Last fall, the boys started taking piano lessons. It was a series of coincidences that led us to first buy a piano and then find a teacher.
I saw an add on my new homeschool Facebook board that a church was selling a piano. (It ended up being the church we would decide to attend. But that really has nothing to do with the story.) The piano was only $200 so we decided to buy it. We had always wanted piano to be a part of our homeschool curriculum, and here was an inexpensive piano.
At the time my father-in-law picked up the piano, an older, spunky lady happened to be there. She was doing some sort of piano-something at the church, but she didn't attend that church. She told Dad which of the two pianos were best and also gave him her number since she was a piano teacher.
A few months later we moved to our farm, and I called Ms. Lesley, and she agreed to come to our house to do lessons for the boys and for ME! Learning to play the piano has always been on my bucket list. That and learning a new language. I learned Turkish (mostly) and when Abigail was born, JB gave me piano lessons as my present. It was actually JB that told me, when calling Ms. Lesley, "Tell her you want lessons too."
That seemed like a terrible idea. I have four little kids, we are living on a farm, and I am homeschooling my children. I don't have time for piano. But you know, as a mom, you don't often do things for yourself, so why not go for it! So I did.
But I really wanted the lessons at our house. I knew I didn't have it in me to drive to town with all the kids and manage Hannah and Abigail while the three of us tried to do a lesson every week. So when Ms. Lesley said she was willing to drive to us once a week, I was sold!
We started lessons in the fall. Ms. Lesley comes out every Wednesday morning and the three of us do a 30-minute lesson each. Sometimes Grama K. or JB are here to watch Hannah. Other times I prop her in my room with Daniel Tiger, but I usually manage to get all kids occupied for 30 minutes so I can do my lesson.
Ms. Lesley is actually a voice teacher first and a piano teacher second, so this recital was a mixture of singing and piano. The boys were both very nervous. As usual, Sidge talked about how nervous he was constantly, and Isaac didn't say anything, but when you asked him he would say, "I feel very nervous too."
Ms. Lesley was so cool. She said this was very laid back, and if they couldn't get up and do it, it was no big deal. She also said JB could certainly sit up on stage by them, which Sidge wanted desperately. JB did a good job explaining to them that nerves were normal and not necessarily bad and that everyone who went up there was nervous. In addition, Joni was with us, and she is a piano player and she said that feels a little bit of nerves before she gets up to play every single time.
(Oh, and by the way, adult students aren't included in the recital. Thank goodness!)
First issue, before the recital, was the fact that the day before the recital, Ms. Lesley informed me the boys needed to wear pants for the recital. Not jeans. Not shorts. Ugh. I scoured my closets and our "grow into" box and couldn't find anything. Well, I did find a few pairs of pants that were hysterically large or terribly worn.
We decided to hit Target while we were in the next big town over for a kids' museum the day of the recital. I hate buying things I know won't be used to their maximum potential, but $15 each didn't seem too outrageous.
Here is a picture of the boys before going inside for their recital. We didn't even get the pants in the picture:
And here is a picture inside, pants included. They look pretty sharp I think. Okay, so yes, they are wearing tennis shoes with their khakis. I am not a crazy person who was going to buy shoes for one wear!
And a family picture of the four of us. Grampa and Grama K. offered to stay home with the girls. (They had heard the recital songs more times than they could count and with a 6:30 start time, we all knew this was for the best.)
And then, it was time for them to perform. Sidge was up #2. And Isaac was up #3. I love that Sidge is now officially "Sidge" everywhere -- even on the very official recital program:
First up, Sidge with his piece:
Here is Sidge performing. I love his bow at the end. He just came up with that on the fly. He had seen the little girl before him bow and decided to do it. He made a few mistakes, but we were SO proud of him for doing this.
And then it was time for Isaac:
Here is a video of Isaac performing. He appeared a lot less nervous, as is always the case because Isaac doesn't talk as much as Sidge. But he couldn't get off that stage fast enough!
However, this post wouldn't be complete by showing you what happened the moment we got home. The boys first took just a nice picture with each other. Simple enough:
But then they spotted them. Since our chickens have the run of the farm, they occasionally get a little off track and wander into the yard. They waddle in through the back gate. And since the guineas live inside the gate, we need to keep it open. (We are brainstorming options to stop this but like many farm problems, other things take priority.) The boys actually love this. They love to catch the chickens and let them "fly" back over the fence.
So before I knew what was happening, Sidge was heading over to catch the chickens. I didn't really think much about it at the moment.
But then I watched as Sidge went sprawling on his belly to catch a chicken by the leg, and JB said, "Not in your pants!" and suddenly, there it was. Grass stains on both legs on the first night.
They are in the wash now. Hopefully, I have managed to save them.