Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Snapshot

Sunday Snapshot

OMIGOSH!  I just looked, and it's been 17 days since my last post.
Heh. I feel like I'm sitting in a confessional.

"Bless me Readers, for I have fallen behind. It's been 17 days since my last post."

Heh. I kill me.

Anyhooo... I knew that the first three weeks of April would seriously kick our collective hiney around here but I had NO idea just how hard the pace would be on all of us. We are spent. Run-down. Worn out. And ever so grateful that the three and a half weeks of calendar crowding and overlap of activities is finally over.  I am so over it.

But in the midst of it all, there were some great highlights. Shaggy has earned almost enough to begin seriously looking for his first car. Dr. D has blown out some of his personal records in triple and long jump, now that he's training with the varsity team. Baby BlueEyes rocked a science electricity project that several moms told me about when they went in for the presentations (the memo about which I must have missed?), and Li'l E had two successful drop-off's in a row in which she allowed me to unbuckle her and open the van door to her teacher without me walking her in to the classroom. Can we hear a Hallelujah on THAT one, my friends?!

The most exciting of all the highlights, though, was LadyBug's Wind Ensemble season. Two weeks ago, they performed a full-length concert of 11 or 12 compositions and KNOCKED. IT. OUT. OF. THE. PARK. Beautiful music was made, ya'll. Beautiful music.  And then. . .

LadyBug's Elementary Wind Ensemble had earlier been chosen to perform at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association's Conference held in Hershey on April 14.  So, with a ton of other eager parents and chaperones, and 66 of LadyBug's ensemble friends, I traveled this past week for an over-nighter to the conference. On Wednesday, we took a couple huge buses and a trailer full of equipment, stopped at Sh@dy Maple for dinner, and headed to a hotel for a good night's rest before the kids' early performance on Thursday.

The kids that I got to chaperone were 3 of LadyBug's close friends and a really sweet group of girls. We hung out at the hotel and watched Americ@n Id0l together till lights out. I enjoyed getting to see the girls interact and handle themselves in such a "grown-up setting."  Since I didn't get any parents' permission, I'll only share pics of my gal. But trust me when I say, their sweetness and cooperation made the work of caring for someone else's kids a total pleasure.

Getting ready for bed and giddy about tomorrow's
performance already!

I was totally impressed by how well these kids handled themselves. Getting them up was no big deal. Being ready on time (for the performance of a lifetime!) was easy. They all looked beautiful, in their concert black and whites. They took total responsibility for packing all their stuff up, sweeping the room one final time (each!) for things left behind, and for getting down to the lobby on time (early, even!) for the bus's departure. They really made my job so pleasant.

And the concert? I struggle to find words to describe just how beautiful the experience was. They all settled right in, warmed up, and got down to the business of tuning up and focusing. And when the music started? Let's just say that I fought tears of pride for the whole concert. THE. WHOLE. THING. Several of the songs were quite poignant and moving, while others were light-hearted and fun. At one point, even the conductor (whom we ADORE!) had tears in his eyes.

They never sounded better than they did
at this performance. They completely knew
how big a deal this invitation was and they
ROSE to the occasion. Every one of them.

What the kids (and the conductors, for that matter) did NOT know until the end of the concert is that the composer of two of their songs showed up for the performance. He was completely wowed by the kids and told the directors that, in his opinion, they ranked among the best elementary bands he's heard across the nation. The conductors were totally pumped that he was there and that he was so impressed with their work. And when we got on the bus and they told us about the encounter, I was really impressed to see how it connected with the kids. They GOT it. They realized the importance of this occasion. Of that composer's feedback and praise. It was an experience that they will never forget. I know I will never forget it.

After their performance, the kids got to walk around the exhibition hall. It was really crowded and full but so much fun for the gang. Each of the kids brought their mouthpieces and had the chance to try out various "high end" instruments. The price tags on some of those shiny clarinets was enough to make me hyperventilate but it was so great to see my girl so enthusiastic about her instrument and be totally into THAT kind of bling! That's the stuff that will last a lifetime, you know what I mean?!

I wasn't the only one shell-shocked
over the sticker prices!

As a "kudos!" for a job well done this season, the overnight trip also included a visit to an outdoor activity arena. For the rest of the day, the kids wore themselves out and celebrated with pizza, go-karts, mini-golf, batting cages, and arcade games. While we chaperones chilled out and soaked up the sun for a few hours. It was awesome, because we had the whole center to ourselves, since it didn't open to the public till after we left. Talk about a perfect chance to burn off some steam and enjoy the fruits of their labors!

That's the LadyBug, burning up the curves!

Waving to her adoring fans Momma...

Good thing she plays clarinet better than
she mini-golfs.  Hee hee hee.

Posing with my girl.
It was so cold and windy in the shade
that these smiles are totally fake!

I'm so grateful that I took the time and opportunity to spend this time with my LadyBug. Participating in the trip, getting to watch her interact with her friends, witnessing that amazing concert? It was all an amazing privilege and honor. It was such a wonderful trip and again, a memory that both of us will treasure for a long, long time, I'm sure.

And now? I think that concluded the last of the crazy calendar that was our April. I think I might actually have a "normal" (I know, what is normal anyway?!) week ahead. It's a good thing, too. This Momma can't take much more excitement 'round here. And I really need to grocery shop.


Faith, Hope, and Love said... have been one busy PROUD mama!!! Loved hearing all about your past few weeks!

Love and blessings,

a Tonggu Momma said...

Oh my lands, what a busy month for y'all. You must feel so proud of your gang! And I can't help but get stuck on your chaperoning gig (jealousy, oh jealousy)... two weeks ago the Tongginator's teacher called out sick on a field trip day. And I? I got paired with the Tongginator and a friend, plus the three rowdiest boys in the class, including one who has the dubious honor of being the only first grader in the history of the school to be suspended. It was an... exhausting... morning.

Debby said...

Popping over from SS...Wow!! What an accomplishment. I know you are so proud of your daughter & the work she has put in to earn such a reward. I love those kind of memory made occassions......

Aus said...

Wow - what a month!! Cudos and congrats as required to all involved! But fake smiles from GM and LB - never!!

Great stuff - and in regard to all the efforts from all y'all - HOORAH - a big bunch of jobs well done!

hugs - aus and co.