Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Live & Love Life 365 (May)

Day 121: I felt the Spirit during testimony meeting and again during my Sunday School lesson which was about the life of Jesus Christ, and I felt such peace and love. I enjoyed relaxing with Josh this afternoon: we sat outside in the sunshine for 2 hours watching our boys be creative with sticks and water and mud and it gave me the hope that summer is on its way!

Day 122: Today was crazy busy for a Monday. My happiest moment was sitting at the table, eating dinner with my family. I love to have all us together, and I love listening to each of my boys as they talk about their day.

Day 123: Today was awful. My best moment was getting a hug from Josh when he came home from work.

Day 124: I was so glad to hang out at home all night!

Day 125: Receiving a sentimental text from a friend, talking to another friend on the phone, and holding onto the big muscles in my husband's arm!

Day 126: Watching the movie "The Tourist" with Josh (even though he fell asleep during it) and having a late-night chat with Amanda.

Day 127: Working on a 1000pc puzzle.

Day 128: Today was Mother's Day, and the boys treated me with homemade cards, a musical card, lots of my favorite kinds of chocolates, and 2 apricot trees that they planted! It was a wonderful day, and I felt so loved!

Day 129: I had a happy day at school. I was glad that Kimi joined us for FHE. I liked grocery shopping alone with Josh.

Day 130: Today went better than expected with the 3rd grade musical program practices, and I coached Kanyon's soccer team for the first time tonight and it was fun!

Day 131: I was so grateful that Josh made dinner tonight, even if it was just frozen pizza!

Day 132: The 3rd grade musical performances were today. When they performed for their peers in the school, it was almost flawless and I was so thrilled!! There were some glitches when they did it for their parents, but I'm just so glad to be done with it! And then tonight after soccer practice, we worked on John's lawn and trees, and it was so nice to work outside together as a family!

Day 133: Singing karaoke with Amanda and John.

Day 134: Attending the temple with Savanna and her family.

Day 135: Listening to my piano students at their spring recital. They did a great job and I was so proud of them!

Day 136: Having Family Home Evening: we did a service project for a family in the ward, went grocery shopping, played games, read stories, and ate dessert. It was a great night spent together!

Day 137: Watching Ammon at his 5th grade track meet. He did a great job running the 400-meters, and he got 4th place! It was beautiful weather, and I took the afternoon off from work to watch him. I really enjoyed relaxing, and visiting with friends, and being with Kanyon, and watching Ammon. It was just delightful!

Day 138: I had a great day at school! We played music bingo in several classes, and the classes were all awesome today! And I had lunch with the MOPS ladies during their last session of this year; I enjoyed being with them and feeling their spirits and filling my tummy with their yummy food, too! And tonight I watched last night's episode of Glee, and I really liked it!

Day 139: Half of my music classes were gone on field trips today, so I spent the morning at home with Kanyon. I got so much accomplished, and I actually enjoyed catching up on the dishes/laundry/cleaning that needed to be done!

Day 140: Spending the afternoon and evening with old friends, making new friends, and laughing the night away!

Day 141: Watching the newest "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie in the 3-D theater alone, singing karaoke with my friends and dancing the night away, and hanging out in Boise all day and night with new and old friends.

Day 142: Celebrating my friend John's birthday with him, and getting a welcome-home kiss from my husband after returning home.

Day 143: I had so much fun playing Music Bingo and wii Just Dance with my students today! Today was the first day of the last week of school!!! And tonight I enjoyed planting some new flowers in the pots by the front door to commemmorate the end of spring/beginning of summer!

Day 144: I had a lousy day, and I didn't want to do anything tonight. But soccer was on the calendar, so away we went. And it actually brightened my mood tremendously to watch Kanyon run around and kick the ball a few times, and to see Jonah and Micah both score goals for their team!

Day 145: School was non-stop crazy today! This morning was the last of my students' performance of the year: Kindergarten Graduation! And thankfully, it went well! This afternoon I went to Jonah and Micah's 1st grade field trip/picnic at the CDC park, and I enjoyed the sun's rays and watching the children play. This evening I taught the boys how to play the board game "Sequence" and it brought back lots of memories of when Josh and I used to play it together when we were newlyweds. And tonight after everyone went to sleep, I stayed up and watched the "Glee" finale--so sad it's done for the season!

Day 146: Today was the last day of school, and it was only a half-day. I played "dance craze" and "name the tune" with the students, and we had so much fun together!

Day 147: I went on a date with Josh tonight after graduation, and I enjoyed being alone with him. Then Amanda, John, and JQ joined us for dinner and dancing and we had a great time together. I love dancing with my hot husband!

Day 148: We planted the pumpkin patch seeds today, and I just love new beginnings!!! This afternoon, I laid on the lawn for an hour soaking in the sun's rays, and even though my legs aren't any tanner, my soul sure felt a whole lot brighter!

Day 149: I enjoyed teaching my Sunday School lesson today about repentance, and I had 16 people attend my class--which is the most I've ever had! This afternoon, we played games and ate dessert with Malachi, John, and JQ. I loved having friends and family in my home! We had so much fun playing Scattergories (Josh won, of course) and Oodles (I won, yay!) and I tried a new pumpkin dessert (yum yum) that everyone loved so much, it was gone before I could have seconds!

Day 150: I loved sleeping in with my husband this morning. It doesn't happen very often, but I like snuggling with him in the morning. And tonight we invited John over for dinner. We had French Toast--we haven't had it in a long time and it was YUMMY, because I put Aunt Linette's homemade raspberry jam on it and topped it with some powdered sugar!

Day 151: I just adore all the lilacs that are blooming right now! I love seeing people's large lilac bushes in full purple bloom! And I've enjoyed the beautiful flowers that have adorned my pear, apple, and cherry trees; they won't be on the trees for very much longer.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

going GaGa

Last November, I bought tickets for the Bon Jovi concert that was coming this March to SLC. Shortly after that, I learned that Lady Gaga was also coming in March, and her concert was just 3 days before Bon Jovi's, and at the same place, too--the Energy Solutions Arena. I knew that Josh really liked Lady Gaga, and I love her songs, so I convinced Josh to let me buy tickets for the Lady Gaga concert as well. I bought the second-cheapest-amount tickets, and figured the seats would be alright, they were half-way up the upper section, and were to the side/front of the stage. For both concerts, I ordered 3 tickets, because my friend Heather (who lives in SLC) wanted to go, too. From November to March, I looked forward with eager anticipation to attend the concerts, and I made plans for Josh and I to have a short vacation in between the two. The Lady Gaga concert was the beginning of our vacation on Saturday, March 19th. We left the three older boys in Salmon with Josh's parents, and we took Kanyon to Tremonton to my parents' house. We drove to SLC and picked up Heather and went out to dinner before the concert began.

One of my favorite parts about the Lady Gaga concert was the fans. I've never seen so many people dress up for a concert! I loved all the costumes and all the out-of-this-world attire! I absolutely LOOOOVED it!!! I didn't get a lot of good pictures of the people from the crowd, but here's an example of some of what we saw:  
When we found our seats, I was gravely disappointed. When I purchased the tickets, our seats looked like they would be in front of and to the side of the stage. But the stage jutted out much further than what it was supposed to be, and our seats were exactly parallel with the stage. This would not have been a bad thing except for the fact that there was only ONE screen, and it was facing forward. There were 3 songs in which she sang and danced on a giant platform on the stage, but we couldn't see her because the speakers hung down so low on our side and there was no screen to view her. Everyone that we sat by in our section felt the same way: we got gypped. This is what the stage looked like from our seats...She is singing a song, but you can't see her because of the speakers that are hanging down on the right side of the photo. You can see the screen hanging down in the middle of the photo, but because we were exactly parallel with it, we couldn't see a thing on it. Sooo disappointing.

The Lady Gaga concert was...well, long. The concert was supposed to start at 8:00. At about 8:25, her preshow group, the "Scissors Sisters" performed for 20 minutes. They were alright. I'd never heard of them before, but they put on a good show. They were done at 8:45, and then we waited AN HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES for Gaga. And during that whole time, there was nothing but elevator music playing. There was NO air conditioning, and it was HOT in the building with thousands and thousands of people waiting. At 10:00 the vendors closed, and so by the time she finally came out, there was no more opportunity to buy drinks or snack food. It was prolonged agony just waiting in the heat, and the fans were getting irritated. So by the time she actually appeared, I was already upset between the waiting and the lousy seats without a screen to see. I enjoyed her actual performance (well, what I actually could see of it), and I think that I would pay to watch her again, but next time, I would pay for better seats.

Lady Gaga is all about the costumes, dancers, and fancy sets. Her concert was called "Monster Ball", and she followed a story line as she sang her songs. First her truck was broken down, so she couldn't get to the ball (I loved how the hood opened up to reveal a piano).
Then there was a broken down subway car that was keeping her from getting to the ball.
Then she called somebody in the audience before the song "Telephone", and donated money to a homeless shelter in that person's name, and she talked on the phone with that audience member over the loudspeakers and offered them a backstage pass after the show to meet with her one-on-one.
Some of my favorite songs of the night were "Boys, Boys, Boys", "Alejandro", and "Poker Face"...

At the end of the show, she finally got to the "Monster Ball" and she sang the song "Paparazzi" to a giant monster.

Her encore performance was amazing; she came out and did "Bad Romance" and "Born this Way". It was an awesome ending to her concert.

The show ended at 11:45. She performed for an hour and forty five minutes...and the minute she was done, the air conditioners in the building came on. I don't know what that was all about, but it felt so good to breathe in cool air again!!! I was impressed that she could perform for so long! She is an excellent singer and performer. She doesn't engage the audience like Garth Brooks or Bon Jovi, but she definitely has pure, raw talent, and her music is incredible.

By the time we got out of there, and dropped Heather off, and arrived at our hotel, it was 1:00am. It was such a long night, but it was a fun way to start our couples vacation together!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

When I grow up...

For the most part, I really love my new job of teaching music to the K-5 elementary students. Some days I absolutely love it, and at the end of the day, I'm floating on air. Some days are super challenging, especially in the spring, and at the end of the day I feel completely deflated and I don't ever want to return. The past month or so, the kids have been all wound up, and the behavioral problems seem greater. I feel like my job is actually more about classroom management than it is about teaching musical skills. But...I love sharing my love of music with the students, and I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to do just that.  I teach 300 students, and I tell them all that I love them. The truth is, I love to see some of them come, and I love to see some of them leave...but regardless of which category they're in, they're still all technically loved!

Yesterday, one of my kindergarten classes made an impact on me, and I'm writing it down because I want to remember the experience. The kindergarteners have been preparing for 2 months now for their upcoming kindergarten graduation next week, and we've been singing the same songs over and over to make sure that they're learning them. In that particular class, there is one star singer who's musically gifted and can pick up on the words of a song very quickly, and she's always on pitch. She has been essentially carrying the weight of the whole class during singing time. When I tell the kids I can't hear them, she sings louder to make up for the kids who don't sing. There is another girl in that class who doesn't sing at all. She has ADHD, and can't focus long enough to sit still for five seconds, let alone learn the words to the songs. Well yesterday, the star singer of the class was absent, and for the first time in 3 months, I heard the restless girl sing. She sang super loud, and she belted out the words to half the songs. I was so impressed, and I kept vocally praising her, and she smiled and smiled and sang and sang. It made my heart happy! In that same class, there's a boy who always gives me a hard time....he's the naughty boy in the class. He never wants to do what I ask the students to do, he acts like the tough guy that can never be hurt, and he always answers questions with sarcastically smart remarks. Yesterday, at the end of class, we were playing a game, and he loudly proclaimed "When I grow up, I want to be a fire fighter AND a music teacher!". I thought it was hysterical because he hates singing, but I felt like perhaps I was finally making a difference in someone's life if they want to have my job when they grow up!!!

Yesterday was one of those days when I absolutely loved my job!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Lost, not found

I'm lost, and I can't seem to find myself.

My life is out of balance.

There aren't enough hours in the day to get everything I need to accomplished; I'm so behind in every aspect of my life.

I'm stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted.

I can't wait for summer to arrive...I long for relaxation, quality time with my family, and a chance to catch up on my blog.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Live & Love Life 365 (April)

Day 91: Taking the 3 younger boys with me to see a movie in the theater and eat at a restaurant afterwards. It was the first time Kanyon's been to the movie theater, and he did so well!

Day 92: Visiting with friends, and finishing a craft project for Kimi's room.

Day 93: Watching and listening to General Conference.

Day 94: Today was the first day back to school after a 10-day spring break and two of my music classes today were cancelled due to an assembly and a field trip. I had extra time to get things accomplished and still relax during the day; I had a fabulous work day!!!

Day 95: Talking to my friend John after not seeing him for 3 weeks, and talking with my husband at bedtime.

Day 96: Videotaping one of my 5th grade music classes today with their completed project of creating a cartoon theme song. They have been working on it for a month, and they did an awesome job! I was so happy and so proud of them! And tonight, I loved watching Josh model how to use a lanyard with my computer flash drive attached. Since I'm always losing it, he got the lanyard so it would be easier to keep track of and it was hilarious as he demonstrated ways it could be used! SOOO funny!

Day 97: Having Kimi and Kerry over to watch a movie with Josh and I. And laughing after it was over about some of the extremely stupid parts.

Day 98: Watching TV with John, and eating his yummy food too!

Day 99: Going for a peaceful drive to the grocery store this evening with my sweet hubby, and eating ice cream in bed together tonight (the good, expensive kind of ice cream. yum yum yum!).

Day 100: Celebrating 13 years of marriage, and secretly attaching my card for him onto his bathroom mirror in the middle of the night so he'd unexpectedly see it first thing in the morning! And watching Amazing Race together as a family: we all love those cowboys Jet and Cord!

Day 101: I loved Family Home Evening tonight! I ended up with the Old Maid card at the end of the game and I said "I'm the old maid AND I got the old maid card" and they all disagreed with me saying that I'm not an old maid! That was nice of them! And we read a story in the Friend that talked about a boy befriending a boy at scouts that was being teased, and I gave my boys all homework to do something nice for a boy in each of their classes that doesn't have a lot of friends or gets teased, and they were all excited about the idea and they kept talking about all kinds of things they were going to do during this week! Next week they're going to share with the family what they did each day to help the boy they picked, and I can't wait to find out!!!

Day 102: The sunshine truly brought happiness to my soul today.

Day 103: Getting my hair cut and talking, eating, and laughing with Amanda!

Day 104: The sunshine was just glorious, and my students were so good all day. Tonight I took Ammon to see the H.S. play "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat"--they did a fabulous job!!

Day 105: Going to a hotel and going swimming in its waterpark as a family, just for the fun of it!

Day 106: Being with my family all day: going down waterslides this morning, laughing at Josh's big splashes, taking a family nap in the car on the way home (except for the driver of course), and going to see "Joseph" again all together as a family tonight! It was a beautiful day!

Day 107: I loved teaching my Sunday School lesson today about the life of Jesus Christ, and I enjoyed the presence of all the people who came to my class!

Day 108: I had a great work day, and it was topped off by a great Family Home Evening tonight! Kimi came over to visit this evening, and she played games with our family, too. When we played Old Maid, it got down to just me and her at the end, and thankfully, she was the last one with the Old Maid card. So, for the first time in weeks, I didn't have to claim the "Old Maid" title at the end of the game!!!

Day 109: I had a rough day--I officially dislike Tuesdays. But my day brightened when a new episode of Glee aired tonight, which hasn't happened in a couple of months. I was so excited to watch my Glee again!

Day 110: I loved that none of us had to go anywhere or do anything tonight. It was nice to have relaxing time at home with all the family together, and I could also catch up on some projects that have been nagging at my mind for a while now!

Day 111: I had a stressful afternoon, but I enjoyed relaxing with the boys tonight. We watched "MegaMind". It was cute and funny!

Day 112: I loved it when Josh came home from work this evening and french-kissed me in the kitchen while I was making dinner!! And tonight, I watched Yentl for the very first time. I watched it alone after everyone went to bed, and I loved it!

Day 113: Seeing and visiting with some of my drama friends from high school! I love to be around theater people, and I enjoyed catching up with some of my long-time friends that I haven't seen in 15+ years!

Day 114: Celebrating Easter in Tremonton with all my family. I loved being together with everyone, I loved the warm weather, I loved the good food, I loved the celebration!!

Day 115: I was happy to get a long list of things accomplished so that I feel more prepared for the first grade musical performances this week.

Day 116: I came home from work to the delicious aroma of dinner cooking. Josh made a lovely dinner, and we ate with the missionaries. It was nice to have company over and to relax this evening after spending hours yesterday working. And to top it off, I watched the new Glee episode after the kids went to bed, and I absolutely LOVED it!! It definitely put a smile on my face!

Day 117: Going to the ward party; it was a very informal one. Josh and I got to visit with ward members, the kids had a lot of fun, I totally kicked butt at the cookie wiggle game, and I just made a dessert for it so I didn't have to worry about making dinner.

Day 118: Watching my first grade music students as they performed their musical program "Celebrate Spring" for their parents. They did a great job and I was so proud of them! All of our hard work practicing paid off! Whew! So glad it's done, so that I can stop having nightmares about it now!

Day 119: Going on a date with my hubby. We went for a soak in the hot springs, sang to Lady Gaga in the car, got some pizza, and watched "Country Strong" at John's house on his big TV and with his surround sound. It was a great date and I really enjoyed it!

Day 120: I spent the afternoon with Amanda volunteering at a fundraiser dinner. We had so much fun together, and laughed a ton! I loved every minute of it! And tonight, we sang karaoke and danced with John and Josh and I enjoyed it so much!