Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Christopher, The Musical
OK, so back in the early 1990's, the church stake I grew up in started a musical about Christopher Columbus. I was lucky enough to be cast in the musical. Now, you should know that pretty much if you were alive, could commit to the rehearsals and promised to behave-you were in the musical! LOL
The first year there was a musical it was performed at some kind of fair or something (help me out guys!! where was it..the Rose Garden festival? or Festival of flowers?...something like that) well, we had long practices and late night rehearsals because we had to practice when the festival or place we performed at was closed. This was soooo much fun! Brother Hail would drive us up to rehearsals and then take us out to Dairy Queen afterward for ice cream. My friends and I spent many nights during that summer making the long drive up to the Stake Center for rehearsal, but we didn't mind one bit! Of course we weren't driving OR paying for gas at the time *wink* LOL!
I don't have any pictures-or at least not ones I can find of this first production. One of the things I remember most though was that in one of the scenes I was suppose to "kiss" Keith Smith during one of the songs. The song said something about fresh breath or something related to that, so the kiss was suppose to relate to the song and be funny. WELL, he was NOT going to kiss me. At first I was pretty much adverse to the idea as well, but seeing his reaction just made me mad. OK, so I was actually hurt at first. What was wrong with kissing me?! LOL well, eventually the kiss was changed to a hug. Not as cute as the kiss would have been, but I guess it worked!
*side story* growing up Keith was dubbed the President of "The Virgin Lips Club"! This was because he somehow managed to make it through high school and quite a bit of college if I remember right without ever kissing a girl!! I know, crazy....but also sweet. :)
Back to The Musical!! So, the first year was lots of fun and set a tradition in motion for summers to come. The next time I was in the Musical it was performed by and on a ship that had been constructed and docked on the riverfront in down town Columbus, OH. VERY COOL! This year there were some changes to the script and another change was the music we had practiced so hard to learn was now pre-recorded and going to be piped through speakers. We still had to sing so those close enough could hear us singing and we didn't just looked like we were mouthing the songs and lip syncing. But....most of us did that anyway! Also added this year was a set group of dancers with special costumes and everything. Oh, you better believe I wanted to be a dancer! So, my friends and I tried out. During the try-outs we had to perform little dance moves and one by one DURING the dance we would be excused/eliminated from the dancers audition group. Well all my friends and I made it in! Then, disaster!! The head dancer "lady" came to me and said that I was actually going to be cut from the list because they only had so many dresses-ALREADY made and the one that would fit me was going to a girl that was coming out with her Dad from UT, who was going to perform the role of Christopher Columbus. Well, to say the least I was devastated.The next practice all my friends flitted off to dance rehearsal while I went to the gym for general rehearsal. How droll. Then, SURPRISE! The dance "lady", her name was Jocelyn, came and said the girl wasn't coming after all and would I still like to be a dancer?....um YEAH!! So, I was once again back in my happy place and no longer hating all my friends for abandoning me to "general rehearsal". Hee HeeThat year was a lot of fun. We got to perform on the river front and use the ship. I can still feel those rehearsals and the excitement of rehearsing and then the jitters of performance nights. I can still feel and remember the sadness as the last performance for that summer ended. I was extremely blessed to have the experiences that I did through out the summers I participated in Christopher.
NEXT! So, the next time I performed in the musical was very interesting. This year they added MALE dancers. WA-HOO! Or so we thought. Well, I got paired up with Frank Scardina. (not sure that's how you spell his last name? oh well) Now, Frank was a member of the amazing group of friends that I was blessed to grow up with. We always gathered at the dances and stake activities, parties at mine and other's houses, snow sledding and LOTS of other fun stuff.
Being Franks dance partner was pretty much a nightmare. Love ya Frank, but you can't dance. The boy has NO rhythm! This was a struggle, of course. What didn't help matters was Frank is a bit of a jokester, one that doesn't always know when to stop. I remember one rehearsal in particular where Frank and I were practicing a lift. He was suppose to lift me up in his arms, in the same fashion as being carried over a threshold of a house. Well, he kept missing the beat and dropping me.Instead of owning up to his dancing inadequacies (you really need to read this with smart sarcasm *wink, wink*) he started blaming me! The tears came when he said I was too heavy for him to lift. Well, that did it. I had had it and I let him have it! The dance instructor called for a brake and tried to talk to us and then our friends stepped in. The guys basically told Frank you just don't say that to a girl and the girls all told me that I was being too sensitive and Frank was just being "Frank". So we made up and in the end the lift worked just fine and we had a blast dancing together! And now this brings me to the last year I performed in Christopher. (or so I think....because my head is starting to swirl and get fuzzy with dates and memories so if anyone reading this can help me out or correct something I've said-PLEASE by all means do! :) We got new dancing costumes for this year and though they were much more comfortable than last years, they made us look 3-5 mo pregnant! Oh me!! Two of the new comers for this year were the new Mission President's kids. We had SO MUCH fun with them! I remember so many runs to Wendy's during these rehearsals. Much of that change was due to the fact that most of us now had driving licenses. Scary-yes.
At some point, maybe during the shows or after the last show all of us girls ended up spending the night in the Mission home. This was a blast! Imagine, a bunch of 16-17 year old girls sleeping in bunk beds that 19-21 year old boys had last slept in!! Now multiply that by like 20 and you're close to where we were that night! We had a blast. In this picture my friend Melissa and I are...well being weird yes and apparently puckering up for the shot. :) So much fun!Another change for this year was that our old Young Woman leader that had played the role of the Queen who gave Christopher the go head on his sailing discoveries in past performances was played this year by my friend Amber Smith. It's time to own up....I was SO jealous! She was a stunning Queen and delivered an amazing performance though. :)
The after parties for this final year for us were GREAT! We were less than mature and took all kinds of silly pictures. My personal favorite is this one where we are making our dresses look more like barmaids outfits than colonial maidens! So, here we have Bishopbric member's daughters, Stake President's daughter, Mission President's daughter, you get the picture....all "takin' it down" for the camera!! LOL Please note the dumb struck faces of the guys in the picture. So typical! But, can you blame them?...look at us! *random memories that just didn't fit in the story: Mark R. had never applied mascara before, phew, and so I helped him get it on each night. It was like putting mascara on Snuffalufugus from Sesame Street!! Longest thickest eyelashes I have EVER seen! We use to play hide and seek during the rehearsals that took place at the stake center when we weren't "rehearsing" at the moment...those were fun! We usually ended up in the room overlooking the gym and watched everyone below. I can't find the picture but one does exist of me fake kissing my best friends boyfriend..or maybe ex at the time (too hard to keep up!) and sent a copy of it to my boyfriend who was serving a mission...LOL! fyi- you put your thumbs over their mouth and kiss your thumbs, that's why it's fake*
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The highlight of the trip was when we spotted two momma ducks with little ducklings. The one momma had 11 babies who were a few weeks older than the second momma's with 6 ducklings. We watched and took pictures for a bit. For purposes of this account we'll call the momma with the 11 babies Big Momma and the other Little Momma.
Shortly after watching the two moms tend their little ones opposite a mud mound from each other, Big Momma's ducklings started wandering over to check out the other side of the mud mound. Little Momma was not so thrilled with this and instantly became protective of her family. At one point one of Big Momma's ducklings got just a bit too close for Little Momma's liking and she pecked at the duckling. Janece and I suspected a fight was brewing and so we quickly got the camera turned from picture to video!
Any other mother might have quickly gathered her children and found some more peaceful ducks to watch. Not us! This was too interesting and the kids were just as engrossed in the spectacle as we were. LOL At one point Big Momma turns and started walking toward us. Isaac, one of the friends with us for the day pulled out the plastic sword from behind his back to protect us-it was GREAT! I think you can hear Janece and I laughing on the video at this. Just too CUTE!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
In this video, Kaleb's been chosen to take out each player one at a time. To do this he has to kick his ball outside the circle of cones. He did really well with this. He really enjoyed taking on his Coach!
Friday, August 22, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
OK, so this week's flashback was two days late. The first half of Friday was pretty full. Friday afternoon I got a phone call from a dear friend and that occupied my thoughts for the rest of the evening. So.....I know you've all been DYING to see this weeks flashback (especially since NO ONE gave me any blogger love on last weeks, lol) so here it is.
I was going through pictures looking, for the second week in a row, for photos taken from an Olympic weekend many years ago and came across this picture of me just before a New Year's Eve dance, also many years ago. My instant thought was TWILIGHT! LOL!! And the fact that my friend Melissa posted a comment on the movie date changing before I posted this flashback makes this all the more funny to me. That and the fact that it's 11:15 pm and I'm getting a bit slap happy. ;)
Just so you know, I did NOT edit or correct this photo in any way. If you click on the photos they will fill your screen. Please note how Ghostly white I look, my super white and slightly sharpened looking teeth and my red beady eyes! OK, so I'm missing the extreme beauty part of the whole New Born Vampire thing-but other than that, dead ringer for a Vampire! BA-DA-BUM Oh me. Here's another picture of me on the same night with some friends. I like how we all look a bit colorless-hee hee. In this picture left to right, Melissa, Me, Marci and Becky/Lynn. In the background you can see my friend Michael.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I'll start with her Open House. It was a lot of fun because right when we got there she saw her teacher and aid from last year! She gave both of them big hugs. She and her friend Bella, who were in the same class last year but not this year, had been talking about how much they missed their old teachers. Then she saw her new teacher! After a quick orientation in the Chapel of the school, she attends a Church of Christ Pre-School, we headed to the classrooms to meet with the teachers.
At each of the chairs there was a little stuffed animal with a child's name on it and little bag of treats. All the kids got to color a paper while the parents listened to instructions from the teacher. Basically how much we pay, when to whom and all the other "stuff" we need to get and purchase and sign up for. LOL!
The next day was Emily's special Back to School dinner and blessing night. Emily chose her absolute favorite meal-NOODLES! It's homemade beef stroganoff but she just calls it NOODLES! She also picked fresh strawberries for the fruit (that's my girl!) and her most favorite veggie-corn. Only Emily would have to pick ALL the details out of her meal. The other kids just cared about the main dish. :)
For dessert she simply wanted Brownies. Have I taught this child right or what?! Chocolate, pasta and strawberries-I'd say she's good to go. But not yet!! Tee Hee! In the morning she asked me to make her an egg sandwich-with NO crunchies. Crunchies are bits of sea salt. We love ground sea salt but the chunks are too strong for her liking. Then we packed her book bag, got dressed and headed out the door!
I barely got a picture of her running to the van. She was so excited! At the school I got her to take a few more photos for me. After all it is her LAST year of Pre-School. She could be the last child of mine to go through Pre-School! It's a good thing she loves me "big so much" and is able to put up with my stubbornness at letting her grow up. :) Once we got into the classroom she became pretty clingy and bit timid. She only had two classmates from her class last year and they were both boys. All of Emily's girlfriends ended up in the same class. Talk about feeling like the one left out! There was a group of girls and a couple of boys off and on that were playing with a very cool castle Lego set and My Little Pony's. After a lot of coaxing she started to play with them. That didn't last very long though and soon she was wanting to show me all the little things her teacher had up on the walls. One was the Behavior chart that had all the kids names on apples.
Eventually I had to pull us both away from each other and give a final hug and kiss do a special little ritual that helps and then head out the door. I didn't get too far mind you. I talked with a few parents in the hallway for a bit and then after several minutes peaked back in the room to make sure she was ok. She was. I started to cry though feeling very alone for her and for myself. She was sitting at a table all by herself playing with a stack of Lego's. The kids she was playing with earlier were at another table and all the other kids were on the floor playing games. Just so you know she moved the Lego's over to a table by herself-the other kids did not leave her.So as I walked out the long hall and then down the longs stairs and through the long gym out to the never ending sidewalk I did my best to maintain my composure. I had gotten in a crowd of parents leaving and though we weren't really talking to each other much we were all just trying to make it out the doors acting relieved to have some alone time before we fell apart privately in our cars! I love seeing my children grow and excel, learn new things and come into their own. it's just too bitter sweet at times.
Emily was a happy girl when I picked her up! She acted very shy and was extremely quiet while I was signing her out and talking with her teacher about her day. Once we got in the van though it was a WHOLE different story! She talked all about her day in the most dramatic voice and body language she has. It was quite entertaining! I had a hard time not looking at her through the rear view mirror and focusing on driving it was so funny! So that's it. My baby is in her last year of Pre-School and I feel as though I'm just about to the top of the roller coaster ride. Ya know the point where you're thinking "Oh my GOSH" this is about to go SO fast down and then up hills, around sharp corners, around milder ones while you catch your breath just in time to take it away again with another drop with more twists and turns. Some of it you will laugh, some will make you scream. Some of the ride you'll feel like you're going to make it to the end alive and other parts you're sure this is it for you!" But no matter how scared or anxious you are in that moment you know that at the end of the ride you'll get off and say "That was SO FUN I can't wait to do it again!". There will be some around you that are thinking "Are you insane?! Did we just ride the same ride?-NO WAY". LOL
I figure that's what the next 15 plus years will feel like. Lots of emotions, lots of calm and chaos. Moments when we'll smile and laugh, some when we'll be scared and worried. No matter how many twists our ride has in store for us I will thank heaven everyday that we are on the ride together and try to find and focus on all the fun and happy parts. Can I just find a brake to make it not go by so fast?!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Last Monday Sarah got to attend school for Kindergarten pre-screening. It was all day long. I took her into to school and we took some pictures of things in her classroom that she just loved and wanted to show everybody. I have to say, she has a GREAT classroom and it's so perfect for her! Because I had taken her and picked her up on Monday she wanted the bus experience yesterday. That was not easy for me to give in on. She insisted that she was a big girl now and would be fine with her older brothers and sister. So after giving the trips instructions to have at least one of them sitting with her on the bus and then also in the cafeteria until they were dismissed to class AND making them all PROMISE to actually do those, I let her ride the bus. As a side note, Sarah loves that she and Kayleah can wear the same size and share clothes, so she chose to wear the same "first day" shirt that Kayleah wore last week :). hee hee
We walked down to the bus stop and listen to her chatter the whole time we waited about how great her day was going to be and wondering what she'd do and how she would do it and with who, etc! She is such a hoot! After taking pictures I watched and waved my little princess off to begin her Elementary experience. Then I fell a. part. Poor Emily walked hand in hand with me back to the house and asked in a curious and almost disgusted way "Are you crying momma?". I had to laugh at the way she asked. For Emily, crying wasn't the appropriate response to having one less kid at home during the day. No, for Emily it was more like P. AR. TAY! I assured her I was excited about the mommy and Emily time too but that I was also a little sad to see my babies grow up and will miss the time we had at home together while they're at school. She asked if I was going to cry when she went to Kindergarten and I said, yes. She looked pleased with this response and was then quickly ready to start mommy and Emily day!
Sarah's exit off the bus could very well be compared to a red carpet entrance/exit! Even the older kids on the bus that got off at the same stop were smiling and giggling at her carefully posed exit. She then stopped and posed for a picture of course. Since I was videoing the event I had to quickly switch my camera back to picture mode. She patiently waited for me do so. Such generosity for the little people-yep that's my Sarah Bear! Once we got in the house I heard all about her great first day. The only new friend's name she could remember was Mary. ;) She was excited to go back today-which is a good sign. I did much better today. I haven't had to call anyone talking in cry language which no one understands apparently. LOL The tears have been fewer for sure today, but my heart is still aching and wishing I could slow the clock just a little bit.
OK so typing all of this sent me into a bit of a cry session. A small one, promise. Now, I'm back tracking a bit here. We have a long tradition in the Johnson family that the night before our first day of school we have a back to school dinner. We get to pick our meal and dessert AND eat it all on China (or fancy dishes as my kids call them). We also had blessings for the school year. This tradition was one I have enjoyed continuing with my children. I waited for Sarah to have her first day so that I could get this all in one big ol long post! Here goes-
Kaleb, Christopher and Kayleah started 2nd grade on August 1, 2008. The night before they all picked Pizza as their special dinner and Aunt Janece made some very very yummy fruit crepe-like desserts that were delicious! Crappa (that's what the kids call my dad, his doing mind you) gave them blessings. They all loved the evening and were very excited for the next day.FINALLY the first day of 2nd grade was here! You have never seen such excited kids I tell you! This year they are in separate classes. So far I have not heard one word of complaint or comment in the opposite direction that they are glad to be separated. The only comment they have made so far was to note that Christopher's class is not on the same "color" schedule as Kaleb's and Kayleah's. This means that their classes follow the same recess and specials each day. Specials are Art, Library, Gym and Music. They have gym two times each week.
Christopher did not seem bothered by this really, just noted it to me as a fact. He is so quiet about his feelings at times and I've learned to just listen to what he has to say without asking too many questions if possible. When he starts to feel like he's being grilled on his feelings or stuck talking about them longer than he wants, he tends to stop sharing them for a while. :) Sometimes I get lucky and we'll have some really good conversations about what he thinks or how he feels about something. I love those moments, little views inside his heart. They are precious.
Kayleah was a bit down to see that her bestest friend from Kindergarten and 1st grade was not in her class this year. Her name is Kaylee Triplet. They (and we) get a kick out hers and Kayleah's first names being so close and they are both "triplets" ha ha. Some day I will have the guts to tell her that one of the reasons they are not in the same class is because I requested they not be. I love that she likes her so much, but she was starting to lose her sense of self a bit last year with their friendship. She couldn't decide if she liked an outfit or song or anything else until she knew how Kaylee felt about it. I'm all for friends opinions (I know you're all nodding your heads at the countless times I've asked "what do you think") but I want her to feel confident standing on her own and forming her own opinions. I don't want her to be so dependant on another persons opinions so young. Ahem, I'm sure she will be less than thrilled to know that I made sure they were separated this year...
Kaleb was also missing his best bud Alva. I had nothing to do with that one-but his first grade teacher did! LOL! She had a time with those two chatter boxes in class last year. Every few weeks she would change the seating arrangements so that the kids had an oportunity to sit close and learn new things from all their classmates. Because the change around was so often they sat together several times in the same grouping. Well it became pretty obivous after a few rotations that Kaleb and Alva couldn't be in the same grouping together-they just couldn't stop talking! It really made me laugh when she told me this at a parent teacher conference. Poor kid got that from his mom. ;)
When the kids got home they couldn't even wait to get off the bus to start telling me about their days. Since they all had different days it was so fun to hear about them each without someone else getting sad that they didn't get to share that particular tid bit! They all have friends in their classes from last year and even kindergarten. Getting them to hold still for an after 1st day picture was not easy. Kaleb kept trying to talk (big shock) during the picture...so I couldn't really get a good smiling picture with him-oh well! LOL
Finishing up Sarah's story...She chose her absolute favorite meal of all time, Chicken and Rice. Seriously! She loves this meal-but only if I make it. One time my mom made her version of Chicken and Rice for the kids and they all asked me to please make it from now on. LOL, we make it a little differently ;). I cook my chicken in a mixture of Italian dressing and Soy sauce for a little over half and hour then throw in some frozen mixed veggies and turn the heat on high and caramelize it all together-it's soooo good! For her dessert she and I made our own version of Coldstone ice cream. We took chocolate or vanilla ice cream and put homemade brownies, mini chocolate chips and a drizzle of chocolate syrup in a bowl and chopped it all together then served. It was very yummy! After dessert we had a special Family Home Evening where Crappa gave Sarah her blessing. I started to tear up when he asked her to tell him her full name, she answered "Sarah. Bear." When she was little when asked what her name was she would answer the same way.
last night was Emily's Pre-school open house and tonight will be her special dinner and tomorrow her first day of her last year of Pre-school! That's a mouth full to say...lol. I will post her open house, dinner and first day tomorrow. If I can see through the tears. No promises.