Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Family Photos

On July 5th, we had a local photographer (and friend from church) take pictures of my side of the family as all my brothers were in town for this shoot.  Jake happens to be living in Boston but is moving to New Mexico for his job and Jared came back in town briefly from Texas.  So I figured it would be the last time in a while that we'd all be together.  These are some of the results:

Abbie Grosek

 Eli Grosek
 Jared & Jessica, Eli & Abbie
Brooke Grosek
 Hannah Grosek
Natalie Grosek
 Katie Grosek
 Autumn & Josh with Natalie, Katie, Hannah, & Brooke
 All the young kids

 Makenna Jones

 Chris, myself, and Makenna
 Me with all my "little" brothers (funny how I'm the shortest)
 The whole gang
 They all love their Uncle Jake

So if you love these pictures like I do and you need a local photographer - ask me!  I know just who to recommend!!

The Bear who came to visit

This is the third time in the 10 plus years I've lived here that I've seen a bear but this one takes the cake! 

It was on June 25th, and I was sitting at the dining room table on my laptop and the dogs started barking like nuts.  I, in my usual patient manner, yelled and them to shut it~  But they didn't so I figured there must be a deer outside that they were seeing through the glass sliding doors.  I got up to look and there he was (or she,)...a lumbering bear who just came in for a visit and decided that our yard would be a great place to lay down for a bit.

I immediately went and grabbed my camera and tried to "quietly" sneak out on the porch to grab a picture.  Unfortunately our sliding door isn't so quiet so I only caught a shot through the wood slats of our porch and then it running away.  But still - it was pretty cool (and funny).  But only funny because I was on the porch and not in the yard with it~

End of First Grade

The last day of First Grade was on 6/20/13.  She only had a half day and I had to go pick her up (because of issues on the bus) but here she is all snazzed up for her last day:

Monday, December 16, 2013

First Grade Talent Show

Makenna came home one day from school and said she wanted to be in the school talent show (she must've come to me some time in May).  I said "okay, what do you plan on doing?"  She replied, "Sing Katie Perry Firework"  I was astonished!  Not only did I not know she knew that song (which she really didn't) but that she had the courage and want to go up on stage was amazing to me.

So we set out right away to learn the song and I had her practice and practice and practice singing it and knowing the words.  Well probably at least 2 weeks into practicing we had her "perform" for us (Chris & I) where she realized she was really shy and scared to perform in front of us.  We tried to convince her how it was better for her to make mistakes in front of us and get over hear fear of singing in front of people when it was just us two instead of her whole school.

The whole time we practiced, I kept asking her if she wouldn't rather play the piano as she knows songs better and would probably feel more comfortable but she kept saying no.  Well, luckily after this mini-performance she realized maybe she should stick with the piano.  Although I would've been proud and encouraging if she still chose to do the singing.

She went to the try-outs and because she switched to piano, I think she was chosen.  Who knows, she could've been chosen for singing but when the day of the Talent show came, there were a lot of kids singing and she was only one of two who were playing a song on the piano.  Plus the announcer said that 110 kids tried out and only these in the program (about 20 - 30 kids) were chosen.  So that's why I'm glad we switched - she was able to be part of the talent show with her class and for her own performance.  I'm still really proud of her for trying out, having the courage to do something out of her realm and still sticking with doing the talent show and she did great!  Be sure to watch the videos below!


Cole Park

Every June around Father's Day Chris's church has a picnic at Cole Park.  This year it was on June 19th and here are just some pictures of Makenna from that day:

I love this picture as she seems so mature (she doesn't want me to say old) in this picture

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Easter - Part 2 - Easter Day!

Easter this year was a bit more hectic than usual.  My mom's boyfriend had family in town to surprise him for his birthday and since it was right around Easter we decided to have a huge get together (aka feast) at my house. 

We started with our usual hunting of eggs and Easter Basket and then went to church and then on to feasting.  I'm not quite sure how we did it or fit everyone in but we did.  My sister-in-law had the good idea to have the kids eat first and then have the adults eat as then it wouldn't be as hectic and crowded.

My one brother Jared had to eat with the kids too as he was leaving that day for his new job in Texas (boo!).  So he had to catch a flight out.  But we had a good time and it was nice to meet some new people (Billy's sisters) and have a great meal with family that I normally don't see at Easter time.

Not sure why we color eggs as we fill and hide the plastic ones

The kids eating and some of the adults patiently waiting.

My mom with her sister and brother (Aunt Lori & Uncle Tom)

Found a video of Makenna from Easter Morning - click link below:

Easter - Part 1 - Otsenango Park

My brother Brant and his girlfriend invited Makenna to Ostinango Park on March 30th (2013) for an Easter Egg hunt that was being put on by some church (which meets in a movie theater!). 

They had a big turn out and they handled it pretty well.  They had a couple of different fields and the kids of certain age ranges could run out into the field at a certain time and pick up as many eggs as they could and some of them had tickets in them to win special prizes.  It was a good idea except I think my child got one maybe three eggs at the most.  Other kids (and their parents) were hogging all the eggs and just trying to find tickets to win prizes.

Luckily Brant and his girlfriend were very thoughtful in bringing Makenna a very large Easter Basket with lots of stuff in it.  She was still upset she didn't get many eggs and we explained that it was just a "luck-of-the-draw" type thing.  She probably wasn't the only one not to get an egg with something in it.  A good lesson about life not being fair all the time wrapped up in appropriate (?):

I would've taken pictures of her trying to get eggs but she ran off into a sea of children and we had to actually all go looking for her as it was as we thought she was completely swept up and taken downstream.  Luckily she was found and brought back!

Piano Recital - Feb. 22, 2013

Makenna has really improved her piano playing.  She's getting more confident, but also more frustrated with it.  She expects to get the notes right the first time and gets very upset and frustrated when she doesn't.  I keep trying to tell her that in all things, not just piano, that it takes time and practice.  I keep trying to tell her that she didn't know how to walk, or feed herself, or brush her teeth right away but all those things took practice and patience. 

She's so happy when she gets the piece down.  The only thing is that she tries to memorize the piece, which for now, is easy to do but she really needs to look at the notes and follow where she's at.  I guess I just have to be patient with that.  I feel like I talk to her about piano like I'm some expert when truth be told, I never took piano lessons, I just now how to read the top line of music - to an extent.  So when she starts getting into harder things, then I won't be able to help her.  I try to listen in on her lessons so I have somewhat of an understanding.  OR I might just have to start taking lessons myself at some point!  Wouldn't that be a novel idea?

Here's some pictures and again I'll have to go digging around for the video on Chris's computer and attach it later at some point:

Her in her new pretty dress that she picked out on-line (and has MAYBE worn once since!)  It's so pretty and she loved it - which she would wear it more before it doesn't fit any longer!!!

 With her piano teacher Kate - who gave all the kids certificates and "Symphony" bars - how appropriate!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

June 2013 Dance Recital

The formal dance recital was in June on the 14th.  She had a costume similar to last years (color wise) and was again in two dances - one tap, one ballet.  I posted a video of the tap routine at the end - which was her practice a couple of days before the show - they don't let you video tape during the actual show so this is a rough cut of it.

The first couple of pictures are her "normal fashion poses" that she now tends to do - she makes me smile!

Here's the link to the video: