A new baby!

No, not that kind! (How presumptuous!). This kind:

Isn't she a beauty?! We have been looking for a piano for awhile and had convinced ourselves of all of the reasons to buy a cheap old piano for ourselves while our children are young. Then, Cletus' sister called one day and told us about this piano. I have to admit that we didn't think about it very long. It is a Yahama console about 20 years old with excellent sound and in perfect condition. (and yes, it's black and coincidentally matches our decor) It seems to have been meant to come to our family. We love it! Hayden hasn't started official piano lessons yet, but he has learned the first few lines of "We Thank Thee, Oh God, for a Prophet". Cletus and I play a lot more than I thought we would, and we are just giddy to have it. We are both trying to relax and realize that sticky fingers and a little banging will happen. I got pretty nervous when I asked Hayden what he thought the family rules about the piano should be and he said, "no painting on the piano, no eating or drinking on the piano, no shooting the BB gun at the piano, no throwing hard stuff at the piano ...". Ah! I guess I didn't realize we needed to get so specific. Anyway, it has brought a whole new spirit of music into our home and we love it. Our goal is to have both of our kids accepted into Juilliard by the time they are 16 ... they'll have to refuse so that they can attend NC State, but the acceptance is really what we're looking for. I might even start taking lessons just for fun! Those 2 years when I was in elementary school have stuck with me, but I could use some polishing.

Music Advice

There is nothing quite so astonishing as hearing your 6-year old sing "hold me all night" or "you make me lose control"! We always thought we were pretty picky about the music we listen to as a family, but obviously not picky enough. One of those phrases came from a Beach Boys CD and the other came from an LDS acapella group that we thought would be perfectly family-appropriate. I guess not. So, .... help! What do you listen to as a family that is fun ... and wholesome? We love music - all different kinds - and we want good music to be a part of our children's lives, but it seems a bit scarce! And, I'll just say now that kid's songs sing-along CD's make me want to jump out the window. Any advice?


I've had a few people tell me that I look like Pam from "The Office". I don't think I do that much (although Jenna Fischer is quite beatiful in real life). I think that my sister, Mary, definitely looks more like Pam. Here are a few pictures for comparison purposes. Excuse the ridiculous self-portrait - why doesn't anyone ever take pictures of me? When my children grow up,they will wonder what I looked like when I was young(ish). Maybe I could just tell them to watch old re-runs of "The Office".