Saturday, December 12, 2009

a Kroc full of Christmas!

Friday night I took a big risk and took about 14 of my Special Chorus kids to the Kroc Center to perform with Laura Sable and her husband Bill Wiemuth in Christmas from the Heart. We had one week's notice that we would be performing, hence the low turnout of singers. I can't lie - I was a little nervous that only 3 kids would show up. But we got about 14 (out of 45 - bad night for conflicts....) and they did a fine job. The good news is kids are always cute. But I am not striving for 'cute', I'd rather have 'astounding', but you've got to give me a little bit of time to learn the techniques for producing that! It was fun and they kids, I am sure, will be talking about it on Monday! Could boost my special chorus numbers for January, huh?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Professional development conference!

Wow! The first time I've ever gone to a "Professional Development Conference" and it was WAY FUN and so educational I think my head's going to blow up! I had a blast, and I'm SO EXCITED for school tomorrow so I can use what I learned! Such fun stuff! New ways to teach recorders, reasons why music influences and supports learning to read, how it helps developing brains, fun ways to get kids to learn complicated rhythms! You name it, I saw a workshop on it, and most of the time I participated in the learning! We were just supposed to 'be' the 5th graders (or kinders, or whatever) for the presenter of the workshop! I got 3 free recorders, and I bought a sopranino (really small, high recorder), a couple of hand puppets, handbells, a cool thunder tube, SO MUCH STUFF! You guys will have to come and play with my new stuff!!! I am SO HAPPY that I get to do this.

The only sad part is that the woman who was supposed to be teaching at Hayden Meadows (Julie Johnson) has taken a turn for the worse and now is calling family in for the end. Hospice is working with her. I sent her a card last week, and I'm really glad I did. This is really sad, but she's a good woman and she's ok - she just is regretting not having more time with family and grandkids. She's not that old, so that makes it sadder. Plus, what little time I've spent with her was really sweet. She's a good person - and a great, kind music teacher.
But, to do her justice, I am working on being the best music teacher I can be, and this conference gave me LOTS of information for doing that! I'm just having fun THINKING about going to school tomorrow and having the kids come to class! I sure do hope that my grandkids have 'Orff' trained music teachers - they are THE BEST!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Such craziness, but LOTS of fun!

Well, I've been at this teaching thing for about 3 weeks now, and it has gone by F-A-S-T!!! I am having lots of fun, and that's good, because I'm basically busy 24/7. And that's with Friday's off! Not only do I teach 22 classes in 4 days (3 1/12 if you count that Wednesday is early release...) I am in the middle of planning my 5th grade patriotic program for November 10th (that's 7 weeks away!); the Kindergarten Christmas program (there's never enough time to get the Kinders ready!) and I've got to get the Hayden Meadows Special Chorus (aka: Harmony N Motion) ready for festival of the trees, Hayden Lights Parade, and a visit to a rest home here in Hayden Lake! Add to that Coeurimba practices (good thing I love going!), new teacher meetings, and a weekly assignment due on Fridays for my on-line class with LCSC, and you can see that it's a good thing I learned to juggle lots of things when I had little children!

Friday we managed to find the time to meet Darbye and Lyle in Spokane for an afternoon at the temple and late lunch/early dinner at Red Robbin and then we went to see 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs'. It really wasn't much at all like the book, but it was a fun movie. Take the kids!
Then, Saturday, I spent most of the day at an Orff workshop (music) in Spokane Valley learning about exotic drumming. I thought it was going to be about how to do a drum circle, which I've been wanting to learn for a year! But the guy spent most of the time trying to get us to understand East Indian drumming - it was even hard for the music teachers! How was I going to do that for my kids??? But, the last hour was worth the whole day! What fun! We made bucket drums and did a really fun 'stomp-like' activity that I am SO SURE even my most hard core "I'm-not-interested-in-music" type 5th grader couldn't help but enjoy! Wow! I'm so excited to do this! But there's no room in the lesson schedule until after Christmas, but that's probably good because they tend to get less interested in school about that time.... I'll save the best stuff for last. Anyway, I bet you can just imagine your old granny/mom bustin' some moves while playing a drum made of a big plastic bucket, a milk crate and bungie cords! It was so fun I would just have to show you. OK, me and the grand kids are going to have some BIG fun this summer!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Viviann Roan Crebs is here!

Viviann Roan Crebs is here! She was born this afternoon at 4:49. She was 8 lbs 3oz and 20 3/4 inches long and BEAUTIFUL! It was a long day, but we were sure glad we were there. Nurse Janet met us at the hospital and Sarah, Riley and I were able to wait it out with Lindsay (the bionic mom) the whole day. She did it! And little Ava LOVES her little sister. She even cried when she came home to grandma's house because she wanted 'sister' to come home with her.... Tomorrow!

We love baby Viviann!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Holy Cow! Summer's over and I've got lots of news!

OK, I know I'm a slacker, but this was one busy summer! June was spent getting all the information together (transcripts, letters of recommendation, professional reference forms, resume, some traveling to Boise and Logan to get fingerprinted for another background check - are you tired yet???) so that I could renew my teaching certificate so that I could apply for the job of music teacher at Hayden Meadows. To make a LLLLLLOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGG story short.... I got it!!!! I am now a certified professional! I got the call Thursday, and now I'm WAY into preparation for the new school year to start. But I've jumped ahead! Oh, My!

July was mostly spent preparing for Darbye and Lyle's wedding on August 8th. Volunteers came out of the woodwork to help with things. It was SO FUN! I guess we finally figured out how to get it done with the last one - and, NO, I'm not going into wedding planning! But call me if you need the names of GREAT helpers! Janet, Ramona, Erin, Jeff, Jenneke, Lindsay, Heather, Amy, Pam. The list goes on and on. Every time we thought of something we needed, someone came forward and said "I'd love to do that!" What a deal! Anyway, it was lovely and we all had a great time. Thanks to ALL our great friends!
And a BIG WELCOME to the newest member of the family: Lyle Vaniman. What a great guy! We are so excited to get to know you even better in the years to come! Ask Riley - it gets easier every year!
Grampa and I took a quick trip to LA after the wedding to visit with Tamar and the kids since they weren't able to come up for the wedding. We spent time at the beach, Knotts Berry Farm and Disneyland. F-U-N!!! And such CUTE kids! (It's genetic....)
Now we are waiting for the next newest member of the family to join us. Lindsay (cake maker and hairstylist extraordinaire) was due last Friday, but, just like her mother, she has children who are in no particular hurry to get here.... We even went to the Kootenai County Fair on Friday and had the medically proven Elephant Ear to try to get things moving, but, alas, we are all still here.....
I assume you have noticed that there are no pictures in this blog entry. There's a good explanation for that - Grandma keeps forgetting the camera! (yes, I even forgot to use it during the wedding reception. I KNOW!) Anyway, at least I don't take pictures of some of my kids and just leave out a few. I leave them ALL out! But you can just imagine how great they all looked! Or probably go to the other blogs and they'll have pictures!
Well, I don't know how many entries I'll be making this year, since I'll be busy again with school music and taking an online class from Lewis Clark State College to earn an endorsement in music. But, just remember I LOVE YOU ALL!
Mrs. Music

Friday, July 17, 2009

Garage cleaning with a 2 year old! (and picking raspberries!)

We may not have the lush, thick bushes of 'yesteryear', but we can still find enough berries to satisfy the picking pleasure of a few grandkids! (Actually, picking is all Ava wants to do with raspberries - which she calls 'strawberries' - she doesn't want to EAT them!)
And here is Ava helping us clean out the garage! She found an obviously better use for Gramma's golf bag push cart: She 'rode' it in and out of the garage and called it her trycycle! Great fun having her around here! Love the new twist on helmet fashion, yeah?

Wisconsin Week at Hotel Griffitts - part deux!

So, we are starting with the last picture first, and they become more mixed up from there! Anyway, this is the Shumway's leaving from our home this morning about 9:30 -
but you can pretend that we were out in the driveway greeting them on Thursday night when they arrived!

This picture is actually from the first visit last Friday. Starting from the far left, we have Ava, Lyle, Darbye, Jo Jo, Danielle, Scott, Wendy and me. (Dad is behind Danielle...)

This was this morning, too. Checking everything twice before taking off for Oregon - hopefully NOT for another 3 year absence! We LOVE the Shumways!!!

Sheralyn, Danielle and Tanner ready to take off!

The 'Girls' - Sheralyn, Danielle, Darbye, Wendy, me, Ava and Lindsay! Aren't we a lovely group!

The Bishops, Steve and Scott - called within the same week 3 years ago - there is something poetic in that....

Wendy and Sheralyn performing death-defying bicycle tricks! Sheralyn even pedaled Wendy UP from the lake the night before! She's an IRONWOMAN!!!

It was hard to say goodbye to such fun friends! We hope they won't stay away for 3 more years! We try to show them a good time while they are here so they'll come back again! We had a baby shower last time they visited, and this time we were planning a wedding.... What next??? Just come back and play with us!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Welcome to Wisconsin Week at "Hotel Griffitts"

I got a phone call on Tuesday from an old friend who lived in Wisconsin with her great family while we lived there with our great family. She was spending a few days in Spokane, and when she found out how close it was to Coeur d'Alene, she came on over for a visit! How fun it was!

Here is Rosie Johnson with Lindsay and Darbye (who were 10 years younger when we last saw each other!)

The good news is that neither Rosie nor I have aged at all since we last visited! We've made plans for her whole family to visit soon so we can have some REAL fun! We survived Wisconsin together!

We also got an e-mail earlier this week from another wonderful Wisconsin connection: The Shumways! They're coming through town the end of this week for a family reunion up in Canada, so they'll be staying at the Hotel Griffitts one night this week and one night next week on the return trip! We had so much fun the last time they did that, that we are already FAR into the planning stages for this trip! I'll be sure to post pictures of that encounter, too!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

On the down hill slope!

School is almost out! Can you believe it? I survived the Performing Arts Night (comments were positive...) and the First Grade Program (again, comments were positive except for the one 5th grader who said it was 'boring'.) Well, I didn't have time to do the 'fish' program and collect a bunch of costumes and stuff! Give me a break! (I'm not insulted or anything, just explaining myself!)
Anyway, next up is the Kindergarten program on May 13 (the day after the Special Chorus sings for the volunteer appreciation breakfast) and then we have the recorder recital on May 27th. I just hope I can get those kids ready for the recital - we've just GOT to be able to play more than 'Hot Cross Buns'! We'll just hit songs like 'Zippy Toad' and 'B A Superhero' really hard for the next couple of weeks!
Next year CAN'T be this hard!
Summer is already getting packed up with Coeurimba dates! We are even having the luxury of turning down some dates! How cool are we!? Oh, it's nice to be loved!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wow! The blog fairy did it again!

Well, I don't have to tell you guys that I've not been a very good blogger lately, but Lindsay keeps the page at least looking respectable! Thanks!
Last Thursday night at school we did the production of Lewis and Clark, and it turned out just fine! Mrs. Windisch came back to help with the sound system since we had lapel mics and lots of other kinda weird and wonderful things to deal with. With her help - and lots of other people stepping in to lend a hand - it ended up being just great and the parents were happy with their little darlings! Yippee!
Now all I've got left to do is Performing Arts Night in two days, the First Grade program the following week on Wednesday, a week with no programs(!) following that, then the kindergarten program, and last, the third grade recorder recital! What a fun (ok, YES, it was stressful at times, but fun nonetheless!) year I've had. I think I've learned more this year than any other year of my life! Really!
I am excited to get my teaching certificate reinstated and then start taking music classes to get a music endorsement added to it. From all indications, it looks pretty positive for me to be the official full-time music teacher at Hayden Meadows next year. Nothing official until after the levy on Tuesday, but it looks like that will probably pass. So, I could be doing this for a few more years! Wow! Who'd a thought? NOT me!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Faith and Begorrah! Lindsay did it again!

Thanks to Lindsay for the beautiful Irish background for my page! I thought for sure that the 'Little People' had paid me a fine visit already and done a good trick for me! Instead, one of my favorite people in all the world had done it! How nice!
I had the very good fortune of attending a workshop for most of the day yesterday in Spokane called "Moving the Musical Mind". Oh! I am SO INSPIRED by how music, done in the right way, can make HUGE changes for people of ALL AGES!!! I want to try some new stuff out on the grandkids when we get to see them for Spring Break! It's all fun stuff, and I'll bring some cool, new 'toys' with me, too! I am so lucky to have this all fall in my lap! What a cool way to change from 'empty-nester' to 'gainfully employed grandma'!!! I'm having a wonderful experience, and things just keep getting more and more interesting all the time! Just wait until I teach you guys the "Brain Dance". It's so cool, and you won't even notice you are doing good things for your brain! It's just really well-desguised as fun! I'm loving this!
Happy "second-most-important-holiday-in-the-whole-year" month!!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

An ecclectic collection of random happenings lately...

Well, I saw this poor little snow-bound penguin and it looked like he was signaling for help, so I just had to take his picture! Maybe by Spring we can dig him out!

This is how he looks to the neighbors... I hope they don't turn us in for 'decoration abuse'!

And here's a cute picture of Mylie Suzanne Reynolds when she was just over 12 hours old! Tytan LOVES to hold her, and he is being quite patient and sharing her with all of her admirers. I thought this was such a cute picture of the two siblings!

And here is the picture we took of our new do's with our camera that wouldn't download on Lindsay's computer. Aren't we a couple of dolls!?

And, one last picture of the famous 'musical clock' that is all folded up and taken to the dump now - but it was fun while it lasted! The kids still ask about it every-so-often. Onward!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fashion Models

Here is the final result of our jaunt to Rexburg to get our 'dos' refreshed. Don't we look lovely? We are so pumped to be such gorgeous dolls! We are on our way to Idaho Falls to have dinner, and we think that we'll have to stop somewhere and buy a couple of big sticks to beat off unwanted admirers! Wish us luck! We are having fun!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gramma is going back to school...Really!

Well, the most I knew last month was that I was going to miss the kids when the 'real' music teacher came back to teach in January. Unfortunately for her, she is NOT getting any better - in fact - she's getting worse. That's really sad news because she is such a wonderful, nice teacher. But the bright side is that I still get to teach music at Hayden Meadows Elementary. In fact, I've been looking in to getting my teaching certificate re-instated (it was issued in December 1977, and I've NEVER really used it, so it expired...) AND I'm going back to school to get an endorsement in music so I can become a REAL music teacher! I owe a debt of gratitude to the area music teachers who are so generous with their support and encouragement. And I especially owe thanks to Julie Powell and Sally Sorenson - two of the coolest music-teaching friends a girl could have, and two of the most fun members of Coeurimba, without whom I would not have had the courage or the experience to have taken on the job of long-term music substitute which has lead to this life-altering decision to go back to school!
In fact, last week we had two snow days and Julie and Sally took time from their schedules to meet me at Hayden Meadows and work with me for 2 1/2 hours! They could have been home doing pretty much anything else, but they decided to help me out, and they insisted that it was a good thing for them to review stuff they hadn't done for a while. They really are some wonderful friends!
I'm excited for this new phase in my life! How cool is it that at my age I can now say that I really AM going to learn to play the piano! AND I'm going to finally take that music theory class! This is so cool! I'm really earning the name "Gramma Jamma"!