Friday, March 08, 2013

Caroline: Seven

Happy birthday, sweetest Caroline! Seven years ago, you were born and we became parents. We had no idea what we were doing. I remember the first moment the nurses left and we were alone with you. I looked at your Daddy and said, "What are we supposed to do now?" And, honestly, some days we still look at each other and ask the exact same question.

Luckily, you are easy. You always have been. You are kind and obedient and sweet and generous. You strive to honor us as your parents.

You have my personality (we butt heads a lot), but you are a daddy's girl. I love that about you. Your daddy is amazing and I pray you find someone just like him when you are grown. He is showing you daily what a good husband and father is.

You love Helen and Peter. You take pride in being their big sister. Even though I have to sometimes remind you that you do not have to parent them, I am so grateful for your helpful spirit. You are dependable and responsible. I can always count on you to be an extra set of hands.

You are good at school. I never have to worry about your homework - you do it happily and immediately and expertly. I'm glad because soon your homework will be hard and you will be so much smarter than I am!

You love, love, love to read. I can relate. If you are quiet for a while, I know what you are doing. I am really enjoying reading aloud to you. It is so fun to read some of my favorite childhood novels together.

You are my introvert. I can also relate to that. You need quiet and personal space. It's okay. Embrace those feelings and needs. I know many awesome introverts.

You are talented. I'm not really sure what your "thing" is yet because you want to try everything and you love everything. You like soccer, swimming, choir, piano, musical theater, ballet, tap, jazz dance, art... Whew! I definitely see tendencies toward more artistic pursuits instead of athletic ones. Your enthusiasm and joy for your activities is inspiring.

Darling, beautiful, special girl, I look at you and am humbled by God's goodness in my life. He has entrusted your father and me to be your parents. We thank him for you every day. He is molding you into the most amazing young lady. We love you. To the moon and back.
The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing. -Zephaniah 3:17

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Recent sewing

In an unprecedented occurrence, the kids' Christmas outfits were completed before Thanksgiving. This will probably never happen again. My only stipulation in picking out the patterns and fabric was "must be easy". I chose a lime green corduroy embroidered with reindeer. Caroline got a very big-girl skirt (can't wait to make some of these for spring/summer). Helen got a jumper. And Peter got a Johnny. I was really enthusiastic about these projects because they were each unique. I'm fairly certain the girls will be able to wear theirs again next Christmas. Peter, however, will not and that makes me a little sad.

In non-Christmas sewing, I finished 3 easy daygowns for my dear friend Nell, who recently delivered her first babies - triplets! She is awesome. The girls are identical twins and I thought two unique gowns would make telling them apart a little bit easier. I did some shadow embroidery (my favorite part!) to coordinate with the trim. This is my favorite style of infant daygown - poly-cotton blend for no ironing, buttons in the front for easy on and off, no fussy collar or itchy trim. I hope Mom, Dad, Camille, Ann Fisher, and Rob love them, too.


Friday, January 04, 2013

Merry Christmas

We had a lovely Christmas.

Santa came!

Peter is ready for duck hunting with Daddy!

American Girl dolls were at the top of the girls' lists. Caroline got the newest historical girl "Caroline" and Helen got a Bitty Baby, which she named "Helen".

Santa remembered to leave a treat for Tigger.

This was one of the only things Helen asked for - a "blow flute" just like her music teacher's at school.

Peter got lots of wheeled things. And balls. Hooray for boy things!

Princess karaoke

Our gift to each other was a new piece of artwork for our family room.

It was unintentionally a merry "Grizz-mas", due to all the gifted Grizzlies items. It just kind of happened. Peter got a mini Grizz from his sisters. Helen wanted to get Daddy a flag (no idea where that came from), so I ran with it and got him a flag pole set up and the official NBA Grizzlies flag. Not pictured is Kevin's new Grizzlies polo shirt Caroline picked out for him. Helen's favorite player is Mike Conley. Kevin found this jersey on sale several weeks before Christmas. She is really proud of it and has hopes of meeting Mike to show it to him. And I love scarves, so of course I love my Grizzlies arena scarf! I'd say we're all fixed up for game days!

Evidence of Christmas good times

It was just the 5 of us here at our house for Christmas eve and Christmas day. Kevin worked through Christmas day, so we celebrated with our families both before and after the actual holiday. Honestly, I kind of like stretching the holiday out for as long as possible. I think the kids do, too. Who doesn't love 4 different celebrations with loved ones?


As for all of the musical happenings, they all went well. I closed out Christmas Eve services with a midnight postlude that, although quiet, was so fitting. This tune appeared again and again in my musical involvements throughout the month. I took that as God giving me a not-so-subtle reminder. I don't know that I did the best job, but I tried throughout the month to reflect on the words of this hymn and remember that my ultimate goal here on earth not only at Christmas but every day is to rejoice in Him!

In dulci jubilo:
Good Christian men, rejoice
With heart and soul and voice;
Give ye heed to what we say:
Jesus Christ is born today!
Earth and heaven before him bow
And he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today! Christ is born today!
And because I'm a good music nerd, I looked up the English translation of the original Latin. I love the line about our hearts' joy lying in the manger.
In sweet rejoicing,
now sing and be glad!
Our hearts' joy
lies in the manger;
And it shines like the sun
in the mother's lap.
You are the alpha and omega!
May He be our hearts' joy not just at Christmastime, but every day! (And I'm counting that as my happy 2013 to all of you!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Concerts #2, #3, and #4

Concert number 2 was our church's adult choir Lessons and Carols program. If I had to pick a favorite night of the year, this would be it. Every year this program becomes more and more meaningful and emotional to me. I pray the music was just as illuminating to listen to as it was to sing.

I wish I could highlight every piece we sang. I've been doing much thinking about these lyrics the past couple of weeks:
As the dark awaits the dawn, so we await Your light.
O Star of promise, scatter night, loving bright, loving bright, 
Till shades of fear are gone.

As the blue expectant hour before the silv'ring skies,
We long to see Your day arise, whole and wise, whole and wise,
O lucent Morning Star.

As the moon reflects the sun until the night's decrease, 
May we Your healing light release, living peace, living peace, 
Unto Your holy dawn.

Shine Your future on this place, enlighten ev'ry guest,
That through us stream Your holiness, bright and blest, bright and blest;
Come dawn, O Sun of grace.
We await Your light.
So beautiful. It expresses perfectly this "now, but not yet" time of waiting. Someday...

Concert #3 was Caroline's choir program at church. The first grade choir sang 2 pieces and did a fantastic job. I accompany this choir. They are such a good, sweet, big group! I can't wait for the spring concert! I have to say that the most fun part of helping out with children's choir is getting to work with my own and my friends' children!
She looks so grown up! Can she really be old enough for a choir robe?

Concert #4 was a program at Caroline's school. The girls have been studying Mexican Christmas traditions and made a special Las Posadas procession at chapel. They made "lanterns" and got to dress up as a nativity character of their choice. I think out of 60 girls, 50 were angels. Here's ours:
Wings and halo look familiar?

Caroline's first grade class - the Ladybugs
(I'm going to sum up a few concerts/performances. They include gigs as a handbell ringer, accompanist to a high school choir, pianist for a nursing home program, and organist. 'Tis the season to make LOTS of music!)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Choir concert #1

Helen had her preschool choir concert at church last week. It was so sweet. She did a great job, but was a little distracted by all the costumes and excitement. She told me she really wanted to be a "fairy princess ballerina", but I convinced her to be an angel.

She was so excited to finally get to put on the wings and halo.

With her sweet friends Coleman and Caleb

She did do a little bit of singing (in between a whole lot of wiggling)!