Monday, October 31, 2011


We had Halloween parties this weekend.  Chili and Trunk or Treat at the church, plus Tom and Janna had a party and dance to go to.  We've had our share of candy and fun!  Hope you have a good one tonight!

Sam the Army Man

Becky the Pumpkin

"The Nightmare Before Christmas"
Janna as Sally

Tommy as Wolverine

Heading out for the dance

Janna and Tom
Summer's Halloween Birthday Party
Hippie and Wolverine

"Trick or Treat!"

Sunday, October 30, 2011

40-Year Reunion

Time Marches On
I graduated from Antelope Valley High School in 1971.  Our 40-year reunion was last weekend. I didn't attend, but some friends were intown and came over to our house that morning for a little brunch. It was so nice to see everyone.
The Girls
Anita, Me, Marilyn, Susee, Kree, and Robin
You know you're getting old when
you have a party
and the neighbors don't even realize it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Author and Finisher of Our Faith

In studying Hebrews, Paul once again, is teaching that the Mosaic Law does not bring salvation. Only through Jesus Christ are we saved. Following the teachings of Christ can NEVER disappoint. We show our faith by our works. We are continually blessed.

Our beloved President Thomas S. Monson has given us his prophetic witness. He said: "I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments."

President Monson continued: "My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith."

Russell M. Nelson,
"Face the Future with Faith"
Ensign, May 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Janna - On The Program?

Janna set a goal - no dessert for a month. It's been three weeks and she's lost six pounds. Me, well, let's not do the math. I'll be reporting in again in 30 days (November 19th).  I'm following Janna's lead.  I'm not eating any dessert. I guess that will keep me out of the Halloween candy, but hopefully I'll get some pumpkin pie.  I'm sure it will take more than dessert for me. (Oh to have the metabolism of a 20 year old.)  Anyway, it's a start.  And how many times have I started?  I don't want to do the math to answer that question either.  Here I go again!

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst,
for they are sticking to their diets.
~Author Unknown

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Back to the Scriptures

We had Stake Conference last month.  Our stake has emphasized what they call the BIG 5:

PRAYER - Individual, Couple, Family
SCRIPTURE STUDY - Individual, Family

I want to comment on scripture study as a family.  This has gone to the wayside lately and we started back up again and are being successful.  We have a hard time corralling everyone with their different schedules.  I just don't get crazy anymore if someone can't be a part of it one day.  I already got over that with prayer. But for some reason if someone is missing during scripture study that bothered me, to the point, that we wouldn't have it.  I was always hoping for that special moment which obviously doesn't  exist at this house.  Anyway, with having set this in motion it seems that we've been having everyone together more often than I thought possible.  I'm so pleased.  Here's hoping to keep it up.

"There is a knowledge and there are spiritual experiences to be gained from reading, pondering, and praying about the scriptures, which can be gained in no other way.  No matter how devoted and active members of the Church are in administrative matters, they will never gain the great blessings which come from scriptural study unless they pay the price of that study and thus make the written word a part of their lives."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Apple Cider Syrup

Last week I made french toast.  Nothing new there, we usually do french toast, pancakes, or waffles at least once a week.  It's usually on the weekend or a holiday when we have a little time when we're not quickly out the door for work or school.  Anyway, I made a syrup I found on the Internet, but I tweaked it enough to call it my own.  It's a keeper at our house and I thought I'd share it:

Martha's Apple Cider Syrup

 2 cups apple cider or apple juice (I use apple juice.)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix together sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a clear glass bowl.  Stir in juices and place in a microwave oven.  Cook on high (I start with five minutes).  Stop and stir periodically.  Keep cooking, (I don't have a definitive time.) mixture will start to thicken and boil.  Boil hard for 1 minute.  Remove, stir, and add butter.  When butter has melted serve with pancakes, waffles, or french toast.

This recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups.  It easily doubles if you have a really big group to serve.  It has a very mild apple flavor. A warm great taste with the cooling fall weather.  Our family really enjoyed it.  Hope you like it too.

"The belly rules the mind." 
~Spanish proverb

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Australia or BUST!

 My niece, Annie, and her family came by for a visit last week. It was nice seeing them even though it was for just a little bit. They saw Poppy too. They left on Tuesday for Australia. They reported all went well even with three kids in tow. I'd like to visit them. Wouldn't that be cool if I could go to Australia, but then I claimed I'd visit Rick and fam in Okinawa and didn't make it the three years they were there. Here's hoping and wishing the Spiels the BEST on an adventure of a lifetime.
The Spiels - off to Australia
They all left wearing BYU t-shirts.  I told their 5-year old son Ryan, "Someone is going to come up to you and say, 'Ya Mormon, mate?'"  They left prepared with pass-along cards too.  Can't wait to hear more updates on their doings.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Dani Jo and Grandma
I got to hang in Arizona for one week.  I mostly held Dani Jo (my latest grandbaby, #9) and cooked food for her family.  We also went out a few times:  the park, the store, the library, the temple, and a walk in the neighborhood.  It was nice being there with Billy, Chelsea, and their two little girls.  I haven't always gotten to see my grandchildren when they were so tiny.  It was hot, but still a very nice week.

Ryan on the Mesa Temple grounds.
I told Ryan, "I love to see the temple."
She said, "I love to see the temple too."

Dani Jo wide awake.

Janna claims they should have named her Janna.
She thinks Dani is her clone.  She does look like her.

Ryan peddling in the neighborhood.

A hot Arizona sunset.
"Grandchildren are God's way
of compensating us for growing old."
Mary H. Waldrip

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I've got lots to blog about, but my computer isn't working very well and I need help downloading some pictures because of all the weirdness. OHHHHH! I'm feeling stifled!  Hopefully Santa will be good to us and bring a new computer for Christmas.  We'll see, I better be good.

My niece, Annie, was visiting earlier this week with her family.  She said my posts about the gospel doctrine class I teach made her want to be in my class.  I haven't posted about my lessons for a long time.  We had a power outage at church one Sunday so I didn't get to teach my scheduled class.  I had to double up the next week and for some reason, again, I was stifled.  I haven't posted anything since about it.  I was going to just forget it because I was so far behind on my weekly lesson posts.  I figured I'd just get back into the swing next year when we start the Book of Mormon, but Annie's encouraging words made me want to make it all up.  So I'll back pedal and gradually put some posts up about my lessons, along with a report about my trip to Arizona last week, and a bit about my niece moving to Australia.  More to come.

Today's lesson was titled "Be Ye Reconciled to God". The principles covered were from II Corinthians.  Paul's letters are loaded with "golden nuggets" as I called them - feeling godly sorrow, forgiving others, becoming reconciled to God, and overcoming tribulation. He's inspired to direct the saints.  I compared these writings to our last weekend of general conference.  Our prophet and other general authorities, again - inspired, share with us direction for our day. Here's a favorite quote from conference:

I'm always quick to use a one-liner to make a point around here and I found one that I'm all about with Elder Andersen's talk, Children.  He quoted Spencer W. Kimball,  "Where is your faith?"  These are words that I will incorporate in my everyday conversation at home and especially to myself every time I recognize me balking at living a principle of the gospel, "Where is your faith?"  It's such a simple question and hearing those words makes me self-evaluate.  I can live the gospel, with Christ all things are possible.  This is just one of the many "golden nuggets" from general conference.  Again, "Where is your faith?"