of hers. I shook my head and sent Portia up there, just hoping no one else noticed.

Portia did play very well. Here she is with the group that graduated Minuet Number 2.

We won't know for a while if Bianca's orchestra will get to be on TV. We do think that would be pretty darn cool though.

We had tickets to the Utah Symphony for Saturday night, but I realized that if we had gone, we would have driven to Salt Lake City 5 times in about a 24-hour period (I gave them to my friend who was celebrating her anniversary this weekend). Still, it was a lot of driving. Hopefully someday all this driving will be worth it.

A New Year and a Funeral

This year, we got some unexpected company after Christmas when Eric's grandma Maurice Clay (Eric's mother's mom) died. She had just turned 99 right before Christmas. It wasn't a surprise really, but it was still hard for Eric and his family. So, Eric's sister Mindy came and stayed with her kids at our house, while his parents and brother stayed with Bruce and Joanie. They drove through the night and arrived in Utah from Texas on New Year's Eve. I took the girls skiing at Solitude that day, but we spent the rest of our time with family.

I took a day off work for the funeral. It was in Layton where Eric's grandma lived with Aunt Julie. Eric spoke at the funeral (as did the oldest grandchild from each family). He gave a wonderful tribute to grandma. She was buried in Bountiful.

Bruce and Joanie had all of us over afterward for pizza and games. Eric's mom had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's in the last year and was doing pretty well while she was here and watching some of Joanie's videos of old times. There were some moments when she seemed perfectly fine and understood what was happening, but others when her eyes seemed glazed over and it didn't seem she knew who we all were.

Since she's returned home, however, Janis has been struggling and it has been really hard on Eric and his family. We're all trying to figure out the best way to love and help her.

Some photos from the visit.
Mindy, Janis and Eric

L to R: Jeana, Bianca, Rachel, Portia, Emily, Laney, Taylor, McKay, Joan and Janis

Portia and her cousin Laney