Sunday, October 08, 2006

All together now

We really had a great family day today. After working 6 days in a row (covering for someone on vacation plus my regular schedule), I was ready to see all of them.

Our hens have finally started really producing again, so I celebrated with scrambled eggs this morning. After a lazy morning at home, we all went to the Austin Symphony's Halloween concert.

The kids were so primed for this after watching many episodes of "Little Einsteins." The show is barely passable in my book - my biggest complaint is the contrived nonsensical plots - but they do teach a lot about orchestral instruments. My kids know the difference between woodwines and strings, and sometimes when listening to the car radio they'll shout out, "I hear brass!" They also have learned what accelerando and staccato mean.

The Halloween Concert was great - it was in a small venue and obviously geared toward kids. We of course encouraged them to sit still and be quiet, but it wasn't a huge deal if they didn't. Its a smaller version of the full orchestra, but all of them obviously care about teaching the next generation about this type of music.

The kids could wear their costumes (we just wore Tshirts since Anna's is not ready and Colin refused to wear his) and so did some of the orchestra members. During the first piece, a Berlioz march, both of my kids were enraptured and dancing in their seats. They loved the very low-tech special effects - spiders and skeletons dangling dancing from the ceiling, and later a spotlight broom dancing on the ceiling.

The music was great - lots of movie themes. We decided the best was "Superman;" it really is exciting. Colin had a hard time sitting still, until I told him it was the last song. "Then we can go?" he said. After the last note faded, Anna said, "No! Its too short!" and actually started to tear up. We pacified her by going to the stage to get a closer look at some of the instruments. Her favorite is the French horn. This girl might be ready for a longer adult concert.

After the concert we walked up 2 blocks to the Texas State Capitol and ate a late picnic lunch on the beautiful grounds, under huge stately trees. The kids recognize the dome from the highway but had never been inside. We walked in the beautiful pink granite building, and the kids climbed many steps up to the top of the dome with youthful exuberance. Afterwards we found the afternoon pleasant and the kids were in such a good mood, we were inclined to linger on our outing. We went to a Starbuck's in South Austin Anthony had wanted to show me. It has a green roof, solar panels, and rain collecting barrels. We enjoyed our beverages and the kids ran around, playing hide and go seek.

We picked up some groceries on the way home, and then enjoyed our third meal all together. No major melt downs, no big problems all day. Bravo!


Leah said...

I am so glad that you were able to have a great day after a long week. Its good that you expose your kids to the great things that life has to offer. Most parents really don't take the time to show their kids what is really out there. I really didn't get to see much growing parents were always working to be able to provide for us. It was a beautiful day to be out with the family.

Joey said...

What a perfect day! I just told John last week that I want to take the kids to the Capital Bldg. Faith always points it out when we drive by. Where is that Starbucks you mentioned?

Jen said...

French horn=college scholarship. Piano first, trust me. And most orchestras have matinee concerts for families; A is finally old enough this year and we may take him.

scribbit said...

I'm jealous of the chickens. When Martha Stewart displays her blue and green eggs and fancy hens I get all mushy about having a romantic little henhouse and fresh eggs. Some neighbors on up the hill had some chickens but a bear got in and ate them up. Not a good thing. I bet Martha never had that problem.


YEAH, for good days!And, what a nice relief to you, Jenn, after working so hard! Sounds like a wonderful time. I'm so glad Anna and Colin are getting into musical instruments!!!!!!!!

Good to hear from ya again, Jenn!


Grandad said...

Glad those lazy hens are back at it!

Anthony said...

Just in case people don't know what a "green" roof is... They actually grow plants on - rather incorporated into the roof. This is very experimental here in the South. This type of roof is very common in the Northwest. Read more about it here.

ColeBugsmommy said...

There is nothing better than spending a day with well-rested, well-behaved children, except perhaps sleeping in late snuggling those wonderful kids.

Daisy said...

I was sorry I didn't run into you afterwards. We were anxious to go in and find good seats - which we did, third row center - which is why we didn't stop!

After we attended this event last year, the girls could be heard singing "Halloween's Coming" year-round. It was great that we got to sing it in a round, they love that.

Did the speak-erguy at the Capitol bug you guys?

EdamameMommy said...

Auntie Steph would love to take her to the Nutcracker around Christmas time!

Jennifer said...

Joey, that Starbucks is near work, at Escarpment and Slaughter., Daisy, hey! it was great to briefly see you guys there! We also got good seats - 1st row on the balcony. The Jesus Freak did bug Anthony and me. I kinda listened to him, and it didn't make any sense - it was just a stream of consciousness spiritual mumbo jumbo! Fittingly, he had no audience. Also, totally not audible once you walked behind him. A small blessing.