Saturday, May 30, 2015

Elder L. Tom Perry

Today Elder Perry, second in seniority in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, passed away from a sudden and vigorous case of cancer at the age of 92. It is our Stake Conference this weekend and Elder D. Todd Christofferson is here as our visiting authority. He excused himself during the Priesthood Leadership Meeting to take the phone call informing him of Elder Perry's death. I was sad when I heard the news a couple hours later. Elder Perry will be missed. He spoke at General Conference in April and appeared to be strong and healthy. I'm grateful that his decline was quick and he didn't have to suffer long.

Elder Perry and Elder Christofferson at General Conference, April 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Soren as Beethoven

Soren's Elementary School Chorus put on a mini-musical last week called "Compose Yourself." It was really cute. The great composers came to life and taught some school kids about their various styles and well-known pieces.

Soren was Beethoven and had a solo. Enjoy his sweet little voice (not to mention his crazy hair). He'd fit right in with the voices of the Vienna Choir Boys. :)

[Note: Because Beethoven was deaf, sometimes after he conducted an orchestra, someone would have to turn him around to see the audience clapping because he couldn't hear them.]

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Twenty Years

Jeff and I are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary today. Somewhere along the way I must have blinked because it sure went by fast! In my wildest dreams back in 1995, I don't think I ever came close to imagining all the blessings we enjoy today. It's been a great ride. With so much to look forward to, I can't wait to see what the next 20 years will bring!

My family, May 22, 2015. With Sam in Mesa for another year, it was nice of my brother, Rob, to stand in for him. :)

Happy Anniversary, Jeff. If I had to do it over, I'd pick you again and again.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Savannah's Senior Recital - Highlights

Savannah had her Senior Voice Recital on Friday night. It was Amazing!! This girl can sing, let me tell you! Because so many of our friends and family missed it, I'm posting a few of my favorites here. Honestly, it was hard to choose from the 15 songs that made up the program.

If you only have time for one, then my overall favorite would have to be Bring Him Home from Les Misérables. You might need a tissue.

Several other favorites are below. I know I'm her mom and, therefore, extremely biased, but really, it doesn't get much better than this! Enjoy. :)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The National Anthem

Savannah was invited to sing the Star Spangled Banner at the Illinois Girls' State Track Finals. I love hearing her sing the national anthem. She doesn't try to embellish it or do anything crazy. It's just straight up beautiful singing. This was one of many sporting events in which she has sung the national anthem and, while all of them were great, I think this was her best one! They had her singing from the skybox, then she went down on the field and was introduced to the crowd. A great experience!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Scène de Ballet

Sterling gave the most amazing violin performance at his recital last night! He played Scène de Ballet by Bériot. He has been working on this piece for a year and, boy howdy, all that practice paid off! It's a beautiful piece and he played it so well. Savannah accompanied him. They sure make a great team.

Pull up a chair (and if you're me, grab a tissue...) and enjoy!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Graduation Day

Today is the day! Savannah has been looking forward to graduation for a very long time. As excited as she's been, she sure bursts into tears a lot lately as the reality of it hits. School is a very social experience for Savannah and she's got some good friends that she's going to miss. BYU is far, far away from our little corner of the world.

Next week we'll be enjoying her Senior Recital and wishing just a little of that talent would rub off on us. It's sure going to be quiet around here next fall... 

Congratulations, Savannah! Now it's time to go set your little corner of the world on fire.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


I am happy to report that this guy, who was about the size of a quarter, is no longer living in my basement.

I hope he didn't have friends or family down there with him. We have convinced ourselves that he was a lone wanderer and is now much happier in the great outdoors. Whew!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Three of my Favorite "People" In One Fun Place

Humor me here as I refer to Kermit the Frog as a person...

I love this music video with Lindsay Sterling, Josh Groban, and Kermit the Frog with the rest of the Muppets. Isn't performing with the Muppets a pretty sure sign that you've made it? Or maybe it's performing with Josh Groban -- or Lindsay Sterling...? Whatever it is, I'd say these three hit the jackpot.

Plenty of fun!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bye Bye Birdie

I'm finally posting about the musical. It's hard to believe it ended over a week ago. We were able to see Bye Bye Birdie three times and oh, it was so, so good!! 

Savannah was Kim MacAfee. I mean she was Kim. She was perfect for the part and nailed the musical numbers. She was originally double-cast so she was supposed to perform as Kim in 2 of the 4 shows. But a few weeks before opening night, the other Kim dropped out so Savannah was the one and only. It was a little stressful for a while there, but it worked out so well in the end. 

Spencer, top right (purple shirt) and Savannah, front center.
Spencer was a teenage boy, a dishwasher at "Maude's," and the tenor in a quartet. The first night he was right on. In one of the quartet numbers, he had a brief high solo and he did so well. Then he got sick. He had a monster head and chest cold. He managed to get the notes out on the second performance, weak but on key. Then he woke up the next morning with literally no voice. Nothing. With the final two performances that day, he was super worried about it. But the show must go on so the pianist sang Spencer's part where it mattered while Spencer mouthed the words and no one knew the difference! Several people even complimented him on his voice. :) For the rest of the show, Spencer lip synced his songs and danced his heart out. It was awesome!

Spencer, the one with the rose and the 'stache. 

Soren played Randolph, Kim's little brother. He was adorable and did a great job! 

The other characters did every bit as well. A friend of Savannah's, Annie, played Mae Peterson, Albert's mother. Oh my, she was hilarious! Her musical number, "A Mother Doesn't Matter Anymore," was perfect. 

I wish you could have been here. Our school has a tradition of amazing musicals and this year was no exception. We all loved it!! Bravo!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015


We have a tiny nest snuggled into the rose bush right outside our window. The nest is only about three inches across. The good little mama bird is diligent in guarding her eggs. She wasn't right there when I took this picture, but she was chirping away letting me know that she saw me and I'd better not mess with her nest!

I hear you, mama bird. I don't want anyone messing with my nest, either.

{Happy Mother's Day!}

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lincoln's Funeral Train

Lincoln's original funeral train, 1865. Imagesource
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated 150 years ago last month. A Presidential train car was under construction at the time of his death (the equivalent of today's Air Force One) and was quickly altered to become his Funeral Train which transported his coffin from Washington, DC to Springfield, IL. 

The original funeral car was sold several times and ultimately destroyed by fire. In honor of this 150th anniversary of Lincoln's death, a replica train car has been created and is making several stops. Last week it came to my little corner of the world. It was parked at our local fairgrounds which also happens to be the location of one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. 

Sadie, Soren and Sterling all took field trips to tour the Funeral Train. Jeff's parents, in town for the kids' musical, went with us one evening as well. We live in Lincoln country and it's always fun to learn more of the history surrounding our 16th President. 

Lincoln's Funeral Train, replica 2015

Lincoln's Coffin

The metal plate on the coffin

This would have been Lincoln's bed on the Presidential Car if he had lived.

 Here is an interesting article with a lot more information about the Funeral Train, then and now: Lincoln's Funeral Train is Reborn.