Friday, May 1, 2009

Washington trip; music; more

Julianne and I got back home last Saturday night from a long-awaited week in Williamsburg and Washington, D.C. with over 50 fifth graders and their parents. It was a great learning experience, and a lot of history to take in in a relatively short time. The trip was led by "Sarge" Marge Smith (a self-proclaimed title.) And some of the attendees claimed they believed they had joined the army! Margie has more energy in her little finger than I have in my whole body, and she graduated from college with my father, to give you an indication of the disparity in our ages. She is a great tour guide, and has been leading this trip for over 20 years, to my understanding. I hope to take Joey on it next year.

The best thing about the trip, though it was all good, was getting to spend precious alone time with Julianne. I so rarely get that with any of my children, and I treasure it when I do get it. She is a joy.

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April was so busy for us all that I did not work on any music at all until just this week, though I had several requests to. I am getting into the groove now, though. I am arranging another song for Jennifer Davis in Oregon, someone I've enjoyed arranging several original songs for in the past. Right behind her is a great-sounding original from Michael Lusk -- if you know my work, you may have seen his name. And then Joshua Stump, another Oregon friend, has a fresh new song for me to work on.

In the meantime Murray Sanderson and Jon Owen have both contacted me about arranging and the timing just hasn't worked out ... but hopefully we will get it together soon.

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Summer looms ahead ... time marches on ... children grow faster than I can turn around. Thanks be to God for their goodness and sweetness. I love my babies. Though they all argue with me now if they hear any such talk come out of my mouth that they are NOT babies. *sigh*

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I have been involved in a Priscilla Shirer Bible study this spring about discerning God's will. It has been very good in helping me remember to be focused in my prayer life, and in helping my faith that God will take care of me. Oh, I struggle with doubts some days, who doesn't? But I keep praying. It is such an encouraging thing to do.

Blessings ...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chloe; Bible Bowl

My sweet girl, Chloe, had her tonsils and adenoids removed last Monday. I cried, though I knew she was covered in prayer. And she came through it just fine. It only took the surgeon about 20-30 minutes to do the procedure. She and I had a long week with her staying at home, not feeling well, eating hardly anything, doing hardly anything. She lost a couple of pounds. She is eating more normally as of yesterday, though, finally, bless her heart.

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Chloe and Joey were away from the rest of us on Friday through early Sunday morning -- they spent that time with first Grandmommy, then Nana and Papa, all of whom we are very thankful for. Rob and I, along with Julianne and Abbie, went to Nashville for the annual Bible Bowl competition, part of the Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes convention held every Easter weekend at the Opryland Hotel. (We all think Leaderettes is a very bizarre word.) Twickenham, our church, took three teams to compete in the Bible Bowl, totaling 12 children. To put that in perspective, there were over 1000 children there competing in Bible Bowl, which was about the book of Joshua.

All three of Twickenham's teams won first place in their divisions -- Abbie, who is in 2nd grade, participated on the 3rd-4th grade team. Julianne, who is in the 5th grade, participated on the 11th -12th grade team! (One of the team members was in 12th, so they had to go with that age group, I guess.) And both of their teams got first place. Also, leading up to the convention each girl took a test on the subject material from the book of Joshua. Each of them received a trophy for being high scorers in their age group on the test (Abbie, for 2nd grade, Julianne, for 5th grade.) We are very proud of them both. But mostly we are glad for all they have learned.

Blessings...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

new niece!!

Our new niece, Elizabeth Hensley Hunter, just arrived a moment ago.

7 pounds, 6 ounces ... 20 inches long. She has a little bit of black hair, it was reported to me. Rob and I can't wait to go see her, and we will in just a little while.

Her middle name, Hensley, is the maiden name of her late grandmother, Katie Hunter. And I love the name Elizabeth -- it is our Abbie's middle name.

I believe all are well ... but how big sister Sarah (age 3) reacts will likely be an ongoing saga!

I hope your day is blessing-filled, as is ours.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

dates

I am going on a date with my husband tonight. :-)

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Tuesday is my last day to teach piano. We have decided for me to focus more on songwriting and arranging -- and have more time for my family. My schedule has been crazy, with lessons scattered here and there, chopping up every day of the week into several pieces, running back and forth to school, although in total I've only been working about 14 hours a week. I'm glad I'll have a more family-friendly schedule now.

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This Thursday Rob's sister, Amy, goes into the hospital to have her baby...pray for Amy and baby Libby that all will go well!

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Friday Abbie gets her cast off. Already! That flew by.

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Friday is also Rob's birthday! I like it when he has a birthday because it makes me THREE years younger than he is instead of just two. :-) He's my older man.

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In just over a week, Chloe will have her tonsils and adenoids removed.

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In two weeks we will be at the Lads to Leaders Convention at the Opryland Hotel. Julianne and Abbie have been preparing for the Bible Bowl competition for months.

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In three weeks Julianne and I, along with the rest of Madison Academy's fifth grade, will depart for a big trip to Washington, D.C. and Williamsburg.

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There's a lot coming up in my world! I hope things are going well in yours.

Monday, March 16, 2009

color coordination

Something I decided a very long time ago is that, when it comes to my children, color-coordination just is not of importance in regards to their dress. Once they are old enough to dress themselves, if they can just get themselves decently covered, that is the main thing. Now, there have been times when it was painful for me to allow them to stay in the clothes they have chosen.
Today was just almost that way. Almost. But Chloe is soooo joy-filled that you just can't get too concerned with the child's clothes.

Even if she is wearing bright red tights.

With brown and pink shoes.

And a turquoise, mint-green, and lavender skirt.

With a pepto-bismol pink "Giselle" shirt (from the movie "Enchanted").

Oh, and I mustn't forget the wide plastic red headband with the bow on it which is fastened in the middle with a picture of a Disney Princess (I think it is Snow White). The headband must be to match the red tights.

And she has on a multi-colored Dora barrette on one side of her head, with a corresponding multicolored Boots barrette on the other side of her head.

And she looks beautiful.

:-)

May you enjoy all the colors your world has to offer today.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

cumberland creek

Cumberland Creek Music, L.L.C. as it was known to us does not exist anymore. Has not existed, in fact, since 2007. It was more expense and hassle than it was worth to have an L.L.C. so we reverted to a sole proprietorship for my published music to handle royalties.

The State of Tennessee has been made aware of this. On multiple occasions. The state in which we have not lived since 2006. Yet here it is, March of 2009. And in the mail, addressed to our Alabama address, come tax papers for Cumberland Creek Music, L.L.C. today. Truly the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. So I know how some of my time will be spent tomorrow. On the phone. Trying to reach someone. Anyone. Who has a clue. And we'll probably have to end up sending all the exact same paperwork we had to send LAST year when this happened. In fact, I, at this particular moment in time, gloomily foresee having to dig out those same papers every March for the rest of my life, and my children having to do the same thing after I am dead, and their children after them. (So the drama.)

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I love my Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi. I'm sorry, Mother, I know it has caffeine. I have started interweaving it with one or two Diet Caffeine Free Pepsis daily, see, that's a good girl ... even WATER on really good days ...

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Joey just finished a report on The Great Depression "for extra credit if I don't want to have a B on my report card." He didn't want to have a B. Bless. Stayed up past his bedtime working on it.

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Abbie is adjusting well to her cast. So far she has only stuck one foreign object into it to try to scratch the itching. (Ooh, Rob got after her for that!!) :-)

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Chloe is 47 inches tall and weighs 44 pounds. I had to check for her pre-admission papers for the hospital. That's less than a pound an inch. If I weighed less than a pound an inch I'd be under 66 pounds. (No danger of that!!)

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Julianne volunteered to babysit her siblings for a week. What do you think? She is eleven, after all... :-)

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Rob is watching The Matrix (Reloaded, I think?) and eating popcorn. Life is good.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

accolades; Abbie's arm; adenoids

First of all ... I must write about my daughter, Julianne; last night was one of those hallmark nights in her life and I wanted to share it here. Madison Academy puts on a musical variety show every March, and this has come to be a regular event in our family's life. This was Julianne's third year to perform in the show, which is called MusicMAnia. (The show t-shirt this year reads "Mania is good." If you know me you'll probably know that cracks me up!!)

This year the show was a little different. For the first time elementary students were chosen to M.C. their own show. Julianne was one of the four chosen -- two boys and two girls. In the picture you can see her going over her lines diligently during the dress rehearsal. To her left is Jack West, a fellow M.C., whose vest and tie were matched to her dress.

Now, you know I am a proud mother. That's a given. But I have also seen many performances in my life, and I know when they are good and when they are not (unless I am doing a show myself. Then I never can tell.) Julianne was good. She did not receive her lines until the day before the show. The children were all allowed to carry 5x8 cue cards with their lines on them during the show, but Julianne only even took hers onstage with her one time, though she was out there, oh, I didn't count, but I believe it was at least a dozen times. And she delivered her lines comfortably, as though she had thought of them herself and were just speaking to the crowd like they were all sitting around her. And there was a crowd of a few hundred people. I'm not sure of the exact number, but it was a pretty full house.

Then there was her song. She was flawless, heartfelt, beautiful. She sang Taylor Swift's "Love Story." She let loose like I have never seen her do before, getting the audience to clapping, moving to the music, melting our hearts...it was all I could do not to cry when she was singing about the Romeo singing to her, his Juliet (Julianne?), "Marry me, Juliet, you'll never have to be alone..." But that girl maintained her composure beautifully all the way through to the words at the end, "We were both young when I first saw you ..." It was such a heartfelt performance, and done so well, in fact, that we are wondering who the guy is...how could you sing that, and that way, if not to/about someone? and the child is only eleven. Eleven. We will get a DVD of the performance several weeks from now...I may just have to post her performance for you. I just grinned through the whole thing.
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Yesterday wasn't all sunshine and roses. I got a phone call from the school office at about 9:45 in the morning, saying my Abbie had fallen on the way to P.E. and "hurt" her arm. Her knee actually looked much the worse for wear, but I knew when I got there that her arm was broken, because she was holding it with the other arm protectively, she hadn't stopped crying since she had fallen, and she wouldn't move the injured arm. I have a little bit of experience with broken arms by now. Joey's broken arms three times, and this is Abbie's second time.
So that made yesterday quite eventful and complicated, getting Abbie to the Imaging center, then taking care of her and getting my mother to come stay with her so I could get to the dress rehearsal for MAnia where I was supposed to be, then getting Rob to take Abbie to the late afternoon orthopedist appointment because we didn't know how late it would run and he wanted to be sure I was with Julianne at the beginning of performance time if she needed me. Yesterday was definitely migraine material, and my head willingly complied. I so wanted to be with Abbie AND with Julianne, but Rob made the decision for me, and it all worked out okay, but my head just couldn't be satisfied, I guess. I ended up in the bed for two hours between rehearsal and the show. But all's well that ends well.
Abbie's still hurting some, but today her knee is hurting a lot more than her arm (thanks to the stability of the cast.) So I've doctored her leg some today. Bless her little heart. There are so many things that are hard to do when one of your arms/hands is basically non-functional. Thankfully there is only one week of school left until Spring Break...hopefully she will have the hang of things by the end of Spring Break.
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We found out this week that Chloe will have to have her adenoids and tonsils removed. She has been in speech therapy for the last month or so, and they have discovered some issues that led them to recommend we have her evaluated by an ENT; that led to the discovery of her "really big tonsils," as she describes them to everyone she meets. I didn't get to go to that appointment with her, but I assume that is how the ENT described them as well.
So with my B12, Chloe's tonsils and adenoids, and Abbie's arm, it has been a big week in the Cox household, medically. We are so blessed to have good insurance coverage.
Well, I suppose this post is long enough. Blessings to all who read...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

east to west

IF you lurk here regularly, you may have noticed my newest feature -- playlist. I have some songs I like on there. Now, it doesn't even begin to touch the surface of the songs or even the genres of music that I enjoy. But it's probably the sort of stuff I listen to the most often.

There is one song I have on that list that is really speaking to my soul lately. I will post the words here for you in case you don't have a chance or the inclination to sit and listen to them, for they are very good and encouraging for those of us (read:all) who are sinners. Forgiven sinners.

They are based on this verse, which I just now noticed I have at one point or another marked in the Bible I'm referencing -- it means a great deal to me.

Psalm 103:12 --

"As far as the east is from the west
So far He has removed our transgressions from us."


East To West by Casting Crowns

Here I am Lord and I'm drowning
In your sea of forgetfulness
The chains of yesterday surround me
I yearn for peace and rest
I don't want to end up where you found me
And it echoes in my mind
Keeps me awake tonight

I know you've cast my sins as far
As the East is from the West
And I stand before you now
As though I've never sinned but today
I feel like I'm just one mistake away
From you leaving me this way

Jesus can you show me
Just how far the East is from the West
Cause I can't bear to see the man I've been
Come rising up in me again
In the arms of your mercy I find rest
Cause you know just how far the East is from the West
From one scarred hand to the other

I start the day the war begins
Endless reminding of my sin
Time and time again
Your Truth is drowned out by the storm I'm in
Today I feel like I'm just one mistake away
From you leaving me this way

Jesus can you show me
Just how far the East is from the West
Cause I can't bear to see the man I've been
Come rising up in me again
In the arms of your mercy I find rest
Cause you know just how far the East is from the West
From one scarred hand to the other

I know you've washed me white
Turned my darkness into light
I need your peace to get me through
To get me through this night
I can't live by what I feel
But by the truth your word reveals
I'm not holding on to you
But you're holding on to me
You're holding on to me

Jesus, you know just how far
The East is from the West
I don't have to see the man I've been
Come rising up in me again
In the arms of your mercy I find rest
(The arms of your mercy I find rest)
Cause you know just how far the East is from the West
From one scarred hand to the other(x2)

(Just how far, the East is from the West) (x3)

From one scarred hand to the other

Copyright 2007

Sunday, March 1, 2009

b words

Basketball season is over for our children as of yesterday. Julianne, Joey, and Abbie all played this winter through our local Upward Basketball program. There were good days, and bad days, but overall I think they enjoyed it, and they each built their skills tremendously through these months thanks to some good coaches and a daddy who likes to play basketball with them, too. We have all attended the games together as a family and cheered each child on, though several times Julianne and Abbie were scheduled to play at the same time, so Rob and I had to take turns watching them. The grandparents have come out for some games as well. There is an awards ceremony for them this week ... the Mayfair Church of Christ, which hosts the league, really does it up big. They do a great job.

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Budgeting has been a big project for Rob and I these last couple of weeks, as we are in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. We've always had a general cash-flow plan going, but never a zero-based budget, so it's been challenging. We're both burgeoning with ideas about how to spend and save and be thrifty. None too soon, either.

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B12 is my latest best friend. It was discovered earlier this year that I have been suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency for quite some time. Minor thyroid deficiency, but major B12 problem. So I started getting B12 shots in January... apparently the vitamin won't absorb properly through my eating foods that contain it or taking vitamin supplements. The doctor has tried to taper me down to once a month on the shots, but right now I am at 3 weeks since my last shot and I feel horrible!!! Unbelievable fatigue. That's how I've been for the last couple of years...I just didn't know why. Well, now we can see how bad it really was, because I have felt so good since getting the shots, and now I feel bad again. Tomorrow morning I will go to the doctor and BEG for another shot. I never thought I would beg for any kind of a shot.

You know how you feel like you are walking in slow motion when you walk in a swimming pool? Imagine that feeling. Now, imagine walking through a pool of wet concrete. That is how I feel. Every movement is such an effort. It's a real bummer. But I have hope that the doctor will be glad to help me to feel better.

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I had another b word in mind but I have forgotten it. My brain is working slowly, too. Feel free to share your b words. I love words.

Friday, February 27, 2009

greedy green goose

Because I teach piano lessons at Madison Academy, I am occasionally called upon to accompany various programs there. This morning I played for a first grade program entitled, "The Greedy Green Goose." The premise is that the goose is upset because a mother has used his feathers to stuff a blanket for her little boy. He goes to try to get his feathers back.

The boy bribes him with poppyseed cakes so the boy can keep his blanket. The goose is so greedy that he eats all the poppyseed cakes the mother has made. He explodes and all his feathers go flying everywhere. So the mother decides she will now make pillows out of the new feathers!

that's all. :o)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

fear

I have several struggles in my life...we all do. One of mine is fear. Many different fears over many different things. Now, I am intelligent enough to be aware that most of my fears will never come to pass, or that they really have no basis in reality...yet I battle them anyway. I believe it is a foothold that Satan has in my life -- a way to steal my joy, a way to divide my focus and deter me from keeping my attention on the important things, on the higher things. This is a real battle for me, on a day-to-day basis. I only write it here because I know I am not alone in my struggles in this area.

We have some friends, Jesse and Carol May, who went through a marriage enrichment class with us last spring. Jesse sends out daily encouragement emails with scriptures and devotional thoughts. Often they are very timely for me, which feels kind of cool and spooky, but I suppose that possibly they are timely simply because the Word is fresh and alive and continually speaks to us if we allow it to.

Anyway, I have been fighting this fight even harder than usual of late...and two days ago Jesse's email directed me to Psalm 56:3. "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You." Just a simple verse, a clear plan. David, whom I identify with so often, in so many ways, felt fear, too. Some of his fears were certainly about different things than some of mine, but some probably not so different. And what did he say? "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You."

So I am challenging myself to make a conscious decision to think on God and on trusting Him when I face fears. I challenge you to trust Him when you are afraid, too.



"Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
In God (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?"

Psalm 56:3-4


"You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
When I cry out to You,
Then my enemies will turn back;
This I know, because God is for me.
In God (I will praise His word),
In the Lord (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?"

Psalm 56:8-11


"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by."

Psalm 57:1

NKJV

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

recordings

I have amassed a collection of recordings on the red Sony digital recorder we bought last month...which also plays mp3s, a fun little toy...but there's one kind of annoying thing about them. You see, my piano is a digital one. So, to get the balance right between the piano and the vocals, I have the piano turned down from the volume where I usually play. But the sound of my fingers playing the keys, the sound of the keys themselves actually hitting -- it sounds like I have a drum section, too. And not a very good one, since my fingers hit at all kinds of random times rather than on a steady beat. I mean, I had noticed it, but last night I was playing a song for Rob and the first thing he said was, "How did you get drums on there?"

Maybe I shouldn't put the recorder on top of the piano...

But then again, how will it pick up my voice well if I don't? and what if it still picks up that drumm-ish sound? Oh, well, would that all life's problems were this minor.

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Rob smiled when I played him my latest song last night. That's always a good sign. (He's not always extremely demonstrative.) This one is again inspired by our sermon Sunday. We were in Acts 3, talking about the lame man/beggar who was healed -- in the name of Jesus Christ. Peter didn't offer him any money -- he had so much more to offer. It's exciting stuff, you know? And we have hope and healing to offer to a hurting world today...but not from ourselves. He couldn't heal because he was Peter...I can't save anyone because I'm Clarissa Cox...salvation , hope and healing come from Jesus!

Jesus is the Name!!!! (makes for a good song, too.)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

the fam

For some reason my whole family is still asleep at this late hour. I mean, it's 7:07!!

I remember telling my Aunt Beverly once when I was a kid that I liked to sleep until 9:00 and she said, Well, half the day is gone by then! I am finally getting to where I understand that. Time is such a precious commodity. Sleep is, too, but you can get too much of a good thing.

So Rob is doing very well. He is working on an awesome software project that I hope to be able to share more about toward the end of March, he hopes to have it ready for release by then. We are both excited about it. He is also planning to move forward with long-discussed ideas about a website for me, since I am back in the groove of arranging and writing. We've owned the domain name clarissacox.com for years...but now is the time to do something about it. I enjoy walking by his office at night and listening to him singing along to Marc Cohn, or whoever he's got playing at the moment. Tells me he's a happy man, if he's singing and working on his projects.

Julianne is growing up before our very eyes. 5th grade is a year of many changes, I remember it was that way for me, too. Suddenly you feel rather more like a grown-up than child, yet you're still stuck in child status. The mind progresses, the privileges stay about the same. So it's a little frustrating for her, I suppose. But she's a good girl, she handles herself well. She's preparing to perform in MusicMAnia again in 2 weeks, that's always exciting for all of us. When she sang her song for me, it made me cry, it was so good. She's also into basketball right now, is on a team, and enjoys shooting hoops with her Dad, brother, and sisters. She went to yet another party last night. She's always been a party-goer!

Joey -- well, Joey is all boy, and for the most part very happy. He wants to play outside with the boys down the street every day when we get home, he wants to play outside all the time. He loves to play basketball, he would probably do it all day and all night in all weather if we would let him. He also loves to jump on the trampoline. He has a several friends in his 4th grade class at school, and even gets into trouble pulling pranks with them sometimes. But not often!! My mother said she was glad to know he had it in him, or something like that. (I'm sure she'll correct me if the wording isn't right ...) :-) I'm about to get him back into piano with me, if he'll do it...we've had somewhat of a hiatus.

And my Abbie... taller than everyone in her 2nd grade class except for one boy! A beautiful smile with dimples. Hair that has grown very long. Too long! It's so hard to brush, but she has a fit when we talk about cutting it! Abbie is taking piano with me. She is also playing basketball, so our Saturdays our spent at basketball games for the three older ones. She has a laugh that will take down the house. We have to make her stop laughing sometimes, for it gets out of control and she can't make herself stop!

And then there's our Chloe. She's tall, too, but "no bigger than a minute", Rob's sister's father-in-law would have said...colorful character...Anyway, she is reading up a storm. She gets to read for her pre-kindergarten class often. She loves school. She was very bored when she had to miss all but one day this week due to a croupy cough. Chloe is the most bizarrely happy child we have ever seen. She is just happy all the time now, almost obliviously so. A constant source of laughter for us, really. But what a joy, huh? Anyway, she is taking piano with me, also. We're really just getting started.

So that's the roundup! I love my little family! I know, it's not that little...and the children are not that little anymore. I just turned around, and five years passed. Mind-blowing. We went on a little trip to Chattanooga last week, and I was remembering when Rob and I lived there before we had any children. It just doesn't seem all that long ago, but over 13 years have passed since then. I never could have fathomed what the intervening years would bring. But I suppose no one ever really can.

Have a blessed day...

Friday, February 20, 2009

for those who struggle

So I was driving my Abbie to basketball last night, and songs kept coming on Way FM, singers going on about how they were getting so strong and they knew they would never be the same, those sort of themes. So at basketball practice I wrote a song about the flip side...about what it's like to be broken, and how God loves you and has hope for you even then, and you can serve Him even through your struggles. And I just came across this writing from Paul, and I think he would agree.

2 Cor. 12:8-10

"Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A.I.

Go Danny Gokey! (Just don't sing Hero anymore. I liked that Seal song way better for him, didn't you?)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

songwriting again

Wow! I am amazed that so many people are still reading this thing. Nice of you, faithful followers, and occasional unusual searchers...feedjit is a fascinating piece of technology. I have rather had my head under a rock for the last month or so, in a way... writing somewhat maniacally! And of course, it is my usual fare, for the most part .... worship music. Though I did get one country song in there. At least I think it's a country song. One of the ones with morals. :-)

My writing buddy, Michael Lusk, and I have been teaming up a good bit. No, we don't live in the same city anymore, but the internet and the digital recorder he finally convinced me to buy make it so easy to share ideas that we don't even actually have to meet to write something together!

I must say, our preacher at Twickenham, Brad Cox (no relation that we know of), has been preaching some really great lessons recently. He's always good ... I guess I'm just in the mood to really pay attention! You know how sometimes it's easier than others. And I keep writing songs during his sermons!! Anyway, Michael and I just finished up a song that I started off of one of his sermons about 3 weeks ago. I couldn't get satisfied with a melody. I tried it about 3 different ways. I just needed someone else's input...so I turned to him. He came up with a completely different melody than I would have ever thought of, and I love it -- very fresh and upbeat (that's the part I never would have come up with. Upbeat!! Everything I write is slow!!) He also took the verses and made something more general, more applicable to worshippers-at-large, I guess you could say. I was kinda too wordy. He left the words of the chorus as is, though ... I've got it arranged now, and it is so fun! To sing, to arrange, to play, to write, all that.

I've actually been on a complete writing binge for the last month. I've written enough songs to make an album. A CD? A compilation. A collection? They're not all good enough for that, though, unfortunately!! But a few have potential.

I've also been arranging again. Like the dickens. I think I've done 6 arrangements in that time. Now I'm working on a DOOZY. Anyone ever heard Mandisa sing "Shackles"? Don't laugh. Yes, that's what I'm working on. It's quite a departure for me, but I guess my client has faith in me...apparently more than I have in myself!! He has graciously given me until the beginning of March to finish...and it may just take that long!!

Well... I just wanted to say hello to the world. I am still alive. I may even write more in this blog 'o mine; I hate to disappoint my loyalists. So who keeps coming here through a search from Decatur searching for clarissa cox? Is it my mother? Such things keep a girl awake at night. No, not really.

I need to put sick children to bed now!! G'night, world!