Moving has been tough on the little ones. The endless packing, cleaning and stacks of boxes really started to wear on us all toward the end. The disruption to our typical laid back schedule started to affect the kids’ ability to settle down and fall asleep. Enter Edie Carey and Sarah Sample’s Til the Morning: Lullabies and Songs of Comfort. When this gem arrived in the mail I knew the timing couldn’t be more perfect. We all needed extra comfort during this transition.
I started playing Edie Carey & Sarah Sample’s new album, ‘Til The Morning: Lullabies and Songs of Comfort’ during our bedtime routine. The soothing sounds of Edie and Sarah’s voices brought a sense of calm to an otherwise chaotic part of our day. I clung to the beauty of the music as much if not more than our kids did. As we became familiar with the music the words began to sink into my mind.
I have found that I am most drawn to children’s music that meets two criteria: 1) Songs that give me insight into my children’s perceptions of their experiences 2) Lyrics that inspire me to cherish my children, to embrace my role as their parent and be better starting that very moment for those precious children.
These two criteria meeting together in heart-touching lullabies has worked miracles for our bedtime. Edie Carey and Sarah Sample have a tender story of friendship and collaboration. From their press release: “In 2010, after releasing her third album and having her second child, Sarah Sample realized that most of her music-making at home involved singing to her children. It felt only natural that her next record should embrace the lullabies that were at the core of her motherhood experience. At this time, her friend Edie Carey was in the throes of a two-year struggle with infertiity following a near-fatal experience while on tour. Sarah soon became one of Edie’s main sources of support, and their friendship deepened.
“Edie welcomed a son in 2012 (thanks to winning a $16K IVF cycle at a raffle!), and soon the two friends began hatching plans to make Sarah’s lullaby idea come true. They wanted to not only honor the quiet moments between parent and child, but also to pay tribute to the struggles of infertility, recognizing the circuitous and painful journey many people must travel to become parents. ’Til The Morning: Lullabies and Songs of Comfort carries a message of love, comfort, and solace for any listener.”
Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights new slbum Good Egg has been such a fun listen for our family. Good Egg is Joanie’s 6th album. It will be released tomorrow, June 24, accompanied by a concert at Madison Square Park! Then they are ending the week by participating in KindieComm where they will perform at the Industry Showcase Saturday night.
Back to Good Egg, Joanie Leeds nails the perfect combination of kid-centered lyrics, energy, and singable melodies. We sing along with all the songs on the album, but our faves are Good Egg, Hipster in the making, and Confusing Costumes. I love the message of Good Egg which is that while we’re not perfect, we aren’t defined my making mistakes, that we are good in our hearts and we can try again. This is a powerful message for children who are in an intense growth spurt pretty much nonstop. As parents we are trying to guide and refine our little ones’ knowledge, actions and ability to make choices. There seems to be a lot of correction and nagging as we try to help kids figure out how to navigate our culture and expectations. It’s important they know they are good, even though they are learning and make mistakes. Good Egg conveys that message powerfully in a way that is easy for kids to access.
Sammi loves Confusing Costumes because she has turned into quite the science girl/book worm and so she loves the idea of dressing up as famous scientists/authors/etc. Brent’s fave song is Hipster in the Making. It’s just so spot on for this trend. It’s fun to sing and we all get a kick out of it.
New Music from Joanie Leeds, Good Egg is her 6th album for kids. She nails the lyrics, music and energy making this a fantastic addition to your kindie collection. Joanie Leeds and the Nighlights new album Good Egg is available on Joanie’s website, CDBaby, iTunes and Amazon.
“Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.” ~Maya Angelou
After almost 8 years of motherhood I traveled alone. ALONE! No spouse, no newborn, no air-sick 2 year old. It was crazy. Crazy fun! I attended a blogging retreat hosted by my fave, Mom It Forward, who also hosted our fabulous family retreat at Universal Studios last summer. We are still talking about that adventure and all the superhero powers our family has that we learned from the workshops.
We walked away from that event with two roundtrip airline tickets from Southwest Airlines. Since our family needs five tickets to travel together, we didn’t know exactly how we would use those tickets that Southwest Airlines gave away, that we won. Turns out, Brent’s sister got married in Utah and Brent used one ticket to attend her wedding. I was very excited to use the other ticket to attend the Moms Weekend retreat at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort a few weeks ago. So a BIG thank you to Southwest for helping us get to these amazing events!
We stayed at the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort and had fabulous accommodations, staff, and activities. I went canyoneering–rappelling of cliffs–for the first time. An activity that i have wanted to do since my days backpacking in Europe. It was scary, empowering and emotional all at once.
I also go to go horseback riding. My horse’s name was Daisy and she was a perfect fit for me. The lady who ran the horse riding activity sat back and watched our group chat with each other and interact with the horses. Then when it was time to saddle up, she assigned us each a horse. Everyone got horses that matched their skill level and personality. That’s amazing talent!
We were privileged to hear from Rachel Coleman of Signing Time (whose Kickstarter campaign was just funded!!) and her amazing husband Aaron taught our video workshops. The weekend was so inspiring and empowering! It was hard to come home and pack a house, move, and unpack a house instead of working on all the cool ideas I had from what I learned.
If you EVER have a chance to attend a Mom It Forward function, say yes! Sign up and work out the details later. You won’t regret it. I promise! In fact, they are hosting a family retreat at Zion Ponderosa in October. Seriously, you should take your family. Here’s the spiel:
Looking for an awesome and AFFORDABLE family adventure retreat that includes your whole family (Yes! For kids of all ages!)? Then check out Family Forward: Mountain Adventure, which takes place October 9-12, 2014 on the border of Zion National Park in Southern, Utah. All-inclusive pricing for a family of 5 ranges from $350 to $699, depending on the type of lodging you choose (tent, RV, cabins on up to luxury homes). Yes! You heard me right. Passes include 3 nights of lodging, three meals a day and snacks for your entire family, and vouchers for adventure activities, good for miniature golfing, zip lining, ATV riding, paint balling, and more. Enjoy a $50 discount through June 29 when you register with the code: “SCHOOLSOUTFORSUMMER”!
Hey Cousin! Have you heard the buzzin’? Bari Koral released The Apple Tree and the Honey Bee today! We had so much fun participating in the Bari Koral Family Rock Band’s Kickstarter campaign to get The Apple Tree and the Honey Bee finished up and ready for sale.
We’ve had The Apple Tree and the Honey Bee on repeat today celebrating in our own little way this new album, Bari Koral’s fourth album of upbeat, engaging music for little ones and their families. Bari Koral has long been a favorite in our home. We were all super excited to get to know The Apple Tree and the Honey Bee and have not been disappointed. I love how Bari pairs kid-relatable lyrics with inspiring and comforting melodies.
My personal favorite from this album is track 7 “Sisters and Brothers” all about sibling relationships. The chorus just melts my heart: “Sisters and brothers. Brothers and sisters. When they’re away you know I miss ‘em. Sisters and brothers. Brothers and sisters. A friend when you need a friend.” This is what I want for our children, to be friends and to miss each other when they’re apart so they are excited to play together when they are back together.
Another big hit with our crew is the song “Birthday” al about celebrating your special day. This is Bari Koral’s second birthday song. She also had one on Rock and Roll Garden released in 2009. They are both fabulous! I would love a whole album of birthday songs from Bari. She makes me want to celebrate my little ones’ birthdays every day. “Birthday” is full of energy and prompts for moving around and really feeling the excitement of celebrating a birthday.
I think Elli’s favorite is track #1 ” Dancing Bear” She loves all the crazy places the bear dances. She loves to sing along and call out the next line before it’s sung. I love seeing her so excited about music! Elli is a dancer to the core and I think she really identifies with the bear who is just dancing all day long.
As amazing and awesome as this album is, you’ll want to get yours today and watch the joy in your little one’s face as they dance along to The Apple Tree and the Honey Bee by Bari Koral. But, that’s not all Bari has going on this year! She also filmed a series of music/yoga shows that will air on the Veria Living channel this year. It also looks like her youtube channel is going to be hopping this year!
Today’s the day! Danny Weinkauf releases No School Today and it’s the perfect way to end the school year. We have fallen in love with these songs.
Of course, we immediately turned out attention to “The Ballad of Ben” because of our own precious Ben. From the start of the song I was reminded of Ben Folds. I kind of shook off the connection but as I listened to the words, I knew that this song was Ben Folds’ ballad. Brent loves Ben Folds and we’ve loved watching him judge a cappella shows. This song was a fun way to introduce our children to him and a bit of his style. Sammi wanders around singing the line “Turning phrases so ironic, writing songs so supersonic” I love that she is exposed to this vocabulary and is learning how to use ironic (correctly, of course!) at 7 years old.
Another song that gets sung a lot is “Archeology” It has a catchy chorus. Plus, the kids love natural history and we’ve learned about archeologists and digs and dinosaurs. This song has allowed us to walk down memory lane to experiences at several museums and even the summer we buried dino skeletons in the sandbox and excavated them.
We have a Nic Bishop book about Marupials that the kids have loved for years. Danny Weinkauf’s song about Marsupials has been a perfect companion to that book.
Enjoy the free download of No School Today from Danny Weinkauf. I’m looking forward to what this member of They Might Be Giants will add to the body of kindie music. So far, I’m overjoyed at the content and musicality of his music.
Scott’s a preschooler! What? Twinkle Twinkle Little Star has been one of Scott’s favorite songs for a while. It’s fitting since his bedroom is decorated in an outer space theme with lots of glow in the dark stars. However, crafts have not held Scott’s interest much. But I’m holding out hope that we will have some craft making memories. This was one successful Twinkle Twinkle Little Star crafts for preschoolers
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star-y Night Craft for Preschoolers
We’ve been working on colors and chose this craft to work more on the color yellow. I drew a cityscape on a piece of blue construction paper. The Eiffel Tower just sort of happened. My favorite though was when Scott added a star to the top and showed me, calling it the Eiffel Tower. I didn’t know my heart would be so happy about him recognizing and loving this structure.
I cut strips of yellow paper then had Scott cut the yellow strips into little bits. While he was cutting the bits I drew the cityscape and tore small pieces of Duck Tape (that we got from our awesome Family Forward trip to Universal Studios Orlando last summer)
Scott enjoyed gluing the star bits in the sky and then adding in the Duck tape stars. We had fun talking about the color yellow, gluing, and his strategies for where he placed the stars. He stuck with this Twinkle Twinkle Little Star craft for preschoolers longer than I had expected. He was also very excited to show it off to his dad when Brent got home.
Looking for more Twinkle Twinkle Little Star crafts for preschoolers? Check out these Twinkle Twinkle Little Star crafts.
This has been a week of mailbox abundance. Almost everyday there has been something awesome that I’m excited to bring into our home! Most of the mail usually gets filed in the outside garbage can on the way back in. But this week has been a feast!
My most favorite things were cards from parents. My mom sent an Easter card to the family and then a special get well card to Sammi. She cut her foot last week and had to have 7 stitches. Poor girl has had a rough week walking on just her toes on that foot. My dad and Kim sent us an Easter card also, with special surprise messages from our cousins. So fun to stay connected through mail.
We received several new albums this past week or so. It’s amazing to me how quickly the world of Kindie Music is growing and permeating the Internet. I’ve had to coax the kids out of watching Frozen for the 100th time so I could play the new CDs in the car. They always love the music once it gets going, but it sure is hard to turn off Frozen!
Danny Weinkauf‘s album No School Today comes out next week. We’ve been enjoying this one in the car. It really is way too fun and we have been singing most of the songs a lot of the time. Our two favorites are Archeology (it has a super catchy chorus) and The Ballad of Ben (which is about Ben Folds but we like to pretend it’s about our Ben!)
The Okee Dokee Brothers will release Through the Woods: An Appalachian Adventure Album on May 20th. Living in the heart of Appalachia for the past 5 years, I feel like this album is a souvenir gift to take with us and always remember Tennessee as we prepare to move to NY this summer (6 weeks!)
The Little Rockers Band just released their third album Count Me In! We’re excited to get to know this NJ based group that also teaches music classes for ages 6 months – 7 years old. I think we cover those ranges pretty much exactly! For a feel of their style, check out this video. It’s fun and perfect for heading into the summer scene.
Zee Avi‘s Nightlight was also released this past week. The first song instantly won my heart! It’s a remake of Don’t Worry, Be Happy which was my mother’s theme song during her MBA program at the University of Utah when I was in 5th grade. I remember that tape so well! So far Nightlight has been a peaceful addition to our music collection.
I was surprised to receive Suzi Shelton‘s new album Smile In My Heart on the same day I learned her kickstarter campaign reached full funding! Congrats Suzi! We’re also enjoying this album. I featured the title song Smile In My Heart in the February issue of Growing Up magazine for Valentine’s day.
And coming in May we are so excited about Bari Koral‘s album The Apple Tree and the Honey Bee. We have already fallen in love with Bari Koral and this album only cements us as life-long fans. Seriously! Plus she led kids and adults in a little yoga at the Easter Egg roll at the White House on Monday! What an inspiration she is to us.
This must also be a busy publishing season at Scholastic as we’ve received several pre-bound books and a board book recently. It’s been fun this last year to see the books we’ve received show up in the girls book orders they bring home from school. The only thing I don’t like about getting review copies of pre-bound books is that I can’t just let the kids have at it. The pages get all jumbled up and then it’s like a choose your own adventure story trying to get it put back in order!
Five Hungry Pandas is a cute board book. I love the description on the cover: A Count and Crunch Book! And seriously, I didn’t know there were so many ways to talk about pandas eating bamboo. And they all rhyme and don’t feel forced. We’ve really enjoyed this one. Available June 24, 2014
The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland: the girls had fun flipping through and reading this book when it first arrived. It has great illustrations and the cranky expressions are spot on. Available July 29, 2014
Zoe’s Jungle is a follow up to Zoe Gets Ready and Zoe’s Room (No Sisters Allowed). We really enjoyed Zoe Gets Ready and look forward to more adventures with Zoe. The illustrations are whimsical and playful with the perfect touch of sparkles. Available May 27, 2014
Mighty Dads is a cute book from James Dean the creator of the Pete the Cat series. We’ve loved Pete the Cat. Are you sick of Pete the Cat? Goodness, no! Mighty Dads celebrates dads and their relationships with their kids through showcasing construction vehicles. Each full size vehicle has a little mini me and together they get the job done. This book will totally appeal to any youngster who loves construction vehicles! Available April 29, 2014
What fun things were in YOUR mailbox this week?
Instagram is fast becoming my favorite place to find inspiration for my creativity. There are so many amazing bloggers sharing snippets of their easy kids crafts. And with hashtags like #kidscrafts and #rockinartmoms your creativity will be on an adrenaline high.
In this month’s Growing Up magazine, I’ve gathered 9 spring/March crafts from some of my fave Instagrammers. Their blogs are beautiful and so are their Instagram accounts. I highly recommend checking them out and following along.
Check out the crafts hand picked to make this month more special for you and your little ones. Issue 5 is on SALE until Sunday! Only 1.99 for the issue, or start your monthly subscription for just .99. Prices good through Sunday, March 23. While you’re there checking out the crafts, enter your email for 4 FREE songs. Who doesn’t love free music downloads, right?
Growing Up Magazine has partnered with Lisa Loeb, Dog on Fleas, The Okee Dokee Brothers and Heidi Swedberg for the March issue to bring you free music downloads. Until March 23, 2014 you’ll get 4 FREE songs! These songs carry on the theme of adventure for the March issue. To inspire adventure or to create pretend adventures, you’ll find these songs will do the trick.
Free Music Downloads
You’ll find all you need to know about these free music downloads in Issue 5 of Growing Up Magazine available on Apple’s Newsstand. Apple is a bit funny about downloading music to your device that’s not from the iTunes store so inside the magazine you’ll find an article with instructions on accessing your free music downloads. These songs are only available until March 23, 2014 so get your issue today!
Give them a listen!
As a bonus, the March issue is on sale this week for $1.99 (usually $2.99).
The Okee Dokee Brothers
Dog on Fleas
I love March because spring is beginning to win the war against winter. Magic is in the air, breathing life back into the earth, into my soul. This awakening calls to me, stirs in me a desire for adventure. The magic invites me to explore the newness of daffodil greens poking up out of the thawing soil, to see the night sky with childlike wonder, to listen to mystical melodies that tell stories of where land and sea meet. Awake, friends! Shake off winter’s sleep and find an adventure.
This month’s issue of Growing Up magazine has 20+ creative adventures you can enjoy with your children. To inspire you to dream big, Latin Grammy award winning musician Alisha Gaddis of Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band shares her epic adventure taking her stepdaughter to New York City for her 10th birthday. You’ll also find reviews of new albums and favorite books that are sure to send your imagination on thrilling adventures.
In the words of Helen Keller: Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.
Grab your issue today! Use code GUMagBonus for a 3-month subscription. Code expires 3/31.