Friday, December 30, 2011


It's 1:00 A.M. So technically it is New Year's Eve! And New Year's Eve has always been a time of looking back at the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's a time to reflect on changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.

Did you know that the tradition of the New Year's Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C.? Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar. With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. He could look backward and forward at the same time. At midnight on December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new. The Romans began a tradition of exchanging gifts on New Year's Eve by giving one another branches from sacred trees for good fortune. Later, nuts or coins imprinted with the god Janus became more common New Year's gifts. Cool! Eh?

Anyway, I know some people joke about not following through with their New Year's resolutions, but I have found that if I write down my goals and keep them in a prominent place where I can read them daily (or at the very least - weekly) I actually do quite well. So here is my 2012 resolutions:

1. Help my husband by taking over the budget and finances for the family. Scott is one of the hardest workers I have ever known. He values hard work and gives his all to his employers. He also gives his all to his church callings. I know it would be a HUGE load off of his shoulders if he didn't need to worry about paying bills.

2. Keep a daily scripture journal, independently of the scripture journal I keep with my daughters for our Book of Mormon class. I got the idea for scripture journals from "The Red Headed Hostess." (See her blog at: I am much simpler in my approach with scripture journaling. I read a chapter and record at least 3 inspirations I had per chapter in a journal. (My daughters do the same thing and then we share.) My resolution is to also study independently the same way....

3. Keep the sabbath day holy-er. I like my Sunday naps. And sometimes I sleep the entire afternoon. I would rather spend my Sabbath days doing good.

4. I want to compose some simple songs and teach my piano/voice students to do the same. I recently purchased a new computer and keyboard for my music studio. I also have Finale. I want to use my technology to enrich my students' lives and help them be creative!

5. Practice my piano at least five times per week. (I currently practice only once a week. I am hoping to be a better example for my students'.)

6. Read two books per month. (I LOVE reading!) I'll try to write book reviews as blog posts.

7. Speaking of blogs. My seventh resolution is to blog weekly (at least.)

8. I will continue to write a monthly music/news letter for my studio. I also want to write monthly music articles (perhaps weekly) and see if I can get them published somewhere?!

9. I will continue to magnify my church callings to the best of my ability. (Since all three of my callings are music callings, they are pretty simple for me to fulfill, but I will strive to learn from them and make them the best I can.)

and 10. I will continue to home school my daughters, and give them the best possible education I can. I will be more organized with our time and continue to enrich their schooling with different educational opportunities. (I'll write about them as they happen here!)

Those are my goals! Periodically I'll report to web-land on my progress. It would help if anyone reading this would occasionally remind me of my goals and I'll feel like I'm reporting to someone.

I have learned that being accountable to someone (anyone) helps me fulfil my goals. Last year my goal was to exercise regularly. Because I was accountable to my good friend, Amy, I am happy to report that we have regularly exercised for an entire year! Yahoo

So do you make New Year's resolutions? What are your goals?

Monday, December 26, 2011


Merry Christmas! We had such a nice day yesterday! Having my mom and dad here made it even better! :-) We enjoyed the time with family, the time reflecting on our Savior and the good food. (Not necessarily in that order.)Christmas Eve is our favorite tradition! We had an amazing dinner - complete with turkey, ham, twice-baked potatoes, deviled eggs, stuffing, and sweet potato casserole. (Thanks Amy, for the sweet potato casserole. Scott was thrilled and surprised!) We read the Christmas story, watched "The Nativity", drank hot-chocolate, gave gifts to our Savior and dressed in new pajamas. The girls also performed Christmas music for us. Key Lime Pie played "The Little Drummer Boy" on the violin while Kotten Kandy sang "Believe." They are so talented! One of Scott's favorite traditions is the stockings. We opened our stockings first thing in the morning and ate sweet rolls, before we left for church. Our stockings were fun as always. According to Scott, the best part of the day was the church sacrament program. It was filled with quotes from our latter-day prophets and special musical numbers including our daughters singing "What Child is This?" I was in charge of writing the program and putting together the music (since one of my callings is the ward music director and choir director). After church we opened our gifts. We decided that this year we would only give gifts we had made. Opening home-made gifts was really special. Key Lime Pie made fudge for her grandfather and her dad. She made jewelry for Mil and I. And she really surprised her sister with a new skirt she had sewed. Kotten Kandy sewed aprons for everyone. I had fun giving my book, "Sundy's Extreme Lists" for everyone. I also made a fun game called "The Blessing Game." I got the idea from this blog: :-) After opening gifts, we played games, napped, and played more games. "The Blessing Game" was a huge hit!We have carried on our celebration of Christmas today! Scott is off work so we are playing games today also. We played DICEcapades! It was REALLY fun! And we are about to play Apples to Apples - Disney version. (Thanks to Kevin and Kelly who gave us the game for Christmas! :-) I hope all of your Christmases were merry and bright! We wish all of you a happy new year! And may the spirit of CHRIST be with you always!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


George Fredric Handel’s Messiah
Composed: London 1741-1742 First Performed: Dublin April 13th 1742

Handel’s Messiah was an amazing oratorio. And I loved watching it! There was an orchestra, and being a violinist I paid more attention to the violins! I loved the songs too! We had an amazing trip to Nashville!

I especially loved the song “For Unto Us a Child is Born.” It was really cool to listen to the drums during the part where they sang, “his name shall be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting father, the prince of peace.”

I also loved the “Hallelujah Chorus!”

“Hallelujah! Hallelujah…For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth… Hallelujah! The kingdom of this world Is become the kingdom of our Lord, And of His Christ… And He shall reign for ever and ever … King of kings, and Lord of lords…Hallelujah!”

We all stood up during that part! And I caught myself and my mom singing! The violin part was also fun during the “Hallelujah Chorus”.

I loved the violin's part, and I wish I could play it someday! My mom bought two complete scores for us to follow along while we listened. The whole time I mostly followed the violins part. They played in third position a lot. It was an amazing thing to see. I wonder if I am good enough to play with the orchestra that played the Messiah.

We got to sit directly in front of the trumpet and the timpani. I wish we could have sat in front of the violins. But it was still a great experience!!

I loved the Messiah! And I am glad George Fredric Handel wrote it! I wish I could go again! I know that my family wants to go again! Maybe someday my family can go again when I am performing in the orchestra.

By Key Lime Pie


This year we are MAKING all of our Christmas presents for each other. It has been really fun to help the kids and guide them in their talents, etc. :-) Key Lime Pie is creating unique jewelry while Kotten Kandy is sewing some gifts for our family. It is fun to see them "anxiously engaged in a good cause."
I also thought I would share one of my loves! I collect nativities. I have over 130 of them. I took a picture of a few of my favorites: My candy cane nativity - :-) Scott got me this one a few years ago.
My Native American nativity - a gift from my wonderful husband.
My snowman nativity - isn't it cute?
Grandma T made this nativity. It was always on display on her dining room table. Now it's on my coffee table.
Mom DeGooyer gave me this nativity from Jerusalem.
I love my cherished teddies nativity. It's a bit crowded in the picture... but it is so sweet!
My mom made this nativity for me. Isn't she talented?
Another sweet nativity from my great husband.

This is the nativity that I got when I was 12 years old. I fell in love with it at a craft fair, and my mother traded for it! :-) I LOVE IT!

I love Christmas! I love the TRUE meaning of Christmas! I hope we all have a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011


Look at my face... it says it all! Along with the excitement, came tears of pure joy! I must have the most wonderful friends in the world! Michelle Moore and Amy Bettenhausen surprised me this evening. Scott and I went out to dinner for his company's Christmas dinner. While we were gone, Michelle and Amy redecorated my music room/studio. It's more amazing than I ever imagined!
Here are some befores: Here are the afters:I love the details! The framed picture on the desk with a photo of my students in it! It says: "Music Can Change the World!" And I LOVE the treble clef clock on the right side of the book shelves. The book shelves are AMAZING! I have truly missed all my books that were in storage! And the decopaged music above my piano and on both sides of the window are sooooooo neat!

Michelle and Amy are truly inspired! I am truly blessed!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Kotten Kandy, Applesauce and Key Lime Pie went to the Frazier Museum on Thursday for a field trip. We learned a lot. The museum is mostly dedicated to weaponry, but their holiday tree display was amazing! They had trees from all around the world. Of course, the American tree was our favorite!
The war armor was fun. Kotten Kandy is on the right... Key Lime Pie is on the left...

The museum was fun and educational. Key Lime Pie's favorite was the trees from different countries. Kotten Kandy loved the swords and war displays. I loved watching my daughters dress up in period costumes and get excited about learning! We can't wait to go again!

Monday, December 12, 2011


In 1741, George Frideric Handel thought he would retire from composing music. His career was in the toilet, when he received a libretto (lyrics) based on the life of Christ and taken entirely from the bible. Handel moved to Dublin and began to compose his most inspirational and infamous work of art: Messiah. The composition was completed in only 24 days.

When one of the listeners at the performance congratulated Handel on the "excellent entertainment." Handel replied, "My lord, I should be sorry that I only entertained them. I wish to make them better." And that is what this oratorio does. It brings people to Christ.

We were blessed to attend a performance of Messiah last night in Tennessee. (We went with my friend, Amy, and her family.) It was amazing! All of us left edified and grateful for the opportunity to attend this magnificent event. It was inspirational and spiritually edifying.

We sat in the front row next to the world-renown trumpeter, Alan Cox. He was awesome! I also had a couple of full-scores that my daughters, husband and I were able to follow along with. We used this experience for educational purposes as well. Both girls are writing up their experiences. - I'll share those later! :-)The concert was next door to the Nashville, TN temple. So after the spectacular performance (and yummy refreshments), we took a family photo at the temple.... It is as beautiful as all of the other LDS temples. We love visiting them!Our fun evening was not over, despite how late it was. The 12 of us who attended the concert together then drove to Oprey Land to look at the lights. WOW! It was also amazing! But my favorite was a HUGE nativity display. It was bigger than the display at Temple Square. The pieces were larger than life and there were over 40 pieces. (My pictures don't do it justice.) This field trip was amazing! I want to take everyone I know to do it again next year!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


There is nothing better than Christmas music, unless it is Christmas music performed by children sharing their talents. I have WONDERFUL students who shared their musical talents through piano and vocal pieces Thursday night. I was so proud of each of my students as they conquered their fears and participated in the event! Congratulations to all who participated. My prayer is that Christmas will be full of beautiful music for all!