Friday, November 18, 2016

7 Quick Takes Friday

Check out the post on Mary's eighth birthday, if you missed it!

1. Concerto Competition

Playing cards while waiting for rehearsal time

Six months in the making and finally John and Mary participated in the Concerto Audition sponsored by the Charlotte Piano Teachers' Forum. This was the first time ever participating in this particular competition, and John's first time in any competition (although he's done numerous non-competition events where a score is given).

Contestants are limited to 30 in each age division, with ranks being given for first, second, and third, plus two Honorable Mentions for the next two highest-scoring students. In Mary's age division, she received an Honorable Mention for playing Noona's First Concerto in d minor, and in John's age division, he received a wonderful score just half a point shy of receiving an Honorable Mention, and one point shy of placing in Third Place, for playing Concerto in Classical Style for Martha Meier.

We're so proud of their hard work lo these many months!

2. Musical Moments

John and Mary were blessed with the opportunity to see world reknowned cellist Emanuel Gruber (click here to read a biography) perform solo the Bach suites for cello (Nos. 1, 3, and 5) at our very own church as part of the Gaudium et Spes concert series hosted each year. This series is our pastor's "baby" as he makes truth, beauty, and goodness avaialable to the community by bringing in very fine musicians for a low cost. We attended for my $12 ticket and children 12 and under are free!

This happened to be at the baby's nap time, so I was able to attend the concert myself instead of Chris being the one who usually goes: the music was so beautiful, I cried!

Additionally, I felt incredibly blessed that, as we weren't planning to go, the children begged for us to go see this solo cell concert, and then insisted we sit in the empty first row (ten feet from the performer).

We enjoyed delicious Israeli food at the reception afterward and I felt so refreshed.

3. Fall Leaves

It's that time of year!

4. Random Moments

John offering to teach chess to Margaret

Mary learning counted cross-stitch

At church on Sunday, Joseph (3) fell asleep during Mass and slept for the whole hour we stayed afterward, with the folks milling about him, chattering loudly with coffee cups. It was so great.

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It is a good thing Thomas (15 months) is so cute because getting his sleep straight this last month still eludes me. On Wednesday he was awake for the day at 3:30 a.m. and on Thursday at 4:00. I'm about as happy about that as you can imagine.

Thomas eating a muffin

5. Scholastic Scenes

Learning music theory

When I read aloud daily for History, sometimes I have the children draw from "Draw, Write, Now" and sometimes they occupy themselves quietly, such as the day some kids were sorting plastic animals, the three-year-old was using his sword and shield, the baby was climbing everything, and the big boy was building with Magformers.

6. Family Books of the Week (in progress or completed)

Mary is really enjoying "The Green Ember" (which I can't vouch for, as I haven't read it, but I got off of the Read Aloud Revival list, which is generally good). She began it one night, and I was startled when I checked all the children's beds at ten at night to find her still awake, reading by headlamp, 130 pages into the book.

The next morning, Mary joined me on my exercise walk in the dark hours, but insisted she would read "The Green Ember" while we walked. I decided to stop arguing with her and just let her discover on her own that it was difficult-to-impossible to do so . . . but she proved me wrong.

Reading while walking

7. Meals

  • Saturday
    • We enjoyed a wonderful evening at home with two other families celebrating Mary's birthday (click here)!
  • Sunday
    • My meal plan scrapped for leftover pizza, of which there was an abundance.
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
    • ate random things out of the pantry while husband was out of town
  • Wednesday
    • One Pot Pinto Beans (great recipe!) for me; random things out of the pantry for the kids; Husband was at a monthly fellowship dinner
  • Thursday--doubling meal to take to a postpartum mom
  • Friday
    • We're planning a third "Kids Cook Real Food" class. The children will cook:
      • Chicken strips
      • Veggie Stir Fry
      • Egg Frid Rice

Egg fried rice and stir fry made by children
--but consumed not one single bite by any of them!

Bonus Reading: "Ask Auntie Leila: No, really, how do you prepare for Thanksgiving?"  Written by a mom of eight (?) with humorous style, she teaches you how to simplify, schedule in time to properly care for the baby, and cook some food homemade.

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