Monday, November 17, 2008

Angels among us...

In fact, those angels decided to visit my home this morning.

My house was a mess! I have had a difficult time staying on top of things lately and with Ken gone, I had really let the house go yesterday. My plan was to come home from Triple Trio rehearsal and errands and do some major tidying and cleaning before my voice students started to arrive for the afternoon. I wasn't sure that I would be able to get it all done.

As I come in the door with my arms full of groceries, I noticed something was not quite right. Things were not where they were when I left this morning (which was basically all over). I walked into the kitchen noticed the clean counters that had been covered with dirty dishes and the dinner from last night that I had not yet put away. So instead of the mess I was expecting, there are beautiful flowers on my island. I was completely awestruck. I called my mother as I began to walk around the house. Toys were put away, the floor was swept and vacuumed (even the stairs!), and even my bathrooms had been cleaned! Tears of gratitude flowed from both of our eyes as I continued to discover all the things my angels had done. Trevor kept saying, "mom why are you crying? You should be happy." I explained to him that they were tears of joy and I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

So thank you my dear angels! Words cannot express the love I have for you. I have a pretty good idea who you are -- there are only a few people that know our garage code and Peyton found a beloved clue up in her room. :) Thank you for knowing me and loving me. Your charity has blown me away and I will never forget this beautiful example of service!


Change is not just a political slogan and it is an inevitable part of everyone's lives. Our family is having some changes. After almost 8 years at IBM Ken is starting a new job today. He really enjoyed his job supporting databases for Target, but he was ready for a change and some new challenges. He got a job with Brulant (that will become Rosetta in January) out of Cleveland, but he will be able to work from home most of the time. He is there this week for training and having his first taste of snow for the season. Starting in January, Ken will be supporting databases for the US Mint's web commerce. He will be traveling to DC quite a bit in the beginning, but it should settle down to about a trip a month.

I am really excited for him and the adventures that await him. I am so grateful for him working so hard to support our family. This new opportunity for Ken is a wonderful blessing for our family in so many ways. I think the biggest blessing is that we are able to stay here in Colorado. We truly love it here. With all the things that fell into place as our family made these changes, it strengthens my knowledge that Heavenly Father is aware of our family and continues to bless us. It is wonderful to know that we are looked after!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rah, rah, rah...Go Cougars!

As a second generation Cougar myself, Ken and I are continuing the tradition of Cougar pride. On Saturday we took Morgan and Trevor down to Colorado Springs, along with some great friends and fellow Cougar fans, for their first BYU football game. (Many thanks to Holly and Brian for watching Peyton! We didn't think she would like the game or the cold that much.) We had a blast at the tailgate party, eating, face painting for the kids, and even running into old friends! We even got a picture with Cosmo the Cougar.

It was such a fun game to go to. The weather was great, which was a bit of a gamble with the game in November. It was especially cool having all the neat Air Force traditions to watch like the cadets in formation, the parachuting onto the field, and the super cool fly-over. Our Cougars played a good game and got the win. It was an absolute blast and I think we have a new tradition.

Go Cougars!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

So blessed...

I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who gives me the help I need, even when I am I too ashamed, prideful, embarrassed, and overwhelmed to ask.

Monday, November 10, 2008

You'll never guess...

but I LOVE Christmas music!

There. I said it. I'm sure this doesn't come as much of a surprise. This time of year I am almost giddy with anticipation of when I can "legally" start listening to Christmas music.

One of the perks of being a choir director was choosing music for the Christmas concert. It gave me the excuse of starting to listen in early October. It really helped me get in the mood and select some wonderful music. It has been some 5 years now that I have not taught at a school and I have missed the excuse to listen to Christmas music early.

This year, however, I have the privilege again of conducting our stake choir for the Interfaith Christmas Choir Concert. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to again work with talented and inspiring people. I have been listening to beautiful arrangements as I worked to select what we will sing. It is a bit of a balancing act. I want to choose something traditional, but not overdone and boring, lush, but not too "jazzy" or 20th century, memorable, but not too flashy. Most of all, I want the music I select to praise the Savior and His miraculous birth. It is my prayer that when our audience hears us perform that they will feel the Holy Ghost testifying that Jesus Christ is the Redeemer and Savior of the world.

I hope the choir will like what I have chosen to sing this year. We will open with a rousing arrangement of Joy to the World. It has very cool organ accompaniment that Liz will be fantastic on. Next, we will calm it down a bit and bring a different feeling in with a haunting arrangement of In the Bleak Midwinter. Our closer -- hold on to your hats -- is Wilberg's arrangement of Angels We Have Heard on High. I am so excited and hope that we have the turnout that we did last year. I know singing beautiful Christmas enhances my worship. I hope others will feel that way too.

I want to share a verse from In The Bleak Midwinter that really touches my heart. This is what I kept thinking of as I was choosing the music...

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I would do my part.
What can I give Him? Give my heart.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And the results are in...

We had friends over to watch the returns and it was wonderful having a houseful. Thanks to all those who came. We had wonderful conversations and delicious food. Sadly, the election turned out as I expected, but I was a little surprised that it was over so quickly.

I am not quite sure what I am feeling. A bit of resignation, but also the peace that comes with a difficult decision being made. Tonight during family prayers I took the opportunity to pray for President-Elect Obama. I am not thrilled about his politics, but I do think he is a good man. He gave a great speech that did a good job reaching out to all Americans. I hope what he does as President follows that same pattern.

Most of all, I feel so blessed to live in this great nation. I marvel at our political process and that so many people chose to be involved. I know this election was hotly contested, but the transition will most likely be a smooth one. I would guess that would not happen in many countries. This truly is a blessed nation and I pray that we continue to be a "nation under God".

My congratulations to President-Elect Obama. This is certainly a historical night.

I voted...

This morning I went to the county offices and turned in my absentee ballot. Many have read my political musings over the past year, so you know how I feel about this election and I won't really go into it anymore. However, I must say that I feel so blessed that I live in a country that I am allowed to vote and speak my mind. This election is very important and regardless of the outcome, I am so glad that so many people got involved in the political process. That in itself is a victory.

P.S. For those interested, Ken and I are having friends over to watch the returns on the news tonight. We would love it if you want to join us for some good company, stimulating political conversation, and yummy food. Contact me if you want more details.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A witch, pirate, and a cowgirl, oh my!

The weather for Halloween was absolutely perfect this year and we had lots of fun activities to attend. We started out with Morgan getting to wear her witch costume to school. This year she chose to be Elphaba, the wicked witch of the West. Trevor and I went to school in the afternoon for her class fall festival. It was so fun getting to see all her classmates in their costumes and there was plenty of yummy, but healthy snacks and fun games.

After school, we headed to the church for the annual "trunk-or-treat". The kids loved going to all the cars and seeing so many friends. Let me just say, you can get quite a load of candy in a fairly short amount of time when you only have to walk around a parking lot. On the way home we decided to stop by the Weingardt's home and check out their AMAZING Halloween display. I was glad we went while it was till light because Peyton kept saying "I scared...but pretend."

We got home and had a quick dinner. The kids were chomping at the bit to get out the door and go trick-or-treating. I got to be the candy-hander-outer and Ken and the kids joined some neighbor friends and canvased much of the neighborhood over the next couple hours. Before coming home, they went to the Halloween carnival at the elementary school, played some carnival games, and got a great goodie bag. The kids were pretty tired when they got home but they were on cloud nine and it took a little while for them to settle down. I guess that was to be expected after such a fun Halloween celebration.