Saturday, August 30, 2014

Rollin' along...

Been on a roller-coaster this week.

Started out by singing a duet in church with my friend Mat and his wife accompanying on harp.
'Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee.'
(As a vocal teacher I tell my students to not make excuses, but I just have to say I had a sore throat for a week previous and my singing was not up to par for me. Mat and Ashley are always stellar, so that made up the difference. I will say that the Lord sent extra blessings of the Spirit through the music and that is what it is about anyway.)

That evening Coryn's in-laws rolled into town and dinner at our home.
Entertaining is not my forte, but the meal seemed to please all.

On Tuesday I hosted our monthly Personal Progress activity for the Young Women in our ward.
We called it "P to the 4th: Personal Progress, Pajamas and Pizza." 
It was a pick-me-up to encourage the gals to keep plugging along with their goals.
By all accounts the evening was enjoyed by the majority. (See some happy faces above)
Our Young Women President (in the Dodgers shirt) gave her thumbs up!

 We've had a lot of clouds rolling in and out lately.
I have loved the rain.

On Thursday evening we rock and rolled with Kenny Loggins.
I have been a fan of his since high school and one of my first dates with my husband
was attending his concert at BYU over thirty years ago.
(We also brought along Coryn, Scott and Courtney who grew up on his music as well.)

 And let me tell you, that audience of 50 and 60-somethings were in rock and roll heaven.
Who says your mama don't dance and your daddy don't rock and roll?

Kenny Loggins did not disappoint.
This 66 year old was in amazing voice and sounded as strong as he had back in the day!
It was obvious he loved the crowd and was having a great time.

 He covered many of the favorites from 'House at Pooh Corner' to 'Celebrate me Home.'
And thrilled everyone with 3 encores including Utah Country connection classic 'Footloose.'
So great to be there singing along with the 'younger generation.'
Fun, Fun, Fun!

We helped the newlyweds move out of their apartment and into our home for a couple of nights.
The medical school interviews are rolling in,
and Coryn and Scott are rolling on to the East Coast.
They left early Friday morning for their journey across the country.
We hope North Carolina will roll out the welcome mat.

Saturday morning our family rolled out of bed and drove to pick up my mom,
the birthday girl, to attend the openhouse of the Ogden Temple.
Clouds were rolling in, but it did not rain.
Another beautiful House of the Lord will soon be dedicated.
So happy we were able to go.
And now another Sunday is upon us and the roller coaster can shut down for the day
 and I rejoice in a hopeful day of rest.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pomp and Circumstance

Our son-in-law Scott graduated with honors this week from 
Brigham Young University.
He earned his BS in just two and a half years.
He's a pretty smart guy.

 He gave an excellent commencement address 
representing his college.

His topic:
Finding happiness in the small, quiet moments.

Scott's dad drove in from North Carolina.
His father is an OB/GYN and Scott plans to 
become a medical doctor as well.

 So proud of this young man!
He is kind, patient, humble, bright, giving, funny,
and he loves and adores our daughter.
Who could want for more?

It was wonderful to meet BYU's new president
Kevin Worthen and his lovely wife.
The university is in very competent hands
with this humble man at the helm.

  Coryn was working graduation as line-marshal for
the Masters Degree candidates.
As she entered the Marriott Center,
Scott saw her and stepped out of line to give her a quick kiss.
Everyone in the arena saw this on the jumbotron. 

Now the young couple heads off to the other side of the country
as Scott begins his medical school interviews.
A new adventure.
We will truly miss having them around.

Monday, August 4, 2014

"I wish to go to the festival..."

 Our family had a 'serendipity' moment of sorts
and decided to head down to Cedar City
to attend a play at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.
We love this venue having attended many times over the years.
 One of our all-time favorite musicals
Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods was the draw.
We took our oldest daughter Court to the Broadway 
touring production when she was younger
and it made a deep impression on her.
stage photos from
 The show uses famous fairytale characters to impart
powerful and valuable lessons.
Sondheim is a genius composer and lyricist.
 "Do not put your faith in a cape and a hood.
They will not protect you the way that they should.
And take extra care with strangers,
Even flowers have their dangers,
And though scary is exciting,
Nice is different than good."
 Brian Vaughn and his wife Melinda Pfundstein
played the Baker and his wife.
They are 'staples' at the festival and we have enjoyed 
their performances over the years.
In last year's outstanding 'Les Miz' they portrayed
Javaire and Fantene respectively.
Brian is one of the artistic directors for the festival.
 "Running away, let's do it,
Free from the ties that bind,
No more despair
Or burdens to bear
Out there in the yonder."
 Cinderella and Rapunzel's princes were appropriately over-the-top!
Their 'Agony' number was a show-stopper.
 "Sometimes people leave you
Halfway through the wood.
Others may deceive you,
You decide what's good.
You decide alone,
But no one is alone."
 If you've never attended the festival, I highly recommend.
You don't have to be a Shakespeare lover.
There is something for everyone.
Though Shakespeare is their forte,
we have attended dramas, comedies and musicals 
which are offered along with classic Shakespeare.
And even these two felt it was worth singing about.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Children Will Listen

Courtney sent me this You Tube clip in my email today.
I had told her about the time when I was 20 years old
and went on a road trip to California with Nancy, one of my college friends.
We spent an evening in Las Vegas and attended a concert of Glen Campbell.
But the revelation of that evening was a young singer who opened the show.
Bernadette Peters.
She was incredible.
She came into the audience and sang directly to those of us
 who were lucky enough to have seats close to the stage.
After her set she actually came into the audience to shake hands and meet us.
I remember thinking how stunningly beautiful she was
 with her flawless porcelain skin and her tiny petite figure.
But that voice!
All these years later she is still one of my all-time favorite singers.
And THIS is one of my all-time favorite songs by the brilliant Stephen Sondheim.
From his musical 'Into the Woods' in which Bernadette created the role of The Witch.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nemo found

This past weekend we visited the
Loveless Living Aquarium 
in Draper, Utah.
It has recently relocated to a brand new beautiful facility.
We had visited the old temporary building years ago and enjoyed it.
Court and Coryn had missed our previous visit so we all decided to see the new digs.
It was well worth the cost and a lovely time was had by all.

 Nemo has friends.

 Stroking the Stingrays

 Who doesn't love penguins?

 Hi Dori!

 Strange-looking fish.

 Sea Turtle

 Loud Talking Parrot.

 Look at these friendly creatures.

Bridge across the Amazon.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wisdom Lost

Cammy is the last of our girls to have her wisdom teeth removed.
She has had a bit of a rough recovery this week,
but is improving each day.
The day after her surgery a florist truck drove up to our house
 and delivered this beautiful bouquet from her doctor and his staff.
Seriously, does your doctor send flowers?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lady in the Water

We always thought Caitlyn was a mermaid.
(Growing up she was always teased about being 'Ariel.')
I guess she had to move to California to prove it.
This is not trick photography or photoshopped.
Yes, that is a 'real' mermaid fin.
Caitlyn told me she had a fun 'girls night' out with friends this week.
One of the girls had worked on a film shoot where this was used.
Cait said she actually swam in it and it was quite hard to maneuver.
"Flippin' your fins you don't get too far..."

Monday, July 7, 2014

The National Anthem

These harmonies and the respectful way this is sung gives me chills.
The Star Spangled Banner should always be sung with reverence and joy
and with very little 'vocal gymnastics' or unnecessary embellishments.
I am always saddened when I hear singers take the anthem 
out of it's traditional context and style and make it about themselves
and not the piece.
These gentlemen do it right.
( I have always loved 'barbershop style' harmony.)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Of Family, the Fourth, Food, Festivities, and a Friendly Giant

I didn't take many photos this year of our 4th of July doings.
Suffice it to say we had a nice relaxing holiday
 in our home and out of the 100 degree heat.
We did take some time, however, to ponder and discuss
 how blessed we are to live in this great country.

 Enjoying every minute we can with this couple.
We actually had brunch on our back deck.
It was very pleasant in the morning with a slight breeze.
(We opted to pass on the big parade which we have attended at least 25 times.)

 Caitlyn had her own fun California 4th of July.
This was her delicious contribution to the 
B-B-que/swimming party she attended.
Our daughter has developed some pretty impressive 
domestic skills away from the nest.
She went with a a group of friends from her ward to watch the fireworks at the Rose Bowl.

 Court and Cammy put on their own firework show.
 The safest option in our firework restricted area.

On Saturday we attended a reunion
 with my husband's side of the family.
We hadn't seen Bill's younger brother and his wife for years
as he is a retired military veteran and they reside in Germany.
It was nice to reconnect.

Had to throw in a photo of Cammy and her birthday brownie cake.
(Cammy was actually due to be born on the 4th of July,
however it became necessary to deliver her on June 29th.
And we are so grateful she arrived safely.)

 A couple of weeks ago we attended a play at BYU.
"The Selfish Giant" based on the lovely children's book
by Oscar Wilde.
There were lots of children in attendance.
(This is our little friend Gabe meeting The Giant.
We happened to run into his family and I captured this moment.)

Did I mention there were a lot of children present?
Court took some puppetry classes while at BYU and was excited
to see the amazing puppets that the Reeds had created for this play.
In fact, her storytelling professor, Teresa Love Dayley, adapted and directed the play.

The production was beautifully done.
It was wonderful to see the teamwork of the puppeteers
so skillfully animate The Giant's movements.
The Giant's voice was acted by Professor David Morgan,
 a fellow actor from my undergrad days.
I loved watching him move in tandem with all the puppeteers
as he 'became' The Giant. 
During the play I forgot he was a puppet.
If you have not read the picture book,
I highly recommend. 
It is a touching allegory about Jesus.