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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Long Winter

Typically it doesn’t get that cold in East Texas – or at least not the northern idea of cold. We might have 5 nights a year that it gets below freezing but then it pops back up above freezing in the daytime.


It doesn’t snow here. Almost never.


This year I was inspired by our first cold snap – actually a freakish cold snap for us, it stayed below freezing in the day time for a few days – to read The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. If you aren’t familiar with the book, it is one of her longer books in the series and describes the winter of 1880-1881 that seems to be one of the worst winters recorded in history.


This has been a good year for us to read it too, we are on our third snowfall this year. I know that may not sound impressive to some but let me put it this way, in 15 years of living here I have seen 6 snowfalls and 3 have been this year.


Today with the snow falling again, we are going to read more of The Long Winter. It seems appropriate.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Beethoven Lives Upstairs - Live Performance

I have long been a fan of the Classical Kids series of cds and books that introduce kids to classical composers in a fun way. It is partly because of this series that my 6 year old says his favorite composer is Tchaikovsky.

When I saw that the East Texas Symphony Orchestra would be performing Beethoven Lives Upstairs in Tyler, I thought we just had to go. I even called and found out that if I got a group of 20 or more together, we could go at a much reduced price. The only problem, this was on Tuesday and the performance was Saturday. We did manage to get the discounted rate, and I was supposed to get there a bit early so I could pass out the tickets to our group.

Except that I was running a bit late. And I went to the wrong place.

The performance? It was wonderful. Seeing it live was so much better. Plus afterwords they had a "meet the instruments" with some of the musicians. My son was thrilled when someone from the woodwinds played part of the Star Wars theme. My daughter was excited to recognize some of the animals from Peter and the Wolf. The friend she invited along kept saying that her big sister would love it, and she wanted to go meet the woodwinds because that was her favorite orchestra section.

If you have a chance to see any of the Classical Kids concerts, I would highly recommend them. If not, the cds are pretty good too.