Thursday, September 29, 2011

Disco Dancing!

I wanted to title this blog 'disco fever' but a friend has already used the title and I don't want to be a copy cat!

This afternoon...or evening (when does afternoon turn into evening anyway...) At 5pm, the kids had their school disco. We love discos and dancing!! We were a little late as we had to wait for hot lips to get home. When we arrived I thought Benny and Lani might take a while to warm up to the scene (as the usually do) but to my suprise, they jumped straight in. The first dance called for partners - who better to partner with than your older brother :)



...and younger sister. Sisi loves to sing and dance, she busted a move the whole time.
   
    It was fantastic to see ALL the kids dancing. They had a dance instructor who has been at the school this
    last week teaching them the dance moves. She was up the front on the stage guiding them through each
    song.



Here' s Sisi getting cosy with a couple of Bennys friends

Benny and his friend Alex playing air guitar (no wonder Benny is taking a while to learn the guitar at home, look how he's holding it!)

                                           Bennys teacher snaps a photo of some good looking kids ;)
                                                                    
                                                                              The Dads
                                                       
                                                       Charlotte and Sisi having a dance...

                                                      and Lani and Chelsea (they'll be 6 soon!!!)

                                                  Job even got a chance to get his groove on
                              
                                     ............or maybe it was just an excuse to flex his muscles
       
           I think the kids loved this dance the most. It was 'Kung Fu fighting' - they call it 'Kung Fu Panda.'

The younger kids had their disco from 5-6pm, after that, it was the big kids turn. JJ (who'd been sitting down watching the younger ones) suddenly came to life when his friends arrived.



                                                  The first dance was with partners..

Silly Ben chased JJ around once the song had finished, chanting "JJ danced with a gi-rl!"

The bigger kids disco was a total contrast to the little ones. The music was louder and the light went out. It looks like it was light in the photos because I had the flash on but it really looked like this a lot of the time:

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The kids had lots of time in between rountines for freestyle dancing

JJ with two of his good friends, Jordan and Sam


Playing a game - they were meant to construct the letter 'm'




The Wonderful Kiosk Ladies :) - The kids were able to buy food and drinks throughout the night..

There was an air guitar competition. Everyone displayed their best air guitar moves while the dance instructor walked around and chose 6 of the kids to compete at the front. Here's some of the younger kids:
                                  
                                        Much better Benny, your guitar is the right way round :)

...and here's one of the big kids, grade 5/6 teacher and our Stake President 

One of JJ's friends - Jordan, was chosen to dance at the front
                                                         
                                                            The boys cheered him on...

He couldn't believe it when he won!


I was so disappointed to find out that all the videos (except for the short one above) didn't come out. I'm not sure what happened, its a shame to not have the little kids dancing to Kung fu fighting - and Jordans air guitar routine, it really was the best air guitar anyone had seen.

It was such a good night, a big thank you to the teachers and parents that made it all possible!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Poor Job and some toy stuffing!

Hahahaha...

Sorry, its a funny one...I'm going to get in lots of trouble for this post, but I think its worth it!

I love Sunday afternoons. After church (most of the time when everyone is home) we hang around, chatting and playing games. Usually during the game time somewhere, Job nods off on the couch. Yesterday we wrestled for quite a while (Job and I came a draw at two all) and then played duck, duck, goose. Job claimed he was dizzy from duck, duck, goose and went and lay down on his usual spot. Sisi had just recently pulled the stuffing out of a toy snake and left it all over the floor.

                                                         The kids and I couldn't resist......
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Hahaha, poor Job. It's always got on my nerves the way that he can sleep at the drop of a hat. Throughout our 11 years of married life, he always dozes off. If he's not working and we go to bed together, he always falls asleep first. Often he comes home from work late at night, wakes me up, has a chat and then two seconds later zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz - while I'm left lying there unable to go back to sleep because some rude husband just woke me up! Well, I found something to help myself feel better. I was showing JJ what I do to him when he falls asleep on me. If you can't sleep at night while your spouse does, and you want to amuse yourself, I highly recommend it.

                                                                JJ had a few turns too..
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                                           I know we shouldn't do it, but its just too funny not to.

                              He even got a cute little kiss (notice the fluff collection on the couch)
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                                    Sleeping on the couch at our house is not the greatest idea :)

                                           

Friday, September 23, 2011

A 5 year old example - and hanging out with my kids

What?! How can September nearly be over and I haven't even blogged August yet?!!

...breath...

ok, I'm forgetting about all that. Tonight during movie night, Lani (who was cuddled up on my right hand side) turned to me and said - "Mum, sometimes I kind of cry because I love you so much."

Lani is such a little sweetheart, she is also a fiesty little thing if you get on the wrong side of her!! But when it comes to her feelings, she is so open, honest and sincere. We love her kind and gentle heart.
We have a really big day tomorrow, lots going on including this house going up for Auction. I considered skipping out on movie time just this once to start cleaning up. I am so glad I sat on the couch, in between my two girls, sharing icecream with chocolate topping and maltesers. I could have missed some of the most tender words I have ever heard. Lani is so good for me, she teaches me everyday how to show love.


...and speaking of love...don't you just LOVE sitting around in the loungeroom on a Thursday night taking photos???!   You know you do.

The kids and I are so good at bumming around. Often when Job is not around, schedule goes out the window and we just hang. They get to bed a little late, often music, readers and homework get skipped, but we have fun. Their favourite nights are the ones where I tell made up stories. A couple of months ago I started a story that they ended up naming "Quest to Lollypop land" The story lasted a couple of weeks, each leg of the journey took around half an hour. We're in the middle of the next part of the quest, JJ had called it "The Quest to the magic fountain." I make up the story on the spot, so the kids and I never know what is going to happen next, often they help tell the story too. There's always suspense and danger - sometimes Lani and Sisi get worried during the story. They are so cute! These nights are always a bit late because the story goes for a long time. So last night when we were meant to be doing music lessons, we were playing around with the camera and telling stories!

                                      I started off on the couch taking some shots witht the girls..

                                                                  Then JJ jumped in
   
Poor Ben, look at his red eyes. He saw us taking photos and felt left out so he cried - funny Ben, we love u!

It got a bit crowded on the couch so we tried the floor. Benny tried pushing the button but we couldn't quite get it all together... (I am so pasty and white next to my kids!)

                                                 Don't ask me what JJ and Sisi are doing??!

                  ...then we tried lying on our tummies....    nope, didn't work either! hahaha         

Then I remembered that Lisa had told me how to set up the automatic timer, here's the kids watching me while I set up the camera..

On jumps mum...hooray! Not too bad :)

                            We'll have to catch up on music and homework another day!

Monday, September 12, 2011

My music, for the very first time

I've been looking forward to doing this blog for the last three weeks. It was that long ago that I went to Melbourne and recorded my music. Last December I wrote my first musical fireside, it was a Christmas one and we put it on here in Launceston. I thought it went really well, East and West ward members did such a great job, many of them singing in a musical fireside for the very first time. I always wanted to get a proper recording of the songs so when the tax man gave us back some money, it was time!

The whole weekend was such a thrill, I don't know where to start :)

I met up with my five fabulous singers at different times on the friday to rehearse their parts. It was so nice spending time with Leanne and Beau who hung around for the whole day. Leanne took some video footage while we were practicing. I love these small snippets because they show nothing in particular, no music or rehearsing, but they make me laugh and remind me of the time we spent together.

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This is Laura with Leanne - practicing for the Mary and Elizabeth song 'because of you'. lol at Leanne, haha

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have a listen to how beautiful they sound together at the studio:

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I should probably give a brief explanation of what the music is about, in case there is anyone reading this who didn't see the fireside or been swept up in my ramblings about it. The whole production is seen through the eyes of a 5 year old girl (who was played by my cute niece Chelsea) She can't sleep on Christmas Eve because she is too excited. She calls out ocassionally for her mum and begs her to retell the story of the shepherds, angels and wise men etc... Her mum sings her special lullaby to settle her to sleep. She is visited throughout the night by characters from many years ago who sit by her bed and tell her what happened the night that Jesus was born. She is visited by people like Joseph, The shepherds, Angels, Elizabeth and even a donkey. They all sing to her while she listens and participates. Finally she follows the Wise Men and finds the baby Jesus. She gives him her special music box which plays her lullaby. I titled the fireside 'A Christmas Dream' indicating that it is up to the individual to decide whether or not Chelsea is actually dreaming.
For the sake of recording the songs, we didn't include any dialogue etc. Just the music!

After a late Friday night rehearsing, we headed over to the other side of the city early the next morning to Steve's house to record. Leanne and I left her house at the insane hour of 5.15am. We were too excited to feel tired. We arrived, quickly took a couple of shots (of course!) and then got stuck into some songs.

This is Steve (the engineer) and his sweet set up.

                                                               Leanne warming up!

While we waited for the others to come, we recorded her singing the lullaby and the donkey song. The donkey song a new song I wrote, we didn't sing it in the fireside. Before I left for Melbourne, I thought the collection needed another song. I really like this one and I LOVE Leanne's voice, she has such a beautiful tone. Here's a little bit of 'The Miracle' aka 'donkey song'.

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Unfortunately since we were busy with everything that goes into recording, we didn't get proper videos of the singing. We had such a limited amount of time to record 9 songs that we didn't have time to take footage for the blog. Leanne did manage to get this video of Beau singing 'I am the King.' (The wicked King Herod song) This one was a hit with the kids. Job and I remember hearing them walking the hallways in the chapel the day after the fireside singing "I am the King, the King, the King, the King, the King!"

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                                           This is what it sounded like the day before...hahaha!

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Who can forget Kirk when he played King Herod. He did such a great job. Sorry for the dodgey video...it a recording of a recording...

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It was so nice to see Laura again. I hadn't seen her since we were 14? ish... I was so thrilled when she agreed to sing and she even brought another singer to the group - Brad. They know eachother from musical theatre and he is a member of our church too - small world! They sounded fantastic together, they were the pitch perfect pair :) I don't have any photos of the two of them :( - The best I can come up with is a shot of brad blinking, hahaha, sorry guys. This is the two of them singing their duet as Mary and Joseph..

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The other singer was my dear friend Moli. He is such a sweatheart and has the most beautiful voice.


He sung 'Faithful Ones' which is the song the Angel sings to the shepherds. He also sung as a shepherd and a wise men (as did Brad and Beau)

Here's a snippet of Moli's song..
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I love the way this next song came out. This was the first one I wrote. The three guys sounded so good together. And they didn't even whinge (too much) about having to sing in the lower register. For three tenors who love to sing high, they were often out of their comfort zones. I think they sound awesome...

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Its a shame we didn't have more time to add layers of vocals to make it sound like there are more men singing. When we did the fireside there were 17... (including my two little shepherds :)

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Here's the three of them singing the wise man song. This clip isn't what we recorded, it just them warming up, but its nice to be able to have the video so you can see them singing..

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And who can foget our own lovable wise men..three of my favourite people (especially the hot polynesian one ;)

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The entire experience was so much fun. Recording in a proper studio was amazing. I was buzzing for days afterward. The feeling of actaully doing what I know I am meant to be doing with the gifts God has given me was such a rewarding feeling and it completely outweighed the love I have of taking photos. I still love my photos, but I know even more so now, that music is my biggest joy. I have already started on the next one!
I'm looking forward to recording again, I hope I can round up my five talented friends again.
Here's a few more pics of the day..




A very expensive microphone - I can't remember if Steve said it was $4000 or $6000 dollars

                  I love this guy, he is so talented. Someone needs to hurry up and discover him.


   I'm so glad Leanne had my camera, she is one of the most artsie, creative people I know and she got some
   really good shots. She also made some really cool videos....



                            The only shot I have of you Laura :(  - Your hair matches the mic! :)



haha, this was the guys creating the sound effect of the 'boom boom' in the wise men song.

               Bad photo (taken by me) but this was the chill out zone where they'd wait between tracks.

                                                                     Beautiful Leanne

                                                                      All of us :)


I am so grateful for the experience and can't wait to do it again!!!