All That Jazz

Sarah and Sascha had their very first jazz band performance on Tuesday evening at Klahowya Secondary School. They're in a 5th/6th grade jazz band. There were five other performances from different junior high bands from the area.

Getting ready to perform:
Sarah is walking to the piano on the left. Sascha is in the middle back on the keyboard (he played the bass sound).
Click on any of the pictures to view larger.

Sarah fixing her hair before showtime:

Sascha was a little nervous, but did amazing:

Nice, big crowd:

And action:

And now for some footage.
"Switcherooni" part 1
Listen for Sarah on the piano and Sascha on the bass in all the videos:

"Switcherooni" part 2
Zoomed in so you can actually see them:

Their jazz band instructor, Jeremy Faxon, introducing "Homework Blues."

"Homework Blues"
Mr. Faxon using some sweet arm signals (it's really an!)and then about halfway through the video the song starts:

We're so proud of you Sarah and Sascha! Way to go!!!
Can't wait to hear your next performance!


I decided that as I get farther and farther behind in blog posts, I'll start naming these particular ones "catsup." Yes, it is also the name of a condiment, and it's also spelled "ketchup." Since I'm a Fyffe, I'm sticking to the goofier spelling.

With that, here is the latest "catsup,"
which is filed in January 2010.
CLICK HERE to view

A Beautifully Written Piece

My wonderful Honeybob wrote a beautiful piece that has touched many people's hearts as they're dealing with the loss of a great friend, Michael Pitcher.

Here is the link to his blog post on the Kitsap Sun site:

Michael Pitcher's Obituary

Michael Summerhays Pitcher
of Bremerton
July 14, 1979
to April 5, 2010

Bremerton resident and local business owner Michael Summerhays Pitcher, loving husband and father, returned home to the loving arms of his Heavenly Father on April 5, 2010. He suffered fatal injuries as the result of a fall from a tree he had just limbed. Gratefully, his passing was brief and pain-free.


He was born July 14, 1979 in Bremerton, Washington, to Frank Lee and Sandra Summerhays Pitcher. Michael loved animals, once aspiring to be a veterinarian. On one occasion he surprised his mother by bringing home a lost parrot. As a youth he enjoyed playing soccer, t-ball, basketball, baseball, and eventually played for the Olympic High School soccer team. He graduated from Olympic High School in 1997 as a Trojan Scholar and was an Eagle Scout. Following his graduation he faithfully served a two-year proselyting and service mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Antofagasta, Chile. He married his high school sweetheart, Tabitha Hill, daughter of Charles and Penny Hill on May 26th, 2001, in the Seattle Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They had one son, Matthew Frank Hill Pitcher. Tabitha preceded Michael in death on December 1st, 2002.


Michael was blessed to find love once again and married Michelle Claire Hoyle of Kingston, daughter of Gary and Jolayne Kearns Hoyle currently of Santaquin, UT on August 9th, 2003 in the Seattle Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Michael enjoyed playing the piano and singing with his wife Michelle. He served as his church’s congregational organist, as the primary children’s pianist, and was an active participant in the choir. He also played the trumpet and loved to dance.


He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Landscape Management, even representing the university at national arborist competitions. He was a Certified Arborist, Aqua Certified, Certified Applicator, was a member of the International Society of Arboriculture. He owned Allstar Landscape Services LLC also known as Allstar Tree and Landscape. Michael was a member of the Silverdale BNI business networking group which association brought a great deal of encouragement and camaraderie. He loved his work and enjoyed the beauties of nature. He was at home with trees. He was grateful that the community appreciated his hard work in all types of weather.

His eternal perspective and faith in families being forever guided him in all he did. For these reasons he made eternal covenants in the LDS temple which bind families together for time and all eternity and he kept his covenants. Michael was always concerned about others more than himself and loved to be of service. The three biggest priorities of Michael’s life were family, faith, and his profession. He was successful in all. He had an engaging personality, a happy heart, and a bright smile which lit up the room. He accomplished much in such a short time and will be missed by many. He was well loved by all members of his extended family and numerous friends.


He is survived by his wife Michelle Claire Hoyle Pitcher and children Matthew, 7, Cayden, 5, Ashlynn, 4, and Wesley, 1; parents Frank Lee and Sandy Pitcher of Bremerton; sisters Allison (David) Norman of Clearfield UT, Marianne (Steve) Asay of Quincy WA, Emilee (Nathan) Cleaver of Poulsbo WA Sarah (Joseph) Keyes of Oak Harbor WA and brother Mark (Jessica) Pitcher of Provo UT. Preceding him in death were his wife Tabitha Hill Pitcher and brother Frank Summerhays Pitcher.


There will be a public viewing held at 12 noon Saturday April 17 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Silverdale Stake Center, 9256 Nels Nelson Road NW (north of the Kitsap County Fairgrounds) with a memorial service at 1 p.m. The public is invited. Interment will be at Miller-Woodlawn Cemetery in Bremerton.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made on behalf of Michelle and the children to the Michael Pitcher Memorial Fund at any branch of Wells Fargo or Wachovia. Please e-mail any memories of Michael to or mail them to Amy Allen at 3822 S 8140 W Magna, UT 84044 by April 30th to be compiled into a memory book for the children.

Never Without a Smile---Michael Pitcher

Our thoughts and prayers have been/are with the beloved Pitcher family, here in our own Brownsville Ward, who lost their husband/father/son/brother last week in a tragic accident. He has touched the lives of many, including ours, and will continue to do so through his loving family.

I don't think I ever saw him without a huge smile on his face. We were blessed to have him as our home teacher for a while. He was such a kind-hearted and tender person. My favorite memory of Mike was watching him play the piano in Primary and how passionate he was about it. He was so animated and entertaining as he played. I could totally feel of his love for his calling and for the children. I remember him expressing to me how he so wanted to quit piano when he was younger. He said he was forever thankful to his parents who made him stick with it. With that, I can see why. The whole Pitcher family, including Mike's wife Michelle, are very musically talented.

Below is a piece pulled directly from the Kitsap Sun from last weeks newspaper:

Michael Pitcher, the landscaper who died Monday after falling from a tree he was limbing, cherished his work and family.

The 30-year-old Bremerton man was the son of longtime Bremerton dentist Frank Lee Pitcher and his wife Sandy, and the middle of seven children.

Pitcher started a landscaping business right after his 1997 graduation from Olympic High School, where he was an Eagle Scout and Trojan Scholar. He served a two-year mission in Chile for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in landscape management. A certified arborist, Pitcher owned Allstar Landscape Services in Silverdale.

“He loved his landscaping company,” Michael’s mother, Sandy, said in a phone interview Tuesday. “He died doing what he loved, and that was working with trees.”

In 2001, Pitcher married Tabitha Hill, and they had a son Matthew. Tabitha was killed in a car accident near Yakima on Dec. 1, 2002. Michael married Michelle Hoyle in 2003 and they had three more children. Matthew is 7, Cayden 5, Ashlynn 4 and Wesley 1 1/2.

“The most important thing to him was his family,” Sandy Pitcher said. “He worked very hard to be a good father and husband.”

Pitcher loved to play the piano. He especially enjoyed teaming with wife Michelle, who sings beautifully, Sandy Pitcher said.

Michael’s mother described him as a “tenderhearted and compassionate” man.

“He accomplished a lot in his short life,” she said.

Grief and The Atonement

While listening to the Sunday morning session of General Conference one of the talks that really impressed me was "Turn to the Lord," by Elder Donald L. Halstrom.

Click here to view the whole talk. You'll be glad you did!

He spoke about tragedy and how making one mere choice about how we deal with it can turn our life onto a whole different path. Below are some stories and points that stood out to me:

"Many years ago, I observed a heartbreak—which became a tragedy. A young couple was nearing the delivery of their first child. Their lives were filled with the anticipation and excitement of this monumental experience. During the delivery, complications arose and the baby died. Heartbreak turned to grief, grief turned to anger, anger turned to blame, and blame turned to revenge toward the doctor, whom they held fully responsible. Parents and other family members became heavily involved, together seeking to ruin the reputation and the career of the physician. As weeks and then months of acrimony consumed the family, their bitterness was extended to the Lord. “How could He allow this horrible thing to occur?” They rejected the repeated efforts of Church leaders and members to spiritually and emotionally comfort them and, in time, disassociated themselves from the Church. Four generations of the family have now been affected. Where once there were faith and devotion to the Lord and His Church, there has been no spiritual activity by any family member for decades."

He then went on and told another story on the opposite end of the spectrum:

"My paternal grandparents had two children, a son (my father) and a daughter. After serving a mission and military service in Hawaii, my father returned to the islands in 1946 to establish himself professionally and raise his family. His parents lived in Salt Lake City, as did his sister. She married in 1946 and four years later was expecting a child. There is something very special for parents to anticipate a daughter (in this instance an only daughter) giving birth for the first time. No one knew that she was carrying twins. Sadly, she and the twins all died during childbirth."

"My grandparents were heartbroken. Their grief, however, immediately turned them to the Lord and His Atonement. Without dwelling on why this could happen and who might be to blame, they focused on living a righteous life. My grandparents never had wealth; they were never among the socially elite; they never held high position in the Church—they were simply devoted Latter-day Saints."

"After retiring professionally in 1956, they moved to Hawaii to be with their only posterity. The ensuing decades found them loving their family, serving in the Church, and mostly, they just enjoyed being together. They never liked being apart and even spoke of whoever died first finding a way to help them reunite soon. Nearing their 90th birthdays and after 65 years of marriage, they passed away within hours of each other by natural causes. As their bishop, I conducted their double funeral."

"The faithfulness of Grandpa Art and Grandma Lou, especially when faced with difficulty, has now influenced four generations that have followed. Directly and profoundly, it affected their son (my father) and my mother when my parents’ own daughter, their youngest child, died due to complications caused by giving birth. At 34 years of age, she passed away 10 days after childbirth, leaving 4 children, 10 days to 8 years old. With the example that they had seen in the previous generation, my parents—without hesitation—turned to the Lord for solace."

"Throughout the world and among the membership of the Church, there is great joy and great pain. Both are part of the plan. Without one, we cannot know the other. “Men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25) and “for it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11) are not contradictory; they are complementary. In describing how he felt when he turned to the Lord, Alma the Younger said, “My soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain” (Alma 36:20)."

"If you feel you have been wronged—by anyone (a family member, a friend, another member of the Church, a Church leader, a business associate) or by anything (the death of a loved one, health problems, a financial reversal, abuse, addictions)—deal with the matter directly and with all the strength you have. “Hold on thy way” (D&C 122:9); giving up is not an option. And, without delay, turn to the Lord. Exercise all of the faith you have in Him. Let Him share your burden. Allow His grace to lighten your load. We are promised that we will “suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ” (Alma 31:38). Never let an earthly circumstance disable you spiritually."

"His most exemplary act, the Atonement, required Jesus to descend “below all things” (D&C 88:6) and suffer “the pains of all men” (2 Nephi 9:21). Thus we understand the Atonement has broader purpose than providing a means to overcome sin. This greatest of all earthly accomplishments gives the Savior the power to fulfill this promise: “If ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence . . . , if ye do this, he will . . . deliver you out of bondage” (Mosiah 7:33)."

"As we commemorate this Easter morning, let us turn to the Lord, our “bright and morning star” (Revelation 22:16). I testify He will forever light our way, our truth, and our life (see John 14:6), in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."


Nice Dye Job

Saturday afternoon between General Conference sessions the eggs were calling for their dye:

The Gardner children came to their rescue:

Every year I make my:

Just as General Conference was starting for the Sunday morning session, the boys found Easter goodies to be had. Sarah, still recovering from health issues, was sleepily, slumbering away.

This handsome couple watched General Conference with us:

Later on we had an early Easter dinner with more family and friends (including Steve's brother Jim from Hawaii and LaRee's Dad, brother and nephew from Oregon). We had a fabulous time and it was so great seeing everyone.

Click on the pic below to view larger (for some reason LaRee's nephew Logan didn't get in this pic. hmmmmm....):

I didn't take many pics during the day so here are a few random ones I did take:

To view a few extra pics taken by Kaitlyn, click here.

Thanks everyone for a great day!!!

There's Sickness in the Air, People Dying Everywhere...

A few weeks ago illness began to ravage our home.
It all started with Sarah waking up one morning in tears because of ear pain. I gave her some Tylenol and a heating pad to ease her pain. Within an hour both of her eardrums ruptured. Nothing I wasn't versed in already since she's gone through this before as a wee young lassie. Later on we ended up taking her into Prompt Care from the pain being so great, only to find that both of her ears were infected. I also noticed her right eye was starting to swell. They paid no attention.

The following morning Sarah awoke to her eye being swollen completely shut. Back to the doctor we went, but this time to her own pediatrician. The diagnosis: periorbital cellulitis. He let us know how serious of an infection this was and said that had we not come in as quickly as we did, she probably would have been hospitalized with orbital cellulitis. ***I have to add how caring and sweet her doctor was. He reached over and gave her a hug and kissed her forehead after explaining what was going to happen. After realizing how serious this was, Sarah had no complaints about getting the injections (in her rear...ouch!) she would endure for three days in a row. Although she did express how the medication actually going into her bloodstream stung much more than the needle poking into her skin. On that first day she had to get blood cultures done as well. THAT was difficult for her since she was very weak to begin with and they had to draw large amounts of blood. 

Pictures taken each day at the doctors office:

It wasn't until day 4 that she was able to open her eye a little bit. It took a few more days after that for her to completely open her eye.

Watching Sarah go through this has been heart-wrenching for me, from all the pain and suffering she has endured. A parent never wants to see their child have to go through ANY pain. I would have much rather gone through it for her. I know there's a reason for everything. Lessons to learn. With that, I feel as though this experience has drawn me closer to Sarah and my love for her has grown even more than it was before. I was also reminded of how much my Heavenly Father loves me and how much it must have pained him to see His son, Jesus Christ suffer as He did in the Garden of Gethsemane.
It was all part of the plan and He knew it had to be done.
I'm so grateful for all of my blessings.
For the returning health of Sarah.
For my three healthy children.
For my husband.

Life is good.

Happy April!

With a new month comes a new blog title.