Thursday, April 30, 2009

Be Still, My Soul

I had a special experience this last Sunday that I thought I might share. During the last few months I have been filling in leading the music in church for a friend whose husband has been very ill. We needed a rest hymn so I randomly chose “Be Still, My Soul.” It's a beautiful song, but I had a little bit of a difficult time because I had never led a song where the phrasing started on the 2nd beat as it does in "Be Still, My Soul." In fact, I found it disconcerting and made sure I was careful in my count so I wouldn’t get off. I discovered as I sang with the congregation what a comfort the Lord gives and how it’s not always where we expect or in the time frame we want... sometimes we just have to wait for that second beat :). But he’s always there. It was a unique way for me to learn the lesson of hope and faith that I hope will stay with me.

So for all my my faithful family and friends that read my blog, I hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

love story (taylor swift) meets viva la vida (coldplay)

I love listening to music by Jon Schmidt. Check this one out from youtube. BTW, the best part starts about 3:20. You have to listen to at least then :).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Seven Deadly Sins

I was writing an email to my cousin telling her about my week and I made a comment about how lazy that I've been. I assured her that was only one of the Seven Deadly Sins, so I was still okay. Or was I? It got me thinking what were The Seven Deadly Sins? And here's what I discovered with a few... ummm... examples. :)

(or an expression of excessive desires)--
Have I mentioned how much I love DVR? I should write an ode to DVR: Oh! DVR, how I love thee; let me count the ways. Hmmm. I'm pretty sure my mom would have something to say about me writing love notes to TV and my sadly lacking dating life. :)

(or an over-indulgence for food)--

I did eat out nearly every day this last week, but I don't think it counts as gluttony if I'm counting calories.

(or desire for money)--
I'm safe here since I won't pay more than $4.50 for a movie ticket. Pretty miserly, but definitely not greed. Only $4.50! Don't you wish you were in Burley?!

(or laziness)--
Being home alone this week prompted me to try a nice hot, relaxing, bubble bath with an interesting book to read and avoid dwelling on all the things I SHOULD be doing. Kind of lazy but slothful? I don't think so!

(or anger and rage)--

The closest I came was when I woke on Wednesday to discover my car under 3" of snow and the only 1 day-old daffodil blooms covered with snow. Grumble! Murmur! Grrr!

(or desire of something belonging to someone else)--
Check out this great picture of my cousin Karyn, her new husband, and their "Idaho Family"... minus me. sigh.

(or vanity)--
Okay. This one I admit I'm pretty excited about... check out how I did this week! 2 pounds! Yahoo!

I had a great week (APPARENTLY!) and still managed to only hit a few of the 7 Deadly Sins. Nice! How'd you do? :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Self-Portrait Tuesdays (SPT)

The theme for this week's Self-Portrait Tuesday (SPT) that happens to be on Thursday (hey, it still works) is about sharing gifts with friends. I had to laugh as I looked through some recent photos. I love spending time with my cousins! We love to play card games and board games and party games. And when we do, we laugh and laugh and laugh. What a wonderful gift laughter is. Here is a picture with some of my Brown cousins on their last visit to Burley...

Monday, April 13, 2009


Happy Easter!!

This weekend for Easter I went to Payson to visit my Brown cousins. They're loud and fun and they tell GREAT stories, so I was really looking forward to it and I felt like I was up for anything. I thought I could share some of the highlights. First, here's a little cheat sheet on who's who:

Aunt Mary and Uncle Earl-- pretty self-explanatory :)
Scott & Jill (kids are David, Malynn, and Noah)
Alisha & Chip (kids are Maile, Livie, Tyson, and Haley)
Tamara & LaMar
Wendy & Shane
Katie & Jared

On Friday night Alisha and Tamara found this fun recipe for rice crispy treats except that instead of spreading them into a pan to cool, you shape them into egg. Then you dip half into melted milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips. They used M&Ms to separate the plain side and the chocolate side. You can decorate them with sprinkles or icing just like real eggs and they're remarkable sweeter than Easter eggs :).

Saturday was Malynn's baptism. It was rainy and overcast and I feeling irritated to get rain instead of sun, but it worked out GREAT in the end. For the baptism, all the families gather in the baptismal font room. As you can tell, we took up a lot of room, but the whole family is very supportive, so they were all there. Just in case you're wondering, that's 20 counting me! Someone gave a little talk on baptism and then the ward had all the little kids (it's Utah, so there were plenty) who wanted to could come up and sing a primary song.

I like to look for rainbows when ever there is rain
And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again.
I want my life to be as clean as Earth right after rain
I want to be the best I can, and live with God again.

I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away,
and I can be forgiven and improve myself each day.
I want my life to be as clean as Earth right after rain
I want to be the best I can, and live with God again.

How perfect is that!? I'm so glad that it rained today!

I had a lot of fun with the little kids this weekend. Alisha's little girl, Haley, is petite and has this sweet chipmunk voice. While everyone was cooking and decorating rice crispy treats, I tried to keep her busy. We were reading a book called, Fangs. The book has three sections: Reptiles, Mammals and Insects and yes! it is as creepy as it sounds. :) She liked to repeat the names, so we went through the mammal section several times since I didn't think it would give me nightmares: Bear, Panda, Tiger, Leopard, Fox, Kitty :). But my favorite was Coyote. It turned out to be a little sing-song-y. Ki-yot-eeee. It was adorable!

Another great experience was hanging out at Scott and Jill's. We were just eating lunch after the baptism and Noah looks me. "Hi! I'm Noah!" How many kids do you know that introduce themselves?! Noah and I had some fun playing with foam swords that the Easter Bunny left. We'd fight for a few seconds and then he'd fall to the ground dead even though I hadn't touched him. Then he'd count to three and jump up and spar again. What a funny kid!

All in all a great weekend. Oh, I heard at church yesterday that the Church put together a four minute video for Easter and it's wonderful! Here's the link in case the video doesn't work here. Nothing like taking some time to remember the reason for the season!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Self-Portrait Tuesdays (SPT)

My fellow blogger of whom I get my SPT ideas has been thinking of gifts this month. She says, "wouldn't it be great if we spent this month giving gifts! And before you lovingly remind me of the economic recession, let me add that no money is to be spent on these gifts! let's focus on the gift of service, the gift of a smile, the gift of a repurposed or gently used item, the gift of a kind word. you know, those gifts that would be hard to wrap in a box with a pretty bow."

This week is about sharing a gift with a family member. I've been racking my brain thinking on how to share PICTURES of these often quiet and surprisingly fleeting moments. Then I went to the birthday dinner for the Relief Society and I was especially moved as we sang, "As Sisters in Zion."

The errand of angels is given to women,
And this is a gift that, as sisters, we claim:
To do whatsoever is gentle and human,
To cheer and to bless in humanity’s name.

I've tried to develop sisterhoood relationships with these women and I couldn't help thinking of all the love and friendship that I have received from these dear sisters. Thank you for those simple phone calls to check in, the thoughtful visits when I've been ill, the uplifting encouragement, and the stalwart friendships!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

General Conference Traditions

At my house we get visited by the Conference Fairy and she leaves healthy snacks and activities to do to help you listen to eight hours of Conference. (most people listen to the two sessions on sunday, but the die-hards :) watch the sessions on saturday too). It was great and we had some fun.

There's just something extra special about General Conference morning hair. :)

Another tradition I love is Orange Rolls on Sunday morning that Chris bakes. We all gather in the family room and dish them out there. Dad likes to watch Conference from his Lazy Boy in his office because he has a SWEET set up there with headphones so he can hear, but he comes down and visits with us half way through during the rest hymn to go over the talks with us.

I also love to color. I know it's little kid-ish, but it helps me to be able to listen if I have something to keep my hands busy.

Most of all I loved hearing from the Prophet.

I still miss President Hinckley, but President Monson is a great Prophet and leader and he still tells such wonderful stories. Athough, his talk this time made me cry a little because he shared a couple of sad stories. I think he was trying to remind us that even though times are hard right now we still need to find ways to serve others because if you look around you could be much worse off. Here's the link and President Monson's talk was on the Sunday Morning session; he was the last speaker.