Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I get a little sad every February after the Super Bowl. It means I have to wait MONTHS...EONS to see a football game again. And here in Nebraska. We had some changes this year. I'm excited about our new head coach. It's been awhile since I've had a high respect for the coaching staff here, and I believe our new coach will bring some calm and integrity back to the sidelines. I particularly like not muting the post game interviews when the girls are in the room.

I'm also enjoying the NFL this year. Usually, I don't watch until playoffs, but I couldn't resist this great knit along project.

Well, my teams haven't been doing a stellar job on the field, but it's still been great to watch some good football again. I think my girls are even starting to enjoy the occasional game. Then again, they may just be in it for the nachos.

Sweet Corn

Why did it take until the last day of September before we ate fresh corn? What was I thinking? Must not be a native Nebraskan.


It's a funny word I heard in a TV show the other night. And it fits Dan perfectly. Ferro - "iron", equine - "horse"; ology - "study of." Yup - that's my Dan. One who studies iron horses. Whenever he has a chance, he's watching the BNSF lines just out of town. In October, he dons a pocketwatch and UP cap while he drives the Ernest J. Vala. And last month, (on opening day of college football, no less!) he took the family down the road to a miniature train show. Ah! Life is good.

Vala's 2015 - Part 1

It's true. We've already been twice. The big slide seems to be the hit this year (in addition to Daddy and the train.) I'm sure many more pictures will be coming.

Aldi Meal Plans

We're just starting out a crazy train ride that will last about six weeks. Dan has jumped in with his engineer getup and is driving the train at the local pumpkin patch again. The same day the patch opened, a friend of mine had a darling baby boy. I was asked to be her long-term sub until she returns in November. This is a great opportunity to earn some needed money (and it's pretty fun, too! Who would have thought I'd enjoy first graders all day every day instead of teaching music? But they're a great group of kids, and the other teachers on the first grade team are amazing!) On top at that, I have three full afternoons/evenings of piano lessons each week.

This took some creative planning and preparation. I've been seeing the Aldi Meal Plans in my Facebook feed, and thought I'd give them a try.

Sure enough, for less than $150, I have groceries, recipes, and food in my freezer for over five weeks (when I account for nights of leftovers or eating at the pumpkin patch.) And most of the meals have been family approved. The chili was particularly good, as was the homemade spaghetti sauce.

I'm looking forward to trying some of their other plans in the future. (But maybe not too soon in the future! I'll need some time to catch my breath next month.)

A New Year, Another Instrument

I can't believe I didn't get a picture of this, especially since Dan and I met in the band, and so much of our lives and history revolve around our time in band. Last week, Dayna entered the world of the "band geek." So now Dayna is juggling time on piano, cello and a new band instrument. I confess - the running was tight for this particular instrument, but Dan and I were thrilled to get this letter from her band director:

Next week - I promise I'll get a picture!

A New Year of Piano

I took a leap of faith this year and opened one more day of lessons in my studio. Shortly after, the phone started to ring. As of this week, for the first time - my studio is FULL! God has been so good to provide so many different personalities, gifts, ages and styles to the students who come into my home each week. It is truly a privilege to be able to watch these young musicians grow as they practice and learn.

My littlest student doesn't have a regular lesson spot, but she sure loves when we do sit down for a lesson. The Wunderkeys method has been a lot of fun to explore as she learns about music and math. Here's a little clip from her second lesson.

BSF - Revelation

It has been 12 years since I attended my first BSF Welcome class. I can't begin to share how much this study has changed my life and taught me about God and His Word. This year, they are launching a brand new study of Revelation. Classes around the world have waiting lists as thousands of men and women are desiring to study the Bible. We are fortunate that BSF offers a preschool program during their daytime classes, and a school age program during the evening classes. Dayna is able to attend the men's class with Dan while I take Annie with me - together the four of us are studying the same lessons (at an age appropriate level, though I confess, the kids' lessons help me understand mine a lot better!)

I may have been just a little overzealous and started completing my lessons as soon as they were available online.

I can't wait to discover what God has for me to learn this year.

Mommy and Annie Time

"Just Mommy and Annie?" While I try to make sure I spend individual time with each of my girls, it seems to be a fun and exciting concept every time Annie and I have some time together. Since life started to get really crazy in the middle of the month, I tried to fit as many "Mommy and Annie" days as I could early in September.

We would walk Dayna to school and stop for a hot chocolate on the way home. We would work on her letters and go on letter hunts downtown. Piano lessons together were an absolute hoot! She is really growing up into a delightfully funny little lady.

Last weekend, the two of us took advantage of a Friday evening and went out for milkshakes and a trip to the bookstore where she got a new book that quickly became a favorite. I think in the last six days, it is already starting to get worn. Annie picked her own clothes and even brought her baby Lotte along with us on our date.
Sure love this spunky girl!

Fifth Grade Friends

It's hard to believe these girls are already in fifth grade. I see them at school, and their legs are getting so long. They tower over the other kids at school. And they seem to just get sweeter with time.

Dayna's teacher sent me a picture a few days into the school year of the girls hard at work. I giggle, because when I was a fifth grader, I was teased for leaning close to my work when I was writing. It was the best way to shut out the distractions. As we laughingly say around here, "it must be genetic."

Later in the week, Dayna's friend came over for a sleepover. I caught them snuggled in their sleeping bags reading, because MaKaylee insisted on finishing their 30 minutes of reading before they could start a movie.

I love that Dayna has a friend who makes her want to be a better person.

Just last weekend, Dayna went to cheer on MaKaylee and her volleyball team while MaKaylee's little sister came here to play with Annie. Sure glad to see another set of Kassebaum/Wilson girls becoming friends!