Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Musings of the Spirit: October Visiting Teaching Message

The visiting teaching message for October is titled, "Honoring Our Covenants."  It explains that: "A covenant is a sacred and enduring promise between God and His children.

Covenants are made at baptism and also in the temples.  For those of you who might want more clarification about temples, here is an overview:



The topic of keeping covenants requires inward reflection.  I kept this month's handout simple.  Our relationship with our Heavenly Father truly is sacred and enduring, and hopefully this handout helps relay that idea.  Feel free to right-click to copy and print as desired.


Thanks for our loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, who always keep their promises.


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Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Family History: Using FamilySearch

Last week I wrote a bit about ancestry.com.  This week, I thought an introduction of familysearch.org was in order.  Here's a short video that does a good job explaining the site:



Did you pick up on the fact that familysearch is a free site? 

The internet does a great job of connecting people all over the world with each other; when used for family history research, not only does the internet connect us over distances, but through time as well.

I'm curious.  If I go to www.familysearch.org and type in the names of my grandparents, I find records of them.  Can you find your grandparents? 

Thanks for familysearch, and the lives of those who have gone before us.


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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Wants, Needs, and Gratitude


After posting on Tuesday about my office space being functional, but not beautiful, I realized how that statement might have come across as ungrateful.  I want to express thanksgiving in all aspects of my life--thus the blog name, "Thankful Me."  So, this post will delve a bit into the idea of daily gratitude and how we can avoid discontentment.

When I wrote the "not beautiful" line, I was thinking about other blogs (comparison--I should know better!) which show dramatic transformations; clever uses of everyday items; or quick and simple ways to bring beauty into a room.  None of those examples seemed to apply to my spot.  I did not see anything for my camera to zoom in on to show readers.  So, I declared the space not beautiful. 

However, I actually smile when I look at that corner.  My clean work area brings a calm feeling to my soul.   I am fortunate to have a dedicated area to complete paperwork. 

I think that gratitude comes when we are content, and when we realize the difference between wants and needs.  It seems to be human nature to become used to whatever creature comforts we have, and then, if we find ourselves without them, to feel deprived.  How many times have you heard the question, "What did we ever do before . . . (microwaves, cell phones, GPS, . . .)?"  It's almost as if we would have no idea how to function without whatever it is. 

If we were completely honest with ourselves, we would realize that our basic needs are just that--basic.  I have food, water, and shelter.  What more do I need?  And yet, I have so much more than that.  I don't need to comment on how something is not perfect, or is lacking in some way. 

Of course, the creative side of me enjoys home improvement and craft projects, and I don't think that is inherently wrong.  The problem comes if I think I need the change, or if I view the current state of my home as somehow not good enough.  I do not need to change anything about my house; it is more than adequate as is.

Have you ever heard someone complain about something which you thought was just fine?  I remember hearing women talk about ripping up tile flooring to put down something else--laminate, perhaps.  At the time, I had just moved from a fairly humble little town.  I'm pretty sure that if tile flooring had been mentioned there, it would have been with excitement for such a durable flooring material.  I found myself learning that society apparently wanted me to be unsatisfied with a perfectly good material.

I needed to be reminded of that experience.  I'm afraid I came across as those women did to me--complaining about something that didn't deserve complaint. 

Would you like to join me up on this soapbox?  What are you thoughts about wants, needs, and gratitude?  I'd love to hear your comments!

Thanks for needs that are met, and so many wants that are granted.


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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Saying Goodbye to the Space Shuttle

I was so happy I could document this historic occasion.  What an awesome sight!

Thanks for the many individuals who dreamed big and reached for the stars!


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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday Time to Tackle: Eating an Elephant



How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

Of course, I'm not advocating the consumption of those wonderful pachyderms.  I'm talking about those huge, overwhelming tasks that are so easy to procrastinate.  Remember my huge paper pile from last week?  I finally finished dealing with it! 
 
 
 
 I worked on filing papers little by little over a week's time.  Now, my office area is not cute, but it is clean and functional.  Perhaps sometime I'll make it beautiful, but the point is, one step at a time.  One bite at a time. 
 
I have quite a few projects in various stages of completion right now.  I love the feeling I get when a project is done, but every so often I have to remind myself that progress is good, too.
 
What are the elephants you are eating now?  Remember:  one bite at a time!


Thanks for large tasks that teach patience and perseverance--traits I'm still learning!


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Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Morning in the Kitchen: Yellow Pear Tomato Salad


My yellow pear tomato plant--my ONE yellow pear tomato plant--produces a seemingly never-ending supply of tomatoes.  I've been searching for recipes to use them up, and found this one that looked promising.  I've adapted it slightly.  It's quick, simple, and delicious.  I think next time I make it I will add chopped fresh parsley as well.

Yellow Pear Tomato Salad

6 cups yellow pear tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
2/3 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. sour cream
3 T snipped basil leaves
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced

Wash the tomatoes and place in bowl.  Combine other ingredients and slowly pour over tomatoes.  (The dressing will make more than is needed.) Toss gently.  Serve remaining dressing at table if desired.

Do you have any yellow pear tomato recipes to share?  I have more tomatoes.

Thanks for abundance.


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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Musings of the Spirit: Anticipating General Conference

Twice a year, I have the chance to watch  general conference.  Each time I do, I come away with a deeper appreciation for our Heavenly Father, and a renewed commitment to live purposefully.

Some of the video clips I have shared on this blog have come from previous general conference addresses.  Each conference, certain talks just seem to resonate with me, and so I like to share them.

Because of technology, it is easy to listen to general conference.  Not only is it shown at church buildings around the world, it is carried over satellite TV, and streams on the internet.  Conference is translated into many languages, too. 

Would you like to join me?



Thanks for general conference!


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Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Family History: Ancestry.com, Or You Thought Pinterest Was Addicting

As you might know, I use ancestry.com as a family history resource.  As I enter information about my ancestors, sometimes ancestry will have hints for me, sources that might help document the person I am researching.  I have entered enough names and received enough hints that I don't think I will ever run out of avenues to explore.

Here is a screen shot that shows that I have more hints than people entered into my family tree:


Out of 410 people in this particular tree, 177 of them have hints for a total of 433 hints.  387 of those hints are records:  census, birth, marriage, death, military, etc.  Particularly exciting are the 42 photo hints and the 4 story hints. 

As I click on the hints, I can compare the information to what I already know in order to determine if the hint really does match my ancestor.  Sometimes it doesn't, but often it does.  I can either accept or ignore each hint.  Accepted hints sometimes lead to finding other relatives, which then leads to more hints. 

I can research hints for hours.  I tell you, it is more addictive than pinterest.  (And that is saying something!)

Do you find yourself getting "lost" in the computer?  What are your favorite sites?

Thanks for the good that comes from technology.


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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Try New Things!


I love stories about people who have discovered hidden talents, or who have found new hobbies.  Whether a child prodigy or Grandma Moses, a medal winner or a novice, joy comes from the challenge of a new project.

My dad recently told me that my mom is researching bicycles.  I don't remember ever seeing her ride a bike, but she has set a goal to participate in a little triathlon next year.  So, of course, that necessitates buying a bike (not to mention becoming comfortable swimming).

Way to go, Mom!

What new activity would you like to try?

Thanks for a mom who sets a great example of lifelong learning and active living.


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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday Time to Tackle: Paper Piles


Paper and I have a love-hate relationship.  I love how the written word provides a snapshot of a particular time.  I hate how difficult it is for me to dispose of papers, and how good I am at procrastinating filing them away.

I am hoping to wade through this pile today.  It may come as a great surprise, but I'm very good at paying bills on time.  The breakdown in my system really comes in the filing stage.

How do you handle paperwork?  Any advice on how to break myself of this "piling" habit? 

Thanks for my favorite papers--photos and letters from loved ones!


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Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Morning in the Kitchen: Fruit Dip



Sometimes the simplest request throws me into a complex search for a solution.  If I haven't attempted something before, I tend to believe it will probably be more difficult or time-consuming than I imagine.  Case in point:  fruit dip.  Yes, I am a 40-something woman who had never made a fruit dip until recently.  I don't know if that's because I don't really see the need (fruit is delicious by itself), or if it's because I'm just lazy that way, but in any case, I had never even considered making fruit dip. 

Yesterday, our local Relief Society provided a dinner for some people at a community event, and I was asked to throw together a fruit dip for the occasion.  Did you know the main ingredient in fruit dip is marshmallow creme?  And I thought it's only use was for fudge, or Easterners' fluffernutter sandwiches. 

Since my daughter mistook the dip for cottage cheese, I'm pretty sure I could have done a better job in the blending department, but the dip itself tastes sufficiently yummy.  I used this recipe as a starting point, but then decided to add the lemon ingredients to take the sweetness down a notch. 

Fruit Dip

8 oz. Cool Whip or generic equivalent (If I make this again, I'll use real whipped cream, which I prefer.)

13 oz. marshmallow creme  (I think the smaller jar would have been enough.)

8 oz. cream cheese  (I used the reduced fat variety.)

1/2 teaspoon lemon peel

1 T lemon juice 

Combine all ingredients. 

The main thing I learned (again) was to just relax!  Though I would tweak the recipe a bit more the next time I make this dip, sometimes "good enough" is adequate.  Fulfilling an assignment without stressing out about it is a good thing.
Thanks for opportunities to try new things and serve others.


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