Merry and Bright

Christmas has always been a magical time of year for me. Trying to fit 3 months worth of enchanting activities into a 3 week period is a miracle in itself. Life is beautiful when children sing about the joys of Christmas and thrill at the twinkling lights of Temple Square and frolic in snow mounds till their feet and hands are numb. I feel the love of our Savior all around as we share simple pleasures together with our family. This is what makes life good, and what a world it would be if everyone could feel it, all the time.

So with the whirl wind of activity slowing down (does it ever??) I promised my honey that I would stay in bed until 7am instead of getting up at 3:30am. We'll see. How can you sleep when visions of sugarplums are dancing around in your head?
I hope your holidays are bright and beautiful! May you be blessed with a HAPPY New Year!



What fun we had at our Holiday Showcase...an intense 3 days and total exhaustion after wards but we had an awesome turnout and it was great to see old and new friends. It's the incredible team work that makes it happen. Way to go team!


Happy Halloween

If you're hanging out with other spooks tonight wandering wind blown avenues in the moonlight or taking the safe route by snuggling up to watch some spooky movies in the dark take this Pumpkin Pie Spice Popcorn along for some yummy snacking. I found the recipe in the food section of the newspaper. It's a keeper in this haunted house.

2 TBLS brown sugar
2 TBLS maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Heat until sugar is melted and bubbling (about 3 minutes) Add 1 TBLS of butter
Add 1/2 cups pecans or almonds if desired
Pour over 5 cups of popped corn. Spread out on a cookie sheet to cool.



I am amazed at all of the delightful and inspiring women out there in the blogging world. I was checking out The Coterie Blog to find where Piper & Chloe is featured for their Holiday Showcase coming up very soon. While I was there I took at look at some of the other favorite stops. It just made me want to paint something, reinvent a piece of clothing or find some fabric in my material basket and start from the beginning. Don't you think creativity makes people happy or is it the other way around? Anyway, I think creating good things makes the world a happier place. At least your own world. As Neal A. Maxwell says, Make your influence be felt in your own acre.



A little of this and little of that.........

The count down is on for the piper&chloe Holiday Showcase and my workroom looks like a Mad Scientist's lab. I have about 5 projects going at the same time. When I need a break from one I start on another. But nothing is more fun than pulling out ribbons, fabrics, buttons, papers, and all manner of embellishments and dream away. Trial and error but very satisfying to come up with an original. So in a few days I'll come out of my cave and post something new. Till then.


Hoping your October Days Are Bewitiching!

First the red and gold leaves entice us into fall...then the days become cooler. We pull out sweaters and jeans, tuck the summer clothes to the back of the closet. Bring in the garden harvest...strawberries, zuchinni, squash. No luck with tomatoes this year. Make jam, zuchinni bread, apple crisp, yum. Bring on the hot chocolate and a cozy fire and what do you have? A new exciting and entertaining season. Costumes to be made for Halloween, hours spent preparing for piper & chloe, trying new recipes and gathering friends and family to join in the fun.
Halloween decor has begun. I painted one of my alpine Christmas trees black, covered it in tiny orange lights, ghosts, raffia bows, and draped black velvet around the bottom. Then pulled out my purple Snow Village Victorian house, put orange lights in it and placed it under the tree. It sits in the dining room bay window. A good find at the fabric store, black velvet with tiny sequins makes the perfect table cloth, ( although the fabric was more than I had planned to spend). Stars and witch glitter and fall leaves surround the ceramic jack o' lantern centered on the dining table. What do you suggest for a ghoulish menu? Any costume ideas? I remember the year I dressed as a witch. I put a green facial masque on my face and it was dry and peeling by the time the door bell started to ring. The trick or treaters were pretty spooked when I opened the door to great them. BOO! Have fun in the preparations.


The Final Week

My dancing shoes have served me well. They are completely worn out from rain, mud, skipping, running, doing the Scottish fling, the reel and round dances, not to mention being stepped on. I don't know whether to toss them or bronze them.
We were surprised to see our best fans before the show and then after. We were excited they could experience the spirit of Nauvoo with us. There's nothing like it!

Got to love that frumpy look...looking forward to a haircut and another outfit :)
Over the four week run of the show the Nauvoo Mission office took in more than 7,000 referrals. The referrals will be sent to missionaries all over the world. What a priviledge to be a part of the exciting work.
We again learned to appreciate what the Nauvoo Saints went through to establish the church in these latter-days. There was a booth at the pre-show activities that had a website nauvoopageantcousins.org where we were able to put in our family names to see if we were related to any of the early residents of Nauvoo. It was pretty exciting to find I was related to Heber C. Kimball, Eliza R. Snow and Emma Smith among others.
The Nauvoo Pageant was an amazing experience. We discovered that we were more flexible than we thought we were. We could even sing and dance in the rain and have fun doing it. We made some wonderful, life-long friends that share special memories with us.


In Training

Finally a moment to sit down for a quick note. How grateful for Sunday rest :) Wow, this is an amazing experience. Not only is the setting perfection, the Spirit is so strong among all those who have prepared themselves to be a part of the pageant.
I would liken it to the intenseness of missionary training at the MTC, throw in staging a play, learning jumps and leaps and dances these legs have not done for a few years, singing til out voices are hoarse but sounding like angels (figure that one out), breaks to be spiritually fed by the directors, choreographers and costumers to increase our understanding of what it all means, and insights of how the First Presidency interacted with the writing of the pageant.

Seeds of the gospel are being planted in the hearts of those who attend the pageant. People from all over the country and the world come to experience Nauvoo. Each night there has been two to five thousand visitors and standing ovations every night.

During our first week we are assigned to pioneer activities for the pre-show. I loved teaching men, women and children how to tie a quilt while visiting with them about where they were from, about their families, etc. Terry was in the sawing logs section. We met visitors from Mexico, Netherlands, Carthage, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas...all over the place.
This week after the pre-show activities we also take part in the pageant finale, flooding the stage while singing 'The Spirit of God' with the Nauvoo temple in the background flooded in light.
Next week we will be doing the entire show. Our days are from sunrise to way past sunset. The weather has been great for rehearsing outside, lacking the usual heat and humidity. It truly has been a blessing. This first week you can't imagine how this is all going to turn out. Kind of like a roadshow rehearsal the night before the show. Someone said, "We are taking chaos and joy and building something majestic!" We can only look at the previous cast and see how it has come together and is a beautiful story. We are instruments in God's work in sharing His wonderful message to the world. It comes off because we believe it and as a result we are sharing our testimonies through story, song and dance. Our love for the gospel shines through to the audience. "Come we say, join us. This is where true happiness can be found."


Living Out of a Suitcase

Some of you know how difficult it is for me to live out of a suitcase. Well, imagine the challenge I am facing living out of a bag! Since our hotel is a half hour drive from Keokuk to Nauvoo we don't have time to go back to it during the day which requires everything I could possibly need during the day and for the show need to be in my tote bag. Scrambling through that bag umpteen times a day is a scavenger hunt in itself...try to find: water bottle, badge, tennis shoes for stage, toothbursh, gum, sandals for feet to breath, curlers for ringlets, hairspray, pen, script, music, camera, insect spray, sun glasses, sweater, smashed granola bar, lip gloss, makeup, blah, blah, blah. Did I forget anything? Oh, yeah, my two dresses, bloomers, shoes, stockings, shawl, bonnet , but that's in my other bag. That's it...now if I could only remember my brain!


Full Speed Ahead

We start our day at 6 am with a packed schedule of dance rehersals, stage blocking and singing rehersals and devotionals, district meetings, prayer meeting, pre-show activities and the finale in the pageant. Next week we are in the complete pageant. The show finishes at 10:30 then we can visit with the audience and we're back to the hotel and in bed by midnight, walking every hour to make sure we are up in time to start over.

Walking along the Mississippi for our FHE to practice our song 'Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise'. Atleast the turtles and the bunnies thought it was quite beautiful.


Nauvoo Here We Come

Driving across the beautiful green plains gives us time to reflect and enjoy the solitude of an unstructured life.....just our thoughts and 'Les Miserables' in the background. Leaving the real world for the enchanted land of Nauvoo. A place where stories of far away people and times past await us. Three days of travel clears our mind for what's to come......


A Barrel of Monkeys

What could be more fun than a barrel of monkeys?

8 adorable munchkins!!



Doing our part to help the local economy by showcasing some of the most talented artists in Utah. Plans are underway for the second piper & chloe showcase which will be held on May 8 & 9 in Farmington. Our board of directors meetings are inspiring and fun as we contemplate the great possibilities of this adventure. You could never find a greater bunch of co-workers!


My "Nutty Buddies"

The perfect girl's weekend agenda:
Eat yummy healthy stuff...pizza, ice cream, cookie dough, burgers.

Pampering our new mother to be with surprises...hair salon, shopping spree and painted toe nails.
Movies...Devil Wears Prada, Confessions of a Shopaholic.
Shop, Shop, Shop
Many tries at getting the perfect group picture.
Parade of Homes...Mr. Toad's Wild Ride...Our valuable opinions on each home.

Bostyn's first Girl's Weekend...Lucky Girl!

Winter Getaway

Loving the palm trees, blue sky and red cliffs of Southern Utah for a winter escape was what I needed for a total rejuvenation of body and soul. Doing nothing, walking, going out for dinner, reading and getting hooked on American Idol (ha, ha). A side trip to San Diego seeing our favorite spots, Seaport Village (eating lunch in the plaza with the ocean in the background), Coronado Island and hotel (finding a beautiful oil painting to remember our trip), Old Town (a new Mormon Battallion visitor's center being built), Laguna Beach (where my new arm plate made all the secuirty alarms go off in the shops) and San Juan Capistrano (The sparrows return every year to the Mission fountain). And then there was Girl's Weekend and the Parade of Homes and before we knew it it was time to come home to the snow and the reality of day to day responsibilities. It sure was fun. I think I will do it again!

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Wow!  Are you ready for Halloween?  Where does the time go?    It's a fun time around here.   Parties are booked.  Costumes are still i...