Saturday, November 23, 2013

Halloween Fun

The festivities kicked off with a youth Halloween party at Sister Martin's house. Mary was Phantom from Phantom of the Opera. She put this costume together herself--she got the the cape and mask at Party City, borrowed the white shirt from Tyce, the black belt from me, and bought the pants and awesome vest ($3!) at Deseret Industries, a thrift store. She and her friends are obsessed with everything Phantom but only Mary wanted to be the man himself.

Beautiful Bella as Christine. Her grandma MADE her gorgeous costume.

Mary, Bella, Haley (Bella's cousin), and Sara. Sara was also Christine, from the wedding scene of the movie.

Everyone said, "You have to see Maddy's costume. She is Mary from Girls Camp!" How awesome / disturbing is that?

Taya was Carlotta from Phantom. They had a full cast there that night. You should have heard them sing karaoke--they sang all the songs from the show.

There were about 40 kids at the party.

Even I wore a "costume", a t-shirt that said "Witch and Famous". Wal-mart did not let me down.

The Monday before Halloween we carved pumpkins. This is one Family Home Evening activity that the twins had been begging for for weeks. They are finally old enough to handle a lot of it on their own, from the design to the carving. Mary always loves this kind of creative thing. Tyce had homework and declined to join us.

/Getting ready to make the first cut. As I wrote on facebook, this was gut-extraction by three gourd-certified surgeons.

Harrison hard at work.

Cam took his time.

Mare was very thorough.

Bryce helped Cam get his pumpkin completely cleaned out. The twins thought they were very funny to photo-bomb this shot.

Cameron's finished pumpkin.

Harrison was proud to have done this all himself.

Mary carved the symbol of the anime character Sebastian in the series "Black Butler".

Let the record show that we wanted him to participate with us.

We had the church's trunk-or-treat before the big night, and the twins had school parade on a sunny Halloween afternoon.

It was a beautiful day to walk to the park. It's a good thing I did because when I got in my car to run an errand afterward, the battery was dead!

Cameron was Storm Shadow, the white ninja from G.I. Joe.

Harrison was Zorro. I loved his costume.

The boys were told that they could go trick-or-treating after we got our first visitor. They anxiously awaited that first customer!

Mary and Sara went trick-or-treating together.

Tyce was a nerd.
Tyce invited some choir friends over to go around the neighborhood: Sydney M., Kristyn T., Rachael O., Jenny B., Tyce, Tony O., and Hailey F.
I was very proud of myself because I ate absolutely zero pieces of candy on Halloween night, even though I sat outside with the bowl for 2 hours. In the days following I ate a piece here and there but I really am trying to avoid cheap and easy snacks. I'd rather save my calories for something amazing, special, and high-quality (like cheesecake, or anything made with raspberries).

Anyway, it was a fun month of dressing up and it was great to have so many fun things to do.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Rainy Day Feeling

Gray, gloomy, and wet all around. Sometimes that makes me feel warm and cozy. And other times, like today, it reflects the blah I feel on the inside. Things I can't change weigh heavily on my mind. And yet I have to work as hard as I can to do that very thing--to keep trying, to never give up, to stay hopeful, to affect a change. It's exhausting and depressing. Certain challenges cause people to rally around you--like an illness or impending move, for example. And others are the kind you can't broadcast and must be suffered in silence. That's where I am. And that's all I am going to say about it for now.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tyce's Honor Choir Concert

Now that I have Mary home with me all day I've obviously found it harder to get myself to the computer to blog. Another reason is that I can only upload pictures to the wonky laptop (which is not broken forever, as we had feared; it just won't close) and what is a post without pictures?

So I have a lot of happenings to post but this is one of the highlights from October.

Did I tell you that he not only made the all-district choir (and that the Clark County School District is the 5th largest in the nation) but that he made section leader? That's like first chair, highest score, best audition of them all. He's a Bass 2, the lowest voice part in choir. I know you're skeptical but I'm telling you, his voice is "Swing Lo Sweet Chariot" deep and very, very good.

Basic kids at Honor Choir rehearsal: Rachael O., Maddy S., Emily D., Kody M., Autumn D., Jenny B., Keara H., Sydney M., James E., Tyce, Christina O., Jordan M., Dane S.

Basic High School had about 13 kids who made it. Their director at Basic, Mr. Duff, is a miracle worker and a saint. What did Bryce call him? A rock star? I don't know but he has every desirable quality you would want in a mentor and the kids absolutely adore him. At the last school concert the principal got up at the end and complimented Mr. Duff up and down, extolling his teaching, the students, and the excellence he gets from them. It was more than a congratulatory "Good job"--it was "Thank you for honoring us with your gift, we don't know how we got so lucky to have you". It was the most heart-felt praise I had ever heard and I wanted to shout "Amen!" a bunch of times. When you have a teacher like that it is a rare gift.

The Honor Choir concert was superb. The talent was amazing. Tyce even got to sing with the other 7 section leaders a special number: Camp Town Races. It was an adorable barber shop quartet-style number and they did great.

Honor Choir concert at Ham Hall at UNLV.

I am so glad that Tyce worked hard to make the choir and that he had a wonderful experience performing. I am really proud of him.