Friday, January 30, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009



Tonight, I was blessed to have my little men over. Mama and Daddy went out for Daddy’s birthday.

We ate; of course you ALWAYS have to eat when you come to Gramma’s house! Sometimes, I still can’t believe that I’m a gramma, and it has been close to five years now.

After we ate, we played. I don’t like to let them watch a lot of movies, so we sat on the floor and played blocks and read stories from the Friend (a religious magazine for little people). We brushed teeth, ran to and from the bathroom with potty-training Adrien, about six times, and sang Primary (church) songs. We were just together--the simple, old-fashioned togetherness.

Papa with eight-month-old Christian and 4-1/2 year-old Julian...

Feigning sleep...

My little dimpled two-year-old, Adrien...

Finally, I had some little wash cloths that came compressed into a small package. You put them in warm water, and they slowly expand, opening up to reveal a picture. I had these from last Christmas that I didn’t end up using, and they had the baby Jesus, Joseph, and Mary. What a fun thing this was to do.




Baby Christian watching...

I didn’t end up getting pictures of the end products, but they were pretty little bath cloths. The boys then washed up with the warm cloths and took them with them to use at home.

What a blessing it is to have these little men! What a perfect end to my day! I love my little people so very much. I feel their little spirits and their teachable little hearts. No wonder the Bible says that we are to be as little children. What a blessing from our Father in Heaven they are.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009


I was tagged by visiting Jan at Rose Haven for this photo game.

RULES: Here are the rules to this fun game:

1. Go to the the 4th folder where you keep your pictures on your computer.

2. Post the 4th picture in the folder.

3. Explain the photo.

4. Tag 4 fellow bloggers to join in the fun!

I am tagging the first four visitors to this blog. Have fun! :)

This is a picture of the first State Games that my son (left) was in. He hadn’t been doing martial arts for very long, yet won both a silver and a gold medal, including two matches where he bested those with higher ranks. Needless to say, I was proud of the boy. :) The young man standing next to him is a friend, and the man in the background is fellow martial artist and brother of El’s long-time friend.


I wasn’t feeling at all well this morning and so didn’t go into work—bad on the paycheck—good to stay in bed for the morning time.

I got to feeling better and was able to cook a nice and hot yet simple meal for my family. The attitudes of everyone are so much different when they can come home to the smell of dinner cooking. My son walked in from work, sniffed the air, and said, “Mmmmm…MMMMMMM!” Then when he found out that it was one of his favorite homemade soups, he was extra pleased!

While I was in the kitchen, our sink piping sprung a leak, so I called my husband to let him know in case he needed to pick up a part on his way home. I think that the smell of dinner maybe even helped his mood as he walked in, knowing that he had work ahead of him. (I am most likely just humoring myself, but nonetheless…:)

The mommy in us never leaves, you know. The female spirit indeed has wonderful innate qualities to nurture, to love, to soothe. I yearn for days gone by when I was “just” a homemaker and a housewife. Well, today, I got to play that role again. Along with cooking, a load of laundry was washed and hung. I love to hang anything possible. It not only saves on electricity, but it is more pleasing to the soul and reminds me of days when I smelled Gramma’s fresh sheets hanging on the line. I don’t have a clothesline, so the basement rod has to do. :) I also got some crafting done, my bedroom tidied up, and a dessert made—something that is never accomplished at my house. In fact, more than one person said, “What’s with all the baking?” “Well………I pondered to myself…………if I were financially able to stay home, this would be the norm, sillies…………as in days gone by…”

When dh got home, we ran out to get a part, and I grabbed my knitting bag along the way. We had a cozy drive to Lowe’s (yes, you CAN have a cozy drive to a hardware store), and I sat in the car and crocheted on Elliott’s quilt while Steve ran in to get the pipe. Those little times together are cherished so very much. Holding hands, getting a hug, seeing a family who is happy that Mom is home, that hot food is waiting for them…these are the true treasures in life.

How I yearn to be able to stay home and perform the chores of homemaking rather than working for a wage. Will it happen while I am still able to enjoy my health and my strengths and abilities to do such? Only my Heavenly Father knows, but I certainly revel in these days, when I am able to “just” be a homemaker and a housewife. :)



4 eggs
1 c. oil (I use Olive Oil)
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. pumpkin
2 c. flour
1 tsp. soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
chocolate chips as desired

Mix by creaming eggs and sugar and then adding rest of ingredients.

I mix all of my ingedients in a large measuring/pouring cup. I like to add chocolate chips at this point for an extra treat!

Pour into pan.

I forgot my chocolate chips so added them to the top of the batter.

Bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes.

NOTE: I generally use two small cookie sheets. If you have to use an 8 x 8, which I did tonight, bake longer and watch so the top doesn’t get over done before the inside is cooked. You may have to turn the oven down to 325. Brownies are done when toothpick inserted near center comes out nearly clean.


3 oz. cream cheese
½ c. butter (recipe calls for margarine, but butter is healthier, so I use it)
1 tsp. vanilla or to taste
Powdered sugar to taste

Mix all ingredients and beat. Frost brownies when cool adding additional chocolate chips if desired.

I don't know the original author of this recipe, but it is one from a cookbook that I have had for well over 20 years. It was put together by our Fourth Ward Relief Society and entitled Seasoned with Love. For those of you who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Relief Society is a women’s organization dedicated to the welfare of all women everywhere.



Outside my window...It is overcast with a bit of snow on the ground.

I am thinking...That my paycheck NEEDS to come soon! ;)

I am thankful for...Freedom.

From the learning rooms...Forever trying to learn to fix my shortcomings!

I am wearing...A knit t-shirt with a long-sleeved flannel-type over shirt, comfy bottoms, and long cozy socks.

I am creating...A Valentine's Day garland with pretty crystal hearts.

I am going...To try harder to better myself. :)

I am reading...Country Woman.

I am hoping...To pay off one debt in 2009.

I am hearing...The same thoughts repeating over and over in my head. I wrote them down, so now I won't worry about them. (This is a neat trick that usually works pretty well, as long as you keep reminding yourself that they are written down and are being taken care of. Your mind is then freed up for other things.)

Around the house...Not much today. I am home from work and planning on taking it easy for a day.

One of my favorite things...Barbie Dolls. :)

A few plans for the rest of the week:Not much different than the usual! Going to work, working on class computer issues, looking forward to Friday afternoon!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...A Valentine garland.

Please join us at The Simple Woman's Daybook.


Sunday, January 25, 2009


I have heard it said that every answer that we ever need is contained in the scriptures. Sometimes we have to search and search to find our answers. Sometimes, they come quickly. There are times when one can pray then randomly flip through the scriptures. The answer is there before our eyes practically jumping off the page at us. I love when that happens. It makes me realize that the Lord loves little old me. He has all of his children to watch over, but he actually cares about me!

Along with the scriptures, our youth have a pamphlet entitled “For the Strength of Youth: Fulfilling Our Duty to God”. They are given this at 12 years of age when they enter the young people’s group. It contains many things, which relate both to them and to the adults as well. The titles for the different sections are Message from the First Presidency, Agency and Accountability, Gratitude, Education, Family, Friends, Dress and appearance, Entertainment and the Media, Music and Dancing, Language, Dating, Sexual Purity, Repentance, Honesty, Sabbath Day Observance, Tithes and Offerings, Physical Health, Service to Others, Go Forward with Faith, The Living Christ, and The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

The section on Gratitude says in part, “The Lord wants you to have a spirit of gratitude in all you do and say. Live with a spirit of thanksgiving and you will have greater happiness and satisfaction in life. Even in your most difficult times, you can find much to be grateful for. Doing so will strengthen and bless you.”

The teenage years are a tough time of life. Many youth go astray because Satan works so powerfully on them. Their hormones are surging, and ties to Mom and Dad are slowly dissolving.

I am so thankful for these tools that the Lord has bestowed upon us. What a world it would be if we have to go it alone.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I am so thankful to belong to this blog community. I have found so many wonderful spirits here and such a feeling of togetherness…like we really AREN’T alone in trying to live good lives. The media would have us think very differently. Tonight, my dear boy and I relistened to a story that we had heard before but one that is very eye-opening. As I don’t do well with details, I will paraphrase the gist of the account. Forgive any inconsistencies, miss-spellings, etc.

Elder Boyd K. Packer had told the account of Elder Cook’s chance meeting on an airplane. This story was told, I believe, in 1989. Elder Cook boarded the plane and, as was his custom, introduced himself to the man sitting next to him and asked his name in return. The man stated his name and upon finding that Elder Cook didn’t seem to know who he was, dug out a magazine and showed his picture. It was a magazine with scantily clad women and scary faces, Elder Cook reported. The man sitting next to him was, it turned out, Mick Jaeger. Once finding this out, Elder Cook related to him that in his travels, he met many young people. He said that some of them told him that his (Jagger’s) kind of music didn’t have any effect upon them. Others, he said, were honest in the fact that they felt an evilness while listening to the music. What, he asked Mick Jagger, were his thoughts on how the music affected the youth. His exact words, to the best of my memory were, “Our music is calculated to drive kids to sex.”

The discussion went on for some time. Mick jagger said that now that the availability of music videos was there, these were able to get their message across even better and that he was making even more money because of it. He didn’t care what the kids were doing.

The first time I heard this story, I was astonished, though I should not have been, because I know the influence of bad music. What struck me was that here sat a servant of the Lord next to a servant of the devil. Elder Cook bore his testimony with force to Jagger and told him that if he did not change his ways, he would be held accountable.

We have so much working against us dear women—against our children, against our husbands, against our families. In fact, one of the things that the rock star said was that he wanted the disintegration of the family. May we continue to pray hardily, read our scriptures, and teach our families DAILY of our dear Heavenly Father and the path he wants us on.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I've been having fun creating...a source of joy to me. My afghan, apron, candles, soaps, and crystal hearts are some of the things that I have been working on.

My newest creations are some hand-made cards that I did this weekend.

They're in my Etsy shop!

Monday, January 19, 2009



Outside my window...Dark and warm...darn, I want more snow!

I am thinking...That I need to work a lot more hours to pay down these bills. It's pretty depressing, but I am hopeful.

I am thankful for...My husband and all the hard work he does.

From the learning rooms...Medical Assistant knowledge.

From the kitchen...Poor man's split pea with ham soup. Ham, which I usually put into my soup for both flavoring and meat, was $20 at Wal Mart. I wasn't about to spend that much so substitued hocks for the flavoring and a wee bit of meat. I then used bacon for the rest. It tasted just as good. The only thing different was that it didn't look quite as pretty, and there wasn't as much meat.

I am wearing...Sweat pants, long knee-highs, and a comfy sweat shirt.

I am creating...Valentine cards to sell on Etsy.

I am going...No where special this week.

I am reading...Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.

I am hoping...To re-make some sound financial goals.

I am hearing...Silence. Hubby has the TV on, so I have my ear plugs in. :)

Around the house...A clean livingroom!...Crafts on the table to put away...A bathroom or two to clean.

One of my favorite things...Good books.

A few plans for the rest of the week:Work, blogging.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...The beginnings of Elliott's afghan.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I feel quite like an outsider as I read the wonderful blogs that I follow. I am the minority, as it seems, in blog land. I am in the transitional phase between mommy and empty nester. I confess that I hate the term and the very soon occurrence of the same. How I yearn, as I read these blogs, for my own now grown little people. How I desire those times past when I was able to stay at home and be a homeschooling mommy, a homemaker, a wife. Meals were made with love, and the house was cleaned and organized often. There are more remorses that I have that, due to causing undo hurt on others, I may not mention here. But, they are real, and they are very hurtful. They lend to the sadness I carry.

I very much dislike this passageway I find myself in and for the moment at least feel as though it leads only to much loneliness. After this comes old age and aloneness. An empty house is not ok with me. I want my children around. I want my family. I want activity and love. I very much do not want the empty shell that is soon to arrive. Never did I look forward to the day when my children would all be gone. Sure, I dreamed of not being so tied down and did indeed look forward to the days of “freedom”. I do enjoy certain aspects that come with not being a steward of little people. I do enjoy not having all of the tie downs that kids’ activities bring, that teenagers engage in, and others. But, all in all, I am very saddened by it all. By May 1st, my daughter and friend will have moved out. They are adults and need to move on with their lives, but couldn’t it be different? Couldn’t they just stay? Couldn’t we be as those souls in other countries who live together as family…forever…taking care of one another? My boy, too, will leave this Spring. He’ll be gone for two years and then back for a little season. He then will be on with his own life.

There is just something so final about it all. For all of these years, I was someone’s mommy, someone’s caregiver. Now, it will be just my husband and me. He, of course, is quite looking forward to the day. I am quite dreading it. Did I sign up for this when I married and started my family? I suppose I did, but I was so very involved in having those precious babies and caring for their every need that this day was eons away.

As I read these blogs that talk of having new little ones, homeschooling, and mothering, I am touched with a bitter finger on my heart. I do not desire to be here. I do not desire to be at the threshold of old age. While that is yet quite a ways down the road, it too will be here in the blinking of an eye, and I do not want to be the old woman who is but swept to the corner of life, only now to observe what she used to partake of—that of the motherhood she so enjoyed. Yet…I AM here, and I must make the very best of it. I must forge ahead into that cloudy abyss that I wish to shrink from. It is a time of transition, a time to allow this struggle to strengthen me. And so I shall.



Outside my window...A dark, cold, wonderful Winter's night.

I am thinking...that I love having my family here and am sad that in just a few short months, they will all be gone, and we will have a very empty house.

I am thankful for...Oil lamps and history.

From the learning rooms...More on lab tests and connective tissues.

From the kitchen...Lemon Cinnamon cleansing tea with a few splashes of vanilla soy milk.

I am wearing...My Winter flannel nightgown.

I am creating...Some crystalized hearts.

I am going...Think happy thoughts this night.

I am reading...Jane Austen.

I am hoping...For God's hand to guide me in my career path, as I am unfortunately destined to work.

I am hearing...The furnace running, a calm sound to me. It means Winter and cozy evenings.

Around the house...All is quiet, as I usually write this Daybook very late at night.

One of my favorite things...Is to create.

A few plans for the rest of the week:Work tomorrow and probably Friday as well. Making a nice large pot of Split Pea and Ham soup.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...Some crystal hearts hanging.

If you would like to join us, please visit The Simple Woman’s Daybook.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Elliott wanted an afghan to take on his mission. After several trial-and-error patterns, I decided upon a simple single-crochet pattern in the blue and orange colors that he wanted. It’s still baby sized but will grow! I was able to work on it the last couple of evenings, as I watched a favorite classic of mine, Pride and Prejudice.


A cute idea that I saw on a website was crystallized hearts. I’m experimenting with these for my Etsy shop.

Using pipe cleaners, or what they now call Chenille strips, you bend them into heart shapes and suspend in a jar of water and Borax for anywhere from a couple of hours to overnight. Once thoroughly dried, they are then sprayed with a clear lacquer finish. These can then be used as ornaments, made into magnets, or strung together.

Never mind the orange yarn (these were just used to hang my hearts), but here is an example of some before they were made into anything. I’ll post some better pictures later on.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


As I took my little men to church today, I felt a sense of responsibility and love, as if to say, “This is what I am supposed to be doing.” Buckled up and sitting nicely in their cute little suits and ties, we headed off.

I’m pretty sure that the hecticness of the day started with the wind, or at least that is what I choose to blame it on. It was absolutely frightful today and is the one element that I really don’t tolerate too well. As we headed into the building, over the snow and ice they ran. All the while, I was trying to keep my hair from flying every where but where it was supposed to be and to keep my skirt from eagerly trying to blow straight up in the air.

Once there, we dropped Julian off at his class and then took Adrien to Nursery. It was his first day there, and he wasn’t quite ready to go it alone, so I stayed with him and was proud to be there with my little grandbaby. All went well. There were snacks and games, songs and prayers.

It was now time to go and out into the wind once again we went. While trying to harness the elements and walk modestly out to the car, it was an effort trying to keep Julian out of the snow and ice and Adrien from following Julian into the snow and ice. For, whatever Julian does, Adrien is sure to follow!

We finally got to the car only to realize that I had lost my keys! With my extra set, we drove right up to the front door so that the boys could be seen and out of danger’s way as I flew through the church and crowded halls in search of my keys. They were no where to be found. Finally, a lady told me that her Bishop had held a pair up, which had been lost, in their Sacrament meeting. Off to find this unknown Bishop, down yet another hallway, and asking yet another person, (I didn’t know what their Bishop even looked like) I raced toward the chapel. There they were, in his hands, looking oh so familiar. I thanked him profusely and dashed out to the boys.

Of course, when I got there, Adrien was having a fit, a two-year-old fit or an I-need-a-nap-now fit, I’m not sure. But, fit and all, off we went. I felt like the pioneers must have felt, as I tried to negotiate the extremely rutted and overly bumpy roads! I am QUITE sure now, that if I didn’t need a front-end alignment last week that I most definitely do now. It was frustrating to say the least, humorous at best, and that’s pushing it! Going for a short-cut, we went the wrong way and ended up in a cul-de-sac only to have to turn around and maneuver the same ruts and bumps once again. Finally on a plowed thorough fair, we were off and flying. It’s only minutes now, I thought; we’ll be home out of the wind, and Adrien can get his much needed sleep.

Against my well ingrained knowledge that you NEVER place siblings so close to each other in the car that they are actually touching, heaven forbid, I had done it anyway. So, all the way home, either one of them or both were upset because the other one was taking up too much space, one wanted to lie down but the other was taking up the room, etc. etc. By this time, it was definitely Adrien’s nap time, and no amount of condolence could quiet him. So, amidst the fits and whining and angry drivers around us, we drove on, oh so gaily.
Finally, we reached the house, struggled out of the seat belts and out of the car, and off across the ice and snow they went. A dry sidewalk is no fun to travel on after all! As I caught up to him and tried to assist, so Adrien wouldn’t fall on the ice, his annoyance grew. He could do it himself after all. By the time we got into the house, he with his crumpled up Nursery coloring page, and me with my crumpled up face, we were greeted by Brattum, the horse-sized dog. A few hugs and kisses later, a once more upset Adrien who, trying to fight for space with horse dog, tried to reach me for a kiss and hug (ones that he didn’t want earlier). Our final farewells were bid, and the little cutest but oh-so-unhappy man walked off down the hall in a pout. All is well, I thought; all is well.

As I reflected once at home, I was so thankful that I have grandbabies, thankful that I am allowed to take them to church, and thankful that I can instill in them, as did my gramma in me, a love of the Lord Jesus Christ, wind, ruts, and all!