Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Christmas Project


For journaling purposes and before the month and the year are over, I want to write a little about December.

I will begin with my Christmas Project, Heidi, Brent, and Kyle knew it as "the project" but didn't have a clue what it was.  When they would call and ask what I was doing it seemed like my answer was either "working on Seminary" or "working on the project".  Kyle couldn't wait to find out what the "project" was.  I don't think he was the least bit disappointed, and he was the one I thought would care the least--after all the memories were far more recent for him than any of the other kids, but I learned he didn't remember everything.

Let me explain.  Last January I had read about a woman who gave her Dad a gift--one sentence memories in a jar--a year's worth of memories they had made together.  Wow, would I have loved to have done that for my mom or dad.  I decided I wanted to do that for Allan and my kids and, of course, I had to take it to the next level.  I started writing out little thoughts for each of the kids--things I remembered.  Then I got on the computer and put them into a program called "Evernote" and built it from there.  Each kid had their own "notebook" and then each day had a memory for each one.  Now January 1 memory was not from January 1 of a different year--it was any day.  The only exceptions were their birthdays, Father's Day, Mother's Day (kind of), Grandma and Grandpa's birthdays; our anniversary, their anniversaries, their children's birthdays and their grandchildren's birthdays.

Stephen received his when I was in California at Thanksgiving.  I wanted to give it to the kids in person.  He loved it.   Of course, he is 45 and I have been with him from day 1 until he got married in 1988 but have seen him on and off since then and speak with him a couple of times a week so there have been lots of memories.   I also gave him a couple of books I had read to him when he was young.  One of my favorite memories from his was:

One day you had a friend over.  I was home for lunch and the TV was on and you said to your friend, "Oh, there's my mom on TV."  The kid said, "No it isn't."  Then he looked at the TV and looked at me, and then said, "Yeah, that is your mom."  When my commercial ran on TV, it was quite fun.  I earned a fair amount of money--in fact, that was why we were able to go to Disneyland that year.  I loved getting those "royalty" checks in the mail, and was especially happy when the commercial aired on Prime Time.  

The funniest story has to be when Bobbie B. was visiting family in Idaho and she mentioned she lived in Castro Valley, California.  One of the relatives said, "Castro Valley?  Do you know Yvonne J."   My commercial started with my picture and the voiceover was Yvonne J from Castro Valley, California has lost weight using "Control"!!!!  

I sent Wendy and Nancy's in the mail since I wouldn't be seeing them over Christmas.  Wendy had a lot of fun talking about the book the other day.  Like me she laughed and cried reading some of the memories:

One from hers that I loved:

"One of my favorite memories has got to be the visit to the Lights of the Wild the Christmas you and Tony came to visit us in Winnipeg in December 1998.  I still laugh when I think about how cold you guys were--heck, I was pretty cold, too.  I think that was one of the first times I remember my eyelashes freezing and getting in the car and the mascara defrosting and running down my cheeks.  (I am sad that they don't have the Lights of the Wild anymore.)  Such a fun memory, and I am so glad you came!!!"

One from Nancy's:

"After your experience on the jet ski in Hawaii in 1984, I don't think Dad has any desire to ever ride one again. These were the kind of jet skis where you stood up and drove them.   I was in the room with Heidi when you, Dad, and Stephen rode jet skis.  Something went wrong and you fell off yours and Dad rode out to get you and somehow got gasoline all over himself.  I highly doubt it was an enjoyable experience for either of you.  I think Stephen had a good time!!!!"

We were fortunate enough to have four of the kids in Utah for Christmas so they got their books together.

Thought I would include an excerpt from each book.

From Neal's book (now considering he got out of the hospital here in Utah the day after Christmas, I'm not sure if this memory is as fun as it was when I typed it):

'Dad and I had come out to California for Hannah's blessing in November 2000, and you and the kids were going to come up to Auburn, but you ended up in the hospital with an emergency appendectomy.  Dad and I drove out to Palo Alto and visited you in the hospital at Stanford where Dad proceeded to "show his love" by putting a kink in your IV line.  (Still one of my favorite pictures)  In all seriousness, we are so grateful everything turned out okay."

From Heidi's:

 "I still laugh when I think about this story. It was while we were living in Brampton and you were taking French. (Now keep in mind I took about 2 weeks of French in Junior High ; ) I was familiar with the phrase “je ne sais pas” but didn’t know what it meant. I asked you to ask your teacher. When you came home from school that day I asked you if you asked what it meant and you said “I don’t know”. I said, “Why? Didn’t you ask?” You kept saying “I don’t know”. I guess I’m pretty slow to catch on ; )'

From Brent's book:

"When you were in high school you wrote an autobiography and the title was "The Happy Man".  I found that title incredibly appropriate.  You began, "If I were a circus performer, which one would I be?"  That's one of the questions that caught my eye about a week ago.  I've never been to the circus, so I don't know much about it, except that it's supposed to be the greatest show on earth.  I have seen things about the circus, and I am not inspire to go there anytime soon.  But, I can tell right away what kind of circus performer I would be.  I would be a clown.  Everyone may be thinking, "Why a clown?"  Well I would be a clown mainly because a clown has a huge smile on its face.  One of my best qualities is being cheerful.  The reason is I look for the positive and don't let the bad things keep me down.  Many have asked me, "Why are you so happy?"..."

You wrote about pleasant and unpleasant experiences.  In the last paragraph you said,..."Looking at those moments in life (the happy and unhappy) made me realize one thing about myself, that I can be happy even in the darkest of times."  

You are AWESOME, Brent aka HAPPY MAN!!!!"

From Kyle's book:

 "On our move from Brampton back to the U.S. in 1993, one night we stopped at a hotel in Denver.  You and Brent were running around the hotel room and you fell right into the sharp edge of one of the coffee tables and ended up with a gash right about one of your eyes. YIKES.   Dad picked you up and carried you down to the lobby and grabbed a taxi to take you to the closest hospital.  You didn't have to wait very long in the emergency room.  A doctor saw you right away and he had dad hold you down while he numbed the spot and stitched you up!!!  All I can say am, I was glad I didn't have to be the one  to hold you down.  

As soon as you got out of the room and while you guys were waiting for the taxi, you were jumping all over the place.   Dad was pretty sure he was going to have to take you back in for more stitches!!!!"

AND Finally from Allan's:

"I still don't know how you did it back then, but you cooked Sunday dinner EVERY WEEK.  The kids loved it and who could blame them.  The meals were fabulous.  I am not sure what would have qualified as their favorite--they loved them all.  (Of course, it was a little bit of a surprise for Stephen the first time you made milk gravy!!!)

I still remember the night you weren't there and I had to make Sunday dinner--not my finest moment.  I burned the pork chops and the gravy was like paste.  They were pretty happy when you made dinner the following Sunday and life was back to normal."

Now, you have to know those were the first 20 years of our marriage.  He stopped making dinner on Sundays in about 2005--but I wasn't that bad of a cook after about 10 years!!!!

I am glad I did the books--they were a lot of fun for me, and as one of my friends told me, just think "it's only a pair of socks--response doesn't matter" ; )

Sidenote #1:  My heart is breaking for Heidi.  I hate seeing her like this--she is in so much pain and there doesn't seem to be an answer.  I will continue to pray for some help for her.

Sidenote #2:  Having fun with the little ones.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


I was going to try and post weekly, but I have been going full-speed ahead and didn't have any spare time.  I have a little time today, so I am going to do a little catch-up post.

Let me see what I missed:

We had our weekend at the temple Oct 16-17th.  I love going and serving.  I will certainly miss President and Sister Wood--this was our last weekend with them.  Their three years of service ended the end of October.  President Wood was Stake President when Allan was called here, so we knew them a little bit, but it certainly has been great to work with them there.  They are amazing people, and I love them both so much.

We left the temple and stopped in Brandon and had met up with the missionaries there.  It was great because a couple of them were brand new and it was GREAT to see them and know they were doing okay.

On Sunday we went to Church there.   I haven't been there for Church in such a long time, and it was fun to see people I hadn't seen for awhile.   And it was the Primary Sacrament Meeting--BONUS!!!! It was wonderful--they have a small primary, but the kids were amazing.  Their chorister has done such a fantastic job with the kids and they sang their little hearts out.

I even had a chance to meet with my students out there.  Some I have not met in person so that was fabulous.  I sure love these kids!!!!

Ponderizing scripture for that week:  “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”  Philippians 4:6

The last week of October included me trying to avoid the bags of Halloween candy because I really didn't want to have to go and by more for the trick or treaters on Saturday.  Had a Halloween party on Friday night.  The missionaries did a great job of organizing it.  We also had a chilli cook-off and I made a pot of chilli just to take and I WON ; )  Ha, ha.  The missionaries said the award went to the person whose pot was emptied first.  Lesson:  take a smaller pot than anyone else!!!!

Ponderizing scripture for that week--I love the temple, so this one just felt right (maybe because I know we won't be serving in November):  “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that I will seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.”  Psalms 27:4

Allan and I traveled out to one of our outlying branches on Sunday.  Left for Church at 5:30 am, but hey, I had an extra hours sleep ; )  We got home at 5:00 pm.  Sure felt like a LONG day.  It was a great meeting.  I always love visiting with people in these branches.  One of my on-line students lives in the branch so I had a chance to visit with her.

I can't believe it is already November.  The week has flown by.  I'm feeling the pressure of completing my Christmas project.  I have been working on it since the beginning of last year.  As much as I have loved doing it, it will be fun to give them to the kids.  Funny because our newsletter for Christmas has the question, "What is the most memorable Christmas gift you have ever received (or given)?"  Hands down this will be the most memorable gift I have ever given ; )

Because I am leaving for Utah and California in a couple of weeks, I will be teaching two WebEx meetings over the next couple of weeks--that always means I'm busier.  Also, I have started decorating for Christmas.  I won't be back until the beginning of December and don't want to feel rushed getting the house decorated.  So if I come home knowing it is already done, I can relax and enjoy the holidays a little more.

Ponderizing scripture for this week.  Because it's November and Thanksgiving is approaching, I thought I would use one that spoke of gratitude--plus there is a lot of attributes in this verse I need to work on:  "And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive."   Alma 7:23

Had a great Saturday--even hit the mall.  That is something I haven't done in awhile.  It was so crowded.  It was a beautiful day--one of the first sunny days (beautiful blue skies) we've had in awhile, so I loved being out.  I found some great sales which made it even better--got 2 new snomen (for the price of 1; )

Off to a branch in our Stake tomorrow.  But hey, we don't have to leave until 6, so I get to sleep in a little.

Sidenote #1:  My Christmas project is nearing completion.  I'll have one ready when I leave for Utah, possibly 3.  Because of my teaching our weekly lessons  this week and next, I can't imagine getting any more done!    I had a great friend who gave me some wonderful advice last night as I was talking about my fear in giving these to the kids.  She said, just think in your mind "it's just a pair of socks" and then it doesn't matter HOW THEY REACT!!!!  Ha, ha, ha--when something consumes you for a year...

Sidenote #2:  I sure miss taking pictures!!!!  When we were driving out to the branch last week, we saw several bald eagles, and I DIDN'T HAVE MY CAMERA!!!!  We also so a fox.  (The camera is definitely going with us tomorrow.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


It has been a great week--busy but great.  In Seminary we decided to do a General Conference Jeopardy game.  The kids did pretty good.  I had fun.

Allan and I went to see Martian on Friday night.  I had heard lots of good reviews.  I didn't know much about it, but we thoroughly enjoyed it.

On Saturday morning we headed out to one of our outlying branches.  It was quite the drive.  I have to laugh when we head to these branches and have to go out of Canada into the U.S. for a couple of hours and then cross the border again to get back into Canada.

We met up with a couple of sets of missionaries so Allan could have a meeting with the Branch President.  Unfortunately he was not able to be there, so we ended playing Conference jeopardy with them.  It was a good review for them.

We then met up with the Zone leaders and had dinner at a Mexican restaurant.  Another great meal.

We then drove the hour and a half with the Zone leaders to a different branch where we were going to attend Church the next morning.  (The drive was absolutely beautiful--the colors were gorgeous.)  Spent the night at a small local motel.

The next morning I couldn't believe the weather--it was absolutely gorgeous.   Allan and I and the missionaries all spoke.  It was a great meeting and then after Relief Society/Priesthood,  they served a pot luck--soup, salad, rolls and meat and a great chocolate cake with cherries and a yummy chocolate frosting.

Our drive back to Fort Frances was beautiful.   Wish my pictures would have done justice to the amazing colors. We stopped to go to the dump because one of the Elders told us you usually find eagles there--no eagles, but at least this guy!!!

We dropped the missionaries off and headed for home--beautiful drive.  Got home around 7:15.

We had Canadian Thanksgiving dinner at the Mission Home with the Senior Couples--such a great time.  A fabulous meal.  Love being with these couples.  They have such fun stories.

It isn't my week to teach the weekly WebEx class, so I feel like I have a bit of a breather.  I am glad since we have a couple of mission meetings.   Last night we went to the Mission Home for dinner and the meeting to welcome the 16 new missionaries.  Wow, was it ever great.  All were excited to be out, some probably a little anxious, but they bore such amazing testimonies and the Spirit was so strong.  One of the Elders asked about Kyle who served in Pocatello and asked what years.  When I told him he said his brother served in that same mission at the same time.  And when I got home I remembered, Kyle told me that a brother of one of his mission buddies was coming to Winnipeg--but he told me that back in June, so I forgot.  As well, one of them is a VISA waiter and will be heading to the Roseville Mission where Stephen and his family live!!! Small world!!!

Another dinner and then Farewell Fireside tonight.  Should be great.

Sidenote #1:  My ponderize scripture for this week has been "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."  John 13:34

Sidenote #2:  Congratulations to the Blue Jays on their BIG win.  Here's hoping they make it to the World Series!!!!

Sidenote #3:  My sentence to help my students remember the Quorum of the Twelve in order:  "No One Better Have His Brothers Climb Constantly Around Rocky Steep Ravines."  It's funny because I still remember the older sentences, and so does Kyle ; )

Monday, October 5, 2015

Great General Conference

General Conference was wonderful.  I was uplifted and inspired.  I took notes and am looking forward to organizing them a little better.  It is my week to teach the lesson on Tuesday night, so I have been busy getting that together.  (I asked my kids to help me my giving me some questions for my jeopardy game--they did a GREAT job)

One of the things I have started doing with the talks is type up some sheets with each speaker and the phrase "Therefore what?"--inspired by Elder Packer.  I want to type up why that talk was important to me personally and what I need to take and apply to help me become what the Lord would want me to be.  I just have to remember that I don't have to "be" that next week--it is a process.

Hence my first scripture to "ponderize" is Isaiah 40:31-- "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Sidenote:  One of the elderly sisters in our Ward (who joined the church 66 years ago) went to General Conference for the first time.  I can't wait to hear about her experiences!!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

For Journaling Purposes

There are many reasons my journal is important to me:  first and foremost TO HELP ME REMEMBER!!!!  I try to write every day, and actually in my one journal I have written every day since January 1st--I have done it in conjunction with the Book of Mormon 365 reading.  I try to write my answers to the questions that are posted with the reading, and it has been a great thing for me.  Quite often it seems I can only get that done, and not all the writing about everything else going on in our lives.  And believe me there has been lots going on.

I started training for this year of online Seminary.  There were some major changes that required a lot of work, but we are into our 4th week of classes and things are running--not smoothly, but they are running.  Unfortunately there have been some major glitches.  I am hopeful they will get ironed out.

Allan was called to be a counsellor to the Mission President in our mission, and I have been called as a Service Missionary.  It has been different for me.  I love writing talks (because I always learn so much), but there have been a lot of talks for me to give--at least more than I usually give in a year, and we've only been serving for almost 2 months.  There have been some great experiences.  We love our Mission President and his wife, and our senior couples are all fabulous.  Allan has been asked to work specifically with the District, which is about 4 - 6 hours away.  So we usually head out of town on Saturday afternoon so we don't have to leave home at 4 in the morning to get to Church on time! One of the highlights for me is we get to see some of my Seminary students who live in the District.
Most of the time when we go to visit a unit we have a chance to on Saturday night to have dinner with the missionaries serving there.  That is a real treat.

Also we recently had a chance to attend a Winnipeg Zone Conference with the missionaries in this area and a visiting authority.  It was wonderful.

I could go on and on about the things we are enjoying about this calling.  We get to visit with the new missionaries when they come in to the Mission, and I have loved being with the ones who are getting ready to go home--especially those who I remember when they first came out.  It is so amazing to see the growth and be there when they bear their testimonies that last time as a missionary.

We continue to serve in the temple, and we love doing that.  Our current temple President and his wife will be released in November--we have loved spending time with them.  He was the Stake President in our adjoining Stake so we knew them pretty well.  Our former Mission President from 6 years ago will be the new Temple President.  We love them and will enjoy seeing them  on a more regular basis.

I don't think I wrote about the wonderful opportunity I had to meet up with a couple of my cousins back in August.  We connected on Ancestry and when I found out they would be in South Dakota for a wedding I suggested to Allan that we drive there to see them.  It worked out GREAT, and it was so fun to connect.

SIDENOTE:  Allan will not be going down to General Conference.  I am glad he will be home, but I am sad he will not be there with our 3 kids who are there, and 1 of our grandchildren who is going in for his mission reunion.  It will definitely be an historic conference.  (I will certainly miss Elder Perry, Elder Packer, and Elder Scott!!!!)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Trip to Indiana

When the Indianapolis Temple was being built, we knew we wanted to be able to travel down to attend the Open House, and wow, are we ever glad we did.

Allan had business in Chicago, and so we spent a little longer on our trip than originally planned, but it all turned out great.  I even had a chance to visit Wrigley Field and see a Chicago Cubs game.  I appreciated having a chance to work with one of Allan's co-workers--she was so fun.  I have visited a few baseball fields, but I have not been here and it was great--although I would have preferred a little cooler temperatures ; )

I also had Seminary training during the trip so that part made it a little inconvenient, but I managed to get it all done.  (Can't believe summer is almost over and we'll be starting Seminary in a few weeks.)

Our stay in Indiana was great.  We got to see Mission Impossible 5--ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!!! We had lots of time with Wendy and Josh.

When Evan and Scarlett came down Saturday afternoon we immediately headed to Sky Zone and the kids all jumped.  Oh, how I wish I had that kind of energy. We ate way, way too much (but I guess we usually do)

When we went to Church on Sunday it was Fast and Testimony Meeting.  They began by inviting the youth to bear their testimonies.  (This apparently was requested in a youth committee by the youth, and many of them took the opportunity to share wonderful experiences.)   The testimonies were great--they just loved the temple and loved having a chance to take their friends through.  All of them talked about how they felt going through--which is what you hope they realize--there is such a different feeling in the temple.  Yes it's beautiful, but what you feel is what it's all about.

One of my favorite experiences was shared one shared by a young man (about 12 or 13) who talked about riding his bike to the temple with a non-member friend.  They went through the tour and then set on the grass and talked.  This boy mentioned he was ready to go and his friend said, "Not yet.  I like how I feel when I'm sitting here."

Then there was a young man who was supposed to go with the youth on a tour but decided not to and instead went with his non-member mother.  He commented on what an amazing experience it was for the two of them.

I loved how the Bishopric mentioned there were 3 weeks until the dedication and encouraged everyone to set some goals or do something special over those 3 weeks to be prepared for the dedication.  I loved that idea and have put it in the file in my cabinet that contains ideas for when we have our Temple Open house--hopefully before we move away.  Also in there is the master I used to make the little booklets for the kids to use to write about and color things they saw in the temple.  (If we move away, I'll pass all of it on to someone when we leave)

After Church and before dinner, Allan explained the Plan of Salvation and why we have temples.  He did such a great job.  I think it helped a lot.  Everyone was pretty excited for Allan's tri tip sandwiches and man were they ever good.  We were so full that we didn't even have dessert--yes, you read that right, WE DIDN'T HAVE DESSERT!!!!  Tony arrived back from his golf outing and it was great to see him.

Monday morning we all met up at Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  Nancy and her husband arrived and then we all headed up to Indianapolis to see the temple.

It was beautiful.  They did a great job with the tour.  It made me very anxious for our temple groundbreaking and open house--which I really hope happens someday soon ; )

SIDENOTE #1:  Can't believe we will be starting Seminary soon.  Will have a chance to drive to one of the branches in the District today--which means I will get to see one of my on-line Seminary students.  We will take the missionaries to dinner tonight and then speak in Church tomorrow.

SIDENOTE #2:  I am very excited that next week after our Temple trip we will be going to South Dakota so I can meet up with two of my cousins from the East Coast.  I can't wait!!!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

For the last few months, it seems like every day I find myself singing "Memories"--the theme from Cats.  No there are no cats involved.  I am busy with a project that has me thinking about memories.   While I have been doing it, for whatever reason I seem to be facing my own mortality.  Life is going by way too fast, and there is nothing much I can do.  I worry about the future--about missed opportunities.  And it's times like this that I really miss that I live so far away from children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I realize we didn't spend enough time with Allan's Mom and Dad, and Les.  There should have been more visits!  And definitely more phone calls.  Allan was really great about calling his dad.  They spoke quite often.  I didn't do a very good job calling Les.  I found a little folder that all the pictures that Les used to have on his piano--that's where he kept all the important pictures of his family.  When I would go and visit, there were the latest pictures of all our kids and grandkids.  When he died, I took all of them off the piano and brought them home along with the ones he had put away--to replace with the newest one I would send.  I also found a valentine he had saved from Heidi.

 A word from the not so wise:  Don't let a moment pass you by!!!

A few fun pictures from days gone by:

Makes me smile that Les kept this.

We stopped by and visit Les in August 1999--how I wish I had known that would be the last time I would see him.

At a family reunion in 1986--there aren't enough of these!!!!

I can look at some photos and be back there in a moment.  I sure hope I never lose that ability ; )

Although my sister, Gayle is no longer here, I need to call my other sisters more often.  No excuses!!!!

I truly am blessed!!!!  (And by the way, our little missionary grandson will be home 2 weeks from tomorrow!!!!!)

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Many years ago, I traveled with a couple of sisters from here down to BYU Women's Conference.  During the trip, I was taught a valuable lesson by one of these women.   I watched as she would get up each morning and basically roll out of bed to her knees and offer her morning prayer.  She was the mother of 6 children, and I have a feeling this served her well during their growing up years.

I thought she was brilliant, and really thought, "I should do that!!!!"  However, I have to admit I didn't.  Now keep in mind the 4 years I taught early morning Seminary, I would pray before I would head to the Church to teach, but I really didn't offer my morning prayer, it was more of a prayer of gratitude, help me with Seminary to remember, to have the Spirit, etc.  What I came to recognize is quite often, my "morning" prayer, became a "later in the day prayer" when it would occur to me, I hadn't prayed yet, and would try to squeeze the prayer in!!!

Almost a year ago I taught a workshop "Each Soul Has a Mission".  I talked about the value of prayer, and in preparation had a set a goal to follow my friend's advice to "pray first thing".  I have been very good at it.   At the first of the year, I decided to set some new goals, and include this one.  As part of the goal, I printed up a little sheet to put on my wall near my bed.

No, nothing fancy--you will never see this creation on Pinterest!!!!  But, you know what I DON'T CARE.  It is a great reminder for me.  I am also happy to report I have written in my journal EVERY DAY since January 1.  I have been working on a little project that has me reviewing old journals, and I am so disappointed in how many times there is a page where I had written "I am going to do a better job of writing."  I would write for about 2 weeks and then nothing for a year!!!!  Take it from me, you think you will remember all those stories, all those experiences, but you don't!!!!

When I had dinner with my friend some time ago,  I told her how much I appreciated the lesson she taught--and I appreciate it so much more now that I have learned it and have applied it into my life, and I can't tell you how much of a difference it makes to begin my day seeking the Lord's guidance.

SIDENOTE:  This was our weekend to travel to our temple.  It was so wonderful to be there!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I am working on a project and have come to realize how incredibly valuable my blog is--NO, NOT TO ANYONE ELSE BUT ME.  And I do not have a problem with that at all.

The blog has been an amazing resource to finding memories, dates, and valuable information.  With that in mind, I am starting up again.  I don't have a lot of time, but this will be a place for me to put quotes, thoughts, ideas, recipes, photos, and things I may need a year or two down the road.  So it will mainly be random things.  But, there may be an occasional BRILLIANT IDEA.  (Like maybe one every 2 or 3 or so years!!!!)

With that in mind, here goes a couple of random thoughts, etc.
  • I love teaching online Seminary.  The other night we had a lesson on Doctrine and Covenants 76.  It was great to be able to share my testimony of the Savior and to hear the students share their thoughts.  These youth continue to amaze me.
  • You know I am a goal person.  One of my daughters-in-law wrote this post:  Faith: Tending the Garden and I would encourage you to read it.  Some great thoughts.    
  • I am loving having Allan home on a more regular basis.  I feel bad because he hasn't been feeling well.  Finally he has turned the corner and is almost back to his old self.
  • Can I tell you how disturbing I find some of the shows that are on TV.   I probably shouldn't name them here but I think of my parents and how SHOCKED they would be with what gets on TV today.  Of course, you have to remember when they were alive Ricky and Lucy had to sleep in separate beds, and not only were they married on the show, but they were married in real life!!!
  • The other night we had a friend come over for dinner and he wanted to bring a DVD of an old TV episode.  It was Perry Mason.  It was so fun to watch, but I do have to laugh when I think about the scenes of the car driving along the road--hysterical!
  • Over the past few weeks, I have made this dessert and I have to tell you it is fast becoming one of my favorites--all it needs is a little chocolate:
Berry Trifle

8 oz softened cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 T powdered sugar
1 angel food cake cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 quarts fresh berries or peaches thickly sliced  (make sure to dry the fruit so the cake doesn't get soggy)
3/4 T sugar
whole berries for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, blend cream cheese and 1 c. powdered sugar together.  Add the sour cream, 1 tsp vanilla and almond extract.  In a small bowl whip heavy cream with the rest of the vanilla and powdered sugar until stiff.  Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.  Add mixture to the cake cube till you get the desired consistency.  (It varies according to the size of the trifle bowl)

Thickly slice the berries then add sugar, mix well.  Layer into a trifle bowl, starting with a layer of berries; then the cake mixture.  Continue layering ending with the berries.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill well before serving.