Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy 2011!!

Photo by Roie Galitz from DeviantArt

"Make Each Day a Masterpiece."
~John Wooden

Monday, December 27, 2010

Oh, Those Frenchmen!

Soeur Cope with her companion and flatmate Soeurs and some French Firefighters at the ice rink.

Coryn has enjoyed a wonderful week in the City of Lights! Her first area assignment is right in the heart of Paris! She expressed extreme excitement over this fact. I will post her words and some photos on her blog by tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Who Are These People??

Do any of these faces look familiar to you?

I love to receive the traditional Christmas Cards. I enjoy the family photos and the newsy letters. I fear, though that they are becoming a lost tradition with the advent of FACEBOOK and other social networks.

Regarding these family photo Christmas Cards, our family has had a funny thing happen. We have received at least one card each year over the past several years from a family we don't recognize. In fact, we don't know who they are. It is a different family every year. It is the most baffling thing. Not only don't we recognize anyone in the photo, we don't recognize their names. Are we really getting that old and confused? Seriously, it is the weirdest thing. We just laugh and laugh and then we hang the card up with the rest.

Has this happened to you?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Beautiful Building Burns

My heart is heavy to see this happen to the Historic Provo Tabernacle. Such an exquisite structure built in the late 1880's. So many memories for me in that building. My husband, my girls and I have all performed there for many different occasions and our stake conferences have always been held there as well. For ten years our home was a block east of the Tabernacle. My favorite thing was to watch the light stream through the glorious stained glass windows. I am so sad.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"These are a few of my favorite {Christmas} things..."

When I was 18 years old I had the opportunity to sing in a professional performance of this glorious work. It moved me deeply. Later I was honored to sing in another production. Two favorites I performed were "He Shall Feed His Flock" and "He was Despised." If you ever get a chance to see Tim Slover's marvelous play, "A Joyful Noise," I recommend it highly. This recounts the story behind Handel's masterpiece.

My parents took me to my first Nutcracker when I was 8 years old, the same year I started Ballet study with Rocky Spoelstra, one of Ballet West's (formerly Utah Civic Ballet) featured dancers. I fell in love with it! It became an annual tradition. And no company does it better than Ballet West!

What can I say? A true classic. My Christmas season isn't complete if I miss it.

This music is Christmas. In our home we refer to Karen Carpenter's voice as "The Angel Voice." My all-time favorite singer, hands down!

Every year we decorate our Christmas tree to the strains of this Donny Osmond CD. The minute we hear his voice the season has begun. An awesome collection. Love him!

The traditional Fry-pan Date Balls. I make them every Christmas. may not have this secret recipe:)

I started collecting Angel Ornaments when we were first married. Each year I add a new one to the tree. Usually I have my eye on one and pick it up at the after-Christmas sales. The past few years my sweet friend, Jan, has presented me with a Waterford Crystal Angel before Christmas. So lovely in the lights.

I got my first snow globe the year after we were married. A beautiful nativity scene. My collection had begun. I have actually run out of spaces to display them at Christmas.

LOVE this movie! It wraps me up every time. It never grows old. I love Jimmy Stewart! I had the honor to meet him 30 years ago. (He liked my name.) Mr. Stewart was a true gentleman. An honorable human-being. One of the classy old-time actors.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Guilty Pleasure

My girls and I have this weird activity we enjoy. We have a list of movies to watch when we need a good laugh or a stress release. Now these movies are by no means 4 -Star films. In fact some might be lucky to earn 1- Star. These movies are sometimes bad enough to be good. We quote the same lines, we laugh at the same spots...You get the picture. Total entertainment. Does that make sense?

Well, for the past 13 years we have watched this particular holiday movie (GO HERE TO READ THE PLOT) that originally aired as a CBS made-for-television movie. We always watch our old video recording on the old VCR. This year I splurged $4.99 on the DVD! It should arrive this week. I can't wait!

If this is one of your favorite Christmas time movies, please don't be offended:) It is cheesy, predictable, and the acting is weak. There are no sparks whatsoever between the romantic leads. The interesting thing is, however, that this could actually be an excellent big screen holiday feature movie. If the script were reworked and it was recast with better actors who actually have chemistry together, I seriously think it would be terrific. We enjoy recasting movies, and this one is no exception. Here is our recasting of the main characters:
Click each name to see a photo.

Old Cast
Eric McCormick (Sam Field)
Roma Downey (Kathleen)
Shawn Alex Thompson (Dave Hebert)
Sarah Rosen Fruitman (Zoey)
Hector Elizondo (Javier Del Campo)
*I do have to say that I always like Hector Elizondo and he does well in this role, but, an excuse to see Antonio Banderes in a film is hard to pass up:)
New Cast
Patrick Dempsey (or George Clooney) (Sam Field)
Reese Witherspoon (Kathleen)
Dan Aykroyd (Dave Hebert)
Elle Fanning (Zoey)
Antonio Banderas (Javier Del Campo)

Monday, November 29, 2010

And So It Begins...

One of our Christmas Season Traditions: Cosmo with Cammy.
(The ONLY time you will see him in red...)
The turkey is cold, the carols are playing, the snow is here.
"It's the most wonderful time of the year!"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


"If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most."
~President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

MTC Flashback: 1981

Doesn't my district look cozy? I don't think this" close contact" would be allowed today. I don't think it was allowed then?!

Having Coryn share with us in her weekly letters about how much she is loving her MTC experience has made me think back on my own time at that amazing Academy of the Spirit. There is no place on earth like it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Missionary Service is Not Easy, But It Is Infinitely Worth It." ~Elder Ballard

"Fundamental to becoming good teachers is serious study of the word of the Lord, that we are able to impart our acquired knowledge to others."
~Elder L. Tom Perry

Thanks to Court for my fancy new header!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Taking Classes Without Grades, Tests, or Stress

This week I attended the Mormon Media Symposium at BYU. I love symposiums. It is like going to college and not having to take tests:) For the many I have participated in over the past 20 years, I could probably have earned another degree. This particular symposium was a first. (Having taught Communications/Journalism, this is an area of interest.) In fact, one of my former 8th grade Communication students was a presenter (I blogged about him a few years back HERE) speaking on: "Entered at Stationers' Hall: The 1841 Copyright of the Book of Mormon."

The subjects ranged from: "Mormon Media Studies: Across Web Time, Cyberspace, and Blogging Disciplines" to "Fraud, Philanderers, and Football: Negotiating the Mormon Image" to "Joining the Conversation: The Evolution of Public Relations and Public Affairs in the LDS Church."

There was a diversity of presenters such as:
Terryl Givens: Prof. of Literature and Religion at University of Richmond
Sterling Van Wagenen: Academy Award winning director; Exec. Producer Audio Visual Department LDS Church
Trudy L. Hanson: Chair, Dept. of Communications at West Texas A&M University
Courtney J. Kendrick: author of
Dennis Agle, Jr.: Writer-Director, Lightstone Pictures LLC
Larry Richman: Author of and Director of Product Awareness LDS Church Curriculum Department
Kathryn Lynard Soper: Editor in Chief of Segullah: Writings by Latter-day Women
Michael R. Otterson: Managing Director of Public Affairs for the LDS Church

A few tidbits I learned:
*As blogs have become more popular, the ability to become offended has gone way up.
*The LDS Church loves the ability to communicate on YouTube and Twitter.
*Blogging can be considered a frivolous pursuit, yet can also be considered a sacred one.
* will be launching it's new site on November 30th.

I got a kick out of this statement from Terryl Givens: "America will let Mormons sing and all the slots on 'So You Think You Can Dance?,' keep the NFL supplied with a steady stream of quarterbacks, and they're pretty good in a disaster too. But as Charles Dickens once said, 'What Mormons do seems to be excellent...but what they say is mostly nonsense."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

JAZZ in the Treble Clef

Paul Milsap shooting over Labron James and Chris Bosh in the JAZZ victory over the Miami HEAT Tuesday night.

I just had to post about my beloved team with the musical note on their jerseys. (If Coryn were home she would most definitely be blogging about the Utah JAZZ. )

Tuesday evening after teaching my last vocal student I ran into check the score of the game and saw that the JAZZ were behind 22 points. My husband said: "Miami is going to be pretty hard to beat this year." Since I was already late for our Young Women Activity (a panel of young 'Stripling Warriors', which was very nice), I rushed over to the church. After the closing prayer I hurried home to help Cammy with her homework. I turned on the TV to see if by some miracle the Jazz had made the score closer or to see how badly bruised they might be. OH MY HECK!! They were tied and had just started into overtime. It was so amazing to watch them beat the Miami Heat. And even more exciting to see the shocked faces of "King" Labron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Can't be beaten? Ha!!

They totally rocked!! Paul Milsap scored an unbelievable 46 points. Three 3-pointers within a minute! (I think he's only had two 3-pointers in his entire career!) Deron Williams had even fouled out. Their teamwork was so tight. Loved it! No star egos here. And they did it again tonight beating the very hot-shooting Orlando Magic. Both of these games were in those team's arenas. AWESOME! I hope they can keep it going.

Did I mention I love the JAZZ? Been a fan for over 30 years:)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Yes...I Did Wear a Costume...Sort of...

Every Halloween my girls declare me a "party poop" when I don't put on a costume. My usual is a black ensemble and a traditional orange lapel button which reads: "Please don't scream I always look like this." I think my aversion to costumes is because I wore many in my former life:) Well, this year I decided to shake things up and tried to be a bit festive.

Court always creates something unusual. This year she was Totoro, a character from one of our favorite Miyazaki animations.

Caitlyn dressed as Shawn White, Olympic Snowboarding Gold-Medalist. You know the red-headed dude. She had a blast celebrating with her roommates and student ward.

And Cammy took the simple route this year by donning one of her sister's graduation gowns.

*We assume that Coryn dressed like a missionary. We're still waiting for photos:)

Our dad took Cammy trick-or-treating only to be drenched by a 'slurpee' dumped from the sky (mixed with wild winds) after only 15 minutes into their walk. What a good sport!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dan the Man

The girls with Dan, two years ago, after his CD Release Concert in SLC.

I've blogged about our friend, Daniel Beck before, but after hearing him sing again live I had to mention him again. Not only does he have a glorious voice, but he is a genuinely great guy. If you don't own his CD, you should.
Go HERE to find out more.

A producer heard Dan's CD this past year and contacted him about being part of a new classical crossover/pop trio. Their CD was released internationally this month and on November 9th will be available in the USA. They are hoping everyone will purchase it on that day so they can chart on Billboard. Their sound is beautiful. Go HERE for info.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

He's All Grown Up!

Cammy and Caitlyn with Spencer.

This past weekend our family attended our friend, Daniel Beck's Concert at the SCERA. It was awesome! He is awesome! He has one of the most FLAWLESS voices I've ever heard. Period. Anyway, more about Dan in my next post.

During the concert Dan announced a special appearance by Spencer Forsey. (If you are not familiar with Liken the Scriptures, you should be.) In the episode: One Smooth Stone, Spencer plays a young David to Thurl Bailey's Goliath. (Dan was King Saul.) In the film Dan and Spencer sing one of the most beautiful duets entitled, I Used to Be Like You. In fact, it is actually my favorite. This song is often requested when Dan performs and he has often had someone fill in for Spencer. This time, however, he was available. (Last year he completed an LDS mission in Boston.) What a treat to hear them sing together again. *On a personal note: Spencer's dad and his uncle were high school friends of mine. He is a talented young man.

To learn more about Liken go here

Their soon to be released feature will be Jonah and the Big Fish starring David Osmond.

Saw it on stage last spring. It was terrific!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

She is Now a Missionary!

Our family enjoyed our morning with Coryn, eating at one of her favorite restaurants: Iggy's, and then a pleasant, yet bittersweet walk around the Provo Temple. Photos and hugs and then the 'drive-through' drop-off at the MTC. She will be a terrific missionary! If you would like to follow her experiences you are welcome to follow her HERE.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Girls in Autumn

Photo magically taken by Coryn. Location: Beautiful Mapleton Canyon
See some of her recent photo shoots here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Welcome to My Favorite Month

"Delicious Autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
~George Elliot

Friday, September 24, 2010

Marionettes that Move you + An Evacuation

Photo credit: Matt Cashore

Our family attended The Cashore Marionette Show at BYU last evening. It was beautiful. Bill, Cammy and I had seen it about three years ago at the Covey Center for the Arts. Loved it so much we wanted the rest of the family to see it. Very classy. We laughed. We cried. The show got a standing ovation and some 'bravos.' We got to meet the Cashores at an after reception. Very humble. You can see how much they love what they do. If you ever get a chance to see this show I highly recommend it.

Side note: We were lucky to have a place to go last night. Our neighborhood was evacuated because some construction crews hit a major gas line a block below our home. I had to contact my vocal students and cancel lessons. Cammy had just finished school and couldn't go down our street and called me from a few blocks above our house to come pick her up. Lots of excitement. TV news crews, policemen, firetrucks, ambulances, helicopters. The Red Cross set up shelter at our local elementary school. (Coryn sneaked back to our house to get our tickets after we got evacuated.) When we arrived home at 10:00 p.m. all was calm and the homes had been cleared to re- enter. And it was the top story on the news:)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Miles for Melanie

Photo by Tim Pannell

Court, Coryn and I are attempting another 5K this weekend. This time, however, for a very important cause. My friend, Melanie Kau was diagnosed this past spring with malignant stage 4 lung cancer. Quite a shock to all who know her. Melanie is vivacious, athletic, a marathon runner and full of sunshine.

We got to know each other when we carpooled our daughters (Caitlyn and Keala) to their dance class in Orem. Melanie has always been such an example of goodness. Her husband and children are wonderful. She is facing this challenge with such grace and determination. So many people in our community know and love Melanie and she is receiving many tender mercies. To read more about her journey go here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Curt Brinkman 1953-2010

A very dear friend of Bill's and mine passed away last week. We became friends with Curt early in our marriage. (Bill worked with him at the time.) He gave me my first job as his secretary after I graduated from college, knowing full well that I would possibly quit at any time when a teaching job came available. And that teaching job came three months later. Curt was totally cool with that and very positive that I would land the teaching job I wanted so much.

Curt had an amazing perspective on life. He was remarkable in his tenacity and drive to be his best. He was the the first person to win the Boston Marathon in a wheelchair in 1980. The first of many marathons he would win including New York City. His last win came just three years ago in the St. George Marathon. If you don' t know Curt's incredible story, view this KSL-TV news story from yesterday: here

He was a great father and we enjoyed times in his home watching him get on the floor and wrestle with his three children. He could climb the stairs with his arms faster than any of us with our feet. Though he was always in a great deal of pain throughout his life because of the loss of his legs and many other health problems, he always had a beautiful smile and rarely let you know of his suffering. He was a great motivational speaker and inspired many to rise above their own trials. He was kind enough to do a fireside for our ward when we asked even though he was in great demand.

We were blessed to have his friendship and he will be missed by many.

Read more about Curt here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Love This cjane Gal and Benton Paul has Amazing Hair

Attended the premiere of the Rooftop Concert Series, the 'brain child' of world-famous blogger extraordinaire Cjane. Can I just say that she is awesome? And so was the concert!
(Look at the cheeks on her sweet baby, Ever Jane. I wanted to pinch them, but restrained myself.)

The setting was so cool with the background of the stage provided by our beautiful Provo Mountains.

(Coryn didn't want me to post this photo because she said she looked too star-struck. Who wouldn't be star-stuck after having Benton Paul talk to you in French? I think she looks darling! Mother's right to over-rule.)

Benton Paul gave a fabulous performance, as always, and with some great new songs. His back-up band was terrific and his warm-up singer, Nik Day, will be going places as well.

Benton served his LDS mission in Paris France and was so sweet when he found out Coryn had been called to serve there as well. They had a fun conversation in French.
He is such a nice guy and so talented.

NEXT IN THE CONCERT SERIES: THE LOWER LIGHTS, a hymn revival group. A perfect choice to kick off LDS General Conference Weekend.
October 1st at 8:00 p.m.
Top of the parking garage
Across from Sammy's
in Provo.
Did I mention it's FREE?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Circle of Life


For the 3rd time in as many months I WEPT at a musical theatrical production. Yes, I cried and shook during the opening 10 minutes of Broadway's The Lion King. Perhaps because we have waited about 14 years to see it or perhaps because it was just plain spectacular!

Julie Taymor, director/creator extraordinaire, is a genius!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Flashback: August 1984

Receiving my Bachelor of Arts Degree from then BYU President Jeffrey R. Holland.
( I was 5 months pregnant with Courtney.)

26 years later: Coryn and Courtney. Time certainly flies.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"By seeing LONDON, I have seen as much of life as the world can show." ~Samuel Johnson

Coryn says we only saw about 1/20th of the city during our stay. That amazes me! I felt like we ran several marathons during our 8 days and covered a lot of territory. To think that there is that much more to see blows my mind. I guess I'll have to start planning several more trips:) Enjoy these photos from my camera.


Flower Shoppe on Portobello Road

St. Paul's Cathedral. "Feed the Birds." Not any more or you will be fined.
(This looks a lot like our State Capitol Building.)

A Garden in Regents Park

Royal Albert Hall

The Prince Albert Memorial

Coryn in a familiar pose in Regents Park

One of several statues surrounding the Prince Albert Memorial.

Beautiful Hydrangeas in the courtyard of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A).

A cute little World War II candy shoppe in Covent Garden.

The Globe Theatre

Exterior of one of many Pubs we saw.

The Gates at Buckingham Palace

A cafe in Covent Garden

A Mass of Humanity on the streets. I took this from the top of a double-decker:)

Coryn modeling at the gates of Kensington Gardens.