Peter Pan the Musical Pictures

Ok I know you were anxious to see pictures of the musical.  Yesterday I showed you set making.  Today I will show you some of the pictures.  I wish I could take credit but most of these are from a friend.  My camera… died.  My iPhone… hates me.

EnjoyIMG_1640Back Stage Selfie by Mr DarlingIMG_0079Captain Hook sitting on the smoke stackIMG_0083Captain Hook and Mr Smee dancing the tangoIMG_0084Tick toc croc {her hips are bruised from sliding down the stage steps every production and practice, her elbows are skinned and bruised but no longer swollen from dragging herself across the stage for every production a few times each show}IMG_0090Mr Smee {He chanted “to the ship” as he made the rocking horse literally hop across the stage, cracked me up every single time I saw it.  And I saw it 4 times.}IMG_0128Peter Pan and the Lost Boys singing “I won’t grow up”IMG_0132Tiger Lily best Indian Princess ever.  See how the little Indians stood on the beds during part of their dance.IMG_0140Peter Pan right before the big fightIMG_0193Captain Hook and Tiger LilyIMG_0237Peter Pan {you can see she is hooked to the wire, she flew in for the fight}IMG_0194Peter Pan and Captain Hook fightingIMG_0216The entire cast.

That is just a few pictures of the drama that unfolded.  I will show a few more tomorrow so you can see the set and kids in action.  It was amazing.

Thanks PA for the pictures!

It is amazing to see the talent from the crew.  I am amazed ever single year.  Not because there is no talent, but because the directors can pull all that talent and all those personalities together and make it a great show!

Go hug your kids, the need your love, and give someone a genuine compliment today.  We can all use a kind word
jen

Peter Pan The Musical

We interrupt this blog for the school musical Peter Pan.

Ok so maybe you noticed, maybe you did not but I have been off blog for about 2 weeks.  I had not been keeping my normal blog routine going for the entire month of October, but the last 2 weeks life ceased.  Well, not actually, my house kept falling in on itself, my kids kept needing to be fed, laundry kept piling up and life went on around me.  But by the time I was home at night I was so exhausted that all I could do was sit.  I promised my OB I would take it easy.  Unfortunately I did not keep my promise.  Funny thing was opening night my OB’s nurse, whose son is at our school, came up to me and asked “have you been keeping it easy like you promised.”  I laughed and said “no, but starting tomorrow I will.”  She was satisfied after she asked a few medical concern questions then she patted my arm, laughed and let me go.  {Ok I really liked that she was concerned, that meant a lot to me, but I felt guilty talking to her because I was not as low-key as I should have been.}

Now for many of you these pictures are just going to warrant a glance, and I hope appreciation of the few of us who worked hard on the set.  But there is actually quite a few schools who will look at this with questions trying to get ideas.  So if you feel this is a lot of description for some set pieces, know it is for others who will be doing this in their own schools.

Notice the cafeteria behind AV.  We had an audience to watch us work every day.  Our favorite was when the kindergarten class came walking in, the kindergarten and preK were so excited they were practically jumping every time we saw them, they had such excitement we loved it.  We were the meal show for almost a month.  The lunch time work went smooth until 5th grade came in.  They made so much noise we would all go crazy I joked that they were causing anxiety attacks to us.  We were glad when their lunch period was up.  Because the school is quite large lunch started at 10:45 and ended at 1:45.  We had a long time audience.
DSCN1194Except for the walls and beds which were built by the maintenance staff at our school, cardboard was our material of choice. AV is measuring cardboard bricks for the fireplace.
DSCN1193Our fire-place.  The bottom (fire pit) opened so the cast could come in during some of the scenes.  The bricks are hand cut card board and painted, we started with one shade of dark red and added layers of reds and oranges to give it depth.  The hole in the wall next to the fire place is for one of the ropes guys who was responsible for flying peter pan.DSCN1196Our set director decided the fire-place needed to go up higher, so AV the magician with cardboard built onto the original fire-place and the same girls who hung up the original bricks continued up the wall with more.  In this picture you can see some of the bricks have begun to get shaded.DSCN1195KSJ is painting cardboard drawers that AV {cardboard magician} made for when “Tink gets shut in the drawer”  I do not know how AV made them, but she rigged the bottom one (the long one) in upside down and we glued it in place, then the top 2 smaller drawers she notched the back of the drawer to keep them from pulling all the way out.DSCN1253Here are the drawers in place, shaded and waiting for knobs.  We borrowed one of the set crew’s antique knobs and drilled a hold in the card board and screwed them in place.  After we watched the first preview they did for chapel, our other director decided to glue in the drawer on top left.  Which worked great until the boy playing Michael tried to “unstick” them.  He could not figure out why they were stuck.DSCN1200Our set co director painted the walls 3 times before he was happy with the colors.  We let him.DSCN1251MA, RS, LK, and AV, spent days painting on the wall paper border,  the week before the performance the co director added more tone on tone design in, in my opinion it looked too cluttered and from far away adding tone on tone made it look a little dirty.  DSCN1250See the ominous trees?  KS spent 5 full school days and one evening painting on the trees and crows.  We joked about how dark it was for a nursery, we did glitter up the birds so when the spot light shone the birds had a green/blue shine to them.  Making them look less dark and scary.  KS son came on a day off of school and pushed white Christmas lights through holes that were drilled in the wall to make it look like stars at night.DSCN1289She is smiling but on the inside she is not.  Those trees were almost impossible, she used a transparency  that would have to be shifted after each tree or tree top, it took as long as painting trying to get the next tree lined up perfect.  DSCN1287Full view of the fire-place, trees on the wall, open window framed in (cardboard again here) and the projector for the ominous trees.  (Next to John’s bed is the card board pirate ship, we had to make it flat since the ship scenes had up to 70 kids marching off and on, a 3D ship would have slowed them down)DSCN1201Nana’s dog house.  Maintenance quick built me a frame after I realized the set director was not going to get to the one he had in mind.  They took plans one afternoon, we painted up the cardboard for the walls and roof.  When they delivered the frame-work in the morning, an hour later we had Nana’s house.  There are only 3 sides, the back had a black felt curtain so that “Mr darling” could start the final scene in it by climbing in the back where no one could see.DSCN1325This was our first production using flyers.  In order to not have their hooks and wires dangling during the entire production, the producer asked if we could somehow put hooks on the back wall to keep them out-of-the-way.  We took it a step farther and cut holes into the wall for the hooks to hide.  Needing to cover the holes I took a profile picture of each darling family member.  I gave the pictures to C who blew them up and blacked them out.  I emailed the pictures to Staples, who printed them off for cheap.  I do not have my receipt anymore but I will tell you it was only a few bucks.  After I had their silhouettes O and I painted the canvas from white to cream and mod podge the silhouettes onto the canvas. DSCN1329The bottom pictures, the 3 children are hinged on, the “hookers” stood on chairs back stage and were able to lift the pictures, hook up the children, and put the pictures down.  If you were in the front few rows and looked close you might notice a smidgen of black showing next to John’s picture but the others did not show black edging.  The wires were painted flat black so you could not see them at all.  The idea that the producer had worked perfect.  We pressed hard to be sure that we had the holes in place for the dress rehearsal knowing that the safety of the kids could not be compromised.  It worked!DSCN1338The 3 children stood on the “toy box”  to take flight.  The toy box is 6 individual set boxes, they have been painted so many different things.  From trees to steps, to flat back for the flying in Wonka last year.  They are quite sturdy and useful. It is fun to get a pile of them for each production and see what paint they have on them.DSCN1340Pirate Mast.  We built the pirate mast out of various size card board tubes (see the extra boxes they turned around to be painted like tree stumps) We taped the tubes together painted them brown and then attached the mast.  Which was made from a 4×12 piece of painters drop cloth.  We screwed the card board mast onto the card board post.  AV also a wiz at painting used a small phone picture of a skull and cross-bones to paint that on the mast.  The whole thing was placed in a barrel with 4 bricks around the post, then we stuffed egg crate bed foam all around then topped with rope.  The bricks kept it from tipping, it was wonky but it worked.  The stage crew would put the mast on top of the toy box during the ship scenes.

OK FINAL VIEW ON THE ROOMDSCN1338Back wallDSCN1339John’s bed.

Fire DSCN1331John’s bed
Fire place
Stars are shiningDSCN1332Wendy’s bed
Peter’s windowDSCN1334Wendy’s bed
Peter’s window
Michael’s bed

A few more tid bits…
R chose all the art work for us.  I told him what I was looking for, he spent time on the art site Google, typing in peter pan art and various ideas.  He emailed them to me I emailed them to staples who printed them in 16×20 for $5 each, on photo paper they were beautiful!  Then O used mod podge to attach them to 16×20 canvas (from Michaels 5 for $20) We used strong velcro to attach them to the walls.

Our school Art teacher is AMAZING.  I gave her a picture I took of Peter Pan and the canvas on Tuesday, by Thursday she had sketched Peter.  It was even more beautiful in real life.  We had the sketch of peter and the art supplies on Wendy’s bed because she was growing up, she would not have had little girl toys on her bed anymore but books and big girl things.

The entire play is all Wendy’s dream so everything came into the nursery no set changes, a few stools were brought in that looked like tree stumps, the walls turned into the forest, the places in Neverland were drawn from the art work and the prate mast was carried in.

Under Wendy’s bed skirt it was open, the wall behind Wendy’s bed was also open, the lost boys came and went under Wendy’s bed.

I am thankful that Keith and the family let me neglect everything for the month.  This show was even more special to me because it is C’s last high school musical.  I will post the pictures from the production tomorrow.  I will say it took me 3-4 hours to clean my dining room yesterday.  Today I hope to conquer the kitchen.

What about you?  Ever help paint a set?  Ever play in Peter Pan?
Go hug your kids, and tell someone that you appreciate them!
jen

One of THOSE days…

Last night I was talking to a mom friend of mine.  To encourage and to let her know she is not alone in her struggles with a toddler I shared this story with her, have you been here?  It is nice to know we are not alone.

??????????????{We live in the south this was taken in January about the time of the story}
When J was about 19 months old I was about ready to pop with E.  {seriously she was born 8 days after the “incident”}  It was payday so we were going to Target to get the things we’d run out of during the course of the last month.  We’d been there long enough to get the things on my list, my cart was full, mostly of things like toilet paper and diapers.  We were almost done.  I was getting snack things for the kids lunches and we were working our way to the check out lanes, when “IT” happened.  J had a melt down, a blow up, a tantrum, what ever you want to call it.  The kid lost it.

I squatted down to his level and whispered in his ear “this is enough, we will walk to the check out like a big boy, do you understand?  yes ma’am.”  {or something like that , it was 7 years ago but I can guarantee the yes ma’am part, we are southern after all.}
He did not stop.
I think he may have gotten louder.
I repeated myself a little louder.
Still crying and not moving.
Sitting on the floor.
I stood up, a pregnant lady can only squat so long…
I said a little louder “that is Enough, stand up so we can leave.”
Nothing, well, crying, loud crying, but no obedience.

Now I am sweating, I am tired, I am swollen and I am annoyed.

I am desperate so I squat back down and stoop to the level of paid obedience “What do you want? I will buy it for you if you only stop crying.”  Since this method is never used the child had no response but more crying.

So I do what any smart, tired, swollen, annoyed mom does.  I acted like I did not notice, I went and stood at the end of the aisle waiting for him to stop cry/scream/sob.  Only he did not, he rolled down the aisle towards me, still carrying on like a toddler.  I stood as people looked, watched and stared at me.  When to my chagrin someone I knew came along gave J a dirty look {you know the one “If only they’d PARENT their child…”} when she looked at my face and realized she knew me.  I smiled and responded “I used to think it was bad parenting too.”  She smiled at me and said “good luck.”

OH he eventually cried himself out, stood up and we walked towards the check out line.  We were both exhausted and in need of a nap after that.

This was child number 4, I had played the parenting game for 10 years at that point, I had taken care of children for almost 20 years at that point.  I had never experienced that before.  Oh I had dealt with temper tantrums, and crying fits but not rolling down the aisle, in the store.  Sure I have taken my cart to the service desk more times than I can count for them to put it in the cooler until we could obey, coming back hours later to finish shopping alone.   But a roll down the aisle crying fit, that was new to me.  I realized that once he reached that point I could not carry him out but would have to wait it out.  No form of discipline or trying to reason with him would work when he was that upset.  I had no idea what upset him so much.  I just know we survived that fit and have not repeated one at that level since then.

I am often reminded of that fit when I hear a child carrying on in the store and usually feel badly for the parent.  I know their embarrassment, exhaustion, and inability to do anything about it.

What about you?  Ever been involved in an episode like that or have you had the judging eye?  Maybe next time you can offer a kind word to the mom?   An “it gets better” word or a sympathetic look, or even just get out of the area so she can enjoy the fit without prying eyes.

Go hug your kids and show some love.  Life is just too short not to hug on someone today.
jen

Tough Love

Tough love or tough TO love…

We had some issues the other day at our house with attitudes, and tone of voice and speed of obedience.

It is over now.  I won’t go into further discussion on the issue.

I woke up the next morning thinking about the issue we had.

I began my parenting pity party until God stopped me right in my tracks.

You know the pity party I’m talking about right?  The I do so much for THAT child, I fix meals, I taxi them around,  I supply them money, I buy them clothes, I do their laundry I do without so they can have the best, I love, I give, I do…  What do I get back?  They show no respect, they never help out, they don’t do anything at all…  Oh, have you never been on that pity party?  Wow.  And that pity party is not exclusive to parents, it is a pity party that anyone who has human contact experiences.  If you have a BFF, a “significant other,” a parent, a co-worker, a sibling…  Anyone who is human that you may have had that same pity party.

Anyway I woke up the morning after, and began the pity party, it followed me into the bathroom, it followed me into the shower.  And then God had a “come to Jesus meeting with me”  Yup, right in the shower.

He loves me.

Unconditionally.

Unending.

Holding NOTHING back.

Not even holding back His Son, His most precious son.

He loves me.

He loves me when I am unloveable.

He loves me when I am ungrateful.

He loves me when I am selfish, self-righteous, and self-seeking.

He loves me when I am tough to love.

He never gives up.

He never turns his back on me.

He loves me and my ugly pity party self.

I am so thankful that I had that “come to Jesus meeting” in the shower that morning, I am so thankful that God followed me into the shower to talk some sense into me.

With renewed energy I was reminded to love THAT child, to not give up and not look away, to remember that God loves me.  No I cannot do it unconditionally, because I am a sinner still, but with great effort, with a forgiving and loving heart.  Not because THAT child had changed but because THIS mama has changed.  So thankful to be changed.  Not perfect and I know that in a few short hours I will need to be reminded that I am tough to love but God still loves me and forgives my ugly sinful self reminding me that I can love the tough because I am tough to love.

Yet, He loves me.

Go hug your kids and begin loving that SOMEONE who is tough to love.
jen

Sometimes

Sometimes

sometimes I run out of dish soap and it is a full 3 days before I buy more soap, leaving almost every single dish in the house dirty

Sometimes

sometimes I am so tired after car line drop off I put on Disneyjr and take a nap

Sometimes

sometimes I wish I could feed my kids pre made food and not cook from scratch

Sometimes

sometimes I snap irrationally at my kids for being kids

Sometimes

sometimes I throw a towel on the pee/puke spot on my bed and sleep on top of it

Sometimes

sometimes I don’t go into a messy room, just so I don’t have to clean it

Sometimes

sometimes I  wish my kids had earlier bed times so I could go to bed earlier (like 8pm early)

Sometimes

sometimes I wish I had a cleaning lady or Alice

Sometimes

sometimes I read a book and drop all responsibilities until I finish the book

Sometimes

sometimes I don’t send anything remotely healthy for my kids lunch

Sometimes

sometimes I am a terrible mother

Sometimes

sometimes I am a rotten wife

Sometimes

sometimes I am a lazy Christian

Sometimes

sometimes I just don’t care

But

ALL the time
God’s new mercies come in the morning
great is His faithfulness

So Every time I have a sometimes moment, I can have a new mercy moment.  Every time I mess up as a mom, a wife, as a Christian God is there for me, ready to help me and guide me and forgive me.  So all the time I am thankful for new mercies, new days, new moments, and new blessings.

Go hug your kids, they need new mercy moments too, because Sometimes, they have a sometimes moment too.  Why should we be the only ones who can have a bad day, a tired day, a grumpy day?  Show them the new mercies you appreciate.

jen

Big Changes

Wow

I knew it would happen.
I just did not think it would be so soon.
The big kid was JUST at the university, how could it be so fast.

He had a phone call.

Another phone call that changes things.

They called to tell him that they would love to have him as a student in their university,  They called to tell him to expect an acceptance letter in the mail in the next few days.

His Face Book status says it all “WOOHOOO! OFFICIALLY ACCEPTED INTO ——- UNIVERSITY! {feeling excited}

That is it!

He is going.

I cried when I learned he was accepted.  I cried happy and sad tears.  Happy because the university made him so happy and excited and he found his “thing” the thing that excited him, motivates him, and intrigues him.  Sad because, well, this is it things are changing, we will not see him every day, we will not hear the weird or funny or exciting things he has to share.  Sure there is phones, texting and social media but it will not be the same.  There will be no forced together time, no family dinners, no car line pick ups or drop offs.  There will be months with out face to face time.  Months with out the annoying way he harasses us in the evenings when he is bored, months with out the quiet come in our room and sit on our bed to talk,  that is what makes me sad.

Oh don’t get me wrong, recently I was wishing that they had a boarding school I could send him up to BEFORE college.  But it seems like we have a great couple of days then things change-up on us.

Please don’t ask the boy what he wants/needs for college, he can’t remember to tell me when he is out of shaving cream there is just no way he can think that far ahead.

Now to begin in earnest searching out scholarships. and grants, keep his grades up and plan for the future.

Because as sad as I will be to see the boy going, he has got to go!

Go hug your kids, because tomorrow you will be getting your acceptance phone call and things will change.
jenDSCN0901

The Day Ended, Finally

Yesterday was a day I did not think would end.  It did not start out bad, but turned sour and stayed that way.  Before Keith left I told him I was looking forward to a lazy day, staying at home and relaxing, running errands with no big deadlines.  It looked promising, I hung out for a few hours with my feet up watching Sophia the First with little A.

Keith texted me telling me he took the pump off the pool and I could take it to get it checked if I had time.  I was planning on running an errand past the pool store so I could do that.

I needed to go to the grocery store, and the bank, and now the pool store, and Sam’s club so I rallied my lazy self took a shower and left the house.  Little A suggested we have “yunch” at Chick Fil A before we went to the grocery store.  I was happy to oblige.

During the day R sent me an email asking me to pick up potting soil for his science fair project, not a problem I was going to be running errands Lowes is near the pool store and Sam’s club I was looking to be efficient!

After lunch things were still running smooth.  I ran into a friend who is battling cancer we chatted in the grocery store, she is fighting and fighting hard, and is battling with the nausea that comes along with the fight.  But you would not know it, her attitude is of gratitude and praise and laughter.

Picked up the kids from school, and this is where the record screeches to a halt.

The friend who was spending so much time painting O’s room was going to come by, I took longer than necessary picking up 3 kids from school so I could not run out to Sam’s club and the pool store or Lowes for the soil.  I went home to rethink my plans.

I circled the parking lot waiting for the musical practice to end.  We came home so I could quickly make dinner.  I decided taco cups would be easy I had everything prepped so I turned on the oven.  I have a hate relationship with my oven, it is not hot enough but when I turn it up then things burn.  So mostly I complain about it,  I am a vain baker so this is humbling to me.  I cranked the oven up to 405 to get it to 400 for dinner.

 Taco cups are super easy.
1lb ground turkey (brown and add your favorite taco seasoning)
2 cans vegetarian style refried beans
2 cans Grands Refrigerated FLAKY biscuits buttery is great
2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or a Colby mix)

Open the Grands and split each biscuit into 2
flatten with your hand and press into Pam treated muffin tins (no paper)
add a tbsp of the taco flavored turkey
add a tbsp of the refried beans (you could use black beans or even red beans what ever is handy)
add a tbsp or more of cheese
bake at 400 for 15 minutes

{this makes enough for our family of 8 with leftovers it freezes well and travels well for on the go meals at soccer games or basketball games}

Here is where the problem is, R was filling cups as I put the biscuit dough in the muffin tins.  The tins were stacked and placed on top of something so they wobbled a bit, not a big deal.  The biscuits were all done ready to place in the oven so I did that for R.  We washed up and started to get ready for O’s basketball game.  I realized at this point we were going to be pressed for time if we wanted the dough to be cooked on those muffins.

When  I heard O say “ummm mom…”  I looked over at her “should the pool hose be shooting out water?”  WHAT?!?!  I walked over to the window and looked out, sure enough there was a large crack in the hosing of the pool and water was draining at an alarming rate.  Green algae water since the pump has been broken for a few weeks was rushing out.  We went outside.  Only to realize that there was nothing I could do about it so I did what any smart person does, I walked away.  But not before I was drenched on one leg and the leg of my shorts and my shoes in green algae water.

I came inside trying to come up with an idea to stop the water flow when I heard R say “ummm mom…”  I came towards the kitchen “should there be flames in the oven?”  WHAT?!?!!?  There was a melted mass on the bottom of my oven and as the yellow goo dripped down and hit the heating element flames shot up.  They were only 3-4 inches high at the most.  I left the oven shut.  When the flames stopped I opened it up.  The smell of melting plastic burnt our throats.  I wondered out loud at what it was.   Again did what any smart person does, I walked away.  R who was still in the kitchen said “ummm mom…” I turned to him he held up a jar of peanut butter with no lid.  Apparently the lid was upside down and stuck to the bottom of the muffin cup when the heat got to the plastic and metal the lid melted off into a puddle on the oven bottom.

We were now loading up the van I pulled the taco cups from the oven turned it off and we left.  On the way I realized I was wearing my wet algae shorts and wet flip-flops, as I pulled into my parking space I realized that little A was barefoot.  I had planned on running by Sam’s and Lowes on the way home from basketball.  {The pool store would be closed, although now it did not matter since the pool was still draining when I left the house}  We were late to the game, arriving 2 minutes before start time.  But we were there.

After the game {O’s team won, she took some hard fouls but gave out a few and landed flat on her bum at one point, the girl is aggressive} we came home where O volunteered to keep the kids so I could at least get to Sam’s club.  She fed them cool taco cups and sent them to the showers.  {I don’t know what I will do when she leaves me in a few years for college} I went to Sams and came home, only to realize we were out of milk.  Keith ran to get some for me! {Ok I realize that Keith sounds like he is missing out on all the fun, he had to be the administrator at the volley ball game, then had to take a quiz for his online class, and work on an assignment for the same class, as you can tell our house is pure chaos so it is better to stay in his office and work in peace}

I was more than thankful when 10 pm rolled around last night.  The kids went to bed I chatted parenting issues with a friend, and watched mindless tv {Keith had the baseball game on} Today is busy but I can only hope not as many rotten things will happen.

I have to finish the prep of the last of my things for the JBF sale {in the next City over} I have 507 things listed, It would be great if they would all sell so I don’t have to drive back to pick them up.  I have to go paint the set for Peter Pan.  {Camera is ready to go} then drop off the JBF stuff, drop off an envelope to my MIL, help J build a fort for state history,{He knows which one}  I am thinking cereal boxes for the walls? Oversee and trouble shoot O who is making an ancient civilization village, hers looks like tents should be easy.  Add a little more trim to Captain Hook’s coat, and pick up his pirate hat, get C and R to youth group and fix dinner…  Should be easy huh?  I know I am forgetting something.  I do not enjoy days that are slammed packed full.

What about you?  Ever melt a peanut butter lid in your oven.  Any ideas on how to remove it?  I honestly have not tried yet but am hopeful that all the burnt junk on the bottom of my oven kept it from sticking to the metal bottom.  The water level in the pool is now lower than the crack in the hose so the water is no longer draining.

Go hug your kids they need the love, and laugh at days like yesterday because you survived!
jen