Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Sweet harmony

We were without internet service from 3:30 yesterday afternoon till 9 or so this morning. Our provider had some big service outage that covered a large area. Even once the problem was corrected, I wasn't able to connect because I had to reset my router. I've done that twice today, the first with assistance from tech support at Linksys, the second by myself. It isn't difficult, but it is annoying. Of course, if my sister were around, she could have done it all.

Speaking of my big sis, I got a very sweet email from her today. She heard a song this weekend for the first time and wished I was there to sing with her. She recorded it as a ladies' a cappella trio, with her voice on all 3 parts and sent me an mp3 of it. Wish I had space to share it with you, but it was 3MB. I've already saved it in my ITunes.

Which leads me to the title of tonight's entry. I love to sing harmony; there's something about it that takes a simple melody and enriches it, gives it that something that makes you want to hear it again and again. Harmony in our relationships is the same way. As a mom of 4, I experience more discord than I'd like to admit. But occasionally, there are moments of sweet harmony that leave me craving more. I realize the jumbled notes of discord are sometimes just a normal step towards achieving a harmonious blend. I pray I can have the fortitude and patience to focus less on the "sour notes" of our lives and celebrate the moments of harmony.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Catching my breath

Well, this has been a whirlwind weekend. Hard to believe it's almost over. The family carnival was a blast. The kids had a really fun time; it was especially fun to watch all the smiling faces at the dunk tank. Even the "dunkees" were smiling! What great sports.

This morning at church was very uplifting. It was my first time "on" with the praise team and I enjoyed it a lot. Rick does a super job of choosing songs ... this is no last-minute, throw-some-songs-together kind of thing. I believe he truly lets the Spirit lead him in planning our Sunday music service. I heard several people commenting afterward about what a great service it was.

I enjoyed listening to our visiting youth minister applicant talk about his experiences in China for the last couple of years. His life experience will certainly help him wherever he winds up working.

Our first potluck with our new church family was fun, too. I don't think anyone went away hungry and we were able to meet more new (to us) people. We've been invited to visit with 3 different Family Circles (small groups). You can't feel much more welcome...

My husband is finally starting to blog again. Last night, he posted for the first time since March! Poor guy, he didn't even remember his login, but I was able to figure it out for him. I hope he can keep it up. I think he does a good job. (And I think it's cheaper than a therapist.... *snort*)

Wishing we had cable now so I could keep track of Katrina. Sure hope it isn't as bad as some are/were thinking. And praying that hurricanes don't spoil our upcoming cruise. I don't worry about our safety, but would hate to miss out if things get as bad as last year.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

A full weekend

We're looking at a weekend full of things to do (not even counting any housework; my floors will have to wait another day or 2 to get mopped).

We started out last night at church with a cookie/punch gathering to meet the newest applicant for the youth minister position. It was really nice to get to chat with people whom we really hadn't had much time to meet on Sundays or Wednesday nights. As usual, we were nearly the last to leave. We made it home around 10:15.

Today, Brian and Noah are off to Vacaville to CompUSA. Brian's PocketPC is on its last leg, so he is looking for a new one. After they get back, we'll all be heading to Kohl's to do a little shopping. Emily has a too-small shirt to return, and I want to find some nice shirts and pants for the boys to wear on formal night on the cruise. I'd like to get them each a tie, as well. (There is no way I'm buying them suits for them to outgrow after wearing once.)

Also on the agenda for today is the Family Carnival at church. It runs from 6-8 (that means we'll be gone from at least 5-9). Some time before or after that, I need to make dinner rolls (from scratch) for the potluck meal we're having after services tomorrow. I also have to make a dessert... I may wait and do it Sunday morning.

So tomorrow we'll be out of house from shortly after 8 till some time in the afternoon. This is our first potluck with this congregation, so I don't know how long they usually last. It's a weekend of running around... over the bridge and back 3 times in 3 days, 3 tolls to pay (gotta remember to have cash on hand for that!).

At least it's the good kind of busy, though.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Sing, sing a song...

I'm sitting here in our computer nook outside Halle's room, listening to her singing in her bed. She has a worship songbook from our old church (shhhh... don't tell, Jim!) and is thumbing through, singing some of her favorites. Earlier it was "Blue Skies and Rainbows," and she just finished up "Shine, Jesus, Shine." I went in a little while ago and sang a couple with her and asked her if she'd promise to always sing with me. She said, "Sure, Mommy." Her older sister won't sing with me anymore. And despite being told I have a good singing voice, she doesn't want to hear me sing, either. If it were up to her, I wouldn't be allowed to sing in my own car. I don't think she knows how disappointed that makes me feel. I'm not sure she cares. We are so very different. When I was 13, I sang with my mom all the time. But my daughter is not me... I was the baby of my family; she is the oldest. I was the only child left at home by the time I was 13. She has 3 younger siblings. I'm sure that has something to do with it. But it doesn't change how it feels. However.... she'll just have to get used to my singing. When she's the one paying the car payment, she can decide who can and can't sing in the car.

Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.

Sing, sing a song
Let the world sing along
Sing of love there could be
Sing for you and for me.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Wicked-ly fun

(You knew I had to make a bad pun, didn't you?)

Where do I start? The show was fabulous. Everything from scenery, to costuming, to choreography was absolutely awesome. I rarely took my eyes from the stage, for fear of missing something. The performers from last night's show did an astounding job... and we had a few understudies in the limelight last night, including the major role of Galinda (no, that's not a typo) and the very visible Boq. We were fortunate to be seated rather close to the stage, just 7 rows back, so we were treated to a great view of the action, including the actors' faces, where we could see even the small nuances of character they brought to their roles. I loved the fact that even those people in seemingly "small" roles brought everything they had to the show. Without that, it could have been any small-town community theater production.

First, a little about the cast: This particular cast had a couple of members who have already tasted fame in other entertainment arenas. Carol Kane lent her talents to the role of Madame Morrible, while David Garrison was a treat to see as The Wizard. Ms. Kane might be more familiar to some as the ex-European beauty queen nanny from the recent movie The Pacifier, or Miracle Max's wife, Valerie, in The Princess Bride. David Garrison is most recognized by those of us who don't follow Broadway closely as "Steve" from Married with Children. Of these 2, I enjoyed Garrison's role the most. He had a couple of very good numbers in which he got to show off a little footwork. Wonderful was delicious to watch, as he and Eden Espinosa (as Elphaba) played off of each other and shared a dance together. I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Espinosa as Elphaba (for those who don't know, she is the green one... the one who becomes the Wicked Witch of the West). She is very familiar with this role, as she was Idina Menzel's understudy on Broadway. Loved her facial expressions; they added a great dimension to her character. Whether showing despair, pure animosity, or indecision and confusion, her characterization of Elphaba was nothing short of awesome. Katie Adams (sorry, no link) was so fun to watch as Galinda/Glinda. Think of a cross between Victoria Jackson from Saturday Night Live and Veruca Salt, and you have the character of Galinda: someone who's used to getting everything she wants, but who seems to have a lot of empty space between her ears.

OK, so I've touched on the actors. Let me just say this about the play itself. For those who've never seen the play but have read the book: forget the book. If you "loved" the book, you may not like the musical. The book is much darker. Winnie Holzman took great liberties with it (for which I am most thankful) and made it into something much more enjoyable to watch than if it had been steadfast to the novel. This is one instance where the original is not better than the adaptation. The only advantage I see to reading the book is that it has more time to devote to details. (Details which get twisted and rewritten for the stage.)

This is getting too long, so in the interest of brevity, I'll just list my favorite scenes/songs:

  • What is This Feeling?: This is an absolutely fun song. Ever met someone you loved to hate? The perfect song to sing.
  • Defying Gravity: A pivotal moment in the show... and stunning to watch.
  • Wonderful: How did the Wizard become "wonderful?" This was the fun dance number with David Garrison and Eden Espinosa.
  • For Good: You know how some people you meet leave an indelible mark on your life? This is the show's tear-jerker number. I had a few people on my mind as I listened to this one (y'all back in Omaha know who you are).

Bottom line: I don't see how anyone could not enjoy this musical. You'd have to be a real tin woodsman to not be touched or affected by the themes, or just a plain ol' sourpuss to not enjoy the music.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Cute song of the day

Ran across a link to an extremely well-done amateur video at Mommy Brain's today and I cannot stop singing it. I don't even drink latte's!! But I may have to start....

It's an appropriate link for the day, considering we are heading out to see the show that the singer, Kristen Chenoweth, got rave reviews in.

My review tomorrow...

Blogging before bed

Today was our first day of school here. The kids did very well... got up earlier than usual with little fuss, ate breakfast, and then headed to the table to start work. There were times it was a little chaotic, with 2 or 3 kids asking me questions at the same time (all on different subjects). But everyone was finished up by noon or so. It won't always be so easy, but it was nice having our first day go well.

Tomorrow night we hit San Francisco to see Wicked. It comes highly recommended by Jim and his family, who saw it in Chicago earlier this summer. We'll be doing dinner beforehand, but nothing too fancy; there's a Buca di Beppo less than a mile from the theatre, so we think we'll give it a shot, since we never managed to try it when we lived in Omaha.

We're just 3 weeks away from our vacation. I keep thinking of things we need to do to get ready. It is coming up so fast! Joel is very excited about getting to be at Disney World for his birthday, and I'm looking forward to some relaxation aboard the cruise ship afterwards.

I noticed that a few blogspot friends have been hit with comment spam, and found out today at Jenni's that Blogger now has word verification on comments. I went ahead and added that to my comments before the spammers hit. Always better to be proactive, I say. (Not that I always practice it.)

There ya go... another blog entry of randomness. One of these days, I'll have a real point to make.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Why in the world?

Just read that Garth Brooks signed an exclusive deal with Wal-Mart, making their stores, Sam's Club, and their online outlets the only places his music will be commercially available. I am still scratching my head over that one. It certainly can't mean more money for him than having his stuff available anywhere and everywhere, can it??? So why? Does this lend credibility to the stereotype of Wal-Mart shoppers as country-music-lovin' rednecks? (I'm not saying I buy into the stereotype, just acknowledging it exists.) And don't think I'm calling you a redneck if you like country music. I listen to it every now and then, too (mostly older stuff, though).

Just wondering why, is all....

Saturday stuff

Not a lot going on here this weekend. For once, I am mostly caught up on the laundry, so I won't be spending the day working on it. I've been to the gym and back this morning; cross that off the list.

We spent last night watching movies... Tarzan II and Guess Who. The latter was pretty cute. Predictable, but fun.

Philip asked how Emily liked the 7 Habits workshop. Remember, she's 13. Getting information out of her is like pulling hen's teeth. I think she had fun with it... after all, it was something to get her out of the house and away from her siblings, which for her is always a good thing. She said it was "OK," which can mean anything from "It sucked, but I'm not saying that," to "I got a lot out of it (but I wouldn't admit it to save my life)." She did say the best part of the day was the pizza for lunch. Where's an eye-rolling emoticon when you need one?

The kids start school full-swing on Monday. That means my weekday blogging will most likely occur either early in the a.m. before they get up, or in the evenings when they are in bed or otherwise occupied.

How's that for a post full of nuthin'?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Just another day

I got home a little while ago from grocery shopping.... with the 3 youngest kids in tow. I much prefer shopping alone. But Emily is attending a 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens workshop today, so I had no other choice but to take them with me. $200 later, I have a pantry and fridge full of food that will hopefully last us the next week to week-and-a-half.

I'm looking forward to seeing what Emily thought of the workshop (she didn't really want to go, but her dad and I thought it was a good idea). She has read the book, didn't say much about it... but I am hoping perhaps a guided discussion with other teens will give her a little more enthusiasm about applying some of the principles to her life. I suppose it would be a good idea for me to read the original (adult) version myself and make some changes as well.

I'll leave you with a link I came across at Silver Linings a couple of days ago. It's hard to take your eyes from the screen once you start watching. Basically, it's a flash animation called Ragdoll, and it consists of a woman falling.... endlessly. (OK, not endlessly, as she sometimes gets stuck on some obstacles, but you can easily unstick her and send her on her merry way again.) My boys love playing with this... I hope it doesn't mean they need therapy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

19 years

Today is our 19th wedding anniversary. I look back and think how young we were, and how old we thought we were. In all our dreams, I don't think we ever imagined ourselves living the life we have now. We never pictured ourselves as the mobile type, yet here we are in another new state (hopefully the last move before Air Force retirement)... trying to make new friends and find our niche in yet another new church family. We've survived deaths in our families (my grandmother, father, and brother; his grandmother) and experienced several births (our 4 children, 4 nieces/nephews, and 6 great-nieces/nephews). We've said "Hello" and "Goodbye" more times than we care to remember. But one thing has remained constant, and that is us.

Thank you Brian, for 19 years of love. It has been my rock in this world, my anchor when everything else around me is unfamiliar and changing. Here's to another 19 and more.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Cool days and disjointed rambling

I'm talking temperature.... the high here was 66!! I had to put a jacket on to watch the kids ride bikes this afternoon. And this is August???

Went to Curves this morning because I missed 2 of my usual days this week. Did some extra time on the circuit to make up for it. My legs were feeling it, I guess because of all the walking at Six Flags yesterday.

I got a little work done to prepare for the start of our school year. I have Emily's first 2 weeks planned out. Maybe tomorrow afternoon/evening I will get more done. I have to make time to get everything entered into my tracking software.

Campbell is happy to have hubby home. He got to go on a nice walk after dinner. I call it their male bonding time.

Kids are bathed and having their bedtime snacks. Emily is creating bugly (translation: butt ugly) people on Sims 2 and mating them to create even buglier offspring. Ah well, it's cheap entertainment.

Oh, and I just learned a new term this weekend: Googlewhack. A googlewhack is what happens when you type two unrelated words into the Google search engine and you get only one hit. I think searching for googlewhacks could be addicting and am afraid to try it. I can see it now: "Hello, my name is Karen...." Wouldn't mind heading to the Napa Valley Opera House next week to see Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure, though. (That last link is a video clip of his show.)

Friday, August 12, 2005

I'm spoiled

Today we finally made that long-awaited visit to Six Flags. I was thoroughly unimpressed. I guess I've just been to Disney World too many times to enjoy any other theme park. I'm not a thrill ride person; this park has 6 rollercoasters. Aside from there being few ride attractions I was interested in, the overall cleanliness of the park left much to be desired. The bathrooms were not in good repair. How can a park that has a limited season not keep its facilities in repair? The last thing that was definitely not up to par was the dining.... there was a distinct lack of places to sit and eat. One indoor buffet had a smell in it that my husband and daughter couldn't stand, so we didn't eat there. We were going to try one of the food court areas, but when we finally located a free table, there were bad smells coming from somewhere (we couldn't figure out where). I couldn't help but think of our upcoming trip to Disney World and how much better things will be there. I'm all about the shows and theming. I don't need to get "thrilled" on rides.

In other news

Summer and Brooke (Emily's new rats) have slight respiratory tract infections. The vet is keeping them a week and giving them antibiotics. We miss the little critters and can't wait to get them back. Emily has disinfected their cage and exercise balls so as not to reinfect them when they come home.

In 11 days, we will be sitting in center orchestra seats, 7 rows back, at the Orpheum to see Wicked. I am stoked. I envy the people who win the $25 lottery for front-row seats. I can't imagine having the time to try for one of those.

Time to go kick back for the night.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

New additions to the family

Don't ask me why, but less than one month away from having enough $$ saved to buy that IPod Mini she's been wanting, Emily decided she wanted pet rats. So this morning I was off to Petco for a book, which she read cover-to-cover. Then back to Petco, where she purchased a nice large 3-level cage, food, bedding, toys, and of course, the rats. She chose 2 females: one is all white and the other is black and white. They are named Brooke and Summer, respectively (I wanted to name them Paris and Nicky). Campbell is understandably intrigued. He is remarkably well-behaved with them while they are in their exercise balls. But I wouldn't trust him near them otherwise. After all, he was bred to ferret out rodents such as these. Remember the mouse incidents of this past winter? They are cute little things. It will be neat if she is able to teach them some tricks. The small animal person at Petco told us about one of her rats who likes to go for rides in the car and will ride on her shoulder. It has figured out that the blinking light on the dashboard means the wheel is going to turn and will run down her arm and wrap its tail around the steering wheel so it can have a ride around the wheel. I think that's hysterical! (Don't count on hearing any stories like that about Emily's little girls, though.)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

How long does it take?

Everyone says it usually takes a year before you feel settled in and a "part" of a new church. Up until a couple of years ago, I pretty much agreed with that. In fact, there were times it took much longer, or never really happened. But 2 1 /2 years ago (almost to the day!), God (in the guise of the Air Force) saw fit to plop us down in the suburbs of Omaha, Nebraska. It took us less than a month of Sundays to find the place he wanted us and in less than 6 months, felt almost as if we'd always been there. I suppose a lot of it was that there were so many ways for us to be used. We were almost immediately drawn in to the LTC ministry, and my husband taught 5th grade Bible classes. We became good friends with the new preacher and his wife. I was drawn in to a small group of women that first summer, studying The Purpose-Driven Life. That group continued for the rest of my time there, studying other topics and meeting together weekly for encouragement and prayer. I gained a best friend through that group who saw me through some deep heartaches and shared some great moments. I've posted before how hard it was to leave our church family in Omaha behind.

Fast forward to California. We've been here a little over 2 months. The church climate here in our neck of the woods... well... is lacking a little. We're driving 35-40 minutes on Sundays and an hour or more on Wednesday nights (and paying a $3 toll to come home) in order to be with a group of people who don't limit worship to "5 acts" done in a rigidly prescribed manner. My husband and I grew up in that climate and don't ever wanna go back, nor do we want our kids to have to be subjected to it. So we are glad God led us to make that drive to Eastside. We almost discounted it because of the drive. And as far as we know, no one else drives from our neck of the woods. So therein lies our challenge: how do we build community when we don't live in the community?? (Jarrod's little talk about community during communion on Sunday had me in tears...) Emily seems to be finding her fit within the youth group. I seem to have found one niche within the praise team (Rick, I've been listening to the CDs tonight). I do worry about how I will form friendships with other women since they all live 40-50 minutes away, but I guess I am going to have to trust God on that one. Same goes for my husband.

So how long will it take? As long as it is supposed to, I guess.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

4 days down, 5 to go

OK, so I'm not as desperate as the post title makes me sound, but believe me... there's just not a whole lot for me and the kids to do with hubby gone. The kids have played with their friends in the neighborhood, and I have just done stuff around the house and on the computer.

Today I rented some movies from Blockbuster. The kids just finished watching Funky Monkey, a funny little flick with Matthew Modine and Roma Downey. It won't win any awards, but the slapstick humor in it was perfect for the kids. It was a pretty clean flick; not sure why it earned a PG rating, unless for the fairly tame fight scenes.

Now it is bathtime and then hopefully bedtime for the younger set.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

How do they do this?

I find it amazing that in less than 5 questions, something or someone can peg me. Found this quiz at Sharon's (Spelling errors were corrected.):

How You Live Your Life

You seem to be straightforward, but you keep a lot inside.

You tend to avoid confrontation and stay away from sticky situations.

You tend to have one best friend you hang with, as opposed to many aquaintances.

You tend to dream big, but you worry that your dreams aren't attainable.

Lots of "creamed corn" around here lately, as some blogging friends would say. We're getting ready to send hubby off to Washington, DC, for the AANA conference. We'll have 9 days of just me and the kids (Clarissa, is that right? Or should it be the kids and I?).

Tonight Emily is having me highlight her hair. (Hopefully she won't hate me when it's over.) I'm no professional. These are the times I really wish my sister lived next door. It's harder to hate your aunt than your mom.

Related Posts with Thumbnails