Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week of October 20 - 26, 2014

Monday - Ran - watered garden - picked a LOT of key limes - got stuck a LOT of times by the key lime tree. Dee and I emptied out his panel truck to prepare for working on it this during his week off. We got all ready and headed out to the devotional before ushering at the temple. It was a great day for Dee...he got to assist three tours through the temple. Dee had done things before, but I was not clear on the procedure of how to get what job, and through whatever happened, I ended up standing at the door saying welcome and telling which classroom to see the video presentation in...for FIVE hours. I never sat. I never got a drink. By the time I was done, I had the most sore feet. I was absolutely exhausted. (As it turned out, five hours of no drinking causes very bad dehydration. Thus, the exhaustion.)

An urgent message was sent out that night needing 200 more ushers for Tuesday, and I signed Dee up for a late shift. He finished his day at WalMart...he treats all the sister missionary ushers to Smarties throughout his shift, and he needed more.

All I needed was a bath...a bed...and some Ibuprofen.

Tuesday - I managed a run and came back to brush the pool and pick limes.

Dee couldn't find Smarties at WalMart, and, since Smarties are the candy you give to teenagers when they come to trick or treat I knew they must have just put them in an odd spot in the store. I drove over and they had done that! I returned home and saw a surprise pumpkin that Dee had gotten for me last night, but I was just too tired then to even notice.

I spent my day drinking...and drinking...and cleaning, dusting, and vacuuming....and drinking. Dee and I visited Jessica's mom to see their awesome garden. You should have seen the beautiful peppers growing! We picked up some surprise paint Dee had ordered to paint my chairs...Allison and Gracie would LOVE the color!

We had some lunch/dinner at New Asian Kitchen, and headed home to rest, premeditate, and get ready for another shift at the temple. We served as building ushers, again, although new leadership means new situations and it went a lot better, though I was dead after four tours through the temple. it is wonderful to be able to go through and notice new things each and every time. The artwork is absolutely breathtaking, and I already have a favorite painting. (I cannot describe it well, but the Savior is standing with his arms outstretched, and at his feet are those who are wounded, reaching for him, holding his robes...and the utter peace on the face of the bleeding wounded man just stirs my soul. Truly, we all can come to the Savior and repent, and receive the peace of forgiveness) Dee also followed tours. You start right by each other in the line, but you get totally separated. I was with 8 other ushers carpooling there, and I was the last one at the car.

After returning to the church building, he got a favorite Subway sub and we headed home.

Wednesday - I tried to wake up...really I did. My body was willing, but my feet were weak...and sore! You know, I sure wished I could walk those tours in my running shoes. Four hours of standing and walking would be a piece of cake! I baked 5 loaves of bread, four for visiting and one for us, and did my vacuuming and laundry. We ran some errands, though the heat was a bother. It's hard to look at Christmas trees while you shop and remotely enjoy them when you are sweating!

We served as temple ushers again that evening. It is just the BEST feeling to be there, to be in there. I had hoped to see Ethan and Cam, but following tours is no easy task to try to see someone, and neither Dee nor I were able to see them. They did have a good time, though.

Thursday - Woke up and got a run in, then watered the flower bed and picked nearly 50 key limes. Jessica's dad, Ron, came by and a friend of his with a tow trailer hauled Nate's truck to the Hudson's house to be covered and stored.

It was kind of sad seeing it drive's been here for years. It will be safe and protected now, so it's better for him.

I vacuumed, dusted, laundered and got my visiting teaching bread/jelly/handouts prepared. I got dressed and dropped off two of those to two of the sisters I visit and headed to the dentist. Good cleaning=happy. One cavity=not so happy. I went home, ate and made Dee lunch, ran a few errands, he attempted to prime his truck, but the primer was lumpy.

I talked to Nate and texted for a long time with Morgan, and then Dad ended his day talking to Nate and Doran on the phone. We had gone to Home Depot pretty late to pick up more paint primer to use the next day.

Friday- I so enjoyed running, a temple spire lit (which I determined probably was an agreement with the neighbors during the open house time, so maybe it won't be lit after November...I will miss it!), coolish weather (forecast was for 95 degrees and it started the day warmer), a trail right by a temple to jog on...what progress from when I would turn the corner on to Pinnacle Peak and check for a time when most traffic had gone by and then I would speed run in the dirt, so I wouldn't get hit by a car. I feel so thankful! I headed to Safeway, watered and then picked 81 key limes! I worked and worked, with emails back and forth, and finally achieved getting Dee signed up on sign up genius as a temple tour guide three times next week.

A few house chores and then Dee and I went to a community yard sale. It was slow at first but we ended up finding some goodies.

I went home and worked on birthday cards: for Allison, Amber, and my two visiting teaching sisters with birthdays coming up. I will be so glad when this year is done and I can go back to Dollar Tree birthday cards. It was a goal I set and I am going to complete it, but it is way more work than I had anticipated. (thus the breaking down into smaller groups. Josh, Ethan, and Kaylee, yours are still in the works.)

I did a little cleaning while Dee primed the interior of the panel truck. It was  96 degrees out, so it really was not inspiring! We got dj stuff loaded in the small task when it hasn't been used very much...and headed to our Trunk or Treat. We were set up in one corner of the parking lot, near the tables with the crock pots of chili. Cars, trucks and minivans were parked a ways away, and the tables were located at the other side of the parking lot. Thus, we only saw people when they were in line to get food. We spent the rest of the night entertaining the kids so the parents could visit.

I really had forgotten all that we have sacrificed so that Dad could play dances and I could be a stay at home mom. At weddings and parties, we work while everyone else has fun. Dad was gone every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night while kids were little, and always on New Years' Eve and Valentines Day. He tried very hard to be with us for trick or treating. I am really glad that everyone had a blast last night. They looked like they enjoyed it. Us...not so much. We played and kept the kids busy while they cleaned up, and then we shut down and they left while we cleaned up.

I don't wish the life of a dj on ANY of my kids...especially their wives!

Saturday - Up and run, brush pool, water flower bed (and noticed I have quite a crop of poisonous mushrooms growing that I needed to remove), picked limes and poked by lime tree, a few chores and out the door for yard sales. I didn't find anything, though Dee got a couple of small things...

He worked in the garden, dug weeds all over the yard while I dusted and vacuumed, and got a bit of a sunburn in the 96 degree weather.  We took a quick trip out to the post office and WinCo for the weeks needs and then headed home to get dressed and ready for temple ushering. I ended up being a tour follower for two English speaking and one Spanish speaking tour. Dee followed two tours and helped a wheelchair through one tour. Never gets old or boring and I love just studying the paintings as I walk through. Even congested waits are never a problem for me. We found out later that 12,700 visited the temple during the whole day.

We came home to no Kayty, but all the lights in the house on and her costumes out so she went to a party with friends.

Sunday - My sleeping in was interrupted by my waking up! I finally followed Dee's lead and didn't fight it any longer. He checked the garden and I worked doing quiet morning things, watered my flowerbed and just got a few limes that had fallen off the tree. It has proven very difficult to be able to schedule home teaching and visiting teaching with so many people helping with the temple open house, but our Home Teachers managed to come by for a few minutes in the morning.

Fast and Testimony meeting was awesome, as usual. There were testimonies born of wondrous experiences while serving at the temple by many people, and precious children and teens sharing their feelings about the Gospel. I helped in the nursery during the last hour. We stopped by Dorrie's on the way home, ate, did some of Dee's home teaching, and prepared for the next week.
Little Candy Corn Pots I made this weekend

One thing this week that I have come to understand is that I have not paid enough attention to how hard so many people work to make things come out well. This temple open house is one example. There were months of planning and meetings and training, and then those who serve at an open house, well, there is NO easy job there. Those who serve in the temple  one spot...for hours. The same goes for greeters and parking lot attendants and even those who open doors and walk. These jobs are not difficult, but they can push you to your limits of physical strength. The same goes for motherhood and fatherhood. We 'think' we know how much, or rather, how little, someone does and yet even the person that takes care of a pool works hard, even when he is attending a wedding reception or on vacation. I am going to pay more attention to making sure everyone who I encounter is appreciated for the work they do.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Week of October 13 to 19, 2014

Monday - Not much going on today. I exercised. Kaylee came and we played outside, did ghost games and ate a ghost sandwich inside, then looked for hop hops till Mommy came and the mosquitos were eating us. Dee worked with many suppliers, got his paperwork caught up, I signed him up for two more ushering opportunities at the temple during the week, he worked on feeding the garden. He spent the evening squeezing and freezing key lime juice. Later, he called and tried to located Morgan or someone who knows Morgan.

Tuesday - I got up early to run. Kayty was still up! Bad girl! She is still not used to sleeping for early morning shift at work. It was nice (for me...not for the grouchy neighbors) that the temple spire was illuminated. I ran to the store, brushed the pool, watered the flowerbed, and picked some limes and key limes.

Kaylee and I enjoyed our stroll and feeding the goat. I discovered that she is not a fan of spider sandwiches nor oreo spider cookies, but still adores her taytoes!

We read a book about Miss Spider going to school and she was just so sad when Miss Spider's wings didn't work and she fell and hurt her nose.

Visitors came to look at Dad's garden from the ward he taught last week. Clean up and early bed to be ready for Dad's early meetings the next day.

Wednesday - It was an outdoor kind of day. I ran very early...4:15 am I was on the road. It so beautiful when the spire at the temple gets left on. This is morning 2 of the spire and I just never get tired of it. I got back and got Dee's breakfast ready and him out the door for early meetings by 6 am. I vacuumed and cleaned, and napped a few minutes.

Kaylee and I played out in the back yard: sand, swings, slide. We fed the chickens

and picked up "shakes" (Joshy knows what I am talking about. They are dried mesquite pods and the beans inside of the dry pod shake. Oh, those mesquite pods. I hate to rake, but love them entertaining grandkids!)

Kaylee made a black cat out of a paper plate, did some coloring and watercoloring, and played with balls.

 She napped, we heard from Morgan on Facebook, and then Dee went to work a 4pm to 9pm shift at the temple open house. He served as a special needs usher and pushed a wheelchair through the temple on two separate occasions. (He likes these opportunities because he gets to just stay with the one on tour and can look at more details of the temple. No rushing here.)

He also was able to trail a tour. ( That is when you are at the back of a tour group so there are not stragglers.

Meanwhile, Ethan came and Kaylee had played outdoors in the afternoon for over an hour, so she was ready to go. (It was cloudy and oh so nice, so I just let her do what she wanted to).

I ran to get groceries to feed the missionaries dinner the next night, and then got home and dusted and vacuumed. I was dead by 9:15. Dee was pretty tired when he got home at 10.

Thursday - Temple spire on yet again! There are going to be some grumbly neighbors. It really only illuminates the spire. I don't know why they complain! Great run. Came home to brush the pool and, since it was still dark out, I looked to spy the spire...nope. Even went to the top of the landscape hill in our yard. No spire.

Oh, well.

Picked tons of limes. Got tons of pokes in my arms. Not sure if the mosquito bites or the key limes are getting me more sore and itchy.

Kaylee and I had a great nature walk. We saw quail on the wall, two horses eating grass, fed some granola bar and watched ant trying to get the pieces into their hole, saw a squirrel, two rabbits, watched dove in a bird bath, a barking dog or two and fed our goat raisins and granola bar bits. We had a pumpkin kind of day, with pumpkin pizza for lunch.

I helped Dee get dinner ready for our missionaries (with the temple and cultural celebration business, no one is feeding them) even though I never feed missionaries on my Kaylee week, and Ethan, Kaylee and I enjoyed the yard - and the mosquitos enjoyed my ankles - before they left.

We worked out some details on an upcoming stake baptism, shopped a bit, and headed to bed.

Friday - Spire on again! Awesome run! Once the sun did, or did not appear, since it was cloudy, it was a beautiful morning. Dee had many meetings at work. I bet some were about why things weren't getting done...too many meetings! I had to practically lure Kaylee outdoors. It was gloriously cloudy!!! We did finally get outside.

During her nap, I got a lot done on my last Christmas stocking for the year. Kayty was off work, so she took Dee down to the church for "training" and he spent the evening serving as an usher at the open house. He followed three or four tours. Cameo came by and Kayty "bloodied" up a nurse costume of Cameo's for a work Halloween dress up...she is going to  as a Zombie Nurse. Cam and Kaylee headed home, and I went to pick up Dee at the street across from the temple.

Saturday - Up early. Spire lit. Me inspired! Great jog. Brushed pool. Watered flower bed. Picked limes. Did a few exercises. I headed down to the stake center to help at Stake Service Day. Dad headed to a few yard sales. Now, I have been to stake service day before. The cultural hall and outside is packed with people. This year, there were very few people there. It was kind of sad. The sister in charge works hard all year long to prepare for this. She lost her husband to a sudden heart attack about a month ago, and she still did this. There were moms who brought their kids. There were a couple of missionaries. Sacks were colored and lunches prepared to give out at homeless shelters. I instructed at a table where note cards were prepared to give to rest homes to share and write on. Someone had cut many papers and many die cut designs to decorate these.

 I think there were about 400 cards made. I also helped package many newborn kits, complete with a beautiful crochet edged baby blanket, a bib or burp cloth, a onesie, hand crocheted booties, and a bottle. The room was full of quilts being tied and there were hygiene kits being prepared on the other side of the room. Sewn monster toys were stuffed and completed, beaded key fobs made, and I separated gently used socks into pairs, and then four pair bundles. Afterwards, I fought Costco on a Saturday, walked through Target and Dollar Tree, and then waited for Dee's call to pick him up.

Dee served as a temple usher, walking with tours and being a tour room guide in the building. Nate called while I was waiting for him...and we had a great visit...and then I got Dee all picked up. The rest of the day, Dee gardened,

and I dumped our old self dehydrated food and cleaned out the containers. Pantry looked pretty good. Compost bin looked pretty gross.

Dee spent quite awhile squeezing key limes and putting the juice in the freezer.

Sunday - We enjoyed a quiet morning. I studied General Conference talks online and Dee read. I caught the photo album up with the pics I had missed. We headed out to church and had a wonderful Primary Program. Our ward is so blessed with amazing leaders and teachers...and equally amazing children! After church, we visited with Dorrie, returned baptismal clothing to the church, and made calls. Our stake baptism scheduled for next Saturday is only to involve kids from one ward, so it became a ward baptism, and I signed Dee and I up to usher at the temple on Saturday night. We had a brief sprinkle that left the evening cool and wonderful!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Week of October 6 - 12, 2014

Monday - I began my jog feeling cold...yes Cold! It was amazing. I jogged by the temple. It seems there are two brethren assigned to sit outside and keep out riffraff, i.e. me! I miss jogging up to the front gate and getting a breather as I looked at it.

Oh, well...soon enough.

When I got home, I gathered my stuff and went out, in the still dark morning, and planted my bulbs and then some alyssum, lobelia, and gazanias. I still have some space for more alyssum, but that will come. I got Dee's work computer going and he got up to check my work. I had planted one of his pepper plants, thinking it was a very mature gazania. I removed that quick!

One thing led to another and I ended up removing those chicken chunks I had canned at the cannery nine years ago, as well as some ground beef cans and spaghetti sauce. I thought it was all bad, so I removed and rearranged. Dee decided to check at the cannery...all was still good unless the cans were bulged.

 I also found a case of potato pearls, which were still good, so I am sharing some with family, and the rest are in my huge supply of potato pearls!

So, I removed and replaced, and then removed cartons on the floor that termites had gotten. No fun.

I did get it done...and I was glad to find out what we do have. My project on my next week off: tossing the self dehydrated stuff on the top shelf.

While this was going on, and I was filling the front porch with empty cartons for my sweet and very strong husband to take to the trash, I also had decided my mattress needed ) I did it myself (Dee was busy in meetings). It was crazy hard, but I got it turned and the sheets washed and replaced.

This stuff took all morning, but it felt pretty darned good.

I did my regular  stuff all afternoon while Dee struggled with suppliers in Utah via email and phone. He was considering whether a trip the next week was needed to solve the problems.

After work was done for the day, we headed out to the post office to mail the said Utah supplier some prickly pear jelly, hit Costco for a few things, went to get chicken food until we remembered that the store is closed on Mondays. I also got a few more alyssum to plant, which I did when we got home...and the mosquitos proceeded to eat me alive, so Dee did my watering for me.

I wanted to see Duck Dynasty's Sadie dance on Dancing With The Stars, I show which I never watch, and suffered through till the next to the last performer of the night...Sadie! We enjoyed it...worth the wait, but never again!

We took a brief walk and ended our day.

Tuesday - I snoozed the alarm too much and woke up an hour late, so it was a quick out the door to jog. I brushed the pool and planted a few more alyssum before my day started. I saw an email asking for four more volunteers to put shoe coverings on temple visitors' feet, so I called up and added a shift on Thursday.

The day was full of cleaning: bathrooms, dusting, mopping, vacuuming.

I took time in the cloudy mid afternoon to finish planting. Dee had purchased alyssum seeds...enough to cover 150 square feet, the package said. For me, it covered about 18. Perhaps too many seeds...I covered it with mulch and pronounced it complete.

We readied for the Phoenix Temple tour, where I was reminded again how the Lord is mindful of each and every one of us...individually, and that His hand is in all things for our good.

You know, we were at first told that we were not to attend the special tour for the temple neighbors. Our bishop had been concealed that this was a special opportunity for neighbors to come, ask questions, etc. We were surprised when an invitation was delivered to us, by a friend from the ward we were once in. Brother Seguritan assured me we were supposed to get the invitation, and showed me his map. Well, we knew what the bishop had said, so we decided to give our invitation to Dr. Johnson and family, and we did so when we ate dinner at their house a few days later. That Sunday, a youth in our ward said he had been assigned our road to deliver an invitation to, but didn't, since our bishop had been instructed we should not attend.

Last Sunday, between General Conference sessions, we received a call from someone in our ward who also is on the temple committee, saying that we indeed were supposed to attend the open house. Now, mind you, Dad had already arranged to teach a gardening class at Nano's ward. He wanted me to go, and we determined we would go as early as possible, so he could see some of the temple. As we walked up to the door of the chapel, I noticed Carolyn walking up. Carolyn lives just north of the temple. She is not a member of the church, though through a mistake Salt Lake City records made, they sent records of a woman with the same name to our ward, so mixing the two different individuals as one. For years, a sister in our ward wrote letters to her, to visit teach, thinking she was a member of the church. Dad was her husband's boss at Honeywell for a time, and when he passed away, we would visit her. Through the temple discussions, she came to church with a neighbor on that same street for awhile. She loved it, and even served in the library, but was terrified of water, so never was baptized. She eventually stopped coming and Dad would off and on have the missionaries stop by to see her, but nothing came of it. This person we happened to walk into the building at the same time with...during a tour that was available for over three hours. We stayed with her on the tour, and she said on more than one occasion that she felt she should come back to church. She said she felt something when she was in the celestial room. Before Dad went on to teach his class, Carolyn had said that a light on a parking lot utility building was beaming in her windows at night, so Dad immediately called Bishop Pierce, who is in charge of meeting neighborhood concerns, and he was going to take care of that problem.

His gardening class went well. We later received a text from the Johnson family thanking us for the invitation and saying how beautiful the temple was.

There are no accidents in Heavenly Father's kingdom. No invitation was accidentally delivered to us, nor was it an accident that we went to the open house early so Dad could teach and walked in with Carolyn.

He truly is mindful of each and every one of us. He knows each of us by name. He cares about us and what we need. He places us where we need to be to do His work.

Oh, and the temple is beautiful! I was brought to tears in every room as I thought of our little family moving out to this far away place, with no grocery store or gas station nearby.

Now we have a temple...50 seconds away, rather than 50 minutes away.

Heavenly Father is truly mindful of us!

Wednesday - It was supposed to rain, but I managed to get a jog in with only about 15 raindrops to interfere...they really didn't interfere though.

I received an email the night before that my temple usher volunteer time was to be earlier than scheduled, so I needed to be ready and there by 8:30 am rather than 10 am. Time for cleaning schedule edit.

I vacuumed, got ready and headed to another ward building nearby. We park there, are trained there, and carpool to the temple site from there. They  immediately needed four sisters for shoe coverers, and since I just was there to help, I was grouped with the next three sisters that came in and we headed to the temple. For the next five hours, sitting on the front porch of the temple since rain threatened, but did not deliver, I put on shoe covers, took off a few shoe covers, and enjoyed break times with the most lovely sisters. I knew Kim Livingston, but none of the others. It was a VIP tour day, so there were probably very important people being shoe covered, but I didn't know them. I know one of the painting artists toured with the temple president and explained why he painted the desert scene the way he did.

I got home mid afternoon and ate, tried to do a few things around the house, and watered the flower bed. I had checked all week and finally the texts of the General Conference talks were available, so I started reading each one, this time on line, and marking the scriptures referenced. One talk completed before bed.

Thursday - I was awakened in the early morning hours by sprinkling rains, so my run was delayed but still wonderful. We didn't get much rain, but enough to water my flowers. My temple day wouldn't start till noon, so I set out dusting, vacuuming and cleaning.

After finding an outfit that would hold keys in my pocket, long enough to sit and bend, not low so anything would show, I headed out to the devotional at the nearby church building and then spent the next nearly 5 hours periodically putting on shoe booties. When we arrived at the temple. five of the past Mesa Temple Presidents were on the tour, including President Nephi Allen, who was near 97 years old. They had lovely photos taken of the group that will probably appear in some publication. We just had periodic special visitors in groups of 15 to 30 .Congressman Trent Franks went through a tour and got his booties right next to me. President and Sister Taylor, the former mission presidents here in the Phoenix Mission also came through. It was a nice time being able to visit with the new and old friends doing booties. They had about 300 people all day today. Friday was to start the regular tours and they expected 900 to 1200 people an hour!

I came home and ate, helped Dee plant herbs and some final flowers in the flower bed, did some shopping...that's it.

Friday - I got up extra early so I could get a run in before our temple open house service. We arrived at the church building...totally packed with people from Prescott Stake and the Singles 6:45 am. We were assigned to be Special Needs Ushers. I was able to push a sweet elderly sister from Mesa through the temple tour. We ended up not staying with the original tour group since there are wheelchairs only for outside and only for inside the temple. I didn't dump her out (miracle!) and she was kind and patient. It was kind of good there were other ushers because I was just too slight in size to do well. Dee had a wonderful couple that weren't members of the church that he got to take through, and she read every sign and looked at every room. It was nice to go through again. The celestial room is absolutely gorgeous. Busload after busload of visitors came, nice and orderly, and were sent to various rooms so tour groups stayed about 50 people in size. I just kept tearing up, seeing all these wonderful excited people of all ages, coming from all over to see a our neighborhood!

We were very tired when the shift was over and our replacements came. There is lots of walking around the church building, moving wheelchairs, cleaning them, etc. We hit Dee's favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch, and hurried home for him to get back to work at his job. I did laundry and packed for Vegas, we got oil for an oil change at Walmart, looked around Costco, and headed home, where Dee fed his plants and worked in the yard. Ethan, Cam and Kaylee stopped by on their way to their ward campout in Prescott.

Our missionaries, Elder Nokes and Oliphant, stopped by. The poor guys. The temple site only has sister missionaries at it. They can only stay in the neighborhood here, and it's very busy with a temple open house going on. Dee volunteered to feed them Thursday night next week. I did some readying for Vegas and Dee scheduled a garden visit by someone from that garden class the other night.

Saturday - Happy Anniversary, Doran and Amber! I wanted to sleep, but also wanted to jog by the temple. Crazy, I know, but it has been such a long time it was a plot of dirt, and then a construction site, and now a temple! It was a little warmer, but still cool, and I came home, read more Conference talks, brushed the pool, gathered key limes, and watered the flowers.

Dee hit a few yard sales while I got ready and loaded the jeep (which we had to park on the side of the house since the other side had roofers...and we have not had good luck with roofers and theft!)

We had a good, and uneventful trip to Vegas. We did attempt to get the cheap 2.99 a gallon gas in Kingman at the Flying J. Everyone else was doing the same thing, so we didn't even get off the freeway.

We arrived to Doran and Amber and kiddos there visiting. The kids played.

Papa took the cousins on a little shopping trip.

They had to head back to Phoenix, and we had a quiet evening. Allison has her house decorated for Halloween: adorable lights in the windows, wreaths, and they have an inflatable witch in the front yard! We had tasty easy Mexican food for dinner. Poor Joshy...he fell asleep while he was eating. That little boy is always a night owl, so he must have been exhausted!!!
Grace read us her lines from a Christmas Play that she will be performing in. 

Sunday - Dee was already awake when Mike left for Stake Priesthood Meeting. We got ready and enjoyed the kids when they woke up.

It was fun to help Grace get ready!

Papa showed Adam a different tie knot.

Joshy hid under his blanket.

Sam just does his own thing, with an occasional shake of the head and a big smile!

Sacrament Meeting was wonderful! Adam, Grace and Josh each prepared a talk, and they recited other lines in the program. The singing was excellent! I loved being able to look and see each of them!

We gave lots of hugs, a handshake...I got a "take your breath away Gracie hug" and we headed out for home. We had prepared so we wouldn't have to make any stops for food or gas on the way home.

It was a looooooong drive, and a painful 'get out of the car' when we got home.

All was well: Kayty, chickens, gardens. Dee watered and fed.

It was just awesome to hear from Nathan after we got home. He got another raise in his job this week!!! Plus 31 bucks in tips! He is doing well at his job, and his next semester is his off track semester, but Jessica will be on track, so both are working on their degrees! He joined some societies at school that will help him on his career path! They involve mechanical engineering, rocketry, etc. He spent a lot of time luring me to Idaho...and if this Phoenix City vote raises our taxes too much, I may just take him up on it!

He had called to ask for the recipe for the pumpkin chocolate chip coconut bread I used to make him. I have used this recipe for ages, just adding different ingredients. I need to share, since you have all had it...even have added beans to it! eh eh eh!

A to Z Bread

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups A to Z ingredients (see list below)
1 Tbsp Vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)  

A to Z Ingredients

Apples, peeled and shredded
Apricots, (dried) chopped
Banana, mashed
Carrots, shredded
Dates, pitted and chopped
Figs (dried), chopped
Grapes, seedless, chopped
Oranges, peeled and chopped
Peaches, peeled and chopped
Pears, peeled and chopped
Pineapple (canned), crushed and drained
Prunes, pitted and chopped
Pumpkin, canned
Raspberries, unsweetened fresh or frozen
Rhubarb, chopped fresh or frozen
Strawberries, fresh or frozen
Sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
Zucchini, peeled and grated
( I would use the full 2 cups pumpkin for Nate's bread and then add about 2/3 cup coconut and chocolate chips)

In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil and eggs. Mix well. Stir in A to Z ingredients of your choice (can mix and match too) and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients. Then, add to moist ingredients unit just moistened. Then stir in nuts. 

Pour in TWO greased 8 x 4 x 2 inch loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees 55 to 65 minutes or till wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. (If you add coconut and chocolate chips, it may not be clean...melted chocolate is on just doesn't have dough) Cool 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to completely cool. 

Can be cut in portions, wrapped and frozen, or freeze a loaf for later. 

Recipe CAN be halved

I caught up the laundry, cleaned a bit and got ready for my week with Kaylee. It is nice to have the windows open and enjoy cooler weather, though it is nothing compared to the cool in Idaho.

It's good for me!