Monday, June 28, 2010

Jaxon's 6th Grade Play Extraordinaire

I promised several posts about Jaxon and what he's been up to, but it's taken me a while to get this one posted because I knew it would take me a long time to upload all the photos and video.

The last week of school, his 6th grade class put on a play - The Pirates of Penzance. It was directed by a mother of one of the 6th graders who has had A LOT of theater experience and she did a truly amazing job with these kids. The costumes were great, the music was so fun and the acting was even pretty good. She approached me before casting and told me that she wanted to cast Jaxon in the part of the Major General and wanted to know if I thought he was up to a lot of memorizing and a solo. I told her he would be all over that and not have a bit of problem with the memorization.

He did so well, it was really a delight to watch. This acting business is really his thing, and I have no idea where he got that from. (I'd rather stick a fork in my eye than be in a play - and I'd rather light myself on fire than sing a solo on stage.) But nevertheless, we were very proud of him, and all the class - they were amazing.

As we were getting the costumes together, Mindy, the director told me that he needed red knee high socks for his uniform. I didn't know where in the world I was going to find red knee highs, so I asked if they could be another color and she said, "Nope! they have to be red!"

Well, she was right. Red made the costume.

Here's Jaxon's big solo:

They had two performances - in the first one, he didn't wear much makeup:

and it was almost easier to see his great facial expressions.

In the evening performance, he had on a big mustache, which was pretty cute:

Here he is getting his makeup done (he was a pirate for the first scene):

When you have such a small class, sometimes you have to double up on parts, and sometimes you have to recruit kindergarten and first grade kids to play the cops:

Yep, that's my other boy in the middle, he got to be a cop. They had a really cute little dance number and we had almost as fun watching Mindy, the director, down in front coaching the little cops on their dance as we did watching them do it. Too cute.

I literally took 700 photos and about 2 hours worth of video between the two performances. But I couldn't include them all, here are a few of my favorites.

It really was a great play. I put a whole bunch more pics up on Flikr for the kids to use, if you'd like to see or download more play pics, go to:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Terrified and Speechless...

Intriguing blog post title, huh.

Here's the thing: the thing is, I am often (99% of the time) up way too late at night editing photos, shopping, paying bills, emailing, blogging and generally stealing a little bit of time for myself. And sometimes while I'm online or working in Photoshop, I surf YouTube and listen to music, and sometimes I run across some unexpectedly delightful little musical tidbits. I don't really have radio in this little teenieweenieville oasis where I live, so I don't hear the latest songs as quickly or as often as most of the world. But that's almost a good thing as I used to get sick to death of my favorite songs after they've been overplayed by radio stations for a few months. Now, when I find a song I love, I can play it for myself - just the right amount.

Here's one of my latest favorites by Kara DioGuardi (from American Idol) and Jason Reeves (who co-wrote Bubbly for Colbie Caillat):

And I like this version even better:

It's fun to hear Kara sing and know that when she's critiquing Idol contestants, she herself is the real deal, not just a singer in her own right, but an amazing songwriter as well.

Katherine McFee also did this song (and I love her version too) and so did Didi Benami for an Idol audition.

And isn't that just a gorgeous song?!! And it's a "nice" song too - no raunchy lyrics, no creepy innuendo, no cussin'.

And on that note... Jaxon came home a while back and asked us who Lady GaGa was - - his friends had been talking about her at school. Well, I'm kinda glad he doesn't know. Wow, that girl is a little bit out there for me. But I did happen upon this video the other day and actually really loved this song and, giving credit where it's due, found out that this crazy GaGa is quite a talent. She can really croon, that GaGa, and play the piano too.

Check out Speechless:

Wow. I'm speechless.

But I'm still not showing her videos to my boy anytime soon. Call me old fashioned, but she scares me a little. Okay, a lot. But she sure can sing.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fabulous Fred Friday

Aside from horses, which are far and away the most amazing animals on the planet, I've always kind of considered myself a bit more of a dog than cat person. Not much more, mind you, just like .8% more.... but this cat has changed my mind. He is the coolest, grooviest, mellowest, friendliest, and all around nicest cat I've ever known.

And he lets the kids tie stuff to him. Can you guess what this little yellow ribbon could possibly be leading to?

Anyone, anyone???

Yep, you guessed it ~

(disclaimer: No Freds were maimed, killed or traumatized in the making of this blog post.)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Baby's 7th Birthday

The other day I was reading a post on my favorite blog, The Pioneer Woman, and she was talking about how she never calls her baby by his actual name, she just calls him, "Baby". Man can I relate! And my baby is now 7 YEARS OLD!

Right before he turned 6 - about 3 1/2 months ago - he asked me, "Mama, when I'm 6, will I still be your baby?"

And of course I answered, "Yes, and when you're 26 you'll still be my baby, and when your 56 and 86....".

The other day after he'd been 7 for a couple of weeks (his birthday is the 1st of June) he told me, "Mom, I don't like being an odd number."

And I said, "Is that why you've been acting so odd?"

And he said, "Yep. I want to be an even number again."

And I said, "Don't rush it, Baby."


We only do friend birthday parties every other year and this is the year for his friend party, but he had a heckuva time trying to decide what he wanted to do for his birthday. I finally suggested we go the Kanab pool which we'd never been to before. He jumped at that (finally! a decision) and we gathered his friends into the good ol' Suburban, picked up some pizza and headed to the park and pool. I was so rushed and hassled and crazy that I forgot a few things like extra plates, napkins, matches, drinks..... and to take photos of a lot of our good friends and family that were there. Darn it!

But I did manage to get a couple. He wanted a Superman cake. go with the photo we took to go on his invitation:

In't my baby handsome?

This next photo, unfortunately, is not his "I'm so excited about my birthday presents"smile , it's his "Mom's pointing the camera at me and I'm 7 and I'm odd" smile:


Thanks to all his friends who brought such nice gifts!

The pool is really neat, it has a lazy river and several slides and a bunch of big water spouting toys.

We stayed about 2 1/2 hours, which was about 4 hours too short for the kids, and then made our waterlogged way home, where I finally remembered to take a shot or two of our remaining guests.

It was a fun party, but the best part (for me) is having gotten it done.

Luke's 7th birthday party..... check!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm officially middle aged....

I've been looking toward (notice I didn't say "forward to") my 40th birthday for a couple of years now. I've been "crowding 40" since I was like, 38 and now it's actually here. It's a totally cliche thing to say, but I really can't believe how fast this first 40 years of my life has gone. Crazy!

Anyway, my lovely friend Jenna - the party planner extraordinaire - threw me a surprise party on Friday. I shoulda seen it coming, knowing Jenna like I do, but for some reason, I totally didn't.

She had been planning it for several weeks and was in cahoots with my hubby (who wasn't exactly what you'd call, um....helpful). She also recruited some of my other good friends (some of whom prefer to remain nameless - you know who you are) to come and to help with the food and the cakes. It turned out so nice and I was so utterly and completely surprised.

In fact, kind of a funny story about that: I'd been at girl's camp for 3 days and while I was gone, our microwave (that we got for our wedding) died. I felt like I needed to run to the big city and get a new one that night because we had other stuff going on the next day and then the weekend. Anyway - when I told Marty I was going, he said, "NO! You can't go! You are NOT going tonight."


He has never said anything like that to me before and I went instantly on the defensive. I was like, "Don't you dare tell me 'no' mister! You are not the boss of me!" And then I, of course, was even more determined to go.

So he was calling Jenna in a panic and they finally figured out the only way to get me to the party was to talk me into waiting and taking Marty and the kids (who were supposed to be at Jenna's having their piano lessons) with me shopping. So when they were done with their "piano lessons" (translate: hanging at Jenna's while she was in a pre-party panic) we went to Jenna's to pick them up and take them Cedar with us, and there were a bunch of decorated tables and whaddayouknow, Jenna with a camera, and a bunch of my friends!


You coulda knocked me over with a feather!

So here are a few shots from the party: I wish I had taken more, I think I was in a little bit of shock, frankly.

The gorgeous invitation (with the pertinent info on how to get to Jenna's house brushed out) that Jenna made and distributed. Love it!

That's one of my all-time favorite pictures - - Jenna swiped it off my blog.

And then another really good friend - who prefers to remain nameless - put that same photo on a great big yummy CAKE!

The absolute coolest cake I've ever seen! It almost broke my heart to cut into it.

A few friends at the party:

Molly, who kindly lent me her camera for the occasion and took some pics for me too.

(notice in the background that there are THREE white minivans - looks like a Mormon Mom convention!)

My lovely oldest child gave me a whole stack of housework coupons - does he know me well or what? I've already used one, and some are reusable! (notice the 3 "punches" on the bottom - this one's good three times!)

*no "wining". that's the best part!

And, finally, a picture of me on my own blog - I know, I know, you thought this day would never come. And I just realized something... In the old pic of me, I'm trying to feed a baby horse some grain that he doesn't really want - in this picture, I'm trying to feed a baby human some cake that she doesn't really want.


Food for thought.

Thanks so much to all my friends and family who came to my party and have called and sent Facebook messages. I feel very loved today. :)

You have made turning 40 a lot less painful. Now on to living with being 40....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

All Jaxon, All the Time - 12th Bday Party

I've been so behind on my blogging that I haven't had time to record some really important events like my big boy turning 12 years old!

(There's also been a couple of other important events in Jaxon's life lately so I will be posting several posts about him this week - all Jaxon, all the time - and see if I can't get caught up with what he's been up to the last few months.)

He decided that he wanted to go to the big city and see the movie, How to Train Your Dragon, so we took three of his best friends over to Cedar and took them to lunch and went to the movie. We had cake and opened presents at the Arctic Circle around the corner from the theaters and Jaxon received the latest book in the Fablehaven series, which he had really been looking forward to.

There was a lady sitting across the isle watching the festivities, and when she got up to leave she came over and told Jaxon that any boy who was such a big fan of Fablehaven ought to have a $5 bill for his birthday.

And so she gave him one....

(I just love this picture!)

Nice, huh. There are lots of nice people still left in the world.

We had a heckuva good time and the movie was great, and I kind of like these boys.

Especially this one:

He's a dang good kid. I can't believe he's already 12, he's growing up on me, and I'm not too sure how I feel about that.

Love you, bud. My big boy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


We had such a lovely Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday, there was a family reunion for Marty's mom's side of the family. Marty's brother Ryan brought his wife and 5 of their 8 kids down for the reunion and stayed through Memorial Day. We LOVE having them - in fact, we wish they'd bring the whole family - all 10 of them - and just move in for good.

On Saturday morning, we all walked over to the cemetery and put flowers on Marty's mom and dad's graves. Marty's mom died when he was 17. They were very close and it breaks my heart a little every time I think about it. His dad died 3 years ago at the age of 87 and we miss him.

Marty's dad's nickname was Bruin and he was a veteran of WWII. In our very small community, we actually have a whole lot of WWII vets. Every holiday, our town puts up flags in the cemetery for them.

I love the flags.

But when I look out across the cemetery and see them all, it makes me wonder why so many young men were drafted from such a small community. But the cool thing is, almost all of them came back. In fact, I think (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that they all came back except one, who died of disease instead of in battle.

We also have a military commemorative plaque for Marty's dad at the foot of his grave. He served as a forward reconnaissance scout for the artillery and he was wounded and received the purple heart.

(isn't he handsome?)

Ryan also served in the military - the National Guard - for quite a few years. Both he and Marty are such good men. It warms my heart to see them honoring their parents in this way.

There are also a lot of their grandparents and great-grandparents buried in this cemetery. Most of their family goes back to the original founding fathers of this community.

Their grandpa was a blacksmith and has blacksmithing tools and an anvil on his grave site.

I think it's a wonderful thing to have a day set aside to remember and honor our loved ones who have passed on. We love them and hope that we are living up to their legacy.