So Thankful for Zeb

Young Zeb Lauging

How was it only a year ago that Zeb was still living with us, and we were toasting his 21st b-day? 


Talk about a year of change. New home (several of those), new job, new friends, new adventures, and still the same passionate heart.

As we watch you take your steps into adulthood, fixing appliances and purchasing furniture and a car, etc. it flashes us back to the first steps you took back in the day. Little did we know all the places those tiny feet would go.

We are so proud of all you have accomplished this year, Zebulon, and for the way you have tackled obstacles in your path. Hope you have a truly fabulous upcoming year. We love you and thank God you were placed in our family.

Thankful for Zebulon

Zeb skateboarding

Day 11/30 – Today I’m thankful for my son who was born 21 years ago today. And I’m particularly happy that he was here so we could celebrate with him. We are super proud of the man he has become, and I look forward to seeing where he goes next in life.

Zeb has a habit of doing the unexpected. When he was two or three years old, I had to tell him it wasn’t safe to do headstands in the bathtub (he didn’t hear me, though, since his head was under water). Another time he and his friend showed up on our porch to show us their “jewelry” (a bunch of snakes that they played with so regularly that they became friends/necklaces/bracelets).

From ski slope to sales to designing elements for a skate park, Zeb brings ingenuity, compassion and joy to all around him. I’m going to miss his goofiness as he takes off for his next life-adventure and already can’t wait to visit. But he’s ready to fly. I’m proud of this young man! I love you Zeb!


  • For November (the month in which we celebrate Thanksgiving in the US), I’m trying to blog about something for which I’m thankful for each day of the month.

Save Money on Music Lessons

Last week, our son became a pianist thanks to the Internet (the video of him playing is at the end of this article). We didn’t have to pay for lessons, and we didn’t have to nag him about practicing. All we did was offer him an Internet connection, and he did the rest on his own.

Before our kids were even born, we decided to constantly surround them with music and art. We offered them lessons, but didn’t force anything. CJ became a clarinetist then taught himself piano, Hudi took to the trombone, and Zeb? Well, for several years now Zeb has excelled in Rock Band (drums and guitar). I’ll tell the tale of how our family has bonded over Rock Band another day. Today, I’m going to write about YouTube.
YouTube Rocks
That’s right. YouTube.
Zeb found a tutorial online that showed how to play a Chiodos song he enjoyed (Lindsey Quit Lolligagging). It demonstrated how to play note-for-note.
Within a few hours, Zeb was playing an identifiable song on the piano, an instrument he had never been drawn to before. That’s no replacement for lessons, you might point out, and you are right to some extent. I get it. I was a keyboard (piano) minor in college. I guess the real question comes down to why you want to learn music.

  • Enjoyment? Zeb certainly had that.
  • Structure and discipline? He plays for hours on a daily basis now.
  • Music theory? Ah, that might be the catch, but Zeb naturally found a way around that, too.

Learn Music Theory Unconventionally
Zeb was so interested in his music that he found the sheet music online and printed it out. He laboriously went through and labeled all the notes. He researched key signatures, time signatures, and brushed up on his rhythm.
It was way cool.
Now Zeb set his iPod touch to blast through the speakers, and he plays along. Check it out in the recording. This was after he had been playing a few days. Yes, there are some rough patches, but I figured that’s good because it shows that it really is he who is playing the keyboard.
I love hearing that boy play. Watch him play and let us know what you think.

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