Monday, March 30, 2009

When You Wish Upon a Star...

...Makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires...will come to you.
Even if it's just a photo of the family with Goofy...not many characters out for taking pictures with this time, but that's okay. Our family is 'character' enough for some fine photo ops...Browse on!

Autopia...only 45 minutes in line and you become a licensed driver. Sunglasses complete the look and fulfill the need...the need for speed!

Girls, get your eyes on the road! Stop looking at all the good-looking drivers behind you! Notice how Phillip is flashing the peace sign? We find that drivers are safer when they keep BOTH hands on the wheel, so maybe he should stop playing around and start driving!

In case you haven't guessed by now, we took a few days of spring break for a quick family vacation to the "Happiest" (and most crowded) place on earth...DISNEYLAND! Whitney skipped class for two days and we headed down to LA, courtesy of Jet Blue Airways and Phillip's checking account. It was nice to be together, out of the Idaho/Utah weather. It was 78 degrees every day we were there. I could really get used to that.
There were a lot of people there, but even so, the longest line was for the new NEMO submarines, and even then it was only about 55 minutes. It felt like the ride took longer than actually standing in line! (Obviously, not my favorite!)
Here are just a few highlights of the trip...there really were too many to document until I make my movie.

I love the parades at Disneyland and this year was no exception. While we were in California Adventure they had a High School Musical 3 Parade. Guess who was chosen out of the crowd to be a guest dancer? It's like a "Where's Waldo" game. Look for the hottie in the white boa and dark glasses doing her best Beyonce' moves and you will have found...MISS JOY! My girls were probably embarassed, but I doubt it. The crowd loved me, and I would do it again in a heartbeat! ( I wonder if they are looking for an over-45 woman to join their cast?)

(Side note: I'm sad to hear Zac Efron has dropped out of the FOOTLOOSE re-make. He must be suffering from a head injury or something to remove himself from the biggest summer movie revival in 2010. However, that being said, check out the boy in red pants and hat...We decided he could EASILY become what Zac Efron decided not to be...Kevin Bacon's predecessor. Don't forget I made this prediction when it happens!)

Eli was quite the brave boy on the trip. Last time we went he was only 3 and too small for most of the rides. This time he went on almost everything, even though he was a bit apprehensive while waiting in line. The only way we got him on the Indiana Jones ride was because the boy in the front seat of our car was wearing a creepy YODA backpack. We all reminded Eli that 'the force would be with us' and he hopped right in. After it was over, we took their picture. Two words to describe Eli's end-of-the-ride-reaction. ADrenaLinE. RuSH!

The obligatory photo in front of the Sleeping Beauty's Castle. This was day 3. We had an early morning and did ALL of Fantasyland in less than one hour! That is what we call a MIRacLE!
I'm not a fan of spinning rides, but you can always drag me on the teacups at least once! Cassidy and I are going a little crazy waiting for those cups to start spinning. After riding them I have decided that maybe what makes me dizzy on this ride is not the spinning, but that organ music playing "A Very Merry Un-Birthday" over and over and over!

No one can resist the "Flying Dumbos" and we are no exception. When the girls were little, we actually stood in line for an hour and a half waiting to get on, and right before it was our turn, Cassidy needed to use the bathroom. BAD. I told her she would have to wait. Then I spent the entire ride praying that it wouldn't be the day she didn't make it. End of story. All went well. This year while waiting in line for the "Storybook Boats" another little girl needed to go. BAD. The nice lady operating the ride sweetly pulled the family members aside, sent the mom and the daughter on their way to the nearest restroom and promised to let them back on again without having to start standing in line again. One more reason why I love Disneyland. They are always thinking of new and innovative ways to remain "The Happiest Place on Earth"!" Notice Cassidy's live action shot from the "Flying Dumbos". Her hair is flying everywhere, but I'm sure she is thinking, "Dang, sure glad I don't have to go to the bathroom while I am flying over Disneyland!"

Every photographer has that perfect moment when they want to capture the perfect photo. For me, this was it. I am in a Dumbo ahead of Whitney and Eli, holding my camera backwards and clicking it without looking through the view finder. I was pretty sure most of the pictures would not turn out, but this one captures the feeling of the ride. Whitney is screaming, "Fly, Dumbo, Fly", and Eli is laughing so hard he needed to go to the bathroom as soon as we got off! BAD!

I really did go on vacation with my family. I just took most of the pictures from one end of the camera while they all stood on the other end. Here is our farewell shot from the park. They are standing in front of the Celebration Balloons...I am standing in front of them, photographing the family in front of the Celebration Balloons. Celebrate good times, come on! It's a celebration!

That night, we had a pre-birthday dinner celebration for Phillip at Joe's Crab Shack. He was turning 49 the next day. (Count our fingers!) Even though it was Phillip's party, we all had a blast!Cassidy got to be a guest "Cotton Eye Joe" dancer, Whitney enjoyed "London Style" fish and chips, I had the deluxe bucket of crab, shrimp, sausage, red potatoes, and corn on the cob, Eli ate NOTHING but spent his time doing crossword puzzles, and everyone in the restaurant sang "Happy Birthday" to Phillip while he wore a sombrero! Feliz Cumpleanos, Senor Philipe'. 49--Not such a bad place to be! After all, "When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true!"

Art for Art's Sake...

Day One of our California Adventure takes us to the BYU Museum of Art. Whitney wanted Eli to see the "Walter Wick: Games, Gizmos and Toys in the Attic" display. He is the artist who makes all the I-spy books. First we took a tour of the gallery featuring various pictures of Christ. One was titled "Picture of Christ." Our seven-year old resident art critic was quick to point out, "That is not a picture of Christ, it's a portrait." Next, we visited the American Dreams display, where Eli proceeds to crack up over a picture which I think was of a girl in a circus, simply titled, "Baby Ruth, Fat Girl". The Walter Wick display was amazing and interesting and fun. We recommend this for anyone living close to the Provo area. Eli's favorite part of the museum would have to be the display of Dan Steinhilber, a modern artist, who has no titles for any of his work, since they are all titled, "Untitled". There were giant garbage bags blown up and tied together like pipes, resin chairs stacked upside down on each other, an entire wall with packets of orange duck sauce stapled to it, and Eli's personal favorite, a room filled with packing peanuts and a fan. From time to time the fan would go off and the packing peanuts would fly all over the place. His review of the Dan Steinhilber display was priceless. "I like the interpretation of modern art. I get it. It's fascinating." Including the bottles of Mountain Dew-colored Diet Coke in the gift shop. I wanted to buy some for a friend until I realized, this, too, was "Untitled".

Spaced Out...

Apparently I am the LAST person on the planet to discover that you no longer are required to leave two spaces after a period when typing. My kids correct me when I do it, Phillip said he learned years ago that you weren't supposed to do it anymore, and now a person on a Sunday morning news program has also reminded me that it's not proper to leave two spaces after a period. I am dismayed and disappointed in our new that abandons all the 'old rules' of proper "typetiquette" only to convenience those who text and twitter. I'm embarassed to think what my business teacher Mrs. Scott would say. She was the one who drilled in my head in those early typing classes, "period. space. space. period. space. space." Oh, well, here goes: out with the old, in with the new. Period. Space.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Born to Hand Jive Baby!

Saturday night when I got home from the play Eli was waiting up for me. It was pretty late so I knew it must be important. "Mom, Mom, I want to show you something right now! Turn on the 'Hand Jive' music!" We popped in the cd and let it rip. Before I knew it, my seven year old was doing a dance from Grease. It cracked me up to watch how intent he was on the moves. He concentrates so hard that he closes his eyes. I guess he went to enough rehearsals that he memorized it! Watch out ladies, 'cause he's going to knock you all off your feet in a few years!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Grease...IS the Word!

Cassidy's high school production of Grease has ended. It is her last year to participate in our school district's musical. They have been learning music, blocking scences, and practicing choreography since January. All the hard work finally came to fruition. The play ran 4 nights, and sold out 3 of those evenings. I helped out with t-shirt orders, and was also in charge of the pre-show. We had kids participating in hula hoop and hand jive contests before the show. Not to brag, but it ROCKED THE HOUSE every night and got the audience in the mood for the show.Cassidy was a member of the chorus and also had the part of a cheerleader. Mid-show we discovered much to her delight, that due to perfect 50's hair and a permanent smile, she looked a lot like a life-size Barbie. Coincidentally, she had a friend in the cast who bore a striking resemblance to a life-size Ken doll. So, for your viewing pleasure, here are Ken and Barbie in all their studliness and beauty. PHOTO ONE: Jock Ken and Cheerleader Barbie. Don't they just make you want to head to a football game and scream, "Fight! Rydell! Fight!"

PHOTO TWO: Prom Date Ken and Barbie. All dressed up and ready for "Shakin' at the High School Hop!" Dig the cool tux and authentic two-tone shoes.

PHOTO THREE: Casual wear Ken and Poodle-skirt Barbie, along with leather-jacket Danny Zucko. He may be a rebel, but he still enjoys hanging with the best-looking couple in school! Tune in next week for 'going steady' Barbie and Ken. Photos to follow.
***Attention. This is not the real Barbie and Ken, but they play them on tv!

Lick it Good!

Today is the second decent day we have had in months. Not exactly warm, but the sun is shining, there is no wind, and (hooray!) the snow is melting. I have a few little crocus peeping up in my garden. I'm counting the days until they start to bloom. However, I really know that summer is just around the corner when I have three little neighbor children standing on my porch, ringing my doorbell. When I answer, they chime in simultaneously, "Do you still have those popsicles in your freezer, 'cause we want some!" Sadly, I had to tell them, "No, not yet!" But now that summer is coming, I will definitely be gearing up for my role as 'coolest' mom on the block! Popsicles are a cheap price to pay to maintain that status quo!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My New Biggest Fear...

It used to be that I was afraid of clowns. They are creepy. They creep me out. I don't ever want to be stuck alone in an alley with any of them. Just recently, I have discovered something else that creeps me out...


Old Navy's latest ad campaign features mannequins...not just the mute type, but mannequins who also talk and have personal profiles. I have never liked mannequins. They have the perfect figures, they get to wear sweet clothes, and they don't have to do laundry or load the dishwasher. If they have a pain in their arm, they just remove it and get a new one. The Old Navy mannequins apparently have names, relationship status', and fashion styles all their own. What will they think of next? If I am ever in an Old Navy and Amy the mannequin starts telling me what style I should wear, I think I will have to run out of that store as fast as I can...maybe to a Jack-in-the-Box, where a creepy clown head can tell me I should try their new flatbread sandwiches!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Blueberries for Joy...

I bought some blueberry muffins today at the grocery store. I just love blueberry muffins! They make me smile. They also remind me of a boy I got acquainted with while we lived in Lehi. One school year I was hired as a long-term substitute in a fourth grade class while the teacher was on maternity leave. For three months, I was going to be the teacher. It was a great class. I loved all of the kids. Including Bobby and Jared. Bobby and Jared were the so-called 'trouble-makers'; the boys who most people thought didn't have a chance to amount to much of anything. They were dirty; they needed baths. Their learning skills were way below grade level. They were rough and tough; none of the other kids liked them, but they liked each other, and stuck together like glue. I've always had a soft spot for the underdogs and decided from day one that I was somehow going to reach Bobby and Jared. I wanted them to feel special and loved and important; something I was pretty sure wasn't happening at home. On my first day in class I told one fact about myself; each day I was going to share something new. At the end of the week, we would have a review. I figured it was a good way for the class to get to know me. I shared that I had two girls, that I liked old movies, that I wanted to swim with dolphins and that I loved blueberry muffins. For the next three months, I tried to bring Bobby and Jared into the class more; I read Charlotte's Web with them at recess, made sure they got chosen for teams, helped them with their math and spelling, and gave them a little extra motherly advice in the hygiene department. We were becoming fast friends. The other students started to include them more, and their grades began to get better. On the day before my last day in the class, I noticed that Jared had something in his desk that he kept looking at. At the end of class, he shyly made his way up to my desk and handed me a crumpled up napkin. As I opened it up, a tear came to my eye. My heart got stuck in my throat and I couldn't speak. There, in the napkin, was half of a store-bought blueberry muffin. Knowing the circumstances of Jared's family, this was probably one of the first, if any, times they had been able to buy muffins, and he was sharing a portion with me. Such a large sacrifice from such a small boy. I wanted to make a difference in his life, and instead, he made one in mine, reminding me to always appreciate the little things in life, like making new friends and sharing a blueberry muffin. I keep this experience tucked in my heart, and every once in a while, it comes back. Especially when I eat a blueberry muffin. I hope that wherever Jared is, he remembers the lady who loved those muffins, and loved him, too.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

She's Got the Look...

We took a quick trip to Utah this weekend to attend a funeral for my brother-in-law. While we were there we got to spend a few hours with Whitney. It was a pleasant addition to an otherwise sad situation. Our days with her are numbered, but she is SO ready. Her eyes are glowing. Her countenance is radiant. One more interview with the Stake President. Someone will hit send on a computer. The papers will be submitted. The waiting game will begin. My daughter is going on a mission! I'm going to be the mother of a missionary! Go figure!