It's been so long since I posted that I bet everyone's given up on me and nobody reads this!
Since the boys started high school in August life has been beyond crazy for all of us! Their marching band did very well and made it to the state competition in San Antonio in November. They placed 12th overall out of 53 schools - very good! I volunteered as the "band nurse" for some of the Friday football games and on the road trips with the marching band. Quite a few injuries and stomach aches but nothing too serious!
Of course we had several hurricanes in between everything else and I was on the hospital "ride out" team twice. For Ike I worked for 4 days straight and spent 3 nights at the hospital. I didn't know how good I had it until I drove home, realized all of the devastation and entered a house run by teenage boys (and several of their friends) with no electricity for several days! They were very resourceful (cooking in our gas fireplace with my good pots!) but also VERY messy. I can't even begin to describe the smell coming from the freezer or the goo dripping from it. My house was not damaged and only a small part of our fence came down so I really had nothing to complain about. But for a week I was showering by candlelight in the morning and getting ready at work. I spent (like many people) the evenings looking for gas, ice and hot food to feed the boys. My most memorable time was the Friday night I spent in a laundromat on South Main St. in Houston with all kinds of "characters" trying to get some of the laundry caught up! It took so long before I could drive through my neighborhood to get to the freeway without crying most of the way. Some of my neighbors still have blue tarps on their roofs and I don't think we've all completely recovered. Every time the lights flicker or go out for a few minutes I get panicky. Hope to NEVER do any of that ever again.
The boys and I returned from the Wind Ensemble trip to Chicago a couple of weeks ago. All of the kids had such a good time and I only had to handle few medical issues and only 1 true emergency. There was a big snowstorm while we were there and everything was just beautiful - their Christmas decorations are amazing! We stayed at the Omni hotel downtown and were able to walk around shopping one day while it snowed. We saw "Wicked" which was absolutely wonderful, the Chicago Symphony and the "Blue Man Group" which was so much fun! Of course the performance by our kids brought me to tears and inspired so many compliments from so many music directors around the country. It was worth all of the time and endless hours of preparation. Here's the link for the Youtube video that shows Justin and Ryan on their flute/piccolo duet:
The morning after we returned the boys performed with their flute teacher's Christmas Flute Choir which was also very beautiful. Video on Youtube also here:
The boys auditioned for the All Region Band a week or so before we left for Chicago and Justin placed 1st on the first night of auditions. These are the high school auditions which has hime competing against 11th and 12th graders so that was very impressive. On the second day when they tried out again to be placed in chairs he placed 4th overall. Still very, very good. This placement makes him eligible to audition for the Area Band (they take the 1st 6 to Area) which is in Waco on January 10th. He is the only freshman from our Region to make it to Area and hopefully will do just as well there!
Time to catch up on a couple of chores - more updates soon.