Saturday, April 25, 2009

Book Club, and Book Club, and another Book Club, and Festival

This has been the best week ever, when it comes to attending all of my book clubs. I started with the ward book club on Tuesday night. There are so many great ladies in my ward whom I aspire to be like. I always want to be like my friend Mary, and I wish I was as creative as my friend Shannon, and Michelle always has insightful comments about the book and its impact in her life. It is definitely a tender mercy to continually learn from those around me.

Wednesday night was my friend book club. We started with a birthday dinner at Olive Garden for myself and Steph and Tiff. Amazingly talented Steph made us all scrapbooks of some of the books we have read so far. I have been put in charge of coming up with a list of all of the books so far, and even though we know we have missed some, there are 70 on our list! Favorite question of the night (raised by Erin) - how do we catch the vision of Visiting Teaching, and not feel it is just forced friendship? Lots of ideas given...

On Thursday I was on campus to interview TAs for the summer and fall semesters. 2 of the TAs for fall are both named Ben. That will be fun for me to keep them straight, don't you think? My students were taking an exam that day, and one of current TAs was proctoring it. I was in my office finishing up some work when the power went out! Apparently it was campus-wide. Luckily, I have a window in my office, so I was still fine. The poor lady across the hall was having a hard time seeing anything.

I quickly packed up my stuff and went to check on the students taking the exam. They seemed to be doing OK, because the classroom had windows. It was a little dim, but they got through it OK.

Then, last night, my mother/daughter book club met at Bobi's stake's production of "Beauty and the Beast." It was fun to take a month off from reading a book, and instead watching Bobi's family perform. Adam played the bass in the orchestra, and Lyssa, Bobi, and Brian were on-stage. They did a great job! Their Gaston was great - and he was huge! He towered over everyone else on the stage.

If you watch the videos, Bobi has a solo in the first one, and you can pick out B, B, and L if you look closely enough. In the second one, Bobi is the dancing plate the farthest on the left, and Brian is the dancing fork the farthest on the right. They have skills! Bobi's costume includes a black pashmina - which we brought back for her from Dubai (per her request).

video video

Today, I was able to go to another day of Festival for my piano students. All of my kids did great! I am glad that glad that Festival is finally over for the year. It is time to focus on other things.

This has been a great week full of family and friends. I am grateful for the people whom I love and who love me back. Love is perhaps the greatest tender mercy of all - when I feel the love of the people in my life, it is easy to feel of the love of Heavenly Father.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Catching Up

So many things have been happening, and I have not taken the time to blog about any of them. Highlights from this week include a fun snow storm on Thursday. Always exciting to wake up to a few inches of snow in the middle of April!

The funny thing is that we had actually spent a few hours the Saturday before getting our garden all ready to go, and had planted peas and onions. Good thing they like cold weather, because they also got covered in the snow! As a side note, it was easy to get the garden ready to go this year. We have never spent so few hours getting everything ready and things planted. Looking forward to continuing on with the Square Foot Gardening method!

Another exciting event was getting a special treat in the mail. I had my blog printed up in to a book! I found a website, that was super fast and easy. All I had to do was put in the url of my blog, and it generated the book for me. There are a few design flaws, but I am so pleased with it overall, that those do not bother me. I cannot wait to make a book for each year that I continue blogging. And, this does not come a moment too soon, since I have used up 71% of my free online storage on blogger already; now I can delete all of my old posts!

Today was my friend Elizabeth's baby shower. Luckily, I always have my camera in my purse, so I became the unofficial photographer of the event. I was glad to help out, because I had offered to do more with the party planner Emily, but since I was gone to Dubai she did not give me any assignments! Luckily, Elizabeth liked the gift I got her. We wish her the best!

I put the rest of the pictures from the shower on Picasa.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Header

One of my TA's had a cool new header on her blog, and she showed me how to do it on I just spent a lot of time playing around, and this is my favorite one. The more times you type in a word, the bigger the word will be in the collage. I had a lot of fun personalizing it!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring = Hope

Easter and Spring always renew my hope and faith. Don't get me wrong: I love-love-love cold weather! But since coming home from Dubai I have had post-vacation blahs.

Then I noticed my friend Elizabeth's daffodils. They are up and smiling brightly and brought a big dose of cheer to me.

I find myself driving past her house on purpose, just so I can see the beautiful flowers.

Even amidst the crazy windstorms we have been having lately, her daffodils are standing proud and strong. Some may have bent beneath the force of the wind, but they are still radiant and gorgeous.

I had to stop and take a picture of her flowers because I was so inspired. What a tender mercy to be reminded that I can be strong like the daffodils. I too can bow beneath the force of the winds and not break.

Thanks, Elizabeth, for taking the time to cultivate your bulbs in the fall, so that I can draw strength from the glory of Spring!

P.S. I was trying to write this post reminiscent of the style of my pops. Did I succeed?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Visit from Kyle & Jonette

I started this blog a year ago (wow, it has been a whole year already!) to detail the tender mercies that are evident in my life every day. Since I got my digital camera, I have spent more time taking pictures and describing every day events than writing about the things that matter most to me.

Today I am most grateful for the people in my life who love me and support me, despite my many failings and foibles. At the top of the list are Kyle & Jonette, Kylene, Kiera, and Kaysen. They came down from Montana on Friday to visit for the week (it is their Spring Break). Every time they come I am struck anew by how much I love them and enjoy their company!

Kyle and Greg are children #2 and #3 in thier family of origin, and we have spent so much time together over the years. I just adore Jonette and their family. I truly want to be just like Jonette when I grow up.

They are so kind and generous to us. They let us tag along on their family vacations (we have gone to Disneyland and Glacier National Park together - 2 of my favorite vacations ever!) and they include us in every day things. We all started out in Bozeman together, and then Kyle got transferred to Ogden with his work, and then we came down so I could go to grad school. We started spending a lot of time together then (when Kylene was 3 and Kiera was a brand new baby). Then we bought our first houses together in Lehi, on the same street. We lived there for over 6 years, and were constantly spending evenings and weekends together. Then they wanted to move (they had outgrown our little starter homes), so we bucked up and moved with them - buying our second house just one house away from them. After only a year, Kyle got transferred back to Montana, and they moved away, leaving us bereft of their company!

I think sometimes I do not realize how long Greg and I have been married (almost 15 years now), because we do not have the visual reminders of children getting older and older. I get a glimpse of how that feels with the 3 Ks - because we have watched them grow and have been so involved with them. K&J have always been so inclusive of us - they let us borrow their kids sometimes and it has always lessened the ache of being childless knowing that I could go get a fix anytime, and I was completely welcomed.

When they come to visit it is magical. They are the type of people that it does not matter that we have not seen them for months, or that I am bad about emailing or calling on the phone. As soon as they show up, it is like we have never been apart. I had so much fun snapping pictures of them this weekend!

Of course, Ky and her friend Kayd have been glued at the hip since they got here. These beautiful girls are my best posers. They seem to like having their picture taken, unlike everyone else in the family!

I am so proud of my little Kiera (who at almost-13 is not so little anymore). She was one of my best piano students because she loved it so much and practiced so much. The first thing she said to me when I saw her Friday was that she had brought all of her piano music with her and she wanted to play me the things she is working on with her current teacher. That warms my heart!

In the little video clip, we are playing Power Play, a fabulous duet that my friend Kandice first introduced to me. I love it so much that I make all of my intermediate students learn it. Kiera had played the Primo part before with me, and now she has learned the Secondo and is playing it with a girl in Montana.


Clay always comes over and plays with Kiera and Kaysen. They have the best cousin relationship! And many thanks to Clay for videotaping Kiera and I playing together!

Kyle and Jonette brought their new puppy Macy with them. This is the first time we got to meet her, and she is adorable! Andrew found her kennel and has been spending a lot of time crawling in and out of it. He even growls like a puppy. Macy is not too sure about him being in and her being out, though.

Andrew is fascinated with Macy. She is the perfect size for him, because she can't knock him over, even if she jumps up on him. He just toddled after her the whole night. In this video, she is trying to play with him. Watch for the look on Andrew's face when Macy barks at him.

One of Greg's tricks with little kids is to rub their feet together. They always love it! I caught him making Andrew laugh.

Today I am looking forward to spending more time with them this week. I am truly grateful for their inclusive support of Greg and me. I do not express this very often, but I do not know what I would have done without them these past 13 years.


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