Archive for February, 2010

Praise God that He adopted me! Praise God for allowing us to adopt our beautiful daughter from China, Kara Joy Mincui! He is truly a loving Father to the Fatherless!

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Just a Silly Post!

The last few days the kids have been having “staring contests” to see who the champion starer is in our family.  I know, it’s pretty silly!  They thought it would be fun to make a video of the championship stare-off.  They all can go much longer than I can!

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On a fairly regular basis, I have dreams with a recurring theme.  They usually involve having to do something from my past with little notice.  Usually these dreams are about jobs I had before I was married, like all of a sudden, I’m scheduled to work at Wal-Mart, or I have to accompany a concert that I have not prepared for.  Well, this week I had a real thing that happened in my life that my son John said was just like those dreams–and he is so right!

A few days ago, I got a telephone call from a lady that used to be a teacher of mine when I was growing up.  Although she was never truly my violin instructor, I worked with her on many occasions, and she and I share many happy memories.  Now, I know that she is heavily involved in a local community orchestra that I used to play in as well.  In fact, she and I have talked over the years about how the orchestra is doing, when my kids might be able to play their violins in the orchestra, etc.  So, she is quite aware that I still play my violin quite a bit and am teaching my kids to do the same.  So, when she called, I automatically assumed that she was calling about us helping out the string section of the orchestra.  Boy, was I wrong!

No, she went on to tell me that their FIRST CHAIR CLARINETIST was in the hospital, and they are scheduled to have a concert in TWO WEEKS.  She wondered if I would consider playing my CLARINET for that concert.  WHAT??!!  Considering I haven’t played my clarinet since I was in high school, I was a little surprised, to say the least!  In fact, I have no idea what made her think of me to do this!

So, I started in on all of the excuses:  I haven’t played for a long, long, long, long time; I don’t have any reeds;  I don’t know if my clarinet even works, etc.  But, I told her that I would talk it over with Dan.  He wondered if I could even still play!  I told him I was pretty sure I could remember the technical aspects of playing, but that I knew my mouth was WAY out of shape!  He suggested that I get it out and see what came out.  Believe it or not, I actually found a new box of reeds, put my horn together, and pulled out some of my OLD music.  Like I thought, the fingering and technical aspects of playing were right there, but I have no endurance WHATSOEVER.  I did, however, kind of have fun playing it after all of these years and decided to call back the orchestra lady and tell her I’d do my best.

So, here I am.  Yes, in two weeks I am going to join the community orchestra playing 1st chair clarinet for a concert.  Wow–who would’ve thought?!  To tell you the truth, I am SCARED TO DEATH!  I’ve been practicing every day, but I am so out of shape on that thing.  I can only play decently for about 30 minutes without being totally shot.  Tomorrow night I will go to an actual orchestra rehearsal–hopefully it will go well.

Actually, I had been thinking about inquiring about the orchestra lately anyway, but I had no idea that this would be how it would work out!  I am pretty sure that John could play his violin in this orchestra, and this will give me a chance to look over the violin parts to see what level they are.  I think he’d enjoy playing, but there are scheduling conflicts with Boy Scouts.  We’d also want to wait until the beginning of the orchestra season (next fall) to try it out if we can work out all of the scheduling issues.  I know I’d enjoy getting back into the orchestra–but I would feel much more comfortable playing my violin than jumping in with both feet on my clarinet! 😉

So, please pray for me.  Pray that God will give me the ability to play well and with endurance so I can fill in during this time of need for the orchestra.  I’ll let you all know how it goes….

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A Cute Video

Today I saw this cute video of babies laughing. It made me think of my sister-in-law Amber who is going to have her second baby soon. Doesn’t she have a lot of fun to look forward to?!

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Scout Sunday

Yesterday was a very special Scout Sunday for my boys.  This week is the 100th anniversary of Scouting in the United States, and our troop master along with our pastor put together a nice service to honor scouting.

The boys participated in a flag ceremony and a reading.  John and Brock joined Cosette and me in a violin offertory.  We also had a church pot luck and the tables were all decorated with scout memorabilia.

I am so pleased that my boys enjoy Boy Scouts.  It gives us all opportunities to get to know people outside our normal circle of acquaintances, and it has exposed the boys to many new activities, hobbies, and projects.  I used to think that Boy Scouts was basically a camping club, but it is so much more than that.   It promotes strong character and morals while the boys stretch to try new challenges.  Teamwork and leadership training are definitely emphasized, and those skills will help the boys so much in the future.  We are also thankful for our wonderful Scoutmaster who truly invests himself in our boys.  It’s great having a Christian role model who is a wonderful example of humble, selfless service.

Here is another picture from yesterday that I thought was neat.  Our pastor challenged Brock to a game of Foosball.  Again, I so appreciate Christian adults investing in my kids–what a blessing that is!


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Remember this?

My Wedding Ring....Sigh.....

Look at it now! All fixed and sparkly! (It’s almost as pretty as it was the day I got it, 2/17/96!)


**Now, if I can only get my Grandmother’s clock repaired. The same shop that fixed my ring has had that clock for 10 YEARS!!! That’s a story for another day! 😉

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2010 Pinewood Derby

We officially survived the Pinewood Derby last Saturday.  This was definitely our most involved year yet:  we had 7 official entries, 4 additional cars that we helped other scouts make, and Dan and John both helped with the actual race.  So, it has been a busy year!

We tried some new techniques this year to prepare our cars for the race.  We were more detailed on our sanding and paint jobs for one thing.  To improve speed, we did some “specialized” graphite application and sanding of the axles.  Believe it or not, these small steps did improve our rankings over previous years substantially.

John’s car placed 1st in the adult open class.  Brock’s car got 2nd in the second-year Webelos class.  Cosette’s car got FIRST in the youth open class.  (It was a ROCKET!!)  Luke’s car met with some stiff competition in the Wolves’ class and still pulled a ranking of 3rd.  Kara’s car was a close 2nd to Cosette’s car in the youth open class.

So, after reading my entry about Dan’s Pickle Car I am sure that some of my readers are wondering how the Pickle fared in the race.  Believe it or not, it took 2nd to John’s car in the adult open class, while my own Blue Ichthus Star took 3rd.

We had a lot of fun this year, and are already making plans for better, faster cars for next year!  😉

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: 2010 Pinewood Derby
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Kara’s New Look

Kara has recently updated her “look” with two new features:  a missing tooth and shorter hair.

We had not planned to cut Kara’s hair.  In fact, it had just gotten long enough to braid and looked so pretty.  For some unknown reason, though, Kara decided to give herself a haircut, and there was nothing we could do to fix it without just cutting it all.  So, we are trying out short hair while some of her snips grow out.  Sigh….  Oh well, she does look cute anyway!

She has looked forward to losing her first tooth for a long, long time.  I don’t know how many times she has asked me when she would be “big enough” to reach this milestone.  She was ecstatic when she discovered that her tooth was loose and tried several times to prematurely pull it out.  I kept telling her that it just wasn’t quite ready yet.  I am happy to report that she pulled her own first tooth.  In fact she said it just kind of fell out and it didn’t hurt a bit.  So, now she has officially joined the Big Kids’ Club.

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