May I just add a great big hearty AMEN to that?
This year, Joel and I got off pretty easily. Messiah and that's all. In years past he's had a million orchestra concerts and I've had several choir concerts and solo gigs and what-have-you. Lest you think we got off completely scot-free, though, let me remind you that we have children we are trying to turn into musicians. And their concerts, recitals and programs this year have been more than enough. Believe me.
First we had the Elementary School's Winter Program. It was scheduled for Thursday, but we had a snow day that day and it ended up being on Friday. And I think it should have been yet another snow day, but I braved the weather with Sophia and attended the program.
(These Winter Program photos are pretty icky. I was nowhere near the front and I don't have a telephoto lens. Oh well.)
Bria sang with the 4th and 5th grade school choir, as well as with the 4th graders. She was as un-animated as she could possibly be, on purpose. Ask her. She'll totally agree. The little blonde girl next to her, who is one of her best friends, was totally into the songs and actually quite fun to watch. Bria said she was "totally embarrassing." No worries, though. I'm just thrilled Bria has been participating in the choir. She won't be able to help but sing animatedly someday, it's in her blood.
Chloe sang with the 1st graders, and she was standing in the worst possible place for me to get a good picture. She has no problem being animated while singing, but I couldn't really get the photographic evidence. It was funny to watch her, because she wasn't nearly as animated as she usually is because she couldn't find where we were sitting. I could see her eyes looking and looking and searching and searching for us, so she was a bit preoccupied. I waved and waved but she never saw me.
That same evening, Chloe had her very first piano recital. She played Skateboard Doodle (just a silly name for Yankee Doodle with even sillier new lyrics) and Long, Long Ago. Due to her broken wrist for most of October and November, she didn't have time to prepare a Christmas song. Although, I think Long, Long Ago is technically a Christmas song. Maybe.
She did fabulously. The kid who was supposed to go first didn't show up on time, and after the teacher waited 15 minutes and he still wasn't there, she asked for a volunteer to go first. We all know that nobody ever wants to go first at recitals, but Chloe volunteered. So proud.
On Saturday night we had our Branch Christmas Party. I was in charge of the musical program, so I enlisted the help of my kids. Chloe learned Good King Wenceslas on the piano and Bria played three Christmas tunes on her violin. I sang O Holy Night and accompanied another gal on the piano while she sang something and Joel did nothing. I should have had him play the trumpet, but he was too busy. Next year. (No pictures for this one. I brought my camera with good intentions, but never actually used it.)
Sunday, Joel and I both spoke in church. Not a concert, but I felt like mentioning it because this has been a crazy week!
On Tuesday morning, Sophia had her preschool music program. I was very excited to see how she dealt with performing in front of people. Normally she's not shy at all, but boy did she ever get bashful once she saw all the people watching them sing. I think most of the kids were oblivious to the performance aspect of it, but Sophia was hyper aware. Leave it to my child to be the only one who didn't sing.
She would sort of move her mouth, sometimes. Mostly she just looked at the ground and watched the other kids out of the corner of her eyes. Every once in a while she would do one of the actions, like in this picture. All the kids were covering their eyes, and Sophia did it half-heartedly. (On a completely unrelated note, Sophia is super tall! The adorable little girl in the Santa outfit is her same age. Sophia calls her "Little Audrey.")
Finally, Bria had her Suzuki violin concert on Wednesday night. It was her first Suzuki concert here in Michigan (not recital, she had one of those at Halloween). They played several fun Christmas songs, as well as a bunch of the Suzuki pieces.
They ended on Jingle Bells, and the Suzuki director invited any children in the audience to come play the bells, so Chloe got to help out with that.
I think we are now finished with all of the performances for the Christmas season, and now we plan on relaxing. Except, I'm so behind on Christmas preparation, it's not likely to happen.