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/

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ponderize: October 25

 
 
"Woe to them that are at ease in Zion"
Amos 6:1
 
What is "ponderize"?  The word was introduced to the vast audience of the 185th semi annual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints this past Sunday afternoon.  Devin G. Durrant, the newly sustained 1st counselor in the General Sunday School presidency of the church introduced the word to us in this way:

"I invite you to “ponderize” one verse of scripture each week. The word ponderize is not found in the dictionary, but it has found a place in my heart. So what does it mean to ponderize? I like to say it’s a combination of 80 percent extended pondering and 20 percent memorization.  There are two simple steps:
First, choose a verse of scripture each week and place it where you will see it every day. Second, read or think of the verse several times each day and ponder the meaning of its words and key phrases throughout the week.  Imagine the uplifting results of doing this weekly for six months, a year, 10 years, or more."

The above verse is now posted on my refrigerator and on sticky notes on both my work and my home computers where I can refer to it periodically throughout the day, no matter what my day may bring.  So are you up to the challenge?   What scripture verse will you be "ponderizing" this week?  Does it have special meaning to you?
 
 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Ponderize

 
Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;

D&C 109:8

What is "ponderize"?  The word was introduced to the vast audience of the 185th semi annual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints this past Sunday afternoon.  Devin G. Durrant, the newly sustained 1st counselor in the General Sunday School presidency of the church introduced the word to us in this way:

"I invite you to “ponderize” one verse of scripture each week. The word ponderize is not found in the dictionary, but it has found a place in my heart. So what does it mean to ponderize? I like to say it’s a combination of 80 percent extended pondering and 20 percent memorization.  There are two simple steps:
First, choose a verse of scripture each week and place it where you will see it every day. Second, read or think of the verse several times each day and ponder the meaning of its words and key phrases throughout the week.  Imagine the uplifting results of doing this weekly for six months, a year, 10 years, or more."

The above verse is now posted on my refrigerator and on sticky notes on both my work and my home computers where I can refer to it periodically throughout the day, no matter what my day may bring.  So are you up to the challenge?   What scripture verse will you be "ponderizing" this week?  Does it have special meaning to you?
 
 
 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Grandma's Chili Sauce

 
Today I spent the morning making a batch of my Grandmother's chili sauce recipe.  I know that most people use their fresh tomatoes for making Mexican type salsa, and I have made several batches of fresh salsa this summer, but DH and I love this chili sauce even better.  It's sweeter and is spiced with cloves and ginger and nutmeg rather than hot peppers.  It's wonderful with meatloaf or roast beef, and I have a favorite meatball recipe that combines the chili sauce with grape or cherry jelly for a wonderful sauce to serve over rice.   It's also great just spooned into your favorite dish of chili, canned or homemade.  I took a jar up to my Dear Dad tonight and he told me that he and his sisters used to take roast beef and chili sauce sandwiches to school for their lunch.  (This is made from his mother's recipe.)
 
 

We've been blessed with a fairly good crop of tomatoes this year, not overly abundant, but enough to keep us supplied for salads and sandwiches, a few batches of fresh salsa, and even a few to share with family members who aren't able to grow many tomatoes in their mountain valley climate.  The Roma tomatoes pictured above are perfect for making sauces and salsas as they are more meaty and take less time to cook down and have less juice for a less runny salsa.  They are also smaller than other tomatoes, so I used at least twice as many as the recipe below calls for.  Our Romas have taken longer to ripen, and this is the first large bunch that I have picked this year.   We also had a few small onions and one small green bell pepper ready, so I added them to the bunch.  I did buy three other bell peppers earlier this week when they were on sale, so I had plenty for the recipe.  Also, because it uses plenty of vinegar, I feel comfortable canning it with the hot water bath canning process.*   If you still have some tomatoes that need to be used up, you just may want to try it out:

GRANDMA'S CHILI SAUCE
 
12 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 large bell peppers, chopped fine
1 large onion chopped fine (or several small onions like mine)
2 cups white vinegar (you could probably use cider vinegar)
1 Tbs salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp ginger
 
To easily peel tomatoes, blanch in very hot (almost boiling) water, then quickly cool in a bowl of cold water.  Slip off skins and chop. I'm sure that my grandmother chopped everything by hand, but I am blessed to have and use a food processor.  If you use the food processor, pulse the tomatoes for only a few seconds at a time.   You want to have some nice tomato chunks in the sauce.  Combine the tomatoes, vinegar, and spices in a large heavy pot and bring to a boil while chopping the onions and peppers.  These can be chopped finer than the tomatoes.  Add onions and peppers to the tomato mixture.  Once it reaches a boil reduce heat and boil until thick, stirring often to avoid sticking and burning of the sauce.  Makes three to four pints of sauce, depending on your desired consistency.   Ladle into clean, hot pint canning jars and process for 45 minutes in hot water bath canner. 
 
*  Please refer to the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, guide 3,  for more information on canning of tomatoes and tomato products. 

 


Monday, October 12, 2015

Ponderize Week 2



Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.

D&C 88:124


What is "ponderize"?  The word was introduced to the vast audience of the 185th semi annual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints this past Sunday afternoon.  Devin G. Durrant, the newly sustained 1st counselor in the General Sunday School presidency of the church introduced the word to us in this way:

"I invite you to “ponderize” one verse of scripture each week. The word ponderize is not found in the dictionary, but it has found a place in my heart. So what does it mean to ponderize? I like to say it’s a combination of 80 percent extended pondering and 20 percent memorization.  There are two simple steps:
First, choose a verse of scripture each week and place it where you will see it every day. Second, read or think of the verse several times each day and ponder the meaning of its words and key phrases throughout the week.  Imagine the uplifting results of doing this weekly for six months, a year, 10 years, or more."

The above verse is now posted on my refrigerator and on sticky notes on both my work and my home computers where I can refer to it periodically throughout the day, no matter what my day may bring.  So are you up to the challenge?   What scripture verse will you be "ponderizing" this week?  Does it have special meaning to you?
 
 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ponderize

You may not be aware, but this past weekend a new word was added to the vocabulary of many.  What is the word?  "ponderize"

The word was introduced to the vast audience of the 185th semi annual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints this past Sunday afternoon.  Devin G. Durrant, the newly sustained 1st counselor in the General Sunday School presidency of the church introduced the word to us in this way:

"I invite you to “ponderize” one verse of scripture each week. The word ponderize is not found in the dictionary, but it has found a place in my heart. So what does it mean to ponderize? I like to say it’s a combination of 80 percent extended pondering and 20 percent memorization.  There are two simple steps:
First, choose a verse of scripture each week and place it where you will see it every day. Second, read or think of the verse several times each day and ponder the meaning of its words and key phrases throughout the week.  Imagine the uplifting results of doing this weekly for six months, a year, 10 years, or more."

This seems like a worthwhile challenge, so, yesterday after work I took a few minutes to search out and find the scripture verse that I would like to "ponderize"  this week.   I have chosen the following verse from the book of Alma found in The Book of Mormon

"Yea, and he looketh down upon all the children of men; and he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart; for by his hand were they all created from the beginning."

--Alma 18:32

This verse is now posted on my refrigerator and on sticky notes on both my work and my home computers where I can refer to it periodically throughout the day, no matter what my day may bring.  So are you up to the challenge?   What scripture verse will you be "ponderizing" this week?  Does it have special meaning to you?
 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Weekend Recap


So the weekend is winding down, one of my favorite weekends of the year.  It has lived up to expectations.   It has been good.  A gentle kind of good.

Saturday was a bit hectic as all Saturdays usually are, but I did not set huge expectations for myself, so was able to enjoy what I felt impressed to do.  There was a bit of laundry to finish up and a quick trip to the store, but most of the usual Saturday chores were given a waiver this weekend.   I was able to sit in my own living room with my DH and DD1  and listen to the first session of the October 2015 Semi Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Of course I had my yellow legal pad to take notes of what was sung and what was said, and to note in the margins the thoughts and impressions that came to me of what I need to do in the next six months.  After the morning session DD1 and I drove up to visit my Dear Dad, leaving DH  home to deal with some pressing paperwork and a headache.   We did a bit more cleaning and visiting, and watched the 2nd session of the conference with Dad, then left him to review the session once again on a different television station while we headed down the mountain to meet up with Dear Mother in Law, Sister in Law and nieces for a traditional ladies night out at Café Zupa, returning home to watch and listen to the end of the Priesthood session with DH, followed by a TV show or two. 

Today, Sunday was even more laid back.  After showering and finding some oatmeal for breakfast, I settled in on the couch for another day of inspiration.  From 9:30 am to 4:30 pm we sat and listened to inspired counsel and beautiful music, interspersed with uplifting documentary, only getting up to stretch and grab a sandwich. This just may have been the longest single time period of my entire life that I have been stationed in front of the TV,   So by 4:30 I was ready for a nice little walk around the neighborhood, enjoying the cool air and the sunshine and visiting with a few neighbors who were also out walking, riding bikes with children, or sitting on the front porch enjoying the afternoon.   It has been a lovely day. 

So, what has most impressed me from all of the wonderful messages that I have heard?   The light of Christ is available for each of us.  He loves  us and knows our divine potential.   We are all sons and daughters of God who loves us and wants us to return to him:



 
Of course the reassurances from Elder Holland were heartwarming too:
 
 
President Henry B Eyring's words were directed specifically to me:

 Even though I have tried to follow this counsel throughout my life, I feel that I need to do this more sincerely, especially every week during sacrament meeting and every morning and evening in my personal prayers.
 

And who cannot feel the love and assurance from the counsel of our beloved prophet, President Thomas S Monson:


As far as specific direct counsel that will benefit us all, who could not agree that the advice from Elder Durrant is relevant to our time and our lives:

 
Elder Durrant specifically challenged us to do two small things each and every week, that are promised to bless our lives:

1.  Save an amount of money every week
2. " Ponderize" a verse of scripture each week

What does it mean to "Ponderize" scripture?  According to Elder Durrant it means 80% pondering and 20% memorizing.  Select a verse of scripture and post it where you will see it several times a day every single day and ponderize and treasure up the words of Christ to your memory and share the verse with family and friends. 

So, that is what I will try to do. 
Pray to know God's will for me. 
Save an amount of money every week.  
Ponderize a verse of scripture each week.    


Were you able to listen to October General Conference this weekend?   If you were, what counsel impressed itself upon your soul?   What changes were you prompted to make in your life?  What talks and messages would you like to review and listen to again?

Watch or Listen to your favorite talks

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Favorite Weekends



This is one of my favorite weekends of the year!!   Twice a year, on the first weekend of April and again on the first weekend of October we gather together as a family to listen to the Semi-Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.    I will be missing many of my family members who now live  far away from us and are not here to sit with us as we hunker down at home to listen and eat and visit, but hopefully they will all be able to all have a relaxing and uplifting weekend as they make new traditions in their new homes.

Some times our family gathers with extended family members to watch or listen to the General Conference.  Sometimes we will meet with family on Saturday evening after the main sessions and go out to eat together.   Several times we have been fortunate enough to secure tickets to attend one or more conference sessions in person.  Some years in the past I have had fun cooking and baking while listening, preparing favorite fall foods like Cinnamon Rolls or Apple Crisp.  Sometimes we gather to play board games after listening to the sessions.  It's all good.

For me the most important part of the weekend has always been spending time with my family, and listening to the men that God has called as prophets for this particular time.  Prophets that live and speak here on the earth today.  Do you have any particular questions or concerns or problems that you are facing right now?   I know that I do, and that most people living in this crazy beautiful world right now do too.    

I  encourage you to take some time this weekend to think about a few of the things going on in your life that you might be concerned about.  Pray about your questions and concerns, and then take the time to tune in and listen to what the prophet and the other speakers during conference have to say about your particular concerns and topics.   Hunker down, listen, and feed your spirit.  I promise you won't be sorry that you did.

Click here to find out where and how to watch and listen to General Conference.