Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tennessee Pictures

Here are those pictures I promised. We didn't get a good picture of our whole family, but we did get some pics from the hike.

Me and Liz.

Liz and Heath (Heath is my dad's first cousin)

We hiked all the way down to the base of this waterfall.

Landon spotted a fish in the water. He decided to try and catch it with his bare hands. He used his fingers as bait to lure the fish towards him. Not such a great idea. That little fish was feisty and bit Landon on the finger.

Heath couldn't resist. He was soon helping Landon. Heath asked Mom to take this picture of his fingers while he still had them.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We got back from our trip to Tennessee last night. We were there for a family reunion on my dad's mother's side of the family. It was so good to see our relatives. Most of them hadn't even met Becca, Laura, or Ashleigh.

The reunion was held at a resort/national park/campground type place called Fall Creek Falls. Our family stayed at a hotel that was in the park. We had lots of fun hiking to the waterfalls, swimming, and spending time together as a family.

After the twelve hour drive, our family rejoiced at the sight of different familiar landmarks. Daddy's fire station. The little white church that never changes the message on their sign. The horse farm. It's funny how comforting it is to see those buildings after a long drive back home. I wouldn't trade those little places for all the mountains, rivers, and waterfalls in the world!

Well, I've got to go help Mom catch up on the laundry. I'll post pictures later. I hope everyone has great week!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies

I got this recipe from, well, Laura Bush!

Actually, I got it from a firefighters wife whose husband used to work with my dad. But it is Laura Bush's recipe, though. They're a nice change from the plain ole' choc. chip cookies I usually bake.


3 c. flour
1T. baking soda
1T. baking powder
1T. cinnamon
1 t. salt
3 sticks of softened butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 T. vanilla
3 c. choc. chips
2 c. shredded coconut
2 c. pecans
3 c. rolled oats

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl whisk dry ingredients together. Set aside. Beat butter in a stand mixer until creamy. Add sugars. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla. Gradually mix in dry ingredients. Stir in choc. chips, coconut, pecans, and oats.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Pictures from the June piano recital

Y'all knew that I couldn't have a blog named "practice makes progress" without occasionally posting something about music, right? Just checking.

With the conclusion of the final recital yesterday and completion of Levels of Progress and Guild, I can now breathe a huge sigh of relief. I love piano and enjoy practicing, but preparing for a competition like Guild is very stressful. After last year's Guild was over, my piano teacher Mrs. Sawyer mentioned a special program that I might be interested in participating in next year. It was a sonatina program that consisted of playing five complete sonatinas, which equals fifteen movements or individual pieces. Well, I thought it would be a great opportunity since I love sonatinas and have studied quite a few of them. I wasn't prepared, however, for all of the pressure involved. Learning fifteen pieces by memory in just a few months was no small task.

But, I did enjoy learning lots of lovely sonatinas and in the end I'm glad I did it. The judge made some very encouraging comments on my report card which made me feel like it was all worthwhile.

the following pictures are from the June recital

The June recital is always special because it's the really big recital at the end of the school year. Mrs. Sawyer also passes out the awards from Guild and Levels of Progress. Connor did a great job as usual. I don't think he ever gets nervous.

Mrs. Sawyer passing out the awards

note: Connor wasn't mad about anything, he just thought he was supposed to look really serious

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to take piano lessons, because it is my desire to not only teach my own children some day, but to also give lessons to other children as a way of earning an income. Possibly as a way to supplement my future husband's income. Anyways, right now I'll just keep working with Landon and Ashleigh and see what the Lord has in store for me.