Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Teaching Our Children

I had to stop by Brother's class today to bring him some money for his field trip that I forgot to send him with this morning.

I love seeing and talking to his teacher.

She's pretty amazing.

I've been so blessed that my children have had great teachers.

It's truly been a blessing to have fabulous teachers especially when you don't exactly agree with how the school district does things. In many situations it has been their teachers that have gone above and beyond for our kids.

I was reminded, again, of that today as Mrs. G mentioned one of Brother's big successes from yesterday.

It was so simple.

Something not a lot of parents have to think about for their 15-year-old.

He was just supposed to invite a peer to come color with him.

That is a huge deal! Not only because he has to actually talk TO the person, but he has to be willing to wait for an answer.

Mrs. G re-enacted how Brother followed through with his social challenge and she did it in such a way that I had to giggle that she has all of his nuances down perfectly and I love that she knows him that well!

I could get on my big political band wagon about how schools are underfunded, over-worked and sometimes neglected, but I am continually amazed at the dedicated teachers in our children's lives that take all of that and make it feel as if it doesn't even exist as a problem.

Miracle workers.

Truly they are.

They are able to take situations that are less than ideal and turn it into something completely geared toward my son's or daughters' needs.

I am in a different world with my special needs kids.

A VERY different one as I am reminded often while talking to other parents and educators.

I am grateful, though, for the teachers that our special needs kids have had.

That's my UP today.

Being grateful for amazing teachers all the way through.

I hope I tell them enough how much they are appreciated.

Let your child's teacher know what you appreciate about them. I am sure they need to hear it.

This quote was found on

Day 301 of 365 Days of Up

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I got a new husband!

Saturday night Marc and I did something really different for our date.

We went to a play...

No, but, really, it was a really different.

It was like a haunted house mixed with a play and oh my goodness did it give me a scare!

Before the play though we went to a restaurant we haven't been to yet and it was pretty good. It's always a good thing when you walk into an Italian Restaurant and the lady running the place has a thick accent! Our waiter was pretty awesome too.

After dinner we were off the the play at the Echo Theatre called "The Woman In Black."

We have seen the movie and thought this would be intriguing to see it as a play.

We were there a few minutes early and there were a lot of seats still open. I'm always one for adventure so I chose the front row.


As we approached the front row we noticed there was a "woman in black" sitting at the end of the row. I was pretty freaked out and the audience that was there started laughing because they had been waiting to see who would sit there. I was brave and sat one seat over. For the picture I made Marc sit next to the "woman." 

The first picture had a strange light that added to the creepiness of the thing...

This one turned out a bit better... ew... ew...

I was pretty much freaked out the whole time, worried that "she" was gonna grab me or something. 

She didn't.

I'll tell you though, this was an awesome play/haunting experience! I'm a bit on the "emotions on my sleeve" kind of person so my screaming and freaking out were not exactly unnoticed, which, of course, brought more terror my way. You know how it goes, they one that screams the loudest gets all the creepers coming their way. Eeesh!

It was so well acted though, and the storyline was really cool.

I was completely and thoroughly entertained!

Ya, creepy!

It's playing until Halloween... you should go see it!

On Sunday I had Brother come with me to the ward choir practice.

He didn't come up with me, but I am hoping that with enough repetition he will join us eventually.

Yesterday after Baby was off to school I took time for a little hike. It was short and sweet and beautiful.

I really do love where I live.

For Family Home Evening that night we decided since the kids never want to leave home that we would try to have a mountain activity in our own back yard.

We built a fire and roasted hotdogs and played and wrestled.

It was so much fun!

After it started getting dark and chilly we went inside to decorate pumpkins for Halloween.

It was so awesome to have all three kids participating.

Baby even picked out her own paints

Sister worked hard on her vampire pumpkin

Brother was very particular about mixing his maroon and turquoise colors for his pumpkin

I love this "Mr. Potato Head-style" pumpkin faces! They're perfect for an easy pumpkin

Brother's masterpiece

Baby's masterpiece. I actually think her paint palette looks cool too

I decided that my librarian needed and alter ego...

This is her night time look... tee hee!

There was some fuzzing and falling apart during our Family Home Evening activities, but we did it! The kids will remember it as a good thing.

And that is a good thing.

This morning I went on another short hike, this time on the mountain instead of in the canyon.

The pictures do it no justice but it was beautiful.

Oh, and after a week off of rehearsal I got to attend a short one tonight. Yay! It was fun to be back.

I did notice when I first got there though, that the guy who plays my Mr. Martini wasn't there... I just figured he was sick or something... well, I guess he is, but because of it had to drop out of the play.

The director informed me I have a new husband!


He's only 20.

I am not quite sure how he feels about being "married" to a 38-year-old woman, but hey... I guess I'll just try to "act" younger...

OK, maybe acting younger isn't my problem...

Until next time!

Days 297 - 300 of 365 Days of Up

NOTE: In case you didn't notice, there are only 65 days left of this year! Whoa! Time flies when you're UP

Friday, October 23, 2015

Remembered and Requested!

We were offered 2 tickets to another play last night!

I was so excited to hear from a friend of mine that I met when I did the Addams Family at the Scera. She is in a play with the Pleasant Grove Players called "The Butler Did It." Marc and I were so excited to go and we were so excited to get Lindsey and McKenna to sit last minute so that we could go together.

The play was hilarious and surprising. We really loved it! Shelly was so sweet to invite us to use her tickets. She, of course, did a fabulous job, but I've learned to expect no less from her.

I think we were so excited about being able to see another play that we totally forgot to take our traditional selfie!

I didn't realize this until I was working on sit-ups with Marc when we got home. We've been part of this 30-day Core Challenge thing so we try to do it together to motivate each other. I figured this time was better than never for our traditional date night selfie.

I'm still doing my crunches while Marc is working on his leg lifts.

and here we are doing our 2-minute planks...

So for the second time this week my up for the day was going to a play! We've been so lucky.

Today, though, was not only an UP for the day, the UP of the entire week! We've been anticipating and planning this day for quite a while and it is finally here!

Baby is 6 today!

I can't believe it was a whole 6 years ago that I was holding this little thing:

She was 6 weeks early and still over 5 pounds!

I just have share a few of my favorites from over the years!

with Grandpa James on Sister's birthday at our Santaquin house

When she used to let me dress her up for Halloween

Look at this pigtails!

Brother and Sister love her a little too much sometimes...

This is one of the first photos of her in our Orem backyard

I love to see how far she has come from a premature infant who had to come home on oxygen and bilirubin lights.

A couple of months ago she came with me on a quick grocery run and saw a Princess Celestia My Little Pony toy and really wanted it. I was trying to be a strong mom and not get it "just because" and explained to her that she could have a special toy like that for her birthday or Christmas.

She, of course, threw a tantrum and it was a total nightmare getting her out of the store, but, in all honesty, she has so many toys and wants so many toys that I just assumed she forgot about it.

Three days ago she came up to me and said, "Princess Celestia. Birthday?"

I was floored!

She remembered!

She was able to tell me!

She used words!

Heck! At this point I would have got her anything!

I had something else for her birthday at this point, but with this kind of communication and mature reaction I would have got her almost anything! So, of course, I got online that night and ordered it right away so it could be here for her birthday. I didn't want to risk taking the time looking at stores just to find they didn't have it anymore.

Nope. This girl was going to get her Princess Celestia pony on her birthday.

And she did...

She couldn't have been more excited and still won't let anyone touch it because it is just too special.

Oh, and yes, that is her nightgown she is wearing... hey! it was her birthday and she wouldn't let me take it off this morning for school, so... I let her celebrate her birthday the way she wanted to.

We had hamburgers with Marc's parents for her birthday dinner and then we had cupcakes afterward.

I made mini chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting because she loves to just eat the frosting off the top and maybe a nibble of cupcake, so this was a better solution for less wasted cake.

She was so happy she couldn't stop jumping up and down and flapping her hands. I was, again, amazed at how well she responded to us singing "Happy Birthday" to her and then she topped off my surprise by blowing out the candles!

She actually seemed to understand this year that this was her special day.

I think she is really starting to catch on to her world and the world around her!

It's so exciting!

How can you not smile when you see a Birthday girl with her pony and a chocolate cupcake and a HUGE grin?

You just can't help it!

She topped her night off with a visit from her other grandparents too and then off for a bath with her new toy.

She had to rock on her rocking horse to get out all her excited birthday energy before she was finally ready to go to bed.

I love it!

Oh, and I don't want to forget to mention that both Sister and Brother just couldn't give her enough birthday hugs and wishes.


Brother refrained from blowing out her candles for her... hey, that's a sacrifice for him... no one blows out their own candles when Brother is around...

Days 295-296 of 365 Days of Up

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

My voice, his voice, Adobe Voice

Remember the first play I was in?


Let me help you remember.

Photo courtesy of Scera by Mark Philbrick

Photo courtesy of Scera by Mark Philbrick

That was one year ago this month! So crazy to think my journey in theater has only been a year. I'm loving it and have truly found a new passion in acting.

I am feeling a little nostalgic about this particular play, not only because it was the first one I was in, but we got to see another version of The Addams Family Musical last night at the Hale Center Theater in Orem.

It was a great rendition of it and I laughed and almost cried and even jumped in all the right places.

I kept catching myself singing along with all the songs. I didn't even think I remembered them and there they were in my head as the music played, word of word.

It was really fun this time to be sitting alongside Marc this time to watch it. It is definitely one of our favorite plays.

Our friends were so sweet and invited us along.

And yes, I did compliment the kids Rainbow hair behind me. If I was that brave...

That was my UP yesterday.

Today I took a hike up to Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon.

It was a little more adventurous than I had planned with my water bottle and sunglasses cascading down the trail into the river off a steep ledge, but I retrieved it all and only got a little upset at Ranger for yanking me off my balance on the steep trail's edge...

Anyway, it was really cool and it was fun to sit at the bottom of the falls feeling the spray of the water as it hit the rocks.

I took a picture at the bottom, half way up, and then at the spot I stopped.

I had seen on Facebook that today is Breast Cancer Awareness day so as I climbed to the falls I was thinking of a dear friend who was just recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer and I couldn't help but be excited to represent my awareness with my pink hair and a good climb up a mountain side.

Women are tough!

While I was on my little hike I, of course, saw some litter here and there which is always sad, but I didn't expect to see graffiti.

I stopped to take a picture of it because it was so beautiful and, I thought, quite well placed.

I want to do something like this with my chalk art one day!

Just before getting back to the car I saw this near a bridge next to (or in) some bushes:

Hmm... wasn't sure what to think of that... hopefully I wasn't trespassing...

When I got home I got an email from Brother's Speech teacher and it just made my entire day! I mean, it is so precious I can hardly handle it. I immediately shared it with Marc and we both teared up.

This was made by using Adobe Voice. I am in love with this program and just heard of it today! I think there are so many people with special needs who could benefit from this and I am so thankful for his speech teacher and her thoughtfulness to have him do it. I am excited to try this at home!

I cannot describe the tenderness it is to hear him talk about his adventure.

That's my UP today and cannot be topped.

Days 293-294 of 365 Days of Up