Monday, December 19, 2011

A Merry Christmas Mega Post

It turns out I am related to Santa Claus. Who knew?

Maybe that's why we all get treated so much better than we deserve.

Not to complain about my children (who are absolutely wonderful) but sometimes when I as them to help with a video (like a birthday video for their brother in Mexico), they help a little bit and then they balk at the idea of being on camera. Then I ask myself, do I not know technology? And through the magic that is digital, I can "make" my kids sing and dance! So here is Macey's belated birthday video -- and timely Christmas Video:

Of course my kids may have an itty-bitty excuse for not being overly cooperative -- they have been overly busy this holiday season, which of course trickles down to me. I've had to do some fancy learning just to keep up with them. The following is a video of Cameron's technical and difficult trumpet recital piece. He held his nerves together much better than I did. What a fantastic musician!

Bobo had concerts in choir, orchestra, and band.

Her orchestra teacher always chooses a wide variety of pieces including some very cutting edge modern pieces. This one combines two of Bobo's loves: origami and music.

And Bobo totally nails her solo in Frosty the Snowman!

Speaking of solos, JoJo at long last got to combine two of his loves in one song -- Jazz and the Clarinet. Check out his solo in King Porter Stomp!

And Last but not Least, Naji has joined the holiday concert game. He has concerts in orchestra and choir. His choir concert is tonight (hopefully we will get footage of that) but to hold us over, here are two clips from his orchestra concert -- pretty good for only having played since September! Ahhhhh, maybe this is why Santa treats these kids so well!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Miracles

I have been dependent on Christmas Miracles for so long now, they are almost expected. I've seen some doosies. Somehow, every year I come up with the money to buy presents for my over-sized tribe. But this year I was resigned to not expect a miracle. No extra cash loomed on the horizon. In fact, to coin a nautical term, my morning skies were red ("Red Sky in Morning, Sailors take warning")

But I did not let that get me down, because this year I decided there would be no Christmas Miracle and that would be alright. In fact the true Christmas Miracle would be that even without the extra cash or presents Christmas is a magical time. I was determined to enjoy the holiday season, refuse to get stressed, and celebrate the joys of being surrounded by family and friends.

But it looks like I am going to have to put the "Miracle of no Christmas Miracle" Christmas off another year. I got an organ for Christmas. One with AGO pedals. One that I can practice Bach and Prelude and Hymns on every day of the year. But the circumstances through which I got the organ got me thinking.

As emotional as it was for me to finally get an organ (yes, tears were involved) I truly felt for the organist who had to let it go. It took her a couple of days, and some practicing, and some polishing, and some power naps before she could say goodbye. But it was at a time in her life when she needed to let it go -- and make a sacrifice for the Lord. Which leads me to think "For everything there is a time and a season under heaven." I am so thankful I still have time to practice and to learn and to indulge myself. And I am so thankful that the Lord giveth. And I pray that I will be as gracious and willing as those around me when the time comes for the Lord to take away.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Morning After

Yeah! I totally survived D-Day (Smiley Face). And it turned out ok. Jojo was pleased with his recital -- so I didn't get fired as an accompanist. I had been so nervous about his piece that by the time we played our Jazz pieces that night, I had no nerves left so I was able to just enjoy the enjoy the music and the party. For those of you who are interested, here's the footage. (PS I was a little sad that Macey couldn't be there, so I asked Bro Edie to play his guitar - Merry Christmas Mace -- hope your package gets to Mexico in time) (PPS Check out Bobo and Cameron on Trombone!)

Friday, December 2, 2011

1/2 of D Day Down

What???? Can't Naji even get half a day of fame all to himself??? Today is what I have termed "Dooms Day". I had to play for Jojo's student recital this afternoon. Tonight I play in the RiverRidge Jazz Ensemble at the Ward Christmas party. I have to say, the majority of my stress must have been at Joe's expense, because I feel better already. Here's how we did at the Student Recital.

Fourth Grade Rituals

Ahhhh Fourth Grade. Sure, third grade is great -- you learn your multiplication tables and how to write in cursive. But, in fourth grade you can get yourself initiated into the world of fine art. Naji has jumped in with both feet. He takes early morning Choir (Tues/Thurs) and early morning Orchestra (M-F). So by the time most kids are getting up, he's already attended two classes. And thanks to the Holiday Season, he's already had his first concert. This is a video of the Riverside Elementary Choir at the Dicken's Festival. (Naji's in the second to back row and is wearing antlers) Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for more season concert footage.