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)!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


We had a really quiet Thanksgiving. With the busyness of the Advent and Christmas season right around the corner, I was very thankful for the restful and relaxed atmosphere!

We are incredibly, awesomely, unfathomably blessed!

My menu included cranberry bourbon turkey tenderloin, dressing, mashed potatoes, candied carrots, and brussels sprouts. It was all a hit, except for the brussels sprouts, which no one but me cared for. Oh well. It was worth a try. For dessert, I made pumpkin bread pudding. Yum.

We took the kids down to the Peabody to see the ducks march. It's kind of crazy - you wait and wait and wait and the actual march takes all of 5 seconds. But the kids thought it was the cutest, most exciting thing ever and spent a long time watching the ducks swim in the fountain.


I'll close with a little Thanksgiving entertainment from turkeys numbers 1 and 2. (It's kind of long - you'll get the idea after the first or second verse.)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A birthday, a trip to the farm, and a revival

Our weekend could not have been packed with three more diverse activities!

First was Elizabeth's birthday party. These two have been friends since they were born. I love that they are growing up together. Elizabeth's party was packed with all the things little girls love - princess costumes, tiaras, jewelry, glittery cookies, manicures, pink punch, and giggles.
Elizabeth was feeling particularly silly!
Saturday afternoon we headed out to the Halford's farm for a fall festival. I think everyone's favorite activity was riding the horses, even though for Caroline cooking her own hotdog over a campfire was probably a close second.
Caroline was in heaven! She listened intently to everything Dr. Halford said and did a great job! She was so proud of herself!

Helen loved it, too. She said, "I was so brave riding the horse!"

Dr. Halford is so great with all the kids.
Then Sunday afternoon, I joined my fellow church choir members at the Victorian Village Tent Revival. We sang a few pieces and then walked over to The James Lee House for a special reception and tour. My sweet friend and organ mentor Jennifer and her husband are in the middle of planning a huge renovation to the house. Hopefully, the B&B will be up and running by late next summer! It's going to be so beautiful and I can't wait to see it!
The original part of the house (now the back) was built in 1848. This front facade was added in 1878.

The girls are standing in front of one of the two magnificent marble fireplaces in the parlor.

It was a busy and fun weekend! Now I need a nap...

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

New Orleans

Kevin had the opportunity to go to a convention in New Orleans at the end of October. I joined him mid-week without the kids. We had a wonderful time together. It was a really relaxing, laid-back vacation. I loved having my husband all to myself.
In front of St. Louis Cathedral

Couldn't resist getting a picture of the gorgeous exposed organ pipes
Waiting outside Preservation Hall

Enjoying a Sazerac in the Sazerac Bar (New Orleans's signature cocktail)
Garden District streetcar ride

We are foodies. We love really great food. This was one of our courses at Le Foret - also known as the best scallop either one of us has ever eaten. It was served on a pumpkin puree with a pecan apple chutney. I'm so sad it's gone. Amazing.

More eating - beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde

One more date night together before heading home

The girls loved their special New Orleans souvenirs!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Tooth fairy and random candids

Caroline finally lost her first tooth a few weeks ago! It's been loose for a long time and after some encouragement from our dentist, the wiggling began in earnest. It came out and the tooth fairy left $1 that night. She lost another one about a week later. (Is anyone else really weirded-out by wiggly, loose teeth? Yikes. Can't believe we have 18 more of these to go...)

And here are just some various cute pictures of the kids.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Fall sewing

I saw a smocking plate in a Sew Beautiful magazine last year that I knew would be perfect for Peter. I asked for Daddy's approval to smock something for our boy and received it. It took me a while, but I finally finished three little mallards - perfect for our future duck hunter.
Aren't they adorable?

Once the smocking was done, the outfit went together very quickly (like during two nap times). I used the Children's Corner "Johnny" pattern.
Just in time for duck season

Helen is wearing a dress I made four years ago for Caroline. Peter's Johnny has the same brown tattersall as the sunflower dress. I wanted something coordinating for Caroline's dress, but without all the smocking. I'll have to get a picture of just Caroline in it. I used the Children's Corner "Ruthie" in a purple floral cotton print and a butterscotch gingham for the collar and trim. This is a great pattern. The sleeves and yoke are fully lined, which means very little hand sewing! I say this about every project, but this is one of my favorite dresses. Plus, it suits Caroline's sweet personality so well. And she loves purple. Win all around.

Now I need some ideas for Christmas sewing? Any suggestions? Another Johnny for Peter? Ruthies for both girls?

Sunday, November 04, 2012


I have to admit that Halloween is not my favorite holiday. But watching the kids enjoy it makes it worth it.

I got to make some special jack-o-lantern cookies for Helen's class party. These are special cookies. My mom's babysitter used to make them for her and her siblings when she was a little girl. My mom in turn used to make them for us when we were little. Now I get to make them for my little ones.

We went to the pumpkin patch to pick out some pumpkins. Everyone was still for about 3 seconds.

The girls decided they wanted to be fairies - Caroline was a snow fairy and Helen was a Tinkerbell-ballerina-princess. I didn't really have anything planned for Peter, but remembered that I still had the duck costume both girls wore. The girls were not very happy in it, but Peter loved it. He started giggling and grinning the second we put it on him. He was happy, happy all night long. So cute.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall break

The girls had fall break over this past weekend. We didn't go out of town, but stayed in and enjoyed some Memphis activities.

Peter had school on Thursday, so I took the girls to do something we wouldn't attempt with him in tow: painting pottery. They had so much fun. Caroline painted a cross treasure box and Helen picked a piggy bank. Helen was very worried about leaving Piggy behind to go in the fire, but I'm happy to report we picked him up and he was just fine. I treated them to lunch at Cheffie's afterward.

Friday, we got up and headed to the Licterman Nature Center. We had such a good time exploring and strolling around the lake there. It was a beautiful morning. Caroline participated in a 1st and 2nd grader group project at school several weeks ago. They designed and built a scarecrow. She was so proud to see their hard work on display.


Monday was the last day of fall break. I was grateful for an email from my friend Brittany inviting us to join her and her boys and some other friends at the zoo. My usual Monday morning activities are the grocery store and laundry. I'm so glad I neglected those tasks for a fun time with friends at the zoo!

It was a good fall break. I'm already looking forward to the next day off of school so we can have another Memphis adventure!