Monday, December 19, 2011

David Archuleta Update!!!

My friend Mindy Smith just attended the David Archuleta concert in Salt Lake City tonight, and she said he announced to his 'hometown' that he is serving a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

From her words, it sounded like a very emotional and tender announcement. I wish I had been at that concert. Check it out here.

What a stellar example of sacrifice and faith.

I can't wait to hear where he goes...

Carry on!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The New Mozart

Holy cow. This will blow you away...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Evening with David Archuleta


David spent our dinner hour with us, before the concert began. There were about 20 of us string players, and he graciously signed autographs and let us take all the pictures we wanted with him. I considered this a rare privilege, because with other celebrity artists we have collaborated with, security staff doesn't allow any one-on-one time with them. David treated us all as individuals, answering our questions, laughing with us, and even having an informal viola lesson... as if he had no other obligations in the world at that particular hour. There we were, hanging out in Blackfoot High School's choir room with a world class artist. And our own little security detail. David is genuine and without any pretense. Humble and authentic. And... a bit shy. But you wouldn't know that by watching him onstage.
All because of this man.... Jeff Archuleta, David's father and manager. He was incredibly gracious and friendly. He took care of us all day. By the time the concert was over, he felt like an adopted dad. For example, Jeff was asking us what we wanted for dinner... "Pizza? Sandwiches? What is available here in Blackfoot?" When we decided on pizza, he asked if anyone had any food sensitivities, etc. and one girl shyly raised her hand. Jeff asked her what she couldn't eat, and she mentioned a gluten allergy, and he was concerned trying to resolve the issue, etc. Pretty cool.
Here are some things I observed that impressed me. Truly...

On a personal note, I misjudged this kid. "I wish he would go on a mission," I thought. But after spending a day with him, hearing his music, seeing him interact with his non-member staff/security, seeing the quiet things he does for the youth in the community, as well as observing some other private moments of his, I can honestly say, "Maybe he is serving a non-proselyting mission." He is stellar and I was moved by his standards, his compassion for the people around him, and his commitment to the Savior.

For example, most artists have a 'meet-n-greet' staff member, who opens the show for them, takes care of the VIP clients, etc. David's MNG guy was telling us that he has opened shows for Christina Aguilera and Katy Perry. But he loves opening shows for David because D.A. draws a unique fan base. MNG guy mentioned how respectful and 'well-behaved' his fans are-- no disorderly drunks, foul mouthed people to contend with.

And did you know David's keyboard player (Mark Nilan) plays for Glee? (I hate Glee, but it's a pretty prestigious kudo, anyhoo...)

Also, D.A. won't sing about romantic drama songs. "I've never been in love, so I'm not comfortable singing about it. It's just not me." And he doesn't disappoint. I love that standard.

Also, as long as I'm on the confession wagon, I have to say I did watch his season on American Idol and rooted for him. But after? I wasn't crazy about his music. Until now... I loved every song he sang, and loved every minute of it. (And Thanks to another adoring fan, my neighbor Renae lets me know I am not alone... she was at the concert as well, and she came by tonight to give me a dvd copy of D.A. w/ MoTab. I love it!)

When asked by a fan before the show what his most memorable experience in his career was up to this point, he answered without hesitation, "Performing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir." (Not, 'shooting a Ford commercial' or 'being runner up on American Idol', or 'making my first cd', etc.)

Bottom line-- this is quality, clean entertainment. Where else can you find that today? Worthy of the title, American Idol. In my book.

*Weird side note: David's musical arranger is Richard Parkinson. I dated Richard in high school. Funny, eh?
** I had David autograph my violin case. In gold sharpie. Because I'm 38. And I have a CRUSH.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Meridian Magazine - Grammy Nominee Jenny Oaks Baker: Reflections on Her Faith - Meridian Magazine - LDS, Mormon and Latter-day Saint News and Views

I've had the opportunity to perform with Jenny as well as visit with her during rehearsals. I find this article poignant, not only as a fan, but as a violinist mom myself... trying to find balance in my life.

Meridian Magazine - Grammy Nominee Jenny Oaks Baker: Reflections on Her Faith - Meridian Magazine - LDS, Mormon and Latter-day Saint News and Views

Thursday, December 8, 2011

MMM is awesome!

I'm lovin' me this point of view! Check it out here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Quote

"There has only been one Christmas. The rest are anniversaries."

~ W.J. Cameron

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gratitude #24

I'm grateful for family, friends, food, shelter, my covenants, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, good health and living in this area. I'm also thankful for my husband's work, and for the opportunity I have to teach violin.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gratitude #23

... pie baking w/ Kathryn, the Mister's sister from New York. Just in case you're wondering, we did 1 apple, 2 pumpkin, 2 pecan, 1 key lime. All from scratch-o.

... the Mister took Josh and our NY nephew Sam out shooting. Beautiful November weather.

... seeing "The Help" with my mama-in-law and sisters-in-law.

... I'm so grateful I don't have to hire a nanny or 'help' to raise my babies.

... kids making memories with their cousins.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Meridian Magazine - Are You a Working Mother? Yes! - Meridian Magazine - LDS, Mormon and Latter-day Saint News and Views

Love this article.

Gratitude #22

I'm grateful the Endoscopy is done. I'm just waiting for pathology results...

I'm grateful for my sisters-in-law (Ruth & Kathryn) who took care of my kids all day so I could have the procedure done, then rest this afternoon.

I'm grateful for the Mister's boss. Who has connections... Big Boss Man called his mechanic friend in Shelley, and Mechanic Man will be able to fix our van for $200. As opposed to the $1000 we were estimating otherwise.

I'm grateful for the Mister, who was my designated driver today. And helps me focus when I feel physical pain and discomfort.

I'm grateful for my BFF Danielle. We've roughed a lot of storms since our high school graduation together, and she still gets me. Even if we haven't talked in a few months.

I'm grateful for my mama. She understands physical pain all too well. There's always something about talking to your mama when you don't feel well.

I'm grateful for Jesus Christ. He understands every kind of pain, both physical, emotional, spiritual. That makes Him able to succor us.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gratitude #21

... I'm grateful for our awesome home teacher, Brother Bailey. More car trouble, and he showed up tonight ready to work on the car.

...great violin students.

... broccoli asiago soup.

... good morning kisses from the Mister.

... Book of Mormon family reading.

... great neighbors.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gratitude #20

... we had a big FHE and watched "17 Miracles". The Mister's NY sis and her kids, as well as his parents came over to watch it and eat orange rolls. Even though it was my second time to see it, I couldn't stop weeping. Seeing my almost-12-year-old cry through it touched my heart. It truly strengthens my resolve to keep my face toward Zion.

... during the movie, Caleb said, "Prayers are magic!"

... I am having my endoscopy on Tuesday, and we just found out we have to pay a bunch of $ up front as a deposit for the doctor and the Surgical Center. Freaking out, I said to the Mister, "Hold off paying the tithing until next Sunday, so we make sure we have enough for the tests."

"I would rather take back some of the Christmas gifts and pay tithing on time than to delay payment," said he.

He has greater faith than me.

Ouch. So pay, we did. And life will be okay. Because we have to sacrifice better than our pioneer ancestors in order to keep our face toward Zion, even when it's expensive.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gratitude #19

I'm grateful for this reminder:
"When in doubt, choose the kids. There will be plenty of time later to choose work."

I'm grateful for my mother and father-in-law. Tonight we celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Best of all, the whole family was together-- David flew in from Tucson, Kathryn and kids flew in from New York, and we all had a feast in the private room at the Sandpiper.

I'm grateful the Mister (a.k.a. Scrooge) put up outdoor lights this year. And before Thanksgiving!
(but that's only because his brother Dave was here to help him.)

I'm grateful for my older brother Paul. Both of my brothers are two of the funniest humans on earth. I wish I were funnier like them:)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gratitude #18

... shopping with Lizzy.

... Idaho Falls Symphony dress rehearsal with my older kids.

...visiting with neighbors at play group.

... Thanksgiving break.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gratitude #17

My 6th grader's winter coat has been MIA for a few days. Today I'm grateful we found it. Just in time for this blasted storm.

I'm grateful for world class musicians in our midst. Today one of my best students had the opportunity to play in a master class for the Idaho Falls Symphony's new conductor, Thomas Heuser, and our concertmaster Emma Rubinstein. I enjoyed visiting with them both afterwards. It stretched my soul...

I'm grateful for the Holy Ghost, who taught me something today. I had been looking forward to attending the Enrichment meeting tonight because it was a turkey dinner with pie demonstrations. However, on the way home from the master class, I had the impression that attending Enrichment is a good choice. But a better choice would be to stay home and bake with my kids, who had been on their own for a couple of hours while I went to the Piano Gallery class.

I'm grateful for my Joseph. He loves and supports me steadily and without complaint. I am not an easy person to live with. Fortunately, he grounds me. And he believes in my abilities and potential, even when I feel like I am failing. Like today. I love that man.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gratitude #16

... today as I was driving into Idaho Falls heading east, I could clearly see the Grand Teton! In November! It was clear and bold and beautiful.

... we just about finished up our Christmas shopping today. Happy Day, in the West.

... a late night slice of my homemade pumpkin pie. With the Mister.

...I love that my kids enjoy the smoothies I make for them. Today: blueberry spinach smoothies.

...Cynthia Taggart invited both of my little ones to play over at her house. They had a blast, and I had a free hour.

... Thrive freeze dried mandarin oranges. Awesome Christmas gifts for in-laws.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gratitude #15

... hot chocolate. I'm telling you, the hot cocoa mix from the LDS cannery is delish!

... hugs, kisses & snuggling from my chillins.

... the Mister went to Toys R Us and got some of our Christmas shopping done today.

... coupons

... prayer. I lost something critical last night, and after searching everywhere, I could not find it. I went to bed with a heavy heart. I did not sleep well consequently, but when I got up with a sick child at 5 a.m., the Holy Ghost brought to my remembrance one more place I needed to look. Again. More thoroughly. And I found it. Tender mercies, I feel unworthy sometimes. (It's not the good Lord's fault I am so scatterbrained sometimes, but he hears my pleas and blesses me nonetheless.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gratitude #14

... the local library.

..."Ferdinand the Bull" story.

...FAME.

... Green Bay is winning, which means one happy Mister.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gratitude #13

... this quote:

"Gratitude turns what we have into enough." (Thanks, cousin Melissa!)

... for the power of the Book of Mormon in my life. Tonight as I read, I paid particular attention to the word 'remember.'

...homemade pumpkin pie.

...a fun primary class and co-teacher. Today one sweet little 6-year old interrupted our discussion on tithing to ask, "Who made Heavenly Father?"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gratitude #12

1. I'm grateful for a clean house. And I have to prioritize this in my blog post, because it ain't likely to stay that way...

2. I'm grateful for my parents' birthdays, which we celebrated tonight. I made chili, breadsticks and pumpkin pie.

3. I'm grateful my kids are becoming good friends. They think it's a privilege to all sleep in one of their bedrooms together. (On the weekends if their rooms are clean.) The whispering and giggling eventually taper down, and they sleep.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Gratitude #11

1. I'm grateful for our country's veterans.

2. I'm grateful I tutored a struggling 6th grader in my son's class today. I pretty much stink at math, but I was supposed to help her learn some of her multiplication facts. She still uses her fingers to count. The only trick I knew was the x 9's with the awesome finger trick. I showed her that, and Rosa grinned from ear to ear. Hopefully she walks a little taller.

3. I'm grateful for Lisa Morales. She watches my back.

4. I am so grateful for my roles as wife and mother. I feel abundant fulfillment loving and raising these children, and supporting and sustaining the choice of my heart.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gratitude #10

1. I'm thankful for the temple. I did initiatory for a sister born in 1595. As the officiator examined the date and name prior to beginning, she became choked up.

"I've never seen one that old," she cried.
"That's a long time to have to wait for freedom," I replied.

My covenants mean everything to me. It literally is a matter of life or death. And protection from the Adversary. How merciful our Lord is! And how fortunate to have a temple in our shadows!

2. Again, Bee-U-Tee-Full sunset and full moon tonight! I love me some southeast Idaho skies...

3. I'm grateful for ShelfReliance/Thrive... I have been earning an extra $200/month plus about $75 of free gourmet food storage. (Anybody wanna host a part and get tons of yummy free food storage?)

4.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gratitude #9

Today I'm thankful for the energy I had to deep clean my daughters' room. It felt good to tackle it and throw away an entire large garbage bag of trash, and another entire large garbage bag of donate-able (is that a word?) used toys.

I'm also grateful for Kid History Episode 6. I love laughing hard with my kids.

I'm grateful for my sisters-in-law. I got to visit with the Mister's sister in New York as well as the one that lives here in town. They are polar opposite, but interesting nonetheless!

I'm grateful for Pampered Chef. It has been a hobby of mine on the side, and last year, in one month, I earned $800, so we purchased a snow blower. Man, that sucker comes in handy with a driveway as long as ours... Anyway, I digress. I love cooking and entertaining, and being a consultant gives me a lot of free items.

I am grateful for our Creator. The weather today was beautiful.

I am grateful for Lizzy. She is such a calm kid, and consequently I can take her with me when I volunteer in my kids' classrooms each week at school. She is a good helper.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gratitude #8

1. I'm grateful for the Barber Violin Concerto. I learned the first movement in college under Dr. Kevin Call, competed with it in some concerto competitions and haven't touched it in years.
Yesterday NPR played a recording of it and it brought back such powerful emotions. Tchaikovsky tends to have that effect on me, too. I lament that I am unable to play it w/ the IF Symphony in a few weeks. But sometimes family is more important...

2. I'm grateful for the right to vote.

3. I'm grateful all the fruit of my loins were well enough to go to school today.

4. I'm grateful my kids don't ask me to play Barbies on the floor with them very often. It's a fate worse than cleaning up vomit. Almost. Give me Legos, coloring, or puzzles, but don't give me half naked, role-playing Barbie and Ken dolls. With bad hair. My mind goes blank.

5. I am so thankful for this beautiful earth. The sunset tonight was brilliant! "Hey Romeo! Check out the sunset!", I said to the Mister over the phone.

Yup. He walked in the door and planted a good smooch-a-roo on me and thanked me for the heads up.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gratitude #7

I'm grateful for Elder Uchtdorf's talk on "Forget-Me-Not's"...

I'm grateful for food storage...

I'm grateful for an afternoon nap.

I'm grateful for Caleb's prayers. All 5 minutes of it.

I'm grateful for November's Family Home Evenings where we each contribute to the Gratitude Jar. We open the slips of paper Thanksgiving morning and read what each other wrote. I'm a strong believer in traditions... it's what creates a cohesive family and produces memories that help draw our families closer.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Family PIctures 2011

Wowza!
My baby boy will be 12 next month???
Elizabeth, our bonus baby
Never a dull moment when Caleb is around...
Beautiful and smart Emma



Thanks to the talented and generous Angie Bailey Photography!

Gratitude #6

#1) Today Josh was sick. He asked, "Can I please at least just go to sacrament meeting?"
"Buddy, you're too sick. Why?"
He put his head down and didn't speak.
"Why do you want to go to sacrament meeting today?"
He quietly responded, "Because taking the bread and water is important to me."

I'm thankful for what he taught me today.

#2) I'm thankful for our traditional winter family game nights. The kids crack me up when we play
Apples to Apples!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Gratitude #5

I'm grateful I'm feeling better today.
I'm grateful we were able to get new tires for the Mister's truck today.
I'm grateful Emma said, "Thank you for folding my laundry, mama."

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gratitude #4

#1. I have had some medical issues recently and I will have to have an endoscopy soon.
I am grateful for health insurance.

#2. I was in a lot of pain today, so I called the Mister who promptly came home to give me a blessing and stay with the kids while I went to the doctor. I'm thankful he has a flexible job and that he enjoys his career.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gratitude Day #3


1. I'm grateful for the Mister's sense of humor.

"Don't be jealous I've been chatting online with babes all night..."

He's not quite scrawny enough to be Kip, and I"m not quite black enough to be LaFawnduh, but it was fun anyhoo.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gratitude Day #2

Today I'm so thankful for heat. Heat in my vehicle, warm clothing, heat in our home...

At 9:00 this morning, I was in the car (stopped at a red light) at a large intersection near our home. There was only one other car in front of me, and no other traffic around. Seemingly out of nowhere, a transient man approached the car in front of me and started soliciting him. The man seemed aggressive enough to make me uncomfortable. I felt frightened. I also felt sad for the man who had nowhere better to be than on the street corner in 11 degree weather, inadequately dressed.

Random, I know-- but I'm thankful for heat.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gratitude Day #1

... Today's BYU-I Devotional by Elder Robert Steuer entitled "Reconciliation and the Temple". I'm telling you it was power. I listened to it as I made lunches for tomorrow, corrected math homework, etc. It caused something powerful to stir within my soul. (And it wasn't Hillary Thomas' Italian Meatball Tortellini.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Something to Think About

"You can't reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday's junk."

~ Louise Smith

Monday, October 24, 2011

Better Than a Cupcake

I love this message. We shared it with the kids for FHE tonight.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hilar-e-ous

Check out this blog here. Where would we be if we couldn't laugh at our LDS culture now and then?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September Musings

1. Today my 6-year old learned to ride his bike without training wheels! (This is one of those mental snapshots you hold close to your heart:)

2. I turned 38 last week. I got a VitaMix blender for my birthday. We make homemade smoothies and salsa almost daily.

3. I am now a Shelf Reliance consultant. I am excited about this because I get to build my food storage twice as fast and for half the price. Plus I get paid to do it.

4. I am still a Pampered Chef consultant. I have been obsessed with kitchen gadgets for years. But to keep my hobby in check, I make myself throw some old kitchen item away before I get a new Pampered Chef gadget. That way I keep my addiction in check ;)

5. I'm grateful our garden produced well this year. The zucchini gods in particular, have been very fertile.

6. Things I love about fall: making soups and breads from scratch, pumpkins, spices, Halloween, General Conference.

7. Things I hate about fall: less daylight, the impending winter, schedules, routines.

8. Things I love about summer: snow cones, watermelon, grilling, hiking, feeling green grass beneath my feet, fresh fruits and veggies in season, our wedding anniversary, bike riding, having my kiddos home all day with me.

9. Things I hate about summer: flies, weeding, having my kiddos home all day with me.

10. Tonight I went on a moonlight bike ride with my Christmas Joy. We rode next to each other in silence, enjoying the quiet of the warm night. As we approached our neighborhood, he said to me, "Mom, what do you remember about 9/11?" (He was a toddler then.) After I responded, he asked how the attacks made me feel. "Angry and sad," I reflected.

11. I has taken us 5 years to get to know one of our neighbors. They were very guarded and seemingly unfriendly. Some simple events have softened their hearts toward us, I suppose. I'm glad about that.

12. My kids invited a non-LDS neighborhood boy to church last week. He showed up on our doorstep two hours early, dressed in a new suit and tie. I hope he'll come tomorrow, too.

13. Our September Ensign and Friend magazines have literally disappeared into thin air. I didn't even get to open them. I'm sad.

14. I love our Book Club. I enjoy reading good literature and having thought-provoking discussions about the material. Plus the ladies in our group are awesome.

15. My Vita-Mix is flippin' awesome. It can grind wheat, make soups, sorbets, ice cream, sauces and smoothies in minutes. When I make our smoothies, I drop a whole carrot, handfuls of spinach, whole beets and unpeeled kiwi (or oranges or apples, frozen berries, bananas or whatever else I find) in with ice and yogurt. My kids drink them happily, not knowing they are drinking a salad.

16. I wish I was a better housekeeper. Toilets especially gross me out. The Mister graciously cleaned them the first several years we were married. Now the kids are old enough to do it. Other people's DNA is just not my thing.

17. I love picking split ends out of my hair. I also like popping my kids' white heads on their noses.

18. Why don't Jimmer and Jake Heaps go on missions? Then I'd really be impressed.

19. Why are the vast majority of active Latter-day Saints Republican?

20. I've lost 10 pounds since June. I wish I could lose some jiggly goodness surrounding my girth. Front and center. I hate looking 12 weeks pregnant all the time.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

Zucchini Orange Bread

4 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. oil (I substitute applesauce)
2/3 c. orange juice
2 tsp. orange zest
2 c. grated zucchini
3 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 c. chopped nuts, opt.

Glaze: 1 c. powdered sugar, 2-3 T. orange juice

Beat eggs; add sugar, oil, juice, zest, and zucchini. Mix well. Combine dry ingredients and add to zucchini mixture. Mix well. Place in 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool. Drizzle glaze over bread when cool.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Follow-up Post: Same Gender Attraction

I had some interesting follow-up reactions to my previous post. I had an email exchange with Mitch Mayne, the man whom I referred to in the last post. I came under some scrutiny, concerned friends both for and against Mitch's stance, so I decided to investigate. I asked him rather pointed questions, to which he politely and openly responded. He was strongly opposed to Proposition 8 in California (same sex marriage ban), despite the First Presidency's concerns. He would not be unhappy if the leaders of our Church gave the green light to seal same gender couples together in the temple. Trying to change the very essence of God's Plan for families is like trying to drown a fish. (Not gonna happen, dude.)

Let me be very clear-- My intention for posting Mitch Mayne's blog was simple: I thought it was so commendable that this man is trying to overcome something so challenging; NOT because I feel the Church is becoming more 'mainstream.'

Also, I had an LDS friend (who is a supporter of Mitch, and incidentally this friend is a lot more liberal than I am), email me and mention his disagreement with my post. Apparently I wasn't sympathetic enough towards gays. Or tolerant? Or something.

President Boyd K. Packer, speaking to those who struggle with same gender attraction, stated, "We do not reject you. We cannot reject you, because we love you." There is no room for malice or contention when discussing these issues, just like there is no room to label the Church "intolerant."

What's there to disagree with? I stated doctrine, as quoted by latter-day prophets, and shared my supporting opinion of those doctrines. But just to be on the safe side, here is more plain language to illustrate aspects of Heavenly Father's Plan.

A bit of doctrine:

"Heaven is organized by families, which require a man and a woman who together exercise their procreative powers within the bounds the Lord has set. Same-gender relationships are inconsistent with this Plan. Without a husband and wife, there would be no eternal family and no opportunity to become like Heavenly Father."

"It is not helpful to flaunt homosexual tendencies or make them the subject of unnecessary observation or discussion." (God Loveth His Children, LDS Church manual)

"We should refrain from using these words (lesbian, homosexual, gay) as nouns to identify particular conditions or specific persons. It is wrong to use these words to denote a condition because this implies that a person is consigned by birth to a circumstance in which he or she has no choice in respect to the critically important matter of sexual behavior.

Satan would like us to believe that we are not responsible in this life. A person who insists that he is not responsible for the exercise of his free agency because he was 'born that way' is trying to ignore the outcome of the War in Heaven. We ARE responsible, and if we argue otherwise, our efforts become part of the propaganda effort of the Adversary. " (Dallin H. Oaks, Oct. 1995)

President Boyd K. Packer, speaking to those who struggle with same-gender attractions, stated: "We do not reject you. We cannot reject you, because we love you." There is no room for malice or contention. We are spiritually brothers and sisters. And the one thing that makes me angry (in political arenas as well) is that people confuse "not being tolerant" with having boundaries...

Nonetheless, I am grateful for my friends, no matter which side of the debate you may find yourself. It was a pleasure to have an open and friendly dialogue with Mitch, his supporters, and other concerned friends.

God bless.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Something to Think About

I grew up around gay men.

Let me clarify-- my parents were responsible for hosting world renowned pianists and organists that were invited to be part of the Ricks College/BYU-I Center Stage Concert Series. These performers were some of my parents' best friends. Sadly, we witnessed a few of these good men as they succumbed to AIDS.

Fast forward 20 years... by virtue of the fact that I am in the arts and music industry, I am also acquainted with many gay and lesbian colleagues. Some LDS, (some ex-LDS), and some not. In fact, I dated a guy I met in music circles at Ricks College when I was 19 years old. He had graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy (a prestigious private arts high school in Michigan) and was offered music scholarships to various conservatories throughout the United States. However, he chose to come to Ricks College (on a full-ride scholarship, no less.) We dated seriously and he asked me to marry him when he got home from his mission. He was called to a state-side mission and I wrote him faithfully... until he unexpectedly got sent home from his mission for having same-gender attraction issues with his zone leader. (Yuck, I know.) Gives new meaning to the cultural term, "Dear John", no? Needless to say, I put the kabosh on things and after he graduated from Ricks, he formally left the Church to pursue both his alternate lifestyle as well as his musical dream in New York City. And he has made quite a name for himself on the stage.

I don't have all the answers. I do believe that there is a distinction between having immoral thoughts and feelings verses engaging in immoral acts. Elder Dallin H. Oaks stated, "Different persons have different physical characteristics and different susceptibilities to the various physical and emotional pressures we may encounter in our childhood and adult environment. We did not choose these personal susceptibilities either, but we do choose and will be held accountable for the... behavior and 'lifestyle' we engraft upon them."

I recently found this post via facebook. It is very interesting.

This man in this blog was recently sustained as a counselor in his local San Francisco Stake. I support the Church's standing whole heartedly-- if a member of the Church is worthy (not acting on gay impulses and/or tendencies), he/she may participate in all of the ordinances and blessings of the restored gospel. Because gender is eternally essential to our identity, God would not/could not create gay spirit children. Perhaps some have inclinations more than others certainly, but our Loving Father would not allow us to "be born this way." It is contrary to the Plan of Salvation.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland stated, "Let me make it clear that attractions alone, troublesome as they may be, do not make one unworthy. If you do not act on temptations, you have not transgressed." (Oct. 2007 Ensign) No matter your stand on the issue, the bottom line (on which we can all agree) is that God's richest blessings will eventually be available to all of His children, if they are clean and faithful.

I wonder if this guy is the same one who authors the blog on my sidebar "Which Means Life is Extra Tough"??? Anyhoo, enjoy the read.

I am Mitch Mayne. I am an openly gay, active Latter-Day Saint.: You know who I am: "In the fall of 2009, I was approached by my Stake President to help put together a stake-wide program to LDS members to help them better und..."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Scary...

"If the U.S. Government was a family, they would be making $58,000 a year; they spend $75,000 a year, and are $327,000 in credit card debt. They are currently proposing BIG spending cuts to reduce their spending to $72,000 a year. These are the actual proportions of the federal budget and debt, reduced to a level we can understand."

~ Dave Ramsey

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pioneer Day

"Though we have rightly applauded our ancestors for their spiritual achievement... those of us who prevail today will have done no small thing. The special spirits who have been reserved to live in this time of challenges and who overcome will one day be praised for their stamina by those who pulled handcarts."

~ Neal A. Maxwell (Notwithstanding My Weakness, p. 18)


"The courage of the pioneers was really just getting up everyday and doing what needed to be done that day. For most of the pioneers, most of the time, the trek westward consisted of getting up, building fires, cooking breakfast, feeding and watering the animals, breaking camp, walking 6 miles, stopping for lunch and resting the animals, feeding and watering them again, making any needed repairs, stopping at rivers to gather water, wash clothes, maybe walk another 5 miles and then setting up camp, building fires, cooking dinner, eating, praying, singing, maybe some dancing, and getting to bed to do it all over again tomorrow. They made little progress each day, but each step, each mile brought them closer to an amazing and timeless legacy. We may not see the far reaching effects of our day-to-day diligence, but it is being built nonetheless."

~ Virginia H. Pearce (1997 General Young Women Mtg.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Did Not Want Children

Wishing I could have heard these women speak live in Utah...

I Did Not Want Children

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Grab more tissues...

I've been finding some emotional blogs recently. I wept as I read and watched this one; I went to high school with Molly. Through tragedy, their faith is refined. I am inspired to be better. Check out their story here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Our 14th Anniversary--blogging style

Yesterday we celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary. JP's sweet sister Anne offered to feed & play with the chilluns while JP took me to dinner.

We went to Stockman's Steakhouse (my favorite restaurant...) and were seated in a booth. We sat close. We talked about the kids. And we talked about death. (What I would miss most if he died suddenly, and what he would miss most if I died. Morbid, I know.) We reflected on how good God has been to us. And we ate delicious prime rib, salads, rolls w/ honeybutter, loaded baked potatoes, and huckleberry cheesecake. Between vittles, I told him how sexy I think his hair is. And how country music turns me on. As a side note, I tell him I think Tim McGraw is hot. Rather than feeling threatened, he humors me by saying, "I'm going to get a tight white t-shirt on with a straw cowboy hat. That should do the trick. But I better work out first." (Yep. He's a keeper. A great sense of humor is a powerful aphrodisiac.)

I love my long-suffering, patient Joseph. After fourteen years, he is still the choice of my heart. I think eternity looks rather good on us.

Here's a blog I stumbled upon recently ~ this family is my brother's neighbor. Grab a tissue.

www.mackfamilyfund.com


And tell your Mister you love him one more time.

Loves,

Annalee

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New kid on the blog...

A friend of mine has a wonderful new blog-- check her out!



Another perk-- she named her daughter Annalee. Now ya don't hear that name everyday...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

HS 20-Year Class Reunion




I am officially old. This weekend, our high school class is having our 20-year reunion. I've been stressing about it for months. In the wrong kind of sense. I've been trying to exercise, and eat better to lose the 50 pounds I've gained since 1991. Last week when I realized I'm healthier, but not much thinner, I started to panic.

"What will people think? So many old class mates were much thinner than I was at the last reunion." And so on...

Then it hit me-- the same body image questions plaguing my private self-talk today are the same ones from yesteryear.

I've forgotten my true identity- and my worth.

Isn't it a privilege to be here in mortality with a functioning, healthy body? It's part of God's Plan for me. And when I start obsessing about my weight or my appearance and 'trusting in the arm of flesh', it's time to re-evaluate some things.

Why? I don't feel this way around my friends and neighbors. Why am I feeling this 'myth of perfectionism' issue concerning seeing my high school classmates? By most standards, I suppose I was popular-- studentbody officer, concert master for one of the state's top orchestras, member of the chamber choir, graduated with honors, and I was asked to every dance my senior year. Am I trying somehow to make sure I 'live up to' the standard I set for myself in high school? Why, why, why do I care what these people think?

I don't know, but I am publicly stating (via my blog), that I am letting that mentality go. This is who I am. While my body is less than desirable in the world's point of view, it is mine. And more importantly, my spirit is larger, much LARGER than it was at age 17. (Ironic, don'tcha think?) And that, my friends, is good.

So, I'm hanging onto the original model. Some of the parts have begun to show some wear and tear; the warranty is long gone, and the novelty wore off a long time ago. But I find a lot of value in keeping the ol' thing around. Because God gave it to me. And fortunately, His opinion is the only one that counts.

But that doesn't mean I'm not going to the reunion festivities without a good garter and push-up bra.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Kid History-- gone viral

Last weekend, our family was introduced to Kid History, a series of short comic plays by a couple of brothers in Utah County. They are hilarious -- the children tell a story and then the parents have to act it out. They just released Episode 5 last night. It's better than Napoleon Dynamite-- your family will be quoting it for days. Enjoy!

here

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Home again, home again, jiggity jig

We've been gone all week to southern Utah. We have had many exquisite adventures. I will post pictures soon. In the meantime...

On the drive home, the Mister asked the kids what their favorite activity was on our vacation. Caleb said, "Camping at the campground because it had so many picnic tables."

And there you have it.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

For the youth

Are we asking the right question? Click here.

Friday, June 3, 2011

"Caleb's World"

Caleb loves to say prayers... family, personal or blessings on the food, he's all over it. Last night he prayed, and when he finished, he said, "Well, I tried not to make it all about Caleb's World!"

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Rapture...

"If the rapture doesn't happen tomorrow, the guy who predicted it shouldn't feel too bad. Something good might come of it. Just think-- Mormons have been collecting food storage for decades. Nothing apocalyptic has happened yet, but how else would we have come up with Hawaiian Haystacks? That's good stuff, right there."

~ Cherie Call

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mindy Gledhill - Whole Wide World (Official Music Video)



I'm thrilled because this weekend, Mindy Gledhill is performing for her first time with an orchestra! The Teton Chamber Orchestra is playing with her in concerts this weekend in Rexburg and Idaho Falls. I LOVE her music:) I love LOVE L-O-V-E her song writing skills.

Check her other songs out on YouTube, and come hear us in concert with her... Civic Auditorium Saturday, May 7 @ 7:30. Tickets are $12, available at Dale Jeweler's in Idaho Falls. A great Mother's Day gift!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day/GoodFriday

"My thoughts on this Earth Day, kept returning to a hill in Jerusalem, where our Savior was raised up on a cross, and the earth groaned and broke into seams at the death of its Creator."

~ Kathy Stanger

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Refreshing...from the media, for a change!

For an interesting article, written by a mainstream media journalist, click here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Too Funny

We were out of town the day the school counselor gathered the 5th graders and their parents for the annual showing of "Growing Up." This is the maturation movie shown has part of the school district's health curriculum (hygiene, body changes, etc.)

Sooo, we borrowed it from the school and sat down to watch it with our 11-year old after having put the other kids to bed. As we start the movie, Josh says to us, "Do you think they have this available in blu-ray?"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dear Congress

Dear Congress,

Last year I mismanaged my funds and this year my family and I cannot decide on a budget. Until we come to a unified decision that fits all of our needs and interests, we will have to shut down our checkbook and will no longer be able to pay our taxes. I'm sure you'll understand. Thank you for setting an example we can follow.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some days...

The Mad Hatter: "Have I gone mad?"

Alice: "I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are."

Annalee: "Thanks, Alice. I needed a little validation today."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

For a good laugh

Did anybody see the goofy kid right after the closing prayer of Conference?

http://www.ldsfriends.com/general-conference-posters/

Friday, March 25, 2011

Eulogy

Attention! Please join me in remember yet another great icon from the entertainment community. The Pillsbury Dough boy died yesterday from a yeast infection and complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71. He is survived by his wife Play Dough, and their three children Jane Dough, John Dough and Dosey Dough, as well as one in the oven. The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Good Wife

For a good laugh click here. I know many of you have seen this article around the net. Turns out it probably is not a real article but it really makes me laugh so I thought I'd share it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patricks Day

My favorite IRiSh Prayer...

May those that love us, love us. ANd if they don't, may God turn their hearts. ANd if He cannot turn their hearts, may He turn their ankles, that we may know them by their limpin'.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My love affair... with evaporated milk!

I've become obsessed with evaporated milk lately...

When I make tomato soup (condensed) from a can, I now use evaporated milk to mix with it rather than regular milk (or water!), and it is sooo much richer and creamier. You'll never go back.

This morning I made a glaze for our cinnamon rolls, and instead of using regular milk, I again used evaporated milk. It made a huge difference! It is sooo sweet.

Lastly, I've been substituting the evap. milk for cream; so now I pour evaporated milk over my applesauce and it is a yummy healthy dessert.

Gotta try it... I swear by it now!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Holding on to the 'others' | Mormon Times

Sadly, this I agree with the author-- this is a problem throughout our culture. I was glad to be made aware of it. A must-read for parents.


Holding on to the 'others' | Mormon Times

Monday, February 28, 2011

My Nemesis

"A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went."

~ john maxwell

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cool Quote

"Being humble doesn't mean thinking less of yourself; It simply means thinking less about yourself."

(Author Unknown)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day 2011

"Give all to love; obey thy heart."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


On Saturday, the Mister made reservations for us at The Sandpiper. We went with our good friends, the Greenhalgh's. We enjoyed appetizers, ribeye steak, lobster tail, halibut and chocolate cheesecake.

On Sunday, we invited our good friends, the Leech's; we grilled more steak (watch out, PETA), had more shrimp, artichoke appetizers, salad, homemade rolls and chocolate lava cake.

Today, the Mister made me one of his homemade, endearing cards:) I gave him chocolates; we gave the kids chocolates & new sweats. Tonight we shall eat waffles with strawberries & whipped cream.

One of my favorite quotes for the Love Fest:

"The human heart is remarkable in that it is designed to pump continuously for a hundred and twenty years without ever needing to be reminded what it was meant to do. It just does it. If anything in this universe reflects the fingerprint of God, it is the human heart."
~ Charles Martin

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What do you say???

I was tucking my 5-year old in bed a few nights ago. As I lean over to kiss him, he says,

"Mom, is there anything else true that I don't know?"

~ It's 9:30 at night; I've been up since 5:30 and I can't think of how to respond. So he says,

"Mom, is there anything else that happens in real life that I haven't seen yet?"

I seriously need a vacation. Apparently, so does Pee Wee Aristotle.

Monday, January 17, 2011

"When Pornography Hits Home"

Unfortunately, The Drug of the New Millennium is a bigger problem than we want to admit... a must read article.

I've been invited to speak next week to a group of women at BYU-I whose husbands are addicted to pornography . You can bet I'll be referring to some wonderful insights from this woman's article.

http://www.mormonwomen.com/2011/01/12/when-pornography-hits-home/

Always remember, ladies... there is hope.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Observations by a 5-year old

This morning at breakfast:

Caleb: "Mom, did you know that Dad is not only bigger and stronger than you, but he is also smarter than you."

Me: "Excuse me?"

(Older children's cereal-filled spoons freeze mid-air to guage my response...)

Caleb: "Yes, Mom. It's true."

Me: "Well, Dad is smarter than me in many ways. Wanna know why I think your Daddy is so smart?" (heads nod) He can build things, he is smarter with technology; and he is good at his career, which mommy knows nothing about."

"But what's something mommy knows a lot about that Daddy doesn't understand?"

....
....
~the silence in the room is frightening me~

~nobody offers any ideas~

So I say, "What about music?"

All 4 chitlins giggle politely as they nod their happy little heads and say with a sigh of relief, "OH YES!"

Emma: And you're smarter about braiding and curling our hair, Mama!

~ that certainly calls for celebration; at least an IQ point or two higher for sure~

Me: "So Caleb, why do you think Daddy is smarter than mommy?"

Caleb: "Because he can eat a whole package of Ramen noodles and you can't."

Applicable quote for the day: "When you're feeling down, just remember you're the one sperm that won the race!"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Allan & Laura Wolford - Loving Husband, Dedicated Wife, Mormons

This is my cousin Allan... I found this by accident on Mormon Messages. Way to go Allan & Laura! Very uplifting!