Mary and my mom spend a lot of time together. I have a couple pictures of times when I have caught them snuggling together.
I am very focused on Lydia and Ammon right now, but I am hoping that will shift soon. On Friday we met Daniel Olsen, an incredible piano teacher. He was everything I was looking for in a piano teacher and more. After we talked for an hour, he tested Mary on the piano and pronounced her ready to start lessons! She already has great hand position and strong, independent fingers.
We all walked out of that meeting elated. I feel that with a good teacher, an involved parent, and a consistent, rigorous practice schedule–in the words of Suzuki–Every Child Can. Finding such an incredible teacher felt like a miracle and evidence of God’s hand in our lives. Utah is replete with piano teachers, but finding a good one–that is a challenge.
I feel confident I found a teacher that can take Mary (and my other kids) through until college, and I will never have to worry that they will outgrow him or that his methods are unsound. Of course, by the time I have all my kids enrolled with him, we will be paying more than we pay for our mortgage in piano lessons every month…not to mention all of their other instruments and other activities on top of that…but we’ll cross that bridge when it comes, right????? God gave the Israelites water from the rock, and he sent these kids to me so I can give equip them with skills and experiences that will form them into beautiful, accomplished human beings. I feel confident He will provide the resources to make it happen. Until then, we are starting with just Mary. I will enroll Lydia when Abe gets his next promotion. (Oh, by the way, Abe, I forgot to tell you, but that is how we are using your next raise. I love you! 🙂 )
With Lydia in school, life has gotten really busy (for me! For Abe it was already crazy busy.). I spend each morning physically wrestling with and bathing the kids to get them fed and ready for the day, and then we plunge into harp practice, homework, and reading to the kids. Then I feed everyone a quick lunch, bustle Lydia to school, and come back to put Ammon down for his nap before I collapse in my bed. If I have energy, I will fold laundry or do something otherwise productive, but most of the time I am just too exhausted.
Then I go pick up Lydia and start the round of afternoon activities. The girls do ballet and ice skating, and Lydia does musical theater on top of that. When ice skating stops they will sail straight into their swimming lessons. Half of the time I feel too busy to make dinner so we eat leftovers or food storage, but on days when I am home, I cook dinner while Ammon toddles around dismantling the house. Oh, and there’s Ammon–we tidy the house, sweep and wipe the floors multiple times a day because every time we let him loose he creates a tornado of messes everywhere he walks.
But I am still nagged by the feeling that I could do be doing more for my kids. I have taken them to almost every museum/zoo/aquarium in a fifty mile radius (many of them multiple times), I take them to the park, and we go to the library every week. We have play dates. And after all that, even though I am pregnant and half dead from exertion, I constantly feel like I should be exposing them to more. So over the weekend I scheduled in family trips to the orchestra, the ballet, and a folk dance festival. I am considering climbing camp and soccer camp for Lydia.
Writing this all out makes life sounds crazy, but there seem to be so many things in life to learn and experience, and childhood is such a great window for these experiences! I am trying to pack their little lives with joyful experiences and opportunities to develop skills and discipline for their later lives. I want them to enjoy their bodies and know how to use them in lots of different ways.
So, anyway, that’s the rhythm of life right now. I have to teach a church lesson on the power of prayer in a couple hours, and I have spent the whole morning doing catch up blogs instead of praying over my lesson. Maybe I will go eat breakfast and shift focus now. Hopefully this week I will be better about blogging so I don’t have to do a crazy blogging marathon next weekend!