Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the big voice

bella loves, loves, loves to sing. so when we found out that they were having a recognition night for achievement days at church and she got to display a talent, the talent choice was a no brainer. i picked out a song for her, because i have to accompany her and that is a scary thing (stay tuned for more info) and we started working. she already knew most of the song so we were making huge progress when she just stopped singing. i looked at her to see what the problem was and there were huge tears in her eyes.

me - what's wrong? your doing great

bella - i don't want to sing this song because i can't use my big voice.

me - your big voice? what are you talking about?

bella - you know - the one like this

HUGE operatic voice starts singing about an octave above the notes we were on

me - wow. that is very nice. BUT - it's not really the best voice for this song. and your regular voice sounds so great on it. can we just do this one?

bella - ok, if that's what you really think.

i am so curious to see what her singing voice is going to be like in a few years.

now as for me accompanying her - this is huge for me. i have never enjoyed playing the piano in front of others. i am quite certain that this fear stems from numerous recital disasters. playing the piano has never come naturally to me. this fact displayed itself every year, in the spring at st. john's church in keokuk, iowa. this is where my piano teacher, mrs. goeke held the annual piano recital. from my perspective, everyone played so effortlessly and perfect. like they were one with the piano. then it would be my turn and i would stumble and have imperfect tempo through the entire piece. my fingers were never light and airy on the keys. instead they were heavy. i didn't float, i pounded on the keys like a little hammer. it was horrible!! one year, i believe it was my sophomore year, i got so confused and turned around that she actually had to place the music in front of me because i could not pull the piece back together. i wanted the floor to open up and swallow me i was so embarrassed. i didn't dare look at anyone as i walked the aisle that seemed to go on forever back to my seat. if i made eye contact the tears that were there, sitting on the edge, would break through adding to my humiliation. determined not to have back to back disasters, the next year on the day of recital i racked my brain to try and come up with an out. i knew that if i just told my parents i didn't want to go they would make me. i was pretty sure that i wouldn't be able to fake a deathly illness convincingly so what other choice did i have?? the only one i could think of was injury. but what kind of injury? a sprained ankle wouldn't do the job. i'd have to actually hurt one of my hands somehow. i was too much of a wuss to slam it in a door. so somehow, i thought that if i could fall on it and sprain it that would hurt less. so i tried to throw myself down the stairs. now you might be thinking, what a ridiculous plan?? what on earth was she thinking?? but i was just so desperate! i cannot begin to convey to you the depths of my desperation at that point. so besides the obvious, there was another major flaw with this plan. it's really hard to purposely fall down stairs. i tried and tried but everytime i would catch myself. so the only injury i sustained was a couple of bruises on my legs. the time at which my dad would get home from school grew closer and closer and finally i realized that i had no out. the show would have to go on. and while it was better than the year before, it still was so imperfect! and that is how i have always viewed my piano playing skills. forced and imperfect in every way. but, i vowed that this year i would dust off the ivories. and if we are going to be our own little version of the von trapp family, someone has to be able to play the accompaniment so i'm getting out of my comfort zone and playing my heart out for my little girl. let's just hope that i don't embarrass myself too much. or get her so confused with my less than marvelous playing that she can't sing the song. i did that at state the one time i took a piano solo to contest. part of the scoring was that you had to accompany someone and i did such a horrid job that i messed them up big time. they were totally embarrassed, not to mention mad at me, and i just wanted to block the entire thing out of my mind. which i have done quite well actually. i don't remember who i played for or what i played. i just remember that it happened and it was a train wreck. so let's just pray that a repeat does not occur.

Friday, January 23, 2009

there is vinyl all around

i have to say that i am totally loving my cricut! once i got the hang of it that is. we tried a lot of different stuff at char's house and a few things we had to take down and start again. but here are the projects i worked on while we were there.
the house has a rustic feel to it and these lonely beams were begging for some words. the whole phrase is: a house is built with boards and beams a home is built with love and dreams. we ran out of the lighter vinyl so i did darker on the back which looks good but doesn't show up well in pictures.
the first wall you see when you walk into the house.

not sure why this pic is so blurry but this is over the dining area.

this vinyl i did not cut. i had jandi cut it before i knew i was getting a machine. it's char's mantra.

savannah's door - she really wanted: i like my men cold, hard and sparkling (twilight addict) but her mom and i did not agree. so instead she got flowers, which she does not like, and i am going to make her a twilight sign that she can hang wherever she wants INSIDE her room.

spencer's room

i should have made pride larger on this one. something that i will fix on our next trip. basically i used her house as a playground so nothing is really perfect but i had a lot of fun and learned a lot!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

making fudge is like riding a bike......

no matter how long it's been since you did it last you still remember how.
several years ago, larry's parents owned the fudge shop in nauvoo. larry spent countless hours there making fudge and caramels. it's been atleast 10 years since he's made either. a few years ago, larry's sister char bought a marble slab from a company here in denver and said slab sat in our garage, untouched, longing to be used. with the completion of char's house on the horizon she decided that she was ready for the slab but it was too large to fit in her house. so, we had it cut and kept half of the slab here and the rest of the slab went to moab. larry designed a portable stand for the slab and presto! let the fudge making begin!
once the fudge is poured onto the slab it needs to cool a little bit before you start to work it. our nephew spencer has never made fudge this way and has been dying to learn so he got a hands on lesson.

it's finally cool enough - now the real work begins.
i'm not sure how many laps larry made around the table creaming the fudge, but it was alot. watching him work the fudge was like deja vue. i spent a lot of time in the fudge shop watching this process unfold when we were dating.
it's getting close to being done.
and there is the finished product. we also used the slab to make ice cream creations like coldstone. simply scrumptious. made me very anxious to get our marble slab up and running.
larry wanted me to point out that the base is unfinished. it was done that way so char could paint it the color she wanted and not because he's a slacker that doesn't finish his projects. at least projects for other people that is!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

fun with the cricut

right before christmas a lovely package was delivered to my door. within it was one of the most exciting gifts i have received in a long time. a cricut machine!! my sister in law char, who is waaayyy too sweet and generous for her own good, thought that i might like one. because of the holiday's i haven't been able to play with it much. i've wanted to, but things were just really nutty. so yesterday larry was out hunting - again - the big kids were off playing with friends and it seemed like the perfect time to tackle a little project. so i took my normal, boring star and turned it into a work of art. okay, so maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration but it's definately cooler than it was before!
i went with black because i wanted the lettering to be subtle. unfortunately i'm afraid that i might have made it too subtle. it was good practice though. the biggest problem i had was that after the vinyl was cut and i was trying to seperate the scrap vinyl from the cut vinyl, the letters kept coming off to. does anyone know how to prevent that? anyway, i have so many cool ideas of things to make and transform i can hardly stand it! starting with the walls in char's house. larry has been building stuff for her new house and we are going there this weekend to deliver them and play. so check in next week to see what creations we come up with. and a huge thank you to char. you are better to me than i deserve.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

my list for 2009

at the start of each new year i make a few resolutions, which i never keep. so this year instead of making resolutions i'm making a to do list and i'm documenting it for all to see so that i will be more inclined to check them off my list. a little peer pressure sometimes is a good thing.

get in shape - this one has many subcategories

  • spiritually; i want to earnestly strive to deepen my relationship with our lord and savior jesus christ

  • my life; there are a few areas of my life that are currently in a state of transition or free floating. i need to figure out what i really want and how i'm going to get there.

  • my house; as the kids get bigger and the house doesn't we have less and less space. i need to organize starting from the top and working my way down to declutter and reorganize.

  • my physical being; on the list every year what can i say??

  • my talents; i will never have my singing voice back the way it used to be. but i need to improve it's current state as much as i can. it hurts me that it's gotten the way it is. i don't think it's even half of what it used to be. i also really want to sharpen my piano playing abilities. playing never came naturally to me so when i stopped playing in regular intervals my ability declined rapidly. i'm sure that i will never be able to play as well as i did before, but anything will be an improvement from where i am at now.

i also need to work on priorities. a lot of times i find myself worrying about the stuff that just isn't going to matter six months from now.

and now for one of my biggest, and most personal goal. i miss my brothers terribly. it has been a really long time since i have seen most of them. there are five still living and two of them i haven't seen for.... brace yourselves..... 8 years this spring. can you believe that?? it's unreal to think it's been that long. and i just can't really understand how we've allowed it to happen. i mean sure everyone is busy with life but seriously. i have two kids that they haven't even met and i have a niece that i haven't met. it's just sad. the only brother i see on a yearly basis is the one that lives by my parents. the last two i haven't seen for about 4 years each. it's gotten to the point that i feel guilty when we see larry's sisters because we see them all the time in comparison to my brothers. but they do live closer to us ( 3 in utah) than any of my brothers do so that is a factor. my brothers are fairly spread out, texas, georgia, california, missouri and illinois. but it weighs heavy on me that we haven't seen each other and if anything were to happen to one of them right now i just don't think i could ever forgive myself. so someway, somehow i am going to see them all this year. it is going to happen!

so that's it. that's my list. i have put alot of thought into it and i hope that i am able to accomplish all of it. i wish all of you a blessed new year!

i know - this post is a little bit late since new year's was last week, but things are a little crazy around here!