Tuesday, November 16, 2010


 Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it centers around family, friends and being grateful. On the first of November this year some friends on facebook began doing a daily thankfulness post and encouraged me to join in. It's amazing how daily thinking of what I'm grateful for has made me a happier person. So I thought I'd share what I've posted so far and encourage you to think of the things you are thankful for.

November is for thankfulness. Day #1: Super thankful for my faithful supportive loving husband.

Thankfulness Day #2: Today I am thankful for our daughter Abigail. She was named after a woman know for her great beauty, intelligence and independence. Since day 1 she has lived up to all three. I love her colorful personality, her artistic endeavors, and her desire to do what is good and right.

Thankfulness Day #3: I am thankful today for our middle child Josiah. Named after a young boy who became king, a king who going against what was popular reformed a nation. Our Josiah too is a leader and does what he believes is right despite what others think of him. I love how he is creative in his drawing, his skateboarding and his thought process.

Thankfulness Day #4: Today I am thankful for Alazar, our youngest. His birth parents named him after Lazarus who came back from the dead. He defied the odds and has continued as the most resourceful persistent person I know. His determination to survive his first year brought him to us and for that I will always be grateful. I love his happy spirit, his hilarious antics and his joyful singing.

Thankfulness Day #5: Today I am thankful for the opportunities I've had to travel, 40+ countries, 40+ states “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a
position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for
granted.” – Bill Bryson

Thankfulness Day #6: Today I'm thankful for weather. And how I get to visit it.

Thankfulness Day #7: I am thankful for God. I am amazed that the God who made the universe, the God who raised from the dead, that same God is the God who loves me, forgave me, saved me and calls me friend. And just fyi, that same God, whether you know it or not, loves you too. :)

Thankfulness Day #8: I am thankful for drinking water. I am thankful
that I don't have to hike to get my water and carry it back to the
family. And I'm super thankful that when I get my water it's clean. Running faucets rock!

Thankfulness Day #9: Thankful for my kind, supportive, hilarious neighbors.

Thankfulness Day #10: Thankful for music- the simple, the complex, the entertaining, the thought provoking, thankful to listen, thankful to teach, thankful to participate

Thankfulness Day #11: I am humbly grateful for the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom.
"O beautiful for heroes prov'd In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life.
America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,From sea to shining sea."

Thankfulness Day #12: I am thankful for all you amazing friends who were willing to realize that I am super shy not super snobby and loves that FB allows an introvert like me to say what I would be too intimidated to say out loud.

Thankfulness Day #13: I am thankful for three days of solitude I've had. I'm also thankful that I get my kids back today and my husband back for a little bit tomorrow.

Thankfulness Day #14: Thankful for sweet Vanessa and my beloved sister Becky. They are the two who inspired me to do thankfulness posts and I love how it has made me concentrate on what I am grateful for. I am also thankful that though both of these ladies have suffered great loss this past year that both of them are now having healthy pregnancies. I am thankful for their adorable kids and their babies on the way.

Thankfulness Day #15: Thankful for our health. Thankful that I don't need to sleep under a bed net and thankful that if I did I'd have the access and funds to do it. Thankful for the luxuries of healthy food, medicines, clean water, safe shelter and local hospitals.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Holiday Special for Kindermusik with Ms B

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Music and the Holidays

Whew, with Halloween over we can move into Thanksgiving and then the winter holidays, which for me is Christmas, my favorite holiday. The one thing that truly separates Christmas in my mind from the other holidays is the music. From the time I was a little girl, music was an essential aspect of the season. There were music programs at church and school, tree lightings and fancy shows, even caroling. In fact our family would go door to door to our neighbor's homes and sing carols every Christmas Eve. Actually we still do. And since my five siblings and I are now all married with children it's quite a choir!

What about music makes it so special? Emotion. Joy. Peace. Hope. Remembrance.
Music evokes emotion. The dynamics, the modes, the tempo, all of that speaks to our emotions. A loud uptempo song may make us want to dance and a soft slow minor song may make us want to cry. But music also captivates our memories. When you chose the song for the first dance song of your wedding why did you choose it? When you hear that song now, how do you feel? When you hear a song from the first concert you attended can you almost hear the crowd? When you hear the Star Spangled banner do you picture fireworks? Music reminds us. It reminds us of people and places, sounds, smells and feelings, of love and of loss. With a simple melody we are taken back in time.

And so it is with Christmas music. Every Christmas memory for me is wrapped up in a song. So every November-December I take a journey. When I hear Christmas music I think of running around with my cousins at Grandpa's house, of riding in the car to pick a tree, of caroling to the neighbors, of Christmas parties, of ridiculous pageant costumes and cracking up with friend's backstage. I'm reminded of family and friends. If I was ever asked whether I would rather never receive another Christmas gift or never hear another Christmas song, the answer for me would be easy. I don't need gifts, I'd much rather have music and the precious memories that come with it.

What are you doing to instill good holiday memories in your children? It just takes time and music. This season share your favorites songs with your kids. Play music while you decorate cookies or sip apple cider. Stop a minute while you're out shopping and listen to the carolers as they stroll by. Take your children to a concert. Many church concerts and community tree lightings are free and fun. Take time with your kids to make special memories and incorporate music to help them last.