Archive for the ‘Growing Experiences’ Category

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Limbo

October 2, 2009

I think that I am an action oriented person. I like to be in control of my own destiny, and thus if something needs to be done, I will do it. Let me pursue a goal so I may have the opportunity to strive for new heights.

Without giving too many details, let me just say that this past week has been very hard for us. We have some interesting and possibly exciting things coming, but nothing is for certain. That is where I am, in limbo. Waiting. As one of my all time favorite books states:

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at
break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting

I am tired of waiting, but I have no choice. Thus, I will continue to wait and while I wait I can’t seem to sleep well. This whole thing had better resolve soon because I can’t keep living like this!

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Firsts

April 15, 2009

I have always adored the first year. So many new things to try, developments in personality, and my personal favorite has always been the first time my babies try new foods.

Punkin has been growing like a weed the past few months. She is now 10 months old, sitting by herself, entertaining herself, sleeping mostly through the night, and bringing such joy into our home.

Last weekend she went camping for the first time. She did really well, but I am saving that story for when I finish editing the 250+ pictures I took (I am almost done I swear). Last night though, I captured one of my favorite moments. Punkin tried Spaghetti for the very first time. We took off all her clothes, strapped on a bib, piled some on her tray, and sat back to watch.

She seemed confused and even nervous at first. Touching with one finger, moving it around for awhile, then finally the magic moment happened. She placed one small noodle into her mouth. I wish I had the camera when that grin appeared, but I didn’t even think about it till she was double fisting the spaghetti into her mouth.

spaghetti

One word describes the scene: ADORABLE!

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Acoustics

January 6, 2009

My high school auditorium was not built for acoustics. Orchestra,Band and Choir concerts held in there were always interesting. Our teachers taught us that we really had to use our eyes to watch the conductor instead of depending on what we heard everyone else playing.

It was our turn to host the Regional Symphony competition. We asked extra students to come in and help us guide the visiting groups to their places. I happened to be part of three groups at the competition. My High School Orcestra, the Jordan Symphony, and the Utah Youth Symphony. I knew that I would be running and juggling my schedules, but since we were all playing in the same place, I knew that the times wouldn’t be a problem.

My High School played well, we enjoyed ourselves, and it was our home turf. We knew how the auditorium worked, and we used our eyes as Cindy (our director chose to go by her first name) led us through the pieces. We had practiced often in the room, and it showed.

Next up was the Jordan Symphony. We didn’t perform quite as well, because not everyone in the group had played in such a difficult arena before. Not everyone remembered to watch the conductors closely, and we ended up with stragglers at the end. Cindy was one of the directors however, so she had talked to us beforehand about watching her.

When it came time for me to join the Utah Youth I expected things to go as well as my previous groups. UYS was the premier youth group in the Valley, pulling kids from hours away for early Saturday morning rehearsals. We even had a few college freshmen and sophomores participating. It was my favorite group. We played very advanced music and I enjoyed every moment.

As we took the stage, I forgot to mention to the director that the room had horrible acoustics and we wouldn’t be able to hear each other play. Pretty much, you could only hear yourself. Most of the group members had never played at my High School, but we were known to be the best. As we began to play however, our confidence evaporated. Our advanced music included very difficult passages that had to be timed perfectly, suddenly we couldn’t hear across the stage to know when it was our turn to play. The director’s face turned a bright shade of red as she frantically waved her arms in increasingly larger patterns. She attempted to keep us together by sheer will power alone.

As I went to Jordan Symphony practice on Wed., the directors cheered and we all laughed at the difficult time we all had at playing the Hall. We talked about how funny it was when we would fall apart for a short time, but the directors told us how proud they were that we did our best.

On Saturday, I headed to UYS expecting the same jovial feelings to exist. Our director stood up and asked if anyone had comments about our performance. I raised my hand and laughing stated how funny I thought it was when we fell apart.

Never have I wanted to sink into the earth and hide my head forever more than the moment I stopped laughing to look around at my fellow members. The anger in the eyes of our director told me what a horrid mistake I had made. To them, music was a very serious business. We were there to play advanced music and get top marks. We were the premier group in the valley, after all. To have a performance as bad as the one we had experienced was inexcusable. And for me to have called our apparent failure laughable was a huge mistake in their eyes. I had committed treason against our perfection.

The voice of the director cut through the silence with an icy edge. “Would you like to explain yourself and your laughter, or would you rather find yourself excused from our presence?” It was then that I realized that I was there for the music only. I apologized to the group and vowed to myself that I would join more “lesser” groups who could laugh. I was part of UYS for the next two years, but you better believe that while I was there, I kept my mouth shut.

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Better Late than Never

November 10, 2008

I had the energy last week to actually post a few of these photo’s over on Facebook, but after that I kinda crashed. I had to attempt to bring my house back from the brink of disaster. It looked like a tornado had come through. It still looks like half a tornado, but we are making progress.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of the Haunted Barn that we put on again this year. The money we made all goes to my little youth symphony, which makes me very happy. We can stay afloat for another year it looks like. I am posting them in the order they would have fallen in the layout of the barn…

The entrance was awesome this year
Enterancesm
As you entered the haunt, we had a creepy guy pointing you in the right direction. He looked so real that he added to the anticipation of the haunt. We had many people asking who was “inside” the waylighter.
Waylightersm

The first startle of the night was this guy, who actually proved quite problematic when it came to photos. He had flickering lights inside his head that looked like flames, and he was bathed in an eery green light. As you approached him, his head jumped straight out at you. We dubbed him “Mr. happy”
Scarecrowsm

Just before this prop, we had one that proved too much for me to photograph. It was a creepy head that jumped out of a stump… This witch was used last year, but we put her in a different setting this time. She had a flickering orange glow inside her cauldron, and fog pouring out of it as she cackled at you… so creepy.
Witchsm

After the witch was a stage area that we “fenced” off. Behind the fence was a scene… An organ with keys that moved on their own, and a skeleton organist who’s head moved up and down, and his arms also moved on their own over the keys. These two props were the most difficult to create out of everything we did this year. We dubbed him “Mr. Pib” short for “Mr. Pain in the Butt”! It turned out better than we could have hoped, and we received many comments that it was the favorite effect in the haunt.

Mr.Pibsm

Beyond the organist, there was a priest and a flying skeleton. A very creepy scene that broke up the long stage. It was actually two scenes included in one. The fabrics we purchased this year really made this scene.
Priestsm

The graveyard is the only large area in the haunt. At the top of a giant “rock wall” there is a Grimm Reaper that stood over 8 feet tall. The effect was topped off with chilled fog rolling down
Graveyardsm

Reapersm

At the end of the Graveyard scene was a static prop on one side to distract the eyes. A static prop is one that looks really creepy but does nothing, just to throw you off. Make you jump at nothing…

Static Guy sm

Just after Static Guy was another startle prop we named Jumper, because he jumped up to about 7 feet straight up, moving his arms up at the same time.
Jumpersm

Beyond the Jumper was a strobe light hall. This was my most effective place for actors to jump out and scare. We hung cloth strips from the roof of the hall, and flashed many strobe lights throughout. If the little kids made it this far, we usually got them in here… add a little more fog and you have a terrifying area.

The final turn takes us to “superman” we named him this because of the position of his hands, he held them out like superman did in the movies. He jumped up from hidden on the floor to a height taller than I am… he was actually our most effective startle prop.

Supermansm

After superman came the bats. They hung all around and from the ceiling. As you passed them, two of them jumped straight off the wall at you, just as a red flood light burst on. I love these guys, a very easy to build prop, yet quite effective.

Batssm

The awesome bar near the back provided ample opportunities to frame up photo’s. This guy was named “Fred” by the kids in the Haunt.
Fredsm

Finally at the end of the Bar we found the “Thrasher”. He was half out of a red coffin. His head was on one motor going one way, and his arm was on another going the opposite. He looked like he was trying to escape the confines of his grave… so cool!

Thrashersm

This was such a fun haunt. Next year, we would like more help, but then we always say that. Thanks for your patience in walking through this with me, it was fun to re-live it all with you, just by writing this mongo, huge post…

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The definition of Insanity

October 28, 2008

Insanity: Promising the community a full on, fully automated, completely awesome Haunted House. Even more is completing said Haunted House in two days.

We open tomorrow people! And guess how many of my volunteers showed up yesterday to help… ZERO! It was me, Sultry Husband (who took the week off work), and Sh’s friend (who also took the week off). I feel like it is pure insanity. We will do everything we can to pull this off, but it will be nothing short of a miracle.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! (insane primal scream)

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Time

October 19, 2008

I have decided that the time has come for another post. Sometimes I fall into the category where I don’t think that anything I have to say is worth sharing really, that my life can be too mundane and sound boring to any who read about it. As I was thinking about this past few weeks though, I thought about all the many and varied things that have kept me busy. While thinking about all of the millions of things that happened lately, I realized that most of you have no idea what I have been up to. It is time to share more of who I am. It is time to reveal some of my passions.

Growing up in a large-ish city, I had many opportunities that I took for granted. Lately though there is one that has reached the top of my list. The Arts. Namely, Symphonies, youth groups that I was privliged to be a part of. I could be in a different one every single day of the week if I wanted to. At one point I was, till my parents and I decided that it was too much and I dropped a few. Down here though, there is one option and one option only. I belong to an adult Symphony now, but when I looked around at the kids here, I realized that they were deprived of something that was so vital to who I am today, it makes me crazy inside. I think about my private students, who don’t even have a music program (no choir, no orchestra), in their school. So, I did it. I decided that I wanted to start a youth symphony for these kids.

Last year, we put on the Haunted Barn Spook Alley to help fund my “future” program. We made enough to get started, but there was something holding me back. I tried to have auditions for my group, but only two kids showed up for them. Then Princess Peanut decided to join our family, and well, you all know how the rest of my summer went.

This year, I decided that it was truly time to start this group of mine. I decided that I didn’t need to hold auditions, I needed to accept any player of an intermediate level who wanted to join. We plastered the town with fliers, I asked the local music teacher (from a neighboring town not my own), if she would be my co-director, and we set a date to begin. That was three weeks ago now. The first day, we had 15 kids show up… the next week we had 4 more join our ranks. We have places asking us to play for them, we are building a program. And best of all, I am seeing a dream of mine come to life. I admit that I don’t enjoy every second of this, especially the fund raising part and the bureaucracy, but when I step into that room and teach those kids what I know, what knowledge was given so freely to me through my youth, I know that the time has come. The time to realize a dream. This is the first time that I have had the guts to dream big and go for it. Not just a small atainable goal, but a huge monster of a dream. The crazy part about it is that the kids seem to love being there as much as I do… Let’s hope it stays that way.

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Nine years

July 31, 2008

Tonight, Sultry Husband and M’s musical opens. Beauty and the Beast really has become amazing. They have worked so hard, and SH as Gaston… let me just say, Wow. Amazing. I had forgotten how good he is at acting and belt singing. He fills the auditorium with his voice, and is one of the only actors who doesn’t need a microphone but has one just in case.

The other item of note today is that it has officially been nine years to the day that Sultry Husband and I got married. Wow, where has the time gone? I love that it feels like it was just yesterday that we were married, but we are much closer now than we were then. Things change so quickly, yet stay so comfortable and the same. At our wedding, we claimed that “our song” was a song from the Tarzan soundtrack. Neither of us were truly sold on the song, but we knew that we had to have one that was “ours”.

Through the years, our choice has changed over and over again. Finally, a little over a month ago, we found our true song. SH found it, and we both just felt it. At the time, I was still pregnant, and thus hormonal and I cried. It just fits. I also don’t usually like the play list features that many people have on their blogs right now, mostly because it forces me to listen. Not that I don’t want to listen, but give me the choice! Anyway, just for today I am placing one on my blog so if you would like to listen to “our song” you can. It is by Jason Mraz, titled “Lucky”. Oh, and I didn’t want to force anyone to listen, so if you are interested, click on “pop out player” and it will open another window with the song…

Since last July 31st, we have had many things change in our lives. The least of all being our new little one Princess Peanut. What a fabulous way to celebrate our nine years than with a beautiful new baby girl.

I truly am “Lucky”, and incredibly blessed.