Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sticky hands

I caught Lilian doing this....bracing one sticky hand against the fridge for leverage to pull the freezer open. She was looking for more popsicles. I wondered how all those handprints had got there. This is one of those things that infuriates me now but I will miss later, isn't it?

Friday, August 27, 2010


Bought this necklace on-line at The Vintage Pearl after admiring my sister Rachel's a few weeks ago. I was all sorts of excited to find it in my mailbox yesterday. Bryan says it looks like I've been branded. But he likes it anyway.

Favorite Photo Friday: Goggled girls

It's been really, really hot outside the past couple of days. Ugh. I keep having to remind myself that it is still August and that 100 degree weather is not abnormal for this time of year. It's just, once the kids go back to school, all the sudden it starts to seem less like summer and more like fall. So it always kind of ticks me off if the weather doesn't cooperate and immediately start cooling down to coincide with the first day of school.
This picture, of a goggled Rebekah and Julianne, appealed to me today because the water looked so refreshingly was taken during the summer of 2007.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"Thou Art Rest"

I went to voice lessons yesterday. I'm working on a German song. "Du Bist Die Ruh." I struggle mightily with German. Italian and French are much easier. Things have been so busy the past few weeks that I have not spent the time practicing this song that I should have...and therefore, even though I'm supposed to perform it at the master class next week, am only just barely feeling like I'm getting the pronunciation right, let alone getting the darn words memorized! Gary was practicing what he calls "tough love" on me and was making me do some on the spot memorization. I was getting more and more frustrated because those words were just NOT sinking in! And all of the sudden I realized that I was going to cry. What?? Luckily for me Gary, as well as being my voice teacher, has also turned into one of my very dearest friends so he was very understanding. He already knows that every September I tend to go into anxiety mode as I try to get back into the structure of school. It's strange really, because I like having a schedule and structure to our days. But having it all start up at the same time as all the other extra curricular activities....I just find myself kind of at odds as I try to adjust to it all.
So as we found ourselves suddenly in the midst of my emotional moment, Gary pulled back on the "tough love" and decided that maybe it would be best to look at the words more closely, the translation, so I knew what I was really singing about. "Du Bist Die Ruh" translated means "Thou Art Rest."

Thou art rest and gentle peace,
Thou art longing, and that which stills it.
I consecrate to thee, with my joys and griefs,
As thy dwelling place, my eyes and heart.

Enter into me and close thou
The gates softly behind thee:
Drive other griefs from this breast,
Let this heart be filled with thy joys.

My world of sight thy radiance
Alone can illuminate. O, fill it to the full!

Oh, my. It's like a prayer, this song. Did I need that message! All the sudden this song took on new meaning. And as I then sang through the song in German, Gary said the words along with me in English. Which of course, made me cry even harder, actually. Even if I still don't get the song memorized in time, this song will have much more meaning for me now.
And I hope that when I do start to feel anxious and stressed I can think of the words to this song... and turn to my Heavenly Father, invite him more fully into my weeks, days and minutes. Let Him help me so I can let go of this anxiety and become more peaceful and I can become a better wife and mother, friend, neighbor, child, sister and daughter of God.

I got this email from my dad this morning....

Dear family,

It's was ten years ago today, August 26, 2000, that Grampa left us.

I think about him alot.

Love to all,

Dad/Greg/Uncle Greg

I remember it well. Although it was not unexpected, I was devastated. I was newly pregnant with Brandon. (Also very sick and going through a pretty deep depression.) Bryan was traveling almost weekly. My girls were 4 and 2. And when I got the phone call that Papa was not expected to last through the night, I sat on the stairs and sobbed. Rebekah heard me crying and wandered over to find out what was wrong. I remember being so grateful that despite my tears and grief, I had no problem explaining to her what was happening and where Papa was going and that we would see him again someday.

I shepherded the two girls into the car, stopped to pick up Mary and Ryan, and then hightailed it to Provo to say our last goodbyes. I can still remember clearly Papa, even through the haze of medication and pain, going out of his way to verbally say goodbye to each person there. I don't think Rebekah and Julianne understood what he was saying, but I did.

I couldn't sleep very well that night. I tossed and turned until around 4:00 am when I finally, gratefully, fell into a peaceful sleep. I found out later that Papa died around 4:00 am. I wonder if somehow I felt him passing?

The funeral was on my birthday. Bryan was in Michigan. My sisters and parents pulled me aside after the service but before lunch to shower me with a few birthday gifts. How sweet of them to even be thinking of me on such a day.

I remember laughing with my cousins who had taken a day off from college to come to the funeral, about the very likelihood that Papa would be upset that they had skipped their classes. :) I think I've mentioned before that Papa put money in bonds and doled it out scholarship style when each grandchild arrived at college age so that we could each get an education. It was that important to him. It is because of he and my grandmother that I have a bachelors degree from the U of U.

Papa was such a big influence in my life. As my sister Katie said, "He has made long, lasting impressions on us all and will always be a part of who we are."
I love him. I miss him. Especially today.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Here we go again...

First day of school today. Is it just me or did summer FLY by? Normally I'm anxious as anything to get the kids back to school and get a normal routine happening again. Not so much this year. Not that I'm wishing summer would continue on for a few more weeks,'s just, school snuck up on me.I just noticed as I was putting these pictures up... how funny is it that both girls have similarly colored shirts but Rebekah's is a Washington D.C./America shirt and Julianne's has a British flag on it? Makes me laugh...

Rebekah and Julianne headed off together this morning to catch the bus to the Jr. High. Rebekah is in 9th grade, Julianne in 7th. A few days ago when Julianne was over at the Jr. High decorating her locker, she says she got a lot of "Hey! You're Rebekah's sister!" sort of comments. The friend she was with asked Julianne how everyone seemed to know Rebekah, and therefore, her. Julianne replied that it had to do with Rebekah being in 9th grade and popular. :) I don't think Julianne minds the association. Rebekah has been giving her all sorts of advice. Some wanted, some...not so much. I had to step in and remind Julianne that she should give heed to Rebekah's advice...this is, after all, her 3rd year over at the Jr. High. But also, that the two of them were quite different and that if Rebekah says "Don't be that girl who wears a skirt on the first day of school..." and Julianne really wants to wear that cute, cute skirt that she just bought...well, that is totally okay. (When it comes to fashion, Rebekah plays it safe and is more of a fashion follower where Julianne loves to experiment and is more of a brave fashion starter.)
For posterity sake....their schedules:
1. Algebra
2. Earth Systems
3. Choraliers (show choir)
4. Georgraphy
5. English
6. Computer Tech.
7. Seminary

1. P.E.
2. CTE (Career Technology Education)
3. Science
4. French
5. Women's Choir
6. English
7. Pre Algebra

Ummm....I always forget how little Brandon is until he stands next to his friends.

So, I'm going to rant a little bit now. During this rant, keep in mind that I am a big proponent of public schools. I have absolutely no desire to homeschool my kids or send them to a private or even charter school. That being said, I am annoyed this morning. Our little town is growing like gang busters. Which means our elementary school, even though it's only 4 years old, is overcrowded. This past year a new school was built nearby, supposedly taking the burden off of our school. I was excited about this. 1000 kids in an elementary school is a lot. So a couple of weeks ago the class lists went up. Brandon, in 4th grade, was listed in a class with two teachers, Mrs. Green and Mrs. Fitzpatrick. I wasn't too overly thrilled with the two teacher thing but I'd heard that it was a pretty good teacher combo and that Mrs. Green especially was really good. Okay. Fine. Then last week I got a letter in the mail telling me that because the 4th grade was still really large they needed to add another teacher. But they didn't have enough budget for a full-time teacher, just a part-time one. So they were creating a funnel class. A class where a group of kids would go to this part-time teacher for the first half of the day and then after lunch they would funnel all the kids from that class into the other 3 for the second half of the day. As of letter writing time (less than a week before school starts) they still hadn't hired this teacher but wanted to inform me that Brandon was in this class. Umm. Okay? Rebekah had a class like this in 1st grade and it turned out fine. She did the core subjects...math, reading, spelling, etc. during the morning and then when she funneled to her afternoon class she went to library and P.E., art, music, etc. Not a problem. But still, this means that Brandon would have THREE teachers!! Sheesh. So I took Brandon to the school today still not knowing even who his teacher was. Couldn't find any classroom in the 4th grade area with his name on the list. Ah! Because he's in a portable. Seriously? I don't mind portables, really. But we just spent hard earned tax money to build another school and Brandon is STILL in a portable? Whatever. So I meet his teacher. Mrs. Souther. She seems nice. A little frazzled seeing as this is so new of an appointment that she still doesn't have her classroom totally put together. And then she tells me that she is teaching Brandon's 4th grade class in the morning and then, when the class gets funneled to the other classes, she goes off to teach afternoon Kindergarten. WHAT?? Big, big difference between 4th grade and Kindergarten. She has to come up with two completely separate lessons plans every day for two very different groups of learners. Sigh. I'm not really happy about all of this. I hope it all turns out okay. I'm assuming it will. I'm just really glad that Brandon is a very happy-go-lucky kind of go-with-the flow kid.So here we go again...another summer over, a new school year started.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


The wind is blowing, blowing, blowing this evening. Sitting at the computer I can see the bushes outside my window bending hard in the gusts. The wind is whistling past our house so hard the windows are rattling. It's loud. It's quite a doozy of a wind/rain storm. I started to worry for my new trees we planted earlier this summer. I've always thought we should stake them but still haven't got around to it. I got up and went to the back window to check on them. And saw all four of my kids outside jumping on the trampoline. I hope they don't blow away!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday: Brandon

Brandon and I ended up unexpectedly on a mother/son date last night. I had two tickets to "The Music Man." I was going to take one of the girls but they were both happily busy with friends on this, the last Friday night of summer break. I called around last minute looking for a friend to go with me (Bryan having refused on the basis of him hating musicals) but no one was home. So I asked Brandon if he wanted to come. He asked for a synopsis first and then, after warning me that he might fall asleep in the middle of it, agreed to come. I was rather delighted...for so long Brandon was my constant buddy while his older sisters were at school and before Lilian came a long. But now that he is older, he and his dad have become fast friends and it's been a long time since the two of us have had any one-on-one time.

Warnings of sleepiness were premature. Brandon was happily entertained through the whole show. Have you seen "The Music Man?" Think back to the four members of the school board. The ones that wander the town constantly singing after Professor Harold Hill turns them into a barbershop quartet... remember? And they sing this one song... "Goodnight ladies, goodnight ladies, goodnight ladies, we're going to leave you now...." When that song started Brandon turned to me with this HUGE grin on his face. "Mom!" he whispered, "Mom, this is the song that I used to sing to the girls every night!" And then I remembered. Back when Brandon was 2 and 1/2 years old Disney re-did "The Music Man" with Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenowith as a Sunday night special for TV. The kids and I watched it together. And then every night for months and months afterwards, we'd put the girls in their bunk beds down stairs and say family prayers, and then as I carried him out of their room and up the stairs, Brandon would sing "Goodnight Ladies" to his sisters. It was SO cute! And I totally forgot about it until we heard that song again last night. Frankly, I'm shocked that Brandon was so long ago, but glad. Because what a sweet memory. And how fun to re-live that again last night together.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Floral artist wannabe

Look what I made? I went all Martha Stewart the other day! Actually, I got the idea off a blog that I like to read and it looked like a little project that I could actually handle. So when I went to the store a couple of days ago I bought myself some carnations and went to work. Obviously it won't last long being that they are fresh flowers. But it was fun to put together. Maybe I'll do it again some time.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Sarah's Shrine" (as dubbed by Bryan)

Years ago my parents had this big "Gloria" poster framed. It's been hanging in my house ever since. And I've often thought, especially recently, that it would be fun to add some posters/programs from other shows that I've been in. Yesterday was the day that I finally put it all together. I'm so incredibly pleased with how it turned out. A big chunk of my free time is represented on that wall. Not everything is up there. I suppose I could've added covers from CD's that I've sung on. There are various other concerts sung with other choirs that aren't represented...
But anyhow, here are the bigger ones and here's a little description of what's up there...

"Gloria"... Written by Lex de Azevedo. We recorded it in 1999...and then have performed it numerous times yearly since then, mostly notably in Jerusalem but also all over Utah, Idaho and California. This picture, and the one on the framed advertisement poster are from Jerusalem.

"Hosanna"...written by Lex de Azevedo. We recorded it in 2000...and then have performed it numerous times yearly since then. Millennium Choir did go to Jerusalem to film "Hosanna" as well but I was newly pregnant with Brandon and, although heartbroken, opted not to go. This picture was taken from a performance in the Crystal Cathedral in California.

"Fiddler on the Roof" 2003. I performed the part of Chava, Tevye's youngest daughter, in this production with the Sandy Arts Guild. And yes, that is my sister Katie standing next to me. She played the part of Hodel.

Mozart's "The Magic Flute" in 2005. I joined the Utah Light Opera Company as part of the ensemble for this show. It was the first time I ever sang opera.

"Pirates of Penzance" 2009. Seeing that this has been one of my all time favorite musicals since I was a kid, I was so excited to not only be in the show but play the lead role of Mabel in this production with Syracuse Arts Council. Oh my, it was a blast!!

"Power In His Touch" 2010. An independent production not really associated with any specific theatre or city art council. I helped record the soundtrack way back in 2000 so it was a lot of fun to actually perform the show this year. And especially enjoyable was doing the show with Julianne. (Don't you think that I look like I'm about to sneeze in this picture?) :)

Obviously I'm hoping to do more shows in the future so my plan is to eventually maybe add two more frames and then rotate out the older shows for newer ones as the years go by.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

No specific title because I can't think of one...

We celebrated Mountain Vistas Day today. What? You haven't heard of that specific holiday? In my neighborhood it's an annual event filled with activities such as a fun run, a children's parade, inflatable slides and bounce houses, a climbing wall, a dunking machine, various carnival games. The teenagers, not ones to be overly excited about bouncing in an inflatable with toddlers, had their own activities which consisted of a big volleyball game and then swimming. Then later families come back together again for a big BBQ and, this year anyway, a big family dance. (Can I just say, it was rather fun to watch everyone jam out to YMCA, Single Ladies and Thriller, specifically.)

But this afternoon it was hot. And I was tired. It's been a long-ish, somewhat hard week. Lots of bike riding. Lots of running errands here and there. I've been fighting some sort of bug that has given me a sore throat and made me feel slightly icky all week long. So between all that and other various things, I've been just off. Emotional. Really, really tired. Blah.

After the carnival games we had a couple of hours before the BBQ. I fell asleep. And woke up 45 minutes after the BBQ had already started. Oops. Bryan had sent the older kids over already so I decided to go, by myself, to Cafe Rio to get a salad for dinner. The line was really quite long. And I was still groggy. My exhaustion and crazy week must have shown on my face as I was zoning out...inching ever so slowly towards the front of the line. As I stood there I realized an older gentlemen was trying to get my attention. He said, "I have a task for you." "A task," I repeated? He replied, "I want you to to find one thing to be happy about." And then he smiled. So I thought for a moment. "Well, I left my 3 year old home which means I'm not having to worry about her wanting to run all over the place while I'm waiting in this long line!" And I smiled back at him. "Ah, there you go!" he said. And then suddenly it was my turn to order and I didn't see or talk to him again. But how nice was that? Because I found myself smiling the whole rest of the way through the order line and all the way back to my car and home again. And not because of the fact Lilian wasn't with me. It was the thought of this nice man who had seen someone looking down and went out of his way to do something about it that really made me smile.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday: Amateur photo shoot

I've spent numerous days over the past couple of weeks school shopping with these kids. Relaxed fit jeans for Brandon, skinny jeans for Julianne. A one strap backpack for Brandon, a cool messenger type bag for the girls. Bras for the girls, more and more socks for Brandon. Tennis shoes for Brandon, Converse and slip-ons for the girls. Graphic tees for all the kids. (Brandon says "absolutely NO polo shirts...) New glasses for Julianne...ones that she will deem cute enough to actually wear in class. A cute vest for the ones all her friends are wearing.
Target, ShopKo, Kohls, Aeropostale, Vanity, Payless Shoes, JC Penney, Justice.

They are growing up so amazingly fast. Sometimes it's nice to look back at pictures like this and remember when they were still little. Summer 2002.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday in the park with the kids

It was only 79 degrees this afternoon. And to celebrate, we got a bucket of KFC and went to the park. (Side note #1: why is it officially now KFC and not Kentucky Fried Chicken? Easier? Just wondering.)

Julianne brought her new wave board. She is remarkably talented on the thing.
Brandon brought his somewhat new roller blades. He's freakishly fast on those wheels.

I had a huge and long conversation with one of my neighbors...all texted....about play group and pre-school. (Side note #2: Lilian calls pre-school "Pretty school." How cute is that?)

While I was alternating between texting and napping, Lilian was apparently rummaging through my purse. Maybe her sisters can teach her the correct way to apply lip gloss.

With the sun beating down just the right amount of heat and a slight breeze blowing, it was all too easy to doze off for a few minutes.

Pretty Julianne suggested that a good ending to our lovely park afternoon, would be to stop at DQ on our way home. Actually, DQ is not on our way home. It is quite out of our way. But we decided that the thought of blizzards, parfaits and shakes made the longer drive worth it. (Side note #3: Why is it officially now DQ instead of Dairy Queen? Easier? Just wondering.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Accesorizing my bike

My white handlebar grip tape was getting awfully dirty. How fun that my bike store had tape in the exact same teal green color as the accent stripes in my bike? And yeah, okay....maybe it's really girly of me, but I love it. I think it makes the bike that much more uniquely "Sarah's bike." While I was at it I also got a bike computer. Tells me the time, how many mph I'm going, what my average mph is, how many miles I've gone, and how long I've been riding. Very helpful and very fun. Have I mentioned recently how much I love riding my bike??

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Early harvesting

I was not happy to see this.

It didn't take long to find the culprit.

Here is the culprit looking appropriately chagrined after a stern talking to about the hows and whens she is allowed to pick vegetables out of the garden.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday: D.C.

I went to Washington D.C. with my sisters Rachel and Melissa back in April of 2004. Me being the history geek that I am, I was in heaven! Museums and monuments, bits of American history lurking around every corner. But the highlight of the entire trip was visiting Thomas Jefferson's house, "Monticello". Which, I suppose if you're going to get technical, is not in D.C. It's officially in Charlotesville, Virginia. But whatever. Details, details.
Rebekah is in D.C. this week. I hope, hope that a trip to "Monticello" makes it's way into their sightseeing plans. Because it truly is worth visiting.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I do this a lot. Weekly. Bi-weekly even, sometimes. Don't I look cool (not) with those monster ear phones? Ear buds don't do the trick. The mower is just too loud. But with these noise cancellation ear phones I can hardly hear the mower. And the music makes the mowing so much more enjoyable. Something to even look forward to sometimes.

I edge too. I've decided I have a love/hate relationship with my string trimmer. I love how it makes my yard look...but I hate IT. I feel like I'm a pretty capable person when it comes to yard work but I struggle mightily to get the string in my trimmer to unspool the way it is suppose to. And so I have to stop every few minutes to take the darn thing apart and pull more string out. And when I'm already irritable from heat...sometimes "colorful" language accompanies my efforts. But it's worth it. Because I am driven absolutely crazy by grass growing up the side of my fence or hanging over my sidewalk. It's one of my pet peeves.

Today Bryan and I spent some time adjusting various sprinklers. This interest in our sprinkling system was brought on by the need to replace one of our sprinkler heads. Which was brought on by my running over it with the lawn mower a few days ago. Sigh. Hopefully the adjustment of the various sprinkler heads will result in the greening up of a few dry, yellow spots in our lawn. But it could just be from the fact that everyone in our town has been struggling with lower water pressure this summer. A result of some on going water-pipe-buried-in-road-construction. In which case all the sprinkler head adjustment won't help a bit. Time will tell. I'm grateful for all the rain this past week. It helps.

But the rain? It also helps my morning glory to grow. And have I mentioned how much I hate-despise-abhor-loathe morning glory? Well...maybe that's a story for another day.

I'll leave you with a collage of pictures Julianne took recently of odds and ends in our yard...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


We have a 20 foot tall climbing rope/pole in our backyard. The kids scramble up it easily and often. Which means all too frequently this is my view as I'm looking out the kitchen window while cooking dinner or doing dishes. And I have to admit, my heart always skips a beat.