Monday, November 25, 2013

Concerto Competition

Mary and I went down to BYU last week to hear Jesse play in the Concerto Competition!
 It's fun to go on an Road Trip!
Jesse sent a Snapchat en route:
 When we got there, this copy of the Conference Issue of the Ensign Magazine was sitting on her couch by her scriptures.  I took a picture of it because I love how she marks it up.
 Mary stayed the night with her, while I went and stayed at Gale's condo, which is only a few minutes from there.  In the morning, I went to Young Living and picked up 22 orders at the Will-Call in Lehi.  That was fun!  After that I went up to Sandy to the Training Academy at 3 Key Elements.  It was fun to connect with some of the people that I took Present Yourself! with.  After that I got to go to lunch with my friend Shauna.  We talked for almost 3 hours.  So fun to be with her!

Then it was back down to BYU for the Concerto Competition.  Mary spent the day with Jesse, going to classes with her and hanging out in the Bookstore while Jesse practiced.  The Concerto Competition is optional for Piano Performance majors.  Only four freshman competed, and Jesse was one of them.  Mary and I sat with her for a few minutes in the practice room before she went up to the Madsen Recital Hall for the Competition.  She took a few minutes to just go through it in her head before going up.  I had to have a picture of that intensity and concentration.
 She didn't win the competition, but she had a solid performance, and I was so proud of her!  After going out to dinner with Jesse, Mary, and Jane - Jesse's friend who won the competition, Mary and I left to drive home to Idaho.  The last hour was kind of sketchy, but we made it home safely, thanks to prayers and many nights of good rest before that.

Libby has continued with her passion for Symphony!  We held our second rehearsal on Saturday with Libby's friend Ragen playing on the flute, and me playing the piano.  I had to get some good shots of Libby conducting.  She's doing a great job at it!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Gratitude Month

It's so great to be in November when gratitude is a focus.  I love reading the "gratitude" posts on Facebook.  My friend and mentor Sharon Plaskett said, "Gratitude can move things that love cannot."

Mom and Dad came over to dinner last Sunday.  I served ham loaf with potatoes and a green salad, with pumpkin pie for dessert.  Dad picked up the violin and started to play some notes.  I love these pictures of him!  It is simply a delight to have my parents living so close.  They contribute in so many happy ways to our lives.

One night when I was working on the computer, Libby was playing with my hair, braiding it. 

 On Tuesday, I went to the middle school for a Veteran's Day Assembly.  Peter played his saxaphone in the band and then sang in the choir as well.  It was a great assembly.  Mr. Warwick, who served in the Marine reserves, spoke.  He was one of Jesse's very favorite middle school teachers.
Later in the afternoon, Peter, Libby and I worked in the Concessions stand at the Middle School.  The band runs the concessions during the basketball games for a fund raiser.  Peter kept popping out to see the girls basketball game, and then he'd return and work some more.  It took some getting used to, but by the end, Peter and Libby were both working like pros.

Mary was in Honor Choir this week! 
She had a blast, just as all of our other kids have had when doing this Honor Choir.  There are 10 or 11 local high schools that have choir students try out to be in the Honor Choir.  60 students from our High School made it!
Waiting for the bus after rehearsal
We went to the concert on Wednesday night, and it was great!  I loved it, as I always do. 

The next day, Mary came home from school and related that her Choir teacher, Mr. C___ was talking in class on Thursday, and he said that during the rehearsal for the concert, the choir clinician had four students sing "The Lord Bless You and Keep You", by John Rutter (one of the pieces they sang) as a quartet.   Mr. C___ said that the sound of it was piped in to another room where the teachers were all standing around talking, listening to the quartet in the background.  And then, he said, a soprano started to sing and it was so beautiful that every teacher just stopped talking to listen.  As he was telling this to the choir students the next day, Mr. C____ asked the choir, "Who was that soprano?"  Well - it was Mary!  He said, "That was you?"  There's this beautiful soprano line at the end of The Lord Bless You and Keep You, where the soprano sings a high A, and this is what the choir teachers were listening to.  That was a big confidence booster for Mary.  She has not been given a lot of credit for her voice - mostly she is recognized for dancing, so this was a really fun experience for her!

Dan and Claudia, some friends of ours who went on the Martin's Cove Trek with us this summer, invited a bunch of friends for an "80's Party", and we had it here at our house.

We had fun dressing up and remembering old movies and music!  I showed them my classic 80's dance move, and I got some good laughs off of that.  Ha ha  I can hear in my mind Joshua, Joseph and Jesse's exclamations over that one!  ha ha ha!

Last night I got to go to the Temple.  What a wonderful experience it is to go and sit in the House of the Lord and feel His presence near.  I am so grateful to have that blessing.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November News

Jesse sang in a concert at BYU this week with the Women's Chorus.  We got to listen to a live audio stream over the internet, and it was so beautiful!  The morning after, I was talking to Jesse and she was using the words from the songs as a way to describe her experiences, "I want to be laid low, where the Lord can find me, and bless me, and own me."  These are an interpretation of the words from one of the sangs they sang, I think it was called "Lay Me Low".  She practiced 8 1/2 hours on Friday.  She has been practicing 6 hours on a regular basis.  That is the first time she has practiced that many hours.  But she feels ready to play her Prokofiev Concerto with an accompanist at her Master Class on Monday!  I feel like driving down to Provo on Monday...

Joseph only wrote a few lines this past week in his email home.  He said they were going to have a marriage and a baptism this weekend.  I hope it went through.  This is a miracle!  Someone's life has changed forever.

Joshua is working so hard as "asistente al Presidente" (assistant to the President) in San Salvador.

Both of the boys said this week that they have come head to head with weaknesses, and they are working on overcoming them and becoming more effective missionaries.  They are already tremendous individuals, so these weaknesses must be at the very core of who they are.

I have found this in my life too.  I have found that I am on an upward spiral of learning, and I come around again to the same problems, only on a higher level every time.  I find this especially in my work with natural healing.

Peter and Bruce went duck hunting one morning with Lane Kofoed.  Peter had to go in the canoe to get the bird.
After that, he came home and dressed up like a "greaser" for the class in which they read The Outsiders.

I knew that leather jacket that I brought back from Bolivia would be of some use one day!

For mutual on Wednesday, we had Young Women in Excellence.  Mary showed off her cross-stitch that she finally finished!  It is an outline of the Twin Falls Temple, with the words "Stand as a Witness of God, at all times and in all places and in all things" written in the middle.  She has been working on it for 6 months, and this is the last step she needed to get her Young Woman Recognition Award!  This is a picture of her, not getting this award yet, but getting a ribbon for finishing up some other requirements.

Finishing up her Young Woman Recognition also meant that she was now eligible (according to our family standards), to get her Driver's License!  So guess who is now legal to drive on Idaho roadways?  It didn't take Mary long - she was bugging me every day to take her down to the DMV and get that taken care of!  She did great on the written test and the driving test.  :)  Good job Mary!  Now the only frustration is that she doesn't have her OWN car to drive.   Jesse has the van down at BYU, which she really needs.  Ah, the woes of teenage drivers! 

Peter also started playing on an Indoor Soccer team this week at one of the local universities.  
 Bruce and Laren are coaching.  It's fun to see them together on the side coaching.

Libby wrote a piano piece, and now she is adding in orchestration.  She has written parts for two flutes, a violin, and she wants the piano part as a duet on two different octaves.  She has written out the score, has held a rehearsal, and is writing up contracts for the participants.  I am lucky enough to be chosen to play one of the piano parts.  Bruce is the other, Peter is playing the violin, and Hannah and Elise, two of Libby's best friends, are playing the flute.  Ha ha ha!  Pretty cool, huh?  Like Grandma says, "Libby is always up to something".

Speaking of Grandma, she came over yesterday and we all went out to the grow boxes.  We weeded them and then planted a whole bunch of bulbs, so in the Spring it will be beautiful out there!  Isn't that thoughtful that she would do that?  The bulbs came from Aunt Angie - so thanks Aunt Angie!

We love to have our family breakfasts on Sunday mornings.  Bruce cooks bacon and hashbrowns while I sit in bed and write in my Journal or read scriptures, and then he calls for me and I come in and cook the scrambled eggs.  We then sit down to a family breakfast.  This morning we added in apple cider and a mandarin orange.  We even got three pieces of bacon this morning (that's a good day).  We only use half the table.  I have taken to sitting over by Mary, with Peter and Libby on the other side and Bruce on the end.  We do that partially because there is always papers and books at that end of the table, and partly because we just like to be closer.  :)

We are enjoying November!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fall, We bid you Adieu

This week we had a big wind storm, and the leaves started to fall.  It's a good thing we had the Cider Festival when we did, because now all the beautiful red leaves are on the ground!

In years past, the leaves falling to the ground has given me and unbelievably sad feeling.  This year, I didn't feel that.  I wondered why?  And the answer was pretty clear.  There is so much to be happy about!

Reason #1 to be happy this week:
This book of scripture, which is indeed "Another Testament of Jesus Christ", as the title proclaims it to be, I was able to give away this week to a client that has come twice to see me, Randy.  As we finished the treatment this week, I said, "Now I am not charging any more, because I want to talk to you about some of my religious feelings."  And began by explaining that we have a Father in Heaven that loves us, and that we lived with him before we came here.  I shared with him that our Heavenly Father prepared a plan for us to come to earth to gain experience and progress, a plan which included a Savior.  After sharing about the Savior's role and the Atonement, I handed him a Book of Mormon, and read to him from 1 Nephi 8, about Lehi being in a dark and dreary waste (which is a similar description to what he saw last week), and how Lehi found the tree and partook of the fruit that brought him joy.  I testified that the Book of Mormon contained the word of God, which would bring that joy.  When I was turning pages, the book fell open to Moroni 10:3-5, because I had placed a card there.  So I showed him those verses that I had marked.  I started to read them, and my voice caught, and I couldn't go on.  I was too emotional.  So after a few attempts he said, "Do you want me to read them?", and I said yes.  He read them through, twice.  "Wow", he said, "that is powerful."  Interestingly enough, another friend of his had given him a Book of Mormon only a few weeks ago.  He said, "He gave me this Book, and now here you are giving it to me.  I'm open."  I have been praying for him since then, that he will be honest and genuine in seeking to find answers, because if he does, he surely will find them.  I left with sharing with him what a wonderful, honest and gentle spirit he has.  "Do you really think so?" was his reply.  I assured him that I did.

What a great experience to share the gospel, the light of Christ, hope, and faith.  There is joy to be found, there is the tree and the fruit, amidst the dark and dreary waste!

Reason #2 to be happy this week:
At the end of October, I had 101 active distributors in my Young Living Downline!  Yeah!  This shows 108, because that's how many we've added in the last two days.  The reason this makes me happy is because I think of 108 people who have Young Living essential oils in their home, many of them using them on a daily basis and finding as great of benefit from them as we do.  This makes me fell good all over.  :)

Reason #3 to be happy this week:
Peter had a choir concert this week!
 He did great.  Mary and I both agreed that their 7th grade choir sounded better than any we've heard in a long time, if ever.  Peter's choir teacher said that sometimes he had to tell Peter to tone it down, because he has such a strong voice and can sing out.  This is not an easy thing to do when you're 13!  Way to go Peter!

Reason #4 to be happy this week:
Happiness comes from something as simple as having a prayer answered to find a part to a Halloween costume.  This may not sound like a big deal to someone else, but it is to me!  And Heavenly Father knows that, and helps me in countless ways.  So we had these two cute costumes going on this week.
 To be sure, this is not a costume for Peter - it's pretty much what he'd rather be wearing all the time.
 Grandma and Grandpa came over and got the pumpkin carving started.  Mary, Peter and Libby had fun with that.

 We went over to our Ward Trunk-or-Treat.  You can see Mary off to the side in her 80's costume (which she pulled out of my drawers).
 This is one way to light the Jack-o-Lanterns!  Most people just use a lighter or matches.  But when you have a torch, why not use it?
 Libby went trick-or-treating around our neighborhood with Hayden and Ragen, and afterwards they had a "candy swap" over at their house.
 Jesse went on a date with Brennan.  His uncle loves Halloween, so he has a big spook alley event every year, which they went to.  They are dressed as the music major nerds that they are!  ha ha

Bruce and I went on a date with our friends and neighbors, Randy and Lori.  They made a fabulous dinner for us and then we played Masterpiece.  It was a lot of fun.  We have been going on some double-dates with friends lately and look forward to it all week.

On Saturday afternoon, I rode up to a town about two hours north of here with my friends Karen and Krissi, and we did a Young Living introductory meeting.  There was a great turn-out and we had some excellent results. This is one of the reasons that I love doing the business so much - the fact that I get to meet new people all the time.  I thrive on that.  And also because I am constantly learning new things (and teaching them), and working with health at the same time - I just can't imagine anything else that would be more fun and fulfilling (besides being a wife and mother).

We had the missionaries over for dinner last night.  We ended up with the usual round of having them try NingXia Red and chia seed, and I gave each of them a Foot Zone.  We didn't give them kefir - we'll have to wait for another night on that.  ha ha

So that's why I am happy, even though we are settling down into winter once again - not my favorite time of year.  But I am actually looking forward to evenings around the fire, playing games and enjoying holidays.  Bring it on!