Saturday, December 21, 2013

1943 Army Jeep

Our neighbor and good friend Brent Jensen took the kids for a ride in his son's restored jeep.  It's engine is original and has less than a thousand miles on it.  Very Cool!

Snowman train track


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Best Babysitter Ever!

Eliza, almost 10, drew the nativity, (characters about 6") and then had her younger siblings color them.  They were so proud when we got home that they had us close our eyes till we reached the fridge where they had posted them.  We were proud too!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Partners in crime!

These are the most unstable bookends we've ever owned!
They said they we're bunnies and they wanted to sleep there tonight.  Cute little boys!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The End of the World as We Know It

AKA Snow in St. George.  Snow that sticks to the ground for more than an hour!  Yippee!
Since we do home school, we hit the park first thing in the morning and found the snow completely unsullied. There's a great hill at Larkspur Park, and we took full advantage with the Woods and Heyers.  So fun!


I fell in love with Handel's Messiah when I was in college.  Our choir joined the Southwest Chorale and Symphony under the joint direction of Dr. Kim and Dr. Caldwell, and the grandeur and majesty of the oratorio changed Christmas for me forever.  Since then, no Christmas has been complete without it: we did Messiah sing-ins at BYU, we soloed with Evanston's production, and on years when there was no formal performance for us, we sang along with the CDs.

Coming back to St. George meant coming back to the Southwest Chorale's production of Messiah.  TJ has soloed for the last two years, and I've been in the choir.  And I have to say, the sense of homecoming couldn't be more beautifully complete.  Dr. Kim is gone, but Dr. Caldwell still conducts.  Since he was also my Symphonic Band teacher (and a great one), it is a great thrill performing under his baton again.  And since he still has a knack for making each student feel like his personal favorite, TJ and I both just bask in the glow.

The only thing that could possibly be better than singing about the Savior's birth is singing about the Savior's birth full blast!  Forty-five minutes into the oratorio, your voice is nice and warm, your diaphragm is bouncy, and your vocal and dynamic range is through the roof--and then all those lovely choruses are lined up like desserts on a buffet.  Nothing could keep me away from such a musical treat.  Indeed, I spent all Monday in bed with a stomach flu, and wasn't even sure I'd be able to stand through the whole performance, but I wiggled into my concert black anyway and went.  I was a little short of breath and a teeny bit woozy, but it was absolutely worth it.  Definitely the musical highlight of the year.

TJ's solo was beautiful, although he wasn't entirely thrilled with it.  The Trumpet Shall Sound is an absolutely magnificent duet between solo trumpet and the soloist, and they both did beautifully.  In the words of Kaye Hinton "it thrilled us to our toes!"  I was so proud of him!

Thanksgiving in Snowflake

We spent Thanksgiving weekend in Snowflake with TJ's parents and with his brother, Jonathan's family.  David and Chantel also came out for a day, so we got to meet their new baby boy.  The drive down was even more gorgeous than usual because there was snow for a lot of the way.  While we were there, we enjoyed lots of downtime (which meant I polished off a whole Georgette Heyer novel.)  The kids watched movies, played legos and pool, threw hatchets and shot arrows.  On Thanksgiving day, we took dinner to the church and ate there.  Afterward, the kids enjoyed making their traditional gumdrop turkeys.  Thomas and Isaiah missed the memo about the photo shoot, so you can see they started right in eating theirs.  :)  Friday morning, TJ's parents were volunteered to watch the kids so Cherie, Jonathan, TJ and I could go to the temple, which is visible from their house.  We drove home Friday night so we could rest up before Messiah performances Sunday and Monday.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Christmas Carol

Reading a radio version of Dickens' classic as a family tonight before bed was kind of magical.  Ezra was a very cantankerous "Scrooge," Eliza's supporting roles always had good English accents, and Naomi's bit parts, although haltingly read, were done in the best dramatic voice you can imagine.  We promised only a half hour but were swept up in the drama together, and the kids went to bed late.  I love this life of mine.

Shoulder Angel

Lately, Isaiah has taken to climbing onto TJ's shoulders, and saying "Poof!"  
Hmmm, have we been watching too much Studio C?