Times and Sorensens

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Festival of Trees

Joshua and Daniel had the opportunity to participate in Portland's Festival of Trees with their violin group a couple of week-ends ago.  It was a great event raising money for cancer research and I'm glad we were able to be a part of it.

So, miracle of miracles, I've actually managed to get some footage of the performance up on the blog to share with you all (with massive amounts of help from Jake, of course!).  

The first segment is about 8 minutes of footage from the middle of the performance which I felt were the highlights (they were playing most of my favorite pieces, anyway!).  The second shows Daniel being a "jingle boy."  He didn't like doing it but did it anyway and did a good job so I'm proud of him.  He and the other two older boys he was doing it with are too new to the violin to have done much else and I'm glad their teacher had ways to include them.

The Lineup
Deck the Halls*
The Holly and the Ivy
Minstrel Round
Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant Us Peace)

*I just have to give Joshua credit for the harmony part he played on Deck the Halls .  This arrangement had the melody and two different harmonies going on and Joshua was assigned the second harmony with another student that is more advanced than he is.  I was stressed when I found out and wondered why in the world their teacher would pair Joshua with her.  But bless his heart, he picked up that harmony almost as if it were nothing and did a fantastic job.  It's the blond girl behind him that shared the same harmony if you want to watch for it.  

On each of these arrangements there are always several different things going on with harmonies, rounds, and simpler variations for less advanced students.  I even got the accompanist's hands at one point because I really want to learn the accompaniment for that piece!  It is fun to watch for all the different parts, who's doing what at any particular time.  At least for me, I find it all very interesting and am proud of these kids and their teacher for putting this all together.

Alright, enough of me talking.  I hope you enjoy the playing.  It's so festive!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nine Months

Caden is nine months old today and I have always felt that the nine month mark is a special one.  Now he has spent as much time with us on the outside as he did inside of me and I think I've emerged a better person out of these collective 18 months.  We've both learned and grown a lot, that's for sure. 

I am so thankful to have a baby this holiday season.  It has made it a very meaningful time for me and yes, I tear up whenever I hear a Christmas song that tells of the Mother and Child.  I think having a baby boy renders me even more susceptible as he can't help but turn my thoughts to the Savior, born as a baby boy so innocent, cute, sweet and cuddly (like mine!) all those years ago.

 "I recall, as a boy, staring long at a painting that I know
Where a mother holds her baby

And I stayed for a while
And I thought that I could hear that mother sigh
"Good night, my love" way out beyond the stars above"

Peter Breinholt Noel "Wake up Little Child"

Merry first Christmas, Caden!  We're so happy to have you with us to share this special time together as a family.  I can't wait to see you be so excited and happy on Christmas morning!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Five Years Ago...

It's been five years since Joshua, Daniel and I participated in a little photo shoot at Mesa grad student housing at UCSD.  There was going to be some sort of presentation made to the Board of Regents and they wanted to show what life was like at student housing.  They must have especially wanted to showcase what it was like for families since it was a few of us moms that were recruited.

It turned out to be a fun experience and we have these great pictures for it!  I'm not exactly sure why I'm posting these now but I'm in the middle of a huge picture hanging project around our house, of which 2 of these are included.  When I realized it had been 5 years since these pictures had been taken it just seemed like a fun thing to share.  Enjoy a stroll down Sorensen Memory Lane!

(Just FYI Daniel was about 17 months and Joshua was 3 1/2ish when these were taken)

I love Daniel's sweet little face in this one!  Click on the pic if you feel so inclined to enjoy the full sweetness :)  Apple slices are still one of his very favorite snacks!

This is one of the two going up on the wall.

This is the other one going up on the wall.

Monday, December 05, 2011


Jake's Grandmother gave us the piano that graced her home for the last 50 years and we are so happy to have it!  It is beautiful and was given the best of care over the years.  It's the piano that Jake's mother learned and practiced on every day and I love that it has a family history because it makes it more meaningful for us.

Doesn't it look so natural in that spot?
I have managed to play it every day since we've had it and it's been great!  My plans for it mainly involve myself* since the violin is such a great fit for my boys, but I would love to be able to accompany them and really look forward to making music together!  Also I would love to make myself useful at Church, giving all those people who play the piano and have been stuck in pianist callings for forever a break.  I've had my break these last 20 years and feel that it's only fair :).

Lucas is especially drawn to it and even composed a little song called Flower the first day it arrived.
 As an adult I've felt bad that I let my piano playing skills go at the tender age of 14 and I see this as a chance to redeem myself.  So far I've practiced every day since we've had it and I'm amazed by how much I remember from all those lessons all those years ago.

It is slow going for sure what with being the mother to four young children and all, but I love the snippets of time I am able to steal for practice each day.  It is so refreshing to be doing something to develop myself personally and with the yoga, walking and reading I do I'm starting to feel downright well-rounded!  It's a great feeling but comes tinged with some guilt.  Should I be getting to do these things for myself while my children are still so young?  Hmmm....I'll keep thinking about it but until I come to a conclusion, I'm going for it!

*Jake's plans involve learning to play Werewolves of London on it ;)