Saturday, May 28, 2011

Time to get Seussified. . .

Well, every year a lose my mind a little.

It is a proven fact.
Every year I adapt a book and create a play for the Elementary School kids to participate in. I add some music and voila! We have an instant big money fund raiser for the PTO.
This year I adapted several Dr. Seuss books and poems and added some songs from Seussical the Musical.
McCade recited the ENTIRE text 'There's a Wocket in my Pocket!'
Which of course, involves the Zink in the Sink.
And the Zlock in the Clock
And the Bofa in the Sofa acts like it doesn't even care.
Horton also hatched an egg after Mayzie talked him into it.
He also got seasick . . .
And Gertrude (Well, several Gertrudes) wanted bigger tails,
and several Mayzies helped out.
And of course there was Dr. Drake.
Dr. Drake by the lake.
This is almost my entire cast. There were 87 of them.
Yep. A cast of 87 kids in 3rd-6th grade.

As I said,
Every Year I LOSE my MIND
Just a little.
But we made
of money for the PTO.
On the very last day of school there was an awards assembly.
McCade was pretty excited.
He said he had never received an award before.
I thought he had, but he may be right.
He was
He earned his
National Physical Fitness Award.
He had good reason to smile.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Finding a church. . .

Okay, so the kids are out of school; I am out of school and the summer stretches before us. The months are too short, even if the days are long, and I am already wishing that by some MIRACLE they will delay the start of school next August 18th. Anyway. . .

I was Blog Surfing the other night and came across one where the Blogger was looking for a 'new church' because they didn't like the one they had previously gone to. This whole process was made worse by the fact that their 5 yr-old son was insistent that they needed to go to church every Sunday.

I am a church-goer. I go all the time. I also attend meetings during the week. It is safe to say that my church takes up a lot of my life. That's how I chose to live it.

But there is a difference between a CHURCH and LIVING THE WORD OF GOD.

I am active in my church because I believe the things taught in the Scriptures.

I do service because Jesus said 'Love one another as I have Loved you.'

I attend my meetings, of which there are several, because there is a commandment that says 'Thou shalt have no other Gods before me'.

I teach these things to my children and wait for the things they teach me in return. Christ said to become as a little child; meek submissive, humble . . .

I have FAITH. A deep, strong, abiding FAITH that if I uphold my part of any and all bargains, the Lord will always uphold his. I know he may not do it on my time schedule, but that's okay. I never do thing on my kid's time schedules either.

I truly believe we are all equal in his eyes. I just believe that some of us are braver than others and therefore are stuck in amazingly hard situations.

I think that Blogger had the right idea, but the wrong method. The Blogger was involved in a very personal search, but finding a local church that 'fits' isn't the answer. The answer is to find a religion that satisfies their soul. One that has answers that fit all their questions. One that is preached the same way in every chapel that carries it's name; whether it be in South America, South Africa or South Carolina. Heck, PRAY about it. Be SINCERE about your prayer. I bet you are led to where you need to be.

Religion has always been important in my life. It has been the source of pain and contention. It has been the source of joy and comfort. Everyone is at a different point along the path; different things resonate with different people. I do not impose my beliefs on anyone; not even my children. However, my heart is full and my eyes brim with tears when someone I know and love has found the place where their spiritual needs are fulfilled.
It isn't about finding a church . . .it is about finding a home with our Heavenly Father.


Sunday, May 22, 2011


School is almost over, and we have been working to finish up the 'lasts'. Last tests, last assignments, last concerts; all sorts of lasts.

In fact, there really wasn't a whole lot to document this week. However, I did take pictures to help out a friend. And then I got to thinking about service.

Anyone who reads my blog knows we spend a lot of time involved with the boy scout program. Every time I help one of my sons, or one of our friends, I think about my Grandpas; who were avid scouters. I know they just look down and smile. There are some amazing skills young men develop when working in the scout program. They not only learn skills that help them become skilled young men at things like camping; but they learn life skills. Goal setting, leadership, integrity, honesty, being dependable, and service are only some the things I see as a result of this program.

Our friend Tate has been working on his Eagle Project. I have become known for 'scolarly writing' skills, so I helped him one night write up his project. Then we, as a family helped him pass out flyers for a food drive; which was his eagle project.

And finally we all helped pick up and organize the food one Saturday morning.

This is Tate. He looks like he is in charge, doesn't he? Leadership.
 This is Tate with his self-appointed right-hand-man:Chris.
 And the group ready to go run door-to-door.
 Dallin ran his legs; but not off.
 We broke up into several groups and everyone took a few streets for food collection.
 Then we all gathered back at the church and organized and boxed the food and other items the local food pantry said they needed.
 We emptied the bags that were picked up from the individual houses.
 There were lots of bags.
 Every label had to be read.
 Every can has to be placed in it's proper place.
 Did you know that a vegetable can be hard to define?
IS an OLIVE a vegetable?
 There was a snafoo with the packing tape to hold the boxes (the very heavy boxes) together.
Scotch either has decreased the amount of stick on their tape, or we got a bad lot, because the tape was not even remotely sticky. We had to make an emergency run for actually sticky tape.
 Through it all, Tate was the fearless leader.
 And the people were generous.

 It took a lot of hands to do all this work. None of them were going to benefit from this; all this work and effort was for others. SERVICE.
 The morning ended with doughnuts provided by our fearless leader. This is Gabe. The doughnut is as big as his head.
Now the local food pantry will be able to provide food for local residents. Did you know that 11.6% of the households in our community are food insecure? That means when they finish one meal they have no means with which to get the next one.
Can you imagine, looking at your hungry child and telling them there is NOTHING you can do for them?
I cannot think of anything worse than that.
Food insecure people are not only physically hungry, they are spiritually hungry. They must be so sad, frustrated, depressed, scared. . .
I cannot begin to imagine it.
Glad I don't have to.
Glad I could help others.
I don't want anyone to feel that way.
I am even more grateful we have to opportunity to teach our kids to help others.
That's the way it should be.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Another LONG week . . .

It has been a very long week.
 I spent Mother's Day catching up on work.
(not what I had planned; I really wanted a good book and a nap. I plan on taking a make-up Mother's Day sometime in June)
Monday is a work day, followed by rehearsal with the Elementary School kids for their play, then a quick run to piano lessons
and then we had
Tacey's Choir Concert.
She enjoys the all-girl choir at school.
I had thought she would lean more toward the Show Choir as she has spent a great deal of her life dancing.
However, she loves the difficulty of the this more classical format and the concentration on the music.
I was both surprised and pleased.
 She is a Soprano; big surprise; NOT!
 She has been given her choice of any of the Advanced Choirs at the High School next year.
Not a bad position to be in;
gives her the freedom to choose what fits best into her schedule.
That is important for someone who is planning on being a
Glad she will be able to support me in my old age!
After the Choir Concert we came home to work on a Project for Dallin.
That will be discussed later in the week . . .
Tuesday was another work day, followed by more rehearsal, then off to watch some of Tacey's friends in the end of the year Ballroom Dance team concert.
It was a very nice concert.
This is Tacey's friend Josh in a Cabaret number. It was his final dance. He dedicated it to all those who serve in the Armed Forces. That is appropriate since he is a member of the National Guard.
Tacey and I have decided this is one of the best songs . . . EVER!

Then it was home to work on Dallin's project some more.
He was a little behind in his school work, and hadn't done well on the stuff he had done when he was sick the week before.
So there was a bit of a meltdown because of the pressure.
In our house that means four letters;
In other words;
Mom's Got Your Back
That means, he did his homeowork with a Cheerleader Mom next to him.
Then he went to bed and Mom worked on the display for his project until the early hours of the morning.
Then came Wednesday.
There was work, but before the work there was another several hours of work on the display.
(Seriously, the display took 4 1/2 to 5 hours. The project itself? 30 minutes, MAYBE.)
After work there was more rehearsal, a trip for a weekly appointment,
and back to get ready for the
very big deal in the world of Dallin.
The Tech Expo was put on by the Gifted & Talented Program in the school district.
Not everyone was asked to participate, but Dallin was.
Several VOLUNTEERED to participate,
and it is probable that Dallin would have volunteered as well,
but it was super-cool to be singled out and ASKED to re-create one of the projects he had done earlier in the year.
So, what was this project?
It had to do with alternate forms of energy.
Orginally, hit lit a light bulb using a Lemon.
For the Tech Expo he expanded that to include a potato and a pickle and used a volt meter instead of a light bulb.
He tried all of them at home, recorded and tracked the results, and then
Mom made a display.
Dallin was the one on the spot at that evening though.
He had to present and explain his project to everyone who came by. He had to help them recreate it himself.
Public Speaking
Can I say
that this kid never ceases to
He was
So, we named to project
'Dead Battery got you in a PICKLE?'
Mainly because the pickle was
by far
the best conductor.
On the left it explains what a Battery is; how it works.
Underneath that you have the chart of the lemon experiment.
It shows the volts using several different types of conductors; steel, zinc, thin copper and thick copper.
On the right it tells what he used in his exhibit and why the lemon, potato and pickle worked just like a battery.
It also charts the potato.
Then it asks a question;
"What do you think the
will do?"
In the center is the chart for the pickle itself,
and the title of the project.
He had a lemon, potato and pickle there
as well as the volt meter
and the bowl of pickle juice.
Everyone came to support Dallin,
but McCade had the most fun.
He spent the night fighting with a radio controlled robot someone had made
and riding this hovercraft one of Dallin's friends had made.
It was a little bit unbalanced so it didn't hover very well,
but it did hover!
Back to Dallin . . .
He really explained his project well
everyone was very interested!
As well as impressed.
He let them do the experiment themselves.
And in the end he got VERY creative!
He used himself as a battery.
He is very conductive.
Thursday was not a work day, but I did go
CRAZY at the GYM!
I haven't been working out the way I had been.
So, I walked a mile UP HILL on the treadmill,
then took a Yoga Class
then took a Zumba Class,
then stayed for an extra Ab workout taught by the Zumba instructor.
Three workouts in one day.
Does that mean I am done for the week?
Then more rehearsal with the little kids.
After that I had church stuff that took most of the night.
Tacey left for an over night trip with the school music department
 I cleaned,
had rehearsal,
sent Shane and the Boys off to a Boy Scout
overnight campout.
I tried to talk him into taking the dog,
but that didn't happen.
So I was alone,
well almost - the dog was home.
It was quiet.
I should have done something crazy,
or productive,
I fell asleep.



Friday, May 13, 2011

There is always an Army

When I get up in the morning, I often find an Army has invaded.

They are a mean looking group. They have many weapons. They are disciplined; the are always in perfect formation. They never rest.

There are always casualties. And beasts that they tame.
And air forces.

Someday they will no longer fight in my living room.
I think I might miss that.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Hardware . . .

What can you do with an extra several thousand dollars you just have laying around the house?
Some people buy new things; cars, landscaping, new furniture, etc.
Some people invest in

Like most long-term projects, installation of the hardware can be extremely tricky.

But the result will make all the blood, sweat and tears
worth it.

On this particular Cinco De Mayo, Dallin got his braces.

He brushed his plain teeth one last time.
And I took one last 'before' picture.
He looks tired.
He hadn't really slept, he hadn't really eaten.
He was just too nervous.
Doesn't this just break your heart?
He could not look more apprehensive.
And it begins.
First thing they do is sandblast your teeth.
It feels like you have eaten the beach,
minus the seagulls.
Still, the anxiety was really high.
Then you look like you ate a really blue cupcake.
This is a primer they put on before the glue.
Then the actual brackets.
Dallin got these cool ones that are little,
and have little gates that open and close.
It makes it really easy to change the wire.
That white thing in his mouth is a 'cheek keeper'.
It keeps your cheeks out of the way while they work on you.
He also had a tongue barrier.
It was blue and kept his tongue in the back of his mouth so his teeth remained as dry as possible.

And still there was the anxiety.

So we have the bottom front,
and the top front,
then the back ones on the left,
then the back ones on the right.
The Orthodontist adjusts them before they are set with an ultra-violet light.
Then the wire.
In this case,
he had to spend even more time in this very
uncomfortable position.
Since his teeth tip in towards his mouth, he was unable to bite down without hitting his teeth on the new brackets on his bottom teeth.
So they used the concrete
(or whatever it is they use)
on his brackets and filled his back molars with it.
This built up his teeth so that he could bite without hitting those bottom brackets.
This, like the installation of MOST hardware took longer than anticipated.
We had figured about 1 1/2 hours.
Even though we have the most amazing Orthodontist
poor Dallin was a shell-shocked, tired, sore patient after
Yes, it took
as long as anticipated.
Poor kid.
Poor cheeks.
Poor sore teeth.
I gave him the option of staying home, or going back to school.
I encouraged him to curl up on the couch under a blanket.
After a short period of time, he decided to forgo the
Cinco de Mayo
party at school.
Once he had made up his mind,
and got
and let go of all the anxiety
this is what happened. . .
He earned it.