Weepy, Weepy, Weepy

 PKR and I rehearsing for "I Do! I Do!"

As I have mentioned a few times, PKR and I are doing a two person musical called "I Do! I Do!", which opens next Friday, January 8th at the Sixth Street Theater in Wallace.

This has been a very interesting process, rehearsing with my own husband, where the show is about a couple's long marriage.

I find myself choking up during rehearsal.  Last night, when we got to the end of the show and we are walking out, the tears in my eyes were not fake.

It is such a touching musical.  And to have the privilege of performing this show with my own husband of 23 years.

The tears surprise me.  And, as we rehearse, it comes in different places.  But it is usually somewhere in the second act, toward the end of the show.

I keep wondering if this is going to go away, or get more intense throughout next week, as we open the show. 

This is such a well written musical, and I really wish everyone I know could see it.  And it isn't because it is PKR and I performing it, it is because it is such a good show. 

Another plus from doing this show is that most of the proceeds from the ticket sales will be going toward three local charities in the Silver Valley, "Meals on Wheels", "The Women's Resource Center" and "The Shoshone Community Health Clinic".  PKR and I  wish we could give away all kinds of money to help people in need. But we have been blessed with an enthusiasm for performing, and it is something we love to do, and can use this ability to give back to our community.  So we are.

And people have been very generous in sponsoring the show, too.  We asked people to sponsor the royalties for each night's show, so the expenses would be covered, and more of the ticket sales could go directly toward the charities.  So far, we have had over $1800 donated to help with expenses.  What a blessing.

So, we have a music rehearsal on Saturday, then three more rehearsals next week, and open on Friday.  We'll see if I can make it through opening night without needing a box of Kleenix. 

But,  if I do need that box of Kleenix, I think it would pretty cool.


Noche Buena

One of our family traditions for Christmas Eve is picking a country or region, and planning a meal from that country.

This year, we had a Latin American feast.

Here is this year's menu.

Special thanks to Inland Empire Girl for taking all the pictures.  I was too busy cooking to snap some pics.

Appetizer:  Peruvian Spicy Hot Beef Kabobs

Here I am assembling the Kabobs

Next was Guatemalan Chicken With Pineapple
Pollo En Pina

Here is Kiki Aru showing off the chicken dish that IEG made.

For the salad course, we had Peruvian Potato Salad
Papas a la Huancaina

Mom made  this delicious salad.

I made Paraguayan Corn Bread.
Sopa Paraguay.

Our vegetable was Greens with Bacon from Brazil
Couve a Mineira

(Sorry, no picture)

Our made dish was Stuffed Rolled Steak from Argentina

Carne Rellena

And to top it all off, dessert was Peruvian Carmel Sauce With Fruit and Guatemalan Banana Bread.
Natillas Pluranas and Pao de Banano

Joining our family for dinner was Mom, IEG, JEJ and our friend RG.

After dinner, we sang "O Come, O Come Emmanuel/Emmanuel" for our guests.

After the Candlelight Christmas Eve service at church, it was time to watch
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", (an early Christmas present they opened)
and enjoy a roaring fire.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!


White Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas movies is "White Christmas".  I watched it tonight with my girls.  It is such a great show, filled with wonderful music, dance numbers, and a good message.

They just don't make movies like "White Christmas" any more.

I still giggle when the General walks into the dining room in his uniform at the end, and sees all the army men sitting in the room.

I get a little weepy.

One of my favorite parts is to sing a long to "Sisters, Sisters". 

Now I'm dreaming of my own White Christmas!!


Z2 the Medical Mystery

Last August, Z2 was running in our backyard, and hurt her foot. She went to the clinic, and was told to use crutches and stay off of it for about four weeks.

She missed Cross Country season because of the injury.

It was feeling better, and only hurt when she used it for long periods of time. like marching in the parade for U of I Homecoming.  And, when her foot was cold, it would ache.

Today, we visited a podiatrist.  He was amazed that she had a very diminished ability to flex her big toe, and the one next to it on her right foot.  Her big toe on her left foot had 70 percent flexibility, and 60 percent in normal.

Her big toe on her right foot has 25 percent flexibility....not good.

So, to help alleviate some of the pain, she will have some orthodics made to put in her shoes.  And hopefully this will help. 

I joked with her and told her, if she kept running in track and cross country, someday they would base one of those feel good sports movies on her, the girl who persevered despite the inability to move her toes!!

The doctor was going to consult with some other specialists to see if they had heard of anything like this before.  Until then, we are thankful and grateful that she can still run and be active, and that it shouldn't cause any damage by running.


Remembering School Christmas Memories Through Music

IEG gave the Sibling Assignment this week. 

"Write a memory about Christmas related to an experience at school."

To find out about IEG's Christmas art project, go here.  RP's will be here later.

Many of my memories about Christmas in school center around music.

When I attended Sunnyside Elementary, the sixth graders were the ones to put on the Christmas program.

Christmas programs were a bit different back then, because it wasn't wrong to have something about the birth of Christ in the program.

I still have this vivid memory of Teresa Vergobbi dressed in a black dress and reciting this reading....

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village, the son of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter's shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he became a wandering preacher.
He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn't go to college. He never visited a big city. He never travelled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of those things one usually associates with greatness.
He had no credentials but himself.
He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through a mockery of a trial. He was executed by the state. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind's progress. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that One Solitary Life.

When I was in sixth grade, I remember playing my flute for "What Child Is This?"

I also got to direct the band.

And I think it was that year I got to help at the Silver King Christmas program, by being the page turner for Mrs. Williams, our music teacher.

I still love Christmas music.  Tonight, I got to perform some Christmas tunes with The Princess and Kiki Aru at the Wallace Elks as part of the Wallace Lighting Ceremony.  It isn't every mom that can have such willing kids to go sing Christmas tunes with them.  I am blessed!!!

Z2 and PKR were not with us, because they were in Idaho Falls at the State Drama Competition.  Z2 and her partner CM made it to the final round in Ensemble Pantomime.  We are very proud of them!!!

Speaking of Christmas music, I am going to put a plug in for my blogging friend at Blog My Rabbit.  He is doing a holiday countdown of some unique Christmas music...Here is what he says..

I embark on a 27-day blog voyage, offering up daily some of my favorite Christmastime-related tracks to the yuletide spirit, in hopes that the exercise might help me enjoy the season more while annoying those around me less.

I invite you to check out Blog My Rabbit, and enjoy some unique Christmas tunes.


Faithful Friends Who Are Dear To Us, Gather Near To Us Once More...

For the last eight years, we have gathered together each Christmas to catch up, exchange gifts, and share a meal, and laugh, share stories, and have a wonderful time.

These ladies have been faithful friends....for many, many years....and it is a joy to gather together once more.


Mystery Reader

Today I accompanied my mom to Mrs. Baillie's second grade classroom, where Mom had the honor of being this week's "Mystery Reader" in this second grade classroom at Pinehurst Elementary.

Part of the reason Mrs. Baillie wanted her second graders to meet Mom was because Mom was Mrs. Baillie's second grade teacher.

Mom's book pick was "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" by Dr. Suess.  It is one of Mom's favorite Christmas books.  Mom has been retired from teaching for 20 years, but she still has the teaching knack.  She doesn't just read the story...she engages the students, drawing them in by asking questions.

"What do they call an icebox today?"

"What do we call the horn on Max's head?"

"Do you have a huge feast at Christmas?"

After the story ended, the students asked Mrs. Woolum, the mystery reader, what it was like to be Mrs. Baillie's teacher.  Mom explained how students could be paddled back when Mrs. Baillie was in school.

"Did Mrs. Baillie ever get spanked?"

"Was Mrs. Baillie good at Math?"

Some of the students in Mrs. Baillie's room were related to people Mom had been very close to as a teacher.  One young man was the great grandson of one of the teacher Mom taught with at Silver King School.  Another girl was the great grandaughter of a man who Dad worked with at the Zinc Plant. 

Again, there are always connections.

Here are some more pictures of Mom sharing her story with the class.  What a joy to watch Mom share this special story with this group of students.



Staying Connected

There is something about growing up with people in the same place for years and years, then, later in life, you want to stay connected.

This Saturday I am gathering with some girl friends that all grew up in the Silver Valley, and, at least one time a year, we gather together for lunch, to have a Christmas gift exchange, and to get caught up on life.

After I moved back to Kellogg nine years ago, we started getting together.  There are six of us who have been together for almost every lunch each year since Christmas 2001. 

I have a history with each of these women.

CM is one of my oldest friends...meaning I have known her since I was four years old.  We attended kindergarden together, and her mother babysat me when I was in kindergarden.  We attended school together through junior high, then she moved to Coeur d'Alene for a few years.  She returned in ninth grade, then we graduated from high school together.  We were at U of I together one year.  We have know each other for almost 42 years.  She now lives in Coeur d'Alene, and is working on her Masters of Social Work degree.  Two of our daughters were born within weeks of each other. 

BB was also in my kindergarden class.  We then were in sixth grade together, and on through graduation.  Her daughter is right between Kiki Aru and Z2, so I get to catch up with BB at sporting events, usually track in the spring.  BB is a hair stylist in Hayden.

CD came to Kellogg while we were in junior high, but had relatives living in Kellogg, so her Silver Valley roots run deep.  She married a guy from Mullan and her mom still lives in Kellogg.  Her daughter runs cross country and her son runs track, so again, I see her at sporting events.

PS was a Pinehurst girl, so I didn't meet her until junior high. She is the "planner".  She always gets our get together organized.  PS has the youngest child of all of us.  As many of us have children out on their own, or in middle school or high school, PS has a daughter in grade school, and loves every moment of it!!

TF returned to the Silver Valley the same summer we did, and both of our husbands were hired by the Wallace School District the same year.  Our oldest daughters graduated from high school together, and we occasionally run into each other as well. 

MR is a new comer to our luncheon this year.  She was raised in Kellogg, and I got to know her when she came to Sunnyside School in fourth grade.  Her mother was my Campfire leader for many years.  She was a fellow flute player, and we were always in competition for first chair.  One of my memories of MR is when, in sixth grade, the Little League babeball allowed girls for the first time to try out for a team.  Both MR and I tried out and made the same team.  She was the best player on the team....I was the worst.  MR moved away after our freshman year and moved to Wisconsin.  She is know back in Kellogg, and I look forward to rekindling our friendship after many, many years.

My brother also sees the value in gathering with his friends.  For many years, Thanksgiving has been a time for him to reconnect with his high school buddies, either somewhere in Oregon, or here in the Silver Valley.  For him, the catalyst for spending time with old friends was our father's funeral.  He was very moved by the way Dad's friends responded as Dad lay in his bed dieing of cancer, and how his many friends he grew up with in the Silver Valley came and spent time with him as he lay in bed.  My brother realized there was a special bond between Dad and his friends, and he wanted to experience that bond with the buddies he grew up with as well.

And I, too, realize the specialness in old friends.  AL will not be with us on Saturday, but is arriving on Sunday to be here in the Silver Valley for about a month.  AL and I can say one or two words, and be on the floor laughing, remember a funny story or joke from years gone by.  It has been too long since I spend time with AL, and I look forward to getting caught up, and laughing until I cry.

KM is like that as well.  She will also miss the lunch on Saturday, but will be here at her parent's house for Christmas, so we will find some time to get together.  KM's house and my house had kitty corner back yards.  Again, I have known KM since I was three or four years old. 

What amazes me is the remarkable women the friends of mine have become, with beautiful families.  Yes, there have been struggles....grief, pain, life....but we gather together, and it doesn't matter, because our bond is stronger than the circumstances of life. 

We are social workers, nurses, mothers, wives, counselors, educators, lovers, friends, volunteers, hair stylists, insurance industry workers, substitute teachers, daughters.

Our roots go back to the hey days of the Silver Valley, when mining was big, and smelter smoke was even bigger!!  But we didn't care. 

It has forged in us a connection that we never want to break, as we continue our ritual of our yearly Christmas gathering, to share stories, share gifts, share lives.


Christmas Time Is Here

It is December 1st, and time to start preparing for Christmas.

While driving to Wallace tonight, many people took advantage of the good weather after Thanksgiving to put up their Christmas lights.

I need to take some time in the next few days to get our nativity scene outside.  We do have our Christmas swag on the front door.

Then up come the boxes and boxes of decorations.

The tree must be purchased and put up and decorated.

Recipes to be gone over to see what Christmas goodies I will make this year.

Presents need to be wrapped.

This Saturday I am having my annual Christmas luncheon with my high school friends.  This will be our ninth year meeting together.  It will be so fun.

I will also be singing Christmas songs with a group at the Wallace Elks on Saturday night.

We are in the midst of practicing for the "Christmas Festival of Music" at Mountain View Congregational Church.  This will be Sunday evening, December 13th at 6:30 p.m.  Our family is singing, and we are also singing in some smaller groups.  It should be a very fun night.

Then there are the school Christmas concerts.  Kiki Aru will be in the Kellogg Middle School band concert on December 10th, and Z2 will be performing almost every night the following week, with her Kellogg High School band concert, choir concert, and Joy Bells concerts the following week.

Christmas music and Christmas concerts are always a great way to get in the holiday spirit.

I hope each and every one of you is enjoying the beginning of this most wonderful time of the year!!!