21 November 2014


The Hubba was unhappily commenting on the mess that had been made in our family room...

Pink:  Sorry,Dad. I was one of the people playing in there and making that mess.
Hubba:  Pinkleberry, thank you for your honesty.  It was very grown-up to take responsibility like that.
Wink:  None of this stuff is mine!

20 November 2014


I was browning ground beef in the kitchen and I perched the packaging atop a totally full trash can. There was no one in the room...
Me: I sure would appreciate if someone could take out this trash.

( And then I was immediately thinking that I probably should have spoken up louder and addressed someone by name and been direct in my request. But before I could even finish the though...)
 JJ:  Girl, I got yo' back! 

(And was already removing the trash from the can before I made it back to the stovetop.)
This evening I was just settling down in the family room after dinner with everyone.  I mentioned that I was cold as I began to sat down on the couch.  Before I even leaned back into the cushions, there was X with my jacket...

X:  Girl, I got yo' back!

Girl I Got Yo Back!  Just in case you were wondering where it came from, it's one of the lyrics in this hilarious parody of Hunger Games that we absolutely love.

We also love these other two videos!


Last week we were out buying missionary clothes for Wiyah and we were SUPPOSED to be buying non-missionary clothes for Baboo.  But she kept gravitating towards the skirts and dresses.

Baboo:  Ah!  I keep looking at skirts.  Sister Lewis!  You need to buy some pants.
Me:  It might help if you stopped referring to yourself as "Sister Lewis".


The family was in the family room talking  about how X put the moves on a girl and put his arm around her.  (I *think* it was a joke--not entirely sure.)  I hadn't heard about it before and everyone else seemed to have.   I was indignant.

Me:  You put your arm around a girl and didn't even bother to tell me?  You better tell me the next time you do something like that!  Remember, I'm your first love!
X:  (putting his arm around me and his head on my shoulder) Mom, you're my only love.

I shouldn't be jealous, but I can't help it.

I have loved singing since I was young.  At one point I wanted to be a professional (who didn't?).  I love performing.  In the past decade or so I have realized my over-confidence in my singing ability and that I'm ok, but not like great or anything.  I have a tendency to go flat (though I think practicing singing Soprano over the past 8 years or so has helped).  I don't have a great tone and my (lack of) musical theory diminishes what I'm able to vocally or creatively.

When I was in 7th grade I actually signed up for band.  I played the flute.  I think that lasted a few days.  Surely no more than 2 weeks.  I remember that I had figured out how to make a sound in the flute and hold it and that's about it.  I did not like the band teacher and I *think* I remember him throwing a wand in class and that was it for me.

I stayed in choir though.

I always thought it would be cool to play the saxophone.  Forever, I wanted to play the saxophone.  At some point I was reading up on wind instruments because X was playing the oboe a few years ago.  And it was then that I had to seriously deal with the whole spit valve thing and it ruined the saxophone for me forever.  No way I'm ever playing a wind instrument.

I also really wanted to play the guitar.  When I was about 8 or 9 my mom got me a used guitar from a thrift store.  I got a book from someplace and taught myself how to play one little tune.  There weren't even any chords involved, it was just a melody line.  We had friends who played the guitar who were willing to help me but they declared the guitar a total loser.  Apparently the neck was warped and other things were wrong.  And that was it.  The only time I ever owned a guitar.

At some point when I was older I wanted to play the piano.  I had many friends who could play and it would be the perfect instrument to accompany my singing.  I figured it would be simple enough to teach myself since I already knew how to read music from all my years of singing.  My mom got another used piano from a thrift store that was horribly out of tune, but I played it anyway.  I wrote a song on that piano.  Very simple, but pretty I think.

Still, I was not very good and didn't realize at the time what I know now--and that is that playing the piano requires more musical theory knowledge (or innate talent) than just recognizing a D on the staff and getting your fingers to play a D on the keyboard.  So I didn't get very far.  Still, I enjoyed figuring it out and practicing.  The only sheet music I ever had real access to was a hymnbook.

I taught myself to play "Silent Night", "Nearer My God to Thee", "Come, O Thou King of Kings", "Choose the Right", "Sweet Hour of Prayer", "Redeemer of Israel" and "Come Follow Me".  I worked on other songs but never quite got them down.  Eventually I purchased a few pieces of sheet music that I wanted to start playing, but wasn't able to get it down.  I struggle incredibly with reading the bass clef and fingering is beyond me.  Those hymns I learned don't require anything more than keeping your hands in one simple position.  It never went farther than that.  One time over the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college, I was asked to fill in playing the piano in Sunday School.  It meant a lot to me.

When Baboo and Wiyah were young we invested in a digital piano because we thought it was important to have around and we wanted to give them lessons.  I played around on that piano and loved having it in the house.  We found someone in our neighborhood who was a struggling college student who played, but I don't think was very experienced in teaching and she offered to teach both little girls for VERY CHEAP.  She was great and they loved it.  But it ended after just a couple months.  I can't remember why.  The teacher might have been moving...

And mostly I "played" the piano for the next several years while it was largely neglected by everyone else.

Meanwhile, Baboo and Wiyah had taken violin in school.  And Baboo had done clarinet for a year.

I couldn't even tell you when or how exactly it started.  But somewhere in there, Baboo started playing the piano.  I don't even know HOW she started except maybe she just had learned enough music from violin that she started applying it to the piano.  And she played all the time.  And it's a digital piano and she likes to play it loud with the volume up.  And it was beautiful but the Hubba and I were annoyed by how frequently and loud she was always playing.

I also couldn't really tell you when Wiyah started playing or how.  I just really don't know.  In our old house, I was the only one who touched the piano.  In this new house that we have lived in for the past 8.5 years, I have hardly touched it because there has been someone else more competent around to play.

But suddenly one girl would be on the piano and the other would be accompanying with the violin and it was just so beautiful.  Beautiful music in our home all the time.  They started asking for sheet music for Christmas and birthdays and they'd work at pieces ceaselessly until they got them.  It was amazing.  I was really proud and just in awe of what they were able to do.

The Hubba had a bass guitar for a while, and Wiyah diligently taught herself to play that.  Then X got a guitar for Christmas one year and both girls, though predominantly Wiyah, taught themselves on the guitar.

A music teacher in our ward heard Baboo play one day and was SHOCKED that Baboo had never had lessons.  She was THAT good.  And not only was she just really good, but the teacher said that she tried for years to get her students to that level of musical expression that Baboo seemed to have naturally.  She offered to teach her and we worked out a payment for lessons that we could afford.  Having taught herself everything she knew, working with a teacher was difficult.  Still, I could see how she gained some in music theory and in making fingering easier.  But the lessons only lasted for maybe  6 months before Baboo was through with that.

Baboo started writing her own songs and finding chord progressions on line for popular music and working on that.  And then she left on her mission where she was often playing the piano for multiple meetings on Sundays and doing musical performances as part of missionary work.

When Baboo left, Wiyah had the piano all to herself for once.  She had always played before but now played a lot more.  She didn't play as loudly as Baboo had.  She has more of  a soft touch.  She also doesn't sing while playing.  Even if she's playing a popular song with lyrics, she just plays the accompaniment.  She had always been really good but this past year and a half with all the time that she spent playing, she has really improved.  And she's AWESOME!  And the only piano instruction she had was for maybe two or three months when she was 4 years old and now she accompanies the ward choir.  She works so hard to learn the music and jump through all the crazy hoops I ask her to do while we are trying to learn a song.

Recently she asked for a ukulele to learn.  And she has been playing around with it.  And now that Baboo is home, they are playing around with it together.  What inspired me to write this post was that Baboo had been playing the piano this morning and then she stopped and Wiyah got on and Baboo was playing around with the ukulele and asked Wiyah to identify this chord she was playing.  And Wiyah got it close and they were laughing about it and Baboo was trying to play the ukulele to the song that Wiyah was playing on the piano without any music--just identifying the chords by ear.

AND  I WAS JUST SO JEALOUS!!!  I mean, I was proud, too, you know.  And it was fun and funny to watch them work it out and laugh together.  But they surpassed me musically years ago.  And I still wish I could learn to play piano or guitar.  But I'm not the type of person who can teach myself.  I have a friend who has taken piano lessons as an adult and I think that's so cool.  I would love to do that and learn finally, too.  But there are other kids in our household who also want piano or other musical instrument lessons and they need to have priority over me.

It's wonderful to have such lovely music in our home all the time.  I just wish that I could be part of it.


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