Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fun on Saddle Ridge Range

Every year our church has Good News Neighborhood Club in June.  That's code for Vacation Bible School.  This isn't just Bible School; it's a production of enormous proportions.  An army of volunteers begins canvassing the neighborhood in May, leaving information at homes and apartments in our south downtown area.  Our church is located almost adjacent to the railroad, which historically was a great place to be. In recent years the population has moved "out," as is the case with most cities.  The older houses and apartments in the downtown area are now considered "inner city" and "economically depressed areas".   Our city is an IRC city--International Refugee Committee.  I write all that as explanation of what the "neighborhood" means.

So after the canvassing, much prayer and preparation, the week long event starts.  Our Children's Director--Mr. Guy--is a gift from God.  He loves, loves, loves these kids and their families.  He loves our church kids and their families.  He prays. He walks door to door. He cleans up. He does it all.  This year he partnered with The Mission, a church that ministers directly to the homeless and street people, to get their children to GNNC.  There were vans, a bus, vans from The Mission, and private cars. And horses.

OK. That had nothing to do with transportation and everything to do with the theme which was Western, curriculum by Lifeway. Each evening the children ages K-5th grade arrived and were fed a complete, nutritious meal. Since I taught two days and went out of town one day I volunteered on Wednesday only. The meal, cooked by a small army of kitchen help, was spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, and breadsticks.  Delicious!  Three of the six white horses from a local university came to visit one evening. PE specialists planned activities in the gym each evening and each class had a turn with them.  Bill and Sandy and their sidekick, Ginger, served up great music with lots of appropriate motions to help them remember the lyrics all summer.  Artsy-crafty people had projects planned each evening.  You should have seen that room!  Beads, glue, markers, sticky foam, photographs, boxes, paper, bookmarks, craft sticks--organized and disorganized sticky fun everywhere.  The story room was a campfire (flashlight, paper, fan) with bales of hay and glowing stars overhead.  Many lessons were shared by the firelight.  Each evening wrapped up with more songs in the gym. 

At the end of the week statistics don't lie. Over 300 people were fed on family night. An average of 155 children attended each evening. And twelve little children gave their hearts to Jesus!  Seventy seven new, first time attendees will have  new Bibles delivered to them personally at home by Mr. Guy and Pastor David.

All photos in this post by Greg Kendall-Ball of the Abilene Reporter News. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Quiet Day of Culture

Today was a quiet day. Muffin got new shoes for his car and did a little grocery shopping in the down time.  I did a little laundry. We had a very effective Body Flow class and afterward went downtown to view an exhibit we had been wanting to see since May. The image above is the advertising image from the show, titled "On the Trail with Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keeffe."  The description of the exhibit reads, "The album was produced by Adams after his 1938 trip to Yosemite with his close friends Georgia O'Keeffe, David McAlpin, and Helen and Godfrey Rockefeller. Adams documented the trip with landscape photographs of key locations along the route through the High Sierra and included remarkable portraits of his illustrious camping companions and the outfitters who guided their trip."   This is the show that inspired the new work by Dave Brubeck. 
My favorite exhibit of the three we saw was this one by George Tobolowsky.  We were amazed that the second floor of the museum would hold the weight of all the steel in the artists very ambitious works.  The museum is an historic hotel downtown near the railroad where my Daddy's barber shop resided between the Coffee Shop and Western Union.  Here is the advertising description of the exhibit:
In 2004, Dallas artist George Tobolowsky began seriously scouring scrap yards and realizing his dream of a second career as an artist. Soon, he was spending his nights and weekends welding in his sculpture studio in Mountain Springs, Texas. Rusted industrial cast-offs are transformed and testify to Tobolowsky's keen eye for balance and love of undulating rhythms. In acknowledgement to his day job as a successful entrepreneur, his artwork frequently bears decidedly "corporate" titles, such as The Auditors, or Dealbreaker. 

This one is titled "Working Woman Two"  I even like the shadows.

One of the smaller works.

All I need is money and this could be mine.  I would put it in my music room and let its extraordinary energy fuel my violin students.

Third exhibit, in the main gallery is titled "Drawing on the Past".  Here is the description:
Collections and exhibitions of Texas art typically focus on a particular artist or groups of artists, subject matter, medium, region, style, decade or era. With the stated purpose of collecting Texas art that resonates with the ever-evolving story of Texas, Bobbie and John L. Nau III of Houston have amassed a broad and diverse collection in the short span of only seven years. Their extensive collection includes more than 700 paintings and works on paper dating from the mid-nineteenth century through the first decade of the twenty-first century. This inclusive approach to collecting and their desire to share their collection for education and research affords a unique opportunity to examine strong crosscurrents between early trailblazers in the arts in Texas and the talented artists they taught, inspired and mentored in subsequent generations.Drawing on the Past: Selections from the Bobbie and John Nau Collection of Texas Art brings together important examples of Texas art created during the last 150 years, documenting the continuing tradition of personalized visions of the Texas experience.

This evening we attended a performance of this musical at our historic Paramount Theater--the auditorium with the twinkling stars and floating clouds in the ceiling.  The performers were highly energetic, well trained singers and actors who were all local residents.  The show itself is hilarious and audience interaction was abundant tonight.  My favorite song of the show is Olive's lament about her friend The Dictionary.

Exiting the theater we saw old friends and former neighbors--always a bonus of living in a small town.  Leaving the downtown area the beautiful full moon low in the Eastern sky illuminated the sparse clouds on the horizon.  Life is good. 

Father's Day Weekend 2010

Last weekend JB, the Rowdy Girls Daddy, was on a fun trip, so CB, their Momma, packed up the RG's and the black and white dogs and came for a visit. And the Fabulous Aunt Kaki also packed up and came for a visit.  Good times were had by all!  
On Friday, before Aunt Kaki arrived, we spent some time at a nearby park with the unique Fort Imagination Playground. Roo loved the pretend airplane and claimed she was flying high in the air.  The pilot's seat was hers almost the entire time we were at the playground.  

Em claimed the jump seat on the back.  She was fairly certain that the tail was a mini slide. 

Soon Em grabbed Grandpa to climb the "castle" otherwise known as the fort.

She enjoyed the slide. Again, and again, and again, and agai..............

Forward.                      and   drawkcaB. 

Roo sat with Grandpa all through Sunday morning church.  About three minutes before the preacher finished his sermon, she gathered her blanket and looked at Grandpa and very determinedly said "And all the people said, AMEN!"  We never wonder when she is at her limit.

Grandpa surprised us with tickets for a matinee performance of Toy Story 3. It was totally awesome and left the adults crying sentimentally.  Click on the link if you have a pre-school child who loves the
Toy Story characters.

The girls had fun with doll and character friends.

Emme made a new friend she calls Emmyjoy, but that's not her real name.  

Last, and maybe best of all were wild spins in Dubbie's barber chair with Grandpa driving, Em riding in the seat, and Ruby riding the footrest.  Marmee is the photographer. 
Love you, girls!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blogging Slump

It bloggles my mind, all the business. It's summer, for cryin' out loud! Here is why I haven't blogged recently:
A wedding--for which I played with a pianist
Thirteen students coming for lessons
Guest Bible study teachers for Sozo class
Sozo ministry on two days
Pilates session once a week
Body Flow five times a week
Father's Day--shopping, lunch
Two Rowdy Girls
Two McGirls
One Muffin
VBS at church
A check up with the oral surgeon out of town
Soaking prayer once a week
Keeping my herbs alive
Searching web sites for cool things to do in DC

That's most of it.  The other reason is that it's very hot and all I want to do is eat cold watermelon.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Two Years into Eternity

He entered heaven two years ago today.  

But he lived life in the Kingdom every day. 

I hope you are relaxing, praising the Lord in song, and fishing in the River of Life. 
Miss you, Dear Dubbie. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Since she was a small child we have observed as she grew in wisdom, stature (she's really tall!) and in favor with God and with mankind.  Now she is ready to soar, to fly like the Abilene High Eagle that she is, to leave her nest at home and with her extended family (us) and become who God calls her to be.

Today, along with 524 other graduates she is no longer a high school student, but is a college freshman with a world ahead of her.

There were so many people attending that we sat on the top row of the collesium and were happy that we found a seat.  Many people did not.  You can see people standing at the railing in front of the second level and behind the first level seating.  The parking lot was a giant mess with no police traffic detail anywhere, and many of the graduates, and most of their families and friends were stuck in the lot for an hour or more after the ceremony ended.  

But I, also an AHS graduate, stayed until the school song was sung one last time, and until the drum line, begged by the audience, gave them  THE BEAT.   
Congratulations, Abigail!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I get around

Three years ago today we were celebrating this wedding.  Happy Anniversary, Joy & Mike!  Muffin is spending the night with them in their new house tonight, crashing their anniversary. (Not really)  He is on business nearby and took some of their previously stored wedding gifts to them.

While recovering from dental surgery 13 days ago I was able to go down the street to an open house for this cutie pie.  She is the granddaughter of one of my very best friends, who went to heaven when she was only 40 years old.  Her daughters are all grown up and have children who are almost as cute as my grandchildren.  Here they are:

                Ava in the center                                             Clara on the right.

I wrote an article about the girl on the left, Jenny.  She is performing on a piano team. Big concert coming up.  I rehearsed with one of the pianists yesterday. Hopefully the article will run in the local newspaper in a couple of days. 

Muffin and I were here, in Minneapolis, MN, over the weekend at a conference for Suzuki music teachers.  Good friends, good speakers, good exhibits, good music, and good sessions!  More about this in a later post.