Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Nutcracker

Attending The Nutcracker has been a family tradition since 2000. This was the first year thought that D and I didn't attend a matinee. We decided last year that it was the last one of attending "The Sugar Plum Fairy" parties after the performance. She felt that she was too old for them. We also decided that we would spend the night after the performance and do some final Christmas shopping on the way home. So that is what we did.

We didn't see our favorite dancers (Christiana and Chris Ruud) perform, but we did see Jason and Kate Linsley for the Waltz. I think it is a terrific idea that Adam Skulte had in having his married couples (or "significant others") perform together. There is always a chemistry and confidence level that doesn't appear to exist in other partnerships. John Frazer did a great job as both the grandfather in Act I and as the Mother Buffoon in Act II. He is quite the comic dancer. Chris Sellars was the lead Russian, which is always a crowd-pleaser. We love watch Aaron Orlowski in Arabian and Beau Pearson in Spanish. Of course all the female dancers did the typical three or four roles in one performance marathon.

The above picture was taken during intermission. D has been wearing the same basic outfit for three years now. I am loving not having to buy new "fancy clothes" for special outings. By taking the picture when we did, we were out of the parking lot before most people were out of the theater. I was afraid we'd get stuck in the underground parking garage behind a ton of people, but nope we were out quite quickly. It would have been even faster if the two cars in front of us hadn't used credit cards.

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The name game

"Stolen" from Susan Wiggs' blog A View from Here. If you visit her blog, you will see why it is named what it is. If I had her view, I would accomplish even less than I do now.

LAST NAME GAME…. It’s harder than it looks! Use the 1st letter OF YOUR LAST NAME to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real places, names, things, nothing made up. You can’t use your name for the boy/girl question.
  • What is your last name?…………………………………. Carney
  • A 4-Letter Word:………………………………………… Cast
  • A Girl’s Name:……………………………………………Caitlin
  • A Boy’s name:……………………………………………Charles
  • An occupation:……………………………………......….Cabaret Dancer
  • Color:………………………………………………………Claret
  • Something you wear:………………………………………Coat 
  • A beverage:…………………………………………………Cocoa
  • A food:………………………………………………………Cheddar cheese
  • Something found in the bathroom:…………………….........ceiling 
  • A Place:……………………………………………….......…Canada
  • Animal:………………………………………………………cat

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Candlelight Program

Connor A., Deirdre, Elisabeth F., Corey H., Seth J,. Eric L., Logan L., Shaylie P., Brynn S., Tessa S., and Kaitlin Y.

Thursday, December 10 was the Candlelight Program for Ephraim Middle School held at Snow College Eccles Performing Arts Concert Hall. It is a long program with all three bands, two orchestras, two choirs, music appreciation, and guitar all performing. I would say that approximately 300 students were included in the program. After all the groups performed the 8th grade students with 4.0 cumulative g.p.a.'s were honored and two members of the community. There were 11 8th grade students with perfect 4.0's this year. We had some issues with D being part of this select group, but it all worked out in the end.

I have no idea what was happening here (D can't remember), but clearly Connor, D, and Elisabeth found something amusing.

Most likely the honor students are listening to the poem being read before the presentation of the candle to one of the two recipients.

After each recipient had his biography read to the audience, he stood and said a few words. While the recipients spoke, D had the honor of holding the candle/flower arrangement (picture on left). Then she returned them to the recipients. The picture on the right is of her giving it back to Jay Snow of Ephraim. 

All of the honor students with the two recipients.
Back row: Connor, Eric, Corey, Seth, Logan; middle row: Tessa,  Deirdre, Brynn, Kaitlin, Elisabeth, and Shaylie; front row: Floyd Bishop of Manti and Jay Snow of Ephraim

The 8th graders posing for their parents' cameras. Notice how all the girls are squatting in front of the boys. As the mother, I have to say that I love my daughter's smile in this picture.

Someone told them to act silly. Not always a good idea when 13 and 14 years olds are involved. Some are certainly sillier than others.
D and Jeff. Many people commented on how nice Jeff looked that evening.

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Before and After

This is the morning of November 24. Deirdre is wearing braces.

This is the same day, but in the evening. NO BRACES.
After 19 months of wearing braces, they are off!

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Birthday

If it's Christmas time, it must also be birthday time. Jeff has his birthday today! Every year on Dec 28, he wakes up and thinks "I'm not 'x' today." This is because he has spent the last six months thinking he is x and on his birthday he becomes x + 1—EXCEPT he hasn't hit x yet. Did that make sense? Here's your example. Since about July he has thought he was 30 (deducting for good behavior), so on Dec. 28 he thinks he's 31. Except that he hasn't been 30 since July, only 29. Make sense now? Oh well we all get it.

Hippy Happy Birthday Jeff!

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All about D

If you have been following this blog for any time now, you might have noticed one of those cute little "tickers" with how old Deirdre is. Today it says that she is 12 years, 11 months, and 4 weeks. YIKES! In two days she will be THIRTEEN! Dum, dum, dum…

A mother who was really on top of her game would have started on Dec. 5 with something cute and sweet about her daughter and had something new every day until Dec. 18. Instead D is stuck with me who has great ideas, but poor follow-through.

So, instead you will get a few pictures from the last few weeks. Maybe I can find the photo album of the first eight months of her life and scan a picture of two from then too. There are quite a few things that have happened in the last few weeks, so I will split them into separate posts. But this one will stay on top to give you an explanation for what is following.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pictures for Tuesday's class

You can click on all of these to make them larger.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

Looking for a good read? Then have I a suggestion for you—The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger has moved me to tears several times. I have just finished listening to it as I drive back and forth to work and to school. I can't remember a book that has made me laugh, smile, and cry as much as this one. As I write this I am three or four tracks from the end of the last cd. The climax has happened and we are moving on to the resolution of the story. As readers, we have known about the climax for at least one cd now. I really like the way the story changes from Henry's point of view to Claire's point of view. I didn't want to see the movie, but after seeing who is playing the leads (see below), I might (emphasis on might) be interested in seeing it.

AS I looked up the book at amazon.com to find out the author's name and "borrow" a picture, I couldn't help but read a few reviews. The majority of people (1185 of 2075) liked the book and gave it five stars. There were 174 reviews that only gave it one star. I could see their points: directions and streets given that weren't necessary, some poor development of secondary characters, and jumping into situations that are clear to the reader are just a few.

I also went to imbd to learn about the movie. I saw that Eric Bana was playing Henry and Rachel McAdams was Claire. But what I really noticed was that "Traveler's" is spelled with two "l's" in the UK title. That intrigued me.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The facts of life

This is my follow up to MckMama's post here.

Marriage is a hard road whether it is the first year or the 21st year, raising one child or many. Anyone who tells you that marriage is a piece of cake is either lying or is not married or living together or ignores the other half of the partnership. That's exactly what marriage is——a partnership. Personally, I forget that sometimes. I go through life a day at a time without thought to others.

When Jeff and I got married we had to meet with Father Jim three times before hand (maybe it was only twice, I don't remember). We heard the "lobster story" three times at least. Father Jim talked a lot about communication between spouses. He said he would rather be with a poor family, who loved each other and communicated with each other, eating pork and beans than with a rich family, who didn't like each other and didn't talk, eating lobster. What he really hoped for was a family who communicated and had the lobster too. When we were first married we laughed about this story all the time.

Because I have stretched myself too thin this semester, I have just now taken a rest from Girl Scouts. It will have to be someone else's problem for awhile. The plates that I was juggling are starting to fall to the floor before I can catch them. Something has to give and my family has already done enough giving. The posts may become even fewer and the crafting even less, in an effort to focus on school, family, and my job.

I opened my classroom door to grab this picture. It is snowing quite fiercely here. You have to look carefully at the white blurs those are snowflakes falling fast and furious from the grey/white sky.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

What a life

Can you imagine living this life? Even if you have been doing it forever, it must be tough.

I saw this story on the net and wondered how the Queen and Prince Philip have managed for 57 years.

LONDON (Reuters Life!) – Britain's Queen Elizabeth stunned theater-goers in London this week when she and her husband slipped in to see a play unannounced and at the last minute, newspapers reported.

The queen and Prince Philip apologetically squeezed past other theater-goers to get into their seats for the West End production of World War One play "War Horse" at the New London Theater.

"The Queen and the Duke sat down as the lights dimmed and it was a huge shock when people realized who they were," said a journalist at the show for The Lady magazine. "They were incredibly apologetic for asking people to let them past and there was no hubbub or fuss about it all."

The queen and her husband often make incognito trips to the West End, but are rarely spotted, an aide told London's Evening Standard newspaper.

"The Queen has regularly undertaken similar private visits throughout her reign without any fuss," the aide said. "It allows her to live a bit more of a normal life."

The journalist from The Lady said the queen appeared to enjoy the performance, disappeared during the interval and then reappeared discreetly.

"When they left at the end, they were given a round of applause, which the Queen acknowledged with a wave," she said.

What a strange life some people live and how much we non-celebrities soak up all as much info from the net as possible.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pictures of THE game

Getting a pep talk from Victor at the half. He told them to go out in the second half as though it was 0-0.

The other Ephraim team made a sign for the girls to run through as they started the second half. They also made one that hung on the fence and cheered for the girls through-out the entire game. Great support from their friends.

My camera wasn't fast enough to catch when Deirdre fell on top of the ball to prevent Fairview from making a goal. Instead I have before she falls and as she gets up. D stopped quite a few goals.

After the game the team poses with their soccer shirts. They also had real soccer shirts that Victor loaned them for the season. The goalie shirt D is wearing in the other pictures is a real goalie shirt with padding. The noise the girls made when the game was over was so loud. I forget sometimes how loud girls can get when they are excited.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oh yeah, we won!

Okay I did no winning, but Deirdre's soccer team did. They beat Fairview 3-1 in the championship game. Oh my gosh were the Fairview parents obnoxious! They didn't like the way one goal went into the net, which our coach was willing to give it back. But when the ref called for a re-kick on a penalty shot, they went ballistic. I did get a few shots, but haven't really looked at them, so I'll have to post them later.

The girls were really excited about winning. Most of them have played on win-less teams for the past several years, so having a winning season (undefeated! one tie) was a real treat.

Great job Victor on coaching!

I'll post again with pics.

AND I got to go see them win, since the U is off this week. Hurrah!

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

A teaser :)

The soccer season ends next week. Deirdre's team has been unbeaten this season. I hope I didn't just jinx the rest of playoffs. I, of course, have not seen any of the games as they are all on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This week was an added game on … Monday—the other day I have class. BUT next week is fall break at the U, so no matter what day the game(s) is on, I can go. Hopefully it won't be on Wednesday though, I have Service Unit meeting and since I won't be there next month (Parent/Teacher Conferences), I need to be there next week. AND I am the SU Director and in charge of our next activity.

All the years of going to soccer games and I wait until most likely her last year in soccer to try and get pictures. Not only that, but I have to recruit Jeff into taking said pictures. D has played goalie the majority of this season, which I think is a responsible position. She has always played defense and goalie a few times, but in the last six games at least she has been THE goalie.

About to drop kick the ball. I think that is our silver van in the background. :)

Watching the action at the other end of the field. The tournament has been at Wasatch Academy's fields and the coach and girls hate their fields.

This was just a teaser for everyone. I have tons to "report." I'll be back soon.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Today's word is "tenacious." I just heard from D's room in reference to the cat (in this case Alice) who was doing who knows what.

Living in our house is always a day full of words. I think that will be tomorrow's word for school as well. I'll see how many of my high school students know what the word means.

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The President's speech

I usually don't make public comments about my political views, but after spending the last several days listening/reading about people complaining that President Obama would turn this speech into a piece of propaganda I felt that I had to post something.

If you didn't watch the speech, which I did, you can find the transcript released by the White House here. I am always amazed at how ignorant my students are when it comes to politics. I don't know why, but I probably will never stop being surprised at their lack of knowledge. After the speech, as a class we spent the last twenty minutes discussing what the President had to say. Some of the students maintained that he had told them that he was black, which he didn't. There were several other comments made that said basically "he said x" but he hadn't. It's been a few hours and I didn't take notes of the discussion. Some had no idea that the stimulus money had gone for jobs. I have no idea what they thought the stimulus was for, but jobs wasn't on their lists. All of the road projects here in Sanpete were brought about through stimulus moneys.

I actually took some notes during the speech. There were several key points he made— students have a responsibility to self; there is no excuse to drop out; being successful is hard work; don't give up on yourself; and what is your contribution going to be? I didn't find anything negative, just cold common sense and facts. Some people will only find the storm cloud in the bright sunny day and I think that they feel that way about the President.

This is my rant for today—before you talk about the President's speech to students (and he is not the first to do so, both President Reagan and President George H.W. Bush did as well), read the speech. Find out what he said. Then you can hold an intelligent conversation.

Okay back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Home again

And the traveler returns. After spending three days in Chicago, it's back to school and the daily grind tomorrow. Saturday, Deirdre and her grandparents went to the Museum of Science and Industry to view the Harry Potter exhibit. D said that everything in the gift shop was hideously expensive. One could purchase a replica of a a firebolt for only $1500! Sunday the family traveled to my aunt's for dinner and seemed to have a very funny time. Today, they went to the Brookfield zoo. Saturday my mother walked everywhere, but by today she was in a wheelchair. Her leg and back can only take so much. On a good note though she can go upstairs to sleep. She needs a cane to get up the stairs, but can actually do so.

This is where they (Delta) puts unaccompanied children who haven't been picked up yet. Between the stop and go traffic from Payson to University Parkway and the plane arriving 25 minutes early and the lines at both the ticket counter and security, I got to the gate at 8:25, but Delta had already shuffled D off to "Dusty's Den". Luckily this is the last time she flies as an unaccompanied minor. Delta allows adults to accompany anyone under 18 to the gate, so there isn't a problem there. The flight is a straight three hours with no changes. We are all thinking that in the future she will be fine on her own. She told me while waiting in Dusty's Den how much she wished she could just leave and not have to wait. Next time.

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My whole house smells like paint. Jeff put two coats of primer on our new sitting room today. Next up is the grasscloth, assuming it's still any good and that I still like it. Or perhaps the floor. Really I have no idea what part is next. It might be window sashes and sills and moldings for the doors. There is still a long way to go. But slowly, like the tortoise, it is happening.

The east wall with its two coats. That is door to the "hall" bath. There is no longer a hall, instead each room upstairs has its own bathroom.

Alice checking out the furniture in the sitting room. Lots of sunlight in this room.

Jeff painting the inside of the closet. This will be "his" closet when everything is finished.

More of Jeff painting. I don't mind painting, but if someone else is willing to do it, that is just wonderful.

The south wall with its two coats, plus the draped couch and cabinet, which doesn't have a home anymore.

Well, I'm off to pick up D from the airport. This was the last time (I hope) that she flies unaccompanied. Next time she is on her own.

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