Final piano recital

Nicole had her final piano recital today. She played a movement from a Beethoven Sonata and four pieces from Dello Joio. They were energetic and full of feeling. I could tell there was joy and relief from having completed all those many years of piano study and performance. She contributes willingly and beautifully in church and youth meetings. I am proud of her. Here she is with her teacher and both of her piano teachers and then with the family afterward.

IMG_1828 IMG_1830 IMG_1831

Reaching goals

Nicole and I passed off the memorization of The Living Christ tonight with Jeslyn. It was three weeks of memorizing and reciting and internalizing the words from this inspired document. I would never have done it without the examples of Jeslyn and Nicole. Jeslyn had a great way of breaking down the meaning and wording of each paragraph. Nicole has a brilliant mind and captured the essence quickly and completely. I am so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, His life and love, His example and atonement, and grateful for the apostles and prophets who testify and teach and serve Him.

IMG_1662 IMG_1667

We did it!

The rest of The Living Christ

We have memorized the rest of The Living Christ. It is a powerful testimony of the life and purpose of our Savior.  I am going to type it up to solidify the memorization. Thanks to Jeslyn and Nicole for helping in this meaningful process.


“Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: ‘His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

‘I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth; I am he who was slain: I am your advocate with the Father’ (D & C 110-3-4).

Of Him the Prophet also declared: ‘And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of Him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him:That he lives!

For we saw Him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—

That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God’(D & C 76:22-24).

We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His church have been restored upon the earth —’built upon the foundation of…..apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone’(Ephesians 2:20).

We testify that He will someday return to earth. ‘And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together’ (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.

We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles — that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.

The First Presidency

Gordon B. Hinckley  Thomas S. Monson  James E. Faust

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Boyd K. Packer   L. Tom Perry   David B. Haight   Neal A. Maxwell   Russell M. Nelson   Dallin H. Oaks   M. Russell Ballard   Joseph B. Wirthlin   Richard G. Scott   Robert D. Hales   Jeffrey R. Holland   Henry B. Eyring

January 1, 2000

I had a bunch of punctuation and capitalization errors to fix.  And a couple of words. But I almost have it word perfect. Nicole and I are going to try and pass it off with Jeslyn Monday night. Jeslyn passed it off to us tonight.

Finally blueberries back in the house

I haven’t been able to get out of the house much this week since Robin has been so sick. But today after a couple of piano lessons, I ran to the store and one of the things I purchased was some blueberries. I am looking forward to having them in the morning.

It has been a hard week in many ways — quite a few disappointments and sickness. Nicole heard from her last three colleges, and didn’t get in any. She was sad, but still happy to be going to BYU. Robin has had the flu, and really just has started to turn around today. When the schedule is off like that, or my kids are going through something hard, it throws me off. I worry and think deeply and wish I could change things, but restrain myself from doing much but being a support and listener.

In many ways, there is more clarity for the future. I do feel closer to my Heavenly Father when things don’t go as expected, and I rely on Him for the answers since my desires seem different than certain outcomes. I seek out comfort from the Spirit, and I have an eye for the deeper blessings that I have in my life and my children have in their lives. In many ways, this unites me with my deepest beliefs and my anchor to the Savior and my Father in Heaven. It doesn’t take away the hurt, but it does comfort me in my distress. Since Nicole is handling things so well, I only hope she is finding similar comfort in prayer and the Holy Ghost.

Blueberries in the morning — and hopefully some joy and peace and rest with spring break next week!

Easter beliefs

It is the week leading up to Easter. So I have been memorizing more of The Living Christ. I am continuing learning this wonderful testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ. I want to type it out to help in the memorization. I am halfway to having it all memorized, thanks to Jeslyn and Nicole.

“He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.

We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.

He rose from the grave to “become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, he visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His “other sheep” (John 10:16) in ancient America. In the modern world, He and His father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised “dispensation of the fulness of times” (Ephesians 1:10).”

I am grateful for the life of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and His atoning sacrifice that helps me each day.

Turning over a new leaf

I know that getting more sleep —earlier to bed, earlier to rise — will change my life. So I am attempting to do that. Last night, I was in bed before 10, don’t know if I got to sleep before 11:30, too much to catch up on with Erik. But I did get up at 6:15 and drove Brandon and Nicholas to seminary, and then went to the Dish for my favorite walk. I am exhausted now, before 8, but maybe that will get me to sleep by 10? I will report tomorrow.

Last night, our good friend, Jeslyn, came over to start memorizing The Living Christ, the apostles’ testimony of Jesus Christ, with Nicole. It is a final value project to complete her personal progress. I spent most of my walk this morning memorizing the first two paragraphs of that inspired work. It is good preparation for Easter, and a chance to remember the gift of the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I am going to type out those first two paragraphs, and see if I have really learned it. Nicole and Jeslyn inspired me to want to learn it after being their memorization checker last night. It should take 10 hours of work and be a strengthening, meaningful use of time and brain energy.

“As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.

He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His father, He was the creator of the earth. ‘All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made which was made.’ (John 1:3) Though sinless, he was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.”

I had to correct a couple of minor capitalizations and quotes. I had to rearrange the first phrase of John 1:3. But otherwise, I have learned those two paragraphs! It is a good mental exercise to memorize this. And it helps me focus my thoughts on my Savior, to whom I am indebted eternally.

4 out of 7 drink green

So I am still recovering from feeling sick the other day, and I felt like having a green smoothie. So I got some fresh strawberries, mint, parsley, spinach, celery, squeezed some orange juice, and added frozen mango and whipped one up. The strawberry actually makes the green less bright and instead more brown. It is not as pretty, but the taste was fabulous. Camille and Nicole, as well as Erik and me, really like drinking green smoothies. Maybe this is catching on and can spread to the whole family. Time will tell.



Stake Musical

In honor of Dr. Seuss and the youth theme of the year, the teenagers in our stake put on a fun musical. The narrators were characters from Dr. Seuss’ books, the Cat in the Hat, Sam-I-Am, Thing 1, 2, 3, fish, Horton, and more. It was entitled Oh, the Places you will Stand, stand in holy places. I love how these youth stand for honesty, integrity, modesty, righteousness. I learn from them each day.IMG_1471Camille and MadelineIMG_1472 Having funIMG_1473Cute girlsIMG_1474The Three MusketeersIMG_1475Sinclaire, Miko and NicoleIMG_1476CousinsIMG_1477More cousinsIMG_1478Kyra and Robin, more cousinsIMG_1481Jeslyn and meIMG_1447 Sinclaire, Lena and Nicole narratingIMG_1451 Hannah and AubreyIMG_1459Brandon waiting to go on stage for StompIMG_1463 StompIMG_1466 CamilleIMG_1467Brandon and all the boysIMG_1482Time for fun afterwards

A show is a great way to bond and unite in a different way than just at school or church. I am glad they had the time to Stand together.




Preparing for College

Today all the financial aid forms were due to the colleges that Nicole applied. Wow, it took us 3 hours to fill out all the forms, dig out tax records, and document our financial life. It was not my favorite way to spend a Friday morning and early afternoon. But I was feeling grateful that Erik has the flexibility with his own company to take a morning off like that. And that my schedule was open and clear enough to completely focus on it. I think we completed everything we can.

It is definitely a steep learning curve to apply for college and take all the tests and fill out all the correct forms. Nicole is a great kid to learn with because she shows such initiative that we are really just her support as she takes charge of the process. Last week she found out she got into BYU along with most of her cousins. It will be interesting to see if that is where she decides to go to college, or if she gets in anywhere else and has a decision to make. She is diligent and hard working, and I am excited to see where she lands in the very near future.

Stand in Holy Places

The theme of New Beginnings last night was “Stand Ye in Holy Places”. When I am with these young women who are striving for excellence in their lives, I feel like I am on holy ground. Nicole conducted the meeting. Here she is with Sinclaire — they have known each other their whole lives. They are beautiful in all ways. They shared their leadership and creativity tonight with all the girls.

IMG_1328They are so grown up and getting ready to spread their wings. I love them for their goodness and desire to shine brightly.

The girls each brought things to spotlight their interests. Here is Nicole and Camille’s section, highlighting a love of photography (Nicole) and creating movies (Camille).


Camille is one of the newest girls in the Young Women program. I had the chance to talk about things I love about her. I talked about how much love she brought into our lives when she was born. I mentioned her independent nature and her creativity, creating worlds of fun with her neighborhood friends and siblings. I shared how she loves books and is nurturing. She is a joy and has a wonderful sense of humor, and it comes out in this picture with some of her buddies.

IMG_1329Here is a more traditional photo.

IMG_1330And the playful side.

IMG_1331I love all these girls.

I came home to Brandon, who had made some sugar cookies with all the young men. What a sweet plate of cookies for me.

IMG_1332We gobbled those down.

I love to see my children surrounded by good things, good friends and leaders, and to see their hearts full of love. That is indeed the definition of holy.