Thursday, October 9, 2014
I sat through 3 music lessons this week and we were not prepared. The teachers were great and retaught much of what they taught them the previous week. There was no guilt and I didn't recognize any frustration from their instructors, but I knew that we could do so much better. Sophie smiled and giggled through the whole lesson- of the three she was the most prepared. Kate and Ellie both approached their lessons with confidence and really were completely unphased by the mistakes they were making. I take notes at their lessons and make sure they get there every week. Combined there should be approximately 2.5 hours a day of practice between the three of them every day. If I am not sitting there not much gets done. They breeze through their practice checklists like I speed through the grocery store, never even glancing at my list. BUT if I do sit with all three of them...starting right after school...I would be helping with practice until 6:30 every night.
Frequently I wonder why I even do this. Why do I spend a hefty amount of money (the amount of a decent car payment!) every month toward music lessons? Why have I encouraged all three of my girls to pick an instrument to learn...when it requires this much time and effort...not just from them but from me.
Then I get glimpses of what makes it all worth it...
like Sophie strumming and singing her heart out...as she and I played The Best Day by American Authors. (She was pretty happy with herself!) Or the opportunity Kate has to attend a cello festival at a nearby University this weekend---where she will be surrounded by people who have worked so hard to be masters in their skill. That influence is beneficial regardless of what she decides to do in her life. Or when Ellie spent at least a half an hour telling me about recent junior high adventures that she wouldn't have told me had I not been by her side for an hour of practice. (They will talk and talk and talk and talk to delay sight reading exercises.)
I can't do it every day---but I have made an increased effort this week. Not only has their music improved...but our needing each other has made being a family that much greater.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Danny was raised on a fruit farm and I was raised with fruit cocktail.
Just weeks after we were married his sweet grandma brought at least a bushel of peaches to our small one bedroom apartment in the avenues to teach me how to can. We carried the jars and pots up the flight of stairs to our 2nd story dwelling and worked for hours.
They were delicious---but I learned so much more than canning that day.
Grandma was an inspiration of resourcefulness and respect for God's gifts and creations.
It was important to feed your family. It was maybe even more important to care for the resources we have been entrusted with.
Grandma taught me over the following years...the names of beautiful flowers, how to transplant them and even how to cook. She was giving and sweet.
Marrying into a fruit farm family---I have learned the sweetness of fruit picked right off the tree.
We serve only fresh fruit...or if we are lucky enough to have home-canned fruit from a family member. At our back to school "cafeteria fear factor" Sophie's biggest challenge (I have video of her gagging to prove it) was choking down a grape from fruit cocktail.
Monday, September 8, 2014
It is not every day that you turn 70!
We decided to make this a special occasion for Mom (known to her grandchildren as Nana). Annie flew in Saturday morning to help with the festivities and SURPRISE Mom. She cried tears of joy at the restaurant Saturday night when Annie walked in. Then she would cry again any time she talked about Annie being here throughout the weekend. To top that off...Alex flew in Sunday morning. Mom could hardly believe it when we pulled up with Alex for her family party.
We considered buying her jewelry for her birthday. Then Annie suggested we resize and repair some of her favorite jewelry that she hasn't been able to wear for years! We were able to resize two different wedding rings Dad had given her and an antique hand carved gold bracelet she received from her grandmother. It meant so much more than a new piece of jewelry and we were so happy we could do that for her.
We also collaborated to compile a photo book of pictures throughout her life. I finished it Wednesday or Thursday SO she couldn't open the real thing. BUT I was able to create an e-book through Blurb and she LOVED it!
Happy 70th Mom!
We LOVE you!
Monday, August 25, 2014
OUR ANNUAL BACK TO SCHOOL FEAST
This school year is a big one for a few reasons. All three of the girls were starting new schools-
Ellie is entering Jr High, Kate and Sophie were transferring back to our neighborhood school.
Our theme for this school year is:
"believe in the light, that ye may be children of light"
Danny and I set the table with candles...star sweatshirts (found them here)...and a special book for each of them with their own letter inside.
Ellie: These Is My Words by Nancy Turner
Kate: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Sophie: The Bear on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Everything is more fun with a friend by your side...
especially when your mom insists on taking birthday pictures every year.
We were a few weeks late of your actual birthday...or a few months.
But sunshine, the beautiful mountains, daisy chains and a dear friend made it worth the wait.