Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our Thanksgiving, or Boy, Did We ever Make Memories this Year!

I stretched out on my bed about 10:30 am on Thanksgiving morning, feeling rather smug. I had put the free-range turkey in the oven early, covered with butter and stuffed with herbs, mmmm...

The table was set, using the toss method for folding napkins.....
Everything was in readiness. I hadn't been feeling good all week, so I stretched out to relax a bit before everyone came.

As soon as everyone arrived, all heck broke loose....... Jen's beautiful rolls were NOT rising! So we turned on the dryer so that the warmth would help them rise. (BTW-It works GREAT-not a money saving thing to do-but it works in a pinch) Obviously these rolls are done. Dryers make good warming trays too, because......

Turns out---the turkey wasn't done---Chef Jessica reminded me that I checked the temperature in the WRONG part of the turkey. It needed more time....lots more time. So, since we were cooking rolls in the oven, we decided to turn on the grill. And in the meantime, we were also trying to figure out how to keep everything that WAS done-hot......In the semi-chaos that was going on, I put the pan of stuffing just taken out of the oven, on top of the ceramic stove-the burners were still hot from cooking.....then Jen reminded me that a pan had exploded on her stove when keeping it warm on top......genius mom here.....forgets to turn off the burner........we're rushing around trying to juggle all the food so we can serve it all hot and at the same time... and

Sounds of exploding glass shatter the room ......shards fly everwhere-MIRACULOUSLY missing all the children roaming about the kitchen. (a few pieces impaled themselves into the wood of the island!) Everyone scrambles to help clean up the mess and make sure the kids stay out of the glass and Rick is having a meltdown because stuffing is his favorite and he doesn't care if there are microscopic particles of glass in his stuffing....he must have stuffing!
Thank heavens for Wal-Mart opening on Thankgiving, so in order to help expedite the process-Rick volunteers to head to our local Wal-Mart, pick up the ads that weren't in the paper and buy some more stuffing mix.....

We clean up the glass mess, get the turkey on the grill and continue to juggle rolls, vegetables, gravy and potatoes while I re-prepare the ingredients for the stuffing....


We hear the ominous sound of breaking glass AGAIN!

What can you do but laugh and get out the camera???

So, it all turned out....the food got cooked, the stuffing got replaced, the rolls got done, the potatoes were creamy.......

We all gave THANKS!

Friday, November 28, 2008

In Conclusion....

Whatever we think about and thank about we bring about.

Dr. John Demartini The Secret, Rhonda Byrne

I hope this week has been uplifting and blessed and that you have taken the opportunity to reflect on how the Lord has blessed you-even through trials and struggles. There's ALWAYS something to be thankful for-----

I'm grateful for you, my family and cyberfriends for allowing me to share my life and for the opportunity to take a peak into yours!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

"For Health and Strength and Daily food, we give our Thanks O Lord."

On this day of feasting, it seems appropriate to give thanks for delicious food and the fact that we don't go to bed at night with an empty tummy. We were discussing family traditions the other night, and so many of the kid's fondest memories and cherished traditions revolve around food!

"And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature and use of man--
Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof, all these things are to be used with prudence and thanksgiving..." D&C 89:10-11

We are so blessed to live in a nation of abundance, so many places and peoples on this earth are not so lucky. I am so grateful for my beautiful home-not a mansion by any means-but a place we have created full of love (mostly) and comfort and I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn to grow some of my daily food and learn to manage the stewardship with which we have been given.
I'm grateful for a strong and healthy body, the fact that I can see, and hear, and walk and communicate and my mind is capable of learning new things-for the joy I have in learning, I'm grateful for the gifts that God has blessed me with and I strive to use those gifts to serve others.
Have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm Thankful for.........


I'm not used to this wet substance......we haven' seen very much of it for months here in the desert. HOORAY!

Our Beautiful Earth

"Our society is afflicted by a spirit of thoughtless arrogance unbecoming those who have been so magnificently blessed. How grateful we should be for the bounties we enjoy. Absence of gratitude is the mark of the narrow, uneducated mind. It bespeaks a lack of knowledge and the ignorance of self-sufficiency. It expresses itself in ugly egotism and frequently in wanton mischief. We have seen our beaches, our parks, our forests littered with ugly refuse by those who evidently have no appreciation for their beauty. I have driven through thousands of acres of blackened land scourged by a fire evidently set by a careless smoker whose only concern had been the selfish pleasure gained from a cigarette.
Where there is appreciation, there is courtesy, there is concern for the rights and property of others. Without appreciation, there is arrogance and evil.
Where there is gratitude, there is humility, as opposed to pride.

Cultivate a spirit of thanksgiving for the blessing of life and for the marvelous gifts and privileges each of us enjoy. The Lord has said that the meek shall inherit the earth. (See Matt. 5:5.) I cannot escape the interpretation that meekness implies a spirit of gratitude as opposed to an attitude of self-sufficiency, an acknowledgment of a greater power beyond oneself, a recognition of God, and an acceptance of his commandments. This is the beginning of wisdom. Walk with gratitude before him who is the giver of life and every good gift. " Gordon B. Hinckley

I'm grateful to live in a country where I can worship as I please, where I can conduct my life as I see fit and others can do the same.

I'm grateful for the opportunities I have had to travel to other places in this beautiful world and meet wonderful and interesting people.

I'm grateful for this glorious earth that God has created for his children, with things "both to please the eye and gladden the heart." (D&C 59:18)

I'm grateful for the opportunity to both have participated in the miracle of birth and to witness it first hand.....

And to find joy in the miracle of a tiny seed sprouting into life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gratitude for My Savior and His Church

And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
“And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:

“And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

“And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,

“And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

“And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?

“There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

“And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.” (
Luke 17:11–19.)

I am so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, for his atonement, for his words through scripture and living prophets, for his example, his love and his church upon this earth today.

I'm so grateful to live just minutes away from a temple where priesthood ordinances are performed which can seal and bind my family forever, a place of peace, refuge and comfort from the world, a place of learning and spiritual power.

I'm grateful to have an opportunity to serve in His church, to serve His little ones at this time and to serve with my Hispanic brothers and sisters. I'm grateful for my Church leaders who care about me and my family and who guide and direct and comfort us.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gratitude in Prayer

"As we strive to make our prayers more meaningful, we should remember that “in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments” (D&C 59:21). Let me recommend that periodically you and I offer a prayer in which we only give thanks and express gratitude. Ask for nothing; simply let our souls rejoice and strive to communicate appreciation with all the energy of our hearts."
David A. Bednar, Oct. 2008

Are there times when you are kind of cranky and don't want to pray, or is it just me? There's nothing that snaps me out of it quicker than just expressing gratitude for my many blessings.

Today I am so grateful for my husband & family.

TL is my rock, my refuge, my protector, my stability, my provider, my comforter, considerate in every way, never complaining about the weird stuff I make him to eat, and my eternal companion.

and the kids-they are such wonderful, awesome human beings. It is such a joy to be around them and to see how accomplished, interesting and fun they are! It makes all the sleepless nights and morning sickness so worth it to be around them now. Kids are even more fun as they grow into adults! They are all so unique and bless my life every day!

I'm so grateful for my parents and their teachings......
And I'm so grateful for my heritage......
The ones who came to this country with not much but a testimony burning in their hearts and a desire to make a better life for themselves and their children, many of them totally alone.
The ones who fought for our country.....
The ones who endured hardship and heartache and just kept going with faith in their hearts.
All of them combined to make me who I am and for that I am truly grateful.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Primary Program!

The Primary Program is over for the year 2008! Hooray. I'm grateful it is OVER. The kids did WONDERFULLY. I guess I can expect when we have crazy chaotic practices that the actual program will go well-I should know this since it's my fourth program. It went so smoothly-they sang beautifully and I was so proud of the kids. Most of them didn't need any help with their parts. Thanks to the good parents who helped them!

Week of Gratitude

"Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks;" D&C 98:1

I've decided to spend this week reflecting on my blessings and giving thanks.

I share first a paragraph from a letter recently received from my boy, Elder Steve. It's a letter every mom and dad waits for while a son/daughter is on a mission. Ours came last week. (spelling and punctuation are his own)

"Thank you for all the support you give me, I thank God that he gave me you as a mom and dad as my dad every day. I hope you dont get so busy that you cant sit back and think about all the wonderful things God does for us as a family every second of the day. This last week all my personal prayers were prayers of gratitud and I did not ask for one thing. You would be surprised, it was accually kinda hard, we ask for so much. That and it will help you to be more sincere in your prayers."

Good advice-I'm thankful for you, my son.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Take on Twilight

Let me preface this by saying I am not among the legions of Edward-adoring fans. Sorry-I read Book I, but I got stuck in Book II in the month know where you turn the page and the months go by...and never finished.

****For my mom.....The Twilight series is a book written by an LDS woman living here in the sunny state of AZ, she is now a billionaire...It's the story of lonely Bella who has to move from the sunniest state in the US to the cloudiest state in the US, living in Forks, WA with her father, whom she barely knows. She is irresistably drawn to a strange boy in her biology class....and after some agonizing teenage angst..amazingly he is drawn to her......but we have a problem....Edward is a vampire! So they fall in love and he is tormented because not only does he love her, he wants to drink her blood!

Yesterday one of my daughters called and said, "hey you wanna go see Twilight?" I thought, sure why not? After all Miss Alyssa had been amongst the hordes of crazed fans the night before, waiting in line to see the movie with her chaperone, Bubba D. (yes----I let her go!) So here's my take on Twilight.......

All in all, it was a good movie, entertaining, clean, with some violence at the end to make it exciting. I thought it was a little low budget in some ways but a good movie and a fairly good representation of the book. (of course I haven't read the book 500 times so I am not a super good judge of how faithful it was to the book).

The cast of Characters:
Bella: I thought she was very good, pretty enough, but not too pretty, really good at the teenage angst thing and good at portraying her passion for Edward.

Edward: I guess Edward grows on you. When I walked out of the movie, I happened to say out loud, "I thought Edward was a little fem." And a guy walked by with his girlfriend said, "Oh, I thought Edward was a beast!" We busted out laughing because he was one of the few people with testosterone in the audience. I wasn't digging too much on his hairdo and his sparkliness was a tiny bit cheesy.

Jacob: Casted as older than I remembered him in the book, didn't dig the long hair.

Dad/Charlie: I actually thought he was really cute-did a good job. (remember I'm OLD)

Alice: I liked her the best. Very cute, very cute hair (ha ha) but when she sniffs Bella's blood, well, sorry, but I cracked up.

Jasper: Has the look of being perpetually constipated.

Dr. Cullen: When he walked into the emergency room, we busted out laughing. He looked like a plastic Ken doll with a bad makeup job. sorry.....(I'm not quite sure if our surrounding audience members appreciated our laughter-we tried to keep it to snickers)

Esme: Sure.

The others: sorry-can't remember their names, but believable (as if vampires were believable, but James was truly evil!)

The cast of teenagers: Well casted as a cast of typical teenagers.

Overall, I thought it was well done-I didn't regret my matinee price of $7.75. I didn't look at my watch once! I enjoyed the random scenes of AZ and cactus, the scene of Bella and Edward on top of the tree was excellent, the baseball game entertaining, the special effects-not great but ok. Did it convince me to become an Edward-adoring fan? Welllll... I guess he kind of grows on you.

Now where is book 2?????

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just Hanging with my Peeps

Bossy mom that I am, I can order my children around frequently, demanding my photog daughter, Jen to "go get the camera quick!

It takes a few tries to get a good one.....

Including a lot of behind-the scenes antics....

Ahh, finally after about 20 tries, it's a good one!

I so solemnly swear, vow, affirm, resolve....

not to buy any more creams, lotions, souffles, whips, or any other moisturizing device until these are gone! (vow excludes any and all gifts!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Food Storage Advice

Yesterday the food storage salesman came to see me. I warned him before he came that I don't buy that freeze-dried, prepackaged stuff, but he came anyway. Sure 'nuff, he wanted me to taste his fabulous freeze-dried concoctions that taste SO delicious in an emergency. I just stuff it in my closet and it will last around 24.6 years! And I can get a year's supply of this luscious stuff for oh-only $5000.00 or so.


Ok-so here's a little piece of advice from a lady who has "been there, done that."

Don't do it!

Pleeeeez don't get suckered into spending cash or worse yet, putting on a credit card or making payments on this stuff!!! He actually asked me if I knew any young families around that he could visit with-probably because he realized I was old and experienced and wouldn't fall for his pitch......

My food storage closet may not look as pretty as his with all the prepackaged stuff he has....but....

We eat this stuff. We eat it all the time. We rotate it. We use it!
So how do you get started? I was visiting with a cute young mom yesterday and she said she was SO overwhelmed. I told her to "follow the prophet." Go get an extra can of Spagettios and throw it on your shelf every week. Or mac & cheese-if that's what your kids will eat. Just do it-a little at a time. Make out a menu of what you like to eat for a couple of weeks-then triple it twice....(sextuple it??????) and whammo-you have 3 months! Then go and buy the ingredients for each dish a little at a time-when stuff is on sale. Pray about it.....seriously......things will happen to help you out in this quest if that's what you desire.......and no...the answer won't be the food storage salesman knocking on your door!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Warning-My Dust Bunnies May Attack!

This morning I went on a detective hunt......I was hot on the trail of the spilled juice! It came from somewhere, and I was bound and determined to find out where! I followed it to the edge of the refrigerator......I removed the kick plate and
To my horror-I beheld the dust and dried up juice underneath my fridge! (this is not a true representation of my own refrigerator-mine was worse!)
Remembering somewhere in the dust bunnies of my brain, I realized that part of my housewifely duties was to regularly vacuum the coils of my refrigerator. Ummm, have I done it on a regular basis???
Filled with energy and virtuous thoughts, I attacked the coils with the trusty vacuum, and the floor underneath the refrigerator with my spackle knife (works good!)
I proudly cleaned and vacuumed up the mess, realizing what a good steward of my home and frugal housewife I be.........seeing as how you can save money by regularly vacuuming the coils of your refrigerator.
The End

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I guess I'm jumping on the Tag-wagon here. There's a few floating around the family and since I can't think of anything else to blog about goes:

8 favorite TV shows......ummmm. I don't watch a lot of TV and I don't really watch any of the "cool" shows but here's a list. Thank heavens for Tivo and I can watch when I want without commercials!

1. The Office (2 weeks worth to see)
2. Extreme Home Makeover (extreme weeping session)
3. Jon & Kate plus 8 (makes me glad I'm not them)
4. uhhhhhhh.......the News???

8 things I did yesterday

1. Went to the gym with TL
2. Took care of my little buddy A. in the morning.
3. Made bread.
4. Did laundry.
5. Went to Spanish class.
6. Made dinner.
7. Worked on a cool Christmas project!
8. Cleaned up my nasty kitchen from the weekend.

8 things to look forward to

1. The Primary program being over. (this Sunday-yay)
2. Elder Steve's homecoming
4. Christmas
5. Getting the house paid off sometime (!)
6. Hoping Bubba D will turn in his mission papers
7. There's a couple of goals that I want to come to pass but I don't want to share them to the world!
8. peace? (snicker)

8 favorite restaurants

1. uhhhh.......we don't eat out much. I know, I'm weird.....
2. Cheesecake Factory???
3. Rosa's ? (mexican food)
4. Anywhere where I don't have to cook and clean up.

8 things on my wish list

1. All my Christmas projects were done.
2. To have enough money to give ALL the things I want to give for Christmas.
3. To be out of debt.
4. To be a more fluent Spanish speaker
5. I want more room in my back yard and an extra room for my grandkids to play in.
6. For TL's business to be wildly successful.
7. Bubba D will turn in his mission papers.....
8. I can do some more traveling......

Ok-that's done-whew! I tag my sisters and my daughters and anyone of my new wonderful blogging friends out there!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Morning Musings

Do you ever leave a church meeting so inspired and motivated and then the next morning wonder where the inspiration/motivation went?

Do you ever just want to sit in front of the computer and read blogs and ignore the Monday morning laundry/dishes/messes from the weekend?

Do you ever go have fun for a few hours with some friends/family and then come home to the piles of undone laundry/dishes/messes/crazy children and wonder if it was worth it?

Do you wake up with the resolve to never touch a drop of sugar again and then wonder what happened when you look at the half-eaten bag of cookies??

Do you ever watch "The Biggest Loser" and resolve to be at the gym working out and then when the alarm rings at 5:30 am the next day, roll over, groan and go back to sleep?

Do you ever make a monthly budget on the 1st and then wonder what happened to it on the 31st?

Do you ever make your to-do list and wonder why nothing got checked off at the end of the day?

Just wondering......

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Life and Light

One of the really wonderful things about learning another language is the fact that it gives you a different way of looking at things.

Recently, while reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish, I came across the phrase,
Dar a luz.
(it was actually in a different verb form-but for illustration purposes, bear with me here)

I looked it up in english and confirmed it with my Spanish teacher and it means "to give birth."

The literal translation is "to give light."


Put that under your thinking cap.

When a Spanish-speaker talks of "giving birth" she uses the words "give light." It kinda puts a whole new meaning on that sacred process that women go through to bring God's children into this world. Mere words cannot describe the feelings that go through my mind as I reflect on the meaning of the words "to give light."

What a wonderful new way to look at it.

Image above is courtesy of Green Apple Images. To see more of my talented daughter's work, go here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Thanks Mom & Dad for giving me life!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Message to the Fruit of My Loins-or Anyone Married to Them:

Don't forget to call before you pop in----Santa's Workshop is officially open!! You might catch him in the act!

What's On Your Nightstand?

My sis asked this intriguing question a couple of days ago, so I thought, Hey why not? I'm always looking for blog topics......
Yep, this is really my nightstand. It looks like this mostly, I can't stand clutter. There is a shelf underneath that holds my stack of books. TV remote, light & fan remote, watch, recommend to attend the Mexico City Temple rededication, phone, clock, watch. I always put my glasses there too except they were on my face when I took this photo.

My eclectic selection of non-fiction book topics. The Gardener's book wasn't too helpful-so it's going back to Half-Price Books. The Holy Secret was actually fiction but it was an awesome read. I've read Original Fast Foods several times-that's where I got my "green smoothie" idea.

Current reads, including a couple of overdue library books (oops). Why is it that I have more than one book being read at a time? Is this an indication of my life? Too many things going on at once? Hmmm.....something to ponder.

So wanna play along? You can comment or leave your blog address in the comment section so we can come see what's on your nightstand.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Musings

Today, I hope, is a recovery day.
Recovery from the marathan Sundays I have.
Recovery from the chaos that was the first Primary Program practice.

I know in my head that the first practice is always chaotic. I know that everything will work out just fine. I know this, in my fourth year of primary programs, that all will be well and the Spirit will be there and the kids will be fine. But I am weary....feeling discouraged at criticism....and my heart is a tad bit sore. We have the wonderful and unique opportunity of having a bilingual Primary program in our ward-we have a Spanish speaking branch attached to our ward.

I so dearly, dearly love my Hispanic brothers and sisters. I have served in the branch for over 3 years along-side my ward calling (hence my marathon Sundays). Words fail me when I try to describe how much joy I feel when I am with my Spanish-speaking friends. I adore the Spanish language and I'm trying hard to learn it to prepare to serve them someday full time.

But it is hard to combine cultures and languages and Spanish dialogues and little children, thus, my weariness and perhaps this is why I didn't sleep so well last night......

But we are all God's children-the Spirit is the same-no matter what language-I know all will be well, especially in two weeks when we are done....and....when I get a good night's sleep!

Saturday, November 8, 2008