Thursday, May 31, 2012


These glasses look so much cuter on him than they do on me!  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cello Masterclass

By Jackson:

 Sometimes it's nice to hear a fresh perspective on your playing from someone other than the teacher you see every week.  I invited Mr. Law to teach some of my students in a master class setting.  It was really fun!  He is excellent with the kids and shared some excellent pointers.  I especially liked it when he reinforced something the kids knew I'd asked them to do, or heard him ask someone else to do it.  I'm looking forward to a week and a half of this at Suzuki Institute this summer.

Nicholas is finding the right note to begin his piece, and matching it with an open string.

Mr. Law asked Thomas to stick out his tongue while he played Chorus from Judas Maccabeus.  It was very interesting to see it go back in when he came to a tricky sting crossing.

Here Brynne is hearing about tunnels and how we need to play with tall tunnels so the notes inside can ring.

Mr. Law told a funny story about a girl at Michigan State where he studied cello who walked around with poofy hair on the left side of her head.  This was because she'd been getting her fingers stuck in it while playing the cello.  Grace needed to play with the neck of the cello closer to her head.

This is the story that inspires the feeling behind the notes in Two Grenadiers.  "I don't want to go to work"  That's because he has to lob grenades and it's quite dangerous.

Will got to keep some dimes for keeping his feet in the right place (on the dimes)!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bedtime Songs

Alexander LOVES music.  I know most children really like music.  All of my children have enjoyed it.  Alexander takes it to a whole new level.  There are lots of stories about this, but for now I'll just record his bedtime ritual.  We always read to our kids before bed.  Different children have gotten attached to different books through the years.  Once they are attached to a book, that is the one that gets read EVERY NIGHT for what seems like forever!  Alexander has always picked books that have some kind of music in the book.  One of these books is Dr. Seuss's ABC's book.  I sing the alphabet song (or portions of it) several times through the book and he loves it when I do.  His VERY favorite page, however, is the V page where Vera Violet Vinn is playing very very VERY awful on her violin (I didn't have to look at the book to remember that by the way).  :)  When we get to that page he just about jumps off my lap with excitement and exclaims, "Bow!  Bow!  Bow bow!"  while pointing at her bow.  Then he sings a little "Wah, wah, wah" song while waving his arm back and forth as if he is moving the bow.

The book that MUST be read (or in this case sung) every night and naptime right now is Wee Sing Silly Songs.  He grabs it and sings, "Wah, wah,"  so the whole family now calls it the Wah Wah book.  I have most all of the songs in that book memorized now.  I think his favorite song is the "No, no, no...Yes, yes yes."  He thinks it is so funny!  I sing it and he just giggles the whole time.  It is so fun!  When Daddy sings the songs, he does it so enthusiastically that he usually draws a crowd :)  

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Short Hair Again

For quite a while Estella said she wanted to grow her hair long like Rapunzel.  I was fine with that.  About a month ago she started saying she wanted it short...really short.  She really hates getting her hair brushed, so I think that was a big reason she changed her mind.  I wanted to be sure she wasn't going to change her mind again, so I kept putting off the hair cut.  Essie kept asking for several weeks, so I finally called my sister for some hair cutting help.  I have done lots of boy cuts, so they don't scare me, but cutting a girl's hair???  Yikes! 

Kara promised me that basic girl's cuts are much easier than boy's, so I got brave.  I stuck Essie on a stool in front of the web cam and called Kara on Skype.  She walked me through the whole thing step by step.  It was fabulous!  It would have been a disaster without her help!!! 

I love her short hair.  I think she does too.  Today she told me it was getting too long and she wants me to cut it shorter...I don't think so :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Fishing With Bubba

Some time ago Grandpa Groesbeck (my dad) asked Nicholas what Bubba (Jackson's dad) does for work.   Nicholas didn't even hesitate and said, "He's a fisherman!"  

Bubba does love to fish and goes whenever he can.  He is awesome and takes different grandchildren with him from time to time.  A few weeks ago he took Thomas and they came home with this...

 Thomas caught a 22 inch fish!  Both he and Bubba were thrilled.  We prepared it, froze it, then cooked it for dinner a few days later.  It was delicious!

A couple of weeks after Thomas went, Bubba took Nicholas and Estella fishing.  I thought Nicholas might end up being disappointed because he was expecting to catch a big one like Thomas did.  I was so happy to see them come home with this 21 incher! 

Nicholas kept talking about how hard it was to reel in.  He was rubbing his wrist, saying how sore it was for days.  He said the pole was bending so much he thought it was going to break.  His favorite thing to tell people about the fish is, "It was a real whopper!" 

It is a good thing we love to eat fish around here, because we have a whopper in the freezer. 

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Monument Picnic

These pictures are from the end of March.  Spring is the most anticipated season of the year for me.  I love having the cold, dreary winter come to an end.  I love feeling the warm sun again.  I love seeing everything that seemed dead come alive again.  It is a season full of excitement and wonder.  One early spring afternoon, we decided to eat our dinner on the Monument.  I LOVE being only 15 minutes from such an amazing place!  

If I remember right, I cooked scrambled eggs, grabbed tortillas and salsa, and we had an egg burrito picnic.  Interesting...I know.  I remember being really desperate trying to come up with something quick and filling to take with us.  I often turn to eggs at times like that.  They were still warm when we got there.