Thursday, July 30, 2009


I passed my writtens and orals!!!! I got an email from my professor the day after the orals telling me how proud she was of me and how articulate I was. I am so glad to be done. I have one credit to take this fall and then I will graduate in December. The credit is the ROCKE workshops that I would have been attending anyways, so it's really not that bad! The only problem now is I am incredibly restless. From studying and studying and studying all summer to not having to is a challenging transition for me. I have the new teacher orientation for the elementary music teachers in my district which I am in charge of this year and I need to plan for that but haven't started doing yet. I guess I'm also in denial that school will be starting SO soon! Justin goes back two weeks from yesterday and the orientation that I am doing is two weeks from today. Blah!

While I completed my orals, Justin completed some projects in the backyard, although he had a road bump along the way. (I'll tell you about this below)
Here is Noah's new sand box, which he LOVES! (See the pics and video clip below) and the area where we will put some play equipment next summer.
Here's the tree off the patio.
Here's where the road bump occurred. He had all of this done and noticed that the sprinkler system wasn't working correctly. He happened to walk by and notice water coming out by one of the rocks (right side of the picture). He lifted it up and water came gushing out of it. So, he had to move a lot of mulch that he had just laid, and the rocks and the plastic sheeting underneath it and repair the sprinkler hose. (He put a hole in it when he turned up the weeds that had been residing there.) Poor guy, but it sure looks nice now!
Here are Noah and I in the sand box (my feet are under the sand and Noah just pulled his up from being under the sand). I think this is going to be good preparation for a trip to CA next summer!
Here he is playing with a true boy toy: a truck (you'll see why I referenced this as such when you read below):
Noah LOVES to watch for planes. (The Erie airport is fairly close- not too close that it's a nuisance, thankfully!). He usually will go "yes" and pull his arm in to his side but as he goes to do that in this clip he sees another plane:
Now, I don't want any phone calls from Noah's uncles, but Noah has a "new" friend- Dolly. My Granny made this doll and I had it on the bed in the guest bedroom. Since he found her, she has become his new BFF. (Best Friend Forever) He takes her with him when he goes down for naps and bedtime. He asks for her first thing in the morning. He has to have her downstairs during the day and upstairs for story time. When we went out to dinner to celebrate me passing my orals he cried and cried and cried because "Dolly had to take a nap" while we were going to dinner (truth be told, we didn't want to take Dolly). (Sorry, Noah, if you're looking back at this in years to come and reading this- we didn't do it to traumatize you!)
Here are the BFFs watching Elmo. He kisses her all the time but I haven't got that in a picture yet!
Here's Noah with my 150 Folk Songs to Sing and Play book (I refer to it as my orange Bible, there's also the blue Bible (Sail Away- 155 folk songs) and the AM Bible (American Methodology)- and then the Jill Trinka Bibles- I use all of these everyday in my teaching. This one was on the dining room table, which has been used much more for studying on lately than eating on- we're working on fixing that!)

Searching the song index for a good song:

This is the best part of being done with class and the comps:

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Final Countdown

I've got Saturday, Sunday and then Monday until my orals. At this point I'm so ready for them to be done! I've been studying up for Dr. Metz's questions (I'm sure he'll ask me about the pieces and composers I left out of my written test and I'm ready to tell him all about the parenthetical harmony and chordal mutation in Chopin's Prelude Op. 28 number 4. I have lots of other examples, but you're not on here to read that- you're hear to check out new pictures of Noah!)

In cleaning out my Granny's basement, Noah inherited a bunch of my brother's and my old toys. Here he is playing with our old "little people farm":
He's trying to get the button under the door to work- it makes a "moo" sound (since it's so old, it's a very sad "moo" sound):
This picture and the next one are for Uncle Aaron and Uncle Seth: some people LIKE peas, your nephew included:

He's had a renewed interest in his train set- yeah! (daddy and I really like playing with the train set- okay, building the track is where the real fun lies):
He's become very passionate about the way he wants his track built. He threw a FIT today because Justin didn't understand Noah wanted the red ramp in the train track at a particular spot:
J's been working very hard in the back yard. He has the "recycled" rubber mulch in where Noah's play-set will be (he'll get that next spring) and the area to the right is where there's going to be a sand box (the sand's being delivered tomorrow):
There's a little corned planter that he put in to the east of the play area (and he's going to work on getting the weeds out of the tree area this coming week. Next year we'll probably put more dirt and mulch in that area):
This is to the east of the patio. Mulch is going in there tomorrow and in the front "mini" planter area we're going to plant a "Peace Rose" in memory of my Granny. I also ordered a Mister Lincoln tea rose to go with it so it wouldn't look lonely in that area:
Here's my cute little popsicle boy. He likes to carry his popsicle around outside with him. I bought the slow melting ones but they still melt on him. He has no interest in eating it, just carrying it around and looking for airplanes.:

And, yes, the back door mat says "Go Away"- I thought it was really funny for some reason! :) It's nothing like us, maybe that's why.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Trying to Relax. . .

My writtens are finally done, I had them on Tuesday. For those of you I haven't talked to about them, I'm disappointed with one particular question and my lack of being able to answer it properly. So, needless to say I've been beating myself up about it and Tuesday after the test I wasn't in good shape. I talked with a dear friend and she told me that I really needed to take yesterday to spend with the boys and not do any work. Jackie, I'm so glad I took your advice! Here's what Noah and I did on Wednesday:
I think cuddling with him on the couch is one of my new favorite things to do with him. Sometimes he'll sit like this or he'll sit with his head up under my chin, it's just so cozy and such a rarity that he sits still that long (it's usually first thing in the morning or when he has gotten up from a nap).
Here's Noah eating craisens- he loves them! Go figure!
And of course he's still after the camera:
Where's Noah?
Here he is!
While Noah and I have been getting reacquainted after me being in school for weeks, Justin has had more time to work in the yard. He got the stone border in around the grass and has started getting ready the area where we'll put some playground stuff for Noah next year. Here are some pictures of Noah and his cousins enjoying the backyard:

I had to share this video clip of Justin singing "Cumberland Gap" to Noah. Me, being a elementary music teacher in the Kodaly methodology, has Noah listening to folk music in the car and I think Justin actually enjoys it! I'll catch him singing or humming the songs around the house- I love it!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Week in Pictures IV

"Whew": That about sums up how I'm doing. Last week I had my final for my contemporary music history class and my project was due. I think I did okay but I won't know for a while. My written comprehensive test is tomorrow morning at 9:00. It takes about 4 hours and my professor (who coincidentally is the same lady I student taught with and a dear friend) said it's typical to type 20-30 pages! Yikes. All I know is I, along with my sweet husband and son, am going to be glad when this is all over. I have the orals in two weeks, I need to brush up on some of my general ed. stuff for that. You know, fun stuff like how does "No Child Left Behind" affect music education, what is RTI (response to intervention), etc.

There are some congratulations that are in order:
My brother Aaron just finished his masters at the American Band College out of University of Southern Oregon- CONGRATS AARON!!!
AND, my brother-in-law, Seth, just got hired for his first teaching job- CONGRATS SETH!!

Well, here's our week in pictures:

Noah knows how to "chill out" during the hot summer! Sitting in our fridge:
Trying on mommy's flip-flops:
Opening mommy's laptop:
"Got it open":
"There we go!":

I haven't been able to get many good pictures lately as once Noah sees the camera he HAS to have it! So, here are some of him coming for the camera:

(how do you like the sunglasses? They're mine and unfortunately I haven't seen them since!):

Up close and personal with "camera boy":