November's not normally this exciting....

Monday, November 6, 2006

I have a few more exciting announcements!

No, I'm not having twins. (Although I did have a dream about that....)

First of all, you'll see a link to the Hamilton Children's Choir on my sidebar. This is because I'm on the artistic staff. I conduct the training choir, called Prelude and the boys choir, called Allmen. I've been involved with the HCC since I was ten years old when I joined as a chorister. I came on staff in 2001, right after Jairus was born. At the time, the Artistic Director was David Davis, who had been my conductor as a child and who became a close friend and mentor as I grew up.

David left the HCC in 2002 to become the director of the Canadian Male Orpheus choir. He did this until his death this past spring.

Zimfira Poloz came on as our new artistic director. Having only lived in Canada for three years, her english had an impossibly strong Russian accent, but she was impressively fluent. Also impressive was her experience. She had founded a choral school in her native Kazakhstan which grew from nothing to hundreds of students and a large staff of teachers in only 15 years. Upon arriving in Canada, she headed right for the top--the Toronto Children's Chorus. Soon after, she took over the High Park Children's Choir in TO and then joined us in the January of 2003. Zimfira still travels more than once a year to adjudicate and present at world reknowned choral competitions all over the globe. Working with her has been incredible and I've learned SO much in only 3 years.

In a couple hours the Concert Choir arrives home from Tolosa, Spain. There they competed in a world class choral competition, for the first time, and placed second behind a Russian choir. Furthermore, they were awarded the audience's "People's Choice" Award as best choir in the competition. I was so thrilled to hear this! And especially proud, when I look at the pictures and see children (now teens) that started in my training choir years ago.

New uniforms were created for the trip--see how amazing these kids look!!

So, congratulations to the Hamilton Children's Choir!! For more pictures, take a look at the trip blog here.

In other news, we heard today that my brother Paul has been accepted into the military. This is both exciting and scary! Paul is 18 years old and graduated from highschool in June. He's been working part-ish time at Tim Hortons, but no more!! He flies out to St. John's, NFLD in less than two weeks to start basic training. Please pray that he'll hook up with some good guys out there that will help keep him on the straight and narrow. Plus that he'll get in shape soon--he's spent most of the last year on his computer!! Congratulations Paul!!

Last but not least, late last week my sister Lauren was accepted into the Cosmetology and Marketing program at Sheridan College in Oakville. She's so excited! Lauren graduated from highschool last year and has been working full time for Direct Buy in Stoney Creek all this year. Now we've gotta get apartment hunting...Congratulations Lauren!!

And congratulations to my parents. You just got rid of two kids within 5 days!!! Hallelujah!

And I thought I'd give an update on Mvelopes. After some initial gliches with service interruptions, it's been running along smoothly and I've never been so excited about taking care of the family finances. It's been just over three months now since I joined up, first taking advantage of the 30 day free trial. It's taken some trial and error, a number of instant message sessions with the tech people and a few posts on the support forum, but I've got the hang of it now. I was able to solve the biggest hurdle I was seeing--that Mvelopes has you plan your budget based on a monthly pay schedule, and we get paid bi-weekly (plus a few other income sources throughout the month). I connected with another user through the forums who was much more experienced than I, and she sent me a spreadsheet that showed me how to plan out the use of each and every paycheque. This made the whole process 100% clearer and I really feel like I'm using the system closer to it's full potential. Some immediate improvements I've seen:

  • There's actually still money left in my bank account when the next paycheque arrives. This never happened before!!
  • There's money in our savings account. Can I just say, holy cannoli.
  • I've got money set aside for a few small things that I never used to have--like money to buy medicine or prescriptions (we've got no plan). Had to buy Tylenol last night because Honour was complaining of a sore throat and....oh my goodness, there was actually money there to do that!

So, I'm really thrilled with how the Mvelopes is working for us. I'd encourage anyone who makes ANY money to look into it pronto.

I have an appointment with the Prenatal Diagnostic clinic on Nov. 21st. This will be my ultrasound--anatomical scan and 3-D ultrasound, and then an appointment with the geneticist. I have to admit, I'm a little nervous. I feel like this baby doesn't move around as much as I remember my other babies. I'm hoping it's just because I'm so busy with the other 3 all the time that I don't notice. I'm hardly showing too. Tomorrow I'll be 17 weeks and nobody can really tell than I'm pregnant. But I have gained more weight at this point than I have with the other three (oh, great), so that's gotta be a good sign, right? And at the last midwife appointment, the heartbeat was nice and strong--up in the 150's and I was measuring just right. I keep reassuring myself with that info.

Thanks for readin'.

Later all.


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