Friday, June 26, 2009

A Word About Music

I, Jan, grew up listening to lots of different types of music.

My mom took my sister and I to church.
I grew up singing the hymns.
My mom liked classical music and the oldies like
"Delta Dawn".
We had the radio on at home as well as in the car.
We went to the Big Band concerts in Long Beach with my grandparents at Veteran's Park.
My dad loved country music so we listened to
Olivia Newton John, Alabama, and John Denver.
My friend Angie introduced me to contemporary Christian music and we sang to Amy Grant, The Archers and Keith Green all day long.
I would sing to it all.

Road trip music was a very important part of preparing for the journey.
We had to have just the right mood music for our trip.

So, as I have been the mother in charge of "packing",
our music has been an important part of that
(along with books on tape and other educational selections for our listening enjoyment).

I updated our playlist with some of the music that we took with us.
We listened to Willie Nelson as we headed out.
We listened to the Carpenters as we headed back to Louisiana.
We listened to John Denver as we drove over the Rockies.
We listened to "Good Morning, Good Morning" from Singing in the Rain after staying up late in the hotel some evenings.
We sang to "Oklahoma" as we drove along through Oklahoma.

Music can be a mood shaper.
Music can be a tool with which to tie bonds.
Music enables shared memories.

It's fun to hear my kids singing spontaneously "Jumbablya" and to know that they will associate that with going "home" to MaMa and PaPa's house.

Of course, we had our huge collection of Sovereign Grace music and "oldies" like Wayne Watson and Twila Paris to sing to.

Music is important.
It communicates.
It teaches.
It provides food for conversation.
And that's what our road trips are like . . . a big long conversation about life and living and the God who created it all.

For those who don't know, Earl has loved music since his youth as well. (Didn't mean to leave him out.) In fact, when he was in college (LSU), he and his good buddy, Bob, hosted a radio show where they played God honoring contempory Christian music. Earl was called the "Unknown Prophet" and Bob was "Bible Bob". Now that deserves a whole 'nother post someday!

Friday, June 12, 2009

On the Road Again (1)

When we started out on our trip,
Earl got the van all loaded,
we woke the kids, who had slept in their clothes,
piled 'em all in the van and left by 6:15 am.
Our vacation had started!

We drove for a few hours, before stopping for a little breakfast.
(Note to self: next time bring a blanket and/or table for such stops)

Our next stop, lunchtime, was a little more comfortable.
The kids were able to get out their energy,
it was a little more scenic,
and we didn't have to eat on the ground.

However, it was a tad bit windy.
Have I mentioned that Jonathan doesn't like the wind?
He tried to convince us all that we should eat in the car.
Silly boy.
Nothing doing.

Regarding food,
I had packed some homemade burritos,
some homemade chicken nuggets,
sandwich fixings,
some fruit, and some
granola bars and such.
We feasted on these for lunch and then heated them up for dinner in the hotel.
For breakfast, I had brought disposable bowls and spoons,
and using the coffee maker to heat up water,
we had instant oatmeal for breakfast, with an occassional add-on
from the free continental breakfast downstairs.
This saved us lots of money in eating out expenses.
However, by the time we got to the hotel on Tuesday night,
the sight of the Cracker Barrel next door was too much and we all enjoyed
some real, good, warm food!

We made it the first day into Phoenix quite early.
Earl tried to convince us that we should all take a nap
before going swimming in the nice indoor pool.

Silly boy.
Nothing doing.

We did get a chance to rest that night in our room
and stretch out a bit more.
It was nice.

The boys shared a bed,
and the girls
tried to share a bed,
but it proved too much,
so Annie slept in a makeshift bed on the floor
and everyone slept much better.

We stayed Monday and Tuesday night in a Comfort Suites Hotel.

We got up and out fairly early both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

Wednesday, our excitement was high
as we were anticipating getting to Boerne, TX that night
and staying with our first host family, the Buchanans.
We had some lovely stops along the way
and we were all just enjoying the beauty of the area.

Molly picked some lovely flowers at a rest stop
we were at for lunch
and wanted to bring them to the Buchanans,
but alas, they had wilted by the time we arrived.

Our next installment . . . THE GRAND OL' STATE OF TEXAS!

A Special Spot

Our Molly was born with a "special spot" on her lower right jaw line.
It's special in several different ways.
For one, God put it there. It is part of His design for Molly.
Two, we are just used to seeing Molly with it. Molly is Molly with her "special spot".
And three, only Mommy can kiss her there. It's Mommy's special spot too
(that's what Molly would tell others when she was very young).

Molly's spot is not something she has ever complained about.
She has always been our "go with the flow" girl.

Most of the time, it is hardly noticeable even.

But today,
Molly and I had a special time out as we visited a plastic surgeon.
Molly's dermatologist referred us to her after seeing Molly on Friday.
We had her "spot" biopsied last December because of two dark spots that had developed within her existing spot.
The biopsy came back fine, but did show a few atypical cells.
So, instead of risking those cells turning dangerous in the future,
the wise thing seems to have her spot removed.
They will remove it with a series of surgeries,
taking small sections of it off at a time.

Molly's first surgery will be July 10th.
She will then have to wait about 4 months before scheduling the next one.
The dr. said it could take anywhere from 3-6 surgeries total. Hmmm . . .

So, how are we feeling about all of this?
Fine. Really.
A little curious as to how it will all work out,
but trusting that God has this all planned for our good.
I guess there is a little sadness though.
We are trying to adjust to Molly not having a "special spot" and having
a "special scar" instead.
Molly said we'll have to take lots of pictures in the next month. (smile)
I've got that covered, sweetheart.

So, here we wait.
Trusting God to provide all that we need . . . and desire.
He is always faithful . . .
and ever so good.

We interrupt our normally scheduled posting . . .

Instead of taking the time to post more vacation photos and thoughts,
I'd like to take a moment and let you know that something
very important has happened in the Miles household.

It has this Mom and all the kids jumping for joy!!

Aletheia Classical Academy is out for the summer.
Summer vacation has begun!!

Don't get us wrong.
We LOVE school.
But we also love to go to the beach,
swim at Grandma's,
do projects around the house,
lay around and read more good books,
cook up some special, delectable treats,
eat ice cream outside (homemade of course),
visit with friends,
and whatever other activities Mom can think of to keep all of us active and entertained.

(Maybe some of them will even get posted!)
We just don't have enough time to do all of those things during the school year.

The kids worked hard this year and we just completed our school year today.
Last night we had our annual
"Presentation Night" at the Johnson's home.

Jonathan was a good audience while we practiced all week.

Our family performed a history song, and
participated in a history quiz,
(even Jonathan . . .
"Jonathan, what year did Columbus sail to the new world?"

Emily performed a "skit" about "Roanoke: The Lost Colony"



Molly did a book report.



David worked hard on writing a book review on a G. A. Henty book.



They all did a wonderful job and we are so proud of them.

Well done, gang!

Now . . .here's to a wonderful summer!!

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