Sunday, June 27, 2010

Suzuki Camp!

We recently attended our first family music camp and I finally uploaded my pictures to be able to tell you about it! Let me just say that the entire experience was wonderful, and I'm so glad we went. Here are a few photos so you can catch a glimpse of what we did while we were there.

Each day, after breakfast, Cody attended a semi-private class with three other violinists. Below is his wonderful teacher. She was so encouraging and always had both positive and constructive things to say to help him grow while he was studying with her. Next, he would attend a large group class with other children who are working through the same book as him. This was great fun, but took a lot of concentration. The children must always keep their eyes on the teacher!

Here's Cody "serenading" us one evening when we made a bonfire. He voluntarily grabbed his violin and decided to experiment with some of the fiddling techniques he'd learned while observing a class earlier in the day.
The children are doing "bow games" in the picture below, which is why the violins are on the floor in front of their feet. One of the chidren dropped her violin and the teachers thought it might be best to leave them on the floor, just in case!
Here's our (very rustic) cabin. When we first walked in to our new "home" I was a bit concerned about how it would work out, but we really were quite comfortable. It was so quiet and tranquil. I really didn't find that I was missing home in the suburbs all that much! Sometimes it's just good to keep things simple...and that's exactly what it was up there!
One of the evenings, after classes ended, we decided to slip away to a nearby beach and we had a wonderful time playing. The boys were loving all the sand and surf!
Here's Cody running on the beach. It was so clean and the water was crystal clear!
Here's little stuff...he was afraid to get in the water, but he did let daddy carry him around a bit. It was quite shallow!
There are three things my kiddos love right now: Swimming, Frogs/Toads, and Sand! There was a lot of it around our campsite and they were little dirty boys at the end of each day.
I loved this view. So did the boys!
My favorite part of the day was walking to the fiddling class. This was the view as you looked skyward.
Look at these tall trees! So pretty...
And finally, the destination. In the middle of the forest, you reach the "Jazz Bowl." The teacher of this class was absolutely phenomenal. I learned so much from watching him. It didn't hurt that he could play that violin like nobody's business!
We are loving summer. How about you?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Our Life in Pictures

We pray you are enjoying this beautiful weather as summer approaches. We got together with our neighbors over the holiday weekend and all of us were remembering how cold it was and how desperately we all wanted this warm weather to come. It's finally here!

Here, in no particular order, is our life in pictures over the past couple of weeks. We spent a day down in Chicago so the boys could celebrate the end of the school year (though we really "school" year-round). They loved splashing around in the fountains.

My students (and Cody) had their end of year recital. All of them did a great job!
Cody was in a "Geography Around the World" class this year, and he is in the front row representing Burkina Faso in Africa. He learned much about that country from good friends who were missionaries there.
We hosted some abandoned baby ducklings for a couple days until we could get them to the wildlife refuge center near us. They were so cute, but VERY loud.
The boys are always on the hunt for wildlife, and one day they found this moth on the neighbor's tree. They have also found many toads, bugs, slugs, and birds (don't ask). Ah, life with boys...
We have already taken quite a few nature walks this spring.
Here's Caden at his pre-school circus show. He was very ADAMANT about the fact that he wasn't going to participate.....
....except in the acrobatics part, because what boy DOESN'T want to swing from the monkey bars?
He also enjoyed the parts involving balloons.
Both the boys worked really hard in Awana this year. Here's Cody with his leader, Miss Jody, after earning his Sparky award (he completed three years in the Sparks program, which means he completed three entire books of bible memorization). We were so proud of him for this accomplishment.
Here he is up on the screen before receiving his award. I love that they did this for each child.
Caden completed his first year in Awana Cubbies. Here he is with his leader, "Mr. Seth."
More fun in the fountains at Millennium Park.
Having a picnic together...
...and excited to see what the summer holds. It promises to be full and busy, but hopefully PACKED with lots of fun and learning. Hope you all are doing well and that you had a great Memorial Day!