First Milestone

For the last year or more I have been trying to get into a routine of getting more exercise and watching what I eat to lose weight and be healthier.  I have had limited success.  Last week I signed up for a membership at the South Milwaukee Fitness Center to have a place to workout and for my daughter to practice for baton.  I have found that I much prefer their walking track to my treadmill.  I will still use my treadmill when I can’t get over there or I need some extra steps in a day but I am going to try to get over there for at least an hour of walking each day.  Today marks my seventh day in a row of both walking at least 10k steps and logging my food with MyFitnessPal so that I can watch what I eat.  It’s not a huge deal but it’s a first step in the right direction.

3-Day Year 9 Postponed

In October I was scheduled to walk in Philadelphia for my ninth year walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.  I  won’t be able to do that this year however because of a battle with Anemia that I had earlier in the year.  I did not really recover from the Anemia until the beginning of June and between that and a very hectic work and home schedule I am just not going to have time to train to get ready for my walk this year.  I did contact the Coaches and will be able to roll my fundraising into 2016 so that I can walk next year for my ninth year.  I was looking forward to walking in Philadelphia as a new city for me this year and will miss my teammates but I will be back next year.  I just don’t know in which city yet.  Once again thanks to all of my supporters that continue to believe in this fight.

AYOP 2015 – A New Start

This past week I spent the week with my daughter at Notre Dame University for America’s Youth on Parade (AYOP).  We had been to AYOP four years previously but this was a year of firsts us anyway.  In past years I had attended with both daughters but now my older daughter is getting ready for College and had to work this week.  This was also the first year that we attended with our new Twirling Family, Revolutions Twirling Club.  My daughter joined their Competition Team last September and had spent many hours preparing for this.  It was a new challenge for her as it involved much more work than previous years.  In the past she had been part of a Corps that concentrated mostly on Flag Corps so that and Solo were where most of her practice time went.  This year she was part of teams that competed in Half Time, Twirl, Poms, and Dance.  There was a lot more to remember and prepare for but the girls did an amazing job.

The non competition side of the week was different too since we were the new family to the Club.  Most of the other girls had been here for several years together.  We had spent time with the other families at other competitions and practices all year but this was different since we would all be together for the week.  Things worked out just fine.  My daughter got to spend time with her teammates and they got to know each other a little better and that is always good for a team.  I spent time with other parents and got to know them better also.  We have a great bunch of families in the Club and I hope we can continue to add to that to help the Studio grow.

All in all the week was pretty successful. The team placed in the Top Ten in most of the events that they entered.  The highlight of the week for teams was the 2nd place finish in Junior Dance Line.  They did a Contemporary Dance piece that was much different than any of the other routines and the judges seemed to like it.  It was much slower and more somber than the other routines because it was based on the song the Via Dolorosa.  We had a number of positive comments after the performance.  The link to the video is below.

It was a great week and we are looking forward to starting a new competition season in September and a return to Notre Dame next July.

More Interesting Reading

I have been reading books by John Ringo for a couple years and I have read just about everything that he has written and I have really enjoyed it.  Recently I have been looking for some new material to read and heard that John was writing some stories in the Monster Hunter Universe that Larry Correia had created.  I picked up the first book in the series a little over a week ago and since then I have gone through five books.  I found the stories to be pretty interesting.  Larry has a writing style similar to John and the material kept me interested.  I think John does a better job of character development but overall the stories were worth the time to read them.  Both have a decent sense of humor and research their material thoroughly.

AlumKnightChoir – Another Chance to Sing

Yesterday was an event that I had been waiting for since last summer.  The Oak Creek High School Choir program had an Alumni Choir event and it was worth every minute of the Saturday that I gave up to participate.  It’s the kind second chance to we don’t get very often.

I graduated from Oak Creek back in 1984 and the class that I enjoyed the most during High School was Choir.  I was not a musical prodigy and was not even bold enough to do any Solos during High School but I really loved my time as part of that Choir.  We had a Choir Director that was very demanding and had high expectations of us but we all had a great time meeting those expectations and really had some great experiences during those years.  After high school I didn’t really take many opportunities to sing or be part of a Choir and I missed that for many years.  Once I got married and settled back in my hometown of Oak Creek I joined my Church Choir and while I enjoy that, our Choir is rather small and the experience is not the same as what I had enjoyed in High School.

When my oldest daughter started High School four years ago and joined the Choir I was exposed to the new Oak Creek High School Choir program and found that things had changed a lot since I had been in Choir.  Some things had change drastically but some things had remained the same.  The styles of music that they performed had expanded quite a bit and the size of the Choir had also expanded a lot.  They had even added after school Show Choir groups to the lineup.  The one thing that had not changed is that the Choir students loved Choir and had the utmost respect and admiration for their Choir Director.  I attended Choir events regularly and really enjoyed being involved when I could.

Now I fast forward to last summer when I first heard Mr. Wulterkens(known to students as Mr. Dubbs), the current choir director, talk about an Alumni Choir event that he wanted to hold in early 2015.  I wanted details and to know how to sign up right away.  By August the date was set for March 7th and Choir Alumni started spreading the word by mouth and social networks to get people interested in the program.  As the date approached the numbers grew slowly at first but then it picked up steam and ended up with a little over 100 alumni registered for the AlumKnightChoir event.

The morning of March 7th we gathered for registration and then had a brief activity to break the ice before we got into the serious rehearsal time.  Most of the Alumni present were Mr. Dubb’s students but we also had about 10 from the 80’s around my time and also a couple from the 70’s.  We had separate men’s and women’s rehearsals during the morning and then had mostly combined rehearsals during the afternoon.  It was a fairly brisk pace but Mr Dubbs and Miss Pacetti had selected songs that they were confident that we could learn during a day of rehearsals.  They had sent out information to allow us to practice ahead of time but I like many did not have a chance to do much of that.  We had three songs to learn before the concert at 7.  The four current choirs were going to each do two songs and then we were going to do two songs before we finished with a song with all choirs combined.

At 6:00 PM all of the Choirs had to be present to go over the combined song and to practice the movement that they had planned for the song.  This was something new for us choir old farts since during our days we really didn’t do much in the way of movement during songs.  It was a lot of fun although I must admit I am not very talented in trying to look like I am moving naturally while singing.  We were also doing the last song without music but since the rest of the Choirs already knew it they would lead and we could fit in pretty easily.

When it came time for showtime we were seated up on the bleachers along with the existing Choirs.  It was again enjoyable to watch the Choirs that performed before we did.  We were the last individual Choir of the night.  My daughters were in two of the other Choirs so I always like to see what they are working on.  Our two songs were very different and I must say that I enjoyed the second more than the first.  Frostiana is a good piece and I remember doing it in High School.  It’s just a more restrained song.  Our second song, “He Never Failed Me Yet”, was a Gospel song that we could put a lot of energy into and we did.  I still can’t decide whether that one or the final with all Choirs together was my favorite.  The big difference between the two was the finale had even more energy since we were going from an Alumni Choir of about 100 to a Combined Choir of about 300.  Wow was that a blast.

Mr. Dubbs has said he would like to make this an annual event and I am all for that.  I would love to be able to come back and sing with a Choir like this again and again.  Next year I will only have one daughter in the program but my other daughter can join me in the Alumni Choir.  I will be watching closely to see when next year gets scheduled.  Mr. Dubbs, Miss Pacetti, and everyone involved in the program did a great job planning the event and I can’t wait for next year.

Our first song- The Road Not Taken

Our second song – He Never Failed Me Yet

Finale – Tshotsholoza