Thursday, May 31, 2018

Concert Season

First, the Choate kids had their own marathon of concerts.  Benjamin performed with the high school orchestra and choir,

and the three younger kids sang with Voices of Central Arkansas and the amazing Dr. CC one last time.

We're so grateful for the resources God has provided so our children can study music while we are in America.

 Mrs. Stanley is a gifted and generous teacher, and the kids are making great strides on their piano skills under her tutelage!

She even let Benjamin premier one of his compositions written for piano, viola, and cello.

When sweet friends come hear you perform a concert, the special occasion calls for a treat like Sonic's half price shakes after 8:00!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Orchestra Trip to Chicago

Only a few days after my brother's wedding, the high school orchestra presented their spring concert.  Thirty-six hours after their concert, we were on the road to Chicago in two big busses.

The students signed up for which bus they wanted to ride - the "quiet" bus or the "party" bus.  Parents were asked to ride with their students.

If you know Benjamin at all, you know he signed up for the party bus, so I got to ride the party bus, too.  My amazing colleague "wonder twin" rode with me.  We make a pretty good team, the three of us "orch dork" teachers.

The orchestra began Friday morning with a wonderful concert for adjudication, followed by a lovely afternoon on the Chicago River enjoying an architectural cruise.

Our Friday evening we spent walking, eating, and shopping down the Magnificent Mile and finished with the Willis Tower Skydeck.

My Wonder Twin and I laughed our way through the evening, there's nobody I'd rather work with besides this neat lady.

Saturday morning, we drove over to the Cloud Gate Structure, affectionately known as the Bean.

I was thrilled to get to make memories with Benjamin, and he was pretty cool about hanging out with his mama from time to time.

After the Bean, the group split up to visit our museum of choice.  My bus went to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Wow!  What an amazing place to discover and learn and explore.  

I kept hearing the orchestra students talking about how much fun they were having learning.  And discussing new books they were reading.

That's a special group of high school students!  

We finished our busy day with the highlight of the trip.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing an all John Williams concert.

With a fascinating and casual pre-concert talk. 

Conducted by John Williams himself.  The whole experience was overwhelming.  I will store these sweet sounds and sights for nights when I'm lying in bed a million miles away in the village in the Solomon Islands.

My wonder twin is spunky.  So I did my best to mirror her sass.  What a memory making, fun, musical gift of a trip.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

My youngest brother got married a month ago, and his wedding began a whirlwind of activity that is just now winding down.

Being the oldest of six kids, I don't get to hang out with all of my amazing siblings very often, but when I do, I enjoy it to the fullest.

These are some of the funniest, smartest, most musical, hard-working, creative, and kindest people I know.

And we are all incredibly strong-willed as well as opinionated.

I grew up thinking I was short.  At 5 feet 8 inches, I was the smallest one in my family.

I love hanging out with this crew.  They make me smile.

The highlight of the wedding was making music with my siblings and my son.

These people who share my blood, we sat in the back of the chapel and played our hearts out as a gift to my brother and his new wife.

I look back over the more than twenty years we've been married, and I marvel at the scores of people God has put in our life to strengthen and encourage us. 

And I'm so grateful.