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. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

forever young

I'm so impressed with M's ability to navigate this tenth year of life.  She's really taking the time to enjoy being a kid still.  She and lP play with mud and ride bikes and do crazy climbing stunts.  These years pass so fast and I love to see her enjoying it.  M has such a positive attitude and helps with the dishes and with lP's school work too.  She is very patient and uses a positive outlook to motivate lP along. 

Sometimes M is actually grumpy and whiny but that just makes me more grateful that in general she is a delight and able to think through hard times.

Friday, February 16, 2018

best of both worlds

Today M and I went on a river clean up trip with the county.  They brought kayaks and we paddled up the river with a group of 10 other volunteers to clean up trash. 
 M and I found 2 big pieces of trash.  This big thing and what appeared to be the 
door of a mini fridge.
M loves to take care of animals and be out in nature.  This trip was really fun.  It's always fun to be in the water and have conversations with the coordinators and other volunteers.  I'm so grateful to live in this gloriously beautiful area.

Monday, January 29, 2018

new friend

We learned that a family new to the homeschool group lives in our neighborhood.  They moved here almost a year ago and were just waiting to either start school or not, but we didn't know about them until they joined the homeschool co-op.  They have a daughter 8 months younger than M.  M's 10 and allowed to go around the block by herself.  So hypothetically she could go visit this friend all the time.  She's never had that kind of access to a friend.  I hope they can be friends but I also hope they can each stay true to their families ideals.  Having a neighborhood friend can be awesome but it can also be tempting to be best friends when you're actually just friends in proximity. 

I hope M will be a good friend.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Having fun

 This is M and mom at cousin T's house.  M had a great time and didn't freeze to death on the trip.
 In fact she returned to Florida to use dad's impact screw driver to help build the shed.  Good girl.
This picture is from a few weeks ago in G-town.  The park we are in love with installed massive canopies.  They are attached to these comically large pillars.  Actually the pillars are probably/hopefully designed to withstand hurricane force winds with those canopies catching wind like sails.  M found that she could shimmy up these pillars as easily as she climbs a normal 3 inch pole.  Just another day of M having fun.

M has taken a new tack in on practicing the piano.  She was told by a veteran teacher that she needed to practice longer.  We brought this up with her teacher who assigned her specific minutes for each part of her lesson.  This was further motivating to M when I told her that I'd grant her double that amount of time on the computer.  She has drastically increased her practice time.  And with that extra time she's diving deeper into her pieces than ever.  Dynamics and articulation are happening.  Mom yelling "Do it again slower and with a metronome" has gone extinct!  It's really great to see.

Tonight as the girls and I were listening to recordings of their piano pieces we came across some great examples for M's piece "Rage over a lost Penny".  We has been impressed by a young girl playing it.  Then we found a cool tutorial that showed the music and view of the keyboard very slowly so you could watch the fingering.  Then we found a video of a professional pianist playing.  Wow.  I'm so grateful to live in a time where the kids can watch musicians so easily.

Friday, December 15, 2017


 This was the snowman relay at our homeschool co-op.  The kids had fun and were very good about cleaning up all the toilet paper.
I was teasing M about her no teeth smile.  I think she maybe got out of the habit of smiling with teeth because her teeth have been in a state of flux for the last 5 years. 

Today M was playing "Christmas Bells are Ringing".  It made me so happy.  I'm so grateful she has learned to play the piano and can make me so happy. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


I started this record for M long enough ago that I titled it "Little letter m".  Lately I feel like M is unrecognizable from her younger self.  She has so much poise and is so lovely.  She is so brave and competent.  I am amazed by how this year she is the queen of doing her school work.  Last year we were struggling a lot and felt like just starting over.  In fact we did throw away her 4th grade math book and start a new book. 

She smiles with her mouth closed.  But she still smiles big and has a great time.