Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December Happenings

There is one thing I really enjoy about December, and that is going to all of the kid's Christmas concerts and recitals. Here is Brittney's chorus concert which is so big they hold it in a large concert hall (where the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra performs) in downtown Lexington. The down side to this location--there is no parking, and you never know when you are going to be ticketed!
This is the best picture I could get of Brittney (the only one with glasses). I think her eyes are open, but that's o.k. because it seems that half of the girl's eyes are closed.
Aubrey's Christmas band concert was held at the High School, but the band is so large they have two separate concerts. The conductor, Mr. Bronner,  threatens to retire every year. It is increasingly difficult for him to get around due to bad knees (thus the handrail on his stand). For the first time in fifty years or so, the Concert band was chosen as an elite band to represent Kentucky in Chicago, at the Midwestern band competition and symposium. I have to admit that the band did sound pretty amazing! And just maybe, this will be Mr. Bronner's ticket to retirement. 

Here is Aubrey as first chair flute. Obviously I was sitting on the wrong side of the auditorium!
Finally she turned around, quickly (notice how fuzzy), only after I called out her name several times (she rarely claims me as her mother any more). Breck also had a Christmas concert, but parents are allowed to take pictures only before the  start of the concert. Since he is in 8th grade, and too cool for pictures, I decided to save him the embarrassment this year.
Another highlight of December--Brad's birthday. This pictures is history in the making--not only did I have the right candle number, I actually was able to find two of that number. So 44 is on the cake, and 44 is Brad's true age this year!
I make Brad's favorite birthday cake every year (German Chocolate with coconut pecan icing). Only this time Brad commented on the fact that his cake tasted better, and was more moist than it had ever been (I guess I should have Merinda make it every year!). Merinda also wanted to take our picture with my camera.That is not the only thing Merinda enjoys using. I get a little suspicious when I start receiving text messages from her friends!
We were all a little silly that night, I don't know if it was the really good cake, or the candy cane ice cream!

Novmber Happenings

Brad recently went to Japan, and was able to show his boss the sites on the weekend. He was hoping that it would be a nice day, and that they would have a clear view of Mt. Fuji, but this is the best picture he got--maybe next time!
I frequently say to my kids, "once in a blue moon." Well, it just so happens that last month there was a blue moon. Breck didn't believe me when I said that the moon doesn't really turn blue, so he took this picture out his bedroom window. Unfortunately, there were too many clouds to see if I was right or not.
We had a nice quiet Thanksgiving this year with our traditional nontraditional feast. At first glance you see all the appropriate foods, but look closer at our meat...
It's BBQ Beef Brisket (and boy was it good!!!). We bid, and won a smoked meat of choice from our ward auction. We had our pick of smoked turkey or beef brisket. After much contemplation, we decided not to break tradition, and go with the beef brisket (we were not disappointed!). Claude Christensen, painstakingly smoked this the day before Thanksgiving, and gave us the meat, drippings, and his own secret BBQ sauce with a page worth of instructions (this was his baby that he had smoked to perfection). Needless to say, Brad's next investment--a smoker!
The other highlight of Thanksgiving was the girls' and my homemade apple crisp, pumpkin, coconut cream, and pecan (Brad's favorite) pies! And we cannot forget, luscious pumpkin cheesecake, compliments of the Allens!!!
The Thanksgiving holiday was truly complete with a rare visit from family. My little brother Matt was doing business  in Louisville so we kidnapped him for an evening. It was so good to visit and catch up with him, hopefully next time he can stay a little longer!