Wednesday, December 28, 2011

more sky

Well, I'm home.

Christmas was terribly fun. We all decamped up to the cabin, and patiently waited for Christmas to get here. And get here it did. We played games, opened presents, played games, played with toys, ate snacks, played games, and then ate more snacks.

Tree, presents, stockings, and the train.
It was truly great to have everyone all together. But we had to stay inside because we got a LOT of snow. Beautiful, but snowy. And I had to shovel. But it was fun to be all together.

Snow everywhere.
As I was driving home, I had to drive back through the canyon. For most of that part of the drive, the canyon walls are pretty steep. You can't see a lot except the river, and the canyon walls going mostly straight up. But as you get toward the end of the canyon, like for the last 5 minutes, you start to be able to see a lot more sky. You see much less mountain, and much more sky. The sky grows bigger and bigger, and after only seeing a little strip of it for the past hour, it is so breathtaking to see the huge expanse of deep blue.

As I got to see more and more sky, as it opened up before me, I was thinking that life is like that sometimes. Sometimes you can only see the steep mountains, and it seems like they block out everything else. But you just have to get through the canyon, and you eventually will be able to see the sky. Eventually the mountains back off into the past, and the sky opens up before you.

I just wanted to throw that out at'cha, because the hard times will come. But just remember to hold on 'til you can get through the canyon. Eventually the mountains will recede, and the sky will get bigger and bigger and more beautiful each moment.

Here's to making it through life gracefully, even when it feels like the mountains are closing in.
K

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

penance

Last night I had Taco Tuesday at my house.

Taco Tuesday is a night for High School girls from Youth group to hang out, eat dinner, talk, whatever. So last night I had 8 girls over, and it was a blast. Nothing big happened - we just ate and hung out and then watched a movie.

But sometime in there, one of the girls pulled my high school yearbook off the shelf, and started going through it, looking at the hairstyles.

Which was actually entertaining, because I graduated in 1990, so it was '80s hair all over the place. As I was in the kitchen doing stuff with dinner or dishes, I would hear talking, but then all of a sudden there would be a shriek and then dissolving to giggles, then comments like, "What were they thinking?" and "That hair is CRAZY!"

It was fun to listen to them, but I had the distinct feeling that this was my penance for showing old pictures of my parents from the '70s and laughing at them. :)

Here's to hairstyles from 20 years ago...
K

Monday, December 19, 2011

sleeping in

I just want to publicly say how wonderful it is to NOT wake up to an alarm clock.

This morning I woke a couple times, and rolled over to get some more sleep. At one point, I woke (back) up, thought that my neck was kinda stiff, and looked over at the alarm clock. It said it was 10:03 am.

Holy cow!

I got up pretty quick after that, but it was so nice to get sleep without any reason to be up and ready at any specific time.

Yea for sleeping in!
K

Saturday, December 17, 2011

one reason i love my job

This is a picture of something I received from a student this week:

In case you can't read what it says, here's a translation:

"Dear Mrs. Edwards, We made a paper chain with links that name people we care about and want to pray for. We prayed for you today! Here's your own link. A Merry Christmas to you! Love, the _____ family. "

And then of course is the drawing of the manger with the "Hark! the herald angels sing" above it.

I just want to say that I really enjoy the time I get to spend with my students. I enjoy the accomplishments we make together, like singing some great music or putting on a great concert. I really enjoy having the summers off. But this is definitely the best part of my job.

Getting these little missives of love is the thing I enjoy most about my job.

It warms my heart to know that this family prayed for me. And it blesses me even more to get this letter from one of my sweet second graders.


What a privilege is it to touch the hearts of sweet kids, and to be a part of their lives.
K

Sunday, December 11, 2011

breath

There is a verse in the bible that says, "Let everything that hath breath, praise the Lord.".

Well, I'm here to say that having breath is no small thing, and if you have breath, be thankful.

This week I did not have breath in some capacity or another, and I am SO grateful that that has been remedied. There is a cough-thing going around, and my lungs are my weak spot, so I inevitably get every lung thing that's going around. On Monday, I felt like I was coming down with a cold. On Tuesday, I was fighting to breathe, and I felt funny so I went to the school office and asked them to take my oxygen level. (Note: NORMAL people have an oxygen level of 92% or higher.) She put the thing on my finger, and my oxygen was about 80. And it was not staying up there very well, either. So the school nurse almost had a fit, and went to get my inhaler. She made me drink some hot water, take my inhaler, and drink some hot coffee, all in the hope that it would open up my lungs and help me breathe better. After sitting in the nurse's office for about 20 minutes with the thing on my finger, I was up around 90. Pretty good, for me. So I went back to my classroom. But 10 minutes later, she brought the measurement thingy, and I was back down around 80.

Well.

That was it for her - I was to go to the doctor RIGHT NOW and get listened to. AND, I was not to drive myself. Either I got someone to take me, or she as calling an ambulance. So I called my mom, and she drove me to the Dr.'s office, and to the pharmacy to get my steroid.  End of that story - all's well that ends well. A huge thank you to Mom, for rescuing me.

Today I was in church, just enjoying the music, because I didn't want to start coughing again.  But then THAT song came on.

And I just couldn't help myself. I had to sing. :)

But as I was singing the chorus of that song, I thought about that verse: "Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord". And I was supremely grateful for my having breath. I was grateful that I could even sing that one chorus. I was grateful that I could sing in my concert last Friday, even being sick. Because I had worked on the music since August, and NOT singing it would have been such a disappointment.

Because there are times when I cannot sing, I am supremely grateful for those times that I can sing. Even if they are limited. I'm grateful that I most of the time I can sing, and the sick times don't last forever. I'm grateful that God gave me the ability to sing, and that I enjoy it so much.

Let everything that hath breath, praise the Lord!
K

Saturday, December 3, 2011

whew!

Well, even though the month of thankfulness is past, I am going to be thankful again. What a great habit to have!

Today I'm thankful for several things:

Concert went great. 

4th, 5th and 6th graders sang their concert 2 days ago, and they did a great job. I picked some hard music, and they really rose to the occasion. I'm pleased with the result, and proud of how hard they worked to do such a great job.

Christmas Shopping is done.

I know, I'm weird. But I like to start shopping early. Not to get it over, but because I love to give gifts, so when someone mentions something they'd like, I go ahead and pick it up. I started shopping for Christmas in August, and just finished a day or 2 ago. But I'm done. :) And most of it is wrapped. I know, it's OK to be jealous.

Christmas is coming, and the family will all be together.

This Christmas, we all are going up to the cabin for a couple days. I'm excited that we all get to go away, and that we all get to be together. Even my adopted sister is coming from Texas, so I'm looking forward to having everyone together.

I've got my lights up outside, and Christmas shopping is done, so I'm looking forward to Christmas. Christmas Advent services at church. Christmas holiday from school. Christmas giving. Christmas away with the family.

And lastly, the Christmas Concert season is upon us.

This coming weekend I will be singing with the Colorado Springs Chorale in our Deck the Hall concert. And the week after that, I will be singing with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic in their Christmas Spectacular. So I get to celebrate Christmas in a big way.

Let the holidays begin!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

day 29 blanket

All this month, the month of Thanksgiving, I'm linking up with my friend Dawn to be thankful.

Today I am going to be thankful for something small. I'm thankful for extra blankets.

It's been cold at night lately, and last night I put 2 extra blankets on my bed. I'm thankful that I live such a bounteous existence that I have a number of extra blankets just lying around. Well, some of them are lying on my bed, but, you get the idea. I'm thankful that worrying about having an extra blanket is not a stress for me. I'm thankful that I enjoy so many blessings in my life, that having several extra blankets is a very small thing.

I'm thankful that I don't live in a place where having an extra blanket is a huge thing. And I'm saying some extra prayers tonight for those who don't enjoy several extra blankets.

Tonight I'm thankful for all the things I have, and that I don't live without. That I don't go without.
I'm thankful for that blanket,and now I'm headed off to crawl underneath it.
K

Monday, November 28, 2011

day 28 grace

November is the month for thanksgiving, so I'm linking up with my friend Dawn to be thankful all this month.

Today I'm thankful that, every-so-often, we are given grace. Today I was given a little grace.

This week is the concert with my older kids at school. We have been preparing for this for the past 3 months, so as this week rolled around, it's been pretty exciting that it is actually here.

But...

Last week I got together with my accompanist, and discovered that I had rehearsed part of a song wrong.

And I had taught it to all my 5th graders wrong.

Oh no......

So today I had to go in there and just say, "Have you ever read a word wrong? Just looked at it and said a totally different word? Well, that's what I did with this song. So now we have to learn this part again.".

It was pretty humbling.

So we got to work. But the really good news - the part where I received some grace - was that after we sang it about 4 times, one of my kids looked up and said, "That's not very hard at all."

And that was the end of it. We sang through that song, and everyone was pretty fine with it. I felt like I totally got a huge portion of grace. Like it could have been a big fat deal, but no. It all was fine.

As I was all relieved that it wasn't a big deal, I realized that I had just gotten a huge gift of grace, and was spared any big hoo-ha over the matter. That it could have really been difficult. That we could have struggled with it for the whole class, and still not gotten it right.

But they got it.

And I was spared. What a blessing, to have things work out like that, when it could have been so much worse. So today I am thankful for grace. For the grace that God gives to us, but also for those little gifts that we randomly get. Right when we need it.
K

Sunday, November 27, 2011

day 27 grandpa glenn

Since November is the month to be thankful, I'm linking up with my friend Dawn and being thankful all month!

Today I am thankful for my Grandpa Glenn.

Grandpa Glenn passed away in 2002, but I'm thankful for all the wonderful time I had with him. I'm thankful that he was a part of my life for so long.

Grandma Annie and Grandpa Glenn, my Mom's parents
Today I was flipping through the channels on the TV, and Pearl Harbor was on. You know, the movie with Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale. I didn't start at the beginning, but got sucked in and watched the last hour and a half.

Whenever I watch Saving Private Ryan, it makes me all teary, and emotional. The reason for this is Grandpa Glenn. He was in the army during WWII, and he chose to go into the Airborne. He ended up jumping behind lines in Okinawa and Japan. But he told me once that if he had chosen to go into the Rangers, his company was the one that landed on the beach at Normandy, and he most likely would not have survived. Almost all of them were killed in that invasion. So, at the end of Saving Private Ryan, when the actor is standing in the cemetery looking at the graves of his fallen comrades, that very easily could have been my Grandpa. That's why it makes me all emotional and teary.

The same thing happened today when I was watching Pearl Harbor. Grandpa was never stationed at Pearl Harbor, but those guys that were killed could very easily have been him, but for a small difference in age, or where they were from, or when they enlisted. I watched that movie, thinking about my Grandpa Glenn, and what he went through in service to this country. And I'm grateful that he came back from that alive, because it would have altered the course of his history. My Mom's history. My history.

So today I'm thankful for my Grandpa Glenn. I'm thankful for his service, but mostly I'm thankful for the lessons he taught me. I'm thankful that he worked hard, and taught me to work hard also. I'm thankful that I got to spend lots of time with him while I was little, so I can remember that time now. I love you Grumpy.
K

Saturday, November 26, 2011

day 26 people

Whoa! It is November 26 already! How did the past month fly by so fast? This whole month I'm linking up with Dawn and being thankful.

Today I want to be thankful for the people that I've been blessed with.

This afternoon I taught a piano lesson, and it struck me how blessed I am to have so many great people in my life.

I have great piano students, wonderful staff that I work with at school, enjoyable students, a great church family, and a few really good friends.

I feel so thankful that so many of these people are such wonderful people, and that I truly enjoy them. I really had fun with my piano students today, and just thought how miserable it would be if you didn't like the people that you spend time with. My friend Jenn called earlier, and we had a great time talking about nothing in particular. But I thought then how awful life would be if you didn't have any friends that you enjoyed talking to and spending time with. Wednesday I took those awesome High Schoolers down to our service project with the Rescue Mission, and I had a GREAT time. Yes, we served, but we all came away saying how much fun we had. What a bummer that would be if you were doomed to spend time with people that you don't like?

I truly am blessed to have so many great people in my life. And I feel like my life is better because they are in it.
K

Friday, November 25, 2011

day 25 rest

Since this is the month to be thankful, I'm linking up with my friend Dawn at theGoodlife all this month to be thankful together!

Today, I am thankful for rest.

Specifically, I'm thankful for last night's rest, and that there was no need to set an alarm this morning. I rolled out of bed at 9:30! But that extra rest sure felt good.

Generally, I'm thankful for the rest that Thanksgiving break provides. There's 3 weeks of school after we go back to school on Monday, and I really do think those 3 weeks are the busiest weeks of the year.

For example, I am helping put on the Christmas party at our school. I have Christmas concerts with the Chorale 2 weekends in a row, and both of those involve 2 days of concerts. One weekend is a Friday/Saturday deal, and the weekend after that is a Saturday night/Sunday afternoon situation. Which also means several dress rehearsals before those concerts. I have a concert at school with my 4th, 5th and 6th graders. The Christmas Formal is happening with Youth Group. And...I'm sure there is something else going on...but I can't remember what at this moment.

So today I'm thankful for rest. After sleeping in, I watched the movie "elf" with Will Farrell - one of my favorite Christmas movies. And then proceeded to watch all the DVD extras and specials. I did do a little "Black Friday" shopping, but I didn't leave the house until 3pm. :)

So here's to rest. And the rejuvenation it brings.
K

Thursday, November 24, 2011

day 24 thanksgiving

Well, today is Thanksgiving. All this month I'm linking up with my friend Dawn and being thankful.

I have so much to be thankful for.

Today was a great day. Not because it was special, but because it was not.

I slept in this morning. Nothing earth shattering about that.

I sat around for a little bit, watched the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and read some. Again, usual stuff.

Then I made pumpkin pie. That was my assignment for Thanksgiving dinner. And the most special thing about that was that it made my whole house smell like pumpkin pie. Fantastic! But pumpkin pie has been my assignment for several years now, so that's not really anything new or exciting.

Took a shower. Got ready. And did not even get particularly dressed up. Went over to Mom and Dad's house. Helped get things ready. Ate Thanksgiving dinner with the family and some friends that don't have any family here in town.

No, as Thanksgivings go, it was pretty low key and usual. But that's what I'm thankful for. That a day with family is usual. That even though the dishes are not always exactly the same, the day usually is. That spending a day with my family is not a special occasion. That hanging out for a whole day at Mom and Dad's is not a chore, or something that I dread. That a family get-together is pretty stress-free. That the family enjoys each other.

No, today I'm thankful for the uneventful-ness of today. And I'm thankful for my family that makes it that way.
K

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

day 23 serving

Not only is this the month to be thankful, but TOMORROW is Thanksgiving! What a great time to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. My friend Dawn at theGoodlife is hosting 30 Thankful Days, and I'm thanking right along with her.

Today I am more than thankful for the 9 High School kids that went with me to serve at the Rescue Mission's Great Thanksgiving Dinner. These kids are awesome. They got up early, gave up most of a day off school, went downtown, and basically did whatever was asked of them.

2 of them were greeters - they stood at the door and smiled at everyone that came in. They greeted the guests warmly, and made sure they had a place to sit. They shook hands with the guests as they left, looked them in the eye and said "I'm glad you came. Have a great day".

2 of them were up on stage, helping the local TV news lady who was giving things away.They took pictures, helped in giving away the raffle items like sleeping bags, coats and blankets. They did whatever she asked them to do.

4 of them were in the children's area, and just played with the kids. They painted faces, gave piggy back rides, built towers of blocks, and all those kinds of things. Then as a couple kids were leaving, they grabbed up the kids and loved on them a little bit more before they left.

The other sponsor that went was designated as security, and he just walked around and made sure things didn't get out of hand anywhere. But I'm extra thankful for him, because he took a day off his real job to help make this happen. 

One of our Seniors and I cut and plated slices of pie. 2400 slices of pie, as best we can count. At one point, we couldn't plate pie fast enough to keep up with the demand. The Rescue Mission guy working next to me said "Are those people eating any food, or are they just eating pie? I think they just eating pie!" It was crazy.

But what I'm most thankful for is these kids' attitude. They hopped right in, and had a willing attitude to do whatever it took to make it work.

I'm so proud of them. And I'm proud to be a part of them. I'm proud to serve alongside them. I'm thankful that these kids are willing to serve.
K

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

day 22 nephews

Since this is month to be thankful, and because we have so much to be thankful for, I am linking up with my friend Dawn to collectively be thankful. Let the thanking begin!

Today I am thankful for my two nephews.

This morning we all went bowling.

This is them, watching the little one's ball to see what happens.

The little one is 3 and a half years old. The big one is 7. Both of them are fun. :) Most of the time.

No, we all did have fun this morning. Though because they slept over at Nana and Pop Pop's house last night, they didn't sleep as well as they might normally, so I would say there was a little crankiness going on. But we all had fun.

I'm thankful that I get to see them on a regular basis. I'm thankful that I was the older one's regular babysitter until he was about 4. I'm thankful that they get along with each other. Actually, I think they get along with each other better than my sister and I did growing up.

I'm thankful that we can all be a family, and when they say "family", I'm a part of that.

I thankful that the older one is enrolled in my school now, so I get to see him at least twice a week, and sometimes more.

I'm thankful that we all go to church together.

I'm thankful that we have such a good relationship - two years ago the older one and I flew out to GA all by ourselves to visit my Brother-In-Law's parents (Mimi and Grandpa). He stayed with them, and I visited friends. That was a really fun trip, and he is a great traveler. Toted his own little suitcase behind him, and even did fantastic getting on and off tons of escalators. Suitcase and all. 

So here's to little hands to hold, and little hugs.
K

Monday, November 21, 2011

day 21 bounty

Well.

Isn't it lovely to not wake up to an alarm??? That's not my thankfulness today - I'm just sayin'...

This is the month to be thankful, so I'm linking up with my friend Dawn all month to be thankful together.

Have you ever heard a prayer? Like on a TV show, or at someone's house? You know, the one that goes something like "Lord bless these gifts that we receive out of your bounty..."

Today I'm thankful for the bounty that He has given.

I know that sounds generic, but as I look all around, I see blessings that God has bestowed on me. A couple days ago I was thankful for my shower. That's one of them. Right now I am eating a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup, and I have a meal in the crock pot for tonight. That's another. Yesterday afternoon I was in my garage spray-painting some sticks that I'm going to use for a crafty project. That's 2 right there - the garage itself, and that I have money to even DO crafty projects. I even have a freezer in my garage to hold all of my bounty. And after I'm done eating, I'm going to go downstairs and load the dishwasher so I can lazily have clean dishes. How can I NOT see all the bounty around me?

I have SO MANY things to be thankful for, so today I am thankful for all those things. God had blessed me with a job I love, a warm house, a car that runs well, a garage to keep that car in so I don't have to scrape snow, a family that loves me and gets together on a regular basis, good friends, and so much more.

In two days, I'm taking a group of awesome High Schoolers down to the Rescue Mission's Great Thanksgiving Feast. The Mission is providing a free Thanksgiving meal to anyone who wants to come. There will also be clothing given away, an area for kids to play, hygiene kits for anyone who would like one, and other things given away like sleeping bags and blankets. One year they even gave away haircuts.

As I look around me at the bounty that I enjoy, I can't help but think about those who do not enjoy those same blessings. And I know that there are people who aren't technically homeless who don't enjoy a lot of my same bounty even though they have a roof over their head.

So today I'm thankful to God for all that He has given me, and I acknowledge that all good gifts come from Him.
K

Sunday, November 20, 2011

day 20 family dinner

Since November is the month of Thanksgiving, I've been linking up with my friend Dawn and being thankful.

Today I'm thankful that we have family dinner.

Each Sunday, our family gets together at my Mom and Dad's house (or Nana and Pop Pop, as they are now called) and we have Sunday dinner together. This is usually after church, about 11:30am.

I'm thankful for family dinner because for a long time we didn't have family dinner. I was living 2000 miles away, and my sister and brother-in-law were in lots of different places, due to his being employed by the Air Force.

I'm thankful for family dinner because we all get to talk and hang out together. Today we talked about what we are going to do for Christmas: who's house to be at; when to get together; who to invite, etc.

I'm thankful for family dinner because I get to play with the nephews. Today I went into the bedroom with the little nephew (3 1/2 years old) and played with some blocks. We built a tower together and then knocked it down.

I'm thankful for family dinner because it is a great time to be together as a family and work together. Today I set the table, Dad made the pancakes, Brother-in-law made the poached eggs as well as doing most of the dishes, Sister and I got all the syrup and butter out, and filled the water glasses.

I'm thankful for family dinner because Mom's dining room table is the "train station" for all things that get passed around out family - some things departing, and some things arriving back.
Today I got a staple gun that I'm borrowing from Dad, Sister got a bag from me, as well as a check from Mom for some vitamins she had gotten, and Brother-in-law got some CDs. I always know that if there is anything on the table, it is my job to go look and see if any of it is for me.
Sometimes there is clothing that Mom found on sale. Sometimes there are random garage-sale finds. Sometimes there are articles that I would fine interesting. Sometimes there are books that I would enjoy reading. Sometimes there are books that I've loaned, and are now coming back to me. Sometimes not - once I loaned Mom a book, and the next weekend she put it in her garage sale. No, she didn't return it to me, she just put it out in the garage sale. Now I have to be careful to say if I want stuff back or not...

I'm grateful for all the things that make up family dinner, and how it makes our family closer.
Mostly I'm grateful for the "family" part of the family dinner, and that we all do it together.
K

Saturday, November 19, 2011

day 19 the shower

Since this is the month to be thankful, I'm linking up with my friend Dawn and being intentionally thankful all month.

Today, I am so thankful for my shower.

I just took a long, hot shower. It felt SO good! I'm just thankful that I have a shower, and hot water heater, and that they work so well together.

I've had lots of cold showers in my life, and lots of times that I went without a shower, thus today's gratitude for the cleanliness.

Two summers ago, I went on a mission trip with the Youth Group, and that whole week I only had 1 shower. The rest of the week we all huddled up in the driveway of the church wearing our bathing suits and washed off with a garden hose. When I was in Mexico on a mission trip about 10 years ago, I had a shower each day in the "hotel", but it wasn't warm at all. And the water pressure was kind of iffy. And for almost a whole semester in college, our water heater was broken, and they couldn't seem to keep it working. I took LOTS of cold showers then. And they were short too! Cold water sure makes the time go faster!

So today, I'm thankful for my shower. It was hot, and relaxing, and now I smell good.
I think this is a blessing that some people do not enjoy on a regular basis. So I am thankful.
K

Friday, November 18, 2011

day 18 break

All this month I'm linking up with Dawn at theGoodlife to be intentionally thankful. Now I have not always been in the best of mood for the thankfulness (see here), but I am thankful for the thankfulness. I love that it really gets me thinking about how awesome I have it, and all the blessings God has given me.

Today I have many reasons to be thankful: I have wonderful bosses that let me leave school for a personal reason, as long as I make up the time. I got to go to chapel at Focus on the Family today, and hear Aaron Shust sing. He's a friend from when I was teaching college in GA, and it was nice to reconnect. In going to chapel, I got to take a break out of my day to focus on God. During the days of forced Chapel in college, I didn't really appreciate it, but now I do. I got to talk with my sister today, since her son goes to my school. I'm grateful that we get to talk, and spend time with each other often, now. That has not always been the case, so I'm thankful for our relationship.

But at the end of the day, I'm thankful for the break. You see, I'm off work all next week for Thanksgiving Break. And I am SO grateful. I was really feeling the need for a break, so this comes at a very opportune time. No Drama next week; no chorale rehearsal next week. This is a true break.

I'm grateful that God has built in these breaks, that I may prosper and love long in my bed each morning.

It makes the thankfulness for the bed all that much more timely!  :)
K

Thursday, November 17, 2011

day 17 my job


Wow.

I just read that last post again, and I have to publicly apologize. I should have been cited for PWT - posting while tired. Maybe I should have gone to my lovely bed a few minutes earlier! :)

This is the month to be thankful for the many blessings that we enjoy, so I'm linking up with Dawn at theGooodlife and and being 30 days worth of thankful.

Yesterday, I read my friend Beth's post of thankfulness for her job - you can read it here.
Today, I'm going to pile on with her, and be thankful for my job. I really do love what I do. I adore my principal. I enjoy the ladies I work with. I really enjoy my students, and sometimes even love them. Sometimes not. :) I love that they are supportive, and that I often get some nice, girly hugs. I love that they can rise to the occasion - I've given the 6th grade some REALLY hard music, and they are really stepping up and doing a great job on it. They are embracing the challenge. I love that they make me laugh, like this.

But seriously, I really do love my job. I am blessed that since God moved me out here to CO from GA, I really love my job. Wouldn't that stink if I got all the way out here and hated it? Wouldn't you know that God would have planned something good for me? Isn't that just like Him?

Today was not my favorite day at my job, but mostly that's because we had a fire drill in the middle of the afternoon, right when classes should have changed and smack in the middle of my 5 minute potty break. Yes, I have 3 hours of class after lunch, and there is a 5 minutes potty break built in there. OK, truth be told, It isn't really CALLED a potty break, but I call it that because that's what I do in that 5 minutes each afternoon, and also because the last 2 hours are miserable if I don't.
It made this afternoon terribly chaotic, but I'm home in my jammies now, so it doesn't seem so bad at this point...

Anyway, sorry for that moment of rambling there. I really do love my job. And I'm grateful that I'm where I am. And I'm so glad that I'm not in a lot of other places.
K

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

day 16 my bed

OK...thankful...linking up with Dawn...all that. I'm so tired that I can't type straight, or be responsibile for spelling errors.

Right now I'm thankful for my bed.

So thankful that I will be there in about 2 minutes.

So thankful, that I was thinking about my bed on the way home from rehearsal.

It has been a long day, and tomorrow is the end of a long week, so I am extra thankful for my bed tonight. I am only regretful that I can't spend more time in it.

Off to bed. Good night.
K

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

day 15 my team

Wow! It is hard to believe that I've been thankful for half a month already! :)
I'm linking up with Dawn over at theGoodlife and being thankful all this month.

Today I'm thankful for my team. There are about 10 music teachers total at my school, but there are only 3 of us that do my exact same job. And they are my team. I'm thankful for my team. I'm thankful that I even HAVE a team.

I was saying this same thing to my principal today, because for a long time, I didn't really have a team. Yes, there were people that did my job, but because of schedule limitations we literally NEVER could get together. Now, we have built in collaboration time, and can have lunch together most fridays. It is SO NICE!

 I said that I was The Lone Ranger for so many years, that it is wonderful to have a team. And he said, "And you didn't even have Tonto." That's the truth!

So today I am thankful for my team, and especially that I like my team, and that we all get along wonderfully, and that we all like working together.

Yea for teamwork!
K

Monday, November 14, 2011

day 14 a cup o' tea

All this month I'm linking up with Dawn at theGoodlife, and being thankful. Even though it is for something small, I'm thankful.

Today I'm thankful for a cup of tea.

Mondays are a long day for me, mostly because I have several piano lessons after school. By the time I get to Erin's house, I'm tired. And I'm not finished.

But for the past couple weeks, she has made me a cup of hot tea. And she has a friend that is a beekeeper, so she adds fresh, local honey. It makes it just that much better.

It is so nice to relax with a cup of hot tea. Yes, I'm still teaching a piano lesson, but that tea is such a blessing.

So for today, I'm thankful for a cup of tea.

What are you thankful for?
K

day 13 listening

I'm linking up with my friend Dawn at theGoodlife, and being thankful all this month. And it's been fun! Head over there to see what everybody is thankful for.

Tonight I was at Youth Group, and one of the questions I asked my small group of girls was "when was a time you responded to a 'nudge' from God?"

After they shared, I shared with them about this student I have had some difficulties with in the past. I told them about how one day I was working with that class, and I thought to myself that I needed to really give him a new chance every day. That every day is a new beginning, and so I should grant him a new beginning each day.

And then God spoke to me, like he leaned down an audibly said in my ear "Like I do for you."

Wow.

He does, you know. Every day, God looks on me and give me another chance, another do-over, a brand new day. He never holds stuff against me. He never holds a grudge. He never looks at me and sees the stuff that I've done wrong in the past.

And that's what I need to do for this student.

So this is what I'm thankful for today: that God still speaks to me.
And that I have ears to listen.
K

Saturday, November 12, 2011

day 12 and a good friend

I'm linking up with my friend Dawn for our 30 Thankful Days. What are you thankful for?

Today I'm thankful for my friend Jenn. Last night we went out to dinner and then went to a movie. It was just a fun time, and I am grateful that we could just hang out together as friends. I'm grateful that she loves Jesus, and teaches at my same school. Jenn got married last year, but I'm grateful that we still can hang out together.

Nothing deep or extra-meaningful here, just simple gratitude for a good friendship. :)
K

day 11 with a ceremony





Today, as with most days this month (hopefully!), I am linking up with Dawn at theGoodlife to be intentionally thankful. Head over there to see what thankfulness is going around!

Today I am thankful for my school, and that they intentionally make a big deal out of Veteran's Day.

Today I went up to our North campus for the Veteran's Day assembly.  As part of my job, I went because my 6th graders sang God Bless America, and I had to be there to direct them. Which, actually I love. All of the 6th graders from all of the campuses sang together, and it was great. Great experience for them, and it sounded great as well.

But, I'm not thankful for our little 6th grade performance. Nor am I thankful for the 5th grade's recitation of the Gettysburg Address. Nor the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, though it was a lovely 4-part version sung by the women's choir.

I am thankful that this assembly is such a big deal altogether, and there is so much put into it. I'm thankful that the MC explained to the crowd what to do at the presentation of the colors, and why. I'm thankful that he asked the kids to be silent during the playing of Taps, and then explained why that is important. I'm thankful that they got such an interesting and engaging speaker, and that during his talk all the students were quiet and listening intently.

Yes, I wish I had brought a tissue. Yes, it was moving and a very respectful tribute to our Veterans. But I'm thankful for the effect in our students, and that it educates them on the importance of the sacrifices our Veterans made so we can enjoy our freedom. I'm thankful that this assembly is intentional in bringing our students in on the gravitas of a Veteran's decision to serve our country, and how we should show our respect for that.

I'm grateful that the next generation is learning how important Veterans are. And how important it is for us "regular" people to be thankful for their service.
K

Thursday, November 10, 2011

day 10 and a laugh





I have been really enjoying the thankfulness so far this month. I'm thinking about it more, and that means that I'm more aware of the blessings in my life. Thanks to my friend Dawn for the thankfulness challenge.

Today I'm thankful for a laugh. Specifically I'm thankful for a joke that one of my students told me. Not so much for the actual joke, though it IS funny.

I'm thankful that this particular student told me the joke, because we have not always gotten along. He doesn't like music class, and I'm fine with that. I don't like algebra. But I often have to talk to him because he will make fun of the songs we are singing, or refuse to participate. The bottom line is that we have had a rocky relationship for the past couple years.

But today he told me a joke. And it made me laugh out loud. I actually threw my head back and laughed. I'm grateful that he told me the joke, and that I honestly thought it was funny. I'm praying that this is a crack in the glacier that has been our past couple years.

So my thankfulness today is for that joke. And the smiles that came after it.

Oh yeah - the joke?

"What is the most common sound a pig makes?"

(Insert various guesses here: oink, squeal...)

...

Answer: "Sizzle"

K :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

day 9 with music


My friend Dawn is hosting 30 Thankful Days, and I have been trying to be intentionally thankful all this month. Hop on over to there to see what she's thankful for.

Today I am thankful for music. For Beethoven. For John Rutter. For the Beatles.

Earlier today I was listening to the Beatles, and it cheered me up. It made me happy, and uplifted my spirit. Then in second grade, I was teaching about Bach, and one of those little guys came up to me as class was ending and said, "Teacher, you must really love a lot of different kinds of music."

I smiled, nodded, and whispered, "Yes, I really do."

He paused, then said, "More than a thousand?"

And I nodded again. And smiled about it for the rest of the day.

Tonight I had rehearsal, and we sang through the first 2 movements of the Beethoven Mass in C (written in 1807). As we sang and sang, I was thinking about how much I enjoy singing Beethoven, and how happy it made me feel. I should know, because I have sung the Beethoven's 9th Symphony Finale several times. I think it is 4 total, but I've lost count. Usually when I teach it to my kids, I sing a few phrases of the German,and they are impressed, even though my German pronounciation is not impressive. :)
Then we sang through the Gloria by John Rutter. This is also a piece that I love to sing. It makes me happy, and usually gets stuck in my head for the next few days. Had to sing it a little as I typed that...

As I sat in rehearsal singing, I should have been thinking about the music, but instead I thought how all those different musics made me so happy, and how lucky I am to have sung so many pieces. So many different, interesting, fun, happy, challenging, and epic pieces.

Including school and rehearsal, I think I've sung for over 5 hours today. So I'm tired and going to bed. But here's to God's great gift of music. The thing that makes me excited to get up tomorrow and do it all again.
K

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

day 8 with friends


My friend Dawn is hosting 30 Thankful Days, and I am making an effort to be intentionally thankful each day this month. Thanks to Dawn and her encouragement, without which I probably would be thankful, but not motivated to write it down each day. :)

Today I am thankful for friends. Especially new friends.

For the past 7-8 months, I have been involved in the Drama Team at church. I originally got invovlved on a whim, but found that I really enjoyed doing the skits, and even the practice was fun. So I stayed. Tonight, instead of our usual drama practice, we had a party. A get-together.

It really was fun, and I had a fantastic time hanging out with these people from the Drama Team. We don't usually hang out together, with the exception of Tyler who is a fellow Youth Group sponsor - one of the great people I wrote about yesterday. But tonight we did. Just hang out, that is. And it was fun!

I really did enjoy getting to know these people better, and I am thankful for the new friendships that we have formed.

I consider myself to be a pretty friendly person. I can talk to people easily, I'm not nervous in a group of people I don't know, I get along with most anyone. And yet...

I don't think I have a lot of friends. Well, I have Jenn, but I'm going to be thankful for her another day, when I can write a LOT more! :) But as I ate and fellowshipped and talked with my new friends tonight, I was grateful for a truly good group of people, and the fun we had together. I  realize that I have many good people in my life.
That my life is not the sum of the things I've done, but the total of the quality relationships I have.

People, not accomplishments or things.
K

Monday, November 7, 2011

day 7 in youth group






Today I want to be thankful for my fellow Youth Group sponsors. I have been working with the Youth at my church for about 7 years now. Like anything, I don't love it all the time, but most of the time it is great. Last night at youth group, we were playing a game of pictionary. In the middle of that chaos, I realized how much I enjoy hanging out with them. Yes, the kids. But also the other sponsors.

Even though a lot of things have changed in the past 7 years, there are 3 of us sponsors that have been there for that whole time. And even though we have had different youth pastors, I am so blessed to truly like each one of them and enjoy serving alongside them.

The kids grow up. They graduate. They go off to college. Yet, here we are. Still growing along with the kids we have now. Still taking advantage of our time together to learn more about Jesus and to be more like Him.

You'd think that I'd have an advantage, what with all the time I've spent in Youth Group. But, no. I'm still learning. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
K

Sunday, November 6, 2011

day 6 an hour later


OK, today is an easy one. I am SOOOO thankful for the extra hour of sleep last night. I headed off to bed, then almost jumped up and down when I remembered that I hadn't changed my clock, and it was actually an hour earlier. What a lovely thing, to get an extra hour of sleep!

I hadn't changed any of my clocks, but I did change the one next to my bed, and that's the one that matters because it's the one that gets me up in the morning!

Going back to standard time is like a snow day. It's "found time". Time I didn't plan on having to myself. Time that otherwise would be spent on other stuff, like cleaning, doing laundry, working around the house. If I had remembered the time change, I probably would have planned out how to use the time more efficiently. Or, I would have stayed up later to "use" that time.

But no, it was a gift. It was a beautiful hour that was given almost as an afterthought.
But I am grateful.
K

Saturday, November 5, 2011

day 5 in my house

No introduction today - I'm getting right to the the thankful.

I am thankful for my warm, cozy house. Outside the wind is blowing, it is intermittently raining, and the weather is just not good. Last Wednesday we had a blizzard situation which resulted in a snow day. In both times, I am thankful for my warm and cozy house. I am thankful that I don't have to be out in the weather. I'm thankful that I am in a position where I don't need to go to the soup kitchen for a meal. I am thankful that my washer and dryer are right next to my bedroom, and I can easily be clean.

Last week I read "Land of the Lost Souls" by Cadillac Man. It is his story of living on the streets of New York. After reading that book, and his "adventures", I am so grateful that I am not in that situation, even though there are lots of people who are.

There but for the grace of God, go I.

I think I was meant to read that book in order to give it to a friend of mine. Her brother is homeless, and living on the streets. He is dealing with mental health issues, as well as legal ones. He has had people steal his belongings, meager though they might be. When I read that book, I immediately thought of this friend who is walking the line between wanting to help her brother, but not allowing him into her home for the safety of her small children. She is torn between trying to help him get into transitional housing, and letting him stay where he wants to be, which is on the streets. My heart breaks for her, and for the help that she wants to be but that he won't accept.

After reading this book and looking out the window at the stormy skies, I am very thankful for my house.
And I'm looking forward to going to the Springs Rescue Mission's Great Thanksgiving Feast. Maybe there I can look upon someone who IS in that same situation, and make them feel like the most special person in the world. Because that's how Jesus sees them.
K

Friday, November 4, 2011

days 3 and 4


Today I am going to be thankful for yesterday and today all rolled into one. Don't get me wrong - I was actually thankful yesterday, I just didn't get a chance to write it down. Thanks to my friend Dawn, and her spurring me on to be thankful, and to be deliberate about it. If it weren't for her, I probably wouldn't be making the effort.

Day 3

Yesterday I was thankful for my second graders.

I know this might come as a shock to you , but I am not always thankful for my students. :)

Sometimes, they get on my nerves, and I have trouble being patient with them. But yesterday, my 2nd graders were singing. I was teaching them a bunch of songs to go along with their Westward Expansion unit  that their teachers will do soon. Home on the Range was a hit with one of them, as I noted here.

So we sang.

We started with the song they had learned most recently, The Erie Canal. Then we sang through all the others in a random order. Some of those featured were: Clementine, Goodbye Old Paint, Old Dan Tucker (cheering and clapping when I pulled that one out), Home on the Range, I've Been Working on the Railroad, and Casey Jones.

What I loved about these 2nd graders is that they sang with gusto. They sang with everything they had. They sang like they meant it. And the singing was not always the best, or always on key, but they had so much enthusiasm that it made me actually smile. Several times. They sang their little 2nd grade hearts out.

For a moment, I saw the unfiltered joy that comes when you can sing with everything you have, and not be concerned about who is listening, or how they might be judging you.

We all need to do this kind of singing more often - it's good for the soul.

Day 4

Today I am thankful for Becky.

Becky is another music teacher at my school. She and I have the same job, but at different campuses. My school has 3 elementary campuses, and a Jr. High, and a High School. There are only 3 people in the whole place that have my same job, and Becky is one of them. She came over today to borrow a Guiro because she needs it for her upcoming concert. But that's not why I am thankful.

She sat and talked for awhile, and shared some things that are going on in her family. And we talked about some changes coming in our school. And I'd like to think that we solved all the world's problems. Actually we only made each other feel better about our own problems, but isn't that what friends are for? I'm thankful for her friendship, and that we can pray for each other. I'm thankful that we care for each other, and don't just have a surface-y relationship that is thrown together because we happen to be working at the same place at the same time.

We truly are good friends, and for that I am thankful.
Here's to God's gifts to us, especially in the realm of friendship.
K

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

november

Not to be Captain Obvious, but it is November! Are you as bowled over as I am??? I know I say this every year, but this year has just flown by.

My friend, Dawn, is hosting 30 Thankful Days, and I want to be a part. You can check out her blog here.

Usually I write whenever I have something to say or when the whim hits me. But I am going to make a concerted effort to write much more this month and to find things to be thankful for. So buckle up, and let the thankfulness begin!


Today is easy - I am SOOOOO thankful it is a snow day! Yesterday I was exhausted, and as I dragged myself home, I did wish in my heart that we would have a snow day, or at least a 2-hour delay. But then I said to myself, "There is no way we will have a snow day. Last week 'they' said we would, and there was NOTHING. So, I'll believe it when I see it.". Aren't you glad you tuned in for that riveting inner monologue??? :)

Anyway, I was THRILLED to turn off the alarm and sleep for an extra 2 hours. What a blessing!

I will always be thankful for those little unexpected gifts of time that come in the form of a snow day. It is so nice of God to send the weather so I can rest and rejuvenate!

What are you thankful for?
K

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

the non-snow day

Well.

Today was quite possibly one of the most disappointing days in a very long time.

We did NOT have a snow day.

Now, if you had watched the news in the past week, you would have thought that not only would we have a snow day, but maybe more. The dire predictions of the snow were not to be ignored. The flashy graphics on the weather segment spelled out exactly how many inches of accumulation everyone would get. The anchors this morning wondered why they had not heard from several school districts in the area. And wouldn't you know...NOTHING!

Yes, some districts had a 2-hour delay. And one up in the mountains was CLOSED today. Did we have a delay? Did we have a snow day? NO!
I'm still a little bitter...

I just wish the newsies would realize how much the disappointment hurts after you get all psyched up to be off school for the day. It's painful.

So here's to more accurate weather forecasting...
K

Friday, October 21, 2011

where has the courtesy gone?

I witnessed the saddest thing today. I went to pick up some dinner, and was standing off to the side waiting for part of my order to be ready. I stood there and watched several people pay, and then sit down to eat. One of these ladies paid for a bottle of seasoning to take home and then proceeded to walk off with her dinner, leaving that bottle behind. The cashier kindly said something, but the customer didn't hear her. After a minute, the cashier had a break between customers, and so she picked up the forgotten bottle of seasoning and dashed out to the ladies table and delivered it to her. The lady's response:

"Oh. My bottle."

No "thank you", not even a "thanks". I watched her for a minute, waiting to see if she realized  what she'd done and then maybe she would say thank you to the cashier that went out of her way to bring her the bottle. Nope. She continued right on with her conversation.

How sad is that???

I just shook my head. I thought about saying something to the lady, but she was with her whole family and I didn't want to cause a scene. But if I ever do that, I hope someone calls me on it.

What has this world come to?
K

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

home on the range

Today, I was teaching my 2nd graders the song "Home on the Range". Nothing new there - as an Elementary Music teacher I get to do this all the time. In fact, I have big lists of songs to teach each different grade level.

Anyway, We finished singing "Home on the Range", and one of the little guys looked up at me and said:
"I think that is a really excellent song."

He he - they make me giggle sometimes!

You should come hang out in elementary with me sometimes - we have lots of fun!
K

Sunday, October 16, 2011

fall color

This weekend I went up into the mountains. It was about a 2 hour drive from home, and even though the trees are starting to drop their beautiful leaves, some of the scenes were amazing.

Here are a couple pictures:


The Arkansas River

Old railroad tunnels, north of Buena Vista, CO

North of Buena Vista, CO

North of Buena Vista, CO

Cottonwood Lake

  
Family rockskipping championships at Cottonwood Lake!
Howard, CO; taken on the drive home
It was a great family weekend.Very relaxing, and lots of fun playing with the nephews. A fine way to end Fall Break, if I do say so myself! Thanks for stopping by.
K

Saturday, October 8, 2011

seasons

Well, the change is coming.

No, not THAT change, but I guess it would be accurate to say that it is coming too. Just not right now...

What I am referring to is the change of seasons. For the past month, I have had my heating and A/C system turned off. It was cool at night, and I just opened the window and enjoyed the fresh, cool, night air. Before that, I had the A/C on. Granted, it didn't run a lot, but it was on. And sometimes when I came home from school all hot and bothered, you can bet that I cranked on that "down" button to cool my house off.

But now, the change is coming.

Today my friend Dianne posted this picture on Facebook, and I stole it. But I AM giving her credit, and it is a great representation of what everything looked like today. Dianne's backyard:






Now today is October 8, and it pretty much snowed all day. It didn't snow hard, but it did snow.

...

I have mixed feelings about the snow.

I love that everything looks so fresh and new. I love that the weather is cooling off, and that even though it will warm back up, the heat of the summer is gone. God Bless America, I am SO ready to not wear summer clothes to school. But this is a mixed blessing, because now Mr. Bob will turn on the heater. My school has an old-fashioned boiler to heat the school, and it really does a good job. Often times, TOO good of a job. And then sometimes the (insert name of mechanical part here) will stick open and oh my word the heat. I have learned to never wear sweaters to school, because it may mean being stuck in a HOT room with 20 kids and an over-working heater while wearing a long sleeved sweater.

I bet that's what hell will be like...

But I am looking forward to being cozy inside,while it is all blustery and snowy outside. THAT is my favorite part of fall and winter.

So, here it comes people. Get out your snow boots, snow shovels, emergency car kits, and gloves.
Get out there and make a snowman! Throw some snowballs! Drink some hot chocolate!
K

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

invisible

The other day I had the weirdest experience. I went to my local Subway to get dinner. So I walked in, and stood behind the father and son that were in the process of having their sandwiches made.

There was only one person at the counter, so I just stood there.

Then a different guy came out from the back and rang up the father and son. Then he went back into the back room. I figured at that point he was in charge, and had some big, important job to do in the "back".

So I stood there.

And I do want to take this opportunity to pat myself on the back - I was pretty patient. I didn't try to look like I was in a hurry. I didn't sigh, fold my arms, or tap my foot. I just stood there.

At this point, a couple walked in the store, and got in line behind me. And we all stood there.

Then, in a truly surreal moment, the guy from the "back" came out to the counter. He walked up to the couple behind me, that just walked in, and asked what he could start for them.

As I continued to stand there, I was a little bit incredulous that he didn't even acknowledge me, and started their sandwiches.

I looked at him, then looked at them. I looked back at him, then at them.

At this point, there was an entire inner-dialogue that I won't bore you with, but it did involve a selection of words, and whether I should say them...And I didn't say any of them. I'm SO proud of myself. :)

Suddenly, the guy at the counter looked right at me, and asked "are you with them?" Meaning, the father and son that were leaving, and at this point standing about 20 feet away from me. I answered "nope". And he proceeded to apologize profusely for not helping me. Everything ended up fine, and all's well that ends well.

This whole episode got me to thinking. At certain points in our country's history, there were entire groups of people that were treated the exact same way that I was. They were invisible.

Even today, people that don't fit into our same social groups or in our same social-economic group, sometimes they are invisible. It made me think about if I've ever walked downtown and treated a homeless person as if they are invisible. Then it made me think about if I've ever treated ANYONE else as if they are invisible, for any reason.

I'm sad to say that I'm sure I have at some point or another.

I have vowed to take this encounter with invisibility, and make it ensure that I never treat anyone else as invisible. No matter what.

Here's to being blind to status and anything else that we use to judge others.
K

Saturday, September 17, 2011

moon cake

This is a moon cake.





I teach piano to a 76 year-old Vietnamese man.

Today he gave me a moon cake. And he told me to eat it with my mom.

...

I've got to be honest, I really do not know the significance of the moon cake. And, since the wrapper is totally written in Vietnamese, except for "moon cake", I can't even find out.

I do know that on August 15th, Vietnam has a Fall Festival, and it is an almost universal holiday to celebrate the past successful harvesting season. People chip-in offerings, and families gather together to celebrate. I just learned this from Vietnam Online. :)

So I'm guessing that his gift of moon cake is a celebration of Fall festival. But really the amazing thing in this story is that he is still excited to learn. We have a lesson every week, and he almost never misses. Except last week, because he was in the hospital. HOSPITAL!

But, this week we were back at it, counting out rhythms, and learning new musical terms like triplet.

I can only hope that I am as dedicated to something, and determined to excel at it when I am 76.
K

UPDATE: My roommate from college just posted on my Facebook page about the moon cake. She is an English teacher living in China now, but she did live and work in Vietnam for 8 years. She says:



"I just peeked at your blog and saw the part about the mooncake. Yummy lard. :) I'm not so fond of the preserved egg in the middle, but I like the lotus paste. The legend is that a mortal woman offended the gods by desecrating a banyan tree. It grew up around her, pushing her up to the moon and leaving her there as punishment. Children light lanterns every mid-autumn festival to light her way home."

Thanks Kim for the firsthand knowledge and cultural information. It makes that lard taste so much better! :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

another reason why I love my dad

After graduating from the University of Georgia and living in Athens, GA for 10 years, I am still a huge GA football fan. Today I had some things I had to do and since I don't get ESPN at my house, I wasn't able to watch the game. UGA is playing South Carolina, and Dad is texting me updates on the game.For example:

SC drives for a TD. 38-35. 3:30 to go.

Hold on. Murray throws a 40 yd TD! 45-42. 2:15 to go.

These are the texts I'm getting as Dad is watching the game, and keeping me up to the second on all the big plays. As much as I'm saying "Go Dawgs!", I'm saying "Thanks Dad for taking the time to text me all the big drives and scores".

He's a great dad, but this just puts him over the top.
Thanks Dad!
K

Saturday, August 27, 2011

adventurous saturday

Wow! Today was about as much adventure as I would want to have on a Saturday. A fun day overall, but definitely not an everyday thing.

First, I slept in this morning. It was my reward for surviving the first full week at school. And the week was good, but I needed the rest.

Then I met my friend Jenn for breakfast. We went to the North End Diner and the biscuits and gravy were AWESOME! We both had the biscuits and gravy platter, and oh my word I cannot say enough good things about it.

Then I went over to the hockey rink, because the older nephew (7 years old) was playing in an in-line hockey tournament today. It was a pretty big deal to him, so I wanted to watch at least one of his games. Here he is at a face off:



And then, because I was taking pictures of the older nephew, the younger nephew (3 years old) wanted me to take a picture of him. Here HE is:





Thank you for that.

Then I watched some more hockey.


This was the view for a good bit of today. I think we might have to have a talk about finding some more "gettin' up and goin'" after the puck...


After that game I left the arena and was going to go home, but I called Mom and she said her vet's office was having a big open house, and the little nephew was in the bounce house. This was not to far from my house, so I stopped by.

There were HUGE iguanas there:




And there were snakes. Nana was NOT to thrilled about the snakes, but little nephew and I got right up close and he petted the "fat" yellow snake (a Burmese Python, for any of you who were wondering):


And then they got him all dressed up in a surgery suit - exactly what they wear to do surgeries:




And then he got to do a surgery on a teddy bear:

Someone needs to have a talk with that teddy bear - nephew pulled 2 balloons, a screw, and a nail out if his tummy!


After that Nana took nephew back out to the bounce house, but I had to head home and take a nap - this day wore me out! There's nothing quite like a day with family.

K :)
PS. I want to have a scrub suit like that...


Monday, August 22, 2011

laughter

This weekend, I laughed.

Not just laughed, but laughed until I cried, and couldn't breathe, and had tears streaming down my face.

The most memorable time was while listening to Car Talk - the NPR program featuring Tom and Ray Magliozzi answering questions about cars. But the guys like to laugh, and laugh they did. One of them was reading a "Washington Post Invitation-style thing", where readers were invited to propose ways to make modern life harder than it needs to be.

I don't remember all of them, but here's a couple:

Replace the computer mouse with two Etch-a-Sketch knobs.
Drive-on-the-left-side-of-the-road Thursday.
ATMs require a urine specimen.
All pills must be suppositories.
Bicycle-pedaled flush toilets.
Sell tires only in multiples of seven.
HOV use now requires three humans, a dog and a family of chickens.

Well.

The one about the ATM got me really laughing, but the one about the HOV lane really got the guys laughing. And then they got to laughing so hard that they couldn't even talk to each other. Not great news for a RADIO show.

Then one of them started making a high-pitched wheez-y noise as he gasped for breath. And then that noise got me laughing even harder.

Finally, I had to pull over to the side of the road, and turn off the radio just to be able to breathe again.

...

I'm chuckling right now, just remembering it.

Well I said all that to say this: It sure feels good to laugh. To laugh deep, and to laugh long, and sometimes to have a hard time stopping the laughter. My mom says that good laughter is like aerobics for your heart.
In that case, I am SO heart healthy...

Here's to good laughter.
K

Friday, August 12, 2011

friendship

I am going to take this opportunity to be thankful for my friend, Beth. She writes a blog too, and you can read it here. But today is to say how much I appreciate Beth.

We got together this week for coffee, and just talked. Not unusual for us, but the last time we did this was...

...

...

a year ago??? It's hard to believe that we haven't really spent too much time together in a year. Wow.

But, that's one of the things that I like about Beth. No, not that we don't spend time together, silly! It's that whenever we DO spend time together it is like we do it all the time. I appreciate her candor, and I know that if she thinks I'm off on something she will tell me. And we are real.

I think that this is the definition of a true friend. That you can not have to be together all the time,and still be real with one another. That you enjoy spending time together, whether it is on a regular basis, or on a MUCH more occasional basis than regular. That you can feel free to admit to your shortcomings, or struggles, and be secure that you will be corrected but still loved and comforted.

Thanks for the coffee, Beth, and let's do it again. Soon!
K

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

high drama

Yesterday I went to an opera. To be fair, as a music teacher it's kind of in my job description. But this time was not for me, but to support one of my students. She is in a summer intensive and the performance yesterday morning was the culmination of their work composing, writing, rehearsing and performing. It really was a great performance, and I enjoyed it very much. Then, to finish out the camp, they all go to the opera. I've gone before, and my student's mom loved having someone along to enjoy the student performances and the opera with her. It's nice to go with someone who is relishing it as much as yourself.

We saw "Carmen", and it was performed by the Central City Opera. It was fabulous!!! I can't say enough great things about the fantastic performance. Here's a picture, courtesy of the Central City Opera website:


Carmen: Central City Opera, 2011. Photo by Mark Kiryluk
Playing the role of Carmen was Kirstin Chavez, and playing the role of Don Jose was Jon Burton. These are the people in the above picture. They were FANTASTIC! The whole performance was amazing. Even though I have been in 3 operas and have attended several more, this was outstanding, and possibly one of the best. Oh, the DRAMA!

And, considering that Carmen was written in 1873 and first performed in 1875, it amazes me that the stories and lessons learned are still applicable today. Relationships haven't changed a whole lot since then. Carmen is a story about two people and the course their relationship takes. There are good times, but there are rough times too, and (spoiler alert!) even love is not able to overcome all, because Carmen is killed in the end.

I was moved, and very impressed by the stellar performances put on by the entire cast. Central City did a wonderful job, and I would highly recommend their opera season to anyone who is so inclined to be taken on a fascinating journey.
K

Friday, July 29, 2011

vacation

So, I just got back from California.

It was a lovely trip, and sunburn notwithstanding, I'm not sure how it could have been better.

Mom and Dad at Moss Landing State Beach
We started on the the coast, a little bit south of San Francisco. Moss Landing is between Santa Cruz and Monterey. It's right on the water, and fishing is BIG business here. Maybe that's why the food at our lunch spot was so good. We ate at Phil's Fish Market, and oh my land I could eat there everyday. They WON Throwdown with Bobby Flay, and I think we all know why. I would fly out there now, just to eat there again.

Phil's Fish Market: hard to find, but easy to eat their awesome food.
The next day we went to San Francisco. And we outdid ourselves on the tourist agenda. Not to mention we took my Auntie Carolyn with us. Carolyn is 80, but she's incredibly fun to be around. I had a great day seeing the sights, and hanging out with her.

Dad, Auntie Carolyn, and Mom at Pier 39

We went to Pier 39, ate Chowder in a Sourdough Bread bowl, and the took a driving tour around the city.

The Golden Gate bridge, socked in by fog.
We went over to the ocean, and the Cliff House. From there I could look down the coast where the boardwalk used to be. Now, it's all been developed into housing.

Where the ocean meets the city of San Francisco.
Then my dad drove us up over Twin Peaks, and because the fog had started to burn off we could see the whole city.

San Francisco, as seen from Twin Peaks.
San Francisco
Then we drove through the city, and after some shopping we drove down Lombard St.

The Cable Car that was dropping people off at the top of Lombard.
Going down Lombard: the crookedest street in America.
What a great day!

The next day we took a drive through the Napa valley, and saw all the vineyards and wineries. It was beautiful, and a relaxing day for everyone except Dad, because he drove. :)

Since our time in the bay area was done, we drove up the coast to Mendocino. Even though there was a music festival going on, we had a nice time walking around the town and looking at all the little shops there.

Mendocino coastline
Then we drove a little bit more, and stayed in Ft. Bragg for the next day. On the north coast it was gray and overcast, but that made the weather really cool and nice. It was a welcome change from the heat of the Napa Valley the day before.

The rocky beaches of Ft. Bragg.
We didn't do much in Ft. Bragg. We looked around the town, slept in, and Mom and I went hunting Sea Glass down at Glass Beach. Here's Mom with her treasures, coming back over the "difficult access".



And here's me, in front of the rocks and water.


And a fun time was had by all. :)
K