Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Last week I attended the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. This is an annual event that I won't miss. This Chicago event is also a kind of reward for 'surviving' the semester....a great reward, I think. Besides the fact that there are terrific concerts to attend, I get to see alot of good friends. I always look forward to seeing Pam at the Claude T. Smith Publ booth at the exhibits. I also enjoyed introducing a student (now former student - he just graduated) to the Chicago - Midwest experience. I so appreciated my mentors introducing these kind of events to me, so it was my pleasure to do the same for one of my students. By the way, downtown Chicago is beautiful at Christmastime. Can't wait for Midwest 2008.

Christmas Day

I am currently with family in Kansas City for Christmas. This trip to KC has been a tradition since I was in college (undergrad). Mom and I usually arrive on or around Dec. 23rd and stay for about four or five days. Then, we travel to North Missouri to visit with other relatives....on to Quincy, IL to spend time with friends, then home. While it is a hectic time with little relaxation, it is a trip that we have enjoyed over the years.

I also get to spend time with one of my very BFF's - Anne. I so enjoy this time with her and her family. Mom and I went to a wonderful Christmas Eve service at her church, got in the Christmas spirit with wonderful music and a great Christmas message. There were lots of Christmas sweaters being worn, lots of children in their finest Christmas dresses and neckties singing their songs, and lots of cute babies who were looking so sweet in their fluffy Christmas attire......not so sure how much they enjoyed wearing their fluffy attire. I can't wait to buy some fluffy Christmas dresses for Caroline.....perhaps I'll have to endulge in some after-Christmas sales and put some fancy dresses away for the future.

I now contemplate how my Christmas Eve and Christmas morning will be different when Caroline arrives. It seems that now, a day doesn't pass that I don't think about how my special days (and normal days) will be different (and better) when Caroline is here. I see the Christmas holiday being much different. When I was a child it was very important that I wake up in my house on Christmas morning so that I could open my presents at home. I think that I will do the same thing. It is my desire to create my own Christmas traditions for Caroline. And while I know I'll go crazy with Christmas presents for her....I want to make Christmas about more than presents. I've got to think about ways that I can teach that the act of giving is more important that 'getting.' I think that we probably won't be in KC on Christmas morning, but will travel to KC after Christmas.....we'll see how that plays out. Meanwhile, I wait for Caroline....I'm sure there will be at least one more Christmas without her......so I guess I've got lots of time to plan. Merry Christmas, Caroline.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Snowy Day

Today my thoughts have been on what life would be like if my future daughter Caroline were here. It snowed about eight inches today and I imagined what my day would have been like......I'm sure that we would have built a snowman in the front yard with appropriate accessories befitting a snowman. I'm sure that I would have also purchased a sled. I could see myself pulling Caroline on the sled down the middle of our street (it's not a busy street). I can see this beautiful little Caroline with her black hair and rosy cheeks in a bright colored snow suit, bundled up so that I can barely see her cute face. I'll probably have her so bundled up that she can barely move. I look forward to the day when this becomes a reality.

For now, I take my basset hound 'Higgins' for a walk (more like a romp) in the snow. This 54 lb basset with long ears and short legs hops like a rabbit in the snow.....very comical.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Higgins gazing at the Christmas tree

Last weekend my house was featured on the Christmas Tour of Homes. We had over 200 people tour the house - there are seven decorated trees, nativity scenes, lighted village, angels, etc. But, I think my favorite scene in the house is watching Higgins, my beautiful basset hound, lounge in 'his' chair and gaze at the Christmas tree.

The Semester Ends

This is the last week of classes here at the university. Students are stressed, professors are stressed.......everyone seems to be walking around with this blank stare.....I've never seen it this bad before. I'm wondering if students are changing; they don't seem to be able to handle deadlines. They don't seem to be able to abide by the guidelines that are given to them. I'm afraid I don't have much patience for college students who can't live by the rules. Well, I could go on and on, but I won't.

Professors (including myself) are teaching tremendous overloads. I am at school (on average) 12 to 14 hours each day. That is a normal day. Yesterday, I arrived at school at 8:00 am and left my office at 11:30 p.m......and I still had work to do when I got home. So, I'm basically exhausted. I am anxiously awaiting the end of the semester so that I can get a break from this schedule. It's a darn good thing that I love what I do......and it's a darn good thing that I love my students.

I get concerned about this schedule in future semesters. When I bring Caroline home, I want to spend every extra moment with her. I pray that we will have more faculty members in our music department to take some of the load.

Caroline......I think of you every day. I pray for you every day. I wonder and anticipate what life will be like when I bring you home.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Caroline's Bedroom

I'm getting Caroline's room completed....new furniture.....new Christmas tree. I am incorporating a 'butterfly' theme in the bedroom, and of course, the Christmas tree has to have all butterfly ornaments. Mom made the valance and is in the process of making the quilt and bedskirt out of the Daisy Kingdom pattern "Singin' in the Rain." I'll include more pictures when the quilt/bedskirt are done.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I'm Giving Thanks

I'm giving thanks (on this Thanksgiving Day) for my friends (the Sonnefields) who welcome Mom and I into their home. For the last two years they have invited us to spend this special day with them as if we were family.......we ARE like family.

I'm thankful to God who has blessed me in so many ways.......

I'm thankful for a Mom who loves me beyond measure. Besides the fact that she is a VERY GOOD cook, she and I are able to live together and be very happy. Not many mothers and adult daughters can say that.

I give thanks for my profession. I am able to spend every day doing what I love - teaching music. Not many people can say that they love their job.....I do.

I'm thankful that I have a new purpose in life - Caroline. I think about the Thanksgivings in the future, spending it with my new daughter. I'll have to start being the 'responsible' adult who prepares the fancy meal at holiday time. My only qualm is that I fear I will need to learn how to cook a turkey and all of the trimmings. Oh, my. Perhaps next year, I'll start this process by producing something low key like a pumpkin pie. Or yams. Well, I'll worry about that later. I guess I should now give thanks for the fact that Mom has lots of cookbooks and lots of patience to teach me how to use them.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Life is crazy

My life is crazy right now. I'm realizing that the schedule that I have now MUST change when I bring my daughter home from China. A typical day at school is at least 12 hours long, and that won't be possible with a baby daughter. So, I'm going to 'enjoy' this schedule while it lasts, and know that I'll have to let some things go - extra rehearsals and lessons at night, and working late in my office. When I bring Caroline home, my life will belong to her, just as it seems to belong to my students right now. I also need to be 'scoping' out some good student babysitters on those nights when I do have to be at school late. :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Long Wait

For several years, my life has revolved around my students. I love to be around my students, and I love to see them grow in terms of their knowledge and skill. I love to see them grow emotionally and spiritually. That is very fulfilling to me. A big piece of my heart belongs to my students. I am sincere when I say that I love my students.
Now, my life revolves arounds my upcoming adoption from China. I felt called to adopt from China in April 2006; then, I began the process of the adoption agency application, home study and dossier preparation culminating in my China log-in date of April 13, 2007. My adoption agency is Children's Hope International.
I am currently 49-years-old, single; years passed, and I got to the point that I just didn't think that I would ever be a mom. I just closed that part of my heart. Over the years, I thought about adoption, but it was never 'the right time.' So, when God tapped me on the shoulder very firmly (thanks Anne and Pam), I had to start believing that I could, in fact, be a mom to more than my students and my doggies. God has allowed my heart to soften to the idea of really being a mom. It's an amazing feeling.
So, I've already endured a very long wait - getting to the realization that I needed to be a mom.......now, I've got a long wait to bring home my daughter from China. I don't know when that day will come - China is taking a very long time to place their children - but I think of her and pray for her every day. I have chosen the name Caroline Anne.