Tips for Connecting with Your Young Adult Children Over the Holidays

Tips for Connecting with Your Young Adult Children Over the Holidays

By Kara Powell, Executive Director at the Fuller Youth Institute and Co-Author of Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids

“Home for the Holidays”

If you’re a parent of a young adult, the very phrase tends to fill you with great joy. You might even dream up idyllic pictures of your entire family talking and laughing around the Thanksgiving table, diving into both great food and great conversation.

Yet if you’re honest, you’re also wondering: now that my kids are grown, and I don’t see them as often as I used to, what can I do to really connect with them?

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Dr. Kara E. Powell is executive director at Fuller Youth Institute and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. She is the co-author of Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids Series (Zondervan, Sept. 2011). Dr. Powell has also authored or co-authored several books, including Essential Leadership, Deep Justice in a Broken World, and Help! I’m a Woman in Youth Ministry. She is the general editor for The Fuller Youth Institute E-Journal and regularly speaks at conferences and seminars. She lives with her husband and three children in Pasadena, California.


Philip Lane and the Pantomime for strings


Philip Lane (born 1950) is an English composer and musicologist, who is noted for his light music compositions and arrangements, as well as his painstaking work reconstructing lost film scores.  Born in 1950 at Cheltenham, England, Lane attended Pate’s Grammar School and later read music at Birmingham University, where his tutors included Peter Dickinson and John Joubert. Lane began composing at an early age, and by the time he was at Birmingham was already having compositions played by the BBC Midland Light Orchestra.  While at University he developed a considerable interest in Lord Berners, about whom he wrote a thesis and ultimately became a trustee of the Berners Estate, overseeing the completion of all Berners’ music on to CD. He taught music at Cheltenham Ladies’ College from 1975 to 1998.  During this time, he was a freelance composer for London publishers. He left Cheltenham Ladies’ College in 1998 to concentrate on composing and his film restorations.

After being invited to look after the estate of Richard Addinsell in 1993, Lane began a new career reconstructing lost film scores of Addinsell’s, the first being Goodbye, Mr Chips, and later the full Warsaw Concerto amongst others, the originals of which had been destroyed by the studios as was common practice at the time.  Lane has since performed similar rescue work on film scores such as The Quiet Man, The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes and Kind Hearts and Coronets by composers such as Malcolm Arnold, Georges Auric, William Alwyn, Arthur Bliss, Francis Chagrin, Ernest Irving, Clifton Parker, Victor Young, and many others.  In the case of recent scores there are usually soundtrack CDs devoid of extraneous sounds to work from. He has consequently reconstructed music by Jerry Goldsmith, Randy Edelman, and James Horner. He has since been asked to appear and write a number of radio documentaries about his reconstructions of film music.

In 2005, Lane composed a ballet, Hansel and Gretel, for the National Youth Ballet.  In 2007 Lane composed a setting of The Night before Christmas for narrator and orchestra, the commercial recording of which featured Stephen Fry as the narrator. Concert performances have taken place worldwide including the United States and Asia. The sequel, Another Night before Christmas to a text by Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, was premiered in Liverpool in December 2009 with narrators Dame Joan Bakewell and Simon Bates. This was commercially released by Naxos in November 2011 with Simon Callow as narrator.  Also in December 2009 he was commissioned by the Boston Pops Orchestra to write their annual Holiday Pops work, The Christmas Story, which received 38 performances.  In November 2010, Lane received an honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Gloucestershire.

Virtually all of Lane’s orchestral works have been commercially recorded and are currently available worldwide. These are often written in the style of British Light Music, being largely tonal and featuring lush orchestrations. For example, his London Salute was written to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the BBC, and has been adopted as the unofficial theme of the BBC Concert Orchestra.  Other lighter compositions include the Diversions on a Theme of Paganini, Cotswold Folk Dances, Divertissement for clarinet, harp and strings, A Maritime Overture, Prestbury Park, Three Spanish Dances and a number of works themed around the Christmas season – the three Wassail Dances (three orchestral extemporisations based on the Somerset Wassail, Yorkshire Wassail and the Gloucestershire Wassail), Overture on French Carols and Three Christmas Pictures (the latter a compilation of individual original works; the “Sleighbell Serenade”, “Starlight Lullaby” and the “Christmas Eve Waltz”).  Lane’s compositions for television have included BBC drama including The Merchant of Venice and Sir Thomas More and the children’s animated series Captain Pugwash. He has since composed the music for three other TV animation series – Tom, Marco and Gina and Wicked!

My collection includes the following work by Philip Lane:

Pantomime for strings (1971).

Fryer Park School, Grove City, OH


Fryer Park Century Village School

3899 Orders Road

Grove City, OH, 43123

The 110-acre educational and recreational Fryer Park is a destination in itself. With 8 softball diamonds, a preserved wooded area for bird watching or nature walks, a one mile recreational trail for walking or biking, a sledding hill, a space themed all accessible playground, and the turn-of-the-century historic park, Century Village, complete with a renovated one-room schoolhouse (originally the Orders Road school), a log cabin, and a barn, Fryer Park is a must visit for residents and visitors of all ages. Fishing is allowed, no license required, provided the fish are immediately released.  In the summer, there is Fryer Flicks on the Hill, where patrons can catch a family-friendly outdoor movie.

grove city

Burton Lane and “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”


Burton Lane (February 2, 1912 – January 5, 1997) was an American composer and lyricist whose most popular and successful works include Finian’s Rainbow and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.  Lane was born Morris Hyman Kushner on February 2, 1912, in New York City, NY, the younger of two sons of Lazarus Levy, a successful New York real estate man, and his wife, Frances Fink Levy, an amateur pianist, and raised on Manhattan’s West Side.  Encouraged by his mother, he studied classical piano when a child and was educated at the High School of Commerce, where he played viola and cello in the school orchestra and where his first musical compositions were marches, and Dwight Academy.

At age fourteen the theatrical producers the Shuberts commissioned Lane to write songs for a revue, Greenwich Village Follies. At fifteen, he decided to quit high school after he got a job as a staff writer for the Remick Music Company.  After meeting George Gershwin, who was then an established composer although not yet thirty, he was a private music student of Simon Bucharoff.  Some later time he became known as Burton Levy, and still later as Burton Lane. He wrote the Broadway stage scores for “Earl Carroll Vanities of 1931.”  Also he wrote the music for the less remembered Broadway shows, Hold On to Your Hats (1940) and Laffing Room Only (1944).

In 1935, the year he married Marian Seaman, Lane is credited with discovering the 13-year-old Frances Gumm (Judy Garland). He caught her sisters’ act at the Paramount theater in Hollywood which featured a movie and a live stage show. The sisters, Virginia and Mary Jane, brought on their younger sister, Frances, who sang “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart.” Lane immediately called Jack Robbins, head of the music department at MGM, and told him he’d just heard a great new talent.  Lane played the audition piano for her.  Robbins got Louis B. Mayer down to listen to her belt out some songs. Frances (Judy) was signed, and that was the start of her career. Because of circumstance, and contractual arrangements, Burton Lane didn’t work with her again for seven years (Babes on Broadway), but it was definitely he who discovered her.

Lane’s first big hit was the Broadway musical Finian’s Rainbow (1947), which ran for 725 performances at the 46th Street Theater. It received wide praise for its clarion score and a book that was socially advanced for its time, constructed around a leprechaun and his pot of gold and a bigoted Senator from the South.  However, Lane mainly wrote music for films, such as Dancing Lady and Babes on Broadway, writing for more than 30 movies, including the film Royal Wedding (1951). Many of his films attracted little attention.  Among them were the movies ”Give a Girl a Break” (1953), starring Marge and Gower Champion, Debbie Reynolds and Bob Fosse, and ”Jupiter’s Darling” (1955).  He was president of the American Guild of Authors and Composers from 1957 and for the next 10 terms, during which period he campaigned against music piracy. He also served three terms on the board of directors of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).

Lane’s next big hit was On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1965).  He shared a Grammy Award in 1965 for Best Broadway Cast Album of the year (On a Clear Day You Can See Forever).  Finian’s Rainbow was also made into a film starring Fred Astaire and Petula Clark, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, in 1968, and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever became a feature film in 1970..  Lane was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972.  His Carmelina (1979) had lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, who had also written lyrics to Lane’s music for On a Clear Day.  Lane’s best-known songs include “Old Devil Moon,” “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?”, “Too Late Now,” “How About You?”, and the title song from “On a Clear Day.”   Though he rarely composed during his last two decades, he worked tirelessly as the president of the American Guild of Composers and Authors.  He died on January 5, 1997, at the age of 84, in New York City, NY.

The following work by Burton Lane is contained in my collection:

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1965): Come Back to Me.

Francis Lai and “Love Story” Theme


Francis Albert Lai (born April 26, 1932) is a French accordionist and composer, noted for his film scores.  Lai was born on April 26, 1932 at Nice in Alpes-Maritimes, France.  While in his twenties, Lai left home and went to Paris, where he became part of the lively Montmartre music scene. In 1965 he met filmmaker Claude Lelouch and was hired to help write the score for the film A Man and a Woman. Released in 1966, the film was a major international success, earning a number of Academy Awards. The young Lai received a Golden Globe Award nomination for “Best Original Score.”  This initial success brought more opportunities to work for the film industry both in his native France, where he continued to work with Lelouch on scores to films such as Vivre pour vivre (1967), Un homme qui me plaît (1969), Le voyou (1970) and La bonne année (1973), as well as in Great Britain and the United States. He is known for his support of Mireille Mathieu in many compositions and recordings. In 1970 he wrote the score for director René Clément’s film, Rider on the Rain (“Le passager de la pluie”). It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc in September 1971.

In 1970 Lai won the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Score and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score for the film Love Story. In the United States, the soundtrack album went to No. 2 in the Billboard album charts and the film’s theme, “Where Do I Begin,” was a hit single with lyrics by Carl Sigman for traditional pop singer Andy Williams. The song would also be recorded successfully by Lai himself, with a full orchestra, and by Henry Mancini and Shirley Bassey.  Lai’s “Love Story” theme was heard in the 1978 Love Story sequel titled Oliver’s Story, although the main score was composed by Lee Holdridge.

Lai’s other movie scores include films as diverse as Mayerling, Three into Two Won’t Go, International Velvet, Édith et Marcel, and Michael Winner films such as I’ll Never Forget What’s’isname and Hannibal Brooks. Lai has also had success with music written for films like Emmanuelle 2 (1975) and Bilitis (1977). He earned high praise for the latter film’s score and its sound-track sold over a million copies throughout the world.  His composition “Aujourd’hui C’est Toi” (Today It’s You) is probably best known in the U.K. as the theme music for the long-running BBC television current affairs documentary series Panorama.  In a career spanning forty years, Lai has also written music for television programs, alone or in collaboration with others has composed music for more than one hundred films, and has personally written more than six hundred songs. Notably, he penned the music for the Perry Como hit “I Think of You” with lyrics by Rod McKuen.

My collection includes the following work by Francis Lai:

Love Story (1970): Love Story (Main Theme, Where Do I Begin?).

Friedrich Kuhlau and “Kong Christian”


Friedrich Daniel Rudolf Kuhlau (September 11, 1786 –March 12, 1832) was a German-born Danish composer during the Classical and Romantic periods, who was a central figure of the Danish Golden Age and is immortalized in Danish cultural history through his music for Elves’ Hill, the first true work of Danish National Romanticism and a concealed tribute to the absolute monarchy. Kuhlau was born on  September 11, 1786 ,just south of Lüneburg in Uelzen district of Lower Saxony, Germany. At the age of seven, he lost his right eye when he slipped on ice and fell. His father, grandfather, and uncle were military oboists. Even though Kuhlau was born to a poor family, his parents managed to pay for piano lessons. Later he studied the piano in Hamburg where he also had his debut as a pianist in 1804. In 1810, he fled to Copenhagen to avoid conscription in the Napoleonic Army, which overwhelmed the many small principalities and duchies of northern Germany, and in 1813 he became a Danish citizen.

During his lifetime, Kuhlau was known primarily as a concert pianist and composer of Danish opera, but was responsible for introducing many of Beethoven’s works, which he greatly admired, to Copenhagen audiences. Kuhlau was a prolific composer, as evidenced by the fact that although his house burned down, destroying all of his unpublished manuscripts, he still left a legacy of more than 200 published works in most genres.  Kuhlau had his breakthrough in 1814 at the Royal Danish Theatre with Røverborgen (“The Robbers’ Castle”), a singspiel with a libretto by Adam Oehlenschläger.  His next few dramatic works, including Trylleharpen (1817), Elisa (1820) and Hugo og Adelheid (1827), lacking drama, failed miserably. With Lulu from 1824 he finally once again experienced success with one of his singspiels. He also wrote music for performances of William Shakespeare’s plays.

In 1828 Kuhlau achieved his greatest success when he wrote the music for Elverhøj. It won immediate popularity, especially for its overture and the final royal anthem, Kong Christian stod ved høien Mast (King Christian Stood by the Towering Mast). In the music, Kuhlau made very effective use of Danish and Swedish folk tunes. Alongside his dramatic works, Kuhlau wrote several compositions for flute and a large number of works for piano. Particularly his short pieces, sonatinas, for piano, enjoyed great popularity both in Denmark and abroad.  Beethoven, whom Kuhlau knew personally, exerted the greatest influence upon his music. Kuhlau’s major Piano Concerto, Op. 7 from 1810 displays a strong influence from Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, written 14 years earlier. All three movements of the work are strongly reminiscent of the corresponding movements in Beethoven’s work, making it a musical pastiche.

In addition to the piano concerto were a string quartet and several works for piano that included all the current genres of the day: sonatas, sonatinas, waltzes, rondos and variations. He also created several works for the strings with piano (three quartets and two quintets, and several violin sonatas), works of incidental music and several operas. However, his most-often recorded and played works are several piano sonatinas and numerous works for flute. It is because of these flute works that he was nicknamed “the Beethoven of the flute” during his lifetime. Kuhlau lost both parents in 1830, and the following year his house burned down.  The composer suffered a resultant chest ailment that afflicted him until his death on March 12, 1832, at Frederiks Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark

The following work by Friedrich Kuhlau is contained in my collection

Kong Christian.

An Island School

An Island School
by Jan Herron (from The Link, Volume 5 Issue 6)

Our middle daughter has a button, neatly laminated, that she made herself. It shows a globe of the Earth, and around the edge she has written, in tidy eleven-year-old script, “The world is my school.”

The button dates from our years on the island of Saipan, where my husband and I and our three daughters, Rachael, Christy and Bethany, lived from 1985 to 1987. When we arrived there and began homeschooling, Bethany was in kindergarten. When we left, Rachael was in high school.

Our step into homeschooling was not entirely prompted by the move to Micronesia. Back home, on the central coast of California, Rachael and Christy had been attending an excellent, if somewhat large, elementary school. Both girls were participating in the school’s program for gifted and talented students, and both were benefiting from dedicated, thoughtful and innovative teachers. All this changed when Rachael entered seventh grade and moved on to middle school. Suddenly neither she nor we, her parents, liked anything about the school experience: the overcrowding, the social pressures, the lack of intellectual challenge for a bright child. A combination of research and soul-searching followed, as we considered the pros and cons of homeschooling. My husband, Dan, and I both have college degrees, and I had a little – very little – experience in teaching and tutoring.

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