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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ladies Dinner Out

I know -- two blogs posts in one day! I just wanted to share this photo I took on Tuesday evening. I was out to dinner with a lovely group of friends. We've been trying to do this once a month. They all have younger kids than Emma so it's definitely a needed treat for them to get away. This Tuesday the weather was fabulous so we decided to head down to Bristol and have dinner outside on the water. We tried Agave. The food was quite good as was the service. You absolutely cannot beat the view -- certainly not without flying off on a vacation somewhere. We watched the sunset over the Bristol Harbor as we talked, drank wine, ate yummy food and then indulged in desert as well! This is one of my favorite montly outings. Thanks Ladies!
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Father's Day in Rhode Island

We celebrated Father's Day this year with Brunch at one of our favorite little places in Warren, which is the next town over from Barrington. The weather was fantastic and we lucked out and got a table outside on the patio without even having to wait! The brunch was Emma's idea -- she woke up a few days before dreaming of pancakes and asked if we could take Daddy to brunch for Father's Day.

I had this very delicious eggs florentine benefict, with home fries. Jim and I also celebrated with a couple of Mimosas.

All the tables on the patio have these wonderful colorful umbrellas. I love them.

The East Bay is getting ready for the Fourth of July, not just in Bristol where they have the oldest Fourth of July parade in the country, but also next door in Warren. Lots and lots of flags everywhere.

Contemplative Daddy -- or Daddy who doesn't want his picture taken?
 Amazingly enough Emma didn't mind having her photo taken. You never can tell with her these days. I hope you all had lovely Father's Days as well if you celebrated.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Gardening Fun

I thought I'd share a few photos from my garden work this past weekend. Above is my newly purged and tidy tool shed. It's a job to work there and I can find things again!

Chloe wasn't very impressed with the impatiens I planted around our tree stump.

My pots fresh from their bleach soak and suds bath. The weather was perfect for being outside this past weekend: breezy, in the seventies, sunny and not humid. Not at all like Memorial Day weekend when I worked on cleaning out the shed -- then it was humid, hot and overcast, but at least not raining.

Above: Pot on my back patio. Below is one of my newly planted pots on our front porch.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Rhode Island Elementary Chorus Festival

Emma and Katie H.
Rhode Island Music Educators Association (RIMEA) held their elementary school choral festival yesterday and today. This was the last in a series of 2 day festivals for High School, Middle School and Elementary. Emma is in the 5th grade chorus at Hampden Meadows and they performed this morning. I volunteered to be a chaperon because I really wanted to hear them perform and to hear some of the other choruses too. I was impressed by how good they were when I last heard them perform a couple of weeks ago. They put on a concert jointly with another elementary school chorus in Bristol. Both choruses sang and then they did a joint number, all the money donated went to Japan relief.

So, our day began at 7:30 when we arrived at school to gather and board two school buses for the trip to the University of Rhode Island where the festival was being held. By the time we loaded the buses and drove there and unloaded it was just past 9 am. This kids were all really pretty good -- but it was still loud on the bus. I sat with another Mom and chatted. Emma and her friend Katie H. were actually reading! We were the second group to arrive and got seated in the front several rows. It wasn't long until the first group got up to sing. I had enough time to take out my new DSLR camera and take some photos. The light was really low and I only have the built in flash so the photos are just okay -- but I wanted to capture the kids as they waited and hung out. Here are some of the best:
Our kids in the front row getting settled in.
Boys in the row ahead of us
Hampden Meadows was the last chorus to sing in the morning group so we got to hear all the other choruses sing first. There were some who were really very very good and others that were okay. I was actually pretty impressed by the overall quality! Our kids went back to warm up so only the parent chaperons got to hear the chorus right before them, and then it was our turn. I took some photos as they were coming on the stage. I set the film speed to ISO800 and the shutter speed to 60 so I didn't need to use the flash.

Our group right before they performed
They did a terrific job with all three of their songs! Everybody except a couple of kids were watching Mrs. Degnan the whole time and everyone was concentrating and enjoying singing too. After they sang they did a short clinic/workshop with a college level choral director who showed them how to warm up their head voices and open up their mouths really wide to let the sound out. Emma's mouth is always open wide when she sings and she looks very intent and serious.

All the choruses then received a packet with a plaque with their rating and a DVD of their performance and the judges comments. Hampden Meadows received an EXCELLENT. The highest rating is SUPERIOR and there are a couple below EXCELLENT too.

What a cool experience for all the kids. We made it back to school by 1 pm and the kids had a late Pizza lunch. I went home to eat (something other than pizza) and to recover from my bus ride headache,