Saturday, February 28, 2009

Music Festival

Casey performed in her first music festival this morning. In a festival for the National Federation of Music Clubs, Casey's piano teacher entered her (and quite a number of her other students) in the piano segment of the festival.

I find the word "festival" a bit amusing. By festival, the NFMC means that you go (alone) into a room with a single judge and play (or sing, if that's your talent) two pieces for the judge. One of the songs is a required piece by the NFMC and the other is chosen by the student. Both pieces must be memorized.

When it was Casey's turn, her piano teacher ushered her into the room, sat her at the piano, then left. We eagerly listened right outside the door. (Picture two grown women grinning from ear to ear with heads almost pressed against the door.) Perfect! I've never heard Casey play those two pieces so well! When she came out, everyone in the hallway clapped fer her - and I gave her a big hug! I was such a proud mommy.

We had to wait a few minutes to find out her score: SUPERIOR!!! I think that means she'll get a trophy!

After several months of practicing, one recital, and one festival... Casey's happy that she doesn't have to play "Cookies" and "Dragon's Lair" any longer!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Our Week Ending 26 February 2009

Wow! Yet another month almost over...

This past week was so much fun, albeit cut a little short due to illness - all three were sick at some point in the last several days. I thought their symptom combination a bit bizarre: headache, low-grade fever, runny nose, and some lethargy - all lasting, at the most, about 36 hours.

Casey had a piano recital Saturday night, a piano recital that almost didn't happen for her due to the aforementioned sickness. An hour before we were to be at the recital location, she was still feverish (despite ibuprofen) and writhing in pain from her headache. I called her teacher and said we probably wouldn't be there, but 5 minutes after that phone call, Casey felt fine. She gave a beautiful performance!

Math is going well, although, we are starting to play a bit of catch up now that I've assessed the number of lessons remaining and the time frame I would like to see Saxon 1 come to an end for Casey. We missed quite a bit last November and December due to the holidays and various family emergencies - and math is the subject which suffered most. Casey loves doing all of the addition and subtraction flash cards! On the other hand, I'm starting to see a look of dread whenever I pull out a worksheet full of addition and subtraction problems.

Our favorite subject this past week was, without a doubt, science. Our subject was the respiratory system. We talked about lungs, breathing, hiccups, coughing, choking, phlegm - and the kids loved it. We also made a lung model - even Tricky learned something about respiration!

Casey will probably earn her Book It Pizza Hut coupon for February either today or tomorrow. She's a few pages away from finishing both Matilda and Very Funny, Elizabeth!

Will is still coming along on his letters. I'm resisting the urge to break out 100 Easy Lessons. (Soon, Angela, soon.)

You may notice that my weeks always end on a Thursday. Our school week runs on a different schedule than most - our school week begins on Friday and (actually) ends on Monday. Those are the days I don't work so those are the days we do school. [And yes, I realize that I technically shouldn't teach on Sunday, but we do go to church and keep school light on Sunday. If I didn't teach on Sunday, my children likely couldn't be homeschooled. So if you want to rat me out, go ahead; guarantee my children a substandard education.] Pardon my momentary mini-tirade.

So that's our week! Thanks for popping in!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday... I HAD to explain this one.

Casey showing her dislike for a particularly horrid performance of Mozart's Queen of the Night.

If you'd like to share Casey's experience and hear this performance yourself, click here. To learn more about the performer, Florence Foster Jenkins, click here. She's hilarious!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I have a great camera! I'm VERY happy with my camera...

But I keep forgetting it!!! Fortunately, I had it when Casey had her piano recital on Saturday night. I remembered to get it out when the kids were trying out our lung model that we made yesterday. However, I forgot to take pictures of the TWO king cakes I made last night. I forgot to bring my camera to Nonnie's birthday party tonight. I keep forgetting...

I don't know if I should chalk it up to stress at work, three children at home, or all the chaotic messes swirling about me all of the time.

Tomorrow is Lent. I've decided what to give up - hopefully that will help me clear my mind and tend to the swirling chaos. Hopefully I will be able to adjust and prioritize. Hopefully I'll be able to focus more on the spiritual me - and all of the sacrifices made for me.

On the first day any given new year, I start working on my resolutions. I mentally establish them, then write them down, then start off on the new me for the year. Amazingly enough, so far, I've kept my 2009 resolutions! (I'm quite proud of that - although, I didn't make resolutions that were impossible or even extremely difficult to keep - they do require some effort, though.)

Lent seems to me to be the time of setting spiritual goals: focusing on Jesus's sacrifices for me, setting Lenten sacrifices for myself and working (not struggling) to uphold those sacrifices, strengthening my religious/spiritual self. A time for Lenten resolutions - if an analogy is to be drawn to the New Year, then working on the inside as the New Year forced me to work on the outside. [I find it interesting that some use Lent as an opportunity to lose weight by giving up certain food groups, i.e. sweets, with the goal that their Lenten fast from sweets is nothing more than a 40-day diet. Not judging; just commenting. And, no, I did not give up any sort of food or food-like group.]

As the new year is passing to recent memory (but not my resolutions), and camera-remembering doesn't seem appropriate for a Lenten sacrifice, maybe remembering to take my Nikon will be a mid-year goal!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Our Week Ending 19 February 2009

It's been a while since I've blogged. Life is taking over, I suppose.

The kids and I had a great week! All of our subjects are coming along nicely as we are nearing the final quarter of our home school year. The first full year will be over in just a few months. Seeing the bookmarks in our texts is the clearest gauge of how far we've come - and how little there is left to cover.

I'm so excited to be nearing the end that I've already chosen my texts for next year!

As for now, Casey is enjoying our human body unit. This week, she and her brother learned about the circulatory system - complete with a real stethoscope (my mom thought it was a toy one until she heard Tricky's heartbeat). The kids enjoyed listening to everyone's heart pumping that oh so vital fluid through their bodies. We even listened to our dog's heartbeat - much to the chagrin of our little Shih Tzu, Sweet Pea.

Ancient Rome is turning into a subject Casey is interested in. So, we may spend an extra week or so reading books other than SOTW 1.

Casey was invited to a Poetry Reading and Luncheon for homeschoolers this past Tuesday. She and her Nonnie got all dressed up - complete with hats and gloves - and joined several other children of various ages to recite poems they've learned and share a spot of tea! Casey LOVED it! I'm thinking I might have to host something of the sort this spring! I wish I could've been there, but it was held on one of my office days.

Casey is also well into her choir rehearsals! This season, they will be performing Broadway tunes. The Sound of Music, Getting to Know You, Whistle a Happy Tune, and various songs from Annie are being rehearsed (and memorized). I LOVE listening to show tunes - especially when they're being sung by my children's sweet little voices! Yes, even Will and Casey know the words since they've heard the songs so many times.

Will is so excited about the prospect of reading - and we're very close to starting 100 Easy Lessons. Hopefully, in April we'll start. [Note to self: Get that book spiral bound in March!]

And while her brother and sister are homeschooling, Tricky is coloring up a storm on pink paper or the wipe-erase board.

So, that's our week - sort of!