I got my baritone ukulele back! So far, no popping strings. I asked Sonny to take out the pick-up mic, and he thought that was a good idea too. So, we're hoping that whatever was putting the strain on the strings is at least somewhat addressed.
This uke was a Christmas present last year, and I have really enjoyed playing it; I should spend more time with it, truthfully. But I could say that about all my instruments!
One of my ukulele students, a 10 year old boy, is quickly learning to pick/play melodies in his lesson book, and he's getting pretty good. He picks the melody, and I accompany him with chords. We're working on preparing 3 or 4 pieces we can perform at Open Mic in January. He's really excited about this prospect.