Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What I Did Today

I'm going to show you something I usually try to hide from people. My front room closet...

Notice it is packed full. My family can't hang coats in my closet! It's no wonder they throw their coats on the couch or in the kitchen. That is one of my pet peeves.

And here is everything that was hiding behind the coats. Some of this stuff I haven't set eyes on for years!

Now look how nice it is. Half of the hangers in the closet are empty, so there is even room to have more coats hung. I even have room for my carpet cleaner and vacuum! Hallelujah! I spent the day putting stuff for DI in my car so I can drop it off on the way home from work tomorrow. It was worth the many hours it took. I wish I had a week to work on all the other areas in my house that need attention.

Monday, February 18, 2008

For My Beautiful Friend...

This is for someone who I love dearly.

What are your talents? I believe you have more talents than you realize. To know what your talents are, it helps to understand what a talent is. A talent is more than things like dancing, singing, making beautiful art, or photography. Some people think of a talent as things they can create or do. They are talents, but they are only the tip of the iceberg of talents. A talent is a gift from God. And we all have talents. It is our job to develop our talents the best that we can and to not waste them. If we waste them, they will be taken away from us. We are given talents to serve others with. So that we may all benefit by each other’s talents.

The scriptures tell us:

For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.

To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.

And all these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God.
(D&C 46: 11-12,26)

I don’t think you see yourself to your full potential. My talent is not words or communicating, so I hope I can make you realize what a wonderful and talented person you are despite that. You are a beautiful daughter of God, and you have infinite worth. You spend your life in the service of others. That to me is the greatest talent of all. You are kind and nurturing. You have a talent of loving and lifting others. You make people happy. You are a joy to be around, and a good friend. You are a bright and intelligent person. You have a good work ethic and work hard for your family from sunrise to sunset. These are all talents your Father in Heaven gave you, and you developed. And you use these talents for the service of others all the time.

You probably never thought of keeping a clean and comfortable home as a talent, but it is. So is making tasty and nutritious meals for your family, sometimes on a very tight food budget too. You have developed the talent of being a wonderful mother. You have a talent for teaching your children, and being a good example to them. You play with them, and they can feel that they are important to you and that you love them. You are unselfish, constantly giving to your family. You are brave. You face the trials and hardships in your life. At the same time, you are humble too. I see all these talents in you. Your Father in Heaven sees even more than I do. He knows what talents you have yet to discover.

You have gifts and talents that you have not discovered yet or that are dormant. You will have different stages in your life where you will get the opportunity to develop these talents. You may be able to take classes, or learn a craft of hobby. You will also develop more of your character as you go through life. There will be no end to what you can do! You started developing your talents before you came to earth. And you will continue to develop talents all through your life, and then for eternity afterwards. Isn’t that just fabulous?

You are one of my very favorite people. I love you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Food Storage (I know it's not exciting, but it is necessary!)

Look what my husband did for our family this last weekend. He bought a nice big sturdy shelf so we can do a better job on our food storage. There are actually two shelves in our little storage room, the other one is a little bit smaller than this one. He also filled our big blue barrels with fresh water. We have about 4 of them. We usually use them for camping. We take extra water when we go.

We really think it is important to do as much as you can on a food storage. I know our prophets have told us to have a food storage for as long as I can remember. It's easy to get complacent and start thinking that we have plenty of time to prepare. But I really don't believe we have a lot more time. Please do your food storage now. And don't forget to get water stored. And while you are at it, make an emergency family plan. Plan how you will get with your family members in the event of an emergency. Plan for the cell phones not working too, and cars not working. Plan where you will meet, and the route you will go to get there. Hopefully you may not need this information, but it's better to be over prepared than under prepared.

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said:

"Acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life. . . . As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year's supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness" ("If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear," Ensign, Nov. 1995, 36).

I want to point out what how Elder Perry mentions the times of plenty, which we are in now. And that with the way the world is now, to not set aside the counsel to prepare any longer. My husband works a job where he has seen some of how the world is. He came home from work one day a little while ago freaked out. He said we should start working earnestly on building our food storage. He had seen some things that scared him, but he couldn't tell me about them. He just told me to warn my family to get food and water and do it now. My husband isn't easily scared. So I take what he says on this subject very seriously.

We had a small food storage that would last a few months. But we have been trying to put extra effort into doing what we can. We want to get enough for all my kids and grandkids too.

I know not everyone is able to have fancy shelves, big blue barrels, or even storage rooms to put stuff in. But do what you can with any space you can find. And don't get too overwhelmed thinking there is too much to do. A years supply is hard to do. I am a long way away from that. But I am starting now with what I can do and I am going to keep growing it as the year progresses. The church says to start with a 3 month supply of food you normally use. Rotate it as you use it and get new stuff. You don't have to buy it all at once, buy a little extra every time you go shopping.

Here is a link to the church's website on Food Storage

I love you all. Please start now. I'll get off my soapbox now.

My Most Recent Batch

I haven’t made a batch of soap for 3 or 4 months. I was really going through withdrawal and we were running very low on soap. So I finally took the time to make a fairly large 8 pound batch. It turned out very pretty, in my opinion. I used a warm yummy scent called “Mayan Gold” for a small part of the batch. I like that one a lot. It’s a very soft smell that I think both men and women will like. It is the perfect smell. Here is what the manufacturer of the fragrance said about it: "This would be such a sexy men's scent! Luxurious. A mix of exotic woods, fruits and spices including patchouli, sandalwood, clary sage, mandarin orange and grapefruit touched with vanilla, chocolate and musk." Doesn't that just sound nice? I only had a little bit of that scent. I would have liked to do more of the batch with that. The rest of the batch I scented with some Cucumber Melon fragrance. I like cucumber melon. This one really smells more of cucumber than melon, so it is a clean fresh scent. I wish it did have a little more of a fruity melon fragrance. But it still turned out nice.

Like I said, I was really running low on soap. Last year I went through a lot of what I made giving them away as birthday presents for the Relief Society ladies in my ward. I wrapped them in a cute fabric and tied it off with a ribbon and a little flower. They were really cute and nice gifts that I could make for about 50 cents each. This year we are doing something different (lip balms, their cute too!) so it should be easier for me to not get so low on soap.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Very Good Soup

Last night I tried a new recipe for a soup that I saw on Studio 5 here at work. When they made it here, the fresh herbs in it smelled so fantastic that I couldn't resist trying it. I tried it and it was so good I had to make it for my family. I figured they would love it. There is nothing better than a good homemade soup on a cold winter day.

The recipe calls for butternut squash, apples, pears and onions. It has fresh herbs and a little half and half too. It was delicious. Although I did have to substitute dried herbs for the fresh herbs because I couldn't find them at the grocery store. I do recommend using fresh herbs if you possibly can. The fresh herbs are heavenly in this soup.

Here is the recipe:Butternut Harvest Bisque

The picture on the website above isn't quite right. It is a bit smoother than how mine turned out. I guess I didn't puree it quite as much as they did for the picture.

While I was making the soup, Travis kept calling it my "Fruit Soup". He thought it was a strange combination for a soup.

I made homemade biscuits to go with the soup to round off the meal. My family did like the soup, and the biscuits, but they felt like they were missing the main course because I didn't have meat in the soup. They felt like I had made 2 side dishes for dinner, and thought they were hungry a couple of hours later. So next time I make it, I'll grill some chicken breasts with it or something.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

“We’re not a weird people.”

I’m a little slow to get this post up. I’ve been meaning to all week long. I was sad to hear about the passing of President Hinckley. I was sad because I knew that I would miss him so much. But, like most who knew him, I was happy too. I know he lived an extraordinary life. I knew he was having a glorious reunion with his lovely wife, with other loved ones, and other prophets that had gone on before him.

You may have noticed the title of my post. I just liked it. It is what President Hinckley said in one of the interviews he did on prime time TV.

I love President Hinckley. I’m glad he was the prophet while I was a member of the church. I loved how you could feel his love for you. I loved how you felt like he was your friend. I loved to hear him speak. I would look forward with anticipation and almost an excitement to hear what he had to say. I loved to hear his guidance. I loved to hear his testimony. His testimony helped mine to grow.

He was a gentle and powerful force for good. I will miss him, and I am looking forward to seeing him again on the other side. Maybe then I will get the chance to tell him thanks for all the service gave for us.

I have two new goals. One of them is to remember to pray for our prophet more. I want to pray for him often, and to pray to thank our Father for him. My other goal is to follow President Hinckley’s example and serve more. I’m sure I will never measure up to what he did, but I want to do my best to serve to the best of my ability while I am alive.

Just in case you wanted to read President Hinckley’s testimony, here is one: I remember this one, just like he hoped I would. It was given during a conference in 2006. It was while I was inactive still, and having the feelings to get back to living my life the way I knew I could.

"I hope that all of you will remember that on this Sabbath day you heard me bear my witness that this is God's holy work. The vision given the Prophet Joseph in the grove of Palmyra was not an imaginary thing. It was real. It occurred in the broad light of day. Both the Father and the Son spoke to the boy. He saw Them standing in the air above him. He heard Their voices. He gave heed to Their instruction.

"It was the resurrected Lord who was introduced by His Father, the great God of the universe. For the first time in recorded history, both the Father and the Son appeared together to part the curtains and open this, the last and final dispensation, the dispensation of the fullness of times.

"The Book of Mormon is all that it purports to be—a work recorded by prophets who lived anciently and whose words have come forth "to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations"

"The priesthood has been restored under the hands of John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John. All the keys and authority pertaining to eternal life are exercised in this Church.

"Joseph Smith was and is a prophet, the great Prophet of this dispensation. This Church, which carries the name of the Redeemer, is true.

"I leave you my testimony, my witness, and my love for each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

President Gordon B. Hinckley
April 1, 2006, Sunday morning session of the 176th Annual World General Conference