October 31, 2013

My Music Man

Brennen was on the front page of the paper last week with his school choir pictured during their concert.
  (well I can't upload the photo here because it is private or copywritted and I am not very good at all this computer stuff anyway.  I need B's help.  or I need to take a photo of the newspaper)

And he name was mentioned in the article:
      "At the end of their set on Oct. 15, the Low Tones performed an arrangement of "Gone, Gone, Gone" by singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips. Senior Brennen Berkley arranged the song, and it was initially performed at a high school talent show in September by Lucas and seniors Brian Farley and Eli Briody-Pavlik.
     "Members of the men's choir stepped off the risers and formed a semi-circle around Berkley, Lucas, Farley and Briody-Pavlik on stage while performing the pop music piece." 

So they mistaken wrote that Bren is a senior but he is a junior.  Brennen and his boys got 3rd place in the talent show.  They did it a capella with Brennen beating on a drum. He used Garageband--a program on his computer.

He told me that after the concert someone asked for his autograph.  What impressed me about the talent show was Bren's ambition and assertiveness.  Last year he played his guitar and sang by himself.  This year he asked some guys in his choir if they wanted to do a song with him and he arranged a song for them to do. (ya, I should have had a video of the talent show or the concert to post here, but ya, I am not that kind of on the ball kind of parent.)  

When Bren was in kindergarten he saw a performance of a kids choir (TaVaci) and wanted to join.  So he did and sang in it until 4th grade.  He started playing piano sometime in elementary school and had guitar lessons off and on starting in 5th grade.  In sixth grade he joined the middle school band as a percussionist and learned bells, xylophone, and drums, etc.  He played the marimba in a few solo & ensemble competitions during mid school and one judge told him he was on his way to a scholarship if he kept it up.  In 7th grade he played the bass guitar in the school Jazz band.  In 8th grade he tried the Saxophone for one semester.

Ninth grade he played with the high school Marching Band the fall semester then switched to choir.  This year he joined the orchestra playing cello, which he has never played before.  He is also in the men's choir and plays the piano for the Jazz band.  (yes he has 3 music classes)  

And he is still taking piano lessons.  He has a youtube channel youtube.com/brennenberkley where he has recorded some covers (I didn't know that a "cover" is when you sing someone else's song but now I know) in his recording studio: his bedroom.

He tried out for the all-state choir last week and made it!  He was pretty surprised.  

oh-here is a picture he posted on facebook at bit ago with the comment "And this is what your room looks like when you spend all of your free time playing music..."
(his room is usually pretty clean--too clean for a teenager)

Funny but I never thought of having musical kids.  I play the piano and was always in the school choir since 5th grade.  My junior year I didn't sign up for a choir class because I didn't make audition choir. But that lasted only a few weeks until I changed my schedule around to sing in the girls' choir because I missed it so much. (I did sing in the top choir my senior year). I always loved music. However, I was (still am) a sports nut. I thought I would have sports kids. 

Sports was always my first passion.  I came from a sports family.  My dad played college football and me and all of my siblings played some kind of school sports for at least a few years--most of us varsity high school sports. My mom played city and church sports (and would have played school sports but girls didn't get to do that back then).  And if not we are not playing, the we like to watch.  Then I married into a family that wasn't so sportsy.  Which is fine.

I just always thought I would have sports kids.  But I don't.  Except maybe Andy.  The have all played sports now and again and aren't bad but they are not competitive like me and don't have the drive.

I have musical children.  Dustin played percussion and guitar also and was the Drum Major his senior year.  

Janessa and Cameron are both doing well at the piano.  Andy has had some piano and is now learning trumpet in middle school.  He and Janessa are excellent singers.  

Musical children are great! and I love them! 

 (but I have to admit I would rather watch a soccer or volleyball game than a band concert)

October 28, 2013

I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home...

...Glad as I can be!

Our daddy has returned home at last!  Hooray.  He has been in Utah training for his new business for the past month and got home this past Saturday night.  Which means I have been a "single" parent.  Wow! It was harder than I thought. I sure salute all those single parents out there.  And I don't even have a job.

One of the hardest things about him being gone was timing--
A:  Dustin left for his mission during the month Scott was gone.  I was on an emotional roller coaster for the few days before and after D left, and had to remember I still had other kids to take care of.
B:   it was soccer season.  Brennen started a job at Costa Vida, and also was busy with music practice (choir & orchestra) & concerts, and Dustin left on his mission, so all of the sudden I AM THE ONLY DRIVER around.  Soccer, piano lessons, soccer, scouts, soccer, achievement days, soccer, after school choir, soccer...  Three kids playing soccer = 6 practices per week and 3 games per week.  I have to admit we didn't make it to all the soccer practices. The last few years I have taken advantage of my teenage drivers and realized how much I appreciate them.

And of course there are the things that I never really do because my hubby takes care of them so I don't even think about them much til he is gone--like putting the garbage can to the curb on Wednesday mornings.  I only forgot once.  And I didn't forget it was garbage day, I was just going to do it later.  oops.  And taking care of the cars and making sure the gas tanks are full; and always locking up at night.  I even mowed the lawn once.  But the mower ran out of gas so I had to go fill up the little red gas tank.  I don't know if I have ever done that since I have been married.

Harder than the day to day tangible "stuff" to take care of is everything else--giving everyone enough attention, refereeing the arguments and bickering, the discipline, the homework, the emotions, getting everyone where they need to go (church is the hardest and I don't even have preschoolers anymore) and, well, just everything that goes with families.  It wore me out!  I am tired--more than usual.  (I think I need a 2 week nap).  There were some tears and calls to my sister and friends asking for help.  But I got through it.  We all got through it.

The mood in our house is happier now that Dad is home.  But I think it was a little rough on him coming home from work today to a houseful of happy noise instead the quiet of his parents' house.  We all might need a few days of adjustment, but it's good to be back together again.

October 2, 2013

New Adventures

Scott had his last day working as controller at the college on Sept 13.  He is now training and learning how to be a freight broker, as he bought a freight business to run with his brother.  Somebody very creative who he worked with at the college made the following going away gift.  

 notes on mailing labels on a freight box --very fun. 

And since his last day we have been a little busy getting our MISSIONARY ready to leave to Sendai Japan, with 2 months in Provo at the MTC first of course.  He enters next Wed Oct 9th.  I have felt exicted about it all and not sad but now the mom emotions are starting to hit me.

D worked in Utah this summer and came home almost 2 weeks ago.  We had some family come for his "farewell" talk.  Some stayed with us, some with my Mom and some in a hotel (I guess Scott's parents prefer the quiet of the hotel compared with 10 enthusiastic kids, 8 of them under 12, at our house).  Then we sent them all away and headed to Utah to take Dustin to the temple for his endowments, plus 2 more temples after that, and shopping shopping shopping.  And we spent so much at one store we got FREE LUGGAGE. Actually the shopping was pretty simple because we went to the Missionary Mall and they have, as Scott put it, "Everything you need and nothing you don't need." (and free luggage) And right across the way was Deseret Book which also has a Beehive clothing so we got more stuff he needed there. I let Scott and D do that and I happily shopped in the book store for an hour (all alone! no "Mom. look look")

The last thing on the list is family pictures!!! I really did NOT wait until the last minute. I had it on my to do list this summer then one weekend D up and left!  He got a job and said goodbye to us.  And we meant to do it the weekend he came home but that was the same weekend we had family and it rained too (no outdoor pictures) so we will get it done this weekend.  And it is so hard for me to think that this might be our last picture as a 7 person family (no, I am not pregnant!) because if B goes on his mission when he is 18 then D could be married by the time he gets back (because they will only overlap a few months).  Wow. hard thought. I would be a mother-in-law.

But, back to the present.  One more week with my BOY because everyone says he will come back as a MAN.  Yet I am so happy that my boy has choosen to and is going to serve the Lord.  and proud and stuff and yeah...