Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Wonderful Husband

Okay. . .
so a few years ago I made a random off hand comment about things I would never have or be able to do. Among those things were completing my China Dinnerware that I began getting pieces for at our wedding. One Christmas not too much later, Shane completed the set. Since then he has systematically tried to check each one of these things off my list. Now, I have to admit that I don't remember the list; but he does. THAT is because he is a wonderful husband. One major thing on the list was that I had never been to Manhattan to see shows. Yep, me the person who lives, breathes and eats theatre had never been to Manhattan - although I did have it lined up to go live with a friend of mine there before I met this wonderful man. Anyway, back to the story. . .
Shane had a portable floor to put in in Staten Island, and asked if I wanted to tag along. I have to admit, it was HORRIBLE timing as far as my new job, and the show I am writing/directing and the kid's schedules are concerned, but I moved heaven and earth, farmed out the kids, did whatever it took to go. I am EXTREMELY grateful to the WONDERFUL people who took the kids and the dog, so that I could go have the most AMAZING weekend.
We left after we got the kids to school on Thursday, drove to SLC and flew to Long Island with a layover in Chicago. I have been to Midway Airport before, but since it was dinner time and we had been living on only airline peanuts and chips for awhile, we had dinner. I decided to embrace the 'Chicagoness' and eat a hot dog! (yep, those are cheesy fries too. No diet this weekend!)
Shane ate a Philly Cheesesteak. I don't know why - we weren't in Philadelphia! We got to Long Island very late, and got a few hours sleep. The next morning we got up and went to go meet the client. The first route from Long Island to Staten Island took us through part of NYC. It was SO fun to drive there! (Actually Shane did the driving and that was a good thing.) It reminded me of when my Grandfather used to drive in Tijuana; all lines and lights are negotiable as long as you don't kill anyone or get killed yourself! We passed where they had the World's Fair in Queens. Can anyone say 'Men In Black'?The end of our drive brought us to a hotel at the Newark Airport. So we actually slept in New Jersey. Then to the College of Staten Island to meet the client. We were there for several hours getting things arranged and organized, but then we went to the dock and got on the Staten Island Ferry. We got off, and jumped on the Subway. THAT WAS FUN! We rode it and came out on 42nd street and took the short stroll to Times Square. I think I found my true home-away-from -home.Don't I look like a 'New Yorker'?
Shane asked me what I wanted to do in New York before we came. I just looked at him. He asked "Do you want to spend a day in Central Park? Ride the Ferry to the Statue of Liberty? What would you like to do?" I just looked at him. He said "You just want to see shows, don't you?". YES!!!!!! What else is a trip for New York for? The other stuff is nice, but the whole point of Manhattan is theatre - as far as I am concerned. (This story is important so you understand everything else. . .). We walked around taking notes of where all the theatres were, then had dinner. This is me in front of 'Legally Blonde'; Tacey's favorite musical.
Okay, the coolest part about this particular client (to me), was that his brother-in-law manages/runs the Neil Simon Theatre. The David Letterman Show tapes just down the street from the Neil Simon Theatre.
The Neil Simon Theatre would be where 'Hairspray' is currently playing.
He got us not only complimentary tickets, but complimentary tickets in the SIXTH ROW! The role of the mother, Edna, is always played by a large man, and we were privileged to see George Wendt play her. For those of you who aren't completely familiar with actors by just their names, George Wendt is most well known for the years he spent playing 'Norm' on the NBC television show 'Cheers'. We were so close we got his sweat on us!
The next day we rode the ferry again back to Manhattan; it was a cloudy, overcast, rainy day - but a bad weather day in Manhattan is better than a lot of days anywhere else! I got a first-hand look at the Statue of Liberty. (See? I didn't need to take that other ferry!)
There it is - Manhattan - it has got to be at the tip top of my list of coolest places on the planet!The famous subway station. When we got off the subway, we walked right into the amazing street performers. I felt like I had just walked into a scene from 'August Rush'. I stood in the tkts line; for those of you who are not theatre maniacs (and there probably are some), the tkts booth is a part of the Theatre Development Alliance. On the day of the show, if the seats are not as full as they would like, the theatres send their tickets to the tkts booth where they are sold for a discount. this discount is usually 35%-50% off original price. I got both Shane and I great seats to 'Young Frankenstein'. I crossed that off my 'Things-to-d0-so-I-am-a-truly-knowledgeable-theatre-person' list. Then we wandered.

George M. Cohan - the Father of Broadway! He lives in the middle of Times Square. I found my sister's (Andrea's) true home-away-from-home; a World of Disney store in Manhattan. I can still hear it calling her name. Then we went to the show.

I have to say - it was WAY better then the movie. (Although the movie will ALWAYS be a classic). As I can't really walk well long distances yet AND we had Jet Lag AND Shane had to be at work at 7:00 am, we called it a night after some Famous Ray's Pizza.

The next day, I took off on a solo mission - it was a nice quiet Sunday on the Ferry. I got off, went to get on the subway, but a bunch of the rails were closed for repairs. SO, I had to find alternate routes. I began with a trip to Ground Zero. These pictures really don't need words.

After a good long visit to Ground Zero, I started to walk to the subway. There was this really old church with a graveyard. It obviously had lots of people milling about, so I went in. The gravestones were so old the names had cracked and fallen off. But I found a sign that talked about since it was right next to the World Trade Center, it had been used as a triage center. Then I found another sign that said it was the building in the United States that had the longest continual usage since it was built. That was cool - but as I read on I learned that this was the church where George Washington had gone to church and where he had taken his oath of office to be the first President of the United States. Okay, that was wicked-freakin'-awesome! I was standing where George Washington had stood! That lifted my spirits. I then got on the WRONG Subway. It was blue, I was looking for Yellow or Red. I got out at the next stop not wanting to make a bad mistake worse by ending up in the Bronx or something and found myself in SoHo. I pulled out my map, took a cute little 2 block walk and got on what I hoped was the Red #1 train.

UNFORTUNATELY, they were doing repairs on the Subway this weekend. (Might have had something to do with the NYC Marathon the following weekend.) So, the Red #1 train was REALLY a Yellow #2 train that kept telling me it was going one place when it was really going another. BUT, I didn't get lost and I got to Times Square.

I did some souvenir shopping, laughed at the naked cowboy, (don't know who these women are, but I wasn't going to pay $2.00 for some mostly naked man to grab my backside. So I watch other weird people do it!) and enjoyed the feel of the city.

Then I got ready to go to the Matinee of 'In The Heights'. As I stood in line to go in the theatre I realized I was right by the stage door. I have radar for such things - ask my sister Laura.

Oh, I now have a new favorite musical. I started crying half way through the first act, and cried for the next two days. IT WAS AMAZING! I am get lynched for this - but I like it better than 'Wicked'.Unfortunately, I had a VERY early flight in the morning, so I had to take the Subway back to the Ferry, the ferry back to the Island, get back to the car, drive in the car back to the hotel to get back to the airport to get back on a plane VERY EARLY in the morning. Good bye Manhattan.At least I got an amazing view of the Statue of Liberty at sunset.We stopped for dinner in Brooklyn. And then I was at the airport at 6:30 in the morning. After 15 1/2 hours that involved a plane ride, a layover in Vegas where the slot machines don't like quarters, another flight, a shuttle ride to Idaho Falls and a drive in a borrowed car I ended up at home.

I don't think the kids missed me at all, at least the dog did!


What I have learned from Flag Football and other mind warp moments

Well, the boys played Flag Football this year. McCade wanted to play LAST year but with Grad School and Shane traveling, it just wasn't logistically feasible, so I promised him I wouldn't do a show this fall so I could get him to, and attend his football games. As always, the other kids were given the option of playing as well. Actually, we didn't offer that to Tacey, she was too busy running cross country. Dallin did decide to play however! I decided that I should take them to an actual game before they played, so I took them to the Shelley High School game when they played Firth (their bitter rivals!). Before long, Dallin had the game down; being the logical mind that he is. McCade ran around and played with his friends, and I didn't see Tacey all night except for when she needed money. It is sometimes really nice to live in a town that is still safe enough to let your kids run with their friends in a public place and worry about what will happen to them. Anyway, what I have learned from Flag Football;

1. The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth

By this I mean that even though it is FLAG football, you still get your hiney slammed into the grass if you aren't aggressive.
2. Almost Only Counts In Horseshoes, Hand Grenades and Atom Bombs

McCade was very good at ALMOST getting the flags off of people, but it only counts if you actually manage to grab the flag.
3. The Simplest Advice Is Usually The Best

The final words from the coach before the start of every game; "Have fun, if you get the ball - run THAT WAY!"
Other exciting news. . .
Tacey made the Basketball team!

This is their first official team meeting. I swear, I was more nervous when she went into the coach's office to get her 'yes' or 'no' than I have EVER been for an audition. (And I get majorly freaked out before an audition. . . it isn't pretty.)

This is Tacey, Katelyn and Jennifer. You probably recognize Katelyn from Tacey's city basketball team last year.

This is Tacey and Mikayla.

Gotta love that Russet Pride!

Other news. . .

I had hinted in an earlier blog that I had a new job! Well this one brings my 'Official Job Total', to three. I began my new job as the music specialist for Stuart Elementary the Monday we got back from Spud Harvest. We had kept it a secret from the boys, so on the day I taught THEIR classes I told them. It was fun to get all the classes I had visited before to 'keep the secret', until I had the chance to tell them myself. They were reserved at school, but admitted they thought it was cool later in the day. I now have a lunch date with one or the other of my boys every Wednesday at the deluxe, top quality cafeteria! That is two of Dallin's best friends Willson and John sitting behind him, and that is cute little Brie with the broken arm. She has been one of McCade's best friends since first grade.

So, being the person I am, I am writing a grant to get their equipment updated. Seriously, who uses a stereo anymore? (With the exception of my Mom who still uses a tape deck, but that is another thing altogether). In the meantime, I am downloading stuff onto my iPod and taking my dock. On the upside, my obvious knowledge of technology gives me instant 'street cred' with the kids.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

More Harvest Vacation!

Okay, picking up where I left off. . .
The next day McCade woke up very sick. I will spare you the absolutely disgusting details but lets just say that as the Mom, I was the only one capable of handling the inherent uckyness. Friday we went to the Zoo. I was VERY excited. In our ZooNooz magazine it said that there was Giraffe feeding Thursday through Sunday from 12:00-1:00. We got there and went straight to the Girafffes to get in line to feed them. This is such a cool thing I figured there'd be lots of people in line. When we got there, we were greeted by this sign;
TOTALLY DENIED!!!!! I WAS SO DISAPPOINTED! However, there was a really cool less than a week old baby giraffe there.He was little - only 6'2".

There are other meerkats we check on here as well - they were playing.

We visited Hippo Beach - Lots of baby animals including these VERY CUTE sumatrian pigs! Now I do qualify and say that they were probably cuter to me because they were far enough away that I couldn't smell them and I didn't have to take them home!And these super huge tortoises - they were very old and VERY large.After that we pretended to be Baby Giraffes -

And sat on a cool two headed lizard bench. There really is a two headed lizard - his back end looks a great deal like his front one.

We also sat on a pretend giant tortoise

And pretended we were insects.The day ended with our traditional picture in front of the Zoo.That night we had a Birthday Beach Bash for Tacey's Birthday that had been on Wednesday as well as for Dallin's Birthday that would be on Sunday.It was kinda a luau theme - except it isn't really luau time of year unless you are actually IN Hawaii. We couldn't find reasonably priced leis, but we did get these lei printed bandanas. Dallin wore his like a man.We had cakeBlew out the candlesAnd opened presents.Lots of people came including Great Grandma PamaSee! I promised you a picture!

And Uncle Cary (the guy in the Chargers hat GO CHARGERS!) - we are all praying for him. He leaves in February for his third tour of duty in Iraq. We appreciate his service and hope he comes back to us safe. We also pray for our Cousin Mia who has been called up as well - she has a much longer combat oriented mission ahead of her. HOWEVER, as she is an employee for the FAA, there is a chance she might not have to go.

We also had Grandma, Grandpa, Big Grandpa, Aunt Andrea, Uncle Scott, Aunt Shannon, Aunt Becky and Grandma Jo. They got lots of presents.

We partied late into the night!

Not really, the sun goes down about 7:00 this time of year and we just weren't done yet. Thank goodness for 'cell phone flash lights'!
Saturday Tacey went with Aunt Andrea to Old Town and McCade went with Aunt Shannon to the pet store. Dallin played with his new loot and I went to get something my Dad had for me and on a date with my husband!
Sunday was an IMPORTANT DAY!
Dallin's birthday
10 years old!
(Double Digits)
We celebrated with a big family dinner, a few more presents and pumpkin pie.
Monday we visited Pama and Big Grandpa again. At the end of the evening we were watching Dancing with the Stars and saw Misty May Traynor snap her achilies tendon while dancing. Sound familiar? Oh, the FLASHBACKS! I feel really bad for her. As life altering as this injury has been and still is for me, it is going to be much worse for her. After all - I was just a college student not a gold medal winning beach volleyball player. I put the youtube video link up. You have to watch the first little bit. that sound you hear like a drum is her tendon. They said they heard mine pop, but I didn't realize how loud it truly was! Sorry to everyone who was there! (If you don't want to watch the video, you don't have to.)

Yesterday we went to
I am SO grateful the weather has been so wonderful while we were here. I decided that since many of you who read this blog don't get the chance to go enjoy the beach, the kids and I would tell you how it is done!
First you need the essentials
Flip Flops, water, SUNSCREEN, iPod and a book. In my case they are ALWAYS plays! But, I didn't read this time because I had kids to watch - that was MUCH more important.You MUST jump waves!

And make dribble castles
Here is how to make dribble castles -

This is Dallin showing off the big one they made together. (Any time you can get siblings to do things together it is a good thing!)

If you do all of this you will look as happy as this guy!
After that we took a long, nice walk along the beach and found shells. I LOVE walking along the beach. We watched to surfers, the sea gulls and the sand pipers. It was just a nice time together.
Today we went to Old Town San Diego and bought Mexican Jumping Beans - they are fun!

We also saw San Diego's first School House and lots of cool cultural craftmanship. When we come back at Christmas I think I will take them back and show them the cemetary and possibly The Whaley House - that is Haunted. Merry Christmas! Hee-hee.

Tomorrow we have to leave.

I believe it is about to snow in Idaho. How dangerous is it to go from weather in the high 90's to the low 50's in 16 hours? It can't be good. . .

But when we get back, I start my NEW job!

It is a secret, so more later. . .