...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Monday, November 30, 2015

Aubs sings at Temple Square

This past weekend, Aubrey had the chance to perform at the Joseph Smith Memorial Center and then Temple Square with her musical theater group.  She has graduated into the oldest class in that group this year and is pretty excited about it.  I think they do a great job and I always enjoy watching them perform.

Just so you know, downtown SLC and I are not really on the best of terms.  I hate the crowds and the traffic and (most of all) the parking.  Knowing the whole thing would be an ordeal for me, I left the house an hour before the scheduled start time.  But it didn't matter because after wandering the streets and then the skinny parking structure aisles in my ginormasized motor vehicle packed with loud, small people, we did manage to squeeze into a spot and make it to the north visitor center to see the show, but we were still a smidge late.  I hate being late.  Ugh.

Anyway, for this particular presentation I had packed up the whole DeMoux crew and forced them to come with me to watch their sister.  They endured as best they could (at least they didn't throw tantrums even if they were spread across the floor in a "do we really have to be here" pattern...sigh).

Still, I think it is important we support each other so moments like this are mandatory around here (I don't make them attend every performance, but one per season is required).

Even if everyone wasn't on board all the way, I enjoy watching my baby girl shine.  She is incredible to me.  I love that sweet princess (and I think she is getting waaaaay too old waaaaay too fast.  Not fair!!).

Aubs even has a small solo in one of the songs, and I think she did great (but I'm biased, for sure).

Thankfully, my babies do care about each other as evidenced by Gavin willingly holding his sister's purse for her while she was otherwise engaged.

We finished off the evening with a trip upstairs in the visitor's center to see the statue of the Savior.  What better way could we start off the Christmas season than supporting our sister and remembering the life and sacrifice of our older brother.  Good stuff.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Time for Christmas to come home

I told you we don't decorate for Christmas around here until after Thanksgiving.

But, the moment Thanksgiving is done, we plunge headfirst into Christmas.

And so, we trooped into the shed, pulled out all the boxes, and decked our halls (but no boughs of holly here).  One of those heavy boxes contained our infamous Christmas tree.

You may remember that I did not get along with my Christmas tree last year (to get a glimpse of the drama click here, and here, and here).

But, after whipping him into shape last season (and stringing him up with all new, fancy LED lights) he didn't squabble when we popped him into the living room this weekend.  Good.

And then, Aubrey braved the ladder and festooned the house in lights (she did the bulk of the hanging of lights on her very own...I was pretty impressed).

And since we were going all out, we even trucked ourselves (minus Josh, who had to work) downtown to temple square for some pre-December holiday excitement.  We did love the lights.

Of course, the temple was fabulous.  This is such a great place for a family to go.

We made wishes with pennies in the handy, available fountain.

And we had fun...

and while enjoying the view.

Just so you know I didn't send my kids off to Temple Square without me.

Top the whole thing off with some hot chocolate and call it a fabulous evening.  No toes or finger froze in the process and everyone made it home relatively warm and happy.  That sounds like a win to me.

Love these Christmas tinted babies.  They are my favorite.  Happy start to the holiday to you and your family...however (and whenever) you choose to celebrate.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving for me

This month is a precious one to me.

I LOVE Thanksgiving.

I am one of those people who does not allow my house to be decked out for Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving.  It is not that I hate Christmas (because I don't), it is just that I don't want to pass over a whole month that can (and should) be laser focused on things that I am Thankful for.

This year, our family has not done as many cute projects as usual where we draw pictures or design turkeys or make trees with "thankful" leaves or things like that.  Our celebration of this happy month has been a bit more personal and a bit more internal.  Hopefully, our kids have still felt the depth of grateful feelings as we have tried to share those thoughts in different ways than normal (I don't think either way -- blatant or subdued -- is better or worse than the other, just different).

For me, Thanksgiving is like a gateway into the Christmas season.  We walk the quiet path and enjoy the wonder of the world around us as we prepare to pass through the treasured portal into celebrating our greatest gift -- the life and birth and sacrifice of our savior, Jesus Christ.

I am forever thankful that my older brother (and your older brother) chose to come to Earth to live a ridiculously difficult life, go through pains and sorrows there is no way I can imagine, and eventually allow himself to be tortured and killed so that I have the chance to make choices, pray, repent (boy do I need that one), and one day return to my Father in Heaven.  

The atonement of Jesus Christ is not a trite, sweet, lovely event in the history of the Earth -- it is THE event in the history of the Earth.

I am eternally thankful for my Savior.  

I am also eternally thankful for His gospel as taught in the scripture, particularly the Book of Mormon.  This book is dear to me.  In a world that is oozing with sticky filth and evil and demons seeking to destroy the children of God I am desperately indebted to prophets from the past who recorded teaching of Jesus Christ so that I could hold to them and know the safe, clean path.  

That is definitely something to be thankful for.

I hope your Thanksgiving this week is a tender time.  I hope it is a day for you to laugh and tease and remember and share and eat and rest and enjoy.  

I also hope it is a day when you feel the love of God and know that you are a treasure to Him, and not only Him but to the lives around you as well. I hope Thanksgiving is a day when you can clearly see the gifts your life has been offered.  May God bless you as you remember your blessings and as you strive to come closer to the refuge and safety offered by His perfect son, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Family Piano Recital

Last night our Whitmer family hosted a piano recital for all of the cousins.  Between my brothers and I we have 13 little people who were willing to get up in front of everyone and perform.  My mom also coerced my siblings and siblings-in-law into taking a moment to tickle the ivories (no, I do not support use of actual ivory for piano keys).  


It was a fun evening.  I was impressed with my brother and my bonus sisters (I don't have any regular sisters).  They were all incredible.  My mom and I played an energetic ragtime duet for our bit, aaaaaaand I (of course) got my fingers tied in knots more for the performance than I ever did in practice.  Sigh.  Oh well, it was still fun.

I am awfully grateful for my mom who was behind this whole night because she got us all started on piano more than 30 years ago.  She has taught dozens of kids besides her own how to play and I am really thankful that she forced me to tackle this instrument.  I love seeing my babies play and that wouldn't happen if she hadn't taught her children.

Let me share a bit of our family talent with you (feel free to oooh and aaaah over my babies as they tear it up on the piano and flute).

Now, we are by no means concert pianists, but we all LOOOOVE music and enjoy the chance to share what we are learning.  I do love those evenings when we gather around the piano to sing songs and enjoy each other's company.  The years of practicing and working (even if I complained heartily about it at the time) were well worth it just for those moments if you ask me (thanks, Mom, for making me stick with it even if I didn't want to).

I do love the piano and I'm grateful my kids are learning to love it too.

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