Sunday, May 27, 2012

Flower Sugar Cookies & Memorial Day

I made some sugar cookies a couple of weeks ago - actually about three weeks ago.  Wow!  Where does the time go.  Some of them aren't very pretty - I was in a hurry.  Nonetheless - I thought I'd share.  I made Texas Sheetcake Cupcakes yesterday for a cookout tomorrow.  They are quite yummy!  See - don't you think so too?  I'm also going to make a Snickers Salad.  There is meat in the freezer - I wonder what we'll grill - burgers or steak?  I'm feeling like burgers!

What are you doing tomorrow - Memorial Day?  Growing up we would always go to the cemetery in the morning with flowers - hopefully lilacs and tulips and peonies from our own yard.  Sometimes in southeastern Idaho they wouldn't be in bloom yet.  Then we would have to pull out the fake flowers.  There was something very therapeutic about gathering all the flowers and cemetery vases and buckets to get water from the creek right by the cemetery.  We would drive the short distance to the cemetery.  We would pull out all the flowers and lay them out on the grass by the car and make pretty arrangements, then place them on the grave sites of our loved ones who had passed on.  And we would visit.  It was a time for friends and family to gather - pay respects and renew acquaintances.  Sometimes family would gather for a picnic afterwards with more visiting and somehow as kids we managed to make our own entertainment!  You realize this was pre- any electronic games!

For 25 years we have lived far enough away from 'home' that participating in this tradition has not been possible.   So this year Amanda, Dustin and Emma made the pilgrimage to the cemetery.  They went a week early.  But they took flowers.  They wandered around the cemetery and found family names.  They called to ask questions about some of the family.  And they remembered.  Really - isn't that what it's all about?  Remembering?  Remembering the veterans who fought for freedoms.  Remembering our ancestors and family members who have gone before - whose example and lives have helped to shape our own.  Remembering that we don't walk this life alone.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Going green.....

 .....not intentionally - but this is what happens with an early spring, some early rains then warm dry weather.  Add to those things the fact that we were gone for two weeks when our granddaughter was born and presto - we have trees!  We could have offered them to the National Arbor Day Foundation, but decided instead to offer them to our local landfill! 

Happy Spring y'all!  May your trees be green and your gutters clean!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Less than I would expect....

 I've noticed in these days of our economic down turn, that sometimes we get less than what we think we are.  I understand that manufacturers need to make money and they don't want to raise the price - otherwise you won't buy their product!  So instead they pull a little sneaky and make their product smaller, charge the same price and hope we won't notice!  I think many of us have noticed.

I have found that some of my favorite recipes need tweeking so they 'work'.  This isn't the first time in recent years that product sizes have changed - I think that they have finally changed enough that it's starting to make a difference in the things that I cook because not all products are downsized at the same time.

This morning I thought about this in relation to other aspects of our lives.  Do our employers expect a certain amount of work from us and time invested in our jobs for the paycheck we receive?  Do our friends expect a certain amount of loyalty from us for the relationship that we cherish?  Does the Lord expect us to be 'firm and steadfast in all things' in order to give us those blessings He has in store for us?  And if I am less than what He expects - what blessings am I negating from my life?  I don't know about you - but I need all the blessings and help I can get - because I certainly can't do this all on my own.  My challenge to myself is to be ALL that I can be at whatever point in time I am so that I can be blessed with ALL that my Savior can give me at the time.  And that will be enough!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Think Positive Thoughts

Won't you join me?  I just registered myself on - here - so that I can be more aware of my positive thoughts.  It's so easy to let ourselves get caught up in the negatives that are around us - and believe me - there are many.  I don't know about you - but when I focus too much on the negative things - I tend to get grumpy.  I get quiet.  I withdraw.  I'm not a very fun person to be around.  So I decided that it's time to turn things around,  FLIP the switch and start thinking about positive things.  They suggest you have a 'clicker' to easily keep track of those awesome, positive thoughts.  I haven't bought mine yet - so I'm just trying to be more aware.  Tomorrow I'll buy my clicker!  --- click --- !  If you decide to join with me in this experiment and see if it makes a difference in your life, let me know.  Also - be sure to visit the website for billionclicks - there are a lot of encouraging resources available.  --- click ---! 

I had lunch with a friend today!  ---click---  I'm done with work for the summer!  woot-woot!  ---click---  I'm going to dinner with a group of 'old' friends tonight!  ---click---   and...I'm getting together with some more friends for book club and more food later tonight!  ---click-click---.   See how easy it is!

Hugs to you - make it a happy day!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

10 Suggestions for Successful Parenting

President Benson’s 10 Suggestions for Successful Parenting

“Thinking of the example of his own mother and that of his beloved and faithful wife, Flora, President Benson has offered ten specific suggestions for mothers as they guide their precious children:

1. Take time to always be at the crossroads in the lives of your children, whether they be six or sixteen.

2. Take time to be a real friend to your children.

3. Take time to read to your children. Remember what the poet wrote:

You may have tangible wealth untold;

Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.

Richer than I you can never be—

I had a mother who read to me.

4. Take time to pray with your children.

5. Take time to have a meaningful weekly home evening. Make this one of your great family traditions.

6. Take time to be together at mealtimes as often as possible.

7. Take time daily to read the scriptures together as a family.

8. Take time to do things together as a family.

9. Take time to teach your children.

10. Take time to truly love your children. A mother’s unqualified love approaches Christlike love (see Ezra Taft Benson, To the Mothers in Zion, pamphlet, 1987, pp. 8–12

Love Her Mother

For all of the fathers out there on this Mothers Day!  One of my favorite videos!

Happy Mother's Day!

Growing up - my mother was my best friend!  She was the one I could count on when everyone else let me down.  She was the one who was willing to lose sleep for me and didn't complain.  We grew up with little other than what we really needed....and sometimes that was in short supply.  But I didn't realize that our family was on the 'poor' side until I was in high school.  I just knew that everyone worked - and worked hard - and I assumed that all families were like that.  I thought that everyone in the valley gave their clothing to someone else when they had outgrown it - maybe they did!  I always looked forward to the sacks of clothing that would come from Alice Steele because there were always pretty dresses in there!  I remember a purple gingham dress with ruffles on the bottom and lace around the sleeves and the neckline.  I LOVED that dress!  That was the dress I would twirl in.  It wasn't too many years later that I realized that my mother was wearing a nightgown that was threadbare - there wasn't much left to it at all.  We had suggested she get herself a new one - but that was the summer I had an extra camp of some sort to go to and the fee was a little steep - especially for back then.  I got to go to camp, and mom continued to wear the threadbare nightgown which she proclaimed that she loved too much to replace.  That's what mothers do.

She taught me to work and to do a job well when I did it, whether it was harvesting potatoes or ironing a shirt or mowing the lawn.  She taught me to play and to not take myself too seriously.  She encouraged me to develop my talents and to follow my heart - whether those decisions involved not marrying my high school sweetheart or moving away to go to school.  She encouraged me not to judge and to reach out to those who didn't have many friends.  She taught me the value of money - of working hard for it - and of saving some of what was earned.  She encouraged me to embrace our religion even though she was not actively living the gospel.  She supported me as I chased my dreams.

I love my mother.  I have loved being a mother and hope that I have been able to give my daughters just a bit of the teachings that my mother blessed my life with.  And now I see that circle enlarge as my oldest daughter just became a mother.

Enjoy a special day - all of you who are mothers, or who have a mother!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Crocs - Really?! --- Really!

I recently did something that I said I would NEVER do.  And I mean NEVER!  I have disliked Crocs since the first time I saw them.  It didn't matter to me that people said they were comfortable - I just couldn't get over how unattractive I thought they were.  I mean, seriously, NOT ATTRACTIVE!

I slipped some on once and thought - "ok, they are cushy - they might be comfortable, but I will NEVER have a pair of these on my feet, and especially NOT to wear in public!"  But Crocs did it.  They heard my voice and made a shoe that is not only one of the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn (yes, I admit it), but they are also somewhat attractive, kind of cute - maybe!  Anyway - I have horrible feet.  I've had three surgeries for various things and have lots of problems with the tootsies, my heals and aches and pains caused from the surgeries.  Finding a shoe I can wear without seriously making my feet hurt has been a challenge - especially as I've gotten older and comfort has become paramount.  I still want to look somewhat fashionable - and still will NOT EVER wear the original Croc in public - but I do have to say - I LOVE my Crocs!  Really!  Whew - can't believe I just said that!  :)

I mean, seriously, isn't this a CUTE shoe?  It's not high fashion - but I don't look at it and think - CROCS - ugh.  These have become my 'go-to' pair of shoes.  I even wore them the other night when we took our 3-mile walk around the neighborhood.

And if you know me at all - you know I love my flip- flops and will wear then as soon as the frost clears the ground!  My tootsies love to wiggle and get sunshine.  So - I was really happy when I noticed on, that the Croc company made these - just for me!

Again - not high-fashion - but I do like them.  They give my horrible feet the support they need and are comfortable at the same time.

I'm hoping to get some different colors and cruise through the summer in comfort!  I'm really rough on flip-flops.  Mine usually only last one season - even the expensive athletic ones I have purchased in the past.  I'm thinking these will get me through more than one summer!

So - Change your thoughts about Crocs and try something new.   Never thought I'd say these words - but I'm glad I did!   I purchased mine from a Croc's Store and on-line, but have also seen them in Kohls.  Happy Trails!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Leaving Emma

 We had to leave this sweet little angel behind and return to our boring 'normal' lives!  Work this morning didn't seem to have quite as much meaning as my thoughts kept returning to Emma.  Even during the long ride home yesterday, I could imagine her face as she would lay in my arms, her eyes the mirror to heaven which she left just a few days prior.  Can you tell we miss her?!  So - this will probably be the last installment of a few pictures - but many of you have asked for more!
 These pictures were taken the day she was blessed at church.  The white shawl was knitted by her great grandmother and was used by Emma's mother when she was blessed.

It was a beautiful day and both sets of her grandparents were there as were 5 of her great grandparents and several aunts and uncles.

I dreamed about this sweet face last night!

She's not being choked, just supporting her head while being burped!

Don & Korine, Amanda, Dustin & Emma, Millie & Casey

Amanda, Dustin and tired Emma!

Millie and  Casey
Family is the greatest gift that has been given to me.  Being a mother was something that I always desired, even as a young child - but being a mother is hard.  With my first child I thought it was SO HARD to have this sweet child, be home with her for several weeks, then have to return to work.  Finding the right babysitter (we went through a few before finding the right one), finding time to work and do all those things I wanted to do, being sad when I would pick her up to hear about all of the 'firsts' the babysitter had been able to  enjoy - I didn't see the firsts first, I saw them second - and that made me sad.

With child two - I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom.  But I had to work really hard not to feel isolated.  We were living in a new community and suddenly I was home with two young children with no close friends to call for back up.  Did I get the blues?  Absolutely!  But I remembered often that these two miracles were something I had prayed mightily for.  Even when the dr.s told us we shouldn't be able to have children, we were blessed with two amazing angels.  As they grew and interacted more - motherhood became more fun.  There were moments - aren't there always - when I wondered if I would be a good mom.  But having my two best friends be my daughters is the bonus of this wonderful gift called family!