Easter Day

Beautiful music and art have been created through the centuries to commemorate Easter (and Christmas). We saw this painting by Carl Bloch a few years ago at a special exhibit at the BYU art museum. The art was breathtaking. Tonight we attended a special Easter concert at the St. George LDS Tabernacle with Scott's brother and sister-in-law, Spence and Melanie, who are currently serving as missionaries at church historical sites in the St. George area. It was so fun to visit with them and meet some of the people they serve with. The music by the Southern Utah Heritage Choir was inspiring. I was touched by music I've never heard before but want to add to my personal music playlists such as a song called, "No Other Name" by Lynn S. Lund. I'm so grateful for the work of genius artists and musicians that help me worship in a personal and spirit-filled way. 

Picturing the Resurrection...an essay by Herman du Toit
Herman du Toit was the head of museum research at the Museum of Art at Brigham Young University when this was published.
The power of images cannot be underestimated. Inspired works of art speak to us across the centuries, across cultures, and across national boundaries. This is because inspired art has the power to visualize and articulate the spiritual. One of the ways the artist serves us, the viewer, is to offer an interpretation or a personal vision of a particular event, and this in turn compels us to consider and reevaluate our own ideas and concepts. We may or may not agree with a particular representation, but the very act of looking causes us to test our own interpretations and preconceived ideas. More important, however, as we are drawn into the artist’s vision of a religious event, we come to realize for ourselves the truth behind what they are depicting. In this process of discovery, concepts are clarified, new meanings are instilled, and understanding is enlarged. 
 Carl Heinrich Bloch, The Burial, ca. 1873. The Museum of
National History on Frederiksborg Castle. Courtesy of Intellectual
Reserve, Inc.


{ springtime travels }

A fun trip to visit little Lizzie (and her parents) made us want to move to warmer country. We had so much fun with this little...wow, really?...toddler.

Where did the months go? She just gets cuter and cuter. She's even adorable when she cries.

Even though her mom has to get up at 5:30 in the morning to go to school, she always does Lizzie's hair so she'll look darling. These piggie tails are my favorite.

We went to some model homes and Lizzie loved the rocks and pebbles in the landscaping.

All smiles!

Lizzie's teaching Grandpa how to play on his iPad. "It's not just for reading books, Grandpa."

Out to dinner and coloring on the kids' menu.

New grass in the backyard! She loves it.

Suzie coerced Grandpa into fixing the tiles on their roof. He was willing because he loves heights. Really. 

It was warm up there - and the view was lovely.

Sorry we had to say goodbye. But we'll be back soon!
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* egg-cellent *

How about some Easter eye candy to brighten a dreary before-Easter weekend! Images are collected from Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, West Elm, and Martha Stewart. (I don't even dare go to Pinterest because I do have to go to bed tonight!)

Twig Basket

Outdoor Running Bunny Stake


{ from the eighties }

This little plaque I found is dedicated to the eighty-somethings (my greatest examples) in my life: My bestie, Erm, whom I visit monthly; a forever friend named Letty; a couple, Clair and Marge, who have meant much to us over the years and are struggling but not complaining and are fortified with love for each other; a dear lady, Elaine, who takes the prize for endurance with an attitude of gratitude; my dad, the best example of positivity and deep faith of anyone I will ever know, my mom,who rises with grace each time she's flattened by another physical ailment; my parents' friends; and many aunts, uncles and grandparents both here and in heaven.
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- seeing green -

Worldwide Quilting Day - March 16, 2013
To celebrate "Worldwide Quilting Day," I did something I was planning to do anyway: work on a couple of projects while tending our little grandson. Since tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day...it's about time! Actually, the wall hanging below has been finished for a while, except for the outer borders. I'm being Miss Perfectionist/Obsessive/Compulsive about the borders because I know exactly the fabric I want to use, and I can't find it anymore of it anywhere. So I'm just stubbornly waiting until it turns up.

There are cute embellishments for this quilt - little flowers and four-leaf clovers and they'll be added after it's quilted. It's a fun-to-make project by Kimberell Designs.
This is my favorite block in the quilt - a double pinwheel or whirlwind block. Kim put touches of black in the quilt pattern which I really like. And dots, yes, I do like my polka dots!
This is a tablerunner I made from the wall hanging leftovers. The pinwheel in the upper right turned out wonky and...being Miss Perfectionist...I couldn't put it in my wall hanging. That led to sewing up the tablerunner. I machine quilted it myself. That was a new experience that I hope to continue in the future for small projects.

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{ munch for brunch }

It's no secret I don't like breakfast. Milk in the morning makes me nauseated. But by ten-ish I start thinking about something to eat. Usually cookies and Diet Coke. I know.
A couple of summers ago, we spent a few days at a wondeful hotel in Jackson Hole called Rustic Inn. (Yes, it's nice...I just went to their website and their prices have doubled.) Their buffet breakfast included a granola that was worth eating breakfast for! I loved it with yogurt. I asked the breakfast chef for her recipe and she handed me a Rustic Inn postcard with the recipe handwritten on the back. I guess she handed out her recipe daily. This winter I've made it several times and tried to have it on hand to eat every day. I make a big triple batch and save most of it in quart jars to store in the freezer. (I hate stale granola, and there's nothing worse than walnuts that aren't fresh.)

Here are my granola preferences: NO RAISINS. No cinnamon or spices. Yes craisins and dried bananas. Yes to almonds, though I prefer slivered almonds over sliced or whole. I like to add flaxseed, walnuts, sunflower seeds and that stuff in a jar that adds fiber. In my granola I like lots of coconut so I use Angel Flake and large flake coconut. The  recipe/postcard from Rustic Inn is below and my own edited version of the recipe follows.

Note that I decreased the oil and only use 3/4 cup and then add 2 TB water and l tsp vanilla with the oil. And I bake it for only about 12 minutes.

Good Granola

Mix in a small bowl:
3/4 cup canola oil
2 TB water
1 tsp vanilla

Mix well in a big bowl: 
4 cups oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Angel Flake coconut
1 cup unsweetened big flake coconut from Kitchen Kneads
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 - 4 T. ground golden flaxseed
2 - 4 T. wheat germ

Drizzle the oil mixture over the top and stir stir stir. 
Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 for 12 minutes. 

After the granola is baked and cooled, add the cranberries, dried banana slices, etc. as desired.  

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* so you thiNk you can daNce *

Scott and I were recently asked to be on the committee for a church party. The theme was "international." We chose to be in charge of the entertainment. (I'll take entertainment any day over food.) It worked out great because the food chairman is a gourmet cook and made the most delicious pasta dinner with salad and breadsticks and several kinds of pasta and toppings. I'm not talking spaghetti. It was really amazing wonderful pasta that I don't even know how to make. So the party started out great. We had the people who came bring salads and "international" desserts.

I knew that I wanted to have everyone play "So You Think You Can Dance." My sister, Merilee, created this game and played it at several family reunions, and it's really fun...plus...minimal advance preparation. We also had a warm-up game. As the guests arrived Scott had a sheet with lots of questions about international facts and trivia. It was a good way to get people talking. Meanwhile I passed out a number to each person - a number for one of the ten dances we were going to do. I tried to encourage everyone to plan on participating. I fixed some of the numbers so certain people got certain dances.

Most people were willing to join in...some preferred just watching, but I was surprised and happy at how many got up and danced. Our ward is older - we only have about 20 kids under twelve and 20 teens. We really needed the adults to join in. So I called up all the Number 1's and  had them all stand on the center circle. We started the music (it was the Twist) and they hesitantly started dancing. Then the kids caught on and got it going.
The picture above is the second dance, the Hula. 
 At that point I realized that the kids wanted to dance every dance. So each time I'd say, "All the Number 3's  (or whatever) and all the kids, come to the center circle." They loved it.

One thing I was worried about was running the music AND being in charge. Nothing messes up a party like technical problems with the music. The day before the party I was watching the Today Show and saw a report about an Academy Awards post party. They showed a DJ at the party spinning the records and rocking out to the music. Problem solved - what I needed was a DJ!!! 
I called Mike and Sierra and begged them to come and be my DJ's and run the iPad/music. They walked in with their matching shirts, sunglasses and headphones and made me so happy. Plus no glitches. They knew just when to fade the music out - dancing to the whole song is too long for both the dancers and the audience. And they rocked out to every song just like on TV. 

Dance #3 was the Boot Scootin' Boogie. We had quite a crowd doing that one.

It became quite interactive...lol.
 Our fourth dance was the Jitterbug. Not many people knew the steps - but this mom & daughter sure did. 

Then some younger teens had their 'Harlem Shake' moment. On the Sunday before the party I had told the young men that they could "instigate" the Harlem Shake. (Luckily I knew about this new You Tube trend.) They were so excited and had Mike video them doing it. I tried to explain to the audience what it is.

So here is "the instigator." She came in and for the first 15 seconds everyone just sat still and looked on acting like nothing was happening...as instructed.

Then the music changed and everyone got up and started dancing. It was kind of weak, but fun.
 Next was the Cha Cha. We even had couples get into the cha cha steps. It was cute with good music.
I got all the kids and teens out on the floor with the bishop of the ward in the center and turned on Gangnam Style.  It was fun and funny to see how the kids knew the steps to that dance. I did get nervous about the lyrics in one part. Who has ever listened to the whole song - not me. Hopefully it was 'blurry' on the church speakers.
Number 7 was Irish Step dancing. The guy in the white tee shirt is really from Ireland and he danced quite a jig. The others were good sports for trying. 
This was a favorite...the Macarena. I made the DJ's get out front and lead it. 
Dance Number 10 was The Chicken Dance. It was just silly and loud.

We had a special request for the party to continue with more music and dancing after the official ten dances were finished. The shyness was gone and lots of people got up and rocked out.  

And this was the perfect, spontaneous, finishing touch. 
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