Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Merry Christmas!

     I am officially the worst blogger ever!  I don't know how people find the time.  Here it is December 14th and Christmas is just around the corner.  I have finally finished all my shopping and now it is time to start making Hot Fudge sauce for my neighbors - yes you will get the same thing again this year!  Let's just call it a tradition.  I love Christmas.  I love the twinkling lights, the fragrant aromas, the snow (mind you, I do not like the cold), and I especially love the music.  Everywhere you go, you hear Christmas music, new versions of the same song, old versions of Christmas classics.  I'm not picky - although I must admit, I'm not too fond of Christmas rap - those two words shouldn't even be in the same sentence!  But my favorite Christmas songs are those sung by children.  It doesn't matter what song it is, it doesn't even matter if they skip a few words here and there (even better!).  They could sing off key, I don't care.  Children's voices are beautiful.  I have decided that I have the most wonderful calling in our church.  I lead the music in Primary.  Now, I'm not saying it's easy.  I stress about it every Saturday.  But listening to those angel voices every Sunday, fills my heart to near bursting.  As they share their testimonies through music, my testimony is strengthened every single weak.  This month we have been learning a new Christmas song called "Does He Remember".  It's a beautiful song and the children love it.  Last Sunday, as we were singing that song, one of the Sunbeams started wiping her eyes.  Her teacher bent over and asked her if she was all right.  She replied, "Yes, I'm okay.  This song just always makes my eyes water."  Now that's what I'm talking about.  What greater calling could there be, than helping God's children feel and recognize the spirit and to watch it touch their lives.  I am truly blessed.

     Since music is such a big part of my life, I thought I would share.  I only have 1 recorded Christmas song in my repertoire, so you may have heard this one already.  I wrote this song from Mary's perspective.  I can only imagine what joy she must have felt on that sacred night when she held the Christ child in her arms for the first time.  As a mother, I have never felt closer to God, then in those precious moments following the birth of my own children, as I held them and kissed them, my joy was full.

Music coming......

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thanks Heaven for Modern Medicine

It was a normal Sunday.  We started the day of with a fast, it was the first Sunday of the month, after all.  My son was up early, doing his duty, collecting fast offerings.  You don't need to ask him twice.  If there is a way to serve, he is in - unless it's me asking!  But sometimes, a relaxing Sunday, is not in the cards.  Josh started complaining his stomach hurt shortly after church.  I assumed that he was hungry.  I know I was.  But when the pain moved to his right side and he started throwing up, we started to get concerned.  I looked up his symptoms on webmd.  Yes, I know, not the most reliable source.  But after reading online AND consulting with our family doctor - who just happens to be my brother-in-law, we suspected that he had appendicitis.  I loaded him up in the car, with a lovely pink tupperware bowl ( that the hospital threw away, mind you) and headed to the emergency room.  And then we waited and waited and waited.  The hospital we were in has 72 beds in their emergency room and we still sat there forever.  I can only imagine what kind of germs were lurking.  Needless to say, I hit every hand sanitizing dispenser I could find.  Finally, we were seen and all kinds of tests were run. They were pretty certain that it was appendicitis, but they wouldn't operate because he was only 12.  They sent us to Primary Children's Hospital.  More driving, more nausea, more pain.  Once we arrived at PCH, they gave Josh some Zofran for the nausea and he immediately started asking for food.  Unfortunately for him, it would be another 14 hours before he could eat.  The doctors confirmed that Josh needed an appendectomy and surgery was scheduled for 2 in the morning.  Oh, joy!  There is nothing like sleeping in hospital room on a rocking chair.  Oh, so very restful.  It's scary watching you son being wheeled into surgery.  I know it's a very common proceedure, but still...that's my baby!  After an hour of uncertainty, the doctor informed us that everything was fine and Josh was walking up.  Halleluja!  He slept all morning and woke up asking for food, of course.  He thought that was the best part.  You could order anything from the menu, at any time.  Wow, what a treat!  He was discharged later that evening, with three tiny little incisions on his stomach.  Just like that, he was appendix free.  I'm so grateful for the doctors and nurses at Primary Children's Hospital.  They were adorable with Josh and with us.  Kudos to them.  Tonight was the first night that he could resume sporting activities.  You'd have thought he'd won the lottery! Kids recover so quickly, it's like nothing ever happened!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ode to "14"

I was 14 yesterday, or was it the day before that.  You laugh!  In my mind it was only moments ago.  I still remember my first day of Junior High, I wish I didn't, but there it is roaming the corners of my memory.  My mom talked me into cutting my very long, very curly hair, right before 7th grade.  I ended up with the worlds worst mullet.  The summer had left it's mark.  I was determined to get a tan.  I don't tan, I merely freckle.  I must have figured that if I stayed in the sun long enough, my freckles would blend together, leaving me with a golden glow.  I nearly succeeded!  Needless to say, I was feeling a little less than confidant.  (insert terrible picture here... can't find one - they must have been lost forever!)  Some days I wish I could go back and talk to that insecure, shy little girl.  Or at least teach her how to do her hair!  Somehow, through it all, I survived.

However, I'm not sure how my mother survived.  I am one of 7 girls in my family.  7 girls - can you imagine what the bathroom looked like?  Trust me, you don't want to go there.  We were all stinkers at one time or another.  My mom always used to say, "You can think that you hate me, but you better not ever say it out loud".  The things that I said to my mother, either out loud or under my breath - how could I be so thoughtless?  I guess I have to chalk it up to being 14.  As my daughter hit that dreadful, yet wonderful age, I have more and more respect for my mother every day.  She was one brave, beautiful woman.  She listened to our ranting and raving with grace and patience - a lot of patience.   All those years of disrespect and running off at the mouth are coming to bite me in the butt.  My mother says that it's only fair and then she giggles.  Not very funny.  As I brace myself for the days ahead with 3 daughters, I hope that I can exibit as much grace and patience as my mother did.  When my daughter gives me the look, the one I perfected at 14, I am reminded of times past.  As I pushed against every barrier and tried to force my independence, my mother watched and waited until the day when I would understand her sacrifice and learn from her words and example.
That must have been a good day~
(My mom, with all 7 daughters and 1 daughter in law.  
Aren't we a hot bunch!)

Being a mother of a teenager may have it's challenges, but I am blessed to face them.  There is pure joy when I watch my daughter make good choices.  My heart breaks when failures come or mistakes are made, but I recognize the growth that follows.  I rejoice as she developes a personal relationship with the Savior and I'm especially grateful that she is mine forever.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer's End

The smell of clean cut grass. Warm summer storms with a lightning show to rival any 4th of July. Lying with my children on foam pads in the backyard in the early morning watching the sky as meteors shoot by. Lagoon! Camping at the lake and watching my children frolic in the waves. Night games - loud obnoxious teenagers - mine included. The sound of crickets lulling me to sleep. Camp - girls camp, scout camp, weeks away from home! Lazy days and mounds of laundry. Sleeping in...staying up late. Movies, picnics and good friends. Family reunions. Game night! Home grown tomatoes - I could use some, mine only grew 6 inches, sad little plants. Pedicures and flip flops. Beautiful sunsets. Sunflowers. Long walks with my husband, holding hands - no children allowed.

All good things must come to an end. Yes, I know, it's only the middle of August. But the day my children enter the school grounds with backpacks in tow, the fast pace returns and the lazy days of summer are gone for a spell.

As I walk my children to school, they catch up with their friends on the sidewalk and are a bit annoyed that their mother is in tow, along with the handy dandy camera. Such an exciting day. New friends, new teacher, new backpack. No kisses please! They pose for the camera and then they're off on a new adventure - without me...

Shortly the weather will start to cool and the leaves will fall from the trees. With colder weather comes change. Do I like change? I accept it. My children grow. Every day a new adventure.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It Must Be Summer (and the rain has finally stopped!)

There is something about the sunshine that gets my creative juices flowing. I love that I can carry my instrument outside. My favorite place to write music is out on my back porch. I grab my guitar and a notebook and I'm off. However, with this constant rain, I have been stuck inside. Although, I must admit, I love the rain. I love the smell, the sounds, the way it makes everything so green (except my tomato plants - they are looking a little yellow - okay enough is enough) But today with the sun out, I plopped my butt down on my porch and started writing. I'm writing a song about "Time". I've found that as I get older, time seems to go faster and faster. The days just seem to fly by and sometimes I feel like I have accomplished very little. I wish I could freeze time (not always, just specific moments), but day after day the scenery is basically the same. This song is about making each day count, not taking anything for granted. Sounds like a good idea, huh? We will see how it turns out. So far, I like it, which is a good sign! This one is going to be a little more upbeat, with a really cool strum pattern on my guitar. It should be fun to play.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

LDS Concert Series

I just wanted to let everyone know about my next concert. It will be in Manti, Utah before the Mormon Miracle Pageant, otherwise known as the Manti Pageant. I am performing on Saturday the 20th of June at 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm in the Manti High School Auditorium. The concert series runs every night during the pageant, so if you can’t make it to my concert or you just happen to be going to the pageant on another night, there are artist performing each night, including Jenny Oaks Baker and Sam Payne. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and $5 for children. All tickets will be $10 at the door. For more information go to their website at http://www.ldsconcertseries.com/.

Check out the article about the concert in the Mormon Times: http://www.mormontimes.com/arts_entertainment/music/?id=8161

I would love to see you there!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Magazine Article

I recently did an interview for a magazine called "Mormon Artist". The article was published this month. To read the article go to: http://mormonartist.net/issue-5/amy-van-wagenen/. Let me know what you think or leave a comment below the article.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We're Expecting!

I love that title. When you post a title like that one, everyone is enticed to read more. Sadly, it's not as exciting as you might think. We have an adorable miniature schnauzer. Her name is Prinsess Mia - yes I spelled that with an "s". Princess Mia was already taken by the AKC, so prinsess it is. She is 2 years old and in a moment of weakness, I decided it would be fun to breed her. What was I thinking? Apparantely, I wasn't! We took her to the Vet today and they x-rayed her very large belly. X-rays are taboo for a pregnant mom, but somehow they are okay for a dog. They saw 7 - yes, 7 puppies. No wonder she is so huge. Poor, poor Mia. Again, what was I thinking? The puppies will be here sometime next week. They are purebred with papers and all. We will be selling them in a couple of months. I have already told myself that I am not going to fall in love with any of these little pups. I do not want 2 dogs - 1 is really enough - seriously! It turns out I am a dog lover. Here's a shout out to all of you fellow dog lovers. At the end of the day, that cute little dog still loves me unconditionally. She never talks back and is so eager to please. I grew up surrounded by animals. We always had at least one dog. We also had... a BIRD, - it flew away several times, but always returned, he was fluent in phone mimicking and he could say my sister's name perfectly, a TURTLE -it got left outside and froze, FROGS -they jumped out of the aquarium and we found them weeks later stuck to the windows in our family room, we even had 2 DUCKS at one time - they roamed the backyard for weeks until finally my dad could no longer stand the mess and we took them to the Hogle Zoo (at least that is what I was told). Animals are a fun part of life, at least in my childhood! Having a dog has been great for my children. She shows them love when they feel lonely or sad. She teaches them to be compassionate and to be responsible. Fortunately, my kids are old enough to clean up her messes in the backyard. Thank heaven! So, wish me luck on my new puppy adventure and I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Showcase Concert

Last Thursday was the Mormon Times Showcase Concert.  Yes, I know, I'm a little slow, but I'm still a little euphoric.  It was incredible.  I thought for sure that I would be nervous to perform on stage in front of such a large audience... well, a relatively large audience, and half of them were family members!  But I wasn't nervous - go figure.  I loved being on stage with all the lights and a band behind me, my band did an amazing job.  No, I did not get to meet Donny Osmond, but Brandon Osmond is a great guy.   And although Daniel Archuleta performed that night, I didn't get to meet him either.  I was kinda hoping that his brother David would show up, but no such luck.  I guess he's a little busy these days!  I must admit however, that I was a little disappointed that I didn't win any money:( but I am truly grateful for all the support that I received from all my friends and family.  Unfortunately the Osmonds have more friends and apparently, more family.  I didn't think families got any bigger than mine!   Thanks for all the votes.  They helped me get to the concert, which was really my goal.  All 6 of the finalist were fantastic and it was fun hangin' out with all of them in the "green room".  That was priceless.  I'm also very grateful for the people who put all of this together.  It has been a wonderful opportunity for me to promote my music - for free, no less!  I was even in the newspaper a few times - dorky picture and all.  The results are as follows:  1st place - Brandon Osmond, 2nd place Nicole Sheahan, 3rd place - Truman.  They are great musicians and I wish all of them luck in the future.  They did take pictures and a video of the concert.  I will post them when I get them.  I gave my daughtr the camera for the night and asked her to take some pictures.  This is all I got...

Me and Nicole Sheahan

I don't know what I'm doing here - probably biting my lip (bad habit!)

I think there's actually 2 of me in this picture.  1 is definitely enough!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I am in the Finals!

I made it into the finals in the Mormon Times Showcase Contest. Who would have thought - huh! Thanks to all who voted for me. I am so excited! The final round of voting starts today and continues until March 10th. You can still vote once every day. The winner will recieve $5000 and will be announced at a concert featuring all the finalist. The 6 finalists are myself, of course, Brandon Osmond, Barry Hansen, Truman, Nicole Sheahan and Ryan Innes, so it should be a great concert. The concert will be held on March 19th at the Covey Center for the Arts in Orem, Utah. Tickets are on sale now and you can purchase them by following this link: http://www.coveycenter.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=264&Itemid=4

Don't forget to vote and thanks for all your support. Vote here: http://music.mormontimes.com/contest.php?id=756&nocache=1

Monday, February 16, 2009

Voting Starts Today

Voting for the finals in the Mormon Times contest starts today. There are 12 finalist - Me of course, Brandon Osmond (Donny's son), Due West, Shaun Barrows, Ryan Innes, Aaron Southerland, Maati Maile, Nicole Sheahan, Maxine Soakai, Poli Hala, Truman and Barry Hansen. Every artist is very talented, so the competition is pretty strong. Voting will continue for 2 weeks and the top 6 continue on to the final round of voting which runs March 3 - March 10th. The top 6 contestants will perform at a concert at the Covey Center for the Arts in Provo on March 19th and the winner recieves $5000. Tickets for that event are on sale now, but I have no idea who will be performing. They will not be showing a tally of the votes, the finalists will be announced on the final day of voting. I guess that's good for me, I won't feel like a total loser when I only have 5 votes, no one will even know! I would love to make it to the final round and be able to perform at the concert, but we will see what happens. This has been a great opportunity to share my music with a wider audience, and it's provided some great publicity. In fact, there is an article about me and my music in the Mormon Times news this week. You can read the article here: http://www.mormontimes.com/arts_entertainment/music/?id=6164 I seriously don't remember saying most of those things, but I'm sure I was nervous! To vote for my video, you can follow this link: http://music.mormontimes.com/contest.php?id=756&nocache=1

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm a Semi-Finalist!

Thanks everyone for all your votes in the mormon times showcase contest. I have made it into the semi-finals. You can click here to check out the showcase:


Here is part of the article that was in the newspaper...

Shaun Barrowes, Due West, Brandon Osmond and Amy Van Wagenen have emerged as the first four semifinalists in MormonTimes.com's "Showcase," the free online music video contest. They were the top four in the voting that began Nov. 15 and ended at midnight Monday.

"The talent is incredible," said Bob Wood, Mormon Times' marketing director. He said there were 52 entries in "Showcase," and 108 artists have uploaded music to the site so far. Barrowes, of Spanish Fork, made it to the final 48 in the seventh season of "American Idol" and has released a jazz/pop CD titled "Big Bang Theory." Due West, a country trio, is made up of Matt Lopez of Wyoming, Tim Gates of Utah and Brad Hull of Arizona. They have been part of the Nashville club scene since 2004. Brandon Osmond, of Orem, is the son of Donny Osmond and has been writing songs since high school, He served an LDS mission to Scotland. Amy Van Wagenen, of Salt Lake City, is the mother of four children and just recently returned to making music now that her children are older. Their videos will be on the Showcase Web site through the next rounds of voting. The second round of voting will run through Jan. 15, and the third round will run from Jan. 16 through Feb. 15. The four semifinalists from those rounds will join Barrowes, Due West, Osmond and Van Wagenen for the final voting, which will run Feb. 16 through March 1. Musicians who have the top six videos at the end of final voting will be featured at a live concert in March 19 at 7:30 at the Covey Center for the Arts in Provo. The top vote-getter, who will win a $5,000 first prize, will be announced at the concert. Second prize will be $2,000 and third prize will be $1,000.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Switching to Blogspot

I have officially joined blogspot. I originally had my blog on my website, but I wanted to link up to other blogs and sites, so I moved. Moving is hard work! Just one more site that I have to figure out.