All That Really Matters, by Beverly Smith

by Katie Henderson on June 9, 2018

The journey of motherhood has changed me in so many wonderful ways. One of those ways is how I see the world and what really matters. It’s easy to be happy when you realize that all you really need is faith, family, and friendship. All the material things started to fade off of my radar and all the ambitions to be somebody seemed to diminish when I realized I am the most important somebody to some people. I carry the titles of “mother,” “friend,” “daughter,” “steward,” and “wife.” These words are what help define me and make me feel complete.
God has worked through my life, teaching me through my daily struggles. He has taught me to love others, help where I can, and to soak up all the important small moments. When I joined Kindermusik and also a moms group at my church I found the places that help me to fulfill my calling as a steward.

I got involved in more than just enjoying the weekly classes at Kindermusik and signed up to help on their parent committee with fundraising. It was so much fun to give back with my time to something that has given my family so much! Also, the fundraiser was tons of fun! In my moms group, I have made a bundle of friends that make me feel so loved and cherished. I also give my time to the group by helping to fundraise and will soon be on their core team helping to plan our get togethers. All of these things help both my child and me. We both get social time away from each other to be with our peers and we get to learn from both experiences. We also get a community that makes our lives rich. I used to think earning a title and making money were all that mattered, but now I know it’s really just giving of yourself in ways that make you happy.

I love being a mom and I love how it has opened me up to so many friendships. The ladies I have met through Kindermusik and my moms group help me to realize that I am not alone. The ups and downs of this journey are normal! My soul and mind are healed every week when we talk about life with children, laugh about the funny stories we share, and commiserate on the trials we face. We support each other and help make this journey even more fun! I love my life and have never been happier. Happiness is a choice, after all!

Making Memories with Mama

by Katie Henderson on May 21, 2018

By: Beverly Smith, Kindermusik parent
When I think of the journey through the first year of Kindermusik for my daughter, Isabelle, I can’t help but feel grateful for all the joy it has brought her and my family.
I moved to Normal, Illinois, when Isabelle was four months old. In the few short months since her birth my life had completely changed. I left my southern home of Chattanooga, left my teaching job to stay home with her, and moved near family for the first time in more than a decade … all on top of becoming a first-time parent. These changes left me feeling lost and without the support of friends. I was struggling with my new home and my new job as a stay-at-home mom.
Two months after moving, a family member told me about an opportunity for a free month of Kindermusik. She told me about all the skills Isabelle would learn from the class (sign language, motor skills, social skills, etc.). I thought, “Why not try it?”
Isabelle smiled and laughed so much during her first class that I came home and told my husband we had to find a way to provide our six month old with this opportunity permanently. Not only did she become hooked, I did, too. The first month added many things to my life that were missing — structure, time outside the home with other parents, and joy!
Before Kindermusik, my days were long, and quite frankly, I was tired of doing the same activities over and over. I struggled to find the best way to communicate with her, play with her, and teach her the motor skills she needed to learn. Kindermusik taught me how to better play with Isabelle and gave me an idea of what motor skills to work on at home.
After class, we would go home and practice the skills we learned in class. We also learned sign language, so that Isabelle could communicate with us. And each new week, we looked forward to class and seeing our friends. Before long, both Isabelle and I, had made some wonderful friendships and began going on playdates on days we didn’t have Kindermusik.
Since starting the program, Isabelle has soared in her social skills, motor skills, and communication skills. She started walking at eight months and running by 10 months. Four weeks later, at 11 months, she could sign eat, more, clean up, help, bye, and many more words.
Now, at 15 months, she can stomp, spin, tip toe, bounce, kick, play instruments you shake, clap, dance, climb, and many more amazing skills. My family is amazed by how much Isabelle knows. We all enjoy seeing what new skills she has learned each week.
Kindermusik has fed her appetite for learning and taught me how to support her growth. Best of all, it’s created many wonderful memories for our family as we watch our daughter grow!

Process over Product – Considering a New Way of Life

January 1, 2018

This Christmas I was definitely NOT going to spend the multiple days and trips up and down my attic ladder needed to lug the 12 + large crates of decorations out when we were going away for the holiday. My life was too frantic, my back giving me fits, and I needed a break. I […]

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Kids – No Hidden Agenda There!

October 20, 2017

by Katie Henderson, Founder/Director of Music Connections Foundation As an early childhood educator, one of my “go to” kid sayings comes from the author of a favorite parenting book – Conscious Discipline, by Dr. Becky Baily. “Children are either extending love or calling for it.” Period. End of story. There is no hidden agenda or […]

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Gratitude with Intention – a Powerful Choice!

October 29, 2016

In my collection of fall decorations is a plate, gifted me by one of my dearest friends, embossed with this saying: “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” It was given to me at a time when I really needed to hear just that – you know, one of those messages from above – but […]

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Keep Calm – Pass it On

October 17, 2016

This quote from L. R. Knost, a child development researcher and author, has crossed my path numerous times in the past year and it struck a chord in me from the first. Had I seen this 10 years ago when I was deep in the little one/big emotion drama, I would have printed posters of […]

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Advice to a Parent – Say YES more often!

August 4, 2016

by Katie Henderson, Founder/Director of Music Connections Foundation, Inc. Last night in my final Kindermusik summer class, “Zoo Train,” my little cuties were heavily “into” exploring every single thing in our classroom other than all the things I had intended for us to explore: a tiny, random little bucket hung on the wall just above […]

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Like the Waves upon the Oceans & Shells Upon the Shore

March 22, 2016

Today I am feeling nostalgic. Because circumstances were such that I have had to miss teaching my Kindermusik classes for TWO weeks in a row – the first time in 22 years that I can recall that happening – I am missing my students! After what was to be a quick trip to my hometown […]

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A Mother from Russia Relishes the Gift of Music

December 6, 2015

Hi everyone! My name is Olya. I came to Normal from Vladimir, Russia 8 years ago to get my Master’s degree in Communications. Then I got married and had a daughter Leah. The marriage did not work out. When Leah was almost 6 months old I had to flee from the place where we resided […]

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Kindermusik Makes all the Difference – A Mother’s Story

November 5, 2015

Last Thursday, I had 3 pediatric therapists, a developmental therapist and 2 physical therapists, come to my home to evaluate Ryan for his overall development to see if he is need of further services. (primarily for his lack of walking) The good news is, Ryan does not need further services, as he is only slightly […]

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