The Watchman

The Watchman

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So Sings My Soul

Billy Joel once said, "I think music in itself is healing.  It's an explosive expression of humanity.  It's something we are all touched by.  No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music."  Bono said, "Music can change the world because it can change people."

Before I was married, I was advised to fill my home with music.  I am not a musician.  I did not sing.  In fact I had actually been asked once upon a time to not sing with a choir group.  I do not play any instruments other than being able to pick out the melody on the piano for a few favorite songs.  But I knew the power music can have on a home and I knew the importance of this council.

I have tried to heed that council.  As infants, my children listened to lullabies.  The boys had their own cassette player and cassettes, then CD player and CDs.  They girls have their own, and now everyone has their own MP3 player.  At home, we listen to rock, gospel, country, Broadway and Mormon Tab depending on the mood.  We have taken our children to concerts, ballets and Broadway plays.

When they were old enough, piano lessons were provided and upon reaching junior high/middle school, the boys joined the band.  Each of our sons can play multiple instruments and two have served as the drum major for the high school marching band.  Our oldest daughter is already playing the violin and both girls take piano lessons.  All the children have sang in different choirs, both for school and church.  I love church when our choir sings and all my men are standing up filling in the bass line (although Wil does try out the soprano part with his falsetto when he is feeling mischievous).

Recently we attended our youngest son's jazz concert at the high school.  It is so great to watch him play while tapping his foot along with the music.  The boy really does have rhythm. This week we have Lela's orchestra concert and Jon has a band concert.  Next week is the elementary school's dance recital that the girls are excited to participate in.  Lela will be dancing with her class to a song from Phantom of the Opera and Emily's class is dancing to a song from Grease.

Music has opened many doors for our family.  In college, Rick performed with the BYU Marching Band at the Citrus Bowl.  My boys have performed with the Army Band.  They have been selected to perform with other bands were able to receive instruction from professional musicians.  While on his mission, Hunter was able to participate in a recording of gospel music and helped with many special musical programs that testified of Christ.  Hunter was also able to perform with his school choir at Abravanel Hall during the 2002 Olympics as part of the Cultural Olympiad.  Wil has chosen to make music his career and will be majoring in Music at SUU when he returns from his mission.

Sunday at church was the Primary Program.  This is when the children's group in our congregation presents the worship service.  The children and their leaders work all year to learn the songs and each child is given a special speaking part.  Lela and Emily were asked to participate in a quartet for a special musical number.  As I listened to their beautiful voices sing of the importance of putting on the Armour of God, I again received a witness of the importance of filling my home with good music, because nothing touches the soul and awakens the spirit the way music can.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Autumn in Zion

On our recent camping trip, we took our friends on one of my favorite hikes.  I particularly like this hike in the Fall, because it allows me to experience the vibrant colors of my childhood autumns in Northern Utah.  As my friend pointed out, you don't expect to see maple and oak in the desert.  I especially love the contrast with our blue, blue sky; the red rocks of the canyon; the white sand and the green of the pine trees.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from this year and previous years:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Welcome To Camp Wixom

There are two things I require when camping - accessibility to clean water and flush toilets.  If I have those two things, there isn't much that a little ibuprofen can't cure.  Luckily, I have a husband who likes his toys and  camping is a favorite pastime, so we have lots of camping toys.  Each year for Fall Break, we load up the family and go camping in Zion National Park.
Camp Wixom

Camp Bee

This year, our friends the Bees came too.  They didn't have quite as many toys, but since we were in adjoining campsites, this was not a problem.  It was great having them with us.  Here are the top ten things we do when camping:

1. Hang out around the campfire:

Wil, the Eagle Scout, helping Logan, a new Scout, 
Jon reading his book.  This year he brought two, just in case.

Warming up in the morning
2. Climb rocks:

If you go up, you must come down.

3. Play in the water:

4. Look for wildlife:

This deer walked right through our camp

5. Eat:
Rick cooking another delicious meal in his kitchen
Greg and Cindy enjoying their meal
Hot chocolate in the morning

Anna and Emily enjoying ice-cream at Zion Lodge
6. Hike:

7. Explore:

Sign on the way to Grafton

Petroglyphs in the canyon

Anna writing her name in the sand
Adding her prints to the animal tracks
8. Practice our cheesy smiles:

I wonder what Nataly is thinking.
9. Enjoy the amazing scenery:
The Watchman



Checkerboard Mesa
10. Just relax:

We enjoy staying in the Watchman Campground in Zion National Park.  This year we were later than usual in making our reservations and the sites were almost all booked.  If you decide to camp here, I would suggest making your reservation no later than four months in advance.  The Watchman Campground is the only campground in the park that accepts reservations.  This is done through  The South Campground is first come/first serve and fills up quickly during the busy season.