Thursday, December 31, 2015

December Doings

 We kicked off our holiday season by attending the wonderful
Norman Rockwell exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art.
I've loved his art since I was a child.
It is a must-see if you are near the Utah County area before February.

 It was great having three of the sisters together.
Of course we certainly missed Coryn.
Caitlyn was truly not loving the cold as she has become acclimated to LA weather.

 Nick, Caitlyn, Becca, Amanda, Chris and Cal.

Caitlyn flew in a week before Christmas to attend her best friend, Becca's wedding.
It was fun to see her back with all her close high school friends.
Bill and I enjoyed visiting with them and catching up on their lives.
This group has had many terrific adventures together.

 Cait's photo.

The view was beautiful from the top of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

 Photo by Cora's mother.
This sweet little girl named Cora is one of my 'practice grandchildren.'
I adore her.
Her family has become like a second family to us.
I enjoy having Cora and her older brother over when their mom does her PTA President stuff.
(Since we call her Princess, I thought it only fitting to gift her with another Princess' trademark look.)

 Cora and her older brothers all love my Courtney.
She was the go-to sitter when their parents attended the
company Christmas party. 

 With the demands of medical school and Coryn's university job,
the newlyweds were unable to make the trip home this Christmas.
They started some new traditions of their own.
As it should be.

 They attended their first military ball.

 Coryn & Scott enjoyed Christmas festivities with new friends, fed the missionaries, 
organized their ward Christmas dinner, and took some visitors to the DC Temple.

(Photo courtesy of

As we begin 2016 we eagerly look forward to the dedication of our beautiful new temple.
It is amazing to think that 5 years ago this beautiful building was engulfed in flames.
Our family will take part in the upcoming public open house.
I am delighted to have been approved as one of the pianists who will play as the guests come through.
Cammy will be busy rehearsing with hundreds of youth for the cultural celebration to be held
in the Marriott Center at BYU the night before the temple dedication in March.
Glorious year ahead!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


City Creek in Salt Lake City
December 18, 2015

"The day Jesus was born was a day of deliverance for the believers in the New World.
Light as a sign of the Savior's birth literally saved their lives."

~David A. Bednar

Sunday, November 29, 2015

This is Why

A world without a Savior? Learn why a Savior was born.

Posted by on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

Wavy Waffle Girl

Cammy just took five inches off her hair.
And she wants all to know that she has always loved waffles.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Prayers and Peace for Paris and the World

Paris 2010
Missionaries Preaching the Gospel of Peace.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pretty Purple Trees, Primary Program, and Peace

 Sunday was a perfect day.
We attended church with Coryn at her ward which is right next to the Washington DC Temple.
It happened to be the Primary Program that day
(an annual presentation presented by children ages 4-12 sharing their love for Jesus.)
It was beautifully presented with every child well-prepared with their talks and songs.
We were touched and emotional by the warm spirit that filled that meeting.

As you can see the temple is exquisite.
I took so many photographs.
Each one looked so different as the sky and the light was changing.

We enjoyed a restful evening, a delicious dinner prepared by Coryn,
and a good night's sleep before heading to the airport the following morning.
The time went by too quickly.
It was such a blessing to spend time with my girls.
(Sad that Caitlyn wasn't able to join us this time, but we are most certainly going back again!)

Monday, November 2, 2015

George & Martha's Place

 This Colonial Gent told Coryn that "a lady always stands on the right."

On Saturday, Coryn took us on a lovely autumn drive out to Mount Vernon.
So many trees in various stages of color.
There was a bit of chill in the air.

 (photo by Coryn)

The land on which Mount Vernon sits was owned by the Washington family
back to George's great-grandfather in 1674.
The mansion was constructed in stages
between 1758-1778.
 This is the garden house.
 Stunning foliage.

 My eyes were happy because of my passion for purple.
There was a lot of it in various forms.

 As we entered the mansion, we got our first glimpse of the Potomac.

 (Photo by Coryn)

On the back porch there were rocking chairs welcoming all to sit awhile and take in the view.
 And what a view!!

 Sisters by the Potomac.
 Gorgeous stained glass in the education center.

(I pretty much fell in love with George Washington during my visit.)
 Following George Washington's death in 1799 under the ownership of several generations
of the family, the estate progressively declined.
In 1858 it was saved from ruin by
The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association
who recognized its historical significance.
(Hooray for the women!)
This philanthropic organization restored it to its former beauty.
It is open every day of the year.
George and his beloved Martha are buried there.

 (Photo by Coryn)

At the conclusion of our day we headed over to Gallaudet University.
Coryn wanted to show the campus to Cammy who is presently studying ASL and is very proficient at it.
All of her sisters studied it as well (Courtney did also at the university level).
Gallaudet is a private university and world leader in liberal education and career development
for deaf and hard of hearing students.
Cammy wanted to take this photo for her ASL teacher who is deaf and who was excited 
to know that Cammy would see this famous place.
 These colorful row houses were across the street from the University.

We wrapped up our day as the sun was setting with a visit to Union Market.
It is an indoor farmers market with beautiful selections of produce and food.
Also some fun boutique-style shops.
A wonderful day was had by all.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Smithsonian Specials

The following day Coryn had to be at her university job.
So we hopped on the Metro and headed to some wonderful museums.
A must see on my list was the National Portrait Gallery.
I loved it and we could have stayed all day.
(Gorgeous stained glass window on 2nd floor.)
 Beautiful ceiling on the 2nd floor.
I was struck by all the intricate details in the architecture.

 We were greeted by The Man himself as we entered the President's Portraits wing.
Cammy, who is taking United States history this year found this gallery timely.
 We all really liked this newer gallery which highlights Civil Rights.
(Cammy said it was her favorite.)
I really liked this artistic interpretation of Rosa Parks.
There were many powerful statements presented through the medium of art.

 And how about this giant jack?
The sculpture gallery was fascinating.

 Here is my attempt at an artistic shot.
Looking down on the courtyard from the 2nd level.
 Legendary actress Katharine Hepburn and her gold.
The Modern American Gallery was fun.
Americans from all walks of fame from inventors, educators,
politicians to writers, artists, fashion designers and singers.
I believe it is a rotating gallery.
The original Sunstone from the Nauvoo Temple was one of the most expensive
purchases every made by a Smithsonian Museum. 
Wonderful to see it in person at 
The Museum of American History.
This was a fun museum, and quite popular judging by the amount of people in line,
including many school children.
We saw many memorable things including Julia Child's actual kitchen
 and Dorothy's ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz, as well as
the original 1812 Star Spangled Banner which inspired Francis Scott Key 
to write our national anthem.
It was huge and beautiful.

 And of course, Courtney, a huge fan of genius Jim Henson,
was thrilled to see Kermit!

We took a leisurely stroll through the National Gallery of Art Garden,
which boasts a large ice skating rink in the center.
(I'm guessing Coryn and her husband will give that a go this winter.)

Our last stop for the day was at the National Museum of Natural History.
For those who know my Courtney, this is one of her heavens.
Animals and bones and bugs and dinosaurs.
Cammy and I sat this one out.
(My feet and legs were killing me...haha!)
Yes, Courtney if given the opportunity would have spent much of the trip here.
She did say, however, that one of the best natural history museums in her opinion
is still the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah.

Next post:
George Washington's Mount Vernon

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

George, you have a lovely place.

Courtney, Cammy and I hopped on a plane a few weeks ago and flew out
 for a short few days to visit Coryn.
 Her husband was involved in medical training that took him away and so we decided to have a big girl's sleepover and visit the sites. 
So much to see. So little time. Here is my photo retrospective:

 Paying our respects to Brother Brigham in the Hall of Statues.

We kicked off our day by visiting The Capitol in the heart of Washington DC.
A bit of serendipity:
We were given a wonderful personal 2 hour tour by a young man named Lincoln
who was born and raised in our nation's capital. 
 The dome of the capitol is being reinforced and is surrounded by scaffolding.

 The Hall of Columns.

 Magnificent chandelier near the old Senate chambers.

 A shout-out to Utah and Promontory Point.

 This art piece is on the ceiling directly under the dome.
The draping is protecting it from all of the construction happening.

 I love this bust of President Abraham Lincoln.
One of my heroes.

As we concluded the tour we stopped in front of the 9-11 Memorial,
a tribute to those brave souls who lost their lives in Pennsylvania
while stopping the terrorists who were taking the plane to hit the Capitol.
A elderly woman who was working at the desk nearby
came over to us and began to share with us the stories of each of the individual names
engraved on the memorial.
She told us that she was working that fateful day in the Capitol
when they were notified to evacuate. 
She described to us what happened and an image she will always remember:
Hundreds of shoes on the Capitol steps (most were women's heals or sandels)
that were left behind as people took them off so they could run.
She expressed great reverence for those individuals who had sacrificed their own lives
to protect the lives of those within the Capitol that day.
We were all choked up after hearing her words.

 The Supreme Court.
(photo by Cammy) 
We took a long walk though charming Georgetown.

 The National Mall was stunning at night.

 This was on my list of  'must sees.'
I love Abe.

 The National Gallery of Art is a gorgeous museum.
One of the finest in the world.
I could have spent days in there.
Since we were limited on time, we did try to see some of my favorites.

Next post, some terrific Smithsonian Museums.