Saturday, May 30, 2009

Divine Friendships

Sometimes I like to ponder the impact of friendships. Friendships have a profound impact on us. Take a moment to look back over your life and imagine it without those who have affected, influenced and shaped you. It's really hard to imagine isn't it? Honestly, if you removed some of the people in my journey who are most important to me I would be a completely different person.

Sheryl has always thought that my only child status has caused me to hold on to friendships in a different way. There are friends in my life who are those brothers and sisters I never had. I can't fathom life without them.

Truth be known, I have a lot of learning to do about friendship and what it means to be a true friend. Men like Stephen Bailey, Chris Doggett, Craig Fisher, Jeff Berry, Nathan Slingluff, Daren Stanley and Josh Ross teach me every day what it means to be a brother and friend. I can't imagine life without them.

Last night was spent in the company of good friends. We've been trying for WEEKS to schedule a couple's date night with Mark and Holly Whaley, Grant and Jill Batson, and Gary and Ellen Musick. (The Musicks couldn't make it) We all ended up at the Batson's house and sat and laughed into the wee hours of the morning. What would people do without friends?

Life passes so quickly! Sometimes it's hard to realize the beauty of our surroundings...and the impact on our lives made by those who care for us. Today I'm taking a break to stop and thank God for people who mean so much to me. I feel incredibly blessed.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday Night Fun

Last night the Majesty cast came over for dinner. We had such a great time! The kids were so excited all week looking forward to having them.

Carissa and the girls

The cast

Paige, Topher and me

Carissa, Blake and Jasmin

Gary, Carissa and me

The cast of the NCL Majesty (R-L)
John-Michael Zuerlein, Jasmin Richardson, Blake Rowden, Gary Hipperson, Carissa Bellando, Paige Salter, Christopher (Topher) Burkes, Amanda Hipperson

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Last Day of School

It's so hard to believe that today is the last day of school. Thanks to Katie Dunlap for this amazing picture taken on the FIRST day of school last fall. Thank you, Katie! Congratulations to all the students and teachers who are about to breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Team Hoyt

Amy Westerman sent us a message last night after finding a random YouTube posting of the Team Hoyt video with our (ZOE's) version of "Redeemer". The song was edited some by whomever made it but still sounds good. This YouTube video has been viewed almost 5 MILLION times. That is crazy!! Thought I would share the link with you guys...

My blogger isn't working well today and it's not letting me give you a link...but if you select and copy paste this it will take you to the video... OR, I've added a link to it under my favorite sites if you want to just click that...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

School Days

It's so hard to believe that school is almost out (this week)! Sheryl and I got to go to Ella's program in her room yesterday. It was so fun! Mrs. Locke has been incredible and we are SO very thankful for her. Here are some pictures from yesterday-

Ella was so ready to perform!

At the end of their program they did a sweet thing where they read different things about Kindergarten.

Then...making all the parents tear up, they held up first grade signs showing that they were growing waaaaay too fast!

Ella and the WONDERFUL Mrs. Locke. Ella just looks so OLD. I can't believe she will soon be a first grader!

The Ants Go Marching!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday Fun

Today while Sheryl worked on flowers for a wedding, the kids and I played the death and then went up to the studio to watch a run-through of the Majesty cast. It was really fun! Here are some pics from the run...


Jasmin and Blake

Carissa, Blake and Amanda

Sweet Jasmin with Maddie and Ella

Sam and me

Blake sings AM Radio

"Everything is Alright"

"Natural Woman"

Friday, May 15, 2009

Brief Trip to the NCL Sky

I am waiting at the airport for a flight home after a very quick two night trip out the NCL Sky to see their show called "Soul Rockin' Nights". This ship's shows are managed by in-house NCL productions but I'll be teaching that show for another ship later in the year and it was good to experience it first hand. The cast was really great and so sweet. Here are a few pics...I love the proscenium! Our guys in the shop built it. The lights really make it look cool.

"Born to be Wild" and "Life in the Fastlane" are really cool with these motorcycles

I am glad to have the weekend back home and enjoy being with my family. Thank you to everyone on the Sky for being so welcoming. I enjoyed my visit very much.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

NCL Majesty Rehearsals Begin

The cast of the NCL Majesty began rehearsals this week. I am teaching the singers and I am so thankful for this amazingly talented cast! Jasmin Richardson (2nd from left) is someone I have been wanting to work with for over a year. I first saw her in the leading role of "Aida" at ACU in the fall of '07. She is fantastic! Blake is one of my favorites too (a returning performer). John Michael is also returning to us and he's got a great voice. Paige is new--we discovered her at a local audition. She is graduating from Belmont with a degree in Musical Theater. Fantastic performer!

Blake, Jasmin, John Michael, and Paige

I am also glad that all of our dancers are returning performers. Carissa and Topher were recently on the NCL Spirit and Gary and Amanda worked for us on Celebrity.

Congratulations to this cast on a fantastic start!

A little taste...the batteries on my camera ran out before I could capture more.

I leave tomorrow for a quick trip to the NCL Sky to check out one of their shows. 2 nights and then home!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to two of the best moms I know! You love and serve tirelessly and we're all better for having you in our lives!

We had Mother's Day lunch at our favorite near-by restaurant...Toyama. The kids like watching the food being cooked in front of us!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Malibu, California

We just got back from Malibu and we are wonderfully exhausted. It was a great 3 days with the ZOE's at Pepperdine University. It was also sweet to be with my family.

We sang in Smothers Theater each day with Mike Cope teaching (we've been doing that with him for over a decade now). We did a worship night in Smothers on Thursday as well. This year we also lead in the Firestone Fieldhouse. It's the arena at Pepperdine. We really enjoyed it!

Firestone Fieldhouse on Wednesday night

We sang each day with a packed out Smothers Theater crowd. It was such a blessing to hear all those voices singing so passionately!

Our Smothers...clearly engaged.

One benefit of being in Malibu is the BEACH! We went a couple of times and the kids loved "chasing" the waves.

Maddie and Ella at Zuma Beach

Kevin sang with us--so Kiki and baby Gracie came too! It was Gracie's first time to the beach!

Each morning we woke up early and went down into the village shopping area in Malibu to John's Garden (and coffee at the Coffee Beanery!) The kids loved playing on the playground there in the mornings.

Maddie, Sam and me


Maddie and Sam

It was a great week--although juggling working out of the office and all the ZOE responsibilities was a difficult task, it was well worth it. We saw lots of old friends. Dan and Wendy Jacoy, who I met on tour over TWENTY years ago (I fossilized as we counted up), were as delightful as always. Our time in the stairwell at Smothers with Mike...priceless. I loved hearing my brother, Josh Ross, knock it OUT OF THE PARK on Friday (check his link to the right). Eating at Marmalade, feeling sand between my toes, time with Jeff and Melissa Howell...such a great week! We feel so blessed. Thank you to everyone who loved on us this week!

We're home after a long 4 hour flight...and the kids are nestled in their beds. God is good to us!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Sheryl Thomas Florals

I am excited to announce the launching of Sheryl's new website! Thanks to the brilliant web design of our friend, Amy Westerman, Sheryl Thomas Florals is now up and running!

As every one of you who read this blog have witnessed, Sheryl has been creating amazing art with flowers and other things for a long time. Her event and wedding business has picked up a bit as of late. She's so gifted. Please pass the word along to your friends. She is available for weddings, conventions, corporate functions, award parties...basically anything that needs floral decor or centerpieces.

Here are some pics of some of her work...

This is a part of the large wedding arrangement that was at the front of the church for Mary Catherine Musick's wedding (Gary's daughter). Sheryl also did all the bouquets and
boutonnières as well as some wreaths, the florals for the wedding cake and centerpieces for the reception.

Mary Catherine's bouquet

reception centerpiece...container was a hollowed out white pumpkin

Centerpiece--small pumpkins, lemons and limes in water

more centerpieces

There were a couple of these--pumpkin topiary

Wedding cake florals

Sheryl designed this amazing piece that would sit at the entrance to the reception. Thanks to Cory Davis's help putting it together, it really was breath taking!

Entrance to the Musicians' Hall of Fame

Example of a boutonnière

more bouquet options

Arrangements for showers or parties

Sheryl also does corporate events...she managed the centerpiece and linens team for the Cydcor Awards show at the Nashville Convention Center last December. They decorated around 300 tables. It was a huge undertaking!

Sheryl designed and arranged these for the Emdeon "Hollywood Nights" awards party at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville.

I came home the other day and she had whipped this up for our living room from random things from our garden and yard. Sheryl is a thing of beauty and loves to create beautiful things for others. Check out her website!