Thursday, April 28, 2011

What wouldn't you want to lose?

In light of the many tornadoes, earthquakes, floods and other disasters as of late, I found myself sitting at my desk at work today contemplating what would be the hardest thing about living through one of these disasters. We've survived ice storms, and minor flooding; no electricity for several days, and many inconviences, but gratefully, we've never had to go through a horrendous natural disaster. So - what couldn't you live without? What would make you so sad if it were 'lost'?
The family pictures?
A loved one?
Your 'stuff'?
Granted - it would be difficult to lose all of those things. There are many things that are dear to our hearts. Pictures, genealogy, a loved one......hard stuff. But the one thing I would fight to keep would be my faith in the Savior Jesus Christ and the testimony I have of His true gospel on the earth in these latter days. If I can hold on tight to that - then the rest will be ok. It doesn't mean it wouldn't be hard. It doesn't mean that I wouldn't get discouraged or even have a little pity party (I'm really good at those anyway!), but holding on to that most fundamental thing that holds everything else together would be critical in surviving spiritually and emotionally and being able to pick up and start anew and in keeping a perspective about the things that are of the MOST worth!
What don't you want to lose - ever?
Something to think about.
Let me know what you think.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Strawberry Fluff n'Stuff!

So - I've been off of work for spring break for a week now - 2 days left. I had grand plans of cleaning (yea, right!), organizing (maybe just a smidge), immersing myself in journaling and studying my scriptures (I wasn't 'immersed', but I did better than normal) and exercising EVERY DAY! LOL! That's the best one yet! BUT - I did come across a new recipe to try - in all places - our HyVee Grocery ad. I made a few ingredient adjustments to make it lower in fat and as sugar-free as possible - and I have to say - it's quite yummy! Fresh strawberries between layers of strawberry goodness (almost like a mousse)and a crust of oreo cookies. I'm not sure it will forever take the place of a strawberry pie - but it will certainly keep a favored spot in my recipe file.

Do you want to make it?
Strawberry Layered Dessert
2/3 c. boiling water
2 c. Oreo cookies, finely crushed (about 20 cookies)
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 3 oz. pkg. sugar-free strawberry jello
1 8 oz. pkg. fat free or reduced fat cream cheese
1 8 oz container fat free Cool Whip
1 pound strawberries - sliced
Optional - blueberries
In a small bowl, stir boiling water into dry gelatin and mix at least 2 minutes or until completely dissolved. Cool 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, mix cookie crumbs and butter; press into a 9" spring-form pan. Set aside. (I didn't want to get my spring form out - so I just used a pretty plate, you could also use a deep-dish pie plate).
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add prepared gelatin mixture, beating well after each addition. Gently stir in 2 cups of whipped topping. Divide mixture in half.
Top cookie mixture with half of gelatin mixture. Layer 2 cups of sliced strawberries over gelatin mixture and top with remaining gelatin mixture (aka - fluff!). Top with remaining Cool Whip. Garnish with remaining strawberries and blueberries, if desired.
Chill to keep.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring has Sprung!

I love spring! I love seeing things grow and newness emerge from that which has been dormant and dry and brown. Spring has definitely come to Missouri. I am afraid that all too soon - it will be replaced with days that are too hot, too humid and too miserable to get outside. So - just for now - I will rejoice in SPRING!

And even these! Found them in a neighbor's yard, not ours! So from a distance - pretty! By the way - did you ever - as a child - split the stem and stick it in cold water for a while to made cur-li-ques? You should try it!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Some Easter Goodies

I love an excuse to bake. Easter is my current reason to spend some time in the kitchen. I love to send boxes of goodies to my kids and to share with my friends and those that I visit teach.
I thought I'd 'monogram' some of my cookies in recognition of my girls and the men that they love!

And you can't have Easter without a carrot.

These are absolutely the BEST! My friend Tammy Mort shared this delightful recipe with us for Volunteer Recognition Week. Mini Pecan Pie Muffins. You'll find the recipe below --- I tweaked it just a bit and it is AMAZING!

Just the right size to 'pop' in your mouth!

Mini Pecan Pie Muffins
2 large eggs
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 c. flour (may need to add just a spoonful or two more)
1 c. chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together in order given till well blended. Spray the bottoms only of a mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and fill 3/4 full of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes before carefully removing from muffin tins to finish cooling.

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Furniture

It's so amazing how happy new furniture can make you feel! We went shopping for a new bed and mattress a couple of weeks ago and walked out with not only the bed - but a new dining room set too....something we've wanted for a LOT of years. We've seen tables like this in Jamesport (Amish community) and fell in love with them. They were more expensive, and we found out they aren't made in Jamesport, but in China --- then shipped over here where they finish them in their workroom while you watch - giving you the illusion that they have made the whole thing. I have to admit that I was disappointed to find this out. But THIS table? It's REALLY made by the Amish - and not only do they make the furniture from scratch - but they grow their own trees....oak (ours), cherry, walnut, etc. It's Winesburg furniture.
Isn't it pretty?
I even like how it looks on the outside of the table.
The most comfortable chairs EVER! Check out the new bed...which actually is in the guest room -- but the new mattress is on our bed. It's also AMAZING! It's not memory foam - it's latex. Several inches of latex. Supportive - soft - I can't wait to go to bed tonight!
Sweet dreams and happy meals!

Friday, April 1, 2011

How prepared are you?

My friend Debbie sent these, her thoughts to me in an email. They seemed so relevant, and she said it so well, I asked if I could repost it here. Thank you Deb!

"In a crisis, 8 out of ten people will remain passive, waiting to follow the lead of someone else rather than acting on their own. They want someone to just tell them what to do. That can be dangerous in and of itself if you follow the wrong leader!

One out of ten will panic, putting themselves and very often others, in danger.

While one out of ten, will take charge of his or her circumstances to help and lead others. Most often, it was found, that those persons had some level of preparedness skills, knowledge and physical "things." In other words, they knowingly prepared before the crisis. And they weren't reacting, they were taking action.

Now ...the interesting thing is, a person's mindset. Are you creative? Do you have pertinent knowledge that will go a long way in helping to make, often, difficult decisions?

If you ponder multiple situations, you can have an idea what to do if faced with any of them. You can also acquire the knowledge and skills to help you in those same situations. Granted, we cannot always think of every scenario but we can use what we do already know with every situation! So knowledge and skill is key. Creativity is key, and mental preparation, belief that you can deal with anything, is key.

Add to that, having prepared yourself with food storage items, plenty of water, emergency items, lighting, heating, clothing etc. You can feel pretty secure mentally, to handle most things!

So which category do you fall under? The passive, "wait to be told what to do," the person who panics, putting yourself and others in danger, or the one in charge of his/her situation?

Only you can decide which you would rather be!"

"If ye are prepared, ye need not fear!"