Archive for December, 2014

Booked for Lunch Collage

Several months ago, the director of our public library approached me about doing a “Booked for Lunch” program.  These are really nice events that they hold on a monthly basis that include a light lunch and a variety of programs–usually book reviews or something similar.  I had told her that what we do best is play music, and she said that if she had an opportunity come available for that type of program, she’d let me know.

We were thrilled when she called and told us that she had the Christmas program open!  We had gone to these for a couple of years and had really enjoyed them, so we were honored to be able to do the 2014 program.  We chose a wide variety of carols, and played them with various groupings–some quartet, some trio, some duet, etc.  It ended up working out pretty nicely.  One piece in particular stretched us, but it has become an O’Brien Keys and Strings favorite.  It is a Spanish carol entitled Riu Riu Chiu.  When I first heard the quartet sample on Sheetmusicplus.com (click on the listen option of this page, and this song is Track 1), I really liked the rhythm and the way the theme jumped around between the parts.  I thought it sounded very modern and “cool.”  As I researched it for the Booked for Lunch, I found out that it was actually written in the 1500’s predating even the baroque era!  I guess that goes to show that music is truly timeless!

One thing that made this event extra special is that I invited the kids from Heartland Christian School to join us and perform a couple of pieces from the Christmas musical that I directed.  That was such a blessing!  I must admit that I was a little nervous about how this would go because the library show fell right after the school’s Thanksgiving Break, and, believe it or not, they came and sang without rehearsing for two weeks!  God blessed their performance, though, and their beautiful singing filled the library–it was truly amazing.  I had several people comment after the program how wonderful the kids were.  And I know that they are pretty wonderful all of the time!  I love those kids!

The Christmas Booked for Lunch was a special way to begin what was to be a very special Christmas season–one that will always be remembered!

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Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving Collage

This year we kept our family tradition of traveling to Dan’s sister’s home in Nebraska for Thanksgiving/Christmas with his family.  We did all of our usual things–swimming at the hotel, eating at Pizza Hut, going to the wildlife preserve, hiking down to the frozen falls, and having lots of food and fun with the O’Briens.

This year was kind of fun because I brought along a card game that was a favorite of mine when I was growing up.  My kids loved it as much as I did!  🙂 Charge It!  is really a very silly game that is mostly luck, but there is just enough ways to get even with the other players to make it fun.  I think this game is going to come along with us on many road trips to come!

Another unique thing about this year was the gifts that the kids received from Grandma O’Brien.  Earlier this year, she had gone on a cruise to the Bahamas and brought back really nice things for the kids.  The boys got very cool Bahama’s hats, and the girls got very bright and colorful Bahama’s beach towels.  I know the kids will have fun using these gifts, and when they get asked how they got them, they can tell about their wonderful Grandma, the world traveler!  🙂

So, Thanksgiving was a wonderful time of rest, relaxation, and fellowship.  It was a great time to get refreshed for all of the craziness that December brought!  (More to come….)


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