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Showing posts from October, 2016

Photo Blogging Challenge ( #Photoblogchal ) for October: Water

It's been awhile, but I wanted to join in again this month with A 'lil Hoohaa's photo blogging challenge.   It was the theme that captured my attention:  water.  Oh, how I miss water!  Living in the desert, this challenge was really a challenge.  Where could I find water? Water is almost imaginary here, so I headed toward the lands of imagination:  theme parks! Photo:  Water sprays from the ground, and falls from a giant fountain at Universal Studios Photo:  Water droplets rest on spiderwebs in shrubbery at Disneyland Photo:  The reflection of the castle at Disneyland Photo:  Water falls at the Snow White Grotto at Disneyland Even though I traveled a bit to find water, I should have been patient.  On Friday the 28th, we had rain!   (Hey, PJ--can you please choose "Snow" in December?  I'd like to place an order for a white Christmas!) Photo:  A newspaper, wrapped in plastic, has raindrops on it Thanks for water!

Ten Things of Thankful: Home Edition

This has been a take-care-of-things-at-home week, and I'm thankful.  It feels good to tackle the mundane, yet necessary, tasks of home.   Photo:  Light shines through a window into a dark room, with the caption: "Make your apartment, your dorm, your home, or your room a holy place where you can safely retreat from the dark distractions of the world." Russell M. Nelson I've done loads and loads of laundry.  (1) I'm thankful for clothes, sheets, and towels.   I've paid bills. (2) I'm thankful for sufficient money to meet our needs. I've de-cluttered. (3) I'm thankful that still-useful items can be shared with others. I've done some aquarium maintenance. (4) I'm thankful for beautiful fish that provide a calming influence. I've dusted, vacuumed, and cleaned. (5) I'm thankful for the joy that comes with a clean house. I've tackled paperwork. (6) I'm thankful for the satisfaction that comes when tasks are compl

A #ThankfulActs Challenge: Care to Join Me?

You've probably seen the memes on Facebook:  "Only __ more Mondays till Christmas!"  The romantic bustle of Silver Bells lyrics can give way to frenzy. Santa, and everyone else, makes a list and checks it twice in order to get everything done.  Some folks seem to revel in the joy of the season; others seem overwhelmed and stressed.  I've felt both feelings, even in the same day. As I think about the why  of my emotions, I realize that the answer lies in the reason for doing what I'm doing.  If I am just trying to put a check on my to-do list, I am more likely to feel rushed and removed from the meaning behind the task.  If I am focused on how what I am doing will bless others, I tend to enjoy the moments more.  

Ten Things of Thankful: Birthday Week, So Who's Counting Edition

I had a birthday this past week, and friends, family, strangers, and even organizations (I'm talking to you, AARP!)  wished me happy birthday.  Well, except the cast member at the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.  He saw my birthday button and asked, "Is it your birthday?"  I said yes, and he replied, "Have a birthday."  

Six Sentence Story: Fix

Sometimes, when I try to fix a situation, I end up in a fix, and John has to come fix that!  Linking up with Ivy's Six Sentence Stories .

Does Blogging Make You Braver?

"Does blogging make you braver?"  John asked me last night, after I had called him from a parking lot to ask him to go get money from an ATM.

Ten Things of Thankful: I Like You, and Other Things

One of the wonderful things about counting your blessings, is that everything counts, no matter how small or insignificant the item might seem.  This morning, as I unplugged my Fitbit from its charger, a message appeared on the screen:  I LIKE YOU.  I get plenty of positive messages from my family everyday, but I still appreciated that affirmation from my exercise tracker.  

Six Sentence Story: Season

This week's Six Sentence Story prompt caught me in a reflective state of mind.  With a birthday that ends in a "0" sneaking up on me in a few days, I guess that is to be expected.  And so, here are 5 sentences reflecting the past seasons, and one for all the future seasons:

Choices, Choices, Choices: Evaluating the Family Budget

Every so often, I sit down and evaluate our family budget.  Some expenses are fixed and necessary, but many expenses can be reduced or eliminated.  Earlier this year, we switched our home phone service to Ooma , thereby drastically reducing our bill.   (We weren't quite brave enough to stop home service completely.)  

The Right Tool for the Job

I remember once having a conversation with a friend who wanted a new sewing machine, but her husband didn't understand why she would need another one when she already had one.  ( I think she had her eye on a serger.)  He was around at the time, and I told him that John always says that it's important to have the right tool for the job.   "Stop talking!  You're beginning to make sense!" he said.  

Ten Things of Thankful: Juxtaposition Edition

Juxtaposition seems to be the word of the week.  Bad things happen, and good pops out.  I am thankful for the good.  

Finish the Sentence Friday: A Woman of Faith and Warm Carrots

Yesterday, a police sergeant was shot dead in my friend's neighborhood.  The TV reports on Hurricane Matthew, bringing bad news from across the nation into my house.  The presidential election just leaves me shaking my head.   With so many big stories happening, it is easy to feel insignificant and unimportant.  And yet, I hope I can make a difference in my the lives of my loved ones. What do I hope to leave as my legacy?  My desire is that my family can feel peace and love in our home, despite the negative influences in the world.  I hope that I can be an example of a person of faith, one who has optimism, gratitude, and hope for the future, even in the midst of trials and struggles.  I want to be a steady calm presence in the chaos of modern life.   I want to be remembered as someone who could relieve stress with laughter.  I want to be like Grandma Moses, finding new interests and talents even in my older years.  I want my children to relate the stories that make them laugh,

Six Sentence Story: Star

As soon as I saw the prompt for this week's Six Sentence Story , I knew just the memory I could share.  The prompt:  star.

My Version of "Pumpkin Juice"

As you might have guessed from yesterday's post , we have a Harry Potter fan in our home. We have visited Universal Studios for the express purpose of seeing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  I knew that I wanted to try the (non-alcoholic) Butter Beer; what I didn't expect was to find that I really prefer pumpkin juice.   I figured it wouldn't be too difficult to replicate the flavor of pumpkin juice. There are multiple recipes online, but none that I found tasted quite right--though they were delicious.  I decided to experiment a bit, and this is what I came up with.  Though pumpkin juice is served cold at Universal Studios, this version is also delicious warm.  I was generous (some might say "heavy-handed") with the spices; if you like things a bit more mild, you can cut the spices in half. Ingredients: 128 oz. apple juice 46 oz. apricot nectar 2 cans (15 oz each) pumpkin 2 T ginger 1-1/2 cinnamon 1-1/2 teaspoons cloves 2 T lemon juice 1/2

"Engorgio, Hogwarts Robe!" or, How to Make a Cloak Bigger

Am I the only one who seems to get costumes together at the last minute? Now, I realize that Halloween is weeks away, but youngest daughter has a Harry Potter costume party this week.  The Hogwarts robe that we had ordered online was woefully mis-sized, and with no luck finding another one, it was time to get creative. (Yes, I probably could have found one in the correct size at Universal Studios, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money.)  The problem was, I wasn't sure how I was going to make the cloak bigger.  Youngest daughter was resigned to going sans cloak, and just making do with what she was going to wear underneath. Fortunately, I had one of those "a-ha!" moments early one morning, and I could finally picture how to make the costume larger without it taking too much effort (or money).  Unfortunately, I didn't think to take photos during the process, but the idea is so simple, hopefully words and after-photos will suffice. Start by ripping out the si

Family is the Point

I'm the kind of person who really likes to know why.   What is the big picture?  What are we trying to accomplish, and for what purpose? Answers to those kind of questions provide me a framework to make sense of what is going on around me.  The visiting teaching message for October can be found here , and helps put life in perspective.   The Family is Ordained of God.   Julie B. Beck explains: “The Creation of the earth provided a place where families could live. God created a man and a woman who were the two essential halves of a family. It was part of Heavenly Father’s plan that Adam and Eve be sealed and form an eternal family. “… The Fall made it possible for them to have sons and daughters. “[Christ’s] Atonement allows for the family to be sealed together eternally. It allows for families to have eternal growth and perfection. The plan of happiness, also called the plan of salvation, was a plan created for families. … “… This was Christ’s doctrine. … Without the f

General Conference (#LDSConf)--Saturday Morning Session

If you had a chance to watch General Conference this morning, you know how wonderful it was.  Prayer was emphasized quite a bit. You can view videos at this link .   Here are a few quotes that jumped out at me: Much of the important work of God is unseen in the eyes of the world. --Elder Neil L. Andersen Because Joseph was a prophet--Elder Craig C. Christensen Please, we must stop comparing ourselves to others.--J. Devn Cornish We can pray for guidance about when to speak, what to say, and yes, on some occasions, when to be still.--Robert D. Hales If we loved the Savior more, would we suffer less?--Elder Robert D. Hales (This is not to say that suffering is due to not loving the Savior--rather, that the Savior is available to help us and sustain us during hard times.  As we turn to Him, we can receive strength.) In times of trouble, our prayers become a lifeline of love and tender mercies. --Carol F. McConkie Do you prepare yourself for a