Wednesday, March 4, 2015


February Happenings.  Blogging and Instagramming can be redundant.  Pictures often pop up in both places.  The main reason that I double post is so that our memories make it into my yearly blog book.  Out of all my photo albums, my blog books are the ones that the girls reach for first.  So when I find myself in a blogging rut, I pull myself out and just keep writing.

February was a very busy month for us.  We kicked it off with the Super Bowl.  Every year we watch the game at my brother-in-law’s house.  Every year Lilah and I sit there disinterested.  She with her laptop, me with my knitting or my book and we pass the time while the others are jumping, yelling, cheering or moaning.  This year was Greg’s year.  He loves the Patriots.  He will sit out in the sub zero temperatures with glove warmers packed into his boots to watch a game and Grace got swept up in his enthusiasm.  She may not love football, but she sure loves her Dad.

February brought us snow storm after snow storm after snow storm.  Five weeks in a row.  We did not get the amounts of snow that our neighbors to the north did, but we got enough to keep the girls happy.  The morning of a snow day, the phone starts ringing and plans are made to meet up on the hill.  

This year the girls got real snowboards but they found them to be a bit dangerous and hard to control, even after years of “snowboarding” on the plastic ones from Target.  I do hope they forgive me if we don’t get to a real “mountain” this year.  I still want to try to make that happen for them.  

I had a very rare outing with my two sister in law’s to see Jersey Boys.  I loved it and wish that Grace had joined me.  She would have h-a-t-e-d the foul language but she would have loved the story of the band and the music.

Speaking of music, we are now two months into our new piano lessons.  Grace is learning so many new things that it is hard to keep up with her.  She did a month long study of The Beatles which involved learning Hey Jude, Yesterday and Eleanor Rigby.  She not only learned the notes, but examined the chords and learned to improvise and change the music by changing the chords.   We used to understand the back stories of the songs and we watched half a documentary on the songwriting collaboration between Paul McCartney and John Lennon.  She then used this new understanding of music to create her own arrangements of Amazing Grace (with no sheet music) and Canon in D.  I am looking for an app that will take sound recording and translate it into sheet music.  

Lilah is diligently working her way through her Sonatina.  It is hard work and sometimes she feels a bit overwhelmed.  It is a fine balance to keep her interested and excited, yet challenged.  I know that when she is finished, she will feel a huge sense of accomplishment because this is her hardest piece yet.  

Horseback riding is something they have been able to enjoy all winter thanks to an indoor ring.  This barn is not heated so it is still super cold, but they dress for the weather and most days they have been comfortable.  I am looking forward to the spring so I do not shiver while I watch them, but I can’t not watch them.  It is one of my favorite things to do!

Hours and hours of research went into planning our upcoming trip to Sanibel Island.  The girls took books out of the library.  Lilah focused her efforts on retail and restaurants while Grace spent most of her time on beaches and attractions.  They both began travel journals and I estimate that each page of Grace’s journal took an hour to complete.  When it is done, I will total the pages and give her credit in language arts for research.  We watched video after video on YouTube about the island.  Their favorite videos are I Love Shelling.  I had no idea how much they learned until we visited a friend’s house who has a large shell collection and they  were able to identify just about every shell without the use of a field guide.  I am going to figure out how many videos I Love Shelling has posted and give the girls credit under natural science for this (along with the time they spend “in the field” and at the shell museum in Florida).  

My involvement with church has gone from filling in as a last minute replacement for a 6th grade catechist, to being offered the position of Volunteer Faith Formation Coordinator, which is really a part time Director of Religious Education.  I am able to do 90% of the work from home and it does not feel like work.  We never know where the choices in life will take us.  I never expected a meeting with our priest back in September to turn into this and I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of a very exciting time in my life.   


Diane Knecht said...

I love so much reading about what you guys doing on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. So inspired about what your girls accomplish and how much they love learning. Congrats on the new position with your church.

Jessica said...

Thank you Diane! It is an exciting time and thankfully right now everything feels balanced. That is the key, since this position is volunteer, it will only work so long as I can remain in balance. I know God's got this, so I'm not worried!

Karen said...

Even though I have seen most of this and heard most of this I LOVE reading your blog posts. You are such an inspiration to me, you honestly have no clue.

Mary Prather said...

Jess -- I like to see how God unfolds people's lives -- sounds like you are enjoying your new role at your church and that there are exciting things in store for you. Did you switch piano teachers? I guess I missed that. I would be interested to hear more. My kids have their Federation contest today -- Anna is playing a pretty hard Sonatina and another very beautiful piece -- Grant (my fearless one) is playing two pieces with GUSTO. :-)

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