Monday, August 31, 2009
For my first installment, I'm going for a little something in the arts and entertainment area. I love this set of DVDs. I can't say enough good about them. They are entertaining, stimulating, and educational. I'm not endorsing HBO here. Very honestly, we don't even have cable, but, this is fantastic! Both of my children have enjoyed them even more than the Baby Einstein series, with the exception of Baby McDonald. And we have twenty five of the videos in that series. What can I say people, as a former educator, I want the best opportunities for my little ones to explore and learn. I'm one of those mommies that read to my babies in the womb and put earphones of music on my belly. I also took baby massage classes, so I could help to bond and comfort them, work their little muscles, and aid in digestion. But, that is for another post.
"Winner of a Peabody Award and three Emmy Awards and ingeniously designed to introduce young children to masterpieces of classical music, painting, and dance, "Classical Baby" is a creative kaleidoscope of color, motion, and music played out in an accessible, comforting format." ~HBO.
The videos include 2-3 minute musical pieces featuring composers Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Johann Sebastian Bach, Robert Schumann, Johann Strauss, Giacomo Puccini, Georges Bizet, Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington and others. The classical dance video features great choreographers like George Balanchine. And the art video pays tribute to such artists as Claude Monet, Joan Miro, and Fernand Leger. It is very creative and imaginative show case of work. It kinda reminds me of a cross between Baby Einstein and Disney's Fantasia. Each of the videos features the cute little diapered conductor, you see above, an orchestra of baby animals and an audience of animal families. I really like that the audience claps after each musical piece. It gave me a chance to explain good etiquette for when we go to a live performance. I also love that the videos offer a feature where you can choose to see little pop ups about the composer you're listening to, or piece of art you are seeing. So it's filled with fun little facts you can learn together. I feel like this is a video your child can grow with.
The best thing I can say is that my children have enjoyed these videos. They still ask for them. Anna Grace loves to dance along with the Classical Dance video. She tries to imitate all the movements in each song. And Trey enjoys the Art and Music videos. He still asks mommy to sing him the cow song, a.k.a. Puccini's O Mio Babbino Caro. So sweet. We were in Walmart one evening, a little over a year ago, when he was only two, and we walked by the section of music you can play before you purchase. All of the sudden Trey said, "Listen momma, it's the cow song." And the next time we were there, he wanted to take his daddy to hear it. So, this really made an impression on him, even the tender age of two.
I hope this will inspire or be helpful to someone out there, mothers, grandmothers, or friends looking for a great gift idea. It gets one of my top recommendations! You can order them online or pick them up at Boarders or Barnes and Nobel. Blessings to all, and stay tuned for more Mommy Picks!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Last night we took the kids to feed the geese and sea gulls out at the lake after dinner. Trey and Anna Grace were so cute trying to get the birds to eat. They kept chasing them with their bread, as the birds scattered in all different directions. We also walked down to the dock and looked at all the boats. Trey really likes the sail boats.
Anna Grace is all about dancing a twirling lately. She was walking along the cement partitions in the parking lot last night. Hugh and I were amazed at her balance. She only turned two in June. But, she was balancing perfectly as she walked along with her hands in the air on both sides of her like she was on a balance beam. Then she would get down every so often and twirl around hands in the air. "I think we may a little ballerina on our hands, or a future gymnast," Hugh said.
On the way home, we were listening to a CD of bagpipes. The last song on the CD is Amazing Grace. Trey started singing along. It was so precious! Hugh and I just looked at each other, and it was just one of those moments when there are no words. Of course, I teared up. It was just so sweet, I couldn't help myself.
When we got home and got the babies ready for bed, I asked Hugh to take a look at a little spot on Anna Grace's tongue that I noticed while brushing her teeth. I thought maybe I had brushed a little too hard or maybe she had bitten her tongue. But, I could immediately see the worry on his face. I asked him what he was thinking. He said it may be nothing, but he wanted to get it looked at first thing in the morning. Well, that scared me. Hugh has always said he's not going to be his children's doctor, and this was case in point. He said it could be something called geographic tongue, but, it could also be (God forbid) something worse. So, we weren't going to take any chances. If we couldn't get into see our pediatrician, we were going to an ear, nose and throat specialist, and have it biopsied, if necessary. I knew he was serious. I could see it all over his face, and it scared me to death. I cried and we prayed, and tried to stay as calm as possible.
I was so relieved that we were able to get right in to see the pediatrician this morning, and everything is fine. The doctor said it was benign. , Praise the Lord, Praise The Lord! I seriously almost threw up. Uhh! Thank you Jesus! I am so happy, and so relieved, and so grateful. You can't even begin to imagine!
I felt better as soon as Hugh and I prayed last night, but, it is so good to have that reassurance! And I have such a wonderful husband. I know I keep saying that, but, it is so true. He is so thoughtful. Last night after I had gone to bed, he came and woke me up and asked me to come and see something. We went outside, and he set up a pallet of quilts in our front yard, and we watched a meteor shower. It was so sweet and romantic. I told him it was the best date we'd ever had, and we didn't have to go anywhere or spend any money. We laid there listening to the crickets chirp, as we watched the falling stars. It was breath taking. I couldn't believe that he had thought for us to do this together, when earlier we both were so tense, holding our breath as we prayed for God to place His healing hand on our baby girl. This moment together was so calming and peaceful, and really helped me to feel secure. I sat there just talking to God in my head as I looked at the stars. I was telling Him that this moment was just an example of why I love my life so much, and why I treasure my little family. And I prayed please, please Lord don't let anything happen to this family. Please protect us and keep us safe, because I don't know what I'd do without them. And although I didn't receive a neon sign from heaven saying everything was going to be OK, I was at peace and able to enjoy that moment with Hugh. And I knew somehow that everything was going to be alright.
So, remember to hug and kiss your family today, and thank our great and mighty God for the beautiful blessings that they are in your life. Because every moment is precious.
"Peace is Not the absence of trouble, it is the presence of God."
Monday, August 10, 2009
Silence can be so powerful.
"Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around looking for someone to devour." -1Peter 5:8
"A man who lacks judgement derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue." -Proverbs 11:12
"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." -Proverbs 10:19
I am so grateful that I have a husband who listens to me when I'm down, or obsessing over something insignificant. I just finished writing a very long post that was more of a rant. And I am so glad that I got him to read it before I pushed publish. I've been sick, under the weather, and my defenses have been down. I let somethings get to me. I think when you're sick, it is easier to be overly sensitive and take things personally. -And I know better. I don't usually give into that kind of thinking. "What kind of thinking is that?" you may ask. Well, the long and the short of it is this.....
I have friends in the entertainment business, and in education that are successful. Some very successful. And we share our lives with each other, be it a review on their work in a play or film, superior for their students in a state or national competition, or pictures of life at home with hubby and the kids. And I am happy for their success, as I would expect them to be for mine. But, lately I've been getting the feeling that some of them really don't understand my life at all. And they think it is some what sad and insignificant. Of course, as I said above, when you are down, you can easily read things into a situation or conversation that may not be there at all. I mean it really could be a compliment when they say, "You were a really great teacher. I can't believe you're not teaching anymore." OR "But, you are so talented. I mean you really are good. -So why aren't you doing anything with it." And then there are other, not so subtle comments like, "Well, I'm not wasting my education." Hhmmm......
Well, it all left me feeling kinda hurt. And the more I thought about it, scrutinized it, obsessed over it, the more I got worked up over it. Until I was down right offended. And so came the long post or rant, shall we say. And when Hugh read it, he said I think you need to hold onto this one and pray about it. So, I asked him what he meant. And he very kindly explained to me that after it was all said and done, the post read more like I was trying to defend myself or even validate myself, and my decision to stay at home with my children. He said you sound a little insecure, and I know that's not you. He said you're happy, right where you are, and you know it's right where God wants you to be. So what does it matter? -And he's right. THANK YOU GOD for giving me a mate that is kind and understanding, and who can gently remind me not to allow my feelings to cloud my judgement!
I am so glad everyday, more and more that God put my husband in my life. He truly is my best friend, and has my best interest at heart. I'm so glad that we share a kind of love that is encouraging and edifying to one another. I pray everyday that the Lord will protect the intimacy between us, and help us to do the same. The devil is out to ensnare us at every turn. The Bible tells us he is out to steal, kill and destroy. Sometimes it is very obvious, and other times it is much more subtle. So, beware, be alert, and be thankful for the loved ones in your life that the Lord uses to protect you.
So, I think I'm going to keep my post for myself. I have no need now to publish it, but, I will keep it. Because I need to be able to go back and remind myself of how I need not act on my emotions. I am always growing and learning in the Lord and I need to practice more self control, bathe everything in prayer, and lean not on my own understanding. Sometimes I need to hold my tongue, and listen for the gentle and quiet whisper of the Lord. Sometimes silence is good.