Saturday, December 24, 2016

One More Sleep

We just finished up one of our favorite Christmas Eve traditions -- watching The Muppet Christmas Carol. It just wouldn't be Christmas without it! We have to wait until Christmas Eve to watch it because, after all, there's only one more sleep 'til Christmas!

My favorite song is Bless Us All, sung by Tiny Tim.
Bless us all who gather here,
The loving family I hold dear.
No place on earth compares with home
And every path will bring me back from where I roam.
Bless us all that as we live,
We always comfort and forgive.
We have so much that we can share
With those in need we see around us everywhere. ...

Sweet Dreams! Tomorrow is going to be great. :)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Beethoven's Sonata No. 4, Op. 23

There's a little bit of a backstory to Sterling's winter recital piece. He was invited to play with his friend, Sadie, in a Piano Accompaniment competition which took place on Sterling's birthday in November. Sadie was entering the contest and needed someone to accompany. They both worked hard with their respective teachers on their individual parts and had several rehearsals together. I missed the competition because I was in Utah that weekend, but they nailed it! Sadie won first place. :) (Sterling was also asked to play with another friend, Addie, who won second. Yay!)

Because they'd already prepared and polished the Beethoven for the competition, they played it for Sterling's winter recital last week as well. That is the video you see here - the recital performance. You can't tell in the video, but when Sterling turned the page during the performance, he accidentally turned two. There wasn't time to turn back so he played from memory until he had a moment to fix it. You'd never know he was panicked. He was the picture of calm from start to beautiful finish. Enjoy!

Friday, December 16, 2016

A Heritage of Faith

You may remember back in July when I wrote about my great great grandmother, Sarah Moulton. Well, I was happy to see the following video show up in my inbox this morning. It is Elder Ronald A. Rasband, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, sharing the story of Sarah Moulton who happens to be his great grandmother. (That means Elder Rasband and I are 2nd cousins once removed.) Elder Rasband asked, "What moved the pioneers on? What pushed them forward? It was a sure testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. I did not pull a handcart across the plains. But as the great-grandson of pioneers, what they felt, I feel. And what they knew, I know: that Jesus is the living Christ, the Son of God. I love Him. This is His Church.” 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Pasta Angels

I attended a writing group last night for the first time in several years. It was a blast! To start off, we were given twenty minutes to write on the prompt "Projects." We could interpret that however we wanted, from class projects to Christmas projects to the lack of projects, etc. Everyone was then invited to share what they wrote. Some were serious; most were funny. Here is what I wrote. It's a story worth remembering.

They were just the cutest little ornaments. The delicate angels looked like porcelain, but they were made almost entirely out of pasta. Bowtie pasta made the wings and dress, elbow macaroni formed the arms, and the little wooden bead head was covered in Acini de Pepe or what I call "frog-eye" pasta to look like curly hair. A few coats of white spray paint and a dash of translucent glitter was finished off with a little ribbon rose nestled in each angel's arms with a beaded halo on top.
I learned to make them at a church craft fair and decided I must make them for everyone I knew. How hard could it be? I started off just fine, but then the demands of the season started creeping in.
I was making them assembly-line style, one step at a time when I had a few minutes here and there. But then it came time to put the hair on my tray full of angels. For some reason this crippled me. It was the most tedious step and suddenly I felt overwhelmed. I put it off for days. One night I came home from a meeting and complained to my husband about all the demands on my time. I finished off with, "And I've still got to put hair on all of those angels!" At that, my husband of only six months said, "Come look at your hairless little angels." 
I walked over to the tray to find that my very masculine Jeff had laid aside his studies to spend the entire evening calmly and methodically spreading glue on my angels' little bald heads and then sticking them in the tiny pasta balls to cover every single angel head with hair.
That was 21 years ago, but I will never forget that selfless act of love.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Solo Snowflake

Our night-time temperatures one night last week were super cold, like 12ยบ. That was sufficient to chill everything so that when it barely snowed the next day, the few snowflakes that fell didn't melt on contact. I found this stunning snowflake on my deck rail and was able to zoom in enough to get this mostly-clear picture. Isn't it pretty? The picture is straight from my phone, unedited. I think it's pretty amazing! :)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Soft Bed for Jesus

For the past three weeks we've drawn names every Sunday. During the week we do nice things for our person. For each act of service, we get to put a straw in our popsicle-stick manger. We're trying to make a soft bed for the baby Jesus before Christmas.

Some of us are doing really well (some not so much, has my name). Some of us are excited to find opportunities to secretly do something without getting caught while others ask "Who has my name?" when they have a job to do, hoping their someone will volunteer. :) As you can see, it's far from perfect. But overall, it's a positive alternative to the gimme attitude that all-too-often prevails at this time of year.

And our little makeshift manger is filling right up!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Nephi and the Brass Plates by Sam

Sam went all out on his final project for his religion class at BYU. This Lego stop-motion film was quite the undertaking! Even if you're not familiar with The Book of Mormon, you'll love this clever rendition of one of the best known Book of Mormon stories - Nephi and the Brass Plates. If you want to read the story, it starts here in 1 Nephi chapter 3. (Click next at the end of the chapter to finish reading the story in chapter 4.)

You're going to love this!! :)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Pen Perfection

I will admit it, I am a pen snob. I have had favorites over the years, but I have never loved a pen as much as I love the Pilot G-2 with the 0.38 tip (ultra fine point). My handwriting is better when I use this pen. I love to doodle and practice various fonts and lettering techniques with this pen. I have placed them in strategic locations around the house, in my car, in my purse, so I can avoid using inferior instruments whenever possible. 

As I was shopping online this morning to replenish my supply, I came across a rather convincing review on Amazon. I was laughing through tears as I read the following to Jeff:
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was written with a G-2 pen. The only thing Thor’s hammer cannot crush? This pen! Harry Potter was only able to defeat He Who Shall Not Be Named because his wand contains a single Phoenix feather and also a G-2 Pen. When Navy Seals perform emergency tracheotomies in the heat of battle – they only use the shaft of the G-2. And no matter how intense the fight becomes – No G-2 is left behind! When Rambo writes love letters to his knife – what does he use? The G-2. Yo momma’s like a Pilot G-2. …Everybody wants to get their hands on her. Kevin Costner didn’t have gills in Waterworld. He was just snorkeling with a G-2 pen. Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to a G-2 pen! And with the G-2, no more chicken scratch – just beautiful calligraphy. Why won’t Donald Trump change his hair style? Because that is where he hides his golden G-2! Where have all the cowboys gone? They’re in Office Depot doodling on tiny paper scraps with sample G-2s. What is truly in Area 51? The Ark of the Covenant filled with G-2 pens. That's why you die if you touch the Ark. NOBODY steals God's G-2s! Captain Hook's favorite hand replacement? His G-2 attachment. How did Stevie Wonder go blind? He looked directly at the shimmering glory of the G-2 pen. How did Houdini pull off the impossible so many times? The answer was always a G-2. Little Known Fact: When Ghandi died he had only 10 possessions. 9 of them were Pilot G-2s and the 10th was a tracking number for ink refills from Amazon. Stephen Hawking can actually talk. He's just speechless after experiencing the unmatched brilliance of the G-2. What was the secret behind Mother Theresa's kindness, enlightenment, and peaceful tranquility? She owned a Pilot G-2. Why isn't Tony Stark content with his billions of dollars? Because he has not been able to invent the G3. The G-2 is virtual perfection!
Thank you, R. Fuqua, whoever you are. You made my day. :) 

And yes, my new box of G-2's should be here next week. Hooray!!

For the record, this is not a paid endorsement. I don't get paid to promote anything on this blog. I don't get money or brownie points if you click on a link or if you buy something. I just wanted to share something that made me laugh (the review) and something that makes me happy (the pen). That's all. :)