Tagged with "books"
6 May
2015
Posted in: parenting
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Confidence Built Through Music

Sometimes my feelings seem too much to handle. Life hits me hard, the good along with the bad.

Yesterday was intense, in a fantastic way. I was weepy on-and-off and spent parts of the day with a big grin on my face. I watched our middle son stand in front of several groups and play a solo on his flute. His band, from a local performing arts center, was touring schools talking about instruments and music opportunities for the summer months.

I struggled not to blubber through his entire performance. He’s the one of our four children I worry about the most. It’s been that way from the beginning, 10 short years ago. As a baby he was a poor eater and struggled to thrive those early weeks. He despised sleep for the first 13 months of life. His personality is nothing like mine. He’s more like his father. They’re both quiet, reserved, and non-emotional. I struggle to connect with him.

He’s always been creative and mathematically driven. Building things and art are his passion. They both come easy for him. Confidence, however, in his abilities has always been somewhat lacking. In the fall, he wanted to take recorder lessons because of some issues in his school music class. We found a teacher willing to give it a try. That passion for the recorder, yes he is passionate about an instrument most parents cringe at, morphed into a desire to play the flute.

boy holding a flute

The same teacher made trying a flute a reality. J looked at flute books and videos and taught himself to play over the last few months. He joined the band, and the encouragement he received from that group and his teachers has helped his confidence soar. He agreed to play solo at seven different schools. Yes he was nervous, but that child, who doesn’t enjoy making eye contact or long conversations, knew he could play that flute. He was confident and brave. I thought my heart would burst the first school I watched him play that solo.

Having people come alongside us and help encourage our kids brings me to tears. It’s one thing to ask people to help cart children from place to place to help meet a physical need. It’s another thing altogether for people to join you in helping raise your children showing genuine love and kindness toward them.

We have friends who watch athletic events for our kids when they could be doing their own thing. Someone just delivered something for our oldest today because she knew he’d love it. We have some teachers and staff at school who know what to say and how to say it to my kids and me. There have been coaches who didn’t want just good athletes but wanted morally upstanding young men. J has found the thing that speaks to him in music. It unlocked his ability to feel confident, and I’ve watched it affect other areas. He has people in his life that went beyond what was necessary to help grow our son.

I remind our kids often to never underestimate the power of showing up. You might be exactly what someone needs even if you don’t realize it.

 


 
Essentials for Family Road Trips
By     |    Apr 2, 2015
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Essentials for Family Road Trips

It’s spring break, and we’re staying home for the first time in years. We have an epic road trip planned this summer and vacation days are being stockpiled for the adventure. I’m antsy to hit the highways, Interstates and (sometimes) unpaved county roads to discover new places in the USA. Even though we’re months away from our next major family road trip, I’ve already started packing in my head. I have lists tucked away in notebooks for items to pack.... [Read More]

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Parenting with Dr. Seuss
By     |    Mar 2, 2015
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Parenting with Dr. Seuss

I don’t have any childhood memories revolving around Dr. Seuss books. I don’t recall sitting on any laps being read any of his rhyming verse. Dr. Seuss entered my life in high school when I was helping in an elementary school kindergarten class. That class did two things for me: it showed the importance of being read to and learning to read and gave me a great love for children. The roots were planted for my future self who would... [Read More]

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Meet an Author: Jay Asher
By     |    Feb 9, 2015
Posted in: parenting, reading     |    2 Comments

Meet an Author: Jay Asher

Books are important and talking with authors about their books is a privilege. Authors are like rock stars for me. I had the chance to talk with and listen to author Jay Asher last week. He stopped in my town as part of his 50 States Against Bullying author tour. I was Christmas-morning excited to hear what he had to say. I read his book, 13 Reasons Why, almost three years ago, and still think about the topics he wrote... [Read More]

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Power in Connecting
By     |    Jan 7, 2015
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Power in Connecting

Over 10 years ago when I was pregnant with my second son, I started taking my toddler to a play group in the hopes of connecting with people and ridding myself of nagging loneliness. I made a passing comment about missing the act of reading. I wasn’t making me a priority. A new friend invited me to her book club and my decision to step outside my comfort zone and attend caused lasting ripple effects. The first Tuesday of every... [Read More]

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My Year in Books
By     |    Jan 5, 2015
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My Year in Books

Reading has always been an escape for me. A good book can both relax and invigorate me. I’ve spent many nights reading just one more chapter into the wee hours. One of my goals when I became a parent was to instill a love for books in my children. We’ve done that job well. Our three oldest carry books with them when we run errands. They’ve been known to wake up early, hop out of bed, and curl up with... [Read More]

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Making Peace With Exhaustion in 2015
By     |    Dec 30, 2014
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Making Peace With Exhaustion in 2015

I’m exhausted, always. It really never matters how much sleep I’ve managed to enjoy. During a recent doctor’s appointment for me, the doctor asked if I thought I was more tired than normal. The thing is, I can’t actually remember not being a little tired. After chatting about my level of tiredness, I realized I’m not physically tired (well, sometimes), I’m emotionally and mentally exhausted, which rolls over to every other part of life. The thing about parenting that wears... [Read More]

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The Impact of a Decade
By     |    Nov 21, 2014
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The Impact of a Decade

Our second child hits double digits this weekend. We’ve had the privilege of calling him ours for 10 years. Those years hold so much life….accomplishments, laughs, travels, tears, struggles. I’ve caught myself this week involuntarily remembering moments from the last decade of J’s life. I’ll be washing dishes and be caught off guard by a moment from years ago. The night he was born, the nurse brought him to me all cleaned and wrapped like a baby burrito. I held... [Read More]

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Growing Apples Without Trying
By     |    Oct 15, 2014
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Growing Apples Without Trying

I’ve done more research than I care to admit on gardening. I’ve read article after article and cannot seem to grow a thing. Gardening advice is hard for me to comprehend. My friends, who manage to grow food, seem magical to me. This year I didn’t even attempt to plant anything. Our apple tree, which was already full grown when we moved in, decided to show me the glory of nature…again. Our tree sits in the backyard next to our... [Read More]

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Learning Minecraft as a Second Language
By     |    Jul 11, 2014
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Learning Minecraft as a Second Language

Two days ago I would have said the days my children look forward to without fail are their birthdays and Christmas. Alas, I was wrong (again). I had not lived through the pandemonium surrounding the release of Minecraft Pocket Edition 0.9.0…better known as “the biggest update ever.” I was completely unaware of how life altering a game update could be for young people. Thursday may as well have had a red circle marking the importance of the date. I’ve listened... [Read More]

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Kids’ Summer Book and Movie Club
By     |    May 30, 2014
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Kids’ Summer Book and Movie Club

Most of the time movies don’t do books the justice they deserve. A beautifully written story carries more weight for me than images on a screen. Last summer we started a summer book and movie club for our family. I made a list of books that are also movies, and the kiddos picked five books from the list to read and then watch the corresponding movie for a family night. Our oldest son opted to read the books himself while... [Read More]

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Yes Day: The Best Day Ever
By     |    May 29, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    1 Comment

Yes Day: The Best Day Ever

We added the book Yes Day! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal to our home library a couple years ago, and it changed the way I parent. In the story, each request by a little boy is answered with “yes,” until the very end. I won’t spoil the ending. A few times a year my kiddos wake up to find it’s Yes Day in our house. Yesterday was the first day of summer vacation, making it an obvious choice for Yes Day.... [Read More]

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