Where have we been?

No, we didn’t lose Internet connectivity. We don’t have any legitimate excuse like that. It’s just that, well, we got into a big lazy rut during the summer where we didn’t do anything and I was just too lazy to post. (Oh, and that little matter of Harry Potter coming out on Saturday and Nancy and I spending the last four days reading it whenever get a free moment. Both Nancy and I don’t like it when the other person reads ahead so the last few books we’ve read together – either out loud to each other or silently over each other’s shoulders.)
Fortunately, our lazy summer is coming to an end because tomorrow is the first day of school. It will be nice to get back to a routine and I’m sure Nancy will be glad to get some free time during the day now. The kids got assigned C track this year (we wanted D track) and so they start earlier in the summer than we are used to. We also have a vacation planned in October that will require the kids to miss a week of school. If we had the D track that we had asked for the kids would have been off school during the vacation week. Nancy was a bit fussed about having the kids miss a week of school but I’m not too worried about it. If the school whines about it I’ll just tell them it’s their own fault – they should have given us D track.

Today was the 24th of July – Pioneer Day in Utah. I had the day off but we didn’t really have any plans. I originally set out to be productive and get lots of stuff done around the house but good intentions didn’t count for much and I basically did nothing all day. Oh well, those are the best types of holidays.

After the kids last piano recital we decided to give them a month off and also to find a new piano teacher. I did some calling around and found a new teacher in Sandy that I hope will work out well. The old teacher wasn’t bad per se, we just felt like the kids would do better under a different teacher. Today was their first lesson and they seemed to come back excited about their new teacher so hopefully we’ll have a good fit and the girls will make progress. I also turned Caroline over to the new teacher starting today. I taught the first two for aobut a year each before I turned them over to a real teacher but Caroline has been so frustrating for me, and I’ve also lost my steam for teaching so we weren’t really making any progress. Caroline was the most excited about her new teacher so I’m hopeful that she won’t drag her feet about practicing as much as she did with me. I have about another year or so before Samuel’s ready to start taking. I’m really interested to see how he’ll do as he will be the first (and only) boy that I’ve taught.

So, that is a slight summary of the past week. Sorry for letting a week lapse in between posts.


  1. How do you go about calling around and finding a new piano teacher?

    What is your review of HP? I bought the book yesterday, but haven’t started it yet because I’m postponing the inevitable 1-2 day shutdown on all tasks/responsibilities that will take place once I do start it. I would never last with your read together plan–‘m one of those types who flips ahead through the book to figure out what happens before going back to read the whole thing page by page. I can’t enjoy it battling the suspense. Once I have an idea of the plot, I can settle down and enjoy a book much more.

    Do you like being on year round school? And where are you going in OCt?

  2. Yeah? Where are you going in October? Year round is so intriguing to me.

    We have to get a new piano teacher too. We are looking for our our 7th teacher in 7 years, very frustrating, either we move or they do. Except our last teacher, we had for two lessons. First lesson I went with Jack and sat through the whole lesson. Something seemed kind of fishy about the whole teacher and her home but I couldn’t really put my finger on it. Just didn’t like the vibe I was getting. Second lesson I dropped Jack off. When I picked him up he said his teacher wasn’t home. She had left some theory worksheets for him to do while she ran to the bank and her (not yet 11!) yr old son babysat him for 20 minutes. So not ok! We quit our second week with her.

    Now we have decided to pay double and take at a music studio that teaches all kinds of instruments and has the kids in all kinds of those competition gigs like Crazy Mrs. Mckinley did us. We’ll see, at least they won’t move on us. Wells is tired of taking, but we said we’ve invested this many years, he has to play an appropriate number of hymns before we’ll let him off the hook.

    We’ll see.

  3. How to find a new piano teacher:
    Go to Utah Music Teachers Association website. Look up the chapter nearest you. Call the chapter’s Teacher Referral Coordinator. The TRC keeps a list of who is currently accepting students and their teaching styles to they can help you narrow your search. My criteria were “experienced, balanced emphasis on theory/technique/sight reading/performance/etc., not overly focused on competitions such as Federation”. The TRC will give you a list of people that match the criteria and then you call them up and talk about their schedule, rates, teaching style, etc. In our case, I needed to find a teacher that could take all three girls one after the other. That is how you do it. I told my girls that they could quit taking once they turn 16.

    My review of Harry Potter (SPOILERS AHEAD):
    I actually liked the book a lot but I think the 6th is probably my favorite. The beginning was exciting as Harry had to leave Privet Drive without getting killed. There were a couple of places in the middle that were a bit slow with Harry/Hermione/Ron wandering around looking for Horcruxes but not finding any. The ending was both good and bad. Good in that there was lots of action and fighting, bad in that the whole theory of why Harry lives and Voldemort can’t kill him was a bit to convoluted for me. Harry’s mother gave him protection which then transferred from Harry to Voldy but then Voldy transferred something else back to Harry but then Harry and Voldy had a shared thingy and such and such is why Harry couldn’t be killed by Voldy – very convoluted. Notable people that died: Mad Eye, Fred, Lupin, Tonks (left an orphan), Dobby, Bellatrix Lestrange, Voldemort.

    We are driving to Southern California in October. We’ll be staying in Newport (on Marriott points) but we’ll visit Disneyland one day, San Diego another day, perhaps see the Getty museum, possibly go to Legoland, etc. Overall we like being on year round but next year Emily goes to Middle School which will complicate things because the younger kids will be on year-round but Emily will be on traditional. We’re not sure how we’re going to plan our vacations when that happens. We usually like to take vacation in October because places aren’t so crowded. That didn’t work out for us this year with the kids getting a crappy track and it really won’t be an option next year when Emily is still in school so we’ll have to figure something else out and go on vacation at the same time as every other family in America.

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