I’m a flautist, though not a very practiced one at the moment.  I always loved to play the flute, though I wasn’t always confident in my playing abilities despite being first chair for a lot of my High School years.  I had about a year of private lessons during my high school years, and I always played in the band and the musicals.  When there was a solo, I typically was the one to play it, except as a sophomore when an amazing Senior blew me out of the water.  She amazed me.  I really wanted to be like her.  I worked hard but never seemed to progress like I had hoped.  I didn’t have a mentor.  I know that would have made a big difference.

After High School was over, I went to Dixie College in Southern Utah (’95-’96).  I was in the middle of one of my science classes when a total stranger asked if she could speak to me in the hall.  She introduced herself as Launa Whitehead.  She asked if I would be interested in joining the flute choir.  I was quite surprised to be recruited. I wasn’t even taking a music class at Dixie, so I had no idea how she found me.  Anyway, I said I would love to join the flute choir.  Boy did I feel like I was at a Junior High level again because the amazing flautists were just that…amazing!  I was hesitant to even play at first, but everyone was very welcome, friendly, and loving.  I learned so much from them all, and I loved every minute of it.  We had a few performances in the area, and we even traveled up to Salt Lake City to perform at Abravanel Hall.  Dixie College was putting together a music sampler cd that year, and the flute choir was able to participate.  We all received a copy.  I still have mine! (I included the two pieces that we play at the bottom of this post.) I was planning to learn the alto flute the next year. (I didn’t even know they existed until the flue choir, and there’s a bass one too though we didn’t have one in our choir).  However, I didn’t go back the following year.  (A story for another day…maybe.)

I moved home after a year at Dixie and married my sweetheart, David, a year later.  I didn’t play my flute very often after coming home.  I’d get it out a couple times a year.  After having 5 kids, discovering my love of and skill for singing, and wanting to be more musical in general, I’ve decided I’ll start practicing the flute more.  If anything, I hope my children find bigger love of music than I.

A month or two ago, my friend, Tamary, asked if my family would like to participate in a music program for her mother’s care center.  Of course I said yes!  I was planning to just sing at first.  I hesitated to volunteer to play my flute, but in the end decided I had to stop hiding my talent (even if it was a little rusty).  The kids and I sang the sing-along songs Tamary had planned, my kids and I sang You Are My Sunshine, and my two oldest, Ella (16) and Aurora (14), sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  It was so gratifying to watch these sweet ladies in the care center sing along and brighten up and tap their feet.  I loved that they would smile and wave to my little 7yo son, Peter, and he’d smile back.  Anyway….it finally came to my turn to play my flute.  I was a little nervous since I hadn’t performed in front of anyone in years.  I played A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief with Tamary accompanying me.  (She has a marvelous talent for playing the piano!  She sight-read the music I gave her and could play it well after one practice!)  They clapped, I bowed and smiled, and remembered that feeling again…the reason why I loved performing.  It was for the smiles and joy it brought to people.  They didn’t care that I wasn’t perfect (yeah, I messed up that one run towards the end), but I did it, and they appreciated it!

I’m hosting my book group next month, and I told Tamary that if she’ll accompany me, I’ll play my flute during our music/talent sharing portion.  I better get practicing that run.  :)


Enjoy these pieces.

Marriage of Figaro, Overture; by Dixie College Flute Choir; Dixie College Music Department Sampler; Released: 1996

Morning from the Peer Gynt Suite #1; by Dixie College Flute Choir; Dixie College Music Department Sampler; Released 1996

  • David was in a car accident that totaled our car (not his fault, and he was injured, but not severely, the car I received as a HS graduation gift when it was new).
  • We were given a used car from my SIL and BIL.
  • David’s maternal grandmother passed away.
  • David was hired on as a regular employee at his work.
  • We have health insurance after many years of having none.
  • I had my thyroid checked, levels were normal; growth on my chin and arm were sebaceous cysts which went away on their own.  Hurray!
  • I sang my first public solo performing two Women at the Well songs, “Day of Tears” and “He Came For Me” – and LOVED it!!!
  • I went on a girls night with my sisters-in-law and mother-in-law, saw my first concert since I was in college, and enjoyed a sleep over!
  • We got new next door neighbors (on both sides of us).
  • Helped with The Briana Project by cutting out and sewing lots of mama pads for women in Senegal, Africa.
  • Ella walked 13 miles to the temple with our ward youth group.
  • I created a banner for David’s maternal grandfather’s 90th birthday party (the banner had names on each branch).
  • Ella went to Oakcrest Girls Camp for the first time as well as YW camp for her second year.
  • Lightning attended Cub Scout Day Camp for his second year.  This year as a Bear.
  • Aurora and Lightning participated in the Days of ’47 Children’s Parade.
  • David surprised me on our 15th Anniversary and took me on a journey down memory lane by taking me on a tour of some of the places that have been significant in our lives together. Of course, we took pictures!
  • My kids all had the chicken pox, except Ella (her titers came back immune).
  • My girls and I got lice…and eradicated them!  (It still makes me itch when I think about it though!)
  • I stepped down as a Young American Stateswoman Association (aka YASA) co-advisor.
  • After 19 years of driving, learned how to drive a car with a manual transmission. (Thanks, sweetie!)  I still won’t drive it though. lol
  • David’s maternal grandfather (the one that had just turned 90) passed away.
  • David got a second job.
  • I sprained my right ankle (again), on the first day of David’s second job no less.
  • I participated as a Board Member for Moms’ Retreat, as the registration/website go-to gal.
  • I participated as a Board Member for Knights of Freedom Summit*, over equipment.
  • Lightning attended the Knights of Freedom Summit for his second year. (He’s the one in the center looking at the camera.)
  • Our family attended a “Royal Ball”.
  • I took my kids up to the Brigham City Open House with friends.
  • Our family had our annual trip to Silver Lake.
  • I joined my ward choir after a sabbatical and enjoyed singing for the Christmas Program.
  • We visited friends in Honeyville.
  • I finished mentoring Art in our Excelsior Scholars  group and began to mentor Music. (ES is a transition to scholar group.)
  • Aurora joined Excelsior Scholars.
  • I learned how to make caramel that I can eat! (Hey, I’m happy about it!)
  • David and I attended the sealing of our dear neighbors to their angel children.
  • I was voted in as Administrative Coordinator for the Eliza R. Snow Association (ERSA), again.  :)
  • I had another successful year as a Liberty Girls Advisor thanks to lots of help from the moms in our group.
  • We visited some extended family on my dad’s side for Thanksgiving.  (It’s been years since we had any sort of vacation.)
  • Aurora babysat more than Ella did this year, and not just for me.  She is definitely my helpful mommy-in-training.  It helps that she passed out business cards to the ladies in our ward.
  • I went to Savior of the World with my good friend, Andrya.  It was a good girls night out!
  • I made photo books for the grandparents again for Christmas.  It may just be a yearly tradition now that I’m caught up on photos for them. :)
  • We had a lovely Christmas.
  • I discovered the source of my growing fatigue that has been plaguing me for the past few years.
  • David and I attended an “End of the World” party, and you know what, the world didn’t end!

I’m sure I’m missing things, but it’s overall been a pretty good year for our family.  I look forward to having an even better one!
{*Update 4/11/2015: Knights of Freedom Summit is now owned by Heroic Youth and is called Mastering Knighthood.}

I again had the pleasure of being on the board for the Knights of Freedom Summit*. This year I was over Family Activities. We had lots of games (way too many to choose from) and other fun activities. We had several options such as face painting, make a foam sword, paint a tabard, make a flower wand, and make a princess cone hat. It was adorable to see the little girls run around in cute princess hats and wands. I especially loved watching the little boys wearing their tabards and using their foam swords in their own battles.

I have so much gratitude for the opportunity to serve. My heart is full, and I am truly amazed at the miracles and blessings that occur as a result of many sacrifices and hard work done by families dedicated to bringing up faithful, loving, righteous leaders in their homes. The boys were able to see and participate in an obvious miracle. About an hour before the final battle was scheduled to occur, a drenching rain turned the hillside and field where the final battle was to be held into a river. Due to the prayers and faith of these young boys, youth leaders, and other volunteers and families the rain stopped and amazingly the water drained off quickly within about an hour. This event matters to Heavenly Father, and though it seemed at first that our prayers for dryer weather weren’t heard, He allowed us the opportunity to exercise our faith and be a part of the miracle. I’m so grateful!

I wasn’t as involved this year as I had been the last two years over the volunteers, but I still saw some wonderful things happen…particularly with my 8 year old son, “Lightning.” He became more confident in his natural ability to be compassionate and loving. He also knew that by being a knight, he would need to act as one. He tried harder to be kinder to his sisters and accept the answers of his parents and leaders.

I am so proud of Lightning. He was picked by his Master Knight to receive a chivalry award at the closing ceremony after the final battle. There were 14 boys in his group that his Master Knight was in charge of and he was the one picked. There were only 12 chivalry awards given out among the 150 boys attending. It was an AMAZING experience for him! The only sad part about it, for me, was that I didn’t get to see him receive it. I barely made it to the ceremony after cleaning up the pavilion where the family activities were–on the other side of the park! Gratefully, my husband and other children were able to watch. I’m sure pictures were taken by Tamra Hyde, though I’m not sure when they will be available. I’ll update this post when they are.

{*Update 4/11/2015: Knights of Freedom Summit is now owned by Heroic Youth and is called Mastering Knighthood.}

We’re still alive and well. David has been working a new job. Ella has been reading her favorite books again. Aurora has been playing in the sprinklers. Lightning has been enjoying cub scouts and day camp. Wendy has been running around in skirts–daily. Peter has been getting into the sunscreen. And I, well, I’ve been doing the every day things as well as going to girls camp, planning out Liberty Girls, planning for my art class for a Transition to Scholar group for Ella, figuring out Knights of Freedom Summit* Family Activities, and enjoying the summer thunderstorms…the result is always worth it!

{*Update 4/11/2015: Knights of Freedom Summit is now owned by Heroic Youth and is called Mastering Knighthood.}