Thursday, December 22, 2011

A few last minute updates from 2011

Hello, all!  As it turns out, you ARE hearing from me before Christmas and New Year's - lucky you!

I've received some gifts from students this past week that can't go without sharing:
A baby poinsettia!
A customized bookmark!
A bouquet of flowers...that will last forever!
I've received so many generous gifts from students, coworkers, and bosses, and I'd like to publicly thank all of them!  

I'd also like to show you a couple of the beautiful homemade gifts I've received from my roomie the last couple of years - she's so talented!
They're blocks and can be set up in a variety of ways!
A quote from the infamous "whatever" student (again - he's 5):
Me: "Can you tell me what a waltz is?"  (We'd talked about it last week.)
Him (without missing a beat): "When you get married."

Finally, no post would be complete without a Charlie-ism:
Charlie's most recent obsession is to get in the dryer when it's warm (and usually when there are toasty, clean clothes still in there).  He silently sneaks in when one is taking clothes out and is content to sit inside till it returns to room temperature.  Apparently, he's not as perceptive as he could be, because the other night he jumped in while the dryer was being loaded with wet clothes...and without my roomie knowing.  She started the dryer and it went around twice before she was able to open it to investigate the loud "thump" she heard.  Out jumped a pretty unphased Charlie.  We'll see if he tries to get in again after that ride!

Have a very blessed Christmas, and I'll see you next year (a favorite line of many students this week)!


Favorites of the day:
clean sheets + electric blanket
my Cranberry Cider candle

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Coop!

Hello and happy one week before Christmas!

I know this week is going to fly by, so I wanted to get this post out there before time gets away from me. 

The following is my Christmas letter for this year.  Some of you have already read it, and it won't be news to most of you, but thought someone might want to read it:

Dear friends,                                                                                                              
I hope this finds you well as the year comes to an end.  As we endure the craziness this time of year brings, may we all remember the Reason for the season and take time to soak in the beauty and nostalgia of Christmas.  In honor of my love of baking and trying new recipes, I’d like to give you a glimpse at my year in the form of a recipe.  Enjoy! 

Kensy’s Recipe for 2011
1 refurbished chicken coop (and 2 terrific landlords)         
1 city (Lincoln, NE)                                                
a few really great roommates                                       
1 new cat, Charlie (from local shelter)
2 wonderful parents (empty nesters in Topeka)               
1 amazing brother (junior in mechanical engineering at KSU)
1 blog (and many faithful readers!) –
5 jobs (each with its own spectacular boss and fabulous coworkers)
37 music students (give or take a few depending on the time of year; including mostly piano, except for one trumpet student (more during the summertime) and many precious musical moments)
2 Bible studies (young adults and single women)             
several handy and helpful local mechanics
1 band tour to Denver (Yes, I already graduated.  They needed a horn player, and I was able to play the part.)
2 summer trips to Colorado (one to Denver for a cousin’s wedding and one to Estes Park with the family and church/friend group from Topeka), both beautiful and indescribably incredible
3 college friends on a trip to Fort Lauderdale, FL (first non-school-related, non-family vacation…and it was glorious!)
1 run-out weekend mission trip to Joplin, MO (including distribution center help and fellowship with young adult Bible study members)
a couple trips to Topeka (Fourth of July, player piano party, Thanksgiving,
numerous hours spent with friends and family (watching movies, playing games, eating, dancing, etc.)           

Evenly mix jobs in with ingredients listed above them, sprinkling in other ingredients occasionally, until just combined.  Pour into mold made of countless God-given blessings and bake at varying temperatures for 365 days.  Leave finished product in plain view for the purpose of remembering and enjoying the process of its creation, but anticipate the similar, but deliciously different, year to come.
Yield: 1 year/365 days/8,760 hours/525,600 minutes (cue Rent song)
Note: an eligible bachelor would accompany this recipe well, if one can be located… : )

Here's Charlie modeling his Christmas outfit for my parents when we were home for Thanksgiving.  Surprisingly, he doesn't mind it - he actually seems to like the hood part and only tries to take it off if the neck or belt straps are too tight.

Here begin the Christmas card picture attempts (I only included a few)...I'd like to say a big "thank you!" to our photographer!  : )
This was the "good one" from the night.
This is blurry, but such a cute moment!  When he sits sweetly under the tree, I sometimes wonder if he is trying to remind me that he was my favorite Christmas present last year.  : )
So, there you have it!  You might be hearing from me again before the end of the year, but if not, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Favorites of the day:
yesterday's festivities (student recital, parents, friends, and the Nutcracker)
Christmas music
great coworkers

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Never a dull moment...

Happy end of "hump day," everyone!  I have a couple stories I don't want to forget to share, so you get them now!  Enjoy...

First of all, here are a few additions to my duties as "music librarian":
-fish nurturer (above and beyond "fish feeder")
-greeting card maker/signer
-social media developer
-personal schedule updater
-"apprentice ornithologist"
-master binding machine operator

The 2-yr.-old I nanny for has picked up on the "See you later, alligator!" salutation I've occasionally given her brother.  Now, she says it to me before I leave, so I get to say, "After awhile, crocodile!" in response.  : )  Also, if you have any idea what oil-absorbing sheets are, you should ask me about a story I have about them...haha

As somewhat embarrassing as this story is, it's worth sharing:
Remember the "whatever" response I got from a student last week?  The following conversation was with the same 5-yr.-old at his lesson this week while I was teaching a technique for jumping down to play a loud, low note on the piano by pretending something you're holding high on top of your hand just fell off and your hand falls in exhaustion (I won't take credit for it - it was in the book):
Me: What's the heaviest thing you can think of?
Him: What's "heaviest?"
Me: Something that's really big and hard to pick up is a truck or a house.
Him: Or a world?
Me: Yes!  So, we're going to pretend...
Him (interrupting me): "And you're heavy."
Me: Excuse me?
Him: Grownups are heavy.
Me: Yes, grownups are heavier than kids.  (then continued with my explanation of the technique)

There really isn't anything more to say after that...

Have a wonderful rest of the week and stay warm!


Favorites of the day:
how much Charlie loves to play with the badminton birdie we brought back from Topeka (what's left of it, that is...)
Christmas decorations
Walgreen's photo center's satisfaction guarantee  : )

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Does it scare YOU?

Well, now that some of you think I'm the crazy cat lady, I have a "normal" update to remind you that I'm not that girl (cue Wicked song).

I hope you all have had a good week back after a nice long weekend!  Mine has gone well and very quickly!

I wanted to share this conversation I had with a 5-yr.-old student yesterday:
Me: Would you like some invitations to give people you'd like to invite to our recital?
Him (immediately): Whatever.
Me: What?
Him: Whatever.
Me: What do you mean by 'whatever'?
Him: I guess I'd probably just be ok if I didn't get any.
Me: You don't want to invite anyone to hear you play?
Him: No.
Me: It would probably be more polite to just say, "No, thank you," then.
Him: No, thank you.

Is he 13?!  Sheesh.  He's not a mean or impolite kiddo, so this was a bit of a shocker for me.  It makes me wonder where kids are getting their social skills these days, because I don't think this type of interaction is out of the ordinary for children of all ages nowadays.

I've had a few conversations with various friends lately about our fear of potentially raising children in today's world/culture.  The future of technology alone blows my mind and kind-of frightens me.  I wonder whether or not our parents' and/or grandparents' generations had the same fear(s) and how they feel now about that "future" that had become the present.

I'll leave it at that, for now.  Thoughts?

Happy December!

Favorites of the day:
checking things off to-do and grocery lists
my brother
exciting news!
my electric blanket