Thursday, September 29, 2011


Happy fall (officially...last week)!  Since I wrote last, I've aged a year and decided to get a tattoo (only one of those statements is true).

Thought I'd share about my trip home last weekend.  I went home to join lots of family and friends in a celebration of our over 100-yr.-old player piano - my dad just finished the long (nearly 2-year) process of rebuilding and refurbishing it.  He had lots of help and support along the way, so we had those who helped and were interested in the process over to see the finished product!  Dad's the only one who could do justice to explaining the process and everything involved (it's fascinating and sooo amazing that he did it - you should ask him about it), so I won't try to explain it and just show you these pictures, instead: 
Beautiful new finish!
Look at all those parts and pieces!  Can you believe they sat, unassembled, on our ping-pong table in the basement for so long...and then were put back together just right?!
This doesn't do it justice, but you can kind-of see what it looks like when it's being played.  You'll have to stop by to actually hear it...and play it!  : )
We spent a few hours playing the piano (with the rolls and our own fingers), singing along, enjoying yummy homemade treats (ice cream, cookies, etc.), and visiting.  What a great reason to get together to celebrate music!  I'm so thankful to have such an interesting and meaningful instrument in our family.  When Dad asked my brother and I whether or not we'd be okay with selling the piano (before he redid it), we replied with a fairly resounding, "No!"  It's the piano we grew up playing, and couldn't imagine "home" without it.  Thus began the rebuilding process.  : )

The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying some quality family and friend time.  There was even a surprise birthday celebration...complete with Kitty Litter Cake!  : )

Hooray for a wonderful trip home and for family and friends!  I feel so incredibly blessed!

Piano student story: One of my 7-yr.-old girl students was playing a song called "Old Woman" with lyrics about a 92-yr.-old woman being proposed to.  Strange topic, I know, but most kids don't actually read the words.  This particular student, however, regularly sings along with the songs that have lyrics.  After playing/singing this one, she said with a scrunched-up nose, "Who would want to marry someone who's 92, anyway?"  I said, "Well, probably someone who really loves them."  She replied, "Yeah...that would probably be the only reason."

Hope you have a great weekend!

Musically and thankfully,

Favorites of the day:
birthday surprises
cherry tomatoes

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Lump in My Bed

A short story:

There was a lump in my bed.

I peeled back one, then two layers of covers and found this: 

You're right - he's not allowed in my bedroom.  I left the door open while in the bathroom, or something, and came back to the lumpy bed.  This is a first.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend!


Favorites of the day:
wonderful friends
grown-up birthday parties
getting $60 worth of stuff at Bath & Body Works for $12

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-10-11 & Waiting

What a beautiful weekend...again!  I hope you all have been able to enjoy it, to some extent.

I was able to spend Saturday afternoon with my roomie's family watching the Lincoln Air Show, chatting, eating, and playing Cornhole (a.k.a. Bean Bag Toss).  The highlight of the afternoon was the Blue Angels

Then, we decided it was too nice out to pass up the Husker game, so we spontaneously went downtown, bought tickets from a guy on a street corner, and enjoyed a pretty exciting game with 85,099 of our closest friends.  : )  Highlights of the experience included being 50 ft. from the tunnel when Bo and the players came out, listening to and watching the alumni marching band, and seeing a man pick his nose the whole time he was unknowingly on the big screen. 

To top off the weekend, our single women's Bible study officially started this morning.  We're going to be doing a study on God's timing, but the books haven't come in, yet, so we did a mini-study on "waiting" to preface our semester together.  I don't remember exactly how the analogy was made, but we painted the picture of sitting in God's waiting room.  This really struck a chord with me.  It's interesting to think about the fact that our whole life on Earth could be considered time spent "sitting in God's waiting room."  Of course, there are also individual seasons of our life we might consider waiting periods, too.  What we need to think about, however, is how we spend our time in the hypothetical waiting room.  Are we trying to find the most comfortable chair, talking to others there, reading a magazine, staring at the clock wondering when it will be our turn, greeting people as they come in the door, reading the information pamphlet related to our reason for being there...the list of analogies goes on and on.  Are we waiting patiently, expectantly, hopefully...or the opposites?

Additionally, part of the scripture we read was from Psalm 37.  Here's an excerpt:
 3 Trust in the LORD, and do good;
         Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
 4 Delight yourself also in the LORD,
         And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
 5 Commit your way to the LORD,
         Trust also in Him,
         And He shall bring it to pass.
 6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
         And your justice as the noonday. 

Verse 4 is quoted quite a bit to give hope to those waiting and wishing for something.  I think this verse is too often taken out of context, though, and is often used to justify going to God with unrealistic/unnecessary "desires."  We shouldn't forget the commands in the verses surrounding this one, though.  "Delight" should accompany "trust" and "commitment."  We also talked about the fact that delighting ourselves in the Lord will also allow Him to change our hearts and make the things we need most the things we desire most.    

Food for thought, huh?

I'll leave you with that.  Hope you have a great week!


P.S.  Today is Grandparent's Day.  I'm so thankful for my grandparents and the role they've played in my life, thus far!

Favorites of the day:
"Fools Rush In"
the "Pumpkin Patch" candle we had burning earlier
leaving the windows open
caramelized butternut squash

Thursday, September 8, 2011

: )

Hello!  I hope this finds you all well!

I woke up to this song, and was singing it all morning:  What a great start to the day!

Today is a "Kensy day," as defined by one of my aunts who takes a day off for herself every once in awhile.  I got back a little while ago from a walk/jog and yoga class, have the windows open and an "Autumn Apple" candle burning, laundry is being washed, and I'm sipping a smoothie...and Charlie is in my lap.  Doesn't get much better than this.  : )  Plans for the rest of the day include checking many items off my to-do list, having a phone date with my brother, making a Creamy Pesto Chicken pasta dish, and teaching some lessons this evening!

I have a few things to share from each of my jobs:

  • When I was nannying the other day, the 2-yr.-old little girl's hair was crazy when she woke up from her nap.  I told her we should fix it, and she asked specifically for a ponytail that was low so it wasn't too tight, in so many words.
  • A student at the studio was telling me she'll probably have to get braces and "one of those container things that stretches your teeth."  I said, "You mean a retainer?"  "Oh...yeah."
  • Duties to add to my "music librarian" job description:
    • candy dish monitor
    • fish tank light bulb changer
    • keyboard fixer (this only goes as far as blowing large amounts of dust/cat hair/etc. out from in between the keys)
  • At our Arts Inc. staff meeting this week, the birds were roaming the table (not unusual), and one was walking on a piece of paper that was hanging over the edge of the table.  He didn't realize the table ended under the paper, and fell off in a flurry of feathers and growling/barking/squawking.  Don't worry - he went unharmed and was back to trying to sip others' pop and coffee in no time.
  • The student who asked why I wear my wedding ring on my toe gave me this last time I saw him: 

In other news, since it's my birthday month, I've been signing up for and receiving a multitude of free stuff...mostly from restaurants.  I'm not going to have to cook for myself all month!  : )

Time for lunch!  Enjoy the rest of your week and weekend!


Favorites of the day:
I think these go without saying : )

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy September!

Goodness - where do the days go?!  September is here, already!  I'm not complaining, though - I LOVE fall!

I have a couple kiddo stories to share:

One of my little girl students was playing "Away in a Manger" by ear, because she wanted to show me that she could.  She got through "Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head." and couldn't figure out where to go from there.  In her frustration, she said, "I just want to get to the cattle are lowing!"  In other words, she wanted to be able to finish the song and get to the second verse.  haha!

The same little girl mentioned that they have an "open and shut" piano bench at home - a.k.a. a bench with a lid.  : )

The now-2-yr.-old girl I nanny for is starting to speak in complete sentences, and it's so fun to watch her grow and develop in this department!  Granted, only her family and I are able to understand what she's trying to say, sometimes, but she's speaking more clearly every day!  When she woke up from her nap the other day, she asked me for "two braids" in her hair.  I was more than happy to grant her request!

In other news, as you may know, I've had basil coming out of my ears lately.  Here's evidence of my out-of-control plants:
So, I've been making lots of pesto, but wanted to try something new!  On a coworker's recommendation, I made this for a staff party (which was such a fun night of chatting and games!):

Italian (Basil) Lemonade:

  • 2 cups lemon juice, about 12 to 15 lemons
  • 2 cups Basil Simple Syrup, recipe follows
  • 2 cups cold or sparkling water
  • Ice
  • Lemon twists, for garnish
Mix lemon juice, Basil Simple Syrup, and water together in a pitcher.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Pour over ice filled glasses and garnish with a lemon twist.
Basil Simple Syrup:

1 bunch fresh basil, washed and stemmed

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
In a saucepan, combine basil, sugar, ans water and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, 5 minutes.  Cool, strain the simple syrup, and store in the refrigerator.

Then, I made this with some of my pesto for a staff meeting/welcome party (I kind-of combined two different recipes...and trial/error-ed to taste):

Pesto Dip:
2 c. sour cream
1/3-1/2 c. prepared pesto
1/2 c. mayo
2-3 tsp. lime juice

I served it with pita chips, but it would be good on veggies, too!

I think that's all for now.  Hope you all have a great rest of the week and a happy Labor Day weekend!


P.S. Anyone have any fundraiser ideas for an international trip I'm probably taking...?  More on that later, but ideas are welcome!

Favorites of the day:
the fact that today's high is 100-degrees...NOT!
getting to know new people