Friday, December 28, 2012

Music, Music and Merry Christmas!

I must say, it's been a full month.  Jam packed with visiting, shopping, ballet, musical arts, sickness, wrapping and cooking.  I keep wondering what I've missed amongst all the activity.  Just today I thought "hmmm, I never picked up that prescription at the pharmacy" - that I called in on December 13th!  Fortunately they didn't pull it off the shelf and I can pick it up tomorrow. 
We've had and hosted dinners with friends - those who are CA natives and the group of us that were together as Expats in Switzerland and now find ourselves all in the Bay Area. 
We also made a trip to Fresno to see lovely Bella the Ballerina in the Nutcracker.  Last year she was recovering from a dislocated knee and previous years we were, of course, out of the country.  This was my first opportunity to see her perform in it live and she did a beautiful job - what a joy to watch the development of children you've known since birth grow into intelligent, talented and kind individuals.  She's just one of several young people we will enjoy during the holidays ( her brothers, Bart's niece, S & B and of course the family cousins).
In between all this, Bart came down with the current bug and then I caught a strain of it.  Unfortunately it hasn't been one of those "fast moving" viruses and it still is hanging on to me at 2 weeks - just slow to depart.  Sometimes I think the 24 hour flu would be preferable.  In fact, yes, it would be. :)  Not exactly what one wishes for at Christmas.  In spite of it all, I was still able to sing for Christmas services - God answers prayer!
We've enjoyed a lot of good music this month - not mine!  Rachel had an Orchestra performance at school mid-December - full Orchestra as well as Strings.  They did a fantastic job and we were also impressed with the Jazz and Symphonic bands.  The following week she had two nights of Choral concerts.  Her High School boasts (yes, it can boast) a wonderful vocal music program.  The director travels overseas with a choir every other year and they consistently rank top in the State in choral competition.
Rachel is in the Mixed/Womens Chorus which is made up exclusively of Freshman.  Sophomores thru Seniors participate in three other additional choirs, all of which require audition for performance.  In all, there are approximately 130- 150 students in the program.  As we are Boosters, we are in the drawing for the special reserved seats and VIOLA!, we got the coveted seats for the Christmas concert as presented by Kendra below:
I've tried and tried to download my short video of "Carol of the Bells" or "Silent Night" when all 4 choirs plus approximately 50 alumni were surrounding the theatre but it just doesn't work - not sure what to do with Blogger half the time nowdays.  It was beautiful.  My regret is I didn't get an extra ticket in time to include my dad - both nights were sell-outs.  Here is Rachel in the Mixed Chorus - she's a 1st Alto - front row, second from the right:
So after school was out and dinner parties were had and church was done - there was wrapping to do.  Because while sick Mrs. Claus was able to finish shopping, sick Mrs. Claus never quite got to the wrapping.  Sick Mrs. Claus had wonderful Santa who helped - Santa wrapped and Mrs. Claus decorated and labeled.  Teamwork at it's finest. 
Christmas Eve was lovely - Dad arrived, we went to Christmas services, drove around to look at lights and then sat down to watch Bourne Legacy - cause that says Christmas??!!! 

 This was Eiger's first Christmas and we had to buy a stocking.  He immediately pulled it out of the Petco bag and took it into his crate.  How did he know?  He enjoyed the bully stick and new toy that came in it the morning of Christmas.
 As we did with our previous hound, Max, we let Eiger play a bit with the wrapping paper.  Once he found he was allowed to pull at the paper, he helped Rachel "unwrap" a present - not exactly what we intended by at least nothing was damaged.......
So we had a lovely quiet day and most of all enjoyed the thought of Emmanuel - God with us.  Because that's what it really is all about.

At this point, we have been enjoying a quick visit from Bart's sister and niece out from Germany and on their way to Southern CA.  Then we take off for the family cabin and some more Christmas there and then after New Years, some fun with friends - more on that later.

I hope you've all had a beautiful Christmas celebrating the occasion of our Saviour's birth.  Wishing you all a Happy New Year in case I don't make it back here before then.........


Susan said...

Wonderful to find you in my Google Reader. I love reading about your Rachel's choir and all the activities. Sorry to read you have had the bug -- Jesse and I are just getting over it. Miss you.

Judy said...

Sounds like a lovely Christmas. I think I missed the most going to a church service.