Minuet in G – Bach

As previously stated in my Music Page, I’ve been learning piano. As promised, I’m going to post some recordings of my playing.

This recording (maybe some day I’ll do videos) is of me playing the Minuet in G by Bach, from the “Anna Magdalena Songbook” – but actually from Piano Literature, volume 1.

This is the first real piece I’ve learned, thus far. I picked up piano music back around Christmas time (got the piano in the late fall).

What do you think? Notice anything specific that I should fix?

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I Am a Rainbow (a mom’s review)

I Am a Rainbow

One of our books from the Imagination Library book club that we received prior to starting this blog is “I Am a Rainbow,” by Dolly Parton, herself.

When I took this book out of its wrappings and read the title, the first thing in my mind was, “..no way.” Well, it wasn’t about what I thought it just couldn’t be about, but whatever.

The “rainbow” refers to emotional/psychological idioms (blue=sad, green=envy, yellow=scared, etc.) and ends by expressing that the way you act on your feelings may affects others.
“So remember as you go
From hue to hue
That each and every person
Has feelings too.”

As one would assume with a book with that title and color, the entire book is quite colorful and rainbow-y. (Sure, that’s a word….) It isn’t the most well-written or rhythmic rhyme (sorry, Dolly), but it’s kind of okayish. I skip and/or very quickly read certain pages every time I read it to my son, ex. “So be a rainbow – Shine above, And filter all your glow Through love.” …really?

“It’s nature’s way-these colors you show.
So simply say . . . I am a RAINBOW!”

*sigh*

Did you receive this book? What did you think about it?

Pretend (a mom’s review)

Pretend
PRETEND
by Jennifer Plecas

Our March installment from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library came in the mail today! (I lost the February book, and I’ll come back to post about it later). It was a lovely surprise after our 2-hour walk in our 70º winter weather. I sat my boys down and read it to them as soon as I got it from the mailbox.

Wait! What?
Why did I read it to my kids before I read through it myself (as I have clearly stated is my process for these books)? Well, I saw the artwork, looked at the first page, and that was all I needed. I was convinced it was okay for them to hear.

The artwork is simple, yet compelling and quite cute.
The story is about a young boy, getting his dad to “pretend” with him that they are on an adventure. It shows the boy and his dad using ordinary props as imaginary tools; couches as boats, dog leashes as fishing lines, cookies as caught fish, etc. It is a lovey little story. My baby (who just received his first little sunburn =/) just looked at the pictures as I read, but my 2-year-old reiterated the lines he found most compelling; “Paddle Fast!” “Grab my hand!”

I wholeheartedly recommend it and am glad to have such a lovely addition to my son’s book collection from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Was this your March installment? If not, what was? If so, did you enjoy this book as much as I? Let me know!

Meet Me at the Moon (a mom’s review)

meet me at the moon

Our January installment from the Imagination Library book club is Meet Me at the MOON by Gianna Marino.

The artwork in this book is beautiful. I love it. I love it so much more than the actual story that I almost want to write a new story to go along with the artwork.

This book is, as the cover displays, about a mother elephant (Mama) and her baby (Little One) who are having to be separated for an amount of time. Their home is dry and dusty, so Mama tells Little One that she has to travel to the highest mountain to ask the sky for rain. Little One isn’t sure about this because it (no pronouns in this book) 1) doesn’t want to be left alone, and 2) isn’t sure that they will be able to find each other again. The book has a relatively uplifting story and ends happily.

The first time I read it, it caused a brief pause. It seemed a bit Naturalistic, talking about getting as close to the sky as possible to ask for rain. Not at all a Christian way of looking at things. But after a little bit of thought, I came to the following conclusion:
In all reality animals do look to the sky for rain and don’t have religious beliefs. Though, if they are able to ask the sky for rain, the best explanation is something difficult to find.

It’s a nice book. Yes, even a “sweet” book. (No, I don’t really think a book is a book, it’s just a sweet book.) Even though Mama is gone long enough for it to rain and for all the grass to grow back (months?).

Something that causes pause generally comes to this: Should I throw it out, or should I use it to start a conversation with my child, and then let him decide whether to keep it or throw it out. It can definitely begin a conversation. The elephant thinks she needs to talk to the sky to get it to rain. Isn’t that silly? Elephants talking? The sky deciding it’s going to rain, all by itself? Maybe Mama should have called Daddy so he could watch Little One when she left. Does the moon really touch the earth?? Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera! (The King & I fans, anyone?)

We’re going to keep it – for now, anyway. My kiddo likes elephants. I still may decide to rewrite the story though…

Have you received this book? What are your thoughts on it?

Chuggington (A mini-Review)

Chuggington
My 2-year-old’s favorite “show” (we don’t have cable and don’t watch regular television) is Chuggington. He has a lot of the Disney Sing-Along videos and an American Railroads (documentary-type) dvd. He received a Chuggington book sometime around his second birthday, and has since received another. The books seemed to be pretty alright, and the faces on the trains weren’t quite so just-on-this-side-of-creepy like Thomas the Tank (he doesn’t watch that or own those trains), so we took a leap of faith and bought him a 2 dvd Chuggington movie for Christmas.

First of all, he loves the theme song – it’s catchy and works well for little kids (even not-yet-talking ones) who love trains and say “chugga-chugga choo-choo!” a lot. The episodes are only about 10ish minutes, and each have clear beginnings, but not traditional endings. They go through a situation, the moral of the story is pretty straight forward (usually spoken, and not just inferred), and then it ends either right there or soon after.

At first, as an adult who has seen quite a few movies, this was a little bit strange. The situation resolves, but I felt as though there was an ending scene missing. After the second episode, though, I got over it. I liked that they spelled out exactly why something that was done was wrong or exactly why something someone did was right or good. Unlike some Thomas (I’ve seen a few episodes here and there throughout the years), the trains are rarely flat-out rude to one another or speaking ill of each other. Every once in a while they think a little too highly of themselves, but it doesn’t result in putting someone else down.

Also, there are both American and British versions. My husband downloaded a British version on our laptop that our son can watch while we’re upstairs (our “entertainment area” is in the basement). Both are great, and though the personalities remain fairly similar, the accents and ages of some of the trains (voice-wise) are different and make each version more interesting in their own ways.

It’s a great little series, and my son loves it.

Do you let your kids watch either show? If so, which do you prefer, and why?