Sunday, April 30


In getting our home ready to put on the market I was going through some of our things that were in storage and found a picture we had taken down some time ago. It is a painted picture of some old shoes hanging on a nail on the side of an old shed. It is not a great picture. It looks like something you might find someone trying to sell at a flea market. I purchased the picture years ago on one of the last days of my mission in Alabama. I was going through this phase where I was trying to collect everything I could to remind me of my mission. I knew I may never make it back to Alabama and I did not want to let go or forget the experiences and relationships I had there. So I bought things. This picture, although not amazing or even very good, will always remind me of my mission.

This picture made me realize that I am currently going through another phase of collecting and hoarding as we prepare to move to Cincinnati. We have really enjoyed our time here in North Carolina and I know we will miss it. So if you come to our house in the future don't be surprised if you see a stained glass window of a lighthouse on the beach, a bunch of Tar Heel paraphernalia, or coffee-table books about North Carolina. We are excited to move on but sad to leave this place we have come to love.

Sunday, April 9

My first gig

Some of you know that a few months ago I started taking cello lessons. This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time and finally had the time and money, so I took the plunge. Learning something new like this as an adult is a unique experience that I think everyone should have. Getting my fingers to do what my brain wants them to do, or getting my brain to understand what my fingers should do to make pretty sounds come out of the cello is taxing.

My teacher, Phil, comes to my house two or three times a month and at the end of our 45 minute sessions I am physically and mentally exhausted. But I am progressing. I am learning by way of the Suzuki method: I memorize short songs without having learned to read music. This way I can learn proper techniques of playing without the additional strain of translating notes on the page into notes on the cello. So I can play a bunch of short songs; most are big hits like Go Tell Aunt Rhody, Lightly Row, and Song of the Wind. Additionally, although I haven't confessed this to Phil, I have secretly been teaching myself some of my favorite hymns. I can sound out A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, and several Christmas songs.

On to the title of this entry. In one of the cutest moments in the lives of my cutest girls (which is saying a lot as their days are completely filled with cuteness), the girls asked me to perform for them. You see they were having a funeral for one of their dolls. I am not sure the circumstances surrounding her death, I can only say that the next day she suspiciously was again alive but had a different name. The girls held a funeral for her and asked that I come and provide some music for the service. So in Mary and Miia's bedroom, at the funeral of the doll, I had my first gig.

Monday, April 3

The nine-year-old

Emma had her ninth birthday last month. As impossible as it seems to her parents that they could have a nine-year-old, yet so it is. Some days we both wonder where our oldest daughter came from. She is so smart and so funny and so talented and so kind. But more often we understand exactly where she came from....the moments when she is doing complex math problems in her head (for fun), being punny with her words, and most often when she smiles her big smile and her eyes sparkle. It is then that I see a little miniature Karen inside that nine-year-old body. Yet she is not an exact carbon copy of her mom. She has a bit of her dad's teasing nature in her as well. We are very lucky to have Emma in our home.