Saturday, January 31, 2015

Surviving December

January is down time, the recovery from December, a our family's time of endless performances, little sleep, and the high consumption of vitamin C to make it through the month without a virus.

Abby's 3rd grade class dressed like pioneers during the month of December. She wore this outfit every day, washing it only on weekends. We were excited to see it come to an end.

Daddy and the girls sang in the Stake Christmas Fireside, a darling song where Joe was singing a bedtime story to the girls (the nativity), and they were joining in on the chorus. It melted my heart.

Nicholas performed in the high school band holiday concert. He played percussion during marching band season so he performed one number with the percussion section, then played the oboe for the rest of the concert.

Maddie performed in the Nutcracker with the famous Martha Leebold as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Jonathan played the cello in the school orchestra concert. He started taking private lessons in June so he played with confidence and a great hand/bow position.

I'm back directing the Melody Makers, the school choir. This time though, I'm just directing the Senior choir, grades 3-5, which is much more manageable for me. Abby is in the choir. She auditioned and got a little solo to sing, doing an awesome job!

The day after Christmas we left for Idaho. The kids enjoyed playing in the snow, skiing, driving the snow machines.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


The boys just returned from the Boy Scout High Adventure trip to the Grand Canyon. Wait, didn't we just go there? Well, walking along the rim with the family in April while the weather is mild, and hiking down to Havasupai (where the scouts went) are two very different adventures. Their trip included blistering hot hikes while wearing backpacks, carrying many liters of water, many miles, to arrive at the gorgeous waterfalls that made the trip so worth it.

Jonathan is one month from turning 14 so they let him go on the trip. Grandpa Beehive went as well and was loved by the scouts.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Return to the Animals

It has been many years since we've had passes to the San Diego Zoo. Once upon a time we were faithful zoo patrons and then life became too busy. Abby has been begging for a while to go back to the zoo. She is a lover of animals so we finally returned.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Spring Events

Abby and Maddie both earned awards for Running Club at the elementary school. Maddie earned a Silver metal and Abby, a gold. Abby ran almost 100 miles throughout the school year to get her metal. 

Maddie had her end-of-the-year 5th grade orchestra concert and received a special award for being the music teacher's helper. Maddie has been playing the violin since age 6 so she offered her services this year as an assistant.

Maddie graduated from elementary school (5th grade) and is off to the middle school.

During Maddie's term as Vice President, giving the announcements each morning, she got to know the principal well and is really going to miss her. 

Nicholas performed in an oboe recital. Here he is pictured with his wonderful teacher, Mrs. O'Mara.

Maddie and Abby's art work was displayed in the school art show. Abby's piece features our new puppy, Daisy.

Joe and Holly performed with the Millennial Choirs and Orchestras in the patriotic celebration at Segerstrom Concert Hall. Here are some backstage photos.
Some of our carpool buddies.

Our family participated in the Walk to Cure Arthritis. Maddie has been living with Juvenile Arthritis for the past 7 years and Holly was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis 4 years ago. We are so grateful for the pharmaceutical companies and their fabulous meds, for without such Maddie would be unable to dance and I would be unable to walk. Now our hope is in finding a cure for these crippling diseases.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Four Generations

4 generations of women: Grandma Kay, Grandma Wilson (Mom), Holly, Maddie

And one with Abby

Friday, May 30, 2014

a dyslexia discovery, part 15

I feel like a mama bully, constantly going to bat for my kid. Why is our education system set up so parents have to fight for the learning disabled child? Why can't schools and teachers learn to fight for these kids too?

I've had to go to battle twice this month for Jonathan. The first was over a 7th grade field trip to a water park. Jonny mentioned that there was an end-of-the-year trip and he would not be going. What? Why not? He said he never got the permission slip from his history teacher and by now it was too late, the slips were due a couple of weeks ago. I emailed his RSP teacher, my go-to teacher when dealing with anything "Jonathan" at the middle school. I don't know if Jonny was absent due to an orthodontist appointment or what, but the teacher never gave him a permission slip, never asked him about why he didn't have one when they were being collected, and this kid thought he would have to spend the day at school instead of going to the water park with his classmates. These kids are in RSP for a reason and as much as teachers want to instill a sense of independence, there has got to be some follow-up. All is resolved, the permission slip and $20 have been turned in (three weeks late). A simple email to parents or a note on the school website, letting us know that permission slips had been handed out, to please sign and return them ASAP, would have eliminated this issue altogether.

My next battle came this week as I received an email from the RSP teacher letting me know that for next year the 8th grade RSP Language Arts class was the same period as orchestra and Jonathan would have to either choose another elective or enroll in a general ed Language Arts class. Excuse me? Memories flashed before my eyes of Jonathan struggling to read in his general elementary school classes, being forced to go at the same pace as the class, the stomachaches, the stress, the tears, the anxiety, the begging to be homeschooled scenes. No way! And yet, orchestra is his favorite middle school class. After a bit of a rocky start in 6th grade he now loves orchestra and his teacher, and she likes him. He has natural musical ability making this class the one class (next to PE) where he can get an A, for real. No accommodations, no special requests, no extra time necessary. He is on equal ground with all the other students in orchestra. How can I take that away from him? I composed an email to the RSP teacher, trying to be nice, offering suggestions of how we can move the school class schedule around to make RSP Language Arts a different period. Then I wrote this:

"I can't believe that after the extensive research that has been done on the positive effects of music on the brain, especially on the brains of kids with ADHD, Dyslexia, and Autism, that the school would deliberately put the RSP class during the same period as one of the 8th grade music classes. They ought to be suggesting that all RSP kids enroll in a music course, not prevent them from doing so. Music is an area of strength for Jonathan in an academic world where he faces so many challenges. I suggest we work to alter the scheduling so RSP kids in general aren't left out of music."

Apparently there were enough "buzz words", as they call them in education, to set off alarms. The very next day I received an email letting me know that the scheduling issue was resolved and it resulted in 50 schedule changes for other kids. Mind you, it's May and the kids don't even find out their schedules until August so the fact that 50 kids had their schedules change means absolutely nothing other than the fact that the administration had to go through the time and hassle of rearranging student schedules. Isn't that part of their job description anyway?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sweet Abby

My baby turned 8 and had been looking forward to her baptism for months. When the day finally arrived she could hardly control her excitement. She had lots of family and friends there to support her and the day was perfect in every way. Abby was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by her father on her birthday.