Monday, January 30, 2012

Where Can I Get Me One Of These?

I saw this on a car window last week:

For some reason my teenagers didn't catch the humor...  :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

To dad

Sadie learned how to text on Savannah's cell phone and now she wants one of her own. (She's six. She won't be getting a phone anytime soon!) She thinks she's so sneaky when she steals Savannah's phone and sends texts to me or Jeff.  We laughed at this one:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sterling Plays the Cello...

...or something like that.

His inspiration can be found here. (That's what he's listening to on his mp3.)

In the next photo, Sterling is listening to "Summer," by Vivaldi while conducting an imaginary orchestra from the sheet music. I'd say this boy has found his calling in life. :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Tonight, my Seminary-aged kids attended a broadcast commemorating 100 years of Seminary. It started me thinking about my Seminary experience and how much it shaped me.  
High School wasn't exactly the best four years of my life. I was shy and awkward and naive and pretty nerdy. But at the end of my junior year, I was called, along with 16 others, to serve on the Seminary Council the following year. It changed my life.
That year is still one of my favorite memories. It's been forever (1988), and I haven't seen most of the council for ages, but we formed the kind of friendships that can pass the test of time. I am confident that if I were to cross paths with any of them, we could pick up where we left off and have the years melt away.
I spent some time looking through photos and watching crazy video commercials we made together. I laughed and my kids kept saying, "Is that you?" and the memories came flooding back. That was a great year. I loved Seminary!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

6-year old Artwork

Just thought I'd showcase a couple of things Sadie has drawn recently.  The snowman is from art class at school (I love the up-close perspective) and the lady with the lips and the huge part in her hair was a creation on daddy's iPad. Too cute!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I'm Sold

We are huge fans of Jon Schmidt! As one of the Piano Guys, he's entertained us through his many YouTube videos and Savannah has learned several of his songs over the past few weeks. (She's almost mastered this and this!) When I was browsing his music site one day, I came across these piano method books (here and here) and decided to give them a try. Here's what I love:

1. I've been teaching Soren (age 8) piano lessons for about 9 months using a different method. He gets it and is excited to play, but the progress has been pretty slow. I've seen more progress in 2 weeks of "67 Fun Songs Primer" than I did in several months of the other method we were using.
2. Sadie (age 6) has been begging to play the piano, but the method we already had wasn't a very good fit for her. I started her on "67 Fun Songs Primer" and it's perfect! She loves it and frequently asks when it will be time for her lesson.
3. With the primer book, lessons are daily and take no more than 10 minutes. There is plenty of reinforcement with simple songs that go along with each lesson. My kids' confidence builds daily. The primer book boasts, "Now parents can teach piano without experience!" The daily lessons are simple and actually take less time than it took to monitor daily practice before we switched to this method.
4. My kids are learning to read music and it's sticking! This method is pure genius and has eliminated the confusion of too-many-things-to-remember-at-once found in other methods.
5. Each lesson in the primer spells out exactly what to do. It literally goes through the dialogue between teacher and student so that parents with no musical background can confidently teach each lesson. It even throws in a little game here and there. Soren loved the game in his lesson today where we pretended the piano would blow up if he missed any notes. He laughed and laughed when it blew up twice...
6. The price is right. Each book is $15.95 which is about what we have paid for one piano lesson in the past. I'm saving a lot of money by being able to teach them myself.

I could go on, but you get the idea. I'm sold on this method and love sitting down with my kids and seeing their excitement about the rapid progress they are making.

By the way, I have no connection to Jon Schmidt and have not received any compensation or free product for this endorsement. This is straight from me because it makes me happy! :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Funny

A man walks into the doctor’s office with a zucchini up his nose, a cucumber in his right ear and a breadstick in his left ear.
He asks the doctor, “What’s wrong with me?”
The doctor replies, “You are not eating properly.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


This made me smile.  What a great program!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Something You Don't See Everyday

Yes, that is a unicycle in the high school bike rack. I saw it this morning when dropping my kids off at school. Another thing you don't see everyday, at least not in my little corner of the world, is green grass in January. It's been in the 50's when usually we are lucky to even hit double digits this time of year. My tulips are so confused and are trying to come up early.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Winter Sunset

These pictures don't even do it justice, but here's a little glimpse into the progression of a beautiful sunset earlier this week. The clouds were spread out like this all across the sky and they were pink all the way. Hopefully you can see how the clouds keep getting brighter as the sky darkens. It was breathtaking!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Meet Steve and Larry

"Ste-e-e-ve?  Steve, where are you?"

That would be Sterling looking for his lucky pencil.
(I know.  Who names their pencils?)

But Steve and Sterling have been together through the Violin I and II parts of his first composition and they are currently working together on the Viola part.

Last night I was practicing the guitar and I was making a note with a pencil I found near my chair. Sterling came downstairs and said, "Oh, I see you are using Larry.  That's okay.  You can."

Never a dull moment.

Steve, the lucky pencil, waiting for Sterling to come home.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

This Year

One of my goals this year is:

Never suppress a generous thought.
Camilla Kimball

Often I'll have a passing thought of some small thing I could do for someone else. Usually these things don't seem like a big deal, but acting on them might lift a burden or bring a smile. But little things are easy to dismiss and so too often I talk myself out of them and never realize the blessing I could be to another. This year I'm going to do my best to act on these thoughts. And because it's easy to give the least to those who matter most, I'm going to try to be especially diligent in acting on generous thoughts towards my family.

Now, I don't want to get to January 15 and kick myself for the times I didn't or couldn't act on an impression. I will do what I can with what I have while keeping this in mind:  

My life cannot implement in action the demands of all the people to whom my heart responds.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

And I'm going to learn to play the guitar. ;)
It's going to be a good year!