Monday, December 14, 2009
Today marks the first day of our "normal" life (whatever that means.) I finished up some work assignments I had committed to, but took myself off the roster for full-time interpreting work. I will never, ever, ever take my stay-home momdom for granted again. No more full-time working mommy for me! Back to cooking healthy dinners, schooling, getting the chores done on a semi-regular basis, and a bit of relaxation here and there.
Two of my fellow knitting, natural-birthing, homeschooling buddies
Liesl loves this new hairstyle.
Onion ring on our 10th wedding anniversary
A LOT of salsa.
This is about 1/3 of what we made, in a 24-quart pot
Liesl "wrote" the recipe down for us.
Decorating the Christmas tree
Not so hot on decorating the Christmas tree
With NINE kids (!!!!) in a restaurant, you gotta come prepared with activities.
Pipe cleaners from the dollar store were a hit.
Tom and the girls went to visit a friend's home near Lansing. An old family friend of Tom's family, Chris and Jenny have 4 homeschooled children...and chickens.
Tom is jealous of their chickens.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Like many younger siblings, Ava takes great interest in doing whatever Liesl does, which is why we bought a very, very cheap violin for her about a year ago. It's what Shar Music likes to refer to as a "V.S.O." (Violin-Shaped Object) and it was almost unplayable when we bought it. (Frugality is a noble trait, but not when purchasing stringed instruments!) However, if the very cheap 1/32 violin we bought for Ava was almost unplayable before, being in at the hands and mercy of a toddler for 9 months rendered it completely worthless now--at least for making actual music. If you look closely you'll see that the bow no longer has any horsehair, the E string peg barely moves, and the bridge was systematically removed so many times that I finally just glued it down. It's completely untunable--not that Ava strives for perfect intonation (yet) anyway. Still...the goal was to have it in Ava's hands and give her something to carry around while Liesl and Daddy and I practice, and to keep the interest "real" for her. She loves to unpack and pack it in it's tiny case (we call this "playing house" with her instrument,) and she takes great pride in copying her sister by carrying the case out to the car, and then into Miss Sharon's house when we arrive for lessons or chamber music rehearsals. As she gets older and is able to take more direction, like Liesl was able to do at about 2-3/4 years, we'll place Liesl's old 1/16 violin in her hands, as this one is actually playable.
Tom and I still play together on an almost daily basis, if only for a few minutes a day. We've managed to get a few very short, simple trios going between Tom, Liesl and I (during which, Ava can be seen toddling around between the 3 of us, carrying her well-
Butting in on Sissy's lesson and playing pizzicato on her V.S.O.
(Sort of. Hey, you gotta give her credit for trying. She's 2.)