Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - The Fine Art of Lifting

"Often the greatest lifts we receive come from within the ranks of our families. Sometimes the hands needed most are those closest to us. Often the hands closest to us are the strongest. When we begin to realize this relationship, one family member to another, we begin to understand the basics of our great welfare services programs which are the gospel of Jesus Christ in action. God has decreed family members are to help family members. God has decreed family members are to be a blessing to family members. When some of us in a discouraged frame of mind identify a family member as not worth a hand or a lift, may I remind us that when we continue to lift, regardless of the apparent results, added strength is ours. The more we lift, the more we are able to lift."

-Marvin J. Ashton

Tidbit Tuesday - DO NOT Give Him Your Honor

"Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies. It is Lucifer, our common enemy, whose cry down through the corridors of time is always and to everyone, “Give me thine honor.”"

- Jeffrey R. Holland

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - Heavenly Home

"There are no separate paths back to that heavenly home. Just one straight and narrow way, at the end of which, though we arrive trailing tears, we shall at once be “drenched in joy.”"

-Neal A. Maxwell

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Letter to My Children

My dearest children,

I know that we are all very well aware of our automobile accident a few weeks ago. It is very apparent to each of us as we commute back and forth to school in two vehicles. And as it is remembered in every prayer we offer up to the Lord as a family.

As we have been going through the process of the insurance and of finding a van within our budget, I am learning so many important and eternal lessons! And I'd like to share with you one of the more profound lessons.

For the past 20 years Dad and I have religiously paid car insurance. That insurance protects from things that could happen if we found ourselves in car trouble. We have joked on so many occasions how much we have paid for "nothing." Before our accident, your Dad and I have never had to file a claim. So the interaction with the insurance company has been a learning experience for us.

While there are several different insurance plans you can purchase, I want to explain the two that have taught me ever so poignantly this week. I will try to do so simply without getting myself confused. One plan is known as "Liability." The other as "Comprehensive."

When someone has "Liability" insurance they pay a relatively small amount of money per month on their vehicle to insure them. Because they pay a little they only are promised a little if they get into an accident.

When someone has "Comprehensive" insurance they pay a greater amount per month, but they are promised a whole lot more if they get into an accident. Even when the accident is their fault!

After the car accident last week, Dad and I erroneously thought that the insurance on the van was only covered for "Liability" only. We considered selling the van to the mechanic for a beautiful $400. At least that money would pay the amount we owed the towing company and would spare us the tow to the junk yard.

A few days later, however, we came to realize that our van had "Comprehensive" coverage!!! Silly us! How could we overlook this!? After all, we have been paying car insurance for years!! And after speaking with an insurance agent and much to our surprise, the price of our van - our totaled van - increased from $400 to $4000!

Hence, the stark difference of "Liability" and "Comprehensive" coverage.

Which brings me to the lesson that I am learning: I am living far beneath my privileges! I have not been accessing, in full, the enabling and purifying power of the Atonement. I've been settling for "Liability" only, when the Atonement offers me "Comprehensive" coverage. Jesus Christ offers e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. to me! And yet, because of my short-sightedness, even my blindness, I've been settling for so. much. less. than what He is so willing to give.

An amazing thing is that the teeny, tiny bit I allow Him to give me, brings me such GREAT happiness. But the real truth is, my joy really can be made FULL!! And that fullness of joy can only come through His infinite and eternal Atonement.

Children, thankfully life will go on. Eternal life will come. And when I stand before my Maker on THAT day, I want Him to know that I did not waste away my days to be covered for "Liability" only.

No, I want to stand as a witness that I lived my life for all that He has. I want to stand a witness that I lived my life for Him. So from here on out, I am in it for The Comprehensive Coverage. I hope you will join me!!!

All my love to you,


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WANTED: A Gas Dryer

Once an appliance repair guy told me that a dryer should successfully dry a load of laundry in not more than 30 minutes. . .

Currently, my 14 year old dryer is taking 92 minutes to dry a load.


In mother math that calculates to: less time to do everything else that needs to get done anyway!  In daddy math it equals out to about a cool 50.6 HOURS A WEEK!!! And that does not include sorting, washing, sorting, folding, putting away, ironing, or hanging up.

Or matching socks.

Or making brownies for dessert.

But I digress. I am in the market for a high capacity, super duty dryer.  One that will take six days of my week and give me back a mere 34 hours so I can spend it on the above mentioned, matching socks. . . and eating brownies.

Mind you, the dryer doesn't have to be new.  And it doesn't even have to match my washer. 

Because I have yet to be invited into someone's house to sit down in the comfort of their laundry room. . . just because the washer and dryer look so matchingly good.

Oh, if you know of a dryer that has a SEEK and FIND sock option, that may give me back an extra hour from matching socks so I can spend it scrubbing the collars of eight, white Sunday shirts.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - Super Tuesday

"No political party is justified to continue in existence unless it clearly states the principles which it advocates, the platform upon which its candidates stand, and then with integrity, when and if elected, carry out those principles and live up to that platform. Except that be the case, we as Latter-day Saints should not align ourselves to any party, because we do not have the basis upon which we can make an intelligent decision. We must know what they stand for before we can favor them with our vote. I do not ask you, my brethren and sisters, to go to the polls and just vote, important as that is; but that when you vote, you vote intelligently for those principles and those things and those men which will give to you the kind of government you want, the kind of environment that you desire for yourself and for your posterity."

-Henry D. Moyle
General Conference, April Conference 1952

Monday, March 5, 2012

Family Home Evening - Prophets of God

This evening's lesson came from HERE.

Here is what we did:

1. We assessed understanding and discussed what we knew about Prophets of God by asking questions like:
* What is a prophet?
* What are some things that prophets do?
* Why are prophets called seers and revelators?
* What does it mean to be a "special witness?"
* How is a true prophet called?

2. We shared feelings we have about latter-day prophets.

3. Then we ended with a matching/trivia game! We divided our family into twos and each pair had a picture of all of the latter-day prophets. On a dry erase board each prophet was listed, but not in any order. Each pair was to chose a prophet picture and match it with the name. Then a trivia question was given about that prophet.

We were amazed how much we know and how much we don't know abou the remarkable lives and service of these men called of God!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bare Skin

The other night our six year old son was going around offering to scratch the backs of each family member with a back scratcher our ten year old got at a school activity.

After doing a great job of scraping the skin off mine, I suggested he go ask if his Dad wanted a back scratch.

"Dad!" he exclaimed, as he dashed to find him. "Dad, can I scratch your back?"

"Sure," my husband replied.

"Well, you'll have to lift up your shirt so I can scratch it on your skin."

Knowing darn well that my husband does not particularly like scratching on skin, I was curious at what the response would be.

"Son," I heard him reply, "How about if you just scratch my back with my shirt down. I really don't like being scratched on my bare skin."

And there was a few second of silence before I heard our son respond with such awe, "Dad, I didn't know you had bear skin!"

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ham and Cheese Braid with Mustard Sauce

Yum!  I tried this last Sunday on my family and I'm making it again today!

It's THAT good!

Begin with your favorite bread dough.

Roll dough out in a rectangle and fill the middle with dices of ham (or favorite meat) and your favorite cheese.  Today we used ham with cheddar and mozzarella.

Then, with a knife of pizza cutter cut the edges as shown above.  Make sure you have the same number of cuts on both side.  Then you begin folding, each side alternately to make a braid. Like this:

Now place it on a greased baking pan and let rise for 20-30 minutes.

Pop in a preheated 350 degree oven and let bake for 12-15 minutes. . . and while it's baking, you want to heat and mix the following ingredients together for the sauce:

1/2 cup butter
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/2 Tablespoon yellow mustard
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar

I heat this in a saucepan until nice and bubbly.

When the braid is golden brown, but not all the way ready to take out, I brush this sauce over the top of the bread and let bake for an additional 5-7 minutes.  Oooh, the aroma is delish!!

TAH DAH!  The finished product!! Okay, so our FULL braid wouldn't fit on the pan, so I had to cut it half. . . but it still as delicious as if it were whole.

Friday, March 2, 2012

"Here, Dad"

So the afternoon after our van accident, which we sold to the mechanic for $400 because it was now worth more dead than alive, I saw my six year old digging in his dresser drawer.  He was pulling out the money he had received from his birthday last month.  Two five dollar bills, along with a quarter,  a nickel and two pennies.

He didn't know I was watching as he filled his little hands with his entire life savings.  He quietly closed the drawer and walked happily to the room in which my husband was looking for insurance information.

"Here, Dad," he smiled, as he placed the money on the table,  "Here is some money so you can buy a new van. I don't need slip on shoes as much as we need a car."

Sweet, sweet boy.  No wonder the Savior invites us to become like a little child.