Monday, August 18, 2014

First Day of School

I am standing out by the mail box about five feet from the road. My bare feet in the cool wet grass are antithetical to the sweat that I can feel beading up on the back of my neck. The sun shines down and I am glad I am wearing my hat on this warm August morning. My eleven year old brother and I are waiting for the bus. This is his first day in middle school. I watch him wandering about the grass, stooping down and watching little creatures in the dirt. His backpack looks like a turtle shell; he is entirely too close to the road. "Come here, don't be so close to the road." I tell him. I put my arm on his back.

Waiting for the bus!


Mom has already left to take the twins to their Headstart school. When I woke up this morning it was because Mom came in calling for reinforcements. There was a missing shoe crisis. The two year old has this thing about shoes. He takes any shoes and all shoes and puts them on his feet, "Dese mine." He will say. And they get lost. So we three, Mom, Savannah and I, looked frantically all through the house for the missing shoe. One boy kept saying his tummy hurt and he was hungry, "You're going to eat at school" we told him, then the moanings increased when he saw his older brother eating a bowl of cerial. (He doesn't eat breakfast at his middle school) The two youngest kept declaring that they wanted to go to school, or asked for food, or asked to be held. We never found the shoe but got a new pair instead. "I want socks!" whined the shoeless boy when he saw his sandals. Finally though they were ready to leave. A hug and kiss for each and they were headed out the door.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

We're Adopting!

Today was the beginning of a totally new part of our lives. We're adopting four little boys! I know I haven't said anything on my Facebook account, or in person, or on the phone, but yes it's happening. Three months ago we started the adoption process - home study, meetings, Mom and Dad had to go through adoption classes, phone calls, paper work. Before we knew it, all the preparations were made and we just sat back and waited. Before we knew it, we were matched with these boys.

        Today the paperwork was signed and we were matched to the boys officially and today we met them for the first time. They came straight from daycare to our house. I was so worried before this that they wouldn't like us. I was afraid they wouldn't like me because I was so much older than them. They pulled in a mini van with the case workers and Mom, Dad, and Savannah went out to meet them. I realized Jubal wasn't with them so I looked and found him with his face buried in his pillow and his eyes squeezed tight. He has been so wild with excitement today about meeting his new brothers, he has been singing songs lately about getting more brothers. "Today my new brothers come!" he says. Well, now of course he was shy. I took him out to the back yard where everyone was. He clung to me and kept his face mashed against my shoulder with his eyes closed. It wasn't long though till he got brave and started to play with the boys.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Musical Monday: Chopin Nocturne No. 21 in C# Minor

So for this week's Musical Monday I'd like to go back into June. Starting on Monday the twenty-third and lasting until Friday I went to Piano Week at the University of West Florida. It is a piano camp they have during the summer. Throughout the week we had different classes and Friday night we had a recital playing what we had learned that week.

This is Nocturne No. 21 in C# Minor by Chopin. I don't want to be one of those people who is always dissing their own work, but I feel compelled to mention that I played it a bit too fast I think. Also the dynamics could have been better but I am pleased with it. There actually is this one part that I am really glad I got through it without a complete wreck. I was in danger of that the day before. Chopin never actually published this nocturne himself as it was published posthumously. (I wanted to post videos of some of the others playing but this one gave me so much trouble I don't think I will try.)


Here is our schedule for the week:

10:00 Musicianship
11:00 Collaborative Piano
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Theory
2:00-4:00 Practice time and individual lessons
5:00-6:00 Piano Painting

Miya and me! We have the same teacher so I am sure I'll be seeing more of her around.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wallpapering at Grandma's

     Sunday was a very good day for me. I was pleased to be singing with the rest of the congregation as I wasn't playing piano that day. I discovered again that it really is an entirely different experience to sing amongst the body of Christ rather than leading it. I felt very cozy.

       At home, Jubal was supposed to take a nap but I could tell he just wasn't going to be able to settle. I told him he could have quiet time in his room instead. Savannah and I watched two of the newest episodes of Doctor Who available on Netflix. I really love that show. I practiced piano some, Savannah drew some, and we cleaned the kitchen some. Later in the afternoon I decided I needed to clean my room. So, what I am saying is, it was just the usual Sunday afternoon. I really relish my guilt free, comforting day of rest every week. And that my friend, is why I dreaded leaving it.

       Dad and I were headed over to Grandma's as soon as Jubal was in bed. I already had packed my overnight bag as I cleaned my room. When the time came I said goodbye to Jubal. At the time Savannah was getting him dressed for bed. I leaned over my naked little brother and gave him a kiss on the forehead. "Goodnight Jubal, bye-bye!" Jubal, couldn't reply because he was so hyper about who knows what and he only laughed. I said bye to Savannah and Mom and then Dad and I made the drive to Gulf Shores.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Musical Monday; Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire

Because yesterday was Pentecost here is a video of my favorite Pentecost hymn. It too, like many of the hymns I play, has origins that date way back. The hymnal says this was based on the song Veni, Creator Spritus, meaning "Come Creator Spirit". It is believed to be written by a man named Rhabanus Maurus in the 9th century.



Lyrics
Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
And lighten with celestial fire;
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
Who dost Thy sev'nfold gifts impart.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Musical Monday, Gymnopedie

This week's feature, Gymnopedie No. 1  by Eric Satie, is a song that is very hard to conquer. I have only played this song beautifully, the way it was intended, once. It is not a complicated song by any means and not difficult to play, but it is very difficult to feel. There are many recordings of this online and I guess I'll add mine to the hodge podge now. It's not the best, but hey, you asked for my music.


Below, is a blog post that I wrote about this song but never published for some reason.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Musical Monday

I have been getting many requests to post some of my piano playing online, I have also had some people comment that I have not been keeping up with my blog lately. Well here I give you a solution to both of those at once. I'd like to introduce to you Musical Monday. I plan on posting a video of me playing the piano every Monday, or as many as I can, along with a quick look into our everyday life. I confess it often seems its the everyday life that overwhelms me far more than any of that craziness ever did.

Now, take note that when I recorded the following video I was experimenting with different interpretations of this song. The one shown here is not my favorite but alas, it is the only one I have. So, if it seems a bit wonky to you, please bear with me.

 
Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands  - This is an ancient Easter hymn with it origins dating back into the early 11th century. The tune has evolved over the years. I was driving to piano lessons one day and I heard this song on the radio. The melody was much different but the essentials were the same, the words too were slightly different. It was interesting to hear the differences and similarities between the two versions. I of course am playing the modern version of it. Below are the words.