Sunday, June 17, 2018

party in the rain

We had  a party for M at the park Friday night.  The forecast was ominous.  I'd invited so many families that I didn't really feel like we could hold it at our house, and our activity was making slime...
Friends came, it rained like crazy, kids had fun and nobody was hurt thank goodness.  It's fun having a big party.  I'm grateful for fun friends.
 M riding in a single kayak on a trip in the moultrie creek.
 M playing in the giant piece of Lycra that recently joined our family as a swing, hammock, climbing thing.
M asked me to try the Hello Fresh which was 50% off for your first order.  It was fun and an ok value at 50% off.  It came with an instructions card and M made the chipotle pulled chicken and slaw herself.  It's fun letting her have all these experiences. 

M is learning hymns and playing for primary.  I'm grateful for her.  To compensate her having a great attitude about sharing her talents, I'm letting her earn money toward her choir trip next year.  It's stressful to me when she has too much money available.  She wants to buy robot cats.  But having large goals is a good thing.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

camera of dreams

M wanted a camera that could print and I thought this was an impossible dream, and foolishness.  She saved up and worked extra.  She got in trouble for bringing it up again and again when she still didn't have enough money for it.  I told her to just keep working and stop bugging me about it.  Eventually she was close and then some birthday money became available.  Now the time to decide which kind to get was approaching.  There are several different types.  The ideal would be a digital camera that had a screen so you could view what you took before printing.  That kind of camera was $200.  As we debated about the different kinds of cheaper cameras I came across this polaroid that was 6 years old but had the screen and SD memory options that made it more functional than just a novelty.  M was stubborn and didn't like it, even though it was in her price range.  Eventually she was willing to consider it and we found one that came with 90 sheets of film/paper.  The paper alone was worth what we paid for the camera.  M has since decided she loves it.  She can print borders on the photos and take videos.  It's a happy ending.

M pointed out to me that this was the same place I had her stand to take a picture of the kindle that she bought with her own money 2 years ago.  Apparently I like the lighting in the kitchen.  I also like how M sets goals that I worry are too ambitious and then she works and compromises to have a good end.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


M's friend in the neighborhood is awesome.  When we're out and about she is always open to meeting and including other kids.  Her mom told me that when she was in 1st grade a little girl claimed her as best friend and tried to keep her from playing with other kids.  So PF spoke up for herself from a young age and said she was happy to be friends but was still going to have other friends.

I am so impressed by this because it is so healthy to be open to other friends.  It is also very kind to include everyone in your friendship.  There are times in life for monogamy and keeping confidences.  Friendship should be about including.

We've been able to bring a girl to the Wednesday night activities the last two weeks.  I tell M and lP that their job is to include and help with communication.  This girl can be a great friend, if they try. 

I'm so glad when my children include others.  I want for them to understand that they are in a position of privilege, being able to hear, sign, read, walk, have an intact family, and they have the gospel.  When they focus on including others, they will hopefully not have time to feel like nobody is including them.  It's their job! 

You can only control yourself and if you want to have friends, be a friend.

$1.00 Hymns

M is off for the summer from piano lessons.  Her teacher is on vacation for a month, then we are on vacation for a month.  The teacher handles lessons in a business like manner.  For the summer you can buy 4 or 8 lessons.  I felt like there wasn't enough time to make good use of 4 lessons because of camps, and travel.  I love that the teacher handles her studio in such a businesslike manner.  It is a business and she provides a service for a clearly defined cost.  I hope M will pick up these business skills as well as the piano and pedagogy skills.  She's advanced enough that the teacher talks openly to her about how she will use these resources when she teaches piano.  The teacher understands the value of what she is teaching.  It's great.

So while M was off formal lessons I agreed to pay her $1.00 for each hymn she learned.  M is very motivated to earn money to get a Polaroid camera.  She's had this goal for a long time and done some extra work to earn money.  Today we looked at different options to get an idea for how close she was.  Ebay may be the answer. 

M asked if I would pay her for past hymns she had learned, as they are written, not simplified.  I told her that I would pay her for those 3-4 hymns when she reaches 10 new hymns.  We talked about carrots and motivation. 

Having M able to play hymns has been our main goal in having her play the piano.  I'm excited that she's reaching the skill level to be able to do that.  Her teacher said she is good enough to play hymns now and that learning simplified versions is actually frustrating because the muscle memory has to be re-learned.  I'm glad to have admonition to go forth and do the work!

Sunday, May 13, 2018


2 years ago we were super into Sarah Barellies "Brave".  We sang it and listened to it in the car all the time.  I got a piano arrangement for M and it was all we could do to sort of play it between the both of us.  M now has the skill and I'm really excited for her to start busting out with that.  Yay!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

friends and fun

M is blessed to have an abundance of friendships.  Her neighborhood friend is lovely and they spend hours together each week.  They go to choir then jujitzu together on Tuesday.  Sometimes she goes out to eat with her friend.  It's a wonderful time for her.

Today at the recital for her new teacher M was able to see a lot of other kids her age and older doing really challenging pieces.  I think M did a great job on her piece that she learned with Miss A.  She's had such a fun the last 2 months with the new teacher.  But she has an awesome foundation and technique thanks to Miss A. 

Singing in the choir has been very fun for M this year.  She's got friends in the choir and today they had a party at Adventure Landing.  I'm so grateful for this group and the music and group skills M is learning.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

new piano tools

M is taking lessons with a new teacher for piano.  It's really exciting as an educator to see the methods and materials this teacher uses.  I feel like I'm back in college going around and seeing what different master teachers do in their classrooms.  M's teacher for the past 5 years is amazing and prepared M so well for this next level.  And that teacher is doing an incredible job of keeping lP motivated.  She is so kind and patient.

The new teacher has M learning more theory and composition techniques.  I'm really happy to see her getting these skills.  So far M is motivated to plow through the increased assignments and 1 hour lessons.