Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Brace Face

Let the Monthly payments begin!

Busy Weekend!

Thanksgiving is always a busy time of year. This year it was even a bit more busy because my nephew was getting ready to leave on his Mission. He threw a whole lot into one weekend.

So I was assigned dessert for the big Thanksgiving event. I made 6 pies:  2 pumpkin, 2 berry, and 2 chocolate. I also attempted a pumpkin roll with cream cheese icing. All turned out well and tasted yummy! I think the chocolate pie was the favorite of the evening.
Here is only a sampling of my desserts. The chocolate one and the pumpkin roll were in the fridge!

 My kids had a great time hanging out with cousins. My sister and her family came up from So. California so everyone was there except the Sister who lives out in North Carolina.  We did get to Facetime with her and her adorable daughters that day though.fd

 There was plenty of food and lots of dishes to wash afterward.
 We had a great meal and enjoyed each others company and even squeezed in a game of Settlers of Catan.
 The next day some of us headed up to Sacramento to attend the temple. The nephew who is leaving on his mission in a few days was able to go for the first time.
 I don't often get to go to the temple with my mom and this was the first time I had actually attended the Sacramento Temple. We usually head to Oakland.  Sacramento is a whole lot smaller but felt very personal and it was a wonderful experience.

 My kids made sure our Christmas tree went up! The cat was excited to see a new place to climb and play.
 On Saturday we missed the Nephews Court of Honor. There were just too many events and we had other things to attend to that day so missed that one even of the weekend. On Sunday we got together yet again since the Nephew was going to be speaking in church. He enters the MTC Wednesday so this was our last chance to see him.
 Sophie was very excited to see some of the girls she attends school with. When you only see each other virtually via online classes. It is fun to get to see one another in real life once in awhile.
 We snapped a quick picture of the family in the lobby at church. We hardly ever get a picture of our whole bunch so don't be surprised if this one is made into Christmas cards to send out!
 It was hard to say goodbye to friends.

Friday, November 13, 2015

3 Callings

In July our Ward split. I had been serving as the primary president. This was a very time consuming and busy calling so I was happy to be released and then not immediately called right back into that calling in the new ward. However, I now have three callings.  I have almost always served in Primary. I have been Nursery leader, Sunbeam Teacher and in the presidency for years and years. Almost my entire married life that is where I served.  I was asked to lead the music in Sacrament Meeting and also to play the piano for Relief Society. I have never been given musical callings. I am really not all that musical so these were somewhat of a surprise to me. But with the split of the ward almost all the piano players were seemed to stay in the old ward.  I had played piano at a Baptism a few months before the split because they were desperate for someone in a pinch and I was there as the representative of the primary. I had never played for anything before and certainly not to accompany anyone and here I was suddenly forced to play on someone's special day. It wasn't a stellar performance and I had to fudge my way through a bit because my nerves got the better of me.

My music training is a bit limited! I have been teaching myself to play the piano the last few years.  I took piano lessons lessons for about a year or so when I was about 8 or 9 but never really got very good at it. I played flute in band starting in 4th grade and switched to Euphonium in High School. I credit 4 years of high school band to helping me get into BYU. I remember writing my application essay about band. I didn't play in college. I started to play flute in the community band a few years ago and enjoyed that but really felt like I needed to learn to play piano. So I pulled out my piano lesson books and the Primary songbook and started there. I could read music so that wasn't the hard part. I just had to train my brain to read both the bass and treble clefs at the same time and get my hands to respond. It was slow progress!  I started my kids in piano lessons and it certainly helped that I could play at least a little bit better than they could, that way I could help them.  Still playing primary songs was really difficult for me. I picked one and worked on that one. Slowly getting more accurate. I tried to play for my kids to sing along and it would all fall apart. Having people sing along really threw me off.  But over the years I had taught myself to play a few of the Primary songs. I usually tried to learn the ones that were being sung for the primary program that year.  That is about where I was when I was suddenly faced with playing piano at that Baptism. I could play I am a Child of God, If the Savior Stood beside me, and a few others. So I did alright with prelude music and fumbled through the opening song. Thank goodness there wasn't any musical number planned!

When faced with a calling to play piano, even if it is only for Relief Society, it was a bit daunting to me. I could only play a handful of primary songs. The Hymn book scared me! But I have always been taught to say yes to a calling so I tentatively said yes.  I knew playing for RS would be a great training ground and that I could stumble my way through and the ladies wouldn't be too particular. So for the past few months I have been learning Hymns. Every week I prepare two songs to play. Sometimes I throw in a primary song but I have tried really hard to practice Hymns. I am amazed at my progress. I can actually play Hymns that only a few months before would have been scary to me. My kids get tired of me playing the same Hymns over and over again for a week but I do enjoy practicing.

My calling to lead music in Sacrament Meeting isn't too strenuous.  I arrive to church a little early, grab a program and change the Hymn numbers posted on the board at the front of the chapel and then quickly look at the Hymns that were chosen for the day. In our ward the Hymns for Sacrament meeting are chosen by a Music chair person. Even the organist doesn't get a whole lot of notice. This usually isn't a big deal. I only have to wave my arm but there have been a few times I was bemused by the time signature. Who really knows how to lead a song in 9/8 especially when the rest of the song was in 3/4 and it switched in the middle. I have been told my facial expressions are fun to watch as I lead because they can always tell what I am thinking. I guess I am not to good at faking it. Thank goodness most people don't even watch the conductor and the organist is nice enough to just ignore me when I don't have a clue. How does one conduct when the song starts with a fanfare? I should know such things but I don't. It is all a learning experience for me.

My third calling isn't music, I am a Cub Scout Bear leader. I get to have 9 year old boys over to my house once a week. Ian and Henry have already moved on from Bears. Ian is already an official Boy Scout and Henry is a Webelos scout. However, having had two boys go through cub scouts and having already seen scouts from the Primary President's perspective, it really isn't too difficult. The new Cub Scout program is a bit different but still fun.

So I am kept busy learning Hymns and planning scout meetings. Even with these three callings I still feel like I am getting a break after being Primary President for over a year. Far less meetings and way less daily headache. Besides I get to attend Sunday School and Relief Society every Sunday.

Monday, November 2, 2015


Friday Night was the adult dress up party. 
 Sorry turned out rather dark.
 Here are the kids ready to head out to trick or treat. Sophie wore her beautiful purple Merida dress that Grandma made for her. Sophie was a little leary of going out trick or treating but evidently there were kids of all ages and even adults out in the neighborhood knocking on doors. Halloween isn't just for little kids anymore!
 Henry the crayon.

 Ian wore his dad's El Nino costume. Looked really great in the dark. He got lots of comments on how creative it was.
 Molly was very excited to be Madeline Hatter from Ever After High. I made the wig and hat to go along with the dress she found and just had to have!
It was a successful candy haul and everyone had a good time.


Sophie has never been a really competitive girl. Basketball last spring was the only real sports she has ever played.  Since she is in High School this year and they require P.E. We tried to find a physical activity that she could participate in this fall. She does go on bike rides with us quite a bit and jumps on the trampoline but I thought Yoga would be a good fit for her.

I bought her a new DVD with a lady instructor that does a really good job explaining the different poses and isn't one of those instructors that can fold into a pretzel. She seemed very normal. Sophie seems to enjoy the stretches.

 I am happy that she has found something she likes to do that also fulfills the requirement for P.E.

Ian's School work

Ian is taking a full load of classes from Williamsburg Academy. His Humanities class is studying South America so he had been learning all about Mayan, Aztecs and Incas. 

 He built a Mayan temple out of legos for one assignment.
Tested the properties of rubber for another.

 His STEM class is learning about the human body.  He had to build a skeleton out of paper mache.

These "bones" have been on our porch with a pumpkin for a head for most of the month acting as our Halloween decorations. 
 He made a heart out of play dough.
 And had to get some cardio exercise.

 This boy is really enjoying his studies this year and works really hard on his assignments each day. I thought it would be a hard transition to online classes for him. Sophie had trouble her first semester but I guess having an older sibling who already takes classes made it simple for this kid!

BYU Barbie

A friend of ours gave Molly an old Barbie she had stored away. It was still in the box but from 10+ years ago. Molly was thrilled to receive such a fun "out of the blue" gift.

 We love that her feet aren't bent for high heels. She wears athletic shoes and has flat feet.

 Molly has a number of Barbie like dolls that are Disney Princesses but this is the first official Barbie.