Friday, November 20, 2009

Introducing Ollie & Ginger

Callie helps stuff Ollie, the Owl

Callie with her new friend, "Ollie."

"Mommy, take a picture of Ollie on my head!"

and a friend for Ollie....Ginger

Callie with Ollie & Ginger....her new playmates.  She was over-the-top excited about these 2 new toys I made for her this morning!  Had I known they would be such a hit, I would have saved them for Christmas! :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

A need met in a bright blue way!

A week ago Monday, I unexpectedly had a student quit.  It was a rather unusual way to tell a teacher they no longer wanted to take lessons.  It went like this.....(names changed)

Renee came to her lesson.  I was finishing up some dishes in the kitchen.  She looked around for a pen to write in her practice time.  I let it slide that she should have already written that down during the week.  She got her violin ready and asked if I wanted to hear her orchestra songs for her concert later that week.  Keep in mind this is her school orchestra.  She had already played the songs countless times for me.  She had played them by MEMORY the previous week.  These were the only songs she ever wanted to play at her lesson.  I asked her to pick out another one of her orchestra pieces that she hadn't mastered yet.  We worked on that for awhile and then went on to her solo that I had assigned her.  By the time we were to the end of working on that piece, her mother, Laura shows up.  I am writing down what I want her to practice at home.  They start making all sort of hand gestures.  Renee is mouthing things.  I finally ask if there's something Laura needed to ask me.  She says, "no."  She said they were signing and using mental telepathy to communicate with each other!  I'm thinking to myself, WHAT!!!  I'm sensing that all is NOT RIGHT, but continue with the assignment.  Finally, I hear Laura say, "Is that your final decision?"  Hmmm...I'm understanding things a little more clearly now.  Mom sends daughter to violin lesson.  I'm guessing that how the lesson went that day would determine whether or not she would quit with absolutely NO NOTICE to me!  I guess I was too mean of a teacher on Monday...LOL!!  In all reality, I have been seriously trying HARD each week for the past 2 months (when the girl started taking from me), to correct poor posture, poor technique.  She had been playing for the past 3 years with NO chinrest on her violin, no shoulder rest and a bow hand that was angled totally backwards!  They finally got a chinrest put on the violin, but still no shoulder rest.  The bow hand has improved a tiny bit, but only with constant reminders.  It's hindering her ability to play fluently.  I just hope someone/someday will be able to get through better than I did.  I was just greatly astonished at the method mom/daughter used to quit.  Anyways....on to the point of my very long drawn out story.  Needless to say, the abrupt departure of a student decreased my income immediately.  I was hoping for a little extra money this month for a mattress for Samuel's bed.  We had put his toddler bed mattress on his twin bunkbed and that was working, but oh for a REAL twin mattress for him.  Fast forward to Friday......I worked for 5-6 hours uploading photos and designing a photo album for a special Christmas gift.  I checked e-mails periodically and noticed that on FreeCycle someone had spotted a mattress out by the curb on their morning walk.  This was WAY late in the afternoon.  I figured it surely must be gone, but decided I would go by on my way to the store to pick up a few things I needed.  I had butterflies in my stomach all the way there.  I pulled down the street of a section of town I would live in only in my dreams.  I spotted a beautiful, bright blue mattress propped up against a mail box.

My heart-beat quickened as I pulled into the driveway of a house that resembled the White House.  ( maybe it wasn't quite as big and didn't have the pillars, but it was BIG and white and I definitely wouldn't want to have to clean that all by myself!!! :->)  Keep in mind, I'm driving my van.  Also, I'm feeling a bit awkward out picking up things out of people's front yards.  I look around for people.  See no one.  The mattress very clearly says FREE and is in wonderful condition!  I pop open the hatch of my van.  I pick up that mattress.  Stumble over to the van.  Give a big heave and push that mattress in.  about 2 feet are still sticking out the back.  I open the side door.  Start pulling on the mattress.  All the while, my 3 year old darling daughter cheers me on!  My 4 year son, sleeps peacefully through all of the commotion.  I keep sneaking glances about, hoping desparately that no one is watching.  It fit perfectly!!  I backed out and away we went.  God answered a need before I even was able to voice it.  He filled in my loss of income for the month with an item that would have cost far more.  I had tears in my eyes as I saw the pure joy in Samuel's eyes as he got to sleep on a REAL mattress for the first time!  (plastic covered baby/toddler mattresses just can't be as cozy as a soft plush fabric covered one) He LOVES going to bed now.  At first, I was worried about the loss of a student.  But now, I realize had I not lost the student, I would have missed out on something so much bigger....a reminder that God's knows what we need....and exactly when we need it!