Sunday, April 17, 2022

He is Risen!

- Prologue - 1) Christ the Lord Is Risen Today 2) That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright - The Savior's Atonement - 3) How Great the Wisdom and the Love - The Savior's Resurrection - Accounts from the Holy Scriptures 4) Unfold, Ye Portals, from The Redemption 5) In the Garden 6) He Is Risen, with audience - The Promise - 7) And What Is It We Shall Hope For? from The Redeemer 8) Tree of Life - The Plea - 9) Interlude for Brass and Percussion 10) Love Divine, All Loves Excelling - The Benediction - 11) Worthy Is the Lamb That Was Slain, from Messiah

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Our Prayer to Thee

What a privilege it has been to sing with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square these past 10+ years!  The mission of the choir is to provide inspiring music that has the power to help people feel closer to the divine and celebrate God's love for all His children.  

How appropriate that the closing song of my last General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a member of the choir was the hymn, "Our Prayer to Thee".  The words, penned by our current president and prophet, Russell M. Nelson, really struck me as I sang them and I could hardly hold back the tears:  "We yearn for Thee, we pray in meekness."  And then, the camera caught a closeup of me singing the final phrase, "Thy trust in us, may we fulfill."

And then in that tender moment, believing that the camera would pan to the men as they sang the next phrase, I reached up and wiped my nose, which the camera also caught!  Ooops! lol, I guess they'll have to let me go now!  

I was set to retire two years ago, but then the Pandemic happened and we had a brief hiatus for 15 months.  During that time, the 90+ year broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word continued every Sunday morning, showing re-runs and compilations of previous broadcasts with new messages each week.

We also got to participate in a virtual choir by recording at home for the choir's 2021 PBS Christmas Special (< see previous post).  It took a few dozen tries, but I finally got my part recorded!  

As Covid numbers climbed in January, choir was cancelled again, but we were able to meet again a month ago to prepare for April's Conference.  

They still need me for a few more weeks for some special events and recording, then official retirement will be May 15th, 2022.  They've asked the retirees to each record a 90-second video of our thoughts and feelings about our experience to be shown at the retirement ceremony.  Wish me luck!

Our Prayer to Thee
"Thy trust in us, may we fulfill."

~the Momma

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Shine, Girls, Shine!

Last Fall, six of my sisters and I, and some of our girls congregated in Arizona for a Hen Party!  For something that did not have a lot of pre-planning, a lot of stars aligned to make it happen!

I was scheduled to teach a class at the Lake Powell Quilt Retreat in Page, Arizona, and my sister and daughter came with me.  

We left early on a Thursday morning and stopped to check out Lake Powell before the class.  My sis told me that the waterline in a normal year is about halfway up the rock!  It is about 35 feet low this year!  A sobering thought - hopefully it will be a good winter and we will see the water levels rise.   The girls explored the area while I taught my class that afternoon.

I had been scheduled to teach a second class Friday evening, but there were not enough sign-ups and the class was canceled.  That turned out to be fortuitous!

One of my sisters who lives in Idaho, had been wanting to go to Phoenix to visit our sister there, as a birthday present for herself.  She had planned it for the same weekend as the quilt retreat in Page. Then, about a week before, we learned that the rest of my sisters also decided to head to Phoenix and join her! Four of them live in Idaho near where we were raised, and three of us are in Utah.  It was shaping up to be a fun Hen Party weekend!  Our annual Hen Party began about 29 years ago, when my nephew was born in Arizona.  All of us sisters took a trek to visit her, and our Grandpa called it a "Hen Party".  It turned into an annual event, going to different places to spend time together without husbands or kids, and just cackle together for a few days.

Page is about six hours from Phoenix, so we decided to head south as early as possible the next morning.  We took the scenic drive through Sedona, which was only a little bit out of the way, but worth the time to drive down the canyon through this artsy, little town.  It was beautiful!  We all agreed, we need to make Sedona a destination some time soon.

We arrived in Phoenix with enough time to stop at the SAS fabric store before meeting up with everyone, and loaded up on minky fabric priced at $5 per pound!  It came to about $5 or $6 per yard (it's normally $14 to $19!) - such a bargain!

It turned out that one of our sisters did not make it; her father-in-law had just passed away, and there was a funeral to plan.  She met one of the girls coming from Idaho to send us some "Shine, Girl!" t-shirts she'd had made the day before, and wrote a sweet note to each of us!  So cute!  We had a yummy lunch of grilled ham and cheese sandwiches made with our brother-in-law's homemade sourdough bread.  Oh. My. Goodness!!  Sooooo good!  

Then we headed to attend an Open House at the Mesa temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  It was beautiful! 

We walked over to the nearby Visitor's Center, where we could look up some of our relatives in the family history section and read some of their stories.  Afterward, we ordered scoops of ice cream at the BYU Creamery next door!  Mmmmm!  Great on an Arizona day!

That evening, the gang of us went to an entertaining evening at Medieval Times for somesword fighting, jousting, and beautiful horsemanship, along with a feast you eat with your hands!  We really enjoyed it!

The following day, we again made a trek to the SAS fabric store for round II!  I discovered that my friend, Lisa lived only about 10 blocks away, and she drove over to meet us for a few minutes and give a hug!  Such a treat for me to see her!
Afterward, we dashed back to my niece's home, where we met up with my grandmother's "little sister", "Aunt Lolly" as we sometimes call her.  Aunt Laurene is 96-1/2 years young, and such a darling!  She is the happiest gal, and always has been the sweetest thing!  She obtained two Master's Degrees in her 90s!!  An amazing woman.  So glad we got to visit with her and get her talking about how she met her husband during the war.  He was a POW in France.

We had a great Taco Bar at my niece's house, then went out on their motorboat in their backyard lake!  More fun times!

That evening, we did a little shopping; we were going to Aunt Lolly's granddaughters' Shine Girl, Shine annual dance party!!  Amazing that it was scheduled for the same weekend we were all there!  Yay!  We gussied up - put on sparkly shirts, everyone did their hair and put on fancy makeup and accessories, then we headed to this fun dance party gathering!  

We stopped at the Sparkle Bar to add glitz and glimmer to our hair, body, faces, got some photos, ate some snacks, then the music started in and we danced together for an hour!  Here's a sample of us DANCING! - I see a bunch of my sisters and nieces in the video ... Oh, my achin' bones!  But, boy was it exhilarating!  

We tried to learn a flash dance routine that afternoon, watching this video tutorial ← then tried to do the dance when they played the music... we were hilarious!  Oh, my, it was so much fun!  Here is a snapshot of me and my sisters in this GIF←, and a photo of the bunch of us here ↓↓.

Yep, we are SHINY!  Oh, it was delightful!  We got some good sleep, had some breakfast, picked some lemons and grapefruit from Annette's trees, then hopped back in the car and headed home!  Such a wonderful weekend!  

~the Momma

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Baby J!

Joseph Ezra Barrowes, one day old!

This sweet little cherub joined our family last August!  Delivered at home with midwives that got there with just a few minutes to spare; it was an amazing experience!  Ask me about it sometime!

Now almost six months old, what a delightful child he is, so alert and happy, and can. not. wait! to walk and talk!   

Baby J, three months old!

Six months old

Precious moments!  And time passes so quickly!  I can't get enough of these little ones!

~ the "Gamma"

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Celebrate the Season

For the past 10 years, I have been privileged to sing in the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  One can perform for up to 20 years, or age 60, whichever comes first.  I was set to retire in April of 2020, but the Pandemic interrupted that plan. The choir's television broadcast each Sunday morning was never interrupted, though, as the choir had years and years of performances and specials that they could re-broadcast.  Music and the Spoken Word has had a continuous broadcast every Sunday since 1927, now in its 93rd year, broadcasting to over 2000 television and radio stations around the world.

This beloved choir has had a 20-year history of epic Christmas programs, broadcast each Christmas season on PBS television stations.  Live performances are filmed, then broadcast the following year.  Last year, though, with no live performance in 2020, a composit of concerts over the years has been put together for the 2021 season.  Choir members were able to sing together, in a way, in this virtual choir.  Each of us recorded ourselves at home, listening to a track, and emailed our recording.  I make my appearance for the very last phrase, at 2:21, "Christ, the babe, was born for you." just in time to fade out on the soloist's shoulder.

And then, cautiously, last October, we resumed "regular" rehearsals.  Anyone returning to the choir must be fully vaccinated.  Covid testing is required prior to every rehearsal or performance.  After a few weeks, live broadcasts began again, with little or no audience, and still taking precautions.  Only a couple of people have tested positive for Covid since October.  I'll get to sing yet another Christmas program, another General Conference and Easter concert with weekly broadcasts until retirement on April 24th, 2022.

What a blessing and honor it has been to be able to raise my voice and sing with this magnificent choir - uplifting, inspiring music, messages of hope and peace and praise.  It has been such a joy!  I will relish every moment.

~the Momma

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Mother's Day 2021 ~ Fill the World With Love

This screenshot from today's broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word caught me in a close-up, singing the words, "Did I fill the world with love my whole life through?"  

That is the question, isn't it?

Mother's Day has been a tough one for me in the past; thinking of my own mother who died of cancer at age 59 ~ gone now for over 20 years. Thinking of my own mothering - feeling inadequate, and sometimes overwhelmed and wondering if I did enough. Did I support and encourage them enough?  Did I love them enough?
Stott Family, circa 1991:  Three one-year-olds and one three-year-old

We had some intense child-rearing years - our son was two when his triplet sisters were born. It was busy, it was loud, but it was fun and fabulous too.  

Now we have one thirty-three-year-old and three thirty-one-year-olds!  All grown up with families of their own - we have added three spouses, 3 dogs, 6 chickens, a cat and almost three grandchildren to the mix!  

Blessings, blessings.  And the lyrics to this song have extra meaning today.

Fill the World With Love
In the morning of my life, I shall look to the sunrise.
At a moment in my life when the world is new.
And the blessing I shall ask is that God will grant me
To be brave and strong and true,
And to fill the world with love my whole life through.

In the noontime of my life, I shall look to the sunshine,
At a moment in my life when the sky is blue.
And the blessing I shall ask shall remain unchanging.
To be brave and strong and true,
And to fill the world with love my whole life through

In the evening of my life, I shall look to the sunset,
At a moment in my life when the night is due.
And the question I shall ask only I can answer.
Was I brave and strong and true?
Did I fill the world with love my whole life through?

~the Momma

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Timeless Messages of Hope and Praise

It is Well With My Soul

With the world on hold because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square has not gathered together since March 13th of 2020.  But the music goes on every week, just as it has for the previous 92 years!  As a member of the choir, it has been a little bit heartwrenching to give up that portion of my life, of raising my voice in unity with 359 other singers every Thursday for rehearsal and every Sunday morning for the live broadcast.  

It has been a blessing though, to watch Music and the Spoken Word every Sunday morning and include it as part of my home worship service.  At first, it was difficult not to burst into tears with each and every heartfelt song!  But, in a way, having that stirring music fill my soul has softened the blow, as I know each and every other member of the choir has had those same yearnings to sing together.  And we can sing along from home.  The choir's messages each week have continued to buoy me up and bring a feeling of peace.  I still catch glimpses of myself each week and remember the words and the feelings as I sang lovely anthems, beautiful hymns, uplifting, positive, hopeful, inspirational messages. 

The choir will probably be one of the last groups to reconvene after a "herd immunity" has been established in the world.  The very nature of singing together, sitting so close, projection and forceful diction to achieve the ideal sound will restrict us from gathering.  So, I will continue to hope for the best and to sing along, to practice in the shower and in the car so that when we do reconvene, I'll be able to perform once again with this lovely group.

~ the Momma

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