The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: April 2016

Spring concert…At least there was no barf

Monday was our chime choir Spring Concert.

spring concert 2016


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.

origami beak

We stayed at the folding tables for quite a while.

It cracked me up, this challenge to make a SMALL dinosaur.


The kids all had fun seeing the tracks, and the dinosaurs. It was good for an hour of educational fun.

natalie dino

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.

young house

I love all the history that is in these old houses!

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.

family tree
The missionaries do a great job with tours, and are always willing to take a picture or two.

house porch

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.

barbed wire

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.


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


Eventually we made it to a HUGE rock just FULL of pictures. We all had to admit it was really cool.

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.

But inside the book, that was the surprise.

He even got down on one knee.


And she said yes.


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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