mollybarton: (gag)
I went to my first choir rehearsal at St. Paul's. It's good to be singing in a choir again. The director is the same woman who did the Fredericksburg Community Chorus Messiah every year for many years...until my sister took over for a couple of years. Anyway, she's been trying to get both Katie and me to join St. Paul's Masterworks choir for years, and now she has us in both regular church choir and Masterworks! We're doing the Brahms Requiem in June. I'm excited to be able to do a major work again, and I've never done the whole Brahms. 

I was a complete moron yesterday and forgot to take my meds. I was sick as a dog today. I just can't do that. 
mollybarton: (knight lights)
Christmas Eve was definitely my last at my soon to be former church. It was not a good service, despite good music from the choir. I HATE the way our new pastors do things. The scriptures were from a "modern" type Bible, communion was rushed and confused, and the sermon was trite and meaningless. I got a much better experience at St. Paul's Christmas Day service this morning.

We had a lovely Christmas Eve luncheon in Richmond- Mom, Dad, me, Katie, Sam, and Sam's girlfriend, Janice. It was an excellent seafood place called Boathouse. Great food and a nice if foggy view of downtown Richmond.





Great company, too. Janice is nice, and was a big help to Sam during Paul's last week. I think she's a keeper. ;) Sam has dyed his hair very very blond...



We had presents and dessert at Sam's, and the rest of the presents opened either at Mom and Dad's or Katie's.



Sam's tree.





Christmas cake- it was a "cannoli" cake: white cake, cannoli-like filling, ganache frosting, candied orange garnish. It was wonderful.



Truman the cat was very interested in the cake crumbs.



Great presents this year- cute pajamas, Michaels gift card, a gorgeous cat art print, chocolate, and the Star Trek Beyond Blu-ray from Katie and Sam; two beautiful dresses, a bottle of Dolce perfume, a cookie baking book, a Paris-themed comforter set, and American Girl Rebecca, with her Hanukkah dress and accessories!



Rory got new toys.



Beautiful roses given to the choir members by our director:



Christmas dinner was just me, Katie, Mom, and Dad. We had a nice, simple but elegant dinner. Unfortunately Katie and I are both sick. It was also kind of weird. It's our first Christmas without Paul, and we got through it.

I'm spending the last of Christmas Day watching the Broncos get their asses kicked by the Chiefs. :( What happened to the Super Bowl 50 champs?

Also, I'm listening to various Wham! and George Michael songs. I can't believe he died today.
mollybarton: (knight lights)
What it says on the tin. Behind a cut because it's a lot.

Read more... )
mollybarton: (sick black knight)
Happy Halloween!

Didn't really decorate much, but I dressed up Jess as Merida and Emma Louise as Batgirl.



I made this little pumpkin patch in a pumpkin!



And I carved little pumpkins for the mini dolls.



Four of Mom's volunteer pumpkins from the "accidental" pumpkin patch. There are still more to harvest.



Still singing at the old church. Dad and I are constantly fielding questions about why Mom isn't with us, and why Katie hasn't been coming either. It's hard to explain to people, but for now we're just saying we need a change. Most of our church friends know why we're leaving and understand completely. Dad and I are sticking it out until January to support our director before he leaves.

Katie and Sam are doing okay. Katie is back at work full time. It's hard for her to be alone now that Paul's gone, but she's dealing with it. We're still making plans for a family Thanksgiving.
mollybarton: (sick black knight)
After 21 years, my family is going to be looking for a new church. We don't like the new pastors. That's putting it mildly. My mother actually dreads going to church now. The lead pastor is one of those "look at me" mega church types. The services don't follow the lectionary, the communion service has been shortened, and they leave out the creed and Lord's Prayer. And the music program is likely going to be decimated (except, of course, for the crap praise service). They don't want to hire a replacement youth/children/bells director, and so far they refuse to listen to the Sanctuary Choir director/organist's suggestions. I feel sick. I'm not the only one who feels this way. Already I'm hearing grumbles from long time members about the direction of the services. It's church lite and I HATE IT. I don't want a dumbed-down church.

I hate the idea of abandoning the choir, but it looks like only the praise team is going to be left alone. I'm scared that our director is going to be let go. These new guys really don't like tradition. For three weeks, I've felt like I haven't been to church. I feel absolutely empty. My grandfather (the preacher) would flip in his grave if he saw what our church is like now.
mollybarton: (sick black knight)

This was written for the Columbine High School shooting victims. Our bell choir is doing this next week. It was already on the schedule, but I think it's one we would have just pulled out to do because of the tragedy in Orlando yesterday.

When our choir played at a bell festival in 2007, it was just days after the Virginia Tech shooting. All the choirs were given copies at the last minute to play it in our concert in memory of the victims, and we all did it perfectly. It still gives me chills to think about it.

mollybarton: (knight lights)


Oh my God, the choir loft was so unbearably hot. If the windows hadn't been open, and one singer hadn't brought in a couple of fans, we all would have passed out! The congregation was overheated, too.

The weather has been ridiculous this Christmas! It was very warm and rainy Christmas Day, too.

The Christmas Eve service went pretty well, though someone forgot to give the choir candles. When it came time for the Candlelighting and Silent Night, the choir was left in the dark. It was terrible. We couldn't see our music, and the choir loft lights were never turned back on- so we couldn't see our music for Joy to the World, either! Argh. The Candlelighting is my favorite part of the service, and we missed it. :( Otherwise, it was a lovely evening.

This has been on display in the welcome center all throught the season:




Katie took this photo after church last night- a halo around a full moon! Despite the clouds, we got a good view.



Sam brought his cat, Truman, with him because he's staying with his mom and dad while he has time off. Truman is a great cat. Big, soft, and sweet. Rory did not like him, and hid. Truman stayed in his carrier most of the night. A very well behaved boy!


He loves his "dad", Sam!

He's not sure about his "grandma", Katie!


I made two special treats for the Christmas Eve dinner- mushrooms in puff pastry and a chocolate/marzipan truffle cake. The cake broke into three pieces, but I repaired it with extra ganache!

As usual, dinner involved lobsters and shrimp. Yum.


I'll post Christmas photos tomorrow. I'm still exhausted from last night!
mollybarton: (knight lights)
I assembled and decorated a Minions gingerbread house kit for my Minion-loving mom. She loves it!



The annual Christmas Carol Service is done for the year. Except for a major problem during the processional, it was really good. The bells were fantastic. Katie returned to direct us because our former director, Brian, had to leave his position while he's in seminary. (Yes, that's one of the rules- can't work at your home church while studying!) The youth/family choir (teens plus a few of their mothers) added so much- good voices and lots of enthusiasm. The children's choir has dwindled to almost nothing (three girls, and one moves up to youth choir next year), but they were good, too.

The reason for the lack of children in choir? It's that damn praise team service. They're taking away the kids for their own crap kid's choir. And it is crap. They're not learning church music at all. :( It's not right. The praise team is destroying the music program. People are actually leaving the church because of that service (why they don't just come to the traditional service, I don't know...). I wish something could be done. Our new pastor is so much more appreciative and supportive of the Sanctuary and bell choirs than the last pastor.
mollybarton: (sick black knight)
I had to sing at two services, and I wore my voice out. The choir did the introit from the balcony, which always terrifies me. I had Easter Brunch in Richmond with the family. We went to a new place, Bistro 27. It was pretty good. I tried the chicken and waffles. Very interesting and tasty combo! Poor Sam was sick as a dog, but it was nice to see him.

Here's the cake and one of the chocolate eggs I made:



The flowers I took to church:



The cross in the welcome area:



Some action figure adventures:

Visiting the Easter Bunny!


Hawkeye inspects the sugar egg Katie gave me:


Loki and Black Knight skewer some Peeps.


Thor prefers to eat them!

*whew*

Dec. 15th, 2014 09:32 pm
mollybarton: (black knight)
Another year, another carol service done. No problems this time. The bells were excellent, the kids were adorable (though few), and even the youth choir was enthusiastic. Now I'm exhausted and have no voice left! :p

Also done this week- the annual cookie baking marathon. Well, actually, I'm not totally done- I still have to do my Italian flag cookies. But I've got most baked and gifted. My sugar cookies are glorious:

xmas cookies 2014 c

I found some cute gift boxes/bags to put some of the cookies in:

cookie sleighs

Once again, I cheated and bought a pre-baked kit for a gingerbread house. A small village, actually!

ginger village

Now it's time to finish shopping for and wrapping presents.
mollybarton: (i love arrows)
Here is a cute, sad-looking Hawkeye surrounded by other Hawkeyes.

 photo finishedsadhawkeye2_zps9eaf98e7.jpg

I may make him into a doll.

Sick of the fucking snow. I really am. This is the fourth time since January that I've been snowed in!

House sitting for Katie this week. She and Paul are taking a "Bourbon Tour" in Kentucky. Kind of like their winery tours that they're so fond of. Paul is feeling okay, well enough to travel, despite some setbacks that I'll detail later.

Sam has a great part time job! He's working for Richmond's NBC affiliate, doing graphics work (the breaking news, weather, traffic headers, etc.). He has to start very, very early in the morning, and he still has a bunch of classes, but it's a great gig and will get his foot in the door for future work.

The Ash Wednesday service was tonight- and I am mad as hell. The pastor decided to ditch the half the music the choir worked on in favor of the Praise Team leader's horrible music. The second half of the service was just terrible. I wanted to cry. We worked so hard and got slapped in the face. I was really liking the new pastor until tonight...
mollybarton: (hawkeye)
I got through the pre-service concert and most of the service all right, but my voice gave out. The thermostat was set to "cook the choir" again and my throat got dry. :( Oh, well. It was a lovely service, anyway! The church was beautifully decorated as usual.

 photo xmaseve_zps374f05fc.jpg

Some Christmas humor:

For those who hate Elf on a Shelf...
 photo badelf_zps4be1bbf8.jpg

Bad kitties.
 photo tumblr_my11pb8Aph1s4zy4mo1_500_zps4581bee8.jpg

Merry Christmas, everyone!
mollybarton: (hawkeye)
This time from the mall.

 photo xmaslights_zps01a796f8.jpg photo xmaslights2_zps6f7efdfb.jpg

They do a nice little light show every night during the Christmas season.

The bells had two concerts with the Fredericksburg Chamber Chorale. The last was today. They both went well. After ringing, I went to dinner with Mom and Dad, and we did some last minute shopping. It's been a crazy eight days- two rehearsals, three concerts, and two parties. I'm beat. Now I just have to get through Christmas Eve!

Had fun shopping tonight- it wasn't as crazy as I thought it would be. I guess everyone was eating dinner while we were in Macy's. I also stopped by Charming Charlie and Books-a-Million.

Tomorrow after church, I'm going to see The Hobbit. After Christmas I'll get around to seeing Anchorman 2, American Hustle, Saving Mr. Banks, and hopefully Twelve Years a Slave, if it doesn't leave the theater.
mollybarton: (hawkeye)
The carol service went well tonight. There were a few minor glitches- the little kids absolutely froze during one piece and didn't sing- saved by quick thinking and improvisation by both directors. The bells did a good job, despite having three subs playing!

After the service, I went to dinner with Mom and Dad, and we went downtown to see more window displays.

Many photos!
Read more... )
mollybarton: (hawkeye)
Gorgeous red nail polish and a new dress. Mom and I did some shopping this afternoon, and she gave me one of my presents early so I could wear it tomorrow!

 photo rednails_zps30824e32.jpg  photo xmasdress_zps0a3d8492.jpg

Choir rehearsal went well this morning. I think we'll be fine tomorrow.
mollybarton: (hawkeye)
Make up and accessory wise, anyway. I had to shop for presents at Charming Charlie and Sephora today, and picked up a couple of things for myself, too.

Christmas ball necklace (they're plastic, not glass!).
 photo ccxmasnecklace_zpsf9f6edcf.jpg

One of two awesome nail polishes I got today:
 photo newpolish_zps10df0ab2.jpg

The other is a gorgeous red. I'm going to wear that one on Sunday.

Plus, this is a bracelet I made a month ago- hadn't posted it yet.
 photo christmastrain_zps1b98f9c7.jpg

Choir practice last night wore me out. I think we'll be ready for the Carol Service on Sunday, but it's going to be close. Some of our singers haven't been to practice recently. The big rehearsal is Saturday morning...after that, Mom, Dad, Katie, and I are headed to Potomac Mills to do more Christmas shopping.
mollybarton: (CAM)
Colorado State is going to a bowl game! Yeah, it's the New Mexico Bowl which nobody cares about, but I'm happy. A bowl game on a 7-6 record. I guess they took the fact that their schedule was pretty rough- making them play Alabama was awful!

Broncos win again! They're 11-2. Redskins continue to suck hard. They lost AGAIN. Time to fire some people.

The weather is getting nasty. It was hard getting to church, and there were only 50 people at 11:00 service. A fifth of them were choir members! Bell practice was cancelled today because of icing worries, which kind of sucks. The choir Carol Service is next week, and we haven't practiced in two weeks. Regular choir will be fine.

Had lunch downtown and took a bunch of photos of the store displays. There are some nice ones. I'll post the pictures later.
mollybarton: (hawkeye)
I love latkes, so in honor of Hanukkah (even though I'm not Jewish), I made some tonight.

 photo latkes_zps705b6837.jpg

I smell like fried potatoes now, but it was worth it. Yum.

My new tree is up but not yet decorated. I just haven't been able to find the energy. The tree is pre-lit, and all my ornaments and garlands are ready, so I'll get it done tomorrow. I'm so behind in decorating this year. I feel so sluggish right now. I hope I'm not about to have another depressive episode.

I still have no voice, but I'm going to drag my ass to choir tomorrow night anyway. I should at least listen in even if I can't sing!
mollybarton: (CAM)
Seriously. Four weeks before Christmas and I can't get moving. I'm feeling a bit lethargic. Maybe I'm still recovering from Thanksgiving! I have to get a new tree for my doll tree...I hope I can find a white one. I did manage to get out the Christmas dishes today. I'll unpack ornaments, stockings, greenery, toys, and linens tomorrow.

I actually sang in choir today, but my voice gave out. Two weeks until the Carol Service. I hope my voice will return.

Redskins suck. They lost again tonight. Broncos won, though! And Colorado State ended their season with a win- so they are 7-6 for the year. Not bad at all, considering they had to face Alabama!

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