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!

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