Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas 2011

Blogging has been on my to-do list for months. It took a sick Holly, which meant 3 extra hours that would normally have been spent at church, to finally get to it. So here she is to start off this tribute to the Bruno family Christmas.

This is the only picture I have of our annual tree cutting because the camera broke right after I took it. The morning was magical. It was cold enough that the trees were frosted and the rain was beginning to turn to snow. Some friends happened to pull up at the tree farm at the same time as us which made hunting through the forest to find the perfect tree even more fun.
I loved Christmas at the kids' new schools. Both Emily and Connor had Christmas performances that were fabulous. I forgot the camera for Em's but here's a picture of Connor being a pilgrim in his 5th grade performance (representatives from all the different holidays helped make Christmas happen-that's why he was a pilgrim). The kids also did awesome at the Christmas piano recital and I was able to sing with Cantico, a local choir, at The Old Church downtown. It was a fabulous concert!

Ward Christmas party with a visit from Santa!

I wish I had counted the hours spent in my kitchen during the month of December and the amount of treats and food that were made. I love to bake and what better time to bake then at Christmas. Yum! Of course, my New Year's Resolution is to take a break from all the treats. We'll see how long that lasts! On the edge of the counter it a Christmas music book. I would also like to know the hours spent in music in the month of December. Baking and Music. That just about sums up my December.

Lasts years photo of Sleigh Ride piano duet. Not posed.
This years photo. Posed. Wouldn't be Christmas without a visit from the Barkers.
When I was a teenager my family would always visit a hospital and sing carols to the patients. I loved it and have tried to keep the tradition alive. Getting into hospitals isn't as easy as it was then so we visit an Alzheimers care center instead. It's one of my favorite traditions.

The old ladies adore Grant. He was so cute to go right up them and give them his hand so they could squeeze it and tell him how adorable he is. I don't know that he liked it which made it all the sweeter. His little Christmas gift.
After we sang we got out a little Christmas Eve energy by walking in the nature park. We even got a good family picture out of it.

Singing Brenda's arrangement of Silent Night. Always a treat to sing with her.

Nativity complete with a lion from Africa for Heather. There are many benefits to a big family. One of which is a nativity cast!

Kids anxious to receive their Christmas Eve gift.
9:00 church on Christmas morning seemed like it would be impossible. But we did it and even had time for photos before church! My little Christmas miracle.

I hope I never forget how cute Grant and Holly were this Christmas. They were so full of energy and happiness. I love the magic of Christmas!

Rick made Holly's day by letting her give him a makeover.
Emily spent the entire day at her new desk working on her crafts. We wanted to get her a desk and were thrilled when a few days before Christmas the neighbors had a desk on the curb with "Free" written on it. We sprayed it white and it was the perfect gift!

Abbie's cute new Christmas outfit. Love this picture of Heather, our New Year's Eve star. We had a fun party but missed some of our regulars. Hopefully next year!

Minute-to-win-it games were super fun this year!

Emily with straight hair. It's a rare occasion because it takes almost an hour. Luckily Aunt Heather was willing to give her the hour.
I'm sad to see the holidays come to end. It was a magical month. Can't wait to see what 2012 brings for the Bruno family!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Merry Months of May and June

In January Heather and I went for a winter run in the Nature Park, my favorite place to run. She was nice to play the psychiatrist as I deliberated over our upcoming move. We were still able to get out of the purchase of our new home and I was thinking of every possible reason we should do so. One big stress was where the kids would finish school for the year and knowing that staying at their schools would mean lots of driving. I know I cried during the conversation and wouldn't be surprised if the thought of trying to get Grant a nap in between all the back and forth was enough for the tears to swell. That sounds silly but I like my babies to have what they need. I agonized over everything and couldn't imagine how it would all work.

Well, we did it. As you can see, Grant is doing just fine. He even enjoyed his first popsicle. He got all the sleep he ever needed and besides the extra gas money we spent, everything went smooth as we drove back and forth every day. It gave us all down time before and after school, we were able to watch as the clover bloomed (wish I had a picture of that-Beautiful!!), we enjoyed the horses and chickens on the drive, and I only had one stoplight to deal with every day. Thanks to good friends I was able to limit the drive to only a few times every day and I was often forced (thankfully) to spend a little extra time visiting.

I'm a master stresser and the worries over Grant's nap have been replaced with worries of Rick's job. His contract job ends next week and he will be unemployed. I'm trying and mostly succeeding to keep calm and realize that things will be just fine. I stressed about so many unnecessary things with the move and everything was fine. I'm certain when this job issue is resolved I'll look back and realize that what seems so impossible is really very doable. And if not, I'll deal with it at the time.

Here is all the goodness that was going on in between my driving to and from the school.

Steph came for a glorious visit and this is the only picture I have to prove it. We were way to busy just living life to be taking pictures. Can't wait for the next visit.

Both the girls were beautiful dancers.

Em and I went on a fun field trip to a farm.
Holly and I went on a preschool field trip to the nature park.

Connor crossed the plains (around his school) in a reenactment of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Grandpa visited every week. We miss him now that he is working Graveyard shift and our schedules don't match up as well!
We survived the coldest camping trip ever. When we pulled up in a blizzard I almost turned around and drove the three hours back home. I'm glad we stayed. I spent the majority of the time keeping warm by the fire and was grateful for the wonderful company who joined me.

Abbie and Connor both competed in Battle of the Books tournaments as the top teams for the school (forgot to bring my camera to Connor's battle).
All three kids were in the school talent show. I don't have pictures of them doing their talents but in between each child Holly, Grant and I had an hour to explore. It ended up being one of those times that it was fun not having the option to go home in between. We found some adorable baby ducklings.

And Grant got to play with the big kids at the school. He didn't love it quite as much as they did. They couldn't get enough of him!

The day ended with the most adorable fashion show put on by a good friend.

Now that summer is here we are waking up when we want, spending the day reading and playing, resisting the urge to drive to our old stomping grounds every day, and anxiously waiting to see how wonderful the next few months will be. I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ode to Rain

(Because my options at this point are to find the good in the rain or pack my bags and move somewhere sunny.)

Flowers everywhere. This alone is almost enough.
Big Beautiful Berries. This alone IS enough.
The smell of the nature parks we visit often, especially after the rain.
Green, green, green. Who knew there could be so many shades of green.

The fact that in the 9 years I've lived here it rarely rains between the hours of 8-9 AM when I am out running.
And when it is raining I've learned to hardly notice it.
And I've learned not to wear cotton sweats and shirts so I don't have to wring out my clothes when I'm done.
And I'd pick a rainy day to run over a really hot one.

Whenever the sun does choose to shine I feel justified in dropping everything and basking in it's warmth.
And for the month, or maybe two if we are lucky, that we do get sun, Oregon is a glorious place to be.

If it wasn't for the rain, I wouldn't be able to enjoy the expression and comments my kids make when the sun comes out.
They usually hide from "the big scary ball in the sky" (Quote taken from the local newspaper). They just aren't quite sure how to cope with it's brightness and warmth.

I'm rarely warm enough to have to deal with sweat-take that Steph.

Sports events get cancelled often and I love when things get cancelled. It means an extra hour or two that I didn't know I would have.

It's a good excuse to put off working in the yard for another day, and another and another.
I never have to water anything.
The stream in the backyard gets bigger and more beautiful with the rain. How can I complain when I get to look out at this every day?!
So rain away Oregon. I will stay true to you and your beauty because of the rain.
And I'll spend the day inside, by the fire, reading a good book.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I really love this bunch of kids. It was a joy jumping back in bed after I was already showered and dressed and being greeted by these little faces, cards, presents and breakfast.

I also loved a day when I got to call the shots and the kids attempted not to complain. That meant a walk, even if it was cold and rainy. It also meant game time and I got to go first every time.
It's a very good thing that there are sweet moments in the midst of motherhood. Because these are moments, not the norm. Most of the time I'm trying to think of ways to escape the insanity. But stuff like this keeps me coming back for more.
And doing cartwheels to celebrate being a mom to five wonderful children!

Piano Recital

I had my first recital at my new home and loved how well we all fit! Everyone did great, my own kids included. I played a duet with Emily so I don't have a picture of her.
This is my favorite song of all. All four kids play at the same time and even pop balloons during the performance. They played wonderfully.
Nights like this make being a piano teacher so worth it. I love my job!