Monday, April 27, 2009

A Melodramatic Birthday!

What a fun birthday!
What could be better then getting your hair done, makeup done, and then parading around stage being silly and having everyone clap and cheer for you! The Melodrama was a hoot, and the Birthday Carrot Cake was yummy!!!!
I thank everyone for making my day so special:

My long time friend Nina Campbell Erickson My adoring husband

My cousin Conor Carter, his wife Amanda, daughter Ashley and My kids!

Special Bouquet from Jessica:

And of course the Cast and crew of Hartburn Hotel!

Standing: Rod (Ron Crutcher), Sheriff Ulysses S. Graft/Mr. Spoffingford-Sykes (Kyle Berthiaume), Pa Clupepper (Stephen Horner), Mrs. Spoffingford-Sykes head of the Calamady Gulch School Board (that's me)

Sitting: Ivory Keys (Mary-Lynn Theel), Princess Prettyfoot (Joann Fruhling), Jasper Jones/Jasmine Sincere (Bryan Winkel), Polly Sincere (Nicole Read), and Ma Culpepper (Marci Ramsey)

Upstaging us all: the evil Sahara Harburn (Jenni Springer)!

Not pictured: Wood Shipp (Director), and of course the very needed prompter Genevieve Berthiaume!

It was all so fun!!! Yes, I'm glad it is all finally over, but I will miss all the craziness. It was great to get to know these good people. Oh the stories we could tell! The audience was fantastic, both the kid matinee and the adult show- they were very different! The kids got real into it, yelling at the evil Sahara Hartburn and calling her a liar! The adults were quiet and got the jokes! They booed, awed, and cheered in all the right places, and laughed with us as we tried to cover up our unexpected mishaps on stage!

During my big scene where I am telling my sob story- Jasmine (really Jasper dressed as a girl so he could sneak out of the hotel unnoticed) gives me a hankie which is really attached to all his womanly stuffing. It unravels as I walk around the stage (not knowing of course). Well part of the trail of clothing etc got unpinned- so Ivory nonchalantly hands it to me (so the effect of the scene wouldn't be ruined), unfortunately the safety pin gets stuck to my glove- as I give up and pull that glove off (while saying my lines of course and sobbing)- the pin then gets stuck to my other glove- so off it comes too! But ON WITH THE SHOW! . . .I continue to sob, and tell my woeful tale and add my gloves to the string of items- which when I release gets shoved back into Jasmine's dress!

It was fun backstage to see every ones reaction to the audience's cheering. It is so much better to perform for an audience! This was the 4th melodrama that I've done in this ward, and I have to say it was pretty much the best yet (although I still think my favorite character to play was the German spy dressed as a saloon performer!) We had a great cast, great costumes, well written scrip, and wonderful friends to watch us make fools of ourselves.

Brian videoed both performances and took lots of pictures. I've posted several pictures on my facefook album so you can look there. We are now in the process of making copies for the cast.

Mrs. Spoffingford-Sykes, the head of the Calamity Gulch School Board, and the very timid new school teacher Polly Sincere.
"It was perfectly scandalous! The school teacher in Cedar City somehow got it into her head to parade through the streets of town wearing a red dress!"

A murder -means a scandal, which causes Mrs. SS to swoon and moan (my favorite line!)"oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!"
"Is this true? My estranged Husband a bank robber? How could you do such a thing?" The End

Jennifer, Dayton, and Violin

Man, Easter week seemed so long ago! So much business that week. . .

I enjoyed having Jennifer home for her spring break. She used her time catching up with her TV shows, and generally relaxing. She came to my Melodrama rehearsal on Tuesday night, so she got to see us rehearse the 2nd half where all the craziness happens (well, I guess the whole thing is crazy, but it all comes to a head at the end). Anyway it was fun to have her come watch us. I wanted to do something fun with her while she was here, and she said that she'd love to go downtown Portland and explore some art museums. So we spent most of the day on Friday (10:30-3:45pm) at the Portland Art Museum. We really enjoyed ourselves. I have no idea why we have never done this before! (I did go once with my mom to see the China exhibit long ago once when I was pregnant.) The big exhibit going on at the time was titled: La volupté du goût: French Painting in the Age of Madame de Pompadour. It was nice, but I think we both liked the contemporary exhibits the best. It was exciting for me to see real works by artists that I had studied and taught about in Art Lit over the years. I liked the huge Monet - one of the Lilly pond studies. There was also a Louise Nevelson's collage all painted black- just like we did with the kids! I loved Frank Stella's huge work- it is definitely not the same as looking at it in slides or books. So big- and our little miniatures looked just like his! I liked the Calder mobile, and they actually had a Deborah Butterfield horse statue- and I touched it! It was a fun and fulfilling day. I am so very glad that we went. Thank you Jennifer for suggesting on going!

Wednesday morning came early as Brian took a carload of winter percussion kids (including Kevin and Jessica) to the airport to fly off the Dayton Ohio at 3am. They had a real fun trip. We watched their performance online Thursday morning. Somehow things got messed up and they were announced with the title of their show 3 years ago "Amazing 7s". Other than that it all seemed to go fine. They looked good, but as they came close to the end my heart sank as one of their team members fell. (I found out later that they don't get docked for that, but judged on their recovery.) It was fun to text back and forth with the kids as we watched the scores come in. There were 70 groups in their class, which were divided into 4 rounds, 15 groups in each round. The top 3 of each- plus 4 top scoring groups got to go to semifinals that night. Since I paid for live stream for the day, we had shows going on the computer from 8am-10pm! What a variety, and mix of shows and skill! Westview ranked 10 in their round, so didn't make it any further in the competition. They scored a 82.875- the top three groups in our round getting a 91.950, 91.375, and 89.488. The group that ended up winning in the finals had a 94.875 in their first round. We were hoping the kids wouldn't be too bummed, but when they came home their spirits were high and they were bubbling over with all the fun they had, and stories to tell. They attended the professional final competition on Saturday and LOVED it! Kevin and Jessica definitely love what they do! It was good to have them home on that Sunday.

Here are some good youtube links of them performing/practicing:
The Family and Friends performance last performance before leaving for Dayton. It has some new elements added:

This is a fun run to watch. It is taken by one of their leaders in the parking lot as they practice. It is cool becuase he walks around so you can see the kids faces and hear their instruments.

Here is another good practice cam shot - you can see Jessica in this one a little better.

Saturday the 18th I had Melodrama practice early in the morning- before leaving I said my goodbyes to Jennifer as Brian took her off to meet the Wiseman's for a ride back to school. At rehearsal we all got pretty nervous and decided to add 3 more rehearsals before the performance the next week.

Melissa had a violin concert at the Cedar Hill Crossing Mall that afternoon. Turns out our camera batteries were both dead so we didn't record the whole thing. We got part of the duet she played with Savannah called Ragtime Special. (I have no idea why the lighting is so bad).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WGI - LIVE WEBCAST of the 2009 WGI World Championships! Apr 1, 2009

WGI - LIVE WEBCAST of the 2009 WGI World Championships! Apr 1, 2009

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A Nice Easter

What a joy to have all my kids home at the same time! It wasn't until Jennifer was home and I started hearing the laughter, giggles, and familiar phrases and quirks going on with the kids that I realized again that the chemistry of the family had changed when she wasn't here. It was good to have her home! It was a nice relaxing weekend. We enjoyed a very nice Church Service- Brian, Kevin, Jessica and I sang with the choir for 3 numbers. We had a lamb dinner. And by the request of Jennifer we played an arousing game of Settlers of Catan. I will mention that I won- building a settlement in a pristine location that Jennifer wanted. I was even cooking dinner at the same time, so I really lucked out! The Easter bunny found our house and so we had plenty of jelly beans and robins eggs to keep us going.

Jessica and Kevin are pretty excited because they leave for Dayton Ohio for the WGI World Winter Percussion World early tomorrow morning. They will be there April 16-18. Westview's performance time in the Prelims is 8:48 am PDT on Thursday April 16. We hope they make finals!!!! They had a great friends and family show on Friday the 10th. It was their final performance before leaving. They had added some new elements that really made the show better. It has been great to watch them improve the show through out the season. To go to the website that you can sign up to watch a live broadcast click here.

Besides this, I have been sewing like crazy in my spare time (and ignoring all the other chores around the house that need to be done) on my melodrama costume. Also trying to memorize my lines (this is hard for me). We only have 3 more rehearsals then it is show time! Come see Hartburn Hotel April 25th (my birthday). Children's show 4:30pm and dinner theatre for ages 12 and up at 6:30pm at the West Union Building. I will be playing the part of Mrs. Augusta Emmaline Spoffingford-Sykes, the Head of the Calamity Gulch School Board. Come watch and laugh at me (that will be OK). Jenni Springer of Doll Cosmetics will be doing our makeup for the Melodrama. She will be playing the part of Miss Sahara Hartburn- the villain!

Here are some more pictures of Rachel, Melissa, and Jessica:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring Break March 23-27

Spring Break feels like a long time ago! It was busy, relaxing, and fun! We took the free time to get things done. We scheduled lots of appointments while the kids were free: Melissa ortho, Ann dentist (new crown- half my nose went numb. It was soooo weird! The dentist says he must have hit a nerve with the Novocaine). Jessica and Melissa had their long and awaited eye appointments and got new contacts. I was cheap and didn't opt to have the opti-map (not covered by insurance), so they were freaked when they had to have their eyes dilated for the first time ever. Kevin jumped when he saw Jessica's pupils so big that you couldn't see any color of her eye. They wore sunglasses, and Jessica couldn't drive, but they were happy to be able to see again with their new prescriptions! Melissa got 2 wisdom and 2 baby teeth pulled and 2 TADs (screws in her jawbone and gum below her teeth line for braces) put in on Friday. So she laid around, took pain killers, ate ice cream and pudding, and watched videos on my bed. The girls used the free time to organize their rooms. We hauled 5 big garbage bags of clothes to the DI truck! Many other bags filled the garbage. Kevin and Jessica were told to bring home their Winter Percussion instruments so they could practice over the week. Big instruments!

On the fun side: Kevin took a 3 day motorcycle class. He was 1 point away from getting his license which totally bummed him. I think he did pretty good for never have ridden before, and never has done shifting gears before. He now takes Brian's bike around the loop and up to the church for practice. He is scheduled for a mini class retest thingy on April 25th.

Jessica spent time with her friend Charlotte watching almost two days straight of The Jane Austin BBC DVDs that I had bought for myself at Costco. Of course I had big plans of all the things I was going to get done during spring break (like cleaning and sewing my melodrama costume), but how could I resist sitting and watching with them when I was home?! They almost made it through all 22+ hours (didn't get to Pride and Prejudice or Northanger Abbey).
Rachel had 4 friends over on Friday to play and have fun from 1-11pm. They played at the park, climbed trees at the school, jumped on the trampoline, made individual pizzas, decorated cakes, played games, and watched Horton Hears a Who. I am so thankful for these good friends of Rachel's. I was worried as she began middle school - she has several good Friends, but there are no LDS girls her age in our ward. I had been praying for someone to move into our ward, and was saddened that when our ward boundaries changed it didn't answer my prayer. But Rachel has been drawn to Makenna, Hanna, Makell, and Emma. They are members of the neighboring ward who also go to Meadow Park. Rachel knew some of them in Elementary school, and had partnered up with them at her day at girls camp last summer. What a comfort it is for me to have them all be buddies. They take turns hosting get togethers, have so much fun together, and hang out together at school. This is just another reminder to me that prayers aren't always answered the way we want them to, but are answered.
A young sister the ward, Jenni, that I have been able to get to know better by working with her in the Melodrama (Miss Sahara Hartburn) has a makeup business and asked if she could make over of Jessica, Melissa, & Rachel and take pictures to put on her business blog( Of course the girls said yes, so they spent a morning getting made up and photos taken. They looked very beautiful! (We haven't gotten copies of Rachel's pictures yet)

Thursday was the only non appointment day (except Kevin who was off motorcycle classing), so with a little persuasion we got Brian to take the day off work and go with us girls to Seaside. This was the highlight of my week. I was soo homesick for the ocean. Boy do I miss SLO and being a short distance from the coast! This crummy sleeting, snowy, rainy, weird weather had really been getting to me. It was great to walk the beach and relax. I had clam chowder, and window shopped as the Brian and the girls road around town in a bicycle built for 4. That trip made my week. After that I felt rejuvenated and ready to get back to our normal routine. When I thanked Brian for taking us to the beach his answer was something that I think sums it up very well: "I can't even remember what I did at work yesterday, but I'm sure I'll remember at day at Seaside with my family."

A note for Jennifer in the sand: