Saturday, February 25, 2012

Braiding Rapunzel's Hair

After a long day of rehearsals, recording and friend time, our family reconnected at the stake center to plan the remaining hours of our Saturday evening. There was a very important task needing to be addressed for our show, and that was the creation of Rapunzel's beautiful hair. One of our costumers came down to work on it, and those of us remaining pitched into help. How many does it take to braid this hair? You can see that it is quite a process. I had to take pictures and had to laugh at our multi-talented sound engineer who also does braids. Who knew?I can't wait to see this hair on our fair Rapunzel.

Friday, February 24, 2012


We were pretty much wall-to-wall Friday night as we recorded the Orange County half of MCOAmerica's upcoming Christmas CD (Arizona is recorded the other half on Thursday evening). We recorded in a local church that has great acoustics. Kelly helped with sound set up, and Heather and I spent the evening recording. It is so fun to share these recording experiences with Heather. She's a trooper!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


My heart is very sad today for the little nine-year-old girl who died from severe dehydration in Alabama after running for three hours. She was running because she lied about eating some candy bars, and her grandmother and stepmother decided that would be her punishment. There was a movie I watched years ago called Parenthood, and I remember only one part of the movie. It was the scene where one of the teenagers is frustrated and makes the comment that you have to have a driver's license to drive, a license to practice medicine and all kinds of other licenses, but no one has to have a license to be a parent. In cases like these, a license with some good training would have been beneficial. Poor, sweet girl.

The idea of control has been on my mind a lot lately. There are so many of us who think we are in control of our lives and we often exercise control over spouses, children, other family members etc., in a misguided attempt to be at the steering wheel. The big news flash is...we are not at the helm. We have our free agency to choose in this life, but there is no way we can control everything. The sooner we learn this, the more peaceful we can be. I like to know what to expect just as much as the next person, and I would much prefer that my children obey me when I give them a direction. But just as we are given our free agency, so are those around us. Control is Satan's plan, and it's neighbors, coercion and manipulation, are also a part of his plans. Exercising control over another's agency ruins relationships and teaches nothing.

How does this translate? For me, parenting is where Heavenly Father's plan has helped me the most. I want my children to obey, but I understand that making them obey is not the same as setting up healthy consequences for disobedience. Yes, I get stressed. I raise my voice and sometimes I want to smack a child (although I don't), but when I look at the reasons why I yell or feel that I want to smack someone, it's always about my own issues with control. Things are usually not happening in the time frame I want them to, if at all, or I am upset about something completely unrelated, and it feels natural to yell to get some awareness generated. My youngest can push back so much that it feels natural to smack her to get her to pay attention to who is in charge. But that's just it. What kind of leader do I want to be? Dictatorship is really not for me, but it is seriously the easiest. So was Satan's plan; force everyone to choose the right and return to God. There is no growth when we're forced, in fact, our spirits rebel against this type of leadership. I would rather be the leader who loves and teaches. That kind of leadership takes thought and patience, but it's what I strive for.

You don't have to be a parent to have control issues, but whether you are or not, the topic needs to be examined by each of us. We are not in complete control here on earth; circumstances happen that we can't control, and trying to consistently jockey for the controlling position will simply leave you exhausted and discouraged. I'm having more success in looking around and finding out what I need to be learning from the situations that frustrate or disable me. Fortunately, I have a loving Father in Heaven who has set up a healthy framework for me complete with both positive and negative consequences, absolute control over the choices I make, and time to make mistakes and grow from them. I am blooming under this kind of leadership, and I want the same for my children, spouse, family members, friends, students, acquaintances, etc.

Unfortunately, the opportunity for self-reflection is not afforded everyone usually due to ignorance, and the parents I mentioned here probably have little idea of healthy boundaries. That makes me so sad, and I know choices that harm Heavenly Father's children must make Him grieve terribly. I marvel at His control. If He can have the kind of restraint it takes to watch His children hurt each other and make extremely poor choices at an extreme level and not force better out of them, I think I can examine my issues with control and try to do just a little bit better with my circle of influence. This has been kind of a depressing post, but this is one of those big things that I'm learning about which merits some journaling for posterity.

Think. Take a deep breath. Remember what is important.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Auntie!

Happy birthday Aunt Kathy!
Thinking of you today with loads of love.

Aunt Kathy and me at Disneyland, Spring 1969

Aunt Kathy and my girls in AZ, Summer 2010

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cirque du Soleil - Ovo

At Christmas time, Kevin and Beth bought our family tickets to Cirque du Soleil, Ovo. Friday was circus day and we headed to Santa Monica not really knowing what to expect. Jenna missed her dear friend's birthday celebration, and we also missed rehearsals for our Stake production, but I knew it would be a great experience for our family, and it was. Spectacular doesn't even begin to describe how good it was. Jenna sat next to me, and several times she leaned over and said, "That was so cool." Let me just say that Jenna is not easily impressed. There were no pictures allowed inside the tent (which we found out as we took some), so it's impossible to "show" what the experience was all about. You can get an idea of the tent and our seats from the photos we have, and suffice it to say that the performers skills were beyond belief. Just when you thought they'd done something awesome, they did something even more beyond belief. We were blown away.

We walked back to the car along the boardwalk near the Santa Monica Pier. For some reason, I was excited to point out to my girls that this was an actual boardwalk--a walk made of boards. I don't know if they were impressed, but it was fun to see the Santa Monica pier all lit up at night as we walked along the beach. We found some swings and gym rings on the beach, and the girls did some circus inspired moves for us. We're still talking about our circus experience and cannot thank our dear family enough for making this unique adventure possible. Thank you!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Thursdays are busy days for our family now that we've added Jenna's soccer practices to the mix. We send Heather off to OCMCO, get Jenna to soccer practice, prepare dinner, receive Heather back from OCMCO (if we are fortunate enough to carpool), and then I dash off leaving Kelly with homework and showers (the dishes don't really rank very high on Thursdays). We could probably send Jenna with someone who is also going to practice, but Kelly and I both enjoy being with our girls at their various events. Because Kelly was occupied last Thursday and Heather home sick, I got to take Jenna to soccer. It's really lovely to sit and have nothing to do for a whole hour. No other moms really come, so I can read to my heart's content.

Speaking of choir, it's a bit challenging for me this time around. The title of the concert is Classical to Broadway. Sounds fun, right? The classical includes German, French, two pieces in Latin and one in Hebrew. I have been trying to wrap my brain around the soprano lines in Beethoven's 9th Symphony. It is so high during most of the piece that I cannot sing it. I am a 2nd Soprano and can sing a G, but that seems to be my limit. I'm not sure what I'll do. Maybe lip sync? I guess I will still have to learn the German so my acting is genuine.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Teenager? & Pinterest Decor

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were marked by the snarkiness of my preteen. What is snarkiness you ask? It's when your sweet, adorable first born turns into a sassy miss bordering on disrespectful. I wanted to let it go, but found myself reminding her now and then to be careful. I explained what a button was and what pushing someone's button meant. Disrespect is one of my buttons. When I went to bed Tuesday night, I found this sticky on the calendar with a decorated white board adjacent to it marking more self-awesomeness. I just laughed and wondered when it would pass. The answer is, today. She woke up sick and has been down and subdued. Whenever Jenna is tantruming (out of sorts) overly so, I usually can tell she's going to get sick the next day. Does snarky equal pre-sick? I wish. Unfortunately, I think there's more to come, and this just happened to be a coincidence. At least we can say that Heather does not have self-esteem issues.

In other news, Valentine's Day came and went with minimal decor. I had to hang this today, though. I had seen it on Pinterest, contacted the artist, and ordered one for our family. I just love it. It's still the month of love, so it can hang for a while in all it's cuteness. Although they look about the same color, the top heart is lavender and the second is pink.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day of Love

It's Valentine's Day! Happy Valentine's Day to all our loved ones. We have no decorating going on to speak of, but I did crawl up into the rafters to pull down our box of decorations so that the girls could have their "heart path" from their bedroom to breakfast. I managed to pick up a couple of treats last night and get a cute table set. We had heart shaped pancakes for breakfast and finished Valentine's for friends as we were running out the door. More rehearsals tonight for mom, but we'll squeeze in a candlelight taco dinner before I leave. xoxo

Monday, February 13, 2012

Holiday Weekend

Our three-day weekend went something like this:

Friday - Rehearsals; Saturday - Rehearsals; Sunday - Church; Monday - Rehearsals

Everything in between was necessary functioning stuff like laundry, groceries, showers, sleep, etc. Jenna wanted to have a sleepover, but we couldn't swing it. Our weekend highlight was a compromise where we had her friend, Ava, come over to get doughnuts with us on Monday morning. That was the best we could do, but it was fun. If you can't swing a sleepover, you can still enjoy a sugary breakfast, right?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sign of a busy time...

When you get excited enough about a clean kitchen to take a picture of it and text it to your friend.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Homemade Doughnuts

Kelly attended a campout recently where he learned to make a homemade donut from buttermilk biscuit refrigerator dough. It was so simple that it made a perfect Family Night activity: 1) purchase can of refrigerated biscuit dough 2) press flat and cut hole in the center 3) fry in oil and pat dry 4) frost and decorate. Yum!!!

p.s Santa plates were 75% off at Target weeks after Christmas. Twenty cents a package was too good to pass up, so they are our paper plates for now until we run out.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Jenna Turns 10!

Jenna turned 10 this year, and her birthday fell on a Saturday. Normally that is not a big deal and simply perfect for party planning, but this year, we're working on the "big show". She spent her birthday with me at the church while I rehearsed the numbers I've been assigned, and Kelly was off at another building for Merit Badge day. Jenna's friend, Sarah, was in the building with us, so they hung out. Jenna did get the unique experience of being sung to by a group of thugs (Tangled) and some zombies (Ghostbusters).

After rehearsal, we made the most of the evening. Jenna chose Hometown Buffet for her birthday dinner, and she even got a piece of yummy chocolate cake from the dessert bar making the celebration official.

After dinner, and opening a card from Mom and Dad asking her if she'd like to go bike shopping after dinner, we headed to Walmart for a new bike. Seafoam green was the winner, and Jenna's new bike has gears which was what she really wanted.

Back home, we opened presents and cards from Aunt Beth and Uncle Kevin, Grandpa, Aunt Michelle and Aunt Kathy and Uncle Chuck. The Lalaloopsy dolls were a hit as you can see.
Party planning is in the works, and Jenna will get to celebrate her birthday with friends. I'm glad we could make the most of her actual day, and she's happy that she'll get to spread out the celebrating over the next month.