Thursday, April 03, 2008

Another Kassady Caper

I have to share this one with you...

Last night, Lori and the kids were at church. Lori oversees the children's program at Grace and she had just finished up the evening class and activities. Three or four boys were chasing the little girls around, which of course the girls loved. They ran screaming and laughing through the gym, into the hallway, and the girls eventually ran into the women's restroom. Lori had to head to the restroom, so she walked in and pushed on the first stall door. It was locked. She went to the next door and pushed. It didn't budge. She tried each stall. Same thing. So, she looked underneath the stall doors and there was no one in any of them. She noticed that the girls were still in the bathroom so she asked Kassady if she knew why the doors were locked. Kassady said, "Yeah. I locked them all and crawled out underneath so the boys can't get us."

Well, then Lori paid closer attention to what the girls were doing. They were tearing off strips of paper towel, soaking them under the faucet, and wadding them up into balls. When Lori asked what they were doing, Kassady said that she was making these to throw at the boys who chased them. This is a 3-year-old.

Lori and I are not looking forward to future Parent Teacher Conferences. But, I'm also proud in a weird sort of way.

Mitchel Jon

Today I've been listening to the rough mix of a solo project that is the best solo Southern Gospel recording I've ever heard up to this point. Actually, it's one of the best solo projects I've ever heard, regardless of genre. I've never met Mitchel Jon before, but I'm here to tell you this guy can flat out sing with the best of them, secular or sacred. He sang with Three Bridges for several years before going solo. He also sings with Phil Cross and Poet Voices one weekend a month. Please understand, this is not some rabid fan's hyperbole. I'm not too fond of Southern Gospel solo music. There are some good soloists out there, but it's never been my preference. However, there's something different about this project. If you crossed Bart Millard with some early-mid '80s Russ Taff and throw in a little Charles Billingsley you get Mitchel Jon. Except, he blows away any solo recording I've heard from those three gentlemen. Which is saying a lot, because they've produced some fantastic material. Be looking for Mitchel Jon's album in the next couple of months.

By the way, he's going to be in Boise at Liberty's Family Fest.08 in September. It's worth coming just to hear this guy sing.

UPDATE: I let Lori listen to the CD and she figured out who he most sounds like: Keith Lancaster, from Acapella. Remember that group? I think she might be right.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Pastors of Politicians

I found a hilarious post from one of my favorite cyberwriters, Keith Drury. It's somewhat of a spoof of the recent Obama dilemma. Read it.

Good Day

We're in the studio all week with Phil Cross, so I'm not going to be very good about posting. Last night, Trey and Kassady started soccer practice. Their practices are at the same time, so Lori dropped Trey off at his field and then ran Kassady over to her practice. I got out of the studio in time to catch the last half hour of Trey's practice. He told me that he's made up his mind to play more aggressive. And, he did. He pretty much dominated the practice. It seemed like he was one of the shortest kids last year, but now he's the biggest kid on the field. Kassady did her thing, too, according to Lori. This includes running around the field laughing with/at the person dribbling the ball, falling on purpose, and occasionally kicking the ball.

I did catch American Idol last night. TiVo is a great invention. Thumbs up go to David Cook. He is the most creative contestant on the show. His musical arrangements are incredible. I'm liking him more every week. I read on Drudge Report this morning that they had to rush him to the hospital following the show due to extremely high blood pressure. Not good. David Archuleta was brilliant, as usual, and Michael Johns, Brooke White, Carly Smithson, and Jason Castro turned in good performances. I have to tell you that the more I hear Castro's voice the more I like it. And Brooke White is just plain likable. She has this folksy lilt to her voice and an engaging personality. This has been a great season, so far.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Waldroup to leave Greater Vision

This is big news for the Southern Gospel world: Jason Waldroup to leave Greater Vision. Jason is planning on pursuing a seminary education this fall according to the Singing News website. Since everyone can't access the SN News, here are a few quotes. First from Jason:
This is a decision I have been struggling with for more than a year, and the time has come for me to follow what I believe to be God's will for my life. I have delayed this decision because of my love for what I've been privileged to do for the past thirteen years as a part of Greater Vision, and my relationships with Gerald and Rodney. They, along with Chad Baker, our Product Manager, are family to me, and they're my closest friends. That has made this decision that much more difficult.
And from Gerald:
Jason is like a son to me, as well as being one of the closest friends I've ever had. None of us want to see him leave, but we have encouraged him to follow God's leading, no matter what, and leave the consequences to Him.
And from Rodney:
I will certainly miss standing beside Jason every night, but he has my full support as he moves into his next phase of ministry.
From the sounds of it, Jason will stick around to help train and mentor his replacement. I'm sorry to see Jason go. He helped carry on the classic Greater Vision sound. It will be interesting to see how the search for a replacement goes. A lot of phenomenal tenors will be clamoring for that position.

Spring break: Primos

The Liberty Family minus Donna and Jordan (Dan's wife and son) and Jeremiah (Royce's son) got together at Primo's on Thursday for a little pizza, lots of laughter, and loud conversation. Kassady and Taylor were running around wrecking havoc but I got everybody else to pause for a picture. From left to right: Justin, Royce, Tammy, Jenna, Dan, Julianne, Lori, Diane, Doran, Courtney, and Trey.

As you can tell, we were all paying rapt attention to Dan's stories. Very interesting.

Lori prays that God would deliver her from Dan's stories.

"Yeah, Donna. They really liked the stories."

When Kassady and Taylor get together it's like mixing combustible materials. There will be quite a bit of screaming, someone will get hurt, and there's a pretty good chance of an explosion.

I've never featured Tammy on the blog, so I thought it was about time to introduce everyone to Royce's better half. Keep her in your prayers. Trying to anticipate Royce's next move isn't easy on the psyche.

This was the perfect way to cap an awesome spring break.

Spring Break: 4-wheelin'

Trey had never been 4-wheeling before. I let him drive a little bit (while I held on the back). He actually didn't do too bad.

Pastor Dave, David, and William brought their two 4 -wheelers out to the trails. We also took a dirt bike that Dan Yancey graciously (and let's be honest, naively) let us borrow. He apparently isn't aware of the mechanical abilities that Dave and I possess. It had been a long time since Dave or I had ridden a dirt bike and we had fun getting the feel of it.

Trey and William, one his best buds, saddle up and get ready to ride.

We went up to the top of a pretty steep hill and Trey and William clambered off to look around.

I kind of look like Dudley off of "Wild Hogs". I'm OK, it's just my face (inside joke to all who have seen the movie). It was a little chilly and I'm paranoid about getting a cold, losing my voice, and all that stuff, so I wore a ski hat underneath my helmet. I like being the cool parent.

Pastor Dave and William shortly before careening down the hill, fishtailing all the way. I know Julia will appreciate that comment.

William had a slight accident involving his face, the handlebars, and a pothole. Oh yeah, and quite a bit of blood. He's OK now, but the poor guy was in pain there for a while. He's a trooper.

Thanks Dave, David, and William for inviting us to go along.

Spring Break: PoJos

My beautiful family.

There were rides, video games, all kinds of activities, and Kassady chooses the kiddie playground as her favorite hangout. We couldn't get her to do anything else. She loved crawling through the tunnels, climbing up the slide backwards, and arguing with the little boys.

She did like the Red Baron ride.

This was my favorite activity, along with the basketball shooting game.

Kassady held her own in our little competition. She tagged me hard!

A fun time was had by all. We'll be back.

Spring Break: Discovery Center

Ready to go explore the Discovery Center, Trey and Kassady pose impatiently in front of the outdoor sign.

Trey decided to try out the bed of 512 nails. He was a little hesitant to climb up there at first.

Kassady scanned items and punched buttons as efficiently as any Walmart cashier. The Kidz Market was one of her favorite exhibits.

Kassady trys out her veterinary skills on a lifeless St. Bernard. That dog is lucky he's stuffed. She put him through the paces. Carrie, I think she has potential.

Trey, on the other hand, begrudgingly pointed for his photo op finding little pleasure in pet x-rays.

The kids had fun. I won't bore you with all the pictures, but Trey and I worked on a motor, we played with bubbles, Trey and Kassady created slime, and so much more. I actually enjoyed it myself.

Terror Firma

Whew! Another whirlwind weekend. This was my first time to travel through Texas. The humidity brought back memories of July afternoons in Ohio. And, I can't figure out what it was, but there was some plant, flower, tree, or weed that smelled like the midwest. I know, I've finally gone over the edge. did. It also hit me last night that it had been a long time since I had heard crickets chirping. They were in full chorus last night and for some reason it triggered one of those nostalgic nerves that brings back a flood of memories. Good memories.

People in Texas not only appreciate Southern Gospel music, they know the songs. We've been doing a couple of rather obscure old tunes and there were a few out there singing along with us. I was impressed. We were at Fort Worth First Nazarene on Sunday morning and come to find out Dave Tharp (the music pastor) and I know a lot of the same people from back east. He's a great guy and we had a wonderful time. We were in Denton, TX at another Nazarene church last night. Following the concert we drove to Oklahoma City and spent the night on the bus. Getting up at 4:10 AM (ID time) in the morning to catch a flight is one of the few things I despise about traveling. We have to be a sorry sight, staggering through security, eyes bloodshot, muttering incoherently. Kind of blows the traveling fantasy doesn't it? Of course, I can't sleep on the plane. It's pathetic, really. I wait until I get home to catch up on the Zzzs. Today, I read 2 Newsweek magazines, 1 Charisma magazine, and finished a Wired magazine. We had a 3 minute layover in Denver (seriously). It was supposed to be longer, but as our wheels touched down on the runway, the pilot suddenly took the plane back up at a steep angle. He informed us that air traffic control had made an error and that there was "traffic congestion" on the runways. Comforting.

All's well that ends well. I'm home.