Monday, August 28, 2006

It's Official

Emily's in high school! Today was the first day of high school and Emily was up and ready without any kind of protest. I think she was a little excited even though she said it doesn't seem real yet. I hope that she has a wonderful high school experience!
I bet it seems real now since she has Science homework!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Life's Passages

This past weekend we flew to Northern California for the wedding of Paul's youngest brother. It was held in a lovely garden setting overlooking a vineyard. It was a beautiful wedding and a fun and lively reception and interestingly for me the first Jewish wedding that I had ever attended. I found it very challenging to try to get the photographs I wanted at the wedding and my hat is definitely off to wedding photographers. I can't imagine the pressure of having to capture all those special moments.
All of the grandchildren on Paul's side of the family took part in some way in the wedding and Emily & Hannah were no exception. Both of our girls served as guest book attendants and they did a great job even going from table to table to make sure that people had signed the guest book and received a copy of the program for the wedding.
Paul and all of his siblings also played a part in the wedding either as groomsmen or as huppah carriers.
Mazel Tov Steve & Katya!
We're quickly approaching another of life's passages. In less than a week, Emily will be starting her freshman year at high school. We went to the school today for an appointment with her counselor since she hadn't been assigned any elective for the year. Emily really wanted to take dance but since she's in so many honors classes she can only have an elective in certain periods and dance wasn't available. So, she'll get her computer class requirement out of the way either by testing out of the class or by taking it the first semester and she'll get at least one semester of her PE requirement fulfilled.

In less than two months, on October 20th, I'm going to have a major life passage of my own as I turn 50! As I approach that milestone, I find myself reflecting on my life - on what I've done and what I would still like to do. It's common on the Internet to find a list of things to do before you die and so I thought I'd come up with one of my own but I'm calling mine Things I Want To Do in the Next 50 Years!
  • Travel and Travel-related:
    • Visit all 50 states - I'm 26 short of this goal right now as I have visited:
      1. Washington
      2. Oregon
      3. California
      4. Hawaii
      5. Nevada
      6. Arizona
      7. New Mexico
      8. Utah
      9. Colorado
      10. Missouri
      11. Texas
      12. Nebraska
      13. Louisiana
      14. Illinois
      15. Minnesota
      16. Michigan
      17. Tennesse
      18. Alabama
      19. Pennsylvania
      20. New York
      21. Connecticut
      22. New Jersey
      23. Massachusetts
      24. Rhode Island
    • Visit Ireland and kiss the Blarney Stone
    • Take a cruise along the fjords of Norway
    • Visit England and have a pint in a British Pub
    • Share a kiss in Paris
    • Visit the pyramids in Egypt
    • Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - Check out the virtual hike at
    • Visit Australia & New Zealand
    • Go to Disneyworld
    • Visit Washington, D.C
    • Visit Catalina
    • Take a 2nd honeymoon to Lake Louise
    • Go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans
    • Go to the top of the Empire State Building
    • Climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty
    • Ring in the New Year in Times Square
    • Take a carriage ride in New York
    • Swim with dolphins
    • Take a ride in a hot air balloon
    • Walk the Great Wall of China
    • Visit the Amazon Rainforest
    • Ride a gondola in Venice
    • Ride on the Orient Express
    • Drive cross country
    • Go on an African safari
  • Learn to play the guitar
  • Sing a duet with Bob Cowsill (actually this one scares me but part of me really wants to!)
  • See my children graduate from high school & college
  • See my children married to men they love
  • Celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary (which means I'll still be around at 85!)
  • Become a grandparent
  • Own a convertible
  • Learn to say "no"
  • Meet a Beatle
  • Learn to ski
  • Get all my photo & negatives organized
  • Quit biting my fingernails
  • Lose weight and keep it off for good
  • Read the classics
  • Get a professional massage
  • Own my dream house
  • Own a successful business
  • Meet all of my first cousins
  • Spend a weekend at a fancy spa
  • Raise a million dollars for St. Martins
  • Rent a vacation home on the beach
  • Stop being afraid of what others might think
  • Discover what I am truly passionate about and pursue it
  • Be happy (or at least content) with who I am
I'm sure there are many things missing on the list that I will accomplish in the next 50 years but it will be interesting to see how many of these I might do!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

So You Want to be a Rock-n-Roll Star

August 11th was the date for the second DayJams concert for Emily & Hannah. This week Hannah was in a band named Red Bullet and they wrote and performed a song titled Electric Shock. At the end of their performance the director of the camp joked that we'd all go home with the song stuck in our heads! Unlike the previous week, this week Hannah's band was a mix of girls and boys. Hannah said she liked the all-girl band better but that she definitely enjoyed both weeks of camp.
Emily was only in one band during this week of camp and I think she felt less pressure because of it. She said that she enjoyed the second week of camp more than the first week but was quick to say she liked both weeks! Emily's band was named Free Parking this week of camp and included 3 members from one of her previous week's band. The director of the camp liked the song that her previous band, Hot Laundry, performed and asked that they do it again. So in addition to singing their song, Moosifiction, Free Parking also covered Hot Laundry's song, Set Me Free. I noticed during the Hot Laundry song that Emily was having a problem reaching the high notes and she told me that her throat had been bugging her and was really dry at that point so I guess she's experiencing what it's really like to be in a band and have to perform when you're less than 100%. She still did great though!

It was fun to see both of the girls perform two weeks in a row and I enjoyed taking pictures of all of the bands. The August 11th concert convinced me that I need to get lens hoods for my lenses though - the sun shining through the trees onto the bands just caused all kinds of issues with the photos.

Time to get back to the real world and concentrate on getting ready to go back to school - oh and go to Paul's brother's wedding next weekend too. Emily starts high school on the 28th of August and needs to finish up her summer reading. Hannah also has summer reading to complete but she doesn't go back to school until September 6th.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Rock Stars!

This week and next both the girls are attending Day Jams. Emily went to Day Jams for a week last year and really enjoyed it and this year both girls are going for 2 weeks. On Monday, all the attendees to the camp are put into bands (basically by age and skill level). Each band has to name themselves, design a band logo and write a song during the week. On Friday the camp puts on a concert where each band performs their song.

Hannah was in an all-girl band named Black Lightning for the first week of the camp. She had a blast and was not at all nervous introducing the band and singing lead vocals!

Emily was lead vocalist in 2 bands: Not So Average Joes and Hot Laundry. Since the vocalist has to write the lyrics to the songs Emily was kept very busy attending rehearsals for both bands each day and writing lyrics to 2 songs! She looks very comfortable in front of a band but she was a bit disappointed in the performances on Friday. The mix was bad for Not So Average Joes and you couldn't hear her vocals very well and the band started too soon so Emily had to play catch up with the vocals. And, she says she messed up a couple of lines during the Hot Laundry song too. I don't think anyone in the audience realized she had blown any of the lines - that's the beauty of performing original songs!

Emily on vocals for Not So Average Joes

Emily on vocals for Hot Laundry

This coming week they get to do it all again with brand new bands and brand new songs! If you're in the area and want to come to the Friday night concert contact me for information!

This looks like such fun that it almost makes me want to attend Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp!!