I think I can be forgiven for not writing a blog post since last Sunday, as we've had a very full and busy week. Warning: this post is filled with outright bragging as I describe our achievements and activities. Anyone who is not a proud grandparent, aunt or uncle should probably stop reading right now.
Last weekend, Kate performed in the Youth Strings group's final orchestra concert. Todd's parents, John and Marilyn, attended also, along with one of Kate's friends and her family. Kate's group performed beautifully. Even better, she won a scholarship that will go towards her music lessons next year. The Youth Orchestra Program had numerous and generous donors this year. Half the kids in her group won a scholarship, so it wasn't all that competitive, but we were thrilled all the same. Kate then ended the week singing "Land of the Silver Birch" with her Grade 3 class for the school assembly, and she even got to play the tambourine. (We were told by her teacher that she plays the tambourine well. Todd remarked that this is the kiss of death for a musician.)
Julia had a busy and exciting week herself. She joined her school's varsity track team this spring and on Wednesday, she went to her first track meet. The day went very well for her, despite the early start. We had to get up at 5:20am to get her to school for the long bus ride into Toronto, and she didn't get home until 6:30pm. The next day, her school held a "student-led conference", and she got to take me around her school and show samples of her latest work. Then, on Friday, she performed in her school play, which we all attended. Julia had helped with painting the sets and she was in a dance number with her classmates. The play, written by one of her teachers, was about time-travelling kids, and Julia's class danced to "I'm a Believer" by the Monkees.
My big achievement of the week, apart from getting Julia to her school for 6:15am on Wednesday, was creating the picture shown above. I'd just finished Lesson 2 of Jessica Sprague's Digi-in-Deep course and learned how to make a custom brush in Photoshop. While experimenting with the technique, I made the picture above and uploaded it to PuzzleBee, a Facebook application that creates jigsaw puzzles out of photos. For a brief but glorious time, it was ranked first among the more than 100000 contributed puzzles. It has stayed in the top ten for the past few days and over a thousand people have done this puzzle so far. Laura captured a screenshot showing its first-place ranking; only a fellow jigsaw puzzle addict would understand how much this honour means to me.
Todd's great achievement of the week? He managed to attend Kate's school assembly, sit through Julia's school play and be sociable at my company party, after returning home on a red-eye flight from Arizona that very same morning. Very impressive. Don't think I could have done that myself. He was barely conscious the next day, but no matter, as he was there when it counted!