Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Did You Bring Your Brain? Can I Pick It Please?

Yesterday, Jesse and I took a little trip north to Newton, KS. We went with my sweet friend Angela for the purpose of meeting with the director and board president of the Newton Children's Choir. Angela and I are starting a community children's choir here in central Oklahoma.

Okay. Typing that last sentence made me catch my breath a little.

Community children's choir...us...just two moms. Angela is a degreed music teacher, and a mighty gifted one at that. She has a vision for the group, and has been doing extensive research online, over the phone and in person. And I'm, uhm, good with forms. Also, as a French Horn player, I have the ability to count to 4 over and over again. Obviously, Angela has very high standards for her associates.

On the one hand, there isn't a community children's choir in central Oklahoma, which makes us think the avenue is wide open. On the other hand, there isn't a community children's choir in central Oklahoma, probably because nobody wants one. You see the dilemma. I'm sure you're all wanting to partner with me in a bold venture in the near future. I have that effect on folks. I try to use my powers only for good.

We're not affiliating with any church or school, we're looking to have grades 4 through 8, rehearse once a week, perform locally, give two main concerts annually and take trips of varying durations to perform at regional music festivals. We will take all interested singers, musical background not necessary. We will charge tuition, and will be writing grant proposals to keep tuitions affordable.

Here's where you come in: does your area have anything like what I've described? Is there a website we can visit? What do you think? Are families too overscheduled as it is? Would you consider something like this if it were available?

We're giving ourselves a year and a half to launch the choir. We plan to hold our first rehearsal in August of 2010, which seems so very far in the future, but feels like it's right around the corner. I'm anxious to know your thoughts.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Field Trip Report

Dan and I went to Arlington, TX, for the homeschool book fair there. I decided that Jesse would have a better day at my mom's, where he is the king of all he surveys, than with us in the car seat, stroller and sling. He had a good day with Mom, but now doesn't want me out of his sight, so I'm paying the piper for my day of kidlessness. It's a good thing he's so dang cute.

On the way to the book fair, I twittered our plans and got messages from Connie (Smockity Frocks) and Renae (Life Nurturing Education) suggesting we meet up. I was on that like a duck on a junebug! We set a time and place to meet, but darned if Connie didn't spot me in the vendor hall. How did she DO that? Anyway, she's a doll and her daughter is quite the photographer. As a bonus, I got to meet Heather (Spirittibee)! Dying to know more? Want photographic evidence? Go see Connie. I'm the one who's not thin (those girls are skinNY) nor dressed cute (is anyone's best color beige? What was I thinking?), and generally resemble something that was pulled backward through a knothole (hello, Texas! These are my pores. Thank you for opening them for me.)

And now, as I've succumbed to the kids' cold from last week, I'm going to take my new pet tissue box and curl up in bed. Have a blessed week, y'all!

Friday, May 8, 2009

I'm pleased to report that we've weathered MucousFest '09. I'm stocking up now in case our house turns out to be a stop on the Fall Tour. Time will tell.

So, y'all know how Olivia plays the harp, right? She loves her harp and she practices willingly most every day. I think she's pretty good, and we all enjoy hearing her play. She gets the occasional gig around town and enjoys playing for an audience. She's 12 1/2 now, and she's been playing just over four years.

Well, last Tuesday we went to her harp lesson. Her teacher is 80ish, lives in an assisted living center, and is a living legend in the harp world. She played for Eisenhower's inauguration and was a protegé of the greatest harpist of the 20th century, Carlos Salzedo. Her son recently set up a computer in her apartment, and she's learning how to use it. When we got there on Tuesday, she wanted Olivia to watch this. We enjoyed it, and I hope you do too.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hello? Anybody Home?

Well! Wouldja lookie here? I bet you thought I'd forgotten about my little bloggy home. I think most bloggers can identify with the feeling of having so much you want to say, and not being able to get it out in any kind of coherent way. We resort to lists, memes and just posting lots and lots of photos. Then we neglect the blog for about 6 weeks or so, only to find that the problem is completely out of hand. And that is where you find me, your intrepid author, today.


I want to tell you about a little phenomenon I like to call Trickle-Down Behaviornomics. It's what happens when one kid gets in trouble and ALL the kids just snap in line and all of a sudden, I'm surrounded by helpful, respectful goody-goodies.

We had an issue yesterday with our oldest, who will soon be 18. It was fairly serious, and I treated it as such. The real-life consequences of her choices will be borne, along with some loss of privilege that will have to be earned back through trustworthy actions. First, I have to give her credit...once the error became known and the consequences began to be outlined, she took it exceedingly well. She was humble and contrite, and we were closer at the end of the discipline session than at the beginning. Her parting words were, "I'm going to earn your trust back by Friday..." I love it when discipline has its desired effect.

Well, you've never seen 3 such well-behaved younger siblings in all your life! I believe I might have contracted a touch of the sugar-diabetes from all the sweetness that flowed in our home yesterday. I think they wanted to help Hannah over her difficulty, and I know they wanted the atmosphere to lighten up, but I hope that they also took a little lesson for themselves from their sister's misbehavior and will perhaps spare themselves at least a little trouble later on by learning from someone else's mistakes.

I should tell you, however, that my cherubim were somewhat less cherubic today. All 5 of the kids woke up with cold symptoms. Little Jesse has been re-named Snot Rocket, Seth told me today that he almost sneezed his eyeball out and Claire's lips are "chack" so she's using "chack-stick" like it's her job. Seems like low-grade temps are also uniformly distributed throughout the tribe, along with the perfunctory whiny voices, short tempers and general crabbiness. School today consisted of learning the first verse of our church's hymn of the month and lots of reading aloud because those are the only things this teacher can do with an 8-month-old who seems convinced that nursing is the cure for all that ails him.

So, now you know where we are. If I get a turn at the computer again before Jesus comes back, I'll fill you in on some fun things that happened at Easter and ask some probing hair coloring questions. Or I'll just post a bunch of photos. Thanks for stopping by!