Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Boy and the Pig in Mud

Sabrina made a book for her kindergarten teacher and wanted to share it with all of you here. I didn't take photos of every page, but here is her story.
The boy met the pig. The pig met the boy. They became friends. They played a lot. They had fun together.

They played at the park with each other. They had fun together.

Next, they went to the pool. Some people were already there. They did not swim. They were sad.
Upstairs, there was a jacuzzi with bubbles. The pig and the boy had fun together. No one was there. Then they swimmed together.

They went home. They said goodbye to each other. "Goodbye," they said.

This was the pig's home. This was the boy's home.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Finding a Safe Harbor


"Many today feel troubled and distressed; many feel that, at any moment, the ships of their lives could capsize or sink. It is to you who are looking for a safe harbor that I wish to speak today, you whose hearts are breaking, you who are worried or afraid, you who bear grief or the burdens of sin, you who feel no one is listening to your cries, you whose hearts are pleading, 'Master, carest thou not that I perish?' To you I offer a few words of comfort and of counsel.

"Be assured that there is a safe harbor. You can find peace amidst the storms that threaten you. Your Heavenly Father--who knows when even a sparrow falls--knows of your heartache and suffering. He loves you and wants the best for you. Never doubt this. While He allows all of us to make choices that may not always be for our own or even others' well-being, and while He does not always intervene in the course of events, He has promised the faithful peace even in their trials and tribulations." Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Finding a Safe Harbor," Ensign, May 2000, 59

Yes, I'm posting about peace again. It just seems to be what I keep finding and what is needed right now in these uncertain economic times---a certain truth. If you've read my blog before, you know I'll tell you that you should read this talk so here is the link.

http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-4-23,00.html

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mix it Up! II

Rocky Road Bars
I didn't get to add the nuts because of kids' allergies so they weren't rocky, but they were still really good...lots better than I was expecting when Elisa begged me to make them with her.

1 2/3 c. flour
1/3 c. Dutch processed cocoa
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
3 c. semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 c. walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 - 2 c. miniature marshmallows (to taste)
Optional drizzle: 1-2 ounces chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch pan.
Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, cream butter and sugars until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture, 2 cups chocolate chips and walnuts.
Pat the dough into your prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes until the edges are set but still soft in the center. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup chocolate chips and then marshmallows. Bake about 3-5 minutes more. Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired. Allow bars to cool completely before cutting.




Lentil Tacos
This is my favorite new recipe! We use corn tortillas, warmed in a skillet with just a little oil instead of taco shells. These are so good that I crave them. I eat them with just lettuce and tomato, but included the recipe as I found it.


1 c. finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t. canola oil
1 c. dried lentils, rinsed
1 T. chili powder
2 t. ground cumin
1 t. dried oregano
2 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 c. salsa
12 taco shells
1 1/2 c. shredded lettuce
1 c. chopped fresh tomato
1 1/2 c. Cheddar cheese
6 T. sour cream

In a large nonstick skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly. Stir in salsa. Spoon about 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Where can I turn for Peace?

The more I learn and the closer I come to my Heavenly Father, the more clearly I can see how short-sighted and selfish my fear and lack of faith is. I don’t ever doubt that Heavenly Father is there or that Jesus really did live and die for me and for each of us. Sometimes, though, I seem to be afraid to pass through hard times or see my family suffer. I wonder if a wrong decision has lead to difficulties instead of trusting that Heavenly Father is letting me learn and progress. I still find it hard to be calm and know that eternally everything will be during occasional trials. Am I the only one? Right now I am feeling peaceful and hopeful even with the economic problems that are affecting the world, my friends and my family. But how long will I remain optimistic if things get worse? What can I do to continue to feel Heavenly Father’s peace?

I just read the BEST talk. You have got to read it. I included the link at the end of my post. There is no way for me to include all the good parts here without just copying and pasting the whole thing. I will talk about a few parts, but read it! It is from a CES fireside from Elder Holland, but adapted for the Ensign. After reading this, I am anxious to read two of his books that I’ve seen—Broken Things to Mend and Trusting Jesus.

The very first sentence in the article says so much and is just a classic to me. “The soul that comes unto Christ dwells within a personal fortress, a veritable palace of perfect peace.” If we want that peace, we need to know Christ and make Him a part of our life. We need to follow Him and do as He did.

“The Lord has probably spoken enough such comforting words to supply the whole universe, it would seem, and yet we see all around us unhappy Latter-day Saints, worried Latter-day Saints, and gloomy Latter-day Saints into whose troubled hearts not one of these innumerable consoling words seems to be allowed to enter.”

How much we have to learn! We have the fullness of the gospel, but we don’t all always seem to let that fullness seep into our souls completely. We believe parts of it, but misunderstand or only have partial faith in other important aspects. Otherwise, why would there be so many of us that are unhappy and discouraged? Trials are part of this life and we all have them, but Heavenly Father never leaves us alone in those trials. It is up to us if we are to come unto Christ and allow his love and peace to fill us even in difficult times.

“Consider, for example, the Savior's benediction upon his disciples even as he moved toward the pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary. On that very night, the night of the greatest suffering the world has ever known or ever will know, he said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. . . . Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).

“I submit to you that may be one of the Savior's commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lord's merciful heart. I can tell you this as a parent: As concerned as I would be if somewhere in their lives one of my children were seriously troubled or unhappy or disobedient, nevertheless I would be infinitely more devastated if I felt that at such a time that child could not trust me to help, or should feel his or her interest were unimportant to me or unsafe in my care. In that same spirit, I am convinced that none of us can appreciate how deeply it wounds the loving heart of the Savior of the world when he finds that his people do not feel confident in his care or secure in his hands or trust in his commandments.”

This thought made me so sad. When I am troubled by my trials or fear the unknown future, I am actually saying to my loving Heavenly Father, “I don’t trust You. I don’t believe that You are taking care of me. I don’t believe that this will be for my benefit and that You would rescue me from this if it wouldn’t help me eternally.” Just as Elder Holland mentions his feelings of being a parent and wanting his children to trust him, I know that I would feel hurt if one of my children didn’t trust me enough to know that everything I do for them is because I think it is for their good. Of course, I am not perfect and too often make mistakes as a mother, but our Heavenly Father does not make mistakes. He loves us and Elder Holland speaks of that perfect love.

Elder Holland also speaks of Jesus healing so many people during His ministry as the scriptures give testimony to.

“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matt. 9:36–38).

I don’t think I have ever paid attention to this phrase. Jesus knows of our sickness, our pain, our emotional sufferings. He wants to help us feel better, but instead of doing it alone, He wishes for more people to help Him heal, teach and succor His people, not because He can’t do it alone, but because of how we progress when we serve others. Are we being His labourers in the harvest? It takes time and energy, but how can we become more like Him if we do not act more like Him and do what He did?

Elder Holland’s talk is wonderful for anyone in any situation. I hope you will take the time to read it and leave your comments here. There are so many powerful quotes!

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “‘Come unto Me’,” Ensign, Apr 1998, 16

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=c468605ff590c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Smart & Cute!




Halloween is over and the kids have tons of candy. They never eat it all. They found some candy in their bags from last year. Sad! The girls had a parade at school so I went and saw them there. Alexander can't wear a costume to school in junior high and they didn't have parties. He said the teachers weren't even allowed to give them candy. The pains of growing up!
In the evening, we went trick-or-treating and then to a party at the church.
Ninja Alex's friend (the BYU fan) came trick-or-treating with us and Elisa left to go with her friends. Then we met up at the church. Sabrina changed into an old costume after school. Can you tell she put on her own lipstick???
My 3 cuties all got their report cards and they all got a 4.0! Well, they don't really call it that in elementary, but they all got the best grades they could in their classes. Elementary doesn't use A's so I can't say straight A's either. I guess they deserve a reward of some kind. I better think of something.
Since I'm their mommy (Sabrina still calls me mommy at least, instead of mom), I think they are so smart and talented that they could do anything they wanted to. Unfortunately, Alexander went from wanting to be an engineer at Boeing to wanting to be a video game tester. Hopefully he has a few years to outgrow that one!!!

Utah Local: Rico Cocina y Tequila Bar

I wanted to find somewhere different to have dinner with my children, but it had to have food that all of them would eat. It's not easy ...