Saturday, November 13, 2010

My first EVER voice recital

Over the weekend, this past weekend, I held my first ever voice recital. This wasn't part of taking voice lessons (I would LOVE to take voice lessons), I wasn't doing this in conjunction with any body or company. All by my lonesome (well, my husband sang the male part during part of one song).

This was part of my personal character formation contract for my spiritual formation class. Every character formation contract is created and set by the individual person fulfilling it, and we are challenged to choose something that stretches and grows us in character. I decided that I want to be me, and have the courage to be me, not worrying about what others think of me or judge me. To encourage us towards this character formation and growth, we're supposed to use a combination of head and hand strategies; in other words, we are to read stuff as well as do activities. In partial fulfillment of the latter, I decided to have a voice recital.

I practiced singing, worked on my vocal range, decided and finalized the song list, created a tangible program, made response cards. All in preparation of this potentially unnerving event. A couple of weeks prior to the recital, my mentor and I had a dry run, a rehearsal, if you will. My assessment of how that went: a disaster. I certainly wasn't ready to put my character formation contract into practice; I was quite nervous the moment my mentor walked into the sanctuary. It certainly didn't help that I was sick for THREE WEEKS straight and I had just gotten on antibiotics the day before this rehearsal.


My mentor surprised me with a bouquet of lilies BEFORE the performance. Who does that? That was such a sweet gesture. I felt so loved and cared for.

Here's the program:

A recital of vocal music sung by
Lily Chang

Time: 4:30 pm, Sat., November 13, 2010
Place: Bethany Evangelical Free Church

1. "Once Upon a Dream" Jekyll & Hyde * Frank Wildhorn & Leslie Bricusse
2. "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" The Phantom of the Opera * Andrew Lloyd
Webber, Charles Hart, & Richard Stilgoe
3. "Think of Me" The Phantom of the Opera * Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart, &
Richard Stilgoe
4. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" Evita * Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice
5. "Unexpected Song" Song & Dance * Andrew Lloyd Webber & Don Black
6. "Pie Jesu" Requiem * Andrew Lloyd Webber

Pie Jesu
Merciful Jesus
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Who takes away the sins of the world
Dona eis requiem
Grant them rest
Agnus Dei
Lamb of God


After finishing my performance, my mentor surprised me with yet another bouquet of flowers. This time two dozen roses. Sweetly smelling roses.

I am so glad, relieved I followed through with my voice recital plan. I didn't quit half way through (that had passed through my mind). As my mentoring director mentor mentioned in a recent meeting, this could potentially mark my emergence.

Have a blessed Friday, everyone.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Costumes, dressing up, and constantly changing clothes

The day before yesterday, Monday, on our grocery run, I hit a jack pot. Halloween costumes 90% off. If I had arrived in that Target aisle just 5 minutes earlier, I would have been able to snag an Ariel costume for Isabella. I had thought about fighting or snagging it from the woman's shopping cart, but decided against it; not entirely the good thing to do.

But, I was able to get some other really good deals. My models will show this much:


Cinderella and Ariel. My little Ariel, I mean Victoria, didn't wear her costume for more than five minutes. Isabella, on the other hand, the daughter that would change clothes five times a day if I let her, loved her dress but was also eager to try other stuff on.

How about an angel?

Or a cheerleader? Both angel and cheerleader costumes are quite big on her, but she has plenty of time to grow. I don't think she'll ditch dressing up any time soon.

Or, how about sailor?

Speaking of dressing up, Sunday and Monday mornings, my older one was quite adamant about having a say in what I wear. Sunday, I had to wear something purple, like her. So she picked out a purple top and a flower skirt (the skirt actually matched quite nicely). Monday morning, she wanted to wear her brown "Big Sister" shirt with black knit pants. When I was getting the girls ready to go out and getting dressed myself, Isabella insisted on me wearing a brown shirt with black pants. Oh, and she insisted that she and I both wear jeans jackets, and, so we did. The end.

Free family fun at the Botanical Gardens

One of numerous things I love about Isabella's preschool? I get a copy of free events or venues every month. I haven't been good at taking advantage of that information. Until now.

Friday of last week, we went to the Botanical Gardens. Er, um, not so much to look at flowers or nature. We looked at an old ranch.


I didn't take an photographs inside this ranch. All I can say is that, as fascinating as it was, I am so glad I didn't live during that time. And it's not just because of out-houses; you know, bathrooms that were located only outside the home. I cannot imagine going out in my pajamas and bath robe with chilly snowy or icy weather.

Speaking chilly, temps were near freezing when we left the house, but by mid-morning, we all shed our coats; we were roasting in them.

Oh, wait, here's an inside shot. Taxodermy? What was that doing in the attic?

A summer kitchen separate from the rest of the house. I'm not really sure what that's about. The door was locked, so the mystery was not solved.

Also on the botanical gardens grounds, the girls enjoyed checking out a tree house.

But, that didn't last for long. Didn't capture their attention all that long. Isabella wanted to follow some new acquaintances, and Victoria, well, Victoria wanted to be held.

A moment of independence or autonomy. How glorious that is.


And even some exploration.

And throwing rocks where we should not.

And there's always the good old fashion toys that are free: sticks, dirt, and stones or pebbles.


Tasty and tasteful treats

Some times I feel so guilty in letting my children have things that have absolutely no nutritional value and can do much damage to one's body (teeth, for example). Though I want to cautious not to spoil them, I do want to give them some pleasures to enjoy.

Though I've always had bad teeth, my parents let me have candy. I'm still thanking them for those times. I collected candy, like I collected stickers and stamps. I would keep stashes and trade them with people. Remember doing that? or was that just me?

Anyways, the girls got quite a loot from the day before Halloween as well as the day of Halloween. I allowed the girls each pick ONE piece of candy a day, after nap time.


Turns out both of their favorites are lollipops. Victoria loved red and purple ones. And well, Isabella loved all the lollipops, but especially favored the tootsie roll lollipops. She would always bite and quickly eat hers, while Victoria licked hers and took forever to finish them.

Another of the girls' favorites was from the Children's Place; they each got a tattoo: Isabella a peace tattoo and Victoria a heart tattoo. My older daughter very clearly and decisively wanted hers on her arm. Like so.


Victoria seemed sure she wanted hers on her belly. Until I rubbed it one. Then she screamed bloody murder, wanting it on her arm (no doubt, like her sister). Too late, honey, I can't take it off without totally destroying it. She eventually got over it.