Sunday, August 2, 2009

Children of the World in Harmony

Our family was able to share in an amazing experience this week. Nearly 350 students from eight nations gathered at Bay View in Petoskey, MI to celebrate the Children of the World in Harmony Festival. My daughters' summer choir, the Bay View Choristers, were invited to participate in the event and it proved to be an unforgettable experience for our families. When we arrived at the first rehearsal, we were met by a wonderful blend of excited voices in a variety of languages and universal smiles. The Hong Kong group giggled as they exitted a van and the Mexican kids chatted excitedly as they entered the church. My six year old looked up at me and smiled as she picked up a few words she had learned in her Spanish class last year. We were treated to choirs that had traveled from Mongolia, China, Mexico, the U.S., Canada, the Czech Republic and Vietnam and the eight hours of rehearsals on Thursday through Saturday were an amazing experience. The choirs all joined together for the last last three pieces of the grand finale concert Saturday evening. My girls loved learning Siyahamba, a South African fold song arranged by Donald C. Moore (ASCAP), the beautiful Da Hai A Gu Xiang (Oh Great Sea My Homeland), a Chinese piece by Wang Li Ping and Yang Hong Nian, and Let There Be Peace on Earth by Jill Jackson and Sy Miller, arranged by John Brimhall. The only disappointment was that the Kenyan choir was turned away at the airport in Nairobi, so were unable to participate. I can only imagine the tears they shared. We missed them dearly and the festival was dedicated in their honor. Music is a universal language and seeing so many children enjoying the company of each other gives hope that there may someday truly be peace on Earth.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


"Never deprive someone of hope. It may be all they have." unknown

We are huge fans of children's hospitals as they have made a tremendous impact in the quality of life of our daughter. This is one of the most amazing projects I've ever seen! Annette, of Wool Creations and a Natural Kids member, has created Hope who has been traveling the world, visiting children and spreading her own hope along the way. I hope you will visit the amazing blog of her travels.

After one year of traveling around the world, Hope, her passport, her suitcase with clothing and her journal will be raffled off as a set with 100% of the proceeds donated to the Shriners Children Hospitals . Annette is offering raffle tickets on and a winner will be drawn from all entries. If you love what she's doing, please spread the word and hope, along with it!

Monday, June 22, 2009

In memory of Jane

Months ago, when I saw my first cancer drop box, I turned the car around and took a picture to send to Jane with a note to drop her tumors off at the nearest box. If only it had been that easy.

Tonight, I write with a heavy heart. A dear friend and non-smoker lost her battle with lung cancer this morning. She was so full of life and so wanted to live. She fought both the cancer cells in her body and the stigma of the disease with courage and dignity. She was an inspiration to all.

We had hoped for a dinner date and a walk on the beach when I returned home. Sources of inspiration to both Jane and I when times were difficult. Sadly, as my friend Julie said today, "That walk will need to wait a long time, now."

Julie and I will walk on Wednesday, cherishing our memories of the dear friend who reminded us to cherish each moment, to make a difference in this world, to remember we're stronger than we think, and to live life to the very fullest, learning it's precious lessons in even the most difficult of times.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Letting Joy Win

We have wonderful news! I am finishing my i.v. treatment at nearly the same time as our youngest and we will be able to return home in a few weeks. It has been January since I have been home. A long time to be away.

We've adopted a rescue Border Collie. My daughter has waited forever for a dog so you can imagine her excitement. My emotions oscillate between the joy I feel about reuniting our family and fear of going off the i.v. antibiotics. This is my second picc line. I lost a lot of ground when I switched to oral antibiotics the first time. I am pushing down the fear we'll lose the ground we've worked so hard to gain and letting joy win out.

We all have much healing still to do, but it took years to get to this point, so it is not a surprise it will take time. I will be bringing home a six year old who is feeling really good for the first time in her life! She skips, bounces and sings everywhere we go! Now, that is something to celebrate! It is time to heal on the shores of Lake Michigan. Sounds pretty great!

If you are interested in learning more about Lyme disease, there is a fabulous award winning documentary called Under Our Skin coming to theaters this summer. It is also a selection on NetFlix. Hues of nature is donating half of all proceeds, excluding shipping to Turn the Corner Foundation, a nonprofit active in the battle against Lyme disease in hopes of helping other families like ours.

Wishing you many blessings!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring has finally arrived!

The last few months have been a blur as we continue down the road to better health. We have much to celebrate as the spring flowers return and we welcome a new foal where we're staying! The girls have made remarkable progress! There are no words to capture the joy we feel, as we watch their joy in healing! From a nightmare, three miracles are blooming. Our family is still separated, as our youngest and I continue picc lines and i.v. antibiotic therapies, but the distance is lessened by Skype and a web cam!

We've loved a glimpse into the White House through the lens of Pete Souza. Pete has uploaded many images to commemorate the first 100 days of the Obama administration.

Hues of nature has undergone a change. I am again making a few fairies with 50% of the proceeds donated to Turn the Corner Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation fighting Lyme disease.

Thank you so much for your wonderful support of hues of nature and our family as we travel this road together! Wishing you a spring filled with so many blessings!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Family Time

It has been a crazy few days with many doctors' appointments, tests and procedures, but it has been wonderful to have our family together.
Our friends sent a wonderful Bee's Wax Candle Rolling kit from Magic Cabin and the girls really enjoyed making candles together. They scored a sheet of wax in a right triangular shape to make a tapered candle. They laid a wick along the long side and rolled the wax around the wick. They are beautifully dyed and smell delightfully of bee's wax. A treat for the senses. Thanks Smiths!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Settling In

As I continue my treatment, I've gained some company. Mikayla and I are in Detroit for six weeks while she undergoes i.v. antibiotic therapy for Lyme, as well. She began treatment on Tuesday and is settling in. She gets tired, too, so we've been napping together. In addition to a nurse's cap, I've added a teacher's cap as we try to stay as caught up as possible. Playing the oboe was a bit of a challenge with a sore arm, but we were creative problem solvers and devised a method that helped. We will know on Wednesday if Olivia will be joining us. I have started a website at The girls' website is named, "mikaylaandolivia". Sending our best.