Monday, November 30, 2009


Every year for the past 11 years, I have sung in a church chorus that performs Handel's Messiah.  This is something that I have always enjoyed doing.  I always leave rehearsals feeling uplifted and happy because I have been able to do something that I love doing for 3 hours.
Last night was the last performance of the Messiah, and I skipped it.  I debated whether or not I should go all day long, and I didn't choose to skip the last performance on a whim.  I thought about it long and hard.  One of the very reasons I decided to stay home with my family was because of something my conductor has said over and over again.  Every year he gives us a lecture on commitment and he always talks about making sure you prioritize your commitments and always do your best to keep them.  What he didn't understand is that some of us really took that to heart and I have decided that being with my family, and spending time with them is the most important commitment. . . .especially on a Sunday.
Last week was extremely busy and this week will be even more so.  I will not be at home any evening this week and I will also be gone most afternoons as well.  I have 4 - 5 things scheduled each day that have to be done and when I looked at my calendar last night I realized that my family won't have some quality time together at all this week.  I felt sad and then I really felt as though I should stay at home with them last night and we should do something as a family.
So, we did.  We had a great dinner and then after the kids were done the dishes, we all got into our pj's and watched Star Trek as a family and had some treats.  It was nothing special, but it was at least time together as a family.  We haven't had an evening where we are all home at the same time in about 3 weeks.  We really needed it and it was so much fun to cuddle with my three younger kids during the movie.
I am sure that my conductor was not impressed that I wasn't there last night, but I was keeping my biggest commitment of all. . . . the one I made to my family 11 years ago.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Comin Family Proudly Presents. . .

. . . The Circus!

On Monday night, after teaching piano lessons, the following notice was found on my bedroom door:
The Circus
The Circus will be on Thursday the 26th of November after dinner when Anne and Caroline come home before dinner we ask that we get ready for it so that we will be on time and so we won't have to do it when it is are turn to do the circus and there will be two parts of the show so we ask if you can sit down well we are getting ready for the second part of the show and we ask if you can sit on the floor or on the other sofa and it would be best if you sit on the other sofa or stand up. 
Please bring a video camera!
To The Circus Please!!!!!!!!!!

Of course, once we read that notice we had to make sure that we could attend the circus.  So, last night (as posted) we attended the Comin Family 3 Ring Circus.  Abby was the emcee and she started off the evening by handing us a "Circus Flodder" (folder) which contained the program for the evening (2 copies of it of course) and the words to the "good buy" song that they made up. 
The program went as follows:
1 . Dance by the clowns (Anne and Caroline)
2.  The tripe artist (I believe she meant trapeze artist, but we called them the tripe artist for the rest of the evening)
3.  Silly clown song
4.  Silly tea party
5.  Sad clown song
6. The Good buy song

The kids had been working on this circus for weeks and it was all that they could talk about.  I let them use the Halloween face paint and paint their faces and then after the circus I made scones for everyone so that we could have some yummy circus food after the show.   I do have to say that my favorite part of the circus was actually the "Good Buy" song.  It went like this:
Good buy good buy good clowns good buy we hope you enjoyed are show _____.
We hoped you will come soon so be good to your parents and they may take you to our circus so be good ____.  So that you can come to the circus.  Are tripe artist says good buy are ring master says good buy (good buy) are clowns says good buy.  Good buy good buy we hope you will come again soon we don't want to bother anyone we don't we don't want to be mean to your parents but we will see you next time _____.
SO BE GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Personally, my favorite line was the last one, but Otto enjoyed the entire thing.  I told him that next time I find a great sale I will sing this song in my head.  There is no particular melody, just pick a note and start singing whatever tune comes to you.

So the circus. . . . . IT WAS AWESOME!!!!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Circus is Coming to Town . . .

. . . . and there will be more details about it tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Getting Ready

The thing I love about November is that it is my "Get Ready" month for December.  Christmas is coming and I just can't wait!!!  November is when I decorate my house, get all of the activities planned for December, get the Christmas card written and ready to go, gather addresses, buy Christmas PJ's, buy all major Christmas presents, plan my Christmas party, get ready for my cookie exchange, make sure I have everything to make chocolates, set up all of the Christmas Trees, buy any decorations that may have gone missing over the past year, etc.
I LOVE Christmas and I try to make it last as long as possible.  I love that I get to have 3 Christmas dinners this year with 3 sides of my family.  I love that my Father in Law is coming into town so that we can see him on the 23rd.  I LOVE that I get to have a good old fashioned Lee Christmas Eve with all (or almost all) of my Calgary cousins!!!  I am excited to see my Bennion cousins on Christmas Day.  I am sooooo excited to be going to Jamaica with my hubby, kids, parents and siblings.
I have been very blessed this year, and I plan on celebrating Christmas all December long!  So, I must continue to get ready!  It's coming fast!!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


On Sunday, I got the special honor of attending Relief Society for the first time in a long time.  (If you are not a member of the church that I belong to, click here if you would like to learn more about what I am talking about.)  I am in charge of the Primary (the children) and so I usually have to miss out on Relief Society.  Anyways, this past Sunday I did receive the honor of attending Relief Society because it was our Visiting Teaching Conference.  I loved this conference and it really helped me with certain aspects that I have always had a hard time with.
One of the quotations from this conference was from Julie B Beck of the General Relief Society Presidency who was talking about what she learned from Sister Camilla Kimball, and it says this: "Never suppress a generous thought".  When I heard this quoted at my Visiting Teaching conference it reminded me that over the years, I have always had this thought with me in some form or another.  It is a motto that I have tried to live my life by.
When Otto and I were living in the Married Student Housing at the University, we were so lucky to have 5 other families from our ward living in the same courtyard as us.  Because of this, we were all in daily contact with each other and I would spend hours outside in the courtyard with the other wives and our little children, talking about our days and visiting.  It was a really fun time in our marriage!  Otto and I had some friends that we knew fairly well, but not extremely well who lived directly across from us and they had a son who was a little bit older than Abby.  The wife and I were pregnant at the same time and we had our second babies 4 weeks apart.  Having 2 children within a year of each other is REALLY hard, (but worth it later on) and I knew this because I would spend most of my days that first month crying all day long. 
After Jen had her baby neither of us went outside very much because I think we were both a tad overwhelmed.  There was one day that changed my life forever.  It is a day I will never forget.  I was having a pretty good day and I hadn't cried very much that day and so I was feeling pretty good about myself.  However, I kept on getting this really strong feeling that I should go over to Jen's place and see if she would like for me to take her older son for awhile.  I quickly rationalized this feeling away because I was pretty sure that I would end up overwhelmed and crying, and I didn't really know Jen all that well, and I had a new baby too, etc. . . .   The feeling never went away though.
That night, her husband stopped by (I can't remember why he did) and I asked him how his wife was doing.  He looked really sad and said that she had had the worst day ever and that she was feeling really overwhelmed and was really upset.  He also said that he had had to leave school early just to be with her to calm her down.   I FELT TERRIBLE!  I KNEW that I should have listened to that feeling.  It just wouldn't go away.  Ever since that day I have tried to follow all strong impressions when I feel them.
This brings me back to the quotation that I mentioned earlier.  We always hear that when we do good things for others, we receive blessings in return.  I have learned, from experience, that this is the case.  However, I have also learned that you don't always feel a warm fuzzy feeling inside, and you don't always get the thanks you deserve;  sometimes it even backfires on you and people get really angry.  However, you do get blessed.  The blessings may come in different shapes and forms than you would expect, but they do come! 
Service is an attitude.  I have learned that from my Grandma Bennion.  She is the ultimate example of service to me.  When I think about service I see her face.  Grandma Bennion taught me through example how to serve.  When a friend of yours has a death in the family, don't call them and see what you can do to help, go over there, listen to them and just do things.  Randomly show up and steal their kids for a few hours, bring them muffins and other snack foods for them to put out because they usually have to host families, attend the funeral service so that you can be there for your friend.  Do things that YOU would like to have done for you if that ever happens and never tell them to ASK you for help because it won't happen.  I can't even begin to tell you how many times people have done things for me when I have been in my weakest moments and it has completely changed my outlook on life and has given me the strength to go on.
So, learn from Sister Camilla Kimball and "Never supress a generous thought."  It WILL pay off.  I promise!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Busy Bee

I know I haven't posted in awhile.  I know that with it being so close to after Halloween that I should follow suit and do a post-halloween blog post.  I'm just not feeling it though.  Don't get me wrong, Halloween was great and my kids all dressed up in the Wizard of Oz theme, and the weekend was CRAZY busy.  But I think that the busyness (sp?) is what got me thinking the most.
Are any of you out there like me?  Here's what I mean.  I have found that I am most happy when I am busy.  I always need SOMETHING to do or else I feel like doing NOTHING.  People look at me with my 5 kids and my piano teaching and catering company and digital scrapbooking teaching, and they ask me how I do it.  The answer seems pretty simple to me.  I HAVE to do it!  If I want to be motivated to clean my house, I have to invite people over to it.  If I want some motivation to make a really elegant dinner, I invite people over to eat it.  I do not have the self-dicipline or motivation to just randomly get up and do things.  Now, am I weird over here or is there someone else in this big wide world like me?
I think the reason that I like to be so busy is because I like to have a purpose.  I have to feel needed and I love to help others.  I think that's why I love to teach piano and digital scrapbooking.  I feel as though I am helping those who don't know as much about those things as I do.  And I feel so proud of my students at our recitals when they can play their pieces.  I love watching them progress.  When I cater I feel as though I am helping other people with their food.  My most favorite events to cater are weddings because I can make the food so elegant and beautiful and it is such a happy time in the life of the family that I am doing the food for.
So, for those of you who don't get it I know I sound crazy, but I just love to be busy.  Speaking of that, I had better go. . . . I have a thousand things that need to get done!