Sunday, May 11, 2008

Homeschool End of Year Program

On May 2nd, we participated in our end of the year production/project fair with our homeschool co-op. It was a great event that had tables set up displaying all the work the kids had been doing in their various classes all semester, complete with photos, projects, etc. There was also a two hour program where the kids did things in their class groups, as well as individually. Our overall subject theme this semester was mostly dealing with government in some format, so many of the program pieces were in this area. Both Ruby and Fawn's classes sang songs, such as "Three Cheers for the Red, White, and Blue", Yankee Doodle Dandy and said the Pledge of Allegiance. Ruby's class invited their Daddies to join them on stage for a rousing round of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes", which was a crowd pleaser to be sure. Mike did great and was able to keep up with the preschoolers quite nicely.

Gabriella had two classes she presented with, one where they went through all the presidents of the United States, and the other was the class I taught; we signed "God Bless America" in ASL.

Christopher was part of a skit (he was the narrator) and also helped with a government class presentation, as well as helping with the mock election that took place that night to conclude a semester long mock campaign for mayor that two women from the community participated in to really allow our students to experience all aspects of the campaign process and an election.

Individually, Christopher played a piano selection, and Gabriella recited a memorized poem, then concluded with a piano piece. They both did wonderfully.

Elliot sadly was not able to be there that night due to having been ill all week prior and still was at that time. He was hugely disappointed.

After the program, there were treats and time to visit. It was a special night to end a fabulous year with our homeschool group. We are so blessed to be a part of a group with so many wonderful families.

When we arrived home, we told Elliot all about the evening, and let him watch the videos we'd filmed throughout the program.

Homeschool Co-op Classes This School Year

**All the kids had Phy-Ed class each semester in addition to the following academic classes

Ruby: 1st Semester - Sign Language & Story Starters Class
2nd Semester: Little Patriots & Art/Music/Creativity

Fawn: 1st Semester - Drawing & Story Starters (activities that accompany classic children's books) 2nd Semester: Human Body & The Minute Kids (government class)

Gabriella: 1st Semester - Whiz Kidz Science & Art
2nd Semester: American Sign Language & Government/Presidents Class

Elliot: 1st Semester - Debate & Human Video (artistic movement to music to tell a story)
2nd Semester - Chemistry & Government

Christopher: 1st Semester - Institute for Creative Writing & Human Video
2nd Semester - Debate & Government

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

My Daily Battle

My quest seems hopelss, yet I forge on with it day after day... the effort to try to have the entire house clean at one time. I feel good if I can just keep the main living areas tidy. When I bust my back getting the whole place clean top to bottom, it's serene pleasure ends within hours, or even minutes depending on who is at home & who is not.

Don't get me wrong, there are no dishes piled sky high or anything (the laundry on the other hand is a different thing), but there are items strewn about everywhere constantly needing to be put away etc...

The floor area under the kitchen table is swept daily, often multiple times, yet everytime I turn around there are enough dropped food items to feed a dozen ant colonies, mixed in with crayon wrappers, coloring sheets, crayons, pencils, slippers, who knows what?....

On the days I can get one level clean I go downstairs to find the basement trashed with toys everywhere. Kids bedrooms - let's not go there. A constant battle. I can say my own bedroom fluctuates too.

Laundry... my #1 nemesis... HATE everthing about it!
It seems the day is so full of homeschooling, hours of cooking and meal prep, running errands or taking kids to classes/activities and so on, that the house is difficult to focus on for great lengths of time.

Yesterday though, due to several sick kids resulting in no school here at home, I was able to tackle some cupboard cleaning & reorganization, which felt good to accomplish. It's been one of those areas that has driven me (and my poor husband, the neat guy in the home) NUTS! Speaking of my poor husband, the "neat, orderly-minded guy" he has been very challenged with my... well... challenges in homekeeping. I regularly think to myself that if I hear, "A Place for everything, everything in it's place..." ONE MORE TIME, I will dive out the closest window and run screaming through the woods. WHAT was Benjamin Franklin thinking of when he coined that phrase? It has only caused homemakers throughout the ages to harbor guilt or have compulsive fixation on the matter. Have you ever stopped to think that not everything Good Ol' Ben sputtered is not THE last word on the subject? Take this one for example... hmmmmmm? I beg to differ with you Ben.

Despite these difficulties, I am happy that our house is by no means a pigsty, it is however full of kids stuff, books, and all their clothes - which seems to be any many as the grains of sand on the ocean shore. I have been sorting and discarding, but the whole job of packing away winter clothes, getting out summer clothes, saving sizes for the next kid, etc. etc.. makes me dizzy with 7 kids - one in every size from 4-13 and shoes being passed down and around at a rate where I just cannot keep up. When we do laundry, it's a family activity where I just hold it up and the owner claims it. Socks are a nightmare - we sit in a circle and I pass out socks (using the hold it up method) until everyone has their socks matched and mated. The kids however think it's quite fun.. the "sock game", or "sock time.... yeah!" as they call it - wish I shared their enthusiasm for this chore.

I know that I should be happy in my humble work and do it all to please my maker and my family, but boy does it get mundane. Luckily spring has finally arrived to possibly revive my spirits - although spring cleaning may have to wait until... ummm late summer, possibly fall??!

A Year of Teaching American Sign Language

Counting in ASL - signing "9"
This year in our homeschool co-op the classes I taught were American Sign Language. The first semester I worked with 2-3 year olds, since I was used to teaching baby & toddler signing classes this was a breeze and quite fun. My class consisted of all girls the age of Ruby (who was also in the class) and we referred to the class as "The Little Princess Class". They had fun, and at the end of first semester in the winter production they sang and signed 2 songs: Jesus Loves Me and Happy Happy Home.

Ruby signing "flower" with some of her classmates

Last week, I finished my second semester of teaching a class of 6-7 year olds, which included Gabriella, who absolutely excels in signing (she's quickly passing up mom!). I was a bit more challenged by this group, not really for lack of material, but because of the different personalities in the class. A few of the kids just did not seem overly enthused about the subject material, while others, like Gabriella and her friend Matteya loved it and wanted to move at a faster pace. All in all though, the entire group ended up doing very well and learned a great deal, the inclusion of learning about Koko the gorilla who signs 1,000's of words increased topic interest all the way around! In the end-of-year program, this group signed and sang God Bless America; you can see them practicing in the photo below.

It just so happened that last week the college where Mike works put on an ASL presentation for children. The two college classes, along with two high school classes joined forces to present 3 short plays: The Three Little Pigs, The Gingerbread Man, & Goldilocks and The Three Bears - all done in ASL, with a narrator translating. In between the plays there were musical presentations the high school kids signed to, such as: Ain't No Mountain High Enough, Lean on Me, and Waiting for the World to Change.

My kids had a great time, and several of the kids from my ASL class were able to attend too, which was a great conclusion to their semester. Ruby was a bit nervous during scenes with the Big Bad Wolf, or the scene when the 3 Bears came home - on the other hand, she laughed herself silly when the Gingerbread Man ran about the stage! In the end, the entire auditorium gave a huge round of applause in ASL!

Gabriella & classmate learning signs about home and family - signing "mother"
learning to sign "turtle"

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Jane Austen Journey Continues....

A modern Austen fan reading my personal favorite Pride & Prejudice

If you have been reading this blog you know by now about my new membership in the Jane Austen fan club (well not officially 'cause there is one, but ya know what I mean...). It began in February, so you can relish the posts there and into March to catch up if needed!

Anyway, since my enthusiasm was unbridled, I was able to hook up with a few lovely ladies from my church who had an interest in reading some Austen and shared a desire to watch the weekly Jane Austen series on PBS on Sunday nights that ran for several months, ending April 6th. Each Sunday Sue, Sharna, and myself (also Sue obviously), met at Marlene's lovely house - free of children, husbands, telephones, and anything "needy" - with the possible exception of Marlene's cats. Our lovely hostess provided us with goodies each week, consisting of popcorn, apple wedges, tea or water, and in a lovely sugar bowl off to the side was nutritional yeast (my favorite popcorn topping)... she was thinking of me especially, I felt so special. These delights could somewhat mirror a snack Dear Jane might enjoy... well at least the tea and apple wedges, popcorn may have not been "lady like" and reserved for festive evening fun solely with family members, when hulls stuck in a lady's pearly whites may go unnoticed. Anyway... it was a relaxing, pleasant time. Mike's Grandma Shirley joined us a guest one night while she was in town visiting and had, in her words, "a grand time"; we enjoyed having her there too.

This group was my first real "girls night" out, just for fun since I moved here, and it was most enjoyable! While we discussed books we read, we also enjoyed seeing Jane's characters come to life on the screen. Since we started late into the series, we were only able to actually watch Emma and Sense & Sensibility (BBC versions - not Hollywood). They were both very good. Some of us also jammed in reading Emma during this time. It was such a delight to get to know these women better, and to stay up chatting wayyy too late in the night!

We had such a great time, we have decided to reconvene as a book club in the fall. Currently we are in "planning mode" where we all are considering what books we want to suggest for the reading list. We also discussed doing additional things like making food to share that goes with the story somehow (thus the reason I was recently reading the Book Club Cookbook), as well as watching film versions of the books for comparison. I think this will be a great group and am looking forward to it; everyone brings a different flavor to the group and it will be exciting for all of us to expand our horizons with different styles of reading selections. We're taking suggestions, so fire away if you have any!
Currently, I have begun Persuasion by Miss Jane, which I have been eager to read for some time... but it was never in at the library. FINALLY, I discovered one of my book club buddies had it, so when she returned it, I was on it like... well, like, really fast...
Over the summer we may try to sneak in a few of the films from the PBS series we missed. One of the ladies emailed me that her mom purchased the DVD set, so we can catch up! Hopefully there will be some sultry summer nights where we can lounge with a fan and enjoy the refreshing tales of romance that are signature Austen.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

48 Days Without Chocolate and Counting...

Hi, my name is Susan (hi Susan), I am a chocoholic.....

I was born a chocoholic, who knows, my mother may have put chocolate milk in my baby bottle when I was yet an infant (it is not outside the realm of possibility). As a child I did not care for any other candy aside from something chocolate, no cookies or cakes either. Donuts needed to have chocolate icing, hot chocolate & toast was my favorite breakfast item (ya, I know...). My entire life has been filled with chocolate obsession. It is given to me for Christmas, birthday and Valentine gifts because everyone knows it is my heart's desire. My husband was programmed to arrive home with it if he knew I had a bad day, or was anticipating a difficult one ahead. It was, in some form, my favorite treat for movies, driving snacks, restaurant desserts, and the majority of the desserts I made at home. It WAS a huge part of my life. I say WAS, because on March 18, 2007 I gave it up. Today is my 48th day completely chocolate & cocoa free - not a chip, speck, dusting or sprinkle. Maybe you're wondering why I did such a thing? It was just time.

I have been very aware for some time how chocolate ruled my moods and how dependant psychologically I was on it... it functioned as a crutch, a chocolate fix for me was just that. I eluded myself by thinking I was doing much better by giving up milk chocolate and going only with the "healthier" dark variety over a year ago... but ya know what, despite the all the new stuff you read everywhere about how good it is for you, it really is not when you read the "real" research on it. I knew it all along, I just needed a kick in the pants to get me to take the plunge into chocolate free living, something I had never in my entire life experienced. Well, I got the kick I needed when I discovered that my chocolate lover was a contributor to my messed up hormonal problems, causing me to turn into Mommy Dearest for about 7-12 days a month. That was the incentive that I finally needed to stop my nasty love affair with chocolate/cocoa of all forms. So I gobbled up the remainder I had in the house on March 17th and went cold turkey the next day.

The first few days were challenging and it was obvious to me I would need to retrain myself in many ways. No more bite of chocolate when stressed, when kids are on my nerves, when needing a quick pick-me-up and so on. So much of my chocolate use (abuse) was incredibly habitual. THAT was the hard part to break out of.

Overall things have been going okay, Easter was weird at my aunts - everything was chocolate (except the pork...grrrr). I am continually amazed at how chocolate is EVERYWHERE! I dare you to try to go without it for awhile and you will see how difficult it is to get a snack, dessert item, nutrition bar, etc without it staring you in the face - it is astounding. The number of other options are meek in comparison. I would say my hardest battle with it was just recently when we had our end of year homeschool co-op production. We all made brownies to bring for afterwards (including me - and NO I did not lick the batter bowl or spoon) plus the group purchased a ton of brownies from a bakery. At the end of the night there were a ton left over that needed to be wrapped and frozen for upcoming events - guess who got that job?? Yours truly had to handle and foil wrap over 100 brownies that looked soooo yummy, some with frosting, some w/o. And of course I had to bring home my personal ones that were left over, much to my kids great joy & delight. They are still in my kitchen...they were calling to me bigtime yesterday, but today they have lost their power over me, so their voice is now silent. I have not succumbed to the temptation! Whew!

Ya know, I have given up ALOT of food in my lifetime. I came from an eating disorder background where food controlled my life, and with God's help I have really turned that situation around. Today I am a vegan (no meat, dairy or eggs), but I also do not drink coffee, pop or carbonated beverages, eat junk food (chips, candy, etc), I don't use white sugar or flour in my house (I'm an all whole grains, natural foods, raw veggies, sprouts, and so on... you get the idea kind girl). My last dietary vice was the beloved chocolate. I feel good giving it the boot.

Will I be able to remain chocolate free forever? I do not know, but it is nice to know that I can control it, instead of it me. I don't have a desire to invite it back into my life, so for now I'll keep on with the carob and some of my other new found yummie snacks....

Wish me luck and continuing success!

My NEW snack/treat favorites:

Mary's Gone Crackers & Hummus (homemade or Sabra)

Pretzels and Mustard (especially horseradish mustard)

Newman's Ginger O's Cookies

Soy Delicious Carob Peppermint Frozen Dessert

Herbal Teas, favorite is Good Earth Original w/o caffeine

Parsley & Oranges Blender Drink (lots of fresh parsley, whole peeled oranges w/o seeds, & OJ - {or water & frozen OJ concentrate in place of OJ})

SUSHI!! - can't get enough!

Gabriella's Dance Recital

Gabriella with two of her homeschool co-op/dance class friends.

For the past year, Gabriella's regular weekly joy has been to attend her dance class at Heart & Sole Dance studio. I will firmly state that prior to last spring I had never once considered allowing my girls to be involved in dance for many reasons; high pressure, immodest clothing & outfits, inappropriate dance styles for young girls, all to name a few... but after I saw a group of students perform under the direction of a Christian teacher with a Christ-centered focus, my mind began to change. I explored the teacher and studio further and spoke to parents who had children work with her previously - I only received glowing reports. This woman had rules about the kind of clothes worn to dance class -modesty required, it was not high pressure performance based dance (regardless of the age group), and it was not about proudly displaying yourself, but to use the body God gave you to praise him through dance. After several months of consideration and prayer, Mike & I decided to enroll Gabriella in the class for the school year - a dream come true for her, she has always had a passion for dance since she was a toddler.

Many of the girls in Gabriella's class were also in our homeschool co-op, so she was surrounded by friends each week. Her teacher is a gem and probably the most patient woman on the planet, and her talents abound. She makes the class fun, not stressful and begins each class with a devotion period.

In April, the big day finally arrived for Gabriella's dance recital - all students in the program would be performing from age 4 through adult. I still harbored concern if Mike & I had made the right choice in having Gabriella involved, but all of it faded away as we watched not only our child, but many others including teens and adults dance in praise to God in a variety of dance styles - all of it artistic, pure, and uplifting. All performances were to Christian music, including hymns, classics, hip-hop, pop, and praise tunes - including favorites like I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me, I Need Thee Every Hour by Selah and You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban. We also were able to see the teacher perform, she was splendid to watch. She gave a short talk about her dream to start a Christian dance program to praise God through dance and how it came to be, and her hopes and prayers for the future of the program, including the fact that no child would be turned away for lack of funds or talent. The entire program was in a word: uplifting.

Gabriella did an outstanding job and really shined. She was front & center on the stage and not a bit nervous. Her age group performed twice, once alone and the other with ALL of the students of all ages on stage together for the final dance. She had a fabulous time and has already made her request to be involved in the program next year; she is saddened to have to take the summer off.
Last week we had our last day of homeschool co-op. In one of her classes she had show & tell time where she could bring 2 things to share about that were really special to her this year. She brought one of her American Girl dolls she received as a very special gift from her friend Laura, and her dance slippers. Her teacher found me later specifically to tell me what Gabriella shared with the class (since I was teaching elsewhere). She said when Gabriella talked about dance she summed it up with, "I love to dance because I feel like I'm dancing for Jesus and He is the only one watching. I feel happy when I dance."
Bible Verse from the first class devotion time:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5

Gabriella with her teacher Cyndy Murdock (green dress)

Some of the Heart & Sole dance students on stage after final performance

Mike & I On Our FIRST Getaway in 12 Years!

Oh, I bet you're intrigued aren't you? WHERE would we get away to after going NOWHERE together w/o children for 12 years.... yes, TWELVE years as of June 1st this year....

Did we go to a fancy resort? A weekend in the cities maybe? Jump on a plane for a romantic escape you wager? no... we headed off to the MN homeschool conference (MACHE) April 18th & 19th - yippee! Now I mean YIPPEE! and yippee when I say that. When you have gone noooo place together alone for the majority of your marriage, any place holds excitement and relief AND I was especially excited to attend a homeschool conference since I had never done so yet in my years of educating the kids in this fashion. Yet, after all the work of finding childcare for all the kids, getting a hotel in Duluth on the lake, etc... it was sort of odd and disappointing that Mike & I would have little time to actually be together and just relax. We both would be busy attending meetings and speakers and looking over curriculum booths.

Nevertheless, we had a great time, took in some outstanding presenters/info that will be hugely helpful in our homeschool next year, and purchased most of the curriculum we will need for the fall. There was some time to visit with friends that were there too, which was relaxing and pleasant. Mike had also scouted out great places to eat in the area: a pizza place that had lots of vegan options, and also a delicious Indian restaurant. The hotel was beautiful too - I could've sat in my room for half a day lounging if time had only allowed.

Meanwhile our kids were hanging out at our house with Mike's mom, who was wonderful enough to come from SD to stay with them, and our three extra kiddos were visiting another foster home in the area that they LOVE to hang out at - a horse farm, every kid's dream home.

It was a great trip, but Mike & I are greatly looking forward to our first REAL getaway coming up in June, where we WILL be jumping on a plane for a romantic getaway to Maine for a dear friend's wedding. While there we hope to have enough time to actually enjoy one another's company!

Gabriella Turns 7 Years Old

April 17th was the day our Gabriella turned 7 - can you believe it? I can't. She's such a young lady, mature and intelligent beyond her years, yet how can she truly be seven already?

Her celebration was small, just our family and Grandma Marilyn present, but the b-day girl was not picky. We whipped out the good old cupcake stand and vegan cupcake cookbook again and set to work. Chocolate Mint Cupcakes were the selection made, so I made a batch of them, as well as a batch substituting carob for all the chocolate in both the mix and frosting - both of them turned out scrumptiously yummy and I marked another successful recipe in the newly beloved cookbook.

Gabriella enjoyed her gifts: clothes from Grandma, and some books, hair items, watch, and felt coloring poster from the family. She also go to select a figurine, horse and fairy for the ongoing collection here of knights, castles and figures she and her siblings play with.

I look at her and still cannot believe she is already 7, but then there are many days I am amazed she is only 7 .... go figure!

Finished Physical Therapy!

After 12 weeks of physical therapy twice per week, I graduated on April 8th! My last day was weird... you get to know your team of therapists pretty well when you're with them 2-3 hours per week for 12 weeks straight. I was sad to say goodbye to them, and they expressed how odd it would be not seeing me at 7am in the morning to start their days twice a week. They sent me off with parting gifts; t-shirt, huge microwave heat bag, exercise props and a plan of continuing action. I must confess with the crazy calender we have had in April, I have done no work on my continuing recovery plan - but am pumped to get on track in May. I just need to, there is no other way. Even doing this plan faithfully, it will take me 1- 1/2 years to have full recovery and use of my knee from surgery date to finish.

Currently I can walk great, but not fast for long, and certainly cannot jog or run. I am not able to squat down or kneel yet either, and I do need to be careful how I move it. Yet, I am so thankful to have it functioning w/o pain and a major limp.

So.... back to getting on track with my exercises! I'll be doing very specific ones to build the muscles in certain areas in my knees and legs, as well as a walking program and yoga. In addition, I have orthopedic inserts on the way for my shoes since my feet are soooooo horribly flat it really messes with my knees, as well as my back. New shoes need to accompany the inserts too - it's a wicked $$$ spiral, but in the end it will hopefully prevent me from walking like an elderly woman at the age of 50!

Therefore, I welcome any peppy, motivational email you care to send my way to cheer me in my efforts to better health!

Newsboys Concert - Fantastic!

Call us crazy, but on the day when we knew our region was to endure one of the biggest snow storms this winter season, Mike, Christopher, Elliot and myself made the trek to St. Cloud (1 hr drive) to attend a Newsboys concert on April 10th.... Were we die hard fans? No, actually we were only slightly familiar with their music. Why did we venture out insanely then.... not sure, but so glad we did!

The story that brings us to the day of the concert is brief: one of the families in our homeschool co-op was getting a group together to go and she was buying the tickets to get a group rate for everyone. She had seen the band 3 times previously and her enthusiasm for them was contagious. Her older children had also been to their concerts and enjoyed them (ages 9 & 10). We had to make a decision by the end of the day, so the kids and I got on youtube and started watching some of their music videos. We decided that they were worth checking out further. From Mike & I's perspective, we felt it would be a great introduction to the world of rock concerts for the boys: good Christian music, attending with a group of their peers in the company of their parents, and wholesome fun.

On the day of the concert there were continuous storm warnings, travel warnings, cancellations and closings all going into effect for that night and the next day. We knew we would be able to make it to St. Cloud fine, but the getting home after would be another story... hmmmm? We checked with the other families - all were still committed to the adventure, so we hung in with the plan too. We dropped our other 5 kiddos off at our friends home and hit the road. Within 20 minutes we encountered bad blowing snow that only worsened the farther we traveled. By the time we arrived at the concert we knew it was going to get really bad... and it was moving that way FAST.

Anyway... we went inside.

Our friends had saved us a spot with our group, which was set up with the boys on a bleacher, the girls on the next one up, then parents behind them (moms together with Dads behind their wife) - all so well thought out for being able to chat and have fun.

First band was Article One from Canada - they were really good. They have this amazing violin player that "completely rocks!" (to quote one of the teens I was with). Next up was a soul style band called New World Son (also from Canada) that was super fun. Mike especially enjoyed these guys. The last warm up band was Rush of Fools from Alabama. Christopher & Elliot really perked up when this band hit the stage. Prior to this they had been standing still with hands over their ears and monkeying around with their ear plugs due to the mind blowing volume they had never in their little lives experienced, or even thought possible. Now, at last they became engaged and I saw them enjoy themselves a bit; I admit I enjoyed this group the most thus far too - they must share their mother's taste in music!

At last the Newsboys made a great entrance and the night took off! All I can say is that they were wayyyy more than I was expecting. It was a completely awesome performance that was fun, pure (no rock band insanity), and inspiring. The youngest concert goer I saw was around 18 months old (that was insane), the oldest had to be in her 80's... everybody having a blast. The concert included various styles of songs from slow and beautiful to loud, fast and fun. The lead singer also shared his testimony which was moving and touched the massive crowd. The grand finale of the show was a drum duo between the lead vocalist and the drummer which was exceptionally entertaining and included revolving, upside down drum sets and more.

Mike and I watched our two sons change from stiff dweebie like fellows into clapping, smiling concert goers who were actually getting into the fun. They didn't go all crazy by any means, but they were animated and enjoying themselves tremendously - the ear plugs even came out of Christopher's ears!

After the concert they were all chatter about how great it was, "could we buy a CD?", and so on. We were all hooked and instantly transformed into Newsboys fans.

The ride home was treacherous, with next to zero visibility and wicked blowing snow which had accumulated several inches while we were at the show. We saw countless vehicles in the ditch and many pulled over to spend the night. You could not see the road in most places and had to rely on the car ahead of you to lead the way (if there was one). The snow continued to pile up as we drove 15-20 mph home, taking 3 hours instead of 1, with Mike grasping the steering wheel with a death grip and both of us leaning forward in our seats trying to see out the windows in the wall of blowing snow. When we finally reached home we were exhausted. We had to leave the other 5 kids at my friends home for the night, it was after 2am and we could not go further to get to her house. They remained there until the following afternoon when our driveway and area roads were finally cleared from the several feet of snow we had received.

Any regrets about going - NOPE. The boys are still talking about the concert, and Christopher has requested a Newsboy CD for his upcoming 12th birthday - happy to oblige... that is if Mom can borrow it?!

Favorites tunes from the concert:

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A Sunday Out to a Mozart Concert for Kids in Minneapolis

On Sunday April 6th we all went to Minneapolis to see the Symphony performance titled *Mozart You Kid You!, geared especially for children. It was very educational as well as enjoyable and included several young performers: a 15 year old opera student, a trio of 3 young boys from the area boys choir, and a 9 year old girl who is an incredible piano prodigy. The concert was narrated by a entertaining and witty performer (Jamie Bernstein) dressed as Mozart who shared snippets of Wolfgang's life from childhood to death between symphony pieces & youth performances. We all learned more about his life, music and era while enjoying the talents of rising musicians along with the skilled Minneapolis Symphony.

While in the big city, we ate lunch at a fabulous Indian restaurant that was all vegetarian! Yum.

*Jamie Bernstein returns to Orchestra Hall after her popular Bernstein Beat concerts in 2005! Ms. Bernstein continues the tradition of her father Leonard Bernstein, presenting music to kids in a fun and unforgettable way. This concert celebrates the music of Mozart, from his first minuet at age 4 to his final opera, The Magic Flute. Hear guest performers as young as Mozart was when he entertained the kings and queens of Europe. Mozart favorites on this concert include Symphony No. 40 and the Overture to The Marriage of Figaro.