Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bell Choir rocks!

We've been visiting a church near us that we really like, and we were delighted by a bell choir at the service today! The hand bells ranged from small "come to dinner" tinkling bells, to almost as big as your head deeper chimes. Along with the typical Alleleujah singing at Easter, the bells added a beautiful touch to the celebration.

We were greeted at church by children holding festive, streamered, glittery, hand-painted Alleleujah signs to come in during the start of the service. Joining the promenade was optional, and Teddy, being the outgoing, adventurous sort, jumped at the chance. Barley said, No Thanks, and came in with us to find seats. Arriving just in the nick of time (to my siblings who will probably make their first comments to the blog here on my history of timeliness, I say, shush!), we ended up in the back row, right next to the bell choir. Which worked out well later, as we enjoyed hearing the congregation's basso profundo during the hymns.

Anyway, Barley decided just as the priest was coming in, to join the kids outside. A moment later, Teddy and Barley trailed the latter half of the children's parade, waving their signs and being part of the spectacle. Teddy enjoyed it, of course. But Barley, who does not like new things or change, had an ear-splitting grin on his face as he marched around the church waving his sign, nearly taking out some of the taller parishioners who did not have the good sense to duck sideways as he passed by. I will try to remind myself the next time they become the Bicker-sons, that these boys can be a good influence on each other. Sometimes.

The boys were mostly bored during the service, and gave the coloring books and pencils a workout in the aisles. Unfortunately, because attendance was double the usual number, the little tables that they had been sitting at during church had been removed. The boys were sitting on the floor in the middle of the aisle, forcing parishioners and choir members to step over and around them all through the service. Fortunately, this congregation is family friendly, and no one seemed annoyed by the inconvenience--except for Barley. All these inconsiderate people walking through his coloring "studio"--really!

The Easter egg hunt after the service netted the boys a big load of plastic eggs filled with candy. And a punch balloon to hit your sibling with--very thoughtful.

We ended the day at the other rose garden in San Jose, and had a picnic, some football and frisbee tossing, and scavenged leftover plastic eggs that had not been found by parties since departed. It surprised us how excited the boys were to be going back to this park. It is one of my favorites, for the wide variety of roses and beautiful fountain. But there is no play structure there. The boys said they loved running through the maze of roses, feeding the ducks at the fountain, and running in the wide open field on the other side. When put that way, I do see the attraction after all. It is a pretty interesting place to explore, and the boys do appreciate the roses too. Barley of course noted the presence of aphids on many roses, and we conjectured how many billions of aphids were probably in the park. He declined to try to scrape any off here.

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