Trumpet aces: On February 9th, Cameron and three other trumpet players from his school (two seniors and one junior) performed at the Northlake 2007-2008 Instrumental and Vocal Solo and Ensemble contest as a quartet. They called themselves The Four Aces, after the piece they played. Amy and Sofia went to listen. Although the adjudicator found only small details on which to comment, Cameron left sure that they'd earned "only a 2, maybe a 2+" (1 being the highest). He was surprised and pleased to learn on Monday that he'd underestimated their performance, as the four actually received a 1-.
Birthday bash(es): One small four-year-old has never had so many birthday celebrations! The family had a low-key dinner (spaghetti and Sofia's only request, strawberries), cake, and presents on the 29th. On Thursday afternoon Amy and Sofia made cookies to take to the Montessori for a special ceremony on Friday, and on Friday afternoon Jan and Sofia made frosted cupcakes to take to the Oranjeschool on Saturday morning. As if that were not enough, on Sunday Sofia had her children's party, to which five four-year-old friends came dressed in fairy or princess costumes. It was an indoor "garden party" at which the kids decorated flower pots and played Pin the Bee on the Flower. Snacks included pretzel twigs and "ants on a log" (raisins and peanut butter on celery sticks). Amy poured lemonade from a watering can. The highlight was a spectacular pink cake made by family friend Trudy decorated with white picket fences, snails and ladybugs, daisies, and roses made of sugar. Sofia had been ambivalent about turning four—sometimes eager, sometimes reluctant—but after her children's party, she seemed very excited to say, "I'm FOUR!" (See and read more about her birthday in Sofia's Album.)
Sofia celebrates Being Four with her Garden Party cake
More snow: Sofia and Cameron enjoyed a snow day on Monday, January 28th, as Kirkland woke up to a 6- to 8-inch surprise blanket of white. Sofia didn't really understand the concept of missing school; she just new she wanted to get outside to sled and build a snowman as quickly as possible. Cameron was ecstatic to finally have an unexpected day off from school.
Jan is pulling a very happy Sofia on her little blue sled
Little Women, plus men: Cameron will play John Brooke (remember Laurie? Remember his tutor? Remember that John married Meg?) in Studio East's upcoming presentation of Little Women in late March. More singing, dancing and soliloquies!
Merry Christmas / Gelukkig Kerstmis
Happy New Year / Gelukkig Nieuwe Jaar!
from Cameron, Amy, Sofia, and Jan
Santa request: Sofia visited Santa at the Bellevue Square Nordstrom's on Sunday, December 16th. The elves gave us an estimated TOV (time of visit) and took our cell phone number so we could shop or play, rather than waiting miserably in a line of impatient, screaming children. While browsing the mall, we stopped at a toy store where Sofia inexplicably fell in love with Lincoln Logs, although Amy told her that we would not buy her any toys with Christmas so near. An hour later, back at Santa's throne, Sofia was an angel—friendly, well behaved, and cooperative for her photo on his lap. When Santa asked Sofia what she wanted for Christmas, she unhesitatingly replied, "I want logs!" Besides wondering what Santa thought about a child's request for "logs," Amy quickly realized that because this was Sofia's sole request for any Christmas gift, Amy was no longer finished with Christmas shopping; Santa's dedicated helper now had to purchase Lincoln Logs to put under the tree!
The other guy in a red suit: Sinterklaas began visiting our house a week before December 5th, leaving small candies in Sofia's and Cameron's shoes on the hearth each night. By the third morning, Sofia was waking up early, running into Mommy and Papa's bedroom, and begging to go right downstairs to "see if Sinterklaas left anything in my shoes!" On December 1st, the red-robed saint showed up at both the morning Oranjeschool party and, despite the falling snow, by boat at the afternoon celebration sponsored by the Holland America Club on Lake Washington. On the night of December 5th, after we'd enjoyed our traditional dinner of waffles with fruit, Sinterklaas knocked on the door and left a bag of gifts. Sofia was so excited that she literally leaped into the air. We all opened small gifts and ate chocolate in his honor.
Dressed up as Zwarte Piet, Sofia enjoys the Orjanjeschool Sinterklaas party
Snow!: Unusually for Seattle, we woke up the first morning of December to snow on the ground! As soon as she saw it, Sofia begged to go outside, and with Jan playing, too, she had a great morning sledding, sliding, rolling snowballs, and making a snowman. More typically for Seattle, by noon the next day, the snow had disappeared.