Saturday, October 31, 2015

2015 Family Pictures, Part 2

Who doesn't love a good romp through the leaves?

2015 Family Pictures, Part 1

Every fall, we visit the orchards in Nebraska City and take some family photos. After about 15 years of fighting the shadows and lighting, we found a new spot for the family picture. I must say - these may be some of our favorites yet.

Part of Your World

If a certain little princess in our house isn't obsessing about Elsa, you'll probably find her talking about Ariel. Dressed like Ariel. Singing like Ariel.

Our local theater chain has been showing classic Disney films this month, so we took advantage of seeing "The Little Mermaid" on the big screen with our own little mermaid and her tiny friend.

More Pumpkin Patch Pictures

On a given Saturday in September, Vala's Pumpkin Patch can easily see 20,000 visitors. It is a busy, crazy place with too many things to do and too many wonderful food options to choose. Good for us, we can visit as many times as we like in the fall. Here are some more pictures from the Patch.


Keeper of the Plains

There's a great old Rich Mullins song that starts with a haunting dulcimer line. The first words are "Well, the moon moved past Nebraska..." Those reasons alone are enough for me to love the song "Calling Out Your Name."

Later in the song, another line says "Where the sacred rivers meet beneath the shadow of the Keeper of the Plains." I confess - I never knew what that was all about.

Until last weekend.

While in Wichita, I had some time and decided to see if I could find some of Rich's favorite spots from the time he lived there. Several people suggested I see the Keeper of the Plains. I had no clue what they were talking about. Then Dayna gets a t-shirt with an interesting logo.

Turns out it's a nearby statue called the Keeper of the Plains. A short drive/long walk from the rehearsal venue is a park filled with Native American art and culture. Walking through the park, you hear piped in music on drums and flutes. This park is at the convergence of the Arkansas (pronounced ar-KAN-zuhs) and Little Arkansas Rivers. Right at the point you'll find the statue of the Keeper of the Plains.

In the evenings, the cauldrons around the base of the statue are lit for an impressive show.

An interesting addition to the weekend was discovering that Dayna's conductor attended Friends University and studied Music Education at the same time as Rich. When I asked if she knew him, she responded that she dated him in college - and the would often walk along this same river.

I'll never be able to hear that song without remembering this really neat park and statue.

MKMEA 2015 - Wichita

Three years ago, I was helping coordinate a large music educator's conference in Omaha. Over two years of planning and countless sleepless nights went into that weekend.

Last weekend, the same conference was held in Wichita - but things were very different this time around. Dayna has accompanied me to these conferences since she was just shy of two years old. This time, she was old enough to sing in the Honor Choir. Along with another piano student of mine, we invaded the great town of Wichita and they created some beautiful music. It was wonderful to be able to attend as a mother, rather than a teacher or planner.

With conductor Nina Kindt

Halloween 2015

Happy Halloween from lands further north. This was the first year I didn't make a costume of some sort. Our home was invaded by a snow queen and one of Santa's little helpers.

Angels Watching

Our sweet little Hyundai is ten years old to us (thirteen years total). She's seen better days, but she's trusty and reliable.

Last weekend, Dan and Annie were leaving his parents' house when the front left lower control arm completely rusted through and snapped. Fortunately, this happened in the driveway. Another five minutes, and the two of them would have been traveling a good clip on the highway. The wheel would have completely fallen off. 

Dan's dad was gracious enough to loan is his car while we figured out what to do with ours. Turns out the repair bill would have been almost three times what the car is worth. 

With a little research, a recall for that part was discovered. So the car was towed a little over a hundred miles to Omaha where the dealer is repairing the car at no cost to us! 

God was definitely looking out for our family in more ways than one.

Pumpkin Spice Donuts

Why? Because I can! These have been tempting me for awhile on my Pinterest board, so I finally caved and bought a donut pan. We're eating our second batch tonight with some apple cider. (I remember hot donuts and cider when I was a kid after trick-or-treating.)

And if you want some more pumpkin love, these ginger snaps are delicious!

For the Love of Humphrey

Dayna's sweet little hamster friend had a rough time earlier this month. Out of nowhere, he developed a large lump right under his mouth. All research pointed to a cancerous tumor. Since Humphrey was acting okay and playing with us as normal...and touching the mass didn't appear to cause him discomfort...we just watched him for a few days. 

Mama finally broke down and called the vet by the third day. We honestly didn't know if he'd be making a return trip. seems our little hamster dude (as we affectionately call him around here) simply had an abscess that needed to be drained. A little hamster loving and tiny syringes of hamster   antibiotics, and our little guy is happy and playful again.

The things we do for love.