Friday, November 19, 2010

Extra Especially Blessed Brag Blog

We had a marathon day in Fresno yesterday. 15 hrs. Grande. I woke this morning with a spring in my step because the adrenalin from a God crafted blessing is still running in my veins. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for coming to see the show!

All semester, starting in August, the kids have been involved in some really cool stuff. Last night, at their semester concert, we got to see many pieces come together. Not everything, but some of it. What’s hardest to record are the relationships being forged. When I think of the people we have met and are getting to know better, the word “abundance” comes to mind. I rejoice seeing glimpses of Heaven.

Eventually, we’ll have our own DVD of the evening. I’d love to try to post snippets if I can figure it out. Stuff will likely end up on YouTube, at least from the high school crowd. For now, you can see the works in progress and the reasons why we feel extra especially blessed.

A bit from Zach’s Youth Choir at People’s School for Creative Arts

This is a bit from a Interpretive Speech the boys are working on together. It falls into the “duo” category and we’re learning how to do this together. They will take it into competition with next year. It’s already been changed a million times since this movie was made.... and we’re still not finished with the whole story. Why are we doing this? I don’t know.... but it’s FUN! Oh, and this had nothing to do with last night’s festivities but we did have speech practice before the concert!

I didn’t want to inundate you with choir stuff, but here’s a sample of what Jillian’s learning and getting to share with her class.

Evan’s Concert Choir practices are only once a week for 2 hrs. It blows my mind that our kids can compete with local high schools, but there you go. This Choral Festival was a month ago. They sounded even better last night.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thanksgiving, Christmas and Free

It’s beginning to FEEL a lot like Christmas....

Okay, it’s not Christmas yet. Thanksgiving might even be your favorite holiday. For me, it’s all about the turkey. And the mashed potatoes. And the green bean casserole. And the pumpkin pie. And the people.... oh..... I love that part.

Hospitality is not my gift, but I manage to get everything out more or less warmish and it’s usually on a half decently decorated table. Jillian always helps. She likes making place cards.... at the last minute.....with whatever paper and pens we have on hand.

Hey! By the way, I need cloth napkins. I can’t believe how long I haven’t had them. You know what, I need to read chapter 7 of Happiness Project because it has something to do with buying happiness. I know, I know. Money can’t buy happiness. I agree! But I can’t help wondering what Gretchen Rubin will say about purchasing?!?!?! Nevertheless, you can’t deny the fact that money can buy me cloth napkins!

Last year I went looking. Cloth napkins just seem ridiculously expensive. THIS year I already went looking. Know what? Cloth napkins are still ridiculously expensive. I should learn to sew. But last year at this time I stopped should-ing myself; I am letting cloth napkins go. Dear Jesus, Can you please help me find cloth napkins at a good price this year, in a set of 12, neither too fancy nor too plain and definitely not white or help me just be content with paper napkins on Thanksgiving? Amen.

It’s beginning to FEEL a lot like Christmas....

I know, for so many it is the busiest and craziest time of year. For me, however, Christmas gets simple. I carve out time in my day to listen to music. I carve out time to bake cookies. Last year, I forgot to carve out time to wrap gifts and ended up at the post office way too close to deadlines.... but it all worked out. It’s beginning to FEEL a lot like Christmas because I am already looking forward to the CHANGE.

Funny I should say that as I recently had an epiphany.

In the last 6 years or so, I have had way more change to adapt to than I ever in a million years wanted. Finally, as we adjust to a new community of people in Fresno (we haven’t moved there... we just go there a lot) I have realized that I am really tired. On the weekends when we are home, I sleep. I sleep a lot. One night last week, Jillian gave me a 3 minute backrub (it was 3 minutes because it was all I could afford....she charges me...and I am saving for cloth napkins)... after my backrub, I fell asleep. Where I was. In the middle of the hustle and bustle of our house. Long before anyone went to bed. I was done. I am done.... with change and the stress even good change causes. I’m done, while being very thankful for the change that has taken place.... in me.

If nothing else, I can sleep with a clean conscience because I am too tired to let the failures of a day reign over me. A clean conscience because I am too tired to try to control the universe. A clean conscience because what doesn’t get done today will get done tomorrow.... or never. I’m thankful Christmas is coming. I am thankful Christmas came. Because of Christmas, I am free....

cloth napkins or paper
wrapped gifts or unwrapped
warmish food or hot out of the oven
dog tired or wide awake

Evan: I like it when you are like this Momma.

Me: What do you mean?

Evan: I like it when you are silly.

Now, if that ain’t happiness wrapped up in a bow, for a stressed-out, overly-tired mom, I don’t what is.

Despite the breathe of fresh air my son’s comment brings my weary soul, I’m still dog-tired and tonight is Friday. We’re watching Once Upon a Mattress and I’ll sing along with the silly lyrics that I know... what are you doing tonight?

Whatever it is, I hope you do it, free.