Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friend: Did you hear Truman Madsen died?
Me: Yes. I have been wanting to blog about it, but I don't know what to say. He was so amazing.
Friend: He was only 82. You hear of people dying at 82, but I wish he could have been able to lived til 102.
Me: I know. 82 is young.
Friend: I am going to miss his voice.
Me: Me too. I loved to hear him speak. Everything he did was so powerful.
Friend: I wish I could hear him talk about the experience of dying.
Me: That would be so cool.
Farewell, for now, Brother Madsen. You will be greatly missed.
Scripture of the Day: Psalms 113:9
Friday, May 29, 2009
May 12: An individual found a pill container on the ground at the bus stop and called police, concerned that a child would pick up the pills. The officer collected about 50 various pills scattered on the ground and placed them in evidence.
(Comment: They are now in the candy dish on the Police Station receptionists desk.)
May 15: A passerby reported a suspicious couple in the rear seat of a parked car. When the officer arrived he found the male and female were just visiting with each other.
(Comment: Because, you know it is just impossible to visit with each other when sitting in the front seats of the car.)
May 12: A student reported graffiti at the east side of the Tanner Building on the sidewalk. It was painted in black letters with a white background, saying, “Capitalism Rulez.” Grounds crew quickly cleaned up the area.
(Comment: Maybe if it had used correct spelling it would have been allowed to stay. Those Tanner Building business students certainly don't want "Socialism Rulez" or "Communism Rulez.")
May 13: An individual called to report a strong odor coming from somewhere inside the Tanner Building. Officers discovered it was only the maintenance crew unclogging toilets, bringing out sewer gas odors. That section of the building was aired out.
(Comment: School administrators were going to start handing out deodorant samples if it turned out not to be the toilets.)
May 12: Three couples were seen on security cameras to have trespassed on the LaVell Edwards Stadium field. They had taken strips of plastic to spell out “Hi,” then replaced that with an obscene phrase. They also used a lawnmower. The suspects have not been identified.
(Comment: Somehow spelling 'heck' on the football field with strips of plastic doesn't qualify as obscene in my mind. But I guess the code of standards up their is more celestial than I recall.)
Scripture of the Day: Isaiah 49:23
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Finally, a cute pic of Sweetie Peach holding part of the watermelon I seeded for my post a few days ago. My kids LOVE watermelon and always hover while I am cutting it up for them.
Scripture of the Day: Isaiah 66:13
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
A very long time ago I wrote a blog post of scripture vocabulary because sometimes when reading scriptures with our kids we have to give quick and simple definitions of words they are not used to hearing. I have always meant to do more of these posts, but since it is kind of a boring topic I have neglected it. However, today my dad is having knee surgery and I will be off to the hospital. Hopefully these are helpful to your family scripture study time.
Hew, hewed — Cut
By no means — In no way
Pardon — Forgive
Terrible — Awe-inspiring
Take heed to thyself — Be careful
Snare — Trap
Groves — Places where false gods are worshiped
Molten — Made of melted metal
Empty — Without paying a redemption price
Thrice — Three times
Tenor — Pattern
(Definitions taken from here.)
Scripture of the Day: Genesis 2:24
Monday, May 25, 2009
Step 1: Cut both ends of the watermelon off and stand the watermelon up on end as shown here. Using the seeds as a visual guide, cut vertically down the watermelon wherever there is a seed cluster. You will do this about eight times all around the watermelon.
Step 2: After slicing vertically down the watermelon, wiggle a piece out. It should break off easily where the seeds surround the heart of the watermelon (as seen in this picture). The first piece will be the hardest to get off.
Step 3: Use a spoon to scrape the seeds off of the watermelon into your sink or garbage can.
This is what it will look like after the seeds are scraped off. Sometimes the ridges are along the sides instead of on the top as seen here. Just follow the line of seeds with your spoon as you see it patterned on the melon.
Step 4: After each side piece has had the seeds scraped off of it, slice it into pieces for your bowl. Repeat steps 2 through 4 for each of the side pieces of the watermelon.
Step 5: After you have removed and scraped the seeds off of the side pieces, all you will have left is the heart of the watermelon--looking something like this.
Use the spoon to scrape off the seeds, just like you did with the side pieces. (Sorry about the glare on this picture.)
This is what the heart will look like after the seeds have been scraped off of it.
Step 6: Finally, chop up the heart and add to your bowl of watermelon. (Or save it for a treat for yourself later!)
Sunday, May 24, 2009
This post is part of a year long series where each week I strive to complete and item from a list of 101 Ways to do Member Missionary Work. Feel free to join me in the work!
Friday, May 22, 2009
May 7: A white gold bracelet with diamonds was lost at the President’s Dinner. Bracelet is valued at $10,600. The bracelet was found May 8 and returned to the owner.
(Comment: I hope the finder got a reward. I am sure the owner of the bracelet was relieved to get it back.)
May 1: A grounds employee was trimming a tree when an object flew up and broke a window in Harris Hall. No one was hurt.
(Comment: Those grounds crew members are getting rowdy with their power tools once again. Time for another anger management training seminar I think.)
May 6: A female reported seeing the shadow of a male directly outside her bedroom window at Wymount Terrace around 2 a.m. She woke her husband and saw the man leave in a car. No one was found when officers arrived.
(Comment: Sad her husband just left her there. Maybe he was tired of getting woken up in the middle of the night by his paranoid wife.)
May 6: A child went missing in the Marriott Center at the Hope of America event, but was found and safely returned to his caretaker.
(Comment: Caretaker? Or caregiver? Sounds like the kid needs more of a caretaker than caregiver.)
May 4: Student Auxiliary Services found a $20 counterfeit bill in a deposit bag from Women’s Conference. There are no suspects.
(Comment: I know some suspects... both this blogger and this blogger were at women's conference. And they are pretty shady characters :-)
Scripture of the Day: 2 Timothy 1:5
It gives us great pleasure to inform you that we met our goal for Harrison’s trip yesterday. As it stands, we now have airfare, accommodations, and enough to pay for the procedure. Thank you! The burden of caring for a child with CP is tremendous enough by itself. Your assistance in helping us overcome this financial burden is very much appreciated.
As of now, we have moved the procedure up to the week of July 27th to allow for cheaper airfare and hotel availability.
You should also be aware of the great good that is coming of this. Harrison’s friend from school is also going to have the procedure done. Another friend with CP has begun making preparations for the same. The school and community have rallied around these two boys like you wouldn’t believe (go to http://www.thebighope.com/ to see for yourself). There is a 5K run this Saturday at the elementary school right before our pool opens. Spots are running on the radio, the NBC station interviewed Alicia and H this morning, the Denver Post will run a story, and the Aurora Sentinel is doing a story too. In all of this, we are firm in our testimony and make it clear to all that we recognize the hand of our Heavenly Father in this.
About 10 years ago, when H was diagnosed with his disability, Alicia and I said to each other that we would see a long list of miracles with this child. We count this achievement as yet another in the long list of miracles we have witnessed together as a family already. Please feel free to share our sentiments with all interested family and friends not listed above.
All our love,
Jeff and Alicia
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Today was the last day of school. I cried. The kids cheered.
There was so much going on today I kept making mistakes. For example...
- There was a school awards ceremony in the morning; I accidentally showed up 45 minutes too early.
- I put a pot of water on to boil and then forgot about it and ruined the pan.
- I committed to do something for a family member I should not have even considered.
- I forgot to call in to a weekly work conference call.
But despite all of my shortcomings today some good things happened: The 6th grade carnival I co-chaired turned out well. The kids really seemed to enjoy it. We played our new Wii system for the first time today (thanks Mimi!). Patch let me win at tennis. And then there was a lovely rain this evening I enjoyed.
So it was a busy day mixed with both the good and the bad. And although it is tempting to dwell on the negative things that happened today I have decided to throw the ruined pot away, fulfill my commitment, make sure I call in to the work conference call next time, and forget all the rest of the bad that happened. Life is too short not to think about the blessings and bounty we have.
Today may have been the last day of school, but tomorrow is the first day of summer.
Scripture of the Day: Ezekiel 19:2, 10
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
It has been a while since I have updated everyone on my nephew Harrison. You may recall recall I have written about Harrison and his upcoming stem cell treatments in Germany this summer. Harrison and a close friend/school mate will both be going to Germany. For the past several months their families and school have been fund raising to help raise the money needed. Their efforts have been greatly blessed in this area, which you can read about on Harrison's blog. This upcoming weekend there is a fun run--so if you live in the Denver area, be sure to participate!
Tip: Scroll down a ways on his blog to get to some links to some gorgeous temple pictures (like this one) you can download.
Scripture of the Day: Luke 2:19
Sunday, May 17, 2009
This post is part of a year long series where each week I strive to complete an item from a list of 101 Ways to do Member Missionary Work. Feel free to join me in the work!
This week I completed #5 from section 3 (Family): Share missionary experiences with one another during dinner. We went around the table and each shared an experience or two. Here is what was shared:
Me: I talked of a time I helped a co-worker learn a bit about her family through genealogy work.
Patch: He played with a non-member friend both at school and here at our home.
Kitty: She invited a non-member friend to attend a ward Halloween party last year. She also has invited this friend to come to church.
Sweetie Peach: She could not think of one, so she passed.
Steve: When on a recent business trip he talked with some non-member co-workers about what it was like to serve as a missionary for the Church.
This was an easy item to complete and I highly recommend each of you do this in the upcoming week. It helped to remind us to be actively engaged in missionary work.
PS: I forgot to mention last week I also spent time talking with a non-member friend at a ball game. We did not talk about much in the way of the church, but I had not seen her for a while and it was good to catch up with her.
Scripture of the Day: Ezekiel 19:2
Friday, May 15, 2009
April 27: A male student stole a $99 textbook from the Bookstore around 6 p.m. The suspect has been identified but the case is currently under investigation with charges pending.
(Comment: He needed the textbook for a final at 7 p.m. Procrastination never yields positive results.)
April 29: Graffiti of a dollar sign and a large nose with two eyes was found on the Maeser Hill stairs. The suspect is unknown but the graffiti appears to not be gang related.
(Comment: Maybe not gang related, but what about Gadianton robber related? Hmm...)
April 22: Two loud bangs were reported in Helaman Halls. Police found five dry ice and acid bomb devices at the site, but no suspects. The case is currently under investigation.
(Comment: In fact the entire floor was completely empty of residents. Those boys must have cleared out of there as fast as the cockroaches.)
April 25: A 20-year-old male and female were found digging through the temporary DI storage unit placed north of Rogers Hall. They were asked to move along.
(Comment: What? BYU students aren't poor enough for DI? Haven't they heard the phrase "poor college students"?)
April 29: It was reported that two students were climbing the side of the Faculty Office Building around midnight. When an officer arrived, he was unable to locate the suspects.
(Comment: Another case of missing suspects. The BYU police must have a huge backlog of those.)
Scripture of the Day: Exodus 20:12
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Things are tight over here at my house. Financially speaking, I mean. The work I normally do to earn money (research analyst) has been sparse at best this year so far, so I have really had to tighten things up.
Which reminds me of a quote from The Philadelphia Story: "Belts will be worn tighter this winter."
Okay, back to my post... I am way too easily distracted. But I am working hard to par back our spending and thought I would share a few things that are helping.
1. Working within low electricity cost hours. Our electricity company has designated hours of high and low cost. Right now it is from 1 pm to 8 pm. If I can do laundry, the dishwasher, vacuum, etc. as much as possible during the low cost hours we save money. It is not a lot, but still helps out a bit.
2. Growing a garden has also helped me to save a little on the grocery bill. Right now I have a plentiful crop of zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. What we don't eat now I am trying to freeze to use later. I have had a few parsnips and carrots as well. I may still yet see cucumbers and green beans... they seem extra slow this year. And once I traded some of my extra veggies for homemade yogurt a friend enjoys making. Yay for swapping!
3. Don't go to the grocery store more than once a week. A penny saved is a penny earned. I am doing as much as I can to avoid going to the store except once a week on Saturday. If I start to run low on milk then I add a pint or two of powdered to the partial gallon in the fridge. If it looks like we will not have enough bread, then I make a loaf.
4. Limiting air conditioning. The air conditioner is a huge part of our electricity bill this time of the year. But right now it still gets into the low 70s at night. So we have been only turning the air conditioner on only from about noon to 7 pm. The house stays cool with the doors and windows closed for the first two hours; then we open up the windows and turn on a few ceiling fans. So far, so good.
5. Choose free entertainment. Swimming, reading, and board games are some free entertainment ideas we are tapping into as much as possible lately. Hopefully one of the end results is my kids will learn it does not take a lot of money to have fun and feel entertained.
What ideas do you have for saving money? Any ideas for earning a little money here and there?
Scripture of the Day: Proverbs 23:25
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Read this great idea! Fun for little kids and a nice change of pace for your family scripture study time (good for what I call a summertime shake-up). If you need some ideas of stories to put in the can, ask your kids for their favorite scripture stories. You could also browse through primary manuals to find some good suggestions.
Scripture of the Day: John 19:26-27
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I have been looking forward to the release of Elodia Strain's new book Previously Engaged. I really enjoyed her first book The Icing on the Cake, to which Previously is a sequel. Strain's uncle's cousin's wife's (something or other relative) lives in my ward and chose Icing as a book for our RS book club. And when I heard from the self-same relative that a sequel was on the way I knew I would be buying it.
The story line of these two books follows character Annabelle Pleasanton, a magazine journalist with a love for affordable fashion and delicious food. In Icing Annabelle falls for handsome Isaac Matthews, a free-lance photographer with a fear of relationships. At the start of Previously Annabelle and Isaac have now been dating for nine months and it appears a proposal may be coming soon. When Annabelle wins a $50,000 wedding package things appear to be going better than she ever dreamed. But complications arise in the reappearance of an old boyfriend and a job promotion.
The thing I love best about Strain's writing is Annabelle's accessibility. She is really easy to relate to and often talks to her readers. For example, this paragraph is a good example of similar comments sprinkled throughout the book:
"Okay, reader, you and I know I didn't exactly walk into the room. But now didn't really seem the time to tell Isaac about how I stormed in and started chucking beauty products. All in due time my friend; all in due time."
Most of the time it is as though Strain is able to read my mind as a reader and these comments readily connect with me and make Annabelle endearing.
Additionally, Strain's writing is very funny. There are several laugh-out-loud situations in both Icing and Previously (my most favorite one in Previously is Annabelle getting clonked on the head by a female hockey player when trying to catch her best friend's wedding bouquet!). I know I will be reading both of these books again in the future on days when I need a little pick me up.
In fact, the only thing I did not like much about Previously was the cover; not that it is bad, but it lacks the brightness Annabelle Pleasanton's character deserves. The cover of Icing was much better.
Scripture of the Day: D&C 138:39
Monday, May 11, 2009
Including today there are only 9 days of school left for the kids. To be honest I am torn about it. I know they are excited to be done and to have some "time off;" but I also struggle with the messes they make and being pent up at home in the heat. I have tried to put together some activities for them and have signed them up for a few others. Here is what is planned so far:
1. Book Club 4 Boys
I took this idea from here and asked around the neighborhood. Not one person said 'no.' To be honest I was surprised; I thought the boys would not want to do this so much. But I was wrong. They are really looking forward to it.
2. Fun in the Sun
This is a little afternoon camp idea thrown by a gal in my ward. Kitty went last year and loved it; this year I have signed up both girls.
3. Summer Movie Fun
Harkins has some great movies are their lineup this year. And so cheap! I got together with some moms on our street and we will rotate which mom actually takes the kids, while the other moms stay home.
4. Viola Lessons
Kitty will be starting school orchestra in the fall, so she will be doing this to get a leg up. I have hired a Mia Maid in the ward with viola training to teach her the basics. Kitty is excited for it.
We will be going swimming at set times during the week. This is the first year we do not have swimming lessons or swim team on the schedule, so I need to fit it in somehow. The kids could spend an hour or two every day in the pool; we do not own one, but we have a lot of generous neighbors and grandparents who let us come swim.
Our one big planned trip to take place in June and coincide with a family reunion in SLC. I have not been to Yellowstone since I was about 10. I had about 25 stitches in my foot at the time, so it was not as pleasant an experience as it could have been. I am looking forward to this a lot.
I guess that about wraps it up. I may also try to put together a rotating play group for Sweetie Peach and her friends--I need something cheap but fun for her and she is very social. Any ideas? What are your summer plans?
Scripture of the Day: Genesis 3:20
Scripture of the Day: Alma 56:47-48
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Here are some excerpts of a great article by Kristine Frederickson, who writes for Mormon Times. Since scripture stories are one of the best ways to hold effective family scripture study sessions with young children, her points seem very helpful. Originally published last January, you can click here to read the full article.
"One especially effective way to learn gospel principles is to study the stories we find in the scriptures. Storytelling always has been a productive and powerful way to disseminate moral and cultural values to a society. Scripture stories teach and reinforce theological truths. While doctrinal discourses and pithy maxims offer great insight into gospel doctrine, stories are particularly effective because:
"1. They are easily remembered.
"2. They offer doctrine in a palatable form.
"3. Their often compelling storylines induce readers or listeners to finish the narrative.
"4. As aspects of our lives relate to a story they establish for us an instinctive personal connection to the tale...
"Stories 'show not merely what people thought, but how they thought -- how they construed their world, invested it with meaning, and infused it with emotion. ... (how) ordinary people made sense of their world.'...
"A similar claim can be made about Bible stories. They are written to illuminate eternal Christian truths. They educate readers about right and wrong. Read prayerfully they will sharpen an individual's moral compass. A small sampling of Old Testament stories illustrates this verity...
"Scripture stories are powerful learning and teaching tools. They are deeply invested with meaning, elucidate doctrine and have wide application. They can be profitably read and taught over and over again. However, as valuable as they are, they are of little worth if they are not studied, taught and treasured. It is our implicit duty to know them, teach them and apply the principles in them in our lives."
Scripture of the Day: Luke 8:21
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
A friend recently asked me what my kids like to eat because she was tired of being stuck in a rut at her house. So I typed up these three meals my kids like. The first was one I picked up in England and is always a big winner with the kiddos. The second is pretty common, but my friend had never tried it.
1. Beans on Toast
1 slice of unbuttered toast per kid (unless they are age 7 or older, then they will likely need more)
1 cup of chopped ham
1 family size can of baked beans (like Bush’s)
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
Heat up the beans with the ham mixed into it. Have each child tear up their toast into bite size pieces. Spoon about 1/2 cup of bean and ham mixture over the toast pieces. Top with a sprinkling of cheese. I usually serve this with sides of baby carrots and fresh fruit.
1 cup of rice (+2 cups of water)
2 cups of cooked chopped chicken or pork
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of milk (use cream of chicken soup can)
1 medium carrot thinly sliced
1 stalk of celery thinly sliced
1/2 cup of onion finely diced (use food processor)
Other optional toppings: pineapple, green onion, and/or chopped nuts
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
Chow mien noodles
Bring the water and rice to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes. In another pan place the meat, veggies, soup and milk. Bring to a boil and simmer while rice is cooking. To serve, place 1/3 cup or so of rice on plate and top with 1/3 cup of the soup mixture, a sprinkling of cheese and chow mien noodles. For extra picky eaters let the kids pick and choose what toppings they want to put on their rice.
3. Italian Dressing Chicken
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Italian salad dressing
Marinate the chicken in a little of the dressing for an hour in the refrigerator. Cook the chicken breasts on a grill (I use a George Foreman indoor one), adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of additional dressing to each piece of chicken while it cooks.
This is also good to make as shish kabobs. Let kids choose which veggies they want on their shish kabob along with the chicken. Add the additional Italian dressing to both the chicken and the veggies while grilling. Serve over rice.
Scripture of the Day: Proverbs 1:8
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York.
This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico.
But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost.
The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day.
The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as Sinko de Mayo.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
(Story sent to me from my brother via e-mail--thanks, Jeff!)
Scripture of the Day: Isaiah 49:1
Monday, May 4, 2009
I have been in need of updating my scanning software and getting a new printer scanner for some time. I have been spending a lot of time on art work for a new book lately, but the whole process of scanning my completed work is driving me nuts.
Well, over the weekend I found Adobe Elements 7 for sale on Craigslist. I made arrangements to purchase it and ran right over (if a 45 minute drive one-way qualifies as ran over) and brought it home, happy to know I was getting a good deal and taking care of this annoying issue.
And then I looked at the manual. And learned I had accidentally bought Adobe Premiere Elements 7, not Adobe Photoshop Elements. I had not even known there were different types of Adobe Elements programs (Which, if you ask me, is totally a dumb way for the Adobe people to be naming their products--talk about confusing!). So, now I am still in need of updating my scanning software and getting a new printer scanner, but am also out $25 dollars.
Anyone want to buy some software?
Scripture of the Day: 1 Nephi 5:1
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Okay, I have decided to replace my Year of Miracles weekly post with this new series: Member Missionary Moments. I am going to exercise my faith, despite that whole Abinadi blessing thing (BTW, no offense to Heather Moore :-). Each week I will accomplish one of the items on a list I was given in a 3 week member missionary Sunday School class the adults in our stake are each going through. The list actually has 101 ways to do member missionary work.
This week I contributed to the Book of Mormon fund when I paid fast offerings (#13 on the list). I think most members would like to just pay money rather than actually have to do member missionary work. But after doing a little research online, I don't feel so terribly lame for choosing this one first. Here is what the fund is about:
"The Book of Mormon fund is used to purchase copies of the Book of Mormon for missionary use. Currently, the Book of Mormon is printed in 104 different languages. Originally printed in 1830, there are over 120 million copies of the book presently in print (News from the Church, Feb 05). Missionaries carry copies of the Book of Mormon to give to prospective members of the church. Copies of the Book of Mormon are distributed worldwide at no charge. For this reason, donations are needed purchase copies." (see here for source)
"Funds contributed to the Book of Mormon category are used to publish copies of the Book of Mormon for use by missionaries worldwide in their proselyting efforts. Wards and stakes that desire to have a local Book of Mormon activity should not collect member contributions for it, but should use budget funds (not Ward Missionary funds) to purchase the books. Also, copies of the Book of Mormon should not be given directly to full-time missionaries; missionaries are to obtain copies of the Book of Mormon exclusively from their mission office. There is no authorization for a local Book of Mormon fund." (see here for source)
I also read that in 1993 the Book of Mormon fund was falling short; the missionaries were giving out more copies of the Book of Mormon than the fund had money to provide. This makes me feel good as I was a missionary for part of that year!
Scripture of the Day: Luke 2:19
Friday, May 1, 2009
If you would like to join along, here is the picture of the rose I am using. If you need to know some of the scriptures ahead of time, all 10 of these will be included. Actually, this is one of the ideas that will be included in my new book (just a little teaser for you)! Scripture of the Day: Gen. 17:16