Saturday, June 5, 2010

They're back!!

(my Jon-boy, all tuckered out)

Jonathan and Geoff came home today!!

I missed my boys!!!

About 11a my sweet Jonathan and cute hubby, Geoff got home from Scout Encampment. They were tired and SMELLY!

My Jonathan is not a super affectionate-type kid, but today when he walked in and yelled "my boy is home!" - he came right over to me and gave me a BIG hug!
He quickly told me he wanted a shower and I obliged just as quick. :)

Geoff came in and gave me a kiss then proceeded to RUN past me to the bathroom. Thinking he wanted a shower just as bad, I was quickly told different. Apparently there was plenty of practical jokers up at camp and he'd been "holding it" until he got
home. . . afraid of being stuck, tipped or otherwise tortured if caught in the Port-a-John. LOL!! Thank goodness it's only ONE item of business for men that they would have to use the facilities! LOL!!!

After Geoff had "relieved" himself and Jonathan had showered, they came in to tell us all about the fun of the week. All while Jonathan unpacked and the other kids snacked on his extra treats.

Jonathan's highlights of the week:
Best Breakfast - Garrett Smith's Famous Breakfast Burritos
Best Dinner - Garrett Smith's BBQ Ribs and Celia Halstead's Famous Rolls
Best Dessert - Cobbler
Best Activity - everything
Best Day - Friday (he liked his Solo Experience)
Best Experience - when he saw his Dad on Thursday and watching all the men give Bro. Wheeler a blessing (powerful is how described it)

Sounds like he had a great time and he says he's ready to go again next year!!
Val Vista Ward, Mountain View Stake
has the BEST Young Men's Encampment!!

And tomorrow he gets to pass the sacrament for the FIRST TIME!!
What an awesome week for my awesome boy!!!
I love you, Jon-boy!

A kid at heart . . .

I am so lucky to be able to do what I love for money and I know that, BUT . . . I have REALLY enjoyed "being a kid" this past week. Well, along with being a Mom, too. I did make them do chores but we got really fast and within an hour, we were back to having fun!

Over the past 3 weeks, I have enjoyed swimming with my kids, watching LOTS of TV shows, hitting QT for slushes, playing on the computer, sleeping in and staying up late - just to name a few.

As I sit here eating dinner and watching Toy Story (this show always catches my attention when surfing through the channels), I think of the responsibility I have coming up over the next 3 weeks and I think I'm going to miss my lazy days.

Next week, I begin my "summer work" at Phoenix Theatre. It's a week long Beatles in Revue workshop for kids ages 7-12. I'm kinda excited since the songs we picked are super fun -
Octopus' Garden
Ain't She Sweet
Yellow Submarine
She Loves You
The hours are kinda long (9a-4p) and it's a bit of a drive in rush hour but it isn't all just singing songs. They learn choreography and have a craft time each day too. I've never worked this camp, so I'm a bit nervous (yes, I said nervous) and excited too!

The following 2 weeks I'll be at East Valley Childrens Theatre. Their summer camp is 2 weeks with "class" in the morning and "show rehearsal" in the afternoon. The hours are the same as PT with the morning classes of acting, singing and dance. Then after lunch they work in each of the areas on an original show that has been written by someone for EVCT. The show and songs are usually really CutE and FuN! I've done their camps a few times now and so I'm not nervous at all about this one. And this one is very close to home (about a mile) which makes it convenient to come home for lunch, if I want.

I'm excited, nervous and happy to work these next 3 weeks to make a little extra money to help pay for our summer fun BUT I will miss the fun things we do as a family and the no alarm clock ringing in the morning!
So I guess I will have to remain a . . .


. . . while working these weeks alongside some kids who are excited and nervous too - just like me!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Change . . .

About a month ago Geoff's job was on the line. We were unsure if he would have his job and had to wait for a week to know. They kept dragging it out and it was MISERABLE! As anyone would, we started looking elsewhere - just in case. I was on the phone with my best friend in Colorado and mentioned to her all our fears and she reassured me it all would work out. I trust this gal with my life and so I just kept praying and keeping the faith. 2 more days passed and she called me with news of her hubby's work looking at a new position. Geoff called him and discussed the details. Now we are just waiting . . . summer is slow for the company and so we are just waiting and hoping this comes true this fall. Although I have lived in Arizona my entire life (39 years) and it would be hard to leave - - we need a change. A change of seasons, change of scenery, change of employment, change full of new adventures.

I have family, students, friends, and memories here in Arizona. And I have to admit it scares me a bit but I'm ready for a CHANGE! I really feel that we NEED this!

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it,
move with it, and join the dance. Alan Watts

When we mentioned it to the kids there were tears. Kylee cried because she doesn't want to leave her friends and she is "making history" by being the last class of 9th graders at Poston Jr High before Mesa Public Schools put all of them at the high schools. Maddi cried because Geoff mentioned to them that he would be doing a lot of traveling with this job but that it would be worth it because I would be home more and the pay is significantly higher. We assured her with cell phones and computers, she'd be fine. She LOVES to Skype and so she was ok. The boys didn't seem to care, as long as they could play baseball.
This may or may not happen, but we still pray for change.

Stay TOONed!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This is what memories are made of!

Monday morning came VERY early! My alarm went off at 5:15am and I woke up Jonathan. I love how boys are so fast. He showered and dressed and we left the house at 5:35 to hit McDonald's for breakfast. The last thing Geoff said to him when he said goodbye the night before was - -
THIS IS WHAT MEMORIES ARE MADE OF. Don't sit idly by - get out there and enjoy it!
What a great man I married and what great advice! Jonathan is a carbon copy of his Dad and I think he understood. When we arrived at the church parking lot about 5 minutes early, Jonathan was apprehensive to get out right at first but as more boys showed up, he began to relax and before I knew it, he was 'gone'. I sat with some other Mom's while they loaded up, had prayer and headed out. I picked up Geoff from work and then headed home to hit my pillow again but that was short-lived. By the time I got home it was almost 8am and the others were ready to hit the party for Memorial Day at my sisters. I gave them a small "list" of things to get done before we could go and it was about 11:30 when we pulled out of the garage and headed on our way, leaving Geoff to sleep on the couch from his nightshift.
Green chili burros, 3 kinds of homemade salsa, chips, beans, cheese, guacamole, sour cream and other yummy toppings were there waiting for us. We filled our tummies and our hearts and minds with loads of fun, visiting with family and swimming. All of us got a little sun, considering it was only "warm" for Arizona on this holiday. I always enjoy visiting with all of my family and although we were missing Mindy and her family (in Colorado), Liz (in Oregon), my Jonathan (at scout camp) and my Geoff (asleep), we still had 19 grandkids, Grandpa and Grandma, 7 adults and LOTS of noise and fun! Never a dull moment at the Whiting Family Parties! We arrived home just in time for Geoff to eat some food we brought home and then he headed out the door back to work. All of us crashed in the family room on couches and floor for about an hour or so until we were awaken by the doorbell. Kylee had girls waiting for her to go "lead" them as they heart attacked a new Beehive on the eve of her 12th birthday.
Tuesday started with Kylee, myself and the YW president going to the above mentioned new Beehive's home to welcome her in to Young Women's and present her with her new Personal Progress Book, journal, theme card and For Strength of Youth pamphlet. Kylee is the Beehive President and I'm the Personal Progress leader. It's fun to go together and welcome the new girls and talk about the joy and fun of Personal Progress. Unfortunately while we were there, we learned that at scout camp yesterday (their first day), one of the leaders (Rick Wheeler - who was one of Jonathan's previous scout leaders) was in an accident. He was the first to ride the zip line and he hit a tree. They worried about spinal injuries and fortunately there were none but he was air evac'd to St Joe's (they were up by Strawberry). He had some pretty serious facial damage. They had to do some facial reconstruction and wire his jaw shut since it was broken. This just about broke my heart in two when I heard this! Rick is a gentle giant and an amazing man who has had an amazing influence on both my boys! We pray he will recover quickly and that his family will be comforted. Then my heart went to my son, who was there when this happened. I hope Jonathan learned as he watched the priesthood put into action and felt the spirit as Bro. Wheeler remained calm through it all. I pray that his heart is calmed and he is ok. My Jon-boy has such a tender heart and I hope he remains strong and still enjoys himself without apprehension and fear. I hope he remembers the WISE words his Dad gave him and is getting out there to MAKE SOME MEMORIES!

Stay TOONed!
All-Star Baseball season is starting!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A "Plaid-tastic" Day!

I closed my current show today. This is always a bittersweet thing. The sweet - I LOVE what I do and LOVE my time when I'm there. The bitter - the drive, the time away from family and sacrifices that are made to be there. I went into this job a little blind. Well, everyone involved did. I mean, I knew my job title. Music Director. I would teach the songs that were in show and then put together a group of musicians to play for the productions. Easy enough. I've done it many times before. I knew "of " the music. They were from an era gone by and in a similar show. Right? WRONG! The show was a new production. And when I say new - I mean NEW! Greasepaint Theatre was the FIRST theatre to put this show on. It was still being written just 4 months ago. Forever Plaid (original show) is a show consisting of 4 men. The Sound of Plaid (show I was working) is a show consisting of 16 kids, boys and girls and a few extra characters. We added 3 extra little ones to make an additional trio, making our cast 21 kids ranging in age from 7-17 yrs. They could all sing, we heard them audition, but some had never sung in a group or sung harmonies. And these songs weren't easy. And did I mention that they had anywhere from 4-8 parts in harmony? Oh! And did I mention there were 22 songs in the show?! AND did I mention I was IN the show too? The band (piano, bass and drums) are ON stage and I was front and center at the baby grand, in a tux. I conducted with my head and played the whole show. I even had a bit part where I was featured a couple of times. I had my work cut out for me and I have to admit, I came home from the first rehearsal and cried. I felt way like I was in WAY OVER MY HEAD and I feared I wasn't going to be able to pull it off. I almost felt out of my league, but yet still knew somewhere inside that I was capable. I just had to plow through and that we did. Some nights I felt like I was making enemies with kids I didn't even know yet. Yes, there were nights of frustration but then there were what I like to call "a-ha!" moments. We'd plunk out parts until they were blue in the face and I was tired of hearing them and then we'd put them together with accompaniment and I was almost in tears. Not from the frustration but from the pure joy of hearing them! They'd sing and it was GORGEOUS! They made me smile!! Fortunately those moments outshine the bad every time! :)
To top it off - this show was set in 1964 and these kids were not even a twinkle in most of their parents eyes yet. Heck - some of their parents weren't even born yet! So needless to say, we had quite the time teaching them about the era. They didn't know who Marilyn Monroe was or what the Ed Sullivan Show was. We even had to describe was a record and record player was to some. "Oh, you mean those black circle things?" It was educational for everyone involved. So let me share with you what I learned. I learned if I keep my "momma patience" and work hard, it pays off. These kids simply amazed me. If you had asked me about the show just 2 days before we opened, I would've told you not to buy a ticket. (Not really but you get the idea.) It was rough, I'm not gonna lie. But today for the closing show, they showed everyone in attendance what hard work can do. They had an amazing show and they "showed up" for every single one of them! What a great run! GO PLAIDS!

And I would be an awful mother if I didn't add that today my Jonathan was ordained a Deacon. I can't believe he is 12 yrs old. He leaves for scout camp at 6am (thank goodness McD's is open at 5am!) and will be gone all week. I asked him tonight if he was gonna miss us. He replied, "Yeah, but I think I'll survive." Then I asked him if he was gonna miss his Mom and if he wanted a picture of me to remember me. He again replied, "I'll miss ya but I think I'll live without one. I've got you here." (He proceeded to point to his head) Lil' Stinker! Love my Jon-boy!! He's my shy and quiet kid but he's got a sense of humor that will catch you off guard and he knows how to have fun with his friends. I'm not worried and I'm sure he'll have a blast this week!!

And now, I'm off to bed - big day tomorrow.
Stay TOONed!