Saturday, December 27, 2008

Concerts and Recitals

The winter season is a time for our family to enjoy concerts and other opportunities for music. I love very much music and am grateful that my family enjoys music as well.

Todd and I went with my parents to the Conference Center on Saturday December 13 for "Ring Christmas Bells". Presented by Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square and Bells on Temple Square with special guests Brian Stokes Mitchell and Edward K Herrmann.

This concert was beautiful. We enjoyed hearing for the first time a very cute song that Brian Stokes Mitchell sang titled "The Friendly Beasts". It was also nice to hear him sing again "Through Heaven's Eyes", I didn't realize he was the man with the voice for that song in "The Prince of Egypt" (one of my favorite movies).

Our family enjoyed going to BJH for Kiersties concert. She is in her third year of concert choir and show choir. They sang many fun christmas and other holiday songs. My favorite is "Fruitcake".

Cozette is also at BJH and we enjoyed watching her play the violin with Cadet Orchestra. I am so happy that she enjoys playing the violin. She has beautiful and talented fingers for string instuments. One day she would like to pickup and learn both the acoustic and electric guitar. For now she is satisfied with playing rock band and guitar hero.
Here are highlights of her playing the violin during her concert.

Our four beautiful children have been taking piano lessons a little over a year now. Natalie (their piano teacher and work friend) decided to host a recital this year. The kids were very excited. They each picked out one song, with the exception of Kaylynn. She memorized her recital song in one week and wanted to learn and memorize another for the recital. It tickles me to watch each of my children enjoy music and especially playing the piano (like their mom). I was even excited that I was able to play a duet with Cameron and Cozette.

Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Johnson, as well as Sean, Jamie, and Family for coming to the recital and concerts.

Cameron played once "Jingle Bells" and then I played a duet of "Jingle Bells" with him.

Kierstie played "Hark the Herald Angels Sing".

Kaylynn played "Silent Night", then once "Let It Snow", then I joined her for a duet of "Let It Snow".

Cozette played "Blue Christmas" once and then I joined her for a duet of "Blue Christmas".

At the end of their recital, Natalie gave each of them a certificate of recognition and box of Mike n Ikes, each week for each song the kids pass off they choose Mike n Ikes out of a candy jar.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Deck the Halls

We have an artifical tree. One of our yearly traditions is to put up the tree Thanksgiving evening or Friday. This year was no different with the exception of being behind this year. Todd brought the tree into the house Thanksgiving evening. Our tree is pre-lite and so we started fixing up the branches making adjustments to each to help it look fuller and in preparation for decorating. Once plugged in we noticed that two different sets of lights were not working. So the kids and I started looking for what strand was not plugged in correctly.

After no success we decided a light must have burned out. But where? There were many strands and lights on this tree. Todd decided we better take the lights off the tree and begin looking for the burned out bulb. Talk about a long project. It took awhile but we found the burnt out bulb.

Kaylynn being silly with one of the light strands!

Kierstie and Cozette wanted to re-sting the lights on the tree.

The kids putting decorations on the tree. I prefer a theme or at least color theme. This year was no! After the kids were finished, I took the ornaments off the tree and re-decorated.

Now if I could just finish putting out Christmas. At least I am finished (for the most part) with that is!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

In the past like most families we have gone to two dinners. Usually earlier in the day Todd parent's and then later day or early evening we have gone to my parents home. Last year Sharon's house was the center of attention the day before Thanksgiving and then we enjoyed dinner at my parents house. A couple of years ago my mom tried having us all come for Thanksgiving breakfast. Our family enjoyed this because then we ate breakfast and only had one dinner later in the day.

This year my parents hosted Thanksgiving breakfast. We enjoyed sausage, egg, and cheese casserole, orange rolls, and pancakes. I enjoyed talking with and seeing all my siblings.

Dinner wasn't hosted by either parents this year so it was nice for me to start the traditional dinner at my house. I invited my parents to come to dinner. I even extended the invitation to my grandparents, but the declined the offer. Todd and I were very excited to use our china. We have only used them one other time.

I made the traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, rolls, vegitables, and even celery with cheese spread.

After dinner we played boggle (game) and just enjoyed one anothers company. Thanks Mom and Dad for coming to dinner. We loved having you over. Todd even took a picture of my parent resting right after dinner, but I promised mom I wouldn't share the picture.

Throughout the year I often reflect on the things I am thankful for but would like at this time to share these thoughts.

I am thankful for...

*My dear sweet husband. Without him I would be lost. He is a wonderful man. Very thoughtful and caring of me and our children. I love that he holds the priesthood and can use this sacred power to bless our home, our family, and those in need.
*My four wonderful children and the examples they are.
*Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
*The callings that my husband and I hold within our ward.
*Our employment. We both work really hard and enjoy what we do.
*Our health
*Our home
*The talents of each member of our family
*Wonderful family and friends

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Edition Tag

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper, but I also love the many different bags.
2. Real tree or Artificial? My favorite is a real tree, but we have an artificial tree.
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually Thanksgiving evening or the next day which is Friday November 28. We have our tree up, but not fully decorated. I am missing one box of Christmas as soon as I locate it we will finish decorating.
4. When do you take the tree down? January
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes (half eggnogg and half milk)
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I have always liked my gifts (not sure of my favorite)
7. Hardest person to buy for? Our parents (Todd and Mine)
8. Easiest person to buy for? Our children, especially Kierstie
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes a couple of them, one is out all year.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I have always liked my gifts
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Many ~Polar Express, Forgotten Carols, and the shows that come one ABC Family and Hallmark Channel.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually August, but sometimes will find things I like to put away for Christmas earlier in the year.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don’t remember, usually we will recycle some of our white elephant gifts for games.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Colored pop corn balls
16. Clear or Colored lights on the tree? Lots of clear lights (don’t mind multi-colored)
17. Favorite Christmas song? Silent Night by Enya and Pachelbel's Canon (Christmas Canon)
18. Travel for Christmas or stay home? Like to stay home or visit family. Don’t like to go on vacation or travel for the holidays.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer’s? Yes!!!! Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen, don’t forget Rudolph
20. Angel or star on tree top? We try to put a topper on the tree, but they are usually too heavy. We have a star and have it on the tree this year, hoping it will stay up on top.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas
We do open one gift Christmas Eve, tradition for my children I brought from my childhood. We open the present of new pajamas that we can wear to bed and during Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Anyone acting grumpy or like a scrooge
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? My favorite is silver. I like when the kids decorate the tree (I will fix the little spots that have too many or too bare spots though afterwards)
24. Favorite Christmas Dinner? Traditional Turkey or Ham with yams, stuffing, carrots, mashed potatoes, and rolls, etc.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
26. Who is most likely to respond to this? Hopefully everyone! This is fun.
27. Who is least likely to respond to this? Don’t be a scrooge, respond.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Young Women in Excellence

The past couple of months Kierstie and Cozette have been working hard on one of their projects (for personal progress). For this years Young Women in Excellence the girls decided they would like to do a value fashion show. Each value has an assigned color.

I am a daughter of Heavenly Father, who loves me. I have faith in His eternal plan, which centers on Jesus Christ, my Savior.
Divine Nature-Blue
I have inherited divine qualities, which I will strive to develop.
Individual Worth=Red
I am of infinite worth with my own divine mission, which I will strive to fulfill.
I will continually seek opportunities for learning and growth.
Choice and Accountability=Orange
I will choose good over evil and will accept responsibility for my decisions.
Good Works=Yellow
I will help others and build the kingdom through righteous service.
I will have the moral courage to make my actions consistent with my knowledge of right and wrong.

During the value fashion show Cozette chose to wear and represent the color Blue, which is Divine Nature. Kierstie chose to wear and represent the color Green, which is Knowledge.

The next part of the fashion show the girls modeled dresses they had either re-designed or altered to be more modest. I will admit I was nervous of this project for a couple of reasons. I was nervous that something wouldn't go right and these beautiful dresses would be ruined, luckily the dresses were donated to the girls. My other reason for being nervous is that I don't sew alot (I learned when I was in jr high and high school, but never kept up) and was unsure of how to help the girls sew or rather alter the dresses to be both modest and to fit the girls.

I am very thankful and appreciative of the time Sister Lyman spent with each of my daughters. Both girls spent quite a few days at Sister Lymans house over the period of a month or so working on their dresses. Kierstie over 10 hours and Cozette about 24 hours. They both enjoyed this project and now both have a beautiful dress they can wear to one of their future dances when the time comes for dating.

Kierstie didn't need to alter her dress much. It has spaghetti straps so to make this beautiful navy blue dress modest, she picked out a beautiful blue contrast with sparkles to sew a jacket she could where over the dress.

Cozette had to alter her dress alot. First it was way to big. Seams were taken out of the dress, bust line was gathered, and seams and hemline sewn so that the dress would fit more to her size. With the extra material cut away from the dress, Cozette made beautiful shoulder cuff sleeves for the dress. The dress was beautifully altered, but Cozette also wanted to make a jacket to go with it for contrasting color. She chose a very nice red satin material as well as a black lace material and combined them both to create the jacket.

I have to share this picture too. Cozy is just to little to have two nice young men help her down the stairs so she won't trip and fall.

Both girls love to sew and I am very proud of the fine work they did. The dresses are beautiful and the night of the fashion show when I saw them it brought tears to my eyes to see just how beautiful they are. One day they will knock someones socks off. Todd and I have our work cut out to keep the boys away. LOL!

The night was beautiful and it was nice to reflect on the theme which was chosen. Hold fast to this thought. "I am a Daughter of God". every thought every word every deed.

I am very thankful that Dad and I both were available to attend. We are very proud and love you both!

Young Womens Program...What a wonderful program!

I have two beautiful daughters in Young Women and sometimes it is hard to believe. Part of me doesn't like that they are growing up and then part of me is excited that I can talk and share with them these exciting years of their lives. I remember fondly my Young Women years and it has been so neat to share ideas and watch them work on their projects.

Our ward encourages the Young Women to work on the personal progress and complete the program before their sixteenth birthday. There are seven values and each project requires a minimum of ten hours.

Kierstie has taken this challenge to heart. She has two projects left and actually has challenged herself to finish well before her sixteenth birthday. Her goal is to finish before 12/31/08.

One of her two remaining projects is a nursery toy revamp. Kierstie and I decided what a fun way to do a toy revamp then to have a "toy shower" (like a baby shower, but for the nursery). We made invitations for all the sisters in the ward. The shower is scheduled for tonight December 3 6:30pm at our ward building. Last week, Kierstie organized an activity with the other girls to come out to the ward building to clean and dispose of broken nursery toys, books, etc. We made great progress in accessing the needs of the nursery and have been conveying that need with announcements among the different auxillaries. Lastnight Kierstie baked chocolate chip cookies to be shared as refreshments. Tonight we will host the shower with games, refreshments, etc. Probably tomorrow evening Kierstie and I will go through the nursery again and replace the older toys, books, etc with the gently used or new toys that are donated tonight.

Kierstie's last project, which she has already been working on, is making intregity quote books for each young woman within our ward. She made the book for herself and then decided it would be nice to share with the other girls, as well as help her with more hours in the integrity hours requirement.

I am very proud of Kierstie. She will have completed her goal to receive her YW Recognition before her fifteenth birthday which is December 19, 2008. She is sooo cute. She made the comment "what will I do once I have completed my personal progress"? I as well as her wonderful leaders have told her that she can then spend her time working with the other girls and then when sixteen sneaks up and keeps her busy, she will not have to stress about her goals in her life at that time. This will also give her the opportunity and time to help me work with Cozette on her personal projects.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What we did Saturday Nov 29

This past weekend as a family we went and saw the movie "Twilight". Can I just say awesome! The movie was soooo good. The kids and I even think dear hubby like the movie. I totally recommend this movie. I just wish we didn't have to wait so long for it to come out on DVD and for New Moon. My first thought, when I saw who they picked to play Bella and Edward, was no that is not Bella and Edward, but they grew on me just fine and I enjoyed watching the book come to life.

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