Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Sick Week.

This has been a very long week. That is because I had the misfortune of getting sick. Rachel came home from school sick on Thursday the 12th. She slept all day the 13th. That is when I felt it hitting me too. Brian and I were going to celebrate Valentine's on Friday, but since I wasn't feeling too hot, he brought me in dinner. We stayed home and watched tv.

Saturday, Valentine's Day, we had pink scrambled eggs for breakfast. Jes and Kev headed off to drum practice. Then Rachel, Melissa, and I sat on the couch and watched chick flicks all day. Good thing there was a marathon on TV so we had plenty to watch. Brian read a book in the other room. Jessica joined us when she got home. We did this until about 10pm.

Monday was a holiday. Brian joined me in being sick. We laid around and did nothing. It was a miserable sickness. Chills, sweats, fever, nausea, cough, etc. No fun. It took me until today to feel better. That was a week of being sick. I only got out to take the kids to orchestra in the morning, and to their lessons after school. The rest of the time I slept, laid around, took drugs, and watched tv.

I feel better now- only a small cough and runny nose. That is why I am now trying to catch up with everything and writing a bunch of blogs. Too bad for Jessica - she now has the sniffles.

Melissa turns 14.

Sunday was Melissa's 14th birthday. I didn't get out of bed (sick), so Brian made her her special waffle breakfast with whipped cream, berries, and special BYU Idaho Huckleberry syrup sent to us from Jennifer. After church Brian made Melissa's tempura birthday dinner. It was yummy with lots of vegetables, and shrimp. Melissa then opened her presents. She got a BYU I sweatshirt from Jennifer, money from grandparents, journal from Jessica, mug, poky sticks from Rachel, turtle medallion, and an electric violin! She was happy.

We had apple pie later that evening. She is such a sweet girl. Usualy we let the birthday kid lay around and get served, but Melissa kept volunteering to help cook etc because I was ill.
Her pie was hot out of the oven, but we didn't want to wait for it to cool. The candles melted faster from the bottom than the top! That was a first.

I am so blessed to have Melissa as part of our family. We love her lots!

Jessica Plays Scherzo in D by Gurlitt

I've been really proud of Jessica and how she takes her music seriously. She practices very hard and it shows. She sang the nathional anthem in a trio for the girls Varsity Basketball game on Thursday night the 19th. They sounded great! She had a great piano recital last night. Here is her performance.

It's Winter Percussion Time!

Kevin and Jessica are always busy. They loved being part of winter percussion so much last year, that they signed up again for this year's season. They practice Tuesday, Wednesday, & Fridays from 5-9pm, and most every Saturday 9am-4pm. They enjoy it. Kevin again is playing the biggest bass drum, and Jessica plays in the pit- xylophone, chimes, and synthesizer. It is good to have them busy, and they are still pulling great grades in their classes. The only down side is that they miss YW and Scouts on Tuesday nights.

Our school hosted the NWAPA Premier Show this year on February 7th. This was an all day event and is the major fund raising event for our band program. Brian worked in the parking lot, and I manned the door for 3 hours during the winterguard portion. I got to close the door as a performance would start, and open it afterwards, checking for hand stamps and wristbands as people came in. This was a pretty good post to work, because I got to watch all the performances. Since this was the first show of the season, many of the groups hadn't finished learning their whole show yet, or didn't have costumes/uniforms yet. The main purpose of the show was so the judges could make sure each group was in the right division for the season. We are in the Percussion Scholastic Open division. We placed 2nd. I am looking forward to seeing how they perfect their performance through the season. They have competitions on the 28th, March 7th, and 14th. Then they will be in Dayton Ohio April 15-18 to compete in the World Competition that is held there.

Here is their finals performance.

Live Cats Meow

Look what we found!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Singing Opera as a Cat

A while back I got an e-mail from my stake rs pres saying she heard that I had a singing group and would we sing for the stake ladies night coming up. Well, I told her that I didn't have a group (I have no idea how she got that idea) but I could possibly put together something if she wanted. She said yes. Since that activity was being advertised with "Can't laugh too hard, too much, or too often,. . .but let's try" attached to it, I knew what would be the PURRfect number to do: "Duet for Two Cats" by Rossini.
I had performed this twice before, once at BYU in 1988 with my roommate Marilyn Fisher, and once in Rock Creek Ward for a talent show with Ellen Henstrom. So I dug out the music- found it but it was an old faded xerox copy. I searched online and found it. I found that I could buy 6 copies of the chorus version cheaper than 3 copies of the duet version. It turned out that the choir version was the same as I had sung before so got that one.
I asked my dear friend Claudia Martin to sing with me- she is a hoot and I knew together we could pull it off together. Anyway, in preparation and practice we watched lots of versions of it on YouTube - there are so many ways we could perform it. I thought it would be fun to dress as crazy opera singers. We thought of different story lines we could do- like singing to babies wrapped in blankets, to reveal them as stuffed cats, or of dressing in formals and singing about the flowers we were given (one of us receiving a small bouquet and moaning about it, as the other gloated over her big overflowing one). Since we had no formals or opera outfits to wear (or rather, we didn't have time to get it together), we decided that the cat route was the way to go.
I dug out costume stuff- Claudia wore parts of a rabbit costume I had made- the arm hair and feet. I used extra fur to add to Rachel's cat tail, and made some ears to match. I took the fur the kids used as sheep skin and made the tummy fur. For me I dug out the old ears and tails that I had used before- I actually made them from an old coat I found in the attic of the house I lived in at BYU for my first performance! I used them again when I sang with Ellen. I put the ears on Rachel's fur hat. I found a leopard print house dress and sweater with a fur collar at Goodwill and transformed them into my outfit. I made yellow fur cuffs out of some scraps I had left over from some Art Lit project, and sewed foam claws onto some gloves (I couldn't find a matched pair so went with one black and one brown). I think we looked pretty good with our faces made up.
We had a hard time arranging times to get together to practice, and I was getting pretty nervous when I realized that the performance date was only a week away. We did practice on our own and finally got together Wed and Thurs (stage tech rehersal) before we performed on Friday night February 6th. Thank goodness the lyrics were very easy to learn: MEOW. We had so much fun practicing. Being operatic can be very liberating! Joni Burk, or pianist, was a great cheerleader and was very encouraging to us as she sat at the piano and laughed- that helped us go all out.
On the night of the performance while waiting for our turn to go on we met up with April Martel and she took pictures for us. It is amazing how you can let loose when you are dressed up! Something funny- when we were warming up outside the kitchen door, a cat was in the parking lot and came right up to us - our meowing must have been pretty convincing! For some strange reason there was a hamster in a small carrier in the hall. It looked pretty tasty!
Anyway, we performed and were well received. My tail fell off unexpectedly when I was swinging it around as part of our choreography, but it only added to the performance. The compliments are still rolling in. Brian and Rachel came to watch and videoed it. However Brian can't find the tape he did it on. Unfortunately he thinks he taped over it the next day at Kevin and Jessica's Winter Percussion performance. I'm glad we got the pictures. A big thank you to April for them! Enjoy.
Some pretty serious opera cats. Rossini would have been proud.
Who can hold the note the prettiest and the longest?
If I hadn't given her a swat it could have gone on forever!Always trying to out do each other. . .But in perfect harmony.
A little tailing wagging. . .
This is where I lost my tail!
It fit into what we were singing at the time "ow,ow, ow, ow!"Three movements of Meows.

Did I mention that Claudia coughed up a hair ball after our last note? It was a doozy and flew into the audience. A perfect touch!