Heather finished coordinating and filming her short movie about the Black Plague. Both Heather and Sarah's characters had the Bubonic Plague while others suffered from the Pneumonic and Septicemic Plagues. Bet ya didn't know there were three kinds. The movie will finish production this weekend and the video link will be posted soon. We're very proud of Heather for putting this into motion, and we're proud of ourselves for not pushing her to give it up as we were plagued with the challenge of helping her put it all together (pun intended). It is really challenging to remember to get out of our practical heads and let creativity dominate. This was a great exercise!
Thank you to all of our friends who were so awesome helping with the three movie pieces for Heather's project. Treats are on the way!
Here are the happy daughter and mom after another successful sold out OCMCO concert night. Many commented that this was there favorite concert to-date. We did many recognizable classical pieces as well as some favorite Broadway ones. I'm sure that's why. It was a fun concert to be a part of.
Sharing OCMCO with Heather has been challenging and rewarding at the same time. The challenge comes every week when she is tired from a long school day and doesn't want to attend rehearsals. After the Utah recording, I told her that I was fine if she didn't want to do it anymore. She decided she wanted to keep going, but even when it has been 100% her decision, she still complains. The rewarding time is, of course, the concerts. She doesn't like being back stage, but she loves the energy. She decided mid-semester that this would be her last concert for a year or so. She sang all her songs on the way home in the car, and I pointed out to her how many languages she had learned to sing in. She was quite surprised at how many languages and music genres she's covered in her short two years with the choir, not to mention the two CDs she's helped record. I hope she'll decide to join again, but I'm not pushing it. I want her to want it which will make it sweeter for her.
Jenna chose Corner Bakery for her special lunch after getting a shot at her doctor visit. Ouch.
This house near Heather's school is blooming, and it's gorgeous!
The girls were tired after their long days so we hit Baskin Robbins after school for an ice cream treat. We were able to use all of our gift certificates so it was a very inexpensive, yet joyful outing giving us some pep to face the homework.
It wasn't actually Heather's first talk at church today, but it was her first big talk. Heather spoke in Sacrament Meeting today as the Youth Speaker. The short version is...we were blown away. It wasn't her topic as much as the poise and confidence she exhibited as a speaker. I helped her with her talk so that she could learn how to put one together, but we didn't discuss anything about the presentation aside from how she could put her paper the podium so she could look up now and then if she wanted to. The girl was awesome. She read with confidence, used inflection as she read, and she looked up at the congregation several times. We couldn't have been more proud of our sweet girl.
Heather chose her own topic and decided to talk about faith. When I suggested to her that she could pair faith with deciding where you stand, she was energized. Prior to putting her final talk on paper, we recalled how hard it has been for her to see all of the different choices kids around her are making. She often tells me stories in the car of poor choices kids have made and how much it bothers her. We've had some great discussions about letting go of judgement and sticking with deciding and taking action about the things she has power over. I was also able to pull a few quotes for her from our former prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, who said, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." That's just the kind of play on words that speaks to Heather, and it fit her feelings perfectly. Her talk centered around deciding now, at this young age, who you want to be spiritually and where you want your life to go. She gave an example of a friend who was unexpectedly rewarded after a few years of being a little lonely standing for what she believed in. She also gave suggestions from her personal experience about how to gain a testimony of truth and strengthen your faith through prayer, scripture study and following the supports here for us such as church, leaders, parents, etc.
There are times when Heather and I consult on a project that I wonder if I have had too much influence on her final product, but today, there was no doubt that Heather was testifying of the things she knew to be true herself. She was radiant, and we could not be more proud of this precious girl who is striving to do her best to be an example for our Savior. What a joy and a blessing she is in our lives.
After Jenna announced several months ago that she wanted her own room, we decided it was a good time. Heather is nearing her pre-teen years and was nearing the time where a place to chill out was needed. The problem was that although ready for separate rooms, they are still at an age where they aren't ready to give up toys. Our solution was that Jenna's room would retain some of the toy storage after a massive playroom purge to downsize.
This process has taken quite some time mostly because the momma had to get her brain wrapped around the task, and then slowly make it happen. After our stake show was over, I began to put the process into steps and take it one step at a time. This weekend, the project was completed with some decorating touches that Jenna picked out. Her only condition other than the toy storage was that she needed to keep the lavender walls. She was okay with that because purple is her current favorite decorating color, and I was pleasantly surprised that she chose some ruffles with her purple. Her new loft bed was a second-hand purchase from friends which was excellent timing because Jenna really wanted a loft bed and desk.
Everything looks very cute. Jenna has her own room, Heather has her own room (still under construction) and the playroom toys and books have homes. Jenna's room is the only room in the house that is currently clutter free and inhabitable without stubbing your toe. I still have much more organizing and cleaning to do, so those pictures are yet to come. For now we present, Jenna's new room...
While Jenna was at her tea party on Saturday, the rest of the Peterson clan joined with the Mosher and Holbrook families to film some footage for Heather's social studies project. Heather is presenting four projects to show her knowledge of the material covered in the recent weeks. Today's filming involved a movie trailer of The Crusades. You can enjoy this portion of her project HERE.
Thank you Moshers and Holbrooks for fighting the good fight for Heather's project.
Jenna was invited to a birthday tea party for her friend, MacKenzie. The girls were to dress fancy for their trip to the tea house. Imagine my unbridled joy when just after doing braids for Heather the day before, I got to do princess hair for Jenna! I could have died and gone to heaven. Because this was something Jenna wanted, she was very sweet and happy while I performed the hair creation. She was pleased with the results, and she got several dropped-jaw wows. The girls were all so darling, and it was especially sweet to see these hard-core soccer players all dressed up. The tea party was a huge success. With scones, tea sandwiches, ice cream sundaes and friends, what more could a girl want?
Before getting read for her tea party Saturday afternoon, Jenna played a great game. She is so quick and is getting a handle on ball control, and it is so fun to watch her. The score ended at 2-2 with the other team scoring on a kick that was too high for our goalie to even jump at. Both teams clapped for that goal. It was a good one.
The girls think I'm silly for wanting pictures of all of their fun dress-up days at school, but let them call me silly. They look so darn cute that I've just got to have the moment captured. Friday was Fulton's "Western Day." A hat from the costume closet and a never-before-worn shirt from Justice made it's debut as a costume piece (at least it got some use, right?). Grandpa Pete's cowboy boots completed the ensemble. I even got to do double braids (squee!). She is just the cutest western-clad girl this side of the Orange County line.
Jenna's school had it's last official Open House on Thursday. It was great to see what Jenna has been working on and have her give us a tour of her classroom. Back-To-School Night and Open House are the only times Kelly gets to see what his girls are up to, so it is always a special treat to show Daddy around. Jenna has some great organization skills and really tries to do a neat job on all her work. She takes time to add extra details, and she enjoys showing us her projects. The self-portrait she did was pretty good (complete with earrings), and she posed outlaw-style next to her Wanted poster. The class performed a little skit about the first missions established in California, and Jenna's great teacher posed for pictures with all the kids.
My friend, Kathy, taught our Relief Society lesson today about the importance of temples and doing the work for our ancestors. She handed out a piece of paper to us and asked us to write down any thoughts we had while she was teaching. At one point in the lesson, I remembered how overwhelmed genealogy used to make me. In the past seasons of my life, I've been newly married, going to school and working full time, caring for aging parents, and raising young children. The thought of genealogy was always in the back of my mind, but I was so busy. I assumed that there would be a point in my life that I could work on it. The great thing about life experience is the perspective we gain, and it was this perspective that caused me to reflect the following thoughts:
I was in my forties before I was able to begin my ancestral work, and my dad is the primary reason I have been successful. Over the past 20 years or so, he has had the promptings leading him to search and find information about his family. He and I have become a team by accident, but really, there are no accidents in this work. While it was not my season for genealogy until recently, my dad has been hard at work researching and collecting data for years. Now that I am in a season in life where I can focus on this work, he has been able to provide a myriad of information for me to take over, organize further, and do what is needed. The timing coincided beautifully with my husband's calling in the High Priest group where he was responsible for setting up the temple schedule each month. Although it was a stress for him at times, it was a blessing for us as we were continually signing up for temple appointments and feeling the strong desire to take our own family names. Although there is much more to do, we have completed a lot of the work for our ancestors from the information that my dad compiled. Now that my eyes are wide open and aware of these ancestors, I see how much there is to do. I keep my field of vision narrow so that I don't get overwhelmed. I also take deep breaths and have faith that it will all work out. I know that I will uncover what I need to at the right time, and that I will know where to turn next. This has been my experience thus far, and I am forever grateful to my dad for having the desire to know his heritage, to research and record, and to pass this work on to me.
Jenna and Sarah shopping at Target. They wanted to have the moms take them shopping, and fortunately, the moms needed to go to Target. The girls got a treat and shopped for the birthday party they were attending later on. They were so cute together. Michelle and I had fun too.
Jenna and Sarah in their matching shirts at Cashel's Sky High party
Heather and Grace spent two entire afternoons playing video games together. There wasn't much else they could do in the rain yesterday, and it was nearing dark when they got together this evening. They were not complaining. It has been fun to end our Spring Break with friends.
Our company left on Thursday morning. The girls slept in and then played with their Legos all day. All day. Jenna and I made one brief run to Toys R Us to purchase two new Lego sets with a birthday coupon she still had (thank you Aunt Michelle). They were absolutely happy campers, and I happily hung out and watched them.
Today brought more rain. I've done laundry most of the day and am working on Jenna's room. Closets need to be cleaned out, items purged, etc. It will be a good process, but it will take a while. Both girls have had friends to hang with today as well as computer and t.v. time. Heather got some homework done also. We were safe and snug while the rain poured and the wind howled. It was nice not to have anywhere to be today. Our Spring Break has not been exciting, but it has been a break from our regular routine, and that has been a splendid thing.
It's so fun to share books I love with friends or family who love reading. The dangerous part is the hook. I've hooked both my aunt and uncle this week. Auntie is almost done with her book, and since this picture was captured, Uncle has moved on and downloaded Catching Fire on his Kindle. They've only been here two days. Just think what I could have done had they been here longer...tee-hee.
Today began with the girls happily finding their baskets as well as one filled with fun items for our hiking plans this year. Sadly, we won't have an Easter Bunny picture in this post. Jenna asked a few days ago, and I couldn't carry this one on any longer. She was perfectly fine with the Easter Bunny secret.
Before breakfast we did an indoor egg hunt with a twist so that the girls could find the same amount of eggs, and because, well, they are older and ya gotta have some more excitement.
I went to FV 3rd Ward's Sacrament meeting to hear my friend, Michelle, speak. Choir practice was right after that, and we continued on with our ward's services. I am Jenna's teacher, and it was great to teach my class today about the resurrection. Heather had a memorable lesson in Young Women's too. My heart is full of gratitude for being able to have our family well and at church today to fill our spiritual reservoirs.
After church we had our outdoor hunt and a lovely dinner. My dad is here with us this weekend and through this next week to visit with Aunt Kathy and Uncle Chuck when they arrive tomorrow. I miss our bigger holiday family dinners, but I'm so happy to get to see more family this week.
I'm a wife and mother of two of the sweetest girls ever. In my former life, I was an elementary school teacher. I love learning and sharing experiences, and the chance to journal for posterity. I wish I knew as much about my ancestors as my posterity is going to know about me!