Saturday, April 30, 2016

First Date

Spencer went on his first date tonight and it was a big one... Prom!

He asked his good friend, Adia. These two have known each other since they were five. Both are pretty laid back which made for a super fun, non-stressful evening.

It rained off and on all day long, but there was a perfectly timed window where the sun came out and they were able to take pictures outside.

What a good looking couple!

They went with Spencer's crazy group of friends, a.k.a. "Squad," who welcomed Adia in as if she was one of their own. 

Dinner was at one of the friends homes. His parents went all out with steak and shrimp and all sorts of delicious side dishes and desserts. Sterling and Soren got all dressed up to help serve the meal.

It sounds like everyone enjoyed the meal and the dance. In Spencer's words, his first date was a success! :)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Shrek: The Musical

It's that time of year again. Our high school will be putting on their spring musical next week! This year I was again in charge of getting the t-shirts. It was pretty easy this time around because I was given a logo pack to use so I didn't have to design anything other than adding the school name and dates.

Spencer is playing the part of Pinocchio, one of the fairytale creatures. They were given old suitcases for one of their props and told to take them home and make them fit their specific role. Here is what Spencer started with:

Because Pinocchio is made of wood (despite his insistence that he's a real boy), a wooden suitcase was the logical design. Here's what we came up with:

I helped him come up with the design and my friend generously donated wood grain contact paper she had left over from another project. Spencer did most of the work himself. He did a great job!

Sterling will be the violinist in the pit orchestra. That's something he's always wanted to do, but the score hasn't included a violin part for the past several shows. He's been practicing hard and is excited to be involved.

If you're anywhere near my little corner of the world, come on out for the musical! If past years are any indication, you won't be sorry. It's always top notch and loads of fun! Feel free to contact me for information.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lip Sync Battle

Saturday night was a Stake Youth Lip Sync Battle at church. (A Stake is just a group of wards or congregations in a specific geographical area.) They've never done anything like this before out here and my boys were excited!! They decided on a less-than-serious song by BYU Vocal Point (of course!) and worked out their moves. At stake was a "solid gold plastic trophy," and there was plenty of good competition for the prize.

My phone died before the boys ever set foot on stage, but fortunately Jeff's parents were in town from Idaho and Carol filmed it with her phone. Jeff made a cameo appearance which was a hit. (Jeff is the Stake President and loves working with the youth!)

At the end of the evening, the youth chose their champions. "The Stowell Boys" won the trophy. It was a fun event! :)

The Stowell Boys - Winners of the first annual Lip Sync Battle (with their friend, Anna)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Looper

Sterling was saving his money for a Looper Pedal. They aren't cheap so he was constantly asking, "What can I do?" to earn some extra cash. He was happily doing things that are typically my responsibility or jobs that don't get done on a regular basis. The money was coming in steadily, but not fast enough.

Then I realized that a Looper Pedal alone wouldn't do him much good. He'd need a microphone going in and a speaker coming out. Plus, the Looper he'd picked out was really set up for the guitar and a vocal one cost a little more. The price was climbing. I hesitated to tell Sterling because I didn't want to deflate his hopes. Then I had an idea.

For years I've thought about getting some sound equipment for these musical kids of ours, but each time I look into it, I get so overwhelmed by the options and the prices and not knowing where to start. I eventually abandon the idea. Knowing all of our kids would enjoy the equipment, I decided to look into it once more and see just what it would take to get Sterling set up.

I purchased a microphone, PA speaker, and a Looper as well as the cords needed to hook everything up. I asked Sterling if he was willing to give me the money he'd earned so far and we'd take care of the rest.* He jumped at the offer. We gave the equipment to the kids on Easter and, no joke, within 10 minutes of getting everything out of the boxes, Sterling was making some cool music.

It's pretty slick. He records one track and then pushes the loop button with his foot and it plays it again so he can record another track right along with it. Then he can add another voice and another and he just goes right on singing with his own self.

I asked Sterling to give me a quick demo of his Looper Pedal so here you go. (The Looper is on the floor.) This is real time just as you see it. Fun stuff!!

*Jeff and I always try to make our Easter gifts meaningful to the holiday. We gave the microphone and speaker to all the kids after we had them look up scripture verses about crying out with the "sound of a trump" (microphone) and "hearing" the word of the Lord (speaker). Here's how I tied Sterling's Looper Pedal in --  We have a children's book called "You Are Priceless," by Stephen E. Robinson. The book retells 'the parable of the bicycle' that's found in his book (a favorite of mine), "Believing Christ." The parable of the bicycle tells the story of a little girl saving for a bike. She saves and saves, but comes to the realization that she'll never have enough. Then her dad says, "Give me all you've got and a hug and a kiss and the bike is yours." Then the book goes on to compare this to what Christ did for us. No matter what we do, we'll always be short of perfection. We simply cannot gain exaltation without the saving power of Christ's Atonement. Christ asks for our best ("Give me all you've got,") and our love ("and a hug and a kiss") and He'll make up the difference where we fall short. We read the story to our kids and then asked Sterling if he was willing to give us all he'd saved so far (and a hug and a kiss) for a Looper Pedal. He was. He didn't know then that I'd already purchased the pedal. I wish I had a picture of his face when he realized he wouldn't have to wait. :)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

BYU Vocal Point: Ultimate A Cappella Mashup

I was just wondering the other day when Vocal Point would come out with a new song. We haven't tired of listening to their other stuff, but we're always up for one of their new adventures.

This one doesn't disappoint. Filmed in one take (and one shot!), it's pretty cool visually, but the music... The music is goooooooood!

This is what you get when 25 years of BYU Vocal Point alumni come together. You're going to love it!

(I can't wait to see Sterling's face when he hears this!)

Friday, April 1, 2016


I survived my first teenager! Hard to believe, but Sam is twenty today.

I looked through a bunch of pictures and picked out a few oldies to share. (I would have picked more, but my computer is acting up and is   s--o--o--o--o    s--l--o--w.  I gave up and decided these will do.)

I love this boy! 

Sam and his cousin, Jake -- Our two missionaries from the Martin side of the family. (Jake is in Puerto Rico.)

Oh, how I love this picture of all my boys! This is from my little sister's wedding several years ago.

Isn't this the greatest photo? Grandpa Stowell is having as much fun as the kids. :)

The whole motley crew. I think this is a first day of school photo. Maybe 2008-ish...?

Here is a recent one. This cute family took Sam and his companion out to dinner just two days ago and sent me this photo. What a good looking guy!

A few things I love about Sam: He's kind and considerate, and always striving to become better. He is a good friend. He is changing lives as a missionary. {People have called and e-mailed to tell me what a difference Sam has made in their lives!} Sam is smart and creative. He is super funny and has a great sense of humor. He's crazy and loves to have a good time and help others get involved. Sam doesn't care what other people think about him. He is a great example and role model for his brothers. They really miss him and look up to him so much!

Happy Birthday, Sam!! Less than 4 months until we can hug you again. Five weeks until we can talk to you (skype). :) I can't wait to see what the next 20 years hold for you. Plenty of exciting opportunities and adventures just ahead.

I hope twenty is your best year so far!! :)