Archive for March, 2013

A Cute Video

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I love this song! It brings back that magical moment when I first met my dear daughter Kara. It was truly life-changing!



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Fun with Costumes

Boy, have we been having a lot of fun finding costumes for the musical!  We have also learned that doing it right takes time, research, and a lot of patience.  I had no idea that we could learn so much about 1850 miner clothing from searching around the internet (or that I needed to!) We were told that jeans weren’t quite right because technically they weren’t invented yet for the setting of our play.  So, we found lots of pictures of the 49’er miners to try to get the characters to look like authentic miners–not cowboys.

We visited several second-hand stores to find clothes and accessories, and I think the costumes are coming along nicely for the guys.  The girls are a little harder–not many 1850 dresses at U-Save! We’re on track there too, though.  It’ll just take a little longer, but Cosette and Kara are going to be Paint Your Wagon princesses soon!

What’s very interesting is seeing how everyone changes character when the costumes go on!  Yes, it’s going to be quite a show……  🙂  Dan especially gets to acting silly, which will just be a riot if he can pull it off on stage!  Regardless, we’ve already gotten quite a few laughs out of his crazy antics!

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At our last Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet, I ended up making the sloppy joes for the main course.  It was kind of a last-minute arrangement–very last minute!  In fact, I really didn’t know I was going to end up doing this until we went to the church to set up!  Anyway, I was given a recipe that had been used in the past, and Dan had bought the ingredients, so I just jumped right in there and started putting things together!  Unfortunately, I was not working in my own kitchen, so I didn’t have access to my normal equipment.  So, instead of measuring everything, I just ended up mixing a little of this and a lot of that until it “looked and tasted right.”  I didn’t know how it would go over, but it was all eaten up, and Dan said it was some of the best sloppy joe that he had ever tasted!  So, I thought I’d try to remember what I did and post it here on my blog where I can find it  if (and when) I will need to do that type of thing again. There are two pages to this Smilebox. The first page has the original recipe that was given to me, and the second page attempts to explain how I made it.  I don’t know if I’d ever be able to get it the same again, but it sure was good that time!  🙂

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The Prairie Family kids have been very interested in musical theater for about a year now, and when we went to Les Miserables last fall, that only deepened their interest. Opportunities for that type of activity in our rural prairie town are few and far between, but I told the kids that I would keep my eyes and ears open for possibilities.

A few months later, I heard that the local community college might be putting on a musical this year, but that the director was going to try to cast it with his students. Even though this wasn’t what my kids had in mind, I thought that maybe they could be stage hands or something.  It would be a way to get a taste of what they were wanting to do. I put it all on the back burner until I heard back in January that the college indeed was going to do a musical, and that the conductor had decided to do public auditions!  I gave him a call to ask if he might have any spots for kids, and he definitely encouraged me to bring the kids in for auditions.

Their auditions were quite simple, but it was a good experience for them to go through.  They basically sang a little and read a few lines.  As we waited for the results, I told the kids not to be discouraged if they didn’t get parts; after all, this is a college musical, and his students should get most of the parts. Several days passed before we finally got word that ALL FIVE of the Prairie Family kids got parts in the show!  🙂 Now these are not big parts, but they are parts.  The kids were absolutely ecstatic!

So, we have been going to a few rehearsals, and in a couple of weeks, those rehearsals will pretty much take over our lives! LOL!  Now here is a surprise: not only are all five of the kids in the show, but Dan is also in the cast, and I am going to play in the pit orchestra!  So, this is truly something that we are all doing together as a family–pretty cool!

The show is called Paint Your Wagon, and it is a story that takes place during the 1849 Gold Rush. A lot of people have heard of the movie that starred Clint Eastwood, but I understand that the movie is very, very different from the musical.  Dan, John, Brock, and Luke are all miners and get to sing a lot of fun songs.  Cosette and Kara are family members of the miners.  I won’t give too much away about the show, but Brock gets to play Reuben Sloan, who is a thief who gets hanged!  (That should be interesting!) His death is temporary, however, because his voice is needed in the chorus; so after Brock’s character dies, Brock comes back as a very-similar looking miner to sing the very next song!  LOL!  Yes, we think he’d better at least change his hat!

We are really having a lot of fun, and I know this will build a lot of great memories.  We are already having a good time trying to find costumes. Fortunately, I have very talented extended family members who are good at that type of thing.  We are still in the process of getting it all together, but here are a couple of fun pictures that I took of Brock and Luke trying out some mining attire:
Paint Your Wagon Collage

Yes, our lives are going to be very busy for the next few weeks.  The performances will be held on April 18th and 20th. (April 20 is Luke’s Birthday too!)  My blogging might get kind of thin as our practices get going, but I will definitely be back with lots of pictures as I have time!

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Cosette and Kara are continuing to enjoy working on their Photography Merit Badge for American Heritage Girls.  This week, their assignment was to take a picture of their favorite place–a picture that tells a story of why they like that place.  After they had taken their pictures, the girls used Picmonkey to edit and enhance their pictures.

Kara’s favorite spot was her cozy bed.  She loves snuggling in the warm blankies with her favorite stuffed animals.  She has also recently discovered the simple pleasure of relaxing with a good book before going to sleep.  I must also add that Kara and Cosette have a lot of fun each night just being generally silly as they lay down for the night!  Here is Kara’s picture:


Cosette’s chosen favorite spot is the music room.  She spends a lot of time there each day practicing her instruments and just playing for her own enjoyment.  I’d say that this is a favorite spot of my own as well.  It’s a little musical haven when we can shut the door and just open up a favorite songbook to enjoy.  Here is Cosette’s picture:


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Last night the Prairie Family enjoyed a fantastic concert put on by the United States Navy Sea Chanters Chorus.  The kids have been interested in singing and music in general, so when opportunities to go to these types of things come our way, we try to take advantage of them.  I knew this group would be good, but I had no idea what a treat we were going to enjoy!

Dan and I both agree that this is one of the top shows that we have ever attended.  The song selections varied from opera, to patriotic, to show tunes, to Gospel.  There was definitely something for everyone.  Of course, I noticed how amazing their pianist was.  She was all over that keyboard and didn’t miss a note! Until we arrived at the auditorium, we weren’t aware of the fact that this particular concert was the last of their current tour, and that made it even more special.  I guess they were originally going to have several more stops that were even printed on the programs, but because of the current budget problems in Washington, the tour was cut short, and our town’s was the last show.  A long-time (20 year) leader of the group was retiring, and this was to be her last performance, so there was some special moments in honor of her.

I’m thankful for opportunities like this.  It gives the kids exposure to and appreciation for different types of musical experiences.  These particular men and women are tremendous musicians, and their performance was amazing.  I would encourage anyone who has an opportunity to hear them in the future to make the effort.  It is well worth it!

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This week our family got an unexpected gift!  Yes, we have another new guinea pig, and we are very delighted with her!  She came just at the right time too.  Let me explain:

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a listing for a free guinea pig that came with a cage.  I asked Dan if I should respond to the ad since we had one of our guinea pigs die a few months ago.  We were down to three little piggies!  😦  At first he wasn’t too crazy about the idea, but he told me to tell the lady that if no one else came forward to claim her piggie, we’d take it.  Well, as was predictable, no one else came forward, and Dan decided that getting a new pet was actually a pretty good idea after all!

It took several days to make arrangements to get the pig, and during that time, one of our original male pigs, Abel, took a turn towards declining health.  We’ve had him for several years, and he was definitely a favorite–very sweet and interactive with the kids.  To make a long story short, we got our new piggie on Tuesday, and Abel died on Thursday.  Yes, it was sad to have our sweet boy go, but having our new one helped soften the situation for sure.  So now we are back to three piggies!

Our new guinea pig’s name is Rosie.  We were told that she is approximately three years old, so that puts her about the same age as our other two piggies, Sophie and Snickers.  She is an absolute sweetheart–and what an appetite! This little lady eats all day!  She cleans up every bite that we put into her cage and always begs for more!  🙂  She is very friendly, but is still a little jumpy.  I think that’s just from being in a new place.  She is getting better each day.

So, we thank God for His care–even about the small things.  He knew all along that we were going to have an empty spot in our house, and He filled it with an unexpected blessing!

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