After a few years of wondering, yesterday was my big chance. I accompanied the congregation on the organ during Sacrament Meeting at church. It was so fun! I was just subbing, but would readily do it in the future if asked. What a cool thing. I sent sweet thoughts to friends who have accompanied in the past (that's you, Ann and Suzi!) and feel like I'm in your club now. The organ players club.
You might think I didn't know how to play the organ! Well, I don't! A few weeks ago our current ward organist, Jenn, invited anyone interested to come have a lesson. So I went on Thursday night and she showed me the ropes, and while there she asked if I would sub for her on Sunday! I felt a bit duped, thinking I had just come for a lesson, but she explained that she had someone else lined up to sub but they were no longer able to. And she had asked about four others already who couldn't do it. So I hesitantly accepted.
Here's the secret. I learned that our Church has a deal with an organ company that sets it so that at the push of a few buttons, you can play the organ pretty much like a piano (but it still sounds like the organ)! So you don't have to worry about foot pedals or anything. You just push the Bass Coupler button and a few others and VOILA! It's AWESOME! It's such a beautiful, powerful and versatile instrument, and now even rookies like me can play, much to the chagrin of real organ players no doubt! But we all start somewhere, right??
With my new "skill", I wonder if I might someday play this organ! There's always hope! Ha ha.
The much awaited event that happens annually is the Was' fam reunion. Four of the five of us kids and our parents live locally, so we eagerly await the visit of our other brother, Ben, his wife Tasha, and their three kids, who come from the other side of the Rockies. We are always overjoyed to be graced with their presence each summer, and we fill up every spare moment of the week with something or other.
Tennis-playing was big, especially now that Ben has practically gone pro! Getting together to eat and talk is a standard.
We always celebrate the kids who have summer birthdays.
Here are Sophie, Maddie and Rachel enjoying dinner. We go to a different house or location for dinner every night.
Kids outnumber adults now, so they are required to form lines, lest we get overwhelmed.
The adults-only dinner at Rotella's was nice, and it only took 2 babysitters for all the kids!
Next year we plan to start having a Girl's Night Out as well on one of the nights. Not sure why we didn't think of that this year!
Her name is Camilla. She commonly goes by "Millie". My aunts re-nicknamed her "Milla". And I call her "Mills". She says we can call her whatever we want, and that's what we all do.
She's my niece (Ray's sister's daughter) who came to stay for two weeks, and basically became my family's mascot. Everybody loves her, and she loves everybody. She is wild and crazy and fun. She went back to St. George, and a light seemed to go out here. We all miss her and can't wait until she comes back next summer.
She became good friends with my nephews (on my side) Graye and Sam. As you can see.
She did Maddie's hair all cute and stuff. Then Maddie tried to do her doll's hair the same way.
Maddie, Ray and I love her tons. Come back, Mills! Come back!
How can you NOT plant a garden? It's so fun to live off your own land, and it's not that hard to do, and it's organic! I've only been gardening for about 4 years, but it has been rewarding.
Take strawberries, for instance. You only have to plant some once and then they multiply for you. If you are thinking about planting some, choose the ever-bearing so you'll get fruit all summer long. I didn't do that and wish I had.
Behold one of the harvests I reaped this year. There's nothing like walking out into your backyard and going to pick a snack. Here's the backyard snacking schedule I look forward to each year:
April & May: Sugar Snap Peas May & June: Strawberries June & July: Raspberries July through October: Tomatoes
That's not counting all the other great veggies I like to plant: lettuce, onions, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, etc. This year I am growing chamomile (see below), and while I don't plan to make tea with it, I do enjoy the flowers whose petals fold down rather than up at night. It's so cute to me for some reason.
If you run out of sunny spots in your yard in which to plant, get creative. Ray cut this hole into our deck, filled it with dirt for me, and VOILA! It now contains a bunch of tomato plants. I overplanted, because I am a new gardener and never really know which ones will make it. Besides, Maddie walks around and eats all the tomatoes she can find--whether or not they're ripe. So we need lots.
[In case you wondered about our deck, it is old and decaying, and we have been thinking about ripping it out for several years now. For now, though, it beats building another garden box! Next year I'm going to have Ray cut out another garden strip in the deck for me! This year we hope to get a little sandbox area cut out for Maddie in the deck as well. :)]