Monday, April 27, 2009

Pinewood Derby

Brandon and "Blue Lightning"

Wow. I had no idea that the Pinewood Derby was taken so seriously. Seeing as I am a female and therefore, have never been a scout and seeing as I come from a family of all girls...this was my first experience with the Pinewood Derby. Brandon has been in scouts for less than a month so we didn't have the weeks and weeks of building time that the other scouts did. In fact, we picked up our car kit the day before they were due at weigh/check-in. But I wasn't worried because Bryan had all the tools we needed in the garage and I really didn't think it would be that hard. And it wasn't, really. More time would've been nice, certainly....we were literally drying the paint with a hair dryer to get it done in time! But it looked cool, I thought. And Brandon thought so too. Until he got to the check-in and saw the other cars. Bryan came home somewhat disgusted. "This really ought to be called the 'Dadwood Derby'"! One father/son reportedly bought 15 different car kits until he found one with perfect wheels that rolled just right. Another father/son supposedly sent their car out for a professional "skin" paint job. My heart hurt when Bryan told me all of this and what Brandon's reaction had been. And I hoped and prayed that when the day of the race actually came that Brandon would have a good time and not worry about what the other cars looked like.
And thankfully, all did turn out well. Brandon was kind of in awe at all the decorations and the big track. The scoutmaster pulled Brandon up in front of everyone and congratulated him for getting his car done in the least amount of time. And his car consistently came in 2nd place in all of his heats. I saw Brandon proudly pointing his car out to his friends. And he should be proud! Because he helped build that thing from start to finish. He designed the shape and details of what it should look like. It was his idea to have a lego guy in the driver seat (the only car with a driver). He picked the color and then was the one blow drying the paint. He came up with the name. That car is totally and completely his and I'm so glad that it ended up being a good experience for him. But let me tell you, we will start much earlier next year!

Not that you can tell really well but Brandon's car is on the race track in this picture. It was a cool track. And it was kind of fascinating watching how they timed and videoed all the heats. I was really impressed with how much work goes into putting on a Pinewood Derby.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Favorite You Tube Videos

These are my three favorite you-tube videos right now. Maybe you've seen one or two. They take time to watch so don't feel obligated. But if you're up for wasting a bit of time on the computer these are fun.

The first one is of some monks who have taken a vow of silence but have read in the bible that they should "make a joyful noise". This is their version of the Hallelujah Chorus. I can't even imagine how long it must have taken them to get this exactly right.

The second one is a new Jon Schmidt arrangement called "Love Story meets Viva La Vida". "Love Story" being originally by Taylor Swift and "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay. It's a great song even if you don't know the original versions. But if you do, it's that much cooler.

And the third one is Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent. I loved it for a few reasons. One, she sings a great song marvellously. Two, it was great watching all these people who were mocking and laughing at this frumpy 47 year old have a jaw dropping "oooops" moment as they realized they had totally misjudged her. And three, because you just don't see Simon smile like that on American Idol.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday: Kauai helicopter ride

January 2007. A helicopter ride over Hawaii has always been on Bryan's "to do" list. So when we stopped in Kauai on our Hawaiian cruise he made sure to book us on a flight. Wow! It was an amazing feeling flying in a helicopter. And the scenery of Kauai has got to be some of the most beautiful in the world! But I was 4 months pregnant. And even though I had taken motion sickness medication in preparation for the trip, I started feeling queasy. Queasy enough that I had to take advantage of the barf bag next to my seat. The pilot was worried enough about me that he decided to take a different route home that wasn't through the bumpy storm clouds. Which meant that we all got a longer ride than we had initially paid for. I think the other passengers were very appreciative of me and my unborn baby for making that possible! And this picture? It's a fun picture. But what I always remember when I see this picture is that barf bag I'm hiding behind Bryan's back.....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Triathlon Update

The triathlon is just a few weeks away...less than a month. Getting some anxiety about it. But things are progressing.
* I go swimming twice a week. We leave at 5:30 AM to hit the 6:00 masters swim class. Dang, that's early!! When I first signed up for this big to-do I figured that I more or less knew how to swim. That it was a matter of building endurance. Ummm. Not really the case. The swim coach kindly informed me that my self-taught swimming style was moving me through the water more like a barge than a speedboat. She taught me the right skills and form over the past few weeks and I now, at age 35, actually know how to swim correctly. Now it really is a matter of building up endurance. Swimming is a lot harder than I expected it would be but I'm making great progress and I'm pretty proud of myself.

* I've been trying to run twice a week as well. I've never run more than a mile and a half so running three was, once again, going to be a matter of building endurance. I've learned a few things. One...I can't run with other people. I always worry that I'm slowing them down and I feel like I have to make conversation which I can't do when I'm breathing so heavily. Two...I LOVE my ipod! Music helps tremendously. And three...I've learned that I have a running pattern. When I first start running it's great...I love the music in my ears, the cool morning weather, the way my body feels. That lasts about 3 minutes. Then it's AWFUL! But if I can just work through that for the next few minutes I get into my groove where I can just GO. My breathing and my stride both even out and I'm good for awhile. I did 2.8 miles on Saturday. Getting there!

* I bought my bike this past week. I've been researching and test riding for the past month and finally settled on a Jamis Ventura Race Femme. It looks like this:
Despite my fears, I had them put clipless pedals on. I was rather scared that I would fall over. Everyone I talked to told me that OF COURSE I would fall over trying to get used to getting out of my clips. That everyone does at least once. Was that supposed to make me feel better? I guess it was designed to prepare me and to reassure me that I didn't need to be embarassed when it happened. So, anxiety mounting, I tried it out today. And wow, it was so much easier than I had expected. I had built it up in my head to be something awful. I rode around the neighborhood for an hour, stopping and starting and getting used to putting my feet in and then pulling them back out. I was starting to think maybe I would get away with not ever falling! But then, right at the end of my ride, I stopped at the neighbors house to check on the kids... I pulled my left foot out so I could lean to that side, using that leg as a kickstand of sorts. But while putting that foot down I somehow lost my balance and, as if in slow motion, I tipped over to my right side...not a thing I could do about it! I scraped my knee a tiny bit. Didn't hurt at all. Was just disappointed that I couldn't say I'd never fallen. So, initiation complete, I'm set to start riding. And let me tell you, it was a blast!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Idol Fan

"Downstairs, Momma! Wanna watch 'Merican Idol!" Not Wiggles, not Cinderella, not Winnie the Pooh. Lilian wants to watch American Idol. How do you tell a 22 month old that American Idol isn't on tonight? That we've already watched this weeks competition? We went down and watched Kris Allen sing "Falling Slowly" again. She was satisfied. Apparently we start raising Idol fans early at our house.

Favorite Photo Friday: Cousin twins

April 2009. My sister-in-law, Kari, took this picture at our house a few weeks ago. Brandon and Daniel. Two cousins who looks so much alike they could be mistaken for siblings if not twins.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Broken Lilian

(Oh! Look at that sad face!)

Brandon took Lilian outside to play yesterday while we were making Easter dinner. About 15 minutes later he came back in carrying Lilian who was crying pretty hard. Apparently he had bounced her too high on the trampoline and she had lost her balance and fallen. I got her blanket and binky and tried to console her but just as I would think she'd be calming down, another round of whimpering would start. I could tell something wasn't right and started questioning Brandon about the details of the fall. It took me awhile to figure out where she was hurt but Lilian finally showed me where she had an "ouch". It was her leg...or more precisely, her knee. And then when I tried to stand her up on it and she absolutely refused and started crying even harder, I knew we had a problem. All evening long I had to hold her very carefully so as not to bump her leg. This morning we took her into the insta-care. Seeing as there wasn't too much swelling or bruising and she would let me touch her leg, just not bend it...I figured maybe it had been hyperextended or "jammed". But after an x-ray we were told that it actually was fractured. They wrapped her from toes to hip with a splint and lots of ace bandages, made us an appointment with an orthopedic specialist for a few days from now and sent us home with instructions not to have her put any weight on her leg. They said it would probably take 4 weeks to heal. Maybe she'd be able to walk on it after a couple of weeks. Hmmm. I'm seeing a lot of books, puzzles and videos in our future. And I'm seeing the state of my house going downhill.

I found myself close to tears watching them bandage Lilian up. It's not fun to see your baby in pain and know that she has an injury. We've never had any broken bones in our family up to this point.

We stopped at Target on our way home to invest in some casual, knit dresses. Her jeans are so not going to fit over that big bandage.

Some Pictures From Hosanna

Hosanna was a joy and a privilege to perform this past weekend. I can't think of a better way to bring in Easter. Here are a few pictures.

This is the Millennium Choir. I am the second from the left on the top row.

Lex de Azevedo doing a bit of practice before our dress rehearsal. He thanked us for making his "scratches on horizontal lines" come to life.

The Antiphonal Choir up in the balcony. Wow, they really added a lot! They were the best antiphonal choir we've had in a long time.

Jenny Oaks Baker on her violin is amazing! I talked to her father (Elder Dallin H. Oaks) after the concert and we discussed how not only his Jenny a joy to listen to but amazing to watch as well. That somehow she plays differently than just playing the notes well. We decided that it was the difference between playing a song and making music. Jenny makes music, she really does. It was a really neat conversation because I felt kind of like I was talking to Elder Oaks not as an apostle but as a father.

George Dyer. Ahh. What can I say? He makes me weep when he sings the words of Christ.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Break Activities

Our day yesterday consisted mostly of two activities. The Children's Museum at the Gateway which was crowded, chaotic and noisy I have added to my list, along with the zoo, of places you should NOT visit during Spring Break. Lilian got absolutely DRENCHED playing in the water display. We had to stop at Old Navy on our way to the parking lot so we could buy her a new, DRY outfit to wear home. The employees probably thought we were torturing the poor child seeing as she started screaming while we were changing her. Maybe she was struck with a sense of being immodest as she stood there in only her diaper. Maybe she was just cold. Probably it was that she was dead tired.

Then later in the evening we colored Easter eggs. Lilian's favorite part of the activity was taking her hard boiled egg and chucking it onto the floor. Needless to say, all her eggs are cracked. Yeah, obviously she's not old enough for this activity yet. The older kids were a little more careful and a lot more creative. Julianne took the longest because she seemed to have the most patience in waiting for just the right shade of color, and the most ideas for interesting eggs. At one point she was telling Rebekah of an idea she had. Rebekah scoffed. Said it wouldn't work. To which Julianne replied, "Don't limit me, Rebekah!" I loved that! I loved that she was so sure of herself and her ideas. I loved how she phrased it.

Favorite Photo Friday: Easter finery

Easter 2005. Taking pictures of Easter Sunday finery. Look how little they all look! And yet, four or five years from now when I look back on the pictures I'll take this Easter weekend I'm sure I'll say the same thing...look how little they all look!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I'm singing in this concert this upcoming Friday and Saturday. I'm so looking forward to it because it is a spiritual feast. Every word comes straight from the Bible. The music is some of the most powerful, passionate, beautiful stuff I've ever heard. It makes me cry every time I hear/sing it. Music has always affected me deeply. But this...I've never had anything reach this deep inside me before. I was already a part of Millennium Choir when Lex de Azevedo was writing Hosanna. He'd come to rehearsal and play bits and pieces of what he was working on, tell us his vision, share the amazing spiritual experiences he'd had while writing. He'd have us sing certain passages in the music while he'd listen and decide if the notes were right, the right rhythm, etc. Sometimes he'd ask our opinion. We were watching him compose this music right in front of us! I could tell that I was literally watching musical genius taking place.
And then it all came together when Lex got George Dyer to sing the words of Christ, Greg Pearson to sing the part of Peter and Jenny Oaks Baker to solo on her violin. They are perfect, all three of them, perfect for this. I don't know how to even describe the talent and emotion that they bring to this work other than to say that it would not be be the same without them. Lex, himself, plays the piano which, in and of itself, is a treat. There is Millenium as the primary choir and then 3 other choirs that make up the antiphonal choir that sings from the back of the church. It's phenomenal. It truly is. And I'm so glad that I get to sing it again this Easter weekend.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday: Kauai

This is where I wish I were going over spring break. Doesn't it look just ideal? Well, minus being 4 months pregnant, of course.
Kauai 2007.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Love Notes

Look what I found on the kitchen counter this morning. I guess Bryan had some fun with the tape last night after I had gone to bed. It made my day. And yeah, I know there is still much of the day to go but honestly, I can't imagine anything getting better than receiving a love note from my husband.