Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it centers around family, friends and being grateful. On the first of November this year some friends on facebook began doing a daily thankfulness post and encouraged me to join in. It's amazing how daily thinking of what I'm grateful for has made me a happier person. So I thought I'd share what I've posted so far and encourage you to think of the things you are thankful for.
November is for thankfulness. Day #1: Super thankful for my faithful supportive loving husband.
Thankfulness Day #2: Today I am thankful for our daughter Abigail. She was named after a woman know for her great beauty, intelligence and independence. Since day 1 she has lived up to all three. I love her colorful personality, her artistic endeavors, and her desire to do what is good and right.
Thankfulness Day #3: I am thankful today for our middle child Josiah. Named after a young boy who became king, a king who going against what was popular reformed a nation. Our Josiah too is a leader and does what he believes is right despite what others think of him. I love how he is creative in his drawing, his skateboarding and his thought process.
Thankfulness Day #4: Today I am thankful for Alazar, our youngest. His birth parents named him after Lazarus who came back from the dead. He defied the odds and has continued as the most resourceful persistent person I know. His determination to survive his first year brought him to us and for that I will always be grateful. I love his happy spirit, his hilarious antics and his joyful singing.
Thankfulness Day #5: Today I am thankful for the opportunities I've had to travel, 40+ countries, 40+ states “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a
position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for
granted.” – Bill Bryson
Thankfulness Day #6: Today I'm thankful for weather. And how I get to visit it.
Thankfulness Day #7: I am thankful for God. I am amazed that the God who made the universe, the God who raised from the dead, that same God is the God who loves me, forgave me, saved me and calls me friend. And just fyi, that same God, whether you know it or not, loves you too. :)
Thankfulness Day #8: I am thankful for drinking water. I am thankful
that I don't have to hike to get my water and carry it back to the
family. And I'm super thankful that when I get my water it's clean. Running faucets rock!
Thankfulness Day #9: Thankful for my kind, supportive, hilarious neighbors.
Thankfulness Day #10: Thankful for music- the simple, the complex, the entertaining, the thought provoking, thankful to listen, thankful to teach, thankful to participate
Thankfulness Day #11: I am humbly grateful for the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom.
"O beautiful for heroes prov'd In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life.
America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,From sea to shining sea."
Thankfulness Day #12: I am thankful for all you amazing friends who were willing to realize that I am super shy not super snobby and loves that FB allows an introvert like me to say what I would be too intimidated to say out loud.
Thankfulness Day #13: I am thankful for three days of solitude I've had. I'm also thankful that I get my kids back today and my husband back for a little bit tomorrow.
Thankfulness Day #14: Thankful for sweet Vanessa and my beloved sister Becky. They are the two who inspired me to do thankfulness posts and I love how it has made me concentrate on what I am grateful for. I am also thankful that though both of these ladies have suffered great loss this past year that both of them are now having healthy pregnancies. I am thankful for their adorable kids and their babies on the way.
Thankfulness Day #15: Thankful for our health. Thankful that I don't need to sleep under a bed net and thankful that if I did I'd have the access and funds to do it. Thankful for the luxuries of healthy food, medicines, clean water, safe shelter and local hospitals.
Friday, November 5, 2010
This season give the gift of a musical
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Order by Nov 20 for a free Hanukkah gift
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Kindermusik with Ms B is a music and movement program for children 0-5 years old in the Santa Clarita Valley.
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For more information see:
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Whew, with Halloween over we can move into Thanksgiving and then the winter holidays, which for me is Christmas, my favorite holiday. The one thing that truly separates Christmas in my mind from the other holidays is the music. From the time I was a little girl, music was an essential aspect of the season. There were music programs at church and school, tree lightings and fancy shows, even caroling. In fact our family would go door to door to our neighbor's homes and sing carols every Christmas Eve. Actually we still do. And since my five siblings and I are now all married with children it's quite a choir!
Music evokes emotion. The dynamics, the modes, the tempo, all of that speaks to our emotions. A loud uptempo song may make us want to dance and a soft slow minor song may make us want to cry. But music also captivates our memories. When you chose the song for the first dance song of your wedding why did you choose it? When you hear that song now, how do you feel? When you hear a song from the first concert you attended can you almost hear the crowd? When you hear the Star Spangled banner do you picture fireworks? Music reminds us. It reminds us of people and places, sounds, smells and feelings, of love and of loss. With a simple melody we are taken back in time.
And so it is with Christmas music. Every Christmas memory for me is wrapped up in a song. So every November-December I take a journey. When I hear Christmas music I think of running around with my cousins at Grandpa's house, of riding in the car to pick a tree, of caroling to the neighbors, of Christmas parties, of ridiculous pageant costumes and cracking up with friend's backstage. I'm reminded of family and friends. If I was ever asked whether I would rather never receive another Christmas gift or never hear another Christmas song, the answer for me would be easy. I don't need gifts, I'd much rather have music and the precious memories that come with it.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Music is important to our children's development, listening to it and experiencing it. But why take our kids to a concert when we could just turn on the iPod? Lots of reasons.
First and foremost is the experiencing part. When a child can see, as well as hear, how the music is being created it adds a whole new level to their understanding. Combining the skills of watching and listening creates numerous brain connections. A drum makes a sound by being hit or tapped, while a flute makes a sound from being blown into. Seeing this happen helps children put the instruments into categories and learning to categorize is a crucial lifelong skill. Taking children to concerts opens their minds to different music, allowing them to enjoy it in a new way.
Aside from the musical education received at a concert there are other benefits. One of these is that taking your child to a concert is an excellent time to instill manners and etiquette. Dress up for a symphony, dress down for a concert in the park. For young children it's about sitting still, knowing when to speak, when to remain quiet. When they get older it can be used for other lessons. In our family we like to use concerts for dates. I love going on dates with my husband but sometimes he takes our daughter instead. It's great one on one time for them. I help her get ready, finding the appropriate thing to wear, and then he treats her like a lady, taking her to dinner, holding the door for her. She learns how to behave in a social setting, treated like a lady she behaves like one and will expect that same treatment with dates in the future. Every child will need to know social etiquette, know how to behave at a wedding, an award ceremony, or unfortunately a funeral. Taking them to concerts beginning at an early age will prepare them for these social situations with grace. It may not occur to us but knowing when or when not to clap is a good skill to learn!
Santa Clarita has not been named “Awesometown” without merit. We have here a huge selection of concerts and a wonderful appreciation for the musical arts. Even our children's schools have the rare gift of music education. The Newhall School District Music Makers PTA provides chorus and orchestra opportunities to our children. And there are numerous concerts that you can attend with your child without breaking the bank. There is an “Almost free Family Events” series at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center including an upcoming musical based on the popular children's book “Click Clack Moo”. The Santa Clarita Symphony Chamber Ensemble provides a “Free Stimulus Series” and a Children's Instrument Petting Zoo around town. The Santa Clarita Master Chorale holds concerts including an upcoming event directed toward children titled “Fairy Tales, Fables and Creatures”. You can catch a show like Peter Pan by ESCAPE or a concert by the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra, both for children and by children. There are monthly free children's concerts at Christ Lutheran Preschool and free child-friendly concerts at Undergrounds, a donation only coffee shop on the campus of Real Life Church, on Friday evenings.
If you're already enjoying concerts with your kids please share with us your favorites. If not, check some out! Spend some one on one time with your little pumpkin, introduce them to the beauty that is music. Not only will you have a great time but you will encourage their essential development. And it wouldn't hurt to do a little research first with a great book like "The Story of the Incredible Orchestra". Now go ahead, and enjoy!
Monday, July 19, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
This is my daughter's artwork. She took the picture at Venice Beach, CA and named it "The Color of Beauty". My heart is warmed by my daughter's love for variety of color, in sunsets and people. Life is not about being color blind but rather appreciating all the different colors that make up our beautiful world.