Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Bedtime with the Boys

As Rachel has been helping at St. George Musical Theater with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I've been able to be with the kids to bed a fair amount.

We have a pretty specific routine with all the kids. Potty and Brush teeth; Read a book or two (or a chapter of a bigger bookfor the boys); and, finally, singing a few songs. As there has been just me to get the kids down some nights, I have recruited the boys to help me put Kate to bed.

Tonight, I told the boys we could read an extra chapter if they would put Kate to bed completely. I wasn't sure how that would go, so I kept a keen eye on them throughout the process. The bedtime routine went something like this:

-McKay changed Kate's Diaper (I inspected and he did a pretty good job!)
-Benson read her two books
-McKay fixed a bottle for her
-(I sneaked in and ensured her teeth were brushed and that she was dressed warm enough)
-When Benson was done, I went in to sing her a couple songs, but she requested Benson to sing to her. (I loved that!)
-Benson sang Bye-O-Bye to her while I sang to Lily in her bed.
-Benson came in to let me know that Kate was requesting me again.
-Benson took my place and sang a song to Lily (I loved this even more because he and Lily sometimes don't get along so well...)

Way to go Boys! I was so proud of them tonight. :)

Of course, the boys got ready for bed and I read them an extra chapter... or two :)

Love my little family!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Primary Program 2017

Today was our ward Primary Program. For the first time, three out of our four kiddos were up on the stand in the program. People always say, "time goes by so fast" but I'm beginning to realize how true that is. McKay will turn 10 this school year and only has one more year of elementary school after this. Though this phase of life is full of chaos and exhaustion, I know it is the best time of life and the part I'll miss the most when it's through.

Anyway, our kids did a great job, each delivered their parts well. Lily was on the front row in her pretty pink and white lace and tulle dress. Her long blond hair had even waves through it from the french braid she'd slept in. She charmed the congregation with her smiles, waves, and enthusiastic singing. Several members commented on how impressed they were that she knew all the words to each song. She spent the rest of the day singing her favorite song, "Miracles" to Nana, Papa, and anyone else who would listen. For me the highlight of the song was the lyric which talks about Jesus healing the leper. Lily's version, "With His hands he healed the leopard."

Benson stood straight and tall at each song and gave it his best. He was very well-behaved and looked like a little man in his dark pants, white shirt and blue striped tie. He is a bright spot in our family. Always quick to smile and apologize, sensitive to others feelings and happy to help. I can see his testimony developing as he answers thoughtfully during family scripture study and in church. He was a great example today during the program and I was so proud of him.

McKay also did well and looked so handsome in his white shirt and blue tie. He too sang well and delivered his part nicely. He did have a brief stint where he and the boy next to him seemed to be having a contest as to who could get the paper with their part written on it to stick to their forehead for the longest but, luckily, it was short-lived.

Our New House-Framing

Our House! 
As you can see, we are getting pretty excited about our new build! It's our dream home and brainchild. We spent over a year designing the plans and feel so grateful for the opportunity to see it coming to life!
The impetus for building this home was a recognition of the need for a space large enough for our whole family to gather. Now that the Robertson family has grown so much and, luckily, all love to get together, we've outgrown the homestead and need a new larger place. We realize the same thing will happen with our own children and want to have a space big enough to house our family at each stage of life.  

We also love music and end up holding choir rehearsals, Let's Play Music classes, and musical get-togethers often so we wanted to design a space that allowed for these kinds of large rehearsals and events.

Here are Benson and I on the stairs leading to the recording studio. Since beginning we've realized what an amazing thing it would be to have our own recording studio and be able to add to the site without incurring large studio expenses. 

Here's Benson demonstrating some of the great singing he'll do once the studio is done. Plus a sneak-peak of the beautiful view of Pine Valley we'll have from the studio.

View from the front door 

And us on the 3rd floor before the walls went up

View from the rear the day they brought a crane to lift the trusses!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Family Choir-Stake Conference

Today we had the unique opportunity to sing as a family in stake conference. The usual conference choir is made up of adults but since the focus of this conference was to be on families I wanted to let the music reflect that.

I was prompted to organize a family choir made up of families invited to participate from within the stake. We sang a sweet but simple arrangement of Love is Spoken Here and Families Can Be Together Forever.

Our little family stood on the front row of the choir. The boys were dressed in shirts and ties that matched BJ's. Little Lily wore a pink and white poofy dress. She was so small in the seat she could hardly keep it down with her weight.

The kids were a little wiggly and McKay did manage to smuggle in one Halo action figure, despite my repeated requests that all toys be left at home. Lily (being Lily) began trying to dance as soon as the song began. Luckily she took BJ and I's hands which helped keep her still but eventually I picked her up, at which point she saw Kyla leading the music and began doing her own version of conducting. Oh Lily.

Even so, we were able to stand as a family and sing together. As we did I felt a powerful spirit testifying to me of the importance of the work we are doing in our family. I am grateful to know that our family can be together forever. I know we can through Heavenly Father's plan for us.

Kate Speaks!

If she'd been my first or second child, I would have been worried but since she's the fourth, the fact that she hadn't spoken up by 2.5 yrs wasn't really troubling me. I knew she'd get there when she was ready...or when she could get a word in edgewise.

Sure enough, over the last few weeks she has started speaking! She loves to repeat everything which delights the boys to no end. They have her parroting all sorts of things such as "McKay is awesome!", "Dab hard" and "Brother rocks!"

My favorites include:
Swimming Soup (swimming suit)
Wah-wee (water)
Ee-ee (Lily)
Suggle (snuggle, which to my great joy, she wants to do every morning when she wakes up. Cutest. Thing. EVER)
Noak (milk)
Uv oo (love you)
Tow (cow)
Peek (pig)
Tat (cat)
Doss Ew (always said together- ew gross)
Shew fly, no bother!

Having multiple children has helped me realize that the time is so fleeting! I think I enjoy each child more now and worry less because I realize it will pass too quickly.

I feel so grateful every single day for these children the Lord has blessed BJ and I with. I would do anything for each one. I love them so!

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Today as we were getting ready for church, McKay began talking to me about how he's unhappy in his life. He said he just doesn't feel happy each day. After some delicate probing I discovered he is worried about auditioning for the musical Willy Wonka. Initially he told me he wanted to audition so when the director approached me about being the musical director for the show I agreed, thinking it would be a wonderful way to have a theatrical experience with McKay.

Then, the day after I officially accepted the position, McKay told me he was frightened of the audition, so much so that he no longer wanted to do it. I told him he had to. Apparently ever since he's been worrying.

I did my best to listen sympathetically while also trying to get everyone including myself ready and out the door on time to church.

I told McKay that since auditions aren't until the end of October and it's only July that he shouldn't think about it for at least a month, but he persisted.

He talked and talked, complained and cried all the way out the door and into the van. The others had gone to church earlier, so it was just McKay, Lily and I in the van together. As we drove toward the church, McKay continued. Just as he was reaching the height of his oration saying, "And the thing I'm very most afraid of is..."

Lily, who had to this point been listening quietly piped up and cheerfully replied, "Bears?"

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Lamb of God Performance

Tonight BJ and I performed with the Southwest Symphony, the Lieto Voices Choir, and 8 amazing soloists in a tour-de-force production of Lamb of God at the Cox Performance Center at DSU, filled to near capacity. It was one of the most powerful musical and spiritual experiences I have ever had and, though it is SO late, I must write a few of my feelings, knowing that the words I write will not begin to express the feelings I've felt tonight.

My role tonight was Martha, who sings "Make Me Whole" a piece begging the Savior to heal her and help her in dealing with the despair she faces after thinking her brother Lazarus is dead. It is a beautiful, powerful, achingly sorrowful yet hope-filled piece of music.

Even as I rehearsed it, I would be brought to tears as I contemplated the plight of Martha. A woman, in that time needed a protector. Without a husband, Martha looked to Lazarus not only as her brother but as her protector and provider. For her, losing him meant losing everything.

And yet, Martha's song is both a plea to the Savior for his help and also a statement of faith, that though she doesn't know how, she knows the Savior can make her whole.

I have approached this performance with a fair amount of nerves. We performed from memory and with only a few rehearsals with the symphony. Facing the concert tonight, I had only sung my part 3 times with the orchestra which was a bit frightening. With a piano accompanist you can make mistakes and know the accompanist will follow but with the machine that is a symphony, if a soloist messes up, the ship is sunk.

However, as I mentally prepared and prayed about tonight's performance, I prayed for peace and the ability to overcome any worry or fear and to truly tell Martha's story with my whole soul. I wanted to lay everything I have to give on the alter tonight. To share my soul, my faith, my testimony of Jesus Christ and all the times he has made me whole.

As I sat, staring out into the packed house tonight, instead of feeling fear, I felt gratitude and love and a responsibility to share in the best, most complete way, the message of hope and faith. As I stood and sang, I felt deeply. I could feel her sorrow and grief at the loss of her brother. I could feel her desperation and her plea to the Savior and MY pleas and desperation and hope in Christ. As I sang I was overcome with such a powerful feeling of being a witness of the Savior. Tonight I sang my witness, my testimony and my soul. And when I sat down, the Holy Ghost witnessed Divine approval.

Afterward many people said beautiful things to me, but the term several people used was "perfect". Certainly I am not perfect but I believe that opening of the soul and giving everything I could possibly give allowed Martha to come to life and her message to be shared in a way that deeply touched others.

I am SO grateful for these amazing, rare, precious opportunities! I'm grateful for the health and strength to sing and testify. I'm humbled at the opportunities and the power of spirit that I have felt as I sang tonight.

Lamb of God is an inspired piece and tonight I felt each soloist giving their very best gifts tonight. The stage was a sacred place tonight and each gave their offering. I believe all were accepted tonight.