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Families Again
Thursday, 12 March 2009
Musical Musings
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: General




Knocking on the door of 50 (not quite my next birthday, so don't get any ideas) has gotten me thinking about middle age lately. I guess the many deaths (brother, brother-in-law, and father) and the changing dynamics of my family over the last few years have also made me meditate. One of the things that I have reflected on is the middle age crisis. I often wondered if and when I would have one. I haven't had it yet. At least not the "dress and act like you did when you were a teen" type. Maybe having young children takes your mind off of it. Maybe it will happen to me when all of my kids are grown. There is however one thing that I often reflect on and has always effected my emotions since I was very young. That thing is music.

I remember when I was very young, my brother, as a joke, would set me on his lap and sing this sad song that would always make me cry. It went something like this - "Sit upon my knee little Timmy". I know, I know, it sounds ridiculous now, but when I was two it was dramatic.

My entire family has always been into music. My parents both had beautiful voices and often sang duets in church. My mom played the piano and my dad played trumpet. My sister has a beautiful voice as well, and my brother also played trumpet in the band. Is it any wonder why I was in the band, orchestra and chorus growing up, and even majored in music for one year in college?

Still, today, music can bring me to tears or to laughter and certain songs can bring back long forgotten memories. Some of my earliest church memories are of singing "Climb, Climb Up Sunshine Mountain" and "This Little Light of Mine" in Sunday School, or of my mother, in tears, as the congregation sang "In the Garden" during a church service.

I still remember Miss Owens coming to our elementary school to go from class to class teaching music or teaching us how to play the "Tonette" (pictured to the left) - similar to a small recorder. 

Middle and high school were where I really flourished musically. I was never very athletic. Music was always my thing. I played trumpet, piano, and organ as well as sang in school and church choirs. We had an excellent music program in the schools that gave great training.

I still recall sitting in Miss Bloom's middle school music class and singing along with some of the hit songs of the day. That still amazes me, because Miss Bloom was very religious and wouldn't even allow her students to use the word "gee" because she said it was a slang word for taking the Lord's name in vain (I still tend to agree, and shy away from using that word myself). The hit songs of that day were mild in comparison to the songs of today, but were still contrivercial for the time.

In high school, the head of the music department, Mr. Cugini, Mr "C", introduced us to all sorts of musical styles. We sang and played all types of music, and still today there are not very many musical styles that I don't enjoy listening too (or can at least tolerate).

More recently, since the boys got ipods for Christmas, I have been introduced to many of the internet sites where you can download any song or recording artist that you can think of. As well as songs for the boys, I have found some artists that take me back to my younger days.

Lately I've been listening to the likes of "The Carpenters" and "The Captain and Tennille". I still remember listening to "Love Will Keep us Together" on a vacation to Mackinac Island in Michigan. "Simon and Garfunkle", "Neil Sedaka" and "Carole King" remind me of the time when I had the measles and my brother, David, would put on a stack of his records for me to listen to while I was laid up in bed. "The Fifth Dimension" and "Jim Croce" take me back to the first albums that I ever bought.

I learned to love the "Beatles" and "Neil Diamond" while singing and playing their songs in high school band, orchestra and chorus. "Barry Manilow" and "Barbaral Streisand" also bring back high school memories.

Later, in my college days, was when Christian music really hit its stride. Some songs from "Amy Grant", "Michael W. Smith" and "Russ Taff" can still reduce me to tears. I branched out with Christian music. I even listened to "Petra" - considered very rocky in those days and "DC Talk" - originally a Christian rap group. 

I praise God for all of the musical talents that He has given me, and all of the ways that he has used music to effect my life. It makes me more conscience of what I listen to and allow my children to listen to today. Music can effect your life for good and bad and shouldn't be taken trivially.

Ah, well, all of this remembering has me wanting to find my high school yearbooks and put on some of the music that I found on the internet. Maybe I'll even pull out my beaten up trumpet or look up some of my old piano music. I wonder where my band jacket is - does it still fit?

WAIT A MINUTE! Is this what a midlife crisis is? HMMMMMMM.....




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Posted by tink38570 at 12:57 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, 13 March 2009 11:26 PM CDT
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Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Easter Activities
Mood:  lazy
Topic: FamiliesAgain Freebies

Finally, after I promised to do this at least monthly, I am posting some more freebies. Sorry it has taken so long. As you can see by my emoticon above, I have been lazy of late.

 In my last post I mentioned that I had found some Easter and lent activities. Lent began a couple of weeks ago, but the Lent activities can be easily adapted to fit your schedule. 

Currclick has a great free Lent download with ways the whole family can celebrate Easter.

Listed below are several other sites that have good Easter crafts. Some have secular as well as religious crafts, so be warned if you shy away from those type things. 

DLTK was a site that I used often for all of our ministry Christmas crafts. It has some great easter crafts as well.

First-School is a site that is similar (if not related) to DLTK's site. It has crafts geared more toward preschool age children, but it looks like they could be easily modified for older kids as well.

A site that just goes by www.coloring.ws has some great coloring pages. It, again, looks a lot like DLTK's page. I think they are all affiliated.

1stopkidscrafts is a great site for older kids with more advanced crafts and recipes including Rice Crispies Easter baskets (if you aren't against Easter baskets).

I'm sure that there are many more sites that have great ideas for celebrating Easter with your family. These are just a few that I found. Whether you choose to do your own search or use one of the above sites doesn't matter. What does matter is that you find some way to celebrate the true meaning of Easter with your children. Don't get me wrong, we do the Easter egg thing, too, and sometimes find ourselves too focused on the secular and not as much on the Christian. This year let's all pledge to do better at spending more time as a family remembering the sacrifice that Jesus made by suffering a cruel death for our sins and miraculously rising again three days later which is (to coin a Christmas term) the real reason for the season.

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:36 PM CDT
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Saturday, 28 February 2009
Yes the Tinkels are Still Alive!
Topic: Family

My how February has flown by and I realized that I haven't kept up with my blog at all. I will endeavor to do better. It has been a busy last half of the month. John Allen is just getting over strep, Jacob had an eye infection, and Joshua has had the dental problems that I blogged about recently.

Homeschooling has been mixed this month. Some days have been great, other days have been horrible. John Allen is a usual pre-teen and tries to get out of work any way he can. Joshua has to work in small doses but usually gets all of the main work done. Even Jacob is wanting to do work sometimes, which keeps me on my toes.

Ministry has also been mixed. We usually have our Sunday afternoon Bible studies, even when there is bad weather, but we go with the school schedule for our Tuesday afternoon Bible clubs. Unfortunately, we have had quite a few snow days this year, so we are just now really getting back into our after Christmas schedule. However, Sarah and her ladies have been super busy. They have had craft classes, cooking classes, movie days, and Sarah has a devotional with them each time. She also tries to do something with them individually at least once every couple of weeks.

It seems like I have been off my game this month. Some days are better than others, but it has been an unusual 28 days. Thankfully, God divided time into days. Each day is a new day, and each month is a new month. We can leave the past behind and look forward, striving to do better each day. Tomorrow starts a new month, so I am making a "new month" resolution to get back into a good rhythm.

Hope you all have had a great February and have a fantastic March. Sarah has a prayer letter in the works that will be sent out within the next week or so. I've also seen some neat Easter and lent activities that I'm going to pass on to you in a post soon.

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Posted by tink38570 at 9:48 PM CST
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Saturday, 14 February 2009
Ghosts of Valentine's Day Past
Topic: Family

I remember, in elementary school, our teacher would send home a list of all of our classmates right before Valentine's Day. I always took those lists seriously. There was no grabbing any old valentine's card, signing my name to it, and stuffing it in an envelope. It was a very thoughtful process. I would lay out all of the cards and pick the perfect one that I thought fit the recipient's personality. It didn't matter that most kids just ripped open their cards and didn't even pay attention to who it was from. I had to make sure that they received just the right one whether they cared or not.

It wasn't until later in life that I became a failure in that area. Not a total failure, mind you, but sometimes not quite as conscientious. There are some bright spots in my past Valentine's Days. One year, right after Sarah and I got married, I heard an advertisement on the radio for a local fancy restaurant. If you ordered a Valentine's Bear from them, they would enclose a $50 gift certificate for their restaurant. I don't think the whole package even cost $50 so it seemed like a good deal. And it was! The bear was nice, but the eatery was fantastic! It was one of those places where you had a waiter that took your order and brought your food, and then a server just for the beverages. They hid behind a post in the middle of the room, but were constantly watching you. I remember taking a sip, and immediately they were over to refill my cup. Sarah and I laughed and giggled the entire meal. We weren't used to such service. We ended up going over our $50 limit so we had to pay some, but it was worth it.

Fancy restaurants were a thing of the past after children were born. Instead we had to start being creative. John Allen's first Valentine's Day, when he was only six months old, was one of those creative times. I concocted a plan while at work and had to stop by a local grocery store on the way home. When I got home, my plan went into action. I helped Sarah get John Allen ready and told her we were going someplace. When she got into the car, a card was waiting for her on the seat. We then drove to the lakefront in Kissimmee and I pulled a bottle of chilled sparkling grape juice, some snacks, and two plastic champagne glasses out of the trunk. I, of course, didn't forget John Allen. I had also bought some fancy apple juice to fill his sippy cup. After enjoying our appetizer, it was off to the restaurant. Along the way, I told Sarah to look under her seat where I had stashed a bag of her favorite chocolates - M&Ms. Needless to say, it was an enjoyable evening for all.

I haven't been that creative for all of my February 14 holidays. Some have just been flowers or going out for supper. It becomes harder to be creative when you have more children. I've already told you part of what happened this year. But, tomorrows another day. I wonder what fun I can conjure up this time? Mmmmm...

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Posted by tink38570 at 12:08 AM CST
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Friday, 13 February 2009
Ghosts of Valentine's Day Present

I really blew it this week. Things just seemed to fall apart all week. Nothing seemed to work. I was stressed. I yelled at the kids too much. Homeschooling was very lacking.

It didn't help that Joshua had an abscessed tooth and had to be taken, kicking and screaming (literally), to the doctor last Friday. Once he settled down he was fine. Aspies are funny like that. It seems that they work themselves into a frenzy about something, and then after they finally calm down, and realize that it isn't that bad, they are fine. I guess we are all like that at times, but it seems to be worse for aspies. I know it was for Joshua! Sarah had to call the Dr's office ahead of time so that they could open the back door for us. Thankfully, they know all about Joshua's problems and are very understanding. They put him on antibiotics, and we found a pediatric dentist in Cookeville (twenty minutes away) who - this is a God thing - works primarily with autistic kids. To make a long story short, Joshua went, teeth were fixed, and Joshua was happy (especially after the laughing gas)!

I also had challenges with John Allen this week. At least I thought they were challenges with him. The more I think about it, the more I think that I am the challenging one. I need to remember what I was like in sixth grade. It's not that he is entirely without fault, but I need to pick my battles and not be so hard on him sometimes.

We even had problems with Jacob. We were a little upset with him after he poured a whole bottle of vanilla (The good stuff from Mexico. Pure vanilla!) along with a whole bottle of vegetable oil on the kitchen floor. We are still cleaning it up, but at least the kitchen smells good.

I say all this because the previous post and the Valentine's Day season has me thinking about my family and how much I love them and how I treat them. I am determined to do better.

I was watching TV the other night when a "Vermont Teddy Bear" commercial came on. Sarah collects teddy bears, so I thought this would be perfect for her. I got on the internet and found an inexpensive one for her that was to be delivered today. I managed to keep it a secret all week. All day long the anxiety was high. I kept looking out of the window. Once I saw the UPS truck go by our house and ran out to meet it. It went down our street, turned around, and drove right past our house. After a while, I got on their website only to find out that they had tried to deliver it but supposedly no one was home to sign for it. Needless to say, I was a little upset. I couldn't find a number for UPS so I called the "Vermont Teddy Bear" people. They were great! They tracked down the bear, and it was delivered during Sarah's cooking class right in front of all of the ladies! I'm glad I decided to do it.

I kind of forgot about the kids though. I don't know where my head was. But tomorrow is another day. We are going to grandma's house after shooting to spend the weekend. It'll be a good day. I'll make sure of it.

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:52 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, 14 February 2009 1:09 AM CST
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