Monday, October 29, 2012

The Farm

This weekend, Rob's friend Bill from work had a little party at his house.  He lives less than a half mile from us, in a little pocket of farmland.

First, we got to see the piglets and the huge momma pig.

Then we saw the chickens.

Then some tortoises.

And some chicks.

The kids absolutely loved the animals!  Bill told the kids they could climb around on the farm equipment...

And when they were climbing into this one, he joined them and started up the engine for them.  He lifted up the front and drove just a little bit with them.  Robbie especially loved this!

There was also a haystack to climb and a little playground area.

Bill and his wife provided hot dogs and beef brisket and shredded pork, and everyone else brought sides and we had a good lunch.

Then the kids got to ride a horse!  This was the first time for both of them.

Bill pulled all the kids around in his barrel train, and later he drove everyone around in an adult-sized train with bench seats (no picture of that one).

It was a gorgeous day to be outside.  And it was good for these city kids to hang out on a farm!

We went to our ward's Trunk-or-Treat that night (no pictures) - also on a farm!  It was a nice, full day.  Then we stayed up late and ate candy.

Friday, October 5, 2012


We were in a musical a couple of weeks ago.  That’s not something we’d normally find ourselves doing, but it was cool.

About every four years, our stake puts on a free play.  (Stake = church term for a geographic grouping of several congregations)  They alternate between something spiritual and something Broadway-ish like The Music Man.  This year, they were doing Seussical.  Our friend Steve was the director, and one day he mentioned to Rob that he could use some more male voices.  Rob pitched the idea to us, and we started going to practices.

At first, it didn’t seem like such a good idea.  Some of the practices were frustrating, and we were definitely out of our comfort zones!  Plus, we had practices every Saturday morning and most Thursday evenings for two months.  Long practices.
(Our family is to the right in this photo.  Behind us are 3 or 4 people at sewing machines, working on all the costumes during rehearsals)

But it grew on us.  The music was fun, the other cast members were very cool, and we made some new friends.  It’s fun to part of a production like that, all working together.

The play combines several different Dr. Seuss stories, like Horton Hatches the Egg, Oh the Places You’ll Go, The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, Oh the Thinks You Can Think… you get the idea.  We had minor parts, as we were citizens of Who.  We had loose costume guidelines of orange and yellow clothes with pink or green accents.  It was fun to see all the different variations of Who outfits.  Our leads and major characters had some really neat costumes.
The week of the play, we had a dress rehearsal on Tuesday and performances Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.  They even added a matinee performance on Saturday because the tickets were going so fast!  It was a BUSY week.  Rob would get the kids after works and they'd pound through their homework and hurry up to the church.  I'd go straight from work and meet them there.  We ate fast food all week and got home after 10pm every night. Phew!

Here are some photos from my phone, mixed in with some good ones that Steve Stringham took and shared with us (his are the ones with the copyright at the bottom).
No way you can see everyone in this photo, but this is the entire cast, band, lighting/sound, hair/makeup, and backstage directors.  That's a lot of people!
Since we only participated in a handful of songs, we spent a lot of time in the greenroom.  We found lots of way to pass the time - kids did homework, we read books, visited with new friends and made acquaintances into friends...
 Erin & Robbie looking at Dean Kleinman's photos of the wood carvings he does
 Lots of video games, phones, ipods (and kids watching movies in the background)
Drawing on the chalkboard (this cute little girl is in Robbie's class at school!) 
The Grinch was fabulous!  He was so good in the show, but he would pop back into character often and play with the kids.  He was hilarious!  Here he is playing a board game with Erin and some other kids.
And reading "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"!  I'm telling you, he was awesome.
That's me on the right, all hunched over putting on makeup.  Robbie is next to me, and you can see Rob's neon green legs.  Not sure where Erin is in this picture.
Since we were either on stage or in the greenroom, we didn't get to see the play, except for what we saw during rehearsals.  And because of copyright issues, we couldn't record it.  But on the last day, the lighting/sound crew set up a TV with live feed from the gym so we could watch it!
Robbie lost his first tooth that week.
Here's a closeup of the kids in costumes & makeup:
Rob was an athletic-themed Who, and we found him an orange foam finger, which he wore proudly on his left arm:
Erin invited her teacher, her teacher from last year, and her 2nd Grade teacher, and they all came!  Mrs. Jones, who taught both kids in kindergarten also came.  Erin's 2nd Grade teacher was unfortunately an Arizona Wildcat, so she and Erin had a year-long ASU vs. U of A rivalry tease going between them.  Mrs. Peterson made a point to wear this awful shirt just for Erin - ha ha!
That's her 4th Grade teacher, Mrs. Murphy on the left, and Grant, who goes to the same school
Overall, this was a neat experience.  It was good for the kids, and it was good for Rob and me.  The play itself was a fun show with a good message.  Even though we had minor parts, I think performing improved our confidence, and we have a lot of good memories.
"Oh the thinks you can think, think and wonder and dream, far and wide as you dare..."