April 23, 2006

Oh Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8

I'm alive!

What a week! I’m going to be like Bonnie, if you want the short story here it is. We were gone to Pennsylvania for a week and stayed at the K’s house. We sang about 4 times and we arrived home this noon time.

Long story coming up…….

On our last winter trip we were at the National Constitution Center, not for singing, we were like tourist, I guess. :-) While waiting in the lobby we started singing and on the way out the door a man gave us a card and told us to let them know when we could come back and sing for them. This trip to Pennsylvania was for that concert and to see the Lewis Family, the ‘first family’ of bluegrass, in concert Saturday.

Three hours into our trip last Sunday morning Nathan jokingly asked Vincent if he forgot the banjo. Vincent said ‘yup’. It really wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Thankfully Judah had a banjo Vincent could borrow! Plus the Constitution Center said we weren’t not allowed to bring instruments (after agreeing to have us come they called about a week before and said piano only, more about that later…). So if he was going to forget it, this was the one to do it on!

The drive down was so pretty! When traveling so much in the winter/fall time one forgets how pretty spring on the road is. The leaves and buds were just gorgeous! God is so awesome!

We got to the K’s in plenty of time to pick up the banjo before the Sunday night concert and eat with them. Actually, they had already eaten, they served us and watched us eat. :-)

I was starting to wonder if I was getting Alzheimers. Before the concert I distinctly and vividly remember placing my keys in the small end table with Hannah’s fiddle behind where we were singing. (I have a nasty habit of loosing my keys, dad always gives me his extra set, just in case I never bring them back. Sad I know.) Anyway, after the concert they were gone, the keys were totally gone. I asked the kids, and some of the Ks, if anyone had picked up or seen my keys?! I kept thinking, the one time I remember where I put them they really disappear for real. So, I gave up on them, I should have remembered the rule that everything turns up eventually. Next morning dad found them on the front bumper of the bus. I was mortified! How could I have forgotten putting them on the bumper!? Or did I put them on the bumper? That was the Alzheimer part. We were thinking how amazing and miraculous that they actually stayed on the bumper the whole trip home. Later that day one of the K family (his name I shall not mention in this sentence…lol) willingly confessed to pocketing them and forgetting to give them back that night. He also claimed to have no clue that I was looking for them. So what more perfect place to put them on the front bumper and make me think I was loosing my head? It was absolutely perfect. ;-) lol

Monday the combined families spent some time rehearsing for Tuesday’s dress rehearsal concert. We found out our message about what we were wearing got mixed up. In the end we managed to dress a like. ;-) We had a great time rehearsing. We started to work out this bobbing up and down thing for “Give the World a Smile” LOL (That is the video I’m not selling for any price.) And we got the guys to sing “I’ve got a yankee doodle sweetheart, she’s my yankee doodle joy’ in the song Yankee Doodle Dandy all by themselves….us girls didn’t think it was appropriate to sing those words. :-p

Tuesday was the big dress rehearsal. Mom, dad and Mrs. K worked out the battle plan (order of songs) and all took our positions (relaxing and resting our voices until the concert). We loaded the guns (put the sound system back in the bus) and had filled up the tanks (ate). We knew the battle wouldn’t be easy since we were moving into uncharted territory (never done a concert like this with combined families). Benedict Arnold, er, Vincent, excuse me, offered to ‘help‘ us (offered to tell everyone since there wouldn’t be any bluegrass and they should leave immediately). We encountered some pitfalls (like putting music so far away people on one side of the choir couldn’t see the words and forgetting cues!). The Ks did a fine job on their solo attack (The Start Spangled Banner Still Waves). Daniel became a MacDonald for a few songs because he didn’t get the message until it was too late that it was a ‘Mac only’ set of songs. At intermission I expected half of the people to leave. Oh me of little faith! They all stayed despite all our mistakes! ;-) Over all we survived and lived to tell the tale. Praise God for the gift of music! Back at camp (the K’s home) we munched on m&m cookies (homemade) and talked about what went wrong, took suggestions, etc.

Wednesday….I’m having foggy memories….I know! We rested our voices that day. We decided no practice for the singers. Some of us has overdone it on Monday and Tuesday. We got to visit and have a a picnic lunch at this cool park with lots of walking trails, waterfalls, and semi tame ducks. The girls took off with Daisy and we explored the falls and surrounding area. I took pics the whole way. The irises at the K’s were so purty so I took about lot a pictures of them… We watched our DVD of our trip to OK and TX that afternoon. We were gonna watch the tv taping. Turns out it was a blank DVD I brought. Lol Oops! (Totally honest mistake guys! Thanks for letting me off so easy! ;-))

Thursday. CRUNCH DAY! :0) In the morning Daniel and Mrs. K packed for Florida and got last minute things together. The rest of us were goofing off and praying Susanna would get her voice back! Now during most of the week we spent a lot of time playing concentration. By Wednesday I pretty much refused to play another game! Too much concentration can do BAD things to you…. Now, I had originally stated the NCC said no instruments, except for keyboard. After prayer and some well placed phone calls they relented to us bringing everything except for the banjo and mandolin. So that was good. Praise the Lord! We headed out and arrived at our destination. Peter showed our guide the mandolin and she said he could play it because he ‘looked straight’. Oh boy. What were they expecting?! A grunge band with 10 sets of speakers and a LOUD mandolin? I guess they didn’t look at our web site. We brought everything in with two groups of people. I went with the first group. Dad had to park the bus a million miles away (six blocks) and so I’m there trying to figure out how we need to set everything up. The acoustics were so bouncy and we were above the crowd, very hidden, at least visibly! Audibly it sounded like we were in both ’rooms’. I did set up a video camera and gave the digital to G of P&G. We now have record of this concert. I guess in twenty years it would be cute but right now it’s just for us to cringe at, particularly the bouncing on “Give the World”. Ouuuuch! At about 2:04 pm right before we started to sing the fire alarm went off!!! I couldn’t believe it! I thought maybe a school kid had pulled an alarm. They made us evacuate the building and leave everything set up. So now we’re thinking, it will be an hour or (more!) to get this all straightened out. Turns out we were outside for about 60 seconds and they let everyone back in. Of course we made sure we were one of the last ones out and close to the door. Turns out the elevator overheated and it had happened last week also. *sigh* So, we race up the stairs, get our composure back and start the concert. It’s was strange because we didn’t have much of an audience right in front of us. I suppose we had a larger audience down below but we couldn’t see much of them. Over all I think it was more of a relaxed concert. We didn’t have much of an audience that stayed in one place to make us nervous. We had a gaggle of jr. high kids and some girl wanted her picture taken with us. (That was CRAZY! LOL) After we broke the equipment down we waited for dad to bring the bus back. Bonnie, Vincent, and Peter pulled out the strings and started picking. As soon as Daniel got the bass unpacked the bus pulled up! We got everything in and we dropped the two K’s off at the airport. We got back home and partied, they finally left!!! J/K! No, we missed them for the rest of the week, but we had a nice time while doing it. ;-)

Friday. We had a concert at 2:00 pm. It was quite a small place, but we met a man who graduated from Orange High School back in the 1930’s. That was kinda neat! He kept yelling out the names of towns near us and he said he’d have to talk to us later. J We talked the Ks into singing two songs with us. Yay! Some of us bounced on “Give the World.” *rolleyes* I didn’t. We watched Hogans Heroes twice during the week but I can’t remember which night we watched, I don‘t think it was Friday…. I think it was Wednesday. I don’t think anyone really cares anyway…including me. (Matthew just walked by and said very dryly ‘You think? That’s a start.)

Saturday we hung out and played multiple games of concentration and Vincent taught the Ks the cup game. You guys have to have it up to speed when we get back!! ;-) The concert we had planned part of this trip around was at 7:00 pm that night. We ended up not going. But it was OK, at least for me. We had so much fun all week, it may have put us over the edge do one more fun thing. ;-) We decided to leave around 6:00 pm. We visited some friends in New Jersey, one of whom gave us three HUGE cans of tuna. We bought more ice cream (we left the ones we bought earlier at the Ks) and made cones with our other friends while we explained how we happened to pop in on them.

Sunday. We traveled home on a wet grey road, with wet grey skies, with wet grey water, with wet grey trees, etc etc. It looked like someone had just dumped a bucket of grey paint all over the landscape! It should have been depressing but we had a nice time traveling back. :-) We arrived home about 12:15 pm and have been settling back into life at home…

Praise the Lord for traveling mercies and fellowship!

Praise the Lord for the opportunity to sing at the National Constitution Center!

Praise the Lord for voices to praise Him!

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Here are some of the pics we took....

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After the dress rehearsal, our serious look...note the boy in the front right in the plaid shirt.

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Oliver and the boys cooked this up for us.....we all survived!

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Daisy and the girls.

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The falls.

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A purple iris.

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At the NCC.

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Up closer.

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The view from the huge windows; looking out on Philly.

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Three Ks and three MacDs. :)

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