Friday, June 15, 2012

It Is Well With My Soul

 A few months ago I received a message from my Azusa Pacific advisor asking if I had any suggestions on churches where the small group The Saints could perform. I gave him a few phone numbers but none of them panned out. I was quite pleased though when I got another message saying that the group had been booked locally. Every once in awhile we get to attend a sporting event within a 2 hour range or so but up to now hadn't had the chance to see anyone from the School of Music. Since I majored in music education and my husband was a music theory and composition major music is obviously near and dear to our hearts. He spent countless hours on the road with the University Choir and Orchestra, with the symphonic band, playing with the jazz combo "Dr. Smooth", and playing in his band Something Meaningless Under the Sun. I spent countless hours with the symphonic band (going from first chair flute in high school to 8th chair in college was kind of a kick in the pants.. ;) ), singing with Jubilant Song, being a TA for a music fundamentals class, and with the handbell choir. The music building was our second home.
 When we got to the church tonight it had just started raining. It stopped just long enough for us to get in the door and take our seats. There was another family already in the church and the two girls, Haley and JoRae, were also alumni of APU. The kids saw the fans first and made sure we were settled into a pew so they could be sure to get one.

Before I talk about the performance I have to say that Munchkin had a pretty bad attitude today. When I finally got her to talk about it she said it was because concerts are boring and she never has anything to do. I told her she could take her book and she could read it she got bored. That cheered her up and probably helped her have a better time than she would have.

 The guys, with Tatum on piano, started out with "Shut De Do" which caught the kids attention right away. Both Munchkin and Little Man were enraptured with the performance. Munchkin became a gigglebox when Jonathan, the leader, asked what her name was and commented on her APU shirt. She wouldn't answer, just giggled. Later on they had all of the kids (which ended up being Munchkin and one other little girl) come up from so they could sing a song from Tarzan for them. It was so fun and the congregation loved it. One of my favorites was Be Thou My Vision. I just remember the arrangement that our friend Chad did for University Choir and Orchestra and it has always stuck with me. The arrangement for 8 voices is obviously a bit different then that of a huge choir but it was lovely all the same.
Since all of my photos were taken on my phone I tried to compensate for the blurriness with a posterize filter. :)

 After the concert was over and the group was able to talk we had a good time talking about APU and about the people we knew in common. So, funny story, remember when Bobby was in a band called Daily Planet, formerly known as Houseblend? Well, the one senior in the group said that the Daily Planet CD was the first CD he bought! Another funny APU/Nashville connection. Billy Smiley from White Heart was there and Bobby talked to him about the writer's workshop Houseblend had with him way back before we moved to TN.

I posted on facebook when we got home that "It did my hear good tonight to hear some APU peeps singing. If you are on their route make sure to see the APU Saints".

I meant it, too. It was good for me to see that there are still fantastic musicians singing excellent quality music without the aid of autotune. It was also fun to see those distinctly APU musical traits that we grew to know and love while attending the best school in the US. :) So, if you are on the rest of their route go see them and support these talented young men (and one lovely lady playing piano). 

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Little Man!

8! How did we get to 8 already? Happy birthday Little Man! You are the sweetest kid ever! You are spunky and silly, emotional and loving. You love your big sister and want to do the things she does but you are becoming your own person and learning to tell her "No" when you don't want to play what she does. You are on reading level for the end of 1st grade and you are excited about being a big 2nd grader next year. You love your action figures and can play with them for hours, you have discovered looking up recipes online and love to make no bake cookies with me. You love Kyle Busch, Chris Johnson, Star Wars and the Avengers. You still love to watch PBS kids  (Dinosaur Train and Super Why). You have started asking to get your hair cut this year and are adamant about how it is cut. You still love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bananas, and anything sweet but you have started really liking a lot more foods. You will try anything I give you and give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Your daddy and I are so proud of you and pray for you every day. We pray that you will become the person God intends you to become and that you will succeed in all you to. I am looking forward to seeing all that being 8 brings for you. I love you Little Man! Love, Mommy!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Venus Transit

Today was an historic day. Venus made a trip in front of the sun and it was visible to see with the naked eye...well not naked, you really needed some nifty glasses to be able to see the planet become the black dot in front of the sun.

Munchkin had heard about the Transit of Venus from her daddy a couple of weeks ago and made sure to write it on the calendar. We decided to head out to the Adventure Science Center where there was a celebration of all things Venus.  There were free activities being held outside and you could go in the lobby to pick up glasses and register to win a telescope. Once we had our glasses we were on our way to Venus watching.
 These are the best shots I got of Venus in front of the sun. I was using my Cannon Rebel Xsi with my 75-300mm lens and I was holding the nifty solar glasses in front of the the lens as a filter. If you click to make this picture bigger you should be able to see Venus in each shot.
 There was a ton of people at the Adventure Science Center tonight. Parking was rather nightmarish and I am happy to report, the giant SUV that I parked behind did not hit me on the way out of their spot. One of the neatest things we saw was a homemade sun spotter. The contraption showed the image upside down and you were able to see Venus without looking directly at the sun. They also had games like draw a circle around a toilet plunger and draw a line on the shadow, come back before you leave and draw a line on the second shadow that is cast, and become a human sundial. The kids loved the activities.
 I am not sure how I managed the sun flare on this shot but I think it looks cool.
 This was a pretty common sight at the ASC. The couple was so sweet and were having a great time trying to see the sun. :)
 Check out all of the telescopes. A couple of years ago we went to go watch the stars. Bobby thinks this is the same Astronomy club that was there that night. I am amazed by the size of these telescopes. I am sure you could get a great view but I had no desire to stand in line to see.
 Another family had a bit more sophisticated sunspotter and you could really see Venus using their tool.
 We finally decided to go get dinner and sat on the patio at Rafferty's so we could keep watching the sun. After dinner I found a hill so we could watch the sunset. You cannot see Venus in any of these but I think they are pretty anyway.
 One funny story: While at the Adventure Science Center Bobby told Little Man that he needed to look because the next time this event happens we will all be dead. He said "We're all going to die? Even Munchkin? But she got baptized!"

Over all we had a very fun night and I am glad that we got to see history in progress!