Tag Archive | music

Summer plans

Rana’s last day of first grade was on the 12th. It always changes the dynamic around the house when she is home all day. She is a forceful little personality with lots of creative energy. If we don’t deliberately channel it in positive directions things quickly dissolve into chaos and my blood pressure shoots through the roof. I learned early on that I have to be proactive about it. The year before last, I had a theme for each day of the week during the summer. I went with a similar idea this summer, but because of Mr. Gren’s  rotating schedule I decided to make up a little calendar to help the kids know what to expect.

One package of craft felt later and I had a week’s calendar with little medallions to represent the different activities. The felt sticks to itself like those old Sunday school flannelgraphs, so no fastening necessary. I can move them around to different days and the kids will know at a glance what’s on the docket for that day. Well, more or less.

  • The cross: Pretty much is always going to be on Sunday to represent church.
  • Portrait of Papa: Mr. Gren’s day off, so we’ll do something together as a family like go to the park or the zoo.
  • Bowl with a spoon: Each child will get to help me in the kitchen for one meal. Konik will help with breakfast; Granota with lunch and Rana with dinner. I’m hoping that by each kid having an assigned meal, the other two will stay out of the kitchen and let us work!
  • Broom: Chore day! We’ll all work together to get the house cleaned up.
  • Music notes: Music day. It might be learning a new song together, making instruments, or maybe even a music video (Granota is getting pretty good at “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”)
  • Castle: Build a fort! The kids always love sitting in a fort and I figured it would reduce my stress level if we just had a specific day set aside for it.
  • Question mark: Mystery day! It will only be a mystery for the kids. It’s kind of my “uncategorized” activities. Maybe a craft or play-doh or a walk in the woods. That kind of thing. It gives them something to anticipate.

My summer ingeniousness didn’t stop there!  Granota is a little movie fiend. She starts pestering me from the instant she has finished breakfast to let her watch a movie. (I don’t let my kids watch TV, but we do have videotapes that they can watch). And once she starts, it’s hard to get her focused on something else. I didn’t want to have the same conversation 500 times everyday for the rest of the summer, so I came up with a plan. I made the kids movie tickets that they can cash in whenever they want to watch a movie. Three for “short” movies and two for “long” movies, plus an extra “long” one that they can earn by being helpful around the house.

They are pretty excited about using them. As of Sunday evening they have already used one of each ticket. I figured that would happen. But hopefully they’ll learn to ration them and they’ll realize it’s more fun to have one movie each day rather than five all at once and then nothing for the rest of the week. I’m curious to see how long it takes for them to catch on.

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Also, in other fun news, I made a fancy little button that will link you straight to my new blog “There’s A Lot Goin’ On.” See it up there on the right? I mentioned this last week, but in case anyone missed it, this blog focuses on setting straight some common misconceptions about Axl Rose. Why Axl? You’ll have to read to find out. hee hee

Sewing Paralysis and Axl Rose

Well, after the triumph of my Zebra in the Jungle blouse, I was all fired up to do some more sewing for myself. I got out another blouse pattern, looked at it and decided it was too much of a hassle for that particular day. Got out a dress pattern, cut out all the tissue pieces, and changed my mind about that, too. Don’t get me wrong, I do like these patterns, and I will make them sooner rather than later. I just have to be in the right mood for it. Some days I enjoy the more technical aspects of sewing and other days I just want to churn something out. The Jungle blouse satisfied the latter criteria and, apparently I had an appetite for more (Appetite for Construction, haha! Yes, I’m lame), but no fabric for it. Alas. Feeling the desire to sew, I pulled out other patterns, other fabric, and yet, I wasn’t really feeling it. What happens then is a state of paralysis. I can’t move; I can’t move forward; I stare out the window; nothing gets done.

Now, I actually did accomplish something crafty last week, but I can’t talk about it yet, because it is a surprise for the recipient. Once I know she has received it, then I’ll post about it. I have also been crocheting on Granota’s Cuddle Muffin jumper, but it’s not worth posting pictures of just yet.

I have to admit that the majority of my time this week was spent extensively researching Axl Rose. No, I am not a crazy stalker. Axl’s not going to have to worry about me showing up at his house and hiding in the bushes. See, there’s this thing about me that my mom described as “intense phases of interest” in a letter to my grandma when I was in high school. That was twenty years ago (holy cow!) and things really haven’t changed. When something catches my interest, I develop a ravenous hunger to absorb every bit of information I can unearth through any medium available to me. It is intense until I reach the point where I feel that I’ve learned everything I possibly can or I finally get bored of the subject. Past topics have included nutrition (that lasted for 2 years), the Trojan War, the French Revolution, the Three Musketeers series, Phantom of the Opera, and there have been plenty of “smaller” topics along the way that don’t take as long to satiate me. This voracious drive to learn is the reason I speak French today.

Once Granota started sporting her bandana à la Axl, my interest was piqued and once that happens, everything else comes to a halt. I nearly feel qualified to write a biography on the man after all of this research. Since that’s really not the point of this blog, I’m not going to write about everything that I learned pertaining to Axl Rose, but I will say that my impression and understanding of him have radically changed to the point where I don’t think he is nearly the villain that he has always been portrayed to be. If you have questions, I’ll be happy to answer since I think Mr. Gren is probably about fed up with the daily oral reports I’ve been giving him. And you’ll be happy to know that, while I’m not done with Axl, I do feel like I’ve quenched that initial hunger to where I’ll actually be able to focus on something else this week. I’ve got a dress cut out on my sewing table, so hopefully something on that for Wednesday! In the meanwhile, you can watch this video of what I think is Axl’s most powerful song, “Estranged.” The depth of emotion he conveys sends chills down my spine.

And, on the severely minuscule chance that Axl ever stumbles across my puny blog:
Axl, I get you. Most people don’t, but most people haven’t taken the time. I know you like art; take me to Paris and I can give you some great tours. My husband’s a pastor; I think he’d make an excellent chaplain and a loyal friend. But in all seriousness, I pray that someday you find the peace and love you’ve been searching for your whole life. I’ll give you a hint: all those crucifixes you collect will show you the way.