Sunday, February 20, 2011

A week or so ago, Ellie tried out for the spring production at the junior high: Once Upon a Mattress. After eagerly awaiting the results, she found out that she was initially part of the chorus. Since rehearsals have started, she has been cast additionally as one of the 12 princesses that didn't pass the queen's test.

She is so excited to be part of the musical and we look forward to seeing her performance. (Let's just hope it doesn't clash too much with softball!)

Sweethearts Dance

One of the last dances of the school year is Sweethearts. Maggie was asked by a boy in our ward, Korey Williams. To help out, one of the other boys in our ward, Lance Elliott, put together a small group. I agreed to host the dinner and evening "festivities" (just some board games) and chauffeur them to and from so they could all ride in the same car.

Maggie had been quite sick leading up to it, so it was a minor miracle that she was able to go at all. For dinner, I made butter chicken with raita and basmati rice and Cherise provided the naan. For dessert, I made another batch of that delicious chocolate mousse that we had had for Valentine's Day. Lance's brother, Selleck, served a mission in India so was willing to be the server. He even gave me a burka to wear, but I wouldn't wear the full hood, just the dress and scarf. There aren't any pictures because I was too busy in the kitchen--and snapping pictures of my own!

They seemed to have a good time eating and playing Curses and Apples to Apples before going to the dance. It was great to have them here as one of the benefits was getting the house cleaned top to bottom.

Maggie Being Cast-ed

I was able to find the pictures.

On to the Next Round! (February 18, 2011)

Woo-hoo! Griffin (and Erik) are going to the next round. I had been told in advance since we had to finish up some paperwork that added Erik, so brought a camera to capture the moment. (I didn't want it to be too obvious, though, so I just brought a little pocket camera.) The kids reading the list of winners were really struggling with the names, so it was kind of hard to understand who was who. Griffin was the last of the fifth graders read and it took a moment to let it sink in. Even funnier, though, was about 30 seconds later, Griffin said, "Erik, we won!" To which Erik responded with a resounding, "All that hard work paid off!" I had to chuckle since, well, he was in on name only, but it was great to see the enthusiasm on his face when he has struggled so much with so many things.

Anyway, because the reactions were so delayed, the pictures don't capture the excitement of the moment. Now on to districts which may be a challenge for them since they need to sit at their table for four hours answering questions.

Road Show Wrap Party (February 16, 2011)

The evening we put on road shows, I found out that the stake had actually provided a budget of $250 for sets. Since we had nothing more than a wagon that one of the kids pulled across the stage, we had $250 extra in our budget. Our solution? A wrap party where we'd provide lots of food and the kids could watch theirs as well as other performances. Where I would only have bought the pizza, Carol, my 2nd counselor, went all out and set up tables with cloths and decorations.

The kids had a great time, and since the young men wanted to get playing basketball, clean up went super fast!

Another Science Fair (February 16, 2011)

After lots of time and energy--and help from our "fellow man"--the science fair project was today! One of Griffin's friends wasn't able to finish his project, so we included him with Griffin.

The whole basis of the project was, "Who's on my money?" which was asking both children and adults if they knew who (or what) was on the front and back of their coins and bills. In the end, not many people knew, but the majority of adults (particularly women) would have been able to tell him their credit or debit card numbers. They will find out Friday over the morning announcements who goes on to the district level.

A Side Project

I forgot to post a few pictures of the wedding cake I helped with. This was for one of the elementary school teachers that eloped and her class wanted to throw her a mini-reception. Cherise and Carma and I put this together--with Cherise, obviously doing the majority of the work. We are mainly the cheerleaders. But I did get to learn how to make gum paste leaves which was pretty cool.

The First Cast in the Family (February 15, 2011)

It's official. Maggie made it worse. So her reward? This lovely green cast. I actually took pictures of them putting it on and hope to get them transfered from my phone to the computer (have to find the cable), but for now, here's a picture of her with the cast--and a fever. She was later diagnosed with the flu a day or two later, so she wasn't feeling great when this was taken.

She will be keeping this on for two weeks to help stabilize the bone and prevent it from twisting which wasn't allowing the swelling to subside and alleviate the pressure on the nerves. She also finally received some better meds to help with the pain. So we'll check in on her progress in a couple of weeks!

Valentine's Day! (February 14, 2011)

After making sure I told John I didn't want anything for Valentine's Day, I was awakened by a box of peanut butter truffle filled "turtles" from V Chocolates being placed on my chest. It was then that I realized I had done nothing and hadn't planned anything for my family for Valentine's Day. Thinking of what I could do that would mean the most, I decided to give them my time and cook a great meal for dinner. And it was yummy!

We enjoyed smashed restaurant-style potatoes, fried steak, salad, lemonade and chocolate mousse from scratch. It took three hours to put it all together and was eaten in about 15 minutes. It really was delicious. I even cleaned up the mess afterwards.

Happy Valentine's Day, family!

A Tribute To Andrew Lloyd Weber (February 12, 2011)

We made it through to performance days! Maggie danced along with the ballroom team to "Buenos Aires" from the musical "Evita." (I tried to attach the video, but it was unsuccessful.)

One of the moves in this dance is where the male partner drops the female and holds her by both arms. I don't know if it came through on the video, but I just sucked in my breath and prayed that the fracture didn't get any worse. She was a little sore after the Friday night performance, but after two performances on Saturday, she came home in quite a bit of pain. At this point, we were pretty sure that she had damaged it worse, so it would be no surprise if it would be placed in a cast on her Tuesday appointment.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Our First Broken Bone--Maybe

Last Wednesday, Maggie came home from an evening ballroom rehearsal saying that she had popped her elbow out and back in. Understandably, it was sore. By Saturday, she was having tingling in her fingers and pain going up her arm. By Sunday night (after the Super Bowl, of course), we were at our After Hours care and then off to the hospital for x-rays. They came back normal and we were told again to just use some ibuprofen and ice. On Monday, I called her pediatrician again to say that it was getting worse. By Tuesday, we were at an orthopedist (recommended by our pediatrician) and we came out with her arm in a soft cast and sling. She has a probable fracture of the radial head and torn ligaments. Because she has the big Andrew Lloyd Weber concert this weekend (a fundraiser for the choir), she needs to perform. We have a follow-up appointment on Tuesday where they will probably long-arm cast her (from the shoulder to below the wrist) for 10 days.

Today? She got up, ready for school, and all the bags she needed for work (immediately after school) and another late rehearsal with the choir. I just hope we make it to next Tuesday!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Road Show? What's a Road Show?

Being in the youth program 30 years ago, road shows and scripture chases were significant events in each year. I still remember when we had to move our show from Broomall to Valley Forge and how exciting that night was.

A few months ago, one of our neighboring stakes decided they wanted to bring back road shows and invited us to participate. The problem? It would be over Christmas break and it was difficult to get the support we needed. In fact, the big dress rehearsal with all the wards in our stake was on the night of the big rivalry basketball game between MV and Orem as well as the game between BYU and SDSU (two top 10 teams).

So we assigned a couple who were already serving in the youth to take charge. They wrote it based on the theme, "We Believe" and we started rehearsals the first week of January. Ellie was one of the Mormon rappers as well as part of the basketball team and then the big family. Maggie had to drop out because of the ballroom competition, but she came to rehearsals and gave her suggestions when they would run it.

The gist of the show was based on a song the Bishop's son wrote on his mission. It was about 6 high school kids (3 members, 3 non-members) and the curiosity of the non-members with the members. They included things such as firesides, big families, confusion of Mormons with Amish people, and the gym being used for a wedding reception and basketball game. In the end, the missionaries (who had been confused with FBI agents) were seen teaching them the discussions. The kids sang a Mormon rap, used the Ghostbusters theme (which most of them have never heard of nor seen!) and closed with The Church of Jesus Christ.

It turned out fine, very road-showy. I think it was a good experience for them but hope that if we do it again the timing is a little different.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Maggie's First Ballroom Competition

Today was Maggie's first competition as part of the MVHS Ballroom Team. The first dance they did was the "cha-ngo." I wasn't able to see that one since our ward was involved in a multi-stake road show at the same time. She let me know that their team placed 8th (out of 8) and they were stunned as the winning number was a hip-hop piece (not typically seen in ballroom, for sure!). She still had a couple of hours before she would perform the quickstep in the team match portion. I was relieved that things would be over and I'd have everyone home so I could go see the second number.

LOUD!!!!!!!! That's the only way to describe this event. I got their about 45 minutes before the team match. The other participating schools (and private classes) obviously had a much bigger budget than Mountain View. (All her teammates had to either rent costumes or make something up from what they had. Maggie's dress was rented from a local theater company, but she looked great in it.) One group in particular (from Idaho) had probably 100+ people there who had no shortage of lung power or enthusiasm (or money!). My ears were definitely ringing and the headache was overwhelming to say the least. (I'm most grateful I didn't take Griffin along. He wouldn't have lasted three seconds in there.)

All the teams gathered in a circle and it was just like watching Juliet Prowse in PBS with all the couples doing their specialty dance and then the next groups coming in. After the first few dances, they gave the standings; MV was in 5th (out of 7) place. Their number was called, so Maggie and Lance (Elliott) took their places on the floor.

As a result of their dance, they brought their team up one place to finish in 4th. She was very pleased with their performance (as was I).

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Fifth Grade Heads to Clear Creek

This is the most anticipated event for fifth grade. (In sixth grade, it's Space Camp.)

I was fortunate enough to be asked to go as one of the teachers/chaperones, and to drive Debbie Draper's Suburban loaded to the roof. That saved me the headache of going on the bus and afforded me the opportunity to listen to my scriptures for the 90-minute drive.

When we arrived, the caretaker told us that it had been -27 that morning, but fortunately they didn't expect any more sub-zero temps through our stay. It was 13 when we got off the bus, so we sent everyone to unpack in their cabins and get their snow gear on so they could play for a while. There was 5 feet of snow; the top 2 were pure powder. The boys immediately went to the snowbanks and broke out the sleds.

The other favorite activity of the boys was dodgeball. Griffin didn't want to get in the game, but he wanted to participate so he coached from the sidelines.

We decided we wanted to have our picture taken together on the first day rather than the last one, which we usually do. So from left to right, it's Debbie Draper, Tiffany Hone--and me!

After some play time, we decided to take them to the ropes course. (Unfortunately, the majority of it was under snow.) This is where they get to bury their teachers in snow. Since the school that went the week before us didn't allow their students to go in the snow (go figure), it was all untouched powder. The adults (the 3 teachers and a few dads) were given snowshoes to break the path. That is hard work!

Griffin was plain exhausted after the walk.

After we got back to the parking lot, it was the boys' turn to snowshoe. Griffin and I decided to go and break our own trail. Ellie and I had gone when she was there, but there wasn't nearly as much snow and the majority of it was packed, so it wasn't as difficult. Griffin probably made it 100 feet before having to take a rest, then deciding to turn around and be done.

Now it was time to build snow forts. The boys divided themselves into two groups with a prize of a king sized candy bar (per boy) on the line. This is "phase one" of Griffin's group. We called it "the hot tub."

After that part was finished, Griffin and his friends, Erik and Darrin, made themselves a security force to prevent any spies from the opposing team.

When they were both finished, we took pictures in them. Please excuse the goofy hair. Headbands aren't really conducive to keeping hair in the same place.

Here are the boys in the finished fort: the delicate arch, slide, tunnel, and hot tub.

That evening, after dinner, we broke out the karaoke (which failed miserably due to technical difficulties) and a movie (National Treasure) complete with popcorn, soda and movie snacks. When the movie was over, they returned to their cabins--to not sleep. Unfortunately, we can't go to bed until they are all asleep, so we were up to 1 waiting.

The next day, we spent some time going over the physical and chemical states of matter. (They hadn't done very well on their test.) This is Griffin and a few classmates illustrating the atoms in a solid.

Here they are as a liquid.

And finally, as a gas.

Then, it was time for more activities. This time they focused more on sledding.

The boys before they boarded the bus.

Since the rest of the pictures I have don't include either of us, I'll just include the last one with the three of us after 3 days. I had decided to take a shower (the "Executive Inn" cabin was nicely equipped with them) so I wasn't too freaked out by my appearance.

It was a great few days. I survived without ever being too cold, and Griffin had a great time as well. Bring on Space Camp!