Sunday, October 26, 2008

practicing.....

I love taking pictures of my little violin girl, there's something so picturesque about a studious child and a beautiful instrument. It seems that we have fallen into a good practising groove lately and I really appreciate all the work this little girl is puting into it. We seem to manage 5-6 days a week, 20-30 minutes a day. Now, I do not claim to be an expert in the area of getting kids to practice, but a few things are working for us lately. Just thought I'd share in case anyone out there is in my boat. :)


~Morning practice is way better for us. I wasn't so sure about afternoon Kindergarten, but now I'm loving it because morning works so well for practice time. I have no idea what we'll do next year, but we'll just enjoy the moment.


~We don't watch movies or use the computer until practice is over, this goes for me too. I try not to turn on the computer until after practice time, I'm too tempted by emails and blogland! E is much more motivated when she knows she can watch a favorite show afterwards.


~I try to always sit with her while she practices and make it a group affair. G usually tries to copy his sister with his box violin, or he plays with toys. (Or he makes messes and wrecks things and hits his sister and throws fits because he doesn't get to touch the violin. Just keepin' it real here!)


~We usually do some sort of fun activity. Some favorites are.......playing a board/card game (play a song, then roll the dice and move), play a different song in every room of the house including outside (although last week she threw her violin on the grass mid-song because a spider was crawling on her arm!), pick songs out of a bowl and throw in fun things like jumping-jacks, play a little family concert of every song she knows.


~Charts work great around here! We usually do a big chart with about 2 or 3 months worth of practising days. Every week or so she'll have a little prize day where she picks a very small prize (like stickers, pencils, or plastic animals) out of our "prize bag." At the end of the chart is big prize day where we pick out a special toy she's been hoping for. Her last big prize day was a Webkinz, something she'd wanted for a long time!


~Please don't think I'm bragging about how great practising is around here, because we still have those days where she's quickly practising a few songs behind me in the kitchen while I'm franticly making dinner! And then sometimes we go 4 or 5 days without practising at all! I definitely know what it feels like to be the guilt-ridden mother when we're not practising regularly, and being the teacher it's intesified ten fold! But this good practice streak is what we've been averaging for about 6 months now, and I'm so proud of her. She seems to be enjoying her violin more because it's a regular part of her day, not just a dreaded task (although some days it's still not her favorite thing to do). This week she's spent a few minutes on her own every day working out how to play Happy Birthday, in honor of her upcoming birthday!


So this post is a little thank you to my sweet violin girl who has been working so hard! I'm proud of you!


Friday, October 17, 2008

thanksgiving........

We're so thankful for a beautiful place like this to visit. We're so thankful for wonderful friends and family who love us. We're so thankful for gorgeous weather to enjoy. We're so thankful.




Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday!

That's my lovely sister Jes on the left, Happy Birthday to her today! I hope you have a fabulous day! And our beloved Grandpa Earl turned 89 last week! Happy Birthday Grandpa!

Monday, October 13, 2008

pumpkin muffins.......yum!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to you all! I made these yummy gluten free pumpkin muffins to take with us to the farm this past weekend. My kiddos love them, so I thought I'd share. The recipe is from Mothering, definitely check it out! With a few alterations they make awesome gluten free muffins. The flours I used were sorghum, millet, quinoa, and amaranth. I also added almond meal and flax seeds, both ground in my little coffee grinder. The millet, quinoa, and amaranth I ground in my flour mill about a month ago, I just store them in the fridge after grinding to keep them fresh. I also used honey instead of molasses. (Nothing to do with gluten, just yummy!) And I added a lot of cinnamon and cloves. We like them spicey!
Just to keep it real, here's a shot of the messy work station!
If you look closely you can see the oven temp, all ready to go.
If you make mini muffins, they cook pretty quickly so watch them. E and G can eat half of this pan in one sitting!
And for clean up, it helps if you have a spoon-licker like this one here! She's invaluable in my kitchen, I highly recommend one!

Monday, October 6, 2008