This year was our tenth Festibond. Although we lost Kirsten, we had a good holiday and our traditions remain unfaltering. In preparation, we went to Freeport to get matching clothes–something that Kirsten would have done when my sisters and I were a lot younger. Our holiday was on New Years’ Eve, so we attempted to stay up until midnight (we didn’t succeed).
In the morning, we drove to Portland for breakfast. Although it was a long drive for just a meal, the meal was plenty satisfactory. It was a good decision.
In 2009, there was an option offered to students of CK Burns school to play a string instrument in the school orchestra. I don’t remember why I joined, but that decision changed my life. Sometimes I try to imagine what my life would be like if I never joined, but it’s inconceivable. Violin is an integral part of me. Some people who have made a profound impact on me, I met in orchestra or String Camp.
It took many years to make my playing sound like music. I started learning in a class under the instruction of Anne Wilkinson. She got us started on the basics, but it was clear that I wasn’t getting very far. I never practiced, so for two years I progressed very little.
In 2011, my mom got me private lessons with a teacher named Susan LaVerriere. To this day, both Ms. Wilkinson and Susan are my teachers. Since I started taking lessons, my technique improved rapidly. I owe where I am today to Susan. My lessons are half an hour once a week, and our routine is usually the same: first, the scale I’m working on, then the solo or duet I’m working on and exercises to improve my technique. I don’t remember when it was exactly that I actually started to love playing violin or when I knew I wasn’t going to quit, but it was after I started taking lessons.
Continue reading Why I Play Violin
My family had lived in the same apartment in Saco for nearly ten years. The proximity to Thornton Academy, downtown Saco, and Biddeford was ideal, but my dad had been talking about moving for years. This Autumn, we started looking at different houses with a realtor and it started to feel very real. The whole process was very exciting.
Now, we’ve lived in the Park street lofts for over a month and it’s just beginning to feel like home. My favorite things about it are all the big windows, the kitchen space and appliances, and the “openness”. Every morning, sunshine from the East streams into the dining room and makes everything warm and colorful. It’s quiet and peaceful. Whereas at our former apartment, the windows were closer to the ground and smaller, so the sunrise was not as great. I love that my sisters, dad, and I spend more time together because the loft is more open.
I’m glad that we were able to have Thanksgiving at our new loft. Our Aunt Christina, Brent’s sister, came over for Thanksgiving break. We had a traditional Thanksgiving meal on our new table. It felt homey. Our new kitchen is easy and comfortable to use, so we are cooking and having family meals more often.
This has been the best Festibond yet! If you don’t know what Festibond is already, Festibond (the word itself) is a mix of the words Festival, and bond. It means exactly what it sounds like. We celebrate the bond of our family! At the end of each year, we read or letters to each other (that we’ve written to each other beforehand), play games, and do other activities to bond with each other. This year, we went to the Marriott hotel in Portland, something we’ve never done before. Usually we celebrate Festibond at our house.
We spent a couple hours on Sunday morning polishing our letters and get everything organized. Kirsten, my mom, was sleeping most of the time. But that’s only because she stayed up late helping Skye and Hayley with their letters. Anyway, it gave us more time to get ready. My sisters even had time to have a tickle fight with me. It was fun, and I won the tickle fight, as I always do. I know everyone’s weak spots! Continue reading Festibond 2013 – Jenna
For my date with dad I we decided to go bowling and to an Italian restaurant. My dad wanted to take me somewhere fancy, so we chose Piccolo over Olive Garden or other cheap Italian places. I warned Dad that fancy restaurants scare me sometimes because they have food I don’t like. For example, many fancy restaurants have lobster and I despise lobster! I also don’t feel comfortable when dad pays a lot of money for me, but that is besides the point.
We went bowling at Bayside Bowl. Usually it is not that crowded, but on the day after Christmas, it was pretty filled up! All the lanes were filled and there were people in line to go next. It didn’t look good. Dad and I decided to wait at the bar for our turn. It would only allow us to play for 30 minutes, but it was too late to change our plans. I ordered a ginger beer at the bar, and talked to dad. It may not have been as exciting as bowling, but I loved it just the same. Continue reading Festibond 2013 – My date with Dad
Mom and I went to see a play for our Festibond date. We were originally going to see “Annie,” but by the time mom went online to buy tickets, they were sold out. Instead, we saw “The Snow Queen,” a seasonal play in Portland. Mom and I both like plays, ballets, concerts, etc. Before the play, we went to dinner at Sea Dogs Brewing Company.
Sea Dogs Brewing Company didn’t go as well as I planned. Mom and I had fun talking and laughing, but the pasta I ordered was really soggy and had too much sauce. Mom seemed to like hers, as she brought home the leftovers. It was fun, nevertheless. I have to say, the play went better and we bonded even more than we did at dinner. Continue reading Festibond 2013 – My Date with Mom
I’m in 7th grade now, and I am so happy to see my friend again! My favorite subject is science, like last year. Even though I really miss the Toucan team, I like my new team too.
There were some major changes this year in Saco Middle School. One, I have a new orchestra teacher. Two, the 7th/8th grade get to have iPads, which are really efficient. They reduce clutter, help us keep organized, and it… saves paper!
I’m in chorus this year, but I’m sorta kinda having second thoughts about it because the songs are not all that great. But we’ll see how it turns out.
It’s been about a month since the first day of school, and I am surprised at how quickly it’s passed by. In that one month, I’ve boosted many interests, mostly writing. I’m in the literature magazine club, and after we brainstormed ideas, I’ve been in the writing mood ever since! Now I can’t get away from my iPad, typing away at my new story, called ‘Unreachable.’ It’s a secret until I get it published. So don’t ask.
I know this year will be a great one, because I learned my lesson from last year, procrastinating all the time.
On July 11, 2011, a holiday called ‘Siblings day’ was invented by Jenna, Hayley, and Skye Danler. Every year since, we celebrated our relationship by bonding more than usual. Sounds cheesy, but to us, Siblings day is a day to cherish.
This year, our big sister Skye created a very sweet slideshow! It included pictures of all three of us through the years. It also included my new favorite song, ‘My Sister’ by Reba McEntire. I was on the verge of tears. :)
I also got some card stock so that my sisters and I could try this fun activity that I thought up! We all made a board game from scratch. Both my sisters went above and beyond on them, being so creative. :)
My board game was called ‘Are you a Mainer?’. Hayley’s was ‘Adventure on a Board’ and Skye’s was ‘Truth or Dare’. It was super-duper fun to try them all out after lunch.
My sisters always cheer me up on down times. I know, sometimes they can be annoying :( but we always make up after a fight and laugh about it later like in the song ‘My Sister’. Skye was a big help in planning it! So kudos to her for being so helpful… :)
We also had a pillow fight. Hayley got hurt, so we moved on to a different game that I made up. We had to make each other laugh, and if we laughed, we loose. I lost so many times!
Anyway, I love you Skye and Hayley!!
Yesterday we had Festibond, and we had a change this year. Our new activity was the talent show.
First, we went to breakfast at The Good Table, a Greek restaurant, in Cape Elizabeth. It was a long drive, but it was worth it. The second we walked through the door, we could smell the hot cinnamon rolls. They were huge cinnamon rolls!