Archive for the ‘Fiddling’ Category

Goodbye Summer


I’d like to reflect on this summer as it comes to a close. We had a very nice summer. We started out with a fairly structured school schedule that just lasted a few weeks then changed gears. We read “Harry Potter 2”, “The Magic Thief: Found”, “The Sassafras Science Adventures: Zoology” and finished “Story of the World 3”. Big Brother enjoyed the Sassafras Twins so much we decided to discontinue “Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding” as our home science spine in favor of “The Sassafras Science Adventures: Anatomy” with the Activity Guide and SCIDAT Logbook.

Highlights included ending the spring/starting summer by meeting up with Grandpa in Tennessee, a visit from Abuelita (my mom) and camping with friends twice at a lake in West Virginia. Big Brother attempted a sleepover with a couple friends that just turned into a dinner and playdate in the treehouse but they had lots of fun. We enjoyed a couple evenings with old friends. Mommy pumped milk for a friends newborn adopted son (I was so happy to give this gift). I was excited to have two work weeks at home and got the school stuff, the kitchen and the studio organized but still have more to do. I enjoyed tending our new large veggie garden with Cisco at my side most of the time eating much and clover. The boys also kept busy with therapies. Big Brother did speech therapy to end with a perfect ‘r’ and improved ‘th’ but we are now taking a break because the spacer in his mouth is interfering with his ‘s’ and ‘z’ so we have to wait until it is removed to continue. Cisco worked on speech and occupational therapy and made great strides with each. His communication continues to improve and he loves brush therapy. As the summer was coming to a close, we finally had made it to the waterpark with friends (we tried all summer and there were very few dry hot days to go then the two times we had tried Cisco got sick to the stomach).

We ended this Labor Day weekend smoking meat, getting a new to us Weber grill , pulling weeds, swimming in our 8′ pool one last time, watching movies and just enjoying family time before our hectic “school” schedule starts up.

Violin Book 1 Graduate


Another big accomplishment at the end of the year was that after 4 years of study, Big Brother graduated Book 1 of Suzuki Violin. He had to graduate each piece at a Book 2 level and he did it beautifully and ended it with a great group concert with his studio. I really feel he has a great foundation now. It was, however, bittersweet. For predominately financial reasons but also for changing goals we have had to switch to a studio that is more conventional. We miss our old teacher that was the example of every good Suzuki teacher and group classes (well, brother does but I’m glad to get my Saturdays back) but we have found another great teacher for different reasons that seems to be a better fit right now.

Big Brother is now studying Suzuki Book 2 (he insisted on continuing with the his beloved Suzuki songs), note reading and fiddling. Overall we are operating at a less intense pace that is resulting in less stressful practice sessions and more ownership by Big Brother. Violin had become a point of contention even though Big Brother insisted on continuing violin. We recently enjoyed a fiddle session with the new studio followed by observing a group of more advance students work on a Bach piece. Even dad participated. It was great fun. I’m feeling more balanced and hope it continues to be a good trade for Big Brother.

What a Day


Written November 27, 2012

I just sat down long enough to realize I had a tough day.  Forgot our notebook for violin class and my iPad I generally use to record the class.  Did have my camera but it died before the end of the class but the teacher kindly recorded the new part of our new song we have to practice this week.  Then we go to have lunch and I notice my tire is going flat so had to take the car to firestone for patching while the kids and I walked to eat Chinese in the cold and rain across the street.  When I went to get the car, I learned the tire couldn’t get patched because of the nail was on the side so they put my spare on and headed back home (did I mention I was in Mclean?).  On the way home I had to pick up my eldests medical records before his doctor appointment the next day which were of course not ready so we had to wait for them (that was after I waited 10 minutes on hold waiting to making my request over the phone). That is when we headed to Merchants the first time.  Luckily, I had the reciept for the tires we got last year on this car because there records didn’t show we had them.  They were also quite busy so were kind enough to take our tire and call us in the evening to take it in (and my dear husband took it in for me while I put the boys to sleep).  Once I got home, The email our teacher sent didn’t contain the video of our lesson.

The thing is, I’m not upset by my day, just a little tired.  I’m thankful for all the kind and patient people that prevented it from being a completely insain day.  Not once did I feel overwhelmed.  Thank you hubby, teacher, nice people at Merchants and Firestone and my boys who patiently experienced this crazy day with me.

After all that, we still managed to get our writing, math and reading done before we left the house and some more reading time after bed in addition to our regular Violin class and Taekwondo class.

Healthy Soy-free Sushi & Ice Skating


We had a great day this cold day. This morning I took my son (4 years old) to experience ice skating for the first time. He had a great time but boy was it hard being the one holding him up. I look forward to when he can balance on his own without his feet slipping from under him. It also didn’t help that I’m somewhat a novice ice skater. We then spent an hour at Park Day with a couple friends.

This evening we experimented with sushi. My son hadn’t made sushi before and it turned out to be a great activity for him. He helped add the veggies and shrimp and helped roll the sushi roll. He had a great time and was so excited to eat the sushi he made. He ate 5 pieces.

We made the sushi rice using Haioreum Sprouted Brown Sweet Rice from Super H Mart and following Epicurious’ “Vegetarian Brown Rice Sushi Roll Recipe”. We stuffed our rolls with shrimp, avocado, cucumber, radishes, carrots and mung bean sprouts. We also used a great soy-free soy sauce substitute called Coconut Aminos since I can’t eat soy. Other substitutions included using Edens Brown Rice Vinegar plus 1.5 teaspoons of Rapadura sugar instead of seasoned rice vinegar. It made for a delicious and healthy dinner. The only thing I would have changed was I would have doubled or even tripled the recipe to make it a meal for all three of us.