So last week I was worn out with the extra work that unexpected messes bring.  Today I'm tired but happy about it.

Yesterday, Jon left very early to go on the church men's retreat.  Our morning at home started out pretty badly (bickering/fighting) and the boys had to go run around the house in the rain (10 times for Noah, 20 for Jonathan).  But that did its job and the morning chores got done well after that. Then was lunch, afternoon chores, special times, not too eventful (which is good!).

Then, the really good parts started! Jonathan had been wanting to make some French bread, and I suggested he make some for his youth group mock sleepover that night.  So, Jonathan got out my Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book. This was his first attempt at making bread by hand, but he had read the directions thoroughly.  His kneading was pretty vigorous ("What's that banging?" I thought from the other room.) but he did a great job.  He started the first rise at 3pm.  I was surprised that he put the dough to rise in a cool place, but he insisted that's what the directions said.  He was right.  Then as I read through, I realized there was no way it was going to be done before his 6:30 start time.  French bread takes a VERY LONG TIME!  So he made graham cracker, chocolate, marshmallow treats.

While Jonathan was waiting for his dough to rise, he composed a piano piece and Noah transcribed it.  Yes, you read that right.  The boy who had been complaining that very day about having to take piano lessons next year was happily composing.  Noah taught Jonathan lots of things about musical notation, and they worked together so nicely.  It was such a breath of fresh air (especially after the early part of the morning!) to observe.  They came to me with a few questions, but mostly worked on it themselves.  When they had finished, they asked me to play it from the paper.

We discovered the areas that Noah has not yet learned in music theory, and I offered to write it down completely so that someone else would be able to play it the way Jonathan wanted it.  Jonathan actually had to run to his event before I was finished, but Noah helped me because he had a very good idea of how Jonathan had played it.

Noah did a really good job of transcription, considering he's six years old and has had one year of piano lessons:


Here is my transcription, approved by Jonathan:


A video of me playing it will be found in our pictures page as soon as we figure out how to get videos off our new camera.

During the course of the evening, I followed the steps for the bread dough preparation.  I realized soon enough that it would not be done until after midnight.  (At least Grammy was bringing Jonathan home so I didn't have to run down there when everyone else was in bed and Daddy wasn't home.)

But I think I got a taste of what people have talked about for the teen years.  Jonathan came home psyched from his time with his friends. Since I had to wait for the dough anyway, and everyone else was asleep, I was in a place where I could just relax and listen.  It was such a blessing!  I had the time to wait through the movie summary, and then we got to more meaty stuff after that.  I'm so glad I get to be his mom, as challenging as some times are.  This is the kind of thing that keeps me going.

And the bread was so delicious!  We ate half of one of the loaves at midnight, fresh from the oven.  Lightly browned, chewy, crispy crust, even a slightly fruity flavor.  I have a baking artisan in my house!  And the minor detail about having to brush our teeth again afterwards was worth it, by far. 

We even looked up the rules on homestead bakery licenses in New Hampshire.  He doesn't have to get one until he has $10k yearly in sales.  We did a lot of midnight math and after determining that he'd have to bake 54 dinner rolls each weekday for a year to make that much, we concluded that he'd be all right in not getting the license. (:

So yes, I'm tired today.  I stayed up until past midnight with my oldest, and of course my youngest still woke me up earlier than everyone else (but really, 8am is completely reasonable!)  But I'm happy.

Posted by Heather Daley on June 8, 2013, 10:59 am | Read 12431 times
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What a great post! I'm still smiling from ear to ear.

Noah did a fantastic transcription job. Yours made me feel a little dizzy, but I'm okay now. :) I can't wait to hear you playing it.

Hmmm. Can I hope for a repeat performance on the bread while we're there? Practice is important for bakers, too, you know.

Posted by Linda Wightman on June 8, 2013, 2:52 pm

Ack. Jonathan put the paper in the scanner upside down, and I thought I saved it after changing the orientation, but apparently not.

I'm sure he'd love to make you some bread.

Posted by joyful on June 8, 2013, 4:03 pm

No problem. Adobe 10 lets you rotate.

Posted by Linda Wightman on June 8, 2013, 4:22 pm

That qualifies as a very special, "Special Time." What a blessing.

Posted by Linda Wightman on June 8, 2013, 7:44 pm

Horray! That's wonderful! Keep encouraging the improvisation and composition - as well as the theory skills! Noah did a super job.

Posted by Janet on June 9, 2013, 8:06 am

It was actually every day, not just weekdays.

But definitely, I won't need a license.

Posted by Jonathan on June 10, 2013, 10:48 am

Sounds yummy, Jonathan! Have you figured out how much profit you'd make on selling $9999.99 worth of bread, and who would buy it?

Posted by Stephan on June 11, 2013, 12:42 am

Beautiful! As a fellow mom of many, I know how previous that time with your oldest was. (Although I must admit that thinking of the teen years makes my head spin a little. And it's not far off!)

Posted by Serina on June 26, 2013, 9:53 pm

Serina - thanks for the comment. I'm so sorry it took me a whole month to moderate it! Somehow I missed the notification in all our crazy summer life.

And Stephan - he has not yet figured out the profit. There are many farmers' markets around here that he could sell in. Also, he wondered about having a booth at the Balloom Festival next year.

Posted by joyful on July 28, 2013, 7:04 am

I hope Jonathan follows up on the baking endeavor. This is a business he can start with little risk, but that can pay off a lot in experience. I wish I'd done something like that as a kid!

Posted by Stephan on August 1, 2013, 4:40 pm
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