Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Earning Bach Bucks

We are the third week into our new Musikopoly Incentive Program for the year in the piano studio.  I’m amazed at what kids want to do to earn more Bach Bucks for the incentives and to top it off, they are learning! (Shhhh, don't tell them!)

Last week we had two kids memorize their assigned pieces for the week to earn $25. This week, my son wanted to earn extra Bach Bucks, so we posted a performance on YouTube for $20.  Check it out!  After playing through his piece a few times to record, he played it for me memorized!  How many 14 year olds get that excited about practicing?

If you weren’t already a fan of doing incentives in piano lessons, just that fact the kids are begging me to do memorized pieces, composer projects, and recordings should be enough to convince you how much incentives can help them progress.  I’d love to hear how you get kids to practice and want to do piano!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Music Studio Incentive Program

I’ve been busy getting the Prairie Scraps Music Studio back into the swing of things for the fall.  One of the things that I’ve done in my studio for the last three years is a themed incentive program that runs for the entire school year.  In the past, parents usually heard all the details about the programs because most sat through lessons because we lived out in the country a ways.  This year, since parents are dropping the kids off for lessons, I decided to do a video to explain why I do incentive programs in my studio.  Here it is:
To add to that, I also did a walk through of the program binder and incentives, so we are all on the same page.
I’m so excited about it and am also thankful to have found the templates and idea over at Pianimation.  What a wonderful resource this is for piano teachers!  Thank you!

If you get a chance, please comment, like and subscribe to my YouTube channel.  I know I don’t have it all figured out yet, but it would be great to feel a little love!  Lol

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Why the Prairie Scraps Name?

This week, I went shopping for groceries and Home Depot stuff, and I made a short video with the help of my 13yo son about why living on the Prairie is so different and then why I chose the name “Prairie Scraps” for my blog.  Check it out- please subscribe and like my video!  I’m trying this Vlogging out so would love the support!
Also a very short view of the mountain pass that we have to go down to get to the stores!  This drive usually takes us about 70 minutes one way.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Preschool Piano Camp

Last week I put together a Preschool Piano camp.  I thought I'd try to put together a video on how I did it and what curriculum I used to for it.  Please take the time to watch my video and subscribe and comment for me!
Here are the links for the things that I mentioned.  The Amazon items I get a very small amount affiliate for.  Thanks in advance for supporting my family!

www.mythirtyone.com/doristowell - support my small business
https://amzn.to/2yRol5K - Busy Bees Finger Puppets (affiliate link AL)
https://amzn.to/2yPghmb - Poker Chips (AL)
https://amzn.to/2tC6qLp - Egg Shakers (AL)
https://www.kiddykeys.com/shop/lesson-plans/packages/ - KiddyKeys Lesson Plans

Thank you for watching. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Sidewalk Improvements


The new-found front walk has been slowly but surely getting updates.  You can check out our great find HERE. Like most of our house projects these days, we often are doing the project that seems the most urgent at the present time.  Sometimes it’s purely out of necessity - like when we found a leak in the plumbing under the house.  Other times it's because we find a great deal on a new item for the house.

Mr. Right and I were able to get away for two nights for our anniversary this year, and we went shopping.  We really wanted to go rummage saling, but we couldn’t find much for sales.  We moved on to the thrift stores and then  to Walmart.  At Walmart, we had to go through all of the plants. Mr. Right found some beautiful Heather plants.  He had a vision of lining our walk with 10 of the heather plants, and the price was right at $7 a pot!

When we got home, we dug out the side of the new path to line the walk with the heather plants.

Eventually, the heathers will get to be a little over a foot and a half tall and wide, so they should fill in that garden section.  Also, they are evergreen and will resist and salt from the winter snows.  (Not that we use much) We plan to add mulch, but still have another bed to cut out yet that will need mulch as well.
While we were away on our anniversary, we found a gentleman that was selling Irises from his yard for $5 a plant. He had hundreds of different kinds to choose from, and was in the process of moving them all to a new property.  We've been trying to find our favorite iris that smells like grape jelly.  We didn't know the name, but he had it and knew the name: Southland Grape!  Of course we bought it, and planted it on the other side the sidewalk, so we can enjoy the smell up by our house!
 
We can't wait for all of our new gardens to really fill out and bloom.  Stay posted for more updates soon!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

“Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen” - Book review


Cathy Williams was raised by strong women, a grandmother who was an African Queen and her mother, a slave.  They taught Cathy to have pride in her heritage as a “Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen,” even as she is torn from her family on a Missouri plantation and sent to work as a cook for the army.  Even as a slave and woman in the civil war, Cathy chooses to keep her strong African heritage and her identity, and refuses to allow her circumstances to change them.  Eventually, she finds herself enlisting as a buffalo soldier and disguising herself as a man.  This book shares a powerful side of the civil war, unknown to many.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Hidden Treasures

Have you ever started a project and the entire thing turns into an even bigger project and into something you never thought it would?  Well, this last weekend, I thought I was starting just a small project, and found some hidden treasures along the way.

We bought our house last fall, and right in front of our house, leading to the front door, there are small stones buried in the ground.  They seem to be evenly spaced out, but they were pretty deep in the ground.  I thought they were some stepping stones that had sunk into the ground.  We'd found a bunch of 12x12 inch blocks buried in the back yard last fall. Since the weather is so beautiful, I thought I'd just pop them out.
 Here's what the lawn looked like before I started. 

None of the stones are peeking out more than about 4-6 inches around.
  So, I started to dig.  And dig. And dig!  I found an entire rock path from my front door to the driveway!  It had anywhere from 4-8 inches of sod covering all of it.
The bottom step of my front stairs was even buried!  It's not in wonderful shape, but at some point, we will be doing something to it.
 We moved all of the sod that was there, out to a low spot in the front yard.
We eventually, we plan to dig the whole thing up and put rock and sand under it to even out the path more.  There are a few bricks poking through on the outside edges of the path, so we think it is lined with bricks.  I plan to widen the path and make that front area between the path and the brick flower box into a flower bed.
So, there it is, my hidden treasure!  I'm pretty excited at what a change this weekend project ended up making to my front yard!