Monday, April 30, 2007

Make-a-list Monday

Flowers I am going to order today

1. Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susans)
2. Pampas grass
3. Happy returns daylillies
4. some kind of daffodils
5. some kind of mini irises
6. various Hostas
7. clematis
8. coreopsis
9. Astilbe
10. Happy Returns day lily

Wilberg's Requiem

Saturday night Matt and I went to the newly refurbished Tabernacle on Temple Square. The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performed the Mozart Requiem and the world premier of the Wilberg Requiem. It was amazing!

As I listed to the Mozart Requiem, I was entranced. It was beautiful. The 4 soloists were wonderful. We were sitting on the very front row in front of the bass. He was awesome! He was so strong and exciting to listen to, as were the other three. During the intermission I decided that I think I would like to have a requiem, Mozart's of course, sung at my funeral. What a glorious way to go! (I don't think it would fly though.)

It was fun to learn a little more about this requiem. It was commissioned and written in Mozart's last year. It wasn't finished. There is a fair degree of dispute and mystery about how much he actually wrote. Read about it here.

After the intermission, was Wilberg's Requiem. As it began, everything changed. Somehow, I realized that this was going to touch me much more than Mozart's. I don't know what they says about me, but it was true. It was moving. It was transcendent. It was glorious. I loved it.

As I listened to it, it was as if my very soul strained to leave my body and fly upward with the beautiful strains of music. Being checked though, they choked my heart with emotion. I don't know if you can identify with this feeling, but it was glorious. I loved it. I wish I could hear the beautiful music again, today.

I will own a recording of it when it is available, but I know it will not do it justice. I will miss the soaring orchestra and penetrating voices in person. There is just something about live performances.

If you ever can hear this, don't miss it!

P.S. Today I am NOT going to miss the PBS documentary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Follow the link to watch a trailer.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Our Earth Day Walk

Yesterday we went on our Earth Day Walk. Earth day was Sunday you say. How environmentally aware you are! Well, our activity was scheduled for our Family Home Evening on Monday, however, it was too windy and cold for our walk. So we went yesterday.

We took a bunch of empty bags and headed to the park. We started there and walked along the walking path/stream to the elementary school. Dawn and Matt kept a running total of their "finds". Dawn won with 200 pieces of trash! Matt had around 180 when Dawn hit 200 and they both stopped counting. Rachel had a bunch too. But she opted to come with me and the stroller and so didn't count. PS With my sturdy new jogging stroller we even drove through the bottom of the stream bed for the part that was water-less. Awesome huh.

Scott took a little longer to warm up to the idea, but ended with a bag of his own. Plus he was happy to be able to go through the "tunnel" under the street. It was "so cool!"

There were plenty of people around watching us. But one sweet woman even thanked us for doing it. It was very thoughtful and gave me a little spot of sunlight. It is amazing that even when you are having fun and doing something good that you believe in an expression of gratitude really gives you a boost. So thanks whoever you are for being so kind.

We ended at home with a picture to commemorate our success. It was so fun. Now I challenge all of you to pick a spot of your own and have your own Earth Day Walk. Send me your results. What a spic and span world we'll have!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A raging flood of. . .

Do you ever have crazy thoughts, thoughts that you know aren't normal for you? Maybe they are mean, or bad, or crazy or strange or just plain weird. They are disturbing. You think to yourself, why am I thinking this? Where did I get that idea? Do I really feel this way? Are there really demon rabbit-like goldfish crackers multiplying under my car seats? Does my baby really WANT to have a runny nose just so he can eat boogers? Would they taste good to me if I tried them? Just kidding, I've NEVER thought that last one.

But the thoughts get worse and worse. Do you know what I mean? You start to get emotional and upset. Then you get REALLY upset, and it's not just at other people. This usually happens at night when YOU, and I don't mean me, get crabby and start going totally a little bit crazy.

Then it hits you like a rock, a sudden-July thunderstorm, a tsunami. It's nothing but a roaring flood of hormones set out to ruin your night, your peace, your sanity and the well-being of all you hold dear!

Why must our bodies torment us so?

P.S. Today I am NOT going to mop my floor. Funny, because I almost never do! So I'm guaranteed to accomplish this one.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Aloha, bomb diggity

My most bomb diggity sister, Chelse, is CRAZY! She showed up with my mom last night around 9. She is on her way to Hawaii for a semester of school there. I'm sooo excited for her and just a tad jealous. She has the energy of a 3-year-old I'm telling you. She laughs (some say cackles), yells, giggles some more, tells hi-LAIR-i-ous stories and is definitely a spot of sun in my life.

So she is on her way to Hawaii. I will miss her. But that is not what I'm writing about today. I'm writing how she is a little kooky. First of all, she has a new vernacular each time I see her. Right now it is "bomb diggity", "that's how I roll", and "whatev". Not too long ago it was "turns out" and "who knew". We have given her a few phrases over the years like "that's ninja". But where she comes up with them all, no one knows.

After a very rousing and hilarious night, she had to be at the airport at 5am. My mom took her, and when she got back told me a few tidbits that just cement in my mind her total crazy status.

First, she doesn't know where her apartment is. She called from LAX asking us to look it up online. Only, whoops, we couldn't find it. Finally we got it through the college housing office. Second, she couldn't find her checkbook. So she's without it for 2 months. Third, she is not registered for any classes in Hawaii. Hello? "I'm sure I'll get what I want when I get there," she says. Crazy girl. Good luck in Hawaii. See you in a few months. I hope you are still just as happy and crazy when I get there. I may need a little perking up after the long absence.

P.S. Today I am NOT going to change the sheets downstairs, sorry Paige.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cute pots for my orchid

My orchid is still alive. The flowers are dropping off one by one. It would be nice to have it in a pretty pot when there were no flowers to spruce it up. I found a few that I really like. The bottom one is from Target, and I decided it was the best. But no luck, my Target didn't have it.

I think my favorite is the piecrust edge pot from Growers Exchange

I am just against paying shipping, and worrying when it will come, and if it will be broken, and if I don't like it in person. But I may chance it for this.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Make-a-list Monday

All right, I admit it. Make-a-list Monday sounds much catchier than Make-a-list Tuesday. So even though on Monday I want to blog about my wonderfully exciting and engaging weekend, from now on it will be Make-a-list Monday.

Today's list is--

What needs to be cleaned in my house

1. the kitchen sink
2. the kitchen floor
3. the orange sandy socks and shoes from Arches
4. my hair
5. my computer desk
6. my sheets, kids sheets, baby sheets and guest sheets
7. the guest bathroom
8. my inbox
9. my paper pile
10. my camera's memory card
11. Scott's peed-in sleeping bag
12. my bathroom floor
13. everything else in my bathroom
14. my toenail polish
15. my tears from my dashed hopes about my siblings moving into the coolest neighborhood in Utah
16. oh dear, I better stop, I'm feeling tired already

P.S. Today I am NOT going to clean Scott's peed-in sleeping bag or my toenail polish or my computer desk. Ha ha, so there dirt. Just stay where you are. I don't care.

Back at home again. . .

I can't wait till I'm back at home again. . . (while singing "On the Road Again" of course). I am home and am glad to be. It was a fun trip, cut short by a funeral that celebrated a life well lived. Then Sunday was another packed full family day. Today, it's laundry. Wahoo. (Don't interpret any excitement there please.)

On my way to Paris for the funeral, I drove through the most beautiful canyon alive, Logan Canyon. I've driven it often, and loved it each time. Fairly close to Logan is a cave, so creatively named Logan cave. It is shut down now and closed over with a grid of iron. It has been for some time.

As I drove by it, I was admiring the pretty waterfallish-trickle down the rocks, under the road, and spilling into the river.

I realized that the cave was very much like my Grandpa. The cave is closed. No one can visit or explore its depths. No one can see the source of the clear water that appears. But the water still flows. It still runs down the mountain and brings life to many things in its path. It still enlarges the river and contributes to life.

Grandpa stream is still running, clear and cool. It is still feeding and nourishing. It is still very much alive. Though we can't see the source, we definitely know it is still there. And someday, that cave will reopen, and Grandpa will be with us again (or we'll be with him again, to be precise).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Welcome home Grandpa

I love you Grandpa. Say hi to Dad.

Make-a-list Tuesday

Picture courtesy of

Things to pack for our Spring Break trip to Arches National Park

1. Three changes of clothes for the kiddies
2. Lots of diapers, wipes, paper towels, TP, napkins, and hand sanitizer
3. Sunscreen, hats, jackets
4. Sleeping bags, tent, pillows, blankets, and playpen
5. Food, lots of it (including sour kraut, PB, sweet rolls and apples)
6. Hiking shoes, water sandles.
7. Dramamine, barf bags, trash bags, duffle bags, water bags
(Camelback), and poopy diaper bags
8. Cell phones, walkie talkies, portable DVD, and iPod (we are camping,
but come on)
9. Treats, bribes, distractions, and prayers for a weekend of relative fun
and frolicing in the red sand and orange rock of a desert playground.
10. Don't forget the camera!

P.S. Today I am NOT going to watch TV while Matt is gone to his EQ meetings tonight.
P.P.S. I am NOT going to blog while I'm gone getting dirty at Arches (Wednesday-Friday).

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tiptoeing through the tulips

Saturday we went to Thanksgiving Point, a beautiful local garden. It was the opening day of their Tulip Festival. We have a lovely time. The flowers were gorgeous.

I am quite addicted to the gardens there. We go at least once a week all season (April-October). Watching the flowers change is mesmerizing. At least it is for me.

My kids usually like it too, especially since we decided to bring some balls along. They roll them down paths and green grassy hills and try to keep them out of the flowers and koi pond.

The four on the left are mine, the 3 girls on the right are our cousins who recently realized that "This is the place" and are joining us behind the "Mormon curtain". Wahoo. Or shall I say bomb diggity!?

P.S. Today I am NOT going to clean my bathrooms. Sorry, you'll have to use dirty toilets and sinks if you visit today. But tomorrow is another day.

Friday, April 13, 2007

My shade garden

In my back yard I have a beautiful big curved patio. It faces North. This year I am going to put a big flower bed along one side of it. I've been dreaming about it all winter. Now I have too many plans for it. I started out not knowing what shade plants would work. Now I am having to select just a few. Here is a list of some I'm considering.

-Red Japanese Maple
-Hostas (lots of them)
-Japanese Painted fern
-Lamium (ground cover)
-Forget me nots
-Lily of the Valley

What do you think? Do you have any shade garden plants that you love? I am also planning on putting a pretty bird bath in the bed. I found this cool solar powered one that would be fun.

What I am NOT going to do today

A few weeks ago, my financial advisor, JE, advised me to take the Kolbe index to identify my individual strengths. I did, and one piece of advice it gave me was to choose something each day that I was NOT going to do.

So I am going to try it here on A Spot of Sun. It will be my own little daily shadow you might say!

Today I will not make dinner. Matt and I are going out for the night. That means macaroni for the kiddies! It's a good thing they love it, and it's nutritious too! The plan is to go to Ottavio's for dinner. And if the end-of-the-week, post-cleaning, cooking, cheering, booger-wiping, babysitting, church-do-gooding stamina doesn't fail us, we may go see the Impressionist art exhibit at BYU.

I'm going to take my cute new bag. My sweet mother found it for my at the mall while she was visiting. It's a Mondani bag. Never heard of it?, neither have I. Who cares if it's cute. Won't it be perfect for my sweet trip to Hawaii in June? What? I haven't told you about that yet? Well. . .It will definitely take more time than I have today. But don't worry, it's coming.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

New Lamps for me!

I stopped into Home Depot for a new door knob. Our back door has been unusable for 2 days, a real bummer for kids, warm weather, cousins visiting and a swing set calling out to be swung!

While I was there, I found this set of lamps that usually sell for $80 and were on clearence for $40!

I've been looking for a swing arm floor lamp for the living room. But I really loved these and got 2 lamps for a fabulous price.

We set them up and basked in their warm and filtered light all night, or at least for the 10 minutes we had to ourselves before we fell into bed. Nice aren't they.

I have one on an old dresser from my husbands grandparents. It is wood and a nice shape. But mostly it is just a nice place for a little storage and a background for a nice still life-ish thing. I put the small lamp on it. But now I realize how much I need to fix it up.

1. Paint the dresser
2. Spray the mirror with silver paint instead of gold, turn it sideways and hang it higher
3. Gather a nice assortment of adorable things to make it look welcoming. Maybe I'll put my new Cymbidium orchid on it.

I've never owned an orchid before. I hope it isn't too hard. I guess I'll learn. This isn't my orchid. I still need a great pot for mine. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The first lawn-mow of the season

My shoes are green and my hands smell like gas. The air is full of the scent of freshly mowed grass! I love that smell. It means warmth and summer and total happiness.

Yesterday Matt changed the oil and put a new blade on our lawn mower. Our grass was getting pretty long and scraggly. So today after my girls were off learning great things, the boys and I mowed the lawn. It looks so nice; I just love it. For some reason I like to keep my yard clean and taken care of much more than the inside of my house. Perhaps that is because I have a 5 month break from it each year. I should try taking a 5 month break in sweeping and mopping. I bet I'd love to do it after that!

Here is a picture of Scott and Matt mowing the lawn last fall. Scott helped me mow today with his tough bubble lawn mower. Isn't he a cute little toughie?

Have a great day, and enjoy those green shoes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

For One More Day

"But there's a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all you stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where your begins." (Mitch Albom, For One More Day)

I just finished For One More Day by Mitch Albom. I loved this quote. I love my mother and feel like her story is mine too. I wish I knew her better. But moms don't often focus on themselves and their lives. So kids only know about "Mom" not "Woman" or "Friend" or "Love" or even "Little girl". I wonder how I am a manifestation of my mother and my father too.

But it makes me happy to have them as a part of myself.

Love you Mom and Dad.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Coming home to dishes

We had a great weekend away. Egg dying, egg hunts, way too much candy for the adults, frisbee, lots of pictures, a few---no a few too many silly conversations, church, prayers and hugs all added up to a great weekend.

We got home at 9:00 pm; plenty of time for unpacking and cleaning up. But I wanted to take a few quiet minutes to read some Easter scriptures.

So this morning, this is what was staring me in the face.

But if I look up just a bit I see this. A spot of sun!

What a treat. Hopefully later today my sink will be shining too.

Friday, April 6, 2007

The 4th of July in Paris

My oh my. I am tired! But it has been a good week. My brother-in-law and his wife found a great house, made an offer and it was accepted. It is a big 7-8 minutes away! Can't wait.

They just left and now it is time to pack. We are headed to my mom's house for Easter and a big get together with my 5 brothers and sisters. I love getting together with them all. It can get loud, and that is even without all the grandkids. But we don't get to do it that often. Our major holidays are Christmas and the 4th of July.

If you ever want an awesome Independence Day, visit Paris, Idaho. It is a town of about 500 people, and is probably declining. You'll start your day with a sunrise flag ceremony. Occasionally there are talks so grand and inspiring you cry. Occasionally they go something like this "I love America so much I don't know what to say. So I won't even try."

Then you can take in some good old hashbrowns, sausage and pancakes at the Chuckwagon Breakfast sponsored by the Lions Club.

At 10:30 or sooner, save yourself a seat at the patriotic program at the local Tabernacle built in the early 1800s by Mormon Pioneers. It starts at 11:00, the benches are terribly hard, and the air extremely hot. The singing is all right with the occasional great. But just try to not shed a tear as all the Armed Forces' songs are sung while anyone in the audience who has ever served in that respecive group is invited to stand during his or her song. It always ends with echoing Taps; no one died but you know.

When it finishes, wander out onto the lawn to watch the parade at 1:00. Bring a blanket, or save your spot during the flag raising by parking your car along the route. Just don't take me spot. You can even watch the parade twice! It comes down one side of the street, turns around and comes back again! Bring a bag for candy.

Now it is time to head down to the rodeo. You can see bull riding, barrell racing and the all-time favorite, mutton-busting. What is mutton busting you ask, why it is young kids trying to ride sheep. Last one on, wins. Or send in your toddlers to catch a chicken. Or your older kids to catch a greased pig. Can you think of anything more fun to watch?

Now you are tired. You've been up since 5:45 remember. So take a nap. You can come over to our house and help make homemade ice cream. (Raspberry is scrumptions, watermelon, not so good.)

After a good nap and a great BBQ, wait for the hot sun to sink below Paris Peak and get ready to watch some fireworks. But it gets better, you get to light your own! Make sure you don't make the mistake of driving to nearby Wyoming to pick up beautiful airborne fireworks, they are illegal. But you can always just watch the neighbors!

You made it through a fabulous 4th. Won't you do it again next year?!

Anyway, now I have 2 hours to pack up for 2 adults and 4 kids. I'm just praying that there are enough clean underwear somewhere in the house for everyone. If not, I'll just take dirty ones. It is my mom's after all and she loves doing laundry!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Finding a house in Utah

My husband's brother and his family arrived in Utah last night. They are going to be moving here in June. They are here to find a home. We are rooting for a house close to us. We get along so well and have kids the same age that love to play.

Our city is a little expensive. Of course we think it is justified. We have great schools, the city is clean and kept well, and the in-laws can't live in a trailor in the front yard. All of which makes a beautiful place to live. But cost and size are factors of course.

So today I am watching their 3 girls. So far, so good. I hope I feel the same way by the end of the day.

We are so lucky to have a family that all gets along. We WANT to live by them and all our respective in-laws. I get the feeling that this is quite unique. Now, the same street might be a little hard, but the same neighborhood would be quite fun. Exercising with them, trading babysitting, sending the kids to play with their cousins, and having improptu get-togethers sounds so fun.

Some families get along better when they live a few hours apart. I don't think that is us. Let's hope our families don't feel that way about us ;-).