Jun. 6th, 2016 11:47 pm
Kate graduates and goes on a road trip!  Concert!  Grad parties!

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Graduation is tomorrow!  This week has been kicking my butt, though.

After surviving late night project drama, I went into school to drop off CDs for the band director.  The director saw me and said, "You're here!" enthusiastically, followed by, "Josh didn't have the written portion of his digeridoo project today.  I said he could turn it in tonight for partial late credit."

The only thing worse than the kid who waits until 12:15 am to tell me that they forgot to do part of the homework is the kid who doesn't remember that they forgot to do part of their homework.

After school we dashed out to get some shopping done.  I grumbled to Josh about his missing homeworkt, then lamented, "I can't believe I missed the written part of this project!"

He said, "Don't feel bad.  I missed it, too."

Josh made Al's pesto recipe to take in for culture day in 1st period Symphonic band.  Kate mooched his leftovers for Jazz band in second period.  At the end of the day, Josh was a little bitter about that.  He was the only kid in Symphonic band to eat any pesto on linguini because the other kids in class thought it looked weird or too healthy.  In Jazz band, Maria asked Kate what it was, tried some, then raved about it so everybody else pounced on it.  Josh complained, "I made the pesto last night, and you woke up early to make the linguini, and everybody thinks Kate is so wonderful for bringing it in."

I think I went to Safeway 7 times since Monday.  Al was out of town for work all week, so I had to do All The Errands.  Party planning plus I am inefficient.  Spoiled by Al doing most of the shopping these days.

Kate and Josh had no actual school today, just graduation practice.

We had Kate's graduation party tonight, co-hosted with two of her best friends.  A ton of band kids and families dropped by to see them.  It was a great party at her friend's house.  She has an awesome house and an amazing yard for a party.  They have a nice outdoor kitchen with two tvs, multiple patio areas to sit, a pool and spa, a putting green (the small kids enjoyed that)  and an outdoor fireplace.  There was too much food, but it was a great party.

Graduation tomorrow!

Kate had her last day of high school classes on Tuesday.  Tomorrow is her last day of "finals".  Wow.  End of another era.

edited to add:

Okay.  Her last day of school is today.  She popped downstairs after midnight to say that she forgot to do the written part of her AP Stats project and after printing it she assembled the poster for the presentation.

"No, no, I don't need your help.  I can do this by myself."

"Okay."  I started to leave.

"Well, I said I didn't NEED your help, but if you wanted to cut out mats for these graphs it would go a lot faster."

It is not almost 2 am, but it is finished and she is off to bed.  She's young, she will probably survive.  But this lack of sleep is going to kick my butt.

So.  Last project (hopefully) that I help her with at the last minute.

Bleah.  Alarm going off at 6:15 am.
Al received a series of about 20 texts from an excited Kate at 9:15 in the morning.  But he did not notice them until much later, so we did not find out what she was texting about until she got home.

This morning at 0 period Wind Ensemble rehearsal, there was a visitor in class - the concert band director from UNR.  Our director pointed out Kate to him, as a student who is going to UNR in the fall and planning to join the marching band (if she ever gets around to doing her audition recording).  He asked if she was interested in concert band as well, and she said that she was, so he was happy about that.

After they played, he came over and told her that he was listening to her (picking out her 1st trombone part) while she was playing and that he could hear her and she was quite good and asked what she was majoring in.  Kate said that she was undecided.  He said that there were no guarantees, but she could possibly get into the Wind Ensemble (the higher level concert band) at UNR!  The Wind Ensemble is 80% music majors and 20% non-music majors.  The lower level band is 80% non-music majors and 20% music majors.  Kate was really excited that he thought she was good enough to possibly get into the Wind Ensemble in her freshman year.  Happy, excited Kitty Cat!

Poor Josh got a 100 % on his math test, but Kate bubbled all over his news when he tried to explain it to us.  :(  But yay little Math Duckling!

The afternoon was hectic.  They both had orchestra rehearsal from 4:30-6:30.  Josh snuck out early to get to Concert Band warm up at 6:30.  The high school choir/jazz choir/Concert Band concert was at 7 pm.  Kate slid into the audience to watch shortly after the started (she stayed the entire time at orchestra rehearsal).  The choir and jazz choir have a new director this year, and they (and she) are amazing!  The Concert Band did quite well, too.  We also watched our drumline Solo winners performe their winning solos.

After the concert I chatted with several parents who won't be here next year (kids either Seniors graduating or younger kids not continuing in band).  Sniff!

Busy busy week.  Kate's Wind Ensemble concert tomorrow night.
Poor Kitty Cat got rear-ended while driving Natalie back from her AP test on Friday the 13th.  She was hit by a white panel truck which pushed her car into a CRV in front of her.  She and the CRV pulled over to exchange information, but the truck left the scene.

The back of Natalie has a new scratch, but the front is pretty caved in (although still driveable) from getting pushed into the CRV.  Kate was not hurt, but devastated by the accident.  She called home in tears.  Sadly, we had dropped comprehensive coverage on Natalie because she's so old, and since the truck left the scene, there is no insurance from that.  We think that repairing Natalie is more money than her Blue Book, so she is toast.  Sniff.

Kate thinks she did well to okay on her four AP tests last week (Government, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Statistics).

Friday the 13th also had extra sadness when we went to a memorial service for a band mom alumni.  She passed away suddenly and her daughter came home from college for the memorial service.  The high school band was asked to play something.  She'd been a huge supporter of the band, doing tons of volunteer work running fundraisers.  The band director gave kids music from their field show 5 years ago which won the WBA for their division.  The song was My Immortal by Evanescence, and it was from their field show titled "Requiem".  The director had most of the Wind Ensemble play it, along with a few extra Concert Band kids to fill in.  It was voluntary, because it was in the afternoon that the kids had "Day at the Bay", an end of the year field day with free hot dogs, drinks, bounce houses, water features, music, and booths selling extra snacks.  The kids who performed all agreed to leave the party early to get to the memorial service.  The song was new to them, because it was from the year before the current seniors started high school.  Kate and a lot of the other seniors and juniors knew the girl whose mom who passed away.  It was beautiful and touching, and I'm so proud of the kids who were willing to show up and play for the service.

Kate fell over sick for Saturday and Sunday.  She was not feeling well during the week, but she powered through for the AP tests.

The rest of the weekend was busy and hectic, but not bad.  We had a neighborhood garage sale, and we made $68 and got rid of not enough stuff, but it beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.  And the garage at least looks tons better.

We went to the niece's piano recital on Sunday.  After that, Al and I went car shopping.  We tried Car Max to check out new cars.  We took Josh's tuba case to see if it fit in the trunks of cars.  (It fit in Natalie, but not in V, Al's newest car).  Since Josh can get his permit in about 8 months, this is going to be the car he uses eventually.  So we figured it should be maximally convenient for him to transport the tuba.  It can fit in the back seat of V, but that rules out taking extra passengers.

We spotted a Fit, and started considering a hatchback for hauling.  At that point, transporting a Sousaphone wasn't out of the question.  So after checking out a bunch of cars, we went home and returned with the Sousaphone case.  Car salesmen must be used to seeing everything, because nobody was terribly startled by that.  But given that the 2 year old Fit was about $14k and had over 50k miles, a new one was looking pretty good.  We headed to the Automall and tried a new one.

Monday was wacky shenanigans with cars.  Kate drove Rommie (the minivan) to school with Josh's tuba for 0 period.  Al took Josh and Lauren to school at normal school time in V, and he unlocked Rommie so that Josh could retrieve the tuba for 1st period.  Kate brought Josh and the tuba home after school in Rommie.  I took V to get to jury duty at 10.  Jurors were dismissed at 10:15 because all our cases were settled.  I stopped to volunteer at the junior high on the way home.  Al forgot that he had a dentist appointment, and he ended up driving Natalie there and back.  After we took Josh to Monday night rehearsal at 6, we took Kate to test drive the Fit.  The silver LX we were looking at was gone, and we had a choice of fire engine red, bright banana yellow, or black.  Kate immediately started cooing over the black one and she drove it around the Automall.  Then we settled in to paperwork.  They had a sale which was good, but they matched the price of another dealership we had an email quote from.  We got out of the dealership around 8:40 and Al drove V home and Kate drove me to the high school to pick up Josh and Lauren.  The Concert band kids were already out and hanging out in the parking lot as we pulled up.  I rolled down the window and the freshmen clustered around Josh let out a cheer for Kate and her new car (Josh had told them it might happen).  One of the girls ran over to the driver's side and leaned in to hug Kate.  Kate's quite popular with the freshmen.

Kate is really excited to have a brand new car to drive.  She wanted to name it Nick Fury, or Nick for short.  After we got Josh, he agreed that it was a good name.
Millions of years ago, when my kids were in 3rd grade, they dressed up as "pioneers" for Apple Valley days near the end of the school year.  The boys wore sort of generic button down shirts, but I made Kate a dress, apron and bonnet for her to wear.

Since the niece is in 3rd grade, I hunted down Kate's stuff for her to borrow.  My house is a pit of packrattery, but I went over to a pile of clothes that were sitting around (outgrown, needs mending, costuming stuff), dug through it and came up with the dress and apron.  Hah!  I was impressed that despite the overwhelming clutter and mess, I could still find it almost instantly.  I guess it's because I remember leaving it there.  But although I looked and looked, I couldn't find the bonnet.  :P

When my mom was visiting after Easter, she asked if she could borrow the pattern to make a bonnet in case I couldn't find it.  I dug through the pattern drawer and found the pattern within minutes.  Hah!

After mom went home, she sent email, asking about how I made the bonnet.  Did I cheat and use elastic, or did I use a ribbon coming out of a buttonhole to tighten it?  Did I use eyelet lace on the brim?  I answered that I used ribbon and faked the buttonhole by hand, and then I suddenly remembered that I didn't use the white apron fabric to make the bonnet - I used a blue fabric.  And I got up and rummaged on a shelf under our coatrack and found the bonnet.  It is weird that when my brain switched from thinking the bonnet was white to remembering that it was blue suddenly made me find it.  Although I guess it's because when I remembered it was blue my brain remembered where the blue bonnet was.

My brain is weird.
Joshua forgot his lunch box on the island this morning.

He and Kate both have the same lunch period, and usually spend it in the bandroom.  He walked in at lunch time and sat down next to Kate.  She said, "Go away.  Eat your lunch somewhere else."

"I can't.  I forgot my lunch at home."

One the boys in the group, Aidan, gave Joshua an apple, which he accepted gratefully as he moved away from their group.

Well, I always say that band kids are the nicest kids.  Unless they're your sibling, I guess.

Joshua needs to be more careful.  On Wednesday, I was driving him to school in a carpool with Lauren.  I mentioned that the junior high was leaving on their overnight trip this Friday, and we talked about wacky shenanigans that had happened on previous trips, like the kid who carried his band binder all around Six Flags because he forgot to take it out of his backpack (Joshua), and the kid who wore black dress shoes and pants through Six Flags because he forgot to change his pants (also Joshua), and the guy who had to wear his dress shoes at Great America because he lost on sneaker (not Joshua), and the boy who lost his backpack (also not Joshua).  As they got out at school, Lauren commented, "Why are all the stories only about boys?  Maybe the girls are just more organized or something?"

I looked down just as the door slammed shut and rolled down the window and yelled out, "Josh!  You forgot your lunch!"  Facepalm.  Kids.
I showed up to help move percussion equipment and instruments from the junior high to the elementary for their recruiting performance on Friday afternoon.  I wasn't absolutely necessary - they would have managed with the vehicles they had, but it meant less detailed and efficient packing.

While waiting for the performance, the band teacher came over to the chaperoning moms and said, "These kids need to call their parents for a ride after this.  Rather than having them all funnel into the office and use their phone, can someone loan them a phone?"

I said, "Sure!" and handed my phone to an 8th grade choir girl.  She looked over my flip phone, then asked, "How do you make a call on this?"

Wow, I am getting old.  I would've understood that if I'd handed her a rotary phone.
Spring Break was a band trip to Hawaii!  Kate and Josh went with the band.  Al, Robert and I tagged along to Hawaii, but stayed with Mom and Dad and didn't follow them around much.

Kate got back late Friday night/early Saturday night and had to go to Mountain View for a drumline show.  Poor exhausted Kitty Cat.

Josh was lured into being in pit orchestra for another high school's performance of Wizard of Oz.  He's been in a lot of rehearsals.  Kate declined because she was busy.  The director told me that she got Brenda to do the trombone part because it was really hard.  When Kate heard that, she said, "Well, now I'm really tempted..."  Sigh.

Kate finished with her last drumline competition.  Yay!  And sniff!

Kids have wacky school schedules with weird testing stuff going on.  It is getting so hard to keep track of what's going on every day.
The last few weeks have been a ton of busyness.  This past weekend, Josh had extra PCYO practice on Friday night from 4:30-6:30.  My brother-in-law picked him up and dropped him off at the Olympus spaghetti dinner fundraiser, so he could hang out with and watch and support friends.

We couldn't drive him because we were at Kate's drumline show.  Al was recording the show.  I was moving a timpani from the parking lot, to the gym, onto the floor for the performance, and then back out to the parking lot.  The trip back and forth was mostly in pouring rain, with brieft bits of ducking under overhangs.  That was pretty cold, wet and miserable. We didn't stay for awards (although we are assuming we won our division, being the only team in that division).

On Saturday, Kate had drumline practice from 8-2.  Josh and I went to my niece's birthday party from 1-4.  We helped set up games, and Josh helped run games like the Best Party Helper Evar.

Kate showed up briefly in her Jazz band outfit at 3, then left at 4:15 and headed to the Not So Crabby Feed fundraiser for her band.

(On Thursday night, I remembered that she'd left her Jazz outfit hanging on hooks on the back of the kids' bathroom door.  Unwashed, but at least not in a pile on her floordrobe.  So I dragged them downstairs and washed them.  After this use, she remembered to put her clothes in the hamper!  Unfortunately, she also put her Dry Clean Only blazer in the hamper, too.  Fortunately, Al recognized it as a Dry Clean Only item and did not put it into the washer with darks.  Improvement!)

Al and I atteneded the NSCF fundraiser and ate food and bid on stuff.  Kate performed with the Jazz band and finished at 7.  Josh worked at the fundraiser from 6:15-10.

On Sunday, there was shopping for clothes for Al and Josh (and picking up a gift card for a birthday present).  Kate went to a friends' birthday party (trombones and drum majors were there) and Josh had extra PCYO practice.

On Monday, Kate had Monday night practice and Josh had his PCYO concert.

Tonight, Josh's tuba lesson is cancelled because he and Kate have a band concert at school.

This has been a hectic year.
Josh was working on his Health and Wellness homework.

"Mom, this is sort of a weird question, but not really since it's for Health and Wellness.  What is a statement that might indicate that a teen is considering suicide?"

"'Here, take my "favorite thing".  I don't need it any more.'"

"Whoa!  That's what was in the video we watched today!  I didn't even think of that!  How do you know so much about teen suicide?"

"I know All The Things."

"No, you don't know All The Things.  You just know lots of things."

"No, really, I'm the mommy.  I know All The Things."

He disagreed.  I challenged him.  "Go ahead.  Try to ask me something I don't know."

He peered at me for a moment.  "Okay.  Who does Kate like?"

*slinks off in defeat*
Kate is taking AP Econ.  She interupted my parental lecture to say, "As the length of your lecture increases, demand for it goes down."

She then vanished and returned with a graph and essay analyzing demand for my lectures.

Hilarious Cat is Hilarious.  Sadly, also shy, and she doesn't want to share her graph and write-up with her Econ teacher, who I think would be amused (since he also has kids).
I called out, "I need my favorite child to take the trash out!"

Josh immediately replied, "He isn't here, he's at college," and continued on his iPad game.
This has been an incredible semester for us, musically.  Today was the last day of school.  Done!

Josh had his first season marching in high school, Kate had her last.  Sniff!

They won almost every competition they were in this fall, except BOA (boo!).  They even placed first at the WBA finals in 4A competition, and finished a respectable 5th in the overall competition.  That's amazing for a 4A band in overall competition.

Last week was all the concerts.  Al accompanied the elementary boys' choir on Wednesday night.  He also accompanied the junior high choir during an assembly on Friday morning.  Josh and Kate had their Winter Concerts on Thursday and Friday night.  They were invited to sing the final song, Peace, Peace, along with the choir at the end of the concerts.  The choir has 12 members and wanted to boost their sound by having another dozen or so band kids help them out with singing.  It was lovely.

On Saturday, Josh and Kate went to Tuba Christmas and had a blast.  On Saturday night, Josh played in the PCYO concert.  Kate declined to join PCYO this fall because the concert fell on the same night as Winter Ball, and she wanted to do Not A Ball with her friends that night.  She got dressed up and went out to play miniature golf, have dinner, and watch a movie.

And Kate was finally convined to try out for Honor Band this year.  She turned in an audition tape and made it in to the Capitol Section Honor Band.  Yay!  Josh made it in, too.  They were among 17 kids from their school who got in this year.

Josh also tried out for All Northern Honor Band.  We were dubious about his chances because he is a freshman, and also because his band teacher said that his recording quality was weird.  She said that she was asked about his recording at the auditions for Cap Section, and she had to reassure them that he didn't really sound that odd.

On Wednesday we got a vague postcard about All Northern that said that results were on the website.  Results were Not on the website.  We checked it again and again until they finally showed up, late Wednesday night.

I pounced on Josh, waking him up, shrieking, "You're on the list!  You're on the list!  You're on the list!"

We won't find out about All State until January.  But that's a real long shot.

In other news, Kate is in Wind Ensemble (the advanced band) and Josh is in Concert Band (not the advanced band).  Rats.  We will have to drive him to school every day next semester.

edit:  Oops forgot to post this yesterday and just hit post.
We've been trying to talk Josh into trying out for high school jazz band.  He said he wasn't going to do it because he knew he wouldn't get in.  The teacher takes returning jazz band students and makes new ones audition.  She has three returning jazz trombones, one returning but switching from piano to trombone, and one senior auditioning.  That's already 5 trombones, and since trombone isn't Josh's primary instrument, he didn't think he could beat out any of the other freshman trombones, even if there was space.  Begging and bribery did not work (since he's full up on bribes just from trying out for honor bands).

But apparently Kate has now talked him into trying out "for her".  Since getting a ptrumpet this past summer, she's been thinking about trying out for jazz band on trumpet.  But she doesn't think any of the other freshmen are trying out on trombone, and she thinks the teacher will accept 5 trombones like last year.  So she doesn't think that the teacher will let her move to trumpet and leave the band with only 4 trombones.  Josh trying out for trombone will make it more likely that Kate will get to play trumpet.

It's nice to see how much they take care of each other.  I think part of the reason Kate wants to play trumpet is to make room for Josh in the trombone section so that they can be in jazz band together.  I hope it all works out.
I stopped at home between things today.  Kate is home sick.  Al said that Kate had News, so I should talk to her.

"It's about Honor Band!  Did she get in?"  He told me to talk to her.

I burst into her room.  "Kate!  What's your news?  Is it about Honor Band?  Did you get in?"

She nodded.  "I got into Cap Section."

I said, "Yay!...What about Josh, did you hear about Josh?  Did he get in?"

"Yeah, he got in to."

I shrieked with delight.

"Wow, Mom."

Oops.  Bad mommy.  Horrible mommy.

"I didn't mean it that way!  I just expected you to get into Cap Section Honor Band because you're so awesome!  I didn't know if Josh would make it in or not!"

Sigh.  She was mildly amused in that cynical teenaged way.  I think.  I hope.  And not having her fragile spirit crushed like a bug.
That was the subject line on an email from Kate.

Quite different from the usual email topics in my in box:
Last day to save 10%!
Concert schedule this week
Meeting for coffee?
We received your Target order.

I was trying to shop for a gift but was flailing at the store.  I called Kate for help finding a book for a teenage girl who likes animals.  Kate googled for me (curse my dumbphone!) at home, then emailed me a suggestion.  That was the title of the book she found, which sounded pretty interesting.
Kate did not want me to watch her at the Talent Show because it would make her too nervous, and she has stage fright, and she was only doing it as a favor for a friend who really wanted to sing this song but needed someone for the back up part.  But before she left the house tonight, she pulled Josh aside for a secret conference.

After she left, Josh said, "She said that she didn't want to know if you went because if she knew you were there, then she'd be too stressed.  But if you decide to go after she leaves, then she won't know that you are going so she should be okay."

Plausible deniability.

I only stayed for the first half of the talent show.  I snuck out at intermission to avoid her seeing me there.  It was a cool show, and her group was awesome, although she did look really nervous.  Brave Kitty Cat!

In other news, Al and I went to Target to get lots and lots of shopping done.  While there, I tried on boots.  I've been trying to find new boots to wear during marching season.  I want boots that aren't so tight they give me blisters and pinch my feet, have support so that I can walk in them all day, and are warm.  The boots I currently own are various combinations that give me two out of three.

I tried on a pair of boots and showed them to Al.  "What do you think of these?  Are they cute?  Do they look dorky?"

He glanced down.  "Once you tie the laces they won't look dorky."

"They are tied."

"Oh....then theyr'e not dorky any more."

Sad Cat

Nov. 17th, 2015 05:28 pm
Poor Kate.  Somebody took her parking space.  :(

Since she's in band she has 0 period 3-4 days a week.  That means that she gets to school really really early, so the parking lot is empty (except for the handful of junior and senior band kids who have drivers' licenses).  She found the Best Spot, which is the only spot that consistently has shade in the afternoon, right next to the gate in the side parking lot.

Today she discovered that a senior had paid to reserve that spot for the rest of the school year.  I wish we'd known that we could reserve her spot.  At least we'll know when Josh is a senior.

In other news, I found a note on the dining table that said she was accepted into the talent show and rehearsal was tonight.  She said it was a mistake and they sent the note to the wrong person, which was odd.  But then she confessed to being in the talent show (because we would have been suspicious if she'd just gone out on a Tuesday night from 5-10 for no reason), but that she didn't want us to know because she has stage fright and didn't want us to go.  Sulk.  But she did audition because her friend wanted to sing a duet and needed a second singer.

So, should I wear a wig and sneak in to watch anyway on Thursday?  Or just get a friend to go and record it?  Bad Mom.
Recently, while riding home with Kate, her right turn signal wasn't working.  It made the fast click that indicated that the light wasn't working.  She tapped it repeatedly.  "It just has to warm up and then it'll work."  Just before we exited the parking lot (turning right) the light started working.  "See!  I told you."

I asked her,"What would you do if the right turn signal didn't start working?"

"Make only left turns to get home?"


"No, use hand signals.  Do you know what the hand signals are?"

"Oh, that's right.  Yeah, I remember those."

Today Al and I were driving home with Josh.  I told Josh about Kate only turning left, then we asked if he knew what to do if he were driving and the turn signals weren't working.  He didn't know, so we both said, "Hand signals!"  Pause.  "Josh, do you know what the hand signals are?"

"...'I hate you' is the middle finger..."

I have the most hilarious kids.
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