Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Birthday Summary

What a fabulous birthday! I couldn't have asked for more friends or fun. In a nutshell I had Disneyland, lunch, gifts, dinner, more gifts, was just so awesome. Here is the day in pictures. Get ready, there are a few! Thank you my friends and my superbly awesome hub and darling daughters. I had such a fun day!

Trish, Michelle and I headed for Disneyland at around 8:45 a.m. I was able to walk right up to the ticket booth and declare my special day. I collected my $72 gift card (thank you Walt!), took note that Space Mountain (ride of choice) was closed, and headed over to California Adventure with the girls. I think it was somewhere around 4 years ago we planned to go scream together at this park. Today was the day!


and during...

California Screamin' was such a scream, we got right back in line. Did I say line? There was no line! Michelle has unknowingly started a new tradition: saying something completely memorable on my birthday. On my 40th, she told me that not every 40-year-old could receive new roller blades for her birthday. This year, as we rounded the corner into the take off position, she yelled, "Our kids are in school and look what we're doing!!!" We laughed as we were whisked off from 0 - 60 mph in 5 seconds. Trish noted later that we should start every day like this. I concur.

On to The Tower of Terror, just to prove that these mommas don't sit on the bench while the kids do all the rides! (No offense if you do, I just don't want to because I didn't like it that my mom never had hysterical fun with us on rides.)

Is it bad luck if there is a thirteen minute wait on a creepy ride???

Dang. We're tall enough for the ride. Here's the before...

and the during...

and the after...

That was it for the wild and crazy gals. We were of to meet friends for lunch. On the way out, we had to stop and talk to Goofy.

At noon we joined with more friends at Corner Bakery for lunch. LeAnn, Darrell, Michelle, Trish and Marina helped celebrate. Notice the Edward/Jacob card near my face.

Here's a close up. My friends always come through with the chocolate fix. Love my new "Twilight Woods" candle from Bath and Body Works. Isn't LeAnn's wrapping hysterical! Those were yummy looking chocolates! She did the Jacob/Edward card too. The box had a Jim Shore bunny in it! I also received a gift card to Barnes and Nobel (squee!) and cute note cards with tons of chocolate bars! Woohoo!

Dinner time was lots of fun. Jenna and I came home from gymnastics to find Heather and Daddy hard at work on birthday dinner. Heather posted signs everywhere with well wishes and directions to the birthday festivities. Dinner was homemade tacos with homemade salsa, Spanish rice and the works!

In the living room, the girls had decorated my spooky tree with balloons. They like decorating. Don't know where they get that from??

My sister sent me a gift card to Tai Pan Trading. I wanted to buy something I normally wouldn't. This spooky tree asked me to take it home. The cute bowls did too. Hee, hee.

The birthday fairy came to do homework at the table while we waited for presents and pie.

Dessert was Claim Jumper chocolate silk pie. Laaaaaaaa! Yes, I had a piece. And then another later. Sigh. What a great day!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Big Show

Our church puts on a large Broadway-style production every three years.  These are huge events that include people from our entire Stake, other Stakes and the community.  The directors are professionals who happen to live in the area, so we get to glean from their expertise.  We audition and are cast in a variety of numbers based on the theme of the show. This year's theme is a Broadway and pop review with the title, Curtain Up!  I am normally the director's assistant, a dancer and choreographer.  This show will find most of us with not too much on our plate in comparison to shows past.  I have one number to choreograph and dance in ("Supercalifragilistic" from the Broadway Mary Poppins), and the rest is vocal.  It will be my first time singing in one of our shows.  "What will I be singing you ask?"  Let me show you a little picture for illustration...

Dancing Queen

When I went to call-backs, I never imagined I'd be asked to take a lead roll in anything.  The girls there were so uber-talented.  I believe I got my part based on my 'performance' talent.  So here we go.  I will ham my socks off and try to give it a good vocal showing as well.  It is really fun to have the directors' faith in me.  I laughed thinking about all the times my mom told me I was making a fool of myself growing up.  I guess it will come in handy!

Kelly is going to run the sound for the show, so no performing for him.  The girls are excited about their numbers.  They'll be doing "True Love's Kiss" from Enchanted, singing with a Giselle and other little girls their age.  They'll also be involved in a combo of "Move It Move It" and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".  Heather gets to do a special number for 10 - 13 year olds which is the "Hoedown Throwdown".  It's Hannah Montana heaven for those kids.

Somewhere in mid November I'll have pictures of us in costume.  It should be quite amusing. 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Need Something To Read?

If you're like me, you have a list already, but here's another to add to it.  Sarah Addison Allen's Garden Spells.  This was recommended by my friend who recommended the Poison Study series.  She has good taste!  When she gave me the book she described it as "delightful", and it was just that!  It is a stand-alone, one book story (gasp!), but you'll be wishing for sequels.  I won't tell you anything about it.  Just pick it up.  I loved the characters and the little touch of 'magic' that was in the story.  Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I LOVE Birthday Presents!

Okay, so my birthday isn't until next week, but my sis sent me presents already.  I have reserved a few for the special day, but I couldn't resist this one.  This darling apron is from Anthropology and I love it!  I made dinner in it tonight and felt oh so chic!  Thank you Michelle!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Read This Blog

I have been trying for over a week to figure out how to post about a blog I've discovered. Nothing uber-creative is coming to me so here it is...

To the right of my blog page you will see a typewriter icon that says, "I read NieNie".  If you click on it, you will be transported to the blog of Stephanie Nielson  (StephaNie Nielson).  She is a 28-year-old wife and mother of 4.  She is a gifted writer and has been blogging for years. Her writing is beautiful and her photos are exquisite.  She is also the survivor of a fatal plane crash that killed the pilot and left her with burns so severe that her face and body have been altered forever.

Why am I telling you about this blog?  Because it has changed my life.  I did not know it, but I needed some perspective.  I got it.  

For some years now, I feel as though I have been standing in a room, hands cupped around several puzzle pieces, not knowing what to do with them.  I have carefully and deliberately collected each one of the pieces and know that there is a beautiful picture waiting for me if I can just figure out how to put them together.   To my back, there is a table with a smooth, flat surface, but I can't see it.  Hearing my dilemma you may think, "Just turn around and lay them out on the table!" Sometimes we can be so close to a solution, but unable to see it.  Sometimes we need a push in the right direction.  I believe I needed a push.

Stephanie's beautiful writing and her willingness to share herself with her readers is beyond amazing.  I am looking at my marriage, my children, and my own struggles in a new light.  If you have time (you will need a couple of hours), and could use a little perspective yourself, go to her blog and scroll through "older posts" until you reach January 2009.  That's when she began writing again after coming out of a 5-month coma.  She almost didn't make it to her 28th birthday.  I hope she inspires you as much as she has me and so many others.  Thanks to my sister for sharing this blog with me, and especially to Stephanie for sharing so much of herself with all of us. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sea Glass

One of my favorite authors is Maria V. Snyder.  I posted about her Study series not too long ago, Poison Study, Magic Study and Fire Study.  Last night I was able to participate in an author chat with her and some friends set up by my friend Katie.  We were discussing her new series that we're calling the Glass series.  Storm Glass is the first and Sea Glass is the second. If you are interested at all, you have to start with the Study series as the Glass series is continuation with characters from the Study series.  Anyhoo, I was able to win a signed copy of Sea Glass!  It was very exciting.  And just in case you all are wondering, Maria pronounces Valek's name like Val-lick.  I've heard so many variations, I had to ask.  What a silly burning question, huh?  Anyway, it was so fun!  Thanks Katie! 

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Civil War

Thanks to friends, Michelle and Kristie, Heather and I spent the afternoon with soldiers from the Civil War.  There was a reenactment being staged at Huntington Central Park.  I was so tired and not wanting to go anywhere, but I have a 5th grader, and this is not an opportunity you pass up!  A quick shower and some sunscreen found us loaded in the car.

The battle began at 1:30 p.m.  We were situated near the Confederate Army.  It was an amazing experience to sit on the sidelines and whisper to Heather about the war where we fought our own countrymen.  We talked about how the guns worked and how the men were shouting because there were no walkie-talkies.  It was wild watching how the regiment advanced, and how the Union snuck through the trees and surrounded the Confederates.  The rifles and cannon fire were deafening!

Bodies were strewn across the field as the battle raged on...

The Union Army advanced.  This was a grim battle for the Confederates.

This guy was my favorite.  He appeared to be a reporter or record keeper.  He kept to the trees and empty parts of the field.  He sketched pictures and made notes.  When the bodies were all that were left, he walked through and made notes.

This nice Confederate soldier noticed us taking pictures after the battle and stepped in.  I told Caleb that when he grew up, this was a good, and socially acceptable, way to be able to play pretend soldier games.  He thought that was funny.

We stuck around for the cannon demonstration.  We learned about the 4 men who stand at the cannon and what their jobs are.  

The cannons were moved in and out by horses.  

After the battle, we wandered the encampment.  Look who we found!  President Lincoln himself.  Heather was SO impressed.  Could we have run into a more convincing Mr. Lincoln?  I say not!  Heather was sporting her new coon skin cap purchased from a vendor in the camp.

There were all kinds of fun finds.  Loved this bike!  It's a racing bike hence the large wheel.  No chain or gears so the larger the wheel, the faster it went.

The park was filled with campers.  It looked like a scene from the period.  Tents and supplies everywhere.  It was surreal.  Heather posed in front of a soldier's tent.  She noticed his supplies and the picture of his sweetheart next to his bed.  She got the idea about this being a war where people had dads and brothers serving.  What a great event!

Friday, September 4, 2009

First Day of School

Yesterday was the girls' first day of school.  They look so cute!  We were all so tired that night that everyone went to bed happily, and momma was too tired to post first day pics.  How sad is that.  Hopefully we'll be accustomed to our new schedule sooner than later.

Jenna is in 2nd grade with Ms. Dillon.  Their room is jungle-themed.  We love Ms. Dillon already from Heather having her in 3rd grade.  It should be a great year for Jenna.

Heather is in 5th grade.  We have heard good things about Mrs. Haukness, and we're hoping for a positive year for Heather.  She's just so darned cute in her little dress!

What luck!  Front and center (less distraction) and next to good buddy, Max.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

That's What I'm Talking About!

Picture.  Thousand words.  'Nuff said.

That's What I'm Talking About!

dictionary definitions


an interview for a particular role or job as a singer, actor, dancer or musician, consisting of a practical demonstration of the candidate's suitability or skill.

Doesn't sound too bad.  What if there are many who show up with the apparent suitability or skill needed for the role or job?  


an interview for a particular role or job as a singer, actor, dancer or musician, consisting of a demonstration which may shake confidence and illicit emotions such as disappointment, discouragement and the intense need to run screaming from the building.

Yeah.  That sounds more like it.