Thursday, May 21, 2015

VMI Graduation and Commissioning

My #1 commissioned into the US Army on May 15th. He graduated from VMI on May 16th. It was three days of pomp, circumstance, and fun. Lots of ceremony. Lots of walking. Lots of hanging around waiting for the next thing. Auntie and Uncle came from Denver and Auntie and Uncle came from Montreal to help us celebrate. :)

Everyone was involved in the ceremony. His grand dyke came and said his military oath with him. It was really special. Mr and I got to put on his shoulder boards and LLB got to put the pin on his beret. (I can't believe that in two short years we will be pinning our LLB. Time sure does fly.)

Graduation at VMI is amazing. The valedictorian is chosen by his peers. The speech the young man gave was funny, thoughtful, and very well received by the graduates.  The graduates don't have mortar boards or tassels. They wear coatee and white gloves.  They throw their gloves. It's really quite a sight.

After graduation, we sent one car home and I helped LLB move out of barracks. (#1 had mostly loaded his car the night before. He and his girl emptied his room and went to lunch.) LLB and I got it all done and headed home just as the first car arrived at home.

We had a celebration open house on Sunday. Many good friends came to congratulate our boy and sit and chat for a bit. It was terrific!

So - now we have #1 at home until it is time for him to head to his first Army assignment. He is working at the winery little bit and looking for a job to keep him busy during the weekdays.  LLB has already returned to VMI for summer session - after which she heads of to a Navy cruise. Things are returning to normal... whatever that is!

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Today our sweet LLB turns 20.
It feels like just yesterday that I woke up early on a beautiful Sunday morning with contractions. I made 5 dozen egg salad sandwiches, took a shower, called the doctor, secured care for my #1, and woke up Mr and told him we needed to go.
Mr was freaked! You'd think that he'd been through this before, and that he would have it down. Alas, that was not the case. The poor man flooded the car when he went to start it. I laughed... Out loud... He was not as amused as I was.
We waited a few minutes and tried again. Vroom! It started right up. In his defense, it was my car and my car didn't require one to push the gas pedal to start it like his did. We got to the hospital in record time.
The nurse asked me my name -- I answered, "Epidural".  She told me that I'd get one this time -- no worries. Ha! Yeah... At 1pm, they went to put that epidural in my back, and sure enough, LLB had other plans. It was time to push. The doc came flying in. He was washing his hands and told me not to push. Really? Are you kidding? I told him to wash his hands faster!
At 1:09, our LLB entered the world. And now, she is 20.
Our LLB is an amazing young woman! She is finishing up her second year of college at VMI with a double major in Applied Mathematics and Physics and a really good GPA. (Can I just say that she is her father's daughter?)  She is at a college with 9% women - not an easy place, but she is handling it. She is doing research at school this summer before she heads off to her Navy assignment. She will most likely not get a real summer again this year, but she is driven. She knows what she wants. She knows what she needs to do to get it. She sets her goals, and she does what needs to be done.
She is one tough cookie -- and she is ours! And we are so incredibly proud of her! :)
Happy Birthday, LLB!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Two down...

We played at the wee episcopal church up the road a piece this morning. The ladies and gentleman (yes, I sucked him in) did a terrific job! I am so proud of them. They worked incredibly hard and mastered 4 pieces for this morning's service. The parishioners were extremely supportive - we got applause and cheers at the end. It was so cool!
The next time we play will be at the end of June. Now I need to find some easy music that has chimes and bells... I am sure I can find something great for them to play.
I am going to shift them around a bit to make things easier for those who ring in more than one choir. Ringing different bells in two or more choirs is hard for experienced ringers, but it's near impossible for beginners. I need them to be successful and if it takes a shift, I'm happy to shift. ;)

Monday, April 20, 2015

One down...

We had our very successful bell concert on Satuday and played for 2 services on Sunday. It was a LOT, but my ladies and gentleman handled it all with grace and humor. We put all of the equipment away for the summer, heaved a sigh of relief, and ate pizza. It's what we do.
The church is getting a new pastor in July. I'm not sure if they will want the bells to play for his first Sunday, but we will cross that bridge when we get there. We do plan to do a Ding Dong Daiquiri Party some afternoon by the pool. But, for now, we are done. :)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Busy is good.

Wow! I've not posted in a while. I have been quite busy, actually.
Easter has come and gone. We went to church an awful lot that week! The bunny did come and he dropped of some really nicely filled baskets for my cherubs plus one. I stopped at Walmart and got some chocolate bunnies last week for half price! My LLB is looking forward to eating those half price lovelies.
My WUMC bell choir has been rehearsing and working hard for our concert this coming weekend. We are ringing 11 pieces from all different genres. I am sure it will be a great performance.  My Leeds group will be playing in church next Sunday. It seems like it's all bells all the time. I'm definitely ready for Summer!
LLB is taking summer classes and doing research at VMI this summer. After which, she is headed to her Navy summer cruise. I think she may be sailing out of San Diego, but I'm not sure. #1 graduates in just a few weeks and will spend the summer pouring wine, exercising, and floating in the pool. Life is good!
We've been working in the yard. Raking, mulching, pruning, and more fill the days when the sun is out. Today was one of those days and I'm pooped. I'm trying to get the yard out by the pool neat and presentable before #1's graduation party. I think we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
So - we've been busy.
Busy is good.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Holy Handbells - it's Holy Week!

Holy Week can be as rough as Christmas for church musicians. I'm at one church or another every day until next Tuesday. Not that I don't enjoy ringing and directing - I do, very much. It's just a lot all at once and it's a lot to keep track of.
Tonight we were at WUMC. Tomorrow and Sunday we are at Emmanuel. Saturday we are at Leeds. It's a lot, but it's fun.
Every year I say, "never again"...
And every year I add one more thing.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

And they're back

back to school, that is.
The week flew by.
LLB was sick, but managed to have a little bit of fun. She shopped, visited with her man and his family, and made some chocolate chip cookies.  #1 worked out, rested, and had a very relaxing break.
I will miss them, but they will all be back in 2 weeks for Easter.
(I sure hope the Easter Bunny gets her act together and gets some chocolate put aside for them.)

While he was home, #1 found out when he will report for his first military service - November. He is nervous but oh so excited to start his career and his life after college. We are very proud of him and know he will do his absolute best for his country and his men. :)