January 31, 2010

Bocelli sings the Lord's Prayer & Kids Help Their Parents Through the College Admission Process

I hesitate EVER to call myself a "singer" again after watching this rendition of the Lord's Prayer from Andrea Bocelli . How does he DO that??? That's a LONG stream of beautiful air coming out of his lungs. The choir and orchestra aren't bad either... (hat tip to my Bible study leader, Heather)

We're looking at various college options for Jason in 18 months. One website offered the following helpful advice for prospective university students:
  • Helping Your Parents Through This Process

    For parents, sending a child off to college is a big deal. ...Your parent(s) may feel lots of different things, and sometimes conflicting things at the same time. High hopes for you. Pride and a fierce determination that you go to a "good enough" school. Anxiety about your happiness and safety. Nervousness about what they see as a very big step for you. Grief that you are unmistakably growing up. Uncertainty about how to pay the tuition. Inadequacy, if they feel they can't help you with the admissions process. Frustration, because they can't control the outcome for you. An intense desire to help you - coupled with a desire not to interfere too much (as you can imagine, this can be a particularly hard pair of feelings to juggle). If you're applying to schools of the caliber of MIT, they may be worried that you won't get in - and equally worried that you will.

    Some parents cope with their feelings by paying a lot of attention to the college search process, others by being totally hands-off. Most come down somewhere in between....

    • If you would like more help and support from your parents, or less, or a different kind, dare to talk with them about it. Try letting them know that you understand how they're feeling, and then asking them to make a change. Your parents can be incredibly helpful in sorting through your college choices. Most likely, no one knows you better or cares more about how the world treats you. But it really helps to face the process as a unified team, with shared expectations.

    • If you and your parents are having a hard time striking the right balance between hands-on and hands-off, one practical tactic is to choose a few specific items on your long list of pre-college tasks and assign them to your parents. Of course, the big, substantive jobs should all go to you - things like deciding on your final list of schools, writing your essays, making calls to the admissions office, scheduling your interview. But there are plenty of other roles for your parents, if they're interested. Some likely tasks include planning college tours, keeping track of application deadlines...

So insightful and healthy-sounding! May God help us to strike the right balance.

Posted via email from K's Café

January 31, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 17, 2009

Seleger Moor - Largest Rhododendron Garden in Switzerland

Today we were very happy to see Emily make her début on keyboards at church with the worship team. I sang, Jason did drums as usual, and David managed the sound board (challenging this morning as we added the keyboard which had not been used for 6 months or so, and also a 'cello, likewise, and there was only one guitar as opposed to the usual two). Emily has sung before, but never played the keyboard at church. She was nervous but did just fine (we all made some mistakes). It was really fun all to be serving together musically, in four different capacities. Speaking of keyboards, I found a really cool Virtual Piano Chords site, which shows you visually which piano keys to press to get any chord (with sus, 2, 7, minor, etc as choices for each note letter). It was helpful in Emily's preparation for the pieces she was learning, when she didn't already know a chord.

Then after the service, we spontaneously decided with another family to make a first-time visit to Seleger Moor, apparently the largest and "most beautiful" (hmmm, can you say subjective?) rhododendron/azalea garden in Switzerland. It's only 15 minutes from our house, but I hadn't even realized until recently that it was there (quite possibly because it's only open from May to July anyway). It was indeed lovely. Delicious fragrances swirled as we strolled amongst the towering bushes. We also admired frogs and dragonflies near the various ponds with water lilies. Here's the view from just outside the gardens.

May 17, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 21, 2008

Word Lyrics

She sang to us in the car, reminding us of some very precious promises:

I think it's time I rediscover All the ground that I have covered,

Like seek ye first what a verse

We are pressed but not crushed
Perplexed but don't despair
We are persecuted but not abandoned

We are no longer slaves
We are daughters and sons

And when we are weak we are very strong

And neither death nor life nor present
Nor future nor depth nor height
Can keep us from the love of Christ

And the Word I need is the Word that was
Who put on flesh to dwell with us

In the beginning

See all lyrics of The Word, by Sara Groves. Listen to Sara Groves on iTunes.

When she had finished, David, who was driving, brightly asserted that we ought to check that the kids knew where all those lyrical references came from in the Bible. The singer has strung together a whole bunch of crucial, old familiar bits she's read over and over and could find pretty easily. But for our kids? They are just discovering the depths of the Bible for themselves, reading a little each day. We wanted to bring the origins of the song's ideas to life and concreteness for them.

So when we arrived home, we assembled in the living room and hosted a family scavenger hunt through the Bible with concordances and/or electronic searching capabilities to track down and read out all the parts Sara Groves was summing up. It was fun! In just a few lines she has juxtaposed Matthew, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans and John, with side references to themes from 2 Peter, 2 Timothy, Philippians and 1 Corinthians, and a chorus from Revelation.

I like songs that clearly get their words from the Word.

February 21, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 13, 2008

Must Have Done Something Right

Relient K is our kids' new favorite band of the moment.

After listening to their song "Must Have Done Something Right" I can't get it out of my head. It's romantic and fun, but after the 65th time straight through in my head, it gets tiring! See if you can get it stuck in your head, too.

January 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 11, 2006

White and Nerdy

Have you seen the "White and Nerdy" music video yet? It rapidly became very popular at our house with all ages. It's very funny. Watchable a LOT of times. But then it gets irreversibly stuck in your head as you are trying to go to sleep. I (or close relatives of mine) can identify with at least 32 parts of the song. And I counted them. Definitely a very nerdy thing to do. Don't read the details below until AFTER you've watched the video of the song, definitely. If you're not planning on watching it, just skip the rest of this post all together - it's meaningless without it.

- I like pacman (or liked); nephew got it on his iPod
- most definitely white; like Christian rap (old DC Talk stuff); but they were 2/3 white
- did get good grades in school and college
- my brother played D&D when we were growing up
- we have the Gödel Escher Bach book; my husband's read it
- saw Stephen Hawking talk in person in Aspen, Colorado
- starting orthodontia soon with eldest child
- love mayonnaise (but what does that have to do with anything? Don't most people?)
- I have played minesweeper in the past year but only b/c I was waiting for something
- I do type fairly fast
- I took a pascal course in college
- I like ping pong & played recently
- I love trivia games (except the entertainment and sports categories)
- I like star trek
- I have ridden a segue (for a few minutes) - lots of fun
- my son has light sabers from Star Wars - and my brothers had them growing up (a different kind)
- I have been given cool gadgets as gifts from my husband and I loved them (but much better than a power strip - which are pretty useful, mind you): PDAs, cell phones, that sort of thing
- I have a lot of pens in my purse
- I don't edit Wikipedia, but I sure use it a lot (and I have thought about one entry to add)
- my husband likes Monty Python (although I don't)
- at least I knew what ROTFLOL meant...though I never use it.
- my husband helped with the church website in France; he always gets called by all our relatives for any tech question; he made a home page for us
- I have a purple fanny pack (but only use it hiking sometimes; it did used to be my purse briefly when I had toddlers)
- have been shopping at Gap, but not recently
- have some bubble wrap in my office
- my son played badminton last year at school for PE part of the year
- my mom was in the Glee club, my son plays chess and has been in lots of tournaments
- I don't have an issue: I like Picard better
- have friends who go to the Renaissance fairs, but have never been myself
- have put names in my kids' underwear for camp
- I like Star Wars
- I like bowling but seldom go

Did you identify with much of the song? How nerdy are you, whatever color you are? Here's wikipedia's explanation of all the references in the lyrics.

November 11, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 08, 2006

Dance Praise

Our dear friends in Palo Alto, a homeschooling family of 7, introduced us to a new game a couple of years ago: Dance Praise (click on Dance Praise at the bottom of the screen). It's like Dance Dance Revolution, except with encouraging, wholesome songs and lyrics. Just as energetic and boppy. Upbeat songs by people like the Newsboys, Audio Adrenaline, Delirious?, ZOEgirl, Out of Eden, tobyMac, Steven Curtis Chapman, and David Crowder Band.

So about a month ago, we finally decided to get it for ourselves. We don't have a whole arcade game in our home, no - it's just a computer CD-rom which plays on our laptop screens, and two soft, foldable pads on the floor, so two people can duel or cooperate to make higher scores. I use it for exercise; there's a special mode for that which keeps track of time spent (or even calories burned, if you're into that). The time flies because I get so focused on stepping on the arrows at the right time, grooving to the beat...but as hard as I try, my kids are both always better than I. Come to our house and try it out...you'll want one, too. A great Christmas present: good for body and soul, interactive and social, and gets you farther away from the good old computer screen. No one paid me anything for this ad. I just love this game! It's almost too good to be true - but not quite.

October 8, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 22, 2006

Musical 8-Ball Meme

Jon Reid and Randall Phelps, both guys with whom we used to share a church family in California years ago, did this musical shuffle meme, and it looked like fun, so I did it too. Amazing some of the results, really. Try it if you like and let me know so I can see how your experiment turns out!

Here are the instructions as Jon stated them:

1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. Press next track for each question.
3. Use the song titles to answer the questions, even if it doesn't make sense.


* * *

Will you get far in life?
"Dubuque" by George Winston, from "Plains (Limited Edition)"

How do your friends see you?
"3b Double" by Itzhak Perlman, from "Sonatas & Partitas"

Will you get married?
"Looking Back" by Phil Keaggy, from "Acoustic Sketches"

What is your best friend's theme song?
"Rondo in C" by Beethoven, from "Bagatelles Opp.33, 119 & 126, Für Elise and Others"

What is the story of your life?
"Everywhere That You Go" by Out of the Grey, from "The Shape of Grace"

What was high school like?
"Easy Money" by Billy Joel, from "An Innocent Man"

How can you get ahead in life?
"Cartoons" by Chris Rice, from "A Night In Rocketown"

What is the best thing about your friends?
"Under The Umbrella" by Focus On The Family Radio Theatre, from "Little Women"

What is today going to be like?
"Get Down" by Audio Adrenaline, from "WoW 2000"

What is in store for this weekend?
"Dancing with the Dinosaur" by Steven Curtis Chapman, from "Heaven in the Real World"

What song describes you?
"I Want To Be Moved" by Ginny Owens, from "Without Condition"

To describe your grandparents?
"Autumn Dreamcatcher" by David Huntsinger, from "Autumn in New England"

How is your life going?
"When I Say Your Name" by Jump 5, from "Jump 5"

What song will they play at your funeral?
"Everybody Move With It" by Tammy Trent, from "Set You Free"

How does the world see you?
"Vivace" by Corelli, from "6 Concerti Grossi from op. 6"

What do your friends really think of you?
"Civilized" by Focus On The Family Radio Theatre, from "The Legend Of Squanto"

Do people secretly lust after you?
"Combination march" by Scott Joplin, from "The Entertainer"

How can I make myself happy?
"The Howling" by Rich Mullins, from "The World As Best As I Remember It (Vol. 1)"

What should you do with your life?
"Ton Amour" by Jeunesse En Mission, from "Ton Nom"

Will you ever have children?
"Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" by Amy Grant, from "Home For Christmas"

* * *

Ones I thought were particularly amazing "coincidences" include:
Will you get married? "Looking Back" (since it's already done)

What is the story of your life? "Everywhere That You Go" from "The Shape of Grace" (since I've lived a lot of places and depend needily on God's grace)

What is today going to be like? "Get Down" (since our work permit application was refused)

What song describes you? "I Want To Be Moved" from "Without Condition" (since we are about to move to England, except there are some conditions that have to be met first)

To describe your grandparents? from "Autumn in New England" (since all my grandparents lived in New England the whole time I knew them)

What song will they play at your funeral? "Everybody Move With It" from "Set You Free" (since I'll really be free then! And it's a super jazzy upbeat song)

Will you ever have children? "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" (since they're already doing that every year)

June 22, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 07, 2006

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

It has happened twice now, that a gorgeous sunny morning here in Southern France has prompted a "Radio Classique" disk jockey to play the rich, full, resonating voice of Bryn Terfel belting out "Oh What a Beautiful Morning," the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein song from Oklahoma. That is to say, I have caught it twice. Maybe they do it a lot more often.

The weird thing about this is that everything else on Radio Classique is in French. The announcers, the ads, the news. Or else it's just traditional instrumental classical music, with no words at all. Then all of a sudden this rich, golden, anglophone dominates the scene for a few minutes, winning every listener's heart with his fullness and joy. Or maybe it's just my anglophone heart responding to a fellow English-speaker, enhanced by the beauty of the weather around me. Or maybe it's the brilliance of the songwriters. I don't know, but it lifts my spirits. I would definitely go see him in concert, although I had never heard of him and had to guess on the spelling of his name based on how the French announcer pronounced it. Not very common first or last names either!

It's another beautiful morning out there, nothing but blue skies...maybe I'll hear it again. Or maybe I'll download it from the Apple music store.

April 7, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 15, 2006

Particularly Blessed Morning

Meeting with the church was extra-full of blessings this morning:

1. I worked in the church nursery for the first time. I had only one little sweet francophone two-year-old, whose favorite phrase was, "Eh ben, oui!" (= "Well...yes!"). Yes to everything. Full of smiles.

Do you know who Jesus is?
Do you know He loves you very much?

We danced and sang to children's praise songs, colored, read a children's Bible in French, spelled her name with colorful foam letters, and cuddled. It was a pleasure. God was gentle on my first time in there ;-) Wonderful feeling finally to be officially serving as well; not sure what took me so long.

2. A friend from the French church we attended all summer came to visit the International Chapel for the first time. She had lived in England for a year, so she is very interested in the English language. It was great to have her there and introduce our new friends to her.

3. Jason responded to a pastoral invitation for more participation in the running of the worship service by volunteering to play clarinet with the worship band in the future. This is very exciting to his mother.

4. Emily said she was so touched by the beautiful worship songs that she cried. Later, not to be outdone by her brother, she expressed her desire to sing with the worship team as well! We shall see how this all pans out. One of the particularly moving songs also appears on our Deep Still Christmas album, with a slightly different rhythm: How Deep the Father's Love for Us (words here).

January 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 09, 2006

Coming of Age Day

My calendar tells me today is "Coming of Age Day" in a country abbreviated simply "J."

Maybe even Jutland?
Or perhaps Jugoslavia? That doesn't exist anymore, does it?

What's certain is that in our house today, "J" stands for January 9th. Our 13th wedding anniversary. Every year, those enormous, momentous promises made in 1993 seem like a better and better decision. A Coming of Age indeed. A paradigm shift. A total entrusting of body and soul, for the first time. A lifelong investment in a radical, deep love that keeps giving back. Dividends sprout daily.

This morning I had trouble getting out of bed. After 13 minutes (yes, thirteen), I managed to drag myself out by the hair and go wake up our son for school. He wasn't too happy about it either. "It's not fair" is his mantra chanted for all events involving homework or school. I feel for him, but there you go. Anyway, I tried to cheer him by pointing out this was the very first Monday in 2006 that he'd had to go to school, and it was already the...the 9th!! I went running back into our bedroom to catch David for a kiss before he stepped into the shower, and wish him happy returns of the day. Suddenly I was full of smiles and energy. I haven't come back down yet.

I went into the kitchen to make hot chocolate for Jason and myself, and while it was heating, trotted to the music computer (containing MP3's of all our CDs, which I believe are somewhere in Colorado at this point) and prepared a playlist for the day: K's Romantic. Songs like:

Steven Curtis Chapman: We Belong Together (Tarzan and Jane), 11-6-64, We Will Dance, You've Got Me,I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), Echoes of Eden , With Every Little Kiss, Miracle of You
Amy Grant: Lucky One, Say You'll be Mine, Whatever it Takes
Lover's Waltz (Garrison Keillor)
Wayne Watson: 2 Loves
Susan Ashton: Love Profound, Send a Message, No Remedy for Love
Sade: Your Love is King, No Ordinary Love
Rebecca St. James: Wait for Me
Charlie Peacock: What's it Like in Your World

With songs about God's love sprinkled in, to remind myself what Real Love is (like Your Love Reaches Me, from the burn service), about giving not taking. God's love is our model, the way it's really done, to last. But He also made us romantic people, who get caught up in the spirit of the moment, with passion and gusto. I am persuaded it is a taste of our relationship with Him, a precious sampling of the intertwining of loyalty, security, service and heart-on-fire effervescence that will be seeing Him face to face, made holy by His hand, for Himself.

Thank you for marrying me, David. You are the joy of my life.

January 9, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack