Saturday, May 26, 2012


This morning I woke up early, showered, read for a little while, and then chatted for about three-and-a-half hours on the phone with my dear Kate. Most of that time was spent on sitting cross-legged on one of the picnic tables on our backporch sipping orange juice, enjoying the morning coolness, being fed homemade doughnuts by my amazingly-kitche-competent sister Marie, and talking through all the joys and trials of life with a best friend.

Last night was a graduating friend's senior recital - definitely an important moment. It was a great celebration of God's work in a person's life, His gift of music, and the blessing of friends. The recital also was a wonderful memory walk of sorts - all songs that I know like the back of my hand, songs that pretty much brought back the past seven or eight years of piano memories and more. And I've decided my favorite piano piece of all time is Chopin's Military Polonaise in A. I've suspected that for some time, but last night confirmed it. *grin* Something about it, no matter where I hear it, or who's playing it, or what I'm doing, it makes me feel at home. ANYWAY. Moving on....

This afternoon while Dad took everyone else to the pool, I read some more, listened to hours of praise music, did a major desk clean-out, filed school papers while watching The Music Man, and now I'm eating a ham sandwich and enjoying my "just for fun" Pandora station ["make me your radio, turn me up when you feel low...."] before I make egg salad (lunch tomorrow).

It's been a relaxing day, and right now the overwhelming feeling I'm experiencing is thankfulness. Thankfulness for my life, my friends, my family, music, sunny days, big gardens, farm smells, comfy clothes, clean kitchens, barbeque sauce, southern accents, cute four year olds and crazy grandparents (okay, that's an inside joke, I'll admit).

Be blessed today, y'all!

"Oh, give thanks to YHWH for He is good! His lovingkindness endures forever!"
- Psalm 136

Thursday, May 24, 2012

awkward and awesome // 5.24.12

- curly-hair-day on a day you really wanted a straight-hair-day
- making eye contact with friends...through their dining room window...while you're walking down the sidewalk...while they're eating supper....and you don't even live in their neighborhood...and they know that....
- Dad describing to me the character traits of my future husband...who we're supposed to not know yet, right? *sigh*
- threatening one of the grown men at our church and basically calling him stupid...all in rehearsal for VBS. :P
- stepping on wet newspapers while in the garden, then stepping into dry leaves, and just when you're chuckling that your feet are looking like hobbit feet, you step in chicken droppings and it kinda ruins the effect (oh, the joys of farm living!)
- my little brother mimicking every action of our church's new summer intern during a lesson on the Holy Spirit during church on Wednesday night

- meeting Elizabeth Rose, Bree, and family! It was a dream-like evening...unreal. "You could be the deciding vote!"
- FINISHING HIGHSCHOOL AT 11:45am THIS MORNING. It still hasn't sunk in yet. Ironically, my Pandora station played "All For One" (HSM2) as I was literally filling out my last section of my last exam of my last subject. "We're gonna have fun in the sun/After all of our work, work is done/Everybody one for all, and all for one..."
- preschool gradution, I was so proud of my Yellow Room!
- being the big, bad bully at VBS skit rehearsal and having two grown men cower at my mere presence (*hehehe*)
- getting audition and costume information from my director for Bye Bye Birdie (I'm auditioning for Kim - the big day is June 10th!)
- first coaches' meeting of the season tonight, getting to see the gang before practices start on Tuesday
- a friend's graduation party tomorrow
- holding "Baby T" (who, by the way, is practically my nephew) until he fell asleep
- spending some much-needed free time on the piano re-learning the Pathetique Sonata (1st and 2nd movements) which I have greatly missed over the past year since I lost the music (thanks to my teacher for a new copy :D)

Monday, May 21, 2012

"...till you find your DREAM!"

So, I'm sitting here at the computer. It's almost two pm. My fingers are a little wrinkled and smell like bleach, since I just finished cleaning our entire bathroom - shower included. I also straighted and started cleaning out my desk, cleared off the piles that were cluttering my hope chest, and dusted and vacuumed our entire bedroom. While I was doing that, the other girls were also busy in various parts of the house straightened and cleaning and mopping and all that. This is really our first full day at home in weeks - and the only day this week that we have *nothing* going on.

The Sound of Music closed last night, after seven wonderful performances. As both Ben and Melissa put it (at different times) we're now going through "play withdrawl" as we waaaaaiiiiitttttt for the next two and a half weeks for Bye Bye Birdie to start. It's been SO much fun. I was a little apprehensive back in February about jumping back into BBP after being out for soooo many years. I didn't really know anyone, and I wasn't sure how hard it would be to meet people. I didn't need to worry. I've felt SO accepted, so encouraged throughout the past three months. In fact, the crowning moment was probably during the finale of "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" last night when, for the first time in any song, I hit and held the "high A". Meghan ("Sister Margaretta") told me on Saturday afternoon that she was pretty sure I could hit it, and that I should try. I didn't on Sat, but promised I would try on Sun. Exhilaration is only word to describe the feeling when I realized I was on pitch - and holding it - and it was loud - and it didn't hurt. *wry grin* LOVED IT. Anyway. It's been fantastic. I've loved getting to know everyone, hanging out during practices and shows, having sarcastically serious conversations with telegram delivery personnel, laughing and whispering and working with the sixteen-going-on-seventeen year olds, herding dozens of cats, pinning costumes, learning to do show makeup with the Mother Abbess, warming up the piano for Miss Cyndi, striking the set with the crew, sweeping the stage with Jasmyne singing songs from Oliver!, and every other little thing that makes BBP so great. Can't wait for summer! 1950s, here we come! For those of you all who are holding out to see the "real" pictures from the show, they'll be available this weekend and I'll post them up so you can see the stage and our costumes and all that fun stuff. Give you (and me) something to look forward to :)

This morning, before we started cleaning, I finished my Abeka Economics, as well as my crash-course Biology. FREEDOM! Well, not quite yet. I have yet to complete my Financial Peace University course ( for the win!) - but that will wrap up on Friday and then I will be really and truly done with highschool. Wild.

On a less....let's see....academic note, we found out last week that some very special friends are coming through town today through Wednesday, and want to get together with us. Now, these friends are a little different than your average friends, because I've known them and loved them for over two-and-a-half years...and I've never met them. Yes, peoples, I'm about to meet more blogging friends! You may remember the epic day almost exactly two years ago when yours truly and Nana met - well, now it's time for the meeting between yours truly and Elizabeth and Bree! Hard to believe, but it's true! I'm super-de-duper excited. Now of course, we'll have to show them around the house....hence the cleaning morning. :)

SO. I need to run. There's more work to do, more school to finish, more naps to take....(I didn't just say that...). Oh, and a beach trip to plan, auditions to prepare for, VBS skit lines to memorize, last week of preschool to enjoy, preschool graduation to help with, and a friend's highschool graduation party to celebrate. Not all today, of course. Just this week. Right.

Okay, love you all! Have a happy Monday and go fly a kite and all that fun stuff. *chuckle*

Friday, May 18, 2012

long live

I said remember this moment, in the back of my mind
The time we stood with our shaking hands
The crowds in the stands went wild
We were the Kings and the Queens
And they read off our names
The night you danced like you knew our lives
Would never be the same
You held your head like a hero
On a history book page
It was the end of a decade
But the start of an age

Long live the walls we crashed through
All the kingdom lights shined just for me and you
I was screaming long live all the magic we made
And bring on all the pretenders
One day, we will be remembered

I said remember this feeling
I passed the pictures around
Of all the years that we stood there
On the side-lines wishing for right now
We are the Kings and the Queens
You traded your baseball cap for a crown
When they gave us our trophies
And we held them up for our town
And the cynics were outraged
Screaming "this is absurd"
Cause for a moment a band of thieves
In ripped up jeans got to rule the world

Long live the walls we crashed through
All the kingdom lights shined just for me and you
I was screaming long live all the magic we made
And bring on all the pretenders
I'm not afraid

Long live all the mountains we moved
I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you
I was screaming long live that look on your face
Bring on all the pretenders
One day, we will be remembered

Hold on to spinning around
Confetti falls to the ground

May these memories break our fall

 Will you take a moment, promise me this
That you'll stand by me forever
But if God forbid fate should step in
And force us into a goodbye
If you have children some day
When they point to the pictures
Please tell them my name
Tell them how the crowds went wild
Tell them how I hope they shine

Long live the walls we crashed through
I had the time of my life, with you
Long, long live the walls we crashed through
All the kingdom lights shined just for me and you
I was screaming long live all the magic we made
And bring on all the pretenders
I'm not afraid

Singing, long live all the mountains we moved
I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you
And long, long live that look on your face
And bring on all the pretenders
One day, we will be remembered

Last night was my final piano recital, finishing an eleven-year adventure with the same wonderful piano teacher, going all the way up with three very special fellow students who mean a lot to me. It was a wonderful evening. Julia, Chris, Leia, Andrew, David and I all sat on one row (for the first time really ever...) during the recital and had a grand ole time. There was *lots* of picture taking and hugs afterwards. (Parents are strange creatures :P) At the reception, we presented our teacher with a quilt/blanket that we'd all signed, our thank you to a lady who has invested *so* much into our musical education, as well as our personal lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

About the song: Taylor Swift wrote "Long Live" as a sort of love song to her band, thanking them for sticking by her and being so supportive and being her friends. I love it 'cause it sums up in five minutes of song all the feelings that have been swamping me in the past few weeks as I've neared the end of my 12th grade year, and how I feel about my friends and family and teachers who've been there for me for the past seventeen-and-a-half years.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

the sound of music

Wow. What a crazy past ten days! Rehearsals everyday, and then opening night before we knew it! For an opening night, it ran *very* smoothly. We sang to a full and enthusiastic audience, there were no major delays or malfunctions (even we did start a bit late), and the cast was high-energy. (always good!) It was such a splendid evening. This group is sooo much fun to work with! We had another show Sunday afternoon which also went well (sold-out and overflowing audience...but they were kinda flat) and topped off the weekend successfully. It was Cast 1's last show (*sniffle*) and they did such a great job. 

I don't have any "real" pictures of the show itself yet, but here are some backstage/behind-the-scenes pics off my friend Melissa's iPod from Sunday afternoon: 
Melissa (Liesl) and I
for the record, my dear Melissa is *not* taller than me (we're almost exactly the same height)...she just had to wear high-heels for the show *grin*

with "Frau Schmidt"

Lauren! (an Abbey singer, and real-life little sister to "Louisa")

Me, another one of my Abbey singers, Melissa, and Hannah (Louisa)

Abbey (Liesl, Cast 2), Emily, Hannah, and I
Do you like my "hat"? It poofed something terrible, but I kinda like it :P Emily had one too (a flatter one), but she's not wearing it in this picture 'cause it's on Abbey's head :P

I don't have any pictures of Titiana in her costume because she's camera shy (no kidding), but I do have some videos of the show from Friday night that I'll post up as soon as I can get them off Dad's phone. She did a great job too - and we just heard from our director who that she can do this coming Saturday's show as well, so she's not done yet either!

The second show weekend starts this Friday night at seven - and I do all the shows as Sister Catherine (one of the nuns) so a different costume, but pretty much the same songs.

Sorry I've been absent for so long...I'm just starting to feel like life is back to normal...just in time for our crazy summer to start :P

Thursday, May 10, 2012

awkward and awesome.


  • running back up a *cough* friend's wet driveway and stumbling and loosing your flip-flop and having to back for it (not a proud moment)
  • mirroring "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" with a girl-friend during rehearsal and being told by a smart aleck twelve-year-old that you looked "kinda g--."
  • trying to emphasize a point by accidentally spilling a tall glass of water all over your grandma's food *cough*
  • playing my recital piece the worst I've ever played it at my last group class ever...and just ten days before recital :S
  • saying "bye, see you tomorrow!" and leaving rehearsal....only to come back five minutes later 'cause you're ride isn't there and everyone says, "oh, you're back?! do you have a ride home?" yada yada yada...
  • helping a preschooler get their shoes on and having them practically pull your shirt off trying to balance themselves

  • a friend-we-hadn't-seen-in-two-years coming back into town for a short visit, getting to meet his wife and precious 11-week-old son for the first time
  • receiving spontaneous wild flower bouquets and hugs from my little J. and S. (practically my nephew and niece :D)
  • being asked by both your director *and* her daughter if you're doing the summer musical ("'Cause we're hoping you will...")
  • playing soccer in the wet grass and mud and enjoying the amount of ex-and-shoff being presented by the guys involved :P
  • completely re-arranging our closet and bedroom, and finally getting to have my desk next to my bed
  • gentle, warm rain showers and getting to run around outside in them
  • finishing Abeka Health this morning - only three more subjects left!
  • rehearsals for the VBS skits - I'm playing the big, bad bully: Sam(antha). A rather interesting change from my current drama role of a nun.
  • starting to find time to do some real blogging and respond to emails after an approximately two-week hiatus

Life is still busy, my friends, and I'm starting to think that this is going to be my "new normal" until bear with me! I'm still here, just moving so fast that all you can see is a blur :D

Oh, as a point of interest. In the original Broadway show TSOM, there are two songs sung by Elsa, Max and the Captain. This is the second one, called "No Way To Stop It". We have both songs in the show we're doing and even though this song is fun, it gets on the nerves occasionally. So, to relieve a little of that...potential annoyance during rehearsal, we just sing along (or mouth-along) to "help" them out a little - great fun. Now for your listening pleasure:
in our show, they start at 0:47 - skipping that first part.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

hello, hello

I don't think I ever reviewed this movie...hmmm...nope, I didn't. I should though, now that I have so much more time on my hands now that Geometry and now *Spanish* are finished! (I had my written final today - it went crazy well, so I'm hyper and ready for summer)

Anyway. To make your day a little brighter, here's "Hello, Hello" from Gnomeo and Juliet.
While watching this song when we watched the movie together back in January:
Mama: "Love at first sight, i guess." (and then a laugh)
Dad: "A ninja gnome! Just what I've been waiting for!"

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

jo's summer.

So yesterday was definitely a "Jonah"-day. And with good reason. I don't like sinning, I don't like covering it up. But I wish I could say I hated the sin as much as I hate out? My parents are amazing, and if God is anything like them, then we should never cease to rejoice at how forgiving He is. ANYWAY. We are moving on, and life is actually going to be better than ever before because of this.

Guess what happened yesterday? You never will so I'll tell you (that's a Yente quote, btw): I FINISHED GEOMETRY! That thorn, that plague, that dreaded *thing* that has been torturing me for almost two years is *finally* OVER. And I've actually been enjoying it for the past two months, the pain was more the fact of how long I've working on it and just the desire to have it done. And with Spanish orals over (!!!) and my final written exam on Thursday (11:10am to 2:10pm - think of me).....I really don't have that much work left. Four (possibly three, if I work hard) weeks of school left. And then DONE FOREVAH. (sorry, this definitely an all-caps event)

Other happies this week: chorus sing-in, long and productive Sound of Music rehearsals, getting high A grades on Spanish assignments, and a new-found Antonio Banderas and Evita obsession. Believe me, if I was a guy, Che would the *highest* on my list of male roles I'd want to play someday. (with Javert close behind :P)

What a Circus [2:55] and High Flying, Adored [8:50]
this concert is epic in its entirety too, btw - all the best of Webber in celebration of the 50th birthday of the man himself.

Hmm...oh, right. The post title. Wondering what that's all about? Let's just say my summer is shaping up like this: I start swimming/coaching in late May and enjoy that until early July when I leave for Nicaragua. I'm there until the last weekend July (I'll probably come home for swimming championships - we'll see) and then we might go to the beach in early August, and I'm still leaving late August/early September open for a possible trip to Boston...and then OSR in mid-September. BUSY! On top of that - and I'm pretty sure I can balance it, just hoping our director agrees :P - I may do the musical Bye Bye Birdie (with the same group we're doing TSOM with now) from June till August. Yes, I'd miss all the July rehearsals, but I could take the script with me and I learn choreography *really* fast. So yeah. I may be overloading myself....but I feel a little reckless right now. *grin*

Alrighty, folksies. Thank you for praying and thinking of me yesterday and helping me cheer up. Thanks for the suggestion, Vivi - this week's BC *was* fantastic. Love those guys! My favorite thing about Mondays....the Messier the better! :)

Off to whatever lies in store for me next in my little wild life!

p.s. pretty much all the little children at the preschool I work at call me "Mrs. Jo" (well, my real name actually). I just thought that y'all would enjoy that. But only if you've read Jo's Boys or Little Men :D