Monday, October 31, 2011

October Finale

"Nothing on Earth 
so beautiful 
as the final haul 
on Halloween night."
~Steve Almond
 THE NERD
THE WITCH
Mary Poppins and our little dinosaur
Wishing everyone a fun and safe Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin carving & caramel popcorn balls

 Another year of pumpkin carving.

 Last night the girls brought their pumpkins in from outside, and were anxious to begin carving them. They always look forward to this. Chelsea loves making messes with the pumpkins seeds, and letting all the pumpkin slime slide down her hand. Gross!!! I never carved a pumpkin when I was their age, and I'm happy that they don't mind the messy slimy stuff. I probably would have!
Sierra wanted to help carve Noah's pumpkin, but due to studying, and doing homework for HSPA testing, she fell asleep at her desk (sorry no photo included!) It was okay, because Noah wasn't too fond of all the pumpkin slime. He was just standing on the chair observing his two sisters hacking into these poor pumpkins...including his. I'm sure next year he'll have the desire to carve his own pumpkin since he'll be older. 
All he wanted to do was color on the newspapers! 
 Lexie worked hard on carving, and pushing out all the carved parts of her, Chelsea, and Noah's pumpkins. Her hands and fingers were so sore by the end of the night!  
When all was done with the pumpkin carving my better half, and I made 100 caramel popcorn balls for our church's trunk or treat. This is a tradition we love, and we make them every Halloween. The kids love them! These are not your normal popcorn balls. They are unique because it's my mother in laws recipe, and it is an excellent caramel one. 


To make these soft & chewy popcorn balls here is the recipe. It's so easy! 

1 lb. brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white corn syrup

Bring these three to a boil and add: 
15 oz. condensed milk. Cook to soft balls stage & then add 1 tsp. vanilla.

  ENJOY!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Creating art with dad


When Chelsea came home with a turkey printable from school, she was ready to get to work with her dad so that she can color it. The tricky part was to decorate it without having it look like an actual turkey. My husband, being the talented artist that he is helped her in creating this masterpiece. 
Chelsea wanted a witch and so they both came up with ideas as to how to decorate. Yarn for the hair, googly eyes, yellow teeth, ruby red slippers made out of construction paper, and a q-tip for a broom.The kitchen table looked like a workroom from a scrapbook store. 

Noah even created his own work of art. He had to have googly eyes as well.
 After an afternoon of hot gluing, cutting, drawing, and coloring...Chelsea was pleased with the end result.
What a beautiful picture of the wicked witch of the east. I love that her tongue resembles that of a turkeys.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The potato launcher

This potato launcher custom built by Austin Laney

I meant to post about this evening a while back, but finally found a picture of Sierra about to launch a potato from this potato launcher. 

There are times when Sierra is fearless, and will try anything, and times when she will use her head to discern right from wrong. But when you get a bunch of kids together at a party, and some of them are boys...things might get a bit crazy. Especially when one builds a potato launcher.  Why in the world would anyone want to build one of these things is beyond me (I'd rather have my kids build a telescope), but from the looks of this...it seemed to have been a lot of fun. I would rather have these great kids spend their evening of launching potatoes than being on the streets at night doing other things that may resolve into serious consequences. The only thing I was concerned about when Sierra told me she tried this potato launcher is getting hurt. Like I said, she is fearless and was the only female at the party to experience the feeling of adrenalin. She mentioned being a little bit nervous at first because she heard it can throw you back,  but in the end she had fun. 

I'm not sure I would recommend anyone building one of these things, but if you do be careful at what you aim it at. I think experiencing the potato launcher is harmless, and luckily no one in the neighborhood got hurt...the only ones getting smashed and hurt in the process were those poor potatoes, and a fence.


I don't recommend aiming at trick or treaters either!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween countdown

Six more days
A Nightmare in Dreamland
This photo was inspired by Mila's Daydreams, and I replicated it somewhat to hers. I also did a little album making up some of my own ideas and I titled his little book 'Noah's Dreamland'. It may not be as cute, but the baby in this picture sure is. Noah was 11 months old when I took this photo. It seems as if he hasn't changed that much! He's still petite and looks the same. I wanted to publish this in honor of  our Halloween week.

The girls are counting down the days to Halloween and look forward to dressing up...again. I really think it's all about the candy, and the costumes. I'm a mother who doesn't have a sweet tooth and a mother who hardly ever buys any candy...not even in moderation. It's usually around the holiday seasons (like now) in which I begin to splurge and spoil the kiddos (even Noah) with candy, caramel apples, and caramel corn balls. There is one condition...they need to brush their teeth A LOT!!!!

To be honest, Halloween is not my favorite holiday, but it sure is fun to see what everyone is dressed up as. We have seen some funky costumes, but I know it's all in good fun. My girls love to dress up! For my six year old, that is the only time she is allowed to wear any kind of makeup if her costume requires it! It's all worth being scared even if it's just for one night. 

In a way...I'm kind of glad it only happens once a year!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Indian Summer

 
It seems that we are experiencing a little bit of an Indian summer here in Jersey. This past Saturday, (before the weather turns wet and colder which should be later on this week) we took advantage of going for a beautiful drive towards New Hope, Pennsylvania. The fall foliage is breathtaking if you take the scenic drive along the Delaware River. I'm sure once we get more moisture the colors of the leaves on the trees will be more vibrant in color. 

 On our way home we stopped at this very clean, and beautiful park. They had so many swings, and a frisbee golf course which we all loved. Noah sure had a lot of fun on the swings. We loved the red barns in the background. This is one park that we don't mind driving an hour to. If you live in New Jersey, and haven't visited the town of New Hope yet...you need to. It's a quaint little village with antique shops, art galleries, and a lot of wonderful restaurants. I would come back to this town anytime of the year. It doesn't matter which season it is either!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thoughts & rules of the Internet

My daughter and I stumbled upon this article which was very interesting, and it really got me thinking. Not that I worry about Sierra (since she's the only one with a Facebook account), but I was disturbed by the comments that were left by the cast who are in the Facebook Me Play. Disturbed because of the things that were said by these young teens. Some teens use the internet to escape, and some use it for good.

I was very adamant in having my oldest get a Facebook page. I trusted her to use it wisely, and on her 15th birthday she got one. It seems that the older she gets, she tends to be on it more. She does have control though, and I'm grateful that she doesn't give me any attitude when I tell her to get her paper done, and quickly check your email, and log off. Being a junior in high school, and being active in many activities, Facebook is an easy way to stay in contact with other students.

I personally never wanted a Facebook, and I didn't even know what a blog was until friends of mine told me about their blogs. I had no desire whatsoever to have both. After having many friends hounding me to get a facebook, and because of our nomadic lifestyle with moving and meeting new friends, I ended up creating one after my son was born in November of 2009. It was exciting at first, and a blessing to have reconnected with friends from high school, and old college buddies, but then it got old to me. Ever since I knew what a blog was I started one back in January, and use the net more to blog, and share it on Facebook. Once in a while I'll post pictures, statuses, or links that I hope is inspiring to others. I notice that my generation (if your born before 1971) are not on it that much. I notice that today's generation(if you're born after 1994) are on Facebook nonstop.

We have a life. My kids have a life. My teenage daughter has a life. We have one computer in our home and that's all we need. Guess who's on it more? Me. Not because I hog it up, but because I blog a lot (plus it's in our bedroom.) I love to blog about my family among other things. Although I keep a handwritten journal, I decided to do a blog so I don't have to scrapbook every single picture. Plus it's easier because all my friends and family members who live far away can keep tabs on us with a click of a button. I also decided to blog so that at the end of the year I will convert the blog into a book for each of my children. I think that's harmless.

I am very pleased at how we have discussed the rules of when we first got our computer, and how it is ours to share. Like I said... we have a life and don't revolve around the internet 24/7. I may post everyday, but believe me when I write this. I prepare my thoughts so quick as to what I want to write and sometimes I'll draft a few ideas, revamp, make revisions, and then publish it. It's so true as to certain kids who are on Facebook are constantly changing their profile pic, and posting unnecessary statuses that seem to be personal and at often times embarrassing. I've learned to never post anything on my wall, or the wall of a friend that deems private. Use the inbox please. Not all of us want to hear everyone else's drama.

There is a lot of good that can be done on the internet without sheltering our kids, but we also need to monitor our children as to how long they are on the computer. It can seriously take up a lot of your time, and before you know it three hours have gone by! I know because I caught myself doing that with Pinterest when it was new to me. Not a good thing! Luckily my girls have control as to how long they are on the computer whether it's Facebook, school related, or my six year old playing games in moderation which is hardly ever!

Fortunately I have a husband who got out of his funk playing video games long before the first Xbox came out. Sure he'll play children's games with Noah on his iPhone, but truthfully that's about it. I don't need little Noah exposed to too much technology at such a young age. Although he already knows how to tap the games app on the iPhone. Uh oh!

Bottom line is...it's called control, and it's up to us as parents in teaching our children when enough is enough. I have complete trust in my kids, but I still would like to know what they are researching, surfing, and posting. I care a lot about my children, and cant help that by being a parent. I think it's important to use the internet in moderation, and I count my blessings that we do have control. I'm grateful to have cyber smart kids who know their way around a computer. I have sure learned a lot from them (and my husband.) I'm also extremely grateful that we have a tech free house when it comes to eating dinner as a family, having company over, and when we are spending quality time with our kids.  It's so important to have that family time without worrying about how many messages, and comments are waiting for us on our blog or Facebook. We spend our family time with each other...not with our iPhones.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hallow's Read


"I cannot live without books."~Thomas Jefferson
 As a young girl I remember being in the Texas Readers Club throughout elementary school. My mom couldn't afford to buy books so being in that club helped me get free books. The more I read, the more books I earned for FREE! There are many of us who are not into reading, and if you're not... I encourage you to start. Some of us may not be able to buy the books we'd like. Luckily we have facilities all over the world called libraries. Too bad my mother didn't think of that when I was younger. I don't even think I owned a library card until I was in my late teens! 

Last night Chelsea had her yearly 'reading party' held at her school which consisted of reading books, playing games, and coloring. Since Halloween is in a week all the books they read were about...Halloween. 

One thing I love about her teacher is the fact that she really encourages the students to read. Chelsea comes home with a book every single week, and like a descriptive writing class she draws a picture of what the book entailed every Friday. She also checks out a different book from the school library every week.  
On top of that she likes to read books from her own bookshelf at home. This past week she chose When the Wind Stops. She says this story reminds her of me and her baby brother. It's such a cute story, and it reminds me of the autumn season which we are truly enjoying at the moment.
Reading has always been a significant part of our lives. We love books and learning big words. We love visiting libraries. My favorite library is the New York Public Library. I love their main reading room. It's huge! If we lived further North we would go every week! It amazes me at the vast, extensive vocabulary my two older daughters have. Sometimes I've had to ask them what the word they just uttered meant. I am grateful to see that all my daughters enjoy reading, even little Noah. He loves picture books. 

Last night was a reminder on how important it is to read to our kids, and for them to learn to read on their own. Kudos to the teachers who encourage their students to read! Even though I didn't own a lot of books when I was little, I am grateful for remembering the importance of reading. It feels good to know that I have passed that on down to my kids, and to see them reading and holding a book as opposed to watching too much television or playing games on the computer.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Pumpkin patch in Dreamland

Looking at Noah's Dreamland on this fall rainy day uplifts my spirit. I have been enjoying this time cuddling with Noah indoors. So far he's not sick, and I hope he stays that way! He always wants me to read to him, and play indoor soccer with him. He also enjoys entertaining himself with Thomas the train and his other cars while I am writing this. 

 This is Noah's pumpkin patch in Dreamland. As I look back at all the pictures I've done on him...some of them have come true. He's been to two real pumpkin patches this fall and he had the time of his life. I would have never been able to come up with this idea if it wasn't for Adele's blog. I thank her for giving me her blessing into creating my own ideas and mocking some of hers. I did come up with my own you know. I am capable of thought, and am grateful for that part of creativity in my brain (typed that with a smile.)

I am so glad that I had the time and patience in taking these pictures of him while he was a  little baby. He might be embarrassed when he's older, but I know that he'll appreciate them too. For those of you who are experiencing rainy fall weather, I hope that looking at this photo brightens up your day.

Oh! I need to go now. Noah is climbing on the back of my chair! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

a perfect pumpkin tradition.

I meant to write about our wonderful Saturday this past weekend, but you know me. If I see another story that I can relate to or have thoughts about I will write about that at the drop of a hat, and like a journal fall a day or two behind on my writing.

This past Saturday was a beautiful, clear blue sky, sun shiny day, and venturing out to Springdale Farms to have Noah help you pick a pumpkin was a sight to see. We missed you when we went to Duffields  a couple of weeks ago, but know how much you love tennis, and that you couldn't miss your away game (sorry we didn't make it!) I know that by the look on your face you really enjoyed this day with your sibs especially little Noah. I know it's hard now that you're older to find the time for all of us to spend time together during the school year. You can't miss school because you, and Lexie now have demanding school schedules that requires being present every single day (unless your deathly ill.) So we treasure our Saturdays, and make sure we do something fun with our family. It sure was a lot of fun watching you two trying to find the perfect pumpkin together.
You don't know how much joy it brings me to be taking these pictures of all of y'all being kids and enjoying each other's company. I'm not sure if I've ever told you this, but your Aunt Lynn and I never went to pumpkin patches when we were little. As a matter of fact, I've never even carved a pumpkin until I married your dad and gave birth to y'all.
My first hayride was when I was a single adult at a church activity. It was a lot of good clean fun. I was like a little kid in a candy store because I had never experienced riding in the back of a tractor filled with hay (and decent boys), but that's a different story. It was so nice to see you and your sibs laughing and talking as if y'all are the best friends you've ever had. This sure was a nice hayride where we actually sat on haystacks as opposed to sitting on hay laying on the floor of a truck. 
Springdale Farms gets a thumbs up for that!

I'd say we had a pretty cool driver who talked a lot (like me), and pointed out every vegetable that was growing in season from eggplant to ocra. He sure was kind enough to let Chelsea wear his hat, and have her take a picture on the tractor while y'all were out still trying to find that perfect pumpkin.

These are the days that I love. Venturing out and exploring all that this beautiful season has to offer with all of y'all. An adventure that I never had the opportunity to experience. I encourage you to continue this tradition with your future posterity, and that you will always make the time to spend with the family you have now, and in the future.

Never stop going to pumpkin patches. Always go on hayrides. Drink lots of apple cider, and eat apple cider donuts (I never had those either until I moved to Utah.) Take advantage of always doing the things that make you happy, and like little Noah helping you find the perfect pumpkin...I hope that you find the perfect pumpkins for your future pumpkins (which will be a long time from now!)

xo-

Mom

Monday, October 17, 2011

My thoughts on a Dragon Mom

Got milk?
Weaning a child from the breast or a bottle takes a lot of patience and effort into letting that child know that enough is enough and it's time to be a 'little' big boy now. I would really seriously love to start weaning Noah from nursing before his second birthday, but I don't think it's going to be that easy. This kid loves milk, but because he knows I'll nurse him...he doesn't drink a lot of it. I know that he could be a whole milk drinker, but he still prefers mother's milk. There are days when I wish for him to stay little, but life goes on. I need to put an end to nursing and give him more milk, water, juice, etc. It's not the stigma of nursing that bothers me it's the fact that I am getting pretty exhausted of nursing him at night. Sleeping with his silent guardian, and his wooby helps him sleep, but sometimes he'll wake up in the middle of the night (and it's usually around 3am) knowing I'll give in to nursing him. I need to just be strong, and let him cry in hopes he'll immediately go back to sleep. 

Well...after reading Emily Rapp's story, Notes From a Dragon Mom in the New York Times yesterday, I don't think I should be complaining as much about anything! We as mothers tend to complain about every little thing our kids do. Whether they are 16 or two years old. The bottom line is kids are kids. I nursed all of my girls until they were almost two and a half!! So why am I complaining about how long I should  nurse Noah. There are worse things going on with other people's children that I wouldn't have a clue as to how these parents are feeling.

Reading her story about her sweet 18 month old son having Tay-Sachs disease, and most likely not going to live to see his third birthday made me realize a lot of things. Things such as it shouldn't matter if the little ones get their clothes dirty, and spill milk on the floor. It shouldn't matter if I let Noah watch cartoons for two hours in the morning, and eat oatmeal and bananas for breakfast, lunch, and corn dogs for dinner (almost everyday!) It shouldn't' matter that I let him go to bed at 9:30 pm instead of 6:30 pm. It shouldn't matter if his toys are scattered all over the living room floor when company comes over. It shouldn't matter that I have dirty dishes, dusty furniture, a ton of laundry to do, or hardwood floors that need to be swept (that's what my three older daughters are for.) I have learned to put all of that aside when my Noah is awake to give him hugs, and spend quality time with him, and all of my kids.

I've been around the block three times, but he's a tough cookie with a lot of energy. He can be persistent, but is the sweetest little boy I know. It shouldn't matter that he'll sometimes wake up at 3am to nurse. He's still a little boy who's learning to be independent, and like a little child...I am still learning on being patient. Like Emily, I consider myself a dragon mom. Living in the moment while our boys are still little, and enjoying every euphoric moment with them...no matter how long they are here on this earth.

Life teaches you a lot of things when you move to a new state, meet new friends, spend moderate time on the internet to read about stories like this one and they usually are an answer to our prayer. I count my blessings every morning and looking at my son at this moment while I'm typing this fills my heart with so much joy, and gratitude. I give thanks that I thus far have healthy children, and I will NEVER take them for granted.
This photo was taken when Noah was about seven months old. I wish I could freeze frame this picture and that they can all stay young forever, but life goes on. 

Life moves on.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Living for Autumn


"I'm ready for jeans, boot, hot cocoa, crisp air, flushed cheeks, holidays, cuddling, and coziness."
Fall has begun to show its true colors, and I'm so grateful for the change of season. Last Friday as we were on our way to Alexandra's violin lesson it began to rain. The rain stopped after her lesson, and we decided to take the long way home. We were driving through neighborhoods where most of the trees have already changed in color. I had to pullover and park so that I could take pictures of the Almighty's creations. Not one car came down this road. We were alone on this road for quite awhile enjoying the stillness together.

It was a beautiful moment, and we took it all in.
Fall can also put a damper on someone's mood. It comes with overcast days and can make someone listless. Not all of us may be able to handle these dismal days of fall and early winter. I feel pretty lucky to be able to handle gloomy weather. Sure there are times when I've said to myself "enough with this rain already!" But at the end of the day I realize that without rain, we wouldn't have the change of season which causes the leaves on the trees to change, and fall onto the ground. 
What I've realized throughout the numerous changes of the seasons in the past are the changes that I have had within myself. I feel that with each season that passes by, my spirit is renewed. If some of you get caught in a depressed mode with the bleakness in weather... lose yourself in spending quality time with your family. That"s what I do. I also lose myself with service. Helping others makes me feel so much better. I try to look at it in a spiritual sense, and not allow that dark cloud to hover over me. Remember that time flies, and that the fall and winter's don't last that long (unless you live in Alaska!)

My mother has lived in Texas for almost 68 years and is looking forward to living in our surroundings. She is ready for a change, and I know that she will be grateful for the changes in the season and all that the east coast has to offer. She does look forward to fall in New Jersey! I hope y'all are enjoying this season too.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween preview

Can you guess what Chelsea is going to be for Halloween this year? I'll give you a hint...she dressed up as this character the very first year we moved to New Jersey. You may have to dig out the Halloween picture card we mailed then (if you still have it) to find out! She just loves wearing red sparkling shoes. It seems like I have to buy a pair every other year since she turned three! 

Any guesses? 

No, it's not Dorothy.

To be continued...

Off we go to another pumpkin patch!

*What are your kids going to dress up as...or are you keeping it a secret until Halloween?

Friday, October 14, 2011

My sentiments on meat loaf

If you were me, would you eat this? I would and I did, but I don't think I'm a fan of meat loaf anymore. I don't know if my taste buds are changing or what, but the other night I only ate one slice. The kids love it...still. So does my better half. As long as they all enjoy once a week meat loaf they'll continue to have it served to them. I'll just stick to eating the mashed potatoes, corn, and salad.

Here is the recipe to Italian stuffed meat loaf I found on Anolon.com:

1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
3/4 pound ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
some pepper to taste
1 lightly beaten egg
2 oz. sliced provolone cheese
4 oz.fresh spinach, blanched and squeezed dry
4 oz. roasted red bell pepper 
1/4 cup chili sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, toss together the crumbs and milk. Add the ground beef, ground pork, onion, parsley, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and egg.

Toss lightly until combined. Place a 16" length of plastic wrap on a surface. Transfer the meat mixture to the plastic and form into rectangle, 8"x14".

Evenly layer the provolone, spinach, and peppers over all. Use the short edge of the plastic wrap to help tightly roll up the meatloaf. Turn the cylinder into a loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and glaze the top with chili sauce. 

Bake for 15 more minutes or until the interior temperature reads 160 degrees F.
Let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 8.


Take my family's word for it.

They love it!

Just because I'm not a huge fan of meat loaf anymore doesn't mean it isn't good.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Grateful for seminary

Jon is off today, and I can tell that he needs a lot of rest! Being the seminary teacher in our church has been a blessing for Jon, as well as our family. This is his fourth year teaching it, and he LOVES it. Sometimes waking up at 4:30 in the morning isn't always easy, but eventually you get used to it. Especially on days when he has to go to work at 8:00 am. Luckily he has a couple of days off during the week where he can just go back to sleep at 7:00 am and  take an afternoon nap. I snapped this photo while napping with our son, and they are both snoring up a storm! That's how tired these two sometimes get (this rainy weather doesn't help either!) Especially since he worked until 9:30 last night.

He loves the youth and the Lord. He loves his calling and will do anything for anyone who is in need both spiritually and temporally. Being a seminary teacher is not easy. I honestly believe that this calling is not for everyone. It could be if you have the faith. It requires a lot of preparation and time. You really have to be in tune with the spirit, love the scriptures, read the scriptures, have patience, and most of all...love the youth. And I mean really love the youth. Not just your own children, but other people's children.

One thing I am most grateful for is the fact that on his days off, no matter how tired he is, he makes time for us. We always look forward to his days off, and vacation time to spend as a family.

Although he knows he won't hold this calling forever, he does not take his calling, or anything for granted. He has a deep love for the scriptures, and in teaching it to the youth. This is the one job he would love to have full time, (and get paid for) during the day if we lived in Salt Lake City. For now, no matter how tired he gets...he is holding on to this calling as long as he feels that the Lord needs him.


And so with that being written, here is a note to all of my children:

If there ever comes a time when you get called to be a seminary teacher. Don't hesitate to take the calling. It is from the Lord, and there is always a good reason why you are called to a specific calling. Always read your scriptures no matter how tired you become, and always kneel in prayer. Heavenly father is always there to heed your words.

xo-Mom

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The next Hilary Weeks...


"Believe in what you're doing...believe in who you are."
~Hilary Weeks
This picture was taken in the summer of 2007. Sierra turned 12 in the nick of time to be able to attend her very first Time out for Women and Girls tour. She was so excited that two of her favorite artists were going to perform in Virginia. Hilary Weeks and Jenny Jordan Frogley. Those two have been her favorite role models since she was about seven. She loved the fact that they are members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and that they both sang and played the piano,.

Turning 12 was the beginning of her maturing, and growing in spirituality as her testimony for the Lord was developing. It was also the beginning of having a much deeper love for playing the piano as she began to write her own music. Like I wrote in yesterday's post...it took her at least four years to finish a few songs. The songs she sang last night literally took her two weeks to finish, and coming up with the lyrics was not as easy as it seemed. She really has to be in a certain mindset to come up with the right words. I believe that it won't take her four years to finish songs anymore. I think it helps that she is a lot older now.

She loses herself with music, and it is a strength to her that comes from her Heavenly Father. She is blessed with such a gift in which makes her a very unique and talented daughter of God.

Although it can be nerve racking to perform in front of others, she loves sharing her talent and is always ready to sing and play the piano in front of her fellow brothers and sisters (especially during sacrament meeting.) Even if she never gets to become someone super famous, the love that she has for writing music and playing the piano makes her life richly blessed, and her life fulfilled.
Sierra with Jenny Jordan Frogley
After last night's performance, I think its safe to say that Sierra has a lot of potential to become a wonderful pianist and singer (even though there were some minor mistakes!) The more she works on her music, the better she'll become.

I'd like to thank all of those who attended our yearly 'Cocoa House' last night to watch her, and all the other youth from our stake perform who shared their talents.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

For the love of music

"To write great music, the musician must make his life a great song."
Sierra has been writing music since she was about 12 years old. I can show you a stack of composition books in which she has written a song, but because she would get stuck in the middle of writing a song, she'd lose interest and stop. Another season would go by and she'd start to write another song, stop, get busy, and lose the desire again. She also said it's a challenge to write down note after note, pausing and replaying it over and over again to make sure it sounds right. I love music and although I don't play piano or read music...I have a good ear as to how I think the notes should be played. I'll hum a tune in which I think this is how the note should sound. Sometimes she'll take my advice, sometimes she won't, and that's okay.

After all... these are her songs she is composing.
She is also a very good writer. She has written many beautiful songs in the past, and so far she's finished three of them. All of them are her own with her own lyrics. She even wrote one for her baby brother called "Noah's Song". I have been wanting her to make a CD for family members as a gift for the past few years now. I really believe that the timing was right for her to actually finish some of her songs, and they really sound beautiful. I tear up every time she plays. Not everybody plays the piano the same way. I've heard other people play the piano and the feeling is always different. I see the way my daughter plays the piano and she plays it with feeling, humility, and passion. You can tell it's the love of her life.

 She loves the piano like Jane Eyre loved the use of her pen.
And tonight for the Young Women activity she is going to play her own song...her own lyrics and all. It is a beautiful piece of handwritten music, and I look forward to hearing her play it in front of her fellow brothers and sisters...and to the Lord. It's a song about Faith and I love it! I'm very proud of her.

It is amazing how she can play by ear and just start playing the score to "The Lake House" by Rachel Portman, (or any other artist) just by listening to it. She has such a special gift, and I am very happy that she has never given up on playing. She loves sharing her talent and will continue to write more songs.
 Who knows...maybe one day you will even buy her CD. 

But for now you can listen to her playing, and singing this song called "Dream" by Priscilla Ahn.

I hope it fulfills your day with a smile! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Orange Crush

One of my favorite things to do in the fall is go pumpkin picking with the kiddos. I can't believe we've approached that time of the year again. The kids love this tradition, and earlier this week we ventured out to Duffield's Farm to pick a pumpkin. There were so many to choose from and Noah took his precious time in finding the perfect pumpkin. He even tried to lift one on his own!
I was trying to get their attention so I can take a quick photo from my phone, but they are obviously looking at Dad with his camera!

We sure had a lot of fun on this day, but missed Sierra. She had a tennis match away from home, and wasn't with us which gives us a good excuse to go to another pumpkin patch. We love this tradition!

The weather should be turning to a crisp later on this week, and the kiddos look forward to carving their pumpkins! Oh...and we came home with a lot of apple cider donuts!
Only during the fall season is when we buy, and EAT them!
Yumo!!


*Have you picked your pumpkins yet?  

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