Thursday, November 30, 2006

Some of the Cast Waiting for the Play to Begin

Ebenezer Scrooge and The Ghost of Jacob Marley

Kevin as the Delivery Man

The Cast of A Christmas Carol

The Ghosts

Ghost of Christmas Future
Ghost of Jacob Marley
Ghost of Christmas Present
Ghost of Christmas Past

Kids and Milo Under the Tree

Milo in his Christmas Outfit

Monday, November 27, 2006

Older Son Putting up the Angel

Younger Son Getting into the Christmas Spirit!

Our Family Thanksgiving 2006

From the left and going around the table, there is my sister, her daughter, her husband, her husband's brother, my mom, my dad, older son's girlfriend, older son, my sister's son, and younger son. I am behind the camera.

Thanksgiving 2006

Pins I Made Everyone for Thanksgiving

I stayed up most of the night to get these done and then no one could figure out what they were! The Christmas one you can see the picture a little clearer. I thought they were cute :)

Almost December!

The holiday season is upon us! I love the holidays. We have our tree decorated and we are planning on taking pictures this week under the tree and with Milo in his Christmas outfit :) Should be interesting to say the least.

I can't believe it has been so long between up dates. We had a very nice Thanksgiving at my sister's house. So much to be thankful for! I took a group picture before we had dinner and I will have to down load my camera after I update. I was one of the crazy people that went out at 4:30 in the morning on black Friday. I consider it a challenge, one I may be getting too old for :) I only had three or four things to get and the deals were so good, I couldn't resist. One of the things my older son wanted was half off. I also found a Christmas train for around the bottom of the tree. Ours broke last year and I wasn't going to replace it, but while I was in line getting my niece's gift I noticed the trains marked from $99.99 to $39.00. I think that is what we paid for our original one about 15 years ago.

When we saw our eye doctor everything was fine for older son he just needed new glasses, his were many years old. Since he wears contacts, I just never updated his glasses. I really like the new ones he picked. Our eye doctor is great. Older son hasn't had to pay for an eye exam since his Eagle project a few years ago. He has collect almost 10,000 pairs of glasses to date for VOSH. I tell her every year that she doesn't have to do that and every year she always says she would like too. His insurance only pays a certain amount of the cost and she also told him to pick out any frame he wants and whatever his insurance pays is what the cost will be. So he ended up with much nicer glasses then he would have been able to get. Younger son was going to get contacts this time too, but he had an eye infection in one eye. I put drops in for a week and we went back today and now the other eye has an infection that is pretty bad and he is on drops 4 times a day now for a week and we have to go back this Friday for a recheck again. We are waiting to pick out glasses until we know if he can use contacts. That will determine what type of glasses he will get depending on if he will just wear them when contacts are out or all the time. My eyes were fine except for a little aging problem.

Sunday we went to see The Nutcracker. It was great. Older son, his girlfriend, younger son and I went. Older son thought it was ok and younger son thought he didn't like it until the second act. He really enjoyed the dancing much more in the second act. We did pass the theatre the first time we tried to find the street, but managed to still get there in plenty of time. The way home was an other story!! We were so lost, I though I would never see our town again! :) I am terrible with directions! I mean really bad. The agreement was I would pay for tickets and older son would figure out how to get there and back. Well, I ended up doing the directions, which would have been fine had I taken the expressway, but I am more a back street driver :) It took us over two hours to get home when we were only 45 minutes away! I saw towns and routes I never want to see again!! We have two more plays coming up in December, all I can do is pray! I swear I can learn anything, but I have a mental block when it comes to driving places I am unfamiliar with. Older son wants to buy me a GPS system for Christmas. I told him no, it is too much money and when the next two shows are over I am never leaving the house again! :) Younger son and I have to go back to the place we were lost Sunday for a couple of kids plays coming up. I called my brother today and told him to map it out since he is from that area.

Today Kevin had the library and his eye check up. This morning my friend came over and we walked 4 miles. We didn't walk last week because her son was off school the last half of the week. I thought today would be hard getting back into it, but it went well. Can you believe our weather is still in the 50's! I still am having to use flea and tick stuff on the dog each month since we haven't had a good frost! Sometimes by Halloween we have a foot of snow and freezing weather. This week we are suppose to get cooler and have some rain or possibly flurries.

I am off to down load pictures!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Mousetrap Reviewed by Younger Son

The Mousetrap

On November 17, 2006 I saw The Mousetrap at Chicago Christian High School

Genre: Murder Mystery

Setting: England, late 1940’s
Act 1: Monkswell Manor Guest House
Scene 1:Late Afternoon
Scene 2: The Next Morning
Act 2: Later The Same Day

This is a story about a Mr. and Mrs. Ralston who have been married for one year who have just started their very own guest house. In the first act first scene is when all the guest come to the house. There were five guests: Christopher Wren, Mrs. Boyle, Major Metcalf, Miss Casewell, and Ms. Paravincini.

The second scene is when the trouble starts. Now all the guest are all comfortable (or as well as they can be) and everyone is starting to get to know each other a little bit. Everyone now knows that there was a murder very close to the guesthouse the day before and everyone is starting to get a little nervous. Soon after the phone starts ringing and it was the police and said they would be sending a detective to question them and very soon after that Detective Trotter comes to the guesthouse on his skies because the snow was really bad. Now everyone was really nervous. Trotter found the telephone wire was cut and went outside too see where it went to and he told Mr. Ralston to go upstairs and help him. Then Mrs. Ralston went and started to cook her meal. Then Mrs. Boyle came into the room she was listening to the radio quite loudly and then you could see only a hand move toward the light switch and when Mrs. Ralston came and turned back on the light she saw Mrs. Boyle dead and she screamed.

Now that there has been a murder right in the living room everyone was wondering the same question who was going to be next. In trotter’s eyes he thought it could be anybody. He started asking more and more questions to everyone were they were when the murder happened, everyone was just doing there own thing. The plot ended when we found the real identities of everyone, but the murderer was no one anyone would have expected.

**** I give this play 4 out of 5 stars

I liked this play a lot because my family does a murder mystery each year and they are a lot of fun. My favorite character was Christopher. I would like the part of either Christopher or Trotter. I recommend this play for anybody over the age of 12.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Younger Son and Friend doing "Who's On First"

Bottom of the Tree

Putting on the Middle

Fixing the Middle

Top Piece

Fluffing Branches

Tree and Lights Done!

Good Morning!

It is 12:01 am and I couldn't sleep, so here I am updating :) We have a new Christmas tree. Last year our tree was starting to fall apart when we were putting it up, so when we took it down we threw it away. The idea was to get a tree that week for really cheap. You know the saying the best laid plans. When Kevin was in fine arts on Wednesday I ran out to get a tree. We have had a lot of sales already going on, so I though I would look. I wish I could have brought a second person with me. There were a lot to choose from and a big investment for us. I ended up with a tree I really like. It was my second choice though. My fist choice I liked the look of the tree better and it was the same size and price. The difference was in the amount of tips and how the lights were. Both had a 1000 lights, but the tree I liked best had 500 multi colored lights and 500 clear lights. I just didn't like the combination. I love multi colored lights best. So my second choice is a very nice 7 1/2 foot Rock Ledge tree with 1000 lights. It came in only 3 pieces with it's own stand. We put it up to look at it today. It went up very easy and the 1000 lights are just beautiful! We have so many ornaments that I have collected over the years and each son has his own collection, so we need a hardy tree! We usually buy a new ornament each year and each son gets at least one for Christmas. We make homemade ones each year too for us and family. Both sons make their own for everyone also. My brother is a great woodworker and has made us an ornament for several years now too. We probably won't decorate the rest of the tree or house until after Thanksgiving. Now to teach Milo that this is an indoor tree!!

Wednesday I did stay at fine arts for the first class. Kevin and a friend of his had to give an interpretive reading in speech. They choose to do "Who's on First". They both did a great job. Younger son also had youth group that night too.

We ended up renting Noises Off because we liked the version we saw so much. Well the movie had a lot of famous people in it. I was so surprised I never saw it before. It featured Michael Caine, John Ritter, Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeve, Nicollette Sheridan, and Marilu Henner. It was made in 1992. I have to be honest, I enjoyed the high school's acting and version of the play better. The movie was funny, but not hysterical. The movie also had a little more adult content then the high school one. I don't mind the adult content as much as it not being as funny.

Tomorrow we have our yearly eye doctor appointments. Younger son has not had new glasses in about 5 years and these are so small for his face I am surprised they haven't snapped. He is talking about getting contacts. I will talk to the doctor about it. She is a friend of mine, so I am sure she will let me know what she thinks. Usually she doesn't like to do it quite this young if I remember right from older son. So I am looking at eye glasses for both and contacts for younger son. Since older son has contacts, he has gone years without new glasses too. These may be his from 4th or 5th grade! He is 18 now. So he will need some too. Luckily he has his own insurance now along with our insurance so hopefully we won't have to pay too much for his out of pocket.

We are going tomorrow night to a local high school to see "Mouse Trap". We don't know anyone in it, but we are checking out all the local schools to see what type of theaters they all have. Look for an other review coming this weekend! Saturday is Market Day pick up and younger son and I are going to see Happy Feet at the show. Older son and his girlfriend are going out to lunch with friends. We will all be going to the 6:30 church service at night. Maybe, just maybe I will sneak some tree decorating in too!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Noises Off again :)

We ended up going out to Indiana and met my sister and niece at my nephew's school and saw "Noises off" again. It was their final performance. I think it was even funnier this time because we understood more and the cast has been doing it together longer. After the play we went back stage with my nephew and he showed us around. We even saw the drama classroom and dance studio. They have a garage type of room too to build sets.

Earlier in the day Kevin helped with his Sunday school class. His class is three year olds. He loves to bring his guitar with and play it for the kids. They are starting to get ready for their Christmas programs.

Milo was happy to see us when we came home. We were gone for about 6 hours between dinner and the play. We left him out of his crate for the second time. He did so good. No accidents in the house and nothing chewed up! We do leave the tv on for him for company.

Today I went for my usual morning walk with my best friend. We did 3 miles, but since we only walked twice last week, we were both tired and sore. Kevin started his work today and then had a stomach ache, so he slept for a little bit and started feeling better this afternoon. So he missed the library today and going to the bowling alley to watch the local high school team play. Jason is already at work and had school this morning. Kevin and I are home tonight.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Stranger Then Fiction

The kids and I saw "Stranger Then Fiction" today. I normally don't like that younger son is getting older :) I have anxiety attacks thinking about both kids being grown up. I have thought of an up side to all of this growing up stuff. We can see movies that grown ups see too. I was thinking of that while we saw the movie today. It wasn't G rated and didn't have anyone from Disney Channel or Nickeloden Channel staring in it. Don't get me wrong, I do like kids movies too. Matter of fact while we watch previews we usually talk about if a movie looks good that is coming up and now I am like, yah, that sounds good and younger son gives me that look that says your kidding. This was a movie that grown ups would go to see. I did enjoy the movie and both kids like it. We all thought it would be funnier from the commercials though.

Earlier this week we saw Santa Clause 3. We all liked that one too. It was our first Christmas'y think we did this year. We do have to still go buy a tree this year too. Maybe next week.

With the Holidays coming I am hoping we stay caught up on school work too. I usually give the kids from Thanksgiving until Mid January a break from all their regular books, but this year we are finishing up by the end of March so no big holiday break. Older son is on his own schedule because he is in college, so he will have a nice break. I am sure younger son and I will take a longer break then scheduled :)

This week we were able to go to the bowling alley to get new shoes for younger son. We thought we would be watching the local high school team play an other team, but their on-line schedule was off. So they don't play until Monday. Since younger son is trying out next Fall we thought we would go see their at home games and get an idea of how they play.

Last night we saw Plague of Angels at a local college. Younger son reviewed it right below this entry. I enjoyed it, but it was so different then the last two comedies we saw. It was such a small theater, actually just a room. We were so surprised that a college wouldn't have a theater. The acting was good. I am glad we went to experience such an intimate setting.

Tonight it is off to church. The kids are cleaning their room now before we go. What a mess! They are arguing more then cleaning. Lucklily younger son did most of his during the week and older son has been in there a long time before younger came to help again. Other wise I would have lost my mind long ago. We just have too much stuff in too small of a space. Most of the time I go with the flow, but some days I would give anything for more room. After putting a treadmill in the livingroom (and my bedroom for that matter), I had to take down my table that I use for a desk. It's where I paid bills and had all my writing stuff for ChemoAngels and just odds and ends. All that stuff ended up either in containers stacked in the kids room or on my computer desk stacked up.

The bedroom is a little more quiet now. They must be almost done. I hear older son playing guitar and younger just came out here to play with Milo.

A Plague of Angels Reviewed by Younger Son

A Plague of Angels

On November 10, 2006 I saw A Plague of Angels at Trinity University College

Genre: Based on a true story.

Setting: Small cottage on North Brother Island, New York. Property of Riverside
Hospital. July 1909- February 1910. Epilogue: December 1938.

This is the story about Mary Mallon, also known as “ Typhoid Mary. Mary was an immigrant from Ireland who came to America in the early 1900’s. Mary was a healthy carrier of Typhoid fever. Mary was a cook for many wealthy people. The families that Mary cooked for became ill and some of them died.

Mary was quarantined for 2 years in the hospital. These two years is what the play is about. Mary was very angry that she was at the hospital against her will. Mary did not believe in germs and did not believe what the doctors said. The doctors agreed that Mary could be released if she would take pills and shots for two weeks, come back once a week for more shots, and never cook for other people. She agreed.

In the epilogue we found out that Mary never came back to the hospital for the shots. She started cooking again for restaurants and people started to get ill and die. The police finally tracked her down by the people that where dying. Mary spent the rest of her life in seclusion on the island until 38 years later when she died of a stroke.

The theatre that we saw this play in was very small. It could seat 62 people. The stage area was right next to the audience. They had no curtain and no backstage. There were only 6 characters in this play.

*** I give this play 3 out of 5 stars.

I did not like this play as much as the others I have seen, because this play was a very sad and depressing. I thought the acting was very good. My favorite character was Father McKuen, (the priest that came to see Mary at the hospital many times). If I was in this play I would like to play Father McKuen. I don’t recommend anyone under the age 12. I was the only kid there, all the rest were adults.

For more information on Typhoid Mary you can go to
A documentary entitled "The Most Dangerous Women in America is being produced by PBS.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Going to Vote

Missing Paper Work

Ready to go Vote

Finished Voting

Younger Son's Dressed for His First Dance

Election Day 2006

Today was older son's first time voting. We took our travelers with to the polls. Older son was a little disappointed with his experience today. He registered to vote about 4 to 6 weeks ago and had his temporary card with him. He was suppose to get his voters card in two weeks from the time he registered. Needless to say he never received his regular card. Today at the polls they did not have his name in the book as being a registered voter. Luckily he had his card showing he had registered so they had to let him vote. They said when you have a problem like this for some reason you can only vote for federal races which only had one race and nothing else. He didn't even know who the two people were. So he never had the chance to vote for all the races he cared about. I thought when they said federal races they meant everything besides local issues. He did not tell me this until we were in the car. When they said he could only vote for federal races, I had no idea he would not have a vote on most of the election. Had I known I would have definitely looked into it more right there. It doesn't seem right. I will have to make some calls to make sure he is "official" for the presidential election. He did vote and I did take pictures :) Now I guess he has to wait until the 2008 presidential election to have his full vote counted.

Older son tells me that most of his friends aren't even registered to vote! I was shocked. I told him he should try and encourage everyone to become registered voter and voice their opinion. It doesn't matter how you vote for as long as you vote. We all have our views and we should all respect that.

The rest of the day we were home. Younger son had a music lesson today and tomorrow he was challenged for his seat in band by the chair next to him. Right now he is second trumpet first seat. If he wins the challenge he will retain his seat and the person can not rechallenge him for a certain time period. If he loses he can rechallenge to get his seat back. His teacher has encouraged him if he wins tomorrow to then challenge the first trumpet third seat so he can play first trumpet for the concert in January. He gets nervous before challenges, I'll have to let you know how he does.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Thanksgiving Tree 2003

Now this was 2003. The kids sure look younger!

Happy November!

Welcome to November! Our leaves have all changed and some are already blown away for the season. This week we are suppose to be in the 60's. Tomorrow may hit 70! Hard to believe. Tomorrow is election day here in the states. Since it is not a presidential election the turn out is usually less. I am hoping for a really large turn out this year. I will be so happy when all the negative commercials stop! This year is older son's first time voting. I will of course be bringing the camera :) We usually bring our flat travelers with to vote too. This year we are taking our neighbor with us to vote also. So 10:30 tomorrow you know where we will be.

This weekend we celebrated my dad's birthday at my sister's house. We had dinner there before my nephew's play. He is the stage manager this year. They did a great job. Younger son did a review of it right below. It was so funny. It is so hard to believe that this was a group of high school kids. I really must say they are just as good as any professional performance we have ever seen. This Spring they are doing The Music Man. Last Spring they did Fiddler on the Roof. Their musicals are just wonderful. We are already looking forward to next Spring. It is fun because we have seen some of these kids in many plays. Older son has know one actor since he has been little because he is a friend of my nephews. Here is a link to their theatre department with pictures of previous productions.
This is the school younger son wants to go to as a homeschooler for thier theatre department. Even if they do let homeschoolers participate we are talking about a lot of driving! So we will see.

Younger son had his afternoon volunteering at the library and came home with two books on plays. When we were talking on the way home last night I told him about a period I went through where all I read was plays for months. They are a little harder to get into at first, but I loved reading them.

Every first day of November since sons were little I have put a tree with bare branches on our mirrored wall in the livingroom. Each day in November until Thanksgiving Day we write what we are thankful for on a leaf. The bottom or the tree is decorated with all our past leaves. I think we started in 1992 or 93. So we have a lot of leaves! When we have people come over to our house during that time we give them a leaf and ask them to write what they are thankful for and it becomes part of our leaves on the tree too. I will put a picture up when we are done with this year. In the mean time I am going to find last years picture and post it.

Tonight younger son and I are going to have a game night. He is doing dishes now and then we are starting. We are starting with scrabble.

Noises Off Reviewed by Younger Son

Noises Off

On November 5, 2006 I saw Noises Off at The Crown Point High School Theatre Department.

This play was a comedy

Act 1- After midnight at the final dress rehearsal of the play Nothing On.
Act 2-One month later backstage at a matinee performance of Nothing On.
Act 3-Several months later on stage at an evening performance of Nothing On.

The first act was really confusing for me. I had a hard time following what was going on. The actors were doing a dress rehearsal for the play Nothing On, but were having a hard time remembering there lines because they were to busy with there own relationships. Even though they were messing up a lot it was still really funny.

The second act was a little bit easier to follow. Now we are back stage during a matinee performance. This act was the funniest act I had ever seen, because this was when every one was breaking up with one another and getting angry at each other during the play. So everyone was doing their part on stage while everyone was getting angry at each other backstage. I thought it was amazing how the actors could keep going on stage while everything else is happening backstage.

This is the third and final act of the play noises off. This scene was the actors doing the play of Nothing On. There were many funny mess-ups and line problems, because everyone kept stepping over everyone else’s lines. There was also a lot of physical comedy in this scene.

***** I give these play 5 out of 5 stars

I liked this play very much because I love comedies. My favorite character was Garry. I would like to play the part of Garry. I think anybody who loves comedy should go to see this play.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Little Shop of Horrors Reviewed by Younger Son

On October 29, 2006 I saw Little Shop of Horrors at Moraine Valley Community College.

Genre: Comedy/Sci-Fi/Horror/Musical

Setting: 1960, Skid Row

This is a story about a nerdy man named Seymour. He is very poor and works at a flower shop, owned buy Mushnik who took him in as a child and gave him a place to sleep. He works with his friend Audrey, Who Seymour likes very much. During a total eclipse Seymour found a plant, which he could not find in his books of all sorts of plants. Seymour liked the plant very much, bought it, and called the plant Audrey 2, after the love of his life, Audrey.

Seymour found out that the Audrey 2 was not growing because he could not find out what the plant liked to eat, until one day he pricked his finger on a thorn. Seymour noticed Audrey 2 perked his head up wanting Seymour’s blood. After awhile Audrey 2 Started talking to Seymour, and persuaded him to start killing other people so that he could have more blood, in exchange Audrey 2 offered him fame, fortune, And the love of his life Audrey. The 1st victim was Audrey’s Cruel, dentist, boyfriend, the next victim was Seymour’s boss, Mushnik, and the 3rd victim was Audrey.

Audrey 2 told Seymour that he was from outer space and was trying to take over the world. People were coming to take clippings of Audrey 2 so there were would be a Audrey 2 in every household in the world. Seymour realized the plants evil plan and tried to kill the plant, but was not quick enough and instead the plant ate Seymour.

**** I give this play 4 out of 5 Stars

I liked this play very much, because I really like musicals. My favorite character was Seymour. I would like to play the role of Skip-Snip, a supporting role in the play, who wanted Seymour to sign a contract to have his own TV show. I think it is a good family play.