During April 2017 I will be blogging about my Courtship Memories from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Creation and Compassion http://marcyhowes.blogspot.com/

Friday, March 29, 2013

Campus Visits

One of the enjoyable activities associated with having a high school senior  in the household is making campus visits to potential colleges.  I have been privileged to make two such visits with DD4 in the past week.  Last Saturday DH and I both visited a local private college with her, and today DD4 and I made the hour and a half drive to one of our State  Universities.  It was a beautiful day and an enjoyable drive.  DD4 has been offered scholarships to both schools.  The are both very good schools.  They have both entertained us with visits with students and faculty members, sample classes, campus tours, and delicious meals.  Today we enjoyed wonderful brownies and fantastic ice cream.  The only sadness is that since DD4 is the caboose of our children,  today's campus visit will be the last of our recruiting campus visits.  At least we still have several more graduations to look forward to!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Visiting Teaching

One of the blessings of being member of the Relief Society is being included in the Visiting Teaching program.  Women of the church are assigned companions and asked to visit several other women in their homes on a monthly basis, sharing an uplifting message and just becoming a friend.  Visiting Teaching is a way for the women of the church to watch over one another.  In times of need or sorrow or hardship, we have someone close by who we can trust to help us through the difficult times.  We call one another sisters, and we truly become like sisters as we visit and care for one another.  The sisters who I have visited over the years have become some of my dearest friends, along with the sisters who have been my companions, and those sisters who have visited me. 

Linda K. Burton the current General President of the Relief Society had this to say about visiting teaching in last October's General Conference of the church:

To help us better love one another, I would like to suggest four words to remember: ‘First observe, then serve.’… We are all invited to follow Jesus’s teachings and to minister to others.”






I am not a sterling example of a visiting teacher.  I try to be faithful in making regular visits and being a friend, but I know I am not always there when needed or the first one available to help.  This month is almost over, and I have not yet made a visit or a phone call to the sisters that I should be visiting.  I have spoken to each of the three sisters in passing . . . I think, and I did deliver a birthday gift earlier in the month, but I have not taken the time to arrange a personal in home visit with each one.  I will try to do better, to become more charitable and Christ-like, because I truly am grateful to be a visiting teacher.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Faith

Faith


Faith is knowing the sun will rise, lighting each new day.
Faith is knowing the Lord will hear my prayers each time I pray.
Faith is like a little seed:
If planted, it will grow.
Faith is a swelling within my heart.
When I do right, I know.

Faith is knowing I lived with God before my mortal birth.
Faith is knowing I can return when my life ends on earth.
Faith is trust in God above;
In Christ, who showed the way.
Faith is strengthened; I feel it grow
Whenever I obey.

Words: Beatrice Goff Jackson, b. 1943. (c) 1978 IRI
Music: Michael Finlinson Moody, b. 1941. (c) 1978 IRI

I'm grateful for my faith.  I'm grateful that I have been taught about God's plan for me, and I'm grateful that I can believe what I have been taught.  When life gets hard and I see so much hurt and difficulty and pain and even evil in the world, I can have hope that things will get better.  I'm grateful for my faith.  I'm grateful for wonderful, strong, and talented family members that fill my life with goodness.  I'm grateful that we belong together. 

Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.

Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work.

And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.





 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Creamy Wheat



Smooth, lightly sweetened Cream of Wheat is a comfort food.  DH has had an upset stomach for the past few days, so when asked what he wanted for dinner last night, his answer was "Creamy Wheat".   So that's what I prepared.  I like to eat it with a bit of butter and brown sugar and a lot of milk.  DH likes it thick enough to slice.   When the Dear Daughters were ready to eat, we added some leftover chicken and vegetables to the meal.  (Not mixed into the cream of wheat, of course, that might be a bit disgusting).

While DH grew up eating Cream of Wheat, at my house we had Germaid wheat cereal.  I can't find a picture of the actual product, but it was basically the same, a wheat farina cereal.  We had it for breakfast almost every day all winter long. Good memories, good food.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Naps

It has been a tad bit of a stressful week for me; I'm not exactly sure why.  Perhaps it is the fact that our lovely pre-spring weather has given way to more snow.  Perhaps it is that change is occuring in processes and proceedures at work, and more change is a definite possibility there.  Perhaps it is that the end of the term and AP season is soon upon DD4, our high school senior.  Whatever the reason, I have not been sleeping well/not wanting to go to bed at night. 

After meetings today there was only one thing that was necessary for me to do:  Take a nice long Sunday Nap.  I remember days when young children filled the household, and long Sunday Naps didn't often happen.  I remember some Sundays in the past that were so full of meetings and/or family activities that Sunday Naps were not on the schedule.   This week I am very very grateful for the time to take a nice long Sunday Nap, and then spend time with the dear family for a quiet dinner and Family Home Evening. 

And now, Good Night everyone.  I'm headed to bed with my DH and a good book.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Baby Shower

Today I attended a baby shower for a beautiful niece.  It was held in the clubhouse of  one sister-in-law's community, and scrumptious food was prepared by another sister-in-law  and her daughter.  Our family baby showers and bridal showers are pretty low-key, but they are  a nice way to celebrate a new life and a wonderful excuse to  buy  cute things and visit with family members that we haven't seen since New Years or Christmas or even Thanksgiving.   The only sad part was missing those who could not be there.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ammonium Sulfate

The weather has been a bit dreary here the past few days, and yesterday morning I woke up to see the wet road shining in the streetlights.  By the time it was daylight and DD4 and I were leaving for her school, it was snowing.   The snow storm didn’t last long, and when I got back home, I knew it was the perfect time to fertilize the lawn and the garden.  Several years ago I stocked up on several bags of Ammonium Sulfate, and I still have some out in the shed, so I pulled on my boots and began the process of broadcasting the fertilizer over the lawn and the garden areas.  Sure it took up an hour or so of time that I had planned for other tasks, but now the fertilizer is using the moisture from the now- melted snow to make its way into the soil to provide needed Nitrogen and Sulfur to help the lawn green up quickly and the garden to grow.

And, by the time I was cleaned up and headed to work, the sun was out and shining!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Carrots

I must admit that while growing up, carrots were not my favorite vegetable, especially when they were cooked, but over the years I have grown to enjoy them, especially when they are steamed just until tender!   This past week I have been trying to spend a bit of time each evening in the garden.  I have my main section of garden divided into four foot sized squares, based rather loosely on the ideas for Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening, and my goal has been to prepare and plant one four foot sized square each evening.  Last week I was able to get two squares planted with peas dig up another square where I plan to plant tomatoes when it gets a bit warmer.  I planted lettuce in two intersecting rows in this square, dividing it into four sections.

Last night I dug up another section and planted spinach and green onions.  In the process of preparing last night's square, I also harvested about 3 or 4 pounds of carrots that had been wintering in the garden plot.  I didn't realize that I had left that many carrots in the ground last fall!  They all seem to be in good condition, so we won't need to be buying carrots for a few weeks.  Carrot cake anyone?  or Carrot Pudding?  We may just need to do some baking!

WHOLE WHEAT CARROT CAKE

1 1/2 cup wheat flour                             1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup white flour                              1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups brown sugar                           3/4 cup oil
2 tsp baking soda                                 4 eggs
½  tsp nutmeg                                      3 cups grated carrots, packed (about 1 pound)
¼ tsp cloves                                        1 tsp cinnamon     
3/4 cups skim milk                               
Combine flours, brown sugar, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in bowl.  Mix well, then blend in oil and milk.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Stir in carrots and vanilla.  Turn into greased and floured 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.  Frost with cream cheese or vanilla icing.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
¼ cup butter
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
3 oz. cream cheese
Mix with a few drops of milk for a good spreading consistency.

GRANDMA’S STEAMED CARROT PUDDING

2 cups dry bread crumbs           ½ tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar                               1 tsp baking soda
1 to 2 cups raisins                     1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp shortening, melted          ½ tsp allspice
1 cup shredded raw carrots        ½ tsp nutmeg
1 cup shredded raw apples        ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
½ cup flour                               cold water or milk to make a stiff dough

Mix together bread crumbs, sugar, raisins, apples and carrots.  Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and spices, and mix into crumb mixture.  Add melted shortening and liquid until you have a stiff dough.  Pour into greased wide mouth jars or other molds.  Cover with foil and place on rack in  large kettle filled with about 2 inches of water.  Cover pan and steam on low heat on top of stove for 4 hours.  (less time if you use a pressure cooker).  Check water level occasionally and add more, if necessary.  Serve with hot lemon or caramel sauce or with whipped cream.

Lemon Sauce:

1 cup sugar                               dash salt
3Tbs. cornstarch                       ¼ cup butter
1 cup water                               ¼ cup lemon juice

Cook and stir sugar, cornstarch, water & salt over low heat till thick & bubbly.  Remove from heat.  Blend in butter and lemon juice.  Serve warm over warm pudding.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Date With My Honey

My DH and I have not ever been ones to make sure that we have a date every week.  We do try to celebrate our wedding anniversary by doing something special every year.  We did get season tickets to the symphony for several years when the dear children were younger, and we sometimes go out to eat with friends or extended family members or after a temple session.  Usually when we spend money on an activity or an outing, we like to include at least some of the kids.  

Going out together has been even more difficult for the past several years since I have been working days and DH has been working evenings, and for quite a while DH was working on Saturdays too. So today it was nice to be able to go on a "date" with my honey.  It was nothing very special.  Just running some errands and doing some shopping, then picking up some take-out to bring home to eat with 2 dear daughters.  But it was a nice couple of hours together, unrushed and enjoyable. Here's to dates with my honey!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pi or Pie or 3.14

March 14th is sometimes celebrated among Math fans and self-proclaimed nerds as a day honoring Pi.

The number π (/p/) is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, and is approximately equal to 3.14159.  (see Wikipedia for more on Pi.  It really is interesting.)



I have possibly/probably the least math knowledge of anyone in my immediate family, but I love the Pie aspect of Pi Day, so last night I took the opportunity to whip up a pumpkin pie, probably one of the easiest pies in the world to make, and one of my favorite to eat.  Last December I was lucky enough to find 15 oz cans of Libby's Pumpkin on sale for half price, so of course I bought a few.  This is just the right size can of pumpkin to make one pumpkin pie, and since there are only four of us living at home right now, this was just perfect.  Gotta love Pi day and Pumpkin Pie!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cool Weather Crops

Yesterday after dinner I planted my first batch of snow peas for the year.  (This is about the only advantage to having daylight savings time begin so early.) I plan to put in more tonight, along with spinach, green onions, and hopefully lettuce before the week is over.  A week ago we had snow and ice, and now parts of the garden are dry enough to plant!  Around here, if we don't put the cool weather crops in the ground as soon as the snow is gone (some even do it before . . .) then it gets too hot for such lovelies as spinach, lettuce and peas to do well.  I grew up in a cooler clime, and my grandmother had an awesomely famous pea patch every year. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Feet

An interesting thing happened yesterday morning while I was praying.  As I often do, I ended up sitting on my feet while kneeling, and my feet went to sleep.  Very much asleep.  I had to roll over and sit for a few minutes because I could not feel a thing in my feet, let alone stand or walk on them.  While waiting for the feeling to return, I contemplated the blessing that my two healthy feet are to me.  The complex arrangement of skin and bones and muscles and ligaments and everything else that comprise the feet that allows me to walk and stand and run and jump and climb.  My life would be totally different if I did not have these two blessings that are my feet!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sweet Hour of Prayer

Today I was out of bed for more than an hour before anyone else in the family.  This isn't totally unheard of, so I began my usual morning routine.  Wake up DD4.  Make a lunch or two.  Say my prayers.  And an hour later I realize that maybe I'd better go make sure DD4 really is awake and getting ready for school. 

So what was I doing on my knees for an hour?  Well, more sleep might have been nice, but I wasn't sleeping.  Lately I can always find plenty to pray about, and enjoy it too!  I used to wonder about how Enos could spend the whole day and the whole night praying, but I'm starting to understand:

Sweet Hour of Prayer

Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care
And bids me at my Father's throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempter's snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!
And oft escaped the tempter's snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!


 Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since he bids me seek his face,
Believe his word, and trust his grace,
I'll cast on him my ev'ry care
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!
I'll cast on him my ev'ry care
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Text: Attr. to William W. Walford, 1772-1850, alt.
Music: William B. Bradbury, 1816-1868, alt.
Psalm 55:16-17, 22

Monday, March 11, 2013

Stake and General Conference


President Thomas S. Monson   Source

Yesterday was our Stake Conference, and it has been a wonderfully awesome weekend. I love pulling out a new yellow legal pad and taking notes during the meetings.  Every single speaker had uplifting thoughts and experiences to share and left me with much to think about.  I love our stake leaders and their devotion and concern for the members of our stake.  Almost always our Stake Conference is held just several weeks before LDS General Conference, and is like having a warm up for two days of listening to Prophets and Apostles of the Lord.  These two weekends are part of the reason that I love spring so much!

Members of our Stake Presidency shared scriptures and stories from The Book of Mormon that are among my favorites.  These verses from Alma 5 remind us that some day we will stand before the Lord to report on our works and deeds during this life.  Am I prepared for that day?

 14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye aspiritually been bborn of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty cchange in your hearts?
 15 Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who acreated you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption braised in incorruption, to stand before God to be cjudged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?
 16 I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye ablessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?
 17 Or do ye aimagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and bsay—Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth—and that he will save you?
 18 Or otherwise, can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect aremembrance of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God?
 19 I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the aimage of God engraven upon your countenances?

Our Stake President reminded us of the powerful story of the  missionary, Ammon, who dedicated years of his life to serving and teaching the gospel to his enemies, the Lamanites.  This inspiring story can be found in Alma chapters 17 to 27.  He promised us that if we too will be faithful in missionary work and temple work, that we will find solutions to the other challenges and problems that we face.

I also spent some time yesterday reviewing a few of my favorite conference talks from last October's General Conference Report.    I always love listening to the wise words of our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson.  During the Sunday morning session he reminded us to step back and recognize and consider  blessings in our lives, even though we can be discouraged when we see all of the problems and permissiveness that surrounds us in the world today.  He reminded us of the truth found in 2 Nephi 2:2 5 of The Book of Mormon:


Men are, that they might have joy.

I loved this reminder to take an inventory of our lives and look specifically for the blessings, both large and small that we have received.  I think it was this talk that prompted me to make gratitude my theme for the year and to do a better job of documenting my blessings on a daily basis here on my blog. I'm grateful for conferences and inspired counsel from Apostles and Prophets and other church leaders, and I'm looking forward to what our General Authorities have to say next month!


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Skype

DD2 recently bought herself a new laptop after her old one died.  Of course the new laptop has a webcam, so a couple of days ago she signed up for Skype, and requested friends to add her to their contacts.  We have had a web cam since DS2 and DDIL gave us one for Christmas a year  ago December, but it has been hooked up to the computer in DH's office, and I never bothered to set up an account for myself.   I've  had Skype on my new kindle since last October, but still didn't take the time to set it up since I'm somewhat technology challenged.

Anyway, it has taken me several days to figure out how to set up my new Skype account and get if working on the kindle.   It hasn't helped that the silly auto correct feature on the kindle doesn't like my user name or my password.  I was able to change the password, but the user name is still giving me some grief.  Finally today while talking to DD2 on the phone and with the help of DD4 here next to me, we were able to get it working!  DD2 and I were able to have a nice visit, and DD2 was even able to have a chat with her kitty for the first time since she was home for Christmas.  Later DS2 and DIL called and we Skyped with them for a nice long time too.

I know that Skype has been around for quite a while, and I've even enjoyed skyping with DS2 and DDIL in the past, but somehow it just seems so much cooler on the kindle than on the office computer.  I feel like I've jumped into the future . . . Back in the days of my youth I remember hearing about the probabilities of people in the future being able to talk to and see each other on phones with TV screens like in the TV shows Lost in Space and Star Trek . . . and here I can do it today with my Kindle.

Excuse me while I sit here in amazement and awe for a little bit.  I just might eventually catch up to the rest of you in the twentieth century.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

100 Dresses



Earlier this week I attended an evening celebration of the Birthday of The Relief Society,  the women's organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  The theme of the event was 100 Dresses, based on the book The Hundred Dresses, by Eleanor Estes.  We were all asked to bring  dresses for women and girls  that were then donated to several different local shelters. 

The event started off with a wonderful dinner of Hawaiian Haystacks, rolls, and birthday cake, followed by a review of the book.  I haven't had a chance to read the book yet, but have requested it from the library, so hope to read it soon.  Here is the book description from Amazon.com:

Eleanor Estes’s The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time it’s too late for apologies. Maddie, one of Wanda’s classmates, ultimately decides that she is “never going to stand by and say nothing again.” This powerful, timeless story has been reissued in paperback with a new letter from the author’s daughter Helena Estes, and with the Caldecott artist Louis Slobodkin’s original artwork in beautifully restored color.

After the review, several other women each spoke about a dress that represented a very special day in their lives.  One sister spoke about the baby blessing dress that she had recently sewn for her baby daughter.  Another spoke a bit about her baptism and the dress that she wore on that day many years ago.  She also brought the dress that she uses as a temple worker, and explained that it was similar in style and appearance to a dress that she wore when she was dating her husband shortly after her baptism, and that he recognized the similarity and has told her about the feelings he had at that time when he knew that she was to be his wife. Another sister displayed and told about her wedding dress, and another about the dress that she wore when she was recently sealed to her husband.  I know that I can't do justice to the wonderful stories that were shared, but it was a nice evening to share with friends and to ponder events that are special and important in our lives.  Do you have story about a particular dress of yours?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sweaters and Hoodies

The other day I was hanging up and putting away a load of laundry, and I realized that almost the entire load was sweaters and hoodies.  The hoodies all belong to DD4.  The tradition for YW Camp is that each year the girls are given a new hoodie with some small logo or theme for the year's camp, and jeans and hoodies are pretty much the clothing of choice for DD4.  It's nice that she has been able to get a nice new hoodie every year to add to her collection.

Now, the sweaters, they mostly belonged to me.  I'll wear a hoodie if I must, but I much prefer the softness and flexibility of a sweater, preferably not a pullover.   At home or in the yard, fleece is nice, but while I'm at work I like to look a bit dressier, and I need to have the option of quickly removing or replacing the sweater depending on the temperature at my workplace.   I am blessed with quite the assortment of lovely sweaters.  Some have been gifts from my DH and my Dear Children, and many others have been found on sale or at discount and thrift stores.  I haven't actually shopped for any sweaters lately, but then, I have a lovely assortment of sweaters. 

So, which do you prefer:  sweaters or hoodies?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Warmer Temperatures


'

It was 52 degrees when I came home from work yesterday afternoon . . . much better than the 30ish high temperatures we've been having lately.  It was still cloudy and breezy, so I took my coat to work with me, but it was warm enough that I didn't really need it.  Yea!  Spring may actually be on the way!  It was cold and rainy last weekend, but the rain melted almost all of the snow, and now it is finally warming up a bit. I think that this has been the longest stretch of cold winter weather that we have had for years.  (But then I may just be getting old and forgetful).

Anyway, I have been trying to be patient and keep myself busy with my favorite winter activities of reading and writing and sewing and baking since I know that the ground and the trees really do benefit from their winter time rest, but I am so glad and excited for warmer weather. I really am looking forward to getting back out into the yard and the garden.    Hopefully the sun will come out and dry out the garden so I can start planting.  And, hopefully it will stay cool enough for a while that we can get some nice fresh cool weather veggies to add to the dinner table.  Yea! It’s time to find some seeds and a new shovel!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Missionaries

There is a great deal of attention being paid to missionaries right now.  Due to the announcement from President Monson last October about the change in the age requirement for new missionaries, there is a great influx of new missionaries entering the field right now.  It is exciting to see all of these eager young people accepting calls to share the gospel and serve the Lord and their fellow men.  It is exciting to see the recent announcement of the increase in the number of missions.  It makes me happy to see the work of the Lord going forth.

I'm grateful for all of the missionaries in my life:  Those of my family and friends who have served.  I'm grateful that I was able to serve as a missionary over 30 years ago, and I'm grateful for those who served with me and all of the wonderful people that I met.  I'm especially grateful for all of the wonderful missionaries who left their homes and families in the 1800's and traveled across the world to seek out and teach my ancestors:   The Wagstaffs and the Smiths and the Willies and the Birds and the Grants and the Gibbys and the Hunsakers and all of the many others of my family who had the faith and the strength and the courage to listen to the missionaries, to accept the gospel and to make it a part of their lives.  There are also the missionaries who sought out the people of my DH's family:  The Howes and the Fraziers and the Halls and the Larsens and the Lauritzens.  So many faithful missionaries and so many faithful ancestors who have so greatly affected my life for the good.

My thoughts and prayers go with the missionaries every day.  And may I also find the opportunities and the courage to be a missionary too.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Church of Jesus Christ

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was organized on April 6, 1830 in Fayette, New York.  I was baptized as a member of the church on November 1, 1968.  This past Sunday we were discussing the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  The  question was posed to each member of the class, "Tell us all, in five words or less, what do you enjoy most in your life from being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?"

I had to think quickly, as I was sitting on the front row in the very most left hand seat, and was the first to be called on.  My answer?  First,  the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Second, Temple Blessings.  I couldn't give just one answer.  :)  Of course, the Atonement of Jesus Christ applies to all people, not just members of our church, but my membership in the church helps me to better understand the blessings the atonement brings, and the blessings that I have received in the temple are the culminating blessings just added upon to the blessings of the atonement.

Many answers were given as everyone in the room had their turn.  They were all wonderful answers.   I am very blessed to be LDS, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  The Church provides all the knowledge and all of the saving ordinances that we need to return to live with God, our Heavenly Father, and with our Savior, Jesus Christ.

This morning I was reading the final words of Nephi from The Book of Mormon:

And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day.

2 Nephi 33:12

I someday hope to see you all there!  It will be wonderful!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Priesthood Blessings

A week or so ago, a friend mentioned that her husband gives their entire family a Priesthood blessing every month on Fast Sunday.  It made me stop and think.  Am I taking advantage of the blessing of having the Priesthood in our home? 

I received my Patriarchal Blessing when I was sixteen years old, and try to review it regularly.  I actually have most of it memorized.  It was a comfort to me at that time, and still is today.  But am I taking advantage of the blessings that are available to me from my own loving DH?

Several days ago I mentioned this to my DH, and asked if he would be willing to give me a priesthood blessing yesterday on our fast day.  Of course he agreed.  There are no particularly evident needs in my life right now, but the priesthood blessing was truly a blessing and a comfort to me.  It made me cry.  The blessing reminded me that my Heavenly Father loves me, is mindful of me, and is happy with my efforts.  I need to embrace the good in my life and let go of the bad.  I'm grateful to have the blessing of the priesthood in my home, and a worthy DH who is willing to bless me and my family.

Are you taking advantage of and enjoying the blessings of the Priesthood in your life?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Neighbors and Daughters

I have some wonderful neighbors and some wonderful daughters.  We might not always hang out with our neighbors, but we do know them , exchange Christmas gifts with them,  and exchange greetings throughout the year.  Our children have been welcome to play in many of their homes, and their children have been welcome in ours.  They have cut our grass, helped  move our furniture and fixed cars and appliances and raingutters, and given us rides.  Each month in our church  meetings we have the opportunity to share our testimonies of the gospel with one another.
  Each month I tell myself that I need to are my testimony with my neighbors, but then there are so many others sharing so many wonderful thoughts, that I seldom get up myself.  I do love and appreciate all f their service and their testimonies.

Yesterday my DH and I were able to attend our stake temple session.  DH was not
feeling well, so he returned home right after the chapel meetings.  One of our dear neighbors agreed to give me a ride home after the session so that  could stay, and she made me feel like I was doing her a favor so she was not alone.  I love being in the temple with neighbors and friends and family members.  It's a taste of heaven.

Today I was blessed to sit in Relief Society  between DD4 and DD1.  It has been a while since I have had the chance to sit in Relief Society since I have been teaching primary and visiting other wards in the stake.  It was wonderful and I look forward to many more Sundays of sitting with daughters in church.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Heat Vents and Radiators

One of the nicest things about getting up on winter mornings (yes, it is still winter) is turning up the heat and then being able to stand in front of the heat vent whilst preparing lunch for DD4 and whoever else needs one made for the day.  Yes, our heat vents are very well loved during the winter months.  You can often find some child (or adult) standing or sitting or even lying on the heat vent.  The dear cat also stakes out the heat vents.  Her favorites to lie on include the one next to the front entry stairs, the one by the back sliding glass door, and also my favorite one in the kitchen.

In my parents' house where I grew up, there are no forced air heat vents.  The house is instead heated by radiators.  The upstairs bedrooms and the living room all have radiators along the floor baseboards, but the downstairs bedrooms, the kitchen and the bathroom all have about 2 foot high metal box radiators.  They make a wonderful child-sized bench that is just perfect for sitting on after being outside in the cold doing chores or playing in the snow.  They are a good place to dry out cold and wet mittens or shoes.  My bed was always right next to the radiator, a perfect place to snuggle in for a warm winter night's sleep.  The radiator also made a convenient nightstand/bookshelf, always necessary for the perfect comfortable sleeping place. 

I remember the radiators at school were also convenient places to dry out wet mittens and shoes and even sometimes socks, and the ones in the hallways were coveted places to hang out at during lunchtime, especially during high school.  My grandparent's house had no radiators, but only a central forced air furnace with two heat vents.  One went into the living room and the other into the hallway between the two downstairs bedrooms. The corner behind the piano in the living room where the heat vent was located was a favorite place for grandkids to sit and play!

Yes, the sound of warm air blowing from the heat vent is a wonderful sound in late winter/early March.  But so is the sound of birds chirping outside once the heat stops blowing . . . yes, I for one am looking forward to spring!