Monday, December 31, 2012

Because it's Christmastime

(And yes, Percy and Harry have made a come-back. More of their adventures to come!)

Winner winner, chicken dinner!

Congratulations to Karrie and Jamie! They were the only ones who entered, so they both win!

Please feel free to contact me anyway you want and let me know what prize you would like.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Psst!! Hey, readers!

Be sure to enter the latest contest and giveaway. There are some really cool prizes available, and so far, you have a really good chance of winning. Seriously. Please!


Wordless Wednesday

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Manger of Bethlehem

I wish I knew the name of the boy who is singing. What a pure voice. The composer is Rob Garnder, and he is the head of an organization called Spire Music. Thank you for this amazing song and video.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The lights on my tree, I wish you could see

Every year, I like to take artistic pictures of the lights on our Christmas tree. This year, we decided it was time to bite the bullet and go with eco-friendly LED lights. It's made for some interesting differences in my yearly tradition.

It's birthday time for Mr. Perfect

Mr. Perfect's birthday has come and gone again for another year. We celebrated for three days (Friday through Sunday), and he got to eat a lot of really good food, open really fun presents, see a really good movie, and be serenaded by the Cottonwood High School Madrigals (nice job, guys!) at the Ward Christmas Party.

On Friday, Game Boy had a date (oh. my. goodness!), so we decided to have our own date night and try out a new restaurant. We went to BRIO Tuscan Grill, and now we have a new favorite Italian restaurant. Our server was amazing; she had the best ideas of what we should eat. We had prosciutto bruschetta, lobster bisque, and a grilled trout that melted in your mouth. May I just say that my tummy was very happy but rather uncomfortably full.

On Saturday (the actual birthday), Mr. Perfect picked homemade waffles for breakfast and got to open his first present, which turned out to be new backpack sleeping mats. They go inside your sleeping bags and are incredibly more comfortable than the old ones we've been using.

He had to go into the office for a few hours (boo! it was Saturday AND his birthday after all), so Game Boy and Most Happy Girl did a little more birthday and Christmas shopping. When everyone was home, Mr. Perfect opened this stunning sweater:

and we headed off to see Life of Pi (highly recommended movie). Next, it was the Ward Christmas Party for dinner and entertainment by the aforementioned Cottonwood High School Madrigals. Most Happy Girl had to stay and help clean up, but Mr. Perfect and Game Boy were ready to leave, so they walked home. It snowed most of the day, so I was very happy to find them snug and safe inside the house when I got there.

Sunday, we made beef stroganoff (with grilled steak) for dinner and homemade sea-salt ice cream (Game Boy has been wanted to make this for a long time) for dessert. Mr. Perfect also opened the last of his presents. Well, really he just got them out of the trunk of the car. New 0° F backpacking sleeping bags (if we can figure out how to make them small enough to go in the sleeping bag area of the backpacks).

I think Mr. Perfect enjoyed himself very much.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Drama Queen in Suessical the Reader's Digest version

As many of you know, Drama Queen is studying Theatre at SUU. She's having a great time and loves her Acting I class (taught by Peter Sham). One of her classmates posted this on YouTube, for which we are very, very grateful. So, Drama Queen and her Acting I class present Suessical, the Musical in just under 9 minutes:

Post #500 is here!!!

Hey there, blogosphere fans. Random Things & Kite Strings has reached an amazing milestone. Post #500!!! Whoot whoot! And you know what that means? That's right, kiddos, another contest and giveaway. (And the crowd goes wild!!!)

After the amazing success of the last contest and giveaway (thanks to all five of you who entered!), I have high expectations for this one, too.

  1. Add a comment to this post before Christmas Eve (December 24, 2012). That gives you a little over two weeks.
  2. Spread the word to all your friends to come and enter, too.
  3. Come back on Christmas Day to see if you won.
If you win, you get to select from one of the following amazing offers:
  1. A hand-delivered baked goodie of your choosing. For ideas of the culinary delights of which I am capable*, see my cooking blog (one crazy girl's kitchen). Once again, you must live within a 25-mile radius of me to select this one.
  2. A framed 8x10 of your favorite Wordless Wednesday taken by me (please limit to one that I took and not an image pulled from the internet -- I don't have printing rights to those).
  3. A copy of Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George, which is a wonderful retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, one of my all-time favorites fairy tales.
So that's it. Happy blogging, everyone!

*sigh, the English major in me wouldn't let me end that with a preposition.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Elder Bednar and my piano

Stake Conference this weekend included a new Stake Presidency. No biggie, right? These things happen every weekend somewhere in the world. For our stake, it was quite a big deal, because the visiting General Authorities included Elder David Bednar or the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It used to be common for a member of the Quorum of the Twelve or the First Presidency to preside when a stake presidency was changed. Not so much anymore. You see, Elder Bednar told us that this past weekend, while he was with us, another apostle was in Africa helping to organize the 3000th stake in the church. Yup, 3000 Stakes of Zion spread across this amazing world. He said that if the growth of the church stopped where it is now, and if apostles attended stake conferences each weekend for all of the existing stakes, you would have an apostle come to your stake conference every 27-30 years. At the rate of growth the church is experiencing right now, it won't happen again in our lifetime.

Some of the highlights from his two talks (Saturday Evening Adult Session and Sunday Morning General Session):
  • Primary children are spiritual giants compared to the general population of the world. Everything you need to know about the gospel, you learn in primary.
  • If you're feeling a little unsure of your bearings, visit primary.
  • The GAs who come aren't there to pick new leaders; they are there to find the leaders Heavenly Father has already prepared to lead. If corporations tried to use the same method the church uses to put new leadership in place (minus the prayer and spiritual guidance), it would never work.
  • Even though Christmas trees and lights started as pagan traditions, Christ is the Tree of Life and the Light of the World. If you can keep those two truths in mind during this season, you'll never look at your Christmas decorations the same way again.
  • The piano I bought about seven years ago used to belong to the Bednars.

Okay, he didn't really mention that last item in either of his talks, but it turns out to be true. When I bought my piano at the Summerhays Music piano liquidation sale (they don't sell pianos anymore), the salesman told me that it had belonged to the Bednars, and that Sister Bednar had traded it in on a grand piano. He mentioned it to me after I had already decided to buy the piano, and we were finalizing the deal. I'd always thought that was a sweet idea, but had no way to verify it. After the adult session on Saturday evening, I was able to ask Sister Bednar about it, and she confirmed that the piano sitting in our living room sounds like it was indeed their old one, and she even stopped Elder Bednar and had him meet me. It was an amazing conference, and not just because I now have actual bragging rights to a Bednar connection.

Signs of Christmas

We put the tree up this weekend, but didn't get any lights or decorations on it. However, there are other signs that Christmas is fast approaching. In today's world of technology and internet shopping, nothing says "Christmas Gifts" more than boxes left on your doorstep with that heart-warming, familiar smile.


Friday, November 30, 2012

The Girl from Yesterday

This is a “tag” post without the tagging. If you are reading this, then you've been tagged (hahahaha, the joke is on YOU).

Here are the rules:
  1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
  2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
  3. Write down the song name and (if applicable) the movie it came from, no matter how silly it sounds.
  4. If you read this blog, then consider yourself tagged. Have fun, and I’d love to read your answers if you do it, so please leave a comment so I can go to your blog!
Here we go!

If someone says "Are you okay?" you say... Credo: Et incarnatus est (Mozart Requim Mass in C minor)
Maybe I should just eliminate all classical music from this right now? I guess we'll see.

What would best describe your personality? Outside Looking In (Kelly Coffey)
Maybe I don’t know myself as well as I thought…

How would you describe yourself? Symphony No. 8 Mvt. 4 (Beethoven)
I’m okay with this. It’s a very spirited, lively, happy tune, and it has a beautiful melody.

What do you like in a guy/girl? Sweet Magnolia (And the Traveling Salesman) (Dan Fogelberg)
Well, Mr. Perfect does smell very sweet.

How do you feel today? Stay (Poets of the Fall)
But I love traveling.

What is your life's purpose? Don’t Ask Me Why (Billy Joel)
That’s what you get for asking.

What's Your Motto? Vincent (Josh Groban)
What's a motto? I suppose that’s really very fitting for someone as random as I can be.

What do your friends think of you? Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (Nu Colors from Four Weddings and a Funeral)
Well, thanks a lot!

What do your parents think of you? O Fortuna (Carmina Burana) (OperaBabes)
My parents love me.

What do you think about very often? Me, You and My medication (Boys Like Girls)
Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

What is 2 + 2? Slavonic Dances #2 in E Minor, Op. 46 “Dumka” – Allegretto Scherzando (Dvorak)
This is why I choose a major in college that didn't require math.

What do you think of your best friend? Home to Stay (Josh Groban)
This one is for you, Mr. Perfect.

What do you think of the person you like? Wolf Trapped in Ice (Ladyhawk soundtrack)
Hey, if it’s that wolf, that’s okay.

What is your life story? I’ll Wind (Patti LuPone)

What do you want to be when you grow up? Did You Give Enough Love (Celine Dion)
Wow, I have to admit that I have her on my iPod? That’s so sad.

What do you think when you see the person you like? Poison (Hayseed Dixie)
Sorry, Mr. Perfect.

What will you do at your wedding? The Morning After (George Duke)
I need to clean out my iPod. This was not in any way a part of my wedding.

What will they play at your funeral? Prologue and Tradition and Main Title (Fiddler on the Roof movie soundtrack)
I’m okay with this if they can get Izhak Perlman and Topal to perform.

What is your hobby/interest? Ageless Medley (Amy Grant)
If this is suggesting that church is currently my hobby/interest, then that is true. YW is taking up almost all of my free time.

What is your biggest fear? Box of Photographs (Johnny Rodgers)
Don’t pull them out! I look so bad!

What is your biggest secret? Theme (Il Postino soundtrack)

What do you want right now? L’Ultima Notte (Josh Groban)
I want something on the last night? The last night of what?

What do you think of your friends? Conversation (Marian McPartland & Rosemary Clooney Piano Jazz)
I do enjoy talking with my friends.

What's the worst thing that could happen? Z-Row Gravity (Mannheim Steamroller Fresh Aire V)
Wouldn't it be horrible if we were all floating around instead of securely on the ground? No?

What is the one thing you regret? Introduction and Prologue (Brigadoon cast recording)
I'm so sorry for making you sit through this.

What makes you laugh? “Hm, what kind of a token?” (Man of LaMancha cast recording)
Hahahahahahahaha (I really miss doing this show)

What makes you cry? More than Just This Song (Brad Paisley)
Sorry, I can’t comment. I’m all choked up.

Will you ever get married? Bugler’s Dream (Utah Symphony Salt Lake Olympics soundtrack)
This is the official fanfare of the Olympics, so I guess that means “Yes!” Of course, I’m already married, so was this answer really needed?

What scares you the most? Out of the Ashes (A Tale of Cinderella cast recording) I've seen a production of this show, and this is more appropriate than you might imagine.

Does anyone like you? I Cannot See His Color (The Village soundtrack)
Oh, please say it isn't so. This is from the part of the movie where Juaquin Phoenix’s character is dying. I don’t want Mr. Perfect to die because he likes me.

If you could go back in time, what would you change? The Time of My Life (King’s Singers)
I'm not entirely sure what this means…

What will you name this post? The Girl from Yesterday (Eagles)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

This is Post #495

Which means that it's almost time for the next

Are you just so excited? I know I am.

Once again, entrance to the contest and giveaway will be super easy (just ask the 5 people who entered last time). So come back in the next few days for the official announcement.

That is all for now.

What you can do with 12 cellos (Merry Christmas)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Missing Peter Pan photo

I don't know how I did this, but I missed posting our favorite picture of Game Boy from Peter Pan. So here it is:

I love the blur of action behind him, too.

Drama Queen's birthday dinner

Drama Queen was home for Thanksgivings, and even though we didn't get a chance to see her on the actual holiday, her birthday was the day after, so we took her and PaintBall Boy to dinner to celebrate.

Happy Birhtday!

Thanksgiving has come and gone...

...and I've been a slacker (at least as far as blogging goes) and didn't write anything on Thanksgiving about how grateful I am for everyone and everything. blah blah blah. Okay, so that's sounds just too snarky. I really am grateful for everyone in my life (or at least trying to be grateful for them) and I am truly grateful for everything Heavenly Father has given me. More than anyone else knows, I know that He blesses me every day, and I'm not sure why. Here are just a few of the things that show me Heavenly Father knows and loves me:
  • Mr. Perfect
  • Better relationships with the kids
  • The rental dishwasher getting fixed without parts and not needing to be replaced
  • Leading me to my keys/wallet/Bluetooth/phone/whatever-I've-misplaced-this-time (anyone who has watched me freak out over this stuff knows exactly what I'm talking about here)
  • Great extended family on both sides. Huge kudos to the Merrill family, who love me and treat me amazingly. Bigger kudos to the Parker family, who didn't have a choice about me being in their family, but have elected to not kill me anyway.
  • The ability to trip and not fall or die. Seriously, I am the world's clumsiest person.
  • Near misses almost every time I get on the freeway (you'd think that my car was an invisible color instead of silver)
  • Did I mention Mr. Perfect? Oh, I did, didn't I. Sorry, but he's so great that he gets two mentions.
I was also finally able to make Little Big Sis happy and get my turkey out of her freezer. We had Thanksgiving dinner with Mom & Dad M, and we supplied the bird. Crazy Old Bird stuffed and cooked it (delicious!).

Before filling our bellies, we called Lawyer-in-the-Works who wasn't able to come home for Thanksgiving (ah, the joys of being a first-year law student -- grrrr!). It was wonderful to talk to her, and she'll be home for three weeks for Christmas. Yay!!!

Game Boy was also on hand for dinner. Poor thing. He had two full Thanksgiving meals, but was a real trooper and ate with us like he hadn't just finished one with his mom's family.

After dinner, we went for a walk before dessert. And how cute is Little Artist in her borrowed coat? I know, right?

For dessert, I made an apple pie with Swiss cheese in the crust. It tasted great, but browned a little too much. Next time, must adjust baking time.

And we love this picture of Dad M in his chair. He's proof that rest is for the righteous.

Once the festivities were done, Game Boy, Mr. Perfect, and Most Happy Girl took in Wreck-It Ralph. Great flick. You can tell that Disney and Pixar are really starting to blend their studios. Even though it was released under the Disney label without the Pixar bouncing lamp, half of the production team is from Pixar, and it shows.

It was a very good day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Never Never Land is never far away

Game Boy just wrapped up a wonderful performance as Smee in Cottonwood High's production of Peter Pan. The whole cast did an amazing job. Mr. Perfect and Most Happy Girl happily came out twice to see it (opening and closing shows). Kudos to everyone involved!

Here are some pictures from the closing night performance.

Drama Queen came up from Cedar City to see the show (and to stay for Thanksgiving). It's always so fun to see them together.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving thought for the day

Apparently this video is going viral on facebook and YouTube. I have to say that this makes me very glad, and a little less scared for humanity.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I love a man in booties

Okay, I love this man in booties. Mr. Perfect had some minor surgery this morning, and he was given these booties to wear at the hospital. At 7:00 this evening, I noticed that he was still wearing them. It really made me smile.

We'd like to thank Dr. Scott A. Leckman, Dr. Dennis L. Morris, and all the great folks at St. Mark's Hospital here in Salt Lake City. They really did a great job taking care of Mr. Perfect.

Friday, November 9, 2012

So much for fall

This year, fall lasted a little longer than usual in Utah. Halloween was the warmest on record (70+ degrees), and the leaves were beautiful. Of course, that was because it was so dry this summer and the fire hazard has been off the charts. Well, apparently fall is now over for the Beehive State. Today we are experiencing our first "real" snow storm. I have friends in New Jersey who will probably look at these pictures and say "Really? You call THAT a snow storm? Really?" as they were just hit by a hurricane followed quickly by a true Nor'easter that makes a heavy snow storm in Utah look like mild spring sprinkling. Whatever. I'm here in Utah. I'm cold. And this is what I see outside my office.

I'm now officially missing my favorite season of the year.

What has a pigeon every done to you, Mr. Lehrer?

About three years ago, Mr. Perfect and I had the great fun of being in a production of The Odd Couple together.

Performing the role of Gwendolyn Pigeon is one of the highlights of my acting career. From the director to the cast to the crew, it remains one of my top three theatre experiences. Plus, it's where we met Sweet Cecily. However, being in The Odd Couple playing a woman with the last name of Pigeon also reminded me of a song that I first learned about as a music major at the University of Utah. I hope you enjoy it, though please take pity on the poor pigeons you come across in life. Some of us really are just English girls looking for some fun.

(The song starts about 20 seconds into the video, so if you want to skip all the intro stuff, you can forward to that point.)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012

I try really hard to keep politics out of my blog. I know that this blog is read by people who do not, for one reason or another, vote in the elections here in America. For those of you who are interested, I'm not going to tell you who I voted for (so please don't ask me), and I won't tell you who to vote for, either. Mr. Perfect and I both voted early. It's a great feeling, and I highly recommend it.

I really only have one thing to say about this election: Vote, please. And if you are using an electronic voting booth, please check to make sure it's registering your actual vote. There are several reports of the machines being inaccurate. If you're unsure, ask one of the polling judges to help you. That's one of the reasons they are there.

One last thing about this election: I will be SOOOOOO glad when it's over and the campaign ads stop, all the signs are taken down around town, and I can visit facebook again without feeling like I'm on the wrong website. This has been a nastier than usual campaign, and I, for one, will not be sorry to see it gone.

But don't let all of that nastiness stop you from voting, please!


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