Monday, December 15, 2008

Places we went, people we saw

So now it is Monday morning and the busy weekend is over! It was absolutely exhausting and absolutely wonderful. Truly. Fair warning before you continue: THIS IS A LONG POST! Here's the recap:

Saturday morning Bethany & Becca had Sunday School practice for their program which is on the 21st. That was from 9:00 - 10:30. Sarah had a basketball game at 10:00, so we all went to town, dropped off the girls at practice, talked to some people, got some Starbucks coffee, and then headed to the game. Sarah's team did not win, but Sarah did get a basket (unfortunately that was during the 15 minutes I left her game in order to pick up Bethany & Becca from their practice!) I'm sure her coach will have some specific things to work on at their basketball practice this Thursday. We are looking forward to her next game this coming Saturday because my entire family will be here to watch and cheer her on!

Anyway, after the practice and the game were over, we headed home for lunch and a change of clothes. Everyone got a bit dressed up and I curled the girls' hair for the piano & violin recital that was at 2:00 at the high school. Bethany was first up with her violin solo, accompanied by me. She played Minuet by Boccherini, which is the last song in Susuki Book Two!



She had really good tone on her violin at the recital and I was very relieved because the last couple of weeks had been a bit of a struggle. I thought she had peaked on the song already and wouldn't be able to do well at the recital. But she always seems to shine in a performance setting and Saturday was no different!

A bit later Bethany played her piano pieces - this was her first piano performance! She played "From a Wigwam" and "The Pet Parade" from John Thompson Book One & Two. She is doing really well on the piano and enjoys it, too.


Then came Sarah on piano. She played "Theme from Liebestraume" by Lizst and "Tiger Beetle Boogie" by someone...can't remember. But she loves that song and nailed it at the recital.



My camera battery was running low, so I didn't get video from the recital. I think their teacher's husband video-taped them, so we'll have to try to get a hold of that and see if we can post it.

Next up was an hour at home before dinner and then another change of clothes and off to Bethany's recital for CMT (Children's Musical Theater). There are 65 kids in about 6 different singing groups and each group had a Christmas song that they sang. It was a really wonderful concert. Bethany's group sang "Silver Bells" on their own and then there were two songs that all 65 kids sang. This CMT has been a wonderful experience for Bethany. Sarah did it last year, but this year decided to try an art class and that's been going well for her, too. She was feeling like she missed CMT a lot when we were at the concert, though.



This is Becca and her friend Sam. They got to sit on the floor right in front of the singing kids because there weren't enough chairs for all the adults. Sam's sister also sings in CMT and she is a true performer. I love to watch and listen to her sing - she has a natural stage grace and a beautiful voice that I am sure will only improve as she grows older.


Here's Bethany with her CMT teacher:


We love Mrs. Dean!

So, that was Saturday...ready for Sunday?

Actually, Sunday was not so crazy...except for the continuing wind storm around here. Man, it's cold and wild! Anyway, Sunday School, church, lunch at my mom's...then some crazy running around by my dad and Ed to help set up risers at church and then rehearsal for their Christmas Cantata. At 5:15 I was supposed to get the kids into the van and head to church to save seats for the 6:00 p.m. Cantata service. That's when I discovered I didn't have any keys for the van! I thought mine were in my purse, but they weren't, and of course Ed had his keys in his coat pocket, even though he wasn't driving. So, my mom called my grandma and she came to pick up my mom. I put all the kids into my mom's car (with no car seats!) and drove to church. The girls were a bit nervous...all but Elise, of course. She thought it was great fun. But, we made it and got good seats for the service. Our friends joined us and my mom and Grandma arrived safely also. A little bit into the service, the pastor made an announcement that a car had its lights on...guess who? My mother. She had driven my grandma's car to church, which is old and doesn't have automatic lights and she didn't even think to turn off the lights! And so that was pretty much my fault, too, because my mother never would have driven Grandma's car if I had had my keys! Aah!

But the service and the cantata...oooh. So amazing. To borrow a phrase from a friend's blog: it was a little taste of heaven. The service began with the choir and the congregation singing "Angels We Have Heard On High", accompanied by the orchestra. That's my favorite Christmas song, anyway, but it was just so...I can't even describe it. Beautiful and incredible and soul-touching. So, I was already emotional before the cantata started. During the short sermon, both Becca & Elise fell asleep on my lap, so I did have a bit of a falling-asleep-leg-problem, but it didn't matter. The concert was so great. The choir started with "Angels from the Realms of Glory" which isn't usually one of my favorite carols, but somehow, this arrangement, with the orchestra and all the, there were angels in that room, I am sure. I was watching Ed and was just overcome with the feeling that his mom was there, watching him sing and praise and just helping him through it all.

And the cantata continued and it was all such beautiful music that stirred my soul to praise and thanksgiving for the Christ child. So thank you, to everyone who participated and created such a beautiful event to the glory of God.

I am now encouraged and ready to finish up my to-do stuff for the Christmas season, greet my brothers, sisters-in-law, and nephews this week, and enjoy celebrating Christmas with them and my family & friends. May God bless you as you celebrate as well!

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