Monday, February 29, 2016

fun stuff

Friday afternoon, Doug called and said that he wanted to take me on a date night.  Five minutes later, Wendy called to ask if we could celebrate Stott's birthday together with the Durrants by going to dinner and coming here for games afterward.  When Doug called back a bit later, he said, "Absolutely!", so our date night ended up being group date night.  We went to Black Pearl for dinner then came back home for Tenzi and Fruit Salad.  We had a great time gabbing and then enjoying some peanutbutter chocolate cake, which the girls made while we were gone.  It's always good when we get together.

Saturday, Carol called to invite me to lunch to celebrate Madi's birthday.  We went to Olive Garden and while there, made a plan for getting together later in the evening for games at Carol's to continue the celebration.  Doug opted out on the games at Carol's but was glad to have some time alone at home.  Alone... with three teens.  ha!  They all ended up watching LOST until bedtime together.  In the meantime, Mary Ann joined us at Carol's for Fruit Salad and Rook.  We decided to try a Reverse Fruit Salad after Rook and we were all just about crazy by the time we were done.  Three similar games with completely opposite rules for all of them.  Help!  But it was fun!

Earlier on Saturday afternoon, while at lunch, my bishop called me and asked if he could come by and visit.  He met me at home and spent 45 minutes chatting with me, asking me several questions about my schedule, how busy I am with the YSA and the kids and Doug's calling, talking about my foot issues, you name it.  It was an interesting visit but when he left, I was still scratching my head.  Doug hadn't come home from work yet, so as he left, I asked, "Did you need to visit with Doug too?"  He said, "No, I think I got what I needed from our visit."  Okey dokey then.  I LOVE this bishop!  He's awesome, however, he left me scratching me head and wondering what that was all about!?  I'm clueless.  We really never talked about anything specific.  Hmmmm. I know that he wants me in our home ward as much as possibly and he realizes how the YSA keeps me busy too. I keep telling everyone, I love serving and will do so wherever I am long as it's not something athletic!  LOL

Sunday was crazy! The morning was a fiasco!  Oh my!  When the Bishop left, he said that he had stake meetings.  He raced out the door to his meeting and I mentioned it to Doug when he came in.  I asked, "Is it Stake Conference?"  We looked on the calendar and it did not say anything about Stake Conference.  Doug left for his YSA morning meetings.  The girls and I got ready.  Quayd woke up really hurting, more than he had since the initial day of his wisdom teeth removal.

I was nervous about leaving him alone because he actually took medication, which he's not done much of.  But, I got ready to go to Doug's ward.  The girls got ready for our ward.  They walked to our church and Grace called, "Um, Mom, our church is vacant?"  We called Julie and Layne.  Yep, Stake Conference at the Logan Tabernacle.  They came back home and I was walking out the door to go to Doug's ward.  The car wouldn't start. Wouldn't turn over. Nada.  I came in, said, "I don't think we are supposed to be at church today.  I got dressed and started dinner.  Since we didn't go to church, we read the Book of Mormon and discussed it for an hour together, which was really a good experience.  Craziness, though!

After dinner, the kids asked if they could have a few friends over for hottubbing.  We told them three friends.  I actually encouraged Quayd to get outside for a bit. So, for an hour, there was much laughter and loud splashing of water.  They had a great time visiting with Lasse, Kendall and Eric.  For the record, they are all just friends, so we were fine with this.  However, later in the night, after everyone had gone home, Grace came upstairs and said, "Eric just asked me on a date!"  So, I have to laugh at this picture.  She will now have dated all three friends that are in this hot tub picture.  They are all more like brothers and sisters, the way that they tease.  Again, I'm dying at the thought of Lasse going back to Germany this summer!

ZJ has been teasing me about doing the "Dab" constantly.  I took a few pix and as I was turning to go back inside, they said, "Wait!  Take a picture of us doing the dab!"  I turned back and said, "I can do the dab."  Zeej said, "No, Mom!  Don't do it!!!" I did it.  I did it right.  They were all so impressed and Zeej said, "Mom!  When did you learn to do it right!?"  I said, "I've got moves, girlfriend!"  She rolled her eyes like the typical soon to be fifteen year old teenage daughter and demonstrated my "hula" version of the Dab.  Hey, I'm not that old!

 It was a good weekend.  Not much in the way of productive but bigtime in the way of fun! Oh, I guess that I should mention that it's Leap Day.  Life is good!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

i may be losing it

Last fall, Carol and I went to the Novemberfest on Black Friday morning.  I've gone almost every year since it began with the exception of the past two. Because I didn't do Black Friday shopping the last few years since my foot injury.  Why fight it.  Anyway.  This year, I went to one store with Carol and Madi, then came home a bit and we went to the Novemberfest for a quick and disappointing walk-through.  The heat was broken in the Rec Center and it was freezing!  We'd have been quick regardless of my foot this year!

ANYWAAAAY... I found an artist, Brent Borup, and his booth was wonderful. He is very talented!  I was immediately drawn to this print of his painting of the Logan LDS Temple in wintertime. It's very unique and I loved it!  I had to have it and knew just where I would put it all winter long.  He had a Novemberfest special where you could buy two at a better price.  So, I purchased a second print of the temple, thinking that I'd give the second one to Liza and Buddy for Christmas.

 Knowing that Liza wouldn't appreciate the snow/winter scene like I would, I found another print of the temple. The second print was very different.  I was not quite sure that I even liked it at first glance.  It was dark.  But, the more that I looked at it, the more that I liked it and then we began to visit about it.  Brent said, "The temple is the light in the storm."  Oooohhhhhhh.  Yes!  I loved it!  Perfect!

I stopped on the way home for a frame and put it in the den on the bookshelf for December then, I got distracted by something else and forgot about the other print completely.  When Doug came in from work that afternoon, I told him about it and went to get the other print.  It was not in the bag.  I told Doug that I'd watched him put both prints into the bag.   I had paid for it and told him that I would grab it on my way out the door so that I didn't risk damaging them.  Maybe he had given me someone else's bag. I even looked behind the framed print to see if maybe I'd put both prints into the frame.  Nothing.

So, I gave him a call later that night and left him a message to give me a call.  He called almost immediately.  I explained what had happened.  He, too, was baffled. He remembered me and putting them both into the bag.  We'd visited for a few minutes about his art.  We joked that if I were going to steal something from him, it would definitely not be a painting of the temple!  He told me to come in the next day and pick up another print, no problem.

The next morning, I drove Grace to work and had Zeej go along with me.  Not wanting to park a half mile away and then walk into the rec center in the crowd, I dropped ZJ off right at the door and she ran inside, told him who she was and he sent her back with the new print of the temple. I bought it home and put it away until I was ready to give it to Liza.  End of story.  So I thought.

About three weeks later, I was putting something else away...hiding a gift... and I put it away in a place that I knew no one else would look.  I slid it into this small slot that was flat and protected.  A perfect place to store a print so that it won't be damaged or bent.  Sure enough, there was the print.  It was a perfect place to protect it and apparently, obviously, I had put it there as soon as I pulled out the first print to frame it.  Um...

I have absolutely no remembrance of ever opening that cupboard and putting the first print there.  NONE.  I was horrified!  I immediately grabbed Brent's business card and called him.  "Hi, This is Sophia Corbridge.  At the Novemberfest...."  He remembered me.  I said, "Well, I'm absolutely mortified to tell you that I just found the original print and I have no no nooooo knowledge of putting it away there."  I asked for his address and told him that I would mail him a check immediately or I would even drive it up to Preston, Idaho (about 30 minutes away) if he preferred.

He laughed and, very graciously, said, "I know those "senior moments." Why don't you just keep the extra one and give it to someone else as a gift."  I insisted that I'd be happy to send him a check and he insisted right back for me to keep it.  So, I did give it to Liza and Buddy and they've had it framed already.  I framed my "extra" one this morning and am thrilled with it.


Honestly, I'm losing it!  But, seriously, this is a good man, a great artist with a big talent and a bigger heart.  Check out his art here.  If you decide to buy something from him, tell him "Sophia sent me".

Life is good... but I'm not so cure if Senior moments are!

Friday, February 26, 2016

oh, happy day!

Quayd had a wonderful day yesterday.  He took only one pain pill last night before bedtime and that was after eating half a dozen breadsticks.  We celebrated our year anniversary in our home with pizza and breadsticks, the kids' choice, and Quayd didn't think Jello was cool enough for the celebration, so he tried one and then another and he ate half a dozen of them.  He wanted pizza but I said no to the spicy.  I was really worried that it was too soon, but he says that he can't even feel anything.  I even called the doctor to ask if this was okay!  Grace said, "Are you sure that he got his wisdom teeth pulled?" Yesterday afternoon, he showered, we watched a few movies, a few episodes of Lost and Survivor together.  He's doing great!  Happiness! He really has done amazingly well. Day three was the day that Grace got dry sockets.  Keeping our fingers crossed that this continues to go as well for Quayd as it has.

Speaking of Happiness!  OH MY HECK!  I am happy!  A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was in search of an old scale and yesterday, this beautiful treasure arrived at my doorstep from my beautiful blogging friends, Rachel.  I'm so excited! It's bigger and even better than I was imagining!  It's perfect! I have a thousand places to put it in my home!  Here's it's first home, along with the bottles that I just string wrapped. And I have to say that not only did the scale arrive, it was wrapped in bubble wrap which kept Quayd entertained down to the last "POP!".  The dogs, however, were not as amused as we were!  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Rachel!

I had a mention that I had not posted a photo of my cotton a few weeks ago after mentioning it.  That's what I get for blogging throughout the day and not all in one sitting.  Anyway, I have now found the perfect container for my cotton.  I love it!  Slowly but surely, every room in our home has and is coming together just the way I wanted it to! This cotton represents my North Carolina roots!  It makes me happy!  It stands about three feet tall, so I can't miss it every time I walk by the living room and everyone that comes into the home asks about it!

 Our snow is melting!  It's feeling like spring... well, it's looking like spring.  It was sixteen degrees yesterday morning, so we're still cold, but the sun has been shining and the snow is melting in the afternoons.  I can see half of my back yard.  Love it! I must admit, though, that I'll love it when that grass is green again even more... Green or White, I love it.  In between... well, I look forward to green or white lawns! We'll still get several more storms, but the ground is warming enough that it melts in a day.

I'm watching the squirrels jump from tree to tree right now, as I type.  One big guy jumps from the swing tree to the pine tree.  The other one isn't so brave...he goes to the edge, turns around and takes the fence.  They are the most fun little creatures I've ever watched.  We'd not seen them for a few months until this week!  I love the morning shadows and I love that Doug has pulled out the garden hose!  That means we're changing the water in the hottub this weekend!  From the germaphobe, this makes me happy!

Another thing that makes me really happy is this awesome plate that my favorite nephew Adam made just for me!  It has found it's perfect home on our den mantle.  When Alan's family came over for game night last weekend, he noticed, immediately, that it displayed prominently as one of my prize possessions.  He is an ubber talented potter! 
Last winter when we stayed with Alan and Jill during the move transition, we spent an afternoon watching Adam work in his studio and it was fascinating.  He's getting better and better and moving on to larger and more refined pieces.  I would love to have his work all over my home!

   This was Adam making my plate.  When he took it to school to the kiln, something dripped onto the plate from the rack above it.  He called me and told me about the drip, saying that he would make another one.  I said, "I'll love it anyway!  It will have more character!"

This is my most happy thought about that afternoon.  Alan loved pottery when he was attending that same high school over thirty years ago.  Adam has two wheels, so Alan sat down and started "playing" along side of Adam.  This family works together, they play together.  They are wonderful!  I love this picture of the two of them, father and son, creating together.
I never posted these pictures last winter.  We were so involved in the move and all that needed to be done. Now I know why.  This morning, I'm having happy thoughts of our time at Alan and Jill's.  (The kids want to do it again just for fun!)  I'm appreciating Adam's gifts as I enjoy his talent on my mantle and I'm just thinking about happy thoughts today!  Alan and Jill and their family definitely mean "HAPPINESS!" to Doug and Sophia and their family!

Life is good!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

best year ever

This is a day of mixed emotions.  It's a day of sadness for me because I stayed home with Quayd instead of attending the funeral of my sweet sweet friend, Norma.  It is a happy day, also, because Norma is free of her ninety-nine year old body! Norma was my favorite lady friend of the Senior Singles that I was blessed to serve for four years in Smithfield.  This calling, as I've said many times, changed my life.  And these women were the main reason.  But, Norma... my sweet friend, Norma... she made an impact!  It's Norma's donuts that we make on Donut Night every year.  Before moving into an assisted care residence, Norma gave me a punch bowl and several tableclothes and goodies to entertain with that I will totally treasure for the rest of my life!  Norma will be thought of with every chocolate covered peanut that I eat for the rest of my life because she always made sure to have some when I went to visit her.

Norma passed away, at the ripe age of 99, last Thursday.  Her daughter, Marcia, is one of the most wonderful women I've ever met.  Marcia and I went to lunch with Norma and my own mother and became instant friends.  This morning, I sent an email to Marcia, apologizing and explaining why I would not be there, but I wrote it with tears in my eyes.  I love these two women!  So, with sadness, I write that I am missing her services today while I take care of my boy.

My boy... Oh my!  I set the alarm to check on him at 2AM.  He was sound asleep.  I woke up at 5:45 and woke him up to see if he needed something for pain.  He said that he was fine.  He's sleeping a lot and seems to be doing great.  He did wake up and eat two puddings.  Eating is not something that he misses out on!  But, I'm so grateful that he's doing so well!  He asked me this morning why he's doing so well.  My response:  A priesthood blessing and lots of prayers in his behalf.  I even took him for a little drive to Sonic for a banana slush at noon.  What a blessing because I worried that this was going to be very hard on him!

And last... on this day, one year ago, we closed on our new home!  After almost two weeks of living at Alan and Jill's so that our buyers could get situated and move in before the birth of their first child.  On this day, we began that rough few days before the previous owner's children emptied the house while we were moving in. After a flawless mortgage process, it was a crazy few days but the beginning of the best year of our lives.  I've thought about it a lot this week... last week, as we were driving someplace, ZJ said, "I love our home!  I love that we live in Logan!  I love our new friends! I love the kids in our ward and how they just accepted us right into the group!  I love going to school in Logan!  I love our new life!"  That pretty much sizes it up.  We are all very happy...but it was not an easy transition!  We loved our old home, we loved our old friends and neighbors, we loved our life.

We could never have imagined the wonderful impact that this move would have had on our lives.  I have, literally, no regrets for the decision to move.  I am able to function better in this home without the stairs and the ups and downs every day.  I love our new home and everything about it. I love having a hot tub that I can get into and give my foot some relief throughout the day and night.  I love our wonderful new neighbors and this incredible ward that has been so welcoming and wonderful and accepting!  I love living in Logan again.  I'd forgotten how wonderfully convenient it was to be just a few minutes from everything.

Honestly, we never imagined leaving Smithfield again in our lives.  But, things happen that require change.  I think that that bathroom door falling on my foot was the beginning of the most unexpected changes in our life. If it were not for that, we would not have left our orchard of fruit trees, good friends and the place that we called home for seventeen years.  BUT!  We did leave and we love our life in ways that we didn't realize possible!  And there are no words for how much I love the actual home.  I go to friends homes that are larger, that are newer and I always come back happily to my own home.  It took months and more work that we ever dreamed, but it's home now and we couldn't be happier!

So, today, I'm listing my top ten favorite memories of our first year in our new home...

that first few months that we were able to spend so much time with Alan and Jill while they re-did walls, floors, ceilings, lighting, electrical, plumbing, and every other little thing that Alan saw a need for or whim I had.

meeting these amazing neighbors who have become some of our dearest friends and absolutely have captured the hearts of our children

the hours and hours of service and help from good friends as we renovated our home

ETA:For some reason,  I checked my this morning, I notice that none of my Liza and Buddy pix or any others from last March loaded. They are in my photoshop, but no where in my files.  So they are added a day later.

 Ryan and Jamie

working together as a family to see our new house become our home

our first Christmas and holiday season...with friends and family, decorating and making new traditions

thanking Doug a gazillion times for making the move and making my life easier... crying the first few times I did laundry without having to go up and down the stairs a dozen times in one day, soaking in the hot tub for countless hours with Doug, the kids, good books and alone in my thoughts 

our beautiful view of the mountains at the end of our street or a dream backyard on any day of the year

having room to welcome the YSA ward and family and friends to come and "feel the love"

watching Doug grow into his new calling in the YSA Bishopric and seeing my kids blossom and loving life in new surroundings

keeping warm, reading, napping, and just sitting with my family and friends by this fire

Life is oh so good!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

quayd apparently likes snowmen and I do NOT like rude people!

Quayd went in this morning to have all four of his wisdom teeth extracted.  I've been really nervous about this because he has to be my biggest "baby" when it comes to medical anything.  He has been his entire life.  So,  I've been concerned that he would struggle more beforehand than after.  However, he blew me away.

We went into the doctor yesterday for pre-op and he didn't act like he was concerned at all.  He hates IVs and he told me on the way home that this was the only part that he really dreaded.  He's had a bit of a cold and I worried about that on top of the tooth pain, but the doctor said that the meds will help with both. 

So, off we went, bright and early this morning to the office for the procedure/surgery.  He didn't even flinch when they put in the IV.  I told him that this was a passage to his manhood.  He was out in no time and I was out of the room instantly while the doctor got to work. 

It was only an hour before they had him coming out of the anesthetic and called me back.  He'd done great.  There were no complications.  The teeth came out easily.  All was well.  And Quayd began to entertain us.

First he asked silly questions about could he walk and what was everything in the room.  Then, the doctor came back into the room and Quayd started singing, "Let it Go!" for him.  Since he was so entertained, he started asking him to sing some more.  Quayd had us all laughing hysterically as he sang, "Once there was a Snowman." 

He was wheelchaired down to the car and again, he asked me if he could still walk.  We got into the car, gave our thanks and drove to the pharmacy.  I'm used to the pharmacy in Smithfield at Lee's where there is a drive-up window.  I debated on having the prescription sent there so that I could just do that but was concerned about changing the guaze every twenty minutes and thought that this might be quicker.  I facetimed Liza and had her "watch" Quayd while I went inside.  They said it would be ten more minutes, so I asked them to call me while I waited with him in the car.

Ten minutes goes by and they called me to come inside.  I walked up to the pick-up window at the same time another woman did.  I asked her, "I'm sorry, but my son just had oral surgery.  He's outside in the car and he's alone.  Would you mind if I go first?"  She barked back at me, "Well, I have pnuemonia!" and she stepped forward.  Okey dokey then.  The woman was well enough to fill her shopping cart with groceries and was hacking and coughing and touching everything.  I was about to freak out over her germs, but even more so about her rudeness!  Who does that?!!?!  She got her meds and walked away, still coughing on things.  The pharmacist cleaned the pens, the countertop, the machine that takes your card.  Eeewwww.  Remind me not to work at a pharmacy!

So, seventeen minutes later, I got my prescription and raced out to Quayd in the car.  She'd shopped some more and was walking out too.  I said to myself, " She's obviously not a mother or maybe she's so cranky that she has no one at all or else someone would have picked her meds up for her!" I walked quickly on past her to my car.  I was so bugged.  I offer to let people to step in line in front of me alllllll the time... if they have less than me, if they have cranky kids, if they look rushed.  Seriously!?  The rudeness! Oh well.  As Doug would say, I'm still alive.

ANYWAY, Quayd slept most of the day.  The anesthetic has worn off on the upper teeth in a few hours but the bottoms will be morning before he begins to feel that.  We've got pudding and jello and broth for him to drink for the first couple of days.  It's going to be a long weekend, but we're ready to take it easy together, watch a few movie marathons beginning with the Oceans Eleven and he wants to finish the last season of Lost. 

What a good boy!  But, sadly, I have to admit that more and more each day, he's really becoming a man, not a boy anymore.  Deep sigh.  Whodathunkit!?  I'm glad to be able to be here for him!  He's always been my healthiest child and has never had to have this kind of treatment!  I love it!

Life is good!

Monday, February 22, 2016


a quick weekend update...

Saturday evening, while the kids finished their last performance of Music Man, we had a little game night/party with Alan and Jill and most of their kids.  We opted to keep it simple and ordered the gigantuous pizza from Firehouse, Jill made a relish tray, and I made strawberry shortcake and caramel corn.  We were more than full after eating!  We spend the evening gabbing, playing Tenzi and "That's It!". 

Here's the men bringing home the pizza.  It has to be turned sideways to fit in the door.

Everyone was laughing at how big it is when it covered almost half of our table.

Zeej and Lydia had helped me get things ready before everyone arrived.  They'd worked up an appetite!  It's so fun to have Lydia around the house.  We just adore her!  She also happens to be Doug's brother Danny's niece, so she's "fam", as they remind me often.  We don't do sleepovers but Lydia, being fam, may be an exclusion for that reason.  She's too much fun!

It really was a fun night together...pretty tame with good food, lots of laughs and just a good time.   We love every chance we have to be together with Alan and Jill and their family!

Sunday was seriously the most calm Sabbath we have had in a long time.  We opted to go to Doug's ward.  He's conducting this month and all four of us went to his Sacrament Meeting.  Quayd stayed for the entire block and I bounced back and forth so that I could get the girls back here for their YW responsibilities.  There were two young men who spoke and a musical number that had me in tears.  I say it often, but I am constantly in awe of these wonderful college age friends of ours!  Their talents and testimonies just blow my mind!

The girls came home with sad news that their YW President will be moving soon, so they will be getting new leadership.  That is always hard on teenage girls.  It will be interesting to see what happens there.  Lydia came in with the girls, all three talking a mile a minute about what is going to happen.  Grace said, "Mom!  You have got to call the bishop and tell him that you should be our next YW President!"  I laughed and said, "Oh, you have to know that this is not how things work!  You don't ask for a calling!" (And especailly to be a president!  WHO ever would ask for that is clueless as to what it entails!  Noooooo thank you!)  I then explained that my calling these days is to support their dad in his calling!  And I'm loving every minute of that, thank you!

Doug made us all laugh so hard yesterday while he was conducting.  He welcomed everyone and got to the ward business, reading aloud three new callings to be sustained.  However, after the first two, the stake president, who was visiting, pointed out that Doug had not asked, "Any opposed?" after each sustaining.  Doug corrected himself by raising his right hand and saying "Any opposed?"   He then looked at his right hand, in the air, as if he were opposing, and put his hand down quickly, like, "How'd that get up there?!"  Everyone laughed.  Then, he read the last person's name and after the sustaining vote, he asked, "Any opposed will be taken out back!" Again, everyone laughed.  He's so serious and nervous about conducting.  This was really a huge step because it showed that he is relaxing a bit and enjoying even the conducting now.  He loves everything about this calling but being front and center!  We joke that when we first met, Doug was so shy that he was afraid to talk to himself.  Not any more!!!  I am loving watching him as he grows in this calling!  It may be over in a blink, but it will be one that we will cherish forever!

After church, we sat down to "mustgoes" for dinner.  We cleaned out the fridge of anything that needed to be eaten...eeverything "must go"!  A strange Sunday dinner, but we needed more room in the fridge before I cooked another bite.  Doug came in from church and I did make him some grilled potatoes, peppers and onions out of some left over baked potatoes.  He ate while we all watched "The 33" together.  Quayd made me crazy mentioning "the Bolivian" everytime he appeared on screen.  Finally, I told him that he was going to have to pay me a dollar everytime he said, "The Bolivian" for the rest of the movie.  He loves to tease me when we are watching a show by picking out one thing to obsess over and then ask me lame questions about whatever it is, interrupting the show repeatedly.  He is such a tease!  By the way, he owes me $11. (wink-wink!)

This week is going to be very interesting.  In preparation for Quayd's mission, he needs to have his wisdom teeth removed.  They do this before their mission so that they don't end up needing it done while they are in some third world country.  So, Quayd will be having oral surgery, removing all four impacted wisdom teeth.  I don't think that he's realized exactly what this will entail, as he's really excited that he'll be under anesthetic and that I may end up taking a very funny video of him coming out of it.  We're gearing up for a long week!  

Life is good! 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

a week of fun!

a few highlights from our week with Miss Aylabelle and her family

Aylabelle's favorite book for a while was "Puppies".  She did the motions to every page.  I video taped it in November and it was the sweetest thing I'd ever seen.  She's still loving the book but has much more "grown up" actions!  LOL  I love to hear her sweet voice reading it!

Some puppies nuzzle.

 playing Tenzi, our new favorite game!

Aylabelle has her own set of dice and plays right along.

The kids performance of Music Man was a fun family activity!  We had dinner at Firehouse and raced to Smithfield for the show.  Aylabelle thought it was pretty cool and loved looking for Grace and Quayd on stage.  They were both "townspeople" in the chorus and they just sang and they danced their hearts out.  It was a great performance and the quartet and lead female were amazing.  Their voices were perfection!  Loved it!  Between the intermission, we went backstage and found Quayd and Grace for a few pictures.  Aylabelle had a ball dancing with Grace and then loving on them both.

Grace is sporting her surgical boot again.  All of the dancing and practicing has her foot giving her fits.  They probably didn't have surgical boots this advances back then, but, she's wearing it on stage as well.  The show must go on.

As ZJ told her goodbye and wished her good luck, she said, "Break a leg, Gracie!  Wait!  Break the other leg!"

One of my favorite things is these two sisters' friendship.  They, for the most part, really are besties.

Aylabelle loves her Uncle Quayd and Auntie Grace and they absolutely adore her.  Can you say "spoiled baby" when she comes to town?

These two are pretty good friends, as well.  I don't think that any of the babes realize how much they will miss each other when Quayd serves his mission.

 Quayd really touched my heart this week.  He has a huge "rug burn" on the side of his face like nothing I've ever seen from an "exfoliation" experiment gone bad.  He has been so self-concious of it since it happened.  We told him that he should not even consider stage make-up on it after the first performance, which only made it worse.  He really did not want to be on stage in front of hundreds of people like this, but he "cowboyed up" and did it anyway.  It took a lot of courage because he was horrified.  I was proud of him for getting out there and just going for it anyway!

Grace was in front a lot of the time and did a super job.  It made it easy for Aylabelle to keep her eyes on Grace.

I've never seen Music Man but loved the music and recognized so much of it, not realizing what it was from my whole life.

Following the show, we were greeted by the cast outside of the theater.  Again, I was proud of Quayd for facing everyone up close.  They were very proud of the show and the job that everyone had done that night.  Outstanding!

I wanted to add that Liza was, I think, more proud than I was of the fact that the kids are so involved in their high school activities.  She shows such interest in the kids, even though she's 15 years older than them and lives 400 miles away.  She really is involved in their lives and I don't think that, even she, knows how much it means to them to have such an awesome big sister!  I heart this girl!  She's my hero!

On Friday, Liza's last day in town, we met at Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch.  I had one last princess doll for Aylabelle for this visit.  She was so excited.  I was just excited for one last little hour with them before they headed back south.  Saying good bye is getting easier each time because I realize that we are truly close enough to see each other almost anytime!

Aylabelle is absolutely intrigued, like most two year olds, I'm guessing, by the Disney Princesses.  After lunch, they dropped by the house to pick up a few things that Aylabelle had left behind. While talking about dances, I asked Grace to show Liza her dress for her next prom.  She brought it up from her closet and Aylabelle's eyes were so big!  She said, "I want to wear it."  So, we put her into it on the floor.  It was the cutest thing ever when she said, "It's a miracle!" just like Cinderella says in the movie.

She immediately wanted me to go into the living room and dance with her while she held it out to her sides.  Oh my gosh, I love this child!

Aylabelle is going to Disneyland soon and I can't wait to hear about her reactions to seeing the real princesses!

 Aylabelle thought it was Auntie Grace's turn, so Grace tried on the dress and danced with her too.  I think that she was really excited to be dancing with a princess.  I shouldn't be sharing this picture before Grace is even asked to the next dance.  If I thought I could stand being apart, I might suggest that Grace go to Disneyworld and be hired as a Belle or Jasmine!  She's our princess, indeed!

It's been a crazy week!  A FUN week!  I've loved every second of it.  I've hit the hottub between visits and early morning and late night.  It took all week to catch up on the things that needed to be done after my being gone all week.  But, we've made fun memories!

Tonight, Saturday night, Alan and Jill and their family are all coming over for games and a giant Firehouse pizza.  We had more snow this morning, but it's all melted now and it's a beautiful night!  The inversion goes away whenever there is a storm, so we can actually burn a fire tonight.  I'm a happy camper.  Fun food, a fire and our favorite family!  Life is so dang good!