Friday, December 20, 2013

Reason 1,000,000 I Love Disney (and it's not theme park related!), or My Crazy Ward Strikes Again

Just to clarify: Will didn't record any of the adult students, plus my songs take a little longer to get through and polish, so I wouldn't have anything to record anyways.  Also, I did teach my kids for over a year, so it's not like they were newbies when they started with Will.

New Stuff:
I had a truly...unusual experience last week, and I wanted to write it down before I head off for Christmas craziness.  I know it sounds hokey, but really it felt truly amazing to me, and I don't want to forget it.

The last 4 months have been hard for me at church.  We had a new family move in, and the wife was put into the leadership position in the organization I work in at church after they had only been there a few weeks.  It seemed like a great thing that we got a strong family and they were willing to be in hard callings.  Over the course of the last 4 months I have found myself dreading going to church more and more because of this woman.

I didn't really think that one person could affect me to the point where I questioned whether I wanted to continue going to church.  I have a very strong testimony of the Gospel.  I have faced harder threats to my testimony and willingness to go to church, and I have come through them all feeling stronger.  I think the difference is they were clear threats, powerful, immediate threats.  This was more gradual and sneaky.

I don't think I need to get into specifics, but lets just say that it came to feel like junior high again very quickly, and I tried very hard to just hide behind my piano and enjoy the calling I love.  Last Sunday she decided that my behavior was such that I deserved to be publicly ignored (for realsies.  Straight up "I can't see or hear you so you don't exist" ignored).  Being the Beesley that I am, I started crying.

She decided that I needed to go in the hall with her and she proceeded to tell me all the things that were wrong with me.  All the ways I am bad, rude, and ineffectual.  Being a Beesley I cried even harder, but being me I didn't take it laying down.  I explained how I had been effected by her, and I left church that day feeling horrible.  I don't know how many people have been reamed out for their personality at church, but it was actually pretty traumatic.

Intellectually I knew the Gospel is true, emotionally I didn't know how I could ever go back.  I spent a good 4 solid days of crying, praying, and talking to those I love, to try and get myself to a point where I felt like I wasn't going to throw up if I walked back in the church.  Nothing seemed to be helping.

On Thursday night the girls had been listening to the Frozen soundtrack and asked if I could play the song "Let it Go" on the piano for them.  We looked up the music, and we took it over to the piano.  My girls started singing with all their hearts, and suddenly in the middle, my heart was touched so deeply that I started crying again, this time from happiness.  The words aren't a perfect match to my situation. I had heard the song several times before that day and was not this affected. It is not that I heard it and went "Wow, that is perfect for what I am going through."  It was honestly just a few key lines that touched my heart through my beautiful girls earnest singing.

 Specifically they were "It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small. And the fears that once controlled me can't get to me at all."  It was a subtle reminder that eventually, with time, it wouldn't hurt so much, and also that I couldn't let that experience rule me.

It was only the second time that has ever happened to me, where I felt a personal message to me, through the Spirit, from a song, but both times have been life changing for me and I will treasure them forever.  I went to Church on Sunday, didn't throw up, and actually had a good time being there.  I am so grateful.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Kids First Recital

The kids (and I) have been taking piano from a real piano teacher for the last 4 months and I am truly AMAZED at their progress.  I was lucky enough to stumble on to the worlds best (for my kids) piano teacher.  He works well with Ella's drive and perfectionism, Ethan's shyness and reservedness, and my stress and anxiety.  I don't think there could be a better fit for us.  We are truly blessed to have Will as a teacher!

He really wanted to do a low stress recital for the kids, so he taped them ahead of time.  The kids are all going to get together and watch their performances while eating popcorn and candy.  I always liked the dressing up and performing in front of people, but for Ethan especially, I can see how this would be better for some of the kids. He put the videos up on his blog and gave me permission to repost them here for our friends and family to watch:
Will's Blog: Ethan Stott - Hold On!
Will's Blog: Ella Stott - Coaster Ride

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I Said I Was Taking A Year Off...And Then I Was Too Proud Of My Little Geeks

I think I have finally calmed down enough that I can talk about Halloween without howling and tearing clothing.  I told myself that this year we would just do store bought costumes since last year was so hard and I needed a 2 year break... at least.  Unfortunately we had just completed watching the whole Dr. Who series (to date) as a family (except a couple episodes I deemed too scary) and Ella really, really, really, wanted to do a Dr. Who theme.

As a nerdy/geeky mom and Halloween lover, this was heaven.  One of my kids wanted to do something amazing for costumes.   As a crazy person and realist I thought of a few reasons this was not a good idea: 1) You CANNOT buy Dr. Who costumes; 2) I get soooooooooooooooooo tired of everyone not knowing who we are; 3)  I am still tired of sewing from last year.

I debated back and forth for a while, but realized that they wont want to do Dr. Who forever, and they may not even want to dress up in a couple of years.  Plus, I love a theme.  We started planning in July, and though the costumes were deceptively simple, it took me to the first day they wore them to be completely finished.

Here is the fruit of my very bizarre, self imposed labor:

Ella really wanted to be Rose Tyler.  She is the Doctor's first companion in the rebooted series, and in one episode they go to the 1950's.  Ella was very specific about her costume choice.



Olivia flip-flopped about her costume.  First she wanted to be Amy, another companion of the Doctor, but then I asked what we would do without a TARDIS, and she immediately changed her mind and wanted to be the Time And Relative Dimensions In Space (the Doctors time machine).

Olivia: Since the TARDIS is stuck as a 1960's phone booth we went with a kind of 60's feel to her clothes.  Her pillbox hat has a flashing light on it, just like the TARDIS!

Ethan really wanted to be a Dalek.

 I was a little concerned about how he would move around, go up stairs and trick-or-treat in a Dalek costume, so we talked about it and he agreed a Cyberman would be an ok alternative.


The three kiddos together:

 Eric had agreed early on to dress up this year (most years he tells me 2 days before Halloween that he wouldn't mind dressing up, after I've asked repeatedly for weeks).  He had BY FAR the easiest costume.  He went as my favorite Doctor, number 10, and was able to wear his clothes from work to the Halloween party.

Eric (with girls):

I had big plans for me this Halloween.  I was going to be one of my favorite Dr Who characters, a Weeping Angel.

I started the costume, tried it on and realized I looked less like a statue and more like a giant, grey circus

tent, so I scrapped it and ordered a pre-made Venetian costume I dyed to make look more like the grey I wanted.  I painted the hair piece, and made the wings out of thick foam board.  I was racing the day before our ward party to finish everything and I stabbed my thumb with an exacto knife finishing up the details and spent over an hour to get it to stop the bleeding.  Discouraged, I wanted to keep going, but when I went to screw the wings into the backing and the screw went right through and ripped up all my hard work I decided I was done.  They wouldn't be able to hold up the weight on my back with the ripped parts (but I might use them in Halloween decorating next year OTBS).

I wasn't going to dress up, but then I realized...

I could EASILY be Dr. River Song.  I happened to own all the elements of her costume, except the gun, which is easily remedied at Halloween time.


Me (with my happy to be there Cyberman):
It took 2.5 hours to curl my hair like River's, but when I was done I realized that I happened to look a little bit like the 50 year old actress that plays her.  At least she is a young looking 50!

Also, OTBS (on the bright side) it gave me the best 2nd day hair EVER:

Here is our group shot:
Lots of blood, sweat and tears involved (all on my part now that I think about it), but in the end so worth it!!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

On The Bright Side of Crazy People

I am having a VERY hard time with our new primary president.  We have fundamental difference on how to interact with children, other adults, and even basic gospel tenants.  The only week I haven't come home crying from church was the week she wasn't there.

We have our ward primary program next week and it has been a crazy fest.  I don't enjoy being told what to do and micromanaged like a low level lackey in a huge corporation, but there was a bright side.  She informed me I would be playing a duet with Ethan.  Didn't ask either of us, just told us we would be doing it.  She told me to just write a piece to play.  I informed her I don't write music and she told me her 12 year old daughter was musical enough to do it if I found myself lacking.

I luckily found a Sally DeFord piece that required minimal changes to it for Ethan.  Ella found out and felt left out.  I couldn't find any other duets for any of the songs we are performing so I was at a loss.  I asked my piano teacher and in his infinite wisdom he basically said "Quit whining.  You can write one."  So I did.  It's not amazing, but it IS prettier than the original and Ella is very proud.  I've ended up rewriting the arrangements for 3 songs now and even though they probably all sound the same I am pretty proud of them.

I still don't want to go to primary but I am thankful to that crazy woman for pushing me.

Here are the kids playing their songs. They originally were playing with both hands, but they were getting nervous, and this is their first time playing in front on anyone, so we simplified.  (note to self, do not wear baggy shirts next to tiny people):

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Quick Recap, or I've Been Lazy

Things have been a little busy with Halloween coming up and costumes to be stressed over so here is a quick recap before I forget:

I got called as the Primary Activity Day Leader and my first thing as leader was to take all the girls to Cheyenne for a stake activity.  It was fun, but oh so loud.

Ethan went to a sleep over where THEY DID NOT SLEEP.  At all.  Not one minute.  He was pretty tired by dinner time the next day,

A client asked if we wanted "some" tomatoes.  This is what we got (soda can for scale):

Ella has excelled so much in school this year!  She was so far ahead in math her teacher made her, her own sheets for "1 minute math" that are harder and contain 20 extra problems (She even named them "Ella Sheets"). Thank goodness for good teachers that will accommodate smart kids too!

Ethan had to do a report on a foreign country.  Being a big Dr Who fan he picked The United Kingdom.  We tried to think of a traditional British treat to take and since I didn't want to make blood pudding I bought something else online.  Nothing says England like Digestives at tea time!  As a side note they taste remarkably like graham crackers.

Livi's preschool got to go to Perkins for National Pancake Day.  It was kind of amazing.

Livi put a napkin around her neck and said "Look Mom, an ascot," a true sign we have been watching too much Scooby Doo.

Part of Ethan's costume came and Livi LOVES it.  I have to keep taking it away from her...
and Elmo.

An amazing day on a walk with my two babies.

We already had snow and Livi made a Snow Owl, because Snowmen are lame.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

OTBS Ruffles Have Ridges

Tonks got a haircut. It is horrible. I paid someone MONEY to butcher my poor dog's hair. The lady use to do a great job but the last two times Tonks has come back shaking and nicked all over her tummy. Poor baby. 

OTBS every time I see her I laugh because I hear the old Ruffles slogan in my head. "Tonksies have ridges."  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thankfulness...Maybe OTBS is Better (Easier)

Thankfulness is proving to be a little more than I can handle right now, at least on a daily, big scale. I've decided if I can't be out right thankful I might as well take the hard things going on and do what my mom always does and look On The Bright Side. 

On The Bright Side, or OTBS as it shall hence forth be known, is amazing because no matter how bad something is you can always find one (even if they do turn out a little morbid sometimes). So here it goes:

Yesterday I got stung by a bee.  OTBS Ella had been FREAKING out every time she saw a bee and I was able to show her that even if the worst happens, a bee stings her, it's not much worse than a mosquito bite. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thankful For Weird Kids

Ethan had to do a power point presentation on a country of his choice. He picked the United Kingdom, which I loved. We had fun looking pictures to go along with his information and when we got to the end I asked what picture he wanted to put on the slide with "The End" on it. He chose:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Just For Me

It has been a hard couple...years?  Last week wasn't the worst by any means, but things kept spiraling, getting worse and worse.  I was walking through Walmart for the (what seemed like) 32 time that week, wondering how I could make it through the rest of the day.

Me: ARGH I can't do this.

Universe: I hear ya.  I think I have something that can help

Me: Nothing will help

Universe: Oh...I think this will.  Halloween, check.  Easter candy, check.  Here, I made this just for you:
Me: Thank you, Universe.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Thankful Day 2, or does this make me a bad person?

Ethan had another appointment on Wednesday at the Denver Children's Hospital. Ethan, Livi and I went down Tuesday night so we would be on time for the 8:00 am appointment. On the way down I was amazed at the amount of rain and was a little scared while I was driving.
Livi got to watch the ball sculpture while Ethan got X-rays.
We went to the appointment, Ethan got x-rays, a cardio/respiratory test, and an allergy panel test.  I was sooooooo impressed with how fast and efficient the hospital was.  It may not have taken all day, but Ethan's tests were horrible for him, he got a scope down his nose into his throat after running on a treadmill, and his back was scratched up and possible itchy allergens were put on it.  I may have had to hold him down...a lot.  All were fine (he is allergic to cats and mildly to dogs, but not causing the asthma). I was a little sad we didn't find something to fix, but glad we know what it isn't!  

23 different scratches
What I am most thankful for is that Ethan was able to go to his visit. We may not have learned a lot, but we know where to go from here. I am thankful we were able to go before the flooding got bad and we were able to come home with no problems.

Denver is awful right now. People are struggling and dying and I am thankful and ungrateful enough to be glad that Ethan's appointment wasn't one day later.

Livi LOVED the giant bunnies!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thankfulness Project Part 2

I didn't get around to doing my "thankful" posts last year since I was in a death spiral of despair. This year, right now, at this exact moment, I am doing ok, so I thought I would try it again for a while while I can. I understand it isn't even close to Thanksgiving and I am currently doing the crazy dance making costumes for Halloween, but I just had a thankful moment and wanted to write it down. 

I am thankful for my sweet mother-in-law giving me her Coco Motion when mine broke. I cried when mine broke (depths of insanity time) and it was so nice of Joan to offer me hers. I just pulled it out for the first time of the season to make lots of hot chocolate during this crazy rain, and I am so thankful it was waiting for me, all ready to work!  Thank you Joan!

Friday, September 13, 2013

I Almost Feel Like A Grown Up

It only took 3 years but we no longer have any blankets as window coverings.  And there was much rejoicing... (from our neighbors).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ch Ch Ch Changes... Or, the crushing guilt is killing me PLUS bonus-added-extra-random pics!

Our little family life seems to have been thrown into chaos the last few weeks and I'm not making it any easier on myself.

Biggest piece of news: Eric joined a firm.  Everyone seems really nice and he is happy to have the support staff and colleagues to bounce ideas off of.  I am sad that we lose all the flexibility and lack of pressure for billable hours, but Eric is happy about it and he is the one that has to go to work every day.

We still have our regular stuff of cubs, dance, and school (which the kids started 3 weeks ago!!!)
Livi also started going to preschool every day now.  I struggled with the decision.  She loved her teachers and it seems selfish to have her go every day, but she will be 5 in October and we do have full day kindergarten here.  It has been a... harsh...adjustment.  She loves going, but is SOOOOOOOOOOOO cranky during the afternoons.

Eric also got called into the Young Men's presidency and Ella started activity days yesterday.  Ethan now goes down to Denver Children's Hospital on a regular basis (looks like monthly at this point) to the Breathing Institute, where we are trying to figure out why his asthma is getting worse and how to get it manageable.

He had just gotten back from a lung test and he had HUGE spirals on his nose from the clip.  I told him to smile and he gave me an impersonation of James Franco:
Because left up to me, the kids were learning very little piano, I signed the kids up for real piano lessons.  When I was taking to the piano teacher it made me wish I was taking them too.  So, now I am.  And it is awesome.  And hard.  This is the first piece he gave me to work on:
Because nothing says "welcome back" like 4 sharps and double sharps placed through out.  

All in all we are basically so busy I feel like I have to schedule in what days I have time to wash my hair.

Random Fun Happy Pic Time:

I pulled this out of the toilet paper roll bag.  They really are starting to make everything smaller inside of the packages!
At the School Open House Ella made this list of favorites.  If you look closely at favorite game you can see "Betrayal at House on the Hill" was there before Clue.  None of her friends had heard of Betrayal
In Ethan's class they each had jerseys on their lockers.  Most had decorated them like sports team jerseys.  Ethan went for the whole stick-figure-comic-book thing.
Dog with a Buffaloooooooooooo.  Straight up got mauled by a puppy.

Best Shopping Trip Ever...For Livi

On our way home from Cedar City we stopped at a grocery store for lunch (because I was sick to death of fast food), and we walked in Livi saw...

for Livi.  The big kids didn't like Livi being "in charge" quite as much as she did.  She told them what they could and could not add to "her" cart.  She wanted to use my card to pay.  She even insisted on carrying out the bags herself.
On a totally different note she also felt that this box was her territory and wouldn't let us put it in the recycler for 3 days. 
Also a possum showed up on our lawn.
Yes, they really are that scary and ugly in person.