February 28, 2010

Make a Difference

The elementary school had their annual music fest program this week. I figure this is about the 10th year in a row I've attended. And, I love it.

Are some of the songs a bit corny? Do some of the audience members need to learn better concert etiquette? Do they need a bigger and better venue to hold the event? Yes, yes, and yes. But, in spite of all this, I'm so glad my kids have had the opportunity to participate.

Here are my reasons why:
  1. I appreciate that the school's administration sees music as an essential part of a good education.
  2. The programs are carefully put together. Songs are chosen and speaking parts are written to teach the children history and important values.
  3. The children have the opportunity show off their hard work and perform for an appreciative audience.
  4. The standing room only performances are just another manifestation of the huge parental support this school has.
  5. The kids are just so dang cute.
This year, the program was titled, "Make a Difference," and the theme was ecology and taking care of our planet. To me, this seems like a great theme and very relevent. However, I could not believe one man actually walked out disgusted with the "socialist agenda". Another person even called the Fire Marshall to try and get the second night's performance shut down. Sitting next to me were a couple of men discussing how the kids were being brainwashed into believing the "global warming garbage".

Really? And, I repeat. Really?

I'm just glad these people were overwhelmingly in the minority, but they ticked me off just enough that I would like to offer this.

A big thanks to the many people who made this production possible. Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy some clips from "Make a Difference."

    February 27, 2010

    The Next Fab Four?

    Tomas and his neighborhood pals performed in the ward talent show. They decided they wanted to show everyone how they can do Lego Rock Band.

    Lego Rock Band is the big draw for playing at Ethan's house, just like Mario Cart on the Wii and our bowl of stale Halloween candy is for playing at our house.

    Chloe was Tomas' stylist helping with this faux hawk and his rock star duds. They held a couple of practices, and I was very curious to see what would actually happen once they got on stage.

    The boys performance of Rooftops by the Lostprophets turned out to be one of the highlights of the evening (and no, I've never heard of that song or group before). They boys really had some cool moves and rock star attitude. Ethan's sister said we need to come over and watch the boys do Lego Rock Band at their house. I guess all inhibition is lost without the audience.

    Here are the Asteroids.


    For the talent show, Chloe and a friend performed a tongue in cheek dance routine, and Liam and his friend showed off a stop animation film they created. So I wouldn't be asked to perform anything, I quickly signed up to bring treats. Making treats is actually my biggest talent anyways. Katie's talent was helping all of us with ours talents. I know that's every mom's talent, but Katie is exceptionally good at it. She helped the kids find all the things they needed for their performances, and she so kindly cleaned up the kitchen before I destroyed it again making cocoa fudge cake truffles

    I would have had pictures of the Chloe and Liam, but I couldn't figure out the settings on my new fancy schmancy camera until the program was half over. I'll need to work more on developing that talent.

    February 20, 2010

    Photo of the Week (2/20/10)

    As I play around with my new camera and learn new tricks and techniques, I thought I would choose my favorite photo of the week and post it.

    When the tree in our yard gets buds on it, I can hardly contain my excitement. Spring is almost here! Now, this is Utah, and I know we could very well likely still get a snow pounding. But, those buds put me in a good mood.

    For this photo, I was trying a close up shot where the background is out of focus.

    Not long now!

    Fancy Schmancy Camera

    Thanks to all the family members who contributed to my Awesome Camera Fund. I finally bought the camera, and the boys and I went down to the Provo River Trail to test it out. I watched the instructional DVD that came with the camera, and I read the manual. However, I think it's going to take a lot of practice and trial and error before I feel like I'm somewhat proficient. Today, I was mostly playing around. Here's some of what I came up with. The end of February probably isn't the best time to photograph down by the river, but as the hymn goes: there is beauty all around...

    Side Note: This is fulfilling New Year's Resolution #8.

    February 17, 2010

    Liam's Milestone

    Liam turned twelve this week and was ordained a deacon in the LDS Church. It seems like I've been looking forward to this for so long, but boy, it snuck up fast.

    All I can say is, "What a great kid!" How did we get so lucky?

    Lookin' mighty GQ in his new suit

    The grandparents came for the event.

    Blessed indeed to have such wonderful grandparents

    The proud parents—How can we help it?

    OK, so I didn't pay attention to lighting for this picture—rays 
    from Heaven shining down on our angels. Sappy? I know, 
    but I still like it.

    In addition to Liam being ordained, we had Stake Conference. The Isaak family turned out to be major contributors. First off, Chloe gave a fantastic talk about how the Young Women's Organization 
    helps prepare young women for the temple. Then, Katie and I directed the Stake Youth Choir. Chloe and Liam sang in the choir, naturally. The Choir performed "Turn your Hearts", "I Love to See the Temple", and "Take Time to Be Holy". I may be a bit biased, but I thought they sounded great. Plus, Katie and I had a blast working with the kids.

    February 11, 2010

    Happy Ferris Wheel Day!

    The boys' school is celebrating Valentine's Day today. The day of love falls on Sunday this year, and there's no school tomorrow for teacher quality day (This may be just a way to get a four day weekend since Monday is President's Day).

    Today is also Liam's birthday. Liam, being a typical 12 year old boy, is pretty much against Valentine's Day (except for the candy part, of course).

    Instead of handing out the usual store bought Valentine's cards, Liam created his own with his own special twist.
    Very fitting for our child whose head is full of random facts.

    In Liam's class, each kid was also to decorate a box at home for all the Valentine's cards. Liam was in the basement for a couple of hours working on his creation. Here is what he came up with.
    That is so Liam.

    And, because the kids weren't getting enough sugar, I brought the class donuts to celebrate Liam's birthday. 

    Happy birthday, Liam! You're one great kid! Oh, and Happy Ferris Wheel Day!

    February 08, 2010

    I Want To Put On My My My My My Boogie Shoes!

    Chloe attended her first high school dance. It was the Sweethearts' Dance and girl's choice. Chloe invited Tyler. (Click here to see Tyler. He's the one in the baseball cap. She's been invited to a rival school's Sweethearts' Dance later in the month by Paul, the other boy in the picture.)

    In keeping with Utah high school tradition, Chloe was creative in how she asked Tyler to the dance. She had Tyler's parents hide an alarm clock in Tyler's room that was set to go off at 3 a.m. Attached to the clock was a note inviting him to the dance, but he had to wait until breakfast to find out by whom. At breakfast, Tyler found a box of cereal at the table with the letters in Chloe's name circled on the box. He then had to unscramble the letters. Tyler let Chloe know his answer by attaching a series of clues to alarm clocks hidden in her English class that went off throughout the period.

    With the asking and answering out of the way, the next hurdle was the dress, and oh, what a hurdle that was. Due to everyone's very busy schedules, the dress had to be found in one evening. Since Katie was teaching her class, I was delegated to be Chloe's chauffeur. We covered every single store in the mall. It seemed that all the dresses we found fell into two categories: way too expensive or way too hoochie-mama. One would think that there would be a wide selection of modest dresses in Happy Valley. But, noooo.

    After three hours, Chloe wanted to kill me (shopping with your dad is so not cool), and I was about to go ballistic myself (shopping with your teenage daughter can be hard on the nerves). I finally sent Katie a text to stop by the mall after her class to save me. However, just as Katie arrived, we found it–the perfect dress. For Chloe, it was cute and different. For me, it was modest and affordable. BINGO! Both Chloe and I were happy to have found the dress and that our bonding moment was finally over. Next time, I vote bonding over a Jamba Juice Pomegranate Pick-Me-Up.

    Drum roll please.

    Ta-dah! Introducing The Dress.

    The hassle was very worth every minute. I'd even consider doing 
    it all over again. Chloe, the princess, looks beautiful.
    Photography courtesy of Liam. 

    Chloe has never been one to follow the crowd. She kind of reminds me of Andie in Pretty in Pink. Katie has a pair of red stiletto pumps she offered to lend Chloe for the dance. We even offered to buy her some new dress shoes. But, Chloe was going for fun and comfort.

    Here is what she chose.
     Yep, fun, comfortable, and totally Chloe. A great choice.

    Since Chloe and Tyler went with a group and all the girls went to pick up the boys, we never did get to see the two together. We'll have to wait until Chloe gets the professional picture they had taken at the dance. I'll be sure to post it.