Saturday, February 28, 2015

Group Blanket Project!

A neighbor stopped by yesterday evening to help me get drops in Peter's eyes (decidedly NOT a one-person job!), and she mentioned she was heading to Hobby Lobby to get supplies for her daughter (one of Naomi's good friends) to tie a fleece blanket. It occurred to me that Naomi would love that project as well, so I asked her to get another set of material as a surprise for Naomi.

They returned an hour later, armed with fabrics for the girls, and it turns out the boys were just as excited as Naomi. Gabe was the first one to line up the fabrics and start pinning. It was really fun to watch! (Well. I watched until the momentum flagged, then I assisted.)

(Naomi was still in her cowboy gear from the morning's third grade hoedown.)

The finished product (currently being used as a tablecloth at the play cafe): 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Martian Dice!

Yesterday was a day off school (a "snow day", but there wasn't any snow on the ground...). I cleaned the kitchen floor in the morning. Breakfast items were then spilled, and I assigned the kids to use the vacuum's wand to suck up most of it. Then crackers got spilled and crushed, so the kids swept that up. Then juice and cream cheese got smeared on the floor, and I washed that up. I don't remember what else spilled, but this morning I didn't walk across the floor...I crunched. Crunched! And that was only the kitchen. Just imagine what the rest of the house is like!

Today was a shortened day at school (parent teacher conferences). Once the kids were home, I took them to a doctor's appointment for Peter (pink eye!). I haven't had much of a voice for the last two days (my friends got a bunch of good laughs this morning listening to my squeaks at a planning meeting for my upcoming studio recital). Then I wrangled a 1 1/2 year old without his nap, a very emotional 4 year old, and two other fairly agreeable children in the dollar store and an antiques store (waaaay too many breakables there!) while waiting for the pharmacy to work out insurance issues so I could get the prescription. I promised the kids pizza from Little Caesars since we're out of bread, milk, and pretty much everything else...and then realized a piano student was showing right about then. 

Lest it sound like I'm complaining, I'm really not. More like chronicling a couple days of craziness! But at the end of the craziness, we had a fun game of Martian Dice!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday Night Activity

Naomi's Activity Day Girls event for tonight was canceled, so we pulled out the play dough (newly made today for preschool music group!) and had some fun with that!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Andrew's Valentine's Day Stash

It's fun to watch our kids' excitement over things that might not be as exciting to adults. A few pieces of candy from Andrew's Valentine's party had him over the moon with delight!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

More on the Girl

A girl and her lizard...

Naomi is proud of her achievement last week! She has worked hard and passed off all the songs in one of her piano books. I enjoy hearing her play. I love this series I've started using recently because it has fantastic duets for the teacher to play with the student. As much as I enjoy hearing her play, I love playing duets with her more! 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Our Snowman is About to Melt Away!

For one of our Advent calendar activities early in December, we made a snowman. We've loved having him around, but it's time for him to melt away. (You wouldn't think so for our current temps, though!) 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Naomi's 9th Birthday!

Somehow Naomi worked it so the schools were closed on her birthday, which meant playing at home for her! 

Cards from brothers: 

Gift from brothers:

From Grandma and Grandpa Merrell:

New bedding from Mom and Dad:

And ice cream and treats. Lots and lots of treats!

We certainly love our Naomi-girl!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Valentine's Day cards...a tad late!

Thanks, Grandma & Grandpa Merrell and Grandma & Grandpa Jones!

The kids enjoyed telling the jokes off their cards and making up variations on them (which are usually not funny in the least)! They are saving their Valentine's money for the upcoming book fair!!

And Peter loves loves loves yogurt. :)

Naomi's Birthday Dessert!

Naomi requested mint chocolate chip ice cream cake for her 9th birthday. Andrew helped make it.

(More birthday pictures to come in the next post!)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Beautiful New Instrument!

This Kawai digital piano is the first big purchase the music studio has made. This is HUGE for me!! I did oodles of research and played a fair number of digital pianos to determine the touches I loved vs. found acceptable or unacceptable. (There are many options with "weighted keys", but they vary in the technology used to achieve the sound. After all the research I did, I really still had to sit at each one to see how it felt under my hands.) 

This is not a replacement for an acoustic piano. Someday I'll get a grand piano. :) This is so I will have a second piano in my studio with some features that really open up my options for partner lessons and group lesson activities. It has already proven very useful! And fun! 

Chubby Baby and His Box!

This fella has thoroughly enjoyed playing with the box in which the digital piano arrived. This is just an extra insert piece, and he spent a good 20 minutes moving it around, giggling, crawling through, around, and over it! Literally 20 minutes. We should have cardboard in our house more often!

Friday, February 13, 2015

What I Do on Fridays

While following friends on social media sites, I've noticed that I enjoy seeing pictures of their children, but I LOVE seeing pictures of my friends themselves! The logical conclusion is that others feel the same way, so I should be posting pictures of all members of our family. So here's one of me.

In a typical week, Monday through Thursday finds me impressively productive. I do all the normal housework chores and also plan and prepare extensively for the music studio I run. There is absolutely no moment to be wasted. I teach general music classes and private/duo music lessons Monday - Thursday. Since that is my profession, I feel strongly about looking professional and having a professional environment (read: nicely dressed, hair done, clean house). I also expect a high standard of teaching from myself, so the preparation requires much organization, planning, and research.

always have a list of items that it would be helpful (but not imperative) to accomplish on Friday. Yet...Friday invariably sees me reading, wearing pajamas, not rushing about at the usual pace, really not doing much at all. Here is a picture of me this morning, sitting at my new digital piano (post to come about that tomorrow!). It's 2:00. I DID manage to brush my teeth and comb my hair for this picture.

Anyway, I figure there's always another day to worry about ....stuff. Today is a good day for playing through Chopin's Nocturnes!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What Peter Did During the Tea Party...

He mostly wandered around, excited by the sounds of mirth, begging for bits of treats, and wondering why Mom didn't clean his food-and-nose-juice-encrusted face. (He wasn't complaining, just wondering!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Naomi's Tea Party

On Friday, we hosted a Friends & Stuffed Animals tea party. Andrew and I prepared a few things beforehand, and the the guests arrived! We put them right to work! 

They were in charge of decorations (drawing pictures on the plastic tablecloth):

They were also in charge of food prep (dipping pretzel sticks in white chocolate and sprinkles):

They were in charge of recreation management (they did a lot of shrieking with glee and laughter!):

They sang Happy Birthday to Naomi (a bit early for that, but she was thrilled), played Valentine's themed bingo, and ran around the house shrieking some more.

They neglected clean-up duty...apparently they thought they were guests, not the work crew!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Playing Animal Upon Animal (a stacking game)

The boys and I played games on Saturday while Naomi was on her date with Matt. When they got home, we pulled out this quick one (a Christmas gift from Grandma and Grandpa Merrell - thank you!!).

Sunday, February 08, 2015

A Day in Andrew's Life (Specifically, last Friday!)

Andrew helped mix up and bake treats for our tea party on Friday (pictures of that event still to come!):

And then he practiced his photography skills while Mom kept mixing...

The taste-testing exhausted him most of all, so he slept for a bit (we do own pillowcases...): 

And I accidentally pressed the wrong button while attempting to take a picture of him, and the screen flipped and took my picture instead:

No worries, though. Andrew was up and ready for the tea party hours before it actually began!!

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Date Night with Dad!

Chik-fil-A puts on a daddy-daughter date night, and this is the first year Matt and Naomi have attended. It's free, but you have to make a reservation. Naomi was thrilled to discover it included a ride in a horse-drawn carriage! She absolutely bounced back in the house afterward with a bouquet in her hand. Happy girl!

Before they left:

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Cuties at Costco!

Naomi really is such a fantastic helper with the boys. (We occasionally resort to using a crowbar to pry her away from her book to help, but she is truly helpful after the books are all closed!)

Monday, February 02, 2015

Naomi's Henna Tattoo!

Last week, we attended International Night at the children's' elementary school. Various classrooms were dedicated to countries all over the world. They had displays of authentic clothing, food to sample, games and traditions from their respective cultures, and crafts for the children to make. My favorite were the strips of paper with the children's' names written in Chinese. I think Naomi's favorite was her henna tattoo!