Thursday, December 3, 2015

November Report

It's that time in life... again.  We have another Senior in high school.  

That means we have a mixture of "fear of the future so I'm paralyzed" and "I don't need your help because I'm nearly an adult and very independent."

Hannah has been very busy with the musical theater she loves and the school she tolerates.  That means we have put off getting all the college stuff to the last minute.

Lucky for Hannah, John was able to swing a few extra days to get Hannah's MDT application at BYU... Auditions and all...

... Then we had a couple days to get the regular BYU applications in...

... thank goodness for Aunt Gena Mabee.  She was a great help.  We sure hope the work of the past week pays off since it was like pulling teeth to get Hannah to come up with a Plan B.

It would be real sad to she her talent wasted on a community college because we missed all the deadlines.

Now we have until December 2 to get her Classical Music program applications stuff in at BYU and her application/ audition stuff to Carnegie Mellon and Boston Conservatory.

Her teachers feel she has the talent to get into some really good schools... but where do we get the money?  I may need to start a "Go Fund Me" account for her college dreams.

She dreams big.  She would love to be on Broadway.  She has been corresponding with an LDS lady who works in the business.  This lady makes it work and gives Hannah hope in realizing her dream of working on Broadway and having a family and staying active in church all in one.

I think she can do it.  She just has to want it bad enough to work hard enough.  :)



World Kindness Day was the first Friday in November.  I've been noticing a lack of kindness in the world around me.  Especially at the high school and in my community. Administration isn't getting along with teachers.  Teachers aren't getting along with administration.  Students are feeling the effect and taking sides.  Students are picking on each other and unnecessary competition is in every hall.  

I volunteer to be in the high school 3 hours a day to help in theater classes.  I volunteer because I care about the education of students.  I volunteer because I recognize that there is not enough money to go around.  I volunteer because I see my friends, teachers and administrators, ask to do the impossible with a pay that is barely sustainable as a living wage.  I volunteer because I see that laws have made it impossible to actually teach.  I volunteer because I truly believe a little kindness can go a long way.  However, I can see that something needed to be done to increase kindness.  

I talked it over with Hannah.  She and I recruited a couple of students, broke into the school (I do have a key) and put put kindness signs in the halls and on student lockers.  We got a great reaction from the principal and from a few of the students.  I have noticed a little more kindness being sprinkled around the school.  

My hope is that we can make every Friday a kindness focused day.  My hope is that we all learn to work together despite our differences.  My hope is that everyone begins to see that kindness and positive words goes a lot further than mean spirited remarks and rebellion.  Kindnesses, patience, long suffering, understanding, empathy rather than apathy, happiness... these are the virtues the world truly needs to make a difference and to motivate change for the greater good.  Smile more.  Say please and thank you.  Open a door for someone.  Be gracious.  Work hard.  Keep commitments.  Say kind things or say nothing at all.  This is what will make the world a better place to be.  This is what will make real change in the work place and in the education of students.

Hannah  won a scholarship to be used for voice lessons over the summer.  She chose to study voice with Allison Swenson Mitchell, a vocal teacher at Willamette University.  The first weekend of November Hannah competed at NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Musical Theatre Division.  She sang 3 selections (links follow).

Later in the day we learned that she won her division (winning$100) and was invited to sing at their showcase that evening.  Students from high school age, college, and adults sang in the showcase.  At the end of the showcase they announced that one performer was going to receive a special honor.

They announced Hannah as the winner (out of all of the competitors) of the Brian Swingle Memorial Scholarship, earning her an additional $250!  Not bad.  She was complete surprised by the unexpected honor.  But she deserved it.  I'm hoping it's the first of many scholarships and college acknowledgments.




After the competition, Lilli and I drove Hannah to Seaside for Leadership Conference.  Hannah spent the weekend learning to be a better student leader.  Lilli and I drove home and crawled into bed at 1:30 in the morning.

Chad tried his best to keep his budding interest in all things church away from his family.  But we were aware of the little things that were changing in his life... the Book of Mormon laying around... the gone for hours on a Sunday... the need for $50  for church clothes.  A parent can notice these things.    Eventually, we were helping him get doctor and dentist visits in.  He had some major dental work to get done... spendy too.  Eventually, we were helping him fill out mission papers.  Then it came... a Mission announcement.  Well... he knew long before he broke the news to us.  When he told us he was going and where, we had 4 weeks to get our act together.  Chad will be serving in the Michigan Lansing Mission.  He leaves from Portland on December 1 and will enter the MTC on December 2.


His friend Jon came home for a short visit on his way to an internship at a resort in northern Utah.  Chad hasn't wanted help from us for all of his preparation... except for money.  He took Jon shopping and got all of his mission stuff from one store in Portland.  A week later I signed Hannah out of school so that she could go with him to finish the shopping and to pick up his new suits.  

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving Chad went to the temple for the first time.  Originally, Ray and Kimber were going to drive him up with Ray as Chad's escort.  however, they all got sick at their house so Chad had to settle for riding with his parents and having his dad escort him through the temple.  John Hatch and his wife met us there.  It was a nice.  I hope Chad learns to love the temple and the lesson that can be learned there with all it's symbolism.  After the session, we went to lunch at Chili's and stopped at Deseret Book.  Traffic was very bad.  We went an odd way home.  It took us awhile.  Hannah met us in Rickreall with Chad's car and he made it to his dentist appointment that afternoon.

Hannah spent the week finishing her YW medallion stuff - a quilt - so that it could get onto her BYU application.

I turned 50.  It was just an other day.  John got me a bread maker.  My mom sent a book about the family reunion in June.  Lilli made me sign.  Kimber made me cookies.A few days later Kimber cleaned my yard with the missionaries and Chad got me some pumpkin bread.  Only McKay and Anna called me.  I was fun to talk to her. I went to Seminary. I also went to the classes I volunteer for at the high school.  We had a "shooter" drill and spent a good portion of the class time in the dark, in the pit, hiding quietly from the "bad guys".  Our class was never found and was even commended for it later.  The end of the day i was in rehearsal.  Like I said, just an other day.

We also had our anniversary... spent like every other day.  John came at the end of rehearsal to take me out to dinner... Dairy Queen.  What ever happened to Fabio O'Connor?  The date was even cut short because Hannah needed to go to Salem for an interview with the Stake President for college applications and she refused to drive herself  because it was dark.  AND she called because Lilli threw up in a bowl and Hannah was not going to clean that up.  Oh well... 25 years came and went... oh ... I mean 26.  ;)  

We hosted Thanksgiving Dinner.

Ray brought his Super Computer...


Lilli and Ben made snacks out of pretzels, melting chocolates and M&Ms...


Chad watched football...

Ben played video games...

Yvonne, Isaac and Jacob joined us for a yummy dinner...

We made too much pie, but my Lemon pie turned out great!

Everyone went to the movies but John and I stayed home with Chad and played Monopoly.  Now that is love.  I hate games.  He kicked our butts. After they all came back from the movies the game started over.  This time Ray won.

The cat found a place to watch the party...

I had 2 weeks to pull off a Seuss set after all the fall concerts and because of the Thanksgiving break.  Here is my model I started with...

I have great kids to work on projects... this is a good thing because fewer and fewer parents are stepping up to volunteer...

I do have a few faithful adult volunteers... my husband and my friend John Hatch...

Jeff (the director) wanted an Art Deco look for the set.  All of the costumes are 1920's clothing as well...

These guys often think my ideas are crazy and then are amazed how they all pull together into a master piece...

I love how the metallic trees turned out...

I helped when I could with rehearsals... mostly taking notes and I did help block a few scenes...

Hannah got cast as Gertrude... It performs the first two weeks of December so I will spend more time on the show in my blog in December...

I do want to say that it is turning out super fun... minus the issues of learning a new sound system.  I did come across a couple of issues, but I worked through them by spending hours reading the manual and watching Youtube videos until the sound company could come and do a small training.  They were surprised at how much I knew  and learned on my own.  In fact, the training came down to me having them trouble shoot things they missed in the instillation.  At this point the show is sounding fairly balanced.  We open December 3 and I think we are ready.


Chad gave his farewell talk the last Sunday of the month. Lisa and Felice surprised us and came to support him from Utah.  Chad started his talk before his talk.  During the Sacrament Prayer his phone went off.  Hannah and I had to control our giggles because we know his phone.  That was the first thing he mentioned when he stood up to talk.... being worried that he was going to screw up the talk and he did that before he even got up to talk.  Everyone giggled and the tension was broken.  Then he told two stories.  The first was the story of when he got a tick at our recent Mabee family reunion.  He shared how the whole family pitched in to help him get rid of the unwanted hitchhiker.  He shared how we used hot sauce and toothpaste and that after we killed the tick we needed tweezers.  His aunt came to the rescue with her "chin tweezers".  Then told a story about a family friend asking a family member to stop watching certain TV shows because you wouldn't want to invite the characters in the show for dinner, why invite them in the home at all.  He used these two stories to demonstrate how  we need to get rid of what is not good in our lives to prepare to share the gospel. Then he turned his attention to increasing scripture study and meaningful prayer to help be better missionaries. He compared this process to going to the gym and that we need to set goals that actually lead to increase. Finally, he reminded us that we need to be willing to talk about it.  There is nothing embarrassing or offensive about who we are or what we believe.  We just need to be willing to share.  Honestly, it was one of the best farewell talks I have ever heard.  I was impressed with the people that came to support Chad: Our little family, Kimber and Ray, Lisa and Felice, Casey McCallister, the Hatch family, Jo, Fetu and Logi, Bishop Tharp, Sister Wilson, Erin Dunmire and Keegan, Sister Earl, Cindy and Scott Moss and the rest of Lanae's family, and Lanae's friends Searra and Jessie.



Lanae's funny friend Searra and Jessie for dinner.

Then December hit like a whirl wind... stay tuned!!!






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