Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Recording of Leah singing Ave Maria

As a Sutliff Family Tradition (for all of you that don't know, Sutliff is Leah's maiden name), we have to prepare a talent for Christmas Eve to perform for the family. Leah usually does something musical and I take credit, but since we are far away this Christmas and away from family, Leah made a recording of herself singing "Ave Maria". She says "It is not perfect and I am not claiming it to be. I just really wanted to share this with my family and friends who have been bugging me to sing something for them. So here you go-please don't judge." (blah blah blah, Leah could make excuses forever about her voice- she is her own worse critic. I guess as a voice teacher it is hard not to be). Sutliff family, you can listen to it if you want during the talent show part of the evening-only if you want to.
Leah also put the song to a very beautiful video made by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints called "The Nativity." It took her a really long time to figure out how to do this, so for the sake of all her hard work and the opportunity to feel the Christmas Spirit, we suggest you check it out. We do not own the rights to the video- and hope it is okay that she did this and that she doesn't get into trouble!
We are sad we wont be able to see all of you this Christmas, but we will be thinking of you-- that we can promise. We are leaving today to drive to Canaan Valley in West Virginia to stay in the mountains at a Ski Resort from Christmas Eve-Dec 27 and then Leah will be flying to sunny California on December 28-January 1 to be with her fabulous family at Disneyland.
We hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas! We are grateful for our Savior and the amazing family and friends He has given us to help us be better people. Thank you for being one of our special people.

With lots of Love---The Stone Family (Paul, Leah, Jack & Charlie)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Washington Dc Tree

Paul and I went to the DC tree tonight. It was literally glowing with LED lights. I now feel very festive and patriotic.

National Tree facts:
The tree lights and display were shut down for the past 3 days due to the past snow storm. This is the biggest storm to effect the National Tree in 83 years.

The Christmas season following President Kennedy's death, the tree lighting was postponed to Dec 22 to respect the 30 days of national mourning. ( Kennedy was shot on Nov 22)

Also, Paul has been wearing this ugly snowman sweater for the past week because he says he feels festive and he thinks it is comfortable. Paul originally bought this sweater for me for a $1.50 at a thrift store cause I had an ugly sweater party to go to. I think all along Paul was planning on buying it for himself to embarrass me in public.

Merry Christmas!!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Hot Baker

(I stole this post from Shari Stone, I liked it so much. All photos by Shari Stone)
The area of Herdon is a quaint place with little streets and lots of little shops. Paul makes bread at Great Harvest between the hours of 4am and 12 noon. He rides his bikes through the woods and through the dell each morning. So if you live in the area go say hi to him and his crew. They will give you a free slice of bread to enjoy.
This is the Kneading Team of Great Harvest of Herdon. Kyle, Sally, Paul and James. They knead over 1000 loaves a day. Next week with the holiday they will pick up the time and pace up to 1500 loaves.
Paul, the Baker Man and his Cinnamon Roll Bread.
Paul kneading his orange cranberry size D loaves......................heheheheh! I don't know where he gets such skill cause I know he doesn't get that kind of full sized practice :)

Feeling Crafty

Paul and I survived Thanksgiving- luckily everyone brought some yummy food to share and Paul's mom cooked like Julia Child, so the food was fabulous. We had 20 people here, I guess 24 if you count all the kids too. We borrowed tables from the neighbors so everyone could fit in our family room. Thanks Shari for all your help!
Shari, Paul's mom, posing sexily for the camera while peeling sweet potatoes
The amazing 21 pound turkey bird
My Family Room filled from one end to the other with tables and chairs- real cozy!
I think we had at least 10 people at a time in the kitchen, lots of chaos, but lots of fun too.

Also, while Paul's mom was in town we did lots of sight seeing on the sunny days and lots of Martha Stewart type things on the rainy days. I sewed these pillow covers. For all of you who are laughing that I sewed, I want you to know that yes I own a sewing machine and yes I did these pillows all by myself. I also made window valences too! I know I know- amazing right?!

Here is my Christmas Tree- I love it. It is decorated like a May Pole. Shari did the ribbons and did a great job. I decorated the tree with all these old ornaments my Grandma Blanche Richards gave me as a little girl and added some fun colorful balls and such.

Also, check out my window valence in the background. Feel free to tell me how amazing I am. I hope everyone has their trees up and are ready for the Holiday. I am listening to Christmas music right now as I type this (Kristin Chenoweth's Christmas Album, song "I'll Be Home For Christmas" to be exact) sadly I wont be home for Christmas though. I'll be partying it up at Disneyland with my family after Christmas to bring in the New Year...Woot Woot...thanks Mom and Dad!

Love and miss all my friends and family.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ah To Be Charlie

Now that it is getting rainy and colder in Virginia, I have had to come up with a way to take Charlie with me, since he has to come with me as my seizure- alert service dog. I am going for trying to keep him warm and covered from the rain. Charlie has no undercoat and is freezing all the time.

I have tried

1. Sweaters: problem is they don't work cause Charlie pees on them and then they stink-plus his feet are always cold.

2. Baby sling: I sewed him a baby sling wrap thing, problem is that he is too fat to carry when walking the mile to the metro.

3. Dog stroller: I didn't actually get him one of these, but totally wanted one until I realized people would want to see my cute baby and out would pop Charlie.

4. Rolling scrapbook supply carrier (thanks Melissa for letting me steal this from you): this works perfectly. I can put my laptop and schoolbooks in here plus Charlie lays down inside with a blanket and is covered up from the rain. He is so spoiled. This way I don't look like too big of a rich babe/Paris Hilton wannabe cause no one can actually see him when I am pulling him around outside.

This is Charlie relaxing while I am in class.

If only I can get Paul to carry me around in a big rolling case with a blanket, my life would be complete.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 23, 2009

I am Proud to Have a Brother who is Brave

This time of year always makes me think of family and having gratitude for those serving our country, especially those who will be away from loved ones this holiday season. While organizing photos, I saw this photo of my brother and knew I had to post it if not for the shear fact of showing off how handsome he looks in his uniform.

I am so proud of Aaron for serving our country. He is a honorable man and I am so amazed by his love for his family, country and for keeping America safe and free. He was in the 82nd Airborne Unit in the Army. For those of you who don't know what that is - it means my brother is a BAD ASS.

Here is the mission of the 82nd Airborne
"Within 18 hours of notification, strategically deploy, conduct forcible entry parachute assault and secure key objectives for follow-on military operations in support of U.S. national interests. No other military unit can respond more rapidly and effectively to conflict anywhere in the world than the 82nd Airborne Division. Known as "America's Guard of Honor," the 82nd is widely recognized as one of the most powerful forces in America's military arsenal."

So yes, my brother jumps out of airplanes.

Four years ago, Aaron was off fighting in Iraq over Christmas and it was so hard to not have him home. My heart goes out to all the families and soldiers who fight and are away this season. May God keep you safe and return you home to your families, just like He did for my family.

Aaron's son Hayden, Like Father like Son

Model for a Day

Paul's mom, Shari, came in town to spend time with Paul and I and we have been having a great time. Yesterday we went to Harper's Ferry in West Virginia. Shari is a fabulous photographer and she took a couple of headshots of me and all of these photos in this posting. Tell me what you think...which one is good enough to use on my website for teaching?

Other Pictures of us at Harper's Ferry

We also saw the movie "Julie & Julia" about Julia Child and a so we had to go the Museum of American History to see Julia Child's kitchen.

Ruby Slippers Judy Garland wore in the "Wizard of Oz"

White House

Obama's Body Guard

Church in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Oh by the way...did I mention that Paul and I are having 19-20 people over for Thanksgiving in Virginia. Yikes! My party got bigger than expected, but hey the more the merrier I say --as long as there is room for everyone. Thank goodness I have Shari here to help me cook, or else it would be a huge disaster or burned turkey and lumpy gravy. I will keep you posted on how it goes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I Heart NYC

I scheduled a voice lesson in NYC last Friday with the ever amazing Wendy Parr, teacher of the talented Regina Spektor. I got two of my friends to come with me to see New York in the Fall.

I have to say that Central Park is breathtaking in the fall. It reminded me of one of my favorite NYC movies You've Got Mail and the quote by Jo Fox played by Tom Hanks, "Don't you just love New York in the Fall. It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."

in Central Park

Rowing a Boat while boating in the Park

Sarah Bennett, Me, Emily Bergeson

Times Square at Night

Me and Emily with the famous boathouse in the background
(think 27 Dresses)

Adorable park in Greenwich Village near my teacher's studio. The whole think was lined with pumpkins. I was in Fall heaven.

Sarah and Emily on the Brooklyn Bridge

Living on the East Coast is so much fun! Friends and family please
come and visit! We have a spare room and bed and towels.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Favorite Things

Here are a Few of Leah's Favorite Things this Fall

Pumpkins, and

Farmer's Markets, and

Boating With Paul.
(Fountainhead Lake in Virginia)

Cute Streets to Walk Down, and

Sweet old ladies painting
(in the National Gallery of Art), and
Dear Friends to Visit,

These are a few of my favorite things.

When the Dog Bites
(run charlie run! don't worry no one was hurt!)

When the Bee Stings
(paul is like deathly allergic to bee stings-check out the puffiness on his forehead- Paul was stung while riding his bike, so I am lucky he is alive-but he does have a sweet life insurance policy so hmmm... it is a toss up!)

And I'm feeling sad

I simply remember the Man in the mall
(dressed like a princess or devil or something I can't really tell-
I think he might even have on wings)

And then I don't feel So Bad!!!