Thursday, December 17, 2009

'Tis the Season!
(For concerts and concerts and more concerts)

My friend Karen recently wrote on her blog, "December is to musicians what April is to accountants."

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.

Let's see.

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 Winter Program

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 Winter Program

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.

Piano Recital

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!

Sophia preschool program

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.

Peek a boo

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.")

Bria violin concert

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.

Jingle Bells

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.
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. Ooh-I do love Christmas music! What a fun/supportive mom you are to do all those things with your kids. I'm teaching my niece piano and it was fun to break out some Christmas music this month:)

    And I can't wait till Friday cuz my cousin and I are going to play the Nutcracker piano duets. It'll sound way worse than our high school days when we were actual musicians as opposed to know when we're just sight-reading, but I'm still excited:)

  2. Busy, busy. Enjoy your relaxation. :)

  3. For the first time in 27 years, the only music thing I have this year was my piano recital on Monday. I have them here in my house, and with 30 students and their families, it was close quarters! But that's it. No ward program. No symphony and chorus. Not even playing the organ in sacrament meeting.

    In my 20s and 30s, I might have felt a little shafted. In my 40s, I am SO over it! Imagine: December being family!!


  4. Holy cow! I am tired just reading all of this.

    Note to self: Do not have my kids ever learn anything musical.

  5. Holy concerts! Yes, that's a bunch. And to top it off with church talks? That's just nuts! You must have pioneer strength!

    PS: Love the picts, esp the one of your daughter @ the piano in a Santa hat!

  6. Yes, you do have a lot of musical things going on. It looks like it has been a lot of fun!

    I have my recital tonight, and then I look forward to relaxing a tiny bit.

  7. Wow! It looks like a busy but wonderful season for you. We've just started the music lessons in our home but it appears our oldest daughter has the same talent/interest as her Dad (she SO did not inherit anything musical from me). It's good to see some of what we have to look forward too.

  8. I am new to your site and so hopefully I won't ramble, lol! I just had my two youngest son and daughter's concert. It was my last for my son and I found myself a little emotional which is ironic considering I use to groan at the thought of going to another concert again. After 10 years of concert-going I guess I have secretly enjoyed them afterall. Your children looked adorable and I guess I can't complain considering I get to do it in one shot since both kids go to the same school while you've had many places to travel.

  9. Love that analogy. I've felt it more this year than ever before, mostly because I'm filling in for our choir director. I will be SO GRATEFUL when Sunday is over!!

  10. That's my kids and grandkids!! Born into music from wayyyyyyyy back!

  11. I wish I was more musically inclined. I really need to get my kids involved.

    The pictures are gorgeous and I don't know how you survived the bustle but WAY TO GO, LARA!! Congrats to you and your family and I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!!

  12. Awh... musical little peeps. :)

  13. Sophia cracks me up - calling her friend "Little Audrey." That's hilarious!

    December can get crazy-hectic, but in the meantime wonderful memories are made. And, that huge sigh of relief when it's all over feels so good!

    You guys are wonderful - sharing your talents and testimonies everywhere you go!

  14. Whew! I'm exhausted just by reading this. But good times and many memories made make it worthwhile. I hope you do get some relaxation in.

  15. So busy, but super talented. And those girl are so cute!

  16. And that's why I love December! Your girls are so so cute!

    My special ed kids have their Christmas program today. I can't wait!

  17. Last year, I think I had 5 Messiah gigs alone. Boy, was I ever ready to put the instrument down for a few days by the time that was over.

    THis year, with the new baby and all, I happily said, "NO!" to anyone -- everyone -- who asked, and so my evenings have been blissfully empty of outside commitments and full of sweet little newborn grunts and coos.

    A time and season, right?

  18. Thanks for finding me, so I could come over and find you! :) Love your blog, and relate to so many things here!

    And I hear you about Christmas, and my husband and I had a good laugh about the musician/accountant comparison, because he's the accountant. I remember having 21 performances in 14 days when I was in high school, leaving various uniforms in my car, and changing clothes while driving to the next performance.

    I now have my own little suzuki violinist, and being as we decided to move to the middle of nowhere, her teacher and all of her performances are 45 miles away, minimum. I totally get the running from place to place and from concert to concert, and she's only 8!

    And somehow, my violin students here have conned me in to putting on Christmas performances for next year. Is it bad that I'm already dreading it?

  19. oh the fun! :) Hey i have a question for you. What age did you start Bria on violin Lessons?? Kayleigh wants to learn to play. (we have NEVER even mentioned a violin to her in our lives) she goes around with her hands and pretends to play.. So im wondering.. is 3 almost 4 too young?

  20. Can I just say I love that line about December and musicians is like April and accountants? So true.

  21. Wow! I used to work in an accountant's office, so I can totally appreciate how swamped you must be!

    It's funny, I have the kids in my class cover up their eyes during the first prayer if the morning (I guess to improve their concentration) & for just a second I thought that's what Bria & "Little Audrey" were doing! I guess they wouldn't be saying a Jewish prayer in a Santa outfit though. :-) Very cute & she must be really tall!