Category Archives: Music

Re-learning Family Singing Time

The other day Dot and I were off on a Mother/Daughter date, which involved a little shopping, yummy food, and lots of talking. At one point, as we were pulling into a parking lot, Dot glanced at me and said, “Mom, we haven’t been doing very much music at home since Lizy passed away. I miss it.”

I hadn’t really thought about it until she said something, but she was right. Something that had been such a standard in the home had slowly drifted away. I thought of the times – at least a couple times a week – we’d gather around the piano. I’d play, they’d sing or get out the rhythm instruments and make a grand ruckus.

We had tried a few times since Lizy passed away. The first time was a half-hearted effort reminiscent of the sad little scene in “The Sound of Music” where the children are sad that Maria left and they all drift off. It was kinda like that, but without anyone to rally us together.

It seemed like each effort of family singing time ended with girls crying into my shoulders and boys staring wistfully out windows. So, they slipped away.

Until Dot said something. I knew Lizy would be bummed that we weren’t singing like we used to. Heck, I was bummed.

So, today I decided we’d sing around the piano. It had been a while. Maybe it would be easier.

Well, I can’t exactly say we didn’t end in tears, and I can’t exactly say it didn’t put me into a bit of a blue funk, but I can say I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was just a little easier.

I decided that memories are packed into music so tightly that for our family there is nothing that gets those memories and tears flowing like it. It doesn’t do any good to avoid Lizy’s favorite songs, because inadvertently I stumble across a song that I can just hear her singing in my head along with the girls. That happened today. It was wonderful and heartbreaking all at once.

It’s been over a year. I like to think we’re doing pretty good. But to say it still doesn’t hurt would be a lie. There are still many days where my heart feels like lead no matter how much fun we’re having, how much we’re laughing, how many adventures we go on. It’s just heavy beneath it all.

I don’t say that to whine. But I know so many people expect to “be better” or “back to normal” in a certain time frame, and there just isn’t a time frame on grief. Even after you have invited it to leave and thought you locked the door, it comes back for lengthy stays.

So, what is my point with all this and our music experience today?

Well, it was hard, it was really hard. Especially singing “Holding Hands Around the World” a song the girls sang in primary some years ago – Lizy would belt that song out like no other and I didn’t remember until we were all singing the song and I half-expected/half-heard her singing with us and I could hardly see the music, let alone sing.

But we do hard things. And, as hard as it was – as much as I wanted to erase the pain as I held a sobbing girl in my arms at the end – it was wonderful and it felt good and it was easier than the last time (we actually lasted close to an hour before the tears hit).  So, I can only hope that each time gets a little easier and soon the memories will bring more smiles than tears.

Healing takes time. A lot of time. More than I ever would have thought being on the outside looking in, goodness – more than I thought being on the inside too.  But it will come. And the reason it comes is because we have hope and faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement. That’s what keeps us going. Every day. He makes it possible to get through the heartbreak and do the hard things. He lifts us and carries us on when can’t possibly take another step. I have a testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His atonement. I have a testimony of His, and our Heavenly Father’s, great love for us. I have felt it. It has buoyed me up when I thought I would drown. I have watched my children with their sweet perfect faith feel his love and share it with me. He is always there, loving, waiting, and hoping we will turn to Him. I love my Savior and  my Heavenly Father, and I know that someday because of all that Christ did for us, I will see Lizy again because our family is eternal.

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3 Comments

Filed under Child loss, Music, Religion

Hippo the Hero

Whew!

Things have been CRAZY busy.

I THOUGHT I had everything ready for Christmas.

Or at least close to ready.

I WAS WRONG!

Paul and I finished up the last of the shopping Friday night and sat down to total everything up.

Turns out, that those quilts I had decided to post pone making until birthdays were CRUCIAL Christmas items.

So, between late Friday night and this afternoon I have been frantically putting together TWO twin-sized quilts and a fleece blanket.

That explains why I missed Monday.

Anyway, I am officially ready now.

YAY!

and looking forward to doing a new 100 word challenge – but that will have to wait until Friday.

So, tonight, Emily and I went to do her Christmas shopping.

Usually the kids make stuff, but I have been SO busy, that I hadn’t had the chance to help them, so we just went to the dollar store.

We walked up and down the aisles trying to find something for Liz and then stopped dead in our tracks.

I pointed at a toy hippo.

“Give her a hippopotamus for Christmas!”

Emily started laughing. I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas is her (Liz’s)  FAVORITE song.

I even found the sheet music to it this year and added it to our sing around the piano pile.

After we checked out we went to the car.

The radio came on and

guess what song they were playing??

3 Comments

Filed under Children, Em, Every Day Life, Lizy, Music

100 Word Challenge – Christmas Carols (la la la)

so, Limebird Writers issued a challenge, which they snagged from Julia’s Place (not me, another Julia – I like her already!)

The challenge?

to rewrite (using 100 or less words) a Christmas Carol making it be about Christmas dinner. Julia specifically stated (that is so weird saying my own name, I feel like I’m talking in the third person, ha ha – oh wait I am… oh never mind)

” I want you to choose a favourite carol and re-write it with the theme of a Christmas Dinner. You have to tell your readers which carol it is and they have to be able to sing your version back to themselves. That means the right tempo and beat.”

Anyway, it sounded FUN, so I HAD to do it.

I chose “It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas”.

Problem is

it’s a LONG song

so I planned on just doing the first Refrain.

After I did that, I had less than 100 words and I thought the patter would be quite challenging and I had to give it a try.

By then I was at 104 words. I could have left you all to repeat the refrain, but what’s the fun in that? and since I was over the 100 word limit ANYWAY I dove in and finished it off.

So, I broke the rules.

but I promise to do better in the future 😀

(if you’re a real stickler on the 100 words thing, just quit reading after the first refrain and you’re good. 😀 )

“It’s Beginning to Smell a lot Like Christmas”

 

Refrain

 

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

Oven is aglow

Take a peek at the ham and then,

Whistling once again,

You snitch a cookie quick so mom won’t know.

 

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

And the hour is late

All the yummiest things to eat

Are pulling you to your seat

But you’ll have to wait.

 

 Patter

 

A slice of strawberry pie and some rolls make you sigh as you wish the meal would begin

Warm Christmas cake and the punch make you ache as the drool de-sce-ends your chin.

Then fin’ly mother gives the call for you-u to dig in.

 

 Refrain

 

It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas.

Joy in every bite

Eat some mashed potatoes and ham

Slather some bread with jam

And get so full that all your jeans are tight.

 

It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas

Food and punch galore

But the thing that will taste the best

Is the late afternoon rest

Passed out on the floor.

Now, it’s YOUR turn!

(Let me know if you do it, because I want to read it!)

Go HERE to read others – and you can add your own link to the list if you want 😀

24 Comments

Filed under 100 Word Challenge, Music, Writing

A song for Gladys

The other day I was asked to accompany two sisters singing a song for the ward talent show.

So I look at the title and it says “Jar of Hearts”. I immediately think of my book, The Heart of the Castle, based on Bluebeard. The further into the song we went, the more I had to chuckle and laugh – it fit SO well! Any of you who read and edited the book for me will get a good chuckle out of it – I can explain it further to the rest… or you can just wait to read the book yourself someday – but it could be a VERY long time before it ever gets out there.

So, my book has a theme song! ha ha! My main character, Gladys, is thrilled. Someday, if I ever get published, and if it’s ever turned into a movie (which I don’t know if I’d really want anyway) this would make be perfect. In the meantime, I’ll let it play at the back of my mind as I watch the movie in my head.

4 Comments

Filed under Music, Writing

Who’d have thunk?

When we moved to Cincinnati I thought things would be a certain way.

For example, I figured that I would get even more eyebrows and “four-headed alien” looks from people as we marched our brood around – especially going from five to six! I mean good grief, I was at the Oregon zoo once with just four and people were looking at me as though we belonged in the exhibit.

It doesn’t bother me. I know that large families are becoming a rare species, but I LOVE the chaos and hubub (I love the word) that rolls along with large families. Sure, we have to work harder to make ends meet, (we eat lots and LOTS of soup and casseroles because they stretch best), our kids go without gameboys and ipods and cell phones and brand spanking new name brand clothes, and they’ll probably have to work and pay their own way through college (makes them appreciate it more, right?).

But they have built in friends. People that will say, when no one else will, I’ve got your back. They have their own cheer squad, no one cheers louder than the kids during soccer games and band concerts (yes, we cheer at band concerts, but only at appropriate times, I promise). There are tough times. Goodness knows at least twice a weak I’m ready to sell my kids on the street corner in exchange for my sanity, but sanity is highly over-rated. (Have you ever noticed how only the insane people have fun?).

I pray and fret over my kids and how I am doing as a mother. I plead with Heavenly Father about how to help them in their struggles. But admist all the struggles and pleading and crying there is nothing sweeter than a baby’s smile, a two/three-year-old’s sloppy kiss, the five-year-old’s giant hug and “help” with the dishes, the 8-year-old’s laughing face at her dad’s latest joke, the ten-year-old’s sweet smile as we snuggle down for a story, and the eleven-year-old’s grin as you flop on the bed to have a heart-to-heart. Every moment is WORTH it.

Anyway, I digress, I love my family and I’ve gotten used to coming up with clever jokes to answer questions like, “are they all yours? (in a disparaging tone), and “you’re done right?” (which by the way we are, but that’s not the point). And I was expecting that out here – in fact, I was expecting MORE of that out here. I was gearing up to feeling like the bizaar zoo exhibit with my crew of awesome kids and the dissaproving glances.

But you know what? Out here in grand ol’ Cincinnati I haven’t had a single alien-headed look, I haven’t had one disaproving glance, and I haven’t even had to use one of my clever jokes yet! Not once! In fact, most people think it’s awesome. They came from a big family too! They might not want to have that many kids, but they think it’s pretty awesome that I do. I love that.

And there’s something else I never expected. Just a cool little thing that is bizaar in the most WONDERFUL way. Just one little half hour every Sunday morning at 8:00. Who would have thought it, but a radio station out here plays Music and the Spoken Word  from 8-8:30 every Sunday morning. And not just any radio station but a rowdy rock radio station? (and not Christian Rock either, which would make a little more sense somehow) How awesome is that? We can put CDs in and listen to all the church music we want, but there is just something awesome about flipping on our radio way out here in Cincinnati and listening to a re-broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. It makes my heart happy. It makes my hubby grin. It lightens our home and we think, WOW, this is SO cool.

And then we rush to the radio at 8:30 to snap it off before the rock music starts blasting away the spirit. Hee hee.

So those are two things I NEVER expected out here. Pretty awesome, huh?

By the way, after I wrote this I looked up Music and the Spoken Word – they actually have it broadcast all over the place! If you want to find a station that plays it near you, go to the link and look up your state! 🙂

3 Comments

Filed under Every Day Life, Music, Opinion

The Realistic Mommy Blog

So far in the New Year…. (to be read with much humor – this is not a whiny post, I promise)

Dog ran off and taken by the pound
Crock pot broke
Car battery died
Watches broke
Glasses broke
Picture broke
Poor cat carted around in a pillow case
Cat food dumped everywhere
Snow day after snow day after snow day after snow day after… (is
the month of January included in winter vacations out here?)
Regular sugar spilled
Power breakers shut off
Laundry soap spilled (while being played in with match box cars)
Heater turned off
Refrigerator and Freezer shut off
5 lbs of powder sugar dumped ALL over my kitchen and spread through
the entire main floor of my house
The other car battery died
Husband working late more nights than I can count
World wars 3,4,5,and 6 have all started and ended in our house –
actually some of them are ongoing
Temper tantrums galore
Sleds shattered
Dog destroyed the cover to the grill (why did we pay to get him back?)
Poo spots, pee spots (ah the joy of potty training)
Food on the floor, on the walls, and yes, even on the ceiling
Upstairs Bathroom flooded (we were catching water below in the garage)

and

to top it off

NO INTERNET OR PHONE (our phone is through our internet) FOR OVER 5 DAYS!!! And when they did fix it it’s been either stinkin’ slow or disconnects every few minutes.

I wonder if I read this post backwards if it will all come back or fix itself. In the meantime, enjoy this wonderful new theme song I have come up with for my boys…

Just two good old boys, never meanin’ no harm….
Beats all you never saw, been in trouble with their ma
Since the day they was born.

Straightenin’ the curves, flattenin’ the hills….
Someday the mountain might get ’em but their ma never will.

Makin’ their way, the only way they know how…
That’s just a little bit more than their ma will allow.

Just two good ol’ boys, wouldn’t change if they could,
Fightin’ the system like a two-year-old Robin Hood…

*inspired by a wonderful article about mormon mommy bloggers and their shiny picture perfect lives oh, and of course the ever so fabulous Dukes of Hazzard

6 Comments

Filed under Every Day Life, Family, Humor, Jacob, James, Music

Ring of Fire

brought to you by Sir Reginald, the mouse.

Dear Sir and Madame,
I hearby issue an ultimatum. You are to cease and desist your attempts of dooming me to a death by conflagration immediately. You invade my home, land, and wood, provide me a comfortable dry place to live, and yet set it on fire multiple times. I understand you need to eat, but surely you have places indoors to cook your food and don’t need to use the thing you call a grill. Don’t try blaming me for living in your steel deathtrap either, you have given me little choice.

I hear your mocks of laughter, what can a wee little mouse do to us when we can simply light his furry little hide on fire. Well, I shall tell you, I will not go down without a fight and I shall take everything I can down with me.

Should you attempt to evict me from my home once more one of the following will happen.

1. I, burning tail and all, shall flee under your fancy giant’s home and set it all on fire.
2. Though I may perish by fire I shall linger on your metal wires contaminating your food so that you may all die a slow agonizing death.
3. My ancestors shall haunt your home all the days of your lives, your children’s lives and the you grandchildren’s lives. No matter where you go you cannot hide. There is no place we can’t infiltrate.

I fear not death by fire, for I know I will be avenged.

THIS IS WAR.

Respectfully,
Sir Reginald, The Mouse

(After finding and reading the above letter ensconced in our grill on our back patio we heard the following faint mocking strains. The words were slightly altered, so I have posted the lyrics we heard. Please press play on the following and then scroll down and sing along.)

In this pit I’m king
And rule this Fiery Ring
It is my Wild Desire
To die by martyr’s Fire

I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher

And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Fire
The Ring Of Fire

I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher

And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Fire
The Ring Of Fire

The Taste Of revenge Is Sweet
I’ll flavor all your Meat
I’ll scamper to your house
And you will curse this mouse.

I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher

And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Fire
The Ring Of Fire

I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher

And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Fire
The Ring Of Fire

And It Burns, Burns, Burns

The Ring Of Fire

The Ring Of Fire

*Many thanks to my HHH (Handsome Huggable Hubby) for collaborating with me on the lyrics.

** Dedicated to Lindsay and her inspiring post.

4 Comments

Filed under Humor, Music, Writing