Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Reason for Celebration!

A grand celebration was had on Friday, May 23, 2008, as family joined in support of our sweet Kaity and her graduation from Arizona Conservatory for Arts and Academics (boy, I sure am glad she is out of that school...typing that name is just a killer!) She was just beaming as she entered to Pomp and Circumstance with the other 35 graduates. It was a wonderful ceremony (if you can forget the rather long, dry speeches from two of the district administrators). There were personal stories, smiles, hugs, cheers, and, when her musical theater class got up to sing the final "Class" song - "You Gotta Have Heart and Music", all the graduates joined in jumping and clapping and cheering. Now, over the past five years, I have had my concerns about her school. It was brand new when she started there five years ago. It had many troubles. There were many changes. But I never doubted the tremendous arts education she received there. Those teachers are top notch...nothing better. And the school is so personal. Her principal didn't need to read her name off an index card; he knew her, and not because she was in trouble, but because he knew everyone. At the end, Kaity shed many tears...happy tears for all the wonderful friends she had made and for the chance for growth she had. We all went to Grandmas for a Cupcake feast. What fun.

Now, I just want to thank my wonderful children who always, always are there for their younger brother and sister!! Allison and Mike, thank you for driving so far (from Vegas) just to support your sister, and for bringing my sweet grandbabies!! Ethan and Cameo, thank you for coming, even after a long, hard day. Danyel, thank you for coming, even with the thought of Doran speeding back from Vegas for work, and thank you Doran for coming, even with being so exhausted (he made it for cupcakes). Morgan, well, we missed you...someday, sweetie, I know you will figure it out.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

They Promised Me Free Shoes!

I received an email this morning offering me the chance to get a $100 gift certificate for writing a review of my new running shoes. I do love the shoes! They feel great, they came in a wide width (which makes Earl, the bunion, very happy) and I think my sore heel is finally feeling better. Either that or the excessive Ibuprofin I am on for my sore mouth (got a tooth pulled yesterday and they needed to put in some stitches...yuck!) is helping matters. It would be great to get another pair of these wonderful shoes with a gift certificate. I was going to buy another pair next month, but I bumped the garage door with the van this morning, and I don't know if Dee can repair or if we have to replace some parts. (Crying didn't make the door fix itself, as hard as I tried!) So, after the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning I have had, I am going to get ready to see Kaity perform with the school advanced choir in their rendition of the "Scrubs" musical. Unfortunately, she has put me in charge of making a video recording on the camera...lets see if I can get this awful morning behind me and make her afternoon!! Oh, look, time for more Ibuprofin!!

My Review of GEL-Kahana 2

Originally submitted at

Prepare for your next running adventure with the GEL-Kahana 2 running shoe from Asics. This all-purpose running shoe is perfect for running or just hanging out. The responsive traction, comfortable upper fit, and stylish looks make them a great choice to pack for your next trip. Product features ...

Great Shoe for Running

By The Running Grammy from Phoenix, Arizona on 5/21/2008


5out of 5

Sizing: Feels true to size

Width: Feels true to width

Pros: Comfortable, Stabilizes Foot, Rugged, Good Traction

Best Uses: All Weather Conditions, Mixed Terrain

Describe Yourself: Competitive Athlete

This shoe is so comfortable. I run on pavement 3 miles each day and I have a need for wide width shoes. These are just perfect and so very comfortable. It's like running on air!!


Saturday, May 17, 2008

An Amazing Moment

Every once in a while, my children bless me with an amazing moment; one of those times you just feel pure joy, and you make sure you put that safely in your mind, ready to be recalled anytime you might feel sad. I have had those moments, given to me by each of my amazing children. There are quite a few: Ethan being voted a Little League All Star, Doran saying goodbye at the MTC, Allison receiving her college diploma, Michael walking down a hospital hallway with a blanketed bundle breathing on his own: Adam. Well, yesterday, Kaity gave me one of those moments, and I shall never forget.

It was her final show at her school. She performs with the advanced choir and the girl's vocal jazz ensemble (an amazing group of talented gifted young women who just sing so well!)

She had auditioned for a solo with vocal jazz, and got a big one, but then she told me she just felt more comfortable letting someone else get the part. I was okay with that...her last concert and I just wanted her to have a wonderful time. She then instructed me that I didn't need to look at the program...she told me where she would be singing and all. I was a bit suspicious, but I thought maybe she was playing a piano solo as well, or something. The girls were singing, "My Romance", the song I knew someone else was singing the solo on. I sat and enjoyed the beautiful music,and then looked at the girl that was suppposed to sing her solo ... Leana wasn't singing...who was? I looked and the beautiful solo was coming from my Kaity! I was going to continue taking photos, but then I stopped. Hey, I am going to see this in person, not from behind a camera lens! I was so proud and I burst into tears (sorry Rice kids and are stuck with a blubbering mother!!)

Her song was beautiful, and just perfect. It made the whole number! Thanks to the Vocal Jazz girls for not being too distracted by a crying mom and nano, to Daddy and Grandma keeping the secret, and Kaity for a wonderful surprise and for giving me an amazing moment I will never, ever forget!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Blessing of Barrett Harris

We had a dear Bishop who always emphasized the importance of what he referred to as "covenant events"; those things that involve church ordinances and covenants, and wanted families and ward members to make sure to emphasize those in our lives. We had the opportunity to travel to Queen Creek, Az to share with our family the blessing of a new baby, born to Shared and Shelley Harris. It was a great scene to enter Sacrament meeting and see all of Grandma Sherry Toscano's sisters, some not members of the Church, who had flown from Colorado, Illinois, etc. to share. It was also so wonderful, after the blessing was finished, to hear the testimony of Shared's father, here from Utah, thanking family, and especially priesthood holding family, for being there for his newest grandson. Now, our family is still rather new in the church, so Dee and Shared, and Mike (Marina's husband) were the only family Melchizedek Priesthood holders in attendance (Mike and Allison were with us in spirit, Ethan was helping sick Cameo, and Doran and Danyel had to teach their primary class) , but as our family grows, that will only increase, and what a wonderful blessing that will be! The great fun continued after at the Harris house with a great lunch and good times with family.

Friday, May 2, 2008

To Continue My Entry Below: The Ride Home Was Just As "Interesting"

Not that my morning drive was in any way run of the mill, my two sweet youngest children put forth every effort to make our drive home today just as interesting as our drive to school. I was favored with Kate's recitation of the "Burp Alphabet" though she shared, with much dismay, that she can only get up to "N". Alas, what a loss for the other twelve letters!! Then, it was Nathan begging me to stop the car. When I looked in the back seat, he had a gallon jug of water poised over his sister's head, just waiting for the "accidental" spill. Fortunately, that crisis was averted by me, or else all would have been favored with "the scream heard round the world!" Now, mind you, these two are ages 17 and 15. I have often found myself smiling at hearing my older daughter's trials while grocery shopping with a 21 month old and an almost 5 year old. I try to remember back when I was taking four little ones under the age of 4 shopping, but nothing comes to mind. They all must have been pretty good at shopping, or my brain has truly fried. Anyway, my younger two are now becoming just as interesting to shop with as my grandkids. It is quite a sad tale when you are standing at the checkout, after just running your debit card through the machine, and then having to say to your 17 year old, "No, Kate, don't push any of those buttons," and "No, Kate, don't touch!)Allison, I sure hope little Grace does not continue to follow in Aunt Kate's footsteps, or I fear you are doomed!!

Revenge is Sweet, or Paybacks Suck!

My opportunity to transport my youngest two children to and from school each day has never, ever been dull. Each day, there comes yet another "experience", and today was no different.

First, some background. Every day, I take Kate and Nathan from seminary, down the crowded I-17 freeway, stopping first at Kate's school for her drop off, and then to Nathan's school. Every morning, as Kate gets out of the car and gathers her things to go into school, Nathan transforms into "Grouchy Old Man", growling in a deep and aged tone, "Hurry up! Faster! Faster!" over and over. It seems to unnerve Kate, though she does, once in a while, take her own sweet time getting her things and going into the school. However, this action also gets a response from "Grouchy Old Man" and he honks the car horn at her over and over, and then yells some grouchy comment to her, or another student. I have threatened him for the honking and yelling, but, sometimes, his comments are quite amusing, especially the "Pull Your Pants Up" comments made to the red headed drummer.

Fast forward to this morning. Kate had to be at school at 8:oo for a performance at another school, but I-17 was not its usual parking lot, so it was too early for her to get to school, so we took Nathan first. All was well, we got into his school parking lot, and he started to get out. All of a sudden, Kate leaned from the back seat to front, and began honking the horn over and over. Nathan hurried on, trying to ignore the noise and the stares from his fellow students. Then, she yelled, at the top of her lungs, "I LOVE YOU NATHAN." I don't know what his face looked like, but I swear to you that the back of his hair was as red as a beet! I couldn't even get mad at Kate, for I was almost laughing uproariously. No warning, no plan, and she got him back!!

I dread the ride home...