Thursday, December 11, 2014

Casady's Blood Drive is Today!

Thank you for Johnny L. for speaking at chapel promoting the Blood Drive.  36 people were screened and 25 were able to donate blood.  

Bennett's Update

Chemo. ✔️
Immuno-suppressant. ✔️
Anti-rejection med started. ✔️
Today is Day 0. Transplant Day and Casady Blood Drive

The past few days have been interesting to say the least. All of the effects of the meds are catching up with him and he just hasn't been himself. He finally got really good sleep last night. He's been exhausted! His kidneys are hard at work but we are back in a situation of metabolic confusion with all of his electrolytes needing support and supplementation. Please pray for the doctors as they keep the tabs on everything. They say he looks better than numbers on paper say he looks. It's yet another indicator of how hard he's fighting everything coming at him!

He continues to eat some during the day which is a good sign for a few reasons. Aside from the obvious, it means he hasn't developed any mouth sores yet. Just the thought of this is miserable and I pray God is merciful in this part of the possibilities.

Being ready for transplant is exactly where we want to be. But, honestly, my emotions are mixed with  frustration and sadness this week. I've had on my game face, especially for Adeline, as we all talk about spending Christmas in the hospital. "Christmas finds us no matter where we are. We'll be together and that's the best thing." I believe all of that but we were supposed to be HOME by now!!! I remind myself that this is God's timing, not ours. The sacrifices being made extend so far beyond me and that's hard to live with some days! As I dream about being able to "pay it forward", it doesn't seem like I'll ever be able to show enough gratitude for all that's being done for us! Your prayers, thoughts, words, and deeds have changed us. I'll continue to say THANK YOU because it's all I can say.

They tell us tomorrow will be rather anti-climactic. The transplant procedure will LOOK like a blood transfusion but it will be so much more! The process is full of waiting for his body to recognize the new cells and allow them to starting working for him. A good friend remarked that this time of chemo has been like the season as Advent--the time of preparation before Christmas. It's the time his body has needed to prepare for the newness of life that comes from this gift of bone marrow, much like we are given life with Christ. God's timing. Yes. Yes, it is.

Day 12: Noël

By Professor Carol on Dec 11, 2014 03:00 am
Gilles Couteau - (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Gilles Couteau – (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
For many of us, Noël is a word splashed in glitter across Christmas cards, banners, and ornaments. But it also means a specific type of French Christmas Carol. Let’s take a closer look.
Noël comes from the Old French word for “Christmas Season” (nael) which, in turn, comes from the Latin for birth (natalis). That’s a lot of etymology, but it explains why we hear the wordNoël sung as a refrain in the familiar carol The First Noel. Think of it as a joyous exclamation, like Alleluia.
The very sound Noël conveys the glory of our Savior’s birth! As an expression of Christmas joy, the word has been used since the 15th century, sometimes within church music, but more often in popular songs, chants, and dances.
As for its musical definition, a Noël was a song of popular character, not part of the formal order of worship (liturgy). It had “strophic” or verse form. By the 16th century, French manuscripts contain a variety of Christmas songs called Noëls, including many popular secular songs refitted with Christmasy words. There’s early evidence of French families singing Noëls on Christmas Eve, both in the church and on the streets.
By the 17th and 18th centuries, collections of Noëls were available for people to buy. And composers took the tunes and turned them into dazzling pieces for keyboards, particularly for organ. Around the time of J.S. Bach (early 1700s), it was popular to turn a favorite Noël into a set of organ variations, so that the beloved tune could sound over and over, with ever-more intricate melodic and rhythmic decoration.
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Not surprisingly, versions of these Noels for other instruments sprouted up too. They kept a rustic tone, featuring oboes and horns, or instruments we’re not as familiar with today, such asmusettes, or the vielles (hurdy-gurdy). The idea was to evoke the pastoral, or idyllic countryside. We might call it “shepherdy” music today. The pastorale or rustic quality of these songs, their simple but powerful melodies, and the lilting quality that matches the color of the French language combine to give the Noël its charm. With practice, they are easy to distinguish from German, Italian, or English Christmas Carols.
If you want to hear a Classic French Noël, try Il est ne, le divin Enfant (He is born, the Divine Child). The words are mid-19th century, but the tune dates back to the 18th century. You’ll find lots of versions of it on the internet, such as this one by the Vienna Boys’ Choir:
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You might be surprised to hear it at this relaxed tempo, but stylistically, that’s appropriate. Nonetheless, the sparkly quick tempos we hear in most recordings probably will be likely to capture a small child’s ear.
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So enjoy the rich tradition that lies just behind you, every time you see that word Noël. And if you hear a jaunty, dance-like Christmas tune, it might just be a Noël.