The Nutcracker ballet

Last Thursday we went to the Nutcracker ballet at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts by Louisville Ballet and Louisville Orchestra. We thought the orchestra delivered a commendable performance and the ballet was much better than average. The stage set was quite impressive and the magic tricks performed by Uncle Dresselmeyer were surprisingly sophisticated. Overall, we thought the magic tricks and stage setting were a little better executed than the synchronization of the baller dancers. The orchestral music was truly wonderful throughout.

Last year, we enjoyed watching the George Balanchine’s Nutcracker ballet by the New York City Baller on Youtube. For those of you who haven’t heard of the Nutcracker ballet, here it is:

George Balanchine’s Nutcracker ballet – New York City Ballet

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Our family in Vietnam

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Our nephew turned 4 years old last week, so my sister sent me some photos. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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James’ poetic self-description

James' poetic self-description

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Handel’s Messiah

Last Sunday afternoon, we went to a Handel’s Messiah performance by the Louisville Chamber Orchestra at Catholic Church of Sacred Heart in Southern Indiana. The concert featured three Professors of Voice from the University of Louisville. It was our second concert by the Louisville Orchestra. Two weeks ago, we attended their Christmas concert featuring the Louisville Youth Choir and up-and-coming singer Tony Desarre, which is part of a family series spanning a few months with the next performance called Peter and the Wolf and the last one called “Understanding the Orchestra.” Aside from the family series, we also bought tickets to another holiday concert of theirs — The Nutcraker — which we are really looking forward to.

After coming home from the Messiah concert, I searched for other Messiah concerts worldwide as I became interested in the different renderings of this magnificent work. Many great Handel’s Messiah concerts throughout the years have been performed in England and posted in Youtube. Below is another Handel’s Messiah with a countertenor which I found excellent. This concert featured the American Bach Soloists, an American baroque orchestra, and took place at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

We hope everyone is enjoying the holy anticipation and spiritual significance of Advent leading up to Christmas.

Handel’s Messiah at Grace Cathedral

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November noon

Hand in hand on our walk,

confiding in each other what is on our mind and discussing our day,

we benefit from the fresh air, wide open view, the rhythm of our steps and

companionship — knowing that we have done this very many times and

will continue to do so as long as we are able to

To the left and right of us is the flow of daily life —

people driving to and fro while living prosaically

I try to focus on the beautiful things in front of us:

a deep blue sky, fluffy white clouds, perfectly proportioned evergreens and singing birds

As we round the bend of the walking track,

the wind blows from the sky

Thousands of shimmering leaves shower down upon us, reflecting the sunlight

We both look up and marvel at this unexpected gift of the season

I stretch out my hands and close my eyes to breathe in the moment

When I open my eyes again, it is to a lovely vision of being surrounded by a waterfall of twirling leaves

I feel like a child,

looking with fresh eyes and new feelings of delight.

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A beautiful October afternoon on Green River Lake

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Kendall Burress took David and the boys out on Green River Lake in his boat.

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Children’s saint procession for All Saint’s Day at Our Lady of Perpetual Help

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To celebrate All Saint’s Day this year, all the children in the religious education program at our church (kindergarten to 8th grade) participated in a procession during Mass to demonstrate their favorite Saints. In my class for First Communicants that … Continue reading

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All Hallow’s Eve

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The name Halloween comes from an older name for October 31st – All Hallow’s Eve. All Hallow’s Eve was celebrated on the vigil (night before) All Saints Day (November 1st) and All Souls Day (November 2nd). Because these two days … Continue reading

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Autumnal front porch

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Autumn John Clare I love the fitfull gusts that shakes The casement all the dayAnd from the mossy elm tree takes The faded leaf awayTwirling it by the window-paneWith thousand others down the lane I love to see the shaking twig Dance till … Continue reading

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The Haunted Trail

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This Halloween event was organized by Ashville Adventure Center. Our favorite exhibits were the spider lady, the freak circus and the alien UFO. After we walked past the first exhibit, we saw a lit-up Iphone on the ground next to … Continue reading

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