Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I heart Take Note!

I can't tell you how much I love and totally enjoying singing with my dear friends in Take Note! There is something so fulfilling about practicing and performing together. I look forward to being with these gals every week and creating beautiful music.

When I was first asked to be in the group, then Triple Trio, I was not sure if I could make time for it and if it would be worth it. It was rather quickly that I realized I was missing that part of me and singing with this group of ladies help me find it again. Now, 6 years later, I can't imagine my life without this outlet for creativity, hard work, performing, beautiful music, and good friends. I am so lucky to be part of such a wonderful group.

We have worked hard since September and now our hard work it paying off. This last Monday we had our first performances of our new Christmas program. I think it went really well, especially for our first ones. We also literally sang for our supper, or lunch as the case would have it. Last year, after having lunch at Cinzetti's all together, we ending up singing for the people in the restaurant. This year we planned ahead and made arrangements ahead of time to sing. When the head chef (or manager?) heard us singing he was impressed and offered to treat us all to lunch. That was sure nice of him. And I must admit, it tasted even better since it was free. :)

Over the next two weeks we have 5 more gigs planned. Hopefully I can get a video posted on here of some snippets of our program.

Thank you Take Note gals (past and present) for enriching my life! I love you!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Full of Thanksgiving (and turkey)

I love this time of year where I get to spend time thinking about my many blessings. When I do, I know that Heavenly Father has truly blessed me and my family. I believe that when we have an "attitude of gratitude" our hearts are changed and we recognize the abundance that we have been blessed with.

We had some wonderful options, but we decided to stay close to home for Thanksgiving. Ken's sister invited us down for a glorious feast with some of Brian's family. It was a wonderful celebration! We even stayed the night and attended the temple the next morning while Holly watched our kiddos. We then took all the kids to an afternoon showing of Tangled (so cute!) and then headed back home for a awesome leftover dinner. The kids were having such a great time with their cousins so we decided to get in some playing too and challenged Brian and Holly to a game of canasta. They killed us the first hand, but then we came back big time. We always have a blast playing games with them. It was great to have a mini-vacation and as usual, the Wenhams were the perfect hosts!

The rest of the weekend we were able to get up some Christmas decorations and spend some time together. We watched the BYU/Utah game (missed it by that much!) and I was able to sing a duet with Sarah McFadden for church on Sunday. I was so glad that she asked me and it was fantastic getting to sing with her. I was nervous because I came down with quite the chest cold and was having horrible coughing fits. I kept praying that I would be able to get through the song and be able to help invite the spirit. I think we did that.

Gratitude 2010
- my family
- my incredible husband, Ken
- watching my children learn and grow
- wonderful friends
- family nearby
- sharing the gift of music
- our comfortable home
- the free nation we live in
- being able to worship as we choose
- the gospel of Jesus Christ

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Family Pictures (and the amazing Becky Payne!)

We had so much fun with Becky taking our family pictures this year. We used a great location off of Hwy. 7 and had perfect weather. I always get anxious about the outfits, but I think they turned out swell. I love how our pictures turned out and I am so grateful for the uber-talented Becky Payne. You can check out her website here.

Before and After...


I am sad. But it was time to cut my baby's curls off. It seems more clear every time I look at my him -- my baby is gone and a toddler has taken his place. It goes so quickly!

Happy Halloween!

This year I was finally brave enough to actually carve pumpkins with the kids. We did it for family home evening and I am not sure if the kids had more fun or Ken. :) Sadly, with the weather being warmer, our pumpkins did not last very long before we had to throw them away. I guess we'll know better for next year.

Peyton carved this happy face by herself and Trevor carved a one-eyed pirate.

Of course I had to do the quartet of singing ghosts!

The kids had a lot of fun planning their costumes this year. Morgan chose to be Link, from her favorite video game, Zelda. Trevor wanted to be Harry Potter. And thanks to our amazing friend Jen Hansen, he had the coolest wand EVER! Peyton was a princess (although that is not very different from her everyday) and Cooper was a Frankenstein.

Friday night, Ken and the kids (minus Peyton since I stayed home with her because she was sick) attended the community safe halloween night at the middle school and had a blast! Trevor came home with over 25 pairs of vampire teeth -- he was in heaven. On Saturday Ken and the kids went to the trunk-or-treat at the church and got plenty of candy. (I was making the most of the beautiful day by painting the fence.) Then we had some awesome friends over to hang out. On Sunday we decided to forgo the trick-or treating, especially since Ken was on his way back to DC, and we hunkered down to eat candy and watch a family movie.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fall Soccer

Trevor participated in fall soccer again this year and was so excited to be able to play games now that he is older. He had a great coach and enjoyed the kids on his team. He was able to try all the positions and especially liked playing goalie even if he didn't see a ton of action. We loved how beautiful the weather was for his practices and games. It was a great season!


Taking a break?!? Way to go offense!

Our nation's capital...

For the last 6 months or so Ken has been traveling to Washington DC for his work with the US Mint. As soon as he started traveling more I knew that I wanted to go with him for one of his trips. This October we finally made that happen.

We called in some big favors from friends (Jamie and Brandie) and Ken's sister to watch our kiddos. A special thank you to them for making my trip possible! It was so wonderful to reconnect with Ken and spend time together without the kids.

I flew in on Tuesday and even the flight and my layover in Kansas City was a treat to just sit and read. (I totally loved reading our book club book for this month, The Help!) Ken met me at the airport and we took in a late dinner before heading to our hotel.

Ken still had to work during the day so I got to wander and visit with friends. On Wednesday I began to hurry and get ready, but then I realized that I was only in charge of me and not 4 other small people to get ready. I was almost giddy as I ran the hot water in the bathtub and settled in with my book. Mid-morning my former college roommate, Naomi, came and picked me up and we went to the Air and Space Smithsonian. So many cool things to see. The day was rather gray and started raining as we ate outside the Native American Museum so we decided to enjoy the beautiful drive down to Mt. Vernon. Most of all, it was fantastic talking and catching up with each other.

After Ken was finished with work we changed and made our way to the Washington DC LDS Temple. It is always so peaceful being in the House of the Lord. I loved taking pictures of this BEAUTIFUL building. (I wish I would have had my tripod!)

We stayed near Chinatown.

Washington DC temple

Thursday we woke up very early so we could meet our friend, Tylor, who works for the architect of the capitol. He was able to hook us up with a sweet tour that included going up in the dome and through the Capitol, a "cook's tour" of the Supreme Court, and the Library of Congress. I think that was certainly one of the highlights of the trip. Seeing those things up close and personal was SO COOL!

On the tour with us was a gal that Tylor was working with, named Katie. She was so fun and her mother Vicki had flown in from Oklahoma for a visit. They were so fun to talk with and after the tours Tylor and Katie had to go back to work so Vicki and I shared a delightful lunch and then made our way to the American History Smithsonian. I hadn't seen some of those exhibits in several years. We especially loved the First Lady gowns exhibit. It was also a moving experience to see the flag that Francis Scott Key was writing about in our national anthem. I couldn't help but tear up a bit.

With Tylor in front of the Capitol

Vicki and I said our goodbyes and I went to the Mint building to pick up Ken so we could go grab a snack, change our clothes, and head to the Kennedy Center to see Yo Yo Ma. Ken was really bummed when he saw the concert was sold out, so he called the box office to find out if anything was available. He found out the concert hall was adding about 30 seats right up on the stage. So our seats were about 20 feet from Yo Yo and his beautiful pianist, Kathryn Stott. We were close enough that I could follow along with her music. :) The music was beautiful and they we such gracious performers and treated the audience with 3 encores. An amazing concert experience!

Kennedy Center

On Friday I got to sleep in while Ken went to work. After he finished his morning meetings, we were able to go sightseeing. We took a bus tour which was a great way to get around the city to the sights. We also took the night tour to see the monuments/memorials at night -- beautiful! Then we went to Morton's for an amazing steak dinner.

Saturday we walked over to the White House and then made our way to the Lincoln Memorial. That evening we met Naomi and her husband Dirk at Ford's Theater to see Sabrina Fair. The play was wonderful and it was certainly memorable being in that historic place. We dragged out feet leaving the theater and were able to talk to several of the performers. Then we got dessert at Hard Rock Cafe before calling it a night. they play was fantastic and it was so fun being with Naomi and Dirk!

With Naomi and Dirk at Ford's Theater

Sunday we spent time in the National Art Museum before flying home. The entire trip was a amazing get-away. It was a treat to spend time with Ken and friends and see some great things! I am really grateful to dear friends and family that made it possible for me to go. For those that haven't been to our nation's capital, you should go, it is certainly worth the trip!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

She makes me laugh!

My little Miss Peyton is quite the performer! (I have no idea where she gets it from!) One of her favorite things right now is to listen and sing along with music on the mp3 player. She ignores everything else and will go off into her own world. Sometimes she will go out to the backyard and swing for a long time...

...other times she will simply twirl and sing. I love watching her and can't help but chuckle. I was on the computer the other day and she started singing "Welcome to the Luck Lady Saloon" from the Melodrama, Way Out West in a Dress, and twirling. I was able to take this video and she was totally unaware!

The Happy Farmer...

I know every mother feels this way, but I am so proud of Morgan. Just over a year ago she began taking violin lesson from Kris Briggs, a fabulous teacher, and she has come a long way! Besides the music, she has learned some great lessons. It is really a struggle everyday to get her to practice, but I think it is character building. Even though she gets frustrated because "it's hard" it is good that she has to work for it (most things come pretty easily for her). Even then, I think she is making remarkable progress. She is finishing up the Suzuki book 1 and is beginning book 2. I appreciate the time we spend together as I help her practice. I hope one day she will look back and appreciate it as well -- it must stink to have your mom be a music teacher. :)

I took this video about a month ago while she was preparing to pass off this song, "The Happy Farmer." Of course, she played it perfectly until I got out the camera, but she still did a good job. Morgan made me promise that I wouldn't post this on facebook, but she didn't say anything about my blog... Ha ha!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cougar Fans...

Our family loves the BYU Cougars! Whenever the Cougs play Air Force in Colorado Springs, we have the tradition of going down for the game. Holly and Brian were nice enough to watch Peyton and Cooper for us (we didn't think they would appreciate the game, the drive, and having to sit still), but we first had to get a picture in all our BYU apparel glory.

The Air Force Academy is such a great venue to bring the family to. The tailgate party was fun with Costa Vida, the cheerleaders, and pictures with Cosmo. Once in the stadium we love we loved watching the cadets in formation and the fly-over. There was a wonderful feeling there and being around the military felt like a fitting way to remember 9/11. There was a cool tribute to the heroes of 9/11 during halftime.

Sadly our boys didn't really show up to play, but we all had a great time together. We sure hope BYU will still play Air Force once in awhile so that we can continue our tradition!

Cougar fans: Ahlstrom family, Lyon family, Wasden family and Siders family

BYU touchdown!