Posts Tagged ‘piano’

The Eyes Have It!

December 5, 2012

nora's glasses

Remember me complaining about teaching English as a second language?  Remember me whining about teaching adding and subtracting over and over and over again?  Remember me handing over my Colombian Princess to her brothers so they could teach her math, so I wouldn’t feel like banging my head on the kitchen table, like all good homeschool moms feel like doing?  Remember me being so sick of BOB books that I wanted to cry… and just maybe I did a few times.  I assumed this was ALL due to English as a second language.  OR my lack of skills in teaching English as a second language.  And I thought maybe I was too old to have the necessary patience to teach a small child again.  NOT SO, as it happened. (That was for you, Jane.)

Nora’s piano teacher commented to me that it seems Nora has difficulty discerning when the notes on the music staff go up and down.  She asked if she also has trouble with reading or numbers.  DUH!  HER EYES!  Today was a special day.  ALL four Crosby kids lined up and had eye exams.  Guess which one needed glasses for reading and math and piano???  Yes!  She picked out darling little glasses that are purple on the top and clear on the bottom.  They will arrive in a week.

The joy in my heart is almost unexplainable.  In the ophthalmologist’s office, after the diagnosis was given, I gushed to my eldest daughter, “I feel like the clouds over our homeschool have just cleared and there is a ray of sun shine beaming down giving me hope again.”  She’s been by my side for 19 years…. she rolled her eyes at me and exclaimed, “Don’t you think that’s a bit dramatic, Mom?”  But it’s not.  It is truth.  Straight up.  God showed up and I don’t feel quite so lame anymore.  I’m even a tad eager to see if adding and subtracting is CLEARER now!  Glory be!  Thank God for other people who are paying attention to my children!

 

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Nora’s First Piano Recital

December 14, 2011

Nora began taking piano lessons in September… just as soon as she learned her alphabet A-G.  She is a quick little study as she can already play recognizable songs… that I admit, are a bit hard to sing along with, but STILL!  She was darling and so proud of herself!

That is Suzi, my friend who teaches piano.  She has taught all of our kids to read music and play the piano.  We are blessed!!!  Nora played Jingle Bells… almost perfectly.  Made her mommy and daddy’s buttons almost burst.  When she practices at home, she sings along with all her notes either the finger number or the note name… and it’s all perfectly on key.  When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, Nora responded, “A singer….. or a ninja.”  Perfect!  You go, girlfriend!

I Do Have Other Kids

September 23, 2010

Austin has been the focus of several blogs lately, but I feel obligated as a mother who teaches fairness and non-favoritism, to mention my three other children.  And for the record, when I kiss each one of them “Good night” I whisper in each one’s ear, “You’re my favorite, don’t tell the others.”  It’s a ritual of motherly love… that they are all well aware of… but each one secretly believes it’s true!

Larisa is my mini-me, except the blonde, blue-eyed version.  People say she looks like me, but the only resemblance I see is our teeth.  She is 16 and has spent all but two years of her life in my 24/7 care.  She went to kindergarten and first grade, but we have homeschooled her all the way to her junior year of high school.  And we still love each other.  Amazing!  Spending so much time with your mother makes you more mature than the other 16-year-old girls who spend 50+ hours per week with their giggly, boy-crazy friends.  It’s a proven fact of life.  She is a joy to be around!

Currently, Larisa is knee-deep in Chemistry and loathes it, unfortunately.  She is taking other classes too, but Chemistry is her ball and chain this year.  She’s not a math lover, to say the least.  I’ve been teaching her Algebra… and math was my favorite subject in high school.  It’s so logical.  It’s right or it’s wrong.  There’s no predicate nominatives or split infinitives to mess with your mind!  However, teaching Larisa Algebra has almost made me not like math anymore.  But we will be victorious.

Keeve is my huggable, thoughtful, slow-paced child and our musician.  Currently he is taking piano lessons for the third year and is playing the trombone in the elementary school band.  That is the only class he has ever taken at a school.  He was 11 the first time he darkened the doorway of a public schooling establishment.  He’s there for 45 minutes, twice a week, and he’s handling all the peer pressure quite well.  Keeve is also the only Crosby child to sport braces so far.  He’s bearing that burden like a champion!  The change in his teeth and jaw shape in a mere four months is nothing less than amazing!  Keeve is also my baby boy.  He’s the one who will be the most displaced when our Colombian princess gets home to stay.  We’ve had many a talk with Keeve about this and he’s OK with the whole deal.  He prays faithfully for his little sister each night for her to have a bed to sleep in and someone to love her and feed her.  It’s precious.

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We have only four more days in our wait for our referral call for our little girl from Cali.  Please see my adoption blog for stress-related information:  www.ZazasMama.wordpress.com.  Here is the extent of what we know about our daughter at this point:  she lives in the Cauca Valley, in Colombia.  She is 5 or 6 years old.  She is an orphan.  She speaks Spanish.  That’s it.  Here are my educated guesses about her at this point:  she has black hair, olive skin and brown eyes.  She is tiny for her age.  That’s it.  Here are my hopes about her at this point:  that she still has all her baby teeth.  She has dimples.  She loves to giggle and snuggle.  Someone has lovingly told her about the love of Jesus. She likes to sing and dance and play with dollies.

TOMORROW I could have all the answers to my questions about my girl!  The suspense is killing me!

42 and Counting…

April 7, 2009

owls

Tuesdays are always busy and FULL at our house.  I teach a high school history class in the morning while the boys have piano lessons.  Then I take Larisa to piano and have 30 minutes to get my TO-DO list completed.  Today’s list included the library and the post office.  First stop was the US Mail house… and when I pulled in the parking lot I noticed a huge handmade sign of cardboard taped to ropes that were marking off a landscaped area near the front door.  Come to find out, there is a large saguaro cactus about 25 feet tall holding a nest in its arms.  There was a Great Horned owl mama and her fluffy babies.  The sign read:  “Ladders on Post Office grounds prohibited.”  Now, you know me, … wondering if they made that up for the owls or if someone really did think that one day small town citizens would bring their ladders to the post office and cause a disturbance?  Anyway, I enjoyed viewing some of God’s creatures on government land.

Next stop the library.  Now, don’t get me going about the library.  I’ve written here before about the height of my frustration with the county library being in the public high school.  Grrrrrrr.  Anyway, it wasn’t that bad today…. it wasn’t early dismissal, there was no fire alarm, etc.  I was in and out rather quickly.  Wait!  I forgot the good news of the day!  Back track with me for a moment, at the writer’s conference in 2006 I met a budding new author named Allison Pittman who had just signed a contract for a three-book deal with Multnomah publishing house.  Impressive, to say the least.  I bought Ten Thousand Charms, her first book, at the convention and almost finished it on the flight home.  It was truly written with my three loves in mind:  1850s, romance and endless unpredictable peril.  I waited impatiently for #2 to come out in 2007… and today, as I browsed the New Books section of the library I came upon #3!!!  I didn’t realize it was out yet.  It’s titled With Endless Sight.  Can’t wait to dive into it and forget the here and now.

Upon returning to gather my children from piano lessons (the BOYS stayed to have a tea party?????) I decided that they too needed to see the owls, so back to the post office I drove.  Then I discovered that the ONE book that was due today was still in the car…. so back to the library I drove.  Just your typical Tuesday.  Will the thrills never end???

Piano Lessons

January 26, 2009

piano-lessons-002

(note to self:  wipe SIDES of piano keys!)

Did your parents make you take them too???  Mine did.  I rather enjoyed it and wish that I had kept it up.  I switched to the saxophone after two years of piano… then 5 years later I sold the sax to buy a typewriter.  Little did I realize that writing was my passion, not music, and that there were books trapped inside of me waiting to get out.

So, we have forced our children to take lessons too.  Like all good parents… whether the kids want to or not.  We have one that wants to.  One that is indifferent, but would like to learn the electric guitar.  One that wants to play the drums…. now.  It is SOOOOO obvious when listening to their lessons what they really think about mandatory musical instruction.  The one that enjoys making music plays at different levels of loudness, different tempos and tries the songs in different octaves.  He is graceful on the keys.  He can also play EXACTLY with the metronome.  This is the same kids that asked for Wii Music for Christmas.  :o)

piano-lessons-004

When the kids began their lessons in September, my Dad asked if we wanted the metronome that we used as kids.  Of course!  Then I found out that Dad actually made it!  Cool, huh?  It still works too… 34 years later.  Dad always made cool stuff.

What do I remember of piano lessons?  I remember my recital songs, The Tarantella and If I Were a Rich Man.  I can’t play them by memory anymore, but I can still whip up a saucy Sentimental Journey.  It’s one of those songs that you feel like you should be lying on the piano in a slinky dress when you sing it.  But it’s hard to do that and play at the same time.  I also remember driving my sister to her piano lessons.  I was such a big help raising you, Christy!

Long live piano lessons.