Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Our stake had a Christmas fireside this last week and Barry gave the stake presidency message. He spoke about the three levels of Christmas. I really learned from it so I want to relate what he said. The first level is the Santa Claus level which includes the giving of presents, singing of carols and general good will feeling. The second level is the silent night level. This is the story of the baby born in the manger. We sing and celebrate the birth of the Christ child. These two levels really do not last. The Christmas tree dries up, presents are forgotten or broken. The shepherds at the manger left, the Christ child grew up. It is the third and most important level that we should seek. It is the Adult Christ level. Keeping the Adult Christ in our lives and honoring and obeying His word is keeping Christmas all year long. I joy in my Redeemer and testify that He lives!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Granddaughter !


This is Estella Fowles, 7 lbs. 12 oz 19 in.

My daughter, Breeann and her husband Chad have a new baby girl (their second)born Monday,Oct. 6.  Britney and I were visiting her, playing games, (while in labor ) and got to be there for the birth and 4:04 pm!  We LOVE her!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Square Foot Gardener

Last spring I happened upon a book I’d had around for a few years  that I originally found in my choir box in the tabernacle as the kind author had gifted every choir member with a copy.  I began reading and could not put it down.  I had always made an attempt at gardening through the years but never really excelled at it.  I can’t say that I have now either but at least I’ve had a rebirth.  Barry constructed us two 4x4 6 inch tall boxes.  We put tarp on the bottom and set them right on our cement driveway.  We bought the specified soil mixtures for the boxes and then measured off 16 divided squares in each one.  I actually sprouted cherry tomatoes, cucumbers,watermelons,and marigolds back in the early spring.  I really enjoyed tending them each day or so.  In May I transplanted these and also planted lettuce, beets, zucchini and yellow squash , cilantro, carrots, onions, peas,peppers and beans.  I have worked hard but have to say that the box planting is SO much easier and makes more sense than long rows and large spaces that are harder to care for.  The garden is right out my back door and I have pulled very few weeds!  Not everything worked well but I am pleased with the bounty.  I am still harvesting  lettuce,cucumbers, squash,tomatoes,beans,beets,and chard,  I planted peas and spinach in late July for a fall harvest.  The boxes have taken more watering than I expected…almost every day.  I recommend this method to anyone who has little space to garden, even just a patio!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We Had A Great Summer

We had fun in our above ground pool, playing badmitton, and tennis. Barry and the two youngest boys went to Joe's Valley for a week long scout camp. I went to my high school 30th reunion in Logan. I went to Sun Valley, Idaho with the choir where we performed and were treated like royalty. The kids didn't seem to get too bored. They practiced with their rock band, had friends over almost every day, worked at their jobs, filmed and watched movies, went to Bree's place to swim, etc.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Family Vacation

We used our Disney Vacation Club points (time share) and took all us us (13) to Anaheim the first week of June. It was SO FUN!!! I'm so glad we joined the club because we know that we always have a vacation waiting every year or two!! We stayed 5 nights in the Disneyland hotel which before would have been cost prohibitive to us. I highly recommend it...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Final Day 5

Saturday is the marathon day because we report by 9 am and are tired from the night before and the whole week as well.  This is when I totally  rely on the strength of the Lord to bless us physically and mentally to finish.  By this point too, I don't even need to warm up, I'm just conserving what voice I have left.  We started with "How Bright is the day".  It reminds me of a Scottish folk song.  Its message is so reassuring and faith building!  They speak of  the restoration of the gospel, the building of zion, and our family in heaven where we can "be there forever at home".  We then recorded again "Bound for the Promised land" which is Britney's and Brian's favorite.  Hopefully it is even better than our past recording of it.  Amazing Grace  was next with bagpipe guests.  They played out in the middle of the tabernacle floor  and the sound echoed throughout beautifully. This is such a powerful tune I believe the recording of it will reach many many Christian people and speak truth to them of the restored gospel.  We broke for lunch at 12:45.  We all walked over to the church office building cafeteria where we were served "chicken surprise"  and fruit pies.   Its always good food.  We had an hour break and then moved on to "Old Time Religion"  I felt to raise my hands and sway to the spirit!  Then our last piece was "Battle of Jericho"  These last two were accapella  .  We ended at 4:00 but knew we had to go home and rest up for the early morning 7:15 call for the relentless broadcast schedule.  We would put it together in the morning and it would be pieces from the recording sessions.   This CD is scheduled to come out in the spring of 2009. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day 4

By Friday I was really conserving my energy and not doing much other than singing in the evenings.  My throat was a little sore and my sinuses throbbing now and then.  Mack asks us constantly to use the head voice and put the sound in our molars.   Our first number tonight was "My God My Portion and My Love"  Its a little like "Come Thou Fount" and  just as moving.   "Down to the River to Pray" is one of my favorites of this CD.    I was really feeling the emotions of the need for repentance and  being born again .   Than on to "His Voice as the Sound"  which has amazing words! ...His lips as a fountain of righteousness flow that waters the garden of grace....It is a subdued melody and exquisitely beautiful.  We had the traditional "Cowboy Cookies"  that a sister organized to be made and served to everyone.  Food, books, sudoku, Ipods are always around during recording sessions.  I have to say though that to me there did not seem like very much down time; just 10 or 15 minutes here and there.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Day 3


This night the men got to come later after the women recorded "Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling"  The interesting thing about this piece (and many others) is that Mack wants all the women to sound like sopranos in an alto range.  Just when we thought we could belt out our low notes, he wants us to lighten up for a more unified soprano sound.  go figure...its a little disheartening but I do what he says!   "My Song in the Night" was next up.  Its really a beautiful song.  "Oh Jesus, my savior, my song in the night.  Come to us with thy tender love my soul's delight.  Unto Thee in affliction I call.  My shadow by day and my song in the night...". Then on to "I Want Jesus to Walk with me" which is mostly a solo by Alex Boye.  At the end of it Alex sings a really high note.  After recording this part for the first time, most of us heard an enthusiastic  "Wow"  come from down the stairs in the recording room.  We all laughed.   When this piece was done, Alex grinned widely and gave a leap of joy.  He's got a great ,friendly personality.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Recording Day 2

This recording has been pretty demanding vocally.  I especially feel worn out when  the pieces are loud and high for my range.  Wednesday night the men had an earlier call time so the women got to come later around 7:45.  The men were recording "We'll Shout and give him glory" BUT some volunteer altos were asked to help out with the VERY high tenor sections.  So.. I volunteered.  Mack  emphasized that he knew the tenors sang those notes very well but just for recording purposes (which require singing those high notes over and over and over) he wanted about 30 altos.  It of course is not as straining for us.  I think we sang many "b's" above middle "c"   That's one of the best notes for my voice.   It is a rousing piece and we finished it around 8pm.  The ladies then came in and we proceeded with "Death Shall not destroy my Comfort", another M.W. arrangement thats been around for a while.  It starts with womens voices in a minor mode, and strains of  "oh halleluja, how I love my savior.."   Mack has such an amazing ear for pitch.  We've all noticed that his ears are tilted forward.   He is constantly asking  us to raise the pitch when it must be but a mere  fraction off that I'm sure is not even noticeable to most people!  The last piece for the evening was "Rock-a-my soul in the bosom of Abraham"  Mack told us how he saw this done on TV or something and that he loved it so much he hunted down the composer and got the music for it. its accapella and features short solos by Alex Boye.  Its a spiritual that builds and builds with excitement.  I like it a lot.  We finished a little late at around 10:20.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Recording Log


This week the motab is recording a new CD called "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing"  It is American Folk Songs and Spirituals, conducted by M.W.  I thought I would give a day by day entry of the process.  Last night we began at 6:45  in the tabernacle.  I drove a van full of people up to SLC leaving at 5:35pm.  We sat according to a new seating chart.  We were asked to bring blankets to lay on the benches of the tabernacle to muffle the sound a bit.  Half the choir forgot to bring them but we seemed to have enough.  We were introduced to the recording engineers and staff, some of whom are not Mormons.   We began with some sound checks for the orchestra and then the choir. By about 7:45 we were beginning to record.  We started with "Saints Bound for Glory".  We did a few full run throughs and then took is apart and recorded sections at a time.  I brought my ipod along and listened to talks when we had a few minutes of waiting.  At around 9pm we proceeded with  "Come Thou Fount".  Some new people had never even sung this with us and here they were expected to record it right off.  That's how it goes in this organization.  Its made up of people who CAN do that!  We spent quite a while on perfecting the different verses and then finished around 10:15.  I drove everyone home, dropped off the church owned van at a guy's house and arrived home at 11:20.  This will be the schedule for every night this week and all day Saturday.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Puerto Rico!

Here are some pictures of our trip.  It was a truly wonderful time.  Bryce did not let up on the work at all!  He took us to visit and challenge members and bring them to church!  We worked until 9pm the last night we were there.  He has been a most excellent missionary and we are very pleased with his service!P3040166  This old fort called "El Morro", was built in the 1500's.  P3050058P3050059 This is the apartment we stayed in at a members house.  All houses have tile floors.P3050008 A street in old San JuanP3050095 P3060161 P3050025 P3050046the view in a restaurant we went toP3040206 P3040190-1 P3040178-1

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Passing of a close friend

Pres. Hinckley was the Tab choir's advisor for over 30 years even as  the prophet.  Our leaders met with him often.  He watched the broadcast whenever he was in town. He attended our  Christmas party every year without fail!(since I've been in anyway)  The choir was invited to a private viewing last Thursday night.  Some of the Hinckley family were there to speak to us.  One son said that the choir had become especially dear to the Pres. these last few years.  We sang three hymns; We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet, Abide With Me, and God Be With You.  It was a solemn and deeply moving experience.  I felt Pres. Hinckley's  pleasure and a firm decree that he would never leave us!  I believe that just because someone dies doesn't mean they stop caring about their life's work, especially the Lord's work.  We are so blessed to live among  men like him and also to have seen so many other great ones that have gone before.  What a blessing and sign of God's love to hear their words  and see their lives as they witness of the restored gospel  of Christ. I am reminded that where much is given, much is required and that we are really left without excuse.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Six weeks to go!

Bryce only has six weeks left of his mission.  He got called back to Puerto Rico from the ABC  islands.  He is training a new elder.  He emails us every week faithfully.  Barry and I have our flights to pick him up on March 6th.  We'll stay there for six days.  He doesn't like to talk about coming home! He gets mad if we mention it!  He has had a fabulous experience and has seen many people come into the church.