New Life

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly." Richard Bach

Friday, October 28, 2011

Phantom of The Organ

Adventure Group Field Trip: Phantom of The Organ-

It was a unique experience with music from two huge pipe organs, an mini orchestra, multimedia video & special effects, vocalists, a cello solo, saxophone instrumental, costumes and more.  Its purpose is to teach and rekindle the appeal of the 'King of Instruments', also known as the pipe organ.  This free showing was designed for children and youth.  There is also an evening show that is longer, benefits the Charlotte Concerts educational outreach, and is also free.

 Before the show started...

The music was powerful.   Composers included Andrew Lloyd Weber and John Williams, both of which we are studying this year.
We encountered featured selections from Star Wars, Lion King, Harry Potter, Pink Panther


 and our favorite, Phantom of the Opera.
After the show, we met some of the performers, and Stephen Distad and Rob Frazier, both who played the two pipe organs.  Mr. Distad, who originated these concerts, started playing the pipe organ at age 13.  He spoke with our group,

 played for our group,

and even let some willing participants play on the pipe organ. 

Here Jessica is playing "Music of The Night, from Phantom of The Opera (that she taught herself). 
It was an awesome outstanding experience. 
(This isn't your grandma's piano!)
  Even Neecie took a turn.
There are approximately 6000 pipes in this church.  The smaller pipes produce the higher pitch tones and the larger pipes produce the lower, deeper, more powerful tones.  There were pipes in the back and front of the sanctuary.  Mr. Distad played both separately, so we could hear the difference.   

(You can just recognize the pipes on either side of this stained glass window, below.)
There are also numerous ways to play with 'keys' on the floor of the organ as well as all kinds of computer technology and memory functions.  He even showed us how he can play with his feet.

If you ever get the opportunity to go, I highly recommend it.

For more information: Click Phantom of The Organ

Adventure Group with Rob Frazier and Stephen Distad

Photo Credit: All photos taken by Neecie Herndon
Thank you, Lisa, for hosting!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Balloonfest Field-trip

Adventure Group field-trip...
The pictures do not do the day justice.  You just cannot see what we saw in our peripheral vision.   Think panoramic.  And, oh, the colors!!!

 We learned about balloon materials, lingo, competitions; how they are executed, and safety procedures.

 All balloon baskets are hand made wicker; lightweight and flexible.  They range from $15,000 (used) to about $50,000 or more.  The balloon material is extremely durable and is the same type  Harry uses in skydiving.  The skirt (at the bottom of the balloon) is flame retardant. 

At 14 years old, one can start flying in training.  At 15 years old you can be a solo pilot (once you obtain your balloon pilots license).  

Heat rises.

 In a matter of minutes, dozens and dozens of balloons went up, up and away.

Frequent indecision....  ("There he is, no wait, turn there, no left, no right......where did he go?")

Silly balloons.
We are grateful for the day and thankful for friends.  It was an awesome FREE event!

""May you fly so high and so well that God joins you in laughter and sets you gently back into the loving arms of mother earth."

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Thanksgiving Chair

Come on in, have a seat.   Will you accept the invitation?  It is a request to be present.
(Pause blog music at top right)

"...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  (ESV)  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Food for thought: It's more than the food.

"And wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart."  Psalm 104:15

I was going to title this post, "It isn't about the food."

But it is.

I didn't always make meals for people.  And honestly, I don't do it enough.  In Miami,  where I grew up, there are no memories of getting a meal or preparing a meal for neighbors.  Bringing meals when tragedy strikes was not something I had heard of until my Sunday School class brought a meal to me when my mom died in 1999.  I was 30 years old.

Humbled by this small token of help,  I will never forget the feeling that came over me when my Sunday School friend brought the food in and set it on my counter.  I was in puddles.

"Who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."  Psalm 103:5

It was then the decision to do this for others was born.  It is such a practical way to help someone when bad days come.  And they do come.  Especially when you feel you can't do anything that seems tangible.  It also blesses those times of celebration such a a baby being born; when cooking is the last thing you feel like doing. 

But I have found that it isn't always about the food.  When my husband was diagnosed with MS, and I was still trying to wrap my brain around the whole thing, meals from friends and their selfless sacrifice behind them really got me through.  The food was great, I mean, food always tastes better when you don't actually make it yourself.  But it was more.

I didn't realize what a private person I was or how hard it was for me to accept help.  I didn't recognize my pride or even that it was pride.  I have always been independent, taking care of myself since 13, working at 14, and taking care of my mom who was sick for many years.

Somehow I thought by accepting meals,  I was admitting I couldn't handle things.  Now I know that refusing the blessing is refusing The Blesser.  It is He who works through dear friends and angels.

"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."  Hebrews 13:2

It is more than the food.

I remember what a girlfriend of mine once told me, "A meal brought to you on a good day is a lifesaver".  And it is true.
Two years ago a close friend brought a meal to me on my birthday.  It was one of the nicest, most personal birthday presents I have ever received.  I will never forget it. 

10 years ago, I started personalizing my meals with scripture.  I use all recyclable, disposable containers or containers I do not need to get back.  Once the size is determined, I write scriptures on aluminum foil with various colored sharpie markers including what it is, instructions for heating (if any) and wrap the food with it.

I put 'bread of life' verses on packages of bread and twist the words on the handle of milk jugs filled with sweet tea or homemade lemonade sincerely trying to personalize the scripture with the reason I am bringing the meal.

This can range from death, healing, long term illness, moving, encouragement, divorce, unemployment, financial crisis, miscarriage, surgery, birth of a baby, adoption, etc... or for no reason at all.  I pray for each family as I make the meal and often get my kids involved either with the cooking or the delivering.

"If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday." Isaiah 58:10

I don't make as many meals as I would like to or as often as the inspiration comes, but I try.  The blessing is two -fold.  The recipient who knows the value of sacrificed time and can taste it.
And the giver who is blessed in the giving. 

Some tips on making meals for others (discovered by experience and from blessings from friends):
  • Determine if there are food allergies or food preferences, especially with the kids.
  • Use containers the family can keep.  The Dollar Store usually sells inexpensive aluminum cookware.  Always have it on hand so you do not have to go get some when you need it.
  • Make double of what you are preparing so you will have enough to feed your own family.
  • Bring paper products for the family to use.
  • Ask a mutual friend or friends to make part of the meal(s) with you.
  • Brownies alone or just an entree is appreciated.
  • Consider bringing breakfast such as a casserole or lunch items.
  • If you have no time to cook, bring a bag full groceries such as ready to eat/easy to prepare foods.
  • Include snacks for kids and Dollar Tree 'things to do' if family is doing a lot of time waiting in a hospital or to use for a big brother or sister.
  • Organize a list of friends and use free on line tools to help such as Care Calendar or Take Them a Meal to do the work for you.  Online tools can do more than help with scheduling meals.  They can also allow you to schedule services such as housework, errands, or childcare and can also help with maps, driving directions, and email reminders.
"The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season."  Psalm 145:15
     What is your favorite tip for making meals for others?

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    TV Station Fieldtrip

    When the TV Station was suggested as a potential field trip, I knew I wanted to go.  I think I was more excited than the kids.    After several near misses with previous vacation plans and cancellations due to The Tsunami, we were all set to go.
    Master Control looked like something from Star Trek.  He is looking at various stations presenting this morning show.  They are all playing with a little bit of delay.  Fascinating to watch.

    We were able to observe a real 'Live' on-air TV set.  And held our breath trying to be sooo quiet.  Even my 5 yo was soundless.  It was the first time I ever heard my eldest daughter say that 'this' was something she wanted to do.

    Haven't you always wanted to see a Green Room?

    Never pass up an opportunity to be silly.  You can't tell but we were laughing our heads offs.  Well, maybe you can, these are our heads :)

    This took skill.  They say he never loses his cool or comes off point no matter what.

    Check out the selection of ties for on- air wear.  For some reason, I was so tickled by this.  It is such a 'man' thing to do!

    We even got to sit in the helicopter!

    Now...... wouldn't you like to see us every evening on Storm Center?
    Lucky Blessed kids.....
    Photo By Neecie Herndon

    Awesome  Blessed moms.....
    Thankful for the opportunity.

    PS  Thanks to, Jim, our incredible tour guide.