Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Recently our family attended a fantastic stage production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Junior.  It was held at C’s middle school and C was the narrator.  Unfortunately I am unable to post photos of the production but it was outstanding.

When we walked in, I fully intended to see a great middle school or high school level production with goofy kids and obvious slip-ups that make the play so memorable and us parents so proud.  I was so proud of all the performers and crew before it even began and was eager to see C in her role along with some of her friends and theatre family we had heard so much about in the weeks leading up to the performance.  So now I bet you think this will be a biased account and feel that it was so special because C was in it…and it was, but even if your child wasn’t in the performance, the reviews were astonishingly positive.  Most reviews claimed a near professional caliber performance.

When we entered the theatre portion of the school, I was pleasantly surprised with the theme music playing as we were seated.  The music was familiar and immediately I was relating to the Disney movie.  Once everyone had taken their seats, the production began with the narrator (YAY C!) who was a dark and serious character explaining how the beast came to be.  Meanwhile we watched a shadow mime of the witch and spoiled young prince having the spell cast upon him turning him into the beast.  It was an exciting version of the story, one that captured everyone’s attention including R and the other children in the crowd.  The collective gasp at the spell casting was a dead giveaway that we were now a captivated audience.

The curtains closed as the narrator continued the tale with perfect musical transition allowing the townsfolk and Belle to make their entrance.  The performance carried on with a much higher caliber than I was expecting with amazing costumes and props.  A few of the performers even spoke with accents befitting their character while the enchanted castle and little village wove their own spell over the audience.  The scene transitions were nearly flawless and the performers interacted slightly with the crowd simply by using the aisles as part of their stage during battle scenes. 

The crowd laughed when they were supposed to and some cried when the beast was injured.  None of the children around me were heard to utter anything resembling “I’m bored” or “when is it over”.  In fact, during the intermission, many of the children were saying, “when is it going to start again?”  This, to me, is a tell-tale sign of a successful performance.  They deserved the standing ovations they received.

Take Care, D

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Being in a small city has its perks and disadvantages.  A perk is that when children go to the grocery store, if you stop at the bakery department, they will usually give you a cookie – if Mommy says it’s ok and you’ve been a good boy/girl.  The downfall is that the cookies are never gluten free. 

Before we discovered R’s intolerance, the bakery department was the best part of going grocery shopping with Mommy.  I could get him to help and behave without asking because he knew that when we got to the bakery department, he would get a cookie.  He would wonder through the whole shopping experience, what kind of cookie would be handed out that day and he would hope it was the oatmeal ones.  Since his diagnosis, we avoid the bakery section. 
R’s new favorite spot is the gluten free section where there are a few treats and every now and then a new item pops up that we get to try.  This trip, R brought me this bright red package of Only Oats-Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookie Mix from Avena Foods.  We were so excited to try this.  This product is not only certified gluten free, but it is also lactose, egg, soy, and nut free as well as being low in saturated fats with no sugar added and a high source of fibre.  Yay!  We did a happy dance right there in the aisle.

After supper we baked these cookies.  It was so easy, beat 1 cup of butter at room temperature with 2 tablespoons of corn syrup. Add 1 large egg or the equivalent egg substitute and mix for 30 seconds. Add 3 cups of the mix and mix until combined.

  Spoon onto cookie sheet and flatten slightly.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes.  Ta Da!  Yummy cookies you wouldn’t know were gluten free. 

The cookies turned out just like they are on the Avena Foods website.  Wish I had a picture of the finished product but they didn’t last long enough to get one.  They were a hit and I will definitely be buying this mix again.

WARNING:  This product is so delicious; it may be difficult to stop eating.  We had trouble controlling ourselves so long as these cookies were in the cookie jar and stopping at just one is nearly impossible.

Have you tried any of the Only Oats products?  What did you think?

Take Care, D

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated in any way for this review except for the yummy goodness of the cookies.  This is a product I purchased myself and wanted to share with you.  Results may vary.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

When C first started dating, Hubby and I discussed that we would step back and allow C to be in this relationship with minimal interference from us.  She has seen a multitude of types of relationships from what she sees with her friends, various Aunts and Uncles, us, and her mother.  Now it was her chance to have a relationship and to form it in such a way that worked for her and her partner.  It gave us some time to observe her and to see that although she liked this guy, he didn’t come between her and her friends or family. It also didn’t change her.  These are good things.

The kids continued to date for a few months and we saw subtle behaviours on both sides that had us thinking that perhaps this relationship was not going to last much longer.  Then, it happened.  C received a text from her boyfriend making him her ex-boyfriend.

She was hurt about the break-up but she was more angered and disgusted with her ex for the way he went about it.  She felt betrayed, lied to, and very disrespected.  Respect is big in our home and disrespect often receives the worst punishments.  C deserves respect and she knows it, so for this boy to do this infuriated her. 
Of course we supported her and let her ride her emotions through this and offered to be there for her.  She spent a lot of time with her friends for comfort and we gave C as much time with her "besties" as possible. As a teen, I remember how important friends were and although parental support is essential, my girl-friends were priceless.  We kept an ear to the ground to see how C was progressing through this first experience.  I am happy to hear her say that she knows she doesn’t deserve to be treated that way and that this has not hurt her self-esteem at all.  Also, that she knows that it was ok for him to break up with her if he doesn’t want to be in the relationship any more, hurtful – but ok.

In the end, I’m very proud of her for the way she handled things and her attitude about moving forward and leaving him behind.  She didn’t post nasty things on any social media, and although she and her friends discuss it, she doesn’t seek him out to publicly humiliate him.  She doesn’t wish any harm to come to him, but also no longer has time to waste on him.  He’s part of her past that she’s learned from and even still thinks he’s a decent guy, just not for her.  I think for being fourteen, that’s pretty mature.

How did you handle your teen’s first break up?  How did your teen handle it?  Would you do anything different?

Take Care, D

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