Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Out Of the Woods!

Lexi is obsessed with "Into the Woods."  I mean, like "more-than-she-was-obsessed-with-Frozen" obsessed.  It was one of the first movies that she attended in the theater and had a descriptive services headset.  Descriptive services add a narrator to the movie who talks when there is no dialogue.  The narrator describes what those of us with sight are able to see.  It's a great service for the visually impaired and Lexi LOVES it!  Prior to seeing the movie, Christi had given her the soundtrack CD, so Lex knew all of the songs and had already sung them hundreds of times before going to the theater.  After she saw the movie, a sweet couple from our church congregation took her to a local high school production of the play.  Now, in addition to the soundtrack, she owns two copies of the movie:  a digital copy on Amazon that Christi got for her, and a DVD that Christi got for her after we realized the digital copy didn't have the descriptive services option.  Lexi and Sophi sing the songs from this musical multiple times a day.  At the top of their lungs.  Over and over.  It's a beautiful thing.

Despite all of this, I had not yet seen the movie.  Christi impressed upon me the fact that it was very important to Lexi that I watch it with her.  When I demurred, Christi impressed upon me the fact that my future happiness in my marital relationship was largely dependent on my watching it with Lexi.  I saw the light.  So one Sunday afternoon, Christi, Lexi, Sophi and I cuddled in our bed to watch Into the Woods.  It was a painful experience.  While watching Captain Kirk belt out 'Agony' was a bit of a fanboy fantasy, and while the songwriting was exceptional, the movie itself had a warped storyline and was waaaay too long.  At the point in the movie where it looks like everyone is going to live happily ever after and I would be able to turn off the TV (and I was dozing off already), Christi turned to me and said, "that's the end of Act I."  I totally thought she was joking, and once I realized it was true, I began to understand the true meaning of 'Agony!'  [Side note: after finding the link to 'Agony' above, I have been playing the song while working on this post.  Sure enough, like moths to a flame, there are now two darling little girls in my office ;)]

Of course I didn't let Lex and Soph know my true feelings.  I talked about how fun the music was and how great the various characters were.  Continuing with their love of this musical, these two little angels decided to put on their own production.  On my way home from work the next evening I got a call from Christi.  "Hurry back!  Lexi and Sophi are putting on a production of Into the Woods for us and can't wait for you to get here."  Barely able to contain my joy, I put the pedal to the medal and arrived just in time for curtain call.  Jessica was invited to be the narrator, Sophi was Rapunzel and Lexi was every other role (except milky white, the cow, who was played by Molly).  In the pictures below, notice Lexi's red cape and Sophi's Rapunzel hair (some kind of nylon stocking with a belt to extend it).  Very clever costumes with no help from mom and dad.

And so their production began.  We began to video.  My attention span is not tremendously long.  5 minutes.  8 minutes.  12 minutes.  15 minutes.  Finally I realized the truth.  Having seen the movie just the day before, I was very familiar with the storyline, dialogue and songs.  Suddenly I knew.  I turned to Christi and said, "They are going to do the ENTIRE movie!  Line for line!!!"  Fortunately, despite her attention span being decidedly more 'kid-prodution-friendly' than mine, Christi knew it just wouldn't work for us to watch a full 2.5 hour musical that particular evening.  She asked the girls to do two more of their favorite parts and then it would be time for dinner.

I love our girls!  They did a fantastic job.  I'm embedding a video below.  It's 15 minutes long, so just skip around to a couple of scenes to see a bit of their creativity.  Enjoy!


Friday, May 15, 2015

Daily Dose of Soph

While we were on our cruise...

Jen and Sophi were together when Xander came into the room and asked what his chore would be.  Jen told him he would help her move things as she vacuumed.  

Sophi: "Why are you vacuuming?"

Jen:  "Because it's Saturday and we need to do it."

Sophi:  "But why?  Is someone coming?"



Sophi painted these toes herself.  She did a better job than I would have done!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Ultimate Career

I read a wonderful quote from C.S. Lewis this morning:

"The homemaker has the ultimate career.  All other careers exist for one purpose only -- and that is to support the ultimate career."

What a true, yet easily forgotten concept.  Regardless of whether it's mom, dad or both that are in the workforce earning a living, all other careers exist for one purpose only:  to support a home with a nurturing and loving environment.

In a belated mother's day tribute, let me just say how grateful I am for my amazing wife Christianne.  An incredible mother.  An unsurpassed spouse.  She excels at the ultimate career.

Thank you, sweetheart, for all you do for our family.



Sunday, May 10, 2015

Favorite Aunt(s)

I was blessed to grow up in close proximity to my three aunts on my mom's side.  Actually, my mom has four sisters, but the oldest, Joyce, passed away at age 16, long before I was born.  I look forward to meeting her someday.  I have heard many wonderful things about her over the years.  My three aunts and I had a special relationship.  They were often over at our house while I was growing up.  We usually had a large family Christmas gathering at our home with my mom's family.  They would often come over just to chit-chat or play Yahtzee or have lunch together.  Often my mom would take my siblings and me to visit them as well.  And of course we would all get together at my grandpa's cabin in the mountains at least a couple of  times a year.  I have fond memories of these three great women all through my growing up years.

They really looked after me, too.  As I said, they were often over at our home.  Any time they heard I was going to scout camp or a school band trip or EFY (Especially For Youth summer camp at BYU), they would play meet it or beat it.  One of them would pull out a $10 bill, hold it up in the air and say, "Meet it or beat it!" and then hand it to me.  I'd get a big goofy grin on my face and just wait for the cash to pour in.  My other two aunts and their mom, Grandma Lind, would join in, each either meeting or beating the $10 given to me by the first.  It was a bit like a poker game, with each one calling or raising.  "$15!"..."$20!"...and so forth.  I could easily head off to my activity with fifty to sixty dollars in my pocket.

My aunt Barbara had four children, and she would often bring the younger two over to our house on Friday nights while she and her husband went on a date.  If I knew they were coming, I would time my evening plans around them being there.  As they dropped off the kids I'd ask if they could give me a ride to my best friend's house a mile or two away.  They would always say yes, and as I got out of the car, Barbara would hand me a $5 bill and say, "This is for having to ride with us!"

For a long time, aunt Debbie lived about a half mile from our house.  We would often go over there and play with her kids and her dog.  As a very young boy, I remember visiting her old A-frame house at the beach and going fishing with a cousin off of a bridge close by.  We caught a small flounder that we threw back.  Debbie LOVED the beach and, even since I have had my own family, she and sometimes her kids would come down for a day or two during the week we would have our Green family reunion in a house on the coast.

Aunt Becky had the most awesome house.  It was a large home that was pretty large, at least as I remember it.  I believe it had three stories plus a really cool attic.  Sometimes we would have our Christmas gatherings there.  There was a ping-pong table where I got lots of lessons from my older cousins Doug and Todd.  I remember staying the night over there a couple of times as a kid.

Often as I interacted with them, they would say, "'Cuz I'm your favorite aunt!"  And I would respond, "Yes!  You're my favorite aunt!"  (And of course, whichever of them was handing me money was decidedly my favorite aunt at that moment;)  All three of them, along with Grandma Lind, really were fantastic to me as I was growing up.  I'm so grateful to them for the wonderful memories they helped me create.

So it was with great sadness that I learned of Aunt Debbie's passing this week.  She was a great woman, and in recent years was enjoying her new grandchildren.  I'm so sorry for her kids and grandkids to have lost her at such a relatively young age.

Good-bye for now, Aunt Debbie.  Thank you for being so sweet, not only to me, but to my kids.  Thanks for spending a week helping your daughter, Chelsea, tend our large family while Christi and I went on vacation.  Thank you for coming to Utah with my mom and helping us when we just had one little boy and we were coming apart at the seams trying to figure out how to be new parents.  Thank you for the many times you made me laugh.  You will be missed.



Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Good Advice!

Christi was very sweet tonight and told me she would take care of getting the kids to bed.  I could get some work done or read or do watch a playoff game or whatever I wanted.  Thank you, honey!

As I was walking out to the kitchen to enjoy my little respite, she told that kids that Dad was done "Daddying" for the day and that I was off limits.  "So," she said, "is there any last thing you want to say to him before he leaves?"

Lexi quickly pipes up:  "Don't break up with your wife!"

Fine counsel sweet Lex:)