Saturday, April 18, 2015

Prom 2015

Dylan and his Prom date, Mary, after arriving at Prom.
On the left is Mary's brother Jim, and on the right is Dylan and Mary's friend, Justice.
April 11, 2015 

A week ago was Blue Ridge High School's Junior-Senior Prom. When you have a son or daughter going to Prom, it always makes for an interesting day!

I started the day as I do most Saturdays: cleaning house and doing laundry. I did get out for a few minutes when Dylan and I went to pick up his date's corsage.

The Prom scene from Cinderella.

Around 1:30, Dylan and Mary went to see the new film version of Cinderella. That seems appropriate, because the ball where the Prince and Cinderella meet seems like one big, really fancy Prom! Take, for instance, all the jealous girls eyeing with envy the most beautiful, graceful girl in the room. It's high school drama at its best!

Dylan makes gooey pizza dough.

After the movie, Dylan and Mary came back to our place, and they had one extra person in tow. They had run into their friend, Justice, who'd bought a Prom ticket but then decided not to go. They convinced him to go with them and just have a good time together. I love that my kids are always ready to welcome more people into their circle of friends and fun.

They all had a hilarious time making a pizza from scratch, and managed to do it without totally destroying the kitchen. I didn't stay to sample their finished product, but when I called Dylan later he told me it was "Amazing!"

Dylan, Justice, and Mary play some "Guitar Hero" while the pizza bakes.

Once they had their pizza in the oven, it was nearly 5:00. I said farewell to the kids and headed uphill to the WorldMark Pinetop Resort, where Chris and Sarah were spending a leisurely weekend "stay-cation," to have dinner with them in their condo.

Chris and Sarah's unit was in this building, upstairs on the right.

Loved this sculpture in front of their building.

Chris grilled up some steaks on the balcony.

Sarah made a yummy green salad.

Some mashed potatoes rounded out our delicious dinner in the pines!

I was able to stay and visit for a short time after dinner, but at 6:30 I had to head back home to get ready to chaperon Prom. Prom starts at 8:00, but I like to arrive a bit early to take pictures before the place is packed with energetic young people.

Mary blinked in this picture...

...and Dylan blinked in this one! I can't win.

Justice, Jim, Mary, Dylan, and Mom Mary.

Dylan and his crew arrived fashionably late, around 8:30. I met them outside for pictures, in order to avoid embarrassing them inside where the crowds were.

This year, Prom was held in the local Auto Mall, at one of the Tate's showrooms there. I couldn't imagine how such an unusual venue would play out, but it turned out to be both interesting and odd.

The Prom pictures in a service bay with tires on racks was definitely odd.
Our Prom theme this year was "Bella Verona."

I heard that Tate's closed their shop down for that entire day so Student Council would have time to decorate and set up. They moved something like 150 cars to make room for the event. I'm impressed. (I also bought my last three vehicles from Tate's!)

Arriving students were greeted by staff members,
Mrs. Slaughter (social studies) and Mrs. Stidham (guidance counselor).

The food was simply glorious, even in a auto dealership!

The pictures make me drool all over again!

The Italian Soda Bar was highly popular. 
They served over 1,000 drinks to slightly less than 200 students!
I tried the English Toffee flavor, and it was amazing!

This fancy water fountain was also very popular all night.

At the Prom Royalty table, the teens voted for Prom King and Queen
and Prince and Princess by placing a stone in the glasses of their choices.

The polished dance floor before Prom began. Later it was packed,
wall-to-wall, with enthusiastic dancers. 

The Italian-style decor was stunning.

Tables where the kids could take a break and visit, 
enjoy their refreshments, and watch the dancing.

I got a few action shots of my son from afar.
Here, Mary and Dylan show their dance moves on the sidelines.

Visiting with Dylan's friend Kenzie (in vivid pink) and her date.
Dylan and Kenzie went to Morp together last month.

The dances the kids seem to enjoy most are the line dances.
I think this one was the "Wobble."

As a chaperon, these are the dances I most enjoy watching, too.
Mary struts her stuff at the right.

As a high school teacher, I chaperon lots of events, but I admit that Prom is my favorite. It's kind of magical, even for an old gal like me. Maybe it's because I never went to my own Prom back in the Dark Ages, but it's fun to be a part of it and see the kids having a great time, and it's even more memorable when one of those kids is my own!

Dylan, Kenzie, and her date at right, staying on the sidelines for this number.
Dylan claimed he didn't know the "Wobble"!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Easter Blessings

Dylan's basket was filled by the Easter Bunny.
April 5, 2015.

Easter keeps changing as my kids grow up, get married, and move away. Now that it's just Dylan and me, Easter is both simpler and cheaper! But the meaning of this holy holiday remains and we are still blessed to celebrate together, as a family.

Chocolate bunnies for Sarah, Jacob, and Danielle, and
Olaf jelly beans for Chris!

One of the best things about Easter 2015 is that it coincided with General Conference, a twice-yearly broadcast of music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and speakers from our general authorities, including our prophet Thomas S. Monson, the Apostles, and other church leaders. There are two 2-hour general sessions during the day on Saturday, as well as a priesthood session on Saturday evening, and then two more sessions Sunday morning and afternoon.

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Twelve Apostles speaks in the final session on Sunday.

I look forward to General Conference the first weekend in April and October, every year. It's uplifting in a way that almost nothing else is. For me, the only things that really compare are attending the temple and those times when certain music seems to pour right into my heart. There is always at least one message, and usually several, that seem to be just for me, addressing an issue I'm struggling with or strengthening a weakness I've prayed to overcome.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings a closing hymn.

And to have General Conference in my home on Easter just made it all the more special, a reminder that Easter is all about the life, sacrifice, and resurrection of our perfect Savior and a celebration of His gospel. We can never hear that message of hope too often!

A 10-pound ham ($20, gasp!) and green bean casserole.

Jacob had to work on Sunday, but he got off at 4:00 and was able to join us in preparing and eating a nice Easter dinner. Meanwhile, Danielle came over before 9:00 to watch conference with me, and awhile later we were joined by Sarah and Chris.

Dinner rolls ready for the oven.

After Jacob got here, all five of the kids and their dogs--Chris and Sarah's Diego and Jacob and Dani's Lucky--spent an hour hiking together along the Mogollon Rim Trail, a favorite for our family. While they were gone, I got dinner started, and when they returned they jumped in and helped move things along. Jacob is our expert ham slicer and potato masher, and Dylan makes a mean pitcher of Crystal Light. Sarah did a beautiful job on the rolls.

Perfect dinner rolls!

Rolls, buttered corn, and gravy.

A big pot of potatoes boiling for mashed potatoes.

We were just about to sit down to dinner when the kids' dad called around 6:30, so we took out 15 minutes to visit with him. Then we were ready to dig in. Dinner with my crazy crew is never a dull moment!

Dylan gives Jacob some "bunny ears" with a slice of ham.

Dylan, stop playing with your food!

In the other picture, Jacob has food hanging out of his mouth and 
Danielle is giving him the well-known wifely evil eye!

Easter is a good time to reflect on what matters most in our lives. Speaking for our family, we are so grateful for Jesus Christ and His perfect example of love, and for the gift of His life. And we are so thankful for each other and the love we all share! Hope your Easter was grand, too!

The "old" married couple (3 years) gives us uncontroversial smiles!