Performance at Temple Square

Have you ever seen it rain ice? Sounds strange, I know, but it did the other time for the first time in... well, as long as I can remember. It was in-sane! What was even more insane that freezing rain??? The idiot drivers who didn't believe that the rain was really freezing to ice.

I'm not joking. I about lost my life half a dozen times in the 3 1/2 hours it took me to drive to Salt Lake. And why would I drive to Salt Lake in a storm like this one? For two reasons. One, I had business meetings and two, Brielle had the opportunity of a lifetime to perform with her Orchestra with the Orchestra at Temple Square at Temple Square in the Tabernacle at Temple Square. Do you follow?

Disclaimer: The lighting in that place was horrible, therefore, so are the quality of the pictures.

The Mountain West Strings Academy Ambassadors is a wonderful program that Brielle is apart of. It's for second year students who want to work harder to develop their talent. They take on more challenging songs, additional weekend rehearsals (not my fav, but I'm supporting my kid) and extra performances.


Because of the above mentioned storm, we didn't get as many members from the Temple Square Orchestra as planned, but we still had at least the leader from each section. They were amazing! They jumped right in and played right along with the students.

Myself (Chris included, though he won't admit it) get teary eyed watching our cutie perform. She's really worked hard and does so well. She makes us proud...

They performed 6 pieces, including Coldplay's "Clocks" and Pacabell's Canon.

After they're performance, they were given time to talk to members of the Orchestra. They asked questions like "when did you first start taking lessons," "how often do you practice" and "what's your favorite song." What an incredible opportunity to learn about the possibilities when you work hard and make music a part of your life.

Brielle was lucky enough to have a visitors who braved the storm to come watch the performance...


What came next was equally exciting. The rest of the members of the Orchestra arrived, as well as members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for their own rehearsal. We listened to both separately during their warm-ups, and then again together as they performed a piece I'm sure we'll hear at the next General Conference. It was beautiful.

Probably my most favorite part of the evening was watching Brielle's face as they would finish a song. I think all the kids were surprised to hear the difference performing in a place like this, and the sound that carried from their instruments. She'd mouth "WOW!" to us with a big smile on her face!

I'm so happy that Brielle has a desire to develop her talent, and I'm equally grateful that here in this small rural area of Cache Valley, we have a program designed to help kids do just that.


My Favorite Green Smoothie

I was terrified to try green smoothies. Were they really as good as people said? I mean, come on, it's so much spinach! Is "good" even possible when the main ingredient is spinach?

Why yes, yes it is.

Especially my new green smoothie concoction.  
  • 2 large handfuls of Spinach
  • 1/2 cup Plain Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1/2 Frozen Banana
  • 1/2 cup Frozen Pineapple Chunks
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • Few Ice Cubes
Because I don't have one of those super high tech fancy blenders (I keep entering giveaways, but never win), I use my Bosch Kitchen Blender. It does the job okay, but I do have a Pinterest tip that will make your smoothie extra smooth without chunks of spinach that stick to your teeth...

Put the spinach, yogurt and juice in first and puree. Next add your frozen fruit and a few ice cubes, then mix again until completely combined. You won't find a speck of spinach in your teeth, I promise.

I've estimated that this smoothie to be roughly 285 calories, and it keeps me full until lunch. You could save a few calories by adding water instead of Orange Juice, which is really good, too. Coconut Oil is another ingredient I add from time to time, for added nutritional value.

With Project Skinny Round 3 full under way, I'm looking for ways to add more fruits and vegetables into my diet. Smoothies sure make that easy. I've found a couple other green smoothie recipes that include peanut butter that I think I'll give a try later this week. I've also seen smoothie recipes with kale in it, but that has me a bit nervous. I'll stick to spinach for a while before I venture outside my comfort zone.