Sunday, December 29, 2013


Yesterday I went to a wedding.

Actually, I got to play in the worship band. It was a great wedding. And not because I was there playing.

The bride and groom were both in youth group when they were in high school, so I was their youth leader. I've gone on several missions trips with them, and known them for several years and I consider them friends.

It was so great to see them stand up in front of friends and family and be wedded to each other.

But I really enjoyed the day. Not just the wedding, but the rest of it too.

The practice - the best man, and the pastor's wife and I were the worship band, so we got together to practice. It was fun getting to worship with them.

The rehearsal - hanging out with the pastor's wife, and the groom's mom, who I consider a great friend. Getting to see them all nervous, and READY to be married already!

The wedding - worshipping with a bunch of church family, and great friends. Being excited for the bride and groom as they start their journey together.

It was such a fun weekend. And such a blessing to be a little part of their story.
Congratulations Taylor and Lauren!
K :)

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Well. it is not the "official" 30 days of thankful anymore, but I am still thankful.

Today I am thankful for Dad.

Yesterday we had a "snow situation". When I left for school it was fine outside, albeit VERY cold. But fine. Over the course of the day, the snow kept falling, and by the time for carpool it was awful out! About 3, Dad called me and said "I'm in your parking lot".

He came to pick me up in his 4 wheel drive and took me home!

And this morning he took me back to get my car.

I'm thankful for Dad who looks out for me, and thinks about me having to drive home in awful weather. He might have had a prompt from Mom, but I'm grateful nonetheless.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 30

Well this is it. Today I am thankful for rest.

I am home now, after being at the cabin with the WHOLE family, and I am glad to be at rest.
I'm paying bills, have a load in the laundry, and am intermittently watching Friends. Relaxing.

I am thankful for the breaks we get, and the chance to stop for a bit.

Oh, and I'm also thankful that I have all my Christmas shopping done! :)
Bring on the Christmas music!

Friday, November 29, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 29

Today I am thankful for the cabin.

Several years ago, Mom and Dad built a cabin up in the mountains. This Thanksgiving we all went up to the cabin. Mostly, it has been great. It is different, having the whole family in one place for several days.

This is what I saw going out to the store today:
The collegiate peaks were beautiful with all the snow.

I am grateful that Mom and Dad value time with family enough that they took that into account when building their home. I am thankful that they want us up here. I am thankful for a retreat from daily life.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 27

I am thankful for all the blessings God has given me.

Today I went with a group of people from church to serve at the Rescue Mission's Great Thanksgiving Banquet. It is a free Thanksgiving meal for anyone who wants to come. It is largely homeless people who are there, but there are also some people who are not homeless but just down on their luck.

There were 165 of us volunteers there, and we served about 1000 people.

There were clothing giveaways, flu shots, free bibles, and lots of love and welcoming spirit. As the coordinator told us before starting, the people coming today are out guests.

And that's what it felt like.

I am grateful for every blessing in my life- both those given to me, and the opportunities to work for others. I am so blessed, that I couldn't even count them all.

Thank you God for your blessings, and for the opportunity to serve others.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 26

Today I am thankful for God's beautiful creation. Here are a couple pictures I've taken over the years:

The above pictures are (in order): the collegiate peaks, balanced rock in Garden of the Gods, beach at Moss Landing, CA, South fork of the Arkansas River, Pike's Peak, beach in Fort Bragg, CA, Arkansas River near Canon City, CO, Arkansas River near Buena Vista, CO.

What beauty!

Monday, November 25, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 25

Today I am thankful for Noah. He is the oldest nephew. And he's funny...

This was one of his first camera attempts...

I am thankful that I moved here when he was 2 months old. I am thankful that I get to see him every week, instead of every year. I am thankful that I get to be his music teacher and see him in school every week. I am thankful that I got to be his regular babysitter until he was about 4.
He is a blessing.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 24

Today I am thankful for the little bundles of joy that animals are in my life. I grew up with animals - Leroy was our first dog. Then there was Princess Pricilla (aka Prissy) the cat, who was with us for a long time. Then Toby the dog, and then I moved out and had kitties of my own.

Sam was my first cat, and we were by ourselves for about 6 years. Jenny, the little old lady cat was with us for about a year, and then Ed's cat Max came to live with me and Sam. Maxie Faxie made me laugh on a regular basis. When Sam was 13, he got sick and had to go to kitty heaven, and then about 6 months later, Max got sick and joined him.

I haven't had animals for a long time - like 5 or 6 years.

But now I have Callie.

This is Callie. This morning she was curled up keeping warm on her heating pad/bed.

This is Callie from a bit ago, right after she had her thrice-yearly shave-down:

Her hair gets really knotted, so she gets shaved about 3 times a year. Granted, she looks a little funny without much hair, but when you pet her she feels like VELVET! She is SOOOOO soft.

I am thankful for Callie, and for all the wonderful animals I've had in my life.
Thankful for the earthly kind of unconditional love.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 23

Today I am thankful for family.

This is part of my family:

My Dad and I took the 2 nephews to the library today. The little one found a baseball book, so here is Pop Pop reading the baseball book to the nephews. Then we all went out to lunch. It was a good day - nothing spectacular, nothing amazing, nothing mind-blowing. Just a good time with family. People I love spending time together.

Thank you Lord for giving me a great family.

Friday, November 22, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 22

Oh man. Today I am thankful for extra time.

Last night at 10:30, I got a phone call that school was delayed for 2 hours this morning. I am still in my jammies, and all warm and toasty at home. At some point, I will take a shower and mosey in to work, but at this moment I am still reveling in the relaxed schedule of this morning.

I love the unexpected gift of time, and that leisurely 2nd cup of coffee!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 21

Oh. My. Word.

Today I am SO thankful to be home safe.

This morning, my 15 minute drive to work took 45 minutes, was very sketchy and I slid on the ice. Twice.

This afternoon, it took about 35 minutes to get home, and I slid into my neighborhood.

I am thankful that I didn't wreck my car or myself in the process of driving in today's weather.

I am thankful my friend is OK - she had a car accident today and totaled her car.

I am NOT thankful that nobody called a snow delay...but that's another topic. :)

Right now, it is about 12 degrees outside, and I am warm and safe in my house.

And terribly thankful for that too. Tonight I'm pretty sure I will be thankful for the extra blanket on my bed.

And I think that Callie (the cat) will be thankful for the heating pad that is in her cat bed.

So much to be thankful for - God's blessings and mercies are everywhere.

Monday, November 18, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 18

Today I am thankful for a simple thing: being in my jammies at 6:30. I am at home, warm and comfy. I can't think of a better thing to be thankful for!

It is the simple things in life...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 17

Today I am thankful for my small group at church. We got together today for lunch.

As you can see from the picture, my crazy Canadian friends had us over today. It was a great time - good food, good friends, and good conversations. I am thankful for these people that I have become great friends with over the past year.

It is good to be known.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 16

Today I am thankful for friends. I had several friends over tonight, and it was great. I had a really fun time. I am grateful for friends from work - the fact that I work with some great people.

I know that often people don't have friends at work - work people are just work people.

I am far too blessed for that. Not only do I have a great job and a fun workplace, I am friends with lots of people at work.

Thankful for fun, and friends, and a great house to have them over to.
I am full.

Friday, November 15, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 15

Today I am going to be thankful for this little gift - my nephew. He is the youngest nephew.

And, yes, that is red hair. D is so much fun - he makes me laugh. He gives great squeezes. He is happy and loving and mischievous and helpful and definitely all boy.  I am thankful for him, and for his brother too. I am blessed to be an Auntie.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 14

Today I went to a musical. It was my school's High School presentation of "The Pajama Game". It was very well done. I really enjoyed it. But the absolute best part was seeing all these kids I had in music class back in elementary school, and now they are juniors and seniors and have leads in the musical! Here's a great scene from tonight:

I am thankful that I get to see "my kids" grow up. I am thankful I get to see them sing in High School choir concerts. I am thankful that I get invited to Youth Symphony concerts because "my kids" are performing. I am thankful that I get to see what comes beyond 6th grade music. And most of all I'm thankful that I have such great kids in the first place.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 13

I have had such great days lately. Recently, someone dropped these off on my desk at school:

It was a HUGE potted pot of beautiful Gerber Daisies. My FAVORITE flower! I know this is weird, but they just make me happy. Every time I looked at them over the past couple days, it made me smile.

Now they are livening up the front room of my house.

I am thankful for these flowers, but I am especially thankful for the parents at my school. They are the best. NOT because one of them brought me these beauties, but because they are SO helpful, and thankful for us, and supportive. I could not ask for a better cadre of parent to work for.

I am so lucky.

Monday, November 11, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 11

On this Veteran's Day, I am thankful for everyone who has stood up, taken the oath, and sacrificed for my country. I know of and know a lot of veterans, and I am grateful for them.

Today we had the Veteran's Day assembly at school. There was music, reciting, cheering for veterans and everything else that a Veteran's Day assembly should have.

All day long I kept thinking about him. Grandpa Glen. This picture was from later in life, after his service obviously. But he was a veteran - probably the closest one to me.  He served in the Army, and he jumped behind lines in Okinawa and Japan. In Korea, he got called back and was a jumpmaster for awhile. Grandpa Glen isn't with us anymore, but I still thought of him all day. I thought of how he wouldn't talk about any Army stuff at all, until I was in High School and started asking him about it. I thought of the pictures I have of him when he was in the service, and even a picture he took of a jump. I thought about the metal box of things he kept hidden for a long time, until I started being curious. I thought about the handle of a rip cord that he kept in that box, from a 'chute that didn't open.

On this Veteran's Day, I want to thank not only my Grandpa Glen, and my Brother-In-Law who is currently in the Air Force, but all the veterans. Everyone who served in some way to protect our country from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Thank you.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 10

OK, let me play catch-up really quick here:

On Friday I was not feeling well, and stayed home from school in the morning. By the time I was finished for the day I came home, did one load of laundry and went to bed. I'm sure I was thankful, but I can't remember anything except feeling sick. I guess I'm thankful that I am in a place where I CAN take some time off if I need to.

ON Saturday, I did the usual Saturday errands and things that need to be done, but this Saturday I am VERY thankful for Dad. He worked in the garage for several hours.

My new house came with some nice built-in shelving in the garage. But, I kept us from using the space well, so Dad un-built the built-in shelving, and moved it to another wall. I helped with the putting back together, and the rearranging of stuff back onto the shelves. Dad worked HARD and did some awesome things. My garage looks (and functions) great - Thanks Dad!

Last night I went to Denver with a friend, and some of her friends to see a band. It was a great show, and a fun time, but we didn't get back home until 2am.

So, this morning I slept in. I am SO grateful for sleeping in. I am so grateful for rest, and a wonderful bed to rest in. Last night was fun, but I am POOPED! And evidently older, because in my 20's I did this kind of stuff ALL the time.

Not so much any more. :)
Much needed rest and peace and organized calm in a garage are good things.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 7

Today I am not feeling very well. In fact I am off to bed very shortly.

But before the snoring commences, I am going to be thankful for dinner.

Since Mom and Dad have moved into the new house, Mom makes dinner. She will usually text me and ask if I will be eating. Why, yes, thank you! You will cook for me? And have it ready when I get home? Of course I will eat!

So today, not feeling well, I slogged home and there was a wonderful soup and salad that Mom made for dinner. I am so grateful. If there was no dinner ready, there is NO TELLING what I would have dug out of the 'fridge to eat.

Thanks Mom!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 6

I have so much to be thankful for. But today, I am going to be thankful for the Chorale. Every Wednesday I get together with 100 others singers and we sing beautiful music. Oh, tonight it wasn't so beautiful. But, by the time we practice it for a few more weeks it will be.

I am thankful to be able to make such beauty each week.

We sing Bach, Handel, Christmas carols, several beautiful renaissance pieces in Latin, some Baroque German piece that will have a brass section in the concert, and a fun version of the 12 Days of Christmas where each verse is in a different musicological style. Fun, fun, fun.

And I sing with great people, so that makes it so much better.

It is my own little beautiful spot each week.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 5

Well Shoot. I wasn't thankful yesterday. Well I WAS thankful, but didn't write it down. I guess it goes to show my human-ness...

So today I am going to be thankful for the extra blanket last night. It stayed on my bed ALL NIGHT.

It has been COLD here. Today the high was in the 40's, and it was wet and windy. Just raw outside.

Actually, we were SUPPOSED to get snow last night (roll of the eyes) but alas there was NONE. Many of my students were very disappointed this morning. I, of course, was not disappointed at all. :)

So, last night it was very cold. And I am so very grateful for the extra blanket. Actually, I will add that I am grateful for he abundance of blankets I have. Last week I unpacked one of the last boxes, and now I have several blankets or quilts or comforters in each closet.

Here's hoping I get to use the extra blanket more in the coming weeks.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

30 Thankful Days: Day 3

Today I am thankful for service. For the opportunity to serve.

I heard someone say that service is one of the best ways we can see God because we take our eyes off of ourselves.

Today was church, and I served. I was asked a couple months ago to help prepare communion on the Sundays that we have it. So this morning I went to help prepare communion. I really enjoyed working with the other lady to get it ready, and to have it prepped for the second service as well. It is not a huge deal to get there early, and I enjoy the job.

After service, Pastor thanked us for our service and said he got to serve communion to someone for the first time because they professed faith in Jesus today.

It was a privilege to be a very small part of that.

I pray that continuing to serve will be a big part of my life.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

30 Thankful Days: Day 2

OK, since I spent today doing stuff around the house, today I will be thankful that I have a house.

And I LOVE it! Not the chores, particularly, but the house. :)

I moved into this house 9 days before school started. Anyone who has worked in a school knows how crazy the start of school is. So I did the best I could in 9 days. But now, that I have some time, I am doing the things I didn't get done at first. Over fall break I hung pictures up on the walls, and unpacked the last 10 boxes. I also did some organizing in my office, but there is still a little bit of that to go. Now it is just the things that I look around and think that I'd like to change, or rearrange a little. Nothing earthshaking, but just little things.

Today I was very productive, and got several chores done, so I am happy about having the house.

And also about being done with chores. :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 1

I feel SO together!

TODAY I realized that this is November, and that last year (or the year before, or the year before that...) I did 30 Thankful days with my friend Dawn. And in that moment I decided that I would be thankful again! :) Really I am thankful lots, but you know what I mean.

Today I am thankful for my students. I got several precious first grade hugs yesterday, and it made me realize how much I love what I do. For those of you that don't know me, I am an elementary music teacher. So every day, I have 12 classes of elementary kids, ranging from 1st grade all the way through 6th grade. We sing, we play instruments, we learn about the orchestra. We learn about and listen to the great composers. (I LOVE Beethoven, BTW.)

Those sweet little First Grade hugs as they came to and went from class made me remember how sweet it is to be loved by lots of little people.

Not to mention the enthusiasm they had for singing "Skip to my Lou" and "She'll be Comin' 'Round the Mountain when she comes". TOP of their lungs. AND after we finished, they begged to do it ALL BY THEMSELVES. Who am I to say no? :)

Yesterday I went to the symphony with the whole 5th grade. It was an AWESOME field trip, and I LOVED it. What a great job I have when I get to go on field trips to the symphony!

So that's my first day of thankful.
And here's to 29 more, hopefully all bringing a smile to my face like today's thought of singing first graders did.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Yesterday, I went to the symphony.

With my sister.

My sweet friend Miriam gave me the tickets, and I thought about a lot of people I could ask to go with me. But then I remembered the last time I gave a symphony ticket to my sister, and how much she enjoyed it.

So I asked my sister. And we went.

It was truly a lovely evening. We went out to a leisurely dinner, and then got to the hall about an hour early. So I had a coffee and we sat there and talked.

It has been a LONG time since we sat and had a sisterly talk - It was sweet.

And the music was divine! They played the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 24, and selections from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. The piano soloist for the Mozart was SO much fun to watch. She was incredibly expressive and did the whole thing without music. Then in the Romeo and Juliet, there were several times where there was a pause in the music and I said under my breath, "wow".

That is a perfect expression for last night.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013


It has been a lovely day.

Today was my birthday. All day.

The PTO at school put a happy birthday card in my box, and it had a stupid tiara attached to it, with bright pink lettering that says Happy Birthday. So I wore it. All day.

Besides making my head hurt a little, it meant that EVERYBODY that I saw today wished me a happy birthday.

And I got sung to by several hundred elementary school aged people.

Also, my sister and nephews and adopted sister came by school this morning and presented me with some balloons (that I tied on my classroom door) and a Starbucks, and cards that my nephews wrote to me. What an awesome way to start the day!

AND, every time I went to the office, the office ladies sang happy birthday to me.

Tonight I had rehearsal for the Chorale - the group I sing in. THEY sang to me too, and it probably was the most beautiful happy birthday ever.

So all in all it has been a great day.

Still reveling in the birthday joy,

Saturday, September 14, 2013


This is Callie.

I know it's hard to tell what is cat and what is bed. But she's there.

Right now she's sleeping, making little cat snoring noises. :)

And I do realize she probably looks naked to you. But, Callie's hair is very white, very fine, and very prone to matting up and knotting. So, a couple times a year she gets a "Lion Cut". There is a cute little ball of fur at the end of her tail, and cute tufts of fur around her cheeks. But the bonus to this "haircut" is that now when you pet her she feels like velvet. SO SOFT.

Anyway, I realized this morning that I enjoy having a cat again. It's been several years since I lost Sam and Max, and I didn't realize that I missed having a kitty. Even one who is as vocal as Callie.

Today she came downstairs and starting meowing at me VERY EMPHATICALLY. Since I had just fed her, I finally figured out that she didn't like the open window above her bed. There is a light rain falling and a cold wind, and she didn't like it. Once I come up and closed the window she went right back to bed.

But I was petting her this morning and as she purred at me (sounding like a tractor) I thought about how fulfilling it is to pet a cat. She purred, and I petted away.

It's good to be the (kitty) Queen. :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Oh. My. Word. The heat.

Objectively, the heat hasn't been THAT bad - we've had worse.

But my school doesn't have AC, and the "normal" heat we've had the past 2 weeks has been awful.

I am SO ready for Fall to actually arrive...

Still sweating a little,

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


New house weirdness:

I now have a cat. Used to be Mom and Dad's cat, but now that they are back and forth between here and the mountains, the cat stays with me. She is sweet, but it is weird having a cat, 6 or 7 years after losing Sam and Max.

Things sound weird here. There are weird noises that I'm not used to, like creaking and such. Not to mention sleeping with the window open and the different neighbor noises. Huh.

I keep forgetting to lock the front door. I usually go in and out through the garage, but other people reliably come and go through the front door. And usually I forget to lock it again.

Laundry in the bowels of the earth. I got spoiled having the laundry 2 steps away from my bed. Now I (and my dirty clothes) are on the 2nd floor, and the laundry is in the basement. Huh.

Light switches. Half of the light switches DO NOT OPERATE ANYTHING! It is maddening...

Mail. I have the nicest mailman. He brings my mail to the door, because the post office can't seem to get me keys to the box. Hand delivery of the mail. Awesome.

Randomly driving to the other house, then realizing that I don't live there anymore. Huh.

SO many things to get used to.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Waiting is hard.

Today is Tuesday. On Friday I am supposed to buy a house.

I say "supposed to" because I haven't gotten word from the lender on how much the actual check should be for. This is the last step in this big, bad process of buying a house. Once I go get the check, I think everything will be good. Then I just have to go to the closing and sign my name a bajillion times.

For now, I'm waiting.

Since I sold my condo a couple weeks ago, when people ask where I am living I say "Camping in Mom and Dad's basement". And that is the truth. But really it is not a hardship. There is a kitchen down here, and a full bathroom, and a nice bed. And plenty of room to have some of my stuff. Not all of my stuff, but certainly enough to live for a couple weeks. As well as free laundry, offers of dinner, and a garage door opener. No, I am NOT roughing it.


I am waiting.

I am ready to go to the closing.

I am ready to move in. I am even EXCITED about moving in. I am even excited about the actual MOVING!

I think the waiting is the hard part. Knowing what is coming, but having to wait.


As you MIGHT be able to tell, patience is NOT my strong suit.

So for now I will wait. And pray for patience.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


This is Dolly.

She is my Mom's dog.

Well, I guess technically she is Mom and Dad's dog, but when it really comes down to it, she is Mom's dog.

This week, Dolly was my dog.
Mom and Dad were out of town, so I was housesitting, and dogsitting. Cat sitting too, but the cat didn't do anything except lay in her bed.

I took Dolly out for walks twice a day, and we had fun. Yesterday we saw THREE bunnies on our walk! It was very exciting, and she almost pulled me all the way up the hill because dogs chase bunnies.

But one day, we were walking and there was someone out on the sidewalk with a blower. Dolly did not like the blower. I kept walking, because, well, it is a blower. But Dolly really didn't like it, and stopped. In fact, I think she backed up. And then, she pulled out of her leash. As the leash came zipping back to the leash handle, I realized that it wasn't around Dolly's neck anymore. I turned around, and Dolly was stopped still in the middle of the sidewalk. She didn't know what to do now that the leash wasn't attached to her anymore.

So I reached down and slipped the collar and leash over her head, and we were off as usual.

But as we finished our walk, it occurred to me that Dolly is fine while the leash is on her. But once it comes off, she doesn't know what to do. It is very disconcerting to be out in the wide, wide world with no leash on.

And isn't that what the Bible is for us? It allows us to roam freely and safely within a certain limits, but once the leash comes off, all bets are off and the likelihood that we will be hurt goes up exponentially.

I thought it was interesting that Dolly didn't like being off the leash. And that she KNEW when she was off the leash and it stressed her out. I guess it just goes to show that we all need limits.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Oh wow.

This week has been HUGE.
Every 3 years my church denomination puts on a huge youth conference. It's like summer camp on steroids. And not in the woods.

But is IS pretty stinkin' awesome. I just got back, and this year was no exception.

We were in St. Louis this year, and it was great! There were awesome speakers, a concert by LeCrae, different seminars every day, lots of great time with my youth group kids, and even some great time with other youth group kids.

One thing I really appreciate is that the content that they presented was deep. It was meaty. We sat through sessions twice a day, plus 2 seminars each day, and for everything I went to the content was right on and very full. No fluff here.

There was service - for 3 days, a group of 2000 kids went out into the city of St. Louis and worked. We cleaned out an old cemetery, we painted a ballpark, we carried trash out of several different places, and it was great. I think when kids throw their hearts into serving others, great things happen.

We talked about God's mission, and how God's mission becomes your purpose. When you are called of God, His mission becomes yours. And he calls you to do this in lots of different places. Sometimes He calls people to go overseas, but most of the time He calls you to do His mission right where you are.

We sang to a video about cranking a chainsaw?!?!?!?

We ghosted people. Well, I didn't ghost anyone, but I did get ghosted. :)

We spent time talking about things that are going on in my kids' lives, and how they respond to what God is doing.

We listened to each other talk about what God was telling them, and their response.

There were seminars on lots of different topics: Identity in the post-church generation, spiritual disciplines, missionary panel, Jesus and consumerism, how to choose a college, how to be a Christian artist in a non-Christian world, and so many more.

It was a great week, and I'm grateful to have gotten to go. I'm grateful that there wasn't any major drama. I'm grateful that we all made the 14 hour drive back.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

even bigger

Well I thought things couldn't get bigger and more scarier...(scarier?) but they have.


I bought a house today.

Holy cow - this is HUGE.

Really I'm not sure how to feel. I'm excited, but I'm also scared, and a little overwhelmed, and still waking up in the middle of the night thinking about things I need to do.

Oh. My. Word.

But the bottom line is that it will be a great thing. I'm trusting God. I've prayed this WHOLE time that He would work out all things in this big endeavor. And He is good. All the time. Regardless of what is happening in my housing situation.

And that's exactly what I have right now - a housing "situation".

So, I'm off to pack. I've got to get all my stuff over to Mom and Dad's house, because next weekend I'm moving the furniture into a storage unit for awhile.
Here's to cardboard boxes.

Monday, June 24, 2013


This has been a couple weeks of firsts.

I sold my first house this week. Well, it's technically not sold yet - I signed the contract on Tuesday, but it won't be "officially sold" until mid-July. 

Today I met with a mortgage person (she was incredibly nice and unfailingly patient with my questions) and got pre-approved for a mortgage, so when it is time to buy a new house, I'll be ready.

I changed the bulbs in both my car headlights for the first time.
Let me be more specific - I've "been involved" in changing the bulb in the rear headlight before. I didn't *actually* do it, but my friend did it, and I got my head right down there and watched and asked a bunch of questions. The front ones were the same, but it was harder to get my hand under and around all the engine stuff. But I did it!

I called a plumber to fix a little water leak. OK, it's not the first time for that, but I'm proud of myself nonetheless.

I am getting ready to buy a house by myself (not first house, but first "buying experience"). Tomorrow is the first day that Mom and I will go out looking at actual houses with a Real Estate Agent. "Real Houses" as opposed to pictures on the internet. :)

This has all combined to make me feel pretty stinkin' self-sufficient! BUT, as we learned in last year's VBX, "no matter what, TRUST GOD!"

So I am trusting God to provide the right house, at the right price, and to work out all the little house-buying details that I don't even know about yet.

I'm not going to worry about it. I have a saying on my desk at work:
"Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but doesn't get you anywhere."
So, I will not worry. It's not productive, and besides: God's already got this worked out! (I just don't know how!)
From the old house,

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Today I needed a break. I headed over to and watched an episode of America's Got Talent. It was refreshing, and I even teared up a few times. It was just a "feel-good" moment. Well, more than a moment, but you get the idea.

The reason I needed a break is because I've been glued to the internet and TV news, and facebook, and twitter, and everything else possible to get information.

Because of this.

Last summer, I wrote here about being WAY out of town while parts of my city burned down, and now it's happening again.

They are calling it the Black Forest Fire, and so far it has totally destroyed over 90 homes and is not contained significantly at all. Today the wind shifted and the fire burned back on itself and is now headed in the opposite direction as yesterday, threatening another several thousand acres.

I've been watching the coverage, but this afternoon it got to be a little much.

So I headed over to the ol' interweb to watch the America's Got Talent that wasn't shown last night.

And it was just the break that I needed.

I'm still praying for the firefighters and planes and people helping fight this fire, and praying for the people who are evacuated. There will be lots and lots of damage once it is all over, and every bit of that is a person or family that is affected. But the words of a song by Building 429 keep going through my head:

This world has nothing for me
This life is not my own
I know You go before me and I am not alone
This mountain rises higher
The way seems so unclear
But I know that You go with me so I will never fear
I will trust in You
Whatever will come our way
Through fire or pouring rain
We won't be shaken

God is still God, regardless of what happens this week. And I will continue to trust Him. For what, I don't even know sometimes. But I will lean on Him.

And maybe watch a little less news.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Yesterday I was driving around a neighborhood looking at houses. No, not stalking someone - I am selling my house, and looking to buy a different house, so the looking is OK.

As I was driving, looking at the differences in the houses, and noticing what they look like on the outside, the thought occurred to me: "I bet some of these houses are crazy dirty on the inside, even though they look good on the outside." I could not see any of the inside, of course, but I think it is likely that at least SOME of them had some mess going on inside.

And then it hit me: people are like that too.

We take a shower, do the hair, put on the smelly lotion, put on the mascara, and do our best to look good - to look like we have it all under control on the outside. Even though we may be a mess on the inside.

Lord please let my insides match my outside, and let them both be clean and pleasing to You.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

old fashioned

I would like to take this moment to confess that I am old fashioned.

Now, I am not old fashioned in EVERYTHING...just in a few.

I like technology. I am willing to use technology. For some things, I embrace technology.

But today I sat down and paid bills - the old fashioned way. I took the bill, wrote out the check, marked it off on the sheet where I keep track of bills, put on the stamp, put on the return address label, and made a stack of said bills to drop off at the post office.

Now I realize that there are quicker and more electronically-savvy ways to do this task, but there is just something...tactile about paying bills with my hand and tongue and checkbook rather than with a mouse and keyboard. That way it feels like sending an email. My way I feel like I am *doing* something. Like my hands are actually doing it.

Yes, I pay some bills online. But it feels weird that way, and I much prefer the old-fashioned way.

I'm going to make it a point this summer to see where else I am old-fashioned, because I feel that I have equal parts "old-fashioned" and "forward-thinking".

Friday, May 24, 2013

the end

Today was the end of school.

I always feel kind of weird about this. I'm ready for school to be over, but I love my job and don't want to be away from kids for 10 weeks. I'm ready for a break, but I really like the people I work with and consider them friends - I don't want to be gone for 10 weeks.

And of course it is sad that a whole grade level of kids is moving up to Jr. Hi, and I won't have them again. Ever. I've been their music teacher for the past 6 years of their schooling, and now not. That's really what makes me sad this time of year.

And then there is the thought of being off work for 10 weeks, and there is rejoicing in my heart!

I feel very mixed emotions. I'm excited about being off, but sad about being off at the same time.

And I'm so grateful to love my job, to love my boss, and to work with such great people that I consider friends.

I guess I just don't know *what* to feel at this point.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Tonight, sister came to hear me sing!!!

The group I sing in did the Verdi Requiem tonight with the Philharmonic. It really turned out great - I LOVE singing for their conductor, even though he is demanding. The ending took my breath away. Literally - I was afraid to breathe. Until, he lowered his arms and there was thunderous applause.


But, the best part is that my sister got to be there! A friend of mine had a ticket, and sister was trying to decide when to go, or whether to take boys, or to not take boys. And when I called her offering that ticket, she said "Yes!" What a great way to spend a night together - me on stage and her in the audience.

Family is sweet.

And living close to family is even sweeter.
Thanks for comin', little bis,

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I am home.

And grateful to be so. This is the only night this week that I am home, so I am relishing it. Mostly relaxing, but taking a *small* break to write. :)

3 concerts and 3 rehearsals in 7 days makes for a long "hell week", but it is worth it. The concert we did on Tuesday was fantastic, and I can say that because I had no part in it! Well, I sang, but I didn't do anything else; didn't choose music, didn't play any instruments, didn't have anything to do with the planning or music or execution at all. But it was great. The Air Force Academy band did the concert and my group just sang for a couple songs. The best part is that we got to enjoy about half the concert, when we weren't singing.

This weekend is a concert with the Philharmonic. It is Verdi's requiem and it will be great. Again, I didn't have anything to do with this one either, except contribute some singing. The conductor is tough - we had a rehearsal with him last Saturday, and I had to go home and practice several sections a little more. But it will be a great concert. He loves this music, and definitely communicates it to everyone around. Plus, he is from Spain, so he has a great accent!

The music is exhilarating, but the schedule is exhausting.

Here's to one more week until summer...

Friday, April 26, 2013


Last night it was my privilege to go see a concert.

This was a concert of the local Youth Symphony's little kids. The Youth Symphony is the top performing group in the organization, but there are 7 (?) groups under them. If you start in the youngest group, and practice, you can eventually play in all of them at one time or another, and hopefully end up in the Youth Symphony. It's a great organization.

Anyway, their littlest 3 groups played a concert last night, and I was invited.

So I went.

Truth be told, I felt a little celebrity, because I had TWELVE students performing there and every time one of them saw me I got a frantic hissing of my name and a very enthusiastic wave. It was a good feeling. :)

Also, it was a great feeling to see so many kids (about 100) up on stage performing together and showing off their musical skills. Even though I am a music teacher, and most definitely NOT a string player, it warms my heart anytime I get to have a part in anyone being musical - whether as a teacher, an encourager or as an audience member.

From the first song (a very simple playing of the Ode to Joy theme) to the last (Basses Loaded - 3 Jr. Hi aged girls playing String Bass solos, and one of my students doing a FANTASTIC twelve bar blues solo in the middle), it was a great night. Encouraging, uplifting, cultural and just downright fun.

And a great night was had by all.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

little problems

I have problems.

Not REAL problems, but just my little ones.

My leg is bleeding. Today I was a dork (as usual) and didn't step away from the car far enough to safely slam the door. Thus, it took a chunk out of my leg. So I totally understand that this is not a huge problem. Or even a big problem.

But right now it is a little bit of a painful problem - my leg is throbbing.

But I guess because I did it to myself, I can't complain, now can I?

Me, to myself: Suck it up, Buttercup.

Friday, April 12, 2013


It's been a long week.

I have rehearsal on Wednesday evenings, and this week I was thinking about not going. Not only was it a long week, it was kind-of a tough day on Wednesday, so by the time rehearsal rolled around I was DONE.

But...I got myself together and went anyway.

And I'm SO glad I did.

We are preparing the Verdi Requiem for a concert coming up in May, and it is a bit of work. But I really am enjoying the music.

Anyway, I was feeling pretty beat down on Wednesday, but rehearsal changed all that. By the time I got there and  started singing, my spirit was buoyed pretty quickly. By the end of rehearsal, I felt like a new person. I was refreshed, calmed, and the anxiety of the day was gone. The music was like a salve for my spirit.

What a blessing to be refreshed in that way. What a wonderful way to end a terrible day. What a great thing to do right before bed, rather than reflecting on all the mess that Wednesday was.

I guess what they say is true: Music really does soothe the savage beast.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


Holy. Cow.

If I KNEW how much work it was going to be to get my house ready to sell, well I probably would never have agreed to this madness!!! And, to be clear, the house is not *ready* yet, but it is getting close.

Full storage unit: check.
Absence of pots and pans: check.
Total lack of bookcases and books: check.
Carpets cleaned: check.
Most repairs finished: check.

As I sit here and bask in the clean, organized, almost empty house, I am ready for this to be over. I am ready to go to my bookshelf and read any book I want at any time. I am ready to have a coffee table again. I am ready to have my blender back.

But I'm sure it will be worth it in the end. I just have to keep telling myself that.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

new friend

This is me and my friend, Miriam. We sing together. Miriam is a new friend - we've only  been singing together for about 5 years. Usually I sit next to her, but sometimes the seating chart foils us.

Anyway, I really enjoy Miriam. We get along great, we are both singers, and we have fun together. Tonight we sang the concert that we've been working on: Handel, Mozart, Bach, Ives and Vaughn Williams. It was beautiful. And I have to be honest: I wasn't so sure our interpretation of the music would actually BE beautiful until sometime during last night's rehearsal. But it all came together, and it was gorgeous. Kudos to Dan Brink for playing wonderfully, and to the Springs Camerata for playing the string parts. Gorgeous!

But now this concert is over, and we will go to work on the next one. But fortunately this is not the end - we get to sing together again. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy her and how grateful I am for her friendship.

And I think she's cute.  :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

old friend

I am getting ready for concert.

This Saturday we will sing. And sing, and sing, and sing...

I'm looking forward to it, even though it takes a lot of work to be ready. Last night we sang through the Vespers Solemnes by Mozart. Even though it is a somewhat hard piece, I LOVE to sing it. It is like visiting with an old friend. I sang parts of it a long time ago, and now we get to visit again. We are catching up. :)

The rest of the concert is tough, and nothing I've sung before (the Bach double Motet, a Vaughn-Williams, an Ives and a Handel) but singing this Mozart is a joy. A brief respite in the midst of a steep learning curve. A nap under a warm blanket in the middle of a crazy-busy day.

I am ready - bring on the concert!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


My little people (1st grade, 2nd grade & 3rd grade) are getting ready for a concert. We've been singing their music for about 2 months now, and we are getting pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. Yesterday, one class sang through all their music with no help - no background singers on the CD, no books to look at, no nothing. They did well, so I said they could sing one of their songs that they really like.

I put on the CD and they sang away at the top of their little lungs.

As I was moving around my class, putting a couple things away, getting ready for the next class, I looked over at the back row.

And there was the face of unadulterated joy.

4 little second graders singing away, smiling, enjoying the music and bouncing along to the beat. And I thought: "That's what joy looks like".

I just couldn't help but smile.

Friday, March 8, 2013


Today I got a reward: a hug from an 8th grader.

Since I teach elementary music, I only get to see the musical accomplishments of my little kids. And I DO love my job. But most often I get 1st grade hugs, 3rd grade jokes, 6th grade attitude, and everything else in between.

But today I got a reward. Several Jr. High kids came back to do a presentation for my 6th graders about band and choir in Jr. High: what it will be like, what they have to know or not know, is it possible to do band and a sport, if you have to already know how to play an instrument before starting, etc. Lots of questions, and some performances as a preview.

As they walked into the gym, several of the guys that had gone to my campus and that I had for all 6 years of elementary school, well, they lit up. The exclaimed my name, they smiled, and I got up and gave them a hug.

It was SO rewarding to see them sing, to see them enjoy singing, and to see them grown much more than when I had them. It was good to see them, but it was even more good to see how they've grown.

A much better reward then I ever expected.

Monday, March 4, 2013

the boss

My principal brushed the snow off my car today!

We were walking out to the parking lot, and just chatting about different school stuff. About 3 inches of snow had fallen while we were in school, so we were talking about how slick it is, and "you be careful".

I got in my car, and turned it on. I just sat there for a moment, putting my gloves on and thinking about getting my snow brush out and cleaning off my car.

Then, the snow starts coming off the windshield, and I see my principal brushing off my car. He cleaned off the windshield, the side windows, lifted up the wipers and brushed under those as well.

I just sat there, and said "thank you" about 3 times.


Not only is he a great boss, but a great person as well.
This just confirms how blessed everyone at my school is to work for such a wonderful man. I've always known and said this, mind you, but just want to reiterate it today.

Thank you Don!

Friday, February 15, 2013


This weekend I went on a High School retreat up in the mountains.

No, I am not a High Schooler. :)

But I did hang out with High Schoolers all weekend. And that means I didn't get enough sleep. But now it's a week later and I've mostly recovered.

But the most striking thing about this weekend was something our speaker said. He said that we have to "live weak". He was talking about 1 Corinthians, where Paul talks about his "thorn in the flesh" and when he is weak, then he is strong.

Runks (our speaker) was talking about how we always try to live in our own strength, but really we need to be counter-cultural. We need to live weak.


I never really thought about how often it means to live as a Jesus Follower means to be counter-cultural. And it struck me that unless you aim to be counter-cultural, you really are not any different than everyone else around you.


Fitting in, being like everyone else, going with the flow - these are all things that go AGAINST us being counter-cultural. We need to go against the flow, not with it. We need to live weak. Because only then can God really work through us to accomplish much greater things than we can by ourselves.

Counter-cultural: my new favorite word.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Today in class there were tears.

No, this is NOT the first time that has happened, but fortunately it doesn't happen all that often.

In 4th Grade, we started singing military songs. I have to teach them the songs for all the branches of the military, so I started on that today. One verse into the Marine's Hymn, one of my sweet little 4th grade girls started tearing up. By the end of the song she was full on crying.

So I asked her what was wrong, and if she was OK.

She said that her Grandpa gave this song to her mom, and he had passed away this year.

She was just sad.


Well, I totally was not sure what to say, at that point, because I understand missing a grandparent that has passed away. I've had 5 Grandparents that have passed away, I even wrote about 2 of them here. But I gathered my thoughts, put my arm around her, and gave her what I hope is good advice.

I simply told her that I understood why she is sad, and that is normal. I was there myself. But, we all need to take these times and use them to remember all the great times that we had with our grandparents. We need to look back and be grateful for those great times, and remember what was great about them and what was great about the time we spent together.


She breathed, and and nodded, and pulled herself together. So I gave her another hug, and sent her off to PE. And gave the PE teacher a heads-up that she might be a little emotional.

What a blessing that I get to walk with my kids through these kind of things, and that God gives me the calm thoughts to be able to speak what they need to them.

Oh, and later that day...she brought me a little present. A bookmark that she made in library.
I treasure it.

Friday, February 1, 2013


I watched this video today.

This kid is cool! Kid President, I mean. But he says that "we were made to be awesome".

I just want to say YES! We WERE made to be awesome. God thinks we are awesome! If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. So I just want to say a big YES to being awesome.

You were made to be awesome.

And don't you forget it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

below stairs

Well. Last post I delighted in the little things.

Today I am confessing.

Confessing that my inner anglophile has taken over, and I and fully engrossed in Downton Abbey.

I'm not sure really why this story is so interesting, except that it is just people. Yes, yes they are fictional people. But it seems like they are real. It seems like that's what it really would be like in that part of the world about a hundred years ago.

I think the most fascinating part of this series is below stairs. The way it opens the door on the world of servants and a different class of people than the Lord and Lady of the manor. Tonight I watched this past week's episode, and at one point Mary says that there are a lot of people counting on the family, and they have an obligation to them.

But that's the point. There are SO MANY people that work on this estate. Fascinating, but...necessary? I think not. But what I would do now is very much not the point. Having a view into a hundred years ago is the point. Is this a true perspective? Is this REALLY what it was like?


Do I really care? I think not. I accept the entertainment, and agree not to think too much about how I would change things. So I will continue to "do" their upper crust English accents, and pretend that I live above stairs. But want to see what happens below stairs.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Today I am delighting in the little things.

Today we have a jean day at work. I know, it really is a little thing, but wearing jeans and tennis shoes really does make my heart a little happier.

Today I wrote a bunch of thank-you cards to my students. I received a TON of christmas presents, and I practiced gratitude for each and every one of them. Today I delivered the last of the thank-you cards. I'm grateful for the presents, but also grateful that the writing is over. :)

The PTO bought us  Keurig coffee system for school, so today I walked up to the workroom and made a delicious cup of coffee.

I have been doing Weight Watchers for the past couple months, and have had some difficulties in knowing where to eat out. Today was another small victory on that front: I had breakfast at Chick-Fil-A. Not only am I grateful for Chick-Fil-A, but that I figured out how to have breakfast there and not ruin my points for the rest of the day. I'm pretty proud of myself for that one.

Yesterday I had a laugh with a co-worker about something cute my nephew said at work. I'm grateful that I get to see him every day, and that my friends and co-workers get to enjoy him too.

Last night, my Mom called and asked if I wanted to meet up for dinner tonight. I'm grateful for a great relationship with my parents.

There really is SO much to be thankful for, both big and small.
Thankfully yours,