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Showing posts from July, 2012

#LightTheWorld

Monday Morning in the Kitchen: Easy Summer Fruit Salad

Easy Summer Fruit Salad

1/2 cantaloupe, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 pint blueberries
1 pint raspberries
1 small box instant pudding, made according to directions on box

Combine all ingredients and enjoy!
Variations:  Use different combinations and/or proportions of fruit.  Use yogurt or a powdered sugar glaze instead of the pudding.
 Thanks for seasonal fruit.


Sunday Musings of the Spirit: Mormon Curiousity?

Have you ever been curious about something, but didn't want to ask about it for fear of appearing ignorant, somehow offending, or being met with an all-too-enthusiastic answer? 

Certain topics, particularly religion and politics, seem to elicit that response more than others. 

In case you ever wondered about Mormons, here is a great info-graphic that gives an overview:



It seems that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is frequently in the news lately.  Some of the reports are well-researched and respectfully written; others show a lack of knowledge, or do not accurately reflect Mormon beliefs.  Click Mormonism FAQ to learn more about the beliefs of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   

Now it's my turn to be curious:  Did the infographic or link provide information you didn't know before?  And, are your religious views ever misunderstood, and what would you like to clarify?
Thanks for freedom of religion, and open, respectful communication…

Thursday Thoughts: Sporadic Posts Ahead!

As you are probably aware, my oldest child is getting married in August.  While I think I have prepared fairly well, I find myself with a to-do list that is demanding most of my attention.  I love blogging, and I've pre-written some upcoming posts.  However, if I miss a day here or there over the rest of the summer, do not be alarmed.  I am giving myself permission to put the blog on the back burner until September.

Posts may come sporadically until the Labor Day weekend is over, at which time, we will resume our regularly scheduled programming.  :-)



Enjoy your summer!

Thanks for understanding friends.


Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Don't Run With Scissors (Unless You're a Barber)

Thanks for signs that communicate no matter what the language!


Tuesday Time to Tackle: Creating Sleeve Lining

I always wear sleeves, but even some sleeves are a bit sheer for my liking.  Such was the case with a beautiful dress that John gave me for Mother's Day.  I had worn it, but couldn't quite decide if the sleeves were opaque enough or not.  I finally decided to try to line them, and was pleasantly surprised with the quickness and ease of the project.

First, I made a (really) rough paper pattern by following the shape of the sleeve, but adding in a bit for a seam allowance.


Next, I placed the top edge of the pattern on the fold of the lining fabric and cut out the lining.  I finished the rough edges of the fabric, then pinned and sewed the lining fabric to the armhole of the sleeve, stitching within the seam allowance.


To finish the project, I sewed up the bottom of the sleeve lining arm.  Easy peasy!  Now I can wear the dress in complete comfort.
Thanks for matching fabric, which just happened to be on sale.


Monday Morning in the Kitchen: Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Not too long ago, my blogging friend DeeAnn from Snippets 'N Stuff posted this recipe for Blueberry Zucchini Bread with Lemon Glaze.  Even the title made me drool.  I knew I had to try it.

I made just a few changes. 



Blueberry Zucchini Bread with Lemon-Buttermilk Glaze

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease bread pan.

Stir together:  2 c. flour, 3/4 c. sugar, 2 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. baking soda, 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. salt, 2 t. dried lemon zest, and 2 t. milk powder.  You may omit the milk powder if you choose to use fresh (liquid) milk.

Add 1 c. shredded zucchini.

In a small bowl, combine 2/3 c. water (or milk, if you didn't use powdered), 1/3 c. melted butter, 1 egg, and 1 t. vanilla. Add liquid ingredients to flour mixture, and stir until combined.

Gently fold in 3/4 c. fresh or frozen blueberries.  Add dough to bread pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until done.

Let cool 10 minutes in pan.  While bread is cooling, mix together 1/4 c. powdered sugar, 1 T. lemon juice, and 1/4 t…

Sunday Musings of the Spirit: August Visiting Teaching

August's visiting teaching message is titled, "Taking Action in Time of Need".  I know that my visiting teachers helped my family immensely when I was on twenty weeks of bedrest during one of my pregnancies.  They helped with my other children, with meals, with cleaning, and they were there to listen to my fears.  They prayed for me and my baby, and visited me in the hospital. 

I used some of the words from the message to design a subway art styled handout.  If you'd like to use it, just right-click to copy.



Update:  In a terribly brave move on my part, I attempted to make another handout in Spanish.  Hopefully I picked the correct words out of the message in the Liahona.  Let me know if something doesn't make sense.



Thanks to the many wonderful visiting teachers I have had over the years!


Friday Family History: Covered Wagon Travel

As I've mentioned, youngest daughter soon will be pushing and pulling a handcart as she participates in an pioneer trek re-enactment.  I've been remembering the time four years ago when John and I participated as "Pa" and "Ma" for a similar trek.  And I've been thinking about the reality of handcart, or if one was lucky, covered wagon travel. 

I have a copy of a photo that I just love.  It speaks volumes. 


Now, this was probably taken around 1920,  long after the time of the Mormon pioneers crossing the plains to Utah.  We believe the toddler on the left is my grandpa.  The man behind him is my great-grandpa, and great-grandma is in the wagon.  I wish I knew more about the circumstances of this photo.  What was the occasion?  Are they actually relocating their household, or just out for a drive?  And who is the woman on the right, hands on hips, and not looking very happy? 

Remember to label your photos.  Even if a photo just shows a glimpse of mundane …

Thursday Thoughts: Family Rules

It's always a good idea to have family rules; a code of conduct by which everyone is expected to abide.  Some families post lists of rules.  Others just know the rules by the opt-recited phrases of the parents--for example, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all." (Thanks to the Disney classic movie "Bambi," the parents usually at least imagine Thumper's voice while repeating that line!)

We were no different in our desire to establish consistent expectations in our home.  As parents, we were definitely outnumbered; and having five children, age 8 and under, sometimes it felt like we spent a majority of the day just reining (or reigning!) in chaos, averting disasters, and reminding of rules. My innovative husband devised a plan:  We would make our Number One Family Rule be something easy, something that even the most oppositional of the kids would obey, and one that if (heaven forbid!) someone did break, had a built-in natural cons…

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Reno, the Amazing LAPrador Retriever

Thanks for Reno, who if he had arms, would hug everyone. 


Tuesday Time to Tackle: Hiding a Beloved Eyesore

Let's just start by saying that I love our swamp cooler.  The summers here are hot and dry, and while we do have air conditioning, it is very expensive to run.  The swamp cooler, or evaporative cooler, not only inexpensively keeps the temperature comfortable, it also adds just a bit of moisture to the air.  Swamp coolers therefore are not as effective in places of high humidity, but for dry desert climates, they are great.

They are not, however, terribly attractive. 


When we decided that the wedding reception here will be in our backyard, we figured we might want to spruce the backyard up a bit.  My clever husband whipped up this solution to the swamp cooler issue.


Much better!

Have you ever screened something useful from view?

 Thanks for ways to stay cool in the heat.  And thanks to John, who can take my visions and make them realities.


Monday Morning in the Kitchen: Cupcakes

In preparation for my oldest son's upcoming wedding, I've been searching for a cupcake recipe that is both easy and delicious.  I found this recipe, which seemed to fit the bill.  I adapted it just a bit (due to my lack of a full cup of sour cream).

Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

Combine:
1 box white cake mix
1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
3/4 t. salt
1-1/3 c. water
2 T. oil
1 t. vanilla
sour cream/Greek yogurt combination to equal 1 c.
4 egg whites

Mix together for 2 minutes.  Fill paper-lined cupcake tins a scant 2/3 full, and bake for 18 minutes.  Makes about 36 cupcakes.

I think I'll experiment some more, using a different flavor of cake mix, and 2 whole eggs instead of 4 egg whites.  Using 4 egg whites gave the cupcakes an almost-angel-food-cake texture.

The frosting also came from the same RecipeGirl site.  Again, I adapted the original recipe a bit, substituting 2% milk for the whipping cream.

Frosting
Cream together 3 c. powdered sugar with 1c. butter, beating for 3 minutes.  Add…