During April 2018 I will be blogging about my memories as MOM OF 6 from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Creation and Compassion http://marcyhowes.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Veggie Bars

There are many recipe versions of Veggie Bars out there on the internet.  Several can be found here and here and here. Our family was first introduced to veggie bars by our dear DIL's parents at DS2 and DIL's wedding reception.  They are a family favorite, and DH requested that we make them for his pot-luck day at work yesterday.  So we did.  Two batches worth.  When my co-workers heard, they requested that I bring them to our pot luck today.  So last night I whipped up another batch.  Here's our favorite recipe for Veggie Bars:

2 pkgs refrigerator cresent rolls
8 oz cream cheese (may use lower fat version)
1/2 c mayo
1/2 c sour cream
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
1 bunch green onions
3/4 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup chopped red pepper
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Unroll cresent rolls and gently press into bottom of large cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool completely.  Bring cream cheese to room temperature.  Beat together cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, and ranch dressing mix.  Spread over cooled crust.  Top with finely chopped veggies, pressing gently into dressing mixture.  Sprinkle cheese evenly over bars.  Cut into bars, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.    Enjoy!

October Birthdays and Halloween

My birthday is two days before Halloween. Occasionally when I was growing up, there were parties at school or the church on my birthday, and I could dress up and play games and eat lots of goodies and candy with my friends. I rarely had birthday parties with friends, but that was ok. My Mom was always good about having a family celebration for my birthday, even when other activities competed for our attention.

Then I grew up, got married and moved away. And had children. When I was twenty and something, some twenty odd years ago, I was blessed with a beautiful early birthday present, DD1, who was born two days before my birthday. In those days, in that neck of the woods, new mothers were kept in the hospital for several days, so I spent my birthday resting up and reading a new book (a gift from my mother who was visiting and taking care of my two little boys), and getting to know my new daughter. The picture above is DD1 on her fifth birthday.  The one below is DD1 with DS1 and DS2 (the top of his head, anyway.)

Six years later, I had another beautiful early birthday present, DD3, who was born two days before her sister's birthday.  Now DD3 insisted on being born by Caesarian section, so of course, I spent another birthday in the hospital with another new baby:

 . . .and then promptly returned home just in time to finish sewing the Halloween costumes for our Mario, Luigi, and Princess Toadstool to wear in the neighborhood Halloween Parade and trick or treating.   DD2 refused to dress up as Yoshi.  The Little Mermaid was her choice of costume for the year and had been purchased previously.   DH is dressed as a prophet, if I remember correctly.

(Don't you just love the girls' makeup job?)

And so the years have passed, with the last week of October always filled to the brim with baking of cakes and cupcakes and birthday parties and pulling together Halloween costumes and Halloween parties and harvest festivals and trick or treating and trunk or treating and lots and lots of sugar!

This year the last week of October has not been nearly as hectic as in years past since DD4, the tail end of the crew, is now a high school senior. With only two children living at home right now, we ended up combining all of the birthday celebrations into one weekend filled with cakes and presents and lots of phone calls and good wishes. Do I miss the hectic last week of October of days gone by? Yes! And No! I wish I had a few more pictures, but I am grateful for a bit slower pace. I guess I'm just getting old(er).

Have a wonderful Halloween!  Here are a few more Halloween pictures for your viewing pleasure:

(Can't remember DD1's costume!!) Robin Hood and Donald Duck

Inspector Gadget, Clown, Bugs Bunny, and a neighbor

Garfield, Daffy Duck, Robot, and Cabbage Patch Kid

 . . . .  without the masks

Corn Flakes, Mom, Pilgrim, Princess Bride, Granny, and Gorilla (from planet of the apes?)

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Scripture Challenge Week 7
Matthew 7:7-8
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
This is just so simple.  Pray.  Pray every day for the things you need. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Every Good Gift Cometh of Christ

Every Good Gift Cometh of Christ
Scripture Challenge Week 6
Moroni 10:18-23

18 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.
 19 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men.
 20 Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity.
 21 And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope.
 22 And if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity.
 23 And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me.

I believe there are always times when I, or I should say, most people, have times or moments of despair.  Life is not always easy.  It brings disappointments and sorrows, but we cannot allow ourselves to sallow in self pity and despair. 
Despair comes because of iniquity.  Some of our challenges are caused by the wrongdoings of others, but if we don’t allow hope, faith and charity into our hearts, we will remain in despair.  We can’t allow our surroundings and outside influences to determine our attitude and disposition.  We create our attitude and disposition for ourselves in our own hearts.  We can’t blame it on others. 
True happiness comes not just from our blessings and the pleasant things life brings, but mostly it comes from our knowledge of and our faith in our Savior and the plan of our Heavenly Father for us. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ignition Lock Cylinder Assembly

Blessing of the week:

Yesterday I spent some of  quite a bit of my DH's hard earned $$$ and took my car in to have the Ignition Lock Cylinder Assembly (it's on or in or is the steering column???) replaced.  So far this investment has caused my radio and windshield wipers to  now work on demand instead of just when they kind of decide to work.  This is a very nice improvement for which I am very grateful, especially since they say it could possibly snow here this weekend.

Thank you DH! 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Personal Revelation or Stupor of Thought

Personal Revelation or Stupor of Thought
Twleve Week Scripture Challenge Week 6
D&C 8:2-3, 9:7-9

Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.   Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.
D& C 8:2-3
Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.  But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.  But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.
D&C 9:7-9

One of the things I have noticed in this past General Conference is that so many of the talks focused on how we need to go in prayer to Heavenly Father, asking for his will in what we need to be doing, and asking for his direction about who needs our help or visits or who is in need of some service that we can offer.  These verses tell us that the Holy Ghost will tell us in our minds and in our hearts what we need to know.  This is revelation, just as Moses and the other prophets have received revelation in their days.   But this is personal revelation, for our own use and for our own benefit.

The verses in D&C 9 remind us that we can't expect the Lord to make all of our decisions for us.  We need to study out our options, make our own choices, and then go in prayer to the Lord to receive a confirmation in our mind and in our heart that it is right.  If it is not right, we will not receive these feelings of confirmation, but rather, we will have a stupor of thought. 

So, in asking for guidance in my life, in choices I need to make, am I studying my options out like I should?  Is my indecision due to a stupor of thought, or is it just that I have not put in the time and study needed for my answers?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Crockpot Meatballs

One of my favorite modern convenience foods is frozen meatballs.  Last weekend I bought a big bag of them from Costco in preparation for our family's Crockpot Potluck after General Conference.  Just before we headed off downtown for the afternoon session of conference in the Conference Center I threw a pint of homemade chili sauce into the crockpot, stirred in about a cup of homemade sour cherry jelly, and filled the pot up with frozen meatballs. (I used about half of the bag).  I stirred it all around a bit to coat the meatballs, then set the crockpot on low and left it to do its thing while we were gone.  So simple and easy, and  . . . the meatballs were voted the favorite dish of the evening!

There were actually a few left at the end of the evening, so I brought them home, and put them in the fridge.  We've warmed them up in a saucepan on the stove top  for a quick dinner several nights this week, adding more meatballs to the sauce as they get low.   Serve with rice, noodles or potoates and your choice of veggies and/or salad.  Yep, I love the meatballs!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Conference Weekend

Today I am grateful for sunshine.  I'm grateful that I was able to be a stay at home Mom when my children were small.  I'm grateful today for a job that is still somewhat flexible and that allows me to pay the bills. 

It has been a great weekend, with a wondeful opportunity to attend my Colombia Bogota Missionary Reunion this past Friday, and then spend time with family as we listened to the various sessions of General Conference.  This is only the 2nd missionary reunion that I have been aware of since I returned from my mission nearly 30 years ago.  None of my missionary companions were able to attend, but two of the sisters that I traveled with from the MTC in Provo to Bogota were there, and it was nice to reconnect with them, and with several of the Elders that I was also able to serve with.  Our mission was large in area, and outside of Bogota, most areas were quite remotely disconnected with the rest of the mission.  I was in Bogota for about 3 weeks, and then in outlying areas for the rest of my mission, so there were many many missionaries that I really did not become aquainted with.  However, it was nice to be able to visit briefly with President and Sister James and Penny Dunn, and to hear them speak, and to see the photos that other missionaries had to share.  The Mission was a challenge for all of us, but a great learning and growing experience.  I was able to meet may wonderful, faithful people and to see and experience a marvelously beautiful, though troubled country.  Most importantly of all, we were able to teach many of our brothers and sisters about the wonderful plan of salvation, The Book of Mormon, and the restoration of the Lord's true church to the earth, and help them along the path to eternal life.

I love General Conference.  I again took copious notes and need to review them and renew my goals and aspirations, one of which is stronger personal prayers and relationship with my Heavenly Father.  Life is not easy, and it is easy to get discouraged.  I need to know his will for me each and every day. 

And now it's time to get on with the day.  I hope that your day is wonderful and that you find much to be grateful for!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Stray Socks and General Conference

Over the years many families create or develop certain traditions for holidays and special occasions.  Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or Mormons, often develop special tradtions and activities surrounding the sessions of the semi annual General Conferences held every April and October where we hear the words of counsel from our prophet and other general authorities of the church.   In our house we have had varied traditions over the years, some including baking of treats such as cinnamon rolls, apple crisp, or brownies, playing General Conference Bingo, working on crafts of handiwork such as crocheting or embroidery, or joining with grandparents or other family members to listen to the sessions, visit, and of course eat. 

One of the more constant of my traditions has been taking some time during the Saturday sessions to sort through my basket of mismatched or stray socks.  For the past decade or so, I have taken to taking rather copious notes on yellow legal pads, rather than trying to do crafts or handiwork, so this fall's sock matching activity took place while listening to the news and programs that are broadcast on TV between the two Saturday sessions of conference.   With only two dear daughters of my six children currently living at home, this task went much quicker than usual this year.  I did throw out a half dozen or so socks that were worn or extremely old, and managed to match up quite a few socks that had just been sitting in the basket since being lost from their mates somewhere in the laundry process.  (there are still a few strays left under the matched pairs . . . hopefully their matches are still in a hamper or under a bed somewhere and have not been eaten by the washer or dryer.) 

Yesterday, as usual, I thoroughly enjoyed and was uplifted by news and announcements and wonderful messages that were given.  I was excited to hear the announcement of two new temples to be built in Tuscon, Arizona, and Arequipa, Peru, and the younger age requirement for missionary service. I loved listening to our local area youth sing in the afternoon session, and watching for their familiar faces to appear on the TV screen.   Every single talk resonated with counsel and advice that is pertinent to me and my life, but the one that resonated most with me was the final talk of the afternoon session where Elder Oaks Pleads for Increased Concern for the Rising Generation.  I don't think it a coincidence that much of what I have read lately has delt with many of the issues of suffering and neglect and abuse of so many of the innocent dear children in today's world. 
Well, today's morning session is about to begin, so I will publish this post and pull out my pad.  If you would like to join with me to view or listen to this weekend's sessions of General Conference, information on times and locations can be found here on the General Conferences website or here on facebook.  Currently summaries of the different sessions and talks can be found here at lds.org.  Welcome to General Conference!