Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ode to Keith :-)

We had to say goodbye today to someone who has filled our heads, hearts and home with music for several years... The boys have known him for over half their lives, so his departure is difficult for them, and all of us....
Thank you, Keith, for your patience, your kindness, your quiet, encouraging ways...for enduring toes on the piano keys, backbends over the bench, emergency snacks mid-lesson, for sitting through all of the toy demos, and shenanigans...for feeling our ups and downs almost as much as us, and, for appreciating our newest member almost as much as we do. But most of all, thank you, for giving
us all the gift of music....What an awesome gift it is.
We wish you the very best in your new chapter!



Although it has taken longer than I'd hoped to put together, it has been so fun to go back through old photos and videos for this post. I am amazed at how much the boys have grown, both in stature and skill, since the time that they began working with Keith. (Unfortunately my videography skills haven't improved much at all...)



Remembering back to when Ben was about 3, while we were listening to a lullaby CD, he was able to pick out and name the different ins
truments playing in the song-and correctly, without any coaching or prior discussion with us. I was amazed at his ear for music and really felt piano lessons would be a great thing for him. With the help of my dad (and a few other kind, strong souls) we were able to acquire on old piano, and his lessons began shortly thereafter, at age 5. He didn't love it initially, but I insisted he tried 3 lessons before he decided to quit or continue. I'm so glad he chose the latter, and I'm pretty sure he is, too.


First recital, December 2007, age 6
I just LOVE the looks on their faces in this one...:-)
And look how little he was...







Joy to the World


video

Recital Number 2, December 2008. Although Josh wasn't interested in starting formal lessons yet, he wanted a part, so Keith let them play the "Linus and Lucy" song from Charlie Brown together-so nice to see the boys working as a team...;-)
video

Ben age 7, Josh age 6





And Recital Number 3, in December of 2009....
Ben, age 8...



And Joshy, age 7...



Poor Josh looks so nervous that he needed the piano to hold him up...
video
Part of my favorite all time song-Canon in D...makes me tear up every time.


And here they are again, exactly the opposite of how they are in real life...(Ben cutting up, while Josh looks painfully anxious!)


Thanking Keith with goodies...he always appreciated them. =)

And their final official recital, in June of 2010. Poor Joshy, still not able to relax before his turn...;-)



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video video video video

And these final two songs were the last ones they were working on with Keith, and two of my very favorites. I taped Ben doing a perfect version of his on Christmas day, but it wouldn't load because it was too long. So here is his modified version-can you tell he is a little annoyed with me, for making him do another take? lol...

Ironically, before being the mother to two boys, I had always said, only half-joking, my boy(s) would "play piano, not hockey"...whether they decide to continue or not, I'm so very glad they did.
It has been a fantastic journey. Thank you for everything, Keith.
You are missed already....

Happy Valentine's Day 2011





What do I know of love?


Only that I've touched it's perfect face,

Held it tightly in my arms,









And kissed it to sleep.




Author Unknown

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Never-Ending Winter...Pulaska, NY

well, for awhile there, i thought we were getting off pretty easy this winter...then february came, and mother nature decided it was our turn....


here they are having fun just a short couple of weeks ago....and we thought it was snowy then...
here is the boys' snow fort, in it's early stages (i wish the photos were bigger, so the details were more visible...) ben is preparing the "snowball catapult"....
the snowball stash...

the catapult in action....watch your back!





and here's the fort, renamed fortress, one week and many snow falls later. note the height of the walls, and the snowball en route to patrick's head (just past the jeep's windshield)....head's up, dad!

another angle, attempting to capture the scale of the fortress...
...standing in the in-law quarters...
i'm pretty sure this part is in the neighbor's yard...

they graduated from snowblock makers to kitchen garbage cans.....

and added the ice chunks from the driveway as shields...
and they continue to be fascinated with icicles-especially ones of this caliber....




and then today, after another 2 ft that we received last nite....


the boys got a "strep day" yesterday, and now a snow day today...thank you, mother nature.

the boys' hiding place, and the toys hiding place...


the mailbox is in there somewhere...
what in the world is that in the sky?


our 4 ft fence, barely visible....so hard to believe there's actually a pool in there somewhere...


this view out the back windows gets me down, when you can hardly see out...our lounge chairs and grill are in there somewhere...








gracie enjoys playing in the snow for short stints, but now it has become too deep for her to negotiate...thankfully she has also discovered our secret to surviving the long north country winters-hot chocolate! mmm...

she was so into it, i couldn't get her to look up!
her eyelashes keep getting longer, and her hair is filling in a bit, too. ;-)


well, based on her face, i think she loves it- a girl after my own heart! and ya know what i love? my awesome family, the fact the february is a short month, and knowing that vacation is coming soon! ;-)