Cause it makes me happy...

Little things…

It’s been a busy week here in the mountains!  The weather is turning colder but here inside it’s warm and cozy.

What are you listening to these days?  This morning we listened to a Sandra Boynton CD while the boys were getting ready for school.  “Dance It Out” started out our day on a peppy, happy tone.  I also have really enjoyed playing and singing through our Children’s Movie Songs sheet music book; songs like “Reflections” from Mulan and “Whistle a Happy Tune” have been fun for me to revisit.

I am trying to listen to music more often (maybe it’s having 3 boys that makes it so I highly value quiet and stillness!) but sometimes I have a hard time breaking out of what I usually listen to.  Do you have any ideas for me?  Pieces that you have an emotional reaction to?  Soundtracks you love?  Songs that make you want to dance?  Or sing?

Here’s a few ideas that you may not have thought of recently and that you might enjoy.  Have a great day!

From Ratatouille:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_hdmt4vpBo&index=56&t=0s&list=PLeGoFrREnkY5FZnIArwtMZv9aKl7Qnus6

From La La Land:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWnYIb2lqpo&index=56&list=PLeGoFrREnkY5FZnIArwtMZv9aKl7Qnus6

From the Piano Guys:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHV6BjuQOZQ&index=19&list=PLeGoFrREnkY5FZnIArwtMZv9aKl7Qnus6

 

Cause it makes me happy...

Wednesday Musings

Tonight was a unique experience.  Sometimes you plan and plan to share a song you have written with an audience, or perhaps write a song and wonder if it has an audience.  But sometimes before you even put the last touches on a song, an opportunity arises.  Suddenly there you are, excited to share and yet hoping that the message gets through even with a few fumbles.

I had the privilege of accompanying myself singing a song tonight that I am looking forward to sharing here soon, which is currently entitled “But if Not” (sometimes the title changes in the final editing stages).  I have been collaborating with a good friend, Shaille Claypool, on this project.  As we worked in our separate homes this morning, sharing ideas back and forth by email, I had the thought that I could share it with a small group of friends tonight if I was finished in time.  It seemed to fill a need for the gathering since we were hoping to encourage a friend who is in a lot of pain and wanting to know “Where is God when I need him most?”

I’ll give more details about the song when I post it, but the idea that it elaborates on is that sometimes God takes the thing away that is a struggle for us.  But we all have had times where He doesn’t.  In those challenging times, we can know that “My Father’s ways are higher than my ways, my Father can see a broader view.”  We can have the attitude that, “I would like this trial taken away, ‘but if not’ (if it is not solved in the way or time I think it should be solved) I will trust the Lord.”  Do you recognize the biblical reference of “But if Not”?  Those are tiny words in a big bible, but the message is powerful.  Look up Daniel 3 and read about those 3 amazing men that had faith in God- faith that was not dependent on deliverance, but was anchored in Jesus Christ.  TTFN!

~Laura

Cause it makes me happy...

Hello, Fall!

fall

Hello friends!  Happy fall!  It’s here already- and I’m not sure I’m quite ready….but nobody asked me!  I’m excited to get back to writing on my blog and I’m SO excited to share with you the song that I’m currently working on recording (stay tuned!) but for today, I thought I’d share just a few of my current favorite things:

1- This mediterranean pasta salad is AMAZING- but since I’m already a big fan of Mels Kitchen Cafe, I’m not sure why that surprises me.  Do yourself a favor and try it out! (I added cooked chicken and swapped in cucumbers for the artichokes.) https://www.melskitchencafe.com/mediterranean-pasta-salad/

2- After school snack time!  My 3 boys are all in school this year, so our afternoon snack time has turned into the most heart-warming daily experience.  Everyone wants to share about how wonderful their days were, and I have had some quiet (!!!) so I can fully absorb all the positive energy coming my way!  I’m loving it!

3- Rainbows…We spotted a beautiful rainbow last week during a torrential downpour which happened to be in the middle of my oldest son’s soccer game.  A few minutes later a second rainbow was visible too.  Yes, we came home very wet, but who isn’t dazzled by getting to see a double rainbow?  It just makes life sweeter!

4- Picking out carpet!  We are in the middle of remodelling a building for my husband’s business to move into, and currently the decision of the week is carpet.  I realized today that this is a first for us- we have never needed to pick out carpet, and I have to say I’m finding the process really enjoyable!

What’s on your favorites list today?

Love, Laura

Cause it makes me happy...

Glad

book

My Grandma Celesta never was a big movie-watcher, but the movie Pollyanna somehow made the cut (along with 1 or 2 others) for her tiny movie collection.  I have a clear memory of watching it with Grandma and Grandpa in the upstairs of their farmhouse as a little girl (maybe I remember it clearly because watching a movie with Grandma was  rare!).  So when I came across the book Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter recently at the library, it was a no-brainer to bring it home and browse to see which of my avid readers would enjoy it the most.

As I paged through the book, I decided that it would be a perfect read-aloud book to enjoy with my 10-year-old son.  As much as I thought he’d enjoy it, I was just as anxious to see how the story compared with the movie since I had never read it.

Though I started reading it with my oldest, my second son joined us after only a few chapters and all three of us really enjoyed the read (and the movie night that followed!).

If you haven’t read it, go pick it up at your library and don’t finish reading this post until you have returned your library book (so you avoid a $17 library fine that I just paid…).  I don’t want to spoil it for you because it was such a delightful read.  If you have read it, or don’t plan on reading it, here’s what I loved the most about it.

Pollyanna’s sunny, optomistic attitude is a focal point in the book.  Her Dad, who passed away before the book began, taught her to play a game: in any given situation, find something to be glad about.  The more bleak the situation looks, the better the game gets.  Throughout the book, we watch Pollyanna find the bright side of many situations, and teach others “the game”.  At the end of the story, Pollyanna is partially paralysed (as a result of an accident) and it looks as if she will never walk again.  For the first time in the story, she cannot find a thing to be glad about.

Pollyanna has been living with an aunt (Aunt Polly), who has been cold an distant toward her.  Among other requests, Aunt Polly has clearly told Pollyanna that she doesn’t want her to talk about her father, and therefore made it impossible for Pollyanna to share with her aunt how to play the glad game (since it has everything to do with her father).

At the end of the book, the town-folk have heard about the accident causing the paralysis, and one by one come to the house to ask Aunt Polly to relay a message to Pollyanna.  Each one of them share the way that Pollyanna’s cheerful attitude has impacted them for good, and express their hope that if Aunt Polly shares how Pollyanna has helped them, perhaps that would make her glad.  Aunt Polly is amazed as she listens to one person after another talk about this little girl changing their very lives with her ability to find the good.

After the visitors have all left, Aunt Polly marvels at what she has just heard and slowly, thoughtfully makes her way upstairs where her niece is resting.  The next scene involves Aunt Polly sharing a tearful conversation with Pollyanna.  Finally Pollyanna is able to share with her aunt “the game”.  Aunt Polly who has been cold and unfeeling most of the time Pollyanna has been with her (though we have seen her changing gradually through the second half of the book), softens dramatically.  Aunt Polly starts to look for the good with Pollyanna, and as a result, Pollyanna finds something to be glad about: the injury caused Aunt Polly to open up and love her.  This was the thing Pollyanna had longed for above all else.

I was so touched by those last few chapters of the book.  Do you ever wonder if you can make a difference in the world since you are just one person?  Does your contribution matter?  Pollyanna proves that one person can make an enormous difference; and not in some huge, humanitarian-project, world-peace kind of way; just by being herself, just looking for the good around her, Pollyanna had a transformative effect on those who came into her circle of influence.

So…be YOU today- and find something to be glad about!

Cause it makes me happy...

Hans Zimmer at his Finest

Photo by Ivan Diaz on Unsplash

Hello friends!  I hope you’re soaking up the sunshine like we are.  What beautiful days we’ve been enjoying in Washington State!

Today I wanted to share a little clip with you that made me laugh out-loud today.  It’s actually an advertisement for an online masterclass from Hans Zimmer- an incredible film composer (think The Lion King, The Dark Knight, and Pirates of the Caribbean).   I don’t think I’ll sign up (though I’ve considered the 7-day free trial version…) but I really enjoyed the clips that preview his instruction.   He is one of many composers that I admire, and find his comments about composing inspiring!

My favorite part was his 4th segment entitled “Themes as Questions and Answers.”  It’s about two minutes long and and it allows you to get an inside look at how a master composer perceives music- what is the theme communicating to the listener?  Check it out!

https://www.masterclass.com/classes/hans-zimmer-teaches-film-scoring?utm_source=Paid&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_term=Aq-Remarketing&utm_content=Video&utm_campaign=HZ

(Click on the play button on Hans Zimmer’s photograph in order to see the preview clips.  Then click on the one at the far right that says “Themes as Questions and Answers.”)

Cause it makes me happy...

A little Monday thought…

Hello Friends!  Just dropping in to say hi today.  So many thoughts I’d love to share (stay tuned for a post soon about Pollyanna…) but for tonight I’ll leave you with a quote that I don’t remember hearing before by Shinichi Suzuki.  I’m in the process of helping my boys prepare for a piano recital and this provided a good zoom-out, big-picture moment for me today.  Hope your week is full of sunshine!

~Laura

“Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.”
-Shinichi Suzuki