Wednesday, December 31, 2008


We had such a great Christmas! Our family was in charge of the Christmas Eve Program, so that added a little fun to the holidays. It turned out pretty good, I think. Jadon and Wes were missionaries at Rockefeller Center. They sang I'll be Home For Christmas and Jadon sang Mary Did you Know at the end.

We were able to help a family for Christmas this year that turned out to be a neat experience. We Just had a great time having everyone home for Christmas. We know it may not last very long, so we treasure those moments. All the kids slept in the game room. I guess it was quite the fun!
We had a friend of Amanda's here, too, to experience a real American Christmas. She was sure sweet.

A touch of snow made it quite the Christmas this year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How to Create a Password

Kameron was playing a game on the computer and needed a password. The instructions said that it needed to be 5 characters long. After being frustrated that it wasn't working, Paul came over to help him out. The problem was that his 5 characters just weren't working. Here are the 5 characters: Sleepy Fish, Big Bubbles, Magic Cheetah, Hyper Skunk, and Jumping Cheetah.

Yes, we are still laughing. But now you all know how to create a really good password!

Monday, December 15, 2008

An amazing week in SLC

This weekend has been a glorious gift from God! I have witnessed God's hand in so much this weekend. The spirit has been so strong and I feel so blessed! I thought my heart would burst with joy.

I actually came up to SLC Thursday afternoon. The kids came up early on Thursday and had been singing at a few places before I arrived. I met them at the hotel, then went with them to sing at the Department of Transportation which was actually down by Mykelle's apartment. Following that, we went to a concert called "The Soul Messiah." It is was an upbeat "gospel" version of "The Messiah." The conductor for it was a guy named B. Murphy who sang with "the Platters." It was upbeat and fun.

Hartvigson School for the Disabled

Friday morning, we boarded the bus and headed to the Hartvigson School which is a school for severely disabled kids. Mr. Reimer told the kids to watch in the audience for someone they could go say "hi" to after their performance. At the end of the 3rd song, "Sleep Little Jesus Boy," I noticed Jadon and Jared wiping away some tears. The words were touching and as the kids thought of them and looked out, they were touched. During the song, "December Child," Jenny Lee started to cry. She sobbed through the whole song. There are some words in that song that are something like, "the world laughs and makes fun of you Lord, and they laugh and make fun of me, too." I imagine that when you are thinking of those words and looking out into these faces of kids who have been through that, then you can feel the spirit of what was happening.After the performance, the kids went out and talked to some of the kids there. We found out that they were preparing for a prom that day and that they were teaching the boys to ask the girls. They said that the boys were all nervous. It was so cute and sweet to see what was happening there. There was a neat spirit knowing that they lifted them up that day.

RS Building

We were through a little early, so I called to see if we could get into the RS Building a so Jadon could practice his "Mary" song. Sis. Dalton's secretary, Amanda, said that would be fine. As we went into the building, there was such a neat spirit there. It was this beautiful building. It felt like the celestial room in our temple. One of the workers there said to me, "They don't let just anybody play this piano. You must be special." As the group started practicing, the music just permeated the walls and filled the building. It was soo pretty. The choir ran through a couple of songs, then Jadon went over to the piano to practice his song. Just as he started, Sis. Dalton came down the stairs and into the room. She gave me a big hug and had tears in her eyes. She went over to the kids and said that they could hear the music all the way upstairs and it was so beautiful. Also entering the room was some of the secretary's and workers in the building. Then came in Sis. Thompson and Sis. Allred, counselors in the RS General Presidency. While the others were entering the room, Sis. Dalton went to each of the moms and started shaking their hand and talking to them. She went to Julie Wiest first and Julie was just in tears. I'm not sure what she said, but Julie was touched.

I had Sis Dalton get all the ladies to sit in front of the choir. We parents hung to the back. Sis. Dalton introduced Sis. Allred and Thompson to the kids. Then they began to sing. I think Cierra Beers cried through the whole performance. After a couple of songs, Jadon came up to sing "Mary Did You Know." I could tell he was a little emotional and to top it off, Adam had never played the song and Jadon hadn't practiced with him. Mr. Reimer was over at the piano trying to follow the music and show Adam where to go. Jadon was singing beautifully, but I could tell he was a little emotional. He cracked a little on the really high note because of it, but it was still good. After his song, Sis. Allred said, "I just have to tell you this story. I had three grandbabies born in December. One on the 22nd. I had bought the books for my kids with that story. We read the story and were all in tears when we read the part about "kissing the face of God." I just want you to know that that song is really special to me and you sang it so beautifully. Thank you." Of course, I was crying and thought that I was glad she didn't say anything before he sang!
The kids sang a few more songs and the sisters were just loving them. When they finished Sis. Dalton stood and had the kids applaud their parents. Then she mentioned Mr. Reimer and how she noticed that he wanted the kids in the spotlight and would move to the side so they could be seen. She said that she could tell he cared more for the kids than for his own recognition. She said that Christ was that way and was grateful for his humility. She went around the room showing gratitude. Then she asked Sis Allred and Sis. Thompson to say something to the kids.

Sis. Allred bore her testimony of the Savior and how these kids had brought such a sweet spirit. She was grateful that they were sharing the message of Christ and His birth to others. She was grateful for this wonderful time of year to remember the real reason for Christmas.

Sis. Thompson was so cute! She told the kids that she didn't want to come to work that morning. She said that the work they were doing right now was a lot of writing and it just didn't sound too fun. She said that she was so glad that she came to work that day and now she knew why she came. She also told them that they had a wonderful gift that not many had. She said that singing was not one of her "gifts." That she was allowed to sing at Girls Camp and in the shower, but her family asked her to keep her "gift" to herself. She then bore her testimony of the Savior.

Then Sis. Dalton spoke to them. She told them that they were such beautiful singers. She had them turn and look at a picture behind them that had angels descending in it. She said that that picture reminded her of them because she knew that they were not singing alone. She said that the angels were singing with them and that as they sang of Christ that the angels would always attend and sing with them. She could hear their singing all the way upstairs.

She then told the kids that they were truly a Royal Generation and were saved for this time. She said that this was time for the youth of the church to Arise and Shine. She told about the celebration video that they just produced with 42,000 kids. She asked them if they had heard that there was a new value out. It was the value called "Virtue" and the color would be gold. She said, "Young men! You are not off the hook either, because YOU are the guardians of Virtue. You are to protect and guard the virtue of these young women."

She told them about the 3 things they were committing the youth to. "To arise and shine, we are asking all the youth to first, say their prayers morning and night. Will you commit to that?" She said, "I committed Sis. Webster to this last month." Then she gave me the thumbs up sign. I gave the thumbs up back. Then she took her finger and pointed to the kids and began to move around the room to see if they had their hands raised. She turned and looked at the ladies seated and watching. No one had their hands up and she looked at them and was trying to get them to raise their hands and commit. They were like, "OHHH!!" and hurried and raised their hands. She circled past all the parents to make sure we had our hands up, too. Then she said, "the 2nd thing is to read 5 minutes from the Book of Mormon every day." She went around the room again for commitment. "The 3rd thing we are asking is that you smile everyday." At this point, I was trying to delete old pictures off my camera because the card had filled and I wanted to get as many pictures of the kids and her as I could, so I wasn't paying great attention. But heard some giggling and Sis Dalton say, "Whose dad is this??!!" Mike Stanley raises his hand, bows his head and covers his eyes. Sis. Dalton said to him, "will you please watch your dad and help him with this one!" It was funny because his dad is constantly cracking jokes and is smiling ALL the time. He is a real character. So we were all laughing. Following their commitment, Sis Dalton told them that they need to be better. She said, "I can tell that you are probably all perfect, but we need you to be better-- to be the BEST and to rise above the world." She said that they had given her the sweetest Christmas gift-- One she would always remember. She quoted the poem that is something to the effect of "if I were a shepherd, I'd give him a lamb....... I'll give Him a gift. I'll give Him my heart." She said that she was giving her heart to them as a gift. She also had made book marks for them. On one side it said "100%" On the other it had a picture of someone running (think street sign figures here) and arrow facing right and then a temple. She wanted them to hurry or hasten to the temple. She then bore her testimony of the Savior.

Following her talking, all the ladies got up and Sis. Thompson and Allred shook the kids' hands. Sis Dalton went through and hugged EACH kid. She went back to the parents and visited with Mr. Reimer, too. At some point, (I think when they were singing a song she had missed), she stood by me and said that she loved Jadon's song and that you could feel the purity of him coming through. I was in tears as she spoke. I told her that if she ever needed a singer, to call us. When everyone was clearing out, she went up to Jadon and gave him a hug. She told him what she had said to me, that she could feel his purity and goodness that comes from within. He had tears in his eyes and she hugged him. She said to him, "it's time for our youth to Arise and Shine. Can't you just feel it? It's time to step up and be better and prepare for something big!" I looked at her and said, "Christ's coming." I can't remember her acknowledgment of that (meaning if she nodded or commented), just that an understanding passed between us.

We finally cleared out. The others had headed to the bus and Mr. Reimer had said before he left that the bus would be right outside the building. Jadon and I walked out and sat on the bench. I put my arm around him and commented on what she had told him. He said, "Mom. I just don't want this to end. This feels so wonderful." I told him that now he knows what it feels like, he can create more opportunities just like this.

Primary Children's

We were now running a little late-- mostly because we didn't know how to get to Primary Children's. We found it, and hurried out of the bus. The kids set up right inside the front doors and the miracles just kept coming. The location inside the door is right by the cafeteria. The reception desk and ER admitting was right there, too. There were a lot of people moving in and out. Right in the beginning and boy in a wheelchair came up with his mom and two brothers. I moved and gave them our seats right in front of the choir. This family sat there the whole time and were SO attentive. They clapped after each song.Shortly after this, I looked over and saw Ellie Wiest talking to a girl. It happened to be Brandy Phillips who is in her ward. Brandy is a 16 yr old and SCHS and has Hodgkins. She had just finished up chemo treatments and was headed home with her mom and dad. Ellie got to talk to her for a few minutes as they listened to the kids sing. What a treat to be able to sing to their friend.
A while later a mom came through with a toddler in a wagon and watched for a few minutes. Then a lady in pajamas and in a wheelchair came and watched.
During the last song, and boy in a wheelchair was pulled up right by me. His mom was next to me and I assume and hospital worker was on the other side. This sweetheart had a shaved head with a big horseshoe shaped cut and stitches on the side of his head. He looked a little down. They had gotten there right at the end of the song. Mr. Reimer had thanked everyone and told them that was our last song. I turned to them and said, "Oh darn! You just got here!" The lady looked disappointed. So I went over to Mr. Reimer and said, "this young man just got here. Can you sing a song for him?" He came over to the boy and asked if he had a favorite song. He shook his head and said "not really." Someone by him said, "sing him something cheerful." So Mr. Reimer went over to the choir and told them that they were going to sing to the boy. The whole choir turned toward him and sang "Joy to the World." Part way through the song, the boy's dad walked in. The mom said to him, pointing at the choir, "they are singing to him!" The dad looked at her, then moved to the side. You know when you catch a moment when no words pass, but you can just feel what they were saying to each other-- an understanding passed between them. I moved to the side to get a picture of the whole scene and as I did, I could see through the camera, this lady next to the mom look at her-- again with no words but something passing between them that said, "this is for you and everything is going to be okay." She put her arm around the mom, and the mom touched her hand on her shoulder. (You'll be proud-- I got that picture.) I was just in tears AGAIN!! Following the song, the kids went up to talk to both boys in a wheelchair. The last boy I found out was Nathan. He had had a seizure and when he got to Primary Children's found out that he had a brain tumor. They had operated and removed it and he was just going home. The other little hispanic boy that was there at the beginning was Jesus. He was 10 years old and his brothers were 11 & 4. The kids talked to him. Jadon asked him if he liked it. He said he did. I'm telling you. It was just SO touching!!

And I forgot to mention, that the Jazz Dancers walked through and so did Memot Okur. I didn't see him because I was busy watching the others. But Jared Radmall saw him and said he wanted to run out and talk to him!

While we were waiting for the bus, the kids just could not refuse a snowball fight! Yep! Here they are in tuxes and dresses and snow! You just can't refuse snow when it is sitting at your feet and you have a little extra time!

Afternoon & Evening with Madrigals

We left Primary Children's and while waiting for the bus, the kids had a big snowball fight. Yep, in dresses and tuxes. Quite the scene. We ate lunch at "The Pie" on University Campus. And I have to tell you, it is REALLY good pizza!

Following lunch, the kids had about 45 minutes of free time before reporting to the Assembly Hall for practice. I wandered with Julie Wiest and Kristen Risener. It was chilly, so we walked to the North Visitors center to visit. As we were walking, Kristen was telling us that she was called as the Stake Camp Director and she was having trouble getting a counselor on board with her. She said that she saw this iron rod idea on the internet that had a "Hold On" song with it. I chuckled and said, "that was ours." She said, "What?" I said, "that was the song I wrote when we did the iron rod." Needless to say, she had a lot of questions, so I told her all about it. Another cool thing happened as we were walking to the visitors center. Over the sound system, we heard, "And it came to pass that in those days, there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed......" There was a big nativity between the North Visitors Center and the Tabernacle. Julie hollered, "Hey wait a minute!" We all stopped. She said, "That's my dad!' It turns out that her dad had recorded a lot of things for the church before he passed away. I thought that was a neat tender mercy. Probably just to let her know she was being thought of!

Afternoon & Evening
As we arrived in the Assembly Hall, the kids were practicing some songs. They had ended a song and a gentleman stood up, clapping, and yelled, "BRAVO! BRAVO!" We found out later that this was the composer of the song. He was Clay Christiansen the organist for the tabernacle choir and that was the arrangement he had written. He told the kids that they had sung it so beautifully.

Also seated in the Assembly Hall was B. Murphy who had conducted the choir the night before. He went up the kids when they were done and talked to them and took pictures with them.Following rehearsal, they sang in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Boy is that a pretty place??!!

Then they headed to the South Visitor Center. They had the most beautiful backdrop to sing with. (Actually it was to their side) but it had these HUGE glass windows that looked out at the temple. The temple was lit up and so were all the lights on the trees. It was the most picturesque setting! During the last song, the boys just started laughing. I was trying to figure out what had happened. I later found out that one of the boys sang, "Do you see what I hear?" Mr. Reimer mouthed to them, "For The LOVE!" because he had lectured them earlier on the bus about singing the right words because Jadon had sung the wrong ones earlier in the day.
We had a few minutes to wait until the last concert in the Assembly Hall. Jadon and a few of the kids decided to carol on temple square on their way to the Assembly Hall. People honestly stopped and listened to them. It would have been better if they knew what they were singing.

When we got in the Assembly Hall, we came in just as another group was finishing. They were singing the "Hallelujah Chorus" and didn't sound very good. When we started the guy who opened asked the congregation to not take photos or videos. The kids began singing. Adam Hansen played the Organ. The kids sang their hearts out. It was a flawless performance. I thought it sounded like a mini MoTab. At the end of the performance, the gentleman who conducted went to Mr. Reimer and asked him if he knew anyone who had a camera. Mr Reimer was thinking that I was out there taking pictures and we were in trouble. Finally, after asking a couple of times, he said that someone needed to take a picture of the group. He came to the microphone and said what a great performance this was. I'll bet there's some parents out there who are proud. I think you need to get a picture of these kids." So we were able to get some pictures. (Well, I didn't because I didn't get my camera out quick enough.) As we were leaving two different people that were working there told Mr. Reimer that they weren't supposed to say anything to the groups, but said that this was the best performance they have had all year. Bear in mind they said that there were over 500 performances on Temple Square between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Isn't that cool???

It was snowing when I left Salt Lake. I tried to hurry and get ahead of the storm. It actually snowed until just after point of the mountain, then it was clear all the way home. Very windy, though. The choir didn't leave until 1:00 pm. They stopped at SouthTowne Mall for lunch, then got back on the road at around 2:30 pm. The roads were so bad that they had to drive really slow and I think actually got stopped at one point. Jadon said there were cars off the road all the way down to Nephi. I think they were in snow until past Cedar. They didn't get home until 10:30 pm. That is 8 hours from SLC to home. Crazy!

Jadon's gift

Jadon texted me Saturday on the way home from SLC and said that he has been feeling like he needed to go sing to Bro. Ence (Kenny). He was talking to kids on the bus and because Sis. Dalton had told them to share their gift, they decided that they wanted to keep singing. So I called Susan and asked if they could come and sing. We went over this afternoon and had another great experience. The gal on the violin and the guy on the cello also came. They had a small group of them come. They sang beautifully and Susan was crying and so was Kenny. The kids had tears in their eyes, too. So did Paul, Mom and I. It was pretty neat. Susan had actually asked if they could give him the Sacrament since no one had come after church. Jadon and David Allred administered to him, then they sang. Susan's daughter was crying, too. It was such a neat experience. I realized that the kids were trying to keep creating the feeling they felt that weekend. How blessed I feel to be a part of it! My camera wasn't working, so I didn't get any pictures. I wish I had some because it was so sweet.

Kameron's Concert

Thursday morning before I left, Kameron mentioned that he may have a concert that night. It ended up being true and I was in SLC. Mykelle & Kallan went in support. Mykelle has some great video footage. We have been laughing so hard. Since I'm not sure if I can load the video, I will just post a picture. This picture tells you what the video was like.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Big Bang Theory and Fireplaces

So I'm sitting at the computer the other night and I hear this loud BANG! I turn around and Britton is standing by the fireplace and the fireplace doors have blown open and Britton is looking a little funny. I yell, "What is going on?" Jadon walks over yelling, too, and we realize that Britton has thrown an old bic lighter (dollar store version) into the fireplace.

Now it really is funny except for the fact that I walk over there and see this huge log in there and realize that the wood could have blown out, the doors could have blown off, and the whole fireplace could have blown to bits. So I am mixed with this 'gratitude it wasn't worse,' 'I'm gonna beat this kid', and 'this is hysterical' emotional roller coaster going on. I mean really, does our family have to test EVERYTHING so we can pass on "what not to do when raising children" information for all of you??!!

A Discussion in White Teeth

The other day Mykelle, Whitnee, and I picked up Kallan from school. We were waiting for Amanda to come out and somehow there began a discussion about teeth whitening. Kallan made some comment about the Chinese not having white teeth, then he said, "what are they smoking over there? Cabbage?"

I thought we were going to die laughing. Really! Cabbage?? Where in the world did that come from? So now we all say, "What're you smoking, cabbage?"

Now you can all share the phrase with us.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


We had such a fun Thanksgiving! It has been a long time since we have been all together with the Whipple's. We were able to have a great dinner and get to visit. I think I had more fun looking at all the kids and just marveling at how they were so close in resemblance to this parent or that. It was just so enjoyable and joyful!

Believe it or not, I was so on top of things that I got to go watch the "Turkey Bowl" for a few minutes and shoot some pictures. They had a lot of fun. Misi was running for touchdowns. Wes had a couple of interceptions (this was all during the time that I saw so I don't know about the second half stuff). Brady had a nice reception and ran backwards for a few yards until he realized that no one had pulled his flags. Even Jadon and Kallan had a couple of nice plays. Paul was right in the thick of things as usual. What fun!

We also had fun with the basketball game at the church that night. Let me just tell you there were a lot of sore people by the next morning! Enjoy some pictures from each of the events of the day.

Beauty & The Beast

If you missed this play, you missed a GREAT one! The kids did such an amazing job. Everyone we talked thought this was the best play they have done at Snow Canyon. Each character did such a great job-- they were ALL stars!! Enjoy some pictures.