Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A reunion

I forgot to mention that while we were back in IA over the holiday weekend, I attended my 15 year class reunion.  It was 15 years.  Long enough to find it pleasant to talk with many people you've lost track of, not quite long enough for some. 

I made John go with me....I wasn't sure what I'd be walking into and it's always better to face awkward situations with someone who is removed from it.  He didn't know anyone there really, but said it was ok because he wasn't expected to know anyone's name or remember it, for that matter. 

Oh, and the beer was $2. 

I hunkered down with a good friend from high school and we basically just let people come to us.  I later scoffed at the people that didn't talk to me, but then again...I didn't approach them either.  But c'mon - it has to be their fault, right?  It was really fun to talk with a few people who I wasn't that close to in school....or at all....and we find out now how much we have in common as we get older and have kids.  Three of us have 4 year old boys who we're pretty certain would be best friends if they ever got together.  They seem to be interested in exactly the same things. 

I was unrecognizable to 2 people....1 of whom was a good friend years ago.  I had to say my name for the light bulb to go off....I wore glasses in high I have is lighter, etc.  But I went to the last 2 reunions and saw I found it a bit funny. 

Monday, November 28, 2011


I got an e-mail about the musical and casting for parts....the e-mail basically said you'd have to wait a little bit longer.  So there you go.  Look for an update on casting parts early December....maybe this weekend???

The e-mail did say that everyone who auditioned will be in at least 2 scenes, and have to learn at least 3 songs with choreography.  I'll let you get a mental picture of me dancing up on stage.  (Not THAT kind of dancing you readers with dirty minds! It's a church play for pete's sake.)  So I think Katie will be tickled knowing that....

This past weekend was Thanksgiving and the weather was really quite nice, so it made a nice trip down to IA to visit family.  John and I were talking though and we thought it might be nice to think about doing Thanksgiving at our own house next year - you know, do all the baking and cooking that goes along with the holiday.  We haven't done that with the kids yet and I think we'd like to start.  Neither side of our family has a big get together, and with Christmas just a few weeks seems like a good one to have on our own. 

Well I'm beat.....I was up to have "Pebbles" here this morning at a little past 5 am....and I'm NOT used to that.  I fell asleep and missed the ending of the Grinch cartoon....I'm assuming his heart grew, presents were returned, yadda yadda yadda.  So I'm off to bed after my bowl of cereal that sometimes gets yearned for at bedtime instead of in the morning. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Still waiting...

No word yet on the musical parts.  Still waiting for an e-mail announcing the cast list.  Supposed to come sometime this week.  I would think it would get sent out before Thursday.  In high school it as always very dramatic when the lists were posted on the door of the music room.  The lists were posted on a Friday and the choir director then proceeded to leave town for the whole weekend so that he wouldn't be bothered by people calling to complain about how unhappy they were with the part they were given.  I guess he expected them to get it out of their system in 2 days.

I met my sister and her husband for supper this weekend.  They traveled to my neck of the woods as part of a tour bus shopping trip that they've taken the last 2 years.  One of the 2-3 times I visit the Mall of America all year.

On Sunday I went with friend, Shelley, and my niece, Sarah, to see the new Twilight movie - Breaking Dawn.  As hoped, it was very satisfying.  I don't read to many of the critic's reviews of those movies.  I know they aren't up to par with what's out there already....and I don't try to defend most of the acting in it - sometimes it's quite laughable.....but it's still a fun movie to go to.

Hope you all have a good Thanksgiving.....when I get word on the musical parts, I'll share. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Funny

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I can't really call this 3 generations of tradition, because they're all in the same generation.  BUT it's still really cute.  In 2004 Katie was a cat for Halloween, then in 2007 Will had the honor of being the cat.  NOW in 2011, my great-niece Breqlynn was the same kitty. :)

I honestly don't remember where I bought this....I don't believe it was new.  I'm 90% sure it came in a box of clothes that I had gotten off eBay since that seems to be where I got most of our clothes the first 2 years.  Katie liked being a kitty. (Born June that year.)

The date on this picture is September 24, 2007.  We put this on Will 5 weeks early because we were certain that he wouldn't fit into it later.  (Fat cat.....born July that year.)

And here's Breqlynn the youngest of the 3 while wearing the costume.  She was born in August this year. 
I think she still likes being a kitty.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


This past Sunday Katie and I auditioned for our church's musical, Annie.  Katie is excited to get back into the musical routine of Sunday and Wednesday night rehearsals.  Last year we had 7 weeks worth of practices and Katie had to be at every one.  She was the only actor required to be at every one because she was in every scene, except one.  This year should be a bit of a lighter load.

The parts get assigned next week, so I'll let you know then, but Katie kicked some serious ass.  She was in the first group of little girls trying out and they had to go up to the piano and sing warm-ups to have their ranges measured.  Katie's range was crazy good.

Then, the woman running the auditions suggested that the girls all sing something together for their audition.  (We were all supposed to have a little song prepared for the audition.)  Katie spoke right up and said that she would rather sing by herself. 

"Oh, that's wonderful, honey.  Where would you like to stand to sing?"

Katie struts (yes, struts) over to the middle of the alter stage and says "Right here."  She continues to belt out her tune and ends to a chorus of applause. :)  I knew she must have been a little nervous, but she just beamed.  She really enjoys herself up on stage.

Then it came turn for her to read her scene.  The group she was in didn't get much of a chance to read through it because there were 1-2 girls in the group who didn't have the first clue about what was going on. The second group got to read it I hope she was still able to make an impression.  It was also a little unfair at times because they let SOME kids practice their pieces before they videotaped them. (They videotaped all auditions so that they could go back over them later.)  No big deal really - because this is intended to be a fun charity project to raise money...not a theater company looking to cultivate talent. 

I need to remind myself of that because I really find myself getting emotional about this whole process. (Not in front of Katie, of course.) I tell Katie that whatever part she gets, she'll be wonderful, and will have SUCH a fun time - all true.  And she WILL get a part, everyone does.  I just REALLY want her to get the main little girl's part.  Really really really bad.  I've really become a closet stage mom because I will confess to you here, that she was BY FAR the best one there that day.  And although there was one other day of auditions, I'm sure she would have been the best that day too.  (I would never say that to anyone.....) But then it should come as no surprise....isn't that the opinion a mother SHOULD have?  But I feel bad thinking that way because it's a church production and I don't know how people don't get competitive with this whole thing.  Because I really don't see competition among the's really about having fun.

Oh yeah, and I did ok too - for me it was really more about DOING the audition.  I've never sung in front of a group of people before!  It was a rush, glad to do it, glad to be done with it.  And it really will be fun doing this together. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Funny

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A trip down memory lane

So, since today is my birthday I thought I would be a little self-indulgent and post pictures of my much younger self.

(Ok, let's be honest....when is this blog NOT self indulgent?)


Here's me about.....oh, 7 I spose.  Note the rockin' Smurf shirt.

My Grandma Hanson and I.  I don't remember her because she passed away when I was 2.
I'm mainly posting this because you can see the light-up picture of Jesus on the wall behind us....see the cord running down?? 
And REALLY....who DOESN'T need a light-up picture of Jesus?

Here's me and my brother and sisters.
I'm only posting this because I look so darn cute....and my brother is in a powder blue suit....

One of my favorite pictures....I've probably posted this before.
My dog, Muskie and my cat, Gizmo.
The cat tormented that poor dog every day they were alive. :)

Ahhh, my favorite spot.
My parents still live in this house - but I can no longer sleep in the linen closet.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One for the bucket list

I don't really have a bucket list of things I'd like to do before I die, or before I turn a certain age.  Honestly, the thought scares me because if I say it's on my "list" - that means I have to try to do it, right?  Or I at least have to make some sort of effort towards getting it done.  Like running a marathon - would that make it onto my bucket list?  Maybe....but the that would mean I have to commit a handful of months into getting it done.  And I don't know if I'm that passionate about it. 

But here's one for the list, and it's something I've always wanted to do.

Audition for a part in a musical.

I was active in the theater department in high school - but shied away from parts in the musical, choosing only to act in the non-musical plays.  I did, however, play in the pit band my sophomore year.  I had wonderful trumpet solos throughout the play, between scenes and at intermission.  It was the only production my Aunt Carol was able to attend and one of two shows my dad came to. (The other was MASH. :) )  So that production held a special memory for me, and I remember it very vividly.  The play was Annie.

Every year our church does a musical to raise money for their mission efforts.  Remember Katie as Toto??  Well this year, they're doing Annie.  Katie is auditioning for the part of "Molly" - the littlest orphan who has some REALLY cute parts of the play, as well as some solo singing.  She has to have a script prepared as well as sing a song by herself.  She's been working quite hard the past 2 weeks and (I think) is beyond talented and will most certainly get the part if the panel of judges has any intelligence at all.

But that could be the "mom" in me talking.

I got to thinking about how I always wondered what it would be like to audition for a part in a musical.  I'm not much of a singer - meaning I've never sung by myself in front of other people.  Not that I can't - I just don't know if I can.  I know I can memorize lines and deliver them believably; I don't have stage fright.  But what about singing.....
I kind of felt like this was my chance.  It's a show that I know very well.  It will be with a group of people that I've worked with on a musical before.  I'm pretty sure they won't laugh at my attempts.  After all, it's a church production and I think God tries to discourage behavior like that....even for us Lutherans.  So why not?  What's the WORST that could happen?

So next Sunday Katie and I will audition together, and I'm sure she'll get a bigger part than I will...but that's ok.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Big Brother!

Happy Birthday today to my big brother, Jeff.  We're both November babies...his is first.  So...if I want him to remember mine, I have to remember his first.  :)

Question for you folks....
Is it ok to say I hate a 5th grade girl?  Ok - so "hate" isn't the right word.  Let's see...I am STRONGLY annoyed with a 5th grade girl.  She shares the bus stop with Katie and ugh....I can't wait til that relationship is over. 
Last year when I saw that there was another girl waiting for the bus with Katie I was relieved.  There's safety in numbers, right?  (Even though I still wait with Katie every morning.)  Immediately she came off so stuck up and snotty, I was shocked!  She was very tall, so I assumed she was in 5th grade. (I mean, she's taller than I am and her voice is deeper than John's)  Nope - she was in 4th grade last year, 5th grade this year.  About 2 months in last year, Katie and I were standing there and this girl walks right over to Katie and shoves her down.  I kind of lost it, and yelled at this girl that she's not allowed to treat other people like that.  Since then, there hasn't been another incident, and oddly enough - she became almost friendly when I started showing up with "Pebbles" in the morning, but she totally lacks overall friendly social skills.  She's an only child - and her mother only seems to communicate by screaming across the yard to her.  (Mom doesn't come out to bus fact, I've never seen her.)  I have met her father, and he seems really pleasant.  Very social, nice neighbor. 

And I could understand a child who doesn't talk to strangers, or neighbors they don't know well, a child who only stares at the ground when talking, a child who only mumbles, etc.  I get all those traits, and would expect them.  But a girl who tells me I "don't know anything" and a girl who tells me I "don't know what I'm talking about" in such a snooty tone, and rolls her eyes at me - and only looks up at the sky when talking to me (like she's upset we have to share the same air).....yeah, I don't have patience for her.

Hell, it's gonna be a long year.  I dread crossing the street to wait with her, so I make Katie and Pebbles wait in the garage on our side until we see the bus and it's the last minute to cross.  And I've defended her behavior in my head - explained it away as much I can....only child, maybe not many friends, parental issues, hormones, whatever.  I don't care right now - I still have to deal with her.  So that's my politically incorrect stand for today. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I gotta tell someone

I feel the need to share my great deal idea...but if Katie reads this it;s going to spoil the surprise.  So, I guess I'll just say I went to the "after Halloween" sale at Target and got a bunch of great deals on something we're giving to Katie and Will for Christmas.  Doesn't quite fill my need to share, but it will have to do.

I also have a wonderful idea for another present for Katie and Will that I'm on a waiting list for - but have to clear it with John first.

And thanks to a super great one day sale at the cool toy store in town 2 weeks ago - I have another present for each of them set aside.  I think Santa is the only one left that has to go shopping yet. :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

City Planners Meeting

Last night I attended my first meeting at City Hall.  The city planning commissioners were having a hearing about the possibility of WalMart building a new store in our town.  When this news broke about a month ago, a group of people got together to work on making sure that didn't happen.  And although I haven't volunteered with the group, I agree with their position - so I went to the hearing. 

Basically the panel from Walmart (their architect, engineer, real estate agent, and 2 others) put forth a proposal to build in a site zoned for a much smaller commercial business.  In order to get approval to start building the area would have to be re-zoned, and that's why they had to have approval from the city planning commissioners. 

The site in question is currently zoned for a 60,000 square foot commercial building.  WalMart wants to build a 120,000 square foot building.  (A bit of an increase, don't you think?)  Not only is this too much for the's 3 blocks from our house.  I am NONE too happy with the prospect of having a 24/7 WalMart that close to an area where I run, we all ride our bikes and take walks. 

As the city staff discussed the proposal with the WalMart panel it was clear that the proposal fell WAY short of what the city required in order to re-zone the area.  WalMart's building was not up to their code, it was (admittedly) endangering neighboring wetlands, and according to MNDOT (Minnesota Department of Transportation) the adjoining roads would have to be completely re-done before construction takes place - a cost that WalMart was NOT going to shoulder.  At one point, one of the city commissioners questioned WalMart as to why they even brought this proposal forward?  "If I was WalMart, I'd bring my "A" game...this isn't it.  It seems you are doing nothing but wasting our time and yours."  (Thunderous applause)

And then the public hearing opened and anyone who wanted to go on the record could step forward, address the council and speak their mind about why or why not our town should have a WalMart.  And boy, was there a lot of public interested in the issue.  Not only was the entire council room packed, 2 overflow rooms were full as well.  I was in one of these rooms and we watched the proceedings on a giant video screen.  Everyone that stood up to speak spoke about why they didn't want WalMart at that location or in our town at all.  (All but 1....there WAS 1 guy who wanted WalMart....because he was the current leaseholder for their new optical store if this location got built.)  A sweet moment came when an older gentleman approached the podium and everyone started clapping immediately in our room before he even spoke.  He was the owner of ACE Hardware and had been in business in our town for 29 years.  His dad had started the business 50 years ago, and he had plans in place for his son to take over next year...but wanted to be sure that he wouldn't be put out of business by a big box store. 

The public statements were amazing.  So emotional, so many different reasons for NOT wanting this to be built, etc.  I was totally expecting to see Kevin Bacon walk to the podium, read from the Bible and explain why he just wanted to dance. 

After 90 minutes of public pleas, the council voted unanimously to deny WalMart's claim for re-zoning.  BUT it's not over....they also have a proposal with the city council at the end of November.  And then, I guess they can keep submitting proposals forever if they choose to do so. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011


...and of course Molly wanted in on the action.


Don't's Will!