Saturday, May 9, 2015

Family Togetherness

Sarah with her dad, Mark, after her concert last Saturday.
2 May 2015

It's been a family-filled week. While it's typical for me to see all my children, even the adult married kids, more than once a week, we've enjoyed their presence even more often now that their dad is around again.

The White Mountain Symphony Orchestra performed last weekend.

Last Saturday Dylan, Mark, and I attended Sarah's concert, where she performs on violin with the White Mountain Symphony Orchestra. The last time Mark attended one of his daughter's concerts was before our divorce in 2006, and that was a high school orchestra concert, not a community symphony orchestra. 

Sarah is always totally focused when she performs. And hard to see from the audience.

I finally got a good shot of Sarah when the orchestra members stood to take a bow
at the end of the concert!

We sat with Chris and his mom Brenda and enjoyed the event. Especially fun was the final half, when winners of a statewide competition performed, including a student from our high school, a good friend of Dylan's named Courtney, who performed a beautiful solo on her violin with the support of the entire orchestra behind her.

Courtney is an amazing performer.

At intermission, we had fun trying to get a group selfie with my camera. Cameras are trickier than cell phones, because you can't see what you're taking a picture of like you can when you use a cell phone. However, I like the quality of my camera's pictures better, so I keep trying.

Failed to get Dylan in this try.

All three of us together at intermission.

We've also enjoyed more family dinners than usual. A night or two after Mark's return, we gathered for spaghetti and garlic bread. After the concert on Saturday we all got together, including Jacob and Danielle (who'd missed the concert because they were working), to enjoy grilled steaks, steak fries, and a green salad packed full of fresh vegetables a la Jacob-style, with blue cheese dressing. On Sunday we had our usual weekly family dinner, chowing on pasta combo--a family favorite--with garlic toast on the side. (Pasta combo is made up of spaghetti noodles, bottled Italian dressing, shredded Parmesan cheese, diced chicken, and lots of chopped, fresh tomatoes.)

Plenty of leftover fried chicken and potato salad. No cooking for tonight's dinner!

This week we were joined by Jacob and Danielle on Thursday night for shredded beef soft tacos, and again last night for homemade fried chicken and potato salad. Tonight Mark, Dylan, and I are on our own, but we're planning on chicken Parmesan for tomorrow's Sunday dinner. I love having my kids around so often, but even more, I love watching them enjoy being with their dad again.

A drainer full of clean dishes this afternoon.

With all of this family action, the use of my kitchen is in hyper-drive, which means many, many more dirty dishes than usual. Thank goodness for Mark's helpful attitude. I've hardly had to wash a dish since he got here, so I come home to a clean kitchen everyday. He also assists willingly with all cooking chores, chopping and peeling and grilling right along with us. After last night's greasy mess, Mark spent a long time cleaning up in the kitchen this morning, leaving me free to focus on getting laundry done. Thank you, Mark. You are a good man!

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