Archive - 2009

Back to Reality
Thanksgiving Traditions
Pre-Holiday Madness
Sometimes There’s Nothing to Blog About
Scenes from Our Sunday
Music Room
Oink Oink?
Obligatory Halloween Pictures
Happy Birthday!

Back to Reality

Ah…so we survived Nutcracker Weekend.

Actually, it wasn’t bad at all and was very enjoyable.  Philip ended up taking Pumpkin to Wednesday’s fitting/rehearsal marathon, so I was able to get some preholiday baking done.  The pie, by the way, was delicious.

Friday, Pumpkin Girl and I went out to lunch and then attended the one and only dress rehearsal together.  Funny thing, this particular production of The Nutcracker.  The professional company is from out of state and they provide the grown-up dancers, props and costumes.  All the child dancers are all local.  The children are split into two casts and rehearse sans professionals for weeks before the performance.  On the day of the costume fittings, they rehearse with the professionals when possible, or at the very least they review their blocking on the stage.  The afternoon before the first performance, the orchestra, professional dancers and one cast do one dress rehearsal.  The other cast is invited to watch with one parent.

We had a grand time watching the rehearsal.  It was fascinating to watch the whole process – the ballet mistress stood there making minor adjustments, the dancers didn’t always do all the lifts in each dance, the dancers chatted with each other and occasionally the orchestra needed to make changes to accommodate the dancers.

I’m not sure how the whole thing manages to come together with only one cast doing the full dress rehearsal, but it did.  We took the boys to see Pumpkin’s first performance which was Saturday night (and was also our 17th wedding anniversary).  Pumpkin’s part was brief but sooo cute.  You really have not lived until you see a chorus line of dancing sheep.  Trust me on this, since I don’t have pictures or video.  They probably got the biggest laugh and “ahh”s of the whole ballet. The boys really enjoyed the whole show and Boo even wanted me to find another Nutcracker performance so we could see it again.  I assured him that this was not our last Nutcracker.

Pumpkin tells me that the professional dancers were very nice and some of them helped backstage.  “Herr Drosselmeyer” helped herd the sheep and line them up for the finale. I saw several of the adults helping the children during the rehearsal. The sheep were so well behaved on the first night that they were allowed to watch Act II from the wings.

At the cast party, several of the professional dancers showed up and were very gracious in signing t-shirts and posing for pictures.  The Snow Queen was very nice and asked Pumpkin if she’d had a good time.  We caught Herr Drosselmeyer just as he was leaving and he was very nice, too.  We managed to catch up with the Clara from Pumpkin’s cast and she was just as sweet as could be.

Pumpkin came home from each performance with stars in her eyes and plans to someday play Odette in Swan Lake.

But for now, it’s back to reality.

Thanksgiving Traditions

I have to say that I think my favorite thing of all on Thanksgiving is when it’s time for Philip to wash and prep the turkey.  Of course he just doesn’t wash, salt, oil and season it.  Oh no…he makes it dance.


Imagine if you will, Philip humming can-can music.


The  children thought it was hysterical.

Pre-Holiday Madness

My plans for today are:

prepare jello salad.  Why this qualifies as a salad, I have no idea, but my mom’s recipe clearly states that it is a Thanksgiving Jello Salad.  And it’s green, so I guess it qualifies as a salad.  Don’t let it be said that I don’t prepare well rounded meals.

Make pumpkin pie with the children.  Boo, while under the pretense of finding appropriate preschool programing on On Demand for his brother, found a clip for making the Best Pumpkin Pie Ever.  He then told me all about it and requested, nay -demanded that I make this pie.  So we searched for it online and I dutifully wrote down the recipe.  It is suspiciously similar to the recipe I use, but that’s ok.   Let me tell you, baking with 3 children is not for the weak of heart.  Even if it is something as simple as pumpkin pie.  The pie is happily baking in the oven as we speak and Boo is lurking around the corner to supervise the turning down of the oven temp to 350.  Just in case I couldn’t manage.

Sit for hours while Pumpkin Girl gets fitted for her Nutcracker Costume, learns the blocking for her part and rehearses with the orchestra.  She’s a sheep.  No, I didn’t know there were sheep in the Nutcracker, either.  They are part of the Shepherd’s Dance, duh.  Apparently, many of the parts are cast with little eye toward actual dance ability, but rather which costume you’ll fit in to.  Short kids are sheep.  Ba-a-a-h humbug, as it were.  So from 4 PM til, oh, I don’t know…whenever they’re done, I’ll sit and wait while she’s fitted and blocked.  Then we’ll head out for dinner and return for her 8:45 rehearsal.  I’m bringing along some knitting, but really, how long can I keep that up for.

Charge my iPhone.  Sitting for hours will give me a chance to improve my gaming skills with the cools aps I’ve got loaded up.  I can also text all my friends.

Go to the library.  When the knitting and iPhone games get old, I can always read. Old school, I know, but you’ve got to go with what you’ve got.

Sometimes There’s Nothing to Blog About

Really there isn’t.  Our busy lives are pretty uneventful at the moment, just busy.


Pumpkin Girl is in the dance studio 4 hours a week, but fortunately this weekend is The Nutcracker and if we survive, she’ll be back to only 3 hours.  Of course, this week involves a 6 hour rehearsal, costume fitting and blocking session, dress rehearsal, two performances and a cast party.  And Thanksgiving.  Can’t forget about that!


Boo observed that it isn’t too hard to turn the other cheek if you’re getting a kiss.


Listening to Bip pray is a sweet look into what goes on in his head.  He has long, rambling conversations with God while the rest of wait as patiently as we can.  A couple of nights ago he came with this gem, “Bless Lord Mama, who is shorter than Daddy but still a grown up. ”


This is what we saw at church on Sunday, as we were buckling up in the car.  I took the picture through the window.

deeratchurch2Better than seeing a mountain lion!


We bought a new refrigerator!  More details to follow.

Scenes from Our Sunday

We got 6 inches of snow over the weekend.

Here’s a view from our church parking lot.

As we walked in the door, we were greeted by this sign:

As we arrived home, the sledding hill was calling Boo, Pumpkin Girl and Bip.

They headed out for a little sledding before lunch and returned home pink cheeked and ready for some hot chocolate.

Music Room

Several people have asked to see pictures of our new house, a request I’ve blissfully ignored.  We’ve lived here for 4 months now and those months have been filled with school work, scouts, dance and vacation.  Not to mention unpacking and decorating.  We’ve been having our dining room set slowly but surely restored to its original glory and battling what can only be described as zombie wasps.  But that’s a story for another time.  The point is, our house isn’t as presentable or as photogenic as I’d like it to be.  However, if I wait until it is, the children will be grown and out of the house and it will be time for us to downsize.  So here we go.

If you come in through our front door, the first room to your immediate right is the music room.  We don’t have need of a formal living room, so we moved our grand piano into the space and are attempting to created a somewhat formal but welcoming library/music/quiet area.  It’s going slowly since this is one of 3 rooms which we’ve never had before.

Look what I did yesterday:

musicwindowI moved a ladder in!

Heh heh.  Actually, I did something I’ve wanted to do in our home for several years.  I added a quotation to the wall above the window.  Here, I’ll show you a close up:

dsc02103It says, “If music be the food of Love, play on. -Shakespeare.”  How perfect is that for a music room?  I did it all myself, except for Philip bringing me the ladder.  Which we left there, since it looks so classy.

That’s the window at the front of the house.  Now walk with me towards that window, then to your right and we’re looking at the piano.

pianocornerDoesn’t that look nice?  We need a lamp in here because this is the one room in the house that didn’t have some kind of overhead light.  The angel next to the stairs doesn’t actually live there.  My grandmother made her for me when I was oh…6 years old.  She (the angel) is waiting her turn for the washing machine since the years have been a little hard on her.

So my decorating dilema for the day is two-fold.  First – see the curtains in the front window?  I’m not too thrilled with the rod showing there.  The red curtains are always open and the sheers are always closed.  Any ideas for how to hide the rod?  Or just leave it?

Second – what sort of lamp should I get for the piano?  I’m thinking floor lamp.  The adjoining room is the dining room which has cherry wood Queen Anne furniture.


Now that I am feeling better and not dying from swine flu, let me share with you one of the joys of motherhood that befell me this week.

As I lay not quite dying, 101.2 fever, all hot and cold at the same time, propped up on pillows to alleviate the coughing, and sleeping almost peacefully, I heard a knock on my bedroom door.  I ignored it, of course.

A few minutes later, I hear my first born whispering, “Mama?”  I responded with, “mm” and tried to go back to sleep.  But Boo can be quite persistent and he tried again.

I turned ever so slightly toward him, peered at him with one half closed eye and said, “Are you bleeding?” in the best menacing tone I could manage.

“No, it’s worse than blood.  Bip pooped and needs you to wipe him.”

I closed my eye and wondered if I could muster enough strength to clobber Boo with a pillow or if I should just lie very still and hope he’d go away.  While I debated, he pulled on my arm saying, “Mama…come on…Bip needs you.”

So I dragged my poor, fever ravished body out of bed and down the hall, thanking God – literally- that Bip had chosen an upstairs bathroom and not one that would require me to navigate stairs.  Boo wisely followed behind me – out of my reach- and made sure I didn’t fall over.

So I helped Bip with his personal hygiene, washed my hands and returned to the sweet bliss of my Tempurpedic mattress and Hampton Inn comforter.  I think Boo might have had the nerve to say, “good job, Mama” but maybe it was just the fever talking.

Now if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

Oink Oink?

I have a cough, headache and a fever…I wonder if I have the swine flu.  Whatever it is, I’ll be out of commission for a couple of days.  I am way too busy to be sick right now.  Between taking Pumpkin Girl to ballet class, acro class, Nutcracker rehearsal, plus folklorico class and RE, I do NOT have time for this.


I wonder what the chances are of the rest of the family remaining healthy.

Obligatory Halloween Pictures

Our first Halloween in our new neighborhood was quite a success.  The weather warmed up and the snow melted, though it was a bit chilly once the sun went down.  The neighborhood children were out in force and we only had one set of teenagers without costumes.

We bedecked our house inside and out:
rsz_dsc02061Next year I’m going to figure out a way to stick a pumpkin on that cavalry statue without breaking it.

rsz_dsc02063I made this fireplace screen back in 2003 and this is the first time we’ve had a fireplace to put it in front of!  I put my little trick or treaters in front to look like they’re trick or treating at the stores.  Here’s a close up:


This little guy is new this year and I stuck him on our front porch with a fake pumpkin.

The only bummer this year was that we didn’t get a chance to carve pumpkins.  We usually don’t buy pumpkins until the day or two before Halloween because in the past, we haven’t really had room for them in the house and leaving them outside was an invitation for the squirrels to have a feast.  WalMart had tons, tons I say!, of pumpkins not long ago, but sadly they were piled up outside and froze.  None of the local stores had pumpkins either, so we were out of luck this year.  The children actually didn’t mind at all.

Speaking of children…
rsz_dsc02089Check it out – after spending boocoo bucks on costumes the last couple of years, we got off easy this time.  Boo was a vampire, dressed in black jeans, white button down shirt, his dad’s bow tie, the red vest I knit him a couple of years ago, the cape from his magic kit and a $1 set of vampire teeth.  Bip loved Pumpkin Girl’s dinosaur costume from a few years ago, and we found Pumpkin Girl’s Cleopatra costume at Marshall’s for a song.  Cute and inexpensive!   Doesn’t get better than that.

Happy Birthday!

Eleven years ago today, our Boo entered the world, all 6 pounds of him.  He stubbornly refused to come out without the use of vacuum and forceps and he’s been giving us a hard time ever since.  Alas, he is cute and funny, smart, helpful, generous and an all around nice guy so we can’t help but love him deeply.

Happy Birthday, my young Jedi.  May the force be with you.

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