Go See… Oh Wait, It’s Much Too Late And So Am I

Posted in Theater on December 17th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Big surprise, time got away from me.  How did that happen?  Couldn’t be that it’s Christmas time and I have a million things to do.  Honestly, I always try to refrain from sending Christmas cards, but sometimes I feel so badly when we get cards from others and I’m not sending any back.  So then I start sending some – just to my MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) group, I’ll say.  But next thing I know, I’ve decided to send Christmas cards to “a few” select groups of people, and that’s when I realize that I’m just sending Christmas cards anyway even though I wasn’t going to!  Well, this that and the other stuff; Christmas cards are just one extra check on my holiday time to-do list, but that’s a tangent…

My point was busyness.  I was so busy that a few weeks ago when I wrote another newspaper review for one of our community theater groups, I forgot to post it on my blog.  I usually like to post my reviews in my blog – since I’m doing the work to write them anyway, I might as well post them here to try to remind some friends and readers to go see the show.  But now it’s too late, for the show I saw and reviewed has finished its run.  Oh well, such things happen; hopefully my review as it was printed in the paper made some people want to come see the cute show.  For fun, here is a copy of the review:

Pageant Shines This Season

Early December finds many people preoccupied with the hustle and bustle of the approaching holiday season, so what better way to unwind from holiday stress than to see a live show?

A play guaranteed to inspire Yuletide spirit, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is being performed by The Williams County Community Theatre in the playhouse at 501 S. East Avenue in Montpelier during these chilly December weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This festive show provides fun for the entire family. The audience can spend a wintery evening or an afternoon matinee getting to know the Bradley clan (cohesively played by Jake McAfee, Mary Valdez, Allie Boyer, and Logan Psurny) as their normally normal life erupts into chaos. Thoughtfully narrated by young Beth Bradley (a cute and concise Allie Boyer), a heartwarming story unfolds, and the audience is a captive witness to the events leading up to what everyone hopes will be The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

When Bradley mom Grace (a funny, flustered Mary Valdez) is chosen to replace Mrs. Armstrong (an amusing character played by Nicki Bassett) as director of the church’s annual Christmas Pageant, all seems well until the Herdman family (outrageously played by Lance Day, Jessica Valdez / Sunny Bowman, Mason Bassett, Elliot Bowman, Isaiah Valdez, Jamison Grime, and Katie Taylor / Zara McNalley) slips into the scene. The Bradleys’ seemingly picture-perfect world is turned upside-down when the six trouble-maker Herdman kids come to Sunday school. Even the reason why they began attending in the first place is hilarious (Logan Psurny takes the heat as Charlie Bradley). Poor Grace just wants to tell the story of Mary and Baby Jesus in the Pageant, but rehearsals are tough with a zany assortment of characters (brought to life by Amy Boyer, Jenna Bowman, Kyla Huband, Jake McAfee, Abby Ledyard, Makayah Long / Alisa Parsons, Kayden Long, Anna Valdez / Carolyn Rychener, Brook Ward / Bailey Ward, Taylor Brown, Amari Blanco, Tatum Grime, Savanah Kleinhen, Ethan Psurny, Hailey Tressler, Hannah Tressler) who just don’t seem to like the idea of giving the Herdman kids a chance. Will it all come together in time to be The Best Christmas Pageant Ever?

It’s the perfect time of year for this touching show, and WCCT’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever will have you flooded with Christmas spirit. Whether you simply come for the holiday fun, to see the joyously decorated theatre, or to watch the adorable children in the cast put on their Pageant, this show will tug at your heartstrings, chase away holiday blues, and leave you humming Christmas carols with a glow and a grin!

“After all, It’s almost Christmas!”, so come out to the theater and join the fun!

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever can be seen on the Montpelier stage on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 pm on December 3,4, 10, and 11 and Thursday night December 9, and Sunday afternoon December 12 at 2:30 pm. Some of the roles are split between multiple actors, which is just one reason to see this show more than once. Reservations are recommended, but not required. Please call the WCCT Office for reservations and more info: 1-888-569-9228.

Taylhis has experience in community theatre that spans multiple decades. Ms. Taylhis has been on the stage as an actor, as well as behind-the-scenes doing production work like assistant-directing, producing, and stage-managing. As an enthusiastic supporter of the arts in Northwest Ohio, she has also enjoyed serving administratively on the boards of various local community theatre groups.

Some Might Have Called It A Disaster…

Posted in Everyday Life on May 16th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

… but not me.  I’m talking about my hugely busy, albeit super-fun weekend.  It began Friday night when we took the kids to the Fort Wayne Tin Caps (minor league baseball) game.  We decided to go mainly because we needed to get to a Ticketmaster outlet to buy tickets for an upcoming arena football game.  Since we live in a rural area, the nearest Ticketmaster is an hour away, but the drive to the city to get tickets was still cheaper than all of the service fees Ticketmaster wanted to tack on for phone or internet orders.  So we decided while we were in the city, why not take the kids somewhere fun, so we decided upon the baseball game.  The only problem is that we found out just as we were leaving (at 4:10) that Ticketmaster closed at 5 – we live more than an hour away, especially at rush hour on a Friday evening.  It was a big deal because we had already bought our baseball tickets, and the only reason we decided to go to the baseball game with such a busy weekend ahead was because we were going to use the money that we were going to save buying the football tickets at Ticketmaster – except now we weren’t going to make it by 5 (did I mention that Ticketmaster’s website said they were open  until 6?  So this really wasn’t our fault…)  Long story short, we arrived there at 5:20, and the people at the Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne were very accommodating.  We got our arena football tickets at the original price without the crazy sur-charges – YAY!  So on to the baseball game…  It was fun, though we had barely sat down on our lawn seats when my almost 2-year-old son took a tumble and was one dad-catching-his-shirttail away from falling from a 3-foot-high ledge onto cement and cracking his head open.  We promptly moved seats, and after my son ran around for a bit, we were actually  able to watch some of the game, even though our team lost.

Saturday was my daughter’s birthday party, and we ended up with about 10 kids (this is a guesstimate – they were never still enough to count them all!).  Thankfully, the weather was nice, so we decided to keep all the kids outside for the entire party.  The kids started to get rambunctious, and it was difficult to keep so many kids entertained and out of trouble for so long (note to self – next year, an hour is plenty long for a kids’ birthday party) – we had the parents coming 2½ hours after the party  started on Saturday, which was WAY TOO LONG!  Everything was going ok though, until one of the party guests opened the gate while playing hide n’ go seek.  Suddenly, we had 2 dogs loose and roaming the neighborhood.  2 of the adults fanned out to go catch the dogs, and I was left to control the 10 kids (AND my son and his cousin who are around 2 years old).  Some of the kids were scared for the dogs, some were bored by being outside, some were whining for cake, and others just stood there, looking as shell-shocked as I felt.  Then the phone rang, and it was a neighbor on the next street over (whom I’ve never met) saying that they have our dogs.  Thinking my husband was still around, I followed my mom and oldest daughter with some leashes to capture the dogs.  Somewhere in the melee, it became apparent that my husband was just on his way back from looking for the dogs, and he comes back to the entire birthday party which he thought was unattended (though I was leaving as he was coming), but in the meantime, my daughter had decided to lead her guests into the house, like some sort of catastrophic parade.  We got to the neighbors house, but they only had one dog by this time, so my mom and my daughter went to find the other one while I returned the puppy to the house.  When I got back, we were still missing a few adults who were out looking for the dogs, and my daughter the birthday girl is begging for her cake.  Eventually, my mom and my daughter returned with the dog, everyone was fine, but we were still missing some adults who were still out looking for the lost-now-found dogs.  We found everyone, and tried to relax, even though there was still an entire hour left of the party –  WHEW!  For the most part, the kids were good, but there was one little girl who was not a very good listener.  She seemed to rub off on  the other kids too.  Is it a coincidence that this is the same little girl who had opened the gate in the first place?  For the rest of the party, she was obsessed with the puppy.  She wanted to hug him, squeeze him, and hold him every second.  After his romp around the neighborhood, he was quite tired and made an easy mark to catch, but he was still a good sport –  good thing he’s great with kids.  I asked her to leave the puppy alone at least 4 times, and I heard my mom doing the same, and later my husband said he also tried, especially when he saw her dragging the puppy by his collar.  She reminded me of the character Elmyra from the cartoon Tiny Toon Adventures.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, I had fun finding the following clip – picture this little girl at our birthday party leading the pack of 10 kids, and you’ll wonder how we survived.  Starting at the 35 second mark, this could have been a scene from our house on Saturday:

If you can see this, then you might need a Flash Player upgrade or you need to install Flash Player if it's missing. Get Flash Player from Adobe.

After the fiasco of a party (the kids had fun, so I wouldn’t call it a disaster, even if it was stressful at times), my family took the kids to their hotel for a party, and Hubby and I got some alone time.  The problem was, after the busy week we’d had, we were too tired to do much of anything.  We hastily chose a Redbox movie,  and it was terrible.  To my husband’s credit,  he wanted to  just forget it after seeing the small selection, but I pushed for Meadowoods since it was the only horror movie available and it was just $1 and we had already waited in line at the Redbox – I didn’t want it to be for nothing.  But it was a complete waste of time (movie-wise I mean, for any time with Hubby is well-spent); we would have been better off watching someone’s youtube videos for 88 minutes instead, that would have been far more interesting.  If only Redbox had an imdb link at the Redbox units – perhaps Meadowoods’ 3.1 rating would have made me just want to forget it too…

Sunday our church service ran late (of all days), and so we were running late for the entire day…  But we had a nice brunch with our family before seeing them off back to Illinois.  We then picked up my daughter’s friend for a playdate, and I was off to my MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) group get-together a little late because I  had to finish up my thank-you notes and my appetizer.  I had decided upon little smokies in the crock pot instead of picking up a 7-layer dip as I had originally planned because I didn’t want to be even later after having to stop at the store to get the dip.  Everything was well-planned, and the appetizer actually tasted good…  but I forgot to drive gently on the way there – I was already late and in a hurry.  I wasn’t even out of town before I had to hit the brakes and make a hard stop, sending the crock pot flying, leaving me with a huge pool of barbeque sauce on the front passenger-side floor.  I pulled over and cleaned it up best I could – I am so thankful I had a roll of paper towels and extra plastic bags in the car!  But when I got to my friend’s house, my smokie appetizer in my crock pot had NO sauce left…  oh well, what could I do?  There was plenty of other great food, and I ate too much.  I think I was the only one to take the food they brought home with them, but I can’t really blame anyone for not wanting seconds on the sauceless smokies.  To add injury to insult, the crock pot tipped again on the way home (what is WITH my driving?), and I had smokies on the floor of my car this time.  Did I mention that Hubby and I spent an hour cleaning out the car last week?  But I guess it worked out since if we hadn’t cleaned out the car, the BBQ sauce would have spilled all over the junk that was in the car – this way I just ruined the floor of the car and the floor mat – and luckily for me, I have 4 kids and therefore don’t put too much stock into the car’s appearance or condition.  Besides, talk about built-in air freshener…  if anyone accuses our car of stinking like anything but BBQ sauce for a long time, I will certainly be surprised!

After everything that went wrong this weekend, some might classify it as a disaster, but we call it FUN!!  🙂

Fool Me Once, Strike One

Posted in Kids on May 10th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , ,

My kids have been totally crazy lately.  End of school year I guess?  Great, let’s take a look at the irony in that…  end of school  year makes  kids act crazy, which makes me dread the end of the school year when I will have 4 crazy, bored, unstimulated kids 24/7.  Nice irony, that.  But anyway, today it’s been one thing after another.  So much so, that I’ve decided to use my spare minute to blog it instead of doing one of the other many and more productive things that I had planned for today.

I guess it began when my son pooped and smeared it all over the bathtub.  He somehow managed this while his sister was watching him so I could run to the kitchen for a minute to stir lunch which was on the stove.  I had to turn down the stove and delay lunch while I cleaned up the mess.  Don’t worry, I washed my hands (many times), but lunch was late, giving my daughter less time than usual to eat it before school.  I took extra time today to make their favorite mac n’ cheese, but no one ate anything.  So that also cans my make-your-own pizza sandwiches I was planning for dinner.  Like I’m going to allow the extra mess and time it will take for the kids to make their pizza sandwiches when they wouldn’t even eat lunch.  Besides, I have my end-of-the-year MOPs meeting to get to, and I’m not taking 4 hungry kids into MOPs childcare if they don’t have time or refuse to eat.  Let’s take bets on whether or not I will actually make it into the shower before my meeting…  I could go now, but then I’d have the company of my 3-year-old, who’s been wanting to take showers with me lately.  It’s nice to have a buddy, but my showers used to be my downtime, especially needed on a day like today…  By the way, did anyone see the nice article about MOPs in the latest American Profile magazine?  I enjoyed the few paragraphs I’ve had time to read…

Back to today – I finally got my 3-year-old to eat her lunch (had to drop what I was doing to chugga-chugga-choo-choo into her mouth), so she was rewarded with Cheetos.  Next thing I know, she and her brother had stomped the entire bag into the floor.

While I was cleaning that up, they were playing in the bathroom sink and flooded the floor.  In the words of Michael Scott from my favorite tv show The Office – Fool me once, strike one. Fool me twice, strike three.”  So rather than leave them unattended, even for just long enough to clean up yet another mess, I put the little guy down for his nap before I cleaned up the latest mess.  Thought that little Office quote would make me smile, so at least I was right there 🙂

And if you think that my 3 and 1-year-old kids were actually helping with the cleanup, you must not have kids because they only succeeded in spreading the Cheeto crumbs around further.  But at least they thought they were helping, and they  had fun while doing so.  Plus, note my gorgeous Mother’s Day bouquet in the background of the one pic – It’s from the kids (yeah right).  I ♥ Hubby!

I’m just extra stressed since I’m trying to keep the house nice since we’re having a birthday party this weekend.  Don’t ask me why I’m trying to keep  a nice house while waiting for 22 five-and-six-year-olds to run wild around my house celebrating my daughter’s birthday…  that doesn’t make much sense, does it?  Maybe I have finally lost it…

Switching Planets

Posted in hobbies on October 21st, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This year, I’ve decided to join my local  MOPs group (Mothers Of Preschoolers).  We’ve only had two meetings, but so far, I really like it.  At this last meeting, we had a video speaker who discussed the move between “Planet Me” and “Planet Mom”.  It was discussed how important it is for moms to maintain some of their personality traits and hobbies, even though time might be lacking.  After all, as the video pointed out, the word “Mommy” sounds like “Mom” and “me” put together.  After the video, one of the discussion questions was “What are some of the activities you gave up when you moved from Planet Me to Planet Mom?”  Most of the women at my table agreed that we can no longer do our crafts, but we didn’t really have time to be more specific.  The crafts I used to enjoy before I really lost the time for them were oil painting and Legos.  True, I don’t really have a natural artistic knack, but I would get those paint-by-number kits (back when they were a little bit higher quality than they seem to be nowadays); I would complete them and they’d turn out so pretty that I’d hate to have to tell people that I painted-by-number.

Another thing I enjoyed before I had kids was sorting and building with my extensive Lego collection I amassed over the years.  It took just one curious toddler to make me abort that hobby, and the Legos got packed away years ago when my oldest began to toddle.  Little pieces are the most fun part of the collection, and we couldn’t risk her putting those little pieces into her mouth or who-knows-where-else.  So I packed away the Legos, and somehow the entire collection followed me  throughout our moves around the midwest and resides with me today, albeit packed away in the basement.  There hasn’t been a shortage (blessfully) of little ones in our house for the past 10 years, so the Legos probably won’t see the light of day for at least a few more years – gotta wait until the little dude is old enough to play rather than destroy or get hurt with them.  So let it be known that I miss my Legos, but I am thankful to still have them and even to be adding to the collection whenever I can catch a cool set on a great sale – usually after Christmas.  Many empty-nesters turn their kids’ bedrooms into something of their choosing when the kids grow up and move away, like a gym, an office, or a rec room, but I already have plans for a Lego studio, where I hope to one day be able to build super-cool things like this:

delete lego house

I’d also like to build a replica of my house as well as a local historic building:

delete courthouse

Now that would be cool, but very difficult.  But if I had more time, the sky is the limit!  My favorite sets are house or city-themed sets, and I also really like vintage Lego sets.  Does anyone remember Fabuland?  It was a series of more colorful Lego sets that featured animals as characters rather than the popular and better known Lego “mini-figs”.

Just because I don’t have the room now to be able to spread out and work with my Lego collection, doesn’t mean that I can’t look at cool things other people have built online, especially now that I’ve officially and publicly declared myself a dork on my blog!

Many MOPs Are SAHMs

Posted in Everyday Life on September 15th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m not going to pretend to know the latest texting lingo.  I know ASAP and TTYL and even oic, but that’s about the extent of my in-house texting-acronym dictionary.  Not that I care too much – it doesn’t even make me feel old or out of it because texting itself is amusing to me; not when texters are behind the wheel though, that’s just scary.  I saw that graphic UK public service video with the girl who was texting and crashed her car.  Awful stuff, I DO NOT recommend you watch that; it was incredibly disturbing.  But anyway, I do know the acronyms I need to know for my chosen profession as a SAHM = Stay At Home Mom.  And last night, I officially became a member of MOPs = Mothers Of Preschoolers.

It was really different and very nice – after dinner I left the house alone for a change.  Poor hubby got left with all 4 kids and a messy room to get cleaned.  I didn’t feel guilty; I knew he could handle anything without getting so frustrated he would melt down for the rest of the night, which is more than I could promise for myself.  And after all, I had been waiting for my turn to go out ever since Hubby was in his last community theater production and I got stuck home with kids during his rehearsals.  But that was a year ago, and in the meantime, there was just never anyplace to go that would have not been more fun with my entire family.

So last night, Hubby fared well; the room was cleaned (sort-of), but the most important thing is that no one was stressed out, and 2/4 kids were actually asleep when I  got home – BONUS!  As for the MOPs meeting itself; it was different than I was expecting…

I was expecting a few women from our church who I know have young children, but when I  showed up, the parking lot was full.  I went in, feeling a bit intimidated since everyone else seemed to be with a friend or two.  And there were about 60 women, dwarfing my prediction of 5 or 10.  Not only that, but there was a sign-up table, where I learned that you were supposed to sign up ahead of time in order to be assigned to a group.  Oops – guess who  hadn’t signed up?  So I crashed a group, but I knew at least a few of the other women from church, so it wasn’t really like crashing.  Our poor friend Jeremy, the teaching pastor at the church, was there to make a church-related announcement, and I’ve never seen a man look so out of place.  He stood before 60 women in a room oozing with femininity – an endless sea of scrap-booking supplies, flowers, chocolate, and scented candles… And he looked like there was anywhere in the world he’d rather be; it was hilarious.  He gave his spiel, left in a quite a hurry, and then we snacked, chatted about our families, and made our scrap-booked our place mats which will be at our tables every month during our meetings.  Overall, a very fun evening, and we even got to take home some cute little fall trinkets.  I found out that childcare is available, so next month Hubby can have a break too while the kids play.  I learned that many MOPs are also SAHMs like me, so we have kind of a girly little community.  And that reminds me; I was really amused when the coordinator asked, “Does anyone have any special announcements?  We have gifts for any of our members who are expecting or adopting.”  I guess in a room full of dozens of women in their child-bearing years who already have young children, asking if any are expecting doesn’t really come from left field.  So of course, not one, not two, but three women came up to share their blessed news.  Then we also heard from two who had recently had babies and brought them to the meeting – talk about a dose of baby-itis!  But for now it’s fun to talk about our kids and our lives – I’m the only one in our group with more than 3 children; which surprises me –  I thought large families were making a comeback?  But for any other moms out there who want to join a fun Christian-based peer group, check  out this link for a MOPs group near you!