Superpaige's Pad

The Trials of a Busy Mom

Some memories you wear

When my amazing friend Melinda got married to her sweetheart, Paul, it was a big deal. For all of us. Melinda had been one of my super best friends in high school, and we roomed together at BYU for two years. We shared everything. We lamented over boys, grades, lack of sleep, assignments and papers. We said goodbye to all our missionary aged friends, and we made fantastic memories together.

So, when she and Paul got married, it was kind of like the end of an era for me. We were graduating from college, she was getting married, I was going on a mission, we were growing up.

I know there are plenty of jokes about bridesmaids dresses, but this one was lovely. Not poofy or unflattering, but a dress that I wanted to wear again. Her grandma sewed these dresses, if I’m remembering it correctly. And she worked in a fabric store at the time, so she picked out some lovely fabric. Anyway, I really loved that dress. bridesmaids

There’s a lot of hair there, I know. This was back when I permed my hair every six months.

But aren’t we pretty in our matching dresses?

I wore it after the wedding, as well. This was was with my roommate, Laurie. I don’t know why we were at the temple, unless it was for her sister’s wedding. But I was wearing that dress.

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I even have pictures from me in the MTC wearing that dress. I didn’t take it with me to Germany because I didn’t want it to get ruined and worn too many times. But I did wear it in the MTC. Again, Not a great picture, but you get the idea.

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Well, soon after the mission, I got married, and the weight crept on. No longer did I fit into that dress, but I still kept it. I also kept the dress that I wore on our wedding day before the wedding dress. It’s also special to me. Soon, these two dresses and a few other sentimental clothing items were in a box up at the top of the closet.

But I’ve been cleaning out the closet (after I read the life changing magic of tidying up), and I’ve gotten rid of quite a few things. Bags of shoes and clothes, and I still have a LONG way to go to declutter, but at least it’s a start. What to do with those two dresses that I love, but that do NOT fit. I actually even tried them both on, just to see. Nope.

I even texted Melinda and told her that I still had this dress, and how much I have loved it throughout the years, and to thank her for picking such a lovely dress for her wedding. She was sweet, and said she’d actually like to have it, if I was getting rid of it. So, I was prepared to do that. I brought it down before book club so I could take it to her, and my daughter snatched it up.

“Where did you get this dress? It’s so retro! Can I try it on?” I told her she could try it on, but she couldn’t make fun of it, because I really loved this dress. She put it on, and it fit her.

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She posted a picture of herself in that dress on her instagram and got a LOT of nice comments, so she decided to wear it to church today.

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I’m so glad I kept that dress. Flowers and lace are coming back in style. She may take out the shoulder pads, but she really likes that dress, and it makes me so happy to have it be loved again.

Sentimental? Yes. I will always think of that as MY dress, but I’m so glad that I can share it with my daughter, too.

Spring concert…At least there was no barf

Monday was our chime choir Spring Concert.

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The kids get to perform twice for the school, and then once for the parents in the evening. They had some pretty difficult songs, and I scheduled the concert pretty early (so as to be BEFORE the band concert, as per request of the kids), so they weren’t totally performance ready. But they did ok.

We never have quite enough time as we would like to rehearse that morning, but it went ok.

We went in the afternoon to practice with the teens, and there was a karate group in the gym. Oh, well. We’ll just go up to the stage. I was thinking ahead this time, and brought everything I thought I would need for the evening. I brought T-shirts and a sign that said how much the t-shirts cost, and even listed the sizes of the shirts, I brought tablecloths for the t-shirt table, and the cookie table, I printed programs and brought those, the tables were all set up, the props were there.

For the evening concert, there were all three groups performing. I have an AM choir that meets before school at 7 am, a PM choir that meets before school at 8:00 am, and a TEEN chime choir that meets in the afternoon at the City Arts building. The teen choir is new, and I didn’t have anywhere for them to perform, so I just added them to this concert group. They really haven’t had as much time to prepare, since they rehearse on Mondays and there have been so many Monday holidays off of school. But, since they are a bit older, they pick things up faster.

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We were just about to start, and the kids tell me, “Lily is feeling sick! Should we go tell her to stay in the car?” Without saying too much about this particular child, there is a reason that I do not normally include 2nd or 3rd graders in my choir. They are just not ready for it, and usually don’t have the musical knowledge that is needed. But, if there is a sibling in the choir, I’ll often make an exception. Mistake. Anyway, I told her brother that she really should play. Probably just nerves, right? She looked terrified, and I’m not sure if she played her notes or not. I asked her if she was doing ok, and she said she thought she might throw up. So, I put things in fast gear for that group. Not much talking, cut out the banter. Just get through those 4 songs so that sick girl can be off the stage and away from the chimes. I really cannot imagine what I would have done if she threw up on the chimes (and music and tablecloths). I think we would have had to just call it and be done right then.

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The next group comes up, and we are missing one girl. Seriously? She’s been flakey all semester, missed more than half the practices, but she was there for the school concert, and I thought I had sent enough reminders home that she would come. Nope. Not there. And she’s on the high notes, so if they aren’t played, you really hear it. I called up a cute girl from my other choir and asked her if she would fill in. Sight reading. Seriously! She’s pretty awesome!

Even with her help, though, we had some serious problems. There were entire measures where no one played anything. It’s just me leading and GLARING at them, mouthing the measure numbers, hoping that someone…ANYONE…figures out where we are and GETS with the program. I’m glad the audience could only see my back at those moments. And not just one song. Multiple songs falling apart. Kids couldn’t find their folders, looking under the table trying to find them, missing notes that were borrowed for one song and not put back. Not smooth.

Ryan had told me that I was not allowed to complain about the concert, or we couldn’t go to dinner. So, I held my tongue. I was so exhausted! We did have a nice dinner out with my two chime choir kids, John and Jenna, at Rumbi.

As we were driving home from dinner, the kids were in a super giggly mood. “WANG CHUNG” came on the radio, and Ryan and I sang along. One of the kids asked what that meant, anyway, and Ryan said it was just a made up word. “It can probably mean anything, right? Everybody Wang chung tonight….I hope I don’t wang chung my lunch.” That set off a WHOLE slew of hysterical laughter and we were back on the subject of upchucking (or “Wang chunging”). At least we can laugh.

I’m very glad that we are almost done with chimes for the year. We have a performance in church on Sunday (eek! Why do I do this to myself?) and then a spring music festival next week where we all go to another school and perform and listen to other groups perform. And then we’ll be done. I’m burned out. I need to focus on other things (hello, wedding!) and take a break so I can be excited about teaching again come August.

It will probably take me that long to organize the file the music.

Sigh.

Spring Break

For our Spring Break, we took a quick trip to St. George. When the kids asked what we were going to do, I told them we were going to go on a hike or two, swim, eat out, sleep in, read books, and relax. And we did all of those things.

When we arrived at our hotel, we had to check out the pool, and we were pleased that there was both an indoor and an outdoor pool. John wanted to swim right away, so we went down with him.

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It was great to just lay on a lounge chair with my book and enjoy the sun.

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We decided we were going to explore, so we headed to the Johnson’s Farm Dinosaur Tracks Museum. We’d never been there, and had always wondered what it was. It’s a good thing it was only $6 per person. It was barely worth that much, honestly.

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It’s cool to see all the actual dinosaur tracks that have been found RIGHT there, but it’s a small little place, without that many actual dinosaur bones.

The kids’ favorite part of the museum was the ORIGAMI. Seriously. They sat down at the tables with paper and folded away. These guys are pretty adept at folding, especially Jenna, who does all kinds of origami all the time.

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We stayed at the folding tables for quite a while.
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It cracked me up, this challenge to make a SMALL dinosaur.

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The kids all had fun seeing the tracks, and the dinosaurs. It was good for an hour of educational fun.
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After we left the dinos, we went on to some St. George history that’s not quite as old. We went to tour Brigham Young’s summer home.

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I love all the history that is in these old houses!
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I just wonder who used that spinning wheel, who made that quilt, and how did they get that piano all the way across the plains.
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The missionaries do a great job with tours, and are always willing to take a picture or two.

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Next we went to visit the Jacob Hamblin home. We’ve been there a few times, but the kids couldn’t remember anything about it, so we went again.

Our tour guide was from France. He apologized for his accent, but I thought his accent was the coolest. It made us have to pay attention, since sometimes we couldn’t exactly understand what he was saying.

Hopefully this time the kids will remember a few things about Jacob Hamblin. After some lunch we wanted to stop in at a thrift store we had found last time we were in St. George. The Hope Chest thrift store is well organized, has good quality stuff, and great prices. The kids all found a few things they wanted. I saw a dress that I loved, but it was $10, and I thought I would pass. But when we got to the hotel that night, I regretted my decision, so we went back the next day, and I bought it quickly.

We did more swimming, or in my case, reading by the pool, then got some dinner and went for a walk. The weather was just lovely.

The next day, we got an earlier start so we could go on a hike. Ryan had found some crazy hike directions online, and took us to see some petroglyphs. We started the hike turning off on some dirt road, driving past a farm and a ranch, and then climbing through a fence. We didn’t have much confidence in his information. I may have mentioned something about at least there would be pictures that someone would find when they found me dead. The kids got a big laugh out of that.

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We started off in the wrong direction, I’m pretty sure. But we eventually found a slot canyon, and in reaching the END of it, didn’t know where to go, or how to get back out. As we turned around and climbed back out, we found that we had just passed a bunch of ancient writings on the rocks.

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Can you tell how excited we all were about hiking? Especially Jenna. She told us many times how she does not like hiking.

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Eventually we made it to a HUGE rock just FULL of pictures. We all had to admit it was really cool.
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There was much more hiking, some getting lost, and more pictures.

Even though it was getting quite hot when we finished, we DID eventually make it back to the car. We were tired, though. My fitbit said I’d climbed 37 levels or and the hike was about 3 miles. I think those internet instructions could use a little editing. We were wandering around, trying to connect with the GPS, and Ryan saying, “we are supposed to look for a big black bluff and go towards it.” But no one died.


Later that afternoon, after ice cream and showers, we took a tour of the Tuacahn theater.

They don’t have any plays running right now, in fact they are just about to start rehearsals, but they still do tours. They had things set up for bull riding, of all things.

We got to see sets being built, tour the costume shop, and learn all kinds of inside secrets. We loved it!

Megan had been there the week before working stage crew through her spring break, so that was fun to see what she had been doing.

Ryan even got to wear a mushroom hat!

She said yes

“They say when you marry in June, you’re a bride all your life…” (Can you name that musical? Are you humming along?)

Well, we’ll be having a wedding in June! Hooray!

Cole and Emily got engaged last week, and we are all very excited about it. We’ve all known it was coming, so it wasn’t a big surprise, except to her.

Conference weekend. Temple Square. Nope.
Then Cole took her for a drive up in the canyon. Nope.
Then back to a park. He said he had a surprise for her. And he gave her a book.
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But inside the book, that was the surprise.
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He even got down on one knee.

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And she said yes.

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We are thrilled to welcome Emily to the family. She’s a beautiful girl with a good heart. And for some reason, she seems to love Cole and think that the rest of the family’s not too bad.

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Fun for Easter weekend

Easter Weekend!

Both Cole and Megan have birthdays around Easter, so it’s a lot of celebrating in a short time. Saturday, between mowing the lawn, celebrating Cole’s birthday, and getting the suburban water pump fixed, Ryan and I drove down to Snow College for a quick visit with this girl.

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This is her standing in front of their puzzle wall in her apartment. Pretty cool, don’t you think?
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Megan and Sarah were heading down to St. George for their spring break to work at the Tuacahn theater. They get to spend the week working stage crew. I’m sure it will be a great experience for them. But I couldn’t let them NOT celebrate Easter, so we took a couple of Easter baskets for them.

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I also got to try out my new little camera. It’s a Nikon Coolpix s7000, similar to what we’ve used before. But so far I’m impressed. I took this picture while driving on the I-15.
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Here’s our driving selfie.

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And another random house.
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When we got back home we got out the eggs and dye for the coloring of the eggs.
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I think they got tired of just coloring, so they brought in a friend. This is one of the 6 week old chicks we have in the garage. She’s the calm mellow one.

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But when they brought in Speckle, things got a little crazy.
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We had chicks on the counter, running, flapping, and soon one was on the floor. We managed to contain the mess and put them back into their cage in the garage.

After cleaning up the eggs, it was time for dinner, then celebrating Cole’s 22 birthday! He didn’t really have a lot going on for his day, although he and Emily went to lunch. Dinner was casual and we had a cake, and he had a few friends come over for games.
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He and Emily had too much fun popping the bubble wrap.

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Easter Sunday was busy as well. We were singing in our sacrament meeting in the choir, so there was a choir practice, then run home and grab a few things and head right over to the church to get a half hour of practice in at the church with the organ. The program went beautifully.

Ryan and I skipped out on Sunday school, however, to put the ham in the oven and assemble the potato casserole.

Then after church we had an Easter dinner with family. We ate delicious food, then had the traditional egg hunt, and some games.

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It was really a wonderful day.

(Sorry for the picture dump)

Love you more

I know that yelling “I LOVE YOU” out the door to my sullen 12 year old who has just stomped around the house yelling at us in general, and me in particular, is not the most grown up thing. It’s better than screaming “I hate you” or some other mean thing, right? If I continue to tell him that I love him, do you think he will eventually believe me?

Sigh.

He no longer wakes up to his alarm, so that makes it my job to wake him up. He does not like waking up, and does not get moving quickly in the morning. And if I sleep in longer than I should, then I don’t wake him up in time for him to be as slow as he would like. Daylight savings time has not helped. Two days a week, we have to be to school by 7 am, so it’s rush, rush, rush. On Fridays, I tend to hit the snooze button a few times. It’s time to buy new alarm clocks for a few of these kids.

But I had time to make muffins for the kids. Well, I think only one out of three kids ate a muffin, but there were muffins available.

I don’t understand why EVERYTHING has to be an argument.

But I can keep on loving these kids.

And the next day was better.

Field Trippin

I was so sick of that last blog template, I just picked one pretty much at random and asked hubby to update it. Maybe someday I’ll have my son design a custom template for me, but for now, this is good enough. What do you think of the new look?

Oh, the things we are doing around here! Busy, busy, busy, it seems.

One of the fun things we were able to do last week was a field trip with John. They had a 6th grade trip to go to the Leonardo Museum and see the Mummies of the World exhibition.

When I got the field trip permission note, it stated that they needed several parent volunteers, but we couldn’t ride the bus with the kids. Sign me up! I don’t enjoy going on the bus with all those yelling, crazy kids. And they never have enough room on the bus and I end up crammed with three people in a row. So, if I could drive up myself, I could maybe stop at Trader Joe’s, take my time, and enjoy the field trip. I ended up not going by myself, though. I asked the other moms if any of them wanted to carpool, and I drove three other moms up there and back. Which was also kind of fun.

I got my 4 four kids, we got a clipboard and tags, and then got started on our experience.

There are no pictures allowed in the mummy exhibit, so I’m including some of the promo pictures. It was so interesting! Although I heard many comments of “Gross!” from these 11 and 12 year olds, I think they realized it was a pretty amazing display they were witnessing. Real people, that were either mummified naturally, or on purpose. Real people who had died centuries ago. Some were dated before Christ. Truly fascinating.

Of course, after we finished with the mummy exhibit, the real fun started.
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The kids had oodles of fun with this green screen. Several images would change behind them, and they could put green fabric on to make themselves “invisible”.

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The kids had a lot of fun exploring inventions, especially in the “Sound” exhibit.

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Even though I only had 4 boys to look after, it was sometimes hard to keep track of them in the chaos. It’s not like they will hold hands or stay in the stroller.

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After two hours, it was hungry time, and the kids were winding down and getting bored.
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Luckily, they had packed lunches.

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We went outside to eat on the grass, and it was beautiful weather. Probably 60 degrees, the sun was shining, and it was the nicest day of the year, so far. Heavenly! The kids needed to eat, and they needed to be able to run around a little bit.

And then the kids got back on the bus and we didn’t have to get on the bus. We walked a couple blocks back to the car and had a nice kid free drive home. That might be my LAST field trip for the elementary school. This year, as John is in 6th grade, I’ve kind of been ticking off the “lasts”. Last Christmas party, last valentine party, last lunch for the teachers for Parent Teacher conference, etc. It’s been 18 years that we have had kids in elementary school, and although I’ll still be teaching my chime choir there for a few more years, at least, it’s a bit sad to know that that stage in my life is coming to an end. Now I’ll have to help out with more things in the Junior High or the High school. That is, if things aren’t too busy.

Blah

Blah.
I feel so blah.
The sun in shining and that is wonderful.
I still feel blah.
I’d better not be getting sick.

It’s all hormone related, I’m sure.
Stupid hormones or lack thereof.

Yesterday I went to visit a wonderful lady in the hospital. She’s amazing. I think I got more out of the visit than I gave to her.

Today when I came home from chime choir, I went upstairs and took a nap.
I need to go to the grocery store, but I don’t want to. Do I really have to leave the house?
I’m happy that I have no obligations tonight. One of my teens just left to go babysit, another one is at work. I guess it will be a small group for dinner tonight. Maybe college boy will be home for dinner. Maybe not. I never know if I’ll be feeding him. But there’s a tortellini soup in the crockpot that I’ve been wanting to try, so whoever is here for dinner will have something.

In the good news section–College girl got accepted to do a spring break job at Tuacahn center for the arts in St. George. She’ll stay for a week and work on set construction and whatever else they need. And get paid in addition to room and food for a week. Sounds like fun.

As the weather is warming up, it makes me want new chickens. We stopped by the feed store but did not buy any chicks, because my mommy chicken is not currently broody. She needs to be ready to sit on the chicks and take care of them, raising them as their mommy. She’s done it twice for us before and it makes raising and integrating the chicks so much easier! I saw her out there sitting in the nest box looking all comfy, but alas, I think she was just in there laying an egg, not getting ready to hatch anything for me.

Some days are just like that. Some days you are sad, or feel yucky, or just blah. Thankfully,they are just days for me. Not weeks or months of feeling blah or sad, or depressed.

To help us get over our blahs, I’ll leave you with this.scottish-fold-kittens

And if you’d like to see more amazing cuteness, check out this page.
That will definitely make you say “oooh.”

What can you do with that container?

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The Styrofoam leftover container.

It presents so many possibilities.

If only you had one of those containers, you could fill it with your leftovers. You could take that single serving to someone who lives alone and they wouldn’t have to cook dinner. Better yet, you could take it and eat with them. Talk to them. Think of all the people you could serve if you just had the right container. I’ll bet there is someone near you that would really appreciate a dinner, a treat, a surprise. More than that, though, they would know that you were thinking of them.

So get a container–any container. It could be a special leftovers container, it could be your old gladwear or rubbermaid containers, or it could be a simple paper plate. It’s not the container that matters. Fill that plate with food. The dinner that you made too much of, the cookies that you want out of the house, or the bread you made this morning.

Now think for a minute who around you could use some love.
There’s someone who just had a baby
Someone had surgery.
Someone who’s mother is dying and they haven’t had time to think about dinner.
There’s someone in your neighborhood who feels isolated and alone,
Someone who lives in the neighbor’s basement apartment and doesn’t think anyone knows they are even there,
Someone who is sick,
Someone who is caring for their aged spouse and can’t leave the house much,
Someone who’s pregnant,
Someone who is worried about their teenager.
How about the neighbor whose missionary just came home?
One of your neighbors is having trouble at work. Maybe their business is going badly, or maybe their small start up company is booming so fast, they don’t have time to think.
Someone just lost their job.
What about that neighbor who doesn’t come to church,
Or the family who just moved in? They have boxes all over, and haven’t even thought of how they are going to feed the family tonight.
Someone’s oven is broken. Again.
Someone’s in the middle of a painting or remodeling project.
Someone is alone, thinking of the spouse that they loved who has died.
Someone is surrounded by three kids under 5, just wishing they were alone.
There’s the neighbor whose car is in the shop, so she couldn’t go out and get groceries this week. She’s looking at the cupboard wondering what she’s going to make with tomato juice, macaroni, and canned peaches.
Someone’s husband is out of town on business, and she is feeling overwhelmed.
Someone is trying to figure out the taxes.
Did you know that your neighbor has had three kids get sick in the past week? I’ll bet she wouldn’t so no if dinner showed up at the door.
Someone is battling depression and doesn’t feel like she can even step outside.
Someone just found out they have cancer.
Someone has given up hope.

Wouldn’t they love to know that you were thinking of them?

If you are saying to yourself, “I’m a terrible cook. No one wants to eat something that I made. I was just going to go pick up a pizza for my family tonight.” Then pick up extra. Drop one off at that neighbor’s house. Ring the bell and say that the delivery is here. Give them a hug, and leave. Or pick up cookies from the grocery store. No judgement on your cooking skills.

It doesn’t have to be wrapped fancy. It doesn’t even have to be food. Do you have a book you loved and you think a friend might enjoy it? Drop it off with a note letting them know you were thinking of them.

Don’t want them to know it’s from you? Do the doorbell ditch. Leave the package on the front step, ring the bell, and run around the corner. It’s exhilarating. It’s fun to not get caught. (Just make sure someone is actually home or the stray dog might find your goodies.)

Afraid to go to the neighbor’s house? Write a note. Mail it.

If you read that list above and think…That’s me! I’m experiencing one or two of those difficult situations! Someone should bring me something!
Don’t think you are exempt from service. You need to do service now, even though it’s hard. Nothing will make you feel better about your situation than serving someone else.

Too many people are alone, or FEEL like they are alone in their situation. All of us feel that way sometimes. Why not share? Share your food, share your leftovers, share your cookies, share your time, share your LOVE.

You can make your world a better place just by filling up that container, and showing someone else how much you care.

Rock Star!

cupcakesA friend of mine was telling us at book club about how she gets to guest lecture at BYU once a semester. She’s an author of several books, and one of her books is on their reading schedule for middle grade fiction. She talks about possible lessons and extensions that could be done with the book, and generally talks about writing. The students have all read the book and they are so excited to meet her, have her sign their book, and talk to her. I remember when Rosemary Wells came to my children’s literature class and I got to have her sign one of her books for me. So cool! She says she feels like a Rock Star.

Everyone needs to feel like a rock star every once in a while.

I remember the first time I took students to Lone Peak High school to play the National Anthem on chimes, and the after they had played the last part of the song, “And the home of the brave”, the student section broke out in a loud chant of “USA! USA! USA!” It was full gym, everyone was standing, and they were all clapping and cheering. It was great, and the kids felt like Rock Stars. I take my students every year to do 2 basketball games, and it’s the highlight of the semester for these kids.

In thinking about my life, I’ve had a few times that I have had that Rock Star feeling. I loved playing Fruma Sarah in Fiddler on the Roof. Even though I was only in one scene on those nights, it was awesome. Fruma Sarah steals the show. When I walked out after the show to meet and greet, little kids were frightened and grown ups told me how they much they loved my scene. It was awesome.

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When I was in Pinkalicious, I got to play a few different parts. My main role was Dr. Wink, but when I went out afterwards to meet and greet the audience (mostly little girls wearing pink), they weren’t very interested in having their picture taken with me. But when I went out in the cupcake or the butterfly costume, they all wanted to give me a hug or have a picture taken.

Because who wants to take a picture of a doctor? They’d much rather take a picture with a GIANT butterfly.
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Playing bells is amazing, but I don’t often get recognized as a member of the Bells on Temple Square. Except for a few years ago, when there was a bell convention in Salt Lake City. A few of us from our choir attended the convention and rang bells all day with a guest clinician, went to classes, and had a blast. Part of the convention was that all the attendees were to come to the tabernacle to see our spring concert.
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To play for so many bell ringers, who understood how technical and difficult the music was, was amazing. When we went back to the convention the next day, so many people came up to us to tell us how amazing the concert was, and many expressed interest. One lady asked how she could join our group. Well, first of all, you need to be a member of the LDS church. We certainly felt like rock stars that day.

When a child comes up to me in the hall and says “Hi, Mrs. E!” or gives me a hug, I feel like a rock star.

Even when I make a dinner that everyone likes and eats and they maybe say how delicious it is, I feel like a rock star a little bit.

Everyone needs to feel like a rock star at some point in their lives. When are you a rock star?

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