Saturday, February 26, 2011

Love this Boy

Sam celebrated his birthday with some friends tonight. We started with a marshmallow structure contest~
This disproves the theory that if you put out healthy, colorful snacks, alongside sweet-tasting junk, the kids naturally will choose the former. Many, many marshmallows made it into their mouths, while the rainbow of veggies was left untouched :(

Sam was very clear about wanting a pinata. We made it work, even in the snow~

These days, nobody gets the birthday cake spotlight alone in this house~
Sam has a great smile, and it's contagious, too~

Sam had a lot of fun, and his friends did, too. It is hard to believe he really is 8!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Little Princess

Recently, Mary has really gotten into dress-up play. When her friend Allison was over, they surprised me with these charming get-ups~

"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous." ~Coco Chanel

Monday, February 21, 2011

Where's Charlie?

I just love when I'm able to get a photo of my kids having fun together. Even with almost 9 years between them, Charlie and Mary make great playmates. I do think homeschooling has helped to facilitate that - they have the time needed to build a relationship. This picture is perfect, because Mary is leaning on Charlie - he really is so sweet to her. I look forward to seeing how he continues to support her as they get older. Charlie is the world's best big brother.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Book 1

What kind of music are balloons scared of? Pop music.

As part of the Suzuki program, upon completion of each book, students have to play straight through one time with accompaniment. Sam had his book 1 recital this afternoon. We combined it with his birthday with family. Here he is posing for the cover of his program~
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star Variations, Shinichi Suzuki

Minuet No. 2, J. S. Bach

Minuet in C, J.S. Bach

The Happy Farmer, R. Schumann

Etude, Shinichi Suzuki

Rigadoon, H. Purcell

Andantino, Shinichi Suzuki

Allegretto, Shinichi Suzuki

Long, Long Ago, T.H. Bayly

Trumpet Solo – Charlie Reczek

Hail the Conquering Hero, G.F. Handel

Perpetual Motion in D. Major, Shinichi Suzuki

Allegro, Shinichi Suzuki

May Song, Folk Song

O Come, Little Children, Folk Song

Go Tell Aunt Rhody, Folk Song

Song of the Wind, Folk Song

Lightly Row, Folk Song

French Folk Song, Folk Song

AccompanistLisa Hirschmugl-Stein

His eager audience awaits~
We are so proud of him. I imagine him playing in church, or for his sister's wedding some day~

I video taped the first half. He hit a few stumbling blocks and was getting upset, so I turned the camera off. But he really did amazing~

Charlie gave Sam a short break and performed his trumpet ensemble piece (with Lisa on cello as viola) ~

He loved his cake~

What a wonderful day! Even though he made a few (minor to the audience, but large to him) mistakes, Sam persevered to the end, and finished his task. I can't say that I would have the confidence to do it, myself. He has worked really hard these last two years, and it really shows.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Today we had a little lesson in civics. Illinois state Senator Edward Maloney, is proposing a bill that would require all homeschoolers to register with the Illinois Board of Ed. What's the problem with that, you ask? Well, for one thing, Illinois public schools are failing, while homeschoolers, across the board, are succeeding. Why should we be required to register with a failing system? And what is the cost to the taxpayer to process all the homeschoolers?? There is so much more to consider when thinking about this subject, but I will just direct you here, and move onto the good stuff :)

My kids are fine, Senator Maloney, thank you very much. We don't need your "help" ~
Homeschoolers obey the traffic laws~
The Reczeks and the Peseks with a very successful homeschooler - Abe Lincoln. He taught himself to read, withOUT the Illinois Board of Ed!

Parents taking responsibility for their children's education. No help needed from the (failing) IL Board of ED. 4,000 strong~
It's 10:00am, do you know where your kids are? Homeschoolers - right here, getting a first hand look at Illinois government. Before Sen. Maloney worries too much about the mythical homeschoolers that are "falling through the cracks", why doesn't he figure out a way to help the thousands of failing Illinois public school students? Does your local public school have a surplus of resources, monetary or otherwise?
Three floors of IL homeschoolers. What I didn't see were any registered voters coming out to SUPPORT this bill.
After a very anti-climactic ending (no vote yet), we took a quick tour of the capitol building~
The Senate~

378 miles driven in 6 hours.

22 quarters fed to the parking meters and still getting one $5 parking ticket.

Getting to spend the day with 4,000 homeschoolers reminding Illinois politicians to keep their hands off my kids?


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Balmex Cover

Mary loves watching this video of Sam. Much to our delight, she sings it a lot in the car~

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hail the Conquering Hero

Charlie had a trumpet ensemble contest today. He play Handel's Hail the Conquering Hero with another boy. They did fantastic (Charlie was the leader) ~

Here he is afterward, all smiles~

Sam Knows Basketball

I don't want to brag, but Sam is a superstar - he rocks pretty much every sport he plays~

It helps that he's grown up in the "Charlie Reczek Sports Training Camp" :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Kings of the Mountain

When they finally plowed our skull-de-sac (Sam's name for it when he was little), they had to push the snow across the street, because there wasn't room to maneuver the plow with all the snow. Of course, the boys love it~

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Sam brought cupcakes in to The Greenhouse for his birthday. He picked out the gummy hamburgers to top them. They (and he) are cute~

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowpocalypse 2011

It's all anyone has been talking about for the last couple of days, and finally, it came! The Great Blizzard of 2011. It is perfect for our family, because it gave us a chance to re-do our Polar Dash. There wasn't any snow on New Year's Eve this year, but this - this was a real boon!
You can barely see them, but there are some naked children hiding in all that snow~
And this is what we woke up to this morning~
It's still coming down~
The best part of all this snow, is Scott staying home from work (has never happened due to weather in the 15.5 years we've been married) ~

Some mighty drifts~
Peek - a -boo?
Heck no! Mary does not like the frosty wind~

Now this is cool~

Nothing like a warm bowl of oatmeal~
Charlie - tunneling us out~
I ended up not allowing Charlie to play in his cave (above). It was on he street side of the sidewalk, right where our driveway is. It would be too easy for a car to run right over him, or a plow to cover him with snow. HE was disappointed, but found other ways to keep busy :)