Month: December 2014

The phone call

The phone call

We just watched this tonight. Hilarious blast from the past! Texting youth who are paranoid of actually calling someone to ask for a date: here’s your tutorial. 🙂 (#lovethehair)  

2014, The year of the family (my Christmas gift)

2014, The year of the family (my Christmas gift)

2014 will soon be over. Did you know that 2014 was 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family? In our home, we marked this event by learning “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” This means that we began memorizing this declaration sentence by…

MF: Luke 2, read by Elder Livi

MF: Luke 2, read by Elder Livi

nativity-scene-mary-joseph-baby-jesus-1326846-gallery

Luke 2

Elder Livi sent us this earlier in the week so that he could be a part of our family nativity on Christmas Eve.

I am amazed at how thoughtful Elder Livi has been, while on his mission, of each person on their birthday and of Christmas Eve. He really loves family traditions! I love this boy!

Mary had the Savior of the world to raise. I get to raise my children. I’m so grateful for each one.

Merry Christmas,

Liz 🙂

P.S. I especially love this recording of him reading in English because he is losing his English rapidly! (“What is the word for…? How do you say…?”) LOL!

 

MF: The blind would see, cont.

MF: The blind would see, cont.

Elder Livi’s audio emails yesterday were so good to hear! So good! He sounded great. We will get to talk to him in less than 48 hours. YAHOOOOO! He started his message saying that after getting his contact fluid delivered, he was really feeling grateful.…

SOS: The blind would see

SOS: The blind would see

It’s the end of a wonderful wedding weekend. My nephew David married his beautiful, kind Beth yesterday, and we had a family shower at our home on Friday. Thursday I got to take some bridal photos of her in the Provo Historic Courthouse. What a fun location…

Christmas children’s book picks

Christmas children’s book picks

Trees of Dancing Goats

We have an entire shelf in our home library for Christmas books. Picking just a few to highlight is hard! Too many that I love! So I just pulled some that are at the top of my list.

The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco is not officially our family book club younger read for this month. (Our family book club younger read would be the whole shelf, basically. That’s what they do in December. They get the books out and read them on the couch in front of the fire. And then they leave them on the couch and floor for me to put back. Kind of their tradition. I like the reading part. Not the cleaning up part. LOL.)

This is such a loving story, that I still tear up when I read it. If you can get the audio version of Patricia reading the book, you will love it. (I especially love how she does her grandmother’s accent.) Trees is a tender tale of a Jewish family who serves a Christian family who is sick with scarlet fever. It is a perfect (and true!) Christmas tale about sacrifice and true neighborly love.

The Night Before The Night Before ChristmasThe Night Before the Night Before Christmas by Natasha Wing tells the (could be true) story of a typical American family who is experiencing the stress of the season. Our dear friends the Mosbargers gave it to us for Christmas in 2003. I think Gloria knew I could identify with the mother. Because I was sick and overdone yesterday, Julia came in and saw me and asked how I was doing. She then quoted this book. She and Eliza walked in the door and sent me to my bed to take a nap, saying that they would finish the work I was doing. And they did. I felt extremely loved and nurtured. This book will make you laugh out loud. And it might inspire your children to tuck you in bed one day, too.

Christmas in Exeter Street

Christmas in Exeter Street by Diana Hendry was given to me last year by one of Sarah’s best friends, Taylor. We’ve known Taylor since she was little. (OK, to be fair, she and I may never outgrow that description, right, Tay? So good to have someone I can look in the eye.) She comes from Australia and has a delightful accent, and this is one of her favorite books. She said it reminds us of our home, which was the nicest compliment ever! This funny story tells about a family and home who welcome all kinds of friends, relatives, and strangers to spend Christmas Eve (and the night!) with them. Folks sleep on the sofa, in the sink, on the window sill, on the fireplace mantle, and on the china hutch shelves. It is DARLING. It is hard to get, and I appreciate the work that Taylor’s mom went to on both of our behalf to find this book! We love it!

Silent night holy night

Silent Night Holy Night by Werner Thuswaldner (illustrated by Robert Ingpen) is the beautifully illustrated of the history of the Christmas hymn, “Silent Night” (Stille Nacht). Ooh, I love these illustrations. They make me feel like I am back in Germany. The story of this hymn is one that all singers should know, because it was a gift to the world during a time of great difficulty. I love how God does that. He always has special gifts to give his children in the midst of adversity. I love how music is a special gift that He shares with us in a way that so many of his children can enjoy the gift. You will want to include this important story in the ones you share with the children you read to.

Too Many Tamales

Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto (illustrated by Ed Martinez). I have reviewed this book before and surely will again. It is a classic tale of a child’s curiosity coupled with innocent misfortune. It’s a tale of honesty and repentance and wonderful humor. If you love children, you will love this story! And you will have to eat a tamale at Christmas to really enjoy it, too. (I have a friend who makes wonderful tamales! Conchita, thank you for sharing your tamales and friendship with me.)

Happy Reading,

Liz 🙂

Christmas Chronicles

Christmas Chronicles

Whether you’re a Santa Claus believer or not, this tale is truly delightful! Better yet, you can listen to a wonderful audio recording of it for FREE on Classical89.org! The man who reads the story has a lovely accent. It sounds just like a nice…

On being a music lesson mom in December

On being a music lesson mom in December

I’ve been sick. So when I woke up one morning this week, I wished I could just skip going to Peter’s cello lesson. (Nope. Did that last week.) I decided we’d better go after all! It’s not that I don’t like music lessons. I do!…

“With angels bending near the earth, to touch their harps of gold…”

“With angels bending near the earth, to touch their harps of gold…”

Sarah harp…or mahogany.

Sarah pulled the cover off her harp last night and started playing scales. She has been so busy with school this semester that this is the first time she has sat down to play.

Everything sounds good on the harp (when it is in tune). Even scales.

When she started playing her scales, I wanted to lay down on the couch and close my eyes and just listen.

(But we were walking out the door to Lane’s work party. Sigh.)

So I videoed her playing the scales.

And then Sunday I walked in the door from church, and Sarah was playing her other warm up exercise that is so cool, where one hand plays one rhythm and the other hand is playing contrarywise. It was my favorite exercise that she always played at the start of her harp lessons when we had lessons up in Salt Lake. I always felt like she was a genius simply for being able to do that. We’re talking much harder than patting your head and rubbing your tummy! I’m pretty sure I could not do that exercise no matter how slowly I did it. I’d have to be a child again to learn how.

So I videoed that.

Angels touching their harps of birch or mahogany or gold. Any kind of harp, it’s just wonderfully lovely.

Happy Listening,

Liz 🙂

P.S. Looking for a some soothing music to give to a friend for Christmas? Try “Breathe: The Relaxing Harp” by Yolanda Kondonassis. I have given that album to many people because I love it so well. Harp therapy is a proven physical therapy used in hospitals. I talked to one woman in a local hospital who feels that harp therapy helped save her life when she was recovering from a major heart problem. Need to relax? Listen to harp!

Breathe

Here is what one woman wrote about the benefits of harp therapy: “Studies show that harp therapy can equalize and slow down brain waves; affect respiration, heartbeat, and pulse; reduce muscle tension; and improve body movement. Premature babies who have received harp therapy are able to drink more of their mother’s milk and gain weight more rapidly, resulting in earlier departure times from the hospital. Harp therapy increases endorphin levels, regulates stress-related hormones, boosts the immune system, and stimulates digestion and the overall feeling of well-being. Therapeutic musicians help to create a relaxed, healing environment through live music, which studies find to be even more effective than recorded music.” –Marcie Swift, Psychologist & Certified Music Practitioner

Elder Livi update: Today’s recording

Elder Livi update: Today’s recording

If Elder Livi could have sent a photo of his apartment today, it might have looked like this: two rooms, one painted orange, one pink. No Christmas tree (wishing for one), but lots of homemade snowflakes and a paper chain in red and green, with…