Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Administer vs. Minister

(Lingfield, Surrey where the Baldocks live.)

Today I learned something about myself. I probably already had some awareness of it, but now that it is labeled I think I will find it easier to work on. I learned that I am much better at administering the gospel -- managing, planning, overseeing -- than I am in ministering the gospel.

Now I don't feel bad about this; I figure everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. And I know I am not terrible at ministering--just not as good as I am at administering. But that does not mean that there is not room for improvement. I believe that with the Lord's help weak things can definitely be "made strong."

Ministering (the kind I am talking about) means "to give service, care, or aid; attend, as to wants or necessities" and "to contribute, as to comfort or happiness" (thanks, Dictionary.com). In other words, it means taking time to really help someone beyond the checklist of items to accomplish.

I remember once on my mission on a cold day my companion and I stopped by a member's home to get warm. I was chilled through to the bone and so glad to find the Baldock's were home and willing to welcome us inside. Bill Baldock was a sealer at the temple and as wry as those Englishmen come. A true delight to be around. His sweet wife, Jessie, was also a temple worker and that particular day was down with a bad backache. We visited for a bit and I began to think it was time for us to head back out to do more tracting, but my companion did not seem ready to leave.

Brother Baldock soon asked if we would mind staying with his wife so he could run a few errands. We agreed to do so and broke out the Scrabble board to pass the time with Sister Baldock while he was gone. It was a fun few hours we spent with Sister Baldock that afternoon, during which I forged a friendship I value to this day. We did not know it ahead of time, but they needed our help--our ministering.

Although I have sometimes looked back and felt guilty about staying to play Scrabble instead of knocking doors, I can now recognize it was the ministering we accomplished that day that really blessed lives (mine and the Baldocks). I hope I can better learn to recognize opportunities to minister as they pass by me in the future.

Scripture of the Day: 2 Timothy 4:2

Monday, June 28, 2010

Vacation Reading List

I have blog block, so this post will be short. On Saturday I ordered three books to take on vacation to read. I think I will need to pick up two more. Any recommendations?

Here is what I am considering:

Spare Change by Aubry Mace

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Does anyone have a copy of Seeking Persephone I could borrow (by Sarah Eden)? I would be happy to pay postage and would treat it very gently. It is no longer in print and not available online anywhere that I can find.

If you have any book suggestions for me, please leave a comment.

(Image credit)

Scripture of the Day: Alma 7:23

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons #32

(In honor of Eclipse being released this upcoming week.)

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Scripture of the Day: D&C 121:41

Thursday, June 24, 2010

DIY #7

I have not posted hardly any DIY projects lately, partly because I already accomplished all the cheap ones and partly because with work I have less time to take care of projects around the house. Last week, though, I received my first royalty check from Family Home Evening Adventures (Yay!), so I decided to splurge a little on myself and bought a new lighting fixture for over the kitchen/dining room table. (Sorry I do not have a before picture to show--just imagine a very brown 1995 ceiling fan.)

Here it is!

Although I still need to repaint the ceiling, my husband installed it for me last night. I found this lamp on clearance online after clicking on a link from Tart House (a decorating blog). I wanted something with clean lines that was traditional, yet somewhat modern. I love how it looks, but now feel my kitchen looks all the more 1987-ish. I guess that just means I have more projects to add to my DIY list.

Scripture of the Day: Moroni 9:25

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nauvoo Neighbor Game

A few days ago I was searching the web for something fun to share in Family Home Evening about Nauvoo (I was teaching a lesson about the temple there) and I found this fun game that you can download for free. The "Nauvoo Neighbor" board game is kind of a take off on a Monopoly game--it uses streets in Nauvoo and various buildings located on each of the streets. As you go around the board and land on the different properties you can read a bit about what it was for or who built it or lived there. It took us about 20 minutes to play a round; Sweetie Peach was very excited when she won. I think we will laminate and hold on to this game and play it on a Sunday again after Patch is back from Scout camp. I love having additional activities to use for FHE and Sunday afternoons.

Scripture of the Day: 2 Corinthians 6:4-10

Monday, June 21, 2010

Today's Post

I posted a letter from my DH to Patch on the ANWA blog today. Be sure to check it out; it is both touching and humorous. Here is a teaser: the letter contained the above picture.

Scripture of the Day: 1 Corinthians 13:4

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thanks Millie! and Saturday Morning Cartoon #31

A few days ago Millie gave me this sweet award. I really appreciate it and am glad to learn I have touched some hearts out there. Thank you so much!

Since I am supposed to pass along the award to three other bloggers, here are my choices:

Nancy at My Blonde Ambitions (for making so many beautiful things!)

Julie at Truly delightful in Every Way!?! (for making the truth fun!)

And Rachel at Rachel Rager (for her beautiful Wednesday romance posts--the middle of the week has never been this good!)

Please pass on the beautiful Blogger award to other blogs that have touched you recently.

And here is this week's cartoon...
I have never dreamed in e-mail, nor in black and white (that I can remember). What about you?

Scripture of the Day: Alma 9:26

Friday, June 18, 2010

Father's Day Candy Bar Letter

My DH does not want us to get him anything for Father's Day this year, but the kids and I have decided to make him this candy bar letter to show our love and appreciation for all he does. He loves candy, so I don't think he'll mind too much that we are not following his wishes to the letter...

Dear Dad,

We just wanted to Take 5 minutes to tell you how Special (Dark Hershey's) you are to us. You are a Starburst and worth way more than 100 Grand! We couldn’t find a greater Dad if we searched all across the Milky Way. We would follow you anywhere, even to Mars. You are definitely a Mr. Goodbar and our family would fall to (Reese's) Pieces without you! Thank you for all the Nutrageous times we have together. Our meMentos-ries are Extra special because of you. We wish you Mounds of Almond Joy this Father's Day and hope this card makes you Snicker (s blacked out). Please don't Rolover and get sick from eating it all!

Hugs and Kisses,
Your Smarties

Scripture of the Day: Romans 15:4-5

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Random Stuff

Today is the day you can try to win a free copy of Family Home Evening Adventures. Click on over to the 2nd Annual Summer Treasure Hunt to learn how! Good luck.

Other random stuff I thought I would share...

1. Correct pronunciation of 'shew' in the scriptures...here (I have been pronouncing it wrong for years!).

2. I thought these Father's Day tie cookies were super cute. I may have to make some this weekend.

3. Speaking of Father's Day, did you see this hilarious gift idea? Too funny!

4. And finally, a rendering of what the new Gilbert temple will look like is here. I love it!

Scripture of the Day: Hebrews 12:1-2

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Reading

As I have been reading the general conference talks I finally reached the last session of conference, the second to last talk by Elder Neil L. Andersen. In his talk, Tell Me the Stories of Jesus, Elder Anderson makes the following suggestion:

"To the youth and children: Live up to your important responsibilities and great spiritual capacities. Seek to know more about Jesus; open the scriptures. One idea would be to read again the book of John and then discuss it with your parents, teachers, and each other."

I decided to implement this as a summer reading program with my children. I made a chart of the 21 chapters in the book of John and told my kids that if they would read and mark off the chapters (they have to show and tell me about a verse they have marked in each chapter) then they could earn some spending money for our big family vacation coming up next month. They have a month to work their way through it, but Kitty and Sweetie Peach have already done eight and six chapters, respectively. I have enjoyed hearing them tell me what they have read and having extra opportunities to have religious conversations with my cuties.

Thanks for the suggestion Elder Andersen!

Scripture of the Day: Alma 1:25

Monday, June 14, 2010

Guess Where I am Going on Vacation

Here are a few hints...

This first one is a little challenging:

A little easier:

Much easier:

The dead giveaway:

I am so excited! Leave me a comment with what to do there... I have never been before.

Scripture of the Day: Luke 21:19

Friday, June 11, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons #30

Have a great weekend! My DH says to remind you all not to forget to watch the World Cup. Personally, I will be busy doing other stuff.

Scripture of the Day: Mosiah 24:15

Ranch Style Chicken Chili

Rachel Ray's beautifully plated version.

My version in Gladware before being frozen.

Yesterday I watched Rachel Ray make Ranch Style Chicken Chili. It sounded yummy, but not quite as healthy as I would like. So after looking up her recipe here, I adjusted it to have less meat, added some beans and a lot more veggies.


2 cans 98% fat free cooked chicken breast (including broth)
1 14.5 oz. Can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 C. Each chopped red and green bell pepper
1 C. Chopped onion
1 C. Chopped tomatillos
1 C. Chopped zucchini or summer squash
1 C. Chopped celery
1/4 C. diced green chilies
4 Cloves of garlic, chopped
2 T. Cumin
1/4 C. each chopped fresh dill, parsley, and chives
1/2 C. Water
1 Cube of bullion
1 C. Sour cream

Cook the chopped vegetables in a few tablespoons of olive oil and the garlic until tender. Add the chicken (with broth), beans, bullion, herbs and water. Simmer for 20 minutes until bullion is dissolved and the chicken is heated though. Turn off the heat and add the sour cream. Stir to combine. Rachel ray served hers over tortilla chips, which looks and sounds yummy. As shown above, I divided mine up into lunch size portions to freeze and take to work over the next month as needed.

Makes about 10 one-cup servings. If you use fat free sour cream each one cup serving has 3 WW points (155 calories, 4 grams of fat and 4 grams of fiber).

Scripture of the Day: Romans 15:4

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Tooth Fairy Quits

I have to admit that I have been a lousy Tooth Fairy. More often than not I forget to do my job, mainly because I am not a night person and so need my sleep. On occasion I have delegated to my DH, but he mostly forgets too. And I have felt so guilty when my kids have woken up only to feel sad that the Tooth Fairy failed them (occasionally for the third, fourth, and fifth nights in a row at times)!

So today I quit.

Sweetie Peach lost a tooth on Monday. I was at work, but OneHM was watching the girls and was kind enough to e-mail me a picture. As soon as we got home she put her tooth under her pillow. And I promptly forgot all about about it. Tuesday morning rolled around and, par for the course, the Tooth Fairy had failed to show up. {She was sleeping on the job after a late night reading Eclipse.}

Then the very next day Kitty lost a molar.

And that was just the last straw. I resigned as the Tooth Fairy, got some dollar bills from my purse, and paid up.

Retirement feels glorious.

Scripture of the Day: Psalms 37:7-8

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I read this article on Mormon Times earlier today and heartily agree that planning is half the fun of FHE. I hope you enjoy reading this article as much as I did.

FHE: The Fun is in the Planning
By: Trent Toon

Imagine blindfolded children clinging to an extension cord, passing various living room obstacles on their epic journey to plastic plant and a bag of apples, the homespun version of Lehi's dream of the tree of life.

Imagine the cluttered kitchen table transforming into a formal restaurant where parental waiters teach children about dinner etiquette and manners.

Imagine using random materials to construct a small makeshift goal post so your family can fine-tune their milk carton field goal kicking skills.

That is just the tip of the family home evening iceberg for bonding activities.

"The Family: A Proclamation to the World" recommends "wholesome activities" as one of many ways families can establish happiness and unity in the home.

The fun is in the planning of those wholesome activities.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides a plethora of ideas on its website. The best part is they don't require tons of funds, just imagination and execution.

In the family home evening manual, one mother said she wouldn't trade her childhood FHE memories for anything. Those cherished memories continue to inspire her in her own family.

"I am determined to do all I can to plan activities for my family that will bring the Lord's Spirit into our home the way the Spirit filled the home of my parents. I want my children to have the great blessing of having the memories that are so dear to me."

So when your family is busy making objects from the scriptures with random household items or learning basic first aid skills, you can recall the 1974 words of President Ezra Taft Benson: "Thank God for the joys of family life. I have often said there can be no genuine happiness separate and apart from a good home. The sweetest influences and associations of life are there."

Scripture of the Day: Alma 26:27

Monday, June 7, 2010

Today's Post

Why have I posted this video as part of my ANWA blog post today? Come check it out and see why for yourself.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 127:4

PS: We never got the boat to start. But I remained patient!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons #29

{Don't I wish!}

Hope your weekend is fun!

We are going to try to get our boat started and hit the lake. (But so far it is not looking good.) Is this one of those patience-growing experiences??

Scripture of the Day: James 1:3-4

Friday, June 4, 2010

What to Do??

Lately I have been trying to eat more of these...

But am still craving these...

How do you get rid of such cravings without eating what you crave? Especially when it is Friday and you feel like celebrating the beginning of the weekend!

Scripture of the Day: Romans 15:4-5

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Updated Author Royalty Results

As promised, updated results to the LDS Author Royalty Survey were posted today because five more authors provided feedback. You can read the updated survey results here.

Thanks again for all your help and participation in this project!

New Month, New Theme + Random Stuff

I recently read President Uchdorf's talk on patience from the priesthood session in last April's General Conference. It is an amazing talk! And it has inspired me to strive to be more patient. Feel free to try along with me--although I should warn you that striving for patience often means you end up in situations requiring more patience. But if I am willing to try, hopefully you will be too. This month's scriptures will be about patience to help remind me to be more patient.

Just a few housekeeping issues:

- I had five more authors respond to the Author Royalties survey and will be reposting the results from that in the next day or so.

- Don't forget to participate in the Summer Treasure Hunt (see link in sidebar). On the 16th the prize is one of my books, so keep your eyes open for that!

- I went with my family to the Visitors' Center on Sunday evening and they have a beautiful new display of art. The pieces are those that won awards in a Church-wide contest held last year. I highly recommend stopping by to see this beautiful display!

Scripture of the Day: Alma 32:41-43

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Treasure Hunt

Do you enjoy stuff for free –cool stuff?

Check out the

2nd Annual Summer Treasure Hunt

It’s sponsored by ANWA’s very own Joyce DiPastena and involves 35 or so authors (including me) giving books, jewelry, and other super stuff. There is a prize given away every day from June 1st to July 8th. You can enter for any prize you like or ALL OF THEM.

Here are a few of the links: You are welcome to click the “Follow Button” on any of the blogs. ;o)