My Baby is 6 Years Old

Noelle, my littlest pixie, had her birthday. For me, the hardest birthdays each year are Amie’s and Noelle’s. Amie’s because she’s my oldest and I have a hard time realizing I have a child as old as she is and Noelle because I don’t like having my youngest one grow up so quickly.

We haven’t had our family celebration for her yet. She has to wait a day for that because Wednesdays are full in the evenings and Jeremy works during the day. She was a bit impatient about celebrating and wanted Daddy to come home as soon as the cake was done so she could have her birthday dinner… at 10 am. *laugh* I got her to settle down and explained why I didn’t think we would have the actual celebration on her birthday and by the time it was time to have dinner, she was ok with it. She has the meal picked out for her birthday celebration dinner which will be served on penguin plates. I made chocolate cake and bought some vanilla ice cream (including some soy ice cream for James) and her presents are waiting patiently in my closet for the time of revealing. We also have some cookies we made for her to give to the other kids in the Children’s choir at church and to her dance and tumbling class. I can’t wait to see how she reacts to her presents. I got her a Tinkerbell doll, a Tinkerbell book, and a cooking apron which has nothing to do with Tinkerbell, but I think she’ll like to use it when she helps me bake goodies. Yes, I’ll try and make sure to take pictures.

Now… for a few other things…

Today was the last Wednesday that I will be doing Children’s choir. They have a special they are doing on Sunday for our Christmas church program. They have a puppet performance to “Light of the Stable” by Selah. The teens crowded into the doorway while we were trying to practice today to watch the younger kids. Then I overheard them when they went upstairs telling the adults how fun the little kids’ choir is and that the adults will love what the young ones have prepared for church. I hope I made the choir fun, but also taught them a lot about performing for God in the process as well. I always stressed that if we are going to do something for God’s glory than we ought to give our best and if we don’t give our best in practice than we won’t be able to give our best when we do the actual performance. Do they think that God is pleased if we don’t give Him our best? Whenever I asked that, I got a few kids who would grumble a little, but they always did better afterwards. We had our bad days where practices didn’t go well even when we tried our best, but that is part of life and we were able to shrug off those days and come back determined to do better next time. I’m proud of those kids. Now, it’s time for me to take a break though. I need it badly.

I would like my prayer warriors to join me for one of Jeremy’s co-workers and her husband. They are in need of prayer for health issues… for both of them. I have met them and they are a very sweet young Christian couple. I appreciate the prayers you all have for all of the requests I put up. I don’t know how many warriors I have praying out there, but I know there are enough strong faithful ones. You all are awesome.

A Change…

I gave my resignation to my boss at church. I am stepping down from my jobs there at the end of this month. I don’t think they will have a hard time finding an Assistant Director for the adult choir or someone to lead Praise and Worship, but I’m not sure about the Children’s Choir Director position. I took it two years ago as a temporary position until they could find someone else to take over, but no one else came forward. Because of that and the fact that the children’s choir has only 7 members, 5 of which are my own children and the other 2 only come about half of the time… I get no real break from my kids except during Sunday School, a half hour on Sunday morning. I need that hour long break on Wednesday night when I can either work with a different group or go to an adult Bible study time. Anyway, there are other reasons why I am stepping down from my positions, but those I do not think are public blog material.

For those of you who have prayed for us when I asked for prayer about the decisions we needed to make about church, I thank you. I still need them as we go through the next few weeks.

A Date with My Son

Two years ago, I took Amie to see “The Nutcracker”. I was planning on doing something with James last year, but we weren’t able to. So, this year, I had my special big date with him. In his musical theater dance class, his teacher gives out papers telling auditions that are happening and when plays and musicals are showing. He came home last month with a paper telling about the musical “Willy Wonka”. This weekend was the closing shows and so the two of us made a date for Saturday matinee. He has been looking forward to this for two weeks. They don’t have online ticket purchasing for this small town theatre, so I didn’t secure the tickets beforehand. We left about two and a half hours before the show started and headed down there. Being extremely delayed by Christmas shopping traffic, we finally got to the theatre that was about 30 miles away about an hour before the show started… if you do the math, that was an hour and a half drive. Unfortunately, by that time, that show was sold out. I was able to buy tickets for the evening show that night. We then had about 5 hours to wait. We headed to the nearest town with a mall and walked around checking out different things, James was thinking about his birthday next month while I was thinking Christmas presents. After doing foot traveling through the building, we stopped at the Borders bookstore there and got something to drink while we talked. Since he really wants to do plays and musicals, we discussed what he will need for the auditions, pictures for his portfolio, a song from a musical along with sheet music, and a fresh haircut beforehand. When we left, we realized we still had an hour to kill. We stopped at a Walmart and walked around there. That’s where James found what he wants for his birthday. Nerf, anyone?? So, we finally headed back to the theatre. It’s in a converted old church, very nice place. We got there early to make sure to take care of bathroom stuff. They opened up the theater and we took our seats… in the front row. The stage was only about two feet high, so they were still good seats and the actors had some small interaction with the kids in the front row a bit, making eye contact, pointing, and waving. They had a small cast production. Some of the actors and actresses had to take double roles, but they did a great job and I don’t think the kids realized it. My favorite character in the whole show was Grandma Georgina. The actor who played her was so expressive and she stole the show. The people playing the children were adults, 18 years or older, and it was so fun watching them pretend to be kids. The boy playing Charlie Bucket did an awesome job and his voice was very good. Willy Wonka was played by a man with a strong singing voice. He had a lisp, but it added to his character. James has a bit of a lisp when he talks and during intermission, we discussed how inspiring it was for him to see someone with a speech impediment like him in a main role. It gave him more hope. After the show was over, I saw James speechless. We had the opportunity to meet the actors and actresses and he had nothing to say. I have never, ever seen him unable to talk before. I got a hug from Grandma Georgina and took a picture of James with the actor who played Willy Wonka. Those of you who know me now, know that I am NOT shy and I enjoyed talking to some of the different actors and actresses.

And that is my date with my son… and somehow this blog also turned into a review of the musical “Willy Wonka” done by the Chicago Street Theatre in Valparaiso, IN.

One thing this made me realize… I miss the stage a lot. Maybe one of these days, I might be able to audition for something, but not right now… we don’t have the ability to do it.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas and It is Bugging Me

Houses are being decorated. I love seeing the nice tastefully decorated ones. They are lovely to see, but more and more often, I am finding so many houses that are decorated tacky or look like they put up whatever lights they found wherever they could find room. It looks horrible. I don’t like driving up our street at night right now. One of the houses up the street has that slapped on the lights look to it. They have 3 strands layered on their roof and each strand is a different color with no pattern and they flash with no distinct rhythm between them which drives me absolutely nuts. It looks sloppy. They have a star plastered on the top of the fireplace too that flashes with short times of being lit and very long times of being dark. I almost couldn’t tell what it was. I told Jeremy that I am thankful that I don’t live near that house (it is about 4 blocks away) because it would drive me totally insane. Don’t get me wrong. I love lights on a house and I usually don’t mind them flashing. I do have this thing about stuff being in rhythm together so some bother me, but none as much as this one house. I can put up with most of them. The other thing that bugs me are those huge blow-up yard decorations. Here in Chicagoland, we have small yards. One of them is good. Two is starting to look a bit crowded. Any more than that and it looks like you are trying to make sure ALL the grass in your front yard is hidden. Don’t get me started on too many of the other yard decorations. Reindeer and Santa in his sleigh plus a full manger scene plus little red and green elves stuck running willy-nilly through out the yard makes me shudder. When we lived out where there were big yards and people would made specific spots on their yards for each Christmas scene showed me how creative those people were. These small yards have no room for that. Having Santa and his sleigh and reindeer usually takes up most of the yard. The same goes for a full manger scene.

What happened to making sure your house looked pretty for Christmas? This is a time to celebrate and enjoy the season. Remember Christ who came down to earth as a little baby so later on in His life He could teach us what true love was. Not a time to show everyone how much money you can spend on decorations and showing off how many lights you can shove onto your house or decorations you can crowd onto your yard. It’s a time to get creative with your house and yard, but not overly so.

I know, this is a silly rant, but I had to say it. I know the true meaning of Christmas and this is nothing compared to that. In the meantime, I have a birthday to prepare for. Anyone know where I can find candy apples at this time of year? The birthday girl has requested those.