Monday, February 20, 2012

No snow, but DOGS, BASKETBALL, and....ANNIE!

What have we been up to during the past two months?  Well, it sure hasn't been winter!  Most of you know that my two passions outside of family and teaching are following winter weather and planning vacations.  Well, vacation planning is in it's slow time during the winter, so I always fall back on my "storm chasing" during the winter months. Not so much this year, I was shot down over and over during the early winter months - big storms predicted, and then nothing but a stray flurry. I kept getting back up and trying again, only to get knocked down and disappointed. So...rather than continue to watch and wait for snow in this sorry winter, I did the respectable thing and gave up! I decided to find joy in other places this winter and pick up another "temporary" project/hobby to get me through this sorry winter.

So basically our last two months (outside of normal school schedules and family things) can be best described in 3 words:  DOGS, BASKETBALL and ANNIE

We'll start with Dogs -

Junior and Lily are keeping us busy and our cute, little puppy has become an adolescent. An adorable, pain-in-the-butt adolescent.  He is loud, doesn't sleep, knocks down gates, and loves to play "keep away" with various items that he knows that he shouldn't have.

Yes, he is eating a book about Cats!

 The extent of our "Snow" this winter.

Lily has gotten louder as she uses her border collie instincts and is constantly "telling" Junior that what he is doing is wrong.  The two of them are definitely communicating in their dog language on a regular basis.

Let's move to Basketball:

Katie is playing again this year and loving it.  She has shown great improvements this season and is having fun with all of her friends that are on her team.  Unfortunately, her team ended the season with only 1 win, but not for lack of trying.  Her first playoff game is this week - fingers crossed!

My "temporary hobby" to get me through the winter has become Annie.  Carleigh got the role of Duffy (orphan) back in November and at the parent meeting I volunteered to be official videographer/documentary maker.  It has been SO much fun getting to know the kids and other adults/parents involved in this great production.  I think the best part of this whole adventure for me is that I am known as Carleigh's mom!  In 23 years I have always been heavily involved in different fun activities, but it has always been as Mrs. Rahn, the teacher.

I have never gotten to do something as a mom. With both girls attending elementary school with Don and I, even birthday parties were at "Mrs. Rahn's house."  It's nice to finally be involved in one of my kid's activities and not have that "you're a teacher" role hanging over my head.  There are some alumni from our school involved in the production, but only about 5 out of a cast of 41.

I leave my elementary school and basically head over to the middle school every day and am there until about 6:00. Some of the kids in the play didn't even know that I was a teacher. I LOVE it!!  I have taken miles and miles of video footage and hundreds of photos.  The director and I are working on a "Making of..." kind of documentary of the middle school production (about 45 minutes long) and I also just finished a 3 minute  promotional commercial that is making it's way around the YouTube world and also the facebook community.

Here's the 3 minute "commercial" that I created for publicity.

I got the directing/theater bug from my mother, who is a retired High School Drama teacher/director. So, an added bonus of this adventure is that "Rina" (my mom, Carleigh's grandma) had the month of January free, so she signed on to help with costumes for Annie.  She got to be involved, and also go back to her roots for a month - she LOVED it!!

Here are some pics of the fun -
Mom with the other costume moms, during a rehearsal.

The orphans in part of their "Never Fully Dressed" dance number

The orphanage.....
rehearsing one of the dances

The big opening night is less than two weeks away and the schedule is increasing in intensity.  This week Carleigh goes "On Tour."  The director is taking groups of cast members to all of the elementary schools to advertise and do quick promotional type songs/dances.  Carleigh will be traveling to 4 different schools this week and is so excited!  Then next week is Tech Week - known by another name in the High School community.  She will be at school until after 9:00 every night. Dinner, homework time and quick outdoor recess provided prior to big rehearsals.  I'll be at most of those events also, filming and taking pics.

It's going to be a great show - let me know if you are interested in tickets.

Busy, but fun times.  Who needs snow? Not us!! We have successfully found joy in other areas this winter.

So there you have it....NO SNOW, but lots of fun!  After Annie closes, it will be like the day after Christmas in our house as we recover and try to reclaim normal schedules... and then we will be in full swing vacation planning.  Check out our tickers on the right.  They have been updated to include all planned vacations.  We did book our Europe cruise for Summer, 2013.  But first, we will return to Wyoming and Montana and our great week at Emerald Isle with the family this summer! Can't wait.

Stay tuned for the Big Annie weekend and any other fun that makes its way into our lives over the next few weeks!