Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Cantata

Yesterday, my humble LDS* Ward* choir performed our Christmas program. It is an incredibly beautiful, touching cantata by Nathan Howe titled "Come and Behold Him". I sing soprano and my two teenage sons sing bass. 

Let me mention here that they both started coming to choir under protest. My oldest (the golfer/wrestler) was convinced by a couple of his mentors (his fishing mentor, David Allen, and his Boy Scout mentor, Tarren Monsen) to come along. Also one of his best friends sings bass, so that helped. My second son (the self-proclaimed "geek") was called* to play piano for the choir, trading off with another pianist. He did not play the piano for the cantata, and had to be cajoled into singing, but he did end up participating, and they both were wonderful. Luckily, our sopranos stand immediately in front of the basses, so I got to hear them.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

God Bless Us, Every One

It occurs to me that others will think I am remiss if I don't say anything about the horrific shooting that happened this week in Connecticut. I do kind of feel guilty about continuing to write on my blogs as though it didn't happen, but I also don't like to profit (so to speak) from others' tragedies. I suppose I ought to chronicle a little here, though, as blogs are modern-day journals.

I can't effectively express the depth of my sorrow at all those sweet children and educators being brutally murdered. My heart aches, physically and emotionally, imagining what those families and community are feeling. I will add my prayers to the thousands more being offered for them. I don't know any of them and I have been on the verge of tears all weekend. I know God is watching over that community as they mourn, and I'm so grateful to know that our Savior welcomed those babies home to joy and love and eternal glory. 

This beautiful painting circulated on Facebook, and I liked it, so I'll share it here in a slightly more permanent place:
It's Christmas time-- I hope you take a moment to reflect on the love Jesus has for you and for the blessing of agency. Even when it is abused by wicked or deranged people, it is the greatest gift we have. As you hug your children tighter this season imagine a loving Heavenly Father, longing to put His arms around you, and let Him into your heart. 

In the immortal words of Charles Dickens' Tiny Tim: "God bless us, every one."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Best Birthday Present EVER!

I turned the big 4-0 last October, and came away feeling... about the same. Still me. The best gift I got-- in fact the best gift I've gotten in years, was from my husband. He gave me a beautiful dark gray floral printed super-soft heated throw blanket. The last few winters, I've taken to putting a heating pad in the bed while I wash my face and brush my teeth, so that I wouldn't have to freeze when I climbed into my cool sheets. Even when we had flannel sheets on the bed, I sometimes did this. 
Mine is actually dark gray with a floral white pattern.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Good Riddance, Phone Bill!

A couple of months ago, I was complaining to my family about how CenturyLink, (formerly Qwest, formerly known as something else that I can't remember) had raised my bill-- not by just a little, either. It had gone up from $65 for internet and phone to $85!!  

Of course, this happens, and for years we always called and whined and insisted they give us a better price and they usually got us on a better deal, but I'm tired of that game, so I was saying that I wanted to switch ISPs (since in our area, CL's download speeds are notoriously horrible) and get rid of the phone. I was debating whether to buy another cell phone to have stay home or to just be rid of the phone... I hadn't decided what to do at that point.

They were so excited to tell me about how their phone bill is now only about $3 in taxes a month, since they bought an Ooma! As soon as they had gone home, I went online and researched it for myself, and the tax amount for my area is $4.45. That's it. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The COOLEST Angry Birds Ever

I'm not much of a gamer, but I do play a few iPod games. Bookworm, Scrabble, and, yes, Angry Birds. My newest acquisition had me squealing like a Leia-cosplaying fangirl at a Star Wars Convention. Angry Birds Star Wars edition is an adorable mashup that you should really get downloaded to your iPod, phone or tablet while it's under a dollar, and even when it goes up to the average $4.99-ish cost it will still be worth the money. The opening video is hilarious, the animation adorable (as expected) and all in perfect Sci-Fi/Gaming harmony. 
I haven't played Angry Birds in a long time. I bought "Angry Birds Space" and didn't really like it as much as the others, and when I'm super busy with reading books and watching movies and holidays and full-time work and blogging and oh yeah, being a mom, I don't really have much time for playing games, but when my son told me this Star Wars edition had been released, I had to give it a look. I'm so glad I did. I anticipate many happy hours (taken in minutes here and there-- waiting for piano students, on short work breaks, ticking away the minutes while something bakes...) playing it in the future.  Light sabers, blasters, and new abilities. Fun stuff!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pin Win! Laundry Soap

I am currently about halfway through our second batch of this homemade laundry soap, which I found on Pinterest. I'm going to copy and paste the recipe here for you, but to give credit where it is due, you should check out the blog where it originated

It's basic, homemade laundry soap, and it does cost a little up front to make it, but it lasts forever! I have a big family of 6 (all of whom are now over 10 years old) and it lasts us months and months. I wasn't sure how good it was at first-- it's hard to really measure something like this, but my laundry comes out clean and smells good, so I'm going with WIN!! 

I really struggled with only using one or two tablespoons per load, but it does seem to be sufficient. Who knew?