5 Things Friday: Things I’m Loving this Week

five things friday

1. We had our first day of homeschool co-op.

first day of co-op

While I’m not sure we can say I love co-op yet, I did love how enthusiastic my kids seemed after their first day. One told me I should have signed them up for more classes. (And one didn’t get a morning nap so he fell asleep in the van on the way home and then cried because I tried to put him down for a nap. Not sure how we’re going to work that one out.)

The three oldest start their morning with Taekwondo, so that’s why they’re dressed that way. It was nice to see their teacher after a few years away from the last time we took lessons. (He’s a very kind, funny man. When he found out I was enrolling three children he said, “That will be one million dollars.” Fortunately, he was exaggerating a little bit.)

2. A fresh supply of tea.

I didn’t run out of tea entirely(that would be hard for me to do), but I did run out of my favorite temporarily. My mornings seem so much nicer when I can have a cup of this tea.

3. A Caramel Apple Shake from Steak and Shake.

I know most of the blogosphere waits all year for the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. I could take that or leave it: this milkshake is only available in the fall and I wait for it all year ’round. So, so good. (And no, I don’t care to know how many calories it is. It’s seasonal, so it’s not like I have to worry about having one every day or something.) Philip took all of us out for shakes Tuesday night. It had been a busy day and we were kind of sad because we’d just said goodbye to family who had to leave for their home on the west coast.

We still miss our family, but the milkshakes helped cheer us up. (I’m not sure what that says about us, but hey, a caramel apple shake IS a caramel apple shake.)

4. Cooler temperatures.

My husband is lamenting the early arrival of fall, but I’m rejoicing in the cooler nights. We really had a lovely summer, with only a few truly hot, humid days, but I still like fall better.

5. A new to us piano.

new pianoWe haven’t had a piano in our home in almost two years. We gave ours to our church while we were moving because we didn’t have room in our rental (and also, it was on the side of a hill, so getting a piano would have been problematic to say the least). Then we moved in here and had a lot of work to do on the house, a piano just wasn’t a top priority.

I’ve wanted another piano for several months now. I was saving up to buy a piano I loved, but real life intervened again. We need to replace our van and we have a child who needs a dental procedure and braces. So, once again, piano went to the bottom of the list.

But one of my mom’s aunts had a piano that no one in her family played any more, and she was ready to pass it on to someone else. This week my husband, my dad, my brother, one of my brothers-in-law and two of our friends brought this piano home for me. (And yes, it took everyone of them to move it. It is heavier than it looks.)

It’s not my dream piano,  but it’s in good condition and  it’s going to suit us well. The oldest three girls are already asking me to give them lessons (the oldest has had lessons but the younger two haven’t). I’d say that makes a change: if they’re begging me to learn, maybe I won’t have to nag them about practicing…

Maybe not. But we’ll take the burst of enthusiasm. Funny story: the night we got the piano I hadn’t really had a chance to try it out. So after the kids went to bed I did. The next morning one of my daughters said, “Mom, I just love when you play the piano. You should do that every night when we go to bed.”

With this many of us needing to practice, it may work out that way more often than she thinks.

What are you loving this week?

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dice picture credit: doug88888
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  1. What a lovely piano! Ours is digital and I like it, but it isn’t that lovely (or big).

    I made my first evening cup of tea just now; in the morning, I’m a coffee drinker.

  2. Love the new piano. I wish we had room for one here, but there is NO space for one. :(
    Miss you all!

  3. I love this!!

    So, I need your opinions: taekwondo and piano–how did you start? Did the kids have interest, or did you just do it and say “we’re doing this. Try it and give it your best.” My hubs and I are currently discussing these very things. I want them to be involved in activities (same ones, actually) but only one of them has a slight interest in music lessons or any sort of sport, much less taekwondo. Advice?

    • Gina, piano is a given because I play and have taught in the past (no students other than my own kids currently). Not all my kids have the same aptitude but I want them all to read music. If my children wanted to play another instrument, we might look for a teacher but right now they’re happy with the piano. I guess we’ll just wait and take that as it comes. I think every child needs some musical education.

      We debated about sports longer. We decided against competitive sports because my husband and I are just not athletic and our children all seem to have inherited our {lack of} ability. Eventually we chose Taekwondo because my younger brother took it and my parents paid for the kids’ first classes as a gift. Now they take it at our homeschool co-op. We love that it challenges them to succeed, and gives them a physical outlet, without being super competitive or too much commitment (once a week suits us fine). They all enjoy it but only one seems to have a natural aptitude for it. Taekwondo seems like a great fit for non-sporty kids, especially at the lower belt levels.

      So, I guess the short answer is they had a little bit of interest but we mostly decided for them. If one of the older ones really protested we’d consider alternate activities but that hasn’t happened yet. (And they’d have to be things we can afford & fit in our scheduled)

      Hope that helps – I’m sure you’ll figure out something that works for you all!

      • Yes, helpful!! I have piano background, so I *could* teach them…any tips on books you like?

        • I’d say use whatever is most familiar. I’ve used Alfred’s (several great options for older beginners), Bastien, and the old classic John Thompson stuff. I’d say Alfred’s is the kid friendliest, but otherwise I just use what I have on hand. (I have a weakness for buying music!)

  4. A piano!! I didn’t know you played! We have a digital because it suits the military lifestyle, but someday I will have an acoustic. I tease Scott and tell him that I am going to have a room only for a piano, and it will be a baby grand. haha! My digital is a Kawai, and I have had it for nearly 15 years. It has held up well. I do need to have the keys reset because the padding that keeps it from clunking needs to be replaced. Other than that, I recommend them.

    • Thanks for the recommendation! I would love to have room for a baby grand. A black baby-grand Steinway would fulfill my deepest pianist dreams. ;) Probably never going to happen, and that’s OK.