Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Jesus!



Today was a memorable day. Cavett enjoyed his first attempt at ice skating. He was a bit wobbly at first, but eventually got the balance part of it. For the most part he just held on tight to someone else who did the work for him. As Candace said, "it's like Bambi on ice." It didn't help that the smallest the skates came was a size 10 and he is an 8.




After some R&R at Nana's house we headed to our old stomping grounds, Noel United Methodist Church for the Candlelight service. Out of the 7 kids in the nursery 5 of them were Dent kids! This was quickly followed by Gumbo and Rice at the Chaney's house. To conclude the evening we had birthday cake and ice cream and sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus.




It was great for all 4 siblings and significant others to be able to sit around and visit like "old people" after most of the kids were asleep and the grand (and great-grand) parents were gone. Was this how it was when we were kids? Are we now the adults? No matter, it was a treat to have us all together in the same room on Christmas Eve. It was probably the best gift I could ask for.



May God bless you and yours this Christmas, and as Cavett said as he was walking out the door, "Merry Christmas everyone!"



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Christmas Eve Eve and Eve Eve Eve





Friday night we dropped by Grand Saline to check on Stephen's Dad, who is recovering well, by the way. We had a quick little Christmas and Cavett and Kendrick are enjoying their new toys, especially the "Tub Trumpet." In fact, Mom might be enjoying it even more than Cavett.






Saturday we headed to Shreveport just in time to visit with Sithir. He is my college friend, Paula's son. They had a good time getting to know each other and it was an excercise in learning to share for Cavett, since Sithir is a year younger.







Sunday we had the annual Dent/Trickett/Werntz get-together complete with family portraits. Unfortunately, we didn't have any of the Trickett kids there, but hope they are all doing well, especially the newest of the bunch (Jessica which was born Dec. 28th). Later, our Dad's Mom, Memaw came over with our Aunt D.D. and Uncle Mike yesterday afternoon for a visit. Memaw always seems to inspire the thespian in all of us. Anna Grace and Cavett ended up acting out or maybe just "representing" the Chistmas story with a stuffed tiger as Jesus. See Candace's blog for video.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy St. Lucia Day!


I'm sure you are saying "Happy what???" Also known as St. Lucy's Day, it was a Church feast day together with Advent, marking the beginning of the Christmas season. Before the reform of the Gregorian calendar, it also marked the longest night of the year. This is probably the reason why the tradition has lived on in the Scandinavian countries, since the nights in the winter are very dark and long and the idea of light overcoming darkness is appealing.
The meaning of Lucy or Lucia is "light" stemming from the Latin-"lux." In one of the stories associated with her legend, she was working to help Christians hiding in the catacombs. In order to bring with her as much food and drink as possible, she needed to have her hands free. She solved this problem by making a wreath to wear on her head on to which she attached lights. Thus she managed to see in the darkness of the catacombs.
As the tradition goes, the eldest daughter of the family dresses in white and wears a candle wreath while serving a sweet roll and coffee to her parents. Now, for some reason in my family, it was the 2nd daughter. I think Candace served it one year in a white dress with the actual candle wreath, although not lit. Our family typically makes this bread (which we call Christmas Bread) for gifts to family friends and then we also have a loaf for Christmas morning.
This is not really a hard bread to make, but it is quite involved making many dishes dirty and 2 risings. Today I delivered my last batch. That was 16 loaves and I still need to make one for our family to enjoy.
Even if this day has roots in pagan celebrations of the solstice, think again. As you see light this Christmas season, may you remember that it is Jesus that comes to overcome the darkness and illuminate us.

Monday, December 10, 2007

But, I still don't have a crook...


Last night we went to church for Las Posadas. Literally, meaning "inns," this is the celebration of the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Cavett was assigned a room in which to dress up and then waited for Mary and Joseph to come by and knock. When they arrived we had a conversaition to the tune of "Away in the Manger" with them asking if there was any room in the inn. When we sang "no," we then joined the procession to the next room. Finally, we ended at the stable. Who knew that Mary and Joseph also had hot fajitas and pinatas waiting for them when they arrived!


Cavett enjoyed dressing up as a "shepherd," but his comment when one of our friends asked him what his thoughts were was--"But, I still don't have a crook!" Evidently, he learned that word at school, because I definitely have not talked about crooks. We got quite a chuckle!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Patience and Generosity


Saturday night we had our first Christmas party of the season at a neighbor's house. There was great food and fellowship as well as a visit from Mr. Claus. In our invitation we were told to bring a wrapped $5 gift for our child to the hostess a week before the party. I did my duty and found a harmonica for Cavett.


Santa arrived and began pulling gifts out of his bag. There were probably 35 kids there all seated on the ground waiting very patiently, mine right in front. His present was so small that it slipped all the way to the bottom of the bag. Cavett sat still while every single child 's name was called, they visited with Santa and received a gift. He was the next to last name called. It was a great lesson and he loved his gift.


We also went to the store this weekend and allowed him to pick out a gift that we were going to take to church. He picked out a Hot Wheels Stunt Motorcycle for a child that "doesn't have any toys." He took it to church and willingly placed it under the Christmas Tree.


He is able to understand so much more this Christmas and I hope that I am able to teach him what Christmas is all about. It's so neat to see the Light in his life, which lights up mine too!

In thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting Light.


Again, my sister blogs eloquently. The strange thing is, I was going to write something very similar this morning, but she beat me to it. I added my 2 cents in the comments. So, go check it out and search for His light in your life.




Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Christmas Cluster



For anyone who has decorated a Christmas Tree with a 2-3 year old you know what this is. It is when every ornament you give the child is hung in the same place.




We decorated our tree last night so that we would just be able to relax after returning from our Thanksgiving travel. Cavett was very "helpful" in trying to place the bead garland. Then we let him hang a few ornaments. They were all 30" off the ground and in the front of the tree. It was precious. Watching him decide where to put each one was much better than teaching him about spacing. We will save that for another year. After he went to bed, we "re-decorated" and pulled out a few more ornaments.




We are headed to the "Big Salt" this afternoon for the rest of the Thanksgiving week. I pray you all have a blessed and safe holiday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Default


Some of you have spoken on how much you like my blog. But again I say, my sister is far superior. Many times she speaks of our Dad or things in our family growing up and I feel the same way. She has just a better way with words and is truly introspective. So, today I am defaulting to her blog. Go read it. Dad gave Stephen and me the same blessing and I know he would have spoken the same words to my other sister, Karen, had he been there.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Manuh-manuh!

My sister, Candace and her daughter showed us their favorite YouTube clip this weekend. It is the first sketch from Season 1 of the Muppet Show. Great stuff!

Now we can't get it out of our head! We are passing it on to you! Manuh-manuh!
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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Enough.








This weekend we were blessed to have 2 out of 3 of my siblings and their husbands and children, as well as all the grandparents at our house. We enjoyed each other's company and watched the kids dance to clips of The Muppet Show on YouTube. We celebrated Thanksgiving Saturday night fitting everyone around a make-shift dining room table. I'm not sure we were ever all seated at once, but it was a good time.




The highlight of the weekend was Kendrick being baptised. Kendrick woke up this morning so happy. He was so smiley, that he couldn't even concentrate on eating breakfast. After taking family pictures, we made it to the church in time. I changed Kendrick's diaper and put on his clothes and he then proceed to explode on it, getting poop on his gown. As Uncle Jack said, "it [his baptism] will truly be a washing away of his sins." Kendrick slept soundly until Dr. Pace "sprinkled" him. He awoke with a start, but didn't really fuss. Dr. Pace held him up to the congregation and said, "This is our new son." Kendrick just looked at everyone with wide eyes. It was a beautiful moment in God's grace.


Dr. Pace gave his Thanksgiving sermon on how we should receive God's gifts to us and how we are blessed with enough. Afterwards, Ken Medema spontaneously sang a song using Kendrick as a point of reference in the song tying the sermon together. "Little Baby Kendrick" It was amazing.




We are so blessed and thankful for all God has given us--beautiful children, a caring and supportive family, food to eat, clothes to wear, a house to live in. He will always provide enough. Sometimes I even wonder if he gives us too much. In watching the movie, Pursuit of Happyness, you realize that none of that matters. Even if he didn't give us all the material things, it would be enough just to know that he gave us the best gift of all--His son.



P.S.- I've uploaded some of the pics from this weekend, but there will be many more to come on our website. http://www.hilldds.com/





Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy All Saints Day




In our end is our beginning, in our time infinity;
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity.
In our death a resuerrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

Words and Music: Natalie Sleeth, 1986

Unfortunately, this is the only digital pic I have of Dadoo. We got our camera just before his death and my scanner is broken. :(

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Remembrance Requiem


This week marks the last time Dadoo was in Houston. It was 5 years and 3 days ago. It was a significant time in my life and I'm so very glad he was there. I was conducting my Masters Rectial of Faure's Requiem. For the most part, Dadoo didn't go to my concerts growing up. Looking at it in retrospect, I guess I am like him. I would rather be performing than listening. Mom has told me that sitting through church choir rehearsals used to drive him batty. Like father, like daughter. Concerts that he did go to, he would sit in the audience and sing or hum along--usually the bass part, of course.


For some reason, I am drawn to Requiems. They are the major works that I like best--Mozart, Durufle, Verdi, Webber. But, Faure's in terms of text hits home the best. Most requiems emphasize the judgement day, fire and brimstone, the bottomless lake and the pleading with God, "you promised Abraham!" (See Mozart and Verdi's Dies irae, Mozart's Offertorium, Webber's Lacrimosa , Durufle's Libera me) But, like Brahm's German Requiem, Faure's view was more peaceful. He used the In Paradisum (from the Burial Service) which speaks of angels welcoming you into paradise and reminds us of the conversation of Martha and Jesus in John 11:25. Faure seemed to be at peace with his soul and his relationship with his heavenly Father.


I, too, am at peace with my relationship with God and why he took my earthly father. I may not know why or have the answers, but He does and that is what matters. All I know is that Dadoo is in heaven and if he isn't singing with the angels, he is at least humming the bass part!


P.S.--Ironically, it is surmised that Faure's own father's death may have lead to the composition of this work.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Visitors from East Texas


This weekend we have had the pleasure of having Memaw and aunt DD visiting with us. It's been a great weekend full of hugs, baby holding and laughter. Today our outing was to drop off dresses downtown for Cantare, the small professional group I normally sing with. Luckily for us, Barry Barios was there and DD got to visit with him (He was DD's old choir director in Katy). Barry and one of my singing buddies, Casey, joined us afterward at Chick-Fil-A. That was Cavett's special "going place" treat for behaving so well while Cantare finished rehearsing and I distrubted dresses.


(For those of you not in the Dent family, the "going place" is just that--a place to go. It's not always the same place. As kids, Dadoo would tell us to pile in the car. We would ask where we were going and he would answer, "the going place"! We knew this sometimes meant some place we would really love, but it also meant sometimes going to the train store-his favorite place. Whatever the destination was it was fun to try and guess where we were going along the way.)


This evenings activites entailed: DD taking Cavett on a walk to the "little" park down the street, everyone convincing Cavett that he CAN eat his dinner (a 45 minute ordeal with an ice cream bribe!), and during Kendrick's bath realizing that he and I both got our "bootie" shape from Memaw! That was a good laugh! I guess you had to be there.


We love you DD and Memaw and we are so glad you came to visit!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Kendrick's Baptism


For those of you who are interested, Kendrick's baptism is finally scheduled. It will be Sunday, November 18th at St. Luke's UMC.

Unfortunately, the anthem that we commissioned Taylor Davis to write will be sung on Sunday, December 9th which is our big Christmas Choir Festival. This is good and bad. Bad, because it will not be done on the day he is baptised (like we did with Cavett). They aren't baptizing anyone that day. Good, because it is a bigger piece with children's choir, adult choir and orchestra. Taylor will be using the text of "Angels We Have Heard on High," but he is setting it to a different melody.

Another positive to this is that Ken Medema will be at St. Luke's on November 18th. So, if you are interested in coming to Kendrick's baptism, you have an extra incentive to see a fantastic and inspirational man and musician lead us in worship.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

He who has ears, let him hear!


Today was Kendrick's fourth hearing test. Usually this is done in the hospital before a newborn goes home. We had it done in the hospital too, but Kendrick did not pass. They say it might have been because of fluid in his ear from birth. Two days later, we went to the pediatrician and tried again. This time, the left ear passed and the right ear failed. Two days after that, we tried again with the same result and the doctor referred us back to the hospital. I really didn't feel like he couldn't hear. God gave me a peace about it. He was startling and last Friday he began smiling at us. But, it was still scary.
So, we traipse down to the Medical center and try to find this place within Methodist Hospital--Kendrick in his sling and Cavett with a back pack full of books and his Leap Frog. This test is best done when the baby is sleeping. Therefore, I left plenty of time for us to find our way and have time to nurse just before our 11:15 appointment. Things were going fairly well in the waiting room for the first 30 minutes. I was even able to take Cavett to the bathroom and nurse at the same time!
About 11:45, the audiologist finally showed up when Kendrick was becoming cranky. We go back to the room and wait for him to fall asleep or at least be quiet. Finally, I tried nursing again, since I forgot the pacifier in the car. Of course, Cavett had to go to the bathroom again. The Audiologist sent him out and the receptionist had to take him tis time! This time she was able to get a good reading on the left, but still nothing on the right. We wait some more. By this time, Kendrick is really fussing and Cavett is asking,"Read me the book, Mommy!" The audiologist says that we will have to do another test later. Over the crying and whining, I was able to hear enough that really freaked me out- "Sedation, 3 hours, Probes and Brain Stem." I'm not really sure what the actual test was but I must have given her a look of utter desperation. She left the room. When she came back, luckily Kendrick had fallen asleep and she brought the senior Audiologist who also brought some senors. They attached one to Kendrick's forehead, one just in front of his ear and one on the back of his neck. They did the test again and he passed.
Hallelujah! Praise God! Sometimes we take it for granted that we have healthy children. We are so blessed. May they grow up not only hearing His word, but doing as well.
P.S.- After we got home, I found on the web it is called "auditory brainstem response" test.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I wanna go there....


We were sitting in the drive-thru at Chick-fil-A yesterday when Cavett said, "I want to go to heaven." After a short discussion of "I want to go to heaven too, but it's not time yet, you will one day, etc.," we said a little pray and asked Jesus into Cavett's heart. I figured, if he remembers, great. If not, if some tragedy were to happen, at least I did my best trying to teach him about salvation.

I always seems to put a song with experiences like these, and they are usually from my childhood. I guess that is what happens when you are in the music profession. Anyway, the rest of the afternoon I couldn't get "Heaven is a Wonderful Place" out of my head. It's from one of the Psalty the Songbook CD's. I hadn't bought any for Cavett yet, because I hadn't seen them at our local Christian book store. But, I found them online and bought the whole set.

We are all looking forward to the day we get to that "wonderful place filled with glory and grace and see our Savior's face," and see Dadoo again.