Thursday, October 30, 2008

Jennifer's New Afghan

Many of you may know that I love to crochet. Lately I've been doing baby hats- I found that I can finish a newborn hat easily as I sit through a violin, cello, or piano lesson. The best part about these hats are that they are free- I just pick up any scrap yarn I have in the house- they take hardly any to make since they are so tiny (and cute I might add). I've got quite the pile of them now to add to the Beehive's class hats they are making on hat looms to donate to the hospital.

Anyway, I've taught my girls to crochet at various times. Jennifer did a lot of granny squares when she was in middle school, and did some scarfs while in the knitting club at Westview. Melissa has made long chains, and some flowers last year. But Jessica is the one that has embraced the craft. She made her sisters each a bag for Christmas last year, an afghan for herself, and many various projects. She even got her very own set of hooks for Christmas last year. She made Kevin a red hat for his birthday, and just finished an afghan for Jennifer to take to college. Jennifer picked out the colors- she wanted wide rainbow stripes. After finally getting the yarn, Jessica whipped it out real fast. It was done the other day, and what fun the sisters had celebrating its completion! I guess it was worth the sacrifice for me letting Jessica make it instead of doing it myself- worth the joy I saw in my daughters faces!

Aren't they adorable!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Westview High School Fall Choral Concert

We enjoyed a wonderful concert Wednesday, October 29th, at Westview High School. Jessica sang in three songs with Les Chanteuses (French for Female Singers): Reuben, Reuben arranged by Vijay Singh, Tatkovina (Macedonian folk song) arranged by Greg Jasperse, and Niska Banja (Serbian Gypsy dance) arranged by Nick Page. Jessica stood in the front row.
Kevin sang four numbers in the Concert Choir: The Little White Hen by Antonio Scandello (which he was glad to be done with), Soon-ah Will Be Done by William Dawson (his favorite), Sing Me to Heaven by Daniel Gawthrop (my favorite), and Things That Never Die by Dickens/Lee Dengler. Kevin is 5th from the right on the back row (he is the one with the hair covering his eyes).
I was surprised when Jessica walked up to the piano for one of the Men's Choir numbers and sat at the piano- I thought she was going to play as a surprise to us, but was joined by the conductor on the bench. Jessica proceeded to do an excellent job at page turning! Hope you enjoy these clips - even though Kevin's are just taken with my little pocket camera. Don't the black dress hems look the perfect length!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kevin is 17.

Rachel said that I should post more often, just shorter blogs. I seem to put it off- so when I get around to it, they are long entries. Here it is a week gone by again . . . . and Kevin is now 17 years old! It was a busy day- in the way that no one was home at the same time except early in the morning, and late at night. So Kevin opened his gifts before school at 6am (this was early for Melissa and Rachel as they had no school that day due to parent conferences). He got iPod speakers, desk (also a head board and night stand that is yet to arrive), a thing that allows him to play his iPod through the car speakers, money, and iTunes. I think he was pretty happy with it all. We had apple coffee cake and hot chocolate for breakfast. I cooked roast beef for Kevin's birthday dinner, and we all ate it when we could. Kevin and Jessica ate it at 4:30 before they headed off for band practice. Jennifer ate next before going to work (YAH she got a job at Joanne Fabrics!), Melissa and Rachel ate a little later after violin lessons. I saw Brian in the driveway as he came home from work as I was leaving to take Jennifer to work and told him we were the only ones that hadn't eaten yet, and he waited for me to get home so we ate together. We all had cake at 10:30pm when we were finally all together again. The picture tells the tale- Melissa dead tired!
This is kind of the schedule we are on nowadays- all going where ever, whenever. As I type this it is 3:30 and I'm cooking hamburgers for Kevin and Jessica. So if anyone has some easy crock pot meals they can share with me that would be great- dinner that I can have ready for those to eat, when I'm not home yet from a music lesson etc.

I mentioned that Jennifer finally got a job. She had been babysitting for a lady in the ward a couple hours a day in the mornings, and applying where ever she could. I was surprised to learn from other moms how hard it is for youth to get hired around here. She applied for about 20 places, and even interview for Target, Fred Meyer, and Kohl's. The jobs that make you apply on line take about an hour to do. It was getting discouraging as the days went by. Hiring got a little better as stores were looking for temporary employees for the holiday season. So that is what Jennifer was hired for at Joann's. She'll get about 20-26 hours a week. She has been working the 6pm-10pm shift and has worked the cutting table and cashier. As soon as her schedule is set a little bit, she will hopefully work also for Graphic Products in the mornings rolling vinyl. A big thank you to Tina Appel, Jennifer's Laurel advisor, for taking her out job hunting!
As for my latest projects, I've been working on some quilts for the DI that our RS had. There was some donated fabric in the RS closet that we've tied. I put together 2 baby ones, and now am working on finishing of the edges of a King sized one our presidency tied at our last meeting. I've been helping with the dresses for Jessica's women's choir group Les Chanteuses at school. First we measured them for the order, now they arrived so we are marking the hems, and will try to have them ready to wear for their concert on Wednesday. I am just extra hands on this project, and do what they ask. The dresses are nice- black with velvet bodice. The last two years the girls have voted on a style and bought their own. The dresses were pretty ugly on the girls last year. This year the director decided to invest in a group set. I'm glad she did, and I'm glad she picked out the dress she did. The girls have moaned about them as they try them on, but I tell you- they have looked very nice on everyone!
Well, that's all I've got to write about for now- so long.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another Week

Well, we made it through another week at the Leete household. Saturday the Oct 4th was "Rachel's Birthday Spaghetti Feast". The Party started at 12:30 with the 17 guests dressing in aprons and chef hats. They each picked a number out of a paper bag that matched with their special eating utensil, and dug in for spaghetti and meatballs. They all had a great time with this. When I asked if anyone wanted to try another utensil a few said yes, and picked another oddball thing to eat with, no one wanted a normal fork! Rachel loved eating with the garlic press, she said it gave the right balance of sauce, meat, and noodles as she forced it all through the press. The party games went over well. By the comments the kids gave, it was evident that party games aren't the norm anymore- they where all new and exciting- not like going to pump it up or a pizza parlor. We played Pin the Meatball on the Spaghetti, Throw the Meatball (cotton ball) into the Chef Hat, Handcuffs, Mingle, and Unwrap the Candy bar. They all hit the pinata as it lay on the ground (Rachel's first hit broke it off the rope), had cupcakes, then Rachel opened gifts, and then they ended with some free time. It was a crazy 4 hours, but a lot of fun.

Yesterday, Sat Oct 11 Kevin and Jessica headed off to Tumwater Stadium in Washington for another band competition. This wasn't in their circuit, so they were competing with bands they had never competed with before. I got a very happy text message in the afternoon letting us know that they got 1st place in their division for the preliminary round. Later that night I was informed that they got got 1st place in their division and Sweepstakes overall. They also were awarded High Percussion and High General Effect (the whole show). They enjoyed getting 1st place instead of 6th place in their usual circuit. I'm glad that I finally got my four flags all sewn up and turned in - that took way more time than I expected!

The Beehive class in our ward has been working on making baby hats with knitting looms to donate to the hospital, so Melissa and Rachel have been carrying around their hat looms and working on them at school, and in their spare time. I decided to join in and have been crocheting tiny hats. I found that I can crank them out rather quickly, and work on them during violin, cello, and piano lessons. We've made about 15 so far. The preemie ones are soooo little and sooo cute!

Today at church we had a combined RS/Priesthood meeting where they introduced to us the New Family Search Program. Brian is a family history consultant in our ward and has been working on this for several months now. But as of now it is open to our whole temple district. Brain tried to log me on months ago, but I was not authorized to do so yet, so now I can. Brian has been working on million of Leete names. I guess I'll get to work on my side of things. Anyone else linked into the New Family Search?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Westview Highschool Marching Band

It has been nice having Kevin and Jessica be a part of the Band program at Westview High School. During marching season it keeps them busy, in shape, and having a lot of fun. They started off the season marching in the Beaverton Celebration Parade, and have also played at the football games. They participated in their first band competition for the fall season this past Saturday Sept 27th, at the Sunset Marching Band Classic. Their show this year is titled "STORM" and they are quite excited about it. Jessica was on the student committee at the end of last school year to help pick the theme. They actually had almost the whole show learned by this competition- which they hadn't done in the last two years so they were happy about that. Brian and I went to the preliminary performance and stayed until lunch, then went back at 5pm for the Finals. We really were enjoying being outside in the fresh air. The competition seemed to be much more pleasant this year- and it dawned on us that it was probably because it wasn't raining and cold like the last two past years where we huddled under blankets and umbrellas!

Out of 13 bands they got 6th place with a score of 65.85. The Top score was held by Southridge with the official score of 79.75 (who also was awarded High General Effect, High Music, High Visual, High Percussion, and Outstanding Drum Major. As you might of well guessed, they were pretty awesome- they only were beaten out for High Auxiliary and Outstanding Soloist.) Anyway, they felt pretty good about their performance and we look forward to seeing their scores rise as they perfect the show. Just yesterday they came home from practice saying they were adding some new visual elements.

I have volunteered to help out with the uniforms- handing them out and hemming etc. Well this year since I marked on the volunteer sheet that I would help sew (thinking hems again- etc) I was asked to help sew some of the colorguard flags for the closer part of the show. Well, this has turned out to be harder and more time consuming than I thought. They looked real cool on paper- black, grey shades, white, and red curved triagular swooshes, but getting those pre-cut pieces to go together and lay flat, and finish all the seams has been a nightmare! I have only finished 1 & 1/2 flags out of the 4 they gave me to do, and I've spent over 3 days on them. I was told they would get easier after I had done my first one. Which is true- the second hasn't been as bad, but I only wish it looked better! At Saturday's competition, I sure spent more time looking at everyone's flags than I ever have done before! I am to have them finished for the girls to use on October 11th for their next competition. Luckily, the flags are far away on the field, so you can't examine them too closely!

You can go to the Westview band web page and see pictures and links to the performance