Friday, January 27, 2012

Small Beginnings

Years ago now..16 to be exact...B was preparing to come on staff at his home church in Valrico, Florida.  He would spend his days working on everything from leading small outreach.  The position was a big deal for 2 very young, newly married, Bible School Students and this church in particular was a place we really wanted to be...under a Pastor we had a great deal of admiration for.

Elizabeth Joy had recently rocked entered our world and although I was passionate (and busy) with both motherhood and ministry, I still felt led to pray for my own niche - which I hoped would fall outside the realm of baby diapers and church.

Having been a Performance Music Major, my mother-in-law gave me the family piano and I tossed around the idea of teaching.  My across-the-street neighbor was a sweet, kindly music teacher with more than 20 years experience and on occassion we'd find ourselves chatting about the subject.

I remember clearly the day I decided that I would begin teaching piano lessons.  I said to B, "Well, if I'm going to do this, I need to advertise.  God's not just going to drop students in my lap."  About an hour later, my neighbor knocked on our back door (those are still in use in the South) and said, "Here is the name and number of a mom who would like piano lessons.  I can't take anymore students in my schedule so, I thought of you.  Infact, why don't I recommend you to people who call me from now on."  I guess God can do whatever He wants to do.

Thus began a little cottage industry where I would teach music while Elizabeth Joy played on a baby blanket on the floor and B was out saving the world (so to speak).

Over the years, I continued to teach private music lessons while expanding my abilities -- teaching classroom music in schools of all types and becoming a liscensed Kindermusik Educator.

16 years in and I'm ready to take on the expanded role of mentor and encourager to  young teachers, just like me, looking to make the world a better place and instill a love of music in young students in Colorado Springs.

This coming year, my studio, Creative Music Concepts will be expanding to offer private lessons in more than one location in our city.  We will once again be offering Kindermusik classes to children and their parents/caregivers ages 3 months - 5 years old.  We've hired teachers, wonderful musicians in their own right, and the kind of young people you really want your kids to be around.

Now, will you help us by spreading the word?  You and your friends can "like" us on Facebook by searching Creative Music Concepts.  Also, feel free to pass along our information should you come across anyone needing private piano lessons or might be interested in Kindermusik classes.

We are grateful for the rich place God has brought us too, in our family, in ministry and in business.  We look forward to the next 16 years and living life well with many of you.

Shanna and Billy Ramsdell 719-290-2449

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Excessive Parental Boasting

Warning...this blog is filled to the brim with sheer and utter "braggy"ness...if you have a problem with excessive parental boasting...please stop now....

Tonight, Elizabeth is helping to lead the charge at the DSM prayer meeting.  She knows prayer is a valuable way to spend her time.  She is beautiful and wonderful and I can hardly believe she belongs to me.  Actually, she belongs to God and I've always known that.  Consecrated.  Set apart.  And the fact that God loaned her to me is a sign of His goodness.  These days our home is filled with talk of College, Cars, Jobs, Future, Future, Future...and I'm gonna miss her like crazy when I don't get to see her everyday.

Hosanna is praying too.  She's also kicking academic butt in one of the best schools in the nation!  From the moment God put the very thought of her in my mind, I knew she would be someone special.  She's beautiful and wonderful and tonight before DSM -- she paused her busy schedule to cook dinner for the family. I love her willingness to serve and the fact that she's just as comfortable behind the scenes as she is on stage.  I think she's pretty amazing.

Benjamin is working hard to please his parents -- and admittedly we are sometimes hard to please.  He claims he'll go to cotillion if I want him too, although he thinks fancy manners are useless.  I'm convinced he's growing in wisdom -- allbeit S.L.O.W.L.Y.  I think he is destined to follow in his father's defend the love his family like be kind...intense...and care about the things God cares about.  I'm crazy about him really.

Victoria is sitting at the piano.  She's playing...singing... worshiping.  Her favorite past times.  I love that I only taught her to play a chord chart 5 minutes ago.  I love the way she she gives her whole heart to something.  I love that she is sensitive to words -- and she knows for her this is a good thing -- and a hard thing.  Victory comes easily for her...and she is our sunshine on a cloudy day.

Eli is whining.  It's annoying really.  Regardless -- these past 2 years he's proved himself brave...and he's becoming filled with true joy.  Amazing.  I love him to death.

So there ya have it.  The RamFam clan at it's least for today.  Great days don't happen all the time.  At least they don't for the 7 of us.  This day in fact began with grumpiness (I didn't sleep well)...and boredom (I didn't want to do the list of things I H.A.D. to do...much less those things that keep our household dishes and laundry).  But, my friend Valerie likes to encourage people to choose the color of their day.  Gray?  No.  I'm not really a gray girl.  How's about RED...or ORANGE AND PINK or GREEN AND BLUE!  Even if I liked Gray...I'd want something Red hanging on the wall in front of it.  So...looking through THAT lens...we ended up with a GREAT day.  And, I'm so thankful.

Blessings and more blessings to you and yours!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Great weekends are much appreciated

We had a great weekend. It started with an email response from an old friend. You see, I am "somewhat organized". This leaves plenty of room for "somewhat disorganized". I like my kitchen counters cleared off, for instance, but if you open my "junk drawer" -- well lets just say it looks like a good old fashioned junk drawer. IAM JUST FINE WITH THIS.

Still, I sent one of my oldest and best friends, Ginny Thomas, a long email (it probably took her 4 hours to read) lamenting my need to re-organize virtually every area of my large life. She graciously responded with the kind of response only someone who really knows you can give...Shanna, you know what needs to be just need to actually DO what needs to be done. Yes.

It takes a long time to become "old friends". It's worth it.

Billy and I have decided to make 2012 "our year". Ya know it goes like this, "No, we are not taking the 5 of you. Only me and dad are going out to dinner". And, "No, we aren't all staying the weekend in Breckenridge - only dad and I". It's only January 8th and our kids are already notably confused by this. So...what do you do when you need a cheap date? Friday night we piled sleeping bags in front of the TV, ate popcorn, watched the World's Worst movie, and listened to the 80's station. For parents of 5 children, this was almost like being in the spa. Almost.

Saturday, we drove 2 hours to Limon, Colorado where our youngest daughter, Victoria's worship band class had the opportunity to run through a real rehearsal and lead an hour worship session. They did a fantastic job thanks to a lot of hard work and a great teacher/leader. After a week of "Celebrity Wife Swap" and Facebook conversations about pastors on "Dr. Phil", I am especially grateful for humble, Godly men, like Victoria's teacher, Gary Trobee, who are willing to serve God in quiet places without any fanfare. My heroes I tell ya.

Besides having a great time with our daughter and her friends, we were able to have dinner with too new friends, Valerie and Ron Lumsden. Valerie brought me my first birthday gift and let's just say we are planning on the Lumsden Family becoming old friends.

Today, after a very enjoyable church service we had CHRISTMAS DINNER compliments of my sweet in-laws. Yes, Christmas Dinner on Jan 8th and it tasted just as good. Not to mention that AMAZING win by the Broncos.

Here are a few misc pics for your viewing pleasure!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Back to blogging

Looking forward to blogging more in 2012 (thanks to my new iPad). We decided to take a winter hike shortly after Christmas. At one point, Elizabeth froze and said, "Dad, are you growling at me?". Well, that's never good...although we never saw any other animal capable of growling....thank the Lord! Here are a few pics from the day.