Family Picture Fall 2016

Family Picture Fall 2016
Family Photo Fall 2016; Left to Right: Hunter, Beth, Elise, Me, Jess, Jane and Merrill

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Lover by Truslow

Lover by Truslow Sheet Music

So I taught some voice lessons to a gal and her boyfriend. He wanted to sing this song Lover by Truslow at his brother's wedding but he couldn't find any sheet music. So I watched the YouTube Video and figured out the piano accompaniment. I composed it and gifted him the music. Now you can also have a copy to sing this beautiful song by Truslow.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Storm of the Century

Last year, in 2016, we had the BIGGEST and most TORRENTIAL rainstorm I have ever experienced in my 40 +  years of living in Utah.

We affectionately (and hopefully) call it the storm of the century, hoping it won't happen again for at least another 100 years! Many of our neighbors' basements flooded, our cul-de-sac was a pond, and ... it was just crazy!

Building a House

We started looking for a different home about 5 years ago. We were running a successful side-business and it was running us out of our garage. Having owned two homes already, we had very specific things we wanted in the next house. Big (HUGE) garage, laundry upstairs, facing west, and the list went on and on and on.

We looked and looked. We didn't want to leave our ward and our neighborhood and our schools and this area. We love living by Provo Canyon and Murdock Trailheads. We love how close we are to everything. We love the view of Cascade mountains and Timpanogos.

By a great miracle, we were offered a lot in our neighborhood. It was a portion of our friends' orchard. We agreed on a price and a pay-off date and began saving up to pay off the land. We worked it out so that we could slowly pay off the land and begin developing it and building on it.

It was a good plan. It had millions of little steps to get from beginning to end. There was a huge learning curve.

We were a single small job, so many contractors put us on the back burner and never showed up to do the work. We had to look for new people over and over. It was slow. The city wanted the developer (us) to post bond. That meant that we had to pay the city, then pay the contractors, then get the money back from the city once the work passed inspection. It was a cash bond. We borrowed from our parents.

One stumbling block after another, we somehow found a way around it. It was an uphill battle.

Finally, in November of last year (2016) we got the certificate of occupancy and moved in to the new house, after living homeless (in our RV) for 11 days.

Photo taken in May of 2015 at Long Beach California, right out front of my Grandma Mary Jane's house. We visited Long Beach to attend Jess' friend Troy Piantes' wedding on a Long Beach Cruise ship... and to visit my Grandma!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall Family Pictures

We don't get out to do this often enough, but when we do, we always have a fun time finding just the right spot to do our family pictures. We had a lot of fun, and got some good shots.

We did this on Sunday of General Conference weekend, and it was such a beautiful day and Conference was so beautifully orchestrated toward my family, my life, and the people I love.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Just keep Swimming

My two youngest daughters are starting to understand what Dori on "Finding Nemo" was talking about when she sang "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming..."

They  have been through 3 days of true aquatics training. On day one, Jane entered the pool terrified of any water touching her ears or face. Teacher Brooke calmly talked to her and then after many verbal and whiny complaints, she showed Jane exactly what it was to have water in the face. She stood her one the edge of the pool, took her hands and dove her right into the pool and under water, and let her surface on her own, helping her to go right to her back.

These aquatics lessons are not for the faint of heart parent, in fact, many times parents just have to leave.

                                                             Beth Swimming Lessons

Jane Swimming Lessons

New Furniture.... AHHHH!

Well, in nearly 15 years of marriage, we have only bought 2 pieces of furniture. Our waterbed, and our sectional, which is now over 13 years old.

This past month, since half our kitchen chairs had broken, and our hand-me-down couches were literally falling apart, we decided it was time to buy some furniture.

And this is what we purchased. A 60" square table that seats 8. We cut the legs off and purchased the dining height chairs, because most square tables only come in counter height, which we didn't want.

And some couches for the living room. Bonded Leather on the armrests and cover, with corduroy micro-fiber cushions and pillows. We also bought a shock collar for the dog. (So he won't sit on them)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Best Feeling

This Christmas season I have felt like I am welcoming a New Born into my home again. It is the cherished gift of woman, to bear her own children. I realize the blessing is has been for me that over the past decade and more, this has been the crowning joy of my life, welcoming new born babies, one by one, into my life, my family, my home. There is just nothing else like it.

While that season of my life has ended and Jess and I have ushered in a new season of raising growing children, I have cherished the feelings which have returned this Christmas while singing songs about the tiny little Newborn Baby Jesus. I have thought about his earthly parents and the opportunity and challenge that was theirs of teaching and rearing Him in the flesh. 

Welcoming the Baby Jesus into my heart is akin to welcoming His atonement and testimony into my life. It is a gift, a welcoming, an openness, a joy, peace and blessing. At this season, as we celebrate and honor Him at the time of His mortal birth, we can celebrate also our own re-birth because of Him.

New Born Soul

As I hold
my new-born
smallest, sweetest

Deepest joy
cords of love

Gift from God

Think on Thee
New-Born King
came the same
to Mary

May I ever hold
my new-born
made new

Because of Thee

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Come, Mothers,

A plea...Who will stand between our young men and video games? To what end were they created? And by whom? How much money in a family budget is put toward this vast entertainment venue? And then, how much time, precious time, is spent toward it, and what, in its place, is lost?

We have already taken away from all our children the agrarian lifestyle. We have removed from them their being needed for our families to survive. We have taken away from them skills honed from caring for animals and property. We have taken away from them the benefits of a classical education and stuck them into a "conveyor belt" style learning environment. This, in turn, has taken them away much of the time from their families. And worse, we have taken away from them examples, in ourselves, of true lifelong learning.

I have two boys. One of them, I admit, struggles more with the notion of video games. He despises work for work's sake, reading for the sake of enjoyment and learning, and gets bored easily. My other son can play alone and keep himself busy with all kinds of projects, is willing to do his chores happily, and never asks me if he can play on the computer. Incidentally we don't own a Wii or any other playstation, but we do have a computer, his only way to play games. My son who struggles with always wanting to play computer games will read, work or go to great lengths if what he is doing is earning him computer play time. Bribery goes against my grain in all ways, so I find myself just saying "no." No whatever. No more.

My sister, while serving as Relief Society President in her ward, knew personally 3 young men who came home from the MTC because they could not stand the rigors of early rising and study there. They came home, more specifically, because they missed playing their games, and were bored.

Video games, I contest, ARE addictive. The effects on the minds of young men are somewhat visible in my generation, in a rising problem in fathers who become addicted to "gaming," along with the time consumed by many adults in social media such as Facebook.  

But the true and far-reaching effects of video games is yet to be seen. Games for our children are more addictive with their levels, 3-d real look, subject matters and interactive abilities. My sons' friends don't like to come to my house to play because we "have nothing to do" here. They ask no less than 10 times in an hour to play on the computer. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. They leave and when I say no video games over there, they grunt and sigh and throw a fit. Or worse, my son goes against my wishes. 

I talk to their friends' mothers. I explain that I prefer that my kids don't play video games. Some are supportive, others are not.

Mothers, if not us, then who? Who will stand between our sons and this plague of their minds, desires, and perspective? Someday, a sweet young lady is going to fall in love with my son. I can already feel her pain if he wants to game instead of be with her and his children. I can see so many consequences, spiraling down through the generations, if my son is not equipped to be a man. 

Mothers, please. Stand with me. Do you have the courage to get rid of your games and take the ensuing battle and rage that will follow, and hold your ground? Do you think that I am eccentric? Do you not see the signs in your sons that I see in mine? Can you not look down the road and see that the first step down this road leads to the end of this road, and where that place is? Do you think it isn't that big of a deal? 
Can you not see that even if they are not addicted, what is lost in the money and the time that could be spent elsewhere, and much greater things gained?

We are not a video game family. We have better things to do. This is what my sons will hear as often as they ask. I hope someday they will thank me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thanksgiving Season

How Can I Keep from singing?

What a great question! There have been times when the question has been, rather, "How can I keep from screaming?" But as one favorite songwriter put it: "God made our voices, but we make them sing; God gave us voices so we must sing." When proper perspective prevails, and we put forth the effort of that which we CAN do, we finally "survey the wondrous cross", we grow in God's grace, we
see His merits and receive his mercy... And behold, the rejoicing! How can I keep from singing, from making sing that voice that God made in me? Literally or figuratively, remember: "Jesus listening can hear the songs I cannot sing."

My new Thanksgiving Tradition is listening to, creating and enjoying beautiful hymns of Thanksgiving each day. I can count and name one by one many blessings, but ONE blessing is greatest of all, and it is real and personal and individual and useful in daily life, that of the Atonement of my Savior, Jesus the Christ. He is the fount of every blessing.

Come, thou Fount of Every Blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace.
Streams of mercy never ceasing
call for songs of loudest praise.

From one "forever undeserving of His grace," nevertheless a willing and grateful recipient, to you,
Happy and most Joyous Thanksgiving season!