Tuesday, February 24, 2009

the right thing

If you have ever read "Bridget Jones Diary" you may find it surprising that Bridget Jones is one of my most favorite characters. It's not that I drink like a fish, smoke like a chimney or think of 136 pounds as excessively fat, but I completely relate to her "verbal diarrhea."

I have long known I speak my mind too freely, voice my opinion at times I should not. I often prep myself before heading to work or social gatherings, thinking "I'm just going to keep my mouth shut, I won't say anything, I'll just keep my mouth shut." It has become something of a mantra to me.

And yet rarely a day goes by when I don't regret at least one conversation I've had. If I could choose one trait or skill or talent to have it would be to always say the right thing...but sadly this talent eludes me.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

chuck e. cheese for grown ups

Our kids have been curious lately about Las Vegas. I guess this is because so many people talk about going to Vegas, commercials talk about things staying in Vegas and let's face it - the photos you see of Vegas would seem pretty enticing to a kid...or anyone, really.

Since we are in St. George this weekend and had some free time, we decided to take them down to Mesquite and give them a taste of what they are missing. We went to the Casablanca buffet for dinner so we could walk through the slot machines to get there.

Just walking in the building made the kids uncomfortable. Abby hated the smokey smell (it was getting stuck in her new shirt) and Max's face looked like he expected the devil himself to jump out and grab him. In hind sight, we probably should have prepared them more...

Nevertheless, we had a nice chuck-a-rama style meal and discussed why we avoid gambling. At the end of the conversation, Abby's eyes lit up and she said, "I know what this is. It's like a Chuck E. Cheese for grown ups!"

I've never heard it put better.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

such a poor example

Abby has been participating in a missionary experience with the youth in our ward for the last month or so. It has been a great program; the youth seem to love it and are learning a lot.

This week is "power week" meaning they are living (somewhat) by mission rules. No tv, no music (except church music), up by 6:30, in bed by 10:30, attend all church meetings and have personal study each night. She has been firm in her commitment to follow all the rules.

I, on the other hand, have found it a little taxing. As it turns out, there is a large dose of mother's guilt that comes from watching tv when your 12 year old is upstairs avoiding it. Likewise with music, computer and such. I actually found myself saying today, "I can't wait until Abby comes home from her mission." Such a poor example!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

when they come

I had another piano student start lessons today. I taught her before, for several years, and by the time I quit teaching she was getting pretty good. She still struggled with reading music a bit, and dynamics were more practiced than natural. When she came today, a year and a half later, I asked her what she has been working on. She responded with a beautiful piece that she taught herself, learned from music, but played from memory with proper fingering, hand position and dynamics. It was lovely and nearly moved me to tears. Teaching may sometimes be difficult, but the rewards, when they come, are so great!

Monday, February 2, 2009

music to my ears

After taking more than a year off from teaching piano, I just started teaching again today and I am amazed at how much I have missed it! I have always liked working with kids and find great satisfaction in teaching just about anything, but the sound of a little person learning to make music is...well, music to my ears.