2014 Memories


Hey blog world! This is the last day of 2014. It’s been a big year for me! In celebration of the new year here’s a look back at some of my favorite memories from 2014

  • I got to see one of my best friends again! My friend Dominique who was in the special needs classroom at my school was my best friend in grades 10 and 11. She graduated last year and I missed her so much. She came back for a visit and to get her diploma, cap and gown and I was absolutely elated to see her again! I gave her a big hug and didn’t want to let her go!
  • This year I raised $60 for the Janeway. I was very proud of myself. Every year I try and outdo the previous years donation so hopefully in 2015 I’ll be able to raise more than $60
  • I had my first job! I landed my dream job and worked in heaven during the summer. Spirit of Newfoundland!!! I took inventory of the screech room, packaged screechette chocolates and screech cupcakes, polished silverware etc. I loved everything about my job.
  • I received the Queen Elizabeth Regional High Class of 64 50th anniversary scholarship. I don’t know exactly what I did to receive it but I’m very proud of myself for receiving it!
  • I saw lots of fantastic shows this year! My favorites were An Evening With Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Arts and Culture Center, “Les Misérables” at the Arts and Culture Center, Toby Keith at the Mile 1 Center, “Monty Python Live (Mostly)” at Cineplex, “Grinch Dressing & Gravy” at Spirit of Newfoundland (best Birthday gift I got this year) and Chris Gascoyne at the Holy Heart Theater (it was a lovely evening out with my Poppy)
  • I’m not single anymore! I’m very happy to once again be dating. My Boyfriend and I have been together now 3 weeks I think. He’s quite the gentleman and he’s adorable! We met through Special Olympics. He’s on my bowling team (and is admittedly a lot better than I am!)
  • I got a gig singing at hockey games! My Uncle is one of the assistants of his son’s hockey team and they were looking for an anthem singer. He told them about me and so they asked me to sing. I loved it and so did they! So much so that they continue to ask me back! As do other teams! I’m honored that I get to keep doing this.
  • I may soon be published! I’ve written several children’s books and I want to get them published. I sent an e-mail to Flanker Press (a local publishing company) and they wrote me back saying they wanted to see the manuscripts for both my Circles books (“Circles” and “Circles 2: How Relationships Change”) and my newest one “Newfoundland Numbers”. I really hope that when they receive my manuscripts they will like them and publish them! That would be amazing!
  • I traveled to Clarenville in March for the 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games. My first ever non Special Olympics sanctioned sporting event. I was chosen as the female Special Olympian for the Avalon bowling team (there was one male and one female special olympian and three neurotypical athletes on each team.) We won gold! I was so proud of us! Especially since we beat out the cocky team from Corner Brook. They were bragging how they were the best team and were going to win it all but in the nail biting playoff for the gold medal they were leading and we thought they would beat us but in the last frame we won!
  • One of the courses I’m taking this year in school is clothing. In this course we learn how to sew. I amazed myself with the things I’ve made! I’m a better sewer than I thought! So far I’ve made a pin cushion, pillow Pillow (which is so soft I don’t want to get up in the mornings), a stuffed toy for my friend Peter’s dog Lucy's toy (she absolutely loves it so I’m thrilled!) And a mini Christmas stocking for my friend Shelley (she didn’t open it in front of me so I have no idea what she thinks. I hope she likes it!)
  • I baked a pie for the first time for my Church youth group’s Christmas party. It was coconut cream, my favorite kind. I was really pleased with how it turned out. Everyone loved it!
  • My family welcomed a new member. We have a pet kitten now! My Elf on the Shelf brought him. Unfortunately for Patches (my Elf’s name) he will be thrown into the snowbank next year and refused enterance into our home. Mom wasn’t too pleased with him for bringing the cat and said that’s what she would do with Patches next year for bringing it to us. However she’s fallen in love with the cat now so I think she may change her mind and let Patches in next year. I fell in love with him too. He’s an adorable black cat named Prince Ozzy. I wanted to name him Ozzy after Ozzy Osbourne Ozzy and my Niece wanted to name him Prince so we comprimised and combined the two. Prince Ozzy was made for me! He too is a music lover. He’s not a fan of his namesake (I played “Crazy Train” for him and he didn’t seem impressed) but he loves “What’s New Pussycat” by Tom Jones and “Les Misérables”.

What are some interesting things that happened to you this year? Tell me in the comments! Happy New Year!

Leah

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Christmas


Hey blog world! I’ve had an excellent Christmas break so far! I thought I’d write about it here on my blog.

The last day of school before break was great. It started with a pancake breakfast in the cafeteria. Delicious chocolate chip pancakes, fruit and juice. I noticed that a girl in my French class was sitting alone. I have to eat in the cafeteria when the special needs class (whose classroom I go to for recess and lunch) is on a field trip and always feel awkward and alone (I sit with my friend but he plays “Cards Against Humanity” with his friends and doesn’t acknowledge my existence so I sit and eat quietly and feel awkward) and that sucks! I decided to sit with my classmate so both of us could have some company to enjoy pancakes with. We wound up having a lengthy conversation about pets, relationships, what we wanted for Christmas etc. It was great getting to know her and for the first time ever not feeling alone in the cafeteria.

After the pancake breakfast I gave some gifts to my teachers. I give Christmas gifts to my teachers every year. They loved them! I was glad they did. I even got a few gifts! The special education teacher gave me some chocolate and a sock monkey coin purse! It’s so cute! One of the other special ed teachers gave me a bracelet and more chocolate. One of the student assistants gave me even more chocolate! It was so nice of them to give me those gifts.

Then I watched “The Legend of Frosty The Snowman” with the special needs kids. It was cute. I didn’t get to see all of it though. In the middle of the movie there was an announcement that “Frozen” would be shown in one of the math teachers classrooms. I didn’t want to miss out on that! It’s a wonderful movie! Also I didn’t get to see how it ended (when I watched it with my youth group the DVD gave out near the end of the film.) I loved the ending. It was funny and heartwarming. The whole movie is!

Christmas Eve was fun. We ordered chinese food! I love chinese! It’s so yummy! Then we skyped with my sister Crista in Australia! We don’t get to skype with her often so we jump on the chance when we get it. She showed us what she got (because of the time difference it was Christmas day in Australia) and I read her my new book that I’d written. Too bad my baby nephew was sleeping. I would have loved to see him! Oh well! Then we gathered in the living room and watched “A Christmas Story”. I’d heard nothing but good things about it. It’s been put on such a high pedestal. I had high hopes going into the movie. It wasn’t as good as people make it out to be. It had one or two funny parts but meh is really the only way I can think of to put how I felt about the movie into words. 4.5 out of 10.

Yesterday was absolutely fantastic! I love the family togetherness of Christmas day. I woke up at 7:30 and ran to the living room to see what Santa had brought. The first thing I spotted were two tall boxes. I knew right away that my niece and I were getting the dolls we asked for! I was thrilled! After breakfast we went to the living room to open up all our treasures. We always start with our stockings. I got plenty of chocolate and fruit and some nice new pairs of socks and mittens. I need mittens so I was glad that Santa put several pairs in my stocking. Once the stockings were done the first thing I opened was the tall box that was addressed to me. Sure enough there was Addy Walker from 1864. The American Girl that I’d been asking for! She’s absolutely beautiful! Her story is quite the page turner too. Very interesting. She and her family are slaves in the midst of the civil war. When her father and brother get sold Addy and her mom run away from the plantation to go to Philadelphia in search for freedom. It’s so inspiring!

I also got some movies that I’d asked for so I was pleased with that. I got “We Bought A Zoo”, “Saving Mr. Banks” and my favorite Disney movie “Mary Poppins”. I have it on VHS but my VCR is shot so I asked Santa for “Mary Poppins” on DVD. I’m so glad I got it!

I got a new iPod touch as well! Mine doesn’t work properly anymore. The music skips and the apps freeze up. I needed a replacement. I’m not sure which generation it is but I know it’s a lot more advanced than my old one.

I was very happy that my biggest Christmas wish came true yesterday. It was that dad liked what I gave him. Last month I went to the Clay Café with my friend and painted him a Wolverine piggybank (he’s obsessed with superheros). My motor skills aren’t the best since I’m missing my corpus collosum so I’m no Andy Warhol when it comes to painting but I did my best! I put a lot of hard work into it so I was really hoping that Dad would like it. I was elated when he opened it and said that he did! It made my Christmas day!

That night I put on my new onesie and pair of slippers from Santa. I felt like a cloud! They were so nice and comfy and soft! I relaxed in the living room and watched Spirit of Newfoundland’s Christmas special on NTV. It was wonderful! A commercial free half hour of absolutely beautiful music! Every single performance on the show was stunning! Well done Spirit of NL!

A little earlier in the afternoon that day my favorite gift arrived. Someone arrived at the door with a cat!!! After my first one died Mom said we wouldn’t get another. I was so happy that she changed her mind! He’s an adorable black cat like our previous one. I wanted to name him Ozzy so he could be our little prince of darkness except a lot less… demented as Ozzy Osbourne and he won’t bite the head off a bat. Unfortunately my niece doesn’t like that name and we have to agree on one. She suggested Princeton and I like that name too but we aren’t certain quite yet. It’s a maybe. Until we do figure out a name for him he’ll be called by his birth name Winston.

How is your Christmas break going so far? Tell me in the comments! Merry Christmas and Happy Wholidays!

Leah

I’ll Be There For Christmas


Hey blog world! Christmas miracles do happen! I bought something I never thought I would be able to yesterday. Spirit of Newfoundland’s Christmas CD “I’ll Be There For Christmas”!!! I as you all know am a HUGE fan of Spirit of NL. I have their “Even Seagulls Dream” CD and absolutely love it. They have a Christmas CD out called “I’ll Be There For Christmas” and I really wanted a copy of it but could never find one! My parents don’t really trust online shopping so I couldn’t purchase it online and Spirit didn’t have any copies of it. I thought I’d never get one. Yesterday I did! I was downtown for a few hours and decided to stop into Fred’s to see if they carried it. They did!!! I was as giddy as a schoolgirl walking up to the counter with it in my hands! I had a big ear to ear grin on my face. When Mom picked me up I of course opened it up and put it on! It was absolutely beautiful! I thought I’d do a track by track review here on my blog.

#1 “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”: Peter Halley Peter Halley sings this. He has such a beautiful, velvety voice. He does a lovely job of singing this song. Another lovely thing about this is the saxophone solo near the end. The sax is such a cool instrument! It’s got a really neat sound. The saxophone part in this song is so pretty!

#2 “My Christmas Tree Is An Open Book”. This song was written by Doris Mason a friend of Peter and Shelley’s. Shelley Neville Shelley sings it I really like it. It’s a nice upbeat tune that makes me feel like swaying. The words are pretty too. It’s about how her Christmas tree tells a lot about her from all the special ornaments she has on it.

#3 “Night of Silence/Silent Night”: To start this piece Peter sings “Night of Silence” and in the background “Silent Night” plays. It’s beautiful! Even more so when Shelley joins in. It sounds so angelic!

#4 “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”: This is one of my favorite tracks on the CD. They give the song a jazzy feel. I like it. The conversation between Peter and Shelley mid song is cute. Peter is telling Shelley how his family all chipped in to get him a ticket home for Christmas and what all his plans will be.

#5 “Jingle Bells”: Hearing this you’d think that Peter and Shelley had one too many cups of coffee before recording LOL! It goes really fast! It’s so much fun!

#6 “City of David”: Shelley sings this song and it sounds so pretty! The music is very pretty as well. Sandy Morris on guitar and Doris Mason on flute. The flute solo is my favorite part of this song.

#7 “I’ll Be There Christmas Eve”: This is another one of my favorite songs on the CD. I love hearing Shelley and Peter sing this song! They do a phenominal job. It always sounds so pretty and magical!

#8 “Go Tell It On The Mountain”: Everyone does fantastic on this song. Peter, Shelley and the background singers too. What I really like about this is how it starts off at a nice moderate tempo but then later it picks up and gets faster!

#9 “Gramps’ Bells”: This song was written by Peter Halley. He’s a brilliant songwriter. I love his original songs. This one was no exception. It’s about how one year he got his Grandfather’s horse bells as a Christmas gift and how they bring back lots of memories and he can almost hear and see him when they ring. I like the jingle bells ringing throughout the song. Also his horse Max’s cameo appearance at the end is cute! His big, resounding neigh was a nice way to end the song.

#10 “Let It Snow Medley”: This is a medley of “Let It Snow”, “O Christmas Tree”, “White Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride”. “Let It Snow” and “O Christmas Tree” are jazzy and upbeat. I liked them. “White Christmas” was of course slowed down. It sounded so pretty! Shelley’s angelic voice shone through again here. Back to jazz for “Sleigh Ride”. These pieces worked really well in a medley with each other and the switch between jazz to a sweeter, slower piece was nice.

#11 “A Little Christmas Music (Medley A La Mozart)”: Peter starts this off as Santa Claus ho ho hoing the first few bars of a Mozart piece. It sounds so familliar to me but I can’t figure out which of his creations it was! Anyway Shelley does a beautiful job of singing “Deck The Halls”. She goes so high! Each time she goes into a high octave I’m astounded! I’m surprised glass doesn’t shatter when she sings that high! Peter and the background singers are funny. I can’t quite describe the sounds they make but they made me laugh!

#12 “What Are You Doing New Years Eve/Auld Lang Syne”: A nice New Years medley to end off the CD. Everything about this song is great. The piano and guitar sound amazing and so does the singing! After “What Are You Doing New Years Eve” party favors sound and everyone sings “Auld Lang Syne”. It’s wonderful!

This CD gets 5 out of 5 stars! It is a definate must buy! Buy it online at www.cdbaby.com or at Fred’s Records at 198 Duckworth Street in Downtown St John’s. If you already have this CD what’s your favorite song on it? Tell me in the comments!

O Holy Night


Hey blog world! Tonight I witnessed an absolutely glorious performance at the Arts and Culture Center. My incredible friend Shelley Neville Shelley did her anual Christmas concert “O Holy Night”. This was her 7th year of doing the show but my first time ever seeing it. I was in the front row! It was absolutely astounding!

To begin the show my equally incredible friends Peter Halley Peter Halley and Sheila Williams Sheila Williams were up in the balcony dressed as skeets LOL! Skeets are becoming recurring characters in Spirit of Newfoundland’s shows and I’ve seen many cast members play them (Erin Winsor, Keith Power, Dana Parsons, Michael Power and Jeff Simms). I’d never seen Peter or Sheila play skeets before. I thought they were really funny! I hope to see them reprise those roles in a Spirit show someday! Next Ian Carrol sang “Once In Royal David’s City”. It was very pretty. He’s only a young man but yet he has such a lovely voice.

When Shelley came out onstage I was floored! She is a total goddess! She always looks stunning. She had on a beautiful pink dress with sparkles. The Shallaway Children’s Chorus was out on stage with her as well. They sang a medley of songs about angels (“Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, “Arms of the Angels” etc) and it sounded angelic! They sounded perfect together!

Ian’s second performance in the show was with Nicolas Keough. Nicolas is a 13 year old local actor. He is absolutely astounding! I love hearing him sing. He and Ian were cats LOL! They sang an opera song called “Duetto Buffo Di Due Gatti” (“Humerous duet for two cats”.) It was adorable! Their meows were cute. I was amazed at the high notes they were reaching too! The funniest part was when Nicolas hissed at Ian!

Not only is Peter a fabulous actor but he’s a fabulous singer too. He did several numbers in the first act of the show. He and Sheila did “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues”. It was great! I thought it was sweet when he and Sheila danced together a little. They did a lovely job. Peter also did “I’ll Be There Christmas Eve” with Shelley. I love it when they sing that! It’s so beautiful! I was so thrilled that they sang it for us tonight. Another great number that Peter did was “Jingle Bells” with Sheila and Shelley. It wasn’t the regular “Jingle Bells”. No, no! It was like “Jingle Bells” on caffeine! Parts of it were really fast! It was a lot of fun! I admittedly like this version better than the original “Jingle Bells”.

There were two people in the show tonight that I’d never seen perform before. Corey Tetford and David Pomeroy. Corey sang “Amazing Grace” in the first act and I thought it was phenominal! All his performances tonight were! He sang the song with so much passion and it sounded astounding! I couldn’t resist putting my hand up in praise! I was blown away by David’s voice. He is an incredible opera singer. His performance of “Nessun Dorma” was fantastic! I thought it was hillarious when him and Shelley were going to sing a French opera piece together and then Sheila wanted to join in! She wasn’t as good at French but still wanted to be a part so all she sang was a word here and there LOL!

Before I knew it the first act was over! It was a half an hour but it felt like only two minutes! Time flies when you’re having fun! When the curtain rose again the Spirit of Newfoundland band was on stage! Paul “Boomer” Stamp on drums and Sandy Morris and Frank Fusari on guitars. They’re all great musicians and I love listening to them play.

One of my favorite parts of act two was finally putting a name to a face! I listen to the Cabin Party on VOCM religiously! The host of that radio show is Paul Raynes. I hear his voice on the radio every week but have never actually seen what he looked like! In the middle of the second act they played the “VOCM Christmas Song” as they brought out a desk and microphone. A man sat down at the desk and I had no idea who it was. When he introduced himself as Paul Raynes I couldn’t believe it! It was so cool getting to see one of my favorite radio personalities face to face for the first time! The sketch that he did was so funny! He asked people to call in and tell him their favorite Christmas tradition. One caller (voiced by Peter) wanted only to talk about the weather and how good of a morning we had today. Another one voiced by him said her favorite tradition was tranquilizers LOL! Sheila’s caller persona talked about over eating during the holidays. I was really happy that Shelley invited Paul to do the show and I finally got to see what he looks like!

I also loved Sheila and Shelley’s parody of “I Will Survive”. It was sung by a turkey LOL! They were talking about Christmas turkey and how Sheila’s father once tried to create one with three legs so that everyone could have a drum stick. It’s still running around the Goulds LOL! I’m not sure who came up with the parody (probably Boomer Stamp because he writes a lot of Spirit’s parodies but I’m not sure) but whoever it was they did a great job! I don’t think I’ll be singing the words right anymore LOL!

Corey had me floored once again with his performances in this act. Each time he sang tonight I couldn’t resist putting my hand up in praise! He did a lovely duet of “How Great Thou Art” with Shelley and it was awesome when he sang “Go Tell It On The Mountain”. I was dancing in my seat and snapping my fingers! I want Corey to come sing in my Church someday! That would be such an awesome service.

Musical talent must run in the Neville family. Her dad and brother performed and it was amazing! Her dad sang and played the accoustic guitar and her brother played electric guitar while Sheila, Shelley and Peter backed them up. They sang “Run Run Rudolph”, “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” and “All Shook Up”. I think Shelley said that John is in his 60’s now. He’s got a lot of energy for that age! I was really impressed by the fantastic job that he and her brother did.

Of course it wouldn’t be “O Holy Night” without Shelley singing the titular song. When she did it was mesmerizing! The perfect way to end the show I thought. When it was over I was sad that the show had come to an end. It was such a breath taking performance and I didn’t want it to be over! All good things must come to an end I suppose. When they took their bows I gave them the standing ovation that they all really deserved.

I went backstage after the show to see Sheila and Shelley. I had gifts for them! Both of which were home made. I worked really hard on them and I hope they will like them! They really appreciated the gesture. They thought it was nice of me to have given them something. I got hugs from them too! I loved that.

I had a fabulous night out tonight. Were you at the show tonight? Are you going tomorrow night? If you have seen it what did you think? Tell me in the comments! If you didn’t get the chance to see this show and still want to see Shelley perform she will be performing alongside Peter and Lloyd Ziel at the Johnson Geo Center on New Years Eve. Click here for more info. Also be sure to catch Spirit’s Christmas Special airing at 11:00 on Thursday night on NTV. Merry Christmas blog world!

Leah

Bucket List Post #8


Hey blog world! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these but there are some more items I’ve added to my bucket list so here they are!

#93 See a live performance of every Andrew Lloyd Webber show: Andrew Lloyd Webber is a musical genius! He’s my favorite musical composer. My favorite of his shows is “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. I would love to see a production of each of his shows live. One down (“Joseph” when I was in elementary school) and several more to go. In March I will be getting one step closer because I’m going to see TaDa Events’ production of “Jesus Christ Superstar”!

#94 Publish my books: I have written 4 children’s books (and my 5th is a work in progress). The Elaine Dobbin Center is using one of them, as is the special needs classroom in my school. I’m flattered by that but want my books to reach an even larger audience! I have no clue how but really want to figure out how to get my books published so many other children can read and learn from them.

#95  Visit the Andy Griffith museum: Located in Mount Airy, North Carolina there is a museum devoted to actor Andy Griffith. He’s one of my favorite actors. “The Andy Griffith Show” (and only the black and white episodes) is one of my favorite shows. I think it would be so cool to visit the museum and see all kinds of Andy related artifacts!

#96 Run a theater company for people with special needs. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for years! I hope that someday soon my vision will become a reality. I’ve got big plans for it already! I’m going to call it “Shining Star Productions” and our first show will be “Rent”.

#97 Learn a Barenaked Ladies song on guitar: That was my New Years Resolution. I have yet to complete it. Looks as if I’m not going to since the new year is only a few weeks away. It’s now a bucket list resolution LOL! That gives me a much longer completion time since I’m still quite young. Out of all of their songs the one I most want to learn is my favorite one “Pinch Me

#98 Fly first class: Whenever I fly I’m always in economy. I’d like to one day fly first class just to see what it’s like.

#99 See Stanley Braxton perform live: Stanley Braxton Stanley Braxton is a local improve comedy troupe. I’ve only ever seen them on YouTube. They’re really funny! I be they’re even more so offline! It would be amazing to see them live!

#100 Perform in a Spirit of Newfoundland show: I am a Spirit of Newfoundland groupie! I’ve been to 14 of their shows and have loved every minute of each one! Spirit of Newfoundland as I have said before is heaven on earth! It’s amazing to be there watching the shows but what I think would be even better would be to be in one! Performing with such incredible, kind hearted and talented people as Peter Halley Peter Halley, Shelley Neville Shelley, Darrin Martin Darrin and Sheila Williams Sheila Williams would be an absolute dream come true for me!

To view the rest of my bucket list posts click here. What are some things on your bucket list? Tell me in the comments!

 

Leah

Children of Chapters


Hey blog world! I’m an avid reader so I quite enjoy going to Chapters. It’s a bookstore on Kenmount Road. A few times recently when waiting for appointments Mom dropped me off there for a few hours to read. I sit in one of the wicker chairs by the window in the kids section and read (usually an American Girl book. I finished the Julie series and on my next lengthy stint in Chapters plan on starting Rebecca). In doing this I’ve encountered some colorful characters. I thought I’d blog about them.

I love little kids but don’t like when they throw tantrums. During my last stint in Chapters on Friday I had a hard time concentrating on my book because of tantrum throwing youngsters. 3 or 4 year old Steven didn’t want to share the Thomas the Tank Engine toys with another little boy and threw a massive fit and later in the day another little boy threw a tantrum because he didn’t want to put his shoes on so he could get a cookie at Starbucks! It’s weird the things that small kids throw tantrums over! By far the worst one I saw was during my first long stay in Chapters a few weeks ago when a little boy desperately wanted a stuffed frog. He kicked, screamed and refused to leave! He had a massive case of the gimmies. I’m thankful to his mother for not giving in. That would have just made the child worse.

On a happier note some of the children I’ve met in Chapters were sweethearts. During my first long stay as I was sitting and reading my book there were two little girls sat down on the floor in front of me playing with a little house that had several doors and locks. One of them looked up at me and asked me where my kids were! She was probably looking for another playmate. I giggled and said that I was just a kid myself. Albeit I’m 17 I still feel like a kid at heart. Her mom and I chatted a bit and she asked me what I was going to do after High school. I told her I wanted to be a special education teacher. I asked the little girl what she wanted to be when she grew up and she said a mermaid! Aww! I found that adorable! As she was leaving she turned to me, waved and said “Bye girl!” That little girl was an absolute cuteness overload! Later that day a little girl named Stella came in with her Dad. I thought it was sweet that they were spending some daddy, daughter time together in Chapters. Stella is in a wheelchair and has cancer. Poor thing. She was dressed all in purple, my favorite color! I complimented her on how pretty she looked and she smiled! I was happy that I made her smile. I had a hard time concentrating on my book while she was there. Her father was reading her stories out loud and I was concentrating more on their books than my own! He was fun to listen to. Especially when he read from “The Book With No Pictures” by B.J. Novak. Due to the lack of pictures the reader has to say funny words out loud. Stella didn’t seem too keen on the book (she gave it a thumbs down) but I thought it was really funny! It was also funny when in one of the books her dad read to her the main character played a trick on his sibling. She said she was going to do that to her sisters LOL! Stella is a perfect example that people with special needs are just like everyone else. We have a mischievous nature, fashion sense,  opinions and thoughts and a love of reading just like you.

I’m not sure when it will be but I’m looking forward to spending hours in Chapters again sometime soon. It’s fun meeting so many interesting people and of course reading books too.

Leah

Spirit Christmas Luncheon 2014


Hey blog world! This afternoon I saw Spirit of Newfoundland’s lovely Christmas luncheon. This was my 14th Spirit show. I went to the luncheon last year (for my review of that click here) and had such a wonderful time that I decided to see it again this year. My mom and poppy went with me. I love getting to go out and do things like this with my poppy.

When we arrived at Spirit I had some presents to give out so I went downstairs to the boardroom to give Kathie Hicks Kathie (the COO of Spirit) her gift. I bought her a scarf. When I saw it I thought of her. I was so happy that she liked it! She wore it all afternoon! That made me very happy. I wasn’t at all expecting to get anything in return but Kathie and I had quite the conversation after I gave her her present and when we got on the subject of skin care she said she would make me some of her home made skin cream and she would give me some chocolate too! That was very nice of her.

A little later I went into the bar to say hello to Shelley Neville Shelley, Peter Halley Peter Halley and some of the other performers in the show and to wish them luck. I loved getting to see them all before the show started and chat with them. Peter even reminded me of my starting note for “O Canada” which I’m singing at a hockey game tonight. I’d forgotten what it was so I was glad Peter refreshed my memory.

After chatting for a bit I went back into the main room and had my meal. The appetizer was a buffet. A salad bar and lots of other yummy things. I’m very impressed with chef Shawn Halley’s cooking. Everything I had was really good! I especially enjoyed the croissants which were very flaky and fresh and the pasta salad. Later when the main  course came around I got to try a new food! I like trying new things. I had cod au gratin. It’s cod covered in cheese. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either. I’m not a big fan of cod. I enjoyed the vegetables that came with it. The carrot and mashed potato were nice.

Soon after we ate the show began! I am a huge fan of Shelley and Peter. They have the voices of angels! I love to hear them sing. The band was great as well. Boomer Stamp on the drums, Frank Fusari on the bass and newcomer to Spirit Marco Fiore on the piano. I was a tad bit worried because I forgot my earplugs but thankfully Boomers drumming was tolerable without them. Peter and Shelley started with “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, one of my favorite Christmas carols. Rudolph holds a special spot in my heart. I’m about to tear up right now just typing about him! I can really relate to him. We were both made special and ridiculed because of our difference. I love the end of the song when Santa asks him to guide the sleigh and then all the reindeer love and accept him. Hopefully someday soon I’ll be accepted by my neurotypical (normal) peers.

After Rudolph Shelley said that they would be taking requests. Another one of my favorite Christmas songs is “Bless Us All” from “Muppet Christmas Carol”. I asked them to sing it and though Peter knew the song he said they wouldn’t be able to. They couldn’t do “The Mummers Song” either. Too bad. Although when they did “I’ll Be There Christmas Eve” by Ron Hynes Shelley asked if there were any Ron Hynes fans in the audience and when I put my hand up she said that this song would be for me. I was so happy that Shelley said that. Peter and Shelley sing the song beautifully. I was hoping to hear it tonight so I was glad I did. Even more glad that it was for me!

In the middle of the show Peter and Shelley told some Christmas jokes. I can’t remember many of them but one of them was what happens to Santa when he comes down the chimney? He gets claustrophobia! Boomers rimshots after each joke made me cover my ears! Other than that it was an enjoyable segment of the show.

Later when Shelley and Peter said they would take some more audience requests Peter tried to do “Cherry Tree Carol” but he didn’t make it through the entire song. He didn’t recognise the words and had a small bout of laughter. It made me laugh too! At least Peter tried his best. In this segment they were able to sing one of the songs I asked for. “Little Drummer Boy“. My favorite version of this song is the one done by Bing Crosby and David Bowie and my favorite part of their version is the Peace On Earth part. It’s beautiful! I was hoping they would sing it and Peter did! He sang it as Shelley sang “Little Drummer Boy”. It was magical!

One of my favorite parts was When Shelley and Peter sang songs by Kenny and Dolly. Shelley had a funny southern accent LOL! I don’t know the name of the first song they sang but the 2nd one they did was “I’ll Be Home With Bells On“. After singing it Shelley said that years ago when she went to the Happy Tree concert and Corey and Trina (a husband and wife duo that used to perform years ago) were there Trina would sing it like this “I’ll be home with nothing but my bells on”. Shelley asked us all to sing along with those words but I couldn’t! I tried but I burst out laughing!

Near the end of the show someone asked Shelley if her dad sang. Shelley said yes he did and asked him if he wanted to come up and sing a song. He did! He sang “Blue Christmas“. I was floored by how amazing he sounded! He sounded a lot like Elvis! Musical talent must run in the Neville family.

Another one of my favorite parts of the afternoon was the ending of the show. Shelley sang “O Holy Night”. It was absolutely breathtaking! I’m thrilled I’ll get to hear it again in a few weeks when I see “O Holy Night” at the Arts and Culture Center (tickets for the 2nd show on December 23rd are going fast! Be sure to get them soon! Click here for more info.

After the show I spoke with Shelley a bit more. I taught her something! I was pleased I got to do that. At my church’s youth group last night we were watching a video of a pastor giving a sermon about Christmas and in that sermon the pastor said that the very first radio broadcast was December 24th 1906 by Reginald Fessenden. The very first words ever spoken on radio was the Christmas story and the very first song played on the radio was “O Holy Night” which Reginald played on his violin. Shelley didn’t know that. I thought it was kind of cooI that I taught her something new. Maybe she’ll tell the audience that story in her show! After talking we got a picture together 021.

Then I spoke with Peter for a bit and we got a picture together too 022. The best part was that I got a hug!!! Peter gives great hugs and I missed them. We hadn’t hugged in a long time. After getting our picture I put my arms out and asked if for old times sake we could hug. He said yes! Getting that hug from Peter made my day.

I had a marvellous time at the luncheon today! I highly recommend going! It’ll put a big smile on your face and really get you into the Christmas Spirit! For more info on this and their nightly dinner theatre “Grinch Dressing & Gravy” (which is also phenomenal and I highly recommend you see) call them at 579-3023 or visit Spirit’s website http://www.spiritofnewfoundland.com.

Leah