Saturday, July 4, 2009

Family Fun - Burrup/Collier Style

We were invited by the Burrup Family to share their Heber Valley camp sight for a July 4th Family Reunion. They had a 45-person/3 cabin sight reserved and were only using 21 spots. We were so excited, especially because EVERY member of our family would be able to come for the weekend! Unbelievable! 

It's amazing how much has to be hauled for 15 people to spend just one night. I felt as though I had packed up our entire house! Loads of work, but so much fun!

The Collier Family

The Burrup Family

Just Kickin' Around Camp

The Hot Dog Roast

For Love and Laughter - 
"Goldilocks and the Three Bears"

Around the Campfire
"I want S'more!"

By Morning Light
Gooey Rolls went a little crazy, but were oh, so yummy!

Just for Kids

In the Yurt
Yurt:  a circular tent of felt or skins on a collapsible framework, used by nomads in Mongolia, Siberia, and Turkey.

On the Lake

Through the Ropes Course

A Few Camping Clips

It was an action-packed 26 hours, that's for sure! Loved every minute of it; but then again, I love doing anything with my family. They are the best! 

Thanks, Burrups! You are our favorites!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Homeward Bound

"WYOMING - Where you lose your dog and you can still see him three days later."
-- Becky, Bus Driver #1

We're on the homeward stretch.

We stop at the Little America in Wyoming...
...where we are greeted and treated... a good ol' American barbecue.
This table is a welcome sight!

Wow! How would it be to have a grill this large? Then again, I don't think I'll ever have the need to feed 600 people at one time.
Fifteen hotel rooms are open to fulfill our restroom needs, but it's actually the beds that look inviting...zzzzz. (I resist the urge.)

Another two hours on the road and we are home safe and sound.
I feel like kissing the ground.
It's a trick to find our luggage; luckily they have been alphabetized.

And that is that! It's been a whirl-wind eleven days -- but so fulfilling. We will never know what we have accomplished on this tour; there is no way of measuring the lives that have been inspired, lifted, and touched. It is our wish that through our music, individuals will have seen the light in our eyes and have had the opportunity to feel the Spirit of the Holy Ghost. That is our mission.

P.S. Just after our arrival home, Audrey receives a visitor:
Elder Matthew Taylor is home from his mission! It is so good to see him again!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rock'a My Soul in the Red Rocks Amphitheatre - Denver Colorado.

Sound Check

We bus to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the sight literally takes our breath away. What an amazing place for a concert stage!
We just have to pull out our cameras and take pictures. Randy caught the respiratory virus that is infiltrating the group and decided to stay at the hotel, so we are on our own for photos this afternoon.
The sun and heat are just too much. We try to keep our instruments from melting by keeping them in the shade as much as possible.
Mack, realizing the problem, stops the rehearsal and has us put our instruments away.

Elder Craig Christensen (far right) and his wife have accompanied us on our tour. He expresses his thoughts: 

“We have enjoyed being with you. We have listened to many of your stories. We’ve taken pictures of you sleeping on buses. We’ve watched you at work rehearsing. I’ve made two observations. First, you’re the hardest working missionaries in the Church; you could put some of those 19 year olds to shame! You really work hard, and we’ve seen that. We’ve never realized how much effort you put in, and you should be congratulated. Second is the power of your message. You can sing what we can’t say. Every night when you take over, the spirit just pours out. We’ve been sitting by people from many walks of life, and we watch them as each one becomes moved by the spirit. You’re wonderful, we appreciate your having us along; we’ll volunteer any time they want someone to come along again.”

The Concert
It's time to leave for the concert and it's raining outside! As we found out earlier today, there is no protection up there from the elements. If it rains, we will not be able to play. The seats are sold out -- that means an audience of 10,000. It's time to pray and do a sun dance or two.

A police escort helps the buses maneuver through traffic.

Randy couldn't miss this last concert. He came with his camera. Thanks, Randy!
The clouds have parted and blue skies take their place. Never underestimate the power of prayer!
There is a short hike to the amphitheater.

The choir lines up for their entrance.

Audrey and I think it is time to have a concert photo together, this being the last tour concert and all.

Audrey and Lauren - adorable, aren't they!

We have a surprise guest tonight. The members in the audience are thrilled to have President Thomas S. Monson attend. They flock to be near him, to talk with him and to shake his hand.

"This is absolutely fantastic. This choir is an example of devotion to one's assignment and a manifestation of the absolute beauty of music.

"There's an old saying, 'Practice makes perfect.' We see an example of that tonight."

-- President Thomas S. Monson

President Monson brings smiles as he pantomimes leading the choir.

Our guest conductor for tonight's encore is Colorado's enthusiastic Governor, Bill Ritter. Please notice that he has picked up the baton from the wrong and very pointed end! The handle bounces back and forth... up and down... then SNAPS! flying straight for a couple of first violinists. (Luckily it didn't hit anyone!)
It is difficult for us to keep our professional demeanor after that! It was just too funny.

My wife, youngest daughter, and I went to the concert last night at Red Rocks. It was a wonderful program and we all three loved it. The choir's powerful delivery combined with their genuine love of others and the Lord as expressed in their music was inspiring. Thanks to everyone involved with and serving in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

-- Kenneth.

How many choir men does it take to move a car?

After the concert, we are anxious to beat the crowds to the road.  Bus progress is impeded, however, by one parked car. No owner is in sight, so ten choir men hop off the bus, pick up the car, and move it so the buses can get by. No joke - this really happened!