Monday, September 29, 2008

Dentists, Dying, Ditching, Dad, Dummy, Dry Cleaning, and Delivery Delays...

Oh, I think the title says it all - and it's barely noon!

Dentist - that's what we were SUPPOSED to be doing this morning - luckily the car place and the dentists' office are close to one another...

Dying - that's what the car kept doing on the way there.

Ditching - what the kids ended up doing since getting them back to school took 3 hours.

Dad - to the rescue!

Dummy - with having to wait that long, why didn't I have my book with me?

Dry Cleaning - still in the back of the car...

Delivery Delays - my sincerest apologies to Natalie, whose order was with me in the car...  it's now here at my house... and really, you'll get it this week - I promise!

I'm going to take a nap now and start the day over - it has to get better than this!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

the Bribery of Public Officials...

alright, so maybe "public officials" is a little misleading---but officially, my kids had to speak in church today - part of the annual Primary Program - and it was... well, interesting!

My wonderful and brave 11 yr. old W had as one of his lines "He was taken and killed by wicked people"  He has rehearsed this over and over at home with a lot of good inflection and uumph...  but of course in church he doesn't dare give it the same feeling.  That may be a good thing, since many a rehearsal at home ended with the other kids giggling uncontrollably.

Po - because he is 9 and too cool for words - was given some lines that he decided were too long to memorize.  Somehow Mom did not agree, and he had to memorize them...  and yet (because the Primary leaders are smart and don't trust everyone to have their parts memorized) because the lines were there in front of them, he read them from the paper... forgetting that the word "live" makes more sense in the sentence if pronounced with a short I sound rather than a long one...

H - well, there are no complaints - she did well through both programs (that's right, we got the privilege of doing it TWICE!) even though she did have to have someone tie the bow on her dress 1/2 way through the second program...  and then again at the end... pesky bows.

M.... oh sweet M is always the exception to the rule isn't she?  Her part was short and sweet:  "We give hugs to our family" - that's it... she even wrote her own lines, she's so talented.  Well, practice after practice at church she refused to say the lines into the microphone until Saturday when I stood up for our final practice and walked her to the podium where she said her lines nice and loud.  All it takes is Mom helping - can do!  First performance today?  Stage Fright - Mom has to say the words.  Second performance today?  Well, we took the time beforehand to remind her that if she says her part from memory there's a prize in it for her...  (see, you knew we'd get around to bribery eventually)  It went off without a hitch - she left the stage smiling and even sat in her own seat...  for awhile before bugging Mom again.   Speaking of seats - M took the seating chart and proceeded to tell some kids that they were in the wrong spots DURING the program...  then she HAD to stay on my lap!

My favorite part of the annual program is always the fact that it's over...  then we get to start working on Christmas program... ugh, I'm not read to think about that yet!


Oh, and lest you think that T was left out of my narrative - at 13 he is too old now - but he gave great moral support as he dozed in the audience with Dad :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I sense a pattern developing...

For M's preschool "show and tell" each week she is encouraged to bring an item that begins with the letter of the week...

A is for Anneleise...    (she toted along the barbie) 






B is for Belle (didn't want the barbie this time... a magnet made from a sticker was the item of choice)









and C is for Cinderella...   (not sure if she's going with the magnet, the barbie, the figurine, or the Halloween costume yet - we have hours to decide, er... change our mind)








Does she realize there are no princesses whose names start with D?   Or maybe there are and I'm just not princess-savvy enough for this project?  Either way - I project that next week's preschool show and tell will not be as easy as the first 3 weeks!

UPDATE:  last night after her bath M told Q that he had to come to preschool this week...  because Dad starts with D... will he make it?  Will she change her mind and prefer Princess Dora or Princess Di?  only time will tell!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Guilt VS. Inspiration...

Yesterday was insane... I don't throw that word around lightly... it was truly and honestly one of those days that I like to be glad are over - and it is, so we won't dwell on it.  As a matter of fact, I'll skip over all the preschool/errands/orthodontist/scouts parts of it and go straight to the evening where I'm done with dinner and getting ready to relax in front of the television.

The Biggest Loser was on - and much as I like to think that I've licked my weight issues (do we ever?) I yo-yo just like the rest of the world and thus have some guilt going on when I have a snacking day...  (we're calling it a snacking day because the word "binge" is really negative!)  Yesterday was dedicated to healthful foods mostly because I didn't have time for snacks... this was good because as soon as I sat down to watch The Biggest Loser I had guilt for other reasons...  
You see, the bow-flex is less than 12 feet from the TV... but there's a very comfortable couch between them...  but seeing all of these determined individuals working out like their lives depended on it (and I guess they do) made me think I could maybe do a bit more than my 2 mile walk to the school in the mornings.  So I did - and yes my arms are a tad sore...  pushing that stroller up the hill this morning put me over the edge!

So, I have to wonder - this show... is it inspiring (guilt inducing) for everyone?  I am not a skinny stick myself but they wouldn't take me on the show... yet I watch it religiously.  Some of my size 2 friends watch the show and enjoy it immensely... so what is it that makes it so enjoyable?  I personally wish they could all stay on campus... I wish I could hang out on campus for a few days and get some good training pointers with them!  The show obviously isn't just for the highly overweight people of the world!

Since it does work so well and gets me working out... maybe they need a show about homemaker moms that blog more than they clean - competing to have a spic and span house with folded clean laundry (mine is usually clean, never folded).  THAT is the kind of inspiration I desperately need - but would anyone watch it!?

You'll be happy to know that the inspirational thrill was over before long - then I spent the next hour flipping back and forth trying to follow the story line on SVU and Without A Trace!  (and no I don't normally do that, but an old college classmate was on Without A Trace, and I love to watch him act... until he moves to Wisteria Lane at least... then he's on his own!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Necessity is the Mother of Invention...

...and maybe desperation is the Mother of Education?  Maybe...  M has her routine down lately - after our morning walk to school she will have a snack - then turn on "her channel" around 10:00 and watch a cartoon or two.  For those not in "the know" about "her channel" it is KBYU, which switches to religious devotionals at 11:00...  as wonderful as these are - they hold little interest for our M and she insists on something different.

There are two PBS channels that we can get here... Channel 11 is "her channel" and 7 is acceptable, but not at that particular hour because... well, frankly I don't know why - so she insists on turning on channel 30... V me... completely in Spanish.  Cartoons yes, but in Spanish.  Now - you must understand that although I do speak Spanish it has been a long time since I have considered myself fluent... and I haven't spoken it to my kids except when teaching them words like "quiet" or "enough"... watching these shows is a good stretch for my vocabulary - so I will sit and watch with her BUT she does not want translation - she laughs in all the right spots (that's probably the goofy looks on the faces) and fully enjoys herself.

and 1/2 an hour later she is off begging to play with A, or making a royal mess of her room... or both...

So there you have it - my admission that I let my daughter watch 1 1/2 hours of TV!  I like to pretend that there is some educational content even when she doesn't understand a word they're saying!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I wish MY kitchen was this ugly...

THAT's something you don't hear very often - but today it is true!  As some of you may know Q & I have done some wonders in our kitchen in the past few years... eliminating the purple and gold sunflowers with many layers of Kilz primer and re-staining the cabinets - both worthwhile projects... and yet...
See, if our kitchen looked that that atrocity above (holy weird sized fridge people) we would have a prayer of winning this upcoming contest.  It is sponsored by a local company that I can currently only dream of hiring to come and prettify my cooking space!  I think if I sent in the above photo I'd win... but then making my own kitchen look like THAT would be a major project in itself... one that I don't want to think about tackling!

Ahhh... I think I will go and enjoy my mid-range pretty enough for my house kitchen and non-upgraded appliances by having a snack!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The First Word Every Child Learns & The Joy of Left Turns

So... today.  Today was officially insane.  I got up at 6:00 (yes a.m.) after worrying all night long that I would oversleep.  Showered and dressed by 6:30 when W came to make sure I was on schedule (good boy!) - and ready to tackle my day head on!  In the next two hours I managed to singlehandedly get 4 kids off to school (driving 3 of them and shooing the other out the door on time) with lunches where required and perfect hair for picture day for the youngest three.  Now, anyone who knows Po is aware that his "perfect hair" is pretty easy... but the other two are girls... picky, fussy, want to have their hair their own way girls!  We won't go into the details - but it all got done and we ended up at the school on time, even a little early since I was the official Picture Day PTA volunteer!  This is slightly more than your regular volunteering at the school because I was there for 5 1/2 hours - but I did get a $21 picture package out of the deal - which was a nice perk.  M was a wonderfully patient little angel aside from the 5 minutes when it was her turn to smile.  We had packed enough snacks to last 6 hours (or so I thought) as well as books on tape, coloring books, ballerina barbies, and a Nintendo game that she can play.  The food lasted about 1/2 an hour, but then she was able to wait until lunchtime to eat her sandwich at least!
Once picture day was out of the way I ran home, got W to watch the girls and took Po off to Cub Scout Camp - picking up 3 other people along the way.  T was home soon after so the girls were in good hands!  I spent my evening corralling my seven 8 and 9 year old boys in a park FULL of 8 and 9 year old boys - all wearing the same dang shirt!  Most activities were fine, but we finished at the "fishing" station - where the boys were invited to remove their shoes and get into a large shallow trough full of Rainbow Trout that they could "catch" with their hands and then release...  well, since we were the last ones there the fish were... shall we say lethargic?  Or maybe we'll be more honest and say dead.  It was gross, but I was the only Mom neurotic enough to borrow the hand sanitizer from the cooking station and douse the boys with it.  LOVE those germ busters!  
Might I mention that when they asked me to pick up the boys and hang with them that nobody mentioned that they might come home soaking wet and smelling of fish?  I was thrilled when the boys that came in my car were cautious about getting too wet.  A big apology to my friend Mary who ended up driving home the soaking wet ones, I hope you can get the smell out!

My point?  Every toddler worth their salt can say NO... so why can't I?


And left turns...  really, what's so exciting about those?  Well, you see - about 2 months ago the bulb in my signal burned out - and our car being one of the more difficult brands, we had to take it into the Dealership for the bulb to be replaced...  come to find out that our bulb is actually so specialized to the brand of car that the dealership had to order the bulb from a different dealership!  While waiting for it to arrive and waiting for myself to find a good day to leave the car (it also needed a few other things) I found MANY ways to get around town without ever turning left.  There were a few scenic routes to be sure, but I just refused to turn left unless I was on a nearly abandoned street...  I really didn't have time to get pulled over!  So when the bulb was finally fixed this week I was thrilled - it has been such fun to come home from that obnoxious Discount Store everyone hates without going through the PetCo parking lot, straight across to Albertsons, turning around in their parking lot and then getting back on the road home!

If only I could always get such a kick from the small joys in life!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Only at Tuacahn...

Alrighty now - yesterday we had an impulsive moment and decided to take T &W off for a cultural experience...  actually, T needs a night of culture to write about in his theatre class at school - and W was dragged along against his will.  He's forgiven me now.  I had never seen the show before and so despite the very late hour and my night blindness I got to be the designated parent for the evening.  Actually - I guess that left Q as the designated parent here at home being responsible and "parental" as I let the boys eat all sorts of junk that we sneaked into the theatre.  Well, actually - that's not quite true - they don't rightly care what you bring into Tuacahn as long as you cart out your trash...  
The show was... well, shy of spectacular - but fun all the same.  I know only a few of the songs and wanted more emotion and power during the singing and some of the acting.  Some of the characters are just plain loony... I'm not sure if that was good acting loony, or loony acting loony...  who cares right?
The cool part - the moment of the show that took my breath away was when they opened the flood gates and let the water spill over the stage - and it just kept flowing through the entire first half - off the front of the stage (where it was somehow diverted so nobody's shoes got wet!)... can't do THAT indoors - well, okay, they can - but it was WAY cool.

SO...  seeing as we got home near midnight (yes, on a school night) I was a tad bit tired all day - I will blame a lot of today on that lack of sleep...  I would love to catch up a bit, but seeing as Q is out of town for a business shin-dig I'm not likely to get wonderful sleep.  Currently M is calling from the other room how daddy needs to come and check on her and read her a story when he gets home... oops.

Going to go Mope Now...

okay - nobody wanted to play my little game...  I'm not hurt really - I'll get over it.  I have a thick skin (really, remember that horrid sunburn?)

SO - for anyone who thought it was a fun idea but just couldn't bring themselves to do the whole "linking" thing - go Here and just add a bit at a time.   IF there is somebody out there who wants to continue the whole linked story - I'm totally up for it, just be sure to reference the permalink to the story post and let me know to link back to you!

For anyone who was just hoping that I would give up and get on with my regular posts before they felt obligated to participate - you're off the hook!

On another subject - Today is the birthday of my big sister who will totally LOVE the new blog so technically that can be her gift (talk about cheap!)
Later (when I'm done moping) I'll fill you all in about my night at the theatre... think "flood"  people.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Speaking of Ideas...

We are going to be new and innovative around here and start a blog-story!  What's a blog-story you ask?  Well, since I just made it up (and PLEASE don't tell me about somebody else doing it first - let me enjoy my fifteen minutes of fame!) I'll tell you all about it...

Okay, I am going to begin a story - a few sentences maybe... a whole paragraph perhaps, who knows, it'll be off the top of my head 'cause that the way I work.

My loyal and wonderful readers are going to then take the story to their own blogs and post the next chapter/paragraph/sentence/at least a few words to continue on the story...  When they have done this they will leave a comment letting me know to add a link to their blog so that everyone can follow the story wherever it may go...  there may end up being 23589 different endings from one beginning, or hey - it may just tank in a day or two... but we'll never know if we don't try right?  It's like a "Tag" I guess... though I've never done one of those - but if it makes you more apt to participate then "TAG, you're it"

Okay:

"It was midnight and Cheri had just finished packing.  She glanced around the room to see what kind of a mess she'd left behind.  The small rented room actually didn't look very different from the day she'd moved in 7 months prior - it smelled better, but it looked the same.  
  Before walking out the door she made sure to close all of the dresser drawers - she didn't want anyone noticing immediately that her clothing was no longer there.  She grabbed the one suitcase that contained all of her possessions and took a deep breath."

The Rules:
1-links should be included to the blog you continued from as well as the blogs which are continuing your story.  Please move the links from comments to your post for ease of reading.
2-hey, it's your blog that you're continuing this on, not mine - so I can't make the rules for you BUT please try to keep in the PG range for language and content... If the content becomes "adult" make sure to post a warning on any links!
3-include the rules in your post so that it can keep moving.

OH - and I refuse to post any of the hilarious happenings of my life until SOMEBODY plays my game - it's my ball, and I'm taking it home with me!

that was MY idea...

so... last week I get this Beyond Brilliant plan to sit with the kids and draft a family constitution - outlining not only their duties in the house but their rights and privileges as well - I start typing up the darn thing but get a little stuck - so I fall back on the favorite tool Google to help me out... well, so my Beyond Brilliant plan was also thought of by 236,978 other people... that doesn't make it any less brilliant does it?

Of course I went ahead with it, we made a family night out of it and everyone got to sign it with a big official pen and... well, thus far it hasn't made a lick of difference in the household... but hopefully soon I can stop pointing out the places where they've broken their agreements and start emphasizing how their privileges are growing!

I have begun to wonder - will we ever have any fresh new ideas?  Packaged fry sauce (which Q was really excited about 10 years ago) has now been done, Honey-butter even comes pre-mixed (even though it could really use a better recipe)...

Every once in awhile I will have a dream about some new idea and wake up thinking "wow, THIS is how I can make my million!"  Of course, usually by the time the sun comes up I realize that it's a little silly... I mean really - Roman Numeral Candles may help disguise the age a little, but do I really want XXXVI on my cake...  and the whole "roman candles" similarity is a little scary - I'd be a little afraid the cake would explode... yeah, THAT was my last brilliant dream-scheme... I'd better start eating more healthful dinners I think!

Oh, and in case there is a sudden "explosion" of roman numeral candles on the market next month - remember you heard it here first... and a finder's fee wouldn't be so bad either :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sense and Sensibility

PBS was showing the Masterpiece Theatre version of this movie last night - I happened up on the very beginning and thought I'd give it a few minutes... I liked the actresses - and hey - Mr Weasley was in this one!
It was probably a "sense" of guilt that made we want to watch it - as I've never been tempted before.  You see - much to my utter embarrassment as a reader - I have never been able to get into these books.  The language has never sucked me into that little world of complex intrigue that exists in the hearts and minds of the characters.
There being nothing "sensible" about staying up until Midnight - I am partially regretting the decision... but there it is, the regret ends there.  I feel so much more of a complete person now that my neighbor (who happens to be a big Austen fan) and my Sister in Law (who reads/watches Austen on a regular basis) cannot chide me any longer for not even knowing the story!  
I have to admit that I was caught up in the story - I obliged and hated the awful Mr. W while cheering for the Colonel - I despaired for Elinor's happiness throughout but really thought that she needed to get over it a little sooner...  so I guess I was wrong there 'eh?  Unfortunately - unlike the quiz results (down there in the side bar...) I didn't really find myself to have resembled Elinor in my youth... I hate to admit to being a little more impulsive like Marianne... it's a good thing that it's never too late for maturity to strike!

Now that I've gotten a taste of the Austen world - perhaps I can finally get some use out of her collected works that I received for Christmas last year.  And lest you think that Q would buy such a thing - I picked 'em up... they're beautifully bound and look GREAT on the shelf at least :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Idle Threats, Maple Nut Goodies, and Alopecia...

Okay - first, I have to thank Firefly for commenting and saving us all from a toe fungus post... I was not looking forward to that any more than you were!  That should teach me to stop with the idle threats...  fortunately my kids still believe that I will "lash them with a wet noodle" or "give all their toys to children in a 3rd world country who will appreciate them!" - and who knows, I just might, someday.

Second, apparently there are people in the world who have not heard of my favorite treat EVER...   when I was little I thought they looked like little Mickey Mouse shoes... 
and now that I've grown up I've learned that they still look a little like Mickey Mouse Shoes, but that NOBODY will know what you're talking about when you ask for the Mickey Shoe Candy so you'd better know the name.
For the population out there that doesn't know... I really don't like chocolate - can't stand the smell, the taste... anything - I know, I know, there's something deeply wrong with me, I'm not a true female, I certainly can't be American and as far as religion goes, they're probably thinking of some commandment I've broken too!  But there it is, and thus I have been forced to find alternatives to M&M's...  I happen to like Reese's Pieces (a lot), those Pay Day bars are good, but too big, I don't have much fondness for fruity things like starbursts, but these maple nut goodies are a bit of nutty goodness wrapped up in a bite size wrapper of maple.  I should advertise for them really :)   Now if I could just convince myself that an open bag of these does not mean I should consume every treat there...  one or two is plenty to sate the sweet tooth... but the bag usually doesn't last until the evening news!

And third...  My dear sweet ding-bat of a 4 year old has made my worst fears come true... you see, once upon a time, many many years ago - at least 20... I read an article in a medical journal (hey, I spent a lot of time in Doctor's offices, give it a break, how many times can you read Highlights without wanting to kill the Timbertoes?)  Anyway - this article was about Tension Alopecia... (alopecia meaning baldness) that lovely condition of an overly high forehead.  In this case they were linking the cause to overly tight ponytails on girls... which over the years will cause the hairline to recede.  This is my "excuse" for the days that my girls' hair is not way cute by the way... you're welcome to use it all you want!
Sweet M created her own type of tension alopecia right in the middle of her head this week... apparently she didn't like the cute red bow that was attached to her ponytail and proceeded to rip it out... along with the hair that was holding it in.  Funny thing, she didn't cry at all - I can't comb through her hair without at least one scream or tear, but she can yank out a handful of hair without crying?  I am dreading the years of letting this grow out... will there be a mullet in our future?
In the meantime, creative hair-do's are covering it up (sort of).   Looks like I'll be spending a little more time checking out the hair blogs for anything using a side part!

oh, and be grateful, be very grateful that I did not subject you to a photo of AFTER this hair-do had served its purpose, those little knots dried into very medusa like snakes!

Who the heck ARE these people?

okay - this is going to sound like an ungracious post - but I SOOOOO don't mean it that way.  My curiosity has finally gotten the better of me - and hey, don't go anywhere too quickly... I have a whole new pet peeve saved for the end and NOBODY wants to miss my pet peeves right?

I was being nosy and stuck a little feedjit there at the bottom of the blog... scroll down... on the right... a little further... all the way... yeah, right there - just to see if my family in Colorado or New York ever read anything I wrote.  Because hey, if they're not reading it... there's a whole WEALTH of things I could go off about.  Just kidding fam - you know you're loved!

Now I look at that little Feedjit guy and think "what on EARTH?" because really, my life is kinda dull - and I SURELY do not know all of these people - though I'm sure that we'd have a grand time hanging out if I did know all of these people!  

So here it is - Who the heck ARE you people?  Come on, come out of lurking there and admit that you read this... Feedjit doesn't lie :)... well, maybe it does just to make me feel better?  I'm not asking for a lot - just a Howdy, or a Hi... or even a language lesson in other ways to greet somebody because I'm just a little old girl from the... oh shoot, I never was good at regional Geography...   (I NEVER say "howdy" - and since there are people here from places I've never visited, I could really learn a lot... how do you greet a person in Switzerland?)
If it makes you happy you can even tell me why you ran across this blog...  Heaven knows I never put anything up there to intentional catch the "google-eye" - I mean I've never once mentioned the J*n*s Brothers or... oh darn - sorry, that's the extent of my "hip and with it" lexicon!

Okay - and if the only comments I get are from my regulars... I will come up with a very unpleasant toe-nail fungus post just to reward you all :)

And now... what you've all been waiting for - The Pet Peeve of the Day - Brought to you by Hot Pockets brand Hearty Sized Biscuits!  I checked the ingredient list carefully before purchasing these for my eldest son - apparently he learned in Science class something about the fake cheese in these type of products being the same stuff that is used in his deodorant...  and before the frozen food industry slaps me with a libel suit (though I'm pretty sure they're not among my lurkers) - I do not have any personal knowledge of this - talk to the science teacher.
My pet peeve has nothing to do with the cheese - it's all about the label... check it out, it cooks in 1.45 minutes - guys, that's... 87 seconds (according to my calculator... I was going to guess 85 or 90... not too far off).  Of course, it doesn't... it actually takes one minute AND 45 seconds to cook...  which if I'm being honest with myself DOESN'T MATTER in the least.  I'm just a nit-picky person... that's why it's called a pet peeve!   Isn't there a less confusing way to say it... 1:45 is out because apparently then someone's going to have a fire in their microwave...  The fact is - nobody else in the world cares - it makes as much sense as it can without putting more words on the box (and why not do just that), and even if someone out there is even MORE neurotic than me - if that's possible - and goes ahead and does the math in order to cook it for 87 seconds...  will the 18 second deficit really make a lick of difference?
Okay, I'm over it now - venting is good for the soul... maybe.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A whole lotta NINES!

once again the calendar rolls around to that day of days - that birthday in Fall...  you know, the one not CRAMMED in there with all the other Spring birthdays in our family.  Po has finally reached the magic number 9... and since he was born on 9-9-99, this is truly something of an occasion... of course, next year will be an occasion too, but hey - that's a whole year away and this is now - wouldn't you rather I stuck to the present in my blogging?

Being a fairly typical 9 year old he is obsessed with all things Wii/baseball/Pokemon and very much enjoyed the mornings' "boola-boola" (a family tradition - using the song volume to indicate how close the birthday boy is to their gifts - a "hot and cold" variation)... the tricky thing this morning was that once again, the gifts had been hidden so quickly that nobody remembered where any were - so once again we had to resort to pointing and coughing the words "boola-pillow, Boola-piano..."  Whatever, as long as he gets his haul!

As we watch our youngest boy grow past the stage of match-box cars and play-dough (but not Legos - you NEVER outgrow Legos) we are momentarily saddened that there will likely never be another child running around our house in a batman costume for 8 months out of the year (you never know about my girls)... and then I remember how excited I am that I will also never again have to cram an entire wolf badge into 3 weeks!  Hellllloooo Bears!

And here folk is the fancy Underdog Cake...  it's really more amazing than the picture shows - I based it on a similar cake here - but eliminated the need to add the nasty tasting fondant, I went my own way...  especially since we had to go with the older and much cooler cartoon Underdog and not the new, doggy Underdog.  hmmm, maybe you need a better view of that very cool little Underdog guy - who is entirely edible and made from different flavors of starbursts, tootsie rolls, fruit roll, and a Maple Nut Goodie (which happen to be my favorite candy... luckily I only had to waste one on the cake!)

So, sing with me now:  "Happy Birthday Dear Po-boy, Happy Birthday Toooooo Yoouuuuuu..."
He even has his ring - "the secret compartment of my ring I fill, with my Underdog super energy pill"  Okay, so it isn't perfect - I've tooted my horn sufficiently now at least!

No party this year - Q is really disappointed that he won't be throwing candy and hot fudge sauce down on the children again...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

ANOTHER theatre review?


One of the biggest perks of Q's job is that every year we get treated to a production at our local amphitheatre - the setting is incredible and there's a real reason it's billed as "Broadway in the Desert"!

We have always been lucky with the weather - it's never rained, but since you're not in a place with 4 walls you do get to deal with whatever comes your way.  One time we were quite chilly - but every other time we've been burning up (the whole desert thing you know).  Luckily this does not usually detract from enjoying the show.

Being a natural born theatre critic - I cannot just sit and enjoy a show, though I sincerely hope that I do not keep those around me from enjoying it!  Having seen Les Miserables once before (was that really 18 years ago!) I went into it with certain expectations, although I was prepared to give a little slack since the other production was the touring cast who had been performing for YEARS in the same roles!

I did enjoy myself - the show was good - the acting was good - the voices were good... a few were REALLY good, but not all.  Sometimes the "musicality" of the show was sacrificed to the action - and in the case of Eponine's death, that's a good thing.  I never could wrap myself around the concept of a girl bleeding to death and BELTING out a jaunty tune.  (okay, so it's not jaunty - but that word just made the sentence flow better)  In fact - 99% of the time I approved of the acting taking precedence over the singing... it isn't a musical revue after all - it's an incredible story being told with the aid of great music.  The one exception has to be Jean Val Jean's soliloquy in the beginning (after the Bishop gives him the candlesticks) where he is deciding to dedicate his life to God.  The physicality of that interfered not only with the song - it interfered with the acting...  I felt like Jean Val Jean had been fused with Dick Van Dyke with all those prat falls... or maybe with one of those male gymnasts that slam themselves into the tumbling mat and we all think "ow, doesn't that HURT?!"

As always - the Thenardier's are... well, nasty and annoying.  And just like a little kid watching Bambi I always want it to end differently... except it's opposite, because I just want someone, anyone - to off this guy!

For crying out loud... doesn't it look like his "wife" agrees with me?  

One thing - If you haven't seen the musical in as many years as I hadn't (whoa, there's some grammar trick!)  - be prepared for some changes...  The story itself is a lot clearer now (and not just because I've read and re-read the book) - the songs have been expanded/changed/added back in.  I was happy to see that Gavroche's "Little People" which is my favorite song from the London Cast Recording was back in place even though it wasn't in the production I saw in Denver back in the day...  Words to some songs were changed, and maybe most people wouldn't notice that because they didn't sing them in High School and then listen to them constantly for almost 20 years.  (okay, not constantly - I'm not WEIRD people!)  Some changes were good - some I didn't quite understand what the point was...   it seemed a lot of past tense verbs were changed to present tense - and I'm not sure if it was this production or the sheet music that removed a few of the deity references...  but not all of them?  

Oh well, suffice it to say that we enjoyed ourselves - a night away from the kids is always good - but when we can actually do something that we enjoy on that night out... and to top that enjoyment with the fact that we didn't have to shell out a dime the night was perfect.  It was actually $2 for a water bottle... but no dimes!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Under Pressure!

I was going to do a nice little witty post about P finally getting his wolf badge...  of course, the story which would have accompanied that post may have been skewed toward the "I'm really annoyed with certain happenings within our pack" side and less toward the "I'm really proud of my son's accomplishments" side.  Normally I would go right ahead and vent because hey - it's my blog and this is America where we can complain all we want without fear of repercussion!

Of course...  while at said pack meeting I found out I have readers within the ward (who by the way I am NOT annoyed with).  AND - one of the readers confessed to always getting a kick out of my blog.  So now it's a dilemma what to write - not because I won't vent as much as usual (remember, it's America) but because I worry whether or not I'm funny enough!   (confidential to Ben: THAT's why we all complain!  see, I read your blog too!)

Whatever - I am proud of P's wolf badge - he really worked hard the last few weeks when he realized we were up against a deadline.  By the way - in case you are out there wondering - there is a valid reason that the mother gets her own pin when the kid earns the badge!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mark your Calendars!

For those of you who remember - I reviewed a book awhile back... well Farworld Water Keep is now shipping from Amazon.  The official release date is Sept 12th, when I'm sure it will show up in at least one bookstore near you!

If you DON'T remember the review - well, it's over there in the archives - just find it and get with the program already!   Or, click this.  and This will take you to the Q&A.

For my loyal Utah readers (you know who you are) who live near enough to take advantage - J Scott Savage (the author of the aforementioned book) is going to be having a release party at the Spanish Fork Library on Saturday, September 13th from 12:00 to 3:00.  There will be "free food, free posters, drawings, and all that good stuff" according to Scott.  Besides all the good stuff - 20% of any proceeds from the event will be donated to the library!!  If anyone drops by just tell him I said "hi" since I'm going to be stuck hours away at a party that I just found out about yesterday...  be sure to check back to see how much fun THAT is!

He also has a new website here if you want to check it out - since he's almost done with book 2 I'm getting excited to read again...  maybe the book blog won't be too neglected for long?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Preschool, Peer Pressure and Pants...

PRESCHOOL
it was perhaps the longest morning of our lives... M began preschool today.  In past years with the older children I have always opted for morning preschool/kindergarten schedules.  For a change we went with the afternoon schedule... BIG mistake!  Perhaps every morning will not be like today but I have never seen M so excited for anything.  It was a good thing that we had PTA meetings and grocery shopping to keep us busy until 11:30 - but the time between then and 1:00 seemed to go on and on and on...  

She got herself ready this morning in her "banana dress" and even did her own hair - which, being the wonderful and accepting mother I am, I took her to CostCo and PTA meetings with her spazzy hair and 3 mismatched hair dealies (the big flower included).  Then, being the neurotic mother that I ALSO happen to be, I fixed it prior to taking her to preschool!   She seemed to have a good time and will certainly not have any issues returning on Thursday!  I think the biggest issues will be the days she doesn't get to go!
PEER PRESSURE
On a completely different subject - have you ever asked your children what they would do if all of their friends were jumping off of a cliff?  I found out today... or rather, I found out what T would do even if all of his friends were far too chicken to jump off of the cliff.  The YM/YW went repelling for this evenings' activity - only a handful of the boys were able to make it down the cliff, and of course most of the girls did just fine.
PANTS
oh yeah, the pants issue - T did mention how proud he was of himself that he was able to make it down the cliff with his in a clean and dry condition...  a little scary 'eh?

Holiday Happenings

Friday: getting ready to leave town was difficult - unfortunately Lamby-kins had a hard time getting with the program and M had to put him on the "naughty step"...  hmmm, maybe we watch a little too much Super Nanny?
M then proceeded to pack a "few things" for the trip - lamby-kins is in one bag, her Tinkerbell pillow is in another, and her favorite blankie is in the third... good thing I thought to bring clothes for her!

The night concluded (after a long and torturous car trip) with a wonderful fireworks display watched from the comfort of Megz backyard...  a better view could not have been found and all the soot just brushed right off.  And for anyone that was concerned, H's trampoline induced "illness" didn't turn out to be anything at all!
Saturday started with the cousins and a visit to the local Fire Station for their open house - we picked up a few freebie pencils as well as a great pamphlet that I'm sure will be useful in helping P get through the last of his Wolf Badge requirements!  One week to go!!!  Q was off on a bike ride while we slept in and got ready - but two bikes and two inner tubes later I'm sure he was wishing he had chosen to come and climb on fire engines with us.  We proceeded to walk through the park where there was a talent show (and a voice I fully expect to hear next year on a Nationally Televised Reality/Talent show). 

After lunch we got a tour of J/A's new house which really gave me hope - it IS possible to stay in a reasonable budget and have a well put-together look.  Nothing about the house looks "standard" or "cookie cutter",  super choices... I'll have to call A next time we put a new stucco color on our house!  

After Dinner... well, let's just say I was regretting all the fatty and processed foods that I'd indulged in - I went to bed early - completely forgetting that being in someone else's house meant that there was good TV on and I could have seen something fun...  

Sunday was a little more laid back... lazy time was followed by church which was followed by lazy time...  and then study time taught by none other than Q and I... you missed out if you weren't there, Ethan can fill you in maybe?  

And then... the cousins!  After 2 nights of just our family (boring...) the kids were joined by some cousins... this made for a long getting to sleep process, but they had fun!
Monday morning's parade was interesting at least... notice the pink umbrella being carried by that princess... that's because just a few minutes into the parade it began to pour...  the kids were still scrambling for candy - but we got out of there before the hail began thank goodness!
The weather put a damper on the hike plans - but hanging with family playing games was still fun...  and eventually the sun did come out - the kids immediately ran outside and spent hours on the trampoline... jumping, jumping, and doing hair... aren't they cute!  Poor H though - I'm pretty sure that after awhile they realized that nothing CAN be done with that mop... that beautiful, beautiful mop...

and then, the culmination of the weekend... another long torturous car ride home... but we made it, life is good... and I have to run off to another PTA meeting so that real life can reign once again - bummer.