Saturday, June 16, 2018

Les Miserables

Let's go back to the beginning.

(Because the history is dear to me)

When I was in 8th grade, my bestest cousin came to visit for the summer.  She brought with her a cassette tape and oodles of acclaim over this new musical she'd just seen.  "Rae, you've got to listen to this!!"  

And I did.  A lot.  

This was followed by thousands of questions, discussions, theories, obsessions.  Countless times getting lost in the book - especially the non-edited version.  Every line is so amazing that it must be digested and savored slowly.  

Finally the time came while my family was living in London - we saw Les Mis!!  And strangely, I was horribly bothered by the whole thing.  Eponine was played by the understudy and so many lines were reversed.  I realized I would have to adjust my expectations with different interpretations of song, dialogue, etc.  Every director and cast would bring a new tone.  I wasn't quite ready for that.  But in the end, the disruption was good - it kept it fascinating to me.

I don't know how many times I've seen it since, but every performance produces this cathartic experience for me.  This drive for more compassion.  And Bishop Myriel absorbs me - a man who's on stage for only the first 5 minutes - 10 max.  He's the crux of the whole foundation - the author of Jean Valjean's path in following Christ.  When the chorus sings at the end, "Will you join in our crusade, who will be strong and stand with me?"  I literally want to rush the stage.       

Anyway - getting back to the present.  

On May 31st, I finally got to see Les Miserables with my bestest cousin who long ago introduced me to Mr. Hugo.  It was long overdue and a bit emotional.  It was me with my two oldest.  And now that they've seen and heard, there is no escape.  It's sunk into their souls and will never leave.  

PS - I didn't realize until watching Les Mis with my children how I would react to the few moments of profanity.  So it was with great mortification during the Thenardiers piece that I found myself squeaking OUT LOUD over a well-timed curse in the rare hopes my boys wouldn't hear it.  This is completley instinctual.  I do this all the time if I know someone is going to swear.  Sadly, everyone around us - quite possibly even the actors - also heard me instead.  

"The most beautiful of altars, is the soul of an unhappy creature consoled and thanking God."

“The pupil dilates in darkness and in the end finds light, just as the soul dilates in misfortune and in the end finds God.”

"Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise." 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


#1 - May The 4th Be With You

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  The force is strong with this family.  And this year we discovered we're even a little bit stronger than the Davis family.

For our 2nd annual Star Wars festival, we dismissed Skywalker blue milk and added roasted porgs, chocolate dipped lightsabers and a planet Crait tifle.  We also played 5 rounds of Star Wars challenges - some were hits and others not so much.

Until next year..."The force will be with you.  Always."          

#2 - Rancho Penasquitos 5K Run

Rancho Penasquitos Days is over Cinco De Mayo and the LDS church works with the city to hold an annual 5K run every year.  James and I couldn't run, so we volunteered while Bubbs stayed home and the Greg, Andrew and Pretty Girl ran from our stake center to the Del Sur ward building.  

They did awesome!  

And we loved the pancake breakfast at the end with the Spurgiez family.

#3 - Father and Sons

Our ward held their annual Father and Sons camp out at Dixon Lake in Escondido.  It was a bit of a heavy shuffle for us because Andrew had a volleyball game that night he couldn't miss.  So between two drivers and different meeting times, the boys ended up at Arby's for dinner and dessert at the campsite.   

#4 - James' Birthday

James is in love with his new long board.  Greg and I have high unrealistic expectations that this will substitute for a car.  Ha!  We all went out to Olive Garden to celebrate.   

#5 - Art & Social Studies Exhibitions

I made the massive mistake of signing up for the arts program for all three of my youngest children between two different schools (except James - the high school doesn't do this).  I didn't understand how much time this would take.  Regardless, the artwork at the end of the year was fabulous and it gave me a chance to be in the classroom A LOT with my children.  

The night of the exhibition, Bubbs and Pretty Girl's school held a cultural fair and Pretty Girl and I got henna tatoos at the Pakistan tent.  Sweet!

Andrew's exhibition.  This was fabulous!  All 6th grade students had to create an art project surrounding the material they've been covering since the beginning of the year.  Seriously, this was so cool.  I was super impressed.  There were Greek masks that looked like they belonged in a museum.  And parchment manuscripts that could have passed for the real deal.   

#6 - Memorial Day

For Memorial Day, we actually planned a picnic on the beach!  The beach.  Beach and Memorial Day...perfect combination for insane crowds.  And even crazier parking.  

Two things happened.  Monday morning there were gray skies galore!  That helped.  And then we made sure to arrive at 10:00 am.  By 11:30, sunshine was out and the beach was glorious!  And bonus - not insanely crowded.  Yay!  

We met the Davis family there (and Jared's sister's family).  Lovely day!  Greg got sunburned.  But we made up for it with football, sand building and yummy food. 

#7 - Odds and Ends

Driving 9 boys (ages 14-16) to see the new Avengers movie.  James is back there somewhere.  These boys are brilliant, funny and they smell.  Like 14-16yr old boys.  Yep.  

School picnics, lots of reading, a beautiful bike ride at sunset, more Sea World and oh my goodness!! boys are cute.