Friday, October 22, 2010

Life beyond the band

You'd be surprised how often life tends to revolve around band life, but with fall having arrived, time can be made for the often neglected things in life.

One of those is schoolin' kid-o's. Fall means new curriculum, shiny new pencils, a touch of butting heads now and then, and a lot of grace from God.

Last weekend we were also privileged to attend a concert and conference with the Maxwells from Titus 2, then we enjoyed the wonderful music of the Josties. It was nice to be the audience for a change and enjoy the music of a couple of other very talented family bands.

We brought home new CDs and new books to keep us busy, including Terry Maxwells all-powerful (and very intimidating) "Managers of their Chores". Perhaps I was persuaded to try it because I'm a glutton for punishment and I've not had a good inferiority complex in some time, or maybe it was because - live and in person - Terry Maxwell looked like a regular human instead of some super-human power of household management. If a regular human like her can design and write it, maybe a bunch of regular humans like us can make it work?

It's not been implemented yet, but Mary's cards are finished, the Twins' checklists are complete, and the rest is typed up and almost ready to go.

However, while hours are spent dividing up everything in a house into bite sized pieces, we are working towards the...

We have a couple new tunes we'll pull out for this one! Everyone is very excited. This is hopefully only the first of what will be a reoccurring event.

If you can't catch us there, we also have a wonderful Chili Supper for a great cause to support the Maranatha Christian Center Friday, November 5th. Chili Fest - in the gym beginning at 5:30 pm.

We are also planning our mini-tour through Texas and Arizona in early winter so spread the word! We'll be looking for playing opportunities anywhere between Austin and South Padre Island, as well as attending the South Texas GospelGrass and Arizona Gospel Grass. Let us know if you have any suggestions!

Happy Pickin'!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sorghum and Gertrude

What do Sorghum and Gertrude have in common?

If you weren't aware of it, Kansas is a looooong state. It's not fair that you must first drive hours through the plains of Colorado, only to find you just started your never-ending-flat-land journey. At least it is an easy drive. Zippin' down the freeway at 70 miles per hour, children squabbling in the back, pit-stops every 15 minutes, the wind trying to blow you off the road, miles and miles of sorghum growing as far as the eye can see.

I had to look up that last one with some google searches on Kansas crops, along with some images. We're all agriculturally challenged and expecting to see lots of corn, soy, wheat, and hay, but we didn't know what sorghum was, yet saw more of that than anything else. The things you learn... We should get out more. You'd think we'd know about a major crop in a nearby state.

Then there are the lovely rolling hills on the east end, where the GPS tried very hard to get us lost or stuck in the mud off some unmaintained dirt road. We had to remember that, though it may talk to you, it is really not smart enough to realize that a 15 passenger van is not the best thing for taking a 4 wheel drive short-cut through fields.

Our destination was some dear friends' home where we stayed the night. Their home is breathtaking! It made us forgive Kansas for the wind and flatness.

What about Gertrude? Here's how sorghum is obviously related.

Sean: "Mom, what do they call these plains?"
Mom: "The Plains."
Sean: "No, what's their name?"
Mom: "The Great Plains."
Sean: "They have to have a name."
Mom: "The Great Plains of North American."
Sean: "No, their NAME."
Mom: "Fred."
Sean: "Moooom!"
Mom: "Gertrude?"
Sean: "Moooom..."

I guess he figured, mountains and forests often have names, so plains should too, right? For the record, we made it safely through Gertrude and learned to ignore the GPS when it asked us to drive through a sorghum field.

The Ozarks in Missouri were beautiful, even if they were forests that had the gall to not be made up of evergreens and aspens, climbing up steep mountain sides, like we're used to. Kind of made one feel like Bambi, hiding in the thicket. Silver Dollar City was a blast, as you can see by the pictures!

We have some exciting performances coming up and to blog about this weekend so stay tuned!

Happy pickin'!