20 November 2013

Artsymom's Balancing Act: A Tribute to Our Veterans

Artsymom's Balancing Act: Life with Kids: A Tribute to Our Veterans:

Today we celebrate Veteran's Day in the US. A time to honor and remember all those who have served and are still serving in all areas of our countries military. I came across some touching media images, poems, and songs that I would like to share here.

"I Drive Your Truck" by Lee Brice

My heartfelt thanks goes out to all my family and friends who serve and have loved ones serving, as well as to all who serve. Thank you so much for all you have done and continue to do.

Do you have Veteran's Day poems, quotes, songs, or other things you want to share?

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19 November 2013

Artsymom's Balancing Act: Hungry

Artsymom's Balancing Act: Life with Kids: Hungry:

Right now in church, I am working with the Outreach Committee to put together the Annual Thanksgiving Baskets for Neighbors In Need. They are the organization in charge of a number of food pantries in my local area, and have been around for 30 years.

Our goal this year is to put together 75 baskets, complete with turkey, pie, juice, and side dishes. With the help of our church family and friends, we are well on our way to accomplishing this goal.

Today at church, Linda Zimmerman, the Executive Director at Neighbors In Need spoke to the church during our service. She was there to thank the church for the help that has been given in the past, as well as to thank us for our help with the upcoming Thanksgiving Baskets. She reminded us that the hunger problem has been increasing and is a year round problem.

Hunger is getting worse everywhere, and even those who are working are having trouble making ends meet. A friend of mine sang a song, after Linda spoke that was very touching and fitting.

"Hungry" by Kathryn Scott

How do we help to turn this major problem around? How do we get ahead of thisbefore we can't help fulfill the need?

Do you participate in any food pantry donations for Thanksgiving or other times? What organizations are there in your area that are dealing with helping the hungry?


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Artsymom's Balancing Act: Moved by Music

Artsymom's Balancing Act: Life with Kids: Moved by Music:

“Music is the universal language of mankind.” 
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Music has always been a huge part of my life, even from an early age. My parents both played instruments, my mother also sang in the church choir. My grandfather played multiple instruments, and played in bands during the 1940's - a huge time for music in the America (as well as before and after that time). I grew up listening to a variety of music, both live and on the radio. My sisters and I all took up instruments as well, during our school years.

I also took up singing, joining the different choirs in church, school, and community. As an actor, singing was an important part of getting involved with performing in musical theatre. I have also performed as a soloist for weddings, funerals, sporting and community events. It has certainly been a privilege to be a part of the different events, whether it be celebrating a happy event or helping to express loved ones sentiments when saying goodbye.

There are a number of songs, that have really moved me, and to name them all would probably require me to write a novel. I am going to highlight a few of the songs here. I hope that you enjoy reading about why they move me and hearing the pieces of music.

“Where words fail, music speaks.”

1. "There You'll Be" - theme song from Pearl Harbor
I sang this song at my dad's funeral in 2006. My dad and I watched Pearl Harbor together a number of times. It was one of his favorite movies from the more recent years. When ever I think of the song, it reminds me of him and how he is still here with me in my heart. "I was blessed to get to have you in my life." I came across an amazing live version from Faith Hill who sang the theme song in the movie, it gives me chills every time I hear it.

"There You'll Be" - Faith Hill

2. "Seasons of Love" - song from the musical Rent
When I first heard the music and then saw the musical when it came to Boston on tour, I was moved by this song. It is a song that I could really relate to - questioning what it was that was important in life. What will really be what we are remembered for? "How do you measure a year?" This song was played at my friend, Susan's funeral. A funeral for someone who left us too soon. Every time I hear this song, I think of her. I think of other friends and family, who have also left too soon. It is a bittersweet feeling, that is mixed with emotions, but most of all it reminds me to remember the good times and the great memories I have of them and my time with them.

"Seasons of Love" - Rent Movie Soundtrack

3. "He's Everything" - by Dolly Parton song from the movie A Joyful Noise
When I watched this movie with Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah, I was very moved by this song. It was a very powerful scene at the end of the movie, which brought goosebumps and the song really made the scene. The music and the lyrics were perfect! For someone who has grown up singing in church choirs and as a soloist at church, I definitely wanted to add this song to my repertoire. I ended up singing it this past summer, at my goddaughter's baptism. It fit perfectly for the service! The song and the scene from this movie still give me goosebumps and really move me. I hope you enjoy!

"He's Everything" - A Joyful Noise

4. "Ode to Joy" - flash mob symphony orchestra 
I have always enjoyed the musical masterpiece of "Ode to Joy" but it is the video in particular which captured a flash mob symphony orchestra performing it, that truly was inspiring. I have heard some claim that it was used for a commercial, for what I am not sure, as what ever was being advertised was very subtle. The coming together of the instruments after one little girl, puts a coin in the solo musicians hat, and then leads to the crowd joining in singing was truly a remarkable display of talent. No matter how many times I have come across it, from others posting it, it still moves me.

"Best Coin Ever Spent"

“Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common.” 
― Sarah DessenJust Listen

I would love to hear how music has impacted your life. What songs or artists have moved you? Share your stories in a comment below.

Have a great day!

You can check out other posts from the "Weekly Writing Challenge: Moved by Music" here: 

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