Leaning toward…


Not really sure why other than I like knowing exactly what to do, and it comes highly recommended by several people whose experience I trust. Almost more than my misgivings.

It could be very expensive; we’re still figuring that part out. But the instruments at least (might) be taken care of.

This all began, seriously, back on the 6th, when the Suzuki-learning family in our church did a song as a family. It was lovely. Their 6-year-old began alone on the cello, was joined by his 4-year-old sister on the viola then joined in turn by their mom and dad on violin and mandolin.

Natasha was sitting in my lap absolutely absorbed. When it was done she snuggled her “sad” face into me and when I asked her what was wrong she said quietly in her sad voice, “I want to play violin.”

So I went to the other mom in church who did Suzuki with her kids, and asked how it was for someone utterly new to the system (the mom of the Suzuki family grew up with it, so I imagined it would be different for them than me).

This lady said that she hung on to most of her kids’ instruments and offered to loan them to me.

Actually having instruments available for use has opened this up to a real possibility, so I’ve been nosing about for more details.

As soon as she heard Natasha say it at home, Melody (Jay called her the echo machine) said almost at once that she, too, wants to learn violin.

This friend from church also has a 1/8-size cello (from when her boy started) so I mentioned this to Natasha and by the end of bed-time ritual tonight she said she’ll do cello and Melody can do violin.

We’ll see if this sticks. Or even if it goes anywhere.

Naturally I’m as intrigued by this as every new idea and it’s probably a good thing that nothing “real” or useful for beginners like us seems to be available before the fall.

Back into Chapter Books

“So we’ve got the witch and the wardrobe, but we still haven’t seen the lion.”

— Natasha’s observation when we put the book away at the end of chapter 5 tonight.

We started this book back before Grandma died, when Melody was barely two and Natasha was 3 1/2.

They listened well, especially considering their ages, but it seems with all the turmoil I myself didn’t have the attention-span to stick with one book to the end.

I was exceedingly proud of them, for their attentiveness and their willingness to sit and listen, even as I questioned their maturity of comprehension.

Mentioning it to Grandma one of the mornings I was with her in the hospital she said, “Well, it’s probably because of the way you read it. You know, since you’re…”

“A storyteller?”


It was the first reference she’d made to that skill set since she came to my performance of The Rumor of Pavel and Paali the summer before. I felt highly acknowledged and complemented.

A few months later we started to play the movie (I’d gotten it for Jay’s birthday that spring and we still hadn’t finished it).  For the first few minutes we let them watch it with us then thought better of it.

Natasha required no explanation of the movie, and went on talking about events that happen after the point we stopped the movie. It was obvious she remembered what we had read (and felt remembering part of a novel was no big deal) and made the connection herself between the book and movie.

Whether that was from the title, content or some combination of the two we were never sure.

General Update

Let’s see, I don’t have dates for these, but they weren’t happening before, so we’ll get them on-record.

Elisha is jumping now.

It started with jerky one-steps off a low stair and has progressed to a full-grown hurling of himself from any permissible hight to the next-lowest point.

Permissible is defined as anything Mom or dad has not prohibited— whether or not it’s been noticed yet.

I twisted my ankle last month (most readers know this already).  I am mostly recovered and  would be functioning normally (I believe) except I just got slammed with this nasty viral sinus infection.

I still couldn’t move quickly– because of the ankle– and now I’m in a state of thickness and near-confusion as my senses struggle to function normally through inches of displaced fluid.

Had a nice visit with a new friend a couple days ago (I hope she doesn’t get what I got– two littles of her own).  She enjoys writing and talking about ideas, so we had a grand time.  Definately pushed the kids to the edge of their napless abilities.

I know this because Melody put herself to nap as they were leaving, and Elisha had difficulty going down, which was abnormal.

Have I already said that Natasha reads?  She can read both silently and aloud, and her inflection is wonderful.  The first time she reads something aloud it usually sounds as I read it to her, but once she owns a story and grows in confidence the inflection becomes uniquely hers.

It is really fun.

She’s even able to read the Bible aloud, but she doesn’t like much to do it.  Which is  a little disappointing because our current Sunday school set-up has lots of opportunities for children to read aloud, and we brought her out of the 4/5-y-o class to participate and she’s not been very interested.