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Feb 16, 2012

Valentine's Day and Other February Things

Sam on Valentine's Day morning staring with wonder and delight at the decorations we put up the night before.

"How'd dose (those) hearts get up dare (there)?", he said. When I explained what they were for, he jumped up in my arms, hugged me and whispered in my ear "I wove (love) you, Mommy".

Lena was excited too. She wakes up later than Sam (we all wake up later than Sam), but they opened their special book and stamp set together. I unfortunately didn't get a picture of that because we had to rush out the door to school right after.

One morning last weekend, Rich broke out the kids' giant art set, wrapped the counter in paper and let them have at it.

Sam was using coins to trace circles to use as the heads for the animals and people he was drawing. His artistic ability and ingenuity come from his father.

Lena was pretty much just scribbling, but she asked me to draw hearts for her. Unfortunately, she gets her artistic ability from her mother. (But man, can she sing! I need to post a video of her wailing away. She even shakes her head a little when she hits high notes!)

Yesterday we were home sick from school (Sam had a low fever which, thankfully, hasn't resurfaced). While I was in the kitchen cooking, this is what I saw happening in the living room - Sam pretending to put Lena to bed. What I heard was Lena saying "Night-night Sammie" and Sam singing her one of her most requested bedtime songs, "Jeengle (Jingle) Bewws (Bells)". He even stroked her hair once.

I guess he was making up for the absolute holy terror he was the night before when he was slamming his door and calling me names before his bedtime. Must have been the fever working on him, right? :)

They both must have been in snuggly moods because look at what they did to Miles just a few minutes later.

Then they sat and played quietly together until lunch. I hated to interrupt them - this is a rare scene at our house.

Feb 6, 2012

In the Presence of the Lord

One of my lifelong dreams has come to fruition: I'm a backup singer in a band.

Yes, I've always dreamed of being a backup singer. And yes, I'm aware that it's not a normal reach-for-the-stars kind of dream, but it's my dream.

Singing backup is an amalgamation of my talent for finding harmonies and my desire to be part of something cool without completely putting myself out there. It lets me add something to a song without drawing too much attention to my voice (which is a good voice, but not great by any means).

And I completely dig it. (Yeah, I can say "dig it" now. I'm in a band.)

It's a church band, which probably brings the coolness level down a few notches in some people's eyes, but those people have never heard our church band.

The lead singer has a bluesy, perfect pitched, smokey toned voice that blows me away. And she plays piano the same way - she's absolutely amazing. Seriously. And the guys who play guitars and drums (and sometimes sax) are all amazing musicians too. They are no joke. They know and play real music. Not just churchy stuff, which sometimes seems dumbed-down for the masses.

For instance, this Sunday they played Blind Faith's "In the Presence of the Lord" (click the blue words to hear the original). That's Clapton and Winwood. And they did it justice - the singing, the guitar was incredible. And moving. Just like good music should be.

These people are funny, down to earth, eclectic, intelligent, gifted people who have faith and guts and passion and talent. They play because they love it and are good at it and want to share it. Not for money or fame, although some of them are of that caliber. They have heard God's call to preach his word in the best way they know how - through music. They are inspiring.

I have never in my life so enjoyed serving God.


Each time I sing with this group, they truly bring me into the presence of the Lord. Which helps me reach out to the congregation so they can feel it too. I'm so grateful for and blessed by each of them and everything they've taught me musically and spiritually in the couple of months I've been with them.

Yeah, I'm a backup singer in a church band. And it's the coolest thing I've ever done!

Feb 4, 2012


Sam's been saying the funniest things.

Last night when we told him to take another bite of his bratwurst, he responded, "It too picy (spicy), I tell you!".

Or when he was playing this afternoon, he showed Rich how the Lego plane was supposed to go, adding sweetly, "No, no, wike (like) dis, Daddy. Det (get) it?"

He also came over to me the other day and stroked the side of my face and told me that he woved (loved) me.

It hasn't all been sweet or funny things coming out of his mouth (I blame the bad stuff on school, wink wink), but we won't memorialize those here.

That boy of ours is just growing up too darn fast.