Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Special Evening Full of Special People

I have been trying to get this post up for over a month now but I was struggling with blogger and the photos. I am so glad to finally be able to brag about Philip and Miriam and this wonderful production of which they were a part!

If you missed the Staccatos' production of Music Man last month you missed a real treat. This was Philip and Miriam's first year participating in the annual musical put on by the Therapeutic Rec Dept of our county's Parks and Rec and I was so excited that such a wonderful experience exists for our county's special needs population. It was perfect from beginning - a prologue offered by Bill on his french horn - to end - the local high school marching band marching down the aisle playing 76 Trombones.

Philip played a boy and Miriam played a townsperson. Doesn't she look beautiful in her costume?! (she's the one right in the middle who can't touch the floor with her feet) They loved their costumes. Miriam looked so pretty sitting up with all the other women and girls. They sang all the choir numbers, Philip had a solo for Well's Fargo Wagon (forgot to turn on the sound again for the video - DOH!) and Miriam got a line to say at the microphone. Ben and his buddy Dan helped out with the crew - which meant they got to haul random set pieces around and be the gophers for the director. They were a great help!

I just can't say enough about this production. I have years and years of experience putting up productions and I have never been part of one this wonderful. The directors (one a teacher at the local Level V school for kids with special needs and the other a nursing home employee) were a perfect match for their cast. They brought so much fun and loving guidance into this with the perfect mix of understanding the needs of each cast member and meeting them right where they needed to be met. Each person had their talents show-cased in a way that was unique to them with a script that had been edited perfectly for them. One of the cast members managed to step up to the microphone and get out her one word - Wagon! - while the more musically talented - such as Bill on the french horn and Joel with his (and Philip with his) wonderful singing voice - got to share their talents in their own special way.

There was some really special community involvement as well. In the middle of the show, the Bay Country Gentlemen had sent a quartet of men to sing Lida Rose. They sang by themselves entering down the middle aisle and then came up on the stage and sang with several of our cast members who were so excited to be able to sing with this "famous" group. The local high school also sent some members of their pep band to play 76 Trombones at the end of the show which was another huge hit with the cast members. As parents we were touched by the time and talent shared so readily with our children.

I have to admit I was smitten with Bill who, in spite of the lack of "r"s in his speech pulled off a wonderful rendition of Pwofessow Hawold Hill of the Wiver City Bowys Band. He couldn't have been more perfectly cast! I invited everyone I knew to see this production, not because I was being generous to Philip and Miriam but because it really was, truly the BEST theater I have seen in a very long time. Those I invited who came thanked me and I'd like to believe they agreed. So if you get an invite to next year's production please, please, please - RUN, don't walk to see it! You are not going to be disappointed!

Friday Fun with Ms. Smith's Preschool

Adora is in charge of the preschool around here which includes anyone about 5 and under. Baby screaming during History? Ms. Smith to the rescue! Nehemiah and Nathan stealing the colored pencils during map work? Ms. Smith to the rescue! Fire House field trip? Ms. Smith gets to chaperon! On Friday she took the four small boys and my camera to the local fire house for some engine-climbin', fire-suitin'-up, high-fivin', ambulance ridin' fun. She managed to get this shot off of the four boys but I imagine the over-all experience went more like this:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Remember This? Friday

This one's for Muffy:

Mom owned a craft shop throughout my early childhood and we learned every craft fad out there. I distinctly remember making a macrame owl just.like.this (well, without the green feathers coming off the ears). I also remember counting bins of individual pom-poms during annual inventory time and dipping my fingers in the huge vats of wax when Mom was set up for candle-making classes. Mostly I think I remember playing in the dingy back yard out behind the 2nd shop she had and sitting on the "poop" blanket eating our lunch. (There were always itchy wool blankets in the trunk of the car for such occasions which had been spread out in doggy doo so many times they smelled permanently like wet, woolly poo - how's that for a memory?!)

Monday, April 20, 2009

JM Lost His Tooth!

JM lost his first tooth! He let it hang in there until it was hanging by a thread and I pulled it out with a wet paper towel (I have a bit of a reputation in these parts for liking this stuff a bit too much!).


Overheard this morning while nursing the baby:

Ruth whistling, door opening.

David: Grrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ruth: David, don't come in here! I'm using the potty.

David: Ruth, you can see through my disguise?! John! Ruth can see through my disguise!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Christ is Risen Indeed!

Christ is risen from the dead,
trampling down death by death!
And upon those in the tomb
bestowing life!

We had a fantastic Pascha celebration this weekend which culminated in a trip to Five Guys for hamburgers and french fries in a flesh-meat and cheese eating frenzy. (The Eastern Orthodox fast from meat, eggs, dairy, olive oil and wine for all of Great Lent.) For the spiritual side of our celebration (which dominated our week and was beautiful on so many levels) visit my other blog for a feast of the sights of Holy Week in an Eastern Orthodox church. We arrived home from our Pascha service and church family celebration around 5:00 am and told the kids not to bother us until noon. The on to the fun, the kids searched for their Pascha baskets. I set up a picture scavenger hunt for them which took them more than an hour to get through all 34 clues and finally get to their baskets in the attic. Here's the rules:
  1. Clues are photographs of places. You must go to each place pictured to find the next clue.
  2. The clue will always be another picture and will be somewhere in, on or immediately around what is pictured.
  3. Everyone must stick together - no stragglers allowed.
  4. All must cooperate and get a turn to help.
Here's some photo fun of the clues and the places they traveled to find them:

This was one of the first clues - their as yet unplanted garden:

I made it harder by actually burying the clue and then digging up about half of the dirt so they couldn't tell what was newly dug....hehehe....that took them awhile!

This clue led them to....
JM's pants pocket. I hid the clue there well before the hunt began and he was so good to keep it a secret until it was time. Even when they were looking in his pockets, he just stood there and didn't tell them which pocket had the clue.

This was funny because JT is afraid of the chickens so I told him where to find the clue while all the others were scrambling around in the chicken house, JT was safely climbing the roof. Miriam found three eggs, though, even though she didn't find the clue!
Another inspired hiding job....
I actually put the clue under the cedar chips, under the house under Pumpkin's little derriere. When they pulled it out of the cage it had suffered some chewing damage...teehee:

I had Matt, one of the neighborhood kids, climb the tree for me and hide this one - that set them back since they knew there was no way this pregnant mom had climbed that tree!
Tali wasn't all that interested in the hunt so we took some time to make a crawling video of her whilst the rest of the gang searched on. This is her Big New Skill from the past week!

The final clue - all our upstairs doorways look the same so they had to try several doors before they found their baskets hidden in the attic:

And enjoying the hard-won booty - L'il Wekinz for all. For most of them, they got their first Webkinz to play around with - they were all thrilled (but Nathan was all about the candy).
Tad picked out the koala for Phlip - they do look remarkably similar - same broad, flat nose, round cheeks, big ears and beady little eyes. Put some glasses on that cutie and they could be twins!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Opening Day

We had opening day today for both Ben's baseball league and JM and David's tball league. David is so excited to finally entered the world of Organized Sports complete with a uniform, team and equipment. They looked so cute in their uniforms - esp with the socks that still gave them elephant ankles even when pulled up to their thighs underneath those cool baseball pants. It's hard to believe Ben was this age and drowning in his uniform not too terribly long ago.

Tad got JM and David's excitement while I took Ben to get his team picture and have an opening day scrimmage. The weather was gorgeous and Ben's team looks pretty good this year. Ben loves to get that bat in his hands and here he is on 3rd base.I think the score was tied for the scrimmage.

JM and David somehow got to hold the official team banner and lead up their team in the opening day parade.This should be an...interesting....season as we have these three on the baseball fields, Philip and Miriam playing badmitton with the therapeutic rec program, Miriam and Ruth finishing up their dance season with a recital on their dad's birthday in May, and JT running track and field with all the requisite Saturday track meets. I think I have breathing scheduled for sometime early-June just before rugby starts and travel soccer try-outs....

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Iconography of Holy Week

Entrance of The Lord into Jerusalem

The Mystical Supper

Notice John with his head on Christ's breast, emphasizing the central love message of his gospel

Notice the ground beginning to break up at the foot of the cross. The skull is Adam's skull with the blood of Christ running over it. Following the reverse perspective of this icon, the viewer is in the darkness with Adam's skull.

Burial of The Lord

John is in the same posture over Christ's body here as he was at the Mystical Supper. The other men in the icon are Joseph of Arimethea and Nicodemus.

Descent into Hades

Now the ground is completely opened, Satan is bound and Adam and Eve are being pulled up out of Hades. The perspective of this icon places us standing on the gates of hell at the feet of Christ!