Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jillie Update

Jillie's school had a Multicultural Concert on St. Patrick's Day. We listened to music from Africa, Ireland, Jerusalem, France, etc... I think Africa took first place, especially with Jackson who loved listening to the African drumming group. Jillie sang with her 7th grade chorus, Select Choir, and a combined choir of all 7th and 8th grade chorus'.

Here's a fun African song that included a little choreography...

(she's in the white and pink with the pink headband)

Jillie was chosen to sing in one of the little "solo groups" in this song. She was very excited to have been chosen. I'm so proud of how well she did.

I'm so glad she enjoys singing since I do too. I am impressed with her singing as well. She has a nice voice and her confidence continues to grow with each experience. Thanks to Holly's encouragement, she's challenged herself to sing a solo at Kobe's baptism in May. (She posted about it on her blog earlier. You can also see a cute little video that she did with Kobe and Reagan).

I hadn't mentioned this on my blog yet, but Jillie played basketball this past winter. Now that she's in the oldest age group, the teams have gotten really tough. Many of the girls who were good enough to make the Middle School team, were also on the Rec teams together as well. These girls were hard to score on let alone beat. I was very impressed with Jillie's attitude though. She never gave up. She listened to everything that her coach and Greg called out for her to do. She's understanding the dynamics of the game better. Through her whole orthodontic expander pain/hardly eating a thing/ losing 7 lbs. in a few weeks time- she stuck with her team. No matter how tired she looked some times, she did her best. This year she got to be on a team with many friends and they all had a good time together. I'm proud of her.I should also mention that I keep Jillie pretty busy babysitting for her siblings lately. She's invaluable to me. It's been so nice to get to run errands child free or get a date night with Greg from time to time.

I still can't believe I have a daughter who will be turning 13 this summer. Life is changing around here. At school recently Jillie (and I ... though I was way in the back so as not to embarrass her) got to enjoy an assembly by Pam Stenzel- an abstinence speaker. She was excellent, but hello! Welcome to the "real world" Jillie. This week Jillie had her annual physical, and since it's officially her 13th year appointment, they took her in to see the doctor without me. She was asked about things like depression, suicide, and the rest of the 'fun' teenager topics doctors need to check on. We'll need to address the vaccination for HPV in the next few years as well. Does she really need that one?! Body's changing, hormones are rearing their heads, she fights cleaning her room or putting her laundry away, I'm getting old... :)

It's just weird to me that she has reached the time of her life that I really remember of my own. She's the one who takes me through each new stage of life and so far we're doing OK. Jillie's a smart girl who is growing in maturity and confidence while still holding on -a little- to the little girl she used to be. Maybe I'm trying to hold on to that little girl just a little bit too.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Dad, Their Papa

"He gives us drawing tips."
"He likes our artwork. He hangs it up and tells us it is so good."
"He encourages us to keep drawing."
"He goes on roller coasters with me, even if doesn't really want to."
"When he was here he studied with me for my math test and I did really good on the test."
"There's so many things I love about Papa!"
"He teaches me how to draw better."
"He's really funny and nice."
"He's the best artist I've ever seen!"
"He let me and Saroya go on a ride with him and then by ourselves."

"I hug Papa and Grandma"
"He goes bowling with me."
"You wanna see my pictures?"

Happy Birthday to the most amazing grandpa a kid could ever ask for!
And to the most amazing dad a girl could ever ask for!
Love you Dad!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Good Mail Posting

I got some Good Mail today, and was reminded that I haven't posted a few Good Mail deliveries that I have received . In February I was surprised to get this delivery from my sister Holly. She sent me a great note that made my day and a very cute ribbon wrapped box (a-la-Kristi)...

...with yummy Hershey Kisses and some Natural Ice lip balm that I LOVE and desperately needed. I seriously LOVE that stuff. I can't find it here (even though the Mentholatum company that makes them is headquartered just down the street!) I was on my last one and it was pretty much out- I had resorted to looking online to try to buy more and then Holly surprised me. Yea!
I was also surprised to get this card in the mail from our Bishop's wife. I don't know if she sent a Valentine to everyone in the ward, or if I just seemed like I needed it, but it was a nice to know she was thinking of me.

Today I got a little package from Jill for being one of the first 5 commenters on one of her posts. She sent some yummy pineapple lip gloss. I do love pineapple. Thanks Jill for the Good Mail delivery and for the Good Mail inspiration!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Remembering... Grandpa Cecil

Cecil Earl Wadsworth

WADSWORTH - Cecil Earl Wadsworth passed away peacefully on March 14th, 2009, at age 92, in Grand Rapids, MI. He was born June 6, 1916 to Reuben and Mabel Johnson Wadsworth in Sturgis, MI. Preceding him in death was his beloved wife, Nellie, son-in-law, Sylvan Babcock, and grandson, Cory Wadsworth. He is survived by his children, David (Pam Streeter), Charlene (George Miller), Dianna (Sylvan Babcock), Linda (Andre Robinson), Trent (Judy Genson), and G. Richard (Kim Biel); his sister, Marietta Stevens of Sturgis; half sisters, Maxine Taylor of Arizona, Shirley Davidson of Fairborn, OH, two half brothers, Randy (Shirley) Wadsworth of Sturgis, MI, and John (JoAnn) Jensen of Ft. Gratiot, MI; 20 grandchildren, and 25 great grandchildren. Cecil was a World War II veteran, serving in the Seabees, worked many years as a new car salesman, and later at Roger's Department Store. He was known for his artistic talents, painting murals and many country landscapes. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 18, 3 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 2780 Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids attended by Memorial Alternatives. The family will greet friends at 2 p.m. Interment will be at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens.

from the Grand Rapids Press, March 15, 2009

I will remember how much my Grandpa loved Grandma Nellie. Whenever he couldn't be with her, he would build something for her. They were engaged for 7 years (while she was trying to decided whether or not to leave the Catholic Church and be baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.) During that 7 year engagement he built her an armoire that she used the rest of her life- and told stories about how her sister damaged the tops of the doors by hanging hangers on it! When she went on trips without him, he would surprise her with some new thing he created. I think my grandpa could build or fix anything- and he could paint anything too. Once he and Grandma stayed with us while my folks were out of town. I had a rock collection project due. He painted the background of it with an erupting volcano. ( I didn't do very well at the rock identification, but it looked pretty cool.)

I will remember the farm where he seemed to be endlessly working in the barn- fixing cars, or in the woodshed, sawing away on some new project, or in the house painting another mural. He moved much more slowly than Grandma did,( we all moved more slowly than Grandma!) but he was a hard worker. He also loved to dance with Grandma. Always sweet memories thinking of the two of them dancing together... it made her so happy. He and Grandma served 3 missions together for our church-

New York City Visitors Center (now the Manhattan, NY Temple) where we visited them and experienced New York City for the first time,

Washington DC Temple where we visited them and I was able to do baptisms for the first time,

and Nauvoo, IL where the whole Grand Rapids Stake Girls Camp went that summer and Grandpa made Nauvoo bricks for each of us girls.

Most of all I think I will remember how after Grandma passed away unexpectedly 9 years ago, how Grandpa appeared to be totally immersed in the scriptures. Any time we would visit, I would find his scriptures and other church books laid open with note books of his notes. It seems to me he was at it again,creating something for Grandma. He seemed to be doing the best he knew how to make himself a better person...in hopes of being reunited with her again some day. I think she was just "tickled" to see him again the other night. And I hope they got to dance.

(Grandpa Cecil, Grandma Nellie, and Sunny at Holly's wedding)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reagan's Update

Reagan's been involved in many activities lately.

*She taught Sharing Time in Primary where she encouraged all of the kids at church to be creative and draw or write a submission to the Friend magazine.

*With the Activity Day Girls (8-11 year old girls at church) she has been planning an activity day for the entire Primary.

*She continues with weekly gymnastics rec. classes. We got to stay and watch last week.

*Reagan was chosen to sing in an elementary all-county choral music festival. Really a great opportunity to sing in such a large choir with an amazing director. I'm glad both of my girls have had experiences like this. You can see in the videos how much she's enjoying herself. I'll post all 5 of her songs on her blog, but I'll put a favorite here. It is "Where the River Meets the Sea" by Paul Williams. During her last rehearsal the choir director called Paul Williams himself so he could listen to them sing his song. it was very exciting for the kids because they were told that John Denver sang this song with the Muppets before and that Mr Williams is very famous. We had to look him up when she told us, but now we know...
Recognize him?
So here's the song...

I think this one was my favorite- "Blue Skies"

P.S. You can thank me for the roller coaster-esque filming on these video clips! :)

*Reagan's been rehearsing for the 5th grade musical as well. Every year our school puts on a musical and all 5th graders are required to participate. It's a really fun chance for them to get a feel for performing on stage to see if it's something they might enjoy pursuing as they go off to middle school next year and beyond. She is a hula dancer and is singing a duet in this year's production.

*Even more rehearsals for her in orchestra. She will be playing the cello with her orchestra in a school district wide concert at the end of the month.

Most of these rehearsals happen before and during school. Some days she stays after school to either learn how to make a film in iMovie, participate in intramurals, or goes to Color Guard.(Video of Color Guard to appear on her blog soon too- Sunny.) The girl has SO many interests!

So there you have a little update on Reagan. More to follow on the other kids.

(She isn't the only one who has turned me into a taxi driver!)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Do you remember when...

...I was berated by a strange woman at the grocery store for not knowing how to handle my temper throwing child?! (If not, click here for all the fun!) That was exactly 11 months ago today (April 9, 2008). And guess what? Today I was at the grocery store again with an out of control Jackson. He usually does well at the store, but every once in awhile he throws me for a loop- like today. Things were going fine until we were headed to check out and walked passed boxes of donuts. Jackson grabbed a box and tossed it into the cart. I took it out and the boy erupted, grabbing box after box and throwing them into the cart as fast as I could put it back. I picked him up and put him in the seat of the cart. No small feat considering we were both in bulky winter coats, him wearing slippery basketball pants while making his 45+ lb. body limp and kicking a screaming... and then sticking that big 4 and a half year old into a seat meant for a 1 year old.

He kept begging to be let out, promising me to stay near me, only to take off running in the direction of the donuts. I'd grab him again, he'd fall to the floor limp, I'd wrestle him back to the cart. I was very calm, but man that kid tested my strength. Eventually I had to hold him in the cart with one hand while unloading the cart with the other. I apologized to the woman ahead of me in line for the screaming.

This story ends much better than the last. This nice woman said,"It's OK. It just reminds me that I'm glad I'm not in that stage anymore. But I remember!" Then she congratulated me on not giving in to him but holding my ground. Not long after, Jackson finally gave up an announced he was "happy." Much better experience today, and bless that kind woman! :)

Preschool Pick Up

Preschool pickup this week was an adventure.

Jackson's preschool has a very small parking lot which is used by a variety of businesses. At pickup time the place is packed with minivans and SUVs. This time there was also a semi trying to maneuver it's way through the maze of cars. Since we couldn't get into our car til the truck had passed us we stood next to it, watching the big truck.

"Look at the big truck Jackson! Do you like that truck?"

"I like that big truck Momma."

I am always amazed at how the truck driver can maneuver those big rigs around tight corners and small spaces. I had total confidence this guy knew what he was doing. As I stood there. next to my car. The car he didn't request that I move.

As he attempted to make the tight corner out of the parking lot, he almost made it. Almost.

"Why did he do that Momma? Why did he break Momma's car? That's mean Momma!"

It could have been much worse. The back of his trailer hit the back of my car denting it in and ripping of part of the tail light. But Good Grief! (to borrow an expression from Charlie Brown and Jill). Now I've had to deal with police reports, insurance companies, estimates, rental cars, etc...

Just one more thing to put on the To Do list.

Dentist trip

The kids all had dentist appointments this week. This was the first time Jackson actually let them get a good look in his mouth. He did very well. He opened his mouth wide when they asked him to... no crying this time. He giggled through his teeth cleaning. :) And guess what they found- very groovy teeth (no that's not a way of saying they are really cool). Usually they don't put sealants on baby teeth, but they are recommending it for him...after they take care of a cavity he already has. Ugh! And of course, we've been informed that he will need braces someday.

Kobe has no cavities this time. WooHoo! BUT his bottom jaw is growing faster than his upper. This is very familiar to me because I had this problem which resulted in oral surgery at 15 years old and being wired shut for a month while it healed! Luckily these days they try to cathc it early and start orthodontics earlier than usual to force the top jaw to catch up I guess. The dentist said he's ready for an orthodontic consult. Ugh!

Reagan- no cavities, yea! But she too is ready for an orthodontic consult as braces are on the horizon for her as well. She could be ready to begin soon. Ugh!
Jillie- no cavities, already has orthodontics going on. Soon she will get her full set of braces. I was told how much the rest is going to cost us. Ugh$$!

None of it is too surprising. They are my children.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"We Love Mormon Boys!"

Greg bought tickets for the the girls and I to go to the David Archuletta concert this week. When we arrived we saw some Young Women from our ward in line- Anna, Jessica, and Amanda. Bless those girls for letting us join them! The line was SO long and it was SO, SO cold outside. The girls were seriously shivering.

I know it's usually not OK to bring a camera into a concert, so I didn't... but of course everyone had one there. My pictures are the lovely blurry-camera-on-the-phone pictures, but they'll give you an idea of how our evening went. :)
The girls before the concert began. The venue was a dance club so there was no seating, just a dance floor to stand on. As you can see Reagan's too short to see over the crowds. This was not going to work, so we went over to the side of the dance floor where we could step up to the lounge area. This was her view of the stage during the opening act.By the way the opening was Leslie Roy. I don't know her, but the Jillie knew one of her songs.

Anyhow, as the time drew near for David's appearance on stage, the crowds drew in nearer and Reagan couldn't see again. I put my purse on the floor, folded up my coat and put it on top of the purse, and then put Reagan on top. It worked! She got just the extra height she needed to see the stage. it's a good thing too because she didn't want to miss a second of this...

There was LOTS of this!!!!
And a few girls screaming "We love Mormon boys!!"
We were about 5 people from the stage. The girls were just in awe of being so close to him. Cute, shy Mormon boy who has a seriously beautiful voice, and put on a great show. It was so fun and I only embarrassed Jillie a few times. :)

I think one of their favorite moments was when he sang a medley of other people's songs- because of one song in particular. The last song of the medley was Jason Mraz's song, "I'm Yours". You can see it here filmed by someone who was standing behind us a little bit at the concert that night. ( I know this because we were standing right next to the lamp post that you see in the footage.)

This is a great song, but Jillie is bothered that it says the "d-word" in it. When it started, I said to Jillie, "let's see what he does when he gets to that word." Sure enough David replaced it with another word, no one even noticed but us. Jillie was just beside her self with joy. I think both girls have decided they would like to be his wife. Too bad for them Mormons don't practice polygamy. ;)

And for any David Archuleta fans out there- here is an awesome song that he hasn't even recorded yet called Zero Gravity (again recorded by someone in the crowd behind us)

It was a late night, but they were pretty excited to get up in time the next morning so they could wear these to school!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Perspective... I want to die happy

"I figure that something's going to get me anyway
 so I'll just eat what I want.
  I want to die happy."  

This was a comment made during our lesson in Relief Society on the Word of Wisdom.   Now I know the woman made this comment mostly in jest.  She's funny, but it got me thinking. The 'do nots' of the Word of Wisdom are not a problem for me.  I'm not tempted to drink alcohol, smoke, drink coffee, etc.  But the overall spirit of the Word of Wisdom is to have healthy bodies.  Over the past couple of years I've thought a lot about how to find healthier versions of things we like to eat.  Our bodies, while we have a way to go, are healthier because of it.  I still really need to work on the amount of healthy food that I eat... and getting my body moving more.  The whole point of keeping this commandment has to do with the bigger purpose of doing His work.  If our bodies are unhealthy, it gets in the way of our ability to serve.  When I see the pounds coming back on, it depresses me and it distracts me.  How can I focus on more eternal things when I'm preoccupied with how my clothes are fitting?

I think that in general we know that obedience to all commandments bring us happiness.  I might be bummed to not be able to eat as much goulash or cake as I want- because I'm capable of eating those day and night!  But feeling healthy and not being distracted by my physical body is a much better feeling.  Commandments are not given to us to make us miserable.  They are given to us to guide us through a life with happiness.  So yes, I do want to die happy so I will do all I can to follow the guidance given to us from our loving Father in Heaven.