Friday, May 26, 2017

Piano Lessons

Our kids are taking piano lessons once a week and practicing everyday.  The teacher actually comes right to our house.

I am not actually taking lessons myself, but I watch the lessons and I practice everyday and I have the ability to ask our teacher some of my questions, which is nice.

We always thought it would be annoying to hear our kids learning piano, because it was always irritating to us when we visited a place with a piano and we heard them banging on the keys before.  But it isn't like that when the kids are practicing everyday at home.  My husband and I have both been surprised that we don't feel annoyed at all by the sounds of their playing.  It is actually really pleasant and soothing to hear them practicing. Perhaps this is because their playing is more ordered now, since they are practicing scales or working on specific skills or songs.

And playing for myself at the beginning, the end, or even when I sit for a few minutes in the middle of a busy day, is such a blessing. It refreshes me and I find I can get up from the piano relaxed or even more energized for tasks.

We prayed for more music in our lives and God is being faithful to answer that prayer.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Watercolor Lessons

My oldest daughter is gifted in art and enjoys it so much. I have prayed that I will be able to find ways and means of fostering her God-given talent and interest.  

We recently moved and I made a new friend here and she mentioned that she's got an art degree and gives lessons, and I was like, "Really?!" She usually teaches groups, but we couldn't go to any of the times or places where she already teaches. So I was brave and I asked her how much it would cost to have her come to our home and give us private lessons, three lessons and specifically on water color, because I didn't think I could commit to more time or money than that.  I found that the price was right, so I made the deal and I purchased all the supplies we would need to dive right in and make the most of the few short weeks studying with a master. I know so much of learning anything is just doing it. So we are trying to paint everyday for the next few weeks. 

We don't ever take an extensive break from schoolwork for summer like many people do, but we do stop a lot of school work we do during the fall/ winter/ spring and we try to add special stuff like this. So my daughter has agreed to paint at least one picture every single day as part of her "schoolwork" for the next few weeks. 

She's got a hard life. 

I sit through her lessons with her and try to paint something, too. This way, it is something I can be more fit to help her with throughout the week, and something we can do together. (We didn't have the easiest school year, so it's been a time to feed our spirits and connect over something she really enjoys.) 

I can't paint with watercolors everyday like my oldest does, but I have been able to paint three pictures so far.  Her little sisters are also painting with watercolor everyday, too, but they don't sit in on the formal lessons. I did not think it would be wise to have them there, since they are so young still. I wanted my oldest to get as much of the teacher's attention as possible, so she could make as much progress as possible. And I knew I could paint with the little ones on my own time, and even teach them some of what I learn, etc.  

God willing, this might lead to more lessons in the future.  I know there is a world of other mediums out there: acrylic, oils, pastels...  But, I am grateful that my daughter has this opportunity to focus on watercolor and move towards mastery in that.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Psalm 19 Recitation

I made it a goal to memorize twelve Psalms this year.

I finally learned Psalm 19. It took a few months longer than I expected.  Here is the recitation.

Now I will begin working on the next Psalm on the list.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Book Discussion

Last night I hosted a book discussion on The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis and invited the ladies in my Classical Conversations group.  Four people came and it was a rich discussion that went on twice as long as the three hours planned for it.  This book is only three chapters, but it's dense reading! Lewis uses a multitude of examples and vocabulary that are unfamiliar to modern, American society.  None of us came to the discussion as an expert. But one of the ladies studied Philosophy in college, so that was helpful. Also, all of us came to the discussion with respect for objective moral law, or the Tao, as Lewis put it in the text, so that made the discussion coherent and productive. Together, we summarized, or tried to summarize what Lewis is communicating in each chapter. We shared quotes, asked questions, and discussed numerous topics as they related to the book, or as they were brought to mind by the discussion. This morning, I am thankful for my friends and I feel encouraged to be connected to women who love Jesus and have a desire to follow Him with their minds.  My own plan is to read the book again this week, for a forth time. But, truly, the book is that challenging, and with the discussion fresh in mind, I feel like I will come away with an even better understanding of the ideas in the text.