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Friday, April 27, 2007

piano and life lessons...

So, it's friday: cleaning day.


lately, i have been feeling SO overwhelmed with life! i think my 'to do' list is just a bit too long, and full of things that simply dont need to be there.

but, as i have been cleaning today, i have been thinking about the life lessons i try to weave into the WAY TOO MANY piano lessons i teach. one such philosophy comes as they try to learn a very hard song. sometimes, just looking at the song is overwhelming. it seems to go on forever; full of challenging lines and intimidating measures. how do we tackle something like this? it seems impossible! it isnt. we just have to conquer the small things. we notice the patterns that develop that can make our practice time more efficient. we go measure by measure... we can solve little problems as they arise. soon, faster than we realize, the whole song has been mastered.

as it is with life. too often, i am overwhelmed with a long 'to do' list. i see all that needs to be done, and i am tempted to put it all away and give up. if, however, i spent just a few minutes and solve little problems (or do 1 thing at a time), magically, the whole BIG problem gets done!

Joe is so good at that. when there is a problem to solve or a challenge in front of him - he just has that ability to immediately see all the little issues he will be faced with - and he says "this is what needs to be done, this is how it will be fixed, these are the challenges and this is how to overcome them, ok lets go" - seriously, something that would take me 3 days and many hours of frustration takes him like 2 hours with no stress - just boom, boom, boom- done. i love that about him!

so, rather than just give up today, and spend the whole day goofing off on the internet, i will just do what i can... 1 thing at a time... ok i have motivated myself... ok, for reals now, i will get off this chair and put my laundry away!... ok now... ;)...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Quote of the day

i laughed so hard!
charity - my sweet little girl - was on a ROLL this morning!
Let me begin by painting this picture: we were reading a story, and Charity was sitting on my lap...

it was her turn, and one of the words was hill. so, after she read it, she said "mom, we dont say what the hill" i said: "we can say 'hill', like jack and jill went up the hill..." she said: "no, we dont say what the hill!" when we read, i expect the usual commentary (after we read the word "but", charity has to say "we dont say but") but this one was new! trying to disguise my laughter, i leaned back and stretched... still in my pjs (and not wearing my usual victorias secret strap-on chest) charity looked horrified and said "MOM! where's your boobs?!!!" she started searching my rib cage. and tried to look down my t-shirt. i just gave her a hug wiping the tears from my eyes i was laughing so hard.

just brought back so many memories of my wonderful adolescence. being the smallest girl in a family of 4 other WELL ENDOWED girls, i remember all the "friends" who came over putting their hands on the wall saying "Emily... where are you?"

now that i have nursed 3 kids, i have come to grips with my flat chest... but, when a 3 year old looks at me horrified... well, at least now i can laugh at it!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I hope...I wonder... I love...

I hope: my kids can learn to not say and do naughty things... even when i think it is SOO funny sometimes!! it is so hard not to laugh - to be stern and to say "dont say/do that..."
i.e. this morning, charity was mad at aaron... she said "do you want me to punch you?" before i could intervene aaron said "go ahead... that didnt hurt. is there a breeze in here?" i couldnt even properly scold them... charity's little plan had already backfired, and obviously, no harm had befallen aaron... i just went into the other room giving credit to joe for that one.

I wonder: why nate has this compulsion to go straight for the bath tub faucet and turn it on?the sound of running water drives me CRAZY! but he is so delighted... Once the water is on, he just crawls away (yes, even though is turned 1 a few weeks ago, he REFUSES to walk!) while i am on the subject... i wonder why he wont walk yet???

I love: how i can just let my kids play all day while i teach piano. throughout a normal piano day, LOTS of families of kids come through... my kids play so nicely with all of them (most of my students bring ALL of their siblings to play while they have their lesson) i can trust aaron and charity to follow rules and help everyone else do the same. aaron is always trying to rally the troops to play his games! today, he had everyone in the garage playing nascar - driving bikes and scooters around a big box. usually, they get the drill out and play pit stop pretending to change the tires of his little radio flyer thing... (dont worry, the drill is cordless and has no bits in it). Seriously, this kept them occupied through 2 different families (i teach lots of siblings) of lessons! (more than 2 hours!)
i had to get a pic (the rest of the kids were gone by then... but aaron and charity were still going strong!)

this is a pic of a "pit stop"! charity loves being part of aaron's crew!

Friday, April 20, 2007

favorite games

In response to phanelb's favorite games post, i will do the same.

Favorite games with the kiddos... um.... do computer games count? aaron & charity's fav. sites are and i like those sites too. they can play them by themselves, but they love to do them with me. especially the kids love to show off their reading prowess!!! but if it is board games you want... the kids always just want to play settlers... so i'll set up a board, and play a modified/less complicated version with them. aaron loves to place the robber, and charity just likes getting cards and placing cities - it is so funny! one would think they have grown up watching mom and dad play some pretty intense games of settlers! beyond that we are simple people and still love a good game of go fish or memory. (games like whack a mole and lucky ducks get really loud really fast!)

favorite games for adults: i think settlers wins. (at least if joe is going to play) lately, however, when it is up to me, i prefer a nice relaxed game of rummikub or oh heck. does laser tag count as a game? my favorite dates lately have been at those gaming places. seriously, i LOVE laser tag and bowling at main event, and i LOVE playing pool, shuffleboard and that basketball game at dave and busters. i also love watching all those incredibly good asian guys play DDR. when nobody is around i get brave enough and do it myself, but in public places like that, i am likely to be embarrassed because i am not so skilled! :) As i am thinking about main event and D&B, i think part of the fun there is because i am usually not with my kids? well, my kids LOVE going bowling and every time we drive by a main event i am guaranteed to get a "bowling! lets go bowling!" in fact, settlers usually involves a kid or two interrupting the game and bringing at least one mom home from catan... the joys of motherhood!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

airplane head

So, what happens when you use an airplane propeller as a blow dryer when your hair is already dry?

I heard the kids upstairs playing with the airplane - it makes a real great buzzing sound that is NOT annoying at all ;)
a few mins later, charity came crying downstairs... lets just say the poor thing lost a chunk of hair. oh well! luckily it is curly and crazy so you cant really tell!
ahhh kids!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Joe cool and nascar

So, it's sunday, and i am having one of those days where i am TOTALLY enamored with my husband. we havent really even seen eachother much today, but i have been completely impressed with him in the last little while.

Perhaps it started with me being sick the last few days. i was totally down for the count - love the stomach flu. joe totally took care of the kids. fed them, hung out with them, even took care of nate and all the things that a high maintanence 1 year old would need. he didnt complain or bug me for anything. even more, he kept the kids from bugging me (unless i called for them)
just random things lately, but i am just feeling lucky to have him as my spouse.
ask me again in a few weeks, and my opinion may well change (i am prone to that), but at least for now, i think he is pretty cool.
Beyond that, i am just hangin out watching the nascar race. honestly, if it werent for aaron, i would know nothing about nascar. now, our family has truly become real texas white trash. he is all about nascar. it helps that we live so close to texas motor speedway and nascar show cars are always at the walmarts and other various stores around here. seriously, though, aaron knows so many of the drivers, and loves everything about it. i think it is cute. if he doesnt become a professional baseball player, at least maybe he can become a nascar driver? ;)

Friday, April 13, 2007

random civil war and mom stuff

I just watched a civil war movie. (Glory) I can't stand violence, but i am so intrigued by that period of our history. i think it was because of the trip my family took to gettysburg when i was in 8th grade. I still remember listening to the tapes as we drove around... going to a museum, and playing dead on the rocks. i cant imagine first of all, hand to hand combat - the whole idea of running at someone with a bayonette - and being so completely vulnerable... i just cant comprehend the whole mentality of completely expendable human life. i cant imagine what it must have been like to have to look someone in the eye as you shot them, or got shot yourself... i cant imagine what it might have been like to have to take up arms against a fellow countryman.

anyways, on a lighter note....

i am so glad i get to stay home with my kids. i think it would be a LOT easier if i could just dump them off and go to work somewhere, get noticed, get praised, see quick success, then come home pat them on the head and send them off to bed (like mr. banks' song in mary poppins)
HOWEVER, i would miss the fun. today wasnt the funnest of all the days in the week... it was cleaning day. BUT i did have a lot of time to reflect on the things i get to do with my kids. the times we get to cuddle and watch their shows... the times we read together... the music... the excitement i see as i enter their world.

i think i notice it most from Aaron. he is so visibly thrilled when i sing his silly songs with him, or play jets or play little imagination games with him. perhaps i dont do it enough, because he TOTALLY lights up. i love it. i love my kids. i love their smiles. i just want them to be happy and know that i love them.

my thoughts today basically reflected on the fact that no matter what i do, i wont know wether or not what i am doing (as far as being a mother) is successful until it is too late - 18 years down the road - i wont have the chance to wake up the next day and start again and say "oops i messed that one up, i'll do better tomorrow"
i wont get to rest or feel like my job was well done until they are well adjusted, successful, smart, functioning adults.... AGGGHHH what am i doing? statistically speaking, at least one of my kids will be a total screwup... which one/ones? what can i do to prevent that? anything? i think i am just overwhelmed. i could ramble on forever, but i wont.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


So, my baby is turning 1!!! i cant believe it! i am so ready for nate to be walking! i think he knows it because he is just taking his time. he has been able to stand and take a few steps for a while, but he just refuses to become independant... i gues he is trying to teach me a lesson in patience. i think he is waiting for me to want this attached, completely dependant baby phase to never end. it wont happen. i love him, and i think babies are so cute; however, i have had enough baby, and i am ready for him to grow and become a little more independant. is it too early to want him to be potty trained too? ;)

charity (still only 3) is already reading! i cant believe it! we did this book "teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" it really is working. we arent all the way through it yet, but we passed the half way mark and already she is reading stories like "the bug said i ate a leaf and will eat a log. that little bug can eat more. the fish is sleeping...." i am amazed at the words she is able to read and the exceptions she has already picked up

aaron is growing up fast too. he is cute... nothing new with him except a lost tooth and a haircut (no pics of that yet though!)