June 28, 2013

My Piano Recital

I took piano lessons for awhile when I was in Jr. High or something. I must have played for about a year or so because I do remember two piano recitals--one was at a nursing home and I played "Joy to the World" from the hymns made easy book while everyone sang along and I walked away feeling confident. My next recital I botched. I got up there and completely forgot the song I had memorized. I didn't bring the music because I knew that piece. And so I was humiliated and probably scarred for life. Well, something like that.
All along I was terrible at practicing so I eventually quit.

When we moved here to WA I became determined to find a piano teacher and stick with lessons no matter how terrible I was or how long it may take me to learn anything. I went to lessons every other week for about 2 and a half years, and for the last six months I've been trying to go each week. I tell my wonderful, sweet piano teacher, Debbie, that I'll be her forever student because my life isn't conducive to lots of practicing time and playing doesn't come as natural to me as I wish it did. So she puts up with the fact that I have never once played a piece perfectly for her and keeps putting stamps and stickers on the pieces I play good enough. She gets paid to endure me each week. Sweet, Debbie.

Debbie has three adult piano students right now. We had our first little "Tea Party/Recital" this week. It was just her and the three students invited to this first one. We each played one or two songs. 

How did I do? I got to open and close the recital with my songs. My first song was not my favorite one, but I was pleased when I recovered nicely from two small mistakes. My second song I knew like the back of my hand and I love that song. But of course I goofed it big time at the end and never recovered because I psyched myself out. But oh well. It was a lovely little get together and I just may have found comfort in the fact that I wasn't the only one who made mistakes that night. Life goes on. And treats were served to everyone whether or not we goofed up our songs.

Pictures with my music book and my boys before my recital:

June 27, 2013

The Beginning of Summer

We had a fun afternoon with some dear friends.

They moved away from our area awhile back,
and after we had our Summer Solstice BBQ
(in which Eric smoked some succulent pulled pork and kids ran all around the yard and everyone played and talked until the sun set on the longest day of the year and the mosquitoes came out and bit me 16 times on my feet and caused me to itch to high heavens all weekend, but yet I did not get one single picture of the event, of course.)
Yes, the day after that bbq
we decided to make the long drive
(more than an hour equals long)
to see Christy and her family and her beautiful new house. 

The kids had such fun in the sprinklers.

And then I realized one of mine just might be growing up.
He opted not to change into his swimsuit and run around the yard
but to sit back in a chair
near the grown ups instead.
And I noticed he isn't as little as he once was.

Summer officially begins!

June 24, 2013

Regatta, of the Raingutter Variety

Cub Scouts gives us all sorts of experiences,
like making boats out of cartons and soap boxes
and racing them by blowing on their paper sails.
What fun we have!

June 20, 2013

Eric's Father's Day

Eric got lots of time with his two older boys around Father's Day.

They took him to a driving range on a Saturday.

Then on Father's Day we made breakfast and gave him cards and gifts.
Kyler even insisted on pulling out a green tablecloth for the occasion.

And, finally, E and the boys were off to an Aquasox baseball game together.

Hopefully, my Eric had a wonderful Father's day and knows how much we all love spending time with him.

June 19, 2013

Summer Home School

We call it Home School around here.

It is our summer plans/schedules/goals. It changes each year depending on life. I wrote about the last few years here and here.

And I love it and I get so excited revealing our plan to our boys. Maybe I jump around and smile like a madman when I tell them all about it. I'm sure they think I am crazy, but I love making schedules and I love teaching my boys and I love using all of my school stuff. I love the summer.

This year, each week we are working for some Friday Fun. We brainstormed a short list of fun things the boys would like (out to the movies, go to the skate park, new art supplies, etc.)  and they earn something from the list by getting 20 checks on their list for the week.

This week Friday Fun is a new Xbox game. (Eric brought it home from work for free. Holla!). My boys are super motivated to play Minecraft on Friday.

He really is motivated. He just hates that I take pictures of him. So he hides.

The areas to earn checks:
-Morning Work: getting ready for the day, piano, house help chore, etc. done by 9:15 am (ish). You only qualify for Friday Fun if you get at least 4 days.

-Reading for 30 min.: must read at least four days

The other stuff can be done whenever they want throughout the week. It is suggested to do 2 or 3 each day. At least one from each area must be done to get Friday Fun.

-Rocket Math or Spelling: Kacin's working on math facts and Kyler on his spelling this summer

-Book Work: choose two pages from the workbook we used last summer or from cursive practice pages

-Science Book: I kept my science book from when I was home taught in third grade. I loved this book. So the boys get to pick a section to read and then we talk about it and answer the questions at the end of each section. There are even some experiments I am sure we will do.

-Book Talk: I made a list of good books for my boys to read and started putting them on hold at the library. If they read one of the books from the list and we discuss it together they get a check.

-Movie Talk: Same as the Book Talk, I'm gathering good movies to watch and then talk about.

(I think I will try and post my book and movie list sometime)

-Project: choose a project to work on. Some things the boys have mentioned doing are a poster of the solar system, make an origami book, make a notebook of important people, research computers, technology, Microsoft, or Bill Gates, or complete an art project The rules are to tell me your project beforehand and then you may get a check when you finish it or if you spend more than a half hour working hard on it.

-Exercise: 30 min. of running, swimming, yoga, exercise video, pushups, situps, stretching, jump rope etc.  

I think that just about explains our entire Home School plan for this summer. It will be flexible, because we also have plenty of outings and activities planned and friends to play with that may interrupt our schedule, but something is better than nothing to prevent summer mush brains.

Here we go, summer!

June 18, 2013

The Last Day

It's really here!
The last day of school was yesterday and boy do I have some happy kids around here now.

 They both do well in school and, generally, love going, but the end of a school year and the start of the summer makes everyone excited. And hyper. Very, very hyper.

Say what? I am now the mom of a Third and Fourth grader.  They are getting so old which means I am getting so old. Except I don't think I'm that old, but having a FOURTH grader makes me sound old. Fourth grade is not early childhood anymore. No sirree.

I am a little lame. I didn't do a thing to celebrate the last day of school. Besides giving the boys popsicles and letting them play with friends. Well, unless you count that I roped everyone into the project of reorganizing kids closets. But the boys, and Eric, weren't too thrilled with our little project so I doubt they would call that a celebration or consider me cool for it. Except they all ended up staying up later than normal because of it. I think that counts for something. No matter they were folding clothes during that extra time. Eric knows all too well that when I get an idea in my head I just want to do it. Get it done. There's no point in waiting. So the upstairs of our house turned into a disaster, but those closets are mighty spectacular now.

Our summer goals/work is well under way! Don't you worry, I'll update tomorrow and tell you all about it.

June 16, 2013

Baba Father

We learned today in Primary Singing time that Baba is a name for father in another language.

Baba is also what D calls his sippy cup or a bottle.

Here is Baba drinking from a baba,
no hands allowed.

We went to a couples baby shower dinner to celebrate the mother, and the father, and their first baby. I love the enthusiasm and excitement our friend has to be becoming a dad because yes, fatherhood and motherhood are just the best. He didn't want to miss out on the fun so there was a lovely dinner with baby games and presents to honor them both.

Like most (well, probably all) of the guys there, this was Eric's first baby shower, and he got second place in the Daddy competitions, just so you know.

Sometimes I think there is more hype about how important motherhood is (because it is pretty darn important), but fatherhood can not be underestimated.

Lucky for me, I have two amazing men in my life who I respect and honor as fathers--my dad and my husband. This much I know about fathers because of them both.

A father knows how to use humor and fun to keep peace in the home.
Fathers are generous and self-less and always serving.
Children love and respect their fathers and want to make them proud and happy.
A Father teaches effectively and leads with love and by example.

Fathers are the heroes.

A very Happy Father's Day!

June 15, 2013

Filled with Field Trips

The last month of school 
means fun field trips.

Preschool went to the zoo.

Kyler's class went to an art museum and made books.
By far, this was the easiest field trip I've ever chaperoned!
Third graders, two adults for every three kids, and we stayed as one big group through the tour and activities.

 L goes on her own field trips to get the mail 
a few times each week. 
And sometimes she insists on dressing her head like this.

But usually she just moseys along, picking flowers and blowing dandelions.

Kacin went on an awesome field trip, too. 
Except I didn't get to go. :(
So I don't have pictures of him making toys with his class.
Instead here is a picture of him eating chips and salsa.

And to round this post off,
I'll throw in a picture of D.
D in L's sparkly headband.