May 17

You have to love a small town.  We were in Reed City, our favorite small town, and we were invited by the town undertaker to bring the kids out to his farm to see the animals.  Since it’s a small town, Grandpa knew where the Pruitts live.  So off we went.

The Pruitts of Pruitt Livingston Funeral Home have quite an operation.  What started with a single cow has turned into a herd of them.  They also have a donkey and a couple of horses.  The kids loved the animals.  They got to pet a few of them including the bull.  They fed them some treats too.

You never know what’ll happen in a small town.

Kieran Feeding a Cow

Kieran is reaching out to give her a treat

Kieran and Declan in a trough

They're standing in the only spot that isn't muddy on that side of the fence

Kieran Feeding the Bull

The bull only nibbled on his hand a little bit

The Pruitt Bull

That's Mrs. Pruitt with her bull

Some of the Herd

That's not a barn for the cows. They're outside all the time.

Feeding the Horses 1

The boys gave treats to the horses and donkey too

Feeding the Horses 2

Mrs. Pruitt is telling us something about her horse

Just Stick Your Hand Out There

All of the boys were a little reluctant to stick their hands out toward those big mouths, but the took a chance

May 16

Back in January, after the holiday school break, a note came home from school saying that it was time for the annual musical production.  This year it would be Willy Wonka Kids.  These productions are not actually done by the school, they are managed by the PTO.  However, the administration and teachers are very supportive.

Kieran wasn’t too interested in it initially.  Eventually he decided he’d try out for the role of Mike Teevee, the kid whose life revolves around television.  He went to the initial tryout after school and waited to see if he got a callback.  He did.  The part they wanted him to do during his callback was Willy Wonka!  Of course, he was one of several called back for the part, but we were really excited nonetheless.  After several days of call backs we waited to hear who got what part.

In the middle of a math lesson, someone from the PTO walked into Mrs. Hill’s class to hand out the envelopes to those who tried out.  Of course, nobody could wait until they got home to see what they got.  Kieran got the part of Willy Wonka!

The months of February and March were full of rehearsals after school.  There was a schedule that showed which roles needed to attend on which days.  Kieran only had a couple of days that he didn’t need to be there.  So we rearranged schedules and worked with some of the other parents to make sure somebody would be picking him up each day around 5.

Each of the cast members got a script and a CD with the music on it.  Kieran worked on memorizing his lines.  He also listened to the CD every night.  Hearing him singing along to his parts always made me smile.  I was in choir in middle and high school so vocal music is a great thing in my mind.  Everybody in the house was frequently singing the songs because we heard them all the time.  It’s a good thing it’s good music!

The performances were on Thursday March 25, Friday March 26, and two on Saturday the 27th.  Linda and I weren’t able to make it to the first performance on the 25th because we had Kindergarten orientation for the twins.  However, we made it over to Childs before it was over.  We watched the end of it through the windows in the gym doors.  That little glimpse made us eager for the next day when we could see the whole thing!

Aunt Sharon, Aunt Barbara, and Uncle Doug were able to attend the Thursday performance.  On Friday Linda and I took Declan and Owen to see it.  We also took some sunflowers and candy (Wonka brand of course) to give to Kieran after he came off stage.  For the Saturday afternoon performance Linda and I were joined by Aunt Barbara and Kieran’s Aunt Tanya.  For the final performance I was joined by Aunt Barbara and Kieran’s Aunt Beth and Uncle David.

How would I describe the show?  It was amazing.  The kids all did an excellent job.  The set was beautiful.  The costumes were wonderful.  I am extremely grateful to the PTO members who volunteered countless hours to make it happen.

I am so very proud of Kieran.  He worked really hard to do his best and that’s exactly what he did.  I knew he’d do a good job, but sitting in the audience and looking up at him on the stage I was awe struck.  He was a star.

Willy Wonka Banner

The banner hung outside the gym

Willy's First Appearance

This is where Kieran first appears in the show during the Golden Age of Chocolate song

Golden Age of Chocolate

The Candy Kids and the Oompa Loompas join Willy Wonka for the opening number called The Golden Age of Chocolate

The Bucket Home

Charlie and his family at home - Mr. Bucket is reading about the Golden Tickets

Candy Kids

Outside Charlie's house some of the candy kids wait for the Candy Man

The Candy Man

The Candy Man

Waiting Outside the Gates

The Golden Ticket holders waiting outside the candy factory gates

Pure Imagination

Willy Wonka comes through the factory gates singing Pure Imagination

Almost Ready To Go In

Pure Imagination is almost over - Then they go inside

Augustus Covered In Chocolate

Augustus has fallen into the river and is getting his Oompa Loompa lesson

Four Kids Left in the Factory

Continuing the chocolate factory tour with only four kids left

Veruca The Bad Nut

Veruca is covered in trash after going down the Bad Nut chute

Mike Teevee - The Ken Doll Version

After Mike Teevee is transmogrified by Wonka Vision the role is played by a Ken Doll - Willy Wonka is not pleased with him

Mike Teevee

Mike Teevee and the Oompa Loompas

You've Won Charlie!

Willy Wonka tells Charlie that he is giving him the chocolate factory

The Finale

Willy has given Charlie the factory by this point

The Bow

The entire cast out for the bow to the audience

Kieran as Willy Wonka After a Performance

Got this picture of Kieran as he left the stage after the second performance

Willy Wonka and Mrs. Teevee

Willy Wonka and Mrs. Teevee after a performance

Willy Wonka and his Factory

Kieran posing with the very impressive factory set

Mom and Dad with Kieran in the Factory

Linda and I with Kieran and the factory set

Kieran, Mom, and Dad - Close Up

Kieran and his proud parents - A close up

Kieran and the Director

Kieran and the show's director Mrs. Little

Willy Wonka and Aunt Tanya

Aunt Tanya came out for one of the performances

May 16

SingStar and Rock Band are pretty popular in our house.  Auntie Beth has them both, and Linda quite often joins her.  So do the rest of us sometimes.  Declan and Owen like SingStar quite a bit.  Although they tend to mumble the vocals, but I do that too if I don’t know them.

Twin Sing Stars

Owen and Declan singing along to SingStar

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