Monday, October 6, 2008

Emily


You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

You make me happy when skies are grey

You'll never know, dear, how I love you

So please don't take my sunshine away

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Walks & Soccer

Yesterday was a nice relaxing day for me. Last year, I discovered that without a day off of work and school, I go pretty much crazy. So, this year, I've asked for Saturdays off. I don't always get it, but most weeks I do...and it's wonderful.

Early in the afternoon, I went on a walk with my good friend, Lydia. We met for lunch and then we walked for about an hour. It was a nice pleasant day for it, because it was sunny, but not too warm. Lydia was on the Mercy Ships for a year, and it's been fun catching up with her on all of her adventures.

The next thing on the day of relaxing was Jimmy's soccer game. He is the youngest team member, and having never played soccer before, he started out at the bottom of the totem pole. but, over the semester, he has been working up more and more playing time. This game, the Knights (Crossroad's team) won. I can't remember the score. :D

I got Jimmy home in time to grab a quick shower and then we headed out of town towards Stewartville to go to a classmate's bonfire. That was also a lot of fun, but since Emily has the pictures of that, I'm going to wait to tell you about it.

Bench warmers - Ben and Jimmy



Getting a cool drink on a warm day.



Praying with the opposing team after the game.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Presidential Inauguration

Tonight was the inauguration of Crossroads College's (formerly Minnesota Bible College) 12 president, Michael Kilgallin. This man is an amazing man. He has traveled with Adoration, he is in my parents' small group, and he goes to my church, and I've come to really respect him and love his leadership. He and his wife, Debbie, both care about the students as individuals and always make sure to say hi to each of us students and ask us how we're doing. He has my total support as president.
At the inauguration, I ran into Billy Wallace! Well, not literally, but it was a surprise. It was fun to see him, even though we only got to talk for about 5 minutes.
Adoration sang two songs at the inauguration. It went well except for the 3rd note in the second song we sang...that one was a little flat... =D
After the inauguration, Adoration, along with our director, and his wife and eldest son, went to Applebees for half-off appetizers after 9pm. We had fun telling stories, and sharing inside jokes.
The following picture is of Emily, Liz, and I at the inauguration. Thanks to "Bar" for taking the picture, and to Liz for letting me "borrow" it from Facebook. These two girls are the greatest. They are my adventure buddies.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Singing in Cleveland


Today was Adoration's first time out singing this school year. We went to Cleveland, MN to sing at the Church of Christ there.
Emily picked me up at 6:10 this morning and drove to the school. Because I am the Music Directors assistant, I had to make sure that we had the keys to the van and its trailer and I also had to unlock the closet where we keep our sound equipment. I know, tough responsibilities. =D

The van pulled out from Crossroads at about 6:30. Traveling with us 11 Adoration members was our director, Brian Dunbar, his 15 year old son (whom we convinced to come, since he's fun), and Crossroads' president, Mike Kilgallin.

During the 2 hour drive, we sang songs, told stories, and talked about the order of the service and who was giving testimonies. They asked me to talk a little bit about the PSEO program and about Crossroads as a whole. So, I did, and I think that I only said "um" 5 times in my talk.

President Kilgallin preached an excellent sermon on being a champion from Galations 6:7-10. His points (just to prove that I was listening) were 1} We can't deceive God; b} We should reap what we want to sow; and III] We should not lose heart in doing good. My favorite quote through the sermon was a quote from Winston Churchill: "Never, never, never, never, never, never, never give up."

My only disappointments of the day were that my great aunt Sandy was not in Church the one day that I was there, and that my dad's cousin Pam left before I could say 'hi.'

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Michael Buble

I have discovered that listening to Michael Buble's love songs while painting above your toilet does not have the same effect as listening to him while...say drawing.
Michael Buble is one of my favorite music artists. He sings love songs; a lot of them are classics that were first done by Frank Sinatra. I really like the songs sung by Sinatra, but never really loved his voice, so when I discovered Buble singing the exact same songs but with a voice as smooth as silk, I fell in love. Not with Buble, really, just his voice.
I spent a few hours tonight painting in the upstairs bathroom. I was listening to Michael Buble and by the time the cd was finished, my hands were too paint-covered to go change the cd. So I let it restart...then again...and again. I listened to that cd 6 or 7 times before I quit for the night. Now, if I were to choose one of my cds to listen to that many times in one night, that would definitely be the one. And for the most of the painting job I really didn't even think about it, but it was about the time that I was standing on a step-ladder right next to the toilet, painting up above it that I realized how totally unromantic it becomes when you're painting there.
So that is all for my ramblings tonight. It is late and I've got to get up in the morning. Two of my aunts are coming and I'd rather they not know how late I can sleep in if I let myself. =D

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Day 8

Today we left Carrie's house and drove home. The highlights were:
1. Peggy drove the entire way home - so I got to sit back and relax and listen to the audio book that we had borrowed at the library.
2. I got to give Jimmy his 16th birthday present to him today, because I was gone while he had his birthday. In our family we are not allowed to drink coffee until our 16th birthday, so I bought him a gift card to a coffee place in town.
3. I came home to find a bunch of graduation congratulatory cards. I loved reading all of people's wishes. It is always an encouragement to me to know how many people care.
4. I came home to find that my closet organizer finally came in. And that Jimmy had already put it together for me! I love that boy! The organizer looks quite beautiful in my closet and I hope to find time to organize my stuff into it tomorrow. I love to organize, so I am very much looking forward to it!
5. My house is in a complete disarray. The dining room is emptied into the living room, and the upstairs bathroom is emptied into my parents' bedroom. In preparation for the open house on Saturday, my mom is getting a few projects done. Two of my aunts will be coming to help out in a couple of days, and Carrie arrived here about an hour after we did to help out as well. I love the feeling of getting things done, so it was very exciting to be working on that with Carrie this early evening.
6. Carrie promised me the game of Hoopla for my graduation gift. I'm very excited! I fell in love with that game.
That is all of the news that I can think of right now. I had a grand time at Carrie's house and am now excited to have her and her kids here for a while longer. It's good to be home and to be caught up in the flurry of preparation for the open house.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Day 7

Today was a day of completing all of the things that we had been planning to do all week. :)
We painted in Cate's room, first, putting a second coat on the green walls and then priming and painting the floors an off-white. Peggy got very little paint on her, Carrie got some, and I got a ton on me. I should show you all a picture of my painting clothes some time...they are quite unique.
We took a break from painting for a while and got Culvers for lunch and took it to the park to eat. The kids played for a while, then we headed back to finish the floor.
After all of the painting was done, we went outside for some yard work. Carrie mowed the lawn, while I ran the weedwacker. This was my first time using a weedwacker...I felt accomplished when I finished. :)
We all cleaned up after our work and then headed over to the Church's softball game. I was feeling very tired, so I went back to the car to sleep, so I missed a lot of the game.
That was about all that happened today, Oh! Except for the swimming pool...it was retired today, because it developed a hole. The kids were sad about that. Other than that, it was a fairly productive day and very worth getting up for.

Day 6

Well, I have failed in my attempt to post something every day while we are here. Night before last I fully intended to post, but fell asleep. The only truly noteworthy happening of the day was that Carrie arrived back home. The kids had missed her a lot and were very happy to see her.
Today was a rather fun day! We went to Church, since it is Sunday...err, was Sunday, before the clock passed midnight...hehe. Peggy had been there before, but this was my first time. I loved the Church here; everyone was so friendly and made us feel quite welcome.
After Church, we had lunch at HuHot Mongolian Grill. Once again, Peggy had been before, but it was my first time. I absolutely loved it! For those of you who have not been there before, I will explain it to you. First you get in a buffet line where you choose which kind of meat you would like, then which kind of noodles, then vegetables and sauce. Next you take it up to this big, circular frying stone, where the food is fried right in front of you. The men move around the stone with spatulas, chopping up the food and turning it to keep it from scorching. They all spend a certain amount of time at each person's dish and after all of the men have gone through, the last one puts it on a plate for you, it only takes a minute before it's all ready. Right behind the frying men follows another one who is pouring water on the grilling and cleaning it off so that as more people come, they can keep putting new food all of the way around the grill, keeping the circle moving. Joel and Cate enjoyed it the most when fire came swooshing out of the center of the stone and when one of the men picked up a piece of Joel's broccoli with his spatula and was batting it in the air like you might see someone doing with a pingpong ball and paddle.



I picked up some chopsticks on the way to our table and was getting ready to eat with them, when both kids became enthralled with them. Peggy grabbed a couple more so that the kids could eat with them too. Both of them liked using the "sticks" so much that neither one would eat with a fork for the rest of the meal. It took a little longer than usual to finish our meals. Here are some pictures of Joel demonstrating the use of the chopsticks.



Then tonight, after the kids were in bed, Carrie, Peggy, and I played a game of Hoopla. Most of you have probably heard of the game series Cranium. Hoopla is another game in that series. This one may be my favorite Cranium game thus far! We had a lot of fun. It always helps to play a game when you have soda, yummy snacks, and when you are slap happy. Okay, okay, only I was slap happy. The other two were perfectly calm, but I was having a hard time keeping from giggling throughout the whole evening.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Day 4

Day 4 was just as fun as the previous three. The kids had been cooped up a lot over the last couple of days, so they got a little cranky. Peggy settled them down for a nap while I made what was supposed to be a quick run to HyVee. The store is like five blocks away...should take 15 minutes to be in and out, right? Well, it took me a half hour to even get to the store. I'm not used to this town, all right? I somehow ended up on the highway into Nebraska. I took the first exit, which was over the border, by the way, and got turned around as quick as I could. I really did very well for a girl who isn't used to this town, but I'm sure that I'll still get teased about that.
Cate woke up from her nap not long after I got home, but Joel slept for quite some time. Carrie and Roger's friend, Derek, stopped by to make sure that we were doing okay without Carrie, which was really sweet of him. I really appreciate having someone that we can call if we have any troubles at all.
After Joel woke up, we decided that a trip to the park would be fun. I have that and the secret snack trip in a slide show below.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day 3

Okay, so except for my silly headache, today has been fun. It was kind of rainy all day, and then it hailed, and now there are tornado watches everywhere, so we didn't get to do hardly any of the outdoor stuff that we had wanted to do, so we'll see about tomorrow. Peggy still started a water fight, and we did some things inside too. I got so many pictures, today, that I decided to put them up on a slide for you to see.


video

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Day 2

Since Cate's not used to sharing a bed with someone, she didn't sleep very well last night. Around 3 or 4 this morning, she woke up and started holding a conversation with me. After another hour (estimated, since I never really looked at a clock) of Cate's tossing, turning, and talking (alliteration, Billy), I rolled off of the bed and onto the floor and from then on, both of us slept very well. Cate and Joel are both early risers, so they woke up and played in the bedroom for another hour or so before Carrie and Peggy got up. I stayed in bed, but didn't get much sleep from then on...especially when Joel tripped over me and landed on my stomach...he's a pretty light kid, but when you're asleep and he drops on your stomach, it still surprises you. :) Hehe.
We went on a couple of errands today, watched movies and tv (couch potatoes, yes, Dad), and ate some more yummy food. We got to have leftovers of that delicious spinach stuff that Carrie had made for lunch and then, for supper, she made stirfry, cornmushsomethingorothergoodstuff, and some very yummy egg rolls.

The kids played with play-doh, swam some more, and played a fun, long game of Copycat. If you have never played Copycat, then I would recommend it. I'm not sure who taught these two innocent children this game, but rumor has it that it just might have come from Benjamin. :) Carrie leaves for Des Moines, for the weekend, tomorrow. Cate said today, "I can't wait until Mommy leaves, 'cause then we're going to have so much fun!" The kids said all sorts of cute things today that I wish I could remember. Joel, especially, has a funny way of putting things. I love the way that he refers to people as either "kids" or "humans" depending on their age. I'm looking forward to some chalk-drawing, play-doh-cutting, bike-riding, pool-wading, park-playing, and maybe even some t-shirt-markering. We'll see what the next three days have in store...but I'm pretty sure that they are going to be lots of fun and fairly exhausting for us "grownup humans."

Now I'm going to go get some sleep...on the couch, tonight.

Day 1

Today was the beginning of a very fun week that I have been looking forward to for a while now. At 11:30 today, Peggy and I got into the car and ran several errands. After seeing Mom, MollyBea, Dunbar, Dan, and the nice banker lady at Associated that I love having conversations with, Peggy and I started out for Sioux City, Iowa. I love traveling...Peggy put in an audio cd to listen to and then fell asleep, so I spent the next couple of hours listening to a children's novel and counting mile markers. Peggy woke up again right before we entered Iowa...I'm pretty sure that it was the change in smell that did it. We got to Sioux City around 4:15 and there we got to see Carrie, Cate, Joel, and Junior. We've both been looking forward to this trip for a long time and were very excited to get here. Carrie cooked us a very yummy supper of this yummy marinated chicken, delicious spinach side, and some not-so-yummy instant mashed potatoes...but that was only because Cate loves them so much. We spent the late afternoon and early evening hearing Joel say "Guess what, Peggy!" and "Watch this, Polly!" and then we encountered a surprise water fight where all of the guns were in the hands of the enemies (Cate and Joel) and where we had no weapons. So we got drenched...but so did the enemy.
I forgot to take any pictures earlier today, so I got out the camera to take these two of the kids sleeping. I plan to put some up each day while we're here...hehe...The key word is "plan."
Now I must go to bed so that I am prepared for whatever the kids want tomorrow. Cate informed me that I was sleeping with her...that is my pillow that she is sleeping on. She put it there to insure that I would come back upstairs. Joel said "I want a human to sleep in my bed, too!"

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday

Today was a beautiful day and a very happy one.
I woke up this morning very sleepily and thought to myself...I'm just going to snuggle under the covers for a few more minutes. I woke up again at 9:45...ooops...and I was supposed to be to work by 10:00. Thankfully I had already picked out my clothes and had packed my lunch, so I was out the door very quickly. I got to work at 9:59.
It was a great day at work. I was wearing a springy outfit and most of the customers were cheerful, so it made for a great day.
At 5:00, Emily and Liz picked me up (Bob had come to the store to borrow my car so that he could spend the evening with Sarah) and the three of us, and Emily Jo, went to see Nim's Island. It was an enjoyable movie, but probably not one that was good enough to watch again.
After the movie, we dropped Emily Jo back off at the store, then Emily and Liz came to my house for banana splits and to meet Keren, who is visiting us for the weekend (yay!).
At some point during the next half hour, Liz mentioned that our final grades were in our mailboxes at the school, so we zipped over to the school to find out how we'd done. Peggy and I both have a 4.0 this semester, making Peggy's GPA 3.85, and mine 3.95. So, we're pretty proud of ourselves.
Today was also my niece, Caitlyn's birthday. She turned 6 years old. I didn't call her today...I'm a bad aunt, right? But a couple of days ago, Peggy and I sent her a package in the mail, which she did get today. Peggy got her a book, and I got her a necklace and a bracelet...shows our personalities, right?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

June 1st - On the Air

This probably won't mean much to most of you, except for those of you who live here in Rochester. Every Sunday morning from 7am to 10am, my friend, Gary Kadansky, has a teen Christian radio program on KROC-FM 106.9 called Straight From the Heart. Gary is a really cool guy who is the director of Rochester Area Youth for Christ. He is involved in every Christian youth event that happens in the town of Rochester. On the 1st of June, all of the graduating Seniors from Meadow Park are going to be at the radio station with our youth minister, Todd Looney. We are going to be doing the song list and hosting the program. Today at four the group is meeting with Gary to talk about how it's all going to play out, but I can't go because of work. I'll be going in to it not knowing what I'm doing, so I probably won't say much on the air. I know, it probably surprises you all that I can keep my mouth shut for any period of time, but it could happen.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

No School!

School is out. The day was gorgeous. I was free.
The day is now done, but I'm left feeling like I accomplished things and like I'm one step closer to something...to what, I can't quite figure out. I'm one step closer to being more responsible, to being organized...I don't know. It was a very productive day, though. I think that is maybe why I like Spring so much. The fresh, warm air with a cool breeze makes me want to get things done. So I followed my urge to do some spring cleaning. I made a list and accomplished everything on it. I picked up my paycheck, ran some errands, cleaned my room, wrote some letters, cleaned other areas of the house, found all of my borrowed school books and returned them to the college, and a myriad of other little things that needed to be done. I got it all done while the day was nice and warm.
Around the time I got home from all of my running around and had not much else to do, the temperature started to drop and you could hear thunder in the distance...so, since I had no school or work, I watched a movie with Peggy while I colored in my princess coloring book, then curled up on the couch with a good book. Then, later in the evening, Sarah came over and Bob, Jimmy, Sarah, and I played card games. We played a very close game of Rook in which Bob took the last hand and started whooping in victory before I showed him the scores, which showed that although he had gotten 500 points, I had gained just enough points that hand to be at 510 points. It was beautiful. Then we played a game of Spades. We never did finish that game, although, when we quit, Jimmy and I were winning.
All in all, it was a great day. First I was productive, then I relaxed and enjoyed the evening. I'm so very glad that school is done.

Time with Mama and Sisters

Mom, Carrie, Peggy, and I went to Mandorville today. It is a cute little town that is known for the Hubbel House, a really yummy restaurant. Within a block of it is a coffee house, a chocolate shop, an opera house, a museum, and several antique stores. The four of us went to eat at the coffee house. We all ordered BLTs, the three of them ordered Corn Chowder Soup, as well.
The place had a little gift shop in it too. After our very yummy lunch we walked over to the chocolate shop, which was closed, and then to an antique store or two. One of the shops was especially fun and Peggy ended up buying a hat from the 1930s. The hat is adorable and I believe that you might actually see her wearing it in the future.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Leaving on Tour

All right folks, it's not like I've been real steady with the blog lately, but for the next little over a week, I'm going to have an excuse. =D Tomorrow afternoon, Peggy, myself, and the rest of our choir are leaving on tour. We are going to tour around the midwest states, singing once or twice a day, except for on our one free day. Tomorrow before we leave, the theme of the tour will be announced to us, as will the goofy and fun stuff that choir council has planned. I'm looking forward to it a lot, but here's the deal: Peggy and I have been running on very little sleep, getting prepared for it. Peggy is already sick, and I've been on the verge of getting sick for a couple of weeks now. Please be praying for our health and that of the whole choir! We are going to be spending 8 days in a bus with 40 other people, and none of us will get much sleep on tour. And while you're at it, please pray for our safety while traveling. Hehe, and an added note: please pray for the sanity of our bus driver, Mike; our director and his wife, Captain and Cindy Dunbar; our accompaniest, Mrs. Vaught; and our recruter, Monte. I can't imagine what it must be like for them to ride with all of us rowdy college students =D.
Try not to miss me too much! Thanks for the prayers.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Good Intentions

I was looking through my pictures tonight, being nostalgic, and I ran across this one. It represents a myriad of good intentions. I had been at Pine Haven Christian Assembly for a week of camp last summer. During the week, each of us campers wrote on a stone; we wrote down an area of our life that we hadn't completely given over to God. Then we planted this tree and placed the stones around it. It was supposed to be a turning point . . . and at the time I really thought it was. Good intentions . . . but the actions didn't follow through. I came back from camp with a "spiritual high." The week touched me to the core and I really felt like God had spoken to me. I planned on making those changes in my life . . . really I did. But somehow time slipped away. And to be honest, I don't even remember what is written on my stone. I placed it there as a monument of a turning point, I was giving it over to God . . . but I can't even remember what God and I had talked about that week. What is it that keeps us from following through with our intentions? Why isn't my life a reflection of all that Christ has done for me? My stone still sits there around the tree at the campgrounds. Next year, all of the faculty will come back and look at the stones and say, "look at the way these kids grew." But mine will be a mockery. Mine won't signify change . . . mine will just be added to my list of good intentions. But does it have to be that way?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Excited for Summer

I'm so excited for spring and then for summer! Spring is definitely on its way; it has fooled us a few times, but the birds are reappearing and the snow is melting. Emily and I went shopping today for some needed things for choir tour, but came home with some summer clothes too. I got this pair of shorts for $7.48 and these two shirts for $4.48 each. They were all at Target; I love that store.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Another Adoration Outing

This weekend was another weekend filled with fun for me; Adoration had another outing. Every year Adoration goes on a retreat with the Music Director and his wife and two sons. This year, we went up to the cities to see Triple Espresso, a three-man comedy show. Before the show, we went out to eat at Fuddruckers. And, of course, we couldn't resist taking silly pictures.The show was a lot of fun, and most of our group was laughing so hard they were crying. Part way through, they picked a man from the crowd to come up and hold up some cue cards for a song they were singing. I was so surprised to see that it was Uncle Jon! They had him throw the cue cards on the ground as we went through them, then said "One more time!" and he had to scramble on the ground picking them up, trying to find the right cues. This was his 20th time to see the show, so he knew what was coming, but did a very good job playing it up to keep the audience happy with the routine =D. During intermission, I ran down and found him to give him a hug. He was there with the orchestra he directs...what are the odds? My fellow singers said "Polly, you run into people we know everywhere we go! You know everyone!" My reply was, "That's because I'm related to everyone!"
When we left the show, we walked several blocks to our vehicle, singing "Trashin' the Camp" (from Tarzan) in downtown Minneapolis. It was great fun!
The next morning, after checking out of our hotel, we spent a couple of hours at the MOA. Several people wanted to try out the newest ride at the park there. I wasn't feeling well, so I begged out and took charge of the camera, taking pictures from below.

Saturday evening we drove to Kimball, where I we hung out with the youth at the Church there and played Assassin, a water gun game where you hunt other people while being hunted yourself. I was in the last four...we ended up at a standstill, 'cause two of the people were hiding up in the rafters out of our range and we stayed out of their range, so the game just ended. I would've won, though! =D
I got to spend the night at Steve and Mandy's house, along with Brad and Emily from my group. We had a lot of fun playing Monopoly, and although Mandy tried her best to help me out by giving me her nicely developed property, Brad helped Steve out, so Steve won the game. Jerk. =D Just kidding.
After Church this morning, most of the group was cleaning up our equipment, while Crystal Blanchard and I had special permission to hang out with our respective families for as long as possible. Mandy took me to see her coffee shop, Bella's, and made me an Almond Raspberry White Chocolate Mocha...Soooo delicious!
The weekend was so much fun, I loved hanging out with Adoration, seeing Jon, visiting with Mandy, Steve, and the kids, and singing this morning. My life is filled with so many blessings.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Fun Times with my Friends

Saturday I spent the evening at Betsy's house. Winn's brother's family was in town for Easter, and I went over there to hang out with the kids while the adults went out to visit. Brittnee was visiting for a couple of days, so she went with me. We first ate pizza while watching Abbott and Costello's "Jack and the Beanstalk." Then Ty got lost in a good book, while we girls got out a game of clue. We played two games, which nobody won, then just goofed off, and then Remy and I ended up on the floor in a tickle fight. I miss my niece and nephews a lot, so every time I've had a chance to hang out with kids lately, I've taken it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cold Nights

It has been bitter cold here lately; most days I love winter and walk outside and feel the bitter wind in my face and start grinning, because I love it so much, but other days I start to complain about it.
Well, a few nights ago, I got home from work and was trying to warm up and couldn't figure out why I couldn't get warm, so I checked the thermostat and turned it up and when nothing happened I made a brilliant statement to my father, "It's cold...I don't think our heater is working." Brilliant, right? I was right, the heater was broken. Whoa, am I good. =D

At first I was pretty grumbly about it...I wanted to be warm! But then I started thinking about what an adventure it would be and about how it would make a really good story. So I bundled up and found an extra blanket and a sleeping bag for my bed and got out my dad's camera to record the event. It was a cold night, but I loved it. Because I got to tell all of my friends about it the next day at school. And anything is worth a good story, right? It did,remind me, though, of all of the blessings of the usual warm heater.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Scheherazade

I have fallen in love with symphonies. Before last night, I had never been to a symphony. I've listened to them on cd or the radio and enjoyed them then, but never had I been to a live performance. We are required to go to one major musical performance and write a two page review of it for our Music Literature class, so Emily and I were wondering how that was going to work, because neither one of us have the money to pay for one. Yesterday afternoon, one of the staff from school, Monte Ball, called Dad up and asked if he wanted two tickets to the symphony, because he wasn't able to use them. Amazing! Dad was busy, so Emily and I snatched them up with many words of gratitude to Monte. I love music and any opportunity to dress up and mingle with people who have more money than I do.

The first part of the evening was not a traditional symphony, instead they had a guest performer, Gao Hong, playing a pipa, with the symphony as accompaniment. I'm not used to the music of a pipa, so it took me a minute or two to learn to appreciate its music. But as soon as I got used to it's sound, I really enjoyed the music.

But my favorite part of the evening was later on when the Rochester Symphony Orchestra played Scheherazade. That was when I fell in love. It is amazing how, when you know the story line, you can tell who is "speaking" and what emotions they are protraying and what is happening in the story. I could imagine the sea crashing against the ship and then I could hear Scheherazade starting to tell her story, then the Sultan being gruff with her. Next I could hear that the hero had entered the story, then the love song between the prince and the princess (my very favorite part). I loved it how I could tell what parts of the music were the story and which parts were when it had stepped back to the storyteller and listener. By the time the symphony ended, I had taken eight pages of notes.
I left the symphony with three desires: the money to go see the Russian performance later this month...then the Mozart...and so on; the time to read the story of Scheherazade; and the ability to compose in such a brilliant, emotion protraying, beautiful way.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Singing in Alexandria

My singing group, Adoration, traveled to Alexandria last weekend. It was a really fun trip. We left Saturday afternoon and drove for four hours. It was a fun drive filled with everything from theological discussions to practical jokes.


After getting to the Church building in Alexandria, we were fed our choice of several different kids of very yummy soup, complete with 3x5 cards with all of the ingredients listed for the sake of one of our girls, Liz, who is deathly allergic to many different foods.

After we ate, we got together with some of the youth that was there and played games. One of the games we played was called Ninja Tag. The pictures you see below are of us trying to tag each other while our feet remain stationary on the ground.

We all went to our respective host homes and our group let Emily take pictures of us some more, because we love her so much...*wink*...okay, to be honest, we begged her to take pictures of us.

The next morning, we sang at Alexandria Church of Christ. It went pretty well, I thought, with only a few minor hitches. It was really exciting for me, because my cousin, Mandy, showed up for the second service. I didn't know that she was going to be there and she didn't know that I was going to be there. So, when I came out to sing, it was a really happy surprise. I will say, though, that I'm slightly offended, because she recognized two of my classmates before she recognized me...hehe.

I love singing in Adoration. We have such fun times and I get to spend a lot of my time doing one of the things that I love best: singing. Next month, on the 10th, we're going to Mason City, IA, and then we get the rest of the month off for Spring Break. Then in March, we'll kick it back up again, traveling nearly every weekend.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jamaica

Thanks to God through a bunch of friends and family, it looks like I'm going to be able to go back to Jamaica next month with my Dad and a group from the college. This trip will be different from the one that we took over the Summer. We will spend time doing several different kinds of work, including VBS, community projects, and a few other things. I feel really blessed to be able to go back and I'm very excited. Please be praying for all of that are going to be going. And for me, specifically; I don't have quite all of the money together, yet. But God has worked a miracle in supplying nearly $700 since Wednesday when I made the decision to try to go, so I'm confident that He'll also help with the rest of it.
Today is the first day that I really allowed myself to think about how I will most likely be able to go. So I spent some time looking through some of last years pictures and thought I'd share a few of them.
Luke and I doing dishes with the Jamaican kids after one of the lunch meals.

The eleven students that were baptized during the first week of camp.

Right after being tackled to the ground, my first introduction to Rakeem.