Sunday, June 30, 2013

From Elder Rice

Hey Family,
This was a great week. I gave my talk in Sacrament Meeting.  I had 10 pages with about 10 scriptures that i had to cut down. I think it ended up being 15 minutes. The ward liked it. I was worried because the time I spoke before, I spoke so fast that people couldn’t understand me. So I prayed a lot that they could understand and they did and liked it. I hope this brings a change in the ward and a greater focus on the right things. Then, that whole Sunday, the day was focused on how our ward can do member missionary work better. We gave a presentation on the plan we have for the ward. We talked about the need for member missionary work and so on. I hope they start. It will be amazing. Then we got to watch the broadcast for missionary work. I loved it. I have a stronger desire to work harder and to be better, and I understand the role and power of the ward now. I love it.

This last week was a sad one. We had to say goodbye to President Furniss and Sister Furniss. I loved his going away talk. It was so amazing. He gave a lot of advice on how to live our lives after the mission.

Our investigator pool has taken a bit of a dive lately, with all the doctors we have been going to (Elder Miller, Elder Rice’s companion has been struggling with severe hip and foot pain) Plus, I adjusted the way I find new investigators. In the past, we offered to teach English to people. However, those people meet only one or two times and drop or they continue for years. S, I stopped teaching English outside our regular class on Saturday. The result: less people to teach, but more people progressing to Christ, and we have more time to strengthen less active members in the ward and find people that need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In other good news... I’m reading the New Testament and I love it so much. I am in John right now… right before He is betrayed, and I am sad because I am almost finished with the part that Christ is alive and teaching. I love reading and learning about Christ. I just feel the Spirit so strongly and I get such a desire to do better when I read about my Savior. I love it.  I just love the more I think about my Savior and His teachings, the more every thing makes sense to me. It’s like a ton of doors are opening in my mind. It’s the best. I love it all. If we all just focus on our Savior, everything makes sense.

This week, I have been trying to focus on the eternal perspective and help those I teach do the same. In our lessons, we taught The Restoration. This time, I had him focus on why The Restoration is important.  Without it, there is no church on earth to perform the ordinances we need to receive salvation. He closed his prayer by thanking Heavenly Father that he could learn how to receive salvation, and asked for help to receive it. He read the 몰몬   (Book of Mormon) every day and prays every day. It’s amazing.

I love you all. Take care of Jessica.

Love, Elder Rice

Friday, June 28, 2013

So Thankful They Were There

This is a sad and happy, transition time for Elder Rice. LDS Mission Presidents, along with their wife, and sometimes family, are called to serve for three years. They leave job and family and home and go far away to be responsible for many young men and young women between the ages of 18 and 23 who are away from home, in a different state, or different nation. They help our sons and daughters grow in spirituality, in maturity, and in ways that are not forgotten. The president's wife I refer to as their "mom away from mom"...they remind them about hygiene, help them with illness, aches, pains...I have loved ALL my son's Mission Presidents and their spouses. They have been so wonderful to all my boys. I love President and Sister Furniss, and am thankful for all they have done, and now am looking forward to President and Sister Shin, who take over for their three years on July 1.

I received these last pictures from Sister Furniss, on her blog, yesterday and today. It has been the nicest thing to wake up to pictures, searching for my son, or his wrist, or elbow...I stretch trying to see him! Nut mom!
Elder Rice has been plagued with headaches for his entire mission. He has seen doctors, thanks to Sister Furniss, and finally went to an eye doctor, who prescribed bi-focals. He, of course, didn't want to spend any money, so he got two pairs of glasses: reading and far away glasses, as he calls them. He is the the center...with the new glasses on that are probably more appropriate for a Korean complexion...but at least he is easier to find.

Here is a copy of his last letter...

Hey family,
Mom, I have a question: how did dad smoke meat in the freezer? Seems difficult. Sorry that was my joke of the day. (From Mom: in my letter, I told Elder Rice that Dad had smoked some meat in the freezer…apparently I should have said from the freezer…but I guess I gave him a laugh!)  Btw bifocals are 150 dollars, but the close glasses are 35 and the far are 35. so ya bifocals for 70. that was my thought, but its really annoying. Ha ha. So I’m sending my prescription to Jessica and she can order me some for cheaper.

By the way the rainy season started here this week. Sooooo much rain ha-ha. I love it! We use these things everyday that you Arizonans don’t know about. It’s called an umbrella. Ha-ha. So cool. I love rain. I like to just walk in the rain, but all the Koreans yell at me saying my hair will fall out if I walk in the rain. I don’t think that will happen.

On a good note, I cleared up some confusion with the boy that wanted to get baptized. Apparently all our members told him to become a member of our church, you need to get baptized, so he thought because his parents wouldn’t let him get baptized, he couldn’t come to church anymore. It’s all good now.

This leads to my new mission focus that should have been my focus all along.
Its been on my mind a lot on my mission and when I was writing my letter to Jessica, it all made sense. The problem with a lot of people in the church is that they focus on the church more than Christ. I sat in a meeting in my ward and I listened: besides the prayer, Christ was not mentioned once. They love missionary work, but they don’t have the correct focus. This isn’t just my ward; this is a lot of people. We get so caught up in so many things in life and the church that we forget the focus: Christ. The biggest thing that sticks out to me is when people stop coming to church. It could be for a number of reasons. Those don’t matter though. The result is that you distance yourself from Christ:  the very being that gave His life so we can have eternal life. He suffered incomprehensible pain and anguish for each and every one of us. His only desire was for us to have eternal life. And so many people leave Christ and His atonement and all hopes of eternal salvation because of one reason or another. I’m not trying to yell or condemn anyone here. I am just trying to help us all see the bigger picture. I can’t comprehend eternity, and I think that’s really hard for all of us, but I know that there is  eternal life after this and the conditions of that depend on our actions here. We need to realize that, in order to pass the test that this life is, we need to follow Christ by gaining faith in Him and His teachings, learning the commandments and doing our best to follow them. Then, we will want to change and follow Christ and His teachings. We change through a miraculous process called repentance. No one is perfect except Christ, who provided us a way to repent. Repentance has kind of a scary sound to many people. It’s not an easy thing, but the results are so amazing. People see Heavenly Father as a scary being that wants us to be perfect. No! He is a loving Heavenly Father that wants us to have eternal life. He is sad when we sin. And, just like when Christ taught about the 99 sheep and the one that was lost, He rejoices so much over the soul that repents and comes unto Christ and comes to the path towards eternal life. Once we have repented, we have the opportunity to make a huge step towards Christ and eternal life: Baptism. For those that have already been baptized, we attend church every Sunday to partake of the Sacrament and renew that covenant that we made at baptism, the covenant being we promise to keep God’s commandments, always remember Christ and take His name upon us. We promise to do our best, to do these things, repenting when we fall short, and then we get the promise that we will be forgiven. We can have Heavenly Father’s spirit to be with us and we make the first step by stepping through the gate towards eternal life. This covenant is mentioned in the Sacrament prayers. Then, after baptism, we receive the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is a guide to us through this life, because the path to eternal life is straight and narrow and the path to everything else is wide. We need a guide in this life to help us stay on the path and to help us come back when we stray away from it. After baptism, the Holy Ghost it is given to us through priesthood holders. We can have it always as long as we are worthy of it. Through the sacrament, after renewing the covenant and repenting, we can receive the Holy Ghost back in our hearts. It mentions this in 3 Nephi 18:9 that
after they partook of the Sacrament, they were filled with the Spirit . Then, after this is the final step: continuously doing these steps throughout our whole lives until the final day. This is the way to eternal life. Now, the reason church is important; mainly The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints is important, is because we have 1) a living prophet which gives us correct doctrine from Heavenly Father. Without correct doctrine, we can’t grow our faith in the right direction.  Through prophets, we learn the Gospel and the commandments that we need to obtain eternal life. 2) Through the first modern day prophet,  Joseph Smith, God restored His priesthood, which is the power and authority to perform saving ordinances such as baptism and the blessing of the Sacrament. Because this priesthood has been restored and is in this church, we need to attend this church so we can correctly do all the things we need to do every week to obtain salvation.

This is what we teach as missionaries. It’s the gospel that Jesus Christ taught. It is by Him and through Him and of Him only that we can obtain eternal life. We have the glorious opportunity to follow Christ in this life, that by doing so, we can have eternal joy and happiness. To me nothing is too big to sacrifice for this. Christ and many others have sacrificed their lives in the hopes of saving others eternally. Next comes the need for missionary work. We do missionary work to help others obtain eternal salvation, by helping them come unto Christ and partake of His gospel and all that accompanies it.

I know that Christ lives. I know that this is His gospel. And I love it. I make mistakes everyday. I’m not perfect, but through Christ, I have the hope to someday live with Him again. So because of that, no matter how hard it may seem, I try my best everyday to follow Him.

I say this as His representative and I do it in His name.

I love you all!  Have a wonderful week. Take care of Jessica.
Love, Elder Rice

I am so thankful for missions, and Mission Presidents that counsel and help a boy become a man that can write such powerful things, for Mission President's wife that makes sure these kids eat and bathe...and makes them the BEST homemade rolls ever! I am so thankful that they were there...

Saturday, June 22, 2013


I mentioned earlier Grammy's Grape Gazebo. Though the Grammy intentions have yet to come to pass, i.e. no granddaughter tea parties, the grape part has been doing well. The vines are growing along the wires that Doran and Nate helped Dad install (and when they weren't here, I held the pliers and hid my head while being showered with welding!), and we have cover in a few spots. We also installed the top part of those cheap dollar solar lights over the table...not exactly a bright light, but it is illuminated now. Since today was Elder Rice's 16 month mission anniversary and since I always go to the same spots around the yard to send him snail mail pics of this, I took an extra few of the grapes...

These are not part of the grape gazebo, but grown by the chicken pen. I am seeing lots...and lots...and lots of raisins.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Life Without Nearby, Non-Working Sons

When our kids were at home, they were always a great help to us. We live on an acre and it takes LOTS of work, just to maintain. There was mowing, and weeding, and raking and trimming, plus the many projects to make the life outdoors nicer, like sandboxes and playgrounds and gazebos and pizza ovens and pools. Now, the boys are grown...and either in Texas...or South Korea...or working day and night...leaving the work of four strong two OLD people! What started as me getting some old branches out to the quarterly city pickup pile, led to Dee cutting down a dead tree - from the winter freeze - trimming away a mesquite bush...raking...and then we got to our woodpile. Dee had a chainsaw that worked...and he sawed and chopped and split...I raked and hauled and stacked...and this was the finished product!!! Hooray for the elderly...or those who feel very elderly after all that! And Hooray for Ibuprofen!!!

AND...while this was finishing up, he smoked two pork shoulder roasts for 13 hours. Yep, pulled pork ready for now...and for the 4th of July!

Doran and Amber got these WONDERFUL hot gloves for Dad for Fathers' Day. So. Awesome. He even pulled the pork with no trouble at all!!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Grammy's Grape Gazebo

Truly a work that has progressed over years of time. The vines were planted years ago. We used the pipe from a baseball batting cage we purchased that had a rotten net, thus making it unaffordable at the time for us to use it (the boys still used the pitching machines, so it wasn't a total waste!) We used Ethan's pipe saw to cut, Morgan welded, we set the posts, Dee put in a child's level granite table, we gathered river rock to make the path, and the floor (the path also has rocks that were given to me by Adam and Grace, a glass doorknob, and a piece of "Jessica-ite"). It was meant for me to have tea parties with granddaughters. The far away ones haven't been able to, but this was the first 'near' granddaughter that got to enjoy it, though for Kaylee, she enjoyed putting her feet in the water, and grabbing the leaves. Now, it's the only cool place in the yard...and that is a relative 'cool'.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Memory

Later, I will post on my sweetheart's Father's Day. He has already been greeted with a wonderful email from a daughter, a visit by a son, daughter in law and granddaughter, and eaten the best homemade sausage biscuits and gravy I have ever made! I was thinking dad. We had talks in church, of course, about fathers. One sister had a list of things she remembers her dad saying...and things she hears her husband say now...and I realized that I could not remember anything my dad said.

He missed out on high school graduation, my first date, my first steady date, my first fiancee. He missed my first real job. I remember him always being at my band concerts, my softball games. I remember him being sick and in the hospital. I remember that he was able to drive me places in that little yellow Toyota truck that, to this day, I don't know how he knew where to take me. All those years...and I don't think I can remember an exact thing he said. I was a nasty 13 year old. He wanted my skirts long, so as soon as I left the house, I would roll the waist up, so they would be short. I don't remember anything bad...I also don't remember anything much at all. So sad that I didn't take a moment to at least write a word or two down. So sad I was so selfish.

I remember, too, when my kids were least they had their Dad cheering in the seats at their band concerts when the band actually sounded good! Dad would work at night, take all his breaks and lunch in one time period and drive all the way to a little league game to watch a few innings, and then return to work until midnight. My kids had a dad that could help on their complicated science projects, who could teach them to drive, who was there for their high school graduation and their first trip to the temple to receive their endowment. He was there to help them when they were locked out of their car, to loan them a few bucks when times were down. I would often think of how they really didn't know just how blessed they have a embarrass them, to say silly things that would totally get them mad, to tease them, to teach them...when they could remember.

He died at the beginning of my senior year in high school. I was 16. I remember sitting with him at the hospital while he was pretty much unconscious. We were just waiting. I DO remember the last thing he said to me...I leaned near him, and said, "I love you, Dad" and he said, "I too". He died days later. I remember at his funeral, a dear friend, Sidney Mitchell, felt impressed to share a message to each of us kids from our dad, and mine was to stay close to the church. I remember feeling kind of put out...heck, I was 16 and thought I knew everything...who knew that I would someday be engaged to someone who decided he didn't want to stay close to the church, and that those very words of counsel saved me and led me to the man I hope to spend eternity with.  I Do remember that he loved to eat rice with meatballs and mushroom soup. I remember he liked 3 Musketeers Bars and those sugar jelly orange slices, and every time the kids would get one in their trick or treat bag, I would have one, just to remember him. I remember his slouchy yellow fishing hat that he wore to work, and his jeans. I remember he liked to make homemade ice cream with a hand crank and the rennet tablets and the peaches he would put in always came out frozen solid. I remember that, before he was a Latter Day Saint, he smoked a pipe and a few months ago, I got a whiff of that cherry blend tobacco he used to use. I remember that whenever I was home sick from school, he would call from work and ask me how I was doing. I remember that the Spirit touched him a lot after he had a stroke, but those tears, embarrassing then, are quite cherished memories now. I remember what a dedicated Sunday School Secretary he was, and a great home teacher. I remember his crew cut. I remember Sam, the white ceramic bust of a thing that he had by our black and white tv. I remember he loved Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and we would often drive around ASU in Tempe, and Paradise Valley to look at it...So boring to a 12 year old! I remember him walking into the ocean in plaid bermuda shorts after a plastic jeep my brother had thrown into the dad could not swim! I remember him being working hard for us, and doing all he could. I remember family prayer in the morning, the others asleep, me curling my hair in the bathroom, and him standing faithfully in the hall. I, too, remember a child that I babysat with a picture of my dad's obituary on her bulletin board...because he was always so nice.

Memories are funny...I guess I do remember. I think I will make sure that, from now on, I will take more notice of what people say...what they do...because in a moment, they could be gone. And while we will all be gone, no one deserves to be forgotten...especially not a Dad.

I love you Dad. Thanks for your love, your example, your faith, your prayers, and I am sure that all that continues today, though it is on the other side of a veil. I will see you soon someday.

Happy Fathers' Day

It was a good Fathers' Day, I think, even though Dads don't get a nice phone call from a missionary in Korea! The kids were great.

Jessica came by early in the week to bring Dad an early treat!

 Dad was greeted with this Facebook Message...
Happy Father's Day, Dad! If I could think of one word to describe you, it would be "teacher." You have taught me so much my entire life. Thank you for always being willing to sit down and explain science and the Gospel to me when I was younger to car repairs and politics when I was older to teaching Grace addition and Adam tetherball now. I love you so much! Hope you have a wonderful day!

From Suzzy:  A homemade biscuits and gravy breakfast, sesame candy treats and a card...

I used the second rollings to make Beau his own biscuit...we referred to him as the barren father!
 Amber, Doran, and Kelsie came by before church...
Earlier in the week, Doran had sent these hot gloves via Amazon. 

We had ice cream cones and chocolate syrup for any visitors. 

 At church, some of the ladies had made homemade cinnamon rolls for the men to eat during Priesthood Meeting. Since my last effort was awful...I did not share with the poor men!

Dad was pretty full, and we had a chicken and a piece of salmon that he grilled his special way, and I made him a salad.

Then, Ethan, Cameo and Kaylee stopped by...with an ice cream cake!

She arrived like this after her busy Sunday with Mommy and Daddy

Showing off her new sitting skills!
It's the best to think of all your kids. Some live far away and are so busy working...but they are always in Dad's heart!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Flagstaff Trip

We took another trip to Flagstaff today. Flagstaff is about 2 hours from our house. You can leave our home, drive through beautiful pine trees and aspen...and cool weather. My hubby is accumulating buckets of different mineral soils to enhance our dirt. Yep, we are the freaks standing by the road shoveling crushed black lava rock into WalMart and Lowe's buckets. Crazy. We stopped and took a little hike...the elevation is over 8500 it was cool with a wonderful breeze! Everything was green and gorgeous. Stunning mountains...forests...ferns...and the last of wild iris all around. I am NOT a fan of snow...and that is what Flagstaff is, when I am not there...but today, I almost wanted to move there. We even stopped in Flagstaff on the way back for a Chinese buffet lunch...and as we walked out the door...IT WAS RAINING! Yep, I was the crazy lady in the pink shirt standing in the rain! Came home to the heat...but it was a nice break. And now that the sun is lower in the sky, I am off to chop and stack more firewood.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Daily Scripture Reading

I study the scriptures every day...Not that I am any great person, but it is a simple, no cost, just a bit of time, way to remind me of Who is first and let Him know I put Him first. My days seem to be better...trials more manageable. I even seem to have more energy for Kaylee when I make sure my scripture reading is complete before she arrives. I set goals every year. This year, I have already read The Book of Mormon once, and I am on my second time through. I have read "Preach My Gospel" (this book is what the LDS Church uses to train their missionaries. It is a truly inspired writing, and is full of scripture references and teachings), Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage (another sacred book that missionaries read during their personal study time. It is available online for free via the Gutenberg Project. I highly recommend it. I learned so very much about the Savior!), and all the talks from April LDS General Conference, including cross referencing all the scriptures utilized in the talks). I love reading the scriptures. Each time I read, a new understanding comes to my mind. They have been comfort in troubling times. They bring me peace.

I am now reading, as I said, the Book of Mormon. I am underlining 'tender mercies'...the times the Lord shows His love, His grace, His blessings. I have found I seek to see more of the many tender mercies in my life as I search the Book of Mormon. I am currently in 2nd Nephi. Nephi has brass plates, which contain the scriptures, and he is going over some of the parts of Isaiah. Isaiah is not that easy to understand. I usually buzz through the chapters, but this time, I have been using an LDS Old Testament Student Manual for their Institute of Religion classes to seek some clarification. I am now in  2 Nephi 13:9, which is also Isaiah 3: 9. I was touched by this particular quote used to clarify the words of Isaiah. The quote is by David O. McKay, who was the 9th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

"...every person who lives in this world wields an influence, whether for good or for evil. It is not what he says alone; it is not alone what he does. It is what he is. Every...person radiates she he or she really is...It is what we are and what we radiate that affects the people around us... If we think noble thoughts; if we encourage and cherish noble aspirations, there will be that radiation when we meet people..."  - David O. McKay

Such inspiring words for all of us. We all wield an influence. Let your influence be for good...there sure are plenty of not so good influences for others to see.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

10:30 Am and Already A Busy Wednesday

Since it is going to be a 112 degree day today, I am using the oven in my outdoor kitchen to its fullest potential. As of 10:30 AM, I have already baked 2 boulles of dutch oven bread, 3 loaves of whole wheat bread, almost 3 dozen homemade bread sticks, and croutons from my epic fail whole wheat "brick" loaves last week, and 3 pans of home grown tomatoes are cut and seasoned and ready to go in to the oven to roast.
 Roasted Tomatoes
Nothing special here. I take the garden tomatoes that are really ripe, wash, cut, and mix with olive oil and sea salt. I don't core or peel. I pour this into these disposable Costco pans that I already have put a few sprigs of fresh basil. I put them in a 450 degree oven and check every hour. My goal is a golden brown roast and most of the liquid gone. Usually, I roast at 450 for one hour, rotate the pans, roast at 450 for another hour, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, rotate the pans, roast for another hour and rotate. Last time, it took four total hours. Sometimes it takes longer, sometimes it takes less time. That is why I set the timer and check. After they are roasted and mainly fluid free, I run them through my Kitchenaid mixer with the strainer attachment. Treats for my chickens (skins, cores, basil stems, etc.) come out into one bowl, and the most amazing sauce comes out into a pan. Sometimes I cook it down on the stove on medium low, sometimes I don't...depending on the consistency I want. Then, I bag it into 3 cup freezer bag portions that I date and label, and freeze flat. 
 I bake bread every other week...on weeks I care for 5 month old Kaylee, I don't have the time to do it all, so I bake and freeze on my week off. Here are my recipes:

The Best Crusty Dutch Oven Bread

THE Best Crusty Bread (Dutch Oven)
added by Pat DiMercurio
Since I retired in 2010, I have been in search of the perfect Crusty Bread recipe. You know, the kind you find in great Italian restaurants that have a gorgeous crackly crust and a chewy inside, perfect for dipping in olive oil? I cannot take credit for this recipe. I actually don't remember where I found it, except it was an adaptation from a site called Simply So Good. The only thing I did differently was use bread flour instead of AP flour. If someone here posted this recipe, please accept my congratulations...(a fine loaf indeed) and my apologies for posting again.
Cook time: 45 Min  Prep time: 10 Min  Serves: 12 or depending on how the loaf is sliced
3 c bread flour
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c water, warm
1. Whisk flour, yeast and salt in a 3-4 quart bowl with a tight fitting lid. I like to use my trusty Tupperware. If you don't have a bowl w/lid use plastic wrap on a bowl. Add the water and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough is mixed well. The dough will be quite sticky and shaggy looking, but that's OK. Cover the bowl and set aside for 12-18 hours,(up to 24) overnight is fine.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a cast iron Dutch oven with the lid into the oven while preheating and heat the pot/lid for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, scrape the risen dough from the bowl onto a heavily floured surface. (Dough will still be very sticky.) With floured hands, gently shape the dough into a round loaf, making sure there's enough flour on the surface so dough doesn't stick. let the dough just sit there until you're pot is preheated.
3. Take the hot pot from the oven and gently place the dough into the pot. Cover with the lid and return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid at that time and return the pot to the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Gently shake the loaf onto a cooling rack and enjoy the beautiful aroma. Give it a chance to cool before cutting into the loaf.

And for my regular whole wheat bread:

EZ Wheat Bread Recipe

EZ Wheat Bread recipe (I doubled this recipe in the video you watched)
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 Tblsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup honey or 1/3 cup sugar
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (or whatever combination white/wheat you like..I use 100% hard white wheat. To learn more about the different types of wheat, download my wheat handout)
1/4 cup wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
2 Tblsp nonfat non instant dry milk
1 Tblsp butter/margarine/oil
1 Tblsp vinegar
1/4 cup potato flakes (NOT potato pearls)
Mix ingredients in order listed in mixing bowl of mixer with dough hook attachment (like kitchen-aid) for 12-15 minutes. Let rise until double, 1- 1 1/2 hours. Punch down, and shape into loaf or rolls. Let rise again until double and bake 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped.
If you are making this recipe in a bread machine, follow your bread machine’s directions for wheat or whole grain selection and add the ingredients in the order listed for their recommendations. (only one loaf will fit in a bread maker)
This site... great videos to show you every step. I just love this sweet young thing...I have watched and watched. 

Croutons in process...I cubed my failed bread loves, mixed with olive oil, garlic powder, and parmesan, spread on a parchment lined baking sheet, and baked for 30 or so minutes at 375. I watch and often use the oven for these while I was waiting for a batch of whatever to rise. My last batch is sitting on the counter of the outdoor kitchen while the tomatoes roast, and, if the doggone birds don't figure it out, they will finish when the tomatoes are ready to sauce. Plus, they are out in 112+ degree sunshine now , too, so extra drying is occurring. 

 Bread Sticks...first effort
I used this recipe:

Breadsticks By Food Storage Moms


  • 4 Teaspoons SAF Instant Yeast
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 2 Cups Warm Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 4 Teaspoons Dough Enhancer
  • 2 Eggs slightly beaten
  • 6-7 Cups White Bread Flour
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Melted Butter
  • Garlic Salt, Parmesan Cheese


Step 1
Place all of the ingredients in order into a Bosch Bread Mixer or a very large bowl to mix and knead by hand. The recipe calls for 6-7 cups of white bread flour…you add flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead by hand or machine for 8-10 minutes. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise. Roll the dough out after the first rise and cut with knife or pizza cutter into desired shapes. Dip in melted butter and place onto greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with garlic salt, parmesan cheese or any desired seasoning of choice. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise once more. Remove plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees for 12-20 minutes depending on the size of breadsticks you make. Do not over bake.

from here:
This was my first effort. Next time, I will roll the dough out thinner...these breadsticks...well, one would be a very filling meal!

I cut these grapes early this morning. Birds are beginning to taste them, and the heat is beginning to bake them, so I have some for eating and some making raisins.

I try to read 7 pages of the Book of Mormon every day, and I sit at the table in the kitchen and read between trips to the oven. Lots of good the laundry room is right by me and I have another load to complete. Don't know if I will get to vacuuming today...I am getting pooped now.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Patient Endurance

I used to be a journal keeper. I was young and I felt valued. Though the days were often repetitive and mundane, I was "living the dream"...a hard working husband, six challengingly amazing children, a faith that guided me, and gave me the opportunity to share and learn. I was the homeroom mom. I was the parent who faithfully listened to the first grader as he or she read. I made treats for soccer games. I kissed the sweet spot on the little league players bat. I dressed the ballerinas before their dance company performance. I made the plaster casting of the elk footprint. I rode the most frightening roller coaster in my existence...with my kids. I pitched split finger fast balls over and over. I made the prom dress, and then sat on a cell phone and listened as the description was shared with me of how she looked, how he looked, as I sat at a disc jockey event that I had to help with to pay for that prom dress. I didn't mind...not one single bit. It wasn't leading a multinational corporation, nor performing a perfect piano concert, but it was of great me...for I felt I was helping these someday live their dreams. I lived after day...and loved it. This kept up...until I put my baby on a plane...for two years...and I came home, sat down...and had nothing. The nest was empty. My dream was done. Sure, I still had my faith, but vibrant youth are abundant, leaving stalwart left by the way. Grammy tried to make up for it... but that, too, seems more of an interference in other lives now. Who wants to be patient with these people who just can't figure out how to "do it right". I probably didn't "do it right" then, when I thought I was living the dream. And, sure enough, as I have discovered, I certainly can't do it right now. I try to fill dream with other accomplishments...hard yard work, raking, hauling wood, helping a gardening husband, cleaning up after projects. I share a facebook post, and encourage him to do the same. He loves to share...and he rarely gets the chance...and very very often, the efforts become either misguided, or mis-received. Even things we think we are doing to help...turn out unfair...unwanted...unneeded. You wonder if you just are receiving the consequences teachings, or lack thereof. You did your best. But that seems to not be enough...for anyone. Special days are left with people to busy to even share a couple of words. Nights end up filled with tears.

Now you see why I don't any longer care to journal, though, as I have contemplated so many things that have converged in our world during the last few days, I do know that this is only a phase. It is a time of vast adjustment. Instead of focusing on my value to those I love and care for...and often lived for...I now seek Higher Help. I am a constant reader of the scriptures. Last week, I completed a time through the Book of Mormon. This week, I began again. Deep down, with all of my soul, I know that I am Him! No matter how many things I say wrong, or who does...or doesn't want to be near me...He values me...and I value Him. My days of helping are now doing what, hopefully, eases the burden of another, and brings a deep hug and a song into a little I used to. Sometimes, though, our efforts fall among cries of unfairness...We have never ever lived in the Land of Equal...I told my kiddos when they were little that the only way to be equal to six kids at all times...was to give and do NOTHING! They experienced, and still do today, our efforts, according to need. Sometimes, one needs help paying a tow bill when her car skids off the road, one needs an engine rebuild, one needs use of a tool, or a boat, or camping gear. Help is given as help is needed. Not equal...not measured...sometimes the greater need is at one, and other times ti is at another...and we do our best to be fair. Since we do not measure, I have faith that it comes out all right, and that the others will patiently wait...sometimes endure...their perception of our actions. I truly live by the Spirit...and have guided my life by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. He does not have a timer, or an adding machine. He gives and guides as needed. I have sought comfort, for my heart has not understood the feelings that have been a mention, not a revelation...for nothing was meant to hurt...and yet, ultimately, I feel grief in yet another stage that I have to adjust to...another time of "suck it up". I turned to words of a wise LDS Church leader who passed away a few years ago, Elder Neil A. Maxwell. He spoke of patience and endurance...

Patient endurance is to be distinguished from merely being “acted upon.” Endurance is more than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance; it is not only acceptance of the things allotted to us, it is to “act for ourselves” by magnifying what is allotted to us. (See Alma 29:3, 6.)
If, for instance, we are always taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we will not be. If we are constantly comparing to see if things are fair, we are not only being unrealistic, we are being unfair to ourselves.
Therefore, true enduring represents not merely the passage of time, but the passage of the soul—and not merely from A to B, but sometimes all the way from A to Z. To endure in faith and doeth God’s will. (See D&C 63:20D&C 101:35) therefore involves much more than putting up with a circumstance.
Rather than shoulder-shrugging, true enduring is soul-trembling. Jesus bled not at a few, but “at every pore.” (D&C 19:18.)
Sometimes spiritual obedience requires us to “hold on” lovingly, such as to a rebellious child, while others cry, “Let go!” Enduring may likewise mean, however, “letting go,” when everything within us wants to “hold on,” such as to a loved one “appointed unto death.” (D&C 42:48.)
So, to those that have suffered from our efforts to be of value, and have inadvertently not been "fair", I beg of you to patiently endure. There is much to be learned from just taking it...for, often, the event lasts only a day or two...and then we are off, left to our own gardening, or bread making...trying our best to find inner value. And, most of all, for ME...I have to remember this...that nothing happens for my torture, or my unhappiness, but for my growth. It is refining to come to terms with efforts to become more like our Father, for He is always and ever patient with matter what. We are just trying...and in a short time, we will be done with this part of our lives. Our future plans are that of serving a full time LDS Mission...of working in the Phoenix LDS Temple...this is just a complete be more self reliant. This is just a stage...and we are learning...just like we did when that first new baby was placed in our arms. We did our very best. We do that now. We misjudge. We fail. We get up and start anew..the next morning, the next weekend, the next season. Patient. Endurance. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

From Sweet Jessica...

She knows just what Nate's Mom needs...and when she needs it! I guess that's why my son loves her so much! Thank you, sweet Jessica

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Grandma invited us to share her birthday at her house one Sunday evening.
Dee's birthday gift: new leghorn hens

Kaylee eats pears...she wants Doritos!