Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wicked Vilate



So I went with Vilate to see "Wicked" one last time on December 18th. I will admit that the night started off disastrous, but don't worry, it had a happy ending. It happened to be pouring rain when we left and it took us nearly 2 hours to get to the Pantages. What is with California drivers and rain? I know it doesn't rain often, but c'mon people, let's not freak out because water is falling from the sky! Let's just say it was a nightmare getting there. We showed up with no tickets in hopes of either winning the ticket lottery or buying the cheap ones in the nosebleed section. The lottery is for 20 tickets (or 10 pairs) that are in the very front row in the center and cost $25 a ticket. We tried to strike a deal with some people to buy any extra tickets that they might win. Fortunately for our new friends, one of their names was drawn and they won a pair of tickets. Unfortunately for us, we were not as lucky. We ended up buying tickets in row YY. That's right, the last row would be ZZ. It could have been worse. After we got our tickets we decided to walk to a restaurant to get some dinner. It was still raining...hard. After we walked a block in the wrong direction my feet gave out and we settled on a sandwich shop. It was delish. So with a rocky start, we finally found our seats and enjoyed the show. I will say that it was just as wonderful as the first time that I saw it back in April. For those of you who haven't seen it, I highly recommend that you go. The music is amazing and the cast is so full of talent.

Unfortunately for some, Eden Espinosa, who plays Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West), is ending her run at the Pantages today. I know I have told many of you my story, but I am going to write it anyway. I worked in the entertainment department at Disneyland back in 2001 when Disney's California Adventure (DCA) opened. There was a rumor going around in the department about an amazing performer who was singing at the Hyperion Theater in DCA. So one day during our lunch break, we snuck into the Hyperion to watch the show. The woman playing the "Fairy God Mother" was indeed one of the most talented singers I had ever heard. She had an unforgettable powerhouse voice. After the show we were all trying to figure out what she was doing working at Disneyland. Clearly she had the talent that could take her places. Some of us would see the show 3 times a week just to see her perform. I was so excited when I realized that the girl playing the lead in "Wicked" was the same one I had seen 6 years earlier, Eden Espinosa. It was so great to see a Disney alum really "make it." You can read an interview here with her that was recently in the LA Times.

I want to give a shout out to Vilate. I tried doing it on KIIS FM, but they told me that I was lame. Thanks for going with me. I had so much fun. I am glad that I could see a show about friendship with such a good friend.

Here is a picture of the Pantages Theatre taken from inside Vilate's car. The giant Christmas tree was sitting atop the Capitol Records Building.


Here is a picture of Vilate and me after walking around in the rain with no umbrellas. Is it unflattering? Yes. Do I care? No.





Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas

Wearing Christmas outfits.


Standard Archer face.



Archer wearing his new tool belt with accessories.


Della eating paper.

Archer and the pickle gift.

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas....

Here is a rundown of our various holiday activities from the past week. Archer had his Holiday Program at his preschool and he was so over the whole thing. It is a nondenominational preschool so they sang "We Wish You A Happy Holiday" and "I'm A Little Snowperson." Yes, you read that correctly, "Snowperson." Anyway, Archer wasn't that into doing all of the little hand motions that went with the songs although he did sing. Then the boy next to him fell off the little makeshift stage. Out of sympathy for the mother, I won't be posting video of his fall. Needless to say Archer was a lot more interested in drama of the accident, and he really didn't sing much for the duration of the program. Oh well. It was cute anyway however it doesn't compare to last year's performance.

Moving onto the ward Christmas Party. I feel that the pictures are pretty self explanatory. Archer enjoying a cup cake. Meeting Santa and insisting that he wants a "Glow in the dark 'Star Wars' calendar with robots (he has no idea what "Star Wars" is). A special thanks to Santa (aka Brother Allen) for assuring Archer that he would get his calendar in spite of the fact that Calder Santa is done shopping. All I have to say is, I can't wait until he has kids. Also there are some pictures with Della and she is sporting her "faux hawk." This is what her hair looks like after her bath. Trust me, there is no way of getting it to lie flat and I am not putting hair gel on my 11 month old baby. I give her a bath at night and her hair has usually settled down by morning. It was just her luck that bath night and ward party night happened to coincide with one another.


This last picture is of the "Transformers" mask that Uncle Andrew made. Needless to say, Archer was waaayyyy into it. Andrew was so thorough in his job, that he even laminated the mask with tape. Thanks Uncle Andrew!



Sunday, December 09, 2007

Elder Bednar

This weekend we had our Stake Conference and we were fortunate enough to have Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles come and speak to us. I am not able to put into words the profound impact this weekend has had in my life. Friday night was a fireside for young adults 18-30 years old both single and married. Elder Bednar stood at the pulpit and after a brief introduction, he opened the floor up to questions. When does this ever happen? Of course you never know what you are going to get with YSA's (think testimony meetings), and some of the questions were a little, well, off. However the majority of the questions were relevant to anyone's life and every answer he gave offered guidance to most everyone who was there. Especially me. Chad's favorite questions were those asked about Elder Bednar's life and offered insight into how an Apostle is shaped. His parenting advice was fascinating and he cited Christ as his inspiration. He pointed out that Christ is paradoxically both demanding and loving and that is the way we should be as parents.

Chad was fortunate enough to attend all 5 of Elder Bednar's meetings over this weekend, but Della and I were able to actually meet him. My Grandma is the Stake Relief Society President and had prepared a dinner for Elder Bednar and the Stake Presidency between sessions. I went into the kitchen to feed Della and was visiting with my Grandma when Elder Bednar walked in to thank the women for all of their work. He went right over to us and asked me what the Della's name was. He then told me that he had 3 sons and no daughters however now that his sons were grown they all had daughters. He went on to say that his favorite thing to do is to feed his granddaughters ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I heard Elder Neal A. Maxwell speak at Women's Conference at BYU and President Gordon B. Hinckley speak at the Newport Beach Temple Celebration, but I have never been in such an intimate setting with an Apostle offering council inspired to the people in my area. We have been so blessed to have had this experience.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

My Brother Is Married!




My brother was married yesterday in the Philippines to his lovely wife Raquel. Here are some of the pictures from his wedding day. Congratulations Jon and Raquel!

Doing Well

Della's surgery went well yesterday and the Dr. ended up just taking her adenoids because her tonsils looked good. So that means an easier recovery for her. Thank you to all who prayed and fasted on our behalf. It brought us a lot of comfort and we felt confident that we were doing the right thing. Here is a picture of her this morning enjoying her first solid food in 24 hours. Her face is a little swollen but she should be back to normal in about 2 weeks.

Here is a little Archer picture for your enjoyment. He is sitting on the couch watching cartoons with Juan (new imaginary friend who made his appearance last Thursday), Chico (old-man imaginary friend) and the monster that he drew. Archer and Chico have had some adventures lately. We were waiting to get Della's x-rays done last week and the waiting room was completely full. Archer thought this would be a good time to inform us that Chico was wearing "clear pants." Hmmmmm. Then on Sunday Archer told us that Juan would be going with us to church however Chico would not because "he is a rascal." Just before church started Archer turned to his nursery leader and informed her that "Church is really really long." He also interrupted the Sister Missionary to inform her that her FHE lesson was "really really long." When do they learn tact? Hopefully soon.