Tag Archives: music

Veggie Wars

For days on end, possibly even weeks my husband and I have had the theme song to Veggie Tales stuck in our heads – to the extant that we have both memorized the entire song. We can’t seem to go anywhere without spontaneously breaking into song. On the rare moment I might acutally be thinking of something else one of the children inevitably starts singing the catchy little tune.

It’s hummable, it’s singable, it’s cute and quirky and about fun-loving vegetables, but after the four thousandth, five hundreth, and seventy third time something has got to be done.

And do it we did.

We re-wrote it.

This is the parent’s version. The version where all parent’s relate because we know what would really happen if we turned our children loose (especially the boys) in the produce aisle.

I give you:

Veggie Wars

If you like to squash ripe tomatoes
And can throw them half a mile
If green beans can become fiery missiles
Launched at people in the produce aisle.

Then have we got a show for you.

Veggie wars, veggie wars,
Veggie wars, veggie wars
Veggie wars, veggie wars,
Veggie wars – veggie wars.

Potato Bombs
Thrown at moms
Give no qualms
Veggie wars

Bazooka beans
In camo greens
Go unseen
Veggie wars

Cauliflower
With Ninja power
Makes you cower
Veggie wars

There’s never ever ever ever ever
Been a war like veggie wars
There’s never ever ever ever ever
Been a war like veggie wars

It’s time for veggie Wa-a-a-a-a-rs!

(please feel free to sing, and if you aren’t sure of the tune, click on the link above – it will take you to the real theme song so you can practice 😉 )

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Filed under Every Day Life, Humor, Music, Writing

If I had lots of money, that’s what I would want to do

There is a couple in our small town that has down great and marvelous things for our community. They have donated land for schools, parks, and I am sure numerous other things. One of the neatest things that they do is to bring the Oregon Symphony to our small town once a year. They play in the college auditorium, and the best part about it, is that the tickets are free. What an amazing opportunity! We can’t begin to afford tickets to the symphony for the two of us, let alone the children.

So, early in March I laid anxiously in wait for the tickets to arrive at our chamber of commerce. Once they did, I pounced and recieved five tickets for Paul, myself, and our three oldest. We figured the boys were a little young yet. 🙂

The day approached with mounting excitement. The concert was a pops concert – I typically prefer the classical concerts, but that night it was amazing! Byron Stripling was the symphony’s guest. He is absolutely amazing! He just wails on that trumpet hitting unearthly high notes that left us in awe. He can sing – his Louis Armstrong impression is fabulous, play amazingly, and is a comedian to boot. The girls were in hysterics, and Paul and I were laughing so hard we were near tears.

The entire concert featured jazz – I wasn’t too sure about a symphony orchestra playing jazz – but it was fabulous! I was amazed at the talent not only the director had, as he arranged all but one or two of the pieces, but the orchestra members as well to play pieces that must be so far out of their comfort zone.

The girls loved it, and Paul and I did as well. How often do you get to hear a world class trumpet soloist in person – and for free! If I had lots of money, that’s what I would want to do. I would want to bring in the orchestra (or something similar) and let people enjoy it for free.

A big thank you for the wonderful couple that gives our community such wonderful opportunities!

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Filed under Music

The Marvel of Music

Traduccion al Espanol

I don’t know exactly how it started, though I think it may have originated with my brother who started attending Ricks College the summer before me. Every Sunday a small group of us would walk off campus, past numerous student housing apartments to a small nursing home on the hill.

I was recruited namely form my piano ability, the rest came to sing. There was a beautiful grand piano in a large lobby area where the residents would gather. I’d crack open my hymn book and we would sing until voices were hoarse. We started with only about five of us. The piano plus a quartet, and we gradually grew. Before long there were easily twenty to thirty of us on some Sundays.

Small groups would break off and roam the halls, singing as they went. It was wonderful to see the face of the residents. How music stirred and lifted them. Brought cheer into their lives. Often we woud visit afterwards, and they had such wonderful stories to tell.

It was the first time he held my hand, on our way home from one of those visits. One of the girls in the group had hinted upon our arrival at the nursing home that my hands were terribly cold, so as we walked back to campus he suavely scooped my hand into his and tucked into his pocket. I still remember the thrill and grin like a giggly teenager whenever I think of that moment.

Those were some of my favorite times, playing and singing at the nursing home, expecially when he was with me. We didn’t have the oportunity much after we were married. We had kids, and it seemed that making it to a nursing home to play music was too hard to juggle with the children.

Then a couple weeks ago someone supplied me with a brilliant idea to have our upcoming (not until May) piano recital at one of the nursing homes in our town. Of course! I thought. Why hadn’t I thought of that.

Arrangements were made, and then it got me to thinking. It’s a Friday night. We need to go on the best date ever. So, I packed up as much old time music as I could find quickly, fetched the babysitter, and Paul and I drove to the nursing home.

We had called ahead to tell them we were coming, and they were waiting. They chuckled when they asked why we came and we said it was our date. We played and played, and sang and played. Paul brought his spoons as well. The memories were grand, and we played for an hour and a half. The smiling faces, the joy – this is the marvel of music.

We wound things down to a finish, put on our coats and headed back to our car. Paul reached down, scooped my hand into his and slid it into his pocket, sending a giddy girlish thrill shivering through me.

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Filed under Love and Marriage, Memory, Music

Aida!

The Friday before Mother’s Day was an amazing night.  A week before Paul recieved a company email from his company owners that they had opera tickets they would not be able to use and they would give them away to who ever contacted them first.  Paul fired back a swift reply and that was why that amazing Friday night found us walking into the Keller in downtown Portland for Aida! 

The tickets were amazing tickets, as the owners of Paul’s company are huge contributers. It was opening night and we were only about 19 rows or so from the front with a clear view of everything – there were even compimentory chocolates on the seats we were to take.  Free chocolate, especially good ones, are always a major bonus. 🙂

The opera was absolutely amazing, they did a fine job with it.  Usually I am a lover of the deep male voices as they belt out their songs, but this night had me entranced with the lead Soprano playing Aida.  Her voice was amazing. It wasn’t heavy with vibrato and shrieky, it was sweet and clear, a pristine voice that I could have listened to for days on end.  Her highest notes were exquisite and she was so expressive in her facial expressions and acting, she really made you believe that she was Aida torn between the love of her father and country and the man she loved and his country.

I her voice singing in my head all the way home. 

One of the other really neat things was that I had helped our babysitter’s mom with some things and in return she insisted on covering the babysitting bill for the night, so the night was totally free!! 

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A Flat

Dorothy got whacked in the head. Actually she got whacked in the mouth. She came crying to Daddy for some much needed comfort.

“Now I am going to have a flat,” she cried as Daddy gave her a big hug.

Dad got a confused look on his face and held her out at arms reach. “A what?”

“A flat,” she repeated and pointed to her lip.

“You mean a fat lip,” he said laughing.

“Yeah, a flat lip!” Dorothy said.

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Filed under Dot, Things Kids Say

Y is for Yakkety Yak Don’t Talk Back

Encyclopedia of Me Meme

 A problem we have been having in spades with a couple of our children lately.  I have been finding myself coming up with  quick little anecdotes such as, “One butt is enough for me thanks, I don’t need all of yours”, “I see you have a but, why don’t you sit on it in time-out”, or “Goats butt, kids behave.”  Every once in a while I will say, “we use bum, behind, or bottom in this house, no butts.” They look at me confused for a second and then continue, “But mom, that’s not what I meant…”   But, but, but….  *sigh* 

I think I have decided to have them start doing push-ups every time they start talking back and arguing.  Commet has gotten so good at it that she could be the queen of debate.  She’ll even start arguing the good things, until she realizes what we said and then the clamps up pretty quick before we change our minds.  Quick kid, that.  If nothing else, I would end up with some pretty tough cookies for kids. 🙂

Y is also for Yippee! Yahoo! and Yay!

Just my of letting you know that even with all the yakkety yakking I am a happy camper and all is well in family land.

Oooh, and lastly Y is for “Yingle Bells”.  

 A really fun, Swedish version of Jingle Bells that my granddad used to sing to us kids as he played his banjo.  For a great recording of it (not my granddad, the song) click on the link and turn up the volume.  It still makes me chuckle and now I play it on the piano as my family gathers around, singing “Yingle Bells” at the top of our lungs.

StinaLisa’s Recording of Yingle Bells

Be sure to sing along, should you have the notion too!

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Filed under Humor, Meme, Memory, Music, Parenting

T is for Ten Tiny Toes and other Things

Encyclopedia of Me Meme

T is for Ten Tiny Toes

Piggy Wiggles
by J.H. Schmidt
(A Pleiadic Poem)

They peek above the bubbles, the ten pink
Piggy toes, and salute me with a wink.

They peek above to see me creeping near
And quickly duck below in yearning fear,

Enshrouded by the bubbles. The bright eyes
Full of giggles, beckon me to devise

A crafty plan to capture those ten pink
Piglets. Stealthy, I creep up to the brink

And wait. A spy rises from the foam, then
Piggy toes and foot, a setting hen.

My fingers fly and the toesies wiggle,
Sparkling eyes salute me with giggles.

Away from my tickles they do not shrink,
But relish imprisonment with a wink.

***

T is for Talent

Of course as a parent I say, “My kids are loaded with it,” and they really are. They have also sorts of talents. One talent that appears very prominently among all the children is music.  Maybe it’s that Paul and I are so wrapped up in music with our family jam sessions, etc. Or maybe they were just born with it.  All three girls are learning to play piano and doing wonderfully.  Each has chosen a second instrument that they want to play someday.  Each instrument matches their personalities too, which cracks me up.  Elizabeth has declared that she would like to learn to play Flute, Dorothy the Trumpet, and Emily the French Horn.  Jacob? Well, Jacob might end up being a percussionist.

The other day I walked  into the living room to find that he had taken all of our rhythm instruments – drums, chimes, the works, and had line them up in a row on the couch. With a mallet in each hand he was fiercely playing away across all the different instruments.  He looked like a miniature percussionist in a symphony. 🙂 

One other funny thing:  We were driving to a neighboring town and, as usual, I had the radio on.  It was just me, Emily and Jacob in the car.  Things were rather quiet (aside from the music) and Jacob fell asleep. At one point I turned in my seat sneak a quick look at him while I was driving. His eyes were closed, his head slumped in slumber, and yet his little foot was ticking away with the beat. 

Dorothy is our little singer – she takes singing very seriously and has developed a bit of vibrato even.  I wish I knew more about singing so I could help her better her voice.

Elizabeth is a little composer of songs.  At any given moment we can find her singing at the top of her lungs, some nutty song she has made up about whatever it is she is doing (hmmmm…I don’t know where she would have got that one from).

And Emily, liking anything and everything about music, just does it all. 🙂

Yes, I am proud of my kids and there many talents. 🙂

***

T is for Toddlers in Trouble

Which is what my son is right now, as I have just heard him playing in the bathroom – hopefully he is not drinking out of the toilet again…

 He jumped and ran as soon as I got back there – little squirt.

As Jacob’s middle name is Paul I also like to modify the “Music Man Song” (it can apply for my hubby Paul at times too) – “We’ve got trouble, right here in River City. Trouble with a capitol T that rhymes with P that stands for PAUL!”  Hee hee. 🙂

***

T is for Tender Hugs and Kisses

Everyone needs them and my kids give them freely – I love my kids sloppy kisses and tackling hugs.

***

T is for Time

Which there is never enough of and always passes too quickly.  How fast the little ones grow and how long it takes us to learn to stop what we are doing and enjoy them.

***

T is for Trip and Travel

Did you know that ever since I was a little tyke I have been a world traveler? Every time I would trip and fall my Dad would announce, “And there she goes for another trip around the world!”  heh – I loved it. 🙂

***

T is for Tempted

I am tempted to keep this post going as long as possible to avoid cleaning the house – wouldn’t you be? 😉

***

T is for Terminated

Which means that this post has come to an end – and it’s off to work I go. 🙂

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Filed under Children, Dot, Em, Family, Humor, Jacob, Lizy, Meme, Poetry, Writing

J is for Jazz

Encyclopedia of Me Meme

My senior year in high school I signed up to be the pianist in Jazz band.  At school I always played the French horn for everything, and was looking forward to using some of my other talents and to something different as well.  I had talked with our band director and he had agreed that I, and one other person, should be the Jazz pianists.

On my first day of class I entered the band room to find three girls hovered around the piano.  I recognized the one I was to co-play with, and to our amazement the other two girls were there to play piano as well. they just hadn’t asked our band director’s permission.

Mr. E started called the class to order and scanned over everyone assembled and ready to play, “We end up with four pianists and no one to play trombone. How on Earth did that happen?”  He thought for a moment and disappeared into his office. When he came out he had a book and a trombone, though no one really noticed as we were all chatting once he disappeared.

“J-” he called to me.  “Here’s a trombone and here’s a beginner’s book, go teach yourself how to play and then come and join us. You can be our lone trombone player.”

Well, I had wanted something different, but not quite like that.  I did learn to play it passably well however, and by the end of the year I finally accepted all the jazz solos Mr. E kept trying to push on me.  I don’t think I could remember how to play a trombone now, but it sure would be fun to try if we had one. 

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Filed under Meme, Music, Youth

Again! Again!

I was sitting in the rocking chair beside the piano wishing for the waves of nausea that have been plaguing me for nearly 2 months now to subside and for my body to be suddenly infused with energy that I seemed so devoid of lately.  All the kids were playing outside with Dad except for Jacob who was rummaging through the music rythm instrument bin near the piano.

I watched through half opened eyes as he pulled out his favorite drum and prepared himself for a grand concert.  Then he looked at me, then at the piano, then at me, then at the piano.  Finally pointing a small chubby finger at the piano he looks at me, “Pay!”  I have an idea what he is asking, but it is too much fun to just do it, I have to encourage him a bit.

“Do you want me to play the piano?”

“Mama pay!” he says again.

“Can you say please?”

“Pease,” comes the plaintive little cry and I launch in a rollicking Joplin rag to which he beats and pounds upon his little drum. 

 I finished the piece and sat a moment thinking I should get dinner ready when Jacob pipes up, “again.”

“You want me to play again?”

“Pease,” he is catching on at this point and I launch into another fun frollicking piece.  What can I say, he is stroking my ego a bit.  There is something special about your child begging you to play and to keep playing.  I don’t recall any of the other kids begging me to keep playing, even though I know they enjoy it.

He put up the request of “Again, pease” one more time and then I really had to get dinner ready.  It sure is nice to know that my kids love music as much as Paul and I do. 🙂

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Filed under Children, Jacob, Music

The Magic Flute

Some time ago Paul recieved free tickets to the Portland Opera’s Dress Rehearsal of The Magic Flute by Mozart.  Our crazy weekend this last weekend began actually on Thursday as we prepared to go to the opera.  Paul actually ended up recieving two extra free tickets so we were thrilled to take our two oldest girls with us.  I never would have tried it if it wasn’t a dress rehearsal, but it was a great oportunity to expose them to opera, etc.

The girls were excited as we briskly walked the 7 blocks to the Civic Auditorium (Keller now I think) from where we parked. We made it in the nick of time, as I don’t walk too fast or well in high heels.  The girls were full of eager anticipation as the lights dimmed and the music began.

Worried, Dorothy leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Mom, I can’t see anything.” 

I chuckled softly, “This is the overture, we get to listen to the pretty music for a while.”

We watched the conductor and listened, then Dorothy giggled, “He’s funny!” As the conductor in a wild section of the overture waved his arms around. 

Trying not to laugh myself I gently shushed her and we settled down to enjoy the music once more.  Suddenly the overture came to an end and the grand red curtain rose exposing a breath taking forest scene.  Dorothy popped up in her chair as straight as can be, “Coooool!” she awed in a soft voice.  I noticed that Elizabeth was looking on with awe as well on the otherside of Paul. 

The speaking parts of the opera are in English while the singing is in German.  Paul pointed to the reader board with the English translation and whispered to Elizabeth that she could read the words up there.

“I don’t care if it isn’t in our language,” she quietly gushed, “I just want to listen.”

The night was truly magic for our kids.  And while to me the vocals weren’t the best I had heard the staging was marvelous and it was thoroughly enjoable.  And most importantly the kids loved every minute of it.  They stayed awake until the very end, which wasn’t until 10:00 at night, and even happily walked the 7 blocks back to the car.  We had mini binoculars that they loved pearing through and watching the performers up close, and they especially enjoyed the trip up to see the pit orchestra during the intermission.

I was so pleased with them and how well they did.  I needn’t have worried, they were so well behaved, even when they got tired.  I hope we can have this oportunity again some time.

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Filed under Children, Dot, Lizy, Music, Parenting