Jonah turned eleven 2/28 and we managed to celebrate. He is off to his very first night of Scouts and my heart is full of all the emotions.
Happy Birthday, my son!!
Jonah turned eleven 2/28 and we managed to celebrate. He is off to his very first night of Scouts and my heart is full of all the emotions.
Happy Birthday, my son!!
This gallery contains 9 photos.
It is such a joy to celebrate with the ones we love. It is so precious to champion diligence and excellence and to feel the love and support of precious ones around us.
On Saturday, we celebrated Abi and Jonah as they attained a musical goal. Performing a solo recital is a long journey in process. Each one takes almost a year to plan- at least six months…before recital day is finally here.
On January 28th, Abi and Jonah each stood before a crowded family room filled with family and dear friends and presented work that had been almost a year in the making.
Currently, Abi is working and almost finished with Suzuki Book 3 in Violin. Jonah is working and mid-way through Suzuki Book 2 in Viola. In the midst of continuing on with their studies and progressing through their new levels, they also perfected all the songs they learned in their previous level.
Abi presented Suzuki Book 2 and Jonah presented Suzuki Book 1 for Solo Recital. They each also chose to memorize their entire books just as their brother had last Spring- and so they presented each piece from their heart.
In preparation for a Solo Recital, the teacher works carefully with the student, crafting each piece to performance level. Usually, for a semester recital, the student only perfects one of the pieces. For Solo Recital, each piece is taken to the highest level.
For this recital, we broke for a brief and festive intermission and then enjoyed dinner afterwards. We also planned a very special surprise for the end. Nathanael joined them and they played two songs as a trio: All Creatures of Our God and King and The Kesh (dedicated to my Dad)
There were so many things that made it special. One most important one was that dear people still came even though we were dealing with significant illness ( I actually think RSV per one of the pediatricians) in the young children. We managed to present this recital in spite of a very challenging week that included possible pneumonia diagnoses for two of the little girls, inhalers, antibiotics, and many middle of the night steam showers.
It felt a little like a repeat of last year- when Abi prepared and prepared and prepared for a Fine Arts Competition- only to be seriously ill on the one day she was to compete. She competed anyway while under strict germ protocol- but did not (of course!) do as well as she could have. However, she did perform so beautifully at this solo recital and we made it through!
Of great accomplishment for me- was the crafting of the programs! It took me far longer than I expected. We had such a wonderful example in Nathanael’s Cello teacher from last year. She really was amazing in so many ways and she set a wonderful precedent and example.
Thank you so much to all who came and gave your attention to their music. Thank you for being a part of something so special to our family. Thank you for bringing honor to a day that took so much effort. My heart is so filled with gratitude for the dear people who come alongside and love our family and who traveled so far for us. Thank you. Thank you!
Here is a sample to remember our day:
It’s Thanksgiving Bake and Cook Day at our house today!
We cook with an extravagance of eggs in great joy. What once was lost, has been restored, and it never gets old. We celebrate our Thanksgiving with deep and abiding glee! I believe this is our seventh Thanksgiving with eggs. This is the tipping year. The year that tips us over onto the other side. Where, we will now begin to have eggs freely longer than we were without. Significance!
The Spirit has been bringing a beloved family hymn right to the forefront in these present days. And we are “raising Ebeneezers”, truly we rejoice in the work of the Lord! There are many versions of this treasured hymn. This is merely one of them and not quite the whole way we sing it- but Chris Rice! Love.
I shared the following thoughts and verses with a small group of sweet girls during a November knitting time. I want to memorialize them here, too. We have been reflecting on these verses and quotes for a few weeks. It is good to let them sink, deep in.
Psalm 50:23 ESV
The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!
Psalm 69:30 ESV
I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and the pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in ink. G.K. Chesterton
The unthankful heart…discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! Henry Ward Beecher
This day has not been without its jarring disillusionment and stresses. Tensions are high with the stress of this school year and a littlest one who lives outside the box. I love that but I also cannot deny it has its challenges- especially this year, this Thanksgiving cook day. And I just feel honest in scribing it here. I keep the good. I find mending, forgiveness, grace, and healing in the hard and I just can’t quite shake the tinge of sadness I feel. Help me embrace the day and every season Lord. You are in this place and journeying with You is never stagnant- and You care for me, too.
Blessed Thanksgiving friends! Truly we rejoice in all the Lord has done and we huddle under the wings of His great mercy.
Joying with you,
I have shared about our Morning Table time and our twice weekly Meeting time.
Now, I will share some kindergarten and preschool resources we are using this year:
The day has two components- a morning academic time, and then a read aloud time.
For learning to read:
100 Easy Lessons, then(when finished) Explode the Code
For learning to write:
Memoria Press Alphabet Books, then(when finished) Copybook 1
Pencil grippers to help with the finger hold.
Rod and Staff Level 1
Resources at hand:
Finishing Memoria Press Junior K program:
this includes appropriate memorization, recitation, poetry, and literature (right now Officer Buckle and Gloria. Grin!)
Utilizing Sonlight 4/5 read alouds, Bible, Science. So many tender memories of using this with Jonah and Joshua. Grateful I get to travel this way again.
My beloved home library- including the Billy and Blaze series and the Katie and the… series by James Mayhew along with many other favorites.
Rod and Staff workbooks. (Such a blessing- teaching colors, fine motor skills, and so much more)
They also join in to Preschool on the days we work in that area.
Heart of Dakota’s Little Hands to Heaven alongside finishing Memoria Press Preschool.
The little series of 4 workbooks designed for 3 and 4 year olds. About Three, etc.
I have to say, I love Memoria Press. It is so soothing and beautiful. The routine every day brings peace and beauty. I love it and I love my little girl, bowing her head, reciting her memorized prayers and little poems with me.
My little girls can recite Baa Baa Black Sheep, Wee Willy Winkie, Jack and Jill, and the Itsy Bitsy Spider. Love.
All is grace,
We have welcomed a Ruby-Eyed White Netherland Dwarf Bunny into our family. Pippin. He is the longed for and beloved pet belonging to Abi and Asher. They researched bunny breeds and saved for three years to provide for and purchase him. He has already grown quite a bit and our whole family deeply enjoys his antics and sweet personality.
Cat and dog ownership are completely out of the picture for our family first, because of the incredible allergies we have to those pets. Second, for many other practical reasons. So, the first happy news was when we learned that we could actually own and care for a Bunny! There was the Christmas three years ago, when Abi and Asher were given a research rabbit book to begin educating themselves about owning a rabbit and all that would mean.
There were discussions with aunt and cousin about Netherland dwarf rabbits and how to care for them. There were visits to Ama’s, enjoying Skitch, the little grandbunny of Ama, and tender watch of cousin and Aunt. He is their beloved prize and Abi and Asher enjoyed learning about him and spending time with him.
There was the answer from our landlord that we were permitted to have him. O, happy day!
There was this! Pippin as a wee, wee, young lad. 🙂
Some photos of our journey to Pennsylvania to receive him from my sister and niece and the journey home.
We found a vet and made one good use of him already. I had my head stuffed with more bunny knowledge than I thought I needed to know!
He brings a lot of joy to every one of us.
Pippin (Peregrine Took). Our hobbitish bunny who lives up to his name and enjoys many a meal. 🙂
Note: My children read this blog and they love to look back at our memories. It was specially requested that I record this treasured event.
One day, in November, I sat in on Nathanael’s Cello lesson. He had a new teacher for this past year and she was defining some of her teaching strategies. She asked him to consider preparing for a Solo recital that would stretch his performance skills and would involve memorizing every song in Suzuki Cello Book 1. Around this time, he was facing the end of this Book and eagerly looking forward to moving ahead to Book 2. Choosing to perform a Book 1 Recital would mean his Spring semester would be deeply focused on Book 1. Ultimately, this decision led to a deep perfecting of his technique which will benefit him in every way going forward- but we didn’t realize that at the time! After mulling it over in his mind for a week or so, and with some discussion from me, he agreed to the challenge.
With guided help from his teacher and a lot of focused practice, he succeeded in memorizing Book 1. He played Minuet 2 for the Spring Recital which is the last piece in Book 1.
Several weeks later, it was time. First Solo Recital. A 25 minute event. He was ready. He would play 17 pieces from memory, accompanied by his Cello teacher. His recital took place on May 7, 2016 at 3 p.m. It was held in our home.
I have been completely captivated by the beauty and artistry of the strings and it is something that has taken me completely by surprise. I had no idea I would love it so. Life takes some alluring turns, walking hand in hand, with children.
We shopped together, the Thursday before, for pretty flowers and other things. I planned a cookie reception. I had delighted little girls helping me bake. Helping Micah, too, as he made one of the recipes with one twin on each side of him.
We honored the day with special clothes and tablecloths, candles, and flowers. We rearranged furniture to accommodate the two cellos best.
A happy amount of people were expected to attend.
Nathanael was the first student at his music school to perform a Solo Recital. He was also the first person in our family. He paved the way and now more students are getting ready to present their own special recitals. They created a new award for First Soloist and unexpectedly presented it to him at the finish- adding more honor and specialness to what was already an amazing day.
The day was full of grace. The music, so beautiful. The conversations afterward, so enjoyable.
And we were so filled with a joyful delight in the accomplishment of our son. All the effort, time, and diligence he invested… it was truly a delight to behold and I could barely keep from crying again and again.
To our family, who came in from out of town, you crowned the day in a way so special, I don’t know if I can accurately define it.
To Nathanael, I hope you know a little of how proud we are of you! The beauty and life you bring fill our hearts with overflowing joy. Cello was completely unexpected, and O! how beautiful the surprise.
If you are getting this in email…click over to the blog for a minute and a half (or so) sample of his music. 🙂 I don’t think the link shows up in email. And then there is also a link to his performance of Minuet 2 at recital.
Micah turned 16 on April 12th… we celebrated with great joy that day and then again on coming Saturday with Dad… and will again- with a family and friends gathering in June. Sometimes having your birthday fall right in the heat heart of tax season has benefits. 🙂 How I love this son of mine.
Birthday Interview: 17 things about Micah
1.) His favorite color is Red
2.) His favorite breakfast is Oatmeal Bars
3.)His favorite dinner is Dad’s Pizza
4.)His favorite book: Chuck Black’s Wars of the Realm series
5.)His favorite holiday is Christmas
6.)His favorite birthday present: Movie Tickets Suprise from his brother
7.) His favorite dessert is Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar
8.)His favorite school subject is History
9.)His favorite place he’s been- Washington D.C.
10.) His favorite hymn- Crown Him with Many Crowns
11.)Favorite Song- Real Love from Hillsong Young and Free
12.)Favorite Scripture Psalms 127:3-5
13.) Favorite musical instrument- Guitar
14.)Favorite day of the week- Friday
15) Something he is looking forward to…PGC Basketball Camp
16.)Favorite beverage- Cola
17.)One to grow- favorite movie- Beyond the Mask
Birthday Blessings Micah!!!
My children’s deep interest, encouragement, and delight are prime motivations that keep me blogging. Recently, one of them requested I blog more milestones with a bit more detail. He wanted to be able to “look back” and find our memories.
So, with this in mind, I am going to try to be more faithful in recording such things.
In April, our oldest turned 15. 15! I am navigating new waters with teen-agers in my midst. It is exciting and challenging. We celebrate Micah with great joy!
15 facts about Micah (in no particular order)
1.)He measured in just over 6 foot 2 for his 15th birthday. Originally- I measured him at 6’3 but that was incorrect.
2.)He is a 1st class Boy Scout- working diligently
3.)He is a cake-maker extraordinaire, wonderful cook, and baker
4.)He loves the Lord, books, basketball, and music
5.)His Favorite books at this time – Lord of the Rings and Eagle of the Ninth also Eragon, Dune, His Majesty’s Dragon (these three are read with caution and might not be appropriate for some. We do not go beyond the first book in the Dune series. We did use white out on His Majesty’s Dragon in a couple of places- just a fyi!)
6.)Favorite Song- Ready, Set, Go by Royal Taylor; Favorite Worship Song- Soul on Fire by Third Day
7.)Favorite Food-Bacon Pizza (made by Todd), Sausage, Rice, Pork Roast
8.)Favorite Movie- The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey
9.)Favorite Day of the Week- 2nd Friday of the month
10.)Favorite Place he’s been- Fun Factory in North Carolina
11.)Favorite School Subject- History and Literature (tied for favorite)
12.)Favorite Drink- Coca Cola
13.)Favorite Christian Books- The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson
14.)Favorite Chirstian Artist- Third Day, Casting Crowns, Capital Kings
15.)Favorite Scripture- Psalms 46: 1-3
Psalm 46 English Standard Version (ESV)
16.) one to grow… He plays piano and guitar… he has been playing piano for at least 6 years- maybe 7.
I am sure you can tell how very proud of him I am. Love him. Proud of him. Trust him.
Happy 15, my son!
Last winter, my girl came to me and asked if she could work for a medal and play 100 days on her violin. I had no idea what she was talking about.
Beginning Day 51. Over “half-way” there!
Apparently she had been carefully and quietly observing students earning medals at Fall and Spring Recitals. She determined to earn one, too. Somehow, I happened to miss all of these recitals as Todd and I were tag- teaming and I tended to be the parent to “man” the dress rehearsal recital and stay home with the littles for the real thing. I would experience the recitals vicariously through recording. But I never saw the award ceremony.
Well, I printed a 100 Day chart off the internet, confirmed with Todd that they actually do award these medals, and Abigaile set to work. In retrospect, I should have reached out to her teacher but for some reason I didn’t! She only had to restart once. With a true 100 day chart, the student plays 100 days in a row and if they miss a day, they have to start right back at the beginning and begin again. She finished her 100 days just days after Spring Recital 2014. We moved in the midst of this as you can see in one of the photos. She persevered through all the upheaval and packing/unpacking of a whole household move. Amazing. Through a variety of circumstances, she was not awarded her medal until the Winter Concert which took place in January of 2015.
The final practice and …. the momentous placement of the last sticker!
It was so worth the wait. The instructors and leadership at her music school made it so very special. Abi very quietly did this all on her own. Even her teacher was surprised and so proud!
My heart is so full. How I love this girl… Her achievement has served to inspire all of our family and we now have children working on charts for all different instruments. Abigaile is working on her second chart and will receive a pin to add to her medal. One other child is working for the same place as she is, and will receive a medal at recital if he continues and completes. He is well on his way!
The rest are charting for me. And I am planning something special to reward their diligence. When Todd and I discussed this and the worthiness of this goal, we both agreed that we have seen tremendous musical growth with this commitment. It is truly amazing the way doing this helps them leap forward in ability.
We have realized that the Spring semester- which moves through the Winter Season is the best time for our family to attempt a 100 Day Chart. Very minimal traveling and circumstances most favorable for completion!
Here they are- before their performances.
The sweetness of this moment still brings tears to my eyes.