Monday, December 31, 2007

Last night...

Last night we had the community Interfaith concert. In preparation, I got to associate with two great choir directors, Sandi and Maggie. We even were in the paper with a very nice write up! (Eeek! I had no idea that the picture would be that big.) I had chosen four songs, three for our choir and one for the big group number. They were "Away in a Manger" arr. Mack Wilberg, "Good Christians, All Rejoice" arr. Gilbert Martin, "This is the Christ" arr. Darwin Wolford, and the group number, Silent Night arr. Doug Bush.

I had the privilege of conducting our choir and I am so proud of them. It was so fun working with them over the last month or so. It was like the angels were singing. I could not believe the sound they produced -- they blew me away! It was so beautiful. The best part was you could really feel the spirit as they sang. It was quite overpowering. IMHO, the event was a success. I am already thinking about what we can do for next year.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The lights at Temple Square

We had the opportunity to go to Utah just before Christmas for my brother's commissioning as an officer in the Army. One of the things on my list to do was to take the kids to see the lights on Temple Square. As usual, they were breathtaking, but it was even more spectacular seeing it through my children's eyes. The night was clear (and cold) with a beautiful moon. We all loved seeing the life sized nativity scenes and hearing the story from Luke. The lights were everywhere and the buildings seemed to radiate. There was a beautiful spirit there as we took in the the sights. I especially loved seeing the Christus through the window of the visitor's center. The temple is incredible and I am so grateful for those beautiful covenants and blessings we receive within those sacred walls. Ken kept wondering when I would put down the camera, but it was all so beautiful! Here are a few of my favorites....

The annual Rochelle and Carli Christmas bash...

Four years ago, Rochelle and I hosted a Christmas dinner party as a farewell to our dear friends, the DeBrys, who were moving to Idaho. That started a wonderful and fun tradition of our having a Christmas party each year. The only problem is that neither of our houses are big enough to truly invite all the people we would like to. :) Somehow we narrowed the list down to 20 or so couples and we had a great turnout. People were asking us when the party was before we had even set the date. It made us both feel good that people were looking forward to it.

Thanks to everyone, there was a lovely smorgasbord of delicious treats. One of the highlights of the evening was the slightly irreverent, but totally hilarious white elephant gift exchange. Some items were back for the third year in a row! Best of all was the opportunity to dress up a little, have an evening out sans kiddos, and get to visit with friends. When the ward split we thought we would still see each other all the time, but that has proven more difficult than we thought. It was so great to catch up with our friends that we don't get to see all the time. I hope everyone had as fun a night as I did.

One of the things that Rochelle and I kept talking about as we cleaned up after the party was the wonderful friends that we share. We are so blessed to have amazing people in our lives that show us beautiful examples of love, kindness, and service. I can hardly wait until next year!

The group photo (sorry some people left before we took this.)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

It happens every year...

Every December I try to remember one word... SIMPLIFY! Every year I seem to fail and this year was no different. But there were some (small) areas where I think I did pretty well.
  1. Instead of hand-making our Christmas card, I got one of those photo cards. (I even used the time in the car on our trip to Utah to put on the back letter. Great use of time, huh?)
  2. Our neighbor/friend gift I kept simple, (especially since we do over 30!) but cute and useful.
  3. One Monday after our Triple Trio performances, I went out to lunch with some of the ladies from the group. I totally ignored reality and the many things I had going on and thoroughly enjoyed being with some of my amazing friends.
My biggest regret is that I did not get the time to truly tell my dear friends how I feel about them. I guess I am pretty cheesy, very emotional and I feel things very deeply and intensely. I don't always tell people how much I care for them and how much they mean to me because I don't want to freak them out and make them feel uncomfortable. I think that at Christmastime I can get away with sharing those feelings without being too much of a freak. This year, I was so busy that didn't really take that opportunity as I would have liked to. I am so blessed to have so many amazing people in my life, especially incredible women! I can't quite get over the caliber of people that I get to associate with. I don't think they will ever know, and I am sure I could never adequately express, the profound impact they have on my life. I regret that missed opportunity. Maybe I can make that part of my New Years celebration?

In any case, things are finally getting to the point where I can finally breathe again. It has been a wonderful month full of exciting (and some exhausting) things. I have many posts to catch up on and I look forward to doing that very soon. I hope all of you had a very merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

she is so smart...

Last night as I was getting Peyton ready for bed after her bath, I was asking her about animal noises. I was surprised how many she knew. I thought it was so adorable that I had to take a video today for posterity. She sometimes mixes up chicken and birdie, but other than than she does a pretty great job. My favorites are the lion and the piggy -- apparently "oink" can be difficult to say and I LOVE her result! As special bonus footage, I added on another lion saying; makes me laugh every time I watch that. Doesn't this make you want to go on a field trip to a zoo and a farm?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

'Tis the season...

As any musician knows, there are many opportunities for performing during the holiday season. Last night Triple Trio performed at a ward Christmas party. We had a blast getting our program ready and we look forward to performing it several more times this years. In any case, here are a few of our numbers. Enjoy! (Sorry about the background noise.)

Rise Up Shepherd and Follow

What Child is This

Sleigh Ride

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The speech...

I thought the speech Governor Romney made this morning was incredible! He used such beautiful and inspiring language. By all accounts I've seen, he wrote the speech himself. I encourage everyone that didn't get to see it to make sure you do.

We truly live in a blessed nation! The Founding Fathers were inspired men. I am so grateful to be a citizen of this great land.

A personal connection...

The other day I was catching up on some of the Mitt blogs that I go to. I was reading on Evangelicals for Mitt, when I recognized the name Reed Fisher in a post. I followed the link and found an entry with pictures that showed our good family friend and former Bishop. His neighborhood was really affected by the San Diego fires and the Fishers (just barely) were able to keep their home. The huge tree in the front yard was not so lucky and was burned. Someone had called from church to ask if any help was needed. Brother Fisher mentioned that he needed help removing the stump and roots of the tree. He was told there would be people there to help 7:00 am the next morning. Well, one of the people that went to help was Matt Romney and his dad who was in town tagged along to help! Without any press or entourage Mitt took a chain saw and did his best with the others to remove that darn stump.

I bet the Fishers were surprised that someone running for the highest office in the land would show up to help them. I think this shows the type of man the Governor Romney is. Just another reason I support him.

I wish I were tech savvy so I could post the links to blogs for pictures and a more detailed account. In any case, you can check out... (go to the five brothers blog and scroll down to a day in the life) (go into the archives for 11/25 - 12/2)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist...

The past two weekends I got to sing with Triple Trio on a Christmas float sponsored by the Longs Peak Ward in our stake. The Friday after Thanksgiving we sang in the Estes Park Festival of Lights Parade. It was super cold -- I'm talking the low teens with a nice breeze! It was a wonderful experience and there were some really beautiful floats. The one we sang on had a live nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, a baby, and the three wise men. We sang carols about the Savior. I really enjoyed seeing people's faces light up as we passed. (Don't worry. The feeling eventually came back in my fingers and toes.) Last Saturday we sang in the Lyons parade. The float even won first prize for best float! I loved this opportunity and getting to participate in some great community traditions. Merry Christmas!