Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stars of Tomorrow

When I was in middle school I performed in Stars of Tomorrow, which is a production put on by the Kiwanis club in Powell thats been going on for years now.   My friend Austin Lee was doing a fute solo I think and her accompanist and mother, Laurie Lee must have asked if I wanted her to accompany me for a vocal solo...not sure how it went down but I'm glad she was willing because I know how busy moms are and how precious their time is and it was a good experience for me.  A couple months ago I saw auditions advertised in the Lovell chronicle for Stars of Tomorrow 2013 and I had the crazy idea of teaching Stetson a song to sing.  I had an even crazier idea of accompanying him myself.  I've been taking piano lessons since September so I think that helped.  Anyway, I looked through all my music that I alphabetized and organized a few years ago and found a copy of Amazing Grace.  I think we sang it in highschool and I ended up with a copy.  Its crazy how it all happened so easily, but I honestly just started playing through it and sort of teaching it to him (played it for him on you-tube once) and before I knew it he had it memorized and was asking me a few times a week if we could sing it.  I picked up an applicaton at the bank of Lovell and at Janelle's next well child visit I filled it out in the waiting room, had it notarized at the hospital and turned it into the Lamplighter.  I was nervous even filling it out and not quite sure if I trusted myself to accompany him.  Auditions were right around Kandace's 4th birthday and I was NERVOUS.  I had never accompanied anyone before and the thought/fear of messing Stetson up was really overwhelming.  I didn't think I could live with myself if I messed him up.  Dad came with so he could keep an eye on Janelle (we left Kandace with gma Dorothy).  When we got there I saw the peice of paper with order of perfomances and scanned it a couple of times and couldn't see his name and then I spotted it....on the very top!  We were first.  Luckily I only messed up a little in the middle (I was so nervous) and yes it threw him off but I whispered the words to him, he got right back on and ended it like a champ.  We got lots of comments about how good he did and I was feeling pretty good about things but knew I'd feel really bad if he didn't make it.  Well a couple days later we found out he made it!!  By this time we had practiced it a LOT (a couple times with his school music teacher Chauna Bischoff and once with my piano teacher Ruth Hammond).  Perfoming it in front of other people was helpful to both of us I'm sure.  A couple weeks later we had 2 dress rehearsals which went better than the audition thank goodness and I learned something about Stetson I didn't know before--he has no stage fright.  Whatsoever.  I was always nervous enough for the both of us but he was as comfortable as ever and it was nice to not have to worry about him.  The time of the performance came and he did great. I was so happy I didn't mess up.  Later that night I watched it on the tablet that Michael used to video tape him.  I watched it lots of times and felt so proud of my boy.  I hope this experience ignites a little bit of interest in music and performing.  I obviously am a huge fan of the performing arts and know that my life has been greatly enriched by my experiences in all-state choir, women's choir, tours, solos, its all been great and I want my kids to experience it too. 

Stetson was pulling a funny face here, this is in no way indicitive of his feelings about performing.  He loved it and actually asked me today if we could go back to the "concert." :)  He truly loved going to Powell for rehearsals.  Not sure if it was th one on one time he loved with me, playing on the tablet or what, but he was always a happy camper come rehearsal and performance time. 

Winners from each age category were announced at the end (except from his age group, everyone from his K-3 got a certificate of partipation, a medal which he loves with his name on it and a bunch of certificates to local restaraunts).

Stetson and his brave crazy mom

 Stetson loved standing with the other performers at the end and looking at the trophies.
Stetson with his certificate.
Dear Stetson Simmons Asay,
I love you.  I am so proud to be your mom.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas & Happy Hannakau

This is one of my favorite salads. I eat it all the time.  Merry Christmas and happy salad making.

Applebees Oriental chicken salad

oriental dressing: (i always double it so I have enough to last:)
1/4 c mayo
1 1/2 T rice wine vinegar
3 T honey
1/8 t sesame oil (oriental food section at your local grocer:)
1 t grey poupon dijon mustard

salad: (might as well double this too lol)
3 c chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 c carrot shredded
1 c red cabbage
1 c nappa cabbage

I just buy tyson chicken strips, bake them, chop them up and put them on top of the salad and sprinkle sliced almonds and chow mein noodles (I buy these in bulk at Costco).  Do not omit these toppings.  They make the salad delish!!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Stetson's Valentine party

One of the moms in Stetson's class emailed me these pictures today!  Stetson had a great time at his Valentine party!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

skiing take 2

Michael had Mon & Tue off this week so on Tue I took Stetson skiing!  I would have loved another adult to come but dad couldn't and it was short notice to get a sitter for the girls so Michael could come, so it was just the 2 of us!  Stetson overall did really good.  We just get a 1/2 day Miami beach lift ticket (the easiest hill) and ski on it the whole time.  At the end of the Miami Beach its easy for Stetson to veer off to the wrong side which takes you down a hill and towards the lodge, which is not where we want to go because its a pain to get back towards the lift, and this proabably presented the most poblems because it was hard getting myself and Stetson back up the hill to where the lifts are.  The other thing was when I would make the mistake of getting a little too far ahead and then realize my boy had fallen down and then I had to side step up the hill and rescue him.  I was sweating in my snow clothes climbing up that hill.  He was a good sport about falling down though.  He never cried and woud just get right back up and go again.    The weather was beautiful, bright blue skies and not too many other skiers.  Stetson said his favorite part was racing me.  This pic was Stetson drinking his $3 hot chocolate in the lodge.  This was our only break we took (maybe a 1/2 hr) other than that we skiied the whole time.  Stetson is getting better and I'm loving watching him have fun.  I'm excited to go with Michael some time hopefully.

Valentine's Day

Today we baked cookies, went to Stetson's Valentine Party, frosted cookies and made a couple of deliveries.  The day actually began at 7:45am when dad called to see if he could stop by.  He came over with his annual Valentine for his one and only (yours truly).  Dad has been giving me Valentine's on v-day for as long as I can remember and has never missed.  I think I'm pretty lucky. 

This baby Janelle is c-r-a-z-y.  She is like a new baby lately, with endless energy and personality busting at every seam.  She's talking more, interacting more and we can't get enough.  Gma Asay came to K's party wearing this necklace and now Janelle thinks its the greatest and is almost alway wearing it.  We have to put her in her highchair if we need to keep her off the table to do anything.  She is an animal! 

Stetson had a great day with his gpa Simmons dropping him off at school, a valentine party at school and treats from gma Asay.  Life is good.

I have a lot to say about this monster.

 About a month ago, Stetson brought home a flyer about Valentine's boxes.  Its purpose was to explain to parents that they were to help their child create a "valentine box" of some sort as a family and to be creative and have fun!  I immediately got all sorts of ideas and started saving empty boxes and milk cartons of all shapes and sizes.  It dawned on me one night that we should use the go-gurt box and make a monster since it had a little slit for the mouth already which would be perfect for inserting Valentine's.  Step 1 was paper mache.  I looked up a recipe, started mixing ingredients and thought for sure I was the best mom in the history of the world for creating such a fun family craft for my Stetson.  WRONG.  He hated the paper mache and after much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, Stetson applied ONE strip on the box. Kandace however loved it and had no reservations getting down and dirty with the paper mache.  She eventually lost interest though and I ended up finishing "step 1." 

Step 2: A few days later Stetson picked his color and we spray painted it (Stetson acually didn't even get to do that because the nozzle was so hard to push down) and a couple days after that, Stetson decorated it exactly how he wanted to and I was pleased as punch even though he put eyeballs on the monster's head and where I thought the nose should be, I was so glad he could do what he wanted.  This boy surprises me every day but I sure am crazy about him.  I remember learning in my child development class in college that there is a lot of value in giving your child decision making opportunities, even if it means their clothes don't match or their valentine boxes don't exactly fit the "mold."  It seemed like a lot of the valentine boxes were made by parents and I felt good that I'd let Stetson do his own thing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The big day

On Sunday (her actual birthday) Kadace was happy as can be--I let her pick her Sunday dress (this is usually sort of an ordeal every Sunday morning and I always give Kandace 3 or 4 choices and then let her choose from those otherwise she would wear this red one EVERY week pretty much).  So we let her choose and we even let her take her new sparkle purse to church and to top the day off she got to sit on gma Asay's lap during Sacrament since uncle Jared was reporting his mission in our ward that day. 
After church I had VT interviews then I raced home and made this cake.  My cousin Angela Richardson loaned me the cake pan, frosting bags and tips and it started out pretty easy until I tasted the dark purple frosting (that I'd already frosted onto the cake) and thought it tasted too bitter as a result of too much coloring).  I panicked and told Michael we'd have to scrape it off and start over but Michael being the cool, calm and collected one, ressured me it tasted fine (he could have been lying) but we went ahead and made the rest of the frosting trying to go easy on the coloring and it ended up good.  The actual frosting of the cake was easy, just time consuming.  I always get nervous and feel like my blood pressure must be skyrocketing when I try to make cakes for my kids but this is where my awesome husband Michael comes into the picture--I'd holler from the kitchen that I needed help and he'd come in and help me clean out frosting bags, take my blood pressure (jk) or anything else.  It was fun and I want to buy a frosting bag and tips now.


This year we celebrated Kandace's birthday twice!  We had pizza, cake n icecream on Saturday and then had butterfly cake at gpa Simmons' on her actual birthday.  Kandace was in heaven and we feel so lucky she has so many people who love her.  Kandace always gives me specific requests for her special day (she's been talking about her birthday for a long time now) but since she changes her mind so much and since I'm not wonderwoman, we kept it pretty simple!   Especially since I was at an educator's workshop all day Saturday for a .5 PTSB point.  We decorated and made the cake Fri night so everthing would be ready when I got back.  Michael held down the fort Saturday and I came home with pizzas at 5:30 and it was time to party! ! Kandace got a piggy bank, a dill, a ball that lights up, dora pjs, a leotard for dance, make up, jewlery, hair accessories, a sparkle purse and $$!  Her family knows her well and always gets the perfect presents for her.Gma Asay came "dressed up" (wearing a crown) per Kandace's request.  I wish I'd gotten a picture.

Kasi helped Kandace do her hair and makeup and she was in HEAVEN!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Kandace is 4

My little bug turned 4 today!  I love you Kandace. you.are.crazy.  I LOVE your big brown eyes and your endless energy, stories, songs, questions and dances you like to share.  Here are a few things about my girl at 4:
*loves dance class.  She asks every day if we "have dance class in the morning."  As soon as I tell her its time for dance she runs in her room and puts on her dance clothes which ALWAYS consists of a tutu of some sort. 

*loves wearing leggings and skirts.  The first time I tried to convince her to wear leggings and a skirt she was very skeptical but now its all she wants to wear.  She rotates between her jean one, a plaid one and a red ralph lauren one if the other 2 are dirty (which they usually are)

*is obviously ALL GIRL.  I wish so badly for her to work hard and play basketball and other sports but she is a lot like I was.  Very girly and just not into it.  I didn't realize how much I liked sports until I was older and even now I wish I'd worked harder instead of taking highschool sports for granted. 

*knows all her brother's buttons to push and how to get his feathers ruffled pretty quick.  She is ever so sneaky about her mischevious ways but she never has mom or dad fooled.

*loves DORA.  Her mom does not.  end of story

*loves her baby sister...I catch them with their arms around each other just hugging or playing with each other all the time.  Janelle loves to play with Kandace's hair

*loves to play outside and is always ready to do anything (story time, trip to grandparents, red apple, you name it and she's down with it)

*her favorite foods are go-gurts or yogurt in a bowl, apple slices, oranges, macaroni and cheese, water in her dora cup and of course any kind of fruit she loves any time or place.

*is just like her dad in how she's not much of a breakfast eater.  She likes to lounge around, watch some cartoons, then eat breakfast at 9ish or later...unless fruit is for breakfast then she's ready for it.

*loves her grandparents.  Every Sunday immediately after primary she will spot her gpa Asay and go give him a hug. 

*At FHE when we have "business" she always talks about falling off of bumpy badger :) so funny

*is not a great sleeper

Kandace we love you to the moon and back and are so proud of you!  Happy birthday sweet girl.
We got a new deacon in our Sunday school class---kind of caught me off guard but I was excited to have him!  Our lesson was teaching with the spirit and it went awesome.  I always pray that the kids in my class will be touched by the spirit and that the spirit will confirm the truths I teach and I think we had success today. At the end of each lesson we sort of re cap and try to make connections between different lessons and experiences outside of class and I was telling our new student about last week's lesson (recognizing the Lord's hand) and he gave me an example in his own life!  I had this kid in scouts and he was really quiet and I honestly didn't expect much participation from him today but when he shared a story about tender merices I was so touched.  I asked the kids if they could give examples (I bribed them with treats if they would write one tender mercy in their journal each day).  This kid said his dad was down in the basement and had locked the door so the cat wouldn't get in and then realized he'd locked himself in and he was going to be late for work but he had his phone with him and was able to call for help.  I loved how this kid recognized this as a tender mercy and was willing to share it with us.  Since this was his first time, I noticed other kids take him under their wing and show kindness towards him.  It was a blessing to be in this class today.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I am feeling so lucky and blessed right now.  I'd been putting off preparing my Sunday school lesson and I'm just getting to it now...waiting for some things to print off.  Our lesson last Sunday was "how can i learn to see Heavenly Fathers hand in all things?"  I was really excited for the lesson because it included a talk given by pres Eyring called "O Remember, Remember."  I remembered how I felt when I heard that talk for the first time--the story of pres Eyring coming home late one night, passing his father in-law who had been helping pres Eyring's family.  Right then Pres Eyring heard a voice in his mind say "I'm not giving you these experiences for you, write them down."  Pres Eyring went on to say that he decided that night that he would start recording in his journal ways he saw the Lord's hand in his life.  He did this every day no matter what and he noted that by remembering, he was able to identify ways that he wouldn't have noticed otherwise, just because we get caught in the daily grind.  He also talked about the fact that we all fail to recognize the Lord's hand in our lives and the cure is having the companionship of the Holy Ghost.  He said its so hard to do this in such a wicked world.  I agree, but I know I can do it and that I can see the Lord's hand in my life.  I bore my testimony about this talk last Sunday during fast and testimony mtg.  I was so nervous I could feel my ankles shaking and the kids in my Sunday school class said I was talking really fast.  Ha.  One of my downalls definitely.  But I was feeling prompted the entire sacramnt mtg to get up.  I put it off until finally I was the last one to bear my testimony.

I was having a hard time yesterday and looking for some sort of relief and as the day went on I saw tender mercies and ways Heavenly Father was helping me out.  They were simple things really and probably sound silly, but I'm trying to see good things in my life as blessings and not coincidence...Michael wasn't supposed to be home until 6 but I wanted to go to turbo kick at 5:30. I have a great babysitter who I just go pickup pretty much whenever I need her, but this time Stetson was sleeping (yes at 5pm), I was running late and tying to get dinner ready when I got a text from her mom saying Alea could just walk over since she was at her gmas just a couple blocks away.  I almost cried I was so happy.  Coincidence?  I don't really know but I do know Heavenly Father loves me and is mindful of me, but unfortunately I am always creating "pavillions" that keep me from feeling his presence.  So many distractions, temptations and ways to forget God.  Being a Sunday school teacher has been a tender mercy because its forced me to sit down and study the gospel.  I wish I was better.  I wish I did more to feel the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I wish I had more strength to resist temptation, but today I'm feelng good and hopefully can resolve to be a little better every day.