Saturday, March 26, 2016

Gem State Classic Ballroom Dance Competition

We had a great time this week at the Gem State Classic!  This is the Ballroom Dance Competition that Peter and Libby's team attends every year.  They practiced super hard and did wonderfully!  Their team took first place in both their numbers, a Lindy and a Waltz.
Here is the Lindy, focusing on Libby.

Here is the same dance, focusing on Peter.

Here is their Waltz, focusing on Libby.

The Waltz again, focusing on Peter.
They won 1st place on both these dances in their division!

Peter and Libby also danced in the Syllabus Competition today.  They made it to the Finals in the Waltz - and got 4th place!  And they made it to the Finals in the Saamba - and got 5th place!  They also made it past the first round in the Mambo and the Tango, and danced the East Coast Swing as well!  They worked hard to get to this point, and had great coaches too.  I'm so happy for them that they did that well!  Staying at the hotel with the team was a ton for them as well.

Bruce and I got to be there for a day and stayed with my Mom and Dad, which is always fun.  We came back today for the Dress Rehearsal of Handel's Messiah.  We have two performances tomorrow!  I'm so grateful for the experience it has been to be in this production.  This music is truly inspired and to sing it with outstanding performers is an incredible experience!  I'll publish more about that and Easter next week.

Joseph sang for an hour last night with Apollo, performing 10 numbers at a local venue.  Way to go Joseph!

Josh finished his first week working as an assistant at a local law office.  He cut back his hours at his assembly line job (which was hard because he loves listening to Audible books!) to fit in time at the law office.  He has been working 12 hour days!
 It's great experience for him, and he gets paid better.  I'm so glad he's getting this experience!

Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Peter and Libby practicing Syllabus for the Mambo!

We had Gérard over to dinner yesterday. Everyone else was sick.  We had a very pleasant meal and conversation.  
We told the story about Fannie Neat and her sister singing We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet, and the missionaries hearing them.  The missionaries had been praying to know how to find the Mirmon family that was in th area, and when the girls sang the hymn in the way home from school, the missionaries had their answer!  Fannie Neat us Bruce's great grandmother living in Woustershire, England. 

Peter and Becca had a Choir Concert was this week!

Becca sang a solo "Lass from the Low Country" with me accompanying her.  It was awesome!  And then I also accompanied her ensemble singing "Will the Really Be a Morning?"  I loved doing that, although it was super stressful for me and took hours and hours of practice.  But I loved the challenge and the experience.  Of course we were the last ones there!  :)

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Birthday, a Beauty and a Beast

Libby's 14th birthday was this week!
What a joy Libby is in our family!  The thing she is most excited about turning 14 is to be able to go to the Stake dances!  Wahoo!

 There was a beautiful sunrsie the morning of Libby's birthday!
Peter took this picture, and may or may not have sent it to a girl, saying that this sunrise reminded him of her.  What Peter did do was go and tell Bruce to tell the same thing to me, which Bruce did.  You should have seen Peter's face when Bruce said that to me.  He was grinning from ear to ear!

 Josh and Peter gave Libby a huge bear for her birthday!
 Josh and his friend Savanah showing off how big this bear really is!
 Natali, Ellie, Elizabeth, Libby, Megan (in the back), Macy, Ragen and Anna at Libby's Birthday Party.

Peter was in the High School's production of Beauty and the Beast!  He was a Featured Dancer, and this was his partner, Lyndsie.
Aubrey was the Enchantress at the beginning.
Becca was also a Featured Dancer.
Joseph came and stayed for a day to see her in the play.  Oh, and Peter too.  :)

 Cogsworth and Lumiere were perfect!
 Connor and I have been working together since the beginning of the school year.  It's been super fun to see his progress and be able to get to this point!  Love this kid!
 Annie, Jessie and Connor - all did wonderfully in their characters.

Libby also had Piano Festival this week!  She had a memory slip on her Chopin, but she learned from it, and other than that, played beautifully!

On Sunday we had the pleasant surprise to see Nexar Navarrete and his friend from the mission, Jose Carrasco, and also Jose's sister Liz Carrasco, who served here a year ago.  They came and talked with us and we ended up having our family testimony meeting with them.  Jerica joined us at the last too - she took the picture.
 Mary had quite a week!  She struggled being sick all week, and we did everything possible with natural remedies, until it was finally time to go see a doctor.  She ended up having strep throat and mononucleosis.  Oh boy!  Kevin, Kaylee (Mary's cousin and roommate) and Joseph all took good care of Mary, thank goodness.  Kevin was kind of enough to bring her flowers one morning!
I got this cute picture from Mia last week (picture on the left) with Jesse.  Jesse and her companion got to spend P-day up at their house which is up in the mountains on a ranch.  Fun!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Becca's Baptism!

We had the wonderful opportunity yesterday to attend Becca's baptism.  She looked forward to this day for years - literally - and it was truly a joyful occasion.
Becca has told me before that Mary was a wonderful missionary to her.  I love this picture of the two of them!

Becca with her parents, Sean and Lisa.
Peter was missing from this picture because Josh had already taken him over to his play practice.

Peter sang in an ensemble this week at the High School Solo & Ensemble Festival.  He sang "Love at Home" with Travis, McAllister boy, Ryan, Isaac, Ethan, Eric and Neal.  The got a Superior!
The judge at the end asked, "Which girl got you together?" And Peter and Travis pointed to Josh!  haha  The truth is that the idea was hatched when my friend Leah asked Josh to give her sons voice lessons, and it evolved into this a Capella group thanks to her arranging it.  The fact is that the judge hadn't very often if ever seen an ensemble of 8 freshman boys.  Way to go Middletones!  And way to go Josh for being a great mentor!

I also accompanied Becca at the same Festival singing a solo - Lass From the Low Country - and she sang beautifully!  And I accompanied for her Ensemble made up of David, Ethan, Gunnar, Kevin, Becca, Annie, Aubrey and Zoe.  They sang "Will There Really Be a Morning".  It was beautiful too!

I got to go out to lunch with Becca's Mom, Lisa, that day too, which was fun.  When we walked in the restaurant, Josh was sitting there eating lunch!

Peter has been working like crazy this week in preparation for the musical Beauty and the Beast.  The cast had rehearsal every night this week until 8 pm!  Crazy!  Peter said that the rehearsals were fine - he had food, friends and his drone.  What more could a boy want?  But the long schedule started to wear on people.  I had the opportunity to get several throat chakras moving and give some immune and endocrine support this week.!  :)

We had Devyn here this past weekend, as Josh was taking care of him while his parents, Larren and Caralee, went on a choir tour with Rebecca and Ashley.  Joseph came early Friday morning to help with that also.  So fun to have him home!

Friday afternoon, we got a very spontaneous visit from Craig & Jenette and their three kids!  So fun!  They were in 7th heaven with new territory to explore.  We loved having them here this weekend!  Mary and Kevin arrived right after they got here, so we had a full house on Friday night!

Today they reorganized our Stake Presidency, and the men that were called are wonderful.  I'm so grateful for the smooth transition of leadership that takes place in this Church.  It is a wonderful thing. Bruce, Josh, Joseph, Becca, Libby and I all sang in the Stake Choir.  After Church we gathered from some yummy tacos.  And some pictures, of course!  Mary and Kevin are not in these pictures because Mary was sick and they had been over at Kevin's house.

 Becca really tried to pull off that frowny face...
 But ended up just laughing instead!

I got to give Mary a Foot Zone before she left.  It was her first time to see the video that I put together, and she kept saying, "That's my foot!"  ha ha  Kevin was so attentive to Mary while she was sick.  I'm grateful for his kindness.

Bruce and I have had the marvelous experience of rehearsing for a performance of Handel's Messiah with a multi-stake/community choir on Easter Sunday.  It has been an inspiring experience and I have learned so much by being taught by a wonderful director.

In the evening, Josh brought over a friend and we played the card game "Set".  Libby is so good at this game!

I have two thoughts to end the night with.  The first is a poem that Joseph read to me in the kitchen this afternoon.  He cried as much as I did.  (He has his Grandfather's genes).

The Watered Lilies
(Author unknown)

The Master stood in his garden,
  Among the lilies fair,
Which His own right hand had planted, 
  And trained with tend'rest care.

He looked at their snowy blossoms,
  And marked with observant eye
That the flowers were sadly drooping,
  For their leaves were parched and dry.

"My lilies need to be watered,"
  the Heavenly master said;
"Wherein shall I draw it for them,
  And raise each drooping head?"

Close to the pathway,
  Empty, and frail, and small,
An earthen vessel was lying,
  Which seemed no use at all;

But the Master saw, and raised it
  From the dust in which it lay,
And smiled, as He gently whispered,
  "This shall do My work today:

"It is but an earthen vessel,
  But it lay so close to Me;
It is small, but it is empty--
  That is all it needs to be."

So to the fountain He took it,
  And filled it full to the brim;
How glad was the earthen vessel
  To be of some use to Him!

He poured fourth the living water
  Over His lilies fair,
Until the vessel was empty,
  And again He filled it there.

He watered the drooping lilies
  Until they revived again;
And the Master saw with pleasure
  That His labor had not been vain.

His own hand had drawn the water
  Which refreshed the thirsty flowers;
But He used the earthen vessel
  To convey the living showers.

And to itself it whispered,
  As He laid it aside once more,
"Still will I lie in His pathway,
  Just where I did before.

"Close would I keep to the Master,
  Empty would I remain,
And perhaps some day He may use me
  To water His flowers again."

And this is a quote - I don't know who wrote it but I feel these words have become MY WORDS.

Fellowship of the Unashamed

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed.  The dye has been cast.  I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.  I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still.  
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.  
I'm finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity.
I don't have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded.
I now live by faith, lean on his presence, walk with patience, arm uplifted by prayer, and labor with power.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven.
My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided, or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won't give up, shut up, or let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the cause of Christ.
I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me.
And, when He return for his own, He will have no problem recognizing me.
My banner will be clear.